Tournaments: Correct Picking and Banning

Hello everyone and welcome to another one of those tournament helpy-articles that I rarely do, today I decided to go out of my way just a little to help you guys perform better in tournaments! Tournaments are happening all around and people are still uncertain about what decks they should be picking and why, today […]


Hello everyone and welcome to another one of those tournament helpy-articles that I rarely do, today I decided to go out of my way just a little to help you guys perform better in tournaments!

Tournaments are happening all around and people are still uncertain about what decks they should be picking and why, today I decided to give everyone my lights about how to do the correct picking for a tournament, be it Last Hero Standing (LHS) or Conquest (with or without ban). I will also be briefly teaching you guys how to do the proper banning whenever the option is presented to you.

How Picking Should be Done

Picking should be done in different ways depending on what kind of tournament you are playing:

Last Hero Standing Tournaments are the worse type of tournaments in my opinion when it comes to skill in picking. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with simply being able to pick decks at random and do good with it, but this tournament style doesn’t punish people as often for picking decks at random as Conquest does. Still, here you’ll want to choose different decks that are good against different types of opponents, which is the complete opposite of the next tournament type.

When it comes to banning, here there will be a whole theorycrafting behind, but to sum things up you’ll, most of the times, be trying to guess which deck your opponent will ban from yours and then proceed to ban so your total decks left will have a higher chance of winning against his total decks left. This happens because most players never take in consideration that one of their decks is going to be banned when making their own banning choice, and would much rather ban their opponent’s strongest deck rather than the deck that has the highest chances of winning against the decks he will have left after the banning.

Conquest is all about making the correct picks. here taking the picks often rewards you a lot more than LHS, because your picks will mostly decide if you’ll win a match or not, since you can’t repeat decks and your opponent is a lot likely to defeat you just by having better picks. Here you’ll be focusing your entire team on a reduced group of matchups by making picks that are all good against that reduced group – Sure you can get destroyed, for example, if you pick Lock/Priest/Druid you’re likely to lose to a triple Midrange matchup, but then you’ll be doing good against any kind of composition that has even just one Face or Combo deck, sometimes even able to win all 3 games against that one deck. This happens because most of the times your opponent is forced to win games with all 3 decks he picked, and let’s saying having 3 decks that are very good against Freeze Mage is likely to net you a win against an opponent that started 2-0 against you but had a freeze mage as his last deck. In the end, you’ll want to make a full anti-something composition, like anti-aggro, anti-control, anti-combo, anti-midrange and so on…. Other good strategy pick for Conquest is to pick only 2 decks that are very good against these specific group of decks, and one that is the complete opposite of those 2 decks, so you can have outs in case of unnatural 2-0 comebacks from your opponent.

Whenever there is banning added to the picking, all you need to do here is add another deck to the count, sometimes this is hard but it should be done anyway, and when it comes to banning an opposing deck, try to ban the one that doesn’t fit the chosen strategy.

Your Deck Options

So now that you know how to pick correctly, it is time to decide which decks you should be bringing and why. You probably noticed that in LHS you’ll be looking for different strategies, while in Conquest you’ll be looking for similar ones.

Just some informaton so you don’t get lost: sometimes I will be mentioning a strategy as a whole instead of just one deck, the strategies I could be mentioning sum up all the decks listed below:

  • Control – Reno Warlock, Priest, Warrior Control.
  • Aggro – Zoo, Secret Paladin, Tempo Mage.
  • Combo – Freeze Mage, Patron Warrior and Anyfin Paladin.
  • Face – /Druid, /Paladin, /Shaman and /Hunter. (“/” means “Face”)

Also, keep in mind that if a deck isn’t good or bad against something, it is even! Now, to the options:

Midrange Druid

Let’s be honest, Face Druid isn’t a very appealing option so I won’t even be mentioning it here. Midrange Druid is a deck that is good against a very wide number of opponents and should always be considered for both your LHS as well as your Conquest line-up. I like to say that whenever I am making tournament picks they’re always “Midrange Druid+2(or 3, for the matter)”.

  • Decks Midrange Druid is good against:

    Renolock, Control Priest, Control Warrior, Freeze Mage, Face Shaman, Face Hunter.

  • Decks Midrange Druid is bad against:

    Aggro Decks.

Secret Paladin

Just as a Side note, I won’t be mentioning Midrange Paladin here because of how Secret Paladin is much better than how every time you spot a Paladin, it will either be Secret or Anyfin. Secret Paladin is that kind of deck that gets you angry sometimes, because an opponent that isn’t as good as you might steal you a game with a deck like this without much effort from his part. However, there are still things to note when picking Secret Paladin, like how having it on your composition can help you in your strategy (or how it can steamroll through something just because NONE OF YOUR BSNSS!).

  • Decks Secret Paladin is good against:

    Midrange Druid, Oil Rogue and Control Warrior.

  • Decks Secret Paladin is bad against:

    Face Decks, Priest and Combo Decks.

Oil Rogue

I won’t be mentioning Malygos Rogue here at all, but in case you want to know, it is very similar to Oil Rogue in everything except that it is a worse deck. Oil Rogue is a filler for strategies more than anything else. It is nice to have it in your composition to achieve a goal, and not just because you want to. This happens because there are similar decks to Oil Rogue that are much better than Oil Rogue (such as Midrange Druid).

  • Decks Oil Rogue is good against:

    Control Decks (except Warrior), Zoolock and Patron Warrior.

  • Decks Oil Rogue is horrible against:

    Face Decks, and Control Warrior.


Zoolock, much like Oil Rogue, is another support strategy that should be picked to join forces with similar decks. I like to pick this combined with Secret Paladin and Tempo Mage.

  • Decks Zoolock is good against:

    Midrange Druid and Secret Paladin.

  • Decks Zoolock is bad against:

    Combo Decks, Rogue, Control Decks(except Warrior).

Reno Lock

The Control decks in this metagame are very good at being good. They all share a common weakness against Midrange Druid, but overall all their other matchups are winnable. The Midrange Druid spot usually makes them undesired, but I like to think they’re good in multiples as whenever your opponent is done with his Druid, he’ll have a very hard time winning with the other classes.

  • Decks Renolock is good against:

    Aggro Decks, Control Decks and Combo Decks.

  • Decks Renolock is bad against:

    Midrange Druid.

Control Priest

Talk about Control Decks, here is another deck that has got a lot of love in tournaments lately. Control Priest is all about consistency and all about hide from Midrange Druids and Renolocks.

Different from Renolock, Control Priest has more than one weakness, which makes it, just like Zoolock and Oil Rogue, a good support pick rather than a class to build around (although I do it anyways, because PRIEST!).

  • Decks Priest is good against:

    Aggro Decks, Control Decks (except Renolock) and Combo Decks.

  • Decks Priest is bad against:

    Renolock and Midrange Druid.

Face Decks

Ok, I ended up mentioning Face Druid (somehow) when I said I wouldn’t, but I just had to because I wanted to put all face Decks together as they all have the exact same matchups.

Doing an all-face strategy is fine, and should steal you a couple of games here and there but I don’t think the Face strategy is on the rise right now. However, if it floats your boat, why not? Face decks do still exist, and doing an All-face strategy for a Conquest tournament is still valid as well as picking a Face deck in a LHS tournament.

  • Decks Face Decks are good against:

    Oil Rogue and Aggro decks.

  • Decks Face Decks are bad against:

    Control Decks.

Tempo Mage

Tempo Mage is a decent deck that can bounce back and forth between Aggro and Midrange. It is also a strange deck that due to its high variance (RNG!) can win otherwise unwinnable games. I like to think of Tempo Mage as a “jack of all trades, master of none” deck to put as a 4th pick on Conquest tournament with bans, or on an all-aggro strategy combined with Zoo and Secret Paladin. Tempo Mage has very little “bad” and “good” matchups, as decision-making and RNG decides most of the matchups.

  • Decks Tempo Mage is good against:

    Midrange Druid.

  • Decks Tempo Mage is bad against:


Control Warrior

A deck I rarely take to tournaments nowadays is Control Warrior because of how bad it is against a big number of decks. Control Warrior has some uses, as destroying Combo decks, Oil Rogue and Face Decks, but it is particularly bad against a big portion of the best decks so I dislike using it overall.

  • Decks Control Warrior is good against:

    Face Decks, Combo Decks and Rogue.

  • Decks Control Warrior is bad against:

    Midrange Druid, Aggro Decks and Control Decks.

Combo Decks

Much like Face Decks, Combo decks have very similar matchups, as they are usual decks made to stall the game as long as possible and then win out of nowhere with a single powerful combo that will put them very far ahead. Combo decks all similarly destroy Aggro and get destroyed by Control decks.

Freeze and Anyfin are also particularly bad against Midrange Druid, while they’re good Oil rogue, which is the complete opposite of Patron Warrior.


And this pretty much covers how all classes perform. This isn’t a meta check, but rather a tournament information tablet which you should focus when deciding which decks to bring to a tournament.

Apart from the obvious picks (triple Aggro, triple Face, triple Combo, etc) here are a few suggestions on compositions for conquest:

  • Paladin/Mage, Druid and Rogue.
  • Priest, Druid and Warlock.
  • Warrior, Druid and Shaman.

I hope I was able to pass my logic behind composition picking to you guys. I know this article was a lot more directed to Conquest picking than LHS, but as I said earlier there isn’t a lot of logic behind LHS other than “pick different and powerful ladder decks”, and Conquest has a lot more to explore when it comes to composition.

I love you guys, good luck in tournaments!