In the final week of Hearthstone Grandmasters Season 2, there are a lot of tight races for the playoffs. Only one player from each region can get a spot at the Global Final, so there is a lot riding on these final games.
Aleksandr “Kolento” Malsh vs. Vladislav “SilverName” Sinotov
Kolento versus SilverName could decide a playoff spot for Europe’s Division A. With Kolento already clinching a playoff spot, it’s a must win for SilverName who currently holds that last playoff spot.
SilverName is 2-1 in all sets against Kolento in Grandmasters. SilverName won in their last meeting 2:1 with slightly different lineups from what they both have this week. The important part of their last meeting was that SilverName was able to win in the Combo Priest mirror. He also won the favorable Control Warrior over Quest Druid match up.
Last time around Kolento banned Highlander Hunter and SilverName banned Control Warrior. Both players of course protected their Priests. Kolento shakes things up this time around by bringing Murloc Paladin rather than Warrior. SilverName has Zoo Warlock and Quest Shaman as new additions in his lineup.
This match could very well come down to the Combo Priest mirror once again. Look for both players to avoid playing Druid as the rest of the decks in each lineup are good against this slow moving deck.
Linh “Seiko” Nguyen vs. Kevin “Casie” Eberlein
There’s relegation on the line for Seiko, and Casie needs to win for playoffs. If Casie wins his first match of the week though, he might not need to win against Seiko to make playoffs. However, Seiko is in a must win situation no matter what to try to stay in the league.
Seiko is 2-1 against Casie in Grandmasters overall, but got swept by Casie the last time they faced off. Casie correctly predicted that Seiko would pick Control Warrior to beat his Priest and countered with Quest Druid. He then won the ever important Combo Priest mirror.
This time around the players have near identical lineups with the only differences being tech choices. There could once again be a lot of weight on the Combo Priest mirror. Casie is favored going in but might not be fully focused if he clinches a playoff spot before the start of the match.
Muzahidul “Muzzy” Islam vs. Edward “Gallon” Goodwin
Gallon is trying to make playoffs in his first Grandmasters season. He is squaring off against Muzzy in a match that could decide which of the two makes it there in Division A.
The last time the two met Gallon won the set 2:1. Gallon won the Combo Priest Mirror, then Muzzy won with Priest over Zoo Warlock. Gallon closed it out with Zoolock over Quest Druid in a favorable match up.
This time around Gallon does not have Zoolock but has Highlander Hunter, Quest Druid and OTK Paladin. Muzzy has the more aggressive Mech Highlander Hunter, with Control Warrior and Quest Druid.
This is of course another match where the Combo Priest mirror is very important. If the Highlander Hunter mirror does happen, Muzzy’s more aggressive version is normally favored with the lack of ability to deal with Deathrattles in Hunter.
William “Amnesiac” Barton vs. Jerome “Monsanto” Faucher
Amnesiac versus Monsanto could decide who fills in that last playoff spot for Americas Division B. The two did not play against each other in Season One, so have a small set of games against each other in Grandmasters.
The last time the two met, Monsanto took the series 2:1. Monsanto used Highlander Mage to beat Amnesiac’s Combo Priest but then lost in the Priest mirror. He was able to use Priest to win in the final game against Quest Shaman however.
Monsanto doesn’t have Highlander Mage this time around but Aggro Shaman. This deck is even more favorable against Priest and maybe worth a ban by Amnesiac. Other than that, the players have a similar lineup with Quest Druid, Control Warrior and Combo Priest. Keep an eye on the Priest Mirror and potential Control Warrior mirror in this one.
Euneil “Staz” Javiñas vs. Dylan “FroStee” O’Mallon
Staz and FroStee’s match could decide who earns a playoff spot in Asia-Pacific’s Division B. Staz leads the series between the two 2-1, but lost to FroStee last time the two played 1:2.
There wasn’t much to how the match up went last time around. In each game the favored deck won. Staz’s Highlander Hunter beat Control Warrior, FroStee’s Quest Druid beat Control Warrior and FroStee’s Control Warrior beat Murloc Shaman.
Staz is sticking to his guns by bringing Highlander Hunter, and a different version of Murloc Shaman. He’s now playing the Mogu Fleshshaper plus Mutate version and might hope to high roll with that combo to win a game.
Neither player protected Combo Priest last time around, so this is surprisingly a match up where the deck could be a non-factor. FroStee even had the deck available to play but opted not to against Staz’s lineup.
Liu “Shaxy” Wei-Chieh vs. Tsao “SamuelTsao” Tsu Lin
In this match, it is a decider for who makes it to playoffs from Asia-Pacific’s Division A. SamuelTsao leads the Grandmaster series between the two 2-1, and won in their last meeting 2:0.
The last time around SamuelTsao won a very unfavorable match up with Zoo Warlock over Control Warrior. His inclusions of Soulfires and Leeroy Jenkins got him the direct damage he needed to finish. He then went on to win the Quest Druid mirror.
SamuelTsao does not have Zoolock this time and will look to get it done with a more standardized lineup consisting of Combo Priest, Quest Shaman, Quest Druid and Control Warrior. Shaxy has a similar lineup, but instead of Warrior he has OTK Paladin and Malygos Quest Druid instead of the normal Quest.
Combo Priest didn’t see the light of day the last time the two played. It could become more relevant since it is good against all of Shaxy’s decks.
Prepare for a weekend of heartbreak and potential upsets in Grandmasters. The skill gap is way lower than overall standings may reflect.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website and the PlayHearthstone Twitch channel.