9 July 2018 - 13:30

How Hunterace's "two-and-two" deck lineup helped him win two HCT Tour Stops

Hunterace's approach has worked twice now. Can it work a third time in Tokyo?
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Image via Blizzard Entertainment

There are lots of different approaches to assembling a Hearthstone tournament lineup, and a bunch of different factors.

The biggest factor in the current landscape is the format. Are you playing Conquest, or Last Hero Standing? Most tournaments are Conquest, and that means all your decks have to be equipped to pick up a win.

From there it's time to pick a strategy. A lot of players will opt to have all their decks have a similar tempo, so aggro decks or slower decks. Often times that means targeting a particular deck that you predict will be popular, so your opponents just can't get a win with it.

In the current meta an aggressive player will almost certainly bring Odd Paladin and Odd Rogue, with decks like Token Druid, Even Shaman, Hunter, and Aggro Mage. On the other end of the spectrum are decks like Even and Cube Warlock, Control Priest, Taunt Druid, and Shudderwock Shaman.

But a new trend is emerging, led by the Hearthstone Championship Tour's most successful player Casper "Hunterace" Notto. Instead of picking a single approach, he's adopting what caster Simon "Sottle" Welch called a "two-and-two" strategy. That means Hunterace is bringing two aggressive decks, and two slower decks. Instead of picking a tempo, he's picking the best individual decks in his estimation to make his play as consistent as possible.

That consistency is what's making Hunterace the player to watch right now. Last month he brought Odd Rogue, Odd Paladin, Malygos Druid, and Secret Hunter to HCT Seoul. Last weekend at HCT Italy he slowed things down a bit more, bringing Big Spell Mage instead of Secret Hunter. In Seoul it was an approach that was almost unique among the top finishers, but in Italy it appeared to have caught on. Second place finisher Alvar "Vardu" Dürris mirrored Hunterace's lineup but with Control Priest instead of the Mage. They weren't the only ones to pick this approach either.

For now at least, it looks like targeting strategies are not paying off. Expect to see more players try to copy Hunterace and emulate his success—but as that happens, the meta cycle will continue and others will try to counter this approach.

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