Over the course of the last year, Cydonia has gone from a somewhat unknown player to a consistent face in the pro scene. His impressive run through one of the most difficult groups at the 2016 Hearthstone Championship proved that his Americas Spring Championship win was far from a fluke. This year, Cydonia continues his bid for the Championship; although his recent playoff run was cut short, he sits in fifth place in North America’s HCT standings.
Seven: It sounds like you had an impressive May from a Hearthstone standpoint: top 25 in Standard, an open cup win, a run in the Americas Spring Playoffs, and you finished in the top 64 in Wild – did I miss anything?
Cydonia: The month of May was less busy travel-wise since there were no majors, so I’m really happy I could take the opportunity to focus more on the ladder and get good results while maintaining a streaming schedule. I’m still disappointed about that 9th place and the tiebreaker system though. Such a huge difference between 8th and 9th.
Seven: After winning last year’s America’s Spring Championship, you were a little on the fence about whether or not you’d make a career out of Hearthstone. What’s changed?
Cydonia: I knew I wanted to qualify again for the World Championship this year and participate in HCT events. TSM approached me, and it looked to be a great year for Hearthstone with the Global Games and all the major tournaments. It made sense for me to try to dedicate more time to the game and also build up a community with the help of my team.
Seven: About your top 25 run on the ladder, what were some of the decks you used?
Cydonia: I used Taunt Warrior from rank 5 non-legend to rank 33, then decayed to 250 or so and played Quest Rogue to get up to rank 5 on the second to last day.
Seven: Did you tech in anything unique to combat the meta or deviate at all from the standard lists?
Cydonia: I think Harrison is pretty good in Warrior to combat all the Medivhs and Tirions and I play Swashburgler in Quest Rogue… I think it is just a good card in that deck though many people do not share that opinion.
— Cydonia (@CydoniaHS) May 23, 2017
Seven: Historically the Americas Playoff scene has favored more aggressive lineups than their European counterparts, but this year’s group opted for a more Control-based approach. Your lineup was very anti-Control, how’d you know they’d make the switch?
Cydonia: There was so much aggro in Europe (around 38% aggro oriented lineups) that I thought it couldn’t get even more aggro in NA. Also, I saw decks like Control Paladin, Control Shaman and Evolve Shaman trending so I expected those numbers to be growing in NA.
Seven: How did you prep for the event; did you practice with anyone, try different tech cards or other decklists?
Cydonia: Before submitting decklists I theorycrafted with rayC, Shoop and others, but ended up not liking the same decks as they did. Then I practiced sets with other qualified players prior to the event. I played lists I was comfortable with since I have the most experience with them, so I didn’t need much targeted practice to learn specific decks. That can be worth it sometimes, but I didn’t think any decks were strong enough that they were worth learning from scratch compared to the decks I was bringing.
Seven: Behind the scenes, a lot of the Vicious Syndicate crew thought you had an awesome read on the meta, and your lineup would do well; can you talk a little bit about your playoff run? What went well, what didn’t, and are there any changes you would make if you could do it again?
Cydonia: What went well: I am fairly happy with my play overall even though there were some mistakes on stream and the goal is always to play perfectly. It was also nice to get three featured matches on the PlayHearthstone stream and win all of them.
What didn’t go well: I had to face my friends Monsanto and DocPwn who competed in the playoffs from the same venue (fortunately I beat both of them). I faced aggro only once and lost, and faced control twice and lost once, which never happened in testing. So I did get fortunate and played well enough to win against other midrange lineups, but didn’t face as much control as I hoped, and lost a one-sided matchup against aggro.
What I would like to change: I made a mistake that potentially cost me a game and the series against Cheese, and that could have completely changed my fate in the tournament, so I would like to replay that series again. Regarding decklists, I would swap that Shield Block in Warrior for Harrison Jones.
To wrap it up, I think I have to be fairly happy about going 5-2 against the best players in NA, which is a 71% win rate. Only three players had a better record but the way Swiss works it is pretty random who makes the cut. I hope I can bring such a good lineup again against the summer meta and play better next time.
About The Vicious Inquisition
The VI is a weekly interview column by Seven featuring some of the most notable pro players, casters, and creators in the Hearthstone scene… with the occasional developer interview thrown in. Have a suggestion for our next interview? Leave it in the comments below or tweet to @ViciousHS or @xSeven and we’ll do our best to follow up.
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