12 February 2018 - 15:58

Paladin and Warlock on the rise as Bequiet wins the first HCT tour stop

It was the first event of the new competitive year.
Morning Editor
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Image via Blizzard Entertainment

HCT Germany was a pretty significant event. Not only was it the first event of the new Hearthstone Championship Tour calendar, but it was the first competitive event since the recent nerfs.

As expected, Patches and Raza were basically nowhere to be seen. That meant Warlock and Paladin were able to rise in prominence, as all nine classes were represented.

Thanks to the open qualifier format, the tournament was a chance for some lesser known players to get an opportunity on the big stage. While major names like Jon "Orange" Westberg and "J4CKIECHAN" were present, others like "Hunterace", "Bozzzton", and "Jarla" were out to prove they could hang with the big names.

In the end "Hunterace" did make it to the final—but he came up short against Andrej “Bequiet” Traudt of Germany. For his win Bequiet took home $3000 and 16 all important HCT points.

Bequiet's lineup is much like the rest of the field's choices. He brought Control Warlock, Murloc Paladin, Control Mage, and Big Priest. The place of Priest is a source of some debate among the top players. It was still in all but one lineup out of the sixteen, but the field disagreed on what deck was best.

Bequiet had a Y'Shaarj Big Priest deck, while others focused on the Combo option or the Dragon build. As for Paladin the players split across two different approaches—Aggro and Control.

This was one of the first tournaments in ages where all nine classes were represented. Three players brought Hunter, with "Morrison" and "ChiakiNanami" opting for Y'Shaarj Big Hunter—another indicator of the rise of Barnes post-nerf.

The real maverick in the lineup was Alexandre "Odemian" Leadley. With Shaman and Warrior both having been absent from the recent World Championship, Odemian seemingly took that as a challenge. He attempted to resurrect both Control Warrior and Aggro Shaman alongside Archivist Priest and Jade Druid, and the lineup carried him to the top eight.

The big story is how split in two the classes are now. With Warlock in every lineup, and Paladin and Priest in all but a few, eleven players brought Mage. From there it's a huge drop off to the rest of the pack with three Hunters, two Druids, and just a single Rogue, Warrior, and Shaman.


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