After an entire season of competition, the ESL Legendary Series came to a conclusion Sunday as Phonetap claimed victory over Reynad. And while we saw a lot of the usual decks out of the pros, this tournament continued to emphasize the importance of teching cards into your deck. So let’s take a look at what got these two to the finals and gave them a chance at $10,000.
Reynad's ESL Legendary Season 2 LAN Finals Midrange HunterWe’ve talked about how Hybrid Hunter and Midrange Hunter have grown remarkably close. The main difference remains the presence of minions with Charge in Hybrid while the Midrange has adopted some of the early game board presences like Leper Gnome and Abusive Sergeant.
Reynad has an interesting take on this, opting out of a second Unleash the Hounds and Quick Shot altogether, instead seeking to balance some of the late game. Two Piloted Shredders, two Sludge Belchers, and a Loatheb would lead you to believe that this is a more late game oriented deck but you’d be incorrect.
It’s interesting to see where innovation has come from as decks evolve.
Phonetap's ESL Legendary Season 2 LAN Finals Midrange HunterPhonetap also brought his own take on Midrange Hunter, preferring a more traditional deck list. In it you’ll see the usual Webspinners and Quick Shots. He did however make the decision to tech in Harrison Jones, a move we saw out of many competitors.
Reynad's ESL Legendary Season 2 LAN Finals Tempo MageContinuing on to the rest of Reynad’s decks, we see his aggressive version of Tempo Mage. Centered around Flamewaker, this deck seeks to get those crucial minions behind taunts and protect them with other spells while they continually pump out damage.
Interestingly enough he chose not to run Arcane Missiles. In its wake he put in Mechanical Yetis and a single Clockwork Gnome for the Spare Part synergy.
It feels like a more aggressive version of the deck that has a meaty mid-game but keep Archmage Antonidas and Dr. Boom in pocket to seal the deal when the turns run up.
Reynad's ESL Legendary Season 2 LAN Finals Grim Patron WarriorOh you thought we’d get away without a Grim Patron Warrior deck?
Honestly this is your usual decklist with a couple of key changes, most notably the inclusion of Big Game Hunter over a second Dread Corsair. Aside from that Reynad cut a Cruel Taskmaster in favor of a Sludge Belcher to try and stave off some mid game pressure.
Phonetap's ESL Legendary Season 2 LAN Finals Mech ShamanWhile it’s not uncommon that we see Mech Shaman, it is relatively rare to see one make it this late into tournaments, let alone take the entire thing.
Overall this particular decklist is pretty standard though it is interesting to see Lava Shock being ran. Perhaps Doomhammer is the reason Phonetap decided to add it considering the two Crackles are the only other overloads in the deck.
Phonetap's ESL Legendary Season 2 LAN Finals Midrange DruidEasily the most innovative of all the decks that made it to finals, Phonetap’s Midrange Druid was full of tech cards as he tried to predict the Legendary meta.
Not only did he run Harrison Jones but also Acidic Swamp Ooze to deal with those pesky Warriors and Hunters. Throw in a Big Game Hunter and Sludge Belcher and you could tell he was simply trying to survive until he could get his combo off.
Speaking of that, he ran two Force of Natures, something we don’t entirely see all that frequently.
If you’re running into a bunch of weapon heavy classes, this might be an extremely good deck to run. It looks strong and it sure as heck played strong as Phonetap defeated Reynad 3-1.