Two regions have finished the Hearthstone Championship Tour (HCT) Fall Playoffs, and in the Asia-Pacific Playoffs we saw a significant swing away from what was popular in Europe. Here’s a look at what worked well in this past weekend’s big show.
Decks that could walk the line and play both anti-aggro and anti-control were the big winners in Asia-Pacific. Across all four players that are now Fall Championship–bound, there was a conspicuous absence of aggressive strategies. Only Tyler “tylerootd” Hoang Nguyen leaned into the fast meta, seeing success with his Token Druid, Secret Hunter, and Odd Rogue. Perhaps due to its popularity, Token Druid ran into a lot of difficult matchups. Other aggressive choices also largely fell flat, with no Zoo Warlock or Odd Paladin to be seen among the victors.
Wu “BloodTrail” Zong-Chang will make back-to-back appearances in HCT Championships with his victory this past weekend. Favoring board clears and big plays, BloodTrail got there with a combination Togwaggle/Malygos Druid, Shudderwock Shaman, Odd Warrior, and a Cube Hunter. While Cube Hunter was far and away the deck of choice in Europe, its representation plummeted in Asia-Pacific, with most of the Hunter faithful migrating to Secret Hunter.
Shudderwock Shaman also was favored by Jowen “Akumaker” Chee. Another deck that had reduced presence in the field compared to Europe, its presence in two of the top four players’ lineups is a testament to its viability in the current competitive meta. Akumaker opted for a second Acolyte of Pain instead of a second Earth Shock, but his deck and BloodTrail’s were otherwise identical. Akumaker was all-in on the combo plan beyond Shudderwock Shaman, running Togwaggle Druid, Quest Rogue, and Cube Warlock as well.
for reference stat in my playoff— 심다솔 (@ryvius_hs) September 10, 2018
warrior 7-3 2ban(swiss round 6-3 1ban)
warlock 5-2 4ban(swiss round 4-2 3ban)
priest 7-5 3ban(swiss round 5-5 2ban)
druid 8-6 1ban(swiss round 6-0 1ban)
Last, but certainly not least, we discussed Ryvius’ unusual lineup in our Asia-Pacific preview, and Kyle “Qwerty97” Imperato’s prediction was spot on: the peculiar double Mecha’thun lineup—including the tournament’s only Mecha’thun Druid—was immensely successful for the South Korean competitor. Ryvius also brought the top four’s only Priest deck, despite Control Priest seeing a notable increase in play in Asia-Pacific, rounding out his lineup with a standard Even Warlock.
We now also know how the top eight competitors in China fared on their path towards the HCT Fall Championship! Here is how the dust settled in China:
Wu "Hao" Haotian
|Will not be attending due to a conflict with PhD studies.|
Wang "GoeLionKing" Zhe
|Qualifies through in 1st place due to Hao's absence.|
He "LPTrunks" Huan
|Qualifies through in 2nd place due to Hao's absence.|
Zhao "Caimiao" Haixiao
|Qualifies through in 3rd place due to Hao's absence.|
Liu "Islandcat" Chang
|Qualifies through in 4th place due to Hao's absence.|
Shen "DawnArtoria" Lincheng
Gao "GoeBleau" Qi
Bao "GoeMelody" Siyu
With the substantial shift toward more control and combo in the Asia-Pacific Playoffs, how will players in the Americas react? Even Warlock looks poised to be more popular, but top pro players are often a full step ahead of the obvious reactions.
Will more players subscribe to the teachings of Ryvius and double down on Mecha’thun? Can any faster deck lineups overcome the control-heavy styles seen over the past two weeks? Join us this weekend on the official Hearthstone Twitch channel for the third and final Playoffs as players in the Americas put their tactics to the test. Stay tuned for our HCT Americas Playoffs preview later this week, and let us know what decks you would be bringing in the comments!