Vulcun.com’s first Deckmasters tournament began on June 22nd with 20 of the world’s best players duking it out for $50,000 in prize money and 180 Hearthstone World Championship points.
The group stages are nearly done but as of writing this article (7.8.15) these are the current standings. In group A Gaara and Trump are both on top with 3-1 records.
The Gaara vs Trump matchup opened with Trump’s Paladin vs Gaara’s Hunter. Trump drew into pretty much a perfect hand getting his Shielded Minibot, Muster, and Consecration. With Trump’s early pressure he was able to drop Sylvannas on curve on an empty board and from that point Gaara was too far behind and eventually conceded.
In game 2 Gaara played his same Hunter deck against Trump’s Rogue deck. Trump got very lucky getting an Unstable Ghoul off of his Piloted Shredder to help clear Gaara’s board. With a dead hand and a bad start Gaara fell again to Trump’s rogue a few turns later.
1: Trump [3-1]
2: Gaara [3-1]
3: Orange [2-2]
4: herudra [2-2]
5: Hawkeye [0-4]
Group B was probably the most interesting and surprising group. Korea’s Surrender ran the table going an impressive 4-0 with good use of his Druid, Rogue, and Warlock deck trio in a stacked group that included both Sjow and Lifecoach (who replaced TidesofTime on June 29th).
Lifecoach and Cipher faced off in Group B on Sunday. Cipher opened with his freeze Mage against Lifecoach’s Druid. This game went on for a long time as expected against freeze Mage. Cipher dropped his Alexstrasza on turn 9 feeling safe with an ice block in play. But little did he know Lifecoach had been holding on to a Kezan Mystic since turn 1 and he stole Cipher’s ice block and Savage Roared for the win.
In game 2, Cipher continued with his freeze Mage while Lifecoach switched to his Handlock deck. Cipher had a strong opening with 2 Acolytes of Pain. Cipher dropped his Emperor on curve netting insane value with 8 cards in his hand. Sitting at 22 health Lifecoach played Dr. Boom because he was not expecting Cipher to have 23 damage in hand in the form of 2 Fireballs, a Frostbolt, and 2 Ice Lances and Cipher took the win in style.
With the match knotted up at 1-1 it all came down to the final game with Cipher’s Patron Warrior against Lifecoach’s Handlock. Cipher dropped his Thaurissan on curve getting 7 mana from it including reducing the cost of his combo pieces: Warsong Commander, and Whirlwind. Finally on turn 10 Cipher unleashed his Patron combo getting 18 damage off and drawing 5 cards with Battle Rage. With Cipher confident and sitting in the driver’s seat only 2 damage off of lethal he had to just Death’s Bite and armor up. But with no minions on Cipher’s side Lifecoach stole the game in fantastic fashion with his Ragnaros out of nowhere!
1: Surrender [4-0]
2: Cipher [2-2]
3: Sjow [1-2]
4: Lifecoach [1-2]
5: Llaw [1-3]
Group C turned out as most people probably would’ve expected with Kolento and Forsen at #1 and #2 respectively. Kolento ran his Hunter, Warlock, and Rogue decks to great success while Forsen opted to bring Mage and Warlock.
Kolento faced off against Forsen in Group C. Kolento took game 1 quickly with his Zoo Warlock list. In game 2, Kolento’s Druid faced off against Forsen’s Zoolock deck. Kolento survived the early game against Forsen’s pressure and eventually was able to take Forsen down 2-0 with the help of a Savage Roar Swipe combo to put himself on top of the group at 3-0.
1: Kolento [3-0]
2: Forsen [2-2]
3: Kufdon [1-2]
4: BunnyMuffins [1-2]
5: Steelo [1-2]
Neirea faced off against StrifeCro in game 1. Neirea’s warrior had a bit of an awkward hand but was still able to clear StrifeCro’s board with a Death’s Bite. Neirea survived through the early and mid-game pressure of StrifeCro’s Mukla, Dr. Boom and Savannah Highmane which bought him just enough time to summon his Raging Worgen, give it charge, and buff it up to 12 attack with Inner Rage and Bananas to swing in for 24 damage and lethal.
In game 2 StrifeCro brought his hunter deck against Neirea’s Freeze Mage. Neirea easily survived the early game with the help of an awkward hand from StrifeCro drawing into his Scientist and traps. A 3 damage blizzard on turn 6 cleared StrifeCro’s board with the help of a Bloodmage Thalnos. Neirea has an excellent turn 9 as he dropped Thaurissan and Frost Nova to stall for another turn but it wasn’t enough as StrifeCro was able to pop the Ice Block a turn early by silencing his own Huffer to remove the freeze effect.
In the third and deciding game StrifeCro brought his Handlock deck against Neirea’s Freeze Mage. StrifeCro started out strong with a Blackhand Corruptor, Twilight Drake, a Defender of Argus. Neirea bluffed a little bit going for StrifeCro’s face with a fireball instead of going for the safe play of Frost Nova + Doomsayer. Later on he does in fact play that combo but the Doomsayer got silenced by StrifeCro’s Owl. With StrifeCro sitting on a 7 mana Malygos and 2 free Dark Bombs ready for next turn Neirea threw down exact lethal with 2 Frostbolts, 2 Ice Lances, and a hero power to claim the victory.
Group D was dominated by Team Liquid’s Neirea as he took out Theude, handsomeguy, and StrifeCro 2-1 in each set. StrifeCro also played admirably securing his spot at #2 with help from his Hunter and Warlock decks.
1: Neirea [3-1]
2: StrifeCro [2-2]
3: Kibler [2-2]
4: Theude [2-2]
5: handsomeguy [1-3]
The group stage concludes over the course of the next few days as the last matches are played out. Groups A, B and C are decided as Gaara, Trump, Orange, Surrender, Cipher, Sjow, Neirea, StrifeCro, and Kibler have already qualified for the bracket stage. However, group C is very close and one win by any of the bottom three players could propel them into the playoffs. Hunter and Warlock seemed to be the most popular and successful decks in the group stage; we’ll have to see if that trend continues towards the end of the group stage and into the playoff stage. Once the group stage is complete the tournament concludes with the epic playoffs on July 31st at 00:00 CEST live here