Hearthstone Blackrock Mountain Guide: Defeating Ragnaros


Now that his lieutenants, Garr and Baron Geddon, are over and done with, it’s time to take on Ragnaros the Firelord himself.  However, there actually is one more servant to get through as Ragnaros is preceded by his most trusted subject, Majordomo Executus.  You’ll have to take down both of these fearsome opponents in a single match as Ragnaros will take control of the game immediately after Executus falls.  There’s no class challenge for this boss, but the normal and heroic challenges will still put you to the test.

For the normal challenge, Executus will start things off with the standard 30 health and a hero power that summons a 1/3 Flamewaker Acolyte for 2 mana.  His line-up of minions includes Flame Imp, Flamewaker, Core Rager, Fire Elemental, Magma Rager, Core Hound, and Fireguard Destroyer.  Magma Rager is generally considered one of the weakest cards in the game, but you should still be cautious as striking it down with a Druid or Rogue hero power could set you up for his trump card (although you can still get away with it).  Executus has a whooping seven Molten Giants in his deck.  Molten Giant is an 8/8 that costs 20 mana, but its cost goes down by one for each point of damage that the hero playing it has taken.  Once Executus goes below 20 health, you’ll need to be on the look-out for these massive brutes.  Knock him down to around 10 or less health and he’ll be able to flood the board with giants in a single turn and your odds of surviving from there are slim.  With how many copies he’s running, you should always assume that he has at least one or two copies in his hand at any point in the game.  You’ll have to be extremely careful in how much damage you deal to him at a time.  Get him down to around 15 health, maybe more, and set up your board to finish him off in a single turn.  He doesn’t have any taunt minions, but he will control the board with spells like Fireball, Lava Burst, and Lava Shock.

Once Executus goes down, Ragnaros will immediately step in to take his place.  He uses the same cards, but his health and hero power will change.  On normal, he’ll start with only 8 health and 8 armor.  If you were able to prevent the giants from coming out, they’ll be useless to him now.  His new hero power will deal 8 damage to a random enemy for only 2 mana.  If you don’t maintain a strong board presence with plenty of minions, he’ll easily crush you and everything you have.

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The key to beating both of them is to use a control deck with a focus on late-game punch.  Any class will work so long as you design your deck to focus on bringing down their early minions while filling up the board with your own minions that can burst the bosses down.  Minions with strong stat lines, damaging spells, and weapons will give you all the tools you need.  This battle is mainly a test of your ability to control the board and knowing when to go for the face.  Prove your wits and earn the Imp Gang Boss and Majordomo Executus cards for your collection.

In the heroic challenge, Executus will start with 30 health and 15 armor and his Flamewaker Acolytes will have a 3/3 stat line.  Ragnaros’ hero power will fire two shots of 8 damage and he’ll have 30 health and 30 armor.  All told, you’ll need to deal 105 damage to take out both bosses.  The deck will be exactly the same, there are just much fiercer powers to play around and there is a lot more damage you’ll have to deal.  Board control is still vital in this challenge, but it’s going to take a more tailored deck to challenge.  The most reliable class is Paladin as his hero power will help you last against Ragnaros’ power.  This deck focused on divine shield takes board presence and minion survival to the extreme and it works.  Move to flood the board as quickly as you can while saving Equality and Aldor Peacekeeper for when you can get the most out of them.

That does it for the Molten Core wing.  Next up is the Blackrock Spire with Highlord Omokk, General Drakkisath, and Rend Blackhand.  This is where we’ll really start to see how well dragon decks will do in practice with plenty of new cards to support the concept.  Here’s to new challenges and new possibilities in the meta game.

Hearthstone Blackrock Mountain Guide: Defeating Baron Geddon


With Garr out of the way, it’s time to take on Ragnaros’ right-hand fire elemental: Baron Geddon.  Geddon is especially tricky with his hero power, Ignite Magma, which deals 5 damage to you at the start of every turn for no mana cost, but will only activate if you have any unspent mana left over from your last turn.  If you aren’t making the full use of your mana with each turn, Geddon will be able to rush you down with ease.  Like Garr, Geddon has a class challenge along with his normal and heroic challenges.  You’ll learn how to take down all three versions of this fearsome opponent.

You’re best bet at taking on Geddon’s normal challenge will be a Mage deck with a focus on mechs.  You’re main focus will be to generate spare part cards that can help you spend every mana crystal each turn.  Cheap minions like Clockwork Gnome, Mechwarper, and Tinkertown Technician will work wonders in this fight.  Having around four to six minions costing 1 mana should be good for giving you a play on every turn, but don’t worry to much about trying to get a 1 drop in your opening hand.  However, don’t forget to throw a few higher cost cards into the deck for the mid-game.  Azure Drake and Loatheb are easily the best picks in this regard.  Finally, you’ll want a fair share of damage-dealing spells like Frostbolt and Fireball to deal with enemy minions, finish off Geddon, and possibly kill your own minions if the need arises.  We’ll get to that last part soon.

Geddon’s deck will try to overwhelm you early on with Flame Imp and Imp Gang Boss.  He also has Fire Elemental, Fireguard Destroyer, and Druid of the Flame (which he will always make a 5/2 because the AI is silly like that) to carry him through the mid-game.  He’ll hold control of the board with damaging spells like Lava Shock, Lava Burst, and Hellfire.  It’s a decent deck, but none of that is especially intimidating.  The worst thing you have to look out for is Geddon’s one-of-a-kind spell.

The biggest threat in Geddon’s deck is a special spell that only he can use called Living Bomb.  This puts a curse on one of your minions that sets it to self-destruct at the end of your following turn and deal 5 damage to you and all of your minions.  It costs him 4 mana, so keep an eye out for it around turn four.  Stopping that blast from going off is going to be a top priority and Geddon has no shortage of this spell so you’ll always have to be ready for it.  The best way to counter it is using Youthful Brewmaster or Ancient Brewmaster to return the afflicted minion to the hand.  Once returned to the hand, the minion will revert to its original state and the Living Bomb curse will be gone for good.  Alternatively, you can run your afflicted minion into one of Geddon’s tougher subordinates and sacrifice it.  The explosion won’t go off if the minion dies to anything other than the specific trigger caused by the spell itself.  Unfortunately, he knows better than to play his tougher minions after using Living Bomb, so there usually won’t be a good target to sacrifice your cursed minion to.  This brings us back to using your spells to kill your own minions.  It may seem wasteful to spend your spells on your own minions, but the Living Bomb will often cost you much more.  If the afflicted minion is the only one you have on the board and your health is still fairly high, it may be better to just let it go off.

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While fighting Geddon, you’ll mostly want to focus on attacking him directly.  No matter how well you build a mana curve for your deck, there will always come a point where Geddon’s hero power is going to fire off.  Your goal is to kill Geddon faster than he do any serious damage to you.  Of course, you should keep an eye on the board and make sure Geddon’s minions can’t overwhelm you.  Also, don’t spend your spells to damage Geddon’s face unless you’re able to kill him right then and there or if you just really need to spend some extra mana.  With Geddon’s own Flame Imps dealing extra damage to him, it shouldn’t be to hard to rush him down.  Just remember that he has Hellfire for AoE, so try to avoid flooding the board if you can.  Take him down to acquire Blackwing Technician, the very first dragon-synergy card.

I hope you like math, because the Shaman class challenge is going to have you counting mana crystals like you’ve never counted before.  Now you have to take on Geddon armed with a deck focused on the overload mechanic.  Overload basically splits the mana cost of a card over two turns.  These cards are cheap to play immediately, but will lock up some of your mana crystals on your next turn.  With every play, you’ll have to consider not only how much mana you can spend this turn, but also on the next turn.  Take your time and plot out how much you can afford to spend each turn and try to use the overload effect to your advantage.  Just be careful that you don’t lock up all of your crystals for your next turn or you’ll be left unable to counter Geddon’s plays.  This challenge will also let you play around with the new Lava Shock spell, but don’t use it unless you know you can spend all of those unlocked crystals.  Defeat Geddon to make Lava Shock a permanent part of your own collection.

Finally, we have Geddon’s heroic challenge and it is the craziest one yet.  First, Ignite Mana now deals 10 damage instead of 5.  Second, the Living Bomb spell has also been doubled to 10 damage.  Third, Geddon effectively has 100 health for an absurdly tanky opponent.  Obviously, this is not going to be an easy fight on the best of days and it’s not something that can be accomplished without a wide collection of cards.

This Mage deck focusing on Molten Giants and survival will take some risks, but it should give you the edge you need to bring down this massive adversary.  Dealing heavy damage with the Molten Giants is key to bringing down Geddon’s gigantic health bar.  Echo of Medivh is certainly helpful in multiplying your damage output, but it isn’t required.  I was able to one-shot Geddon with a version of this deck that didn’t have any copies of Echo of Medivh.  It was as down to the wire as you can get, but it worked.  I also cut one Unstable Portal, one Ice Block, and one Ethereal Archanist, replacing them with an additional Duplicate, two Ice Barriers, and two Ancient Brewmasters.  The Brewmasters are fairly key cards for this challenge having them bounce each other to your hand is the only way you’re going to burn through your extra mana crystals in the late game.

Survival is going to be key for this fight.  With this deck, you’re going to take one hit at the start guaranteed and it’s a price you’ll have to pay to get your giants out.  That said, don’t let Geddon strike you when you can avoid it.  Antique Healbot and at least one Ice Block are going to be key to keeping you alive, while Mad Scientist will help you track down your life-saving secrets.  Frost Nova, Blizzard, and Flamestrike will give you a massive edge in controlling the board.  None of Geddon’s minions are especially tough, so using these spells at the proper time will leave him helpless.  Finally, throw in Acolyte of Pain and Arcane Intellect for card draw.  The one thing you need to be cautious of is Duplicate making copies of your Acolytes.  Not only are they weak, the excessive card draw will make fatigue a major threat.  I had the misfortune of having this happen to me twice on my run and, while it didn’t lose me the game, it certainly did more harm than good.  Try to avoid it, but compromise when you have to spend mana.

With that, you should be set to take on all of Baron Geddon’s challenges.  Be sure to check back later for the final boss of the Molten Core with Majordomo Executus and Ragnaros the Firelord himself.

Hearthstone Blackrock Mountain Guide: Defeating Garr


Rather than try and cram an entire wing into a single article, I’ve decided to tackle each boss in this week’s wing individually.  This will allow me to go into much greater detail on each of the bosses, but feel free to let me know if you preferred having all of the bosses covered in a single article in the comments below.  In the meantime, let’s get into the first boss of the new Molten Core wing for Hearthstone‘s Blackrock Mountain and go over the basic tactics that will earn you victory regardless of what cards you have in your collection.

The Molten Core pits you against Ragnaros the Firelord and his three most powerful lieutenants, starting with the obsidian elemental Garr.  His ability will deal 1 damage to all minions for only one mana and this ability will automatically activate at the start of each of Garr’s turns.  It may not seem like much, but the real threat is what he’ll have on the board.  Right at the start, Garr will have a full board of seven 0/5 Firesworn minions, each with a deathrattle ability that will deal damage to your hero for every Firesworn that dies on that turn.  You’ll need to quickly take out the Firesworn one by one in order to minimize the amount of damage they do.  If Garr is able to blow up even four or five of his own Firesworn in one go, it will be a massive blow against you.  Even if he can’t get you on the first round, he has a spell called Rock Out that will summon three new Firesworn to the board.  He also has plenty of powerful minions like Fire Elemental, Fireguard Destroyer, and Madder Bomber to finish you off, so you’re going to need plenty of survivability.

Your best bet is going to be an aggressive Warrior deck with a focus on charge and enrage.  Priest can also be very viable, but we’ll get to him later.  For Warrior, you’ll first want to put some fast plays in your deck that can eliminate the Firesworn on cue.  Your best card for this job is definitely the Fiery War Axe as it can guarantee that two of the Firespawn will go down alone without Garr’s interference.  Charge minions like Bluegill Warrior and Wolfrider will only be able to get in one hit, but it’s still worth it to use them in this fight just to keep those Firesworn under control.

The rest of your deck should take advantage of Garr’s hero power.  He has to cast it at the start of every turn, so minions that profit from taking damage are a must for this boss.  Minions like Acolyte of Pain and Amani Berserker will give you a strong edge in the fight, but one of the best minions to have is Armorsmith.  Her ability to generate armor for you whenever a friendly minion takes damage will give you all of the endurance you’ll need for this fight.  Gurubashi Berserker may seem great here, but he’ll prove too slow to keep the board under control.  The more reliable option will be that Grim Patron you just picked up in Blackrock Spire.  Ironbeak Owl can also be useful as a silence tool, but keep in mind that a silenced Firesworn will still count as a Firesworn.  It won’t have a deathrattle of its own, but it will still multiply the effects of its kin.  One last minion to consider is the Lil’ Exorcist from Goblins vs Gnomes.  With the amount of Firesworn you’ll be facing, her battlecry granting her extra attack and health for every enemy deathrattle on the board can result in a huge minion at a low cost.  Toss in a few spells like Execute, Battle Rage, and Rampage and you’ll be set to bring down Garr and  claim your Druid of the Flame card.

The Warrior class challenge against Garr will play out much like the tactics I listed above.  The only thing you should be wary of is that you’ll be stuck with about four copies of Axe Flinger and it is too slow to keep control of the board.  Save the Flingers after you’ve seized control of the game and they can help finish off Garr.  Play them too quickly and they’ll only make a dent while you get burned.  Win here and the Axe Flinger will be added to your personal collection.

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Finally, there’s Garr’s heroic challenge.  He’ll start with 45 health and his Firesworn will now deal three times as much damage with their deathrattles.  There’s no doubt that he can now kill you with ease, but it is possible to bring him down on a budget with a fine Priest deck I found.  If you don’t have the exact cards for the build, here are the basics to keep in mind.  Your best chance is to get Mass Dispel early and use it to silence the full group of Firesworn.  Once silenced, they’ll pose no threat and actually be a big help to you as Garr can’t play any more minions with his board full.  Just hang onto a Circle of Healing to keep the Firesworn alive and a Silence or Ironbeak Owl in case Garr uses Mark of the Wild to buff one of his guys.  From there, just smack Garr around and you’ll have the fight in the bag.

Even if you can’t draw the Mass Dispel, this deck has plenty of options to turn the fight in your favor.  Mind Control Tech and Cabal Shadow Priest will let you give Garr a taste of his own medicine by stealing his minions from him.  It’s fun, but it won’t be enough to win you the game on it’s own.  It’s mainly to buy you time and seize control of the board.  Light of the Naaru and Earthen Ring Farseer should be reserved to keep you alive rather than preserve your minions.  Your guys can wait for the Circle of Healing to be healed; you generally need it more in this fight.  Finally, Northshire Cleric, Acolyte of Pain, and Power Word: Shield will help you with cycling through cards while Nerubian and Lil’ Exorcist will be your main damage-dealers.  If you can’t build the exact deck, Injured Blademaster can be a suitable substitute for most cards.  However, you will need to build most of the deck in order to stand a chance.  Heroic mode is not for the faint of heart, but it will wait around if you need to stock up your collection.

Molten Core is only just beginning.  Stay tuned for the detailed guide for taking down Baron Geddon next time.  Once again, let me know what you think of breaking up these guides into individual bosses.  If there’s a demand to pool the entire wings into single articles, I’ll cover all of the remaining challenges for Molten Core in the next one.  Until then, good luck with completing your collection.