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'Lok’Tar Ogar' - epic20 Hearthstone Round up!

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Sean 'Vorpal' Morris takes us through the deck lists of the epic20 Hearthstone Finalists Blackout and MnM Mysterious

epic20 saw the return of Hearthstone to the Kettering Conference Centre and twenty two competitors battling for glory. The tournament at epic.LAN has previously seen entry from players of a wide variety of skill, and with a great diversity of decks however this event had something special: Hearthstone pros Blackout and MnM Mysterious attending to test their mettle against the epic.LAN community.

Changes to the competition ruleset were also trialled this event. Most notably the inclusion of a class ban for each player and therefore the requirement to create an additional deck for the competition, taking the total per player to four. The changes were well received and should see continued refinement in how Hearthstone is offered at epic.LAN events (the full ruleset is available at http://tournaments.epiclan.co.uk/tournaments/hearthstone/rules).

Although the intention of this article is a look at the decks played in the final between Blackout and Mysterious, special mention must be made of epic.LAN community members, and free-to-play Hearthstone players eMsk and Nifty who managed to take a game each from Blackout and Mysterious respectively during the elimination stage. A pair of fantastic upsets no one saw coming, regardless that they were ultimately defeated by the pros who had experience and card quality on their side.

Blackout’s Decklists

N.B. Blackout’s Reno Warlock list also includes a Sen’Jin Sheildmasta which cannot be seen in the screenshot he submitted here.

The epic20 runner up, Blackout’s deck lineup mirrors that submitted by Fr0zen for HCT winter championship preliminaries as noted by L0rinda during epic20.
The Shaman, Mage and Warlock lists take pretty standard forms, the most interesting deck being the “Water Warrior”. More popular in the wider Hearthstone community since Fr0zen’s performance finishing top 8 during the winter preliminaries, Blackout was the only competitor among many with a pirate Warrior deck running this particular variation.
The inclusion of the murloc package is designed to leverage the mirror matchup into the murloc player’s favour, while having minimal impact on the decks already favourable matchups. Finja the Flying Star is MVP in this deck providing additional deck thinning on top of Patches the Pirate, helping the aggressive warrior find answers from top-decks as games reach later turns.

Mysterious’ Decklists

Tournament champion Mysterious elected to bring the same four classes as Blackout – arguably the classes capable of fielding the strongest decks in the meta at this time, however the strategy employed by Mysterious clearly differs from Blackout’s.
Mysterious’ Shaman list is midrange rather than aggro, providing an extra layer of security when facing more control oriented lists from an opponent with greater consistency in the generation of larger Jade Golem tokens. An interesting inclusion in Mysterious’ list is a second Devolve in the place of a Flametongue Totem. This is presumably to be used as a tool against a wide variety of threats. Whether utilised as an additional Hex for high value minions such as Ragnaros the Firelord or reducing the effectiveness of wide boards made up of strong, low cost minions, the flexibility of Devolve is apparent.

The Warrior list utilised by Mysterious forgoes the Naga Corsairs seen in many lists on ladder and in competitions at this time in favour of a single Mortal Strike, and Leeroy Jenkins, providing the deck with some additional reach from hand, as well as surprise options for dealing with problematic minions on board in a pinch.

Mysterious’ Reno-Mage list includes a Pyroblast in favour of the Ethereal Conjurer chosen by Blackout. The Pyroblast can be devastating following an Alextraza turn when used in conjunction with Inkmaster Solia for a 10-damage, 5/5 minion combo for 7 mana. This can be followed up with any number of additional Mage burn spells, sometimes in the same turn. There is some merit to the Conjurer though, as it allows you to find an answer to an immediate problem, with the chance of discovering a Pyroblast anyway making it a more versatile inclusion, although in some cases at the cost of a win condition.

While including the 20 damage burst combo of Leeroy/Faceless Manipulator/Power Overwhelming Mysterious’ Reno Warlock list includes tools which have a place in both aggro and control matchups. The inclusion of Blastcrystal Potion can be handy when facing the huge tempo swing represented by a Flamewreathed Faceless, at 4 mana no less, or in a midrange or control matchup can neatly clear up a Ragnaros or Ysera.
Both decks include tech to deal with early aggression however where Blackout’s list looks to achieve this with a lower curve and earlier defensive tools (notably following the recent trend to cut the Mountain Giant which had become ubiquitous in control Warlock decks). Mysterious has included tools which do not do as much to control the early turns of the game in order to maintain some tools which can find value in both aggressive and more late-game oriented matchups. There is merit in both approaches, and success can be found with either, but the greater flexibility proved enough to elevate Mysterious to victory at epic20.

Coverage of the tournament including the full series of the grand final can be found on the epic.LAN Twitch archive at https://www.twitch.tv/epiclan4/videos/all . Special thanks to L0rinda for providing coverage of the tournament.

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