Hearthstone - Heroes of Warcraft news » Here’s What Happened at the HCT Europe Summer Playoffs
The first major event of the 2018 Hearthstone Championship Tour (HCT), the Europe Summer Playoffs, kicked off the competitive season with a bang. On the other side of the fireworks, we now know which four players will represent Europe in the Summer Championship in late June—and what got them there.
The Final Four
Different strategies paid off for different players, but BunnyHoppor says that ignoring Paladin led him to victory: “The general thought behind my lineup was to bring powerful decks that all have the same weakness—Paladin—without having to ban Quest Rogue.” He worked with two practice groups with other heavyweight Europeans to settle on his eventual choices of Even Paladin, Cube Warlock, Tempo Mage, and Spiteful Druid.
Here are the lists I played in the playoffs. I added the scores (win-loss-bans). Was really happy with Paladin Warlock and Mage. As @coL_Sottle said I need to step up my spiteful game, I think I got 1 12/12 the entire tournament. Got lucky in other places though. :) pic.twitter.com/U6YqdyITyD— Raphael Peltzer (@Bunnyhoppor) May 7, 2018
Within that lineup, he says, “My tech choices were designed to improve my matchups against popular decks such as Control Priest, Taunt Druid, and Cube Warlock.” In listening to BunnyHoppor, it’s no surprise he’s one of the few players to have qualified for every HCT Playoffs to date!
His fellow travelers are no slouches either. Turna won HCT Oslo back in March, A83650 has qualified to multiple HCT Playoffs, and Viper’s top eight finish at HCT Germany positioned him to be the lead point earner from Germany in Season 1. These players will be joined at the Summer Championship by the winners of the upcoming Americas and Asia-Pacific Playoffs, taking place later this month.
Looking Good in the Tavern-hood
The HCT Playoff experience this year looks like a blast! Here’s a quick glimpse at a few of Europe’s competitors in their natural habitats.
Last, but certainly not least, we asked Matthijs “Theo” Lieftink to talk us through building a lineup around Control Priest—the single most popular individual deck archetype at the Europe Summer Playoffs, and one that Theo is widely credited with helping design and refine.
The trick, Theo says, is the same as BunnyHoppor’s theory regarding Paladin: to play decks that share the same weakness—and then ban that weakness. In the case of Control Priest, its most challenging matchup is Quest Rogue, so you look for other decks that will shine in the absence of Quest Rogue. He says, “In the lineups of the five players in the top eight who brought Control Priest, four chose Taunt Druid and four chose Control Warlock—two decks that are notoriously weak to Quest Rogue as well.”
Theo goes on to compare the ways in which these players modified similar lineups to differing effects. Anti-aggro variants dumped “value” cards like Mind Control for tools to improve the matchup against aggressive decks, while anti-control styles brought unusual late-game tools like Archbishop Benedictus.
In summary, Theo says, “Control Priest is a flexible deck that can be used in multiple lineups and can be played with certain tech cards to drastically improve matchups you are trying to target.” And judging by its prevalence in Europe, we can expect to see more of this deck in the Americas and Asia-Pacific Playoffs to come.
Bubblies & Yummies
A huge range of different deck lists were in play during the Europe Playoffs, many with unique touches that deserve mention. There’s no way to do justice to them all, but we did want to call attention to this throwback style in A83650’s Control Warlock. Like the Handlock of old, he chose to run some neutral midgame healing in order to stay afloat, with a list featuring not one, but two Shroom Brewers!
If you’re interested in piloting this—or any other—HCT Europe Playoffs decks, you can find them all on the Battlefy bracket. Click on any matchup and scroll down to see each player’s full stable of deck lists.
Stay tuned as we dive into more HCT Playoff coverage across all three regions over the next few weeks—and let us know who you’re rooting for in the Americas Playoffs this weekend in the comments!