In the fourth installment of the Hearthstone Players Showmatch series we’ve recorded SmashThings and YelloRambo battling it out in an ESL style best of five match!
These matches will be played in the ESL tournament format. It is a best-of-5 where the players prepare three decks, and play them in a pre-set order against their opponents for the first three games, and then choose which of their decks they want to use for games four and five. So basically, it’s three blind pick matches, then the players play whatever they want from those 3 decks if a game 4 and 5 are required. This format produces more ladder-style decks, which I believe are most helpful to the average viewer.
Game 1: Control Paladin (SmashThings) vs Midrange Druid (YelloRambo)
YelloRambo made an error when he chose to draw cards with his Ancient of Lore and use Savage Roar to enable his Cairne to trade with SmashThings’s Cenarius. That meant he didn’t have a lethal combo when he drew Force of Nature a couple turns later. Using The Black Knight to kill the slime token would have allowed the same trade while sacrificing only 1 point of power, using the more situational card, and preserving the ability to pull of the full Force of Nature – Savage Roar combo. Ancient of Lore is always good, The Black Knight is only good when the opponent has a taunt, Tirion being the only one left in Smashthings’s deck. YelloRambo was not afraid of Tirion at that point, having a large board presence and plenty of life, so I think that playing The Black Knight for guaranteed value was the correct play.
SmashThings was still afraid of the combo and had to make suboptimal plays to play around it, such as
consecration to clear the board instead of Sneed’s Old Shredder the turn he drew the legendary. If he
had made a calculated risk (YelloRambo has used a Savage Roar, he probably doesn’t have the second
one) he could have put himself in a better position to win the game. If YelloRambo had the combo
SmashThings couldn’t win anyways, so he should have played as if the Druid didn’t have it.
Game 2: Midrange Warrior (SmashThings) vs Mech Warlock (YelloRambo)
SmashThings had a Fiery War Axe and a Death’s Bite against YelloRambo’s aggressive start, which kept
the board in check. His turn 6 of Commanding Shout and Shield Slam very cleverly cleared the Warlock’s board and forced YelloRambo to lean hard on his Gazlowe and spare parts to stay in the game.
A Finicky Cloakfield was the perfect part to allow the Gazlowe to come down turn 7, and the two more mechs the next turn along with a Piloted Sky Golem proved too much pressure for SmashThings to handle. The Sky Golem was a good play over drawing more mechs, as against Warrior you need consistent pressure so their life total doesn’t keep climbing.
Game 3: Wailing Soul Druid (SmashThings) vs Control Paladin (YelloRambo)
An Innervate draw turn 4 gave SmashThings a lot of options, and I think he made the correct play
playing Sylvanas. The fact that it came out after the Piloted Shredder meant that her deathrattle would trigger after the mech’s and guarantee SmashThings a minion.
On turn 7 SmashThings played Wailing Soul to activate his Ancient Watcher instead of FelReaver to push for damage and Wailing Soul the next turn. He did this out of fear of Big Game Hunter, but it was still very passive.
He was again hesitant to play FelReaver turn 10, when he could have played two of them, let himself get decked, and then Force of Nature with the FelReavers to finish the Paladin. When you’re that far behind (as SmashThings was after Yellorambo’s Equality + Consecration), you need to take risks to have a chance to win the game. Force of Nature + Keeper of the Grove would have cleared the board, but that gives the paladin the initiative again and puts you in the same spot the next turn. SmashThings needed to save the Force of Nature to have a chance to win the game. Smashthings ended up playing Dr. Boom, but it got hit by YelloRambo’s Ragnaros shot and Smashthings lost. Overall, it seemed like SmashThings mis-assigned his role this game. He played to control the game at every opportunity instead of pushing for damage like he had to in order to win the game against Paladin control.
Game 4: Midrange Warrior (SmashThings) vs Mech Warlock (YelloRambo)
Not much to say about this game – YelloRambo topdecked straight perfects every turn. It was definitely a mistake to not Time Rewinder the Nat Pagle after Power Overwhelming it since Yellorambo didn’t have any valuable battlecries in his hand, but it wasn’t very relevant with how great his draws were.
Game 5: Control Paladin (SmashThings) vs Control Paladin (YelloRambo)
The first big turning point in this game was Harrison Jones – drawing three cards in a closely contest is often game-deciding. The second big turning point was the next turn when SmashThings (misclicked?) played Equality before Consecration, resulting in him wasting the Equality to do 5 damage. He could have run Harrison into Dr. Boom and Consecrated to clear the board.
Tirion Fordring with Redemption up is pretty insane, and fortunately for SmashThings YelloRambo’s
Knife Juggler missed on hitting the 1 HP Loatheb the next turn before SmashThings could suicide it.
YelloRambo chose not to activate the Redemption by attacking with his Truesilver Champion a few turns
later and held off killing the Tirion for a turn so he could double kill it and Harrison Jones the Ashbringer.
Both players getting a Harrison Jones for 3 cards – what a crazy game!
Yellorambo’s Muster For Battle + Quartermaster was answered perfectly by Wild Pyromancer + Consecration, but unfortunately that meant the second Redemption couldn’t trigger on SmashThings’s
Cairne Bloodhoof or Sneed’s Old Shredder. YelloRambo seemingly misplayed the next turn by not playing Knife Juggler before Tirion, and also not hitting the Annoy-O-Tron with Light’s justice since it was going to get overwritten with Ashbringer anyways. The reason he did this was because he wanted Redemption to proc on the Annoy-O-Tron the next turn instead of Cairne, and leaving the divine shield meant SmashThings couldn’t suicide the Annoy-O-Tron.
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