Killing Floor 2 Guide: How to be the Ultimate Survivor

Killing Floor 2

Killing Floor 2

The world of Killing Floor 2 is a dark and familiar one. If you’re a long time veteran of the franchise then you’ll likely already be fit for combat on the first two difficulties, but the game throws some surprising curve balls into the mix, so it’s a good idea to brush up on this list of tips we’ve put together to be the ultimate survivor.

  • Consider leveling the medic perk first. The medic perk is easily the most robust perk currently in the game, and certainly the best at surviving. But one of the medic’s greatest strengths lies in its level 10 perk. Combatant gives you body armor for free at the beginning of the match. Since you can switch your perk role in between waves, just switch to your preferred perk after wave one.
  • Don’t be afraid to scavenge. Don’t be afraid to roam the level in between waves in the early stages of the game. You’ll likely be able to replace lost ammo, snag a few guns to sell, and even grab some body armor if you didn’t go the medic route.
  • Learn to parry. Every class in the game can parry, so use it to your advantage. Regular blocking will reduce the damage inflicted some, but parrying will further reduce the damage and also stun your attacker. It’s the perfect, and sometimes only, defense for when a Scrake or Fleshpound gets in your face.
  • Put your needs before others. This might seem a bit counterproductive in a team environment, but when it comes down to it, everyone is responsible for their own skin. This doesn’t mean you should be greedy, it just means that you should handle your own responsibilities before trying to take someone else’s.
  • Know your role but don’t be afraid to stray. There are currently only four classes in the game and there will ultimately be a total of ten. This means that some of the current classes have had to adapt to roles they wouldn’t normally fill, and it also showcases just how versatile each is. If you wanna pack an AA12 as a medic then go ahead. In fact, it’s encouraged that you do.
  • Make Sirens a priority. Sirens aren’t particularly intimidating and they don’t pack much of a punch on their own, but they pierce through armor and make grenades useless, which means that they’re pretty scary when surrounded by a horde of other zeds. Take them out first.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings. It doesn’t matter if your team is fortified or on the run, always make sure you’re aware of what’s going on around you at all times. Zeds have a nasty habit of teleporting just around that corner your team is about to take, so make sure someone scouts ahead to deal with that if you’re on the run. When you’re defending, make sure your back is watched. Getting overwhelmed is easy and getting surrounded is a recipe for disaster.
  • Try not to panic. If you do find yourself surrounded, take the easiest route. Take a quick scope of your surroundings, note the path of least resistance, and make a mad dash for the light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t waste shooting at the zeds that aren’t an immediate threat and heal every chance you get until you’re safe.
  • Don’t aggro Scrakes and Fleshpounds early. Both zeds have a certain damage threshold until they get pissed off. Never shoot at them until your entire team is ready to take’em down. That means clearing the most dangerous trash and positioning yourselves so your team isn’t sandwiched between them and a wall.
  • Never waste dosh. It never fails. When you’re fighting Hans everyone just throws their money all over the place without reason. Instead, stock up on AA12s, throw them on the ground, and use them when you run out of ammo.
  • Let Hans feed. Don’t waste your ammo on Hans when he catches a teammate to leech life. He has a huge defense buff which makes any effort to inflict more damage a waste. Instead, be prepared to heal that teammate and make sure everyone is reloaded and ready to go.
  • Know the map. Aside from the obvious, you should be able to call out locations of the map to your team by names that are completely unquestionable or ambiguous.
  • Back peddle. Players run backwards at full speed. Make sure you’ve always got a clear escape plan because there is nothing worse than running into a wall and not realizing it until you’ve got zeds crawling all over you.

If you take away anything from this guide, let it be that teamwork is always the most important part of the game. Know your role, shoot zeds, and stay alive.

Do you play Killing Floor 2? Give your opinion in the comments box below.

Hearthstone Blackrock Mountain Guide: Defeating Vaelastrasz

Vaelastrasz

Sorry for doing these a little out of order, but the last few bosses haven’t done much to peak my interest.  Even the first boss of this week, Razorgore, was nothing special.  Fortunately, the rest of the wing provided some of the most interesting challenges we’ve had yet, starting with Vaelastrasz the Corrupt.  He actually offers a great spin on one of my favorite deck types: the mill.  In Hearthstone, you can only have a maximum of ten cards in your hand at a time.  If you draw while at that maximum, any cards you draw will be discarded.  Also, once your deck runs out, you’ll start taking fatigue damage with every draw. Milling is all about flooding the opponent’s hand to burn vital cards with fatigue damage as a means to finish off the enemy hero.  Vaelastrasz makes both you and himself vulnerable to milling with his hero power that automatically draws cards for both players on every turn.

On normal mode, Vaelastrasz will cause both players to draw two cards at the start of each of his turns.  Naturally, he runs Twilight Drake, Clockwork Giant, and Goblin Sapper to take advantage of these loaded hands.  He also has the spell Naturalize that will destroy one of your minions and force you to draw even more cards.  He’ll also focus down individual minions with other removal spells like Corruption, Imp-losion, and Dragon’s Breath.  He’ll also fill up his own deck with Gang Up, making it more likely that you’ll hit fatigue first.  Finally, Vaelastrasz’ exclusive card is Burning Adrenaline, a zero-mana spell that deals 2 damage directly to your hero.  While he could easily dump these to avoid burning cards on draw, he prefers to hold onto them until he can set up for a lethal blow.  If you see him casting this spell, it probably means that you’ve already lost.  Without the right deck, defeating him will be extremely difficult.  However, he’ll be easy prey if you simply fight fire with fire.

Hearthstone Screenshot 04-25-15 21.46.19

Your best option is to give him a taste of his own medicine with a Mill Druid.  This will let you use Naturalize yourself and burn through Vaelastrasz’ deck.  Another vital spell is Innervate as it will give you more mana for a turn and make it easier to dump your hand.  The last must-have spell is Savage Roar which will provide you with the final punch needed to win.  The rest of your deck should be composed of cheap minions that you can play quickly and flood the board with.  Argent Squire, Annoy-o-Tron, Haunted Creeper, and even zero mana minions like Wisp and Target Dummy will give you the edge in this fight.  Even Nerubian Egg will a great asset as Vaelastrasz will waste his own removal spells to hatch these eggs for you.  This is because Vaelastrasz is actually a friendly dragon that was captured and corrupted by Nefarian and is trying to help you in this fight and isn’t the result of bad AI design in any way whatsoever.  That said, you should still keep Dire Wolf Alpha and/or Sunfury Protector on hand so you can crack the eggs yourself.

The costliest minion you have in your deck is Big Game Hunter as it will give you another way to clear Clockwork Giants.  Dancing Swords can be good as it’s a strong, cheap body that forces your opponent to draw, but it’s not likely to last given the amount of removal cards that you’ll be up against.  Your ultimate goal is to flood the board with minions and then buff them with Savage Roar.  Hang on to charge minions like Stonetusk Boar and/0r Bluegill Warrior to add to your final attack.  While Rogue is also a popular class for milling, it doesn’t have way to burst the opponent from this setup.  Build a deck with the principles I’ve described and the Flamewaker card will be yours in no time.

On heroic mode, Vaelastrasz’ power will draw three cards for each player at the start of his turn and he will gain a mana crystal.  He’ll also start with 15 armor on top of his 30 health.  Fortunately, the same tactic I listed above will work just as well in heroic mode as it did in normal mode.  Even on a budget, this fight can easily be won.  Vaelastrasz is one of the most interesting bosses we’ve had both mechanically and thematically, but he’s also one of the easiest.  Keep checking in for more Hearthstone guides coming soon.

(Vaelastrasz art by BlackMysticA)

Dark Souls II: Scholar Of The First Sin Tips & Tricks

Dark Souls

If you frequent VgamerZ (which you should), you’ve probably seen me posting about Dark Souls or something relating to the franchise as a whole. Nearly half of my articles on this site relate to or reference the Souls series in some way or another and it is my favourite series of all time. I consider myself a Souls veteran, though most would call me a fanboy, and I’ve learned many things throughout my difficult times in Drangleic, Yharnam, Boletaria, and Lordran.

I am here today to provide you with twelve tips that will help newcomers and veterans alike. I hope that it might enable you to have an easier time in the difficult and unforgiving opening hours of one of the hardest games on the PS4. Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin.

Dark souls 2 dragon heide

I – Melentia Is Your Friend

This decrepit woman carrying way too much on her brittle back might have you doing a double take to ensure that you didn’t just turn your back on a foe, and I get that. However, you should definitely keep your sword sheathed so that you may have a lovely and harmless conversation with a woman that is almost too eager to sell you her wares.

she provides extremely useful items like Life Gems, Pharros’ Lockstone, a key to unlock the blacksmith in Majula, and numerous others that will eventually become unlocked as you progress throughout your journey in Drangleic.

You should spend some time at the beginning of the game earning enough Souls that you can purchase the aforementioned items, as they will all help you greatly. better yet, run through her entire dialogue tree and she’ll appear in Majula when you’ve cleared out the first boss!

II – The Way Of Blue Is The Only Way

Once you’ve picked your jaw up from the floor after witnessing the beauty that is Majula, you’ll notice a few lively NPCs to converse with. The crestfallen (heh) man sitting at what appears to be some sort of obelisk near the ocean is Saulden, and he has a very important Covenant for you to join if you so desire.

The Way Of Blue is a covenant that essentially protects newcomers from invaders; hostile players that can jump into your world to slaughter you in a vicious and generally humiliating fashion. It functions by automatically summoning a friendly player from the Blue Sentinels Covenant to fight alongside you as you face off against the red bully on the other side of the screen.

III – The Best Effigy Is A Burnt Effigy

Another way to protect against invaders is by burning a Human Effigy. If you want to be left alone, simply visit the Bonfire that surrounds the area you’re in, and hit the ‘burn’ option. When you select your Effigy, it prevents any sort of co-operation.

Be warned. You are no longer able to summon either, so use this at your own discretion.

IV – Vandalism Has Its Perks

If you are a new player, you might not know that you can leave messages for other players to see in their worlds. Whenever you run across some orange symbol on the ground, it’s usually a player leaving a message to either guide you, or throw you off to be that guy. You can do this too by accessing it in your drop-down menu, and it has a nice benefit.

If someone likes the message you’ve written, they can leave it a good rating and you will instantly receive full health. While it’s certainly not useful all of the time, it can be a life safer when you are low on healing items.

You also get the added bonus of helping someone who might be more inexperienced than you that is already having a rough day, so be a nice guy and you’ll be rewarded for it.

V – Smooth, Or Silky? You Decide

If you go to Things Betwixt and visit that bird’s nest, you’ll hear voices talking about their desire for something smooth or silky. It’s a very cryptic message at first, but it all becomes clear as you play through the game. Smooth and Silky Stones are random items of no use, or so it seems. Drop one of them on the bird’s nest and suddenly you’re given an item.

The item you get is always random, and it comes from a pool of multiple potential items, so your chances of getting something good are slim. That said, it’s still highly recommended that you frequently return to drop the stones, as you could find yourself with a rare weapon or a nice ring. Just remember to drop one at time, as dropping multiple at once will not work.

VI – Something Petrified

When creating your character, you’re given the option to pick a starting gift. They all seem really random and some seem downright useless, but one amongst them stands as my ultimate favourite starting gift, and it’s probably the one you’d least expect.

Petrified Something is a seemingly pointless item, but like many things in Dark Souls II it has a hidden use that you’d probably skip. Drop that item on the bird’s nest that I previously mentioned and it gives you a random item from the aforementioned pool. The great thing about Petrified Something is that it is the best item you can drop for the birds, so your chances of getting something good are increased.

I’ve had many runs where I’ve received a nice ring or some upgrade materials that I could use immediately to raise my weapon’s stats, so it’s worthwhile to choose this gift over the others.

VII – Champions Are Overrated

When you first venture into Majula, you’ll be tempted to explore every single nook and cranny that won’t result in your demise. You’ll also be tempted to talk to every NPC and engage in as many dialogue options as possible for their potential rewards and quests. If you make your way to the highest point in Majula, you can find a stone tablet that allows you to join the Covenant of Champions.

While it sounds like an intriguing and fun covenant to align yourself with, be wary, as joining it results in the game becoming permanently harder. It’s the equivalent of being in New Game Plus on your first play-through, and it is definitely not a pushover.

Furthermore, joining this Covenant will prevent all types of jolly cooperation, so forget about ever taking part in an invasion or having a friend join you for a boss fight.

VIII – Jack And His Trades

Most players that will venture through the game will find that they adopt a weapon that feels most comfortable to them. It’s nice because regardless of play style, there will always be at least one weapon that feels perfect for you.

The problem is that with Dark Souls II, Fromsoftware took the idea of weapon durability to an entirely new level. Instead of it slowly wearing down over time, it now drops drastically as you fight. It’s made worse by the fact that the PS4, Xbox One, and PC versions of the game all have a durability bug that drops it even further, so this entire idea of favouring a weapon is no longer valid.

You will want to swap weapons consistently throughout each stretch. Find two or three weapons you like and level them evenly (or make one a dominant weapon, it’s your choice), as you will never have enough durability to successfully explore the entire map and take out the boss in one fell swoop.

IX – Backtracking? Maybe Just This Once…

While your natural instinct will be to push forth and seek the king, you would be wise to backtrack to a specific area for an item that could help immensely with invaders and enemies.

The area? Things Betwixt. The loot? The Stone Ring. The way? Start at the Bonfire and trek through the house. Once you reach the bridge, cross it and head through the little gap in the rocks on the right. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see footprints in the dirt. Swiftly end the life of that disgusting cyclops and the ring is yours.

The Stone Ring is a ring that buffs your poise, a stat the is centred around staggering your foes leaving them open for combos. It is a fantastic ring to equip early game, as it adds a considerable amount of poise to your character and practically ensures that any small enemy you encounter will face the wrath of a good stun-lock.

How early you go is up to you, but I generally go the moment I get done making my character.

X – Parry Is Gonna Get Back Stabbed

Dark Souls II, like the other Souls games, holds two unique attacks that you can utilize to exploit almost any foe the game throws at you for massive damage.

The first move, the back stab, is rather easy to pull off and rewards you with a combo that both destroys the enemy’s HP, and leaves him begging for mercy on the ground. Simply walk behind an enemy (as the name implies), and plant your sword in his back by means of the R1 button. You have to almost perfectly align yourself with the back, so practice it well.

The second move, and the more challenging to master, is the parry. To parry an enemy, you must hit L2 to smack the weapon of your opponent away with your shield as he is just about to land his blow. It is very tricky to get it down, but when you do, it gives you the opportunity to follow up with a crushing riposte. Just tap the R1 button directly in front of the enemy when he is stunned, and you will be watching his corpse fade away into the wind.

XI – Classes Aren’t For Schmucks

Picking a starting class is a unique experience in the Souls series. Most RPGs cement you into your class and force you to play by the rules of that specific class, but in Dark Souls II it’s different.

You can choose any class and come out of it using any weapon or spell, depending on how you decide to build your character. That said, it’s still vital that you choose a suitable class to start the game with.

I personally like to choose the Knight, as it offers me enough Strength to wield any early-game strength weapon, and enough dex that if I add a few points to it, I can also wield any dex weapon I find. It offers great vigor and enough vitality that you can wear most medium armour with the exception of the Drangleic set.

How you build your character is up to you, so consider what you want to be doing and choose accordingly.

XII – Team Playin’ Is The Best Kind Of Playin’

If you find that you’re struggling with a particularly frustrating area or boss, it might be wise that you summon help. Furthermore, if you require souls but hate the idea of grinding them, you can always place yourself in another player’s world to aid them in their time of desperation.

To summon a player, you must be in your human form. You can check this by looking at your health bar to see if it has it’s maximum health reduced, or by the colour of your character’s skin. If you aren’t human, defeat a boss, successfully help a player, or pop a human effigy. Once you’ve done this, you’ve met the only requirement to summoning for help.

Look for a white or yellow sign on the ground, as they are other players or NPCs that will join your world to fight alongside you. Simply walk up to it and hit X and you will be on your way to victory in no time.

If you value helping others, take a trip to Forest of Fallen Giants and find an NPC named Mild-Mannered Pate. He can be located after the Pursuer optional encounter, near the ballista room. Talk to him and follow his advice, but be warned, as he leads you into a difficult trap and you must successfully escape it to be rewarded. When you become victorious, talk to him again and he’ll award you the White Sign Soapstone. Place this item on the ground near a boss or Bonfire, and you’ll be summoned into the world of another player.

DarkSoulsII majula

Hopefully these tips will aid you in your struggle with the opening hours of Dark Souls II! If you’re looking for more tips to ease your pain, check out my Bloodborne Tips & Tricks guide. It is also a Souls game so you can apply several tips to Dark Souls II.

Good luck and praise the sun!

How To Platinum Infamous First Light

Platinum

Difficulty to platinum: 4/10

Total trophies: 25

Time taken to platinum (approx): 8-10 hours

Playthroughs required: 1 story, numerous challenge arenas

Overview: 

Infamous First Light is insanely easy to platinum. The only time consuming trophies are arena-related ones but with the right method, all of these trophies can be attained swiftly.

Story trophies:

There are a total of story related trophies, all of which can be nabbed in a single playthrough:

  • Lost – Suffer a loss (bronze)
  • Cracked – Endure a deception (silver)
  • Betrayed – Experience a double-cross (gold)
  • She’s ready – Complete the story of Infamous First Light (gold)

Collectible/ tasks trophies:

By accessing your map you can view the locations of various collectibles or minor side tasks situated throughout Seattle. These include Neon Lumens, Lumen Races to play, Neon Graffiti spots to tag and Police Drones to destroy. Don’t panic if early on you have attained all visible collectibles without hearing the triumphant ping of a trophy notification because, some collectibles only become available as you delve deeper into the story. The trophies attained when all collectibles are gathered are as follows:

  • Illuminated – Collect all Neon Lumens (silver)
  • Blackout – Destroy all Police Drones (bronze)
  • Lickety Pronto – Complete all Lumen Races (silver)
  • That’s So Fetch – Complete all Neon Graffiti (bronze)
One of the Neon Graffiti tags you must complete (screenshot by myself)
One of the Neon Graffiti tags you must complete (screenshot by myself)

Challenges:

Within Infamous First Light are challenges (a total of 60) which can be viewed by opening the pause menu (options). On the right hand side will be your challenges. Not all are arena related and you will have to do some within the story. There are a considerable amount of combat challenges so in order to save some time, it may be worth battling in certain ways whilst playing the story to earn them early on, leaving you only the long-winded ones to pick up as you complete the arena challenges. The trophies for completing challenges are as follows:

  •  Novice – Complete 25% of all Challenges (bronze)
  • Professional – Complete 50% of all Challenges (silver)
  • Expert – Complete 75% of all Challenges (expert)
  • Perfectionist – Complete all of the Challenges in the game (expert)

Battle arena trophies:

The majority of trophies for Infamous First Light are gained whilst tackling the arenas. Here are all the trophies available through the arenas and if necessary, an easy way to go about getting them:

(NOTE: For challenging the arenas I recommend the skill you predominantly push your points into is the homing missiles as it making surviving considerably easier and will coincide more effectively with the method I will be demonstrating. If you are yet to upgrade this much, keep challenging the arena for points)

  • Alpha Rescue Diamond – Achieve a score of 500,000 points (silver)
  • Alpha Survival Diamond – Achieve a score of 500, 000 points (silver)
  • Beta Rescue Diamond – Achieve a score of 500,000 points (silver)
  • Beta Survival Diamond – Achieve a score of 500,000 points (silver)
  • Gamma Survival Diamond – Achieve a score of 500,000 points (silver)
  • Top Of The Class – Earn a total of 10,000,000 points (gold)

Method for obtaining:

For obtaining the trophies and completing the challenges for surviving high waves of enemies or gaining a certain quantity of points I recommend using homing missiles in the way demonstrated below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4dWNMHRAfw&feature=youtu.be

This way is effective as the homing missiles can take out the more threatening enemies from afar, leaving you with the weaker enemies to pick off using weak point kills as you proceed to the next neon source. This narrows the chances of losing health as you are constantly gathering from neon sources. By using the missiles you can also destroy enemies from a fair distance away and maintain multiplier scores, very helpful for getting high points. The same method should be used , just more wisely in the rescue arenas meaning just to pick your sources carefully (the ones closest to the hostages). Firing missiles at appearing hostages is a brilliant for wiping out there immediate threats, enough for you to save them and ensure you don’t fail.

It is also key to hang on to your neon singularity special move until it becomes completely necessary to use it. It is brilliant for when you are close to death and overwhelmed by enemies.

Remaining trophies: 

After completing all the battle arenas and obtaining the trophies you should only have the following combat/ challenge related trophies remaining (if you have not yet got them already):

  • Turret Syndrome – Overload 25 turrets (silver)

Self-explanatory, just overload 25 of the turrets that appear during arena battles by going up behind them and swiping down on the touch pad when prompted.

  • Great Responsibility – 50 hostage saves (bronze)

Self explanatory, just gather a total of 50 hostage saves by replaying rescue battle challenges. The homing missiles are great for dealing with enemies initially surrounding the hostage.

  • Event Horizon – Defeat 100 enemies with a single Neon singularity (bronze)

This trophy is much easier to attain within the higher rounds of survival challenges. If you keep trying your luck when you are bombarded with enemies at high waves, you are more than likely going to achieve the trophy.

  • …Bada Boom! – Defeat 20 enemies in a row with homing missiles (silver)

Self-explanatory, just by using the tactic demonstrated above, you can take out 20 enemies in row with the homing missiles in no time at all. It is easier to achieve when the skill is upgraded.

  • Fish In A Barrel – 25 stasis + weak point kills

Self-explanatory, by using the stasis bubble and hitting enemies weak points (highlighted pink) 25 times, you will earn yourself this trophy.

  • Unleashed – Purchase every upgrade (gold)

Self-explanatory, if you have completed all other challenges and trophies, likelihood is you will have already earned enough points to earn every upgrade. If this isn’t the case, simply replay battle arena challenges to earn the remaining points you need to get all upgrades.

And so behold your platinum trophy 

Noble Achievement – Collect all trophies (platinum)

 inFAMOUS™ First Light_20150222171249

Hearthstone Guide: Bosses of Blackrock Depths

Blackrock

The first wing of the Blackrock Mountain adventure for Hearthstone has arrived.  Blackrock Depths has three new bosses, two new class challenges, and plenty of new cards to collect.  This guide will take you through all the challenges and how to dominate them.  Once you own a wing, you’ll be able to fight the bosses within as many times as you like and the cards are as good as yours.  However, there can be a lot of trial and error involved.  Now you can breeze through them with surefire tactics that will get all of the new cards into your collection immediately.

First stop is the Grim Guzzler for a bar fight with Coren Direbrew and his crew of Dark Iron Dwarves.  Be careful as it looks like everything from Succubus to Venture Co. Mercenary has stopped in for a drink.  Coren’s hero power is Pile On and will automatically use it to summon a random minion from the deck to the board both for himself and for you.  You can easily use this to your advantage by loading your deck with the biggest minions you own and damage-dealing spells to control the board.  Druid is easily your best option at building a powerful deck.  Massive minions like Boulderfist Ogre, Force Tank MAX, and Ironbark Protector will rule the board once summoned, but you should also keep a couple Chillwind Yetis that can be played on their own once drawn.  Anything smaller will just put you behind.  Damaging spells like Wrath, Starfire and Starfall will help you bring down Coren’s buddies, but you should also run Innervate and Wild Growth to keep your mana high and prevent your hand from filling up with costly minions you can’t play.  The one thing you want to cautious about is that Coren has the Brawl spell, which kills all but one minion on the board, and his exclusive Dark Iron Bouncer automatically wins this otherwise random outcome.  Be careful against flooding the board and losing too many minions to Brawl.  Follow these guidelines and the Grim Patron card will be yours.

Hearthstone Screenshot 04-02-15 21.48.26

Your next challenge is the Dark Iron Arena with High Justice Grimstone.  His hero power, Jeering Crowd, summons a 1/1 with taunt for only 1 mana and his deck is filled entirely with legendary minions.  That sounds scary, but legendaries are generally slow and he’ll often be stuck without a play for the first few turns.  An aggressive Hunter deck with low cost minions like Knife Juggler and Abusive Sergeant should kill him faster than he can bring out his nastiest fighters.  Spells like Freezing Trap and Deadly Shot will help you keep up if he does manage to bring out anything troublesome.  It’s a fun encounter, but not especially difficult.  The Rogue’s new Gang Up spell awaits you at the end of the arena.

The last boss fight with the Dark Iron Emperor is undoubtedly the most intimidating.  Emperor Thaurissan’s hero power deals 30 damage for only 2 mana, meaning he can kill you in one turn with ease.  Fortunately, he starts the battle with Moira Bronzebeard on his side of the board and she prevents him from using his hero power and cannot attack minions unless they have taunt.  Obviously, you need to keep her alive to stop Thaurissan from instantly destroying you.  As a result, your deck shouldn’t contain any AoE or strong taunt minions that could kill her.  Small taunts like Annoy-o-Tron and Mirror Image can be useful, but anything bigger is too risky.  Your biggest concern is Thaurissan’s own AoE effects with cards like Unstable Ghoul, Death’s Bite, and Abomination.  Silence and freezing effects combined with a cast of mostly small, aggressive minions in a Mage deck will make for a strong build for bringing the emperor down.  Thaurissan is armed with many cheap imps to flood the board, so you’ll need to keep up with his early game without risking Moira going down.  Your prizes will be the Priest’s Resurrect and Emperor Thaurissan’s legendary card.

Starting off the class challenges is the Hunter challenge against Coren.  Coren still has the same deck as the boss fight, but your deck will be premade for you with an emphasis on beasts.  I wish I could give you strategy for this one, but it mostly comes down to the luck of the draw with the Pile On effect.  The best advice I can give you is to hang onto spells and cheap minions with your opening hand.  Hanging on to the Houndmaster in your starting hand may be a good idea as well as its battlecry won’t trigger if it’s summoned from the deck.  It will probably take you a couple of attempts, but intelligent plays will get you through.  The fearsome Quick Shot spell waits at the end of the brawl.

Hearthstone Screenshot 04-02-15 21.38.28

The Mage class challenge pits you against Grimstone armed only with a deck of thirty Unstable Portal spells.  The 2-mana spell will put a random minion card into your hand with a 3 mana discount included and it could be any collectible minion in the entire game.  This challenge is even more unpredictable and your success will be based entirely around the cards you get.  Strategy is essentially impossible and you’ll just have to make the most of what you get.  This challenge is definitely a joke, but at least it can only delay your journey to getting new cards.  Keep at it and you’ll win the Dragon’s Breath spell for Mage and complete your collection for this wing.

Finally, we have the heroic challenges.  There are no cards to earn with the heroic challenges, just an exclusive card back once you’ve beaten everyone in Blackrock Mountain.  These are intended as an extra challenge for expert players and can be skipped without concern.  Each of these will be extremely difficult, even with optimized decks.  Coren will start the battle with 15 armor and his hero power summons two minions from his deck and only one for you.  It’s very easy for the game to spiral out of control with the number of large minions that he’ll call in.  Your best bet is to build a Mage deck with the same large minions you brought to the boss fight and a variety of spells with freezing effects.  Spells like Frost Nova and Blizzard will let you seize control of the tempo of the game.  You’ll probably need a few legendaries to really stand a chance and it may take you  a few attempts, but he can go down fairly easily.

Grimstone’s heroic challenge is where things get insane.  Not only does he start with 15 armor and his hero power is now free, he also starts the match with 4 mana on his first turn.  Sadly, for those of you playing on a budget, there’s no way of getting through this one without a few epics and legendaries of your own to keep up with his incredibly powerful plays.  Again, the Heroic challenges are meant more for seasoned players than those just starting out.  Freeze Mage, a popular deck utilizing cards like Frost Nova, Doomsayer, and Mirror Entity, is a pretty strong method of taking on the legends of the arena.  Legendaries like Alexstrasza and Archmage Antonidas are going to be important for dealing the final blow.

Finally, Thaurissan’s heroic challenge starts him with 15 armor (seems to be a theme with these dwarves) and Moira is a 3/1 instead of a 1/3.  Again, AoE is unusable as protecting Moira is top-priority.  Your best bet will probably be a Priest deck armed with Crazed Alchemist that can buff and heal Moira.  However, Alexstrasza may be needed for this strategy to get Thaurissan’s health low enough to beat him.

That wraps it up for this wing of Blackrock Mountain.  Let us know what your favorite encounters and cards were for this set and what you’re looking forward to in the next wing.

Majora’s Mask 3D Empty Bottle Locations

Bottle

There are a total of 7 Empty Bottles Link can collect in Majora’s Mask 3D. The bottles can be used to store potions, faeries, and other useful items for later use, and with the addition of a seventh bottle to the remake, certain parts of the game become much easier. Between the locations kept from the original game and the ones that have changed for the remake, they can be tricky to find. Here’s a complete list of where to find them all:

Empty Bottle 1:

The first bottle comes as part of the story, so you’ll get it no matter what. However, the way you get the bottle changes depending on the day. If it’s Day 1, you’ll need to find Koume in the Woods of Mystery in the southern swamp. You’ll find an injured Koume and will need to go to the Magic Hag Shop to get a bottle of red potion. Let Koume drink the potion and you’ll keep the bottle. If it’s Day 2 or 3, you’ll need to get the potion from Koutake, who will be flying around in the Woods Of Mystery, instead of the shop.

Empty Bottle 2:

You should go for this one after beating Woodfall Temple – otherwise there’s a lot you’ll have to redo. Go to the Swamp Tour Centre, which is the first hut on stilts you’ll see as you enter. Speak to Koume and you’ll get to play a minigame where you shoot the targets within the time limit. If you hit 20 (don’t worry, it’s not too difficult), you’ll get a bottle.

Empty Bottle 3:

This is on Day 1. Go to Romani Ranch and agree to help them defend the ranch from aliens. Then come back before 2am on the first night, and within the next three hours (2.30am – 5.15am) the side-quest will start and you’ll have to fight off some aliens. Once that’s done, you get your third bottle (full of delicious Romani milk).

Empty Bottle 4:

For this one you’ll need to already have the third bottle and all three transformation masks. Go and defend the wagon that travels from Romani Ranch to Clock Town and Cremia will give you Romani’s Mask. Put the mask on and go to the Milk Bar. Talk to Toto, the band leader, play his requested song. This will get you the Circus Troupe’s Mask. Now on the second day go to Stock Pot Inn, but enter through door on the roof. Wearing the Circus Troupe’s Mask, talk to Troupe Leader Gorman, who is in one of the rooms. He’ll ask for some Mystery Milk. To get that, go to Milk Road and talk to a Gorman Brother. Then you have to make it back in two minutes to hand over the Mystery Milk. Your reward will be an Empty Bottle.

Empty Bottle 5:

You obtain this bottle while you’re upgrading your sword to the Razor Sword. The smith will ask for Gold Dust, which can be obtained from the Goron Races. If you come first in the race, you’ll get bottles of Gold Dust. You should already have accessed the Goron Races with a Powder Keg at this point, but in case you haven’t, they can be found between the Mountain Village and Goron Village, where the rope bridges are.

Empty Bottle 6:

Once you’ve got both the Zora Mask and the Hookshot, head to Zora Cape. You’ll find some trees on the higher up platforms which you can access with the Hookshot. Those trees will take you to Waterfall Rapids, where you’ll find a beaver. Speak with him to race him and his brother. If you beat them both, you get a bottle.

Empty Bottle 7:

You’ll get this bottles during the Anju’s Anguish side-quest (also known as the Anju and Kefei side-quest), one of the hardest quests in the game, spanning over all three days and requiring a lot of effort. On the final day, once you’ve got Priority Mail from the owner of the Curiosity Shop, go to the Milk Bar while wearing the Romani Mask. Talk to Madam Aroma, Kefei’s mother, then put the Kafei Mask on and give her to Priority Mail to receive bottles of Chateau Romani. The seventh and final Empty Bottles will be yours to keep.

Hearthstone Guide: Best Neutral Basic Cards

Hearthstone

I’ve already gone over the quickest ways to earn gold and card packs when starting out in Hearthstone, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect the set of Basic cards that the game starts you out with.  Just because they’re free doesn’t mean they’re weak and some of them will remain staples of your decks even at high levels of play.  These are the ten best cards that you can start working with from the beginning and will get you the best results.

10. Darkscale Healer

How useful the Darkscale Healer is to you will depend on the deck you’re building.  Darkscale isn’t going to have much of an effect in decks built on aggression and focused on taking out the enemy hero as quickly as possible.  If you’re going for a lot of tanky minions with high health, on the other hand, then Darkscale is definitely worth having.  Knock around the enemy minions and then drop Darkscale to recover from the damage.  Combine that with a 4/5 stat line for 5 mana and you have a great minion for decks built around controlling the board.  Darkscale also heals you and can be a lifesaver in a pinch.

9. Boulderfist Ogre

With most decks, you’re going to need some late-game punch to keep up with your opponent.  Boulderfist Ogre is one of your best bets for filling that role when you’re just starting out.  With a 6/7 stat line for only 6 mana, Boulderfist is a very tough minion that can easily take down several smaller enemies and still keep going.  Bring out a bruiser like this and your opponent will have to find an answer to it or quickly fall behind.  It probably won’t be long until you start swapping him out of your decks in favor of rarer, more technical cards, but he is a fine pick for your early days.

8. Gurubashi Berserker

In the right deck, this card can be terrifying.  The Gurubashi Berserker continuously grows more powerful the more damage it takes.  Mages and Warriors have ways to carefully damage the Berserker themselves and ensure its growth when it’s most critical.  Priests and Shamans can be even scarier with their abilities to heal it and keep it in the game longer.  If played tactfully, this Basic card can be as devastating as a legendary.

7. Gnomish Inventor

Any deck you build is going to need some method of card draw in it.  If you can’t refresh your hand, you’ll quickly find yourself starving for resources and unable to deal with your opponent’s plays.  Gnomish Inventor is a decent 2/4 minion that also adds a new card to your hand.  At 4 mana, she can be a bit of slow way to play, but she is tough enough to do some work on the battlefield while also keeping your supply of cards strong.

6. Wolfrider

Charge minions like the Wolfrider are very quick plays that serve you well when you need to make a move immediately.  In control decks, he can act like a living spell that will instantly bring down an enemy minion with 3 health or less.  In aggressive decks, he can help break through tough taunt minions or just smack the enemy hero around.  Just remember that, with only 1 health point, your opponent won’t have a hard time getting rid of him and you need to think of how to get the most out of him.

5. Sen’jin Shieldmasta

Poor Shieldmasta.  He used to be one of the most popular cards in the game back in the vanilla days.  There wasn’t a single deck that went without his reliable protection in the mid-game.  Then the Plague Quarter introduced Sludge Belcher into the game and everyone starting running that instead.  Still, Shieldmasta is the best taunt you could ask for prior to picking up the Naxxramas expansion and can fit comfortably into any deck you want to build.  While Booty Bay Bodyguard and Lord of the Arena may look tougher, they’re actually much easier to deal with at the points in the game that they come out.  Check out the Shieldmasta and he’ll keep you and your minions secure.  Just… Tell him I said ‘hello’… I miss him.

4. Shattered Sun Cleric

The Shatttered Sun Cleric can quickly turn the early game in your favor.  Once summoned, a different minion of your choice will gain 1 attack and 1 health.  A friendly minion that would have only matched what your opponent played or wasn’t tough enough to bring it down in one shot can suddenly grow more powerful and give you control of the board.  The Cleric also scales fairly well into the late game with how versatile her buff can be.  The only downside is that a 3/2 for 3 mana is a little weak on its own, but her buff easily makes up for it.

3. Acidic Swamp Ooze

Ooze is good simply on the basis of being a 3/2 minion for 2 mana.  Having around four to six of these  is a general rule of thumb as they can trade evenly with any other 2 drop and can even take out most 3 drops.  It’s ability to destroy your opponent’s weapon is just the icing on the cake.  This battlecry is fairly situational given that some classes, like Mage and Druid, don’t even have weapons available and the battlecry may as well not exist when the Ooze is played against them.  Classes that do rely on weapons, like Warrior and Rouge, require you to time the use of your Ooze in order to take away the most threatening weapon you can.  Getting the most out of the Ooze can be tricky, but its solid stat line means that you have nothing to lose by throwing one or two in your deck.

2. Stormwind Champion

This will often be your big finisher for your early decks.  Stormwind Champion turns a mildly threatening board into a powerhouse and can lead you to victory.  His boardwide buff requires you to have a line of minions ready to strike, but the effects can be devastating.  Keep in mind that the buff is tied to the Champion and your minions will return to their normal stat lines if he is killed.  That said, if a buffed minion’s health is at its natural maximum or less when the Champion dies, its health will not be reduced.  With a 6/6 stat line, the Champion isn’t too easy to take down, either.

1. Chillwind Yeti

Chillwind Yeti is the single most balanced card in all of Hearthstone.  Whenever you’re trying to determine how useful a minion is, this is the card you compare it to.  Turn 4 is actually considered to be one of the most crucial points in the game simply because it’s the turn that the Yetis come out on.  With a 4/5 stat line, the Yeti can easily sweep up early minions and still keep going for more.  Most spells can’t even kill it in one hit and odds are good that you’ll take away at least two of your opponents cards with this one.  It may seem simple, but that level of power and survivability demonstrates the importance of favorably trading blows and holding control of the board.

There are plenty of other cards to discuss, but this should give you plenty to work with for building your first few decks.  Stayed tuned for more Hearthstone guides in the future.  Happy dealings.