Article By: Hamboy
Despite the most boring meta in the history of Hearthstone, thanks to the amount of time passed since the last expansion, TNH 65 brought some more interesting action thanks to an effort by a few of the players to bring more than just Zoolock, Druid, and Secret Paladin. While a number of pros, notably Zalae and Firebat, did compete, this week was one for the less known competitors. Of all the pro players involved, Zalae was the only one to make the top 8, and he fell there in a rather quick 3-1 loss. The man who defeated him, Gayevin, would be joined by a crop of talented players in the final, including Gallon, Leoric, and Kansas City.
The first semifinal provided one of the more interesting Hearthstone sets to be played in a long time. Kansas City brought one of the greedier lineups anyone has ever brought with his Control Warrior, Control Priest and Mill Rogue to face off against the Freeze Mage, Control Warrior and Renolock of Gayevin. Kansas City was able to grab an early lead in the Control Warrior Mirror. His much slower list was able to punish the heavily anti-aggro version of Gayevin and secure himself a rather easy win. His control priest was not as fortunate however, and Gayevin was able to even the series up with the armor gain of his Warrior prevailing in the long control matchup. Kansas City had more interesting techs up his sleeve for the next game however, and thanks to a Kezan and a Healbot, his Priest was able to grab a win over the Freeze Mage of Gayevin. Kansas City was unable to close the series out with his Mill Rogue however, as he was never able to put any of its combo pieces together over two games, despite perhaps catching Gayevin off guard with his unique deck choices.
The other semifinal also featured some different deck decisions, with the Murloc Pally, Renolock, and Druid of Leoric lining up against the more traditional Zoo, Secret Paladin, and Aggro Shaman of Gallon. Gallon was able to seize the board early in game one with his Secret Pally and ride out his Ragnaros to a win over the Murloc Pally of Leoric, despite a late game misclick. Gallon was then able to play his Face Shaman to a quick win as well, getting all 30 damage in before Leoric could play any of his expensive healing effects. Game 3 played out in a very similar way, with the Murlocs falling once again on turn 7, unable to combat the early board presence of Gallon’s rather fast Zoo list. And with Leoric’s loss, he joined Kansas City in the club of people who brought fun decks and lost games because of it, while Gallon joined Gayevin in the Final.
The final was set to be a bit less creative, as well as much faster, with Gallon’s Secret, Zoo, and Shaman lineup facing off against Gayevin’s Control Warrior, Druid, and Renolock. Gallon was able to grab a win in game 1 with his Secret Paladin, not too surprising considering the deck’s power. He then ran his Face Shaman into the brick wall of Gayevin’s Control Warrior, where the series turned back even. In this renewed best of 3, Gallon was able to find the deck he was targeting: Gayevin’s Druid. Thanks to a crazy strong starting hand in game 3, Gallon was able to take a quick win with his Aggro Shaman. In game 4 he was able to get another favored matchup play out just the way he wanted it to, with his Zoo beating Gayevin’s Druid after a nicely timed Brann+Loatheb combo. With that win he took the series and the tournament, becoming the TNH 65 champion so quickly the casters didn’t even notice.