After winning the Grandmasters Season 1 Playoffs in Asia-Pacific and securing his spot at BlizzCon, South Korean Kim "Surrender" Jung-Soo went to work on unraveling the Saviors of Uldum meta. This weekend he’ll put his knowledge to the test on home turf at Masters Tour Seoul, where he’ll compete alongside hundreds of invited players from across the world.
Obviously, Surrender would love nothing more than to claim the trophy himself. “I’ve been playing Hearthstone for at least 8 hours every day since the new expansion came out,” he said. “The players with the most practice in such a short term will typically have higher chances! Whenever there is a tournament after a big patch, the player who predicts the meta and finds the best deck in the shortest time always wins.”
Surrender expects popular archetypes such as Cyclone Mage, Lackey Rogue, and Control Warrior to make up half the field at Masters Tour Seoul. However, he knows deck-builders are always tinkering with new cards. “I think the Reborn keyword grants a lot of power to aggro decks, because the minions can survive through AoE attacks like [[Brawl]],” said Surrender. “For Plagues, I’ve seen people playing [[Plague of Wrath]], but I can imagine [[Plague of Flames]] being utilized in making a Control Warlock deck in the future.”
Cards such as [[Reno the Relicologist]], [[Dinotamer Brann]], and [[Zephrys the Great]] have reintroduced the requirement of crafting a deck without duplicates. “The more I use it, I feel that Zephrys is a better card than the last big Highlander card, [[Kazakus]]” said Surrender. “In the beginning, people are going to have a tough time figuring out their Highlander deck, but as time goes by, Highlander decks will shine.”
For Masters Tour Seoul, Surrender sees promise in Highlander and Big Spell archetypes for Mage. For Hunter, he thinks we’ll see less of the Mid-Range archetype despite new cards such as [[Scarlet Webweaver]], and instead expects more Highlander and Mech Hunter. He also suspects we’ll see [[Pharaoh Cat]] and [[Hooked Scimitar]] in Rogue lists along with new taunts like [[Frightened Flunky]], [[Tomb Warden]], and [[Armagedillo]] included in Warrior. “The meta is changing even at this moment,” he added, “nothing is set in stone yet.”
Seoul is a sprawling metropolis, but Surrender is already familiar with the territory of the tournament. “VRIZ PC Café has been a popular venue for Korean local tournaments’ qualifiers so I have been there, and I’ve been to the OGN Stadium in 2016 for an Invitational,” said Surrender. “It’s an awesome venue, so I would love to be there on stage again.”
For those who may be visiting Seoul for the first time, Surrender has just one recommendation: “When I hang out with my friends, I enjoy going out to eat before singing in a norebang (Karaoke singing room), but when I go to singing rooms overseas, I feel there aren’t many new songs, especially English songs. Korea has the best norebang. I highly recommend all players to visit!”