Hello and welcome
to the Between Two Hearths stage. We have got a lot of special treats
in store for all of you this week. Come on in. Come on closer anyone that
wants to come and check this out. We’ve got three very cool players that
I’m sure you’ll recognize coming in to give you some of their input
on the tournament that we’ve got going on. You may have heard about it. There is the Hearthstone World
Championships currently going on in the room next door. But let’s hear from some of these guys. Who wants to come up first?
Someone give me a wave. Anyone? Rdu? First up, we have got Rdu. Rdu, come introduce yourself. Hello, everybody. I am Rdu from Romania,
player for G2 Esports. Anything else you’d like to say
about that? Not necessarily. Here to talk about
the lineups and dissect. I know that you’ve been having
a good look at the lineups. We were talking about them
a few moments ago. But who are we going to be talking with? Firebat, why don’t you come on up? You may know him
as the first Hearthstone world champion. Yeah. What can you tell us about yourself? I’m Firebat.
I’ve been playing Hearthstone since 2014. Played in 100-ish competitive tournaments. So I’ve been doing this for a long time. Excited to be here
and watch the World Championship. All right. And lastly, one of the biggest
streamers in Hearthstone, it’s fair to say. Come on up, Thijs. Thijs, why don’t you tell us
a little bit about yourself? Well, I’m Thijs,uit Nederland.
So, a local one. And I’ve been streaming a lot
and competing everywhere, and just happy to be here now. Not playing, but still happy to be here. All right, awesome. One more round
of applause for these guys. Let’s sit down. All right, so first things first, guys. How are you enjoying the event so far? It’s not been going on for long, but what do you think of
the atmosphere and everything? It’s pretty nice.
It’s like a very big place here. Yeah, confusing a little bit. There’s a lot of back rooms. It’s so big, you can very easily get lost. I know I’ve been wandering
around the building for a while. Security giving me terrible looks.
No idea where I’m going. And Thijs, you’re real local. Yeah, I feel really honored that
it’s also here in Netherlands. So, one time now
having the World Championship in Europe and the Netherlands
is just really awesome. And, yeah, just happy to be here and see so many people also coming
already out just on day one. Yeah. Everything here,
it’s a really great setup. We’ve got the
Between Two Hearths stage here. Have you all been into the play area? Yeah, the play area is really nice. They have great little sandwiches. I’ve tried the food
from the influencer area, the player area and caster area
because I want to say hi to everybody. This is what we’re missing out on. While you’re there,
you grab a snack, right? And the food in the player area,
by far, the best. The little pita sandwiches,
you’re going to want those ones. And what about the actual stage
that they’re playing on? Rdu, what do you think of it? It’s pretty big.
Also, the audience, it’s set up as an inn. -It’s really nice and cozy.
-Yeah. It’s kind of crazy to me at least how many people have turned up as well
for the first day. It’s a Thursday at the moment.
Still a weekday. But still, people have come in droves
to check out the tournament. It’s a pretty big deal. Yeah. And the weekend
is going to be packed, I think. Yeah. It’s going to be awesome. Today, as Rdu said a few moments ago, we’re going to be talking about
the tournament going on. And specifically,
the lineups and the players. These guys have all got their predictions
on who they think is going to win, so we are going to dissect, get into that,
and find out who and why. So, first, let’s go through
Choose Your Champion. Did you guys all manage
to choose a champion? Well, for me, it was a little bit awkward because I wanted to choose my champion,
but it was too late. I wanted to do it yesterday,
but it was already too late. So I didn’t. But I will probably pick Kolento. A little bit for the meme, too. But of course,
I also think he can do really well. And what I also expect really high are the people that brought Mage.
I think that’s a really good pick. Yeah. I’ve been also trying
a lot of Control Mage, and I didn’t figure it out yet,
but now I really see the power and I think it’s the best control deck
after the Priest and the Warlock. Really? So I think the people that brought Mage, I think it was Fr0zen and Sintolol, just having that in the lineup, I think,
can be beneficial for the tournament. Definitely. We’ll get into that
a little bit more in a moment. How about you, Firebat? I’m not a big believer in the Mage yet. I think there’s a reason
why no one was playing it. I think it’s better when
deck lists are concealed than when they’re open. Mage is a class that’s very exploitable
when deck lists are open. You can line up your threats
and answers against it. Frost Lich Jaina is a card that
doesn’t win if you’re fatiguing first. And you can know
how to fatigue people first if you know every card in their deck list. So I think Mage’s power level is way down
with open deck lists. But, for me, deck list aside,
I have to pick Purple. He’s a good friend of mine. He was my coach in 2014
when I won World Championship. We lived together
for two and a half years. We lived together in Texas,
we lived together in Michigan, so we played the game together a lot. So, regardless of his decks, I think he is a player
that has the right attitude and the ability to win no matter what. So I believe in my friend
and I hope he’s going to take it. How about you, Rdu? I also have the same problem as Thijs. I wanted to pick, but I was too late. You guys had a three-week window. Do you not care about your free packs? Free packs, guys. -Yeah.
-Come on. I wanted to look first at the decks,
that was the problem. I would have picked my teammate Neirea.
I also helped him prepare. And I think he has a very good shot
at this tournament. He is facing against Fr0zen
in the first match, so it’s going to be quite difficult
because Fr0zen has the Mage. And the Mage is a very powerful deck
as Thijs said, in my opinion. But at the same time,
the two people that brought Mage also brought Jade Druid. And I don’t think
Jade Druid is that great of a deck. Right. So as good as Mage is, and as much as
it makes your lineup better, Jade Druid is going to make it
a little bit worse, I think. That’s an interesting conversation
that I want to get into in a bit, as well, because a lot of people are saying Jade Druid is one of the best decks
in Hearthstone all year. You guys have all been saying
you don’t think it’s very good at all. I think it’s one of the worst decks
to bring. One of the worst decks
to bring in the tournament? If you look at Jade Druid
and if you look at some of the statistics, and at the ladder
and how Jade Druid is performing, a lot of people use Jade Druid
to beat Priest. And we’ve had some streamers,
some high-level players do some best of 21s,
Jade Druid versus Raza Priest to see,
is that matchup statistic accurate, or is it something that’s just shaped by the skill level
of the average ladder player instead of the average pro player. And, when put to the test, it was about 50-50
between Priest and Jade Druid. So the fact that people think that
it just beats Priest every time is just not true. If you’re able to play the Priest, you’re able to play differently and
budget your resources more appropriately. You can definitely eke that up to
closer to 50%. Yeah. And even if you beat Priest
every single time, that’s pretty much the only thing
Jade Druid beats. It loses to all the Aggro decks. But it beats Rogue. -It doesn’t. It doesn’t even beat Rogue.
-It can. It can. It beats Rogue.
It beats Rogue fine enough. It’s like 55 versus Rogue. It’s not. It’s 45. No, it’s 55. I’ll play you. Can we set that up? -Let’s go.
-Can we get that right now? All right. There will be a match
between Firebat and Rdu later on to test that matchup. Okay, let’s move on into the discussion
of the current meta, though. So, we’re putting Jade Druid
somewhere around the bottom, I guess. What do you think
is the best deck at the moment? I think the meta in the tournaments are really made already around
the Priest and the Warlock. Not necessarily just about targeting, but also bend strategy towards it. It turns out that Warlock is just… I feel it’s a really good bend now. You can just high roll Priest quite well
still with a lot of your decks. Even if you’re unfavored,
you can win against it. And if you are having a specific lineup, that’s a little bit of the problem
of the Warlock. And, yeah, people are trying a lot
with these two decks already because they are so strong. Rogue seems like
the third deck to just go to, I think. Yeah, I’m not a big fan of Druid. I feel really not so great about Druids, both versions, Jade and Aggro. But it’s hard to find a good fourth. It’s a big struggle in the tournament,
what is your good fourth deck. If you look at the meta right now, there is Priest and Warlock on tier one. -Best decks, crazy powerful.
-Yeah. And then you’re like,
“Well, no other deck that I build “is anywhere near as powerful as that.” And then you’re like, “Well, how do I
still get wins then in that instance?” And you look at strategies
like the Mage, where you’re like, “All right, well, I’ll just make a deck
that loses to those, “but beats Aggro every time. “I’ll just ignore it. “Or I’ll build a deck like Rogue “where sometimes I draw Keleseth “and then, wow, my deck is as good
as Priest and Warlock now. “So I can actually be on equal footing.” So there’s different sorts of ways
that people are adjusting to the fact that
those decks are so powerful, but, yeah, it’s scary with the Rogues because if you don’t draw Keleseth, you are unfavored
in both of those matchups. -Yeah.
-So… But if you do, you have a chance. So you have to kind of adjust and get a little high rolly
with your third and fourth deck. Anything you’d like to add to that, Rdu? Have they pretty much summed up the meta? I mean, you can look at it like,
what’s the best ban. I think we’re going to see
different strategies. We don’t have a consensus yet on if it’s better to ban
Priest or Warlock yet. And different players are trying
different strategies with either banning Priest
or banning Warlock. For example, I think that
Mage is very bad against Warlock, but actually has a good shot
of beating Priest. So if you have a ban Warlock matchup,
Mage is like a very good third deck. Okay. And then, Aggro Druid, for example, is weaker against Priest, but has
a good chance of beating Warlock. So you have
different schools of thought here. So, I’ve got a statement here that
I’d like to know if you guys agree with. We have a tournament meta right now where the best class
is often not the banned class. Is that true, or not true? A lot of people have been saying
the Priest is the best deck. But Warlock is the ban. It’s the best deck overall, but it’s not the best deck
in the tournament, I think. Okay. It’s really hard to compete with
the consistency of Warlock, is the thing. Like, Priest might just be the best
at just dealing with random decks, but in this specific metagame, getting a Voidlord out on turn six is
really good versus a lot of decks. And it happens almost every time if you just mulligan correctly
with Warlock. Like, the consistency of that deck
to get Voidlord out on turn six really just pushes so many things
out of the metagame and just auto-wins versus
a lot of board control decks. So how does that happen where the best deck
is not the best deck in the tournament? What’s caused that? The meta with one ban is different
than the meta on ladder. On ladder, when you queue a game,
you theoretically queue your best deck. In a tournament,
when you queue a tournament, to say so, you play your best four decks. So there are different matchups that
you don’t see that much on ladder. For example, Priest is very good
against one, two decks, but if you look at Warlock, maybe it covers
the fourth and the third deck, and if he can ban one deck, then it becomes slightly better than
even the best deck. So you can have a situation like here where the best deck in the tournament
differs from the best deck in the ladder. Okay. Imagine a ladder where there is no Priest. Or imagine a ladder
where there is no Warlock. It changes the game. It changes everything. There’s really only like
two or three real decks that can actually handle Warlock
and what Warlock does. It’s so hard
because you need some sort of burst combo or you need to be able to kill him
before turn six. And not too many decks
in the current metagame can support having that in them. Let’s try and get
a little bit more specific because we’re saying Priest
and we’re saying Warlock. -So, are we talking about Razakus Priest?
-Yeah. Or are we talking about
all of the Priests? -Well, no.
-What do you think of Spiteful and Dragon? They seem a little bit worse than Razakus. Yeah. I think it’s much better
to bring the Razakus Priest. There are some merits
to the Dragon Combo Priest that’s been putting up a lot in numbers. People even started including
some extra cycle in there. We saw someone hit number one Legend
with it yesterday. There are a few variants
in the World Championships as well. We have Sintolol
bringing the Dragon Priest. And Ant is bringing one as well
with a different variation. DocPwn, we were seeing earlier today, he beat Hoej and he was playing
the Dragon Highlander Priest which is another different variant. Well, yeah, you want to take a little bit
of a variant on your Highlander Priest because a lot of people
will be banning the Priest. And if they’re not banning the Priest, oftentimes they have some strategy
to deal with it. So if you’re bringing
cookie-cutter Razakus Priest, you’re going to find yourself
in a spot where, “Oh, jeez, they brought
Armor Up Druid,” and they have exactly the cards to out-armor the generic,
standard Raza Priest. So you just want to throw
one little extra card in there which throws them for a loop, so that’s why you see Lyra
is being included right now, and people switching
to the Dragon variant because that little bit of extra
unpredictability makes it so much harder to target that deck specifically. Okay. So, slightly more complicated one,
I guess. Warlock. Are we talking Cubes?
Are we talking Rin? What do you think makes the ideal
Warlock deck for this tournament? -It depends on the ban, right?
-It depends on your ban, yeah. For example, if you ban the Warlock,
you can play Cubes, and Cubes is like a variant
that is doing well against Priest. But if you ban Priest, then you can just
focus on the mirror match. But the thing is,
the people that play Cubes, they all ban the mirror match. So if you play a version
for the mirror match, you are only going to face other Warlocks
that also build for the mirror match. So you have to make sure
your version is greedier. So you build
the greediest Warlock possible while still managing to beat Aggro
and you just ban Priest. Or you build Cubelock and you ban Warlock. That’s the two strategies
for playing Warlock. Okay. Great. Or just a strategy
with your lineup in general. Like, the Cube list
is not so great against Aggro. You play giants, you think Cubes are like, they are not going to stop you
against Aggro. But play a really defensive Warlock, and suddenly your Rogue matchup
gets super strong. Okay. Now, let’s go back to Mage, because that sounds like
a very interesting conversation to have. Well, we are at 2-1, so it’s… You’re 2-1. Two for the Mage,
and one against. Mage is so predictable, man. These guys are teammates, as well. So maybe there’s a reason
that they are agreeing on their lineups. Talk me through this Mage deck.
What is it that makes it so strong? It’s just very good against Aggro,
and it’s not super bad against Priest. So it fits perfectly with
ban-Warlock strategy. You can actually fatigue Priests. The way Priest beats you is
if they have a really good hand, or if they have Lyra in their deck. But a lot of people
have been going for Auctioneer. I don’t think people here play
Lyra that much. There’s about half-and-half. -Yeah, it’s pretty even.
-Okay, half-and-half. One of the players earlier was playing
both Auctioneer and Lyra. -That’s pretty good against the Mage.
-Yeah. But I think
if the Priest version is very standard, just play the Mage, and then maybe
play Jade Druid in the lineup. And then you play Cubelock
and your own Priest and you have a good shot of even
throwing away the Priest. That was Tom, tom60229. He played both Lyra and Auctioneer. I just feel that the Mage is just
so fitting for this tournament that it’s one of the only decks… I think it’s really good against Rogue. It’s super good against Rogue. And I also think it can do quite well
against Jade Druids. I think you are pretty fine there. And the rest of the other decks
are all Aggro decks. I think everyone is overestimating
the Mage’s ability to beat Priest. A little bit, yeah. If people are trying to say
that it beats Priest, I think that’s just made up. I think the people
that are playing the Priests are just going to be able to
fatigue the Mage every time. I agree on you, but I feel like if you are
not even winning against the Priest, the Priest lose to itself. It’s just too slow. If it has a Raz or Anduin
at the bottom five… Yeah, if it’s in the bottom five
then they have to use the resources weird, but if they have it early enough, then they just remove
all your water elementals, take you to Fatigue, you’re dead. It doesn’t really work that way. The Mage has a lot of pressure. For example, with Alanna. One person has Alanna, one person doesn’t. Okay, how do you beat Alanna? Other than Anduin
you have no way of dealing with her. Psychic Scream. Yeah, but then you don’t have any Fatigue. Well, you don’t actually need
to win in Fatigue. Fatigue is an option.
Especially with the other Mage. You look at Fr0zen’s Mage deck,
there’s no Alanna, there’s no Medivh, there’s only Alexstrasza,
you can Fatigue that deck all day. You just said earlier that you
want to go for Fatigue. There’s two different Mage decks
that are very different. One has Alanna and Medivh,
the other does not. Okay, how do you beat
the Alanna-Medivh one? You go for Fatigue? No, you just hit him in the face.
You’re Priest, you have infinite damage. We have another show match coming up
later today. It’s Thijs versus Firebat. Mage versus Priest. Can I get some popcorn? You don’t need to win Fatigue. The max health of the Mage is what? They have 30,
they get the Ice Block popped, they heal to 15, you pop them again. So 45 total health. Have you ever played Priest and been like,
“Wow, I can only do 45 damage”? No. You’re always like,
“I can easily hit him for 100.” Most of the lists have double Dirty Rat. They have double Arcane Artificer. I think it makes it quite difficult. Like, the matchup seems good on paper, and ideally you can go to Fatigue, but if you actually play the matchup,
you’ll see it’s not like that. Well, what do you think about
the one that has no threats? You look at Fr0zen’s Mage list
with no Dragoncaller Alanna, with no Medivh. What do you think
his chances are against Priest? -That one, you can beat with Priest.
-You can fatigue it every time. Yes, that version.
But I’m talking about… -The greedier version.
-The greedier version, you cannot. -The one that Sintolol is playing. Okay.
-Yeah. That one, I don’t think
you can beat with Priest that easily. -“That easily”?
-I think you’re even unfavored. I don’t think you’re unfavored. -But I give you that it’s harder.
-Yeah. It’s that you can’t fatigue it,
so now you have to do something else. But, yeah, a lot of the Mages, I think
the Priest can figure out a way to win. Still, the deck is not that bad versus
Priest, which is very good. Then it beats Aggro, so what would you… Do you beat Aggro though now that you have
Dragoncaller Alanna and Medivh? Now you’ve got
that whole problem going for you. You have the best AOE in the game,
the Dragon’s Fury. Firebat really does not like
this Mage deck. He didn’t play it probably. He didn’t play it probably. I’ve played the Mage deck. What? What would you have brought as four decks,
knowing now? Knowing now? I really like Muzzy’s and Purple’s lineup. I like just going standard. I think, for this tournament, the way that I would have approached this, I would have been like,
“All right, it’s the World Championship, “it’s super high pressure,
everyone’s going to overthink it, “let’s go bring the most standard things
we can possibly do.” -Which is what I did.
-They have Aggro Druid as fourth. Yeah, Aggro Druid
I think is the best standard fourth. So that’s what I did in 2014, too. I was like, “People are going to do
some crazy stuff. “Let’s play Zoo, Hunter and Druid “and just do the normal thing.” I think a lot of people
get into these spots where they’re like,
“I’ve got to be super creative “and do this weird stuff
and next-level everyone.” And they go so deep with it
that at the end of the day, the best thing to do
is just play the standard things that have the best win rate. And you can play Firebat’s
World Championship lineup right now if you go into the Tavern Brawl. Have you had a go yet? -I have not actually played yet.
-It’s actually a lot of fun. -I’ve watched people play it.
-Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It looks cool. Comes with little fun facts
and the cards are un-nerfed, it’s great. I got to see it,
but I don’t have a computer, so yeah. Let’s play some Force of Nature. -Force of Nature style.
-14, with the Innervates. -Innervate as well.
-Oh, man. All right, so Muzzy and Purple,
you said best lineups? I think so, yeah. Thijs? I don’t like
the Aggro Druid lineup too much. I like it more than the Jade Druid lineup. -You like the Mage lineups.
-I like the Mage lineups. I like the control lineups
having Mage as extra pick. And Rdu, what do you think, best lineups? I’m going also with Aggro Druid lineups. I like the Mage, but as I said,
I really hate Jade Druid. So that puts it lower for me. I definitely
don’t like the Paladin lineups and the Hunter lineup from Orange. I think Hunter and Paladin
are just worse Jade Druids… Sorry, Aggro Druids. And I don’t really see
a good reason to bring that. I think it’s very punishable. But I really like the lineups
with Aggro Druid. We’ve already had some pretty exciting
games in the tournament even before this panel. The first few games, we saw
tom60229 take down Orange and DocPwn beat Hoej which, in my opinion,
is a little bit of an upset there. Hoej was actually my champion. So I’m already disappointed
to see that I… Little bit of bias I guess. …might not get my packs,
but what do you guys think? Was that to be expected? He brought Paladin. So, I don’t know,
Paladin is not that great. Okay. Tell me more about Paladin, Rdu. I think Paladin just loses
to other Aggro decks. It’s a little bit better
against the Priest and maybe even against Warlock
than other Aggro decks are, but it’s just weak
against the Aggro decks. And people bring two Aggro decks
that you’re not banning, you’re not going to ban Rogue
where you’re going to ban Aggro Druid, so you just have
two bad matchups and a good matchup. If you bring Aggro Druid, you can get
two good matchups and one bad matchup. So it’s slightly worse,
but this kind of defense doesn’t make that much… It doesn’t win you or lose you
the whole set. But I still think it’s suboptimal
to bring Paladin. Do you guys agree? Paladin? Yeah, I agree with Rdu. If you look at
the ladder statistics of things, Paladin comes out to be the best deck
on ladder in almost every bracket. You look at Legend to five,
or just at Legend, Paladin has the best win rate by 1, 2% which is pretty huge on ladder. But, just like Rdu said,
you’re banning one of its good matchups. The reason why it’s popular
and successful on ladder is because it’s good versus the Warlocks
and it’s good versus the Priest, but you want to ban Warlock and Priest
to make your other decks better. So if you’re doing that now,
you just have unfavorables left over. It’s bad versus
the decks you don’t see on ladder that you have to bring to tournaments
’cause you have to open it to four decks. So I think it’s a big mistake
to bring Paladin. I completely agree. But I thought maybe a Midrange Paladin
or Control Paladin could be good. Control Paladin? If you play that,
and you do it with a Mage in the lineup, you have now suddenly far control. So now we’re taking
a terrible deck with the Mage and we’re pairing it with another terrible
deck to try and make it work. It does well against the standard lineups. The more bad decks you add together
doesn’t make it better. Yes, it does good against Rogue. It is good against Rogue. This is direct counter to Firebat’s
earlier argument, which is just -“bring the best deck.”
-Bring the good stuff. It’s that simple. See, you’re overthinking it and you’re just going to Control Paladin
your way there. It’s not going to happen. All right. So, my next question is, are there any wildcards, maybe any players that aren’t as popular, aren’t as well known, you think might have
a chance of taking away this tournament? I think everyone here has a chance
to take the tournament, for sure. Everyone here is of really good caliber,
and has been doing very, very well. I think a lot of people might not know
tom60229 as well. But that guy has been winning everything
for the last two years. -And today.
-And today, yeah. He’s from the Asian scene,
so over here in the European scene and the American scene, we don’t
hear his name or know him too well, but that guy has been on fire for a while. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see him
just doing extremely well here. I think all the 16 players,
they have proven, it was definitely not easy
to already qualify for the Regionals, making it out of the Regionals
and then also getting so far. I think they all have proven that
they can do it. Might be a lot of pressure here, so maybe there will be some players
that are going to struggle with that, but I think they all have at least already that they can prove they are here
for a good reason. -My pick is also Tom.
-Really? I play a lot of ladder in Asia, and Tom is crazy consistent there. I have him in my friend list
and I always see him in top 10, top 20. And I was at a lot of tournaments with him
that he performed really well in. He’s also winning
crazy amount of tournaments before even qualifying for here. And here he qualified for
one of the championships, but he also was number one in points. So he had that secured anyway. It’s crazy consistency from him. And I think he’s probably the most
underrated player in the tournament. And if Neirea doesn’t win,
it’s going to be Tom. Okay, so final words, winner of the tournament will be
Neirea, Tom? Neirea, Tom. Neirea first, Tom second. -Firebat?
-Purple first, and then Muzzy, then Tom. Okay. I’m going to go Kolento first
just because I can. And I think Fr0zen can do it too.
I have Fr0zen second. -You just love the Mages.
-Yes. Come on, let me. You didn’t even pick the good Mage deck.
You picked the not-so-good Mage deck. I like the other Mage deck better. -Here we go again.
-Okay. Okay, Sintolol too. He’s fine. I’ll pick him too. Actually, talking to some of the players
over the last couple of days, some of them have been saying
Fr0zen has the best lineup, some of them have been saying
DocPwn has the best lineup, which I thought
was particularly interesting. I don’t like the DocPwn lineup,
to be honest. No. I don’t like it either. DocPwn went on HSReplay and
found the decks with the highest win rate, and then took those in order. Which is a strategy that
I think is very good. So he’s expecting people to overthink, and I think he’s going to do well
because of that. I think it’s a great strategy to have
for some of these high-pressure events, is keep it simple. -All right.
-It can work out well for you. Great. Thanks so much, guys. I believe we are just about done
for the first talk. But don’t go anywhere because Thijs and Firebat
are going to be sticking around. What are you guys
going to be talking about next? Probably Mage. The way things have been going… So for one hour of these guys
arguing about Mage, stick around. We’ll catch you later. Thanks for watching. Cool. All right. Cool. So, no host,
we’re going to take it ourselves. Do we just go into it,
or is there a break or… -You need a break?
-Do we just go? -We’re done?
-We’re done. -We just go? All right, cool.
-Okay. All right.