Thijs vs Jasonzhou
The series kicks off with Thijs hoping to get an explosive start through his Discard Warlock and Jasonzhou left hoping his Spell Druid curves out well enough to keep up. For the first four turns, it looks like the match can easily swing either way. But when the Mulch provides a Murloc Knight which immediately summons a second Murloc Knight, Thijs looks to snowball his board out of control. Just two turns of value out of those Knights is enough to put the Discardlock over the edge of being too fast for Jasonzhou to stop.
Next, Jasonzhou opts to use one of his favorite archetypes in all of Hearthstone: Control Warrior. With Thijs picking his Miracle Rogue he needs to be incredibly careful with the Warrior's removal and turn clock that he's inevitably on. His first effort fails after a combination of Brawl and Tinkmaster Overspark do away with all of the buffs spent on a Tomb Pillager. He quickly rebuilds his board and thanks to another Brawl in his favor, Jasonzhou is left scrambling for more answers. When he finally leaves a minion on the board, Thijs takes advantage and claims another game.
Jasonzhou doesn't let the loss discourage him as he stays on the Warrior against Thijs' Spell Druid. The latter curves excellently with a combination of Wild Growth, Mire Keeper, and Nourish. This is good for him as it is a bit of a race and he really needs to win before the Warrior builds up a significant number of Deathrattle minions to resummon with N'Zoth, the Corruptor. The game begins to drag on as Thijs continues to dig for burst damage, stealing his opponent's Sylvanas Windrunner along the way. However, all of the important cards he needs to push damage - Arcane Giant, Gadgetzan Auctioneer, and Emperor Thaurissan - are all in the bottom four cards of his deck. Each of those major threats is handily dealt with by the Warrior and it's able to bring the Druid all the way to fatigue before winning the game.
Afterward, both players return to their Druids to see who will finally get a win from the class. Thijs first prioritizes his hand size, hoping to draw Emperor Thaurissan so he can quickly burst down his opponent, so Jasonzhou instead focuses on board control, opting for chip damage.This brings the game to a situation where Thijs has to Innervate out Malygos in an effort to threaten lethal. Jasonzhou is able to answer this with his minions and a few spells so Thijs flips the switch and starts developing a board himself. The situation twists yet again as Jason's Malygos hits the board and forces Thijs to waste his entire board on it. At this point, Jason has a better hand, filled with impactful minions and that's enough for him to even out the series at 2 - 2.
As we've seen before in this tournament, Discardlock can really get rolling against the likes of Spell Druid and Thijs just keeps struggling to get a win on this deck which is largely considered one of the most powerul archetypes in the meta.
With Thijs struggling to get a win on his Spell Druid, Jasonzhou looks to close out the series with his Miracle Rogue. And when things are finally looking good for Thijs, Jason top-decks a Gadgetzan Auctioneer right at the last possible moments and cycles through a significant portion of his deck and also Saps the Malygos. But Thijs manages to reapply the pressure and draw the series back even with one match to go.
It's Thijs' Secret Hunter against Jasonzhou's Miracle Rogue to decide who continues on in the winners bracket and who moves within one game of elimination. Thijs starts off quickly with Cloaked Huntress allowing him to cast Freezing Trap, Cat Trick, and Snipe for free. But the Rogue already has a Swashburglar on field which is bounced back to Jason's hand and played again to trip the Snipe , something that very well may have been a mistake on Thijs' part. He quickly goes all in, hoping to end the game before the Miracle Rogue can put together a significant combo, but ends up two damage short of lethal and fails to draw the necessary damage leaving Jasonzhou to claim the series.
che0nsu vs Hamster
An interesting matchup to start the series, che0nsu really needs to play well if he wants to kill Hamster's C'Thun Warrior before it gets out of control. It doesn't start well as the Druid is forced to hero power two turns in a row. Che0nsu keeps piling on the pressure despite his Yogg-Saron, Hope's End only casting one spell, Purify, on itself. But Hamster is starting to push the Druid closer and closer to fatigue and his victory. He eeks it out thanks to a few key draws including a timely Brawl, earning his first victory in the tournament.
The series shifts to the debut of multiple decks including Hamster's Token Druid - Blizzcon 2016 and Che0nsu's Midrange Shaman - BlizzCon 2016. Hamster cheats out his Violet Teacher which draws an early Hex out of the Shaman, something that could potentially be a game changer later in the match. Fortunately for him, he builds a solid enough board and draws a Flametongue Totem which gives him a lot more leverage when dealing with large minions the Druid spits out. Plus it's particularly troublesome for Hamster's Ragnaros the Firelord which just couldn't find the right targets leaving his face open for damage. The Shaman claims victory.
In the Spell Druid mirror match, Hamster is the first to develop his board and get value out of Fandral Staghelm. Che0nsu sadly has to spend two turns clearing it which gives Hamster time to get even more value out of his class legendary. The onslaught doesn't end for che0nsu who can't find the right removal options and he drops the match, falling behind by one game.
One of the two unique decks in the entire World Championship field, Hamster's Murloc Paladin - Blizzcon 2016 gets its first start against Dragon Warrior. The Paladin is almost immediately on the back foot thanks to the usual pressure the opposing archetype usually puts out. Hamster really built this deck, along with one or two others in his arsenal, with the idea in mind that he'd be facing a lot of control. Unfortunately for him, che0nsu's consists of a bunch of very aggressive decks. The series is evened at 2 - 2.
But Hamster isn't going to back down, he opts to bounce back with Priest! Against Spell Druid he might just stand a chance if he can keep himself healthy enough to avoid the burst that Malygos enables. It's an interesting dance. The Priest needs to put out some early game threats to contest, but at some point has to switch to dealing with threats and focusing on healing. The question always becomes, "What cards has the Priest stolen? Does it have an answer for this play?" Che0nsu makes his push, but a miraculous Shadow Word: Death pops out of the deck to save the game and help him heal. He looks to have the game sealed up but che0nsu's Yogg-Saron, Hope's End casts DOOM! to wipe the board, allow him to cast an Arcane Giant for free and defeat Hamster the next turn. It was close, however, the Druid was one card away from drawing too many and dying to fatigue.
With only Che0nsu's Discardlock - BlizzCon 2016 remaining, Hamster remains resolute and continues on with his Priest. His worst nightmare takes place and he draws absolutely zero answers for the pressure che0nsu is putting on who goes on to win the series.
Amnesiasc vs Yulsic
The first match flies by as Amnesiasc luckily queues his Tempo Mage into Yulsic's Spell Druid, a very favorable matchup. The game is over by turn five simply due to the immense amount of spell damage.
Game two is equally in Amnesiasc's favor as he brings the face version Secret Hunter into Yulsic's Midrange Hunter. Those who have been playing Hearthstone for a long time are probably aware that Face Hunter has long been one of the biggest counters to the Midrange archetype. The early pressure certainly puts the Secret Hunter ahead, and Amnesiasc's first priority is putting his opponent on a clock and that's enough to go up two games.
Much of game three was lost as the Hearthstone team had some technical issues, but Yulsic's Midrange Hunter won against Amnesiasc's Spell Druid.
A continuation of the last match, Midrange once again takes on hard Control. Yulsic continues to prioritize face damage with his Midrange Shaman rather than trading and that keeps Amnesiasc on the back foot. By turn nine, Yulsic almost has lethal within reach but doesn't roll the needed Wrath of Air Totem. That one turn window is all the Warrior needs to stabilize, rebounding from seven health to 16 effective health and leaving Yulsic grasping at straws. The match seems to bounce back and forth between who should come out victorious. Just as Amnesiac runs out of tools, he draws a Brawl which Yulsic had played around. The Shaman decides to go all in once again but there's another Brawl waiting in the weeds. After an incredibly close match which ultimately came down to two 50-50s, Amnesiasc draws within one game of advancing.
The Discardlock has other ideas, however, quickly applying pressure with Life Tap available to keep digging for more resources. In six turns, Yulsic takes down Amnesiac.
In the Spell Druid mirror, Yulsic draws into a trio of expensive minions and combo cards he's not yet ready to utilize, putting him on the back foot to kick off a must win game. And with no removal, Amnesiasc is able to just slam down a Malygos. Yulsic cycles with Nourish hoping for a miracle but it isn't meant to be an Amnesiasc comes out on top.
Pavel vs HotMEOWTH
Tempo Mage v Tempo Mage will decide who starts off on the right foot between Pavel and HotMEOWTH. The two decks are very close in structure with lots of expensive removal spells (Firelands Portal) and even some expensive minions a la Ragnaros the Firelord or Faceless Summoner. It's a very close match, but the repeated eight damage from Ragnaros ends the game.
With the more aggressive deck, HotMEOWTH tries to jump out to an early lead but is forced to waste some damage on threats like Mana Tide Totem and taunts such as Feral Spirit. Despite this, the Midrange Shaman manages to push a decent amount of damage and actually keeps HotMEOWTH fighting for his life. A Leeroy Jenkins top-deck, however, gives him lethal and puts him up two games to none.
Switching to his C'Thun Warrior, HotMEOWTH gets off to an awfully slow start. He decides not to spend resources on killing an early Tomb Pillager which ends up hitting him for more than 15 damage over the course of its life. Pavel's Malygos Rogue is very clearly in the driver's seat which makes the burst from hand all that more valuable. Had he been running something that relies a bit more on minions, HotMEOWTH could have potentially had answers, but the only way to avoid dying to spell damage is to keep your health up, something Pavel prevented from happening.
The most entertaining match for players around the world, C'Thun Warrior versus C'Thun Warrior ensues. Pavel, who's going second and already has C'Thun in hand, opts into being the aggressor in the matchup and tries to keep his board presence and impending C'Thun palpable. But after an interesting turn in where Pavel varies a bit by not playing his most aggressive minion, he ends up summoning Sylvanas Windrunner which is a key card in this matchup as one of the main ways Warriors deal with C'Thun. He does indeed end up making the first move, playing Brann Bronzebeard plus C'Thun for a total of 24 damage, stripping away all of the armor HotMEOWTH had and keeping him from being able to Shield Slam his own Sylvanas Windrunner. A clutch top-deck gives him an out in the form of Brawl, but the Brann Bronzebeard survives to keep Pavel's hopes alive. In an interesting move, rather than play Twin Emperor Vek'lor and get three 4/6s, he instead chooses to gain 20 Armor through Ancient Shieldbearer, a departure from his previous playstyle. This ultimately costs him as he runs out of steam and HotMEOWTH stabilizes with the right answers in hand and two additional C'Thuns in his deck.
Pavel sticks with it though and has a strong opening, but HotMEOWTH manages to reclaim the board and set up a massive 27 damage lethal the next turn with Bloodlust. Pavel sees through it and removes the threat, but then has to answer a Ragnaros the Firelord and does. Luckily for HotMEOWTH, Pavel can't seem to draw into a Brawl and this allows him to keep chipping away at the Warrior's armor total. Eventually, it's enough and HotMEOWTH takes the series.
Decklists + Record
Match of the Day
Tomorrow is the Winner's Match across all four groups. Players that won their first match will face off with the winner of that match earning their spot next week at BlizzCon.
- Cydonia (4-0) vs. Jasonzhou (4-3)
- Bbgungun (4-3) vs. che0nsu (4-2)
- Amnesiasc (4-2) vs DrHippi (4-3)
- OmegaZero (4-1) vs HotMEOWTH (4-1)
Choose Your Champion Standings
Blizzard has announced a special Choose Your Champion event for Hearthstone. Players around the world were able to make their pick as to who they think will come out on top as the 2016 Hearthstone World Champion. For each best-of-seven series the player wins during the course of the tournament, participants will earn a TGT pack up to a total of six (including the free pack everyone gets for participating).
- Cydonia: 2 Packs
- Bbgungun: 2 Packs
- DrHippi: 2 Packs
- OmegaZero: 2 Packs
- Jasonzhou: 2 Packs
- che0nsu: 2 Packs
- Amnesiasc: 2 Packs
- HotMEOWTH: 2 Packs
- Handsomeguy: 1 Pack
- Naiman: 1 Pack
- Breath: 1 Pack
- DDaHyoNi: 1 Pack
- Thijs: 1 Pack
- Hamser: 1 Pack
- Yulsic: 1 Pack
- Pavel: 1 Pack