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Once again, pick your favourite competitor in the upcoming HCT Winter Championship and win up to 4 Rastakhan's Rumble card packs.
The Winter Championship begins on February 28 and features 16 players from all around the world battling for the title of Winter Champion and a spot for April's World Championship. As always, you can select a champion and earn free packs. Just by participating, you will get a free Rastakhan's Rumble and if the player you voted for proceeds further into the tournament, you can keep winning more packs.
Here are the groups of the Champions, while in this article you can find some interesting flash cards Blizzard has prepared for each player: [Group B looks juicy!]
Group A Group B Group C Group D Viper bloodyface Definition LionKing Yueying Faeli Ike Roger Tansoku Lingluanjing ThunderUp bobbyex noblord Tyler Caimiao BunnyHoppor The voting happens here and you can vote until Feb. 28 at 9:30 a.m. PST. Our friends over at Hearthpwn have all the decklists so you can make an informed decision!
The second week of this Tavern Brawl includes a new round of Shrines for each class.
Last week, we had round one of the Rumble Run Shrines and decks being made available to play against real opponents. For this week, we have a second set of Shrines for Hearthstone's nine classes:
Druid: Gonk's Mark - After you summon a minion, give it +1/+1. Hunter: Halazzi's Hunt - Your minions have "Overkill: Cards in your hand cost (1) less". Mage: Jan'alai's Progeny - Whenever you Freeze a character, put a Frostfire into your hand. Paladin: Shirvallah's Vengeance - After your hero takes damage, deal 5 damage to the enemy hero. Priest: Bwonsamdi's Covenant - Healing enemies damages them instead. Rogue: Pirate's Mark - After you cast a spell, cast it again (on the same target). Shaman: Krag'wa's Lure - After you Overload, give your minions that much Attack. Warlock: Dark Reliquary - Whenever you discard a card, summon a random Demon. Warrior: Akali's War Drum - After you summon a Dragon, reduce the cost of Dragons in your hand by (1). Paladin seems to be king once again: its Shrine is completely busted, to the point that in the mirror match the game "bugs" out with both players killing each other. Other than that, Warlock is really good this week and the other classes are all pretty decent. The weakest one by far is Hunter with its deck being slow.
Radical changes await Hearthstone esports with a three-tier program and a brand new competitive format.
Hearthstone esports are receiving a major overhaul in 2019 with the whole program being renamed into Hearthstone Masters and the completely new Specialist format being introduced.
As we already know, Hearthstone Masters will have a three-tier structure. The online Masters Qualifiers will run each week with almost 30 tournaments per week available so everyone can join at a time that suits them. These Qualifiers will award card packs to winners, who can then qualify to the corresponding Masters Tour event.
The second stage is the live global Masters Tour tournaments, which will take place in specific locations all around the globe. The first one is set to happen in Las Vegas on March 5, with Asia and Europe stops following as the year continues. The first Tour stop offers a prize pool of $250,000, while Blizzard will add later into the year a unique esports bundle so fans can contribute to the prize pool.
Lastly, the third tier is called Hearthstone Grandmasters and Blizzard still has no announcements for it at the time. This is slightly peculiar, since they already waited long enough to announce the aforementioned. Perhaps they are waiting to see how successful Hearthstone Masters is, along with the new format.
Speaking of which, the Specialist format is quite unique and moves away from traditional formats we've known so far. Each player has to bring three 30-card Standard decks of the same class. The secondary and tertiary decks cannot be too different from the primary one, since you can only swap 5 cards from the primary deck. Both players will begin a match with their primary decks, but for the rest of the games they can proceed with any of their three decks.
Late last year we revealed we were hard at work evolving Hearthstone Esports into a more sustainable, entertaining, and accessible program. Today we are happy to reveal full details about the first two parts of this new program, which we have collectively named Hearthstone Masters.
Hearthstone Masters Qualifiers
Hearthstone Masters’ entry tier of competition, Masters Qualifiers, are open to all eligible players who want to test their Hearthstone skills. Each week during a Masters Tour qualifying season, Blizzard will run approximately 30 tournaments, hosted through Battlefy, which will allow players to compete at a time that works for them. Battlefy is a global platform that has been a trusted partner of Blizzard’s for several years now, and we look forward to working closely with them to make Masters Qualifiers a success.
Winning a Masters Qualifier will earn you an invite to that qualifier’s corresponding Masters Tour event, the second tier of the Hearthstone Masters program detailed below. Online Masters Qualifiers also will award Hearthstone card packs for top-performing competitors. Registration will go live two weeks before each Masters Qualifier is set to begin, with the first tournament scheduled for March 5. Check out the full schedule here; registration already is open for the first tournaments:
But that’s not the only way to qualify! For ladder devotees, each month during a Masters Qualifiers season we will publish the top finishers in the Standard Ranked Play Ladder. Eligible players who end the month in the Top 200 will be invited to participate in a Ranked Ladder Qualifier. Each Ranked Ladder Qualifier follows the same rules of an open-entry Masters Qualifier, except the top four finishers will earn a spot at the next Hearthstone Masters Tour event.
Hearthstone Masters Tour
The first stop on the Hearthstone Masters Tour will be in Las Vegas, at the LINQ hotel, over June 14–16. What are we doing at the LINQ? We’re putting on a huge Hearthstone tournament! For competitors the setup will be familiar. Picture tables wired to the teeth with ethernet, primed for players to prove their merit in Swiss and elimination rounds over three days. There is a $250,000 prize pool, plus the incentive of proving yourself worthy of Hearthstone Grandmaster status—but more on that in a bit.
That $250,000 could potentially be a lot more. We want to give fans the chance to support Hearthstone Masters directly while getting some awesome in-game items. So later this year, we will introduce a limited-time-only esports bundle in the shop. A portion of all sales will be distributed across the base prize pools of each of the three 2019 Hearthstone Masters Tour events. Keep an eye out for more details about the esports bundle soon.
After our trip to Vegas, the Masters Tour will head to Asia and Europe, with even more destinations planned for 2020. The location and dates for each Masters Tour event will be announced at least two weeks prior to the beginning of their associated Masters Qualifiers season.
Players can qualify for Masters Tour events in 2019 through multiple routes, including:
Winning an online Masters Qualifier Placing in the top four of a Ranked Ladder Qualifier Securing an invitation through licensed third-party tournaments Finishing as a top-performer at a previous Masters Tour event Qualifying through the China Gold Series Finishing out Year of the Raven with at least 120 Hearthstone Competitive Points Hearthstone Grandmasters
Last but very much not least we have Hearthstone Grandmasters! We’re not quite ready to announce full details about Hearthstone Grandmasters, including qualifying criteria, but note that one way in which you can be invited to join is via consistent top finishes at Masters Tour events.
We are sending the Conquest format out with a bang at the 2019 Hearthstone World Championship, starting on April 25. Replacing Conquest will be a new format we’re calling Specialist. We are excited to see how the Specialist format performs when played at the pro level and we’re eager to implement community feedback to improve it as needed throughout 2019. Here’s how the format works:
Players submit three decks from the same class. Players designate one deck as a primary deck, then the other two as secondary and tertiary. Secondary and tertiary decks may have up to 5 cards different from the primary deck. For the purposes of this modification, two duplicate cards in the primary deck list count as two cards. Players must play game one of each match with their primary deck. At the beginning of game two and onward, players may decide to keep playing their primary deck, or switch to their secondary or tertiary decks. Deck decisions for games two and three, if necessary, are performed at the start of each game simultaneously and in secret from the opposing player. All Masters Qualifier and Ranked Ladder Qualifier matches will be best-of-three. All matches at Masters Tour events will be best-of-three as well, with the exception of a best-of-five finals.
Please see the Official Rules and Hearthstone Tournament Player Handbook for specific competition rules, eligibility requirements, and other important details. We have used feedback from our viewers and competitive community to make several new updates, including allowing note-taking in official competition, and more.
Good luck, and we hope to see you in a Masters Qualifier soon!
The Season of Rastakhan has begun and today we have the first round of the Brawl of the Champions.
As already explained, the Rumble Run is being brought into the Tavern Brawl and you can play one of the special Rumble Run decks against real opponents. Each class has three different Shrines, that promote different playstyles and are accompanied by premade decks that synergise with their respective Shrine.
Here are the Shrines for this week:
Druid: Bonds of Balance - At the end of your turn, gain Attack equal to your hero's Attack Hunter: Halazzi's Guise - Whenever you summon a Beast, it gains Rush, Taunt, or Poisonous. Mage: Jan'alai's Flame - Your Hero Power costs (O). Whenever it kills a minion, refresh it. Paladin: Shirvallah's Grace - After you cast a spell on a friendly minion, cast a copy of it on this one. Priest: Bwonsamdi's Tome - After you cast a spell, add a random Priest spell to your hand. Rogue: Bottled Terror - Your other minions have Stealth. Deathrattle: Give your minions +2 Attack. Shaman: Krag'wa's Grace - Your spells cost (2) less. Warlock: Blood Pact - Your spells cost Health instead of Mana. Warrior: Akali's Horn - Your minions have "Overkill: This can attack again". Unsurprisingly, the Shrines that are good in the Rumble Run are also effective versus actual opponents. This bunch of Shrines is quite decent, with the Priest and Mage ones being standouts. The weakest classes for this week are Warlock, Warrior and Hunter.
The Brawl of the Champions itself, like all Tavern Brawls, rewards a Classic card pack upon victory. However, you can complete the seasonal repeatable quest by playing the Brawl 3 times to earn a Rastakhan's Rumble card pack.
Joseph Magdalena is here to talk about the Season of Rastakhan event, which will begin on February 13.
As we already know, this event will start in a couple of days and it will last until March 3. It's all about the Tavern Brawl mode during the three-week Season of Rastakhan as each week you will get a special quest to play 3 Tavern Brawls; the quest will award a Rastakhan's Rumble card pack.
The Tavern Brawl will be the same each week and it's called the Brawl of Champions. Remember the Rumble Run? Well, now you will get to play against real opponents as one of the heroes of the Rumble Run, along with their special Shrine and complimentary deck. Since each class has 3 different Shrines in the Rumble Run, the Shrines for each class will be different each week and you will be able to swap classes if you choose so.