We are entering the first playoffs of the new Grandmaster system. Right off the bat, we get hit with a meta mix up. Warrior was a dominant force throughout the entire season, but there’s only one in playoffs. Let’s dig deeper into the deck decisions and the Hearthstone Grandmasters 2019 Season 1 Playoffs Meta.
Cyclone Mage is Top Dog
For weeks in the Grandmaster system, Mage would sit behind Rogues and Warriors on the popularity scale. When push comes to shove, we see it is the most popular pick of the best players. It’s not an unusual meta call though, as most of the players this week are simply playing the lists that they played last week.
Of the top three meta decks, all of them perform about equally. Mage has decent match ups against both Shark Rogue and Bomb Warrior, often coming down to the draw. There will be a lot of Mage versus Rogue this weekend, and both decks can nullify advantages with side decks making it almost a true 50/50 match up.
Mage has the most representation in Europe and then Asia-Pacific. There’s just one Mage in the Americas region, and might go up against the change up in Pogo Rogue.
Shark Rogue Plus a Pogo
Rogue is the second most represented class in playoffs. There are two Shark Rogues in each region and a single Pogo Rogue from Frank “Fr0zen” Zhang in the Americas. It is very fortunate for Shark Rogues that there is a lack of Warrior this week. It has a much better time against Mages if they are able to develop early on.
Pogo Rogue is more suited to beat slow Warriors, so it’s interesting to see it in a meta where Warrior is not existent. Fr0zen only needs to win three games to advance to the World stage, so we will have to see if he can use his skill to carry Pogo Rogue to success.
Shark Rogue is certainly a good deck when it can get its tempo components together. It will certainly need to do that this week versus all of the Mages. Rogues cannot afford to fall behind against Mages and allow them to develop their Mountain Giants. They can deal with single large targets, but a single Conjurer’s Calling can ruin Rogue’s day without Betrayals and the like.
One Warrior, One Hunter and One Paladin
Ryan “Purple” Murphy-Root is the sole Warrior player in the first Grandmasters playoffs. He has favored Bomb Warrior heavily throughout the regular season and he is sticking with it to the end. He even played a match all the way to a tie last week with the deck, not deterring him from bringing it again. His path to the World Championship includes a couple of favorable match ups versus Holy Wrath Paladin and Shark Rogue.
Eddie “Eddie” Lui is bringing Holy Wrath Paladin to playoffs. We know in the regular season he made a name for himself with Bomb Warrior. He switched away from it and continues to stay off it. It hasn’t slowed his success but this week he faces the only bad match up in the entire field for Holy Wrath Paladin.
Lastly Euneil “Staz” Javiñas is bringing Midrange Hunter. He had to make a comeback late in the season and he did it on the back of Hunter. It makes sense that he is sticking with the deck since he has seen success. Quite a few players have tried the deck, but never stuck with it for long. It’s very good versus Mage and can struggle hard versus Rogue, so he will want to see those Mages this week.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.