Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas preview - Arachnid Quarter

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The Arachnid Quarter

The Arachnid Quarter is free to enter over the month-long duration of Naxx's launch. Each future wing will be available for 700 in-game Gold each or $6.99//£4.99 (Blizzard also provides a bundle pack for $17.99). However, don't expect to get a lot to chew from these wings, since each consists of 3-4 bosses, who can be killed once you have the right strategy / deck.

I went into the Arachnid with no knowledge of what I was supposed to get, though I had a few "ideas" since the bosses follow the same order (and even play-style) as the ones in the World of Warcraft Naxxramas.

Whilst the bosses themselves are not difficult, they do present a nice change of pace from the classic AI match-ups.

Anub'Rekhan

Haunted Creeper HearthstoneReward: Haunted Creeper

The big Crypt Lord comes with a 3/1 spider summon for 2-mana, and a nasty 7-mana 'Locust Swarm' unique card, which deals 3 damage to all enemies and heals Anub'Rekhan for 3. Instead of preparing a special deck around its abilities, I used my Aggro Rush Warrior (Fiery Axe, Weaponsmith, Bloodsail Raider, Leeroy, Arcanite Reaper, and Gorehowl).

The boss uses cards like the Deathcharger (2/3 with 3 damage deathrattle to the summoning hero) and Deathlord (2/8 with taunt) early on, and starts using his ability later on, populating the board with 3/1 spiders, after the supposed board advantage. However, throwing a lot of cards early on, and having a way to deal with the 2/8 taunts will make the fight fairly easy.

Sadly, I cannot say it worked perfectly for the Warrior. I managed to snag a victory, but it was only by a 4-point difference and a lucky top-decked Arcanite Reaper.

 

Grand Widow Faerlina

Nerubar Weblord HearthstoneReward: Nerub’ar Weblord

The second boss is Grand Widow Faerlina, who uses a rather unpleasant 2-mana ability: shooting as many random missles as you have cards in the hand. I played the same rush deck, emptying the hand early on.

The fight isn't overly difficult. She plays agressive, but when you have a great deal of creatures with enrage, that agression plays in your favor. I actually managed to kill her because of her ability. The random AOE damage brought my Frothing Berserker to 16/4 by turn 7, and she only had 9 life. Overall, I'd say this was the easiest fight of the bunch, but that's only because of the agressive play-style.

However, I really wouldn't want to face her with a Zoolock, or even a priest playing the long-game.

 

Maexxna

Nerubian Egg HearthstoneMaexxna HearthstoneReward: Nerubian Egg, Maexxna

The wings ends with Maexxna, a big-ass spider who likes poison. The fight focuses mostly on control, using Web (3-mana) to return a creature back in your hand. I went with the Aggro Warrior deck, and dispatched her quickly. The Bloodsail Raider (Fiery War Axe) and Warsong Commander gave me a nice advantage by turn 4. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Maexxna doesn't always make the right choices when it comes to Web targets.

I did hit a small snag when the Sludge Belcher was brought on the table (5-mana abomination who leaves a 1/2 taunt ooze behind it), but with the help of a Arcanite Reaper and an Argent Commander I managed to get things in my favour. Once Gorehowl got in my hand (turn 8), Maexxna died without actually causing any damage.

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