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Hearthstone: A Recap of the Curse Trials

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The Curse Trials, organised by Team Archon and Curse, lasted from the 17th to the 19th of February. The main rule of this tournament was that cards from the Curse of Naxxramas and the Goblins vs Gnomes sets were banned.

 

The intention behind this rule was to have a tournament as close to the upcoming Standard format as possible. However, the Standard format will bring numerous new features that will completely change the game: a new set of cards (aka an expansion), as well as various changes to a lot of Basic and Classics cards (most notably the Druid ones). Moreover, participants in the Curse Trials could still use banned cards if they were generated by other cards, like Spellslinger or Nexus-Champion Saraad etc.

 

It was no surprise, therefore, that players brought mostly Druid to the tournament, along with Freeze Mage and Dragon decks.  Other popular decks were Rogue and Face Shaman. An honorable mention should be made to SuperJJ, whose Rogue game was on point and who was also the only one to bring a Midrange Shaman.

 

Onto the format of the Curse Trials, it was Conquest best out of five, with the preliminaries of the first two days having a double elimination element. The 16 invited players were: Amnesiac, Trump, Savjz, Lifecoach, ThijsNL, Eloise, Kolento, StrifeCro, Ostkaka, Firebat, Zalae, SuperJJ, Kibler, Forsen, Orange and RDU. The prize pool was at $30,000.

 

It all came down to Thijs ‘ThijsNL’ Molendijk versus Janne ‘Savjz’ Mikkonen in the grand final. Thijs easily took the first two games and only had to win with his Dragon Warrior to be crowned as victor of the Curse Trials. However, Savjz fought back and managed to even the score to 2-2. The decider game was between Thijs’ Dragon Warrior and Savjz’ Dragon Priest. With Thijs making a couple of mistakes, the game was really close and it had reached the fatigue stage. Everyone thought that Thijs’ last card was Nefarian, but he triumphantly drew the Bash that gave him the victory and left Savjz in utter disbelief.

 

 

You can watch the VODs of all the games of the Curse trials here, but you should definitely check the following out:

  • Lifecoach vs Zalae at Day 2. Zalae showed that even a Face Shaman can be exceptionally skilled, but Lifecoach proved his mettle and made the 0-2 into a 3-2.
  • Ostkaka vs Firebat at Day 2, also known as the battle of the World Champions. Firebat brought some interesting aggro decks, but it was Ostkaka who took the series with 3-2.
  • ThijsNL vs Ostkaka semi-final (3-2). This was a repeat of the Blizzcon 2015 semi-final, arguably one of the best games of 2015. This time, however, Ostkaka’s favourite Rogue deck let him down. In the last game, with Thijs having the upper hand and an empty board on Ostkaka's side, the latter drew three useless spells in three consecutive turns.

As you can see, Thijs posted his winning decks on Twitter. You can find all decks from the Curse Trials participants on Hearthpwn, as soon as they are uploaded.

 

Lastly, there’s no tournament without a bit of drama! Dog was originally one of the 16 invited players, but for some reason the organisers completely forgot about him, as he revealed on his stream. Kibler also made a slight mistake by including Crush, a banned GvG card, in his Warrior deck during his matches against Forsen at Day 1.

 

Overall, the idea behind the Curse Trials wasn’t bad, but there’s a huge difference on how Standard Format looks now and how it will look after the almost complete overhaul of the game in a few weeks. The previous weekend had a lot of tournament action, so stay tuned for the latest Hearthstone news!

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