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26.04.2018 14:28
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Tempo Storms Sealed Deck format once again shone in last weekends Red Bull Team Brawl, the second significant tournament run in this Hearthstone format. And for the second time, the home team won, with Tempo Storm beating Team Liquid 3-1 after squeezing into the finals.What is Sealed Deck format? When developing a Hearthstone version of Sealed Deck, Tempo Storm borrowed from Magic: The Gatherings Sealed Deck format, one of my personal favorite limited formats in card games. Each team opens a series of virtual packs to form a 240-card pool from which they must build three decks with only those cards.What makes this a compelling format is that it highlights the deckbuilding itself, rather than simply piloting a constructed, refined deck, in which most players almost entirely know the majority of a players deck after a few turns, if not before. Forcing players to build decks from a random, limited pool, creates interesting scenarios. And as a team format, with the players miced up, you both get to see direct teamwork, fairly unusual in Hearthstone, and hear the players thoughts.Tempo StormAndrey Reynad Yanyuk Haiyun Eloise Tang Victor VLPS LopezTempo Storm may have won the tournament, but it was a very near thing, as they only advanced to the final match against Team Liquid by virtue of winning a tiebreaker as three of the four teams involved went 1-2 in the Round Robin (Team Liquid went undefeated).The team felt they had enough Mechs to put together a kind of hybrid Mech/Token Shaman that could swarm the board and make beneficial trades, with Thunder Bluff Valiant and Muklas Champion leveraging the tokens. Mech Shaman had been a thing in the past, a straight aggro deck during the days of Goblins vs. Gnomes, but without a Rockbiter Weapon or Whirling Zap-o-Matic, Tempo Storm couldnt go a straight-up with the aggression.Tempo Storms Mage did manage to get a Mad Scientist, useful to exploit the Duplicates, and the two Flamestrikes were key to making the deck work. The only thing really missing was direct burn damage to the face outside of the two Forgotten Torches; there was no Fireball in this deck. But the two Flame Lances came in handy several times over the weekend -- an important thing to remember about Hearthstone is that there are a lot of cards that never see play in Constructed, but only because there are cards that are simply a smidgen better.Druid was the deck Tempo Storm worried the most about, a deck full of large minions and not a lot of ways to catch up.Im going to play the most expensive thing in my hand every single turn until hopefully my opponent dies. The only thing thats missing is any kind of decision-making, commented Reynad before the tournament started on how theyd win with the deck. In the end, they went 3-3 with it.After going 6-7 in games during the Round Robin, Tempo Storm tinkered with all three of their decks (they were allowed to make changes before the finals using the same card pools), making them more aggressive, notably including Bloodlust in Shaman to push the token theme. The Bloodlust proved to be a key card in the final against Team Liquid, as the team didnt get too greedy and used Bloodlust for important minion removal rather than simply for the burst damage to face.Team LiquidJeffrey Trump Shih David Dog Caero Janne Savjz MikkonenTeam Liquids deck all shared in a theme in that their card pool was really suffering for lack of area-of-effect clears, the type that could help the games if they fell behind. So they focused on decks that built a solid curve that could maintain board control with minion-on-minion combat.You could see this issue in Team Liquids Mage deck, which had very high minion quality, but no Flamestrikes, no Fireballs, and only Blizzard for a dependable board clear, albeit one that would likely need some kind of board presence.Team Liquid was also fortunate to draw both Reno Jackson and Lord Jaraxxus, enabling them to put together a fairly decent Renolock deck with a bit of Dragon synergy. One problem which didnt hit them early: the lack of board clear in the form of Hellfire, Shadowflame, or Twisting Nether. But if they could survive and get to Jaraxxus, they stood a good chance of winning. In practice, it proved tricky and the deck only was around .500 in the end.During the round robin portion, the general deck plan proved effective, the team going 9-3 over the course of their three preliminary matches. As it turned out, the quick aggressive decks that would punish the decks early were nowhere to be seen. Tempo Storm going for a smaller curve in the finals proved to be their undoing.Team BMKBrian Kibler Rumay Hafu Wang Tom MartellWith one of the best Arena players in Hearthstone in Hafu to go along with two very experienced Magic players, this seemed like an ideal format for this makeshift team.The deck that worked out the best for Team BMK was their Priest deck, the only Priest played in the tournament. While the class has been the whipping boy of Constructed for the last six months or so, they were able to collect many of the elements for a Resurrect Priest, with many of the standard cards for that archetype being available without substitutions. The Priest went 2-1, so wasnt the problem.Nor was the problem the Shaman deck, which went 3-1 with some powerful late game cards, a total of nine minions of five-or-more mana. Without a lot of aggressive decks to play against, they were able to reach that endgame more often than not.What sunk Team BMK was the Mage deck, a deck that get out-tempoed early if they couldnt get a Fallen Hero or Stormchugger, easily their best early-game minions, to stick. And thats a problem as with no Fireball, Frostbolt, or Blizzard, the team fell regularly behind and would lose if they didnt happen to have Flamestrike. Even with two Flamestrikes, this happened quite a bit, leaving the Mage deck to go 1-6, the worst performance of any deck for the day.The other problem turned out to be the secrets. While Tempo Storm had two Duplicates to go along with their Mad Scientist, Team BMK had two of the weakest secrets -- Id argue the absolute weakest -- in Vaporize and Spellbender. After the initial surprise in their first match given that these cards are never played in Constructed, both Tempo Storm and Team Liquid were able to play around the secrets quite easily.Cloud9James Firebat Kostesich Cong Strifecro Shu Andrew TidesofTime BiessenerCloud9s plan for their Druid was simple: put as many giant minions, preferably with taunt, on the board as possible and dare the opponent to have enough removal to get them all. And it worked out more often than not, the deck winning three of its five games. With Dark Arakkoa, Captured Mormungar, two Ironbark Protectors, and two Volcanic Lumberers, their opponents tended to run out of removal.But against a fearless, aggressive opponent with a bit of reach, the deck ran into trouble. Tempo Storm didnt have spell options to remove Cloud9s big minions in their mirror match, so the former used their two Savage Combatants to use their heros health pool as a removal tool. And they did this to the tune of 25 self-damage just to retain board.Like Team Liquid, Cloud9 got a Lord Jaraxxus to use, but the combination of a smaller curve without enough aggression to put the game away early, they had a harder time geting to their Jaraxxus.Cloud9s last deck, yet another grinding-style Mage was a deck we didnt get to see a lot of, only geting two games in. Which is kind of a shame as they were able to work in five Dragons and two Blackwing Technicians, something that caused Team Liquid a great deal of trouble in the very first game of the day. Marcell Ozuna Jersey . He just needed to be his best twisting, turning acrobatic self. "I didnt need to be anybody else, I just needed to be myself and be aggressive," said Burks, who scored a career-high 34 points to spark the Utah Jazz to a 118-103 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night. Willie McGee Jersey . 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