F2K Cipher’s Run to Victory in the 10K Omen Hearthstone Challenge Tournament in Malaga

Fade2Karma is a new professional eSports Hearthstone team that was formed recently. It consists of top players like Hawkeye and Dethelor. (Gosugamers announcement here, F2K’s Twitter and LiquidHearth‘s announcement here.) So July 17th marked the highpoint in My HS career, I had made the final vs the crowd-favorite Trump in the Vulcun Deckmasters 100k. After a Stressful […]

Introduction

Fade2Karma is a new professional eSports Hearthstone team that was formed recently. It consists of top players like Hawkeye and Dethelor. (Gosugamers announcement here, F2K’s Twitter and LiquidHearth‘s announcement here.)

Cipher’s Tournametn Report

So July 17th marked the highpoint in My HS career, I had made the final vs the crowd-favorite Trump in the Vulcun Deckmasters 100k. After a Stressful week doing everything I could to prepare for the event, I sadly lost in a pretty crushing defeat of 1-5 but I was still happy with my result and 50 HWC points and looking forward to taking a few days off from HS.

Minutes after my loss though I get a call from my manager, expecting it to be a condolence call of “gg, well done mate” ect. Nope I was being sent to Spain a week later with my teammate GameKing, to compete in an event I had never heard of, the Intel Omen Challenge in Malaga, In the hopes of netting us some more HWC points and putting us in a position to qualify for Blizzcon.

After waking up absurdly early in the morning and traveling most of the day. I arrived in Malaga’s smouldering heat pretty miserable and feeling stupid for wearing a jacket and jeans that were more appropriate for the British weather I had left. Sadly I didn’t get a chance to change as GameKing and me had to go to the venue right away not to risk being late.

Decks were submitted at the event, I decided to bring my prepared line-up I had worked on with my teammates and analysts that was aimed at countering the line-ups used at Dreamhack Valencia a week before. The setup was Handlock/Conrol Warrior/Anti Aggro Hunter. The Control warrior had 2 brawls to beat patron and zoo and the hunter had 2 hound masters with a top curve of Loatheb letting it race well vs other hunters and aggro decks.

Gameking took a more reactive approach, getting a chance to watch the ro32 games he decided to sub in his priest deck as It appeared to counter all the Decks we could see were being played.

Early Rounds

Round one didn’t go as smoothly as planned, after missing lethal due to a mis-click on a touchscreen, I was still able to keep my cool and win with a convincing 3-1.

My second opponent was PiniAwsome who knocked me out of a pervious LAN event and had an overall favoured line-up vs me. We traded win for win until the score was 2-2 and the final game was a warrior mirror. I assumed that Pini was playing control warrior since playing patron on touch screens is difficult due to the amount of action you have make every turn. As a result I mulliganed away brawl in my starting hand, which almost lost me the game as Pini spawned 4 patrons turn 5 with death’s-bite and inner-rage. Having to use my own weapon to remove the patrons over 2 turns I took massive damage and was left with only 12hp turn 7, and with a frothing combo left in his deck all seemed lost. However Pini was forced to use both whirlwinds to cycle his battle rage’s, I realised if I never left a minion on board he would have no way to break his unstable ghouls and buff his frothings high enough to kill me. I immediately started trading away my minions inefficiently to kill them off ASAP and relied only on weapons and removal to deal with his minions. In the end Pini was a couple points of damage short of killing me and I won with fatigue, advancing to the Top 8 after playing one of the hardest and least initiative games of my life.

Sadly my teammate Gameking had dropped out at this point his Priest running into 2 Handlocks, but it was smooth sailing to the finals for me, in my semi-final and winner bracket finals games both my opponents played patron with 2 aggro decks, the exact setup I had planned to counter.

Finals

My finals was vs Oster, who I had played in the winners bracket final, in the rules of this event I was able to replay 1 game as I had advanced through the winners bracket giving me a pretty big advantage. After going 2-0 up, and having control warrior left vs 3 aggro decks I felt there was no chance I could lose.

My 3rd game was warrior vs Zoo, after a huge brawl early on in the game I felt like I had a commanding lead, even having enough room to play my ysera turn 9. This is went things started to go wrong, Oster was able to reflood the board, forcing me to brawl with my ysera on it, and leaving me with the worst case scenario of his largest minion mal’ganis surviving. At this point Oster top decked like a god with Doomguard into a Power Overwhelming and Void Terror combo and then tapping into just enough damage to kill me.

Game four was Control vs patron and I decided to go with my fatigue win plan I used vs Pini. After a long hard fought game where I had to balance my health pool vs saving remove to remove his board after combo turns I lost as he drew his final patron as his last card for lethal damage with a combo. I decided to replay that match as I believed that my warrior was favoured after seeing every card in his deck. This time though I was given a much more aggressive hand with a strong curve of minions and weapons with Grom in the hand as a finisher. I decided to play for board advantage instead of fatigue and used my removal to clear his minion’s so I could push for damage. The strategy worked as I won turn 10 with the classic Grom + cruel taskmaster combo for lethal in a much faster game.

Closing

Feels so amazing to finally take a win at a LAN event especially since this was the first LAN event my Team Fade 2 Karma sent me to. I have won a lot of tournaments in my life in chess, fencing and Hearthstone, but that feeling of being number one having everyone shake your hand and saying well done never gets old. At this moment I’m already helping to prep my teammates GameKing and Vortex for the ASUS Rog tourney in Finland in a few day’s time, I hope they can find the same success I did.