Ranging from amazingly smooth mana curves courtesy of Emperor Thaurissan, to full blown board takeovers by Grim Patrons, the tournament was erupting with new surprises. Seasoned card slingers like Kolento and Trump, alongside tough challengers like Lemurian and Roger showed us the power that can be unleashed with the fraction of cards that have made it out of Blackrock Mountain. It was a violent series of matches, but rising from the ashes, Kolento came back to win and qualify for this season’s finals!
Only a handful of the new cards have crept out of the depths of BRM, but some of them are already making a huge splash in both the competitive scene and the ladder. Not to anyone's surprise, Thaurissan has already become a staple in many of the top tier decks.
This powerful minion makes decks like Fast Combo Druid and Handlock incredibly dangerous, as it allows them to combo cards together that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. The old Leeroy Jenkins, Power Overwhelming and Faceless Manipulator combo (a staple in old Handlocks), was nerfed out of existence but is now back thanks to Thaurissan. We saw players like Roger and Lemurian take full advantage of this, both making it really far in the tournament on the back of their Warlocks. Druid is another class who is seeing huge benefits from the Emperor. Being able to ramp up their aggressive minions even faster or combo a few turns in advance really makes this one of the most dangerous decks around. Kolento, Roger and Tom all showed us the force that druid is as they dropped opponents down from full health in one turn.
Grim Patron was another card who made a surprise appearance during one of the matches between Kolento and Silent Storm. Even though the card was not originally included in Kolento’s Priest deck, he was able to get it by recombobulating one of his Belchers. The Patron promptly proceeded to take over the board, giving Silent Storm’s Paladin no chance at coming back.
Amusing and lucky as that moment was, it showed to strength of these pesky little guys against small minion, board centric decks such as paladin. In a meta where Face Hunter, Mech Mage and Paladin are thriving, Grim Patron might actually be really good in the right type of deck.
Regarding the tournament meta, Warlock and Druid were by far the most popular classes. Most players brought either or both of the classes, much in part thanks to the new Emperor addition. Mech Mage was also very popular, as it directly responds to Fast Druid being one of the only decks that has a favorable matchup against it. The third choice was up in the air for the different players. Oil Rogue, Control Warrior and Midrange Paladin were common choices, surprisingly relegating Hunter to the least chosen class. Make sure to check out the players deck lists if you’d like more information on their card choices and line-up.
If you missed our Legendary Series - Week 2 you can re watch it on our Twitch channel under past broadcast here. Make sure to stay up to date as these are definitely unstable times! The meta is bound to change quite dramatically from week to week until all the new cards are out. With the hoards of dragons just waiting around the corner make sure to tune in to week 3 and see how the new expansion keeps shaping Hearthstone competitive play. Until then, may the fiery lords of the mountain be with you!
by Andres “IplaiGames” Potdevin