Tuesday Night Hype started as an opportunity for all kinds of players to showcase their skills and talents and continues to do so. We ask each winner to share their experience with TNH with the rest of us, including their winning decklists. This week, HumansHS shares his story with us about his experience with TNH as a 2x Winner, having won TNH #28 and now #31.
Here is what he had to say:
TNH is one of the higher tier skill based tournaments out there. The first thing to look at is the Group Stage. All the tournament entrants are divided into groups of four and then face off against the three other people in their group in best of three conquest matches. From these matches the better two players then move forward into the Bracket Stage. Hearthstone’s high variance makes even a best of three highly luck based. In groups you get three separate matches, for a minimum of six and up to nine total games. Compare this to a single best of five match where you have only three to five games and you can see why groups are much better. You are also much less likely to get three or four high tier players in a group than have two of them face first round. These factors make it more likely to see higher quality of players moving forward in the tournament. Once you get past the Group Stage into the Bracket Stage all matches become best of five. Most other tournaments are only best of three matches until the semifinals and finals. Now because of all these extra games the tournament is spaced out over two days to fit it all in. This also means that from the first to second day players get a chance to rest up and review their games, perhaps deciding to make changes to their decklists. Which brings me to my next point, classes and decklists are not locked in all tournament and instead can be changed each round. This allows players to make snap decisions prior to their matches based on what they have seen in the tournament so far and what they know about their next opponent. The website TNH uses (Strivewire) also has a built in class selection system that ensures that both players have selected their classes prior to seeing the opponent’s selections guaranteeing a fair match. All these factors combined mean that you see much more consistent results with the better players making it through to later rounds. This also means that each round becomes increasingly more competitive.
So what kind of decklists should you take to TNH? Well first and foremost it is important to play a class and deck that you are both experienced and comfortable with. I have been taking Druid to tournaments for around seven months and have read more guides on the class than I can count, I even wrote one! If you are like most players then you might have a few different classes and decks that you are comfortable with so the next selection criteria is something that is strong in meta. This is why I took Rogue. Currently the most picked classes in my experience are Hunter, Warlock and Warrior. Rogue can get wins from all three of these classes, so it was a clear strong pick to me. Again, I took Zoo because I felt most comfortable playing that deck from the list of top tier decks. The third most important thing, that also ties in with the first, is understanding how to win unfavorable matchups. It is inevitable that you will get an unfavorable match up no matter what decks you are playing. Instead of just giving your opponent a free win, if you can steal a victory here then you almost guarantee winning the entire match. I won several unfavorable matchups with my decks by knowing how to win in this normally terrible situation. It should also goes without saying that knowing how to stop your opponent steal a win when you have the advantage is important. This kind of knowledge is only attained from absorbing as much information on the Hearthstone meta as you can, but more on that later.
Let’s talk about some of the specifics of my decklists. My druid list varies greatly from week to week and often from day to day. The list I show here carries a lot of weapon hate to target the strong weapon meta. I find Cenarius and Ragnaros to be too slow in this meta, Ragnaros being particularly weak to BGH and full of RNG. Sometimes I take a taunt heavier lineup if I feel that aggro is likely to be more prominent than weapon classes. My Zoo list is perhaps the most interesting. I was seeing many players running Sea Giant in this list and found that it was too weak to BGH. Sure Dr Boom and Mal’ganis are both in the list, but they both have other immediate, often game winning effects. So I decided to try out BGH instead of Sea Giant. Normally I have said that Zoo relies really strongly on card synergies and cannot afford to put tech cards in the deck. But BGH is a solid exception especially in this meta. On it’s own a 4/2 for 3 minion can actually do well in Zoo as a very aggressive creature, often trading up. More importantly it allows for easy removal of large creatures that Zoo often struggles with, thus improving the control match ups, especially against Handlock. Sometimes if I predict my opponents won’t be running such control decks I will put an Acidic Swamp Ooze in that slot. My Rogue list is literally a net deck of Team Archon Purple’s list that he has used on NA and EU ladder with great success. Purple is perhaps not the highest rated player nor necessarily the most creative Rogue player. His deck building skills, in particular with Rogue in this meta, are certainly what I would consider the very best. I tried changing the list a little, and sometimes I consider a BGH or Acidic Swamp Ooze in the spot of one of the Earthen Ring Farseers, but mostly I stick to this list. Here I would like to mention again how important knowing how to play your deck is! Many players consider Thalnos as a combo activator and spell damage tool ONLY, often letting him sit in their hand for the first 3+ turns. After playing many games with the deck and watching high rated player on Rogue, I understood there are many scenarios when a turn 2 or 3 Thalnos can actually give you a huge advantage. I feel this is especially true in the Warrior and Druid match ups where Tempo and Card Advantage dictate wins and losses greatly. This is why I can’t stress enough how important learning your decks as thoroughly as possible is!
Now that you have decided on your decklists, preparation is key. Along with many sparring buddies I have two groups that I primarily practice and talk game with. My team mates from my official team TBD, especially noblord whom I have known since my very first Hearthstone tournament! My friend ZealousPawn founded the group Team Chess comprised of Legend only players. There has been a couple in house tournaments and lately a bi-weekly league. I often queue up ladder in a skype call with my friend HuangBoan and we explore not just the most obvious plays, but discuss every alternative play, how and why it could be better or worse. I also frequently check out the subreddit /r/competitiveHS for the latest hints and tips from other top players. Sometimes I like to watch twitch streamers and tournaments too as you can learn a lot from the best players in the world! All these different types of practice, discussion and learning really ensure that when you go into a tournament match you will have a very good understanding of what you need to do in order to win. With all that said, even the best players can get unlucky and be eliminated in the Group Stage. Because of this it is important to not be disheartened when you lose, instead review your games, look for improvement and then jump into another tournament hoping to get a little luckier this time!
Special thanks to HumansHS for taking the time to share his experience and deck selections with us! Good luck to him on all his future endeavors! If you want to find HumansHS you can find him on Twitter @HumansHS If you want to find out more information about Tuesday Night Hype, including how you can sign up and play head over to our TNH page.