The second of three regional Fall Playoffs occurred over this weekend. The Asia-Pacific region got an idea of what they should bring to the table from the European playoff. They seemed to really take to the that meta, as even more players brought decks this time aligning with what the qualifying players from Europe brought. The 2018 HCT Asia-Pacific Fall Playoffs gets us one step closer to the Fall Championship.
New Faces in Top 8
Power players as well as some completely new talent made it to the top 8 in the Asia-Pacific Fall Playoffs.
In Group A, the unknown “Pan” and Challenger qualifier “Alpe” joined the popular Tyler “Tyler” Hoang Nguyen and favorite to win the tournament, “DacRyvius”. DacRyvius dominated the Swiss stages and was the only player to go undefeated throughout. Pan was 6-1, while Tyler and Alpe advanced to the top 8 by tiebreaker.
“Strikeright” from South Korea and “Bloodtrail” from Taiwan were both among the top HCT point earners from the region. They made it to Group B with Samuel “Sequinox” Chan and Jowen “Akumaker” Chee. Sequinox and Bloodtrail were squarely in the top eight after a 6-1 Swiss stage record, while Strikeright and Akumaker got in on a 5-2 tiebreak.
Tyler had an easygoing run in the top eight. He made quick work of Pan 3-1 and swept DacRyvius 3-0. Tyler brought an aggressive lineup that went all-in on the board. His Odd Rogue was banned in both top eight matches but it didn’t matter, as his interestingly teched Midrange Hunter and Token Druid got the wins he needed.
DacRyvius was able to come back to advance to the Fall Championship. He edged out Pan in a really close 3-2 set, which came down to his Mecha’thun Druid beating the Token Druid of Pan. Although it was Malygos that won him the match. He brought a really control heavy lineup, with two Mecha’thun decks. This is unheard of for tournament play, but he beat the mostly aggressive field of decks.
Bloodtrail blew through Akumaker 3-0, and then blew through Sequinox 3-0. He brought a more meta control oriented lineup, but he played through his matches versus Akumaker and Sequinox without having to do too much work. That’s not to take away from his skill, as he is going to play in his second Seasonal Championship of this year. Bloodtrail hopes to improve on a very poor showing from the Summer Championship.
After losing badly to Bloodtrail, Akumaker came back strong, beating Strikeright 3-1, and sweeping Sequinox 3-0. There was unfortunately some controversy in the Sequinox match that led to the first game being replayed, and nothing went Sequinox’s way after the reset. Due to audio issues on one end of the players with being able to hear casters, the game was thrown out. Akumaker would have lost the first game, but won the rematch along with the set and finds himself heading to the Fall Championship.
After seeing who qualified in the European region, the Asia-Pacific players went all in on that meta. Token Druid was the most popular deck by far, with 28 people bringing it in their lineup. Due to its popularity, the people looking to counter it had to switch up their lineups.
Rather than Deathrattle Hunter, the most popular Hunter decklist was a Midrange Secret Hunter.
In response to the aggression that Token Druid provides, people made Aggro lineups. The four most popular decks were Token Druid, Odd Rogue, Zoo Warlock and Odd Paladin. Odd Rogue, Zoolock and Token Druid were all prevalent in the top eight players’ decks. Odd Paladin was in fact the weakest performing aggro deck.
The Warrior decks were really backed away from by the Asia-Pacific players. This is due in part to Token Druid being a favored matchup against Warrior, making the class less likely to see play time. Another peculiar deck to see a lot of, because of the popularity of Aggro, was Quest Rogue. The players must have just thought that Quest Rogue can win in any matchup, and it provides a unique flavor to tournament play.
The most played card was of course Giggling Inventor. An interesting tech card that both counters and synergizes with the Inventor is Blood Knight. Because it is a decent tempo card on its own, a lot of the aggressive lineups threw it in their decks because it works so well with and against Giggling Inventor.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via the PlayHearthstone twitch channel.