Hearthstone Masters Tour Vegas sports fierce competition with many Grandmasters, like Paul “Zalae” Nemeth and Dima “RDU” Radu, and some familiar faces to older fans of the game, such as Jacob “Apxvoid” Coen and Edwin “HowMEOWTH” Cook. But for both the stars and underdogs, the fight to be the best seemingly started before the first match even took place. For many, it started at home.
Players vigorously researched what deck to bring, spending hours figuring out and perfecting a specialist lineup to win the tournament. Zalae had a stream with fellow Grandmaster Ryan “Purple” Murphy-Root where they tested many combinations of packages of cards to see what could beat Rogue, Warrior, and other classes. It seemed like most of the focus was on figuring out what list for Rogue could consistently beat Bomb Warrior, but what this meant was bigger than any discovery they made: People were preparing for Warrior more than other classes, and it was going to be targeted.
On top of being targeted, Warrior was the default class to bring for many newer players who weren’t sure what to use at their first LAN. The defensive class was considered a safe pick since it had a fairly good record in Grandmasters and has dominated ladder play for a while. But that means many players who maybe hadn’t been preparing the class or just weren’t intimately familiar with the deck were trying to face professionals and top ladder players who knew their own decks inside and out.
Warrior has the most games played of any class at 1,399—nearly double the next class, which is Rogue. This means that every player who prepared for Warrior was most likely going to be rewarded, and they definitely were.
At the conclusion of the first day of the competition, Warrior sported a 48-percent win rate—the lowest and only win rate below 50 percent for the top four classes at the event. Even with a 51-percent win rate against Rogue and higher win rates against Paladin, Warlock, and Shaman, that’s where the success stopped. The more popular Mage and Hunter absolutely destroyed Warrior, giving the class a 38 and 42-percent win rate against them, respectively.
This would be quite a shock to the average viewer after seeing Warrior in nearly every broadcast game. But when you factor in its counterability, the players piloting the deck, and the popularity of decks that can destroy the defensive class, it seems like Warrior is going to continue to struggle and will most likely finish with many questions surrounding it.