(CNN)Is Lindsay Lohan pranking us?
The party is in full swing. All the cards from Heathstones One Night in Karazhan adventure can now be unlocked, and most serious players have had a chance to test out the most promising new additions.
With all 45 new cards out on the ladder, its time to highlight a handful of the best. Not only do these cards offer serious fun and power, but theyve also been helping to shape the metagame in meaningful ways. Here are the five most impactful additions from One Night in Karazhan.
Few cards have had as striking an impact in creating new decks as Barnes, Karazhans operatic stage manager. The legendary minion can be played across classes, and it has proven a worthy addition to multiple different play styles. Some new decks seem specifically designed to take advantage of the extra tempo and board control that his battlecry offers, making it the top choice for most impactful card from One Night in Karazhan.
Its generally less impactful if it brings a second battlecry card into action, but just about any other major mechanic can come into play in a meaningful way, even as just a 1/1 body. Imagine having another Sylvanas Windrunner in your deck, or Ragnaros or Cairne Bloodhoof. Thats a scary and exciting thought. If you havent explored the meta options unlocked by this card, get yourself to the second wing of One Night in Karazhan and start the fun.
Hunter decks are back on the upswing these days after a dry spell, with several variants currently in action on the standard ladder. Whether you like the Hybrid, Mid-Range, or Secret version, theres a good chance that Kindly Grandmother was a reason you came back to the class.
The card is a great match for both tempo and aggressive decks. Its sticky board presence actually poses a bigger threat after the initial minion dies. And it offers massive value, with total stats of 4 attack/3 health for just two mana. Given the phasing out of silence cards, Kindly Grandmother is an excellent early-game addition for the Hunters.
Even with the uproar over Purify, Priests actually made out pretty well in Karazhan with a couple powerful new class cards. Many streamers have been testing out Priest builds and wind up surprised to start racking up wins. Priest of the Feast is worth consideration in several builds, but Onyx Bishop is the real standout. The card has helped spark a surge in Resurrect decks, built around keeping board presence from re-summoning minions that have died.
Priest can a challenging class to play well, and especially in lesser hands, its not always the most effective option on ladder. But its good to see Blizzard finding ways to stay true to the core concepts of the original World of Warcraft class and translating them into meta-friendly Hearthstone cards.
Over the years, Blizzard has offered players several different takes on the Giant cards. Molten Giants cost less based on how much damage your hero has taken, while the Mountain Giant mana discount is based on cards in the players hand. Reducing mana cost around spells played makes Arcane Giant a useful resource in lots of different deck styles. It has made appearances in everything from Freeze Mage to Token Druid.
Many deck styles expect you to run a few big, beefy minions to help seal a late-game victory. The Arcane Giant is a great way to fill that role, especially for players who might not have the heavy hitters that were released in past expansions. The card is a great take on the overall Giant dynamic and has been a welcome addition thus far.
Have you been running into the Beast Druid build on ladder and getting stomped? Its all Menagerie Wardens fault. Other expansions have tried to emphasize the class beast-centric cards, but most of those additions werent quite strong or consistent enough for beast decks to make a spash. Until now.
The huge power of the battlecry has inspired some devastating beast synergy builds, especially when backed by other new Druid additions such as Mounted Raptor, Mark of YShaarj, and The Curator. Its good to see this beast permutation adding to the richness and variety of the Druid class.Continue reading
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Offering a shoulder to cry on is great, but being able to say no and turning off your phone are just as important, says Mariella Frostrup
The dilemma Im 31, and my friends are all having life crises. Ive found myself with a set of eight emotionally needy people. (They dont know each other.) It sounds selfish, but Im exhausted from taking out their emotional trash.
I could be flattered that Im considered a good listener, but I feel like I have another full-time job. Whether its the daily three texts from the lonely new mum, the uni friend whos addicted to Tinder bad boys, or the former colleague who still doesnt know what to do with his life, I feel depleted.
Id like to nest with my partner, yet my life is like a sushi carousel, going from one persons problems to another. If I try to turn the conversation to me or give suggestions, I still get negativity thrown in my face.
How do I create barriers to protect myself? I simply dont know what words to use when they just need someone to talk to.
Mariella replies How about: Sorry, Im busy? It may sound simplistic, but its definitely the most straightforward solution to your dilemma; that, or not answering at all. Having the confidence to bat off unsolicited encroachments on thinking time and drains on our physical energy has never been more important. That doesnt mean you shouldnt offer friends a shoulder to cry on in times of need but not perpetually in times of neediness.
Creating boundaries is as important as displaying empathy. People do seem inordinately happy with the sound of their own voices of late often to the detriment of further enlightenment or progress. I know this may sound Victorian, but Im increasingly conscious of a dwindling standard of social interaction among my fellow homo sapiens. Whether its heckling those with whom we dont agree, jostling each other in queues, forgetting to say please and thank you, talking over people because were overexcited about the sound of our own thoughts, or ranting away on public transport having one-sided conversations, it all adds up to a desertion of good manners a quality we once took national pride in.
Were evolving into a myopic and unruly bunch, more Salem-style mob than civilised democrats. Political tensions are high and the divisive damage done by the poisonous referendum campaign cant be underestimated. Perhaps the powerlessness felt by those being fast-tracked into a small-islander future is partly to blame for the speed with which citizens are zooming from 0 to 60 on the emotional scale.
I recently attended the nobly inspired The Convention, a forum supported by this newspaper, where people of all political persuasions were invited to share bright ideas for a brighter future. It promised to be a weekend of mentally stimulating, cross-party, cross-cultural brainstorming. Instead, a debate I chaired on the necessity or not of a second referendum was drowned out by the booing and hissing of a small minority of well-to-do 60-year-olds on a day trip to Westminster. As the militant element of this sexagenarian rabble threatened to completely disrupt proceedings, I wondered what had happened to the UKs fabled stiff upper lip. The heckling was particularly ironic since the tagline to the proceedings was listen as well as speak!
Part of the process of civilised engagement has to be listening to those with whom we have little in common, in order to find mutual ground. Our ability to insulate ourselves and hear only the echo of our own thoughts is one of the most corrosive side-effects of social media. You may wonder where Ive wandered off to but I am, I promise, on a journey back to you. You must be a good listener, perhaps too good a listener, if all your friends come to you to download their woes. Maybe your lines are too often open. Just because we have phones doesnt mean we need to answer them; just because we have instant communication doesnt mean we need to offer instant response; just because unburdening our hopes, dreams and vitriol can be achieved in a mere 140 characters doesnt mean thats the best forum for saying what we think.
In short, unmitigated access to everything, all the time, is a compelling argument for restraint. Personal space is under threat and whether its texts from friends or emails from colleagues, group Snapchats pinging, or Facebook pages that urgently need updating, it can feel like there isnt a second of free time available. In generations past people might have felt it a vanity too far to unburden themselves with no consideration for the receiver. I suggest you introduce these eight disparate friends so they can expand on their emotional woes ad nauseam and drown each other out in the battle for attention. Then shut down, snuggle up with your partner and put your feet up.Continue reading
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Over the past decade or so, it’s become acceptable for adults to like kid’s stuff again. Which is great, because now we can watch great shows like Steven Universe and Gravity Falls without getting the stink eye from the rest of civilization. Occasionally, though, adults will forget that kids too enjoy kid stuff, leading to situations that range from “slightly annoying” to “absolutely terrifying.”
According to recent estimates, approximately 90 percent of all toys are Star Wars toys, and this percentage doubled upon the recent release of The Force Awakens. Stores across the nation stocked up on toys for “Force Friday,” in hopes that they could cram enough bodies into their stores to generate a small black hole. And it nearly worked — retailers watched as their new Star Wars toys sold out in massive numbers … to fans who will probably never touch them again, save for the occasional dusting.
Massive excitement, followed by absolutely nothing: It’s not just for Boba Fett toys anymore!
Obviously, The Force Awakens has wide-ranging appeal, with 34 percent of moviegoers being between the ages of 18 and 34, but nobody anticipated the degree to which adult male collectors would wait out all night to completely clear the shelves. Plenty of fans on social media complained that, despite waiting in line for hours at their local Toys ‘R’ Us or Target, there was almost nothing for them to buy, because the first ten or so people in line had descended on the toy aisles like a group of piranhas skeletonizing a cow. How piranhas and a cow ended up in the same room is a mystery, but so are scenes like this:
“That’s adorable, but I’m still coming any day now.” — Death
But all these megafans buying the toys as collector’s items were only shooting themselves in the foot. Vintage toys from the 1970s and 1980s can go for thousands of dollars these days, but that’s only because so few people bothered to keep them around. When the prequel trilogy came out, along with hundreds of Alderaans’ worth of toys, they were snapped up by collectors by the thousands, which caused their value to drop to that of a lightly-used Tootsie Pop. So instead of securing a financial future crafted from the tears of children, these adults dropped hundreds of dollars on what will eventually become the backdrop for an episode of Hoarders.
Guys, if you really want to make money off these toys, tear them out of the packages and take pictures of all the figures making out with all the other figures. The demand for that will be substantially higher. And seeing as how A) we’ll be getting Star Wars movies until the heat death of the universe; and B) male adults fucking stampeded to The Force Awakens, a few more decades of this bullshit will make the franchise as hip to the kids as C-SPAN.
Though you may not have heard of them, children’s pop group The Wiggles is one of Australia’s most successful musical groups, having released a whopping 44 albums and received critical acclaim for the last 25 years. If you aren’t familiar with their music, here’s one of their most popular tunes on YouTube, “Hot Potato.”
Obviously, their biggest group of fans are children, but it turns out the Wiggles are beloved by another group — a much older, lonelier, hornier group. For at least ten years, members of the band have been receiving letters from older women and single mothers who want to wiggle with them, so to speak. Some of the comments made were so suggestive that we don’t even know what they are, because they couldn’t be reprinted in an Australian newspaper (one of the few known cases of Australia giving a fuck).
A 2009 interview with Anthony, the Blue Wiggle (which is also the worst superhero name we’ve ever heard), revealed that the group has dedicated groupies bearing Krispy Kremes, and has received at least one erotic jigsaw puzzle. The interview also included photos of Anthony which, honestly, explain an awful lot.
The episode where The Wiggles visited a tattoo parlor received critical acclaim.
After years and years of this mommy panty-dropping, The Wiggles have given up on fighting their adult fanbase, and they’ve started doing some adult-only shows. Recently, The Wiggles held a benefit “reunion” show that could only be attended by people aged 18 or over, partly due to the sale of alcohol at the show — something we don’t think Sesame Street would be able to pull off.
As you would expect from a bunch of grownups watching an act they enjoyed as toddlers, most people in attendance were completely fucking blasted. But if you thought this would be the show where The Wiggles let their hair down, you’d be wrong: They played it exactly as they would play it for children. Which makes sense, since that was probably the average brain function at the time for these alcohol-doused adults.
Do we really need to explain bronies? We’re 95 percent sure you know what they are. Hell, we’re sure a solid chunk of you are bronies, reading this article because someone on social media said that we were talking about you. Thanks for that, by the way.
Well, for the three of you who don’t know: “Bronies” are the group of adult, mostly male fans of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. They arrived at the same time the show did, at first ironically, then legitimately after they realized that it’s quite well-made for a kid’s show. Unfortunately, nothing good lasts forever on the internet, and things started getting weird, even when you try to ignore the veritable mountains of MLP pornography (and no, we are not providing any links here).
Two in the Pinkie Pie, one in the Stinkie Pie.
A couple years ago, Tumblr removed a pornographic MLP fan blog called “Ask Princess Molestia,” which in a normal universe would have been the most uncontroversial sentence in history. But because everything is awful, a large number of bronies got outraged, and proceeded to do what the internet always does when it’s outraged: blame a woman and try to ruin her life.
Seventeen-year-old Tumblr user pinkiepony, who reported the blog to Hasbro after her 12-year-old sister came across “Molestia” by accident, was inundated with cryptic threats and allegations of white supremacy, and even tracked down via GPS coordinates, because Hell hath no fury like a man online who isn’t able to see sex literally everywhere he looks.
Shouldn’t enjoying a show called Friendship Is Magic require you to be friendly?
Recently, though, it seems that Hasbro has realized that they are fighting a losing battle. While trademark and copyright law forces them to do things such as send cease-and-desist letters to the creators of a My Little Pony MMO, they’ve decided they could get their hands on that sweet adult collector money, rather than try to curtail the rising tide of bronies. A new high-quality line of figures called <3 My Little Pony is being designed to sell for hundreds of dollars apiece, also known as “a significant fraction of an iPhone.”
That 12-inch human Rainbow Dash will be great emotional support during the buyer’s bankruptcy proceedings.
There’s no word on when Hasbro will start spray-painting and selling real ponies, but we’re reasonably sure they wouldn’t be able to keep them in stock.Continue reading
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An Indiana teacher’s moving letter to her students reminding them that they are much more than any test score is going viral.
Mom Abby Fallis shared the letter on social media on Friday. She explained that her son Rylan had been so overwhelmed by his third-grade teacher’s note that he’d burst into tears in school.
“He told me he cried because he was happy about a letter his teacher gave his class before they take ISTEP,” Fallis wrote on Facebook, referring to the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress, a standardized test. “Needless to say, when I read it, I cried too. We need not just more teachers like her, but also more people like her in this world.”
Fallis told Buzzfeed that the letter had greatly comforted her son, who had been feeling anxious about the upcoming tests.
“When it comes from your teacher, and it’s something that’s so poignant, it really stuck with him,” said Fallis, pictured below with her two sons, Rylan and his younger brother, Greyson.
Read the teacher’s letter in its entirety here:
Next week you will take your ISTEP test for math and reading, and two weeks after that you will take your IREAD test. I know how hard you have worked, but there is something very important you must know.
The ISTEP and IREAD tests do not assess all of what makes you special and unique. The people who create these tests and score them do not know each of you like I do, and certainly not the way your families do.
They do not know that some of you speak two languages, or that you love to sing or draw. They have not seen your natural talent for dancing. They do not know that your friends count on you to be there for them, that you laughter can brighten the darkest day, or that your face turns red when you feel shy. They do not know that you participate in sports, wonder about the future, or sometimes you help with your little brother or little sister after school. They do not know that you are kind, trustworthy, and thoughtful… and every day you try your very best.
The scores you will get from these tests will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything. These tests do not define you. There are many ways of being smart. YOU are smart! You are enough! You are the light that brightens my day and the reason I am happy to come to work each day. So, in the midst of all of these tests, remember that there is no way to “test” all of the amazing and awesome things that make you, YOU.
All I ask is that you do your personal best and do not give up. You have been working for this since Kindergarten and are ready! I believe in you!
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