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Beginner's Guide to Arena of Valor

Beginner's Guide to Arena of Valor

Intro

Hey fellow plebs,
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, we’ve been getting some frequent new player questions on this sub lately. Since the game is no longer as popular as before (still doing good though), there are a lot of wrong/outdated information out there on the internet. Fortunately, I have nothing better to do with my life and decided to volunteer myself to write this guide where I compile a list of information/guides that IS up to date. I’m obviously not going to find every relevant guide out there, so please help me out if there is something that I’ve missed.
In this guide, I will cover the absolute basics of the game such as the map, objectives, roles, relevant heroes, and how to improve at the game. Ideally we can keep this stickied and I'll keep this updated so we can have an updated community guide for any new players that decides to join us in the future.

TL;DR – No TL;DR here, keep on reading and maybe you'll finally stop getting reported every game and get out of gold!

The Map

I’m sure most of you are familiar with the map if you’ve played a MOBA in your life, it’s fairly standard with three lanes and a jungle. The three lanes consists of the Abyssal Dragon lane, mid lane and the Dark Slayer lane (more on this later with pictures). There are 3 enemy towers on each lane, making it a total of 9 towers and one core for you to destroy.
This is where things become a little different from PC MOBAS, the maps in AOV are mirrored. What this means is that you will ALWAYS start from the bottom left of the map from YOUR perspective. Why is this? Because it’s easier for the player (that’s you!) to play upwards instead of downwards since your skills and your fat fingers will block and limit your vision if you’re playing downwards. Why does this matter? Because this means that the Abyssal Dragon lane and the Dark Slayer lane will be in different lanes (top or bottom) depending on the game. Don’t worry, I’ll explain what the Abyssal Dragon and the Dark Slayers is soon and everything will make sense. Just know that unlike PC MOBAs, the solo lane isn’t ALWAYS the top lane, and the ADC doesn’t ALWAYS go to the bottom lane.

Blue circle = Dark slayer, Red circle = Abyssal Dragon/Enraged Abyssal Dragon (after 15 mins)

Although the position of the Abyssal Dragon and the Dark Slayer changes match to match, the position of the buffs doesn't change. Your blue buff will ALWAYS spawn near the top lane, and your red buff will ALWAYS spawn near the bottom lane. Similarly, the enemy blue buff will spawn on the right hand side of the map and the enemy red buff will spawn on the left hand side of the map.

Red circle = Red buff, Blue circle = Blue buff

Roles

The roles should be fairly straight forward if you’ve played LoL before, but will be slightly foreign if you’re a MLBB player or a big brained DOTA player. It’s okay, we’re taking baby steps here, I will explain the basics of every role below. I’ll also include some recommended starting heroes (both free & ones you buy), heroes you can work towards for each role, and heroes to avoid.
Mid Lane:
Any hero with a fast/safe wave clear will excel in this role. Mages typically do well in this role although some Warriors are also okay if you want to get fancy (you should stick to mages early on though). What you want to do is clear your wave as soon as possible, roam to one of your side lanes to gank, and be back for your next minion wave. Getting back to your lane for your next minion wave is EXTREMELY important because otherwise you will fall behind in farm. A lot of mages overstay their welcome when ganking the side lanes and end up missing their minion wave completely in the mid lane. Not only do they miss gold from their minion wave, they also end up taxing their side laner’s gold.
Recommended starting heroes:
Krixi (Free) – She’s a top tier mage despite being one of the first free heroes the game gives you. She has good range/poke, a little CC with her S2, and good burst from her ultimate. Mechanics wise she’s very simple, and very easy to use for new players.
Diao Chan (Free) – She’s a very devastating hero in the right hands because of her S2 freeze, which can often turn the tides of a game completely. They are a little hard to land consistently but hey she’s free.
Aleister (Free) - Has one of the stupidest most devastating ult in the game, and he's free for new players from Road to glory.
Dirak (18,888 Gold) – Best mid laner in the current meta. He has insane range/poke, insane damage, good CC with his S1 push & S2, very quick wave clear, and very good team fighting capabilities. Only weakness is that he’s not very mobile.
Marja (18,888 Gold) – Very forgiving yet strong mage in the current meta. She doesn’t have a lot of burst damage, but has tons of sustain and is able to dish out a ton of damage in long team fights. Her ultimate is the ultimate “get out of jail” card making her one of the most forgiving heroes to play. She also doesn’t use any mana which is perfect for new players who might have trouble with mana management. Oh, you also get a ton of her trial cards from the daily spin, so you can test her out quite a bit before purchasing her.
Heroes to work towards:
Lilliana (18,888 Gold) – She has two forms (Fox and Human), which means you need at least two brain cells to play her. She’s one of the strongest late game mages in the game, and her early game just got buffed as well making her one of the strongest overall mages in the game.
Raz (13,333 Gold) – An assassin mage that requires slightly fast fingers to pull off your full combo. He has very good poke and burst damage, but doesn’t have a lot of AoE damage and has slow wave clear. You need to have somewhat of a decent map awareness to be good with Raz so you can pick off squishy heroes. He’s much more effective in high elo where your support will (hopefully) help you clear waves so you can roam faster. Not as effective in low elo where your support either doesn’t buy the support item thus leeching your gold/exp, or doesn’t help you clear at all.
There are also tons of other good mid laners such as Paine/Tulen/Ignis/Jinnaetc I'm too lazy to list them all.
Heroes to avoid:
Veera/Mganga/Azzenka – These heroes might seem decent or even good earlier on, but trust me they suck. They might get you to as high as Platinum/Diamond, but that’s it.
Dark Slayer Lane:
This is also known as the solo lane, warrior type heroes who have good 1v1 capabilities, good sustain, and good escape options are usually picked here. This lane is where you showcase your big brain against your opponents and get those solo kills. If you enjoy the thrill of asserting dominance over a single opponent, then this is the role for you my friend. There are several types of heroes that gets picked into this lane including assassins, split pushers, duelists, and tanks.
Recommended starting heroes:
Lubu (Free) – Very well rounded hero, has good damage and has good sustain. He matches up decently against most matchups.
Arthur (Free) – Very good starting hero to get your hands, innately tanky and hard to take down. He doesn’t have a lot of carry potential but is still deadly if played correctly.
Omen (8,999) – He’s on sale for the first two weeks if you’re in the NA/EU server iirc for 8,999 gold, he’s one of the premier split pushers in the game right now (along with Kilgroth). Split pushing seems like an easy role but requires a lot of map awareness and good decision making. You need to know when you can safely push, and when you should join team fights. He also has one of the few hard CCs (cannot be purified) in the game with his ult.
Maloch (18,999) – One of the most forgiving heroes in the slayer lane right now. Does a ton of damage with the true damage on his S1, and is capable of tanking a ton with the shield on his S2 along with his innate tankiness. His ultimate also makes him one of the best initiators in the game, there’s nothing to not like about Maloch right now other than that he’s a bit slow. High elo likes to play him at the mid lane and force fights around him since he’s such a potent team fight hero.
Heroes to work towards:
Yena (18,999 Gold) – One of the strongest heroes in the game when played correctly. She has two different forms so it does take a bit of practice mechanically, which is why it’s a hero I recommend only after you’ve gotten used to the macro aspect of the game. You need to know how/when/where to camp you opponents to utilize her full potential.
Riktor (18,999 Gold) – One of most popular picks in high elo and competitive play, has the perfect amount of tankiness and damage in the game right now IMO. Similar to Yena, I highly recommend only after you’ve gotten used to the macro aspects of the game since he needs to utilize bush camping as well.
Florentino (18,999 Gold) – The strongest 1v1 hero in the game but takes a lot of practice. It takes a lot of experience to use him correctly in team fights but is very deadly once mastered. IMO, you can’t say you’ve mastered the DS laner role without having figured out the ins and outs of this hero.
Again there are tons of other good DS laners such as Qi/Volkath/Veres/etc that are very viable in the meta, try them out and see which one fits your play style better.
Heroes to avoid:
Taara/Wiro/Arduin/Skud – There are too many heroes that are capable of doing what these heroes are supposed to do, but do it 10x better.
Abyssal Dragon Lane:
Usually the ADC goes here, sometimes the games are also played without an ADC in high elo so any DS lane hero works here as well. In low elo you’ll most likely see a duo lane with a support right from the start, but in high elo you’re support will (hopefully) be roaming to provide vision for the entire team so you have to know how to lane by yourself as well. The Abyssal Dragon is the first major objective of the game as it gives the whole team extra gold/exp and spawns at the 2:00 mark. There was also a recent buff that buffed the dark slayer lane/mid lane towers to have 60% damage reduction for the first 5 minutes, meaning that the majority of the early game battles will be focused around the Abyssal Dragon lane. As an ADC, your job is to farm and survive until the late game where you start to take over and carry the team. You need good positioning, map awareness, and good farming capabilities to excel in this role.
Recommended starting heroes:
Violet (Free): Pretty sure you get her for free after completing a few ranked games in NA, she’s not as broken as before but she’s definitely still deadly when given appropriate farm. She has insane range with her S1 and can poke enemies from afar, which is really good for new players starting out.
Valhein (Free): I know Valhein is kind of a meme and gets associated with small brain players, but he’s a really good starting hero. He’s extremely forgiving as the only marksman with an auto aimed stun on his S2, which allows him to engage or disengage from an enemy assassin. However, he falls off hard in the lately game damage wise compared to other marksman. My recommendation is to use him for 10 games or so to get used to the role, and switch to another marksman afterwards.
Capheny (18,999 Gold) – IMO the best marksman in the game right now. She’s the only marksman that can move WHILE attacking, which makes her extremely forgiving as she can often kill the enemy assassins if they miss their skill shots. She does tons of sustained damage in her machine gun form, and does tons of burst damage in her laser form. The best part is, she often gets overlooked in the B/P phase.
Telannas (18,999 Gold) – One of the easiest hero in the game alongside Valhein, just use your S1 S2 and auto attack the shit out of the enemies with an occasional stun from your S3.
Heroes to work towards:
Elsu (18,999 Gold) – There are no wards in this game with the exception of Elsu’s S1, making him extremely valuable in high elo and competitive games. Mechanically he’s one of the hardest heroes in the game, because you need to be able to hit his S2 consistently to be valuable.
Elandor (18,999 Gold) – Mechanically he’s one of the hardest marksman in the game, but is very rewarding when mastered. IMO he’s better as a jungler when he can get that gold/level advantage, but is still viable in lane when mastered.
Laville – He’s a codex hero, so if you weren’t around for the codex last season you won’t be able to get him until he’s put into the shop 4-8 weeks from now, or maybe even longer.
Joker (18,999 Gold) – He’s not really an ADC, but more of an Anti-ADC. He counters most ADCs in lane (except for Elsu), but he’s more of an ranged assassin than an ADC.
Hayate (18,999 Gold) – He has one of the latest late games out of all the ADCs, but is one of the strongest after he gets to his late game.
Heroes to avoid:
Wisp/Moren/Yorn – No reason to be playing these when you have the above available
Jungler:
You’re the pseudo carry of the team until your ADC comes online in the late game. The jungler shoulders the most responsibility more often than not because you’re responsible for initiating ganks, taking major objectives, and controlling the general flow of the game. Typically, it’s very hard to win games with a bad jungler as opposed to any other role.
Recommended starting heroes:
Kriknak (Free) – One of the strongest burst heroes in the game, he’s an typically Assassin who targets the squishies on the opposing teams. He’s not very complicated mechanics wise, so you mainly have to work on your macro
Butterfly (Free) – One of the most iconic heroes of AoV, any kills & assists refreshes all of her CDs making her one of the best snowball heroes in the game. You need to time her entry in order to be good, and she falls off slightly in the late game
Zephys (Hero Tokens/First time voucher purchase reward) – One of the most balanced heroes in the game with good damage, sustain and tainkiness. Very good in low elo where people fight ALL the time.
Heroes to work towards:
There are so many good junglers right now, look at the tier lists below and pick your poison, you literally can’t go wrong.
Assassins: Paine/Keera/Enzo/Zill/Nakroth/Murad/etc
ADC junglers: ElandoLindis/Fennik/Violet are the popular ones
Heroes to avoid:
Wukong – He crits big numbers but is too RNG dependent in the early game. Although he’s good late game, his team usually never gets there.
Support:
You’re the glue of the team, you’re what keeps the team together and give them space to deal damage. You provide peel for your carries and provide vision for your team (there are no wards in this game so you're a human ward). While the role seems insignificant at first, it’s no doubt one of the most important roles in the game. Ideally you tap into this role only after getting a good grasp of other roles.
Oh, and BUY THE GOD DAMN SUPPORT ITEM. It gives you extra gold and allows you to soak minion gold/exp WITHOUT leeching from your carries.
Recommended starting heroes:
Alice (Free) – One of the strongest supports in high elo right now, she’s kind of useless pre-4 but her ult counters pretty much all of the meta heroes at the moment. You literally just place it in the middle of the team fight and watch your team demolish the opponents, especially in the late game.
Ormarr (Free) – He’s a free hero that’s relatively tanky with a ton of cc in his kit, he can be very aggressive in the early game and can be very oppressive if played correctly.
Thane (5,888) – The tankiest hero in the game, he also has a ridiculous amount of CC with his S1 push and can turn the tide of the team fight when used correctly.
Heroes to work towards:
Zip (18,999) – The most broken hero in the game, if not banned he’s a MUST pick in high elo.
Krizzix (18,999) – One of the best initiators in the game with his S2 & invisibility, he also provides a ton of vision for the team with his ult
Baldum (18,999) – IMO one of the scariest supports when played to his full potential. He’s very tanky, has ton of cc, and has a very game deciding ult.
Heroes to avoid:
Peura – She had her moment a few patches ago, but the meta of babysitting the ADC is long gone. Since there are no wards in this game, supports NEED to roam and provide vision for the team in high elo. She’s a fine hero in low elo, but I’d recommend to avoid her in order to not pick up bad habits & get used to roaming.
Xeniel – I hate to say this as he’s one of my favorite heroes, but avoid in soloQ. People will flame you when you don’t ult, and will run away from your ult when you do ult them. You can literally do no right with this hero unless you’re actively communicating with your team.
Grakk – IMO new players should avoid this hero. New players often get so fixated on hooking people that they end up forgetting what a support SHOULD be doing.
Rouie - She's one of the most broken supports in the right hands and the right team, you won't have that in the beginning so avoid until you're in relatively high elo.

Objectives:

Towers: This should be obvious, but AoV is a tower pushing game. The objective is to destroy towers which leads to the nexus/core. There are 9 towers to push in total with 3 towers in each lane, your minions get buffed and become “super” minions after you push down all of the towers in a lane. They get a further buff once you push down all 9 towers although that’s not required for destroying the nexus (you only need one lane of towers to be pushed to reach the Nexus) although it does make things easier.
Vision bird: Minor objective on the sidelanes, but it's something that you should go for whenever possible. Once killed, the vision bird turns into a vision orb thingy that walks around the enemy jungle in a specific pattern and gives you vision throughout their jungle. This is very useful in detecting ganks, and determining the position of the opponent jungler (although the jungler could still avoid being seen by not getting caught by the orb).
Abyssal Dragon: This is the first major objective that’s contested by both teams, it spawns at the 2:00 mark. Killing the dragon provides each member of the team 50 gold each (correct me if I’m wrong), and extra EXP.
Spirit Sentinel: The spirit senteniel spawns at the 1:50 mark, it’s weaker than the Abyssal Dragon but grants the individual killer with a HP recovery buff & movement speed buff. This is good for the jungler to get if your team is not positioned to contest the Abyssal Dragon.
Dark Slayer: Spawns at the 7 minute mark, provides your team with some HP/MP recovery buff but most important lets you summon a Drake within the next 60 seconds. The Drake buffs all of your minions and can attack towers outside of tower range making a very valuable tool to push down towers. Using the Drake correctly can almost guarantee a T1 tower (high ground) for your team, and often times decide the game.
Enraged Abyssal Dragon: Spawns at the 15 minute mark. Killing the Dragon will give you a buff depending on your role, but most importantly the Dragon drops the "Dark blessing" (you pick this up by standing on it) which allows you to avoid fatal damage, kind of like the Death Sickle item.

General Etiquettes

Don’t Flame
Don’t be one of those players that spend more time on the keyboard than playing the game, if you're one of these people then go hang out in the all chat with the rest of the virgins looking to get cat-fished. Every second you waste typing in chat is a wasted opportunity that could’ve been used to turn the game around. Be nice in chat and don’t insult people – encouragement often has a much better effect than flaming. People tend to become defensive when they get flamed (even when you’re right), what happens when people get defensive? They start wasting time typing instead of playing. So instead of 0-4 now they’re more likely to go 0-7, or worse they start intentionally trolling/afking in a game that was probably winnable. Lets avoid these situation by being the big brained people that we are. A quick “lets get slayer” or “play safe” is fine, don’t go insulting people and their mothers.
Don’t complain about your team in all chat
If there’s one thing more annoying than flamers is people that flame in all chat. Nobody on the other team cares, and nobody sympathizes with you. In fact, you look even more like a clown than the 0-8 Valhein more often than not.
Don’t take Jungle buffs unless you’re jungling
This isn’t ML, don’t take your jungler’s buffs especially in the early game. Your jungler won’t reach level 4 if you took a camp before his first clear, this puts your team at a disadvantage because he won’t have his ultimate before the first team fight. There is more gold in lane in this game, so clear your minion waves. You can take a small camp close to lane here and there, but don’t take buffs without asking. The only time you don’t have to ask is if your jungler already has the buff from invading the enemy jungle, otherwise a simple “can I have blue” will do. Most junglers that don’t need it will be happy to give it to you unless you’re feeding hard.
Ping "Enemy Missing" if the enemy is missing
It's technically their fault if they get caught, but just do it so your stupid teammates don't flame you and you don't end up in a typing war which could lose you a winnable game.
Don't take your laner's waves unless he has no intention of coming back or it's crashing into the tower
This will put your laner behind in gold because he would've missed a full minion wave. The only time taking a free wave is okay is if the said laner has no intention of coming back (i.e on the other side of the map or dead) or if the minion wave is crashing into the tower. If the laner is walking back into his lane and the minion wave isn't crashing into the tower, don't take it.
It's okay to share minions more often than not since sharing will give you more TOTAL gold (but less individual gold), but that's a story for another time.
Don't surrender as soon as you die
This is a personal pet peeve but just because you smooth brained a teamfight doesn't mean your team is also being smooth brained. The most annoying thing that comes up in a team fight is the surrender screen because it takes up space and blocks vision. The stupid decline button is also near important items such as Arctic orb/Bow of Slaughter and people with fat fingers (like me) can mistakenly press them leading to a loss.

How to improve?

This is a very good guide to improving at the game although slightly outdated since nobody plays Abyssal Clash anymore
Here's a couple of things that I would add:
1) Upgrade your arcanas to level 2
- Upgrade your arcanas to level 2 first, determine the role you want to play using the free heroes mentioned above, and then work towards level 3 arcanas.
- Level 2 arcanas are more cost effective and can be upgraded using the free arcana coins the game provides for free whereas level 3 arcanas will cost gold. You should determine the role/heroes you want to play/main before investing into level 3 arcanas.
- You can use gems on double gold cards to earn gold faster to complete your arcana set and/or buy new heroes
2) Practice last hitting
Last hitting a minion gives you 40% extra gold, this slowly adds up to your advantage.
3) Don't play support right off the bat
Support roles are one of the most important roles in the game, but you shouldn't main support RIGHT away.
Think of it this way, how can you support your carry when you don't know how to carry? How can you be a good support when you don't even know what your carry wants to do? The support role is VERY macro eccentric, you have to have a good understanding of every role before jumping into the support role.
Once you got the carry role down, support will be a lot easier because you already know what you want and don't want your supports to do.
I'm a support main personally, but I started as an ADC/DS lane player. From there, I was able to find out what things I want my support to do and what things I don't want my support to do. After playing with some good supports and keeping a track of their habits, I was easily able to switch over to the support role. If you look at the best support players today, almost none of them started as support players.
4) Don't "fill the gap"
When you're just starting out, try to avoid "filling the gap" and try to spam one or two roles as much as possible.
But why? Isn't it good to be flexible?
Yes and no.
Let me give an example:
Lets say it takes 500 games to get to masters spamming a single role (theoretical number), at 5 games a day it’ll take you 100 days or just a little bit over 3 months. However, if you played a different role every game you played because you chose to fill, you would only have 100 games on every role after the same time and still be stuck in Plat or something. Keep in mind that the learning in this game is NOT linear, other roles become increasingly easier to learn after you’ve mastered one because every role is connected. So instead of taking another 500 games to learn a second role, it might only take 350 and so forth. At that point, you’re also play much higher quality competition, so you’ll improve at a faster rate as well.
With that said, you should still learn a secondary role that you can fall back on for ranked just in case your main role got taken.
5) Move on to heroes with more upside
Obviously if you’re playing to have fun, do whatever you want this won’t apply to you. But if you want to improve at this game there is absolutely zero reason to have 500 games on Valhein/Arthur. Those are fine heroes to test the waters with but it doesn’t take more than 20 games to know their kit inside out. Once you’ve decided on a role and have tested the waters with a somewhat “easy” hero, you’ll want to start to move on to hardestronger heroes with more carry potential. For example, let’s say you’ve decided to play the DS laner role, you’ll eventually want to move away from Arthur into slightly more mechanically difficult heroes like Lubu, Yena, Riktor, Florentino who have much more upside and bigger carry potential.
6) COUNTER BUILD
Only a handful of heroes need to build the same items every game, most heroes have tons of flexibility in their builds. Enemy doesn't have a lot of cc/magic damage? You can build Armor boots instead of Guilded. Enemy has tons of magic damage? Grab that early Medallion of Troy. Enemy has a ton of life steal like Kilgroth/Lubu? Grab Anti Heal.
7) Be Aggressive (in casual)
Note that being aggressive is NOT the same as being stupid. Being aggressive means taking calculated risks to outplay the enemy, for example if you see 4 people bottom and one top, you cut off the enemy top lane minion wave & invade their top side jungle. Being stupid is invading the top side jungle when you don't see any enemies on the map and end up getting collapsed on.
Being aggressive is going 1v2 with your Florentino when you have a 1k gold advantage over them. Being stupid is going 1v2 with your Valhein while behind in gold.
Be aggressive, don't be stupid.
If you made a stupid play, at least learn from it so you don't int next time.
8) Play with other people
For some stupid ass reason people like to gloat about playing soloQ, okay chill out we get it you have no friends and live in your mom's basement here's a cookie. If you want to further improve at the game, you'll want to start playing with other good players preferably over voice chat. This will drastically improve your macro sense of the game, and force you to get in a good habit of calling out misses, calling out flickepurify timers, and timing the enemy buffs.
9) LOOK AT THE FILTHY MINIMAP
Yes, look at the god damn minimap.

Updated Tier List

Newest Doyser Tier List (Thai Server)
Newest Darkbreaker Tier List (EU Server)

General Guides

Mid Lane:
Somebody make one pls
Jungle:
Somebody make one pls
DS Lane:
Somebody make one pls
Marksman:
Marksman Guide Part 1
Marksman Guide Part 2
Support:
Support Guide

Guides for Individual Heroes

Darcy (Slightly outdated since Ult got nerfed)
Florentino
Ignis
Lilliana
Omen
Rourke
Roxie
Wukong
Zanis

Youtube Channels

USE THESE AS A GUIDELINE FOR YOUR ARCANAS/ENCHANTMENTS. As you get more experience you can tweak them around to suit your playstyle better.
Darkbreaker - One of the best DS laners in the world, but also plays other roles occasionally. His recent videos have commentary so you could learn a lot. Keep an eye on his laning mechanics, he has a very good understanding of heroes in the Dark Slayer lane.
Shurko - Gaming genius/warlord/pharaoh/commander on his soloq adventures. Good mix of entertainment and quality gameplay.
Zane - You're going to go back by half a year plus to find his old AoV videos, but most of them have commentary and are still viable in today's meta macro wise. He was the best jungleplayer in NA/EU.
Rush - One of the best junglers in the world, he does a lot of troll builds for fun as well, so make sure to identify those before blindly following
HAK - One of the best mids IMO.
These are the ones I pay attention to mainly, let me know if there are any other good ones and I'll add.
Oh and of course we can't forget our very own InfamousAoV who's doing a giveaway on his channel right now, make sure to check him out and support.

General Mechanics That Big Brained Players Should Know

Stats Cap
How Damage is Calculated
How Magic Lifesteal Works
Itemization Guide (Which items stack and don't stack)

UPCOMING PATCH

Buff/Nerf Graphic
Patch Notes

Ending Notes

IF THERE'S ANYTHING YOU THINK WILL BE HELPFUL THAT I MISSED, LINK IT.
submitted by XenaRen to arenaofvalor

Top 100 - OTK Paladin is Back! (Post-Nerf Meta, Comprehensive Guide)

Update (8/29) - As of today I hit a current high of #4 Legend with this deck. It's still working really well!
Howdy from St1rge/Lady Merlin! I'm an artist, multiple time Legend player, and deck builder. I use she/her pronouns.
Since the nerfs I've piloted my OTK Paladin from ~500 Legend to #4 over 84 games (64% winrate). I am playing card-for-card my double Crystallizer list from last Season because I predicted I'd be facing more Hunters, Rogues, and Shamans (as all these classes were untouched), all of which I've had great winrates against in past seasons. My prediction paid off and while I considering myself more of a deck builder than a pilot, I climbed to a new personal best. I believe playing OTK Paladin is a solid choice until the meta starts to shift to other classes.
Be warned! Last season, OTK Paladin was listed as the '2nd worst' Meta deck overall - I believe this is because of it's high skillcap. Before this season I played over 269 games with some variant of OTK Paladin, eventually getting to Legend with a similar 61% winrate with my current list after getting a lot of practice in. That said, I'm going to do all I can to impart the lessons I learned playing this deck so you all can get a head start.
Proof of Legend
Matchup Breakdown
Decklist
Decklist Code: AAECAZ8FBp8D7QX0Bc8G/fsCvYYDDPoBnAKzA9wD9gen9wKE/AL8/ALZ/gL6/gLPhgPshgMA
Some of this guide is copied from my previous OTK Paladin guide prior to Uldum - besides small edits the Matchups section has been updated for the current meta and there is an Uldum section with some new tech/lists!

Pros of OTK Paladin

  • The closest analogue to OTK Paladin are the Control Warlock decks of old, in terms of mass amounts of board wipes, lots of draw, and using your Health total as a resource that bounces back and forth like a yo-yo. Instead of a steady drowning out of resources we use a combo finisher that is reliable against everyone but Warriors.
  • Due to the high amounts of draw and tutoring, OTK Paladin is one of the most consistent decks available to play and is a very rewarding deck in terms of skill/time invested to win rate ratio.
  • Almost any OTK Paladin player will tell you there's an odd relief that so long as you have Holy Wrath in hand and Shrivallah in your deck, there is a small chance you can just win the game on the spot when you would otherwise lose. Sometimes it's a 5% chance, other times it's 33%-50%.

Cons of OTK Paladin

  • Requires a Deck Tracker: Most people will need a deck tracker in order to keep track of odds and probabilities so they can make the best decisions. For this reason, this deck may be non-mobile friendly (Arcane Tracker works for most Android phones but afaik there's nothing for Apple products at the moment).
  • You must be aware of all other decks in the meta - specifically what their win conditions are (how much they are able to burst from hand given X amount of mana and cards).
  • You are going to have a very difficult Control/Bomb Warrior matchup. There's general advice under Matchups to get your winrate higher but even then facing 3 Warriors in a row can be very disheartening - thankfully there's more Tempo Warriors in the meta at the moment and the plentiful Hunters are a natural Warrior counter.
  • Potential to brick. Against some matchups (Control Warrior, often Quest Druid) you are unable to use all five combo cards until the end of the game. Drawing most or all of them early on makes playing difficult with the amount of card draw/hand sculpting you have to balance.

The Fundamentals of OTK Paladin

The Combo
The ideal OTK endgame scenario is:
  • Your opponent is at 25 or less Health.
  • Your deck is empty.
  • Shrivallah, 1-2 Baleful Banker, 1-2 Holy Wrath are all in hand. Shrivallah has been discounted to 3 or less mana (typically 0). Baleful Banker and Holy Wrath are a combined total of 7-10 mana (sometimes wonky due to Prismatic Lens).
You play Shrivallah, Baleful Banker her, then cast Holy Wrath to deal 25 damage to your opponent. Truesilver Champion equipped may add an additional 4. Elven Archer or Bloodmage Thalnos may add an additional 1. A discounted Hammer of Wrath or Consecrate (Prismatic Lens) may add an additional 3 or 2, respectively.
If needed, you hold the extra Shrivallah in hand and use your second copies of Baleful Banker and Holy Wrath for another 25 damage. Alternatively, a Youthful Brewmaster may be substituted for 1 Baleful Banker.
The extended combo requires two Baleful Bankers and one Youthful Brewmaster and can be found below under Tech.
Piloting the Deck
Playing the Holy Wrath-Shrivallah combo may sound simple but it can be fairly complex in practice. All OTK Paladin decks are a combination of Control and Combo, because to get the ideal end state described above means you need to survive to it.
All tech choices are based off of what decks are popular in the meta and balancing between a deck that draws fast into its combo and also survives long enough to use that combo.
During the early game most openings are predictable depending on what deck your opponent is playing and then gets less predictable in the middle of the game. If you can survive that midgame your chances of maneuvering your deck into the ideal late game scenario increases, due to your consistent card draw.
One of the most important tricks to piloting this deck is to understand what your win condition vs. your opponent's deck is. Many matchups you do not need the full suite of 5 combo cards (Shrivallah, 2 Holy Wrath, 2 Baleful Banker) - but only three of them. Therefore, you can use the first Holy Wrath as removal/draw if you get stuck or lay down Shrivallah as removal/life gain, with Banker or Brewmaster directly after. Very rarely, you don't need the Holy Wrath combo at all vs. decks that can be run out of resources if survived (Mech Hunter and Tempo Rogue, some Shamans and Druids). Described under Matchups at the end of the guide are the ideal win condition scenarios I've used vs. each class.
Hand Sculpting
One of the main difficulties of any combo deck (and especially for OTK Paladin decks) is managing your hand. Often times there is anywhere from three to five cards you cannot play until the end of the game, with another two or three of them optimally played towards the end of the game rather than sooner.
Midgame, your hand will easily get filled up to 9 cards (especially on the Coin), meaning you must play a card every turn. Knowing what cards you can burn without effect is important, whether that's using Flash of Light to draw even though you're at full health or Shrink Ray on an empty board.
Often times for OTK Paladin it's best to opt for combo speed over sitting and waiting, but everything is match up and current-hand dependent. Finally, there are a lot of edge scenarios where drawing past 10/burning cards is optimal. This is either when you have the combo in hand (either partial or full) and you're casting Prismatic Lens just to burn your deck down to 0 cards; or you're in the midgame on limited mana but have otherwise the perfect hand and can accept the 1/17 chance to burn Shrivallah to get that full Wild Pyro + Shrink Ray clear on that Mage board, rather than risk giving them something to Conjurer's Call next turn if you spaced out your Shrink Ray and clear.
I wish I could list out all of the edge cases, but a lot of them have to be found from experience. I list out what I can in the matchup section, but if you're always thinking about your win condition vs. your opponent's you are in a good starting place. Once you feel comfortable with the basics, start asking yourself what sort of hand you need in the next 2 or 3 turns, which will inform you if you should develop the board, pass the turn, or waste cards when you have extra mana now so you can draw more freely in the future.

Understanding Your Core Cards

Holy Wrath
The namesake of this deck. From the earliest days of Hearthstone, dreams of drawing Molten Giant off of Holy Wrath and dealing 20 damage (!) abounded. Most of these dreamers sadly failed...until today, when we have the tools to manipulate our deck to consistently draw Shrivallah and deal 25 damage (!!!) to our opponents.
Depending on the match up, you may only need one Holy Wrath to win. That means if you've run out of draw and need some gas, you can play the first Holy Wrath to deal 1-25 damage at random. Having a deck tracker allows you to see whether you're likely to be able to finish off that 4 health minion with your Holy Wrath or not. Also, to repeat one of the Pros of the above - as long as your opponent is below 25 health and Shrivallah is in your deck - each Holy Wrath has a % chance to instantly win you the game on the spot if you would otherwise lose.
Shrivallah, the Tiger
Sitting at 25 mana cost, Shrivallah holds the highest casting cost in the game. While she's here to provide us a 25-damage Holy Wrath, she is one of your best mid/late game tools vs. aggro decks. Think of her as a Super-Ziliax - if you've cast enough spells during the game (or drew her off of Prismatic Lens) and need her, she can eliminate a 7 health minion and gain you 7 health, while leaving behind a 7/5 lifesteal body. Just make sure to either return her to hand after or shuffle another copy of her into your deck.
Baleful Banker
Baleful Bankers are almost never played until Shrivallah is. If you only need 1 Holy Wrath to win the game, you only need one Baleful Banker to win the game as well. If you need to play Shrivallah in the midgame, remember that when you Bank her you are slowing down your combo by 1 more card needing to be drawn.
Crystology
Crystology is one of the most powerful tutor spells in Standard, even before it got buffed to 1 mana. To benefit, most decklists run 5-8 Crystology targets. The first Crystology is almost always 'tutor 2 cards' while the second is 'tutor anywhere from 0 to 2 cards' depending how late in the game you draw it. For this reason, I don't recommend any less than 6 targets and if you can squeeze in a 7th even better. Even if Crystology has 0 targets left in your deck, it is not necessarily a dead card. Vs. Mages it can be used to check against Counterspell and it fuels Wild Pyromancers well (it is especially useful at getting rid of Divine Shields).
Prismatic Lens
When teching this deck, originally I'd find myself wanting to cut a Prismatic Lens because I fundamentally didn't understand the card. It is the most powerful draw card in the deck and allows you to win games you might otherwise not. Sometimes it discounts an important card (like Shrivallah) so it can be played earlier in the game. Other times one of your key spells is now unplayable because you did discount Shrivallah. Against decks where you need both Holy Wraths it is recommended not to cast Prismatic Lens until either Shrivallah or both Wraths have been drawn - unless you desperately need to find a card like Wild Pyro/Consecrate or Equality/Shrink Ray or otherwise have no draw. Prismatic Lens is sometimes difficult to cast - both due to mana cost and hand size management. I always want to start a turn with no more than 8 cards in hand if I plan on casting Prismatic Lens, unless I either have a lot of mana or a cheap minion I can lose (Crystallizer, Crystalsmith Kangor in some matches). If you've already drawn your full combo it's okay to 'burn' cards by overdrawing with Prismatic Lens assuming you don't need any of the other cards in your deck.
Wild PyromanceConsecrate and Equality/Shrink Ray
Any two cards from these pairs combined constitutes a full board clear for anywhere between 6 and 9 mana, barring divine shields and deathrattle shenanigans (and Prismatic Lens tampering). Wild Pyromancer played well can even deal with the stickiest of boards. Often times I will be buying myself time with healing or Time Out in order to have enough mana to do a full board clear in one turn, but in some matchups it's okay or even necessary to do so in multiple steps. Sometimes Shrink Ray can be played on it's own without an accompanying board wipe, since we can take 7 damage a turn pretty easily (watch out for Murloc Warleader, Bloodlust, mass buffs, and Savage Roar, however!)
Time Out
One of the most powerful cards in the game. There are many times I didn't have the right answer, but could Time Out and then draw 2-3 cards (plus another card naturally the next turn) into a full board clear. Time Out combos with Truesilver Champion and can assist you in clearing Bombs (Boom's and Hunters) without taking any face damage. If the game goes perfectly in your way, your last three turns you are invincible with Time Out -> Time Out -> Combo. Since Time Out is 3 mana it can be played the same turn as hitting your Holy Wrath combo the first time, if you need to do so a second time. Finally, Time Out synergizes with Crystallizer (see below).

My Favorite Tech Choices

Crystallizer (2-of)
Acknowledgement: Originally recommended by u/Redd575 in their list posted in the Reddit comments of VS Data Reaper #132.
Crystallizer was a breakthrough all-star last meta and in this one, it's no different. It offers us a third/fourth turn 1 play that contests vs. most other 1-drops (except for Flame Imp) and is combos with Time Out (see below).
  • Tutorable by Crystology, check!
  • A 1/3 on turn 1 is nothing to slouch at, doing lots of work vs. Murloc Tidecallers, Sludge Slurpers, Town Criers, Silver Hand Recruits, Mecharoo, and Galvanizers.
  • Allows you to heal early game from Flash of Light and also Truesilver Champion in matches where you're ahead.
  • Unlike most other 1-drops, she’s useful later on. She combos well with Time Out, giving you an additional 5 or 10 Armor for free in the mid/late game. Since she can be drawn by Crystology and OTK Paladin has the most consistent draw of any deck besides Nomi Priest, you’re going to hit this two/three-card combo a lot more often than most other decks. In matches where Health is of utmost importance, I sometimes add a Youthful Brewmaster to the combo (7 mana, immune for a turn +10 Armor).
  • Having 1 more minion than your opponent can remove is such a huge advantage when playing a deck with 3 total Equality and Shrink Ray. A T1 Crystalizer or T3 Hero Power + Crystalizer makes such a difference, especially vs. Mage and sometimes Rogue. It’s like having a proactive Elven Archer (needing 1 less overall mana to challenge Giants, only requiring simple setup).
  • Finally, having more 1 mana minions is helpful for hand management.
Youthful Brewmaster (1-of)
Acknowledgement: Youthful Brewmaster along side two Baleful Bankers first seen by me in u/MeatiHS 's Top 8 Holy Wrath Paladin list.
An extremely versatile card, Youthful Brewmaster (alongside double Banker) is amazing in it's utility.
  • 'Doubles' any Battlecry card in your deck (typically Novice Engineer early on or Baleful Banker later, but sometimes CrystallizeCrystalsmith Kangor in matchups where Health is important).
  • Can combine with Shrivallah for 'deal 7 to a minion/gain 7 health' for 2 mana mid/late game without slowing down your combo.
  • '50 damage in 1 turn combo' (vs. Control Warriors): With zero cards in deck you play Shrivallah+Baleful Banker+Baleful Banker+Youthful Brewmaster (on Banker)+Baleful Banker to shuffle three more Shrivallahs into your deck. Next turn you can play double Holy Wrath. There’s two mana of leeway on the initial turn where you might Flash of Light the last card out of your deck or if Prismatic Lens increased the cost of one of your combo pieces.
  • Note that the above combo can sometimes be used as a 'Hail Mary' setup if you predict you'll lose in 2 turns. Shuffle three Shrivallahs in your deck one turn, then use your Holy Wrath(s) the next for the highest chance possible.
  • One of the ways I improved my Control Warrior match up is by playing a 3/2 on T2 to negate early armor and contest their Town CrieEternium Rover.

Saviors of Uldum Tech and Lists

From u/Neon313 's thread, Top Legend Saviors of Uldum Decks - Week 2 Standard
Holy Wrath (Bloodsail Corsair, Loot Hoarder, Salhet's Pride) by ShuzoDS
Selhet's Pride/Loot Hoarder Package - I've experimented with this list (Elven Archers instead of Corsairs for my local meta/additional Pride targets) and found it has more ability to high roll than my current list, but overall I miss having 3-of (Shrink Ray/Equality). Selhet's also fights with Crystology for targets and while I found it worked clunkily for me, there still might be merit to this list.
"Highlander" Holy Wrath Paladin by MetaiHS
Triple duplicate list (all the combo pieces) with Sir Finley and Zephrys - this looks super interesting with two of the most fun cards to come out of Uldum. I haven't had a chance to test this out in Legend but look forward to doing so after running my current list as high as it will go.

Other Spicy Tech Choices

Zephrys the Great (1-of)
See 'Saviors of Uldum' Tech & Lists above - I have not had time to test Zephrys but suspect he is a similar 'Closer' finisher like Nomi (easier to play/better body if you need to play him early). That said, I worry adding Zephrys to a non-Highlander deck with 5 combo pieces already will have more potential to brick - since you're often saving other cards for a specific time (Equality/Shrink Ray/Time Out). I'm still excited to try him out but have been having so much success with my current list so far.
Soup Vendor (1-of) -
Acknowledgement: First seen from u/Burned28 / Dragonfires List from NoProsHere Specialist Meta Report by u/ecoutepasca .
Additionally, a lot of the following tech that I used along my climb but did not make it into the main list were discovered from those Specialist Meta Reports. Check them out!
I wish Soup Vendor worked better for me, because it seems like such a fantastic card. It can combo with Crystallizer, Ziliax, Truesilver Champion+Crystalsmith Kangor, Flash of Light, drawing two to four cards in the mid/late game. As a plus, unlike Acolyte of Pain you can throw him out when your hand is too full without worrying about overdrawing. It's so close to being on the list, but in matchups where you don't get hurt but still want to draw (Warrior, Mirror), he can be a liability.
Elven Archer (1 or 2) - All star from the Specialist format (I am not sure who innovated this one but it's caught on to many lists). Surprisingly fantastic card with lots of versatility, a Crystology target, and allows for easy hand management. If Mages were top dog I could see 2nd Equality being run (perhaps over Shrink Ray) with Elven Archers. This deck consistently beats Mages without them, as Crystallizer functions in their role but better already.
Sunreaver Warmage (2-of)
Acknowledgement: First seen from a HS player named Aviera.
Double Sunreaver Warmages (alongside 2 Truesilver Champions and Alexstraza) was really powerful tech in a more midrange meta. They improve the Warrior matchup by a lot, allowing at least 8 additional damage towards Face (on top of Alexstaza’s 15). Getting one of these or Alex discounted to 1 or 2 mana from Prismatic Lens (providing you a 5 mana spell!) allowed many games to be stolen early on. Due to our draw and naturally running four 5 mana spells (double Holy Wrath/Shrink Ray), Sunreaver Warmage’s activation is incredibly consistent.
Overall though, having six total 5 mana cards (and one 9 mana card) slowed the deck vs. aggro too much, particularly Murloc Shaman.
Alexstraza (1-of) - A worthy tech choice all on her own vs. Warrior. It makes the target # needed to take them down 65 or less instead of 50. Main issue with including her is hand clunkiness. It’s hard to find 9 mana in a match to play her and often enough 1 unplayable card plus too many combo pieces drawn early can spell doom.
Chef Nomi (1-of) - Chef Nomi’s main purpose is to allow us to have the flexibility play Shrivallah as needed (to gain life/contest board), even if we can’t Banker or Brew Shriv back into deck/hand. Vs. Warrior Nomi offers another out if you can bait out a Brawl or two, and occasionally you can Banker her (have 1 weak minion on the field, play Nomi, suicide the minion, then Banker her with the newly opened board spot). Overall I feel she has the same hand-clunkiness problem as Alexstraza, though she works very effectively vs. Hunters, Druids, and non-Freeze Mages. And even though Paladins can’t easily bounce her, her mana cost allows us to Time Out the turn we play her. Still worth a consideration.
Kangor’s Endless Army Package (5 cards) - Ziliax, Mechanical Whelp (or Egg), 2 Bronze Gatekeepers was the slimmest package I could include in an effort to combat both early aggro and Warriors. Ziliax was a solid card and Bronze Gatekeepers being drawn with Crystology made for natural synergy. Overall I could still not cross the removal threshold of Control Warriors without including Chef Nomi on top of this package, which slowed down the combo way too much. If Bomb Warrior rises up in playrate however, this type of package might be necessary (with an additional Whelp or Egg and Lightforged Blessing as 1-of) as it doesn’t require drawing your whole deck to win.

Other Unconventional Tech Choices folks have used:

Blessing of Wisdom - cheap card that often draws 1 or 2 cards, perhaps saving Health if used on an enemy minion.
Bloodsail Corsair - limited weapon removal that can be tutored by Crystology.
Da Undatakah (alongside Kangor’s Package and 1-of Immortal Prelate) for the most robust anti-Control Warrior package. Only really good for the Specialist format.
Doomsayer - great vs. early aggro or after a board wipe turn to buy tempo. Not good in metas with Silence, Crazed Alchemist, and Toxfin.
Humility - cheap card for hand management that often buys 4-7 health.

Standard List Cards not Included in My List:

Acolyte of Pain - Can be awkward to play (especially on the coin), vulnerability to Silence often requires you to combo with Wild Pyromancer to get value. Overall our deck has enough draw that a Youthful Brewmaster took its place.
Ziliax - Due to this deck’s low amount of minion threats, most opponents have enough removal stockpiled in hand that means Ziliax is only able to gain you 3 Health. His best matchups were against aggro and in the midgame, it’s hard to find 5 mana when you also want to be drawing into your combo. When double Crystallizer hit the list, the consistency of them or T1 Crystology proved more effective at stemming the tide of aggro, leaving more mana later turns to draw.
2nd Truesilver Champion - One of the last cards I cut. Hard to justify when trying to hit a certain Minion threshold for Crystology and Prismatic Lens, enough spells for Shrivallah to be activated early, as well as enough Draw. It’s a powerful card but ultimately cutting it for better cards improved my winrate. If I had another slot, I’d sooner include Ziliax than the 2nd Truesilver Champion as they function well together.

How to Choose What Cards to Sub Out?

  • Keep in mind you want 5-8 Crystology targets, ideally 7 with 6 being a working number.
  • Due to Shrivallah's discount, you want to make sure you have enough spell cost (ideally not including casting Holy Wrath) to get her down to 0 mana before the endgame. Having a glut of spells is beneficial if you want to be able to cast her in the mid/early late game.
  • At least 2-of some combination Equality and Shrink Ray is necessary for this meta, but 3 helps in case one of them is stuck at the bottom of your deck.
  • Some card draw can be substituted, such as Acolyte of Pain for Bloodmage Thalnos.
  • Other card draw can be cut, but at the expense of slowing down the deck (Hammer of Wrath, Prismatic Lens). Since draw spells can chain into other draw spells, taking out 1 draw card may slow down games by more 1 turn.
  • At least 2-of Baleful BankeYouthful Brewmaster (that includes at least 1 Banker).
  • Truesilver Champion increases the combo damage turn to 29 and helps keep the early game board down but can be taken out if weapon removal is more prevalent overall/you're facing a lot of Warriors.
As you can see, putting together this deck is like an intricate puzzle as when you pull on one piece, others start to move. I believe the current easiest cards to sub out are 1 Crystallizer, 1 (Equality or Shrink Ray), 1 Hammer of Wrath, and maybe Truesilver Champion if necessary. Youthful Brewmaster may also be on the chopping block - but I've found him especially useful lately.

When Not to Hero Power

Most of your early game consists of playing Crystallizer, Crystology, and Novice Engineers and smashing that Hero Power button. If you're lacking 4-drops, sometimes it's best to space out your 2-drops so you can squeak an extra Hero power in (usually if you need to contest the board/set up a future Equality or Shrink Ray). That said, sometimes it can be detrimental to use your Hero Power. Mind Control Tech isn't widely played, but when it is you need to think of how many minions you have. Brawl is important to play around when you have an important minion. I typically do not use my Hero Power nto a Norshire Cleric, Acolyte Pain, or Eternium Rover.
In the end game vs. Hunters, Big Shamans, Paladins, and Warriors, having any minion on board may let them gain extra Health via a Rush, Lifesteal minion (Ziliax, Walking Fountain, Shrivallah) that would otherwise let them survive your combo. These turns I find it best to pass without doing anything or cast Time Out (Tundra Rhino into Dire Frenzied Vicious Scalehide tends to make one paranoid as well as Leeroy/Unleash the Hounds/Timber Wolf/Timber Wolf). When you're at an advantage closing out a game, it's best to start thinking about what edge cases your opponent could use to win that you can avoid without hurting your strategy. Since we seldom care about our opponent's life total if it's already under 25, it's usually best not to Hero Power during the endgame.

Matchups

Mulligans In General:
Always - Crystallizer, Novice Engineer, Crystology, Truesilver Champion
(Never keep second Crystallizer, if you have two Novice Engineers and Crystology it’s okay to send an Engineer back and if you have two Crystology send every 1-attack minion back).
These cards are the most important cards for every matchup.
On Play - Prismatic Lens if one or two of the above, especially vs. slower matchups.
On Coin - (Almost Always) Wild Pyromancer

Vs. Quest Druid (70% WR, 7-3): Highly Favored

Mulligan: +Prismatic Lens
Win Conditions:
  • 1) chip damage + single Holy Wrath (quick game, ahead on board early)
  • 2) double Holy Wrath (extended game)
Our goal is to draw through our deck as fast as possible (sometimes burning Flash of Light, or Coin to no effect) so we can get to our combo. As much as possible, take down any armor Druids may get Ferocious Howl. Quick Games typically include a T1 Crystallizer and/or T2 unanswered Wild PyromanceYouthful Brewmaster getting in good chip damage. Most games however are going to be drawn out, where you use all your resources to simply control board - being unafraid to take 10-12 damage in a turn if it means saving your Pyro/Equality combos or Time Out for larger boards. These games end with double Holy Wrath - sometimes the '50 in one turn' combo if you believe they're hoarding Howl and Oasis both in hand.
Remember that Druids can almost always pump out an additional +2-3 damage per minion (Tending Tauren, Cenarius, Power of the Wild) so whenever possible, make sure to stay out of OTK range.

Vs. Hunter (69% WR, 9-4): Highly Favored

Vs. Highlander Hunter: Highly Favored
Mulligan: +Consecration, +Flash of Light
Win Condition: 1) Hunter 25 or less Health, 1 Holy Wrath
One of the reasons this matchup is favored is because Highlander Hunter's Secrets seldom bother us so long as we are mindful of them (Exploding Trap we seldom have a reason to attack into, Pressure Plate has very few good targets and Freezing Trap can even help us with our strong Battlecries). Lategame Shrivallah can check for almost any trap and survive (Freezing Trap does increase cost by 2, then the cost reduction happens - likely she'll be back to 0).
Combined with our board clear and Health/Armor gain, as long as we play patiently we shouldn't have an issue. If you plan on only using 1 Holy Wrath make sure to play around Ziliax and Zul'jin (+3/+5 health) - if you didn't get chip damage early on, this usually means 2 of Truesilver Champion hits/Hammer of Wrath (with Consecration incindentally doing the rest).
Vs. Quest Hunter: Favored?
I haven't played vs. this deck much but I did beat Firebat in Top 200 Legend! He seems to think it's a good matchup for the Paladin but if you watch the video below you'll see I had to play very carefully to win:
St1rge vs. Firebat!
(I partially mention my preferred pronouns above because of Firebat/other players defaulting to he/him/his for unknown opponents in HS. She/They pronouns users exist...there are dozens of us, dozens!)
Vs. Mech Hunter: Favored
Mulligan: Consecration, Crystalsmith Kangor, Shrink Ray
Win Conditions: 1) Immense Health gain and board wipes; 2) 1 Holy Wrath; 3) Unanswered midgame Shrivallah
Since neither deck has changed, see my previous guide

Vs. Mage (1-0): N/A

(No real data this season, prior season had a 76% WR vs. Cyclone Mage)
Mulligan: +Consecrate, +Equality, +Shrink Ray, +Wild Pyromancer
In general, do your best to arrange your board so you can take out the first Giant without using Equality or Shrink Ray (via Hammer of Wrath/Truesilver Champion and minions). If you can’t take out that first giant or two, don’t be afraid of taking 8-16 damage. As long as you stay above 13 health (later, 15 if they run Frost Bolt) you’re generally safe saving your board clears. Don’t forget they may have an Alexstraza so you can’t leave 15 power on board late game.
Space out your board wipes so you always have a backup in hand. If they use Conjurer’s Calling twice and you suspect they don’t have another in hand, sometimes you can Shrink Ray without clearing.
Save your Time Outs for the end of the game, especially if they’ve generated lots of Fireballs from Tony.

Vs. Paladin (43% WR, 3-4): 'Even' (not much data)

I did not run into Quest Paladin yet this season vs. this deck, but suspect it is overall Favored. Wild Pyro (to clear Reborn) and Shrink Ray (vs. Eggs) is likely a key player and you probably need to save both Holy Wrath's in case they get a huge Ziliax/Lightforged Blessing heal in.
Vs. Murloc Paladin (Favored)
Mulligan: +Consecration, +Wild Pyro, +Hammer of Wrath (1)
Win Condition: 1) 1 Holy Wrath
Make sure to trim their board down, saving Hammer of Wrath/Truesilver Champion if possible for Murloc Warleaders. Remember their ability to burst lategame (Leeroy, Zephrys). Sometimes they get the high roll early and we don't have the answer - that's okay: do your best not to get tilted and then move on.
Vs. Mirror (Slightly Favored vs. Standard Lists)
Mulligan: Prismatic Lens
Win Condition: 1) 1 Holy Wrath + Chip Damage; 2) Very seldomly 2 Holy Wrath (they somehow saved Crystalsmith KangoShrivallah + Flash of Light).
Often hold Truesilver Champion on board (no current lists run wepaon removal) for the winning turn. Likewise, if possible save Healing to remain about 25 health. Time Out is one of the most important cards in this matchup and should be conserved to the end at all costs.
Your job is to draw your deck and reach your combo sooner. This often means burning cards uselessly, such as Equality, Consecrate, and Shrink Ray, cycling as needed Bloodmage Thalnos and first Flash of Light with no benefit. Four or five turns before your opponent finishes if you are behind, but have drawn your Holy Wraths but not Shrivallah or can put (multiple copies) of her back in your deck - it may be worth going for the 20-50% winrate gamble rather than wait until your opponent’s last three turns of Time Out - Time Out - Win. If you can keep your health above 25/29 (if they have Truesilver Champion equipped), you may be able to Crystalsmith Kangor, play your own Shrivallah + Flash of Light for 22 healing and you may still win.

Vs. Combo Priest (85% WR, 6-1): Highly Favored

Mulligan: +Equality, +Shrink Ray
Win Conditions: 1) Clear all their minions above 3 Health; 2) 1 Holy Wrath
Do your best to clear their board when possible, making sure they don't get their Norshire/Acolyte/Wild Pyro engine going. Equality or Shrink Ray on High Priest Amet can be hilarious - giving you two or three free turns assuming you don't play minions and can take some chip damage. Make sure to be wary of reading how many combo pieces they have in hand so you can make sure to Time Out/Shrink their board appropriately. Don't forget their Lightwarden gets larger from your Truesilver Champion/Flash of Light turns.

Vs. Rogue (88% WR, 7-1): Highly Favored

Mulligan: +Flash of Light, +Hammer of Wrath
Win Condition: 1) 1 Holy Wrath
Overall a simple matchup and one you’re teched heavily against. Play the control game, draw as many cards as you can, hit your combo. Shrink Ray can sometimes be used on it’s own to just mitigate damage. Watch out for Leeroy/Waggle Pick bounce combos, making sure to stay above a certain threshold of health depending on how many mana crystals/setup the Rogue has. An early/powerful Myra’s or you drawing too many combo pieces in the early game is how you lose this matchup. Don’t be afraid to use that first Holy Wrath for cleacard draw!

Vs. Quest Shaman (67% WR, 12-6): Favored

Mulligan: +Consecrate, +Prismatic Lens
Win Conditions: 1) 2 Holy Wrath, 2) 1 Holy Wrath + Chip damage (Life Drinkers/Shudderwock accounted for)
We want to control the early board - making sure we remove their most valuable Bog Slasher targets (EVIL Totem, lackeys where they're not running into much lackey generation to deny Wasps, Life Drinker) and Mutate targets (Giggling Inventor, Mogu Fleshshaper) when possible. Getting ~8-14 chip damage makes this matchup so much easier as then we can rely on a single Holy Wrath to finish. Later in the game, remember to play around Bloodlust. Occasionally a card like Ancestral Brew may be discovered so in games where you can easily slow play - it doesn't hurt to hold double Holy Wrath. Compared to other Shamans, sometimes Shrivallah herself may go unanswered and you can sneak in a win that way.

Vs. Warrior (7-8, 47%): (Unfavored vs. Control/Bomb, Even vs. Tempo)

+Control and Bomb Warrior matchups are very unfavored, but I’ve increased my winrate from nearly autoconcede (20%) to double that due to tech choices and strategy. For the most part, you can use my Previous Guide for these matchups - lists have not changed much except for Armagadillo/Tomb Warden being run (an overall more positive change for us vs. Weapon Project) and Reckless Mummy (neutral change, doesn't have good targets in our deck but is a little more sticky).
Vs. Tempo Warrior (Even)
Mulligan: +Consecrate, +Flash of Light, +Equality, +Shrink Ray
Win Conditions: 1) 1 Holy Wrath; 2) Unanswered Shrivallah.
Remember Equality/Shrink Ray turns off Enrage bonuses. If their Hero is uninjured - don't damage their face until they've used both Battle Rages or you're about to win. Do your best to keep their board clear and your health high and beware Grommash/Inner Fire or Leeroy/Inner Fire (copy) combos. I'd almost consider mulliganing for Tempo Warrior over Control Warrior matchups because Tempo Warriors demand early clears while other Warrior matchups you'll generally have more time to draw the cards you need.

Vs. Zoo Warlock (40% WR, 2-3): 'Favored' (not much data*)

Mulligan: Consecration, Shrink Ray
Win Conditions: 1) 1 Holy Wrath; 2) Cleared board, unanswered Shrivallah.
*Despite my stats this season, Zoo Warlock looks only marginally stronger than the previous seasons. Typically we have enough tools to manage their board, assuming they don't get too many buffs on a wide board early on. Even then, we should be able to stall long enough to get our clears running.
I hope this guide helps! Let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer them.
submitted by St1rge to CompetitiveHS