Hearthstone Finnish Championships 2017 Event #2 decks, results, and analysis

The Hearthstone Finnish Championships in 2017 is a multi-stage event. The first event, which determined one of the two players for the Grand Final, was played on 9 and 10 June, and the second event, which determined the second finalist, was played on 30 June and 1 July. The Grand Final itself – yes, just a single match – will take place at Assembly Summer LAN in the beginning of August.

In this post, I take a look at the decks and results of the second event, including class distribution, archetypes, archetype performance, and ban decisions.

Players

Open online qualifiers were arranged to determine the eight players for the second event. Kallootulloo won the first event and had already secured his place in the Grand Final, but most of the notable Finnish Hearthstone players who had not succeeded in the first event participated in the qualifiers and many of them made it to the second event for another, final chance to make it to the Grand Final.

What level of tournament are we discussing here? Here are some of the top merits of the eight participants:

  • Creapz: #27 (6-3) at Dreamhack Austin 2017, tied with Janetzky on HCT points for Global Games Anchor
  • Ersee: Second place at Dreamhack Winter 2015, #22 (6-3) at Dreamhack Summer 2016
  • Janetzky: Top 16 at Dreamhack Summer 2017, #21 (6-3) at Dreamhack Summer 2016, Finland Global Games Anchor
  • NoRage: Top 8 Throne of Cards IV (2017), Top 20 WESG European & CIS Qualifiers 2016
  • Roarr: Multiple top-100 ladder finishes, multiple top finishes in local Finnish tournaments
  • Threat: #2 at Assembly Summer 2016 BYOC, multiple top finishes in local Finnish tournaments
  • Vardu: Top 4 at Dreamhack Winter 2016 Side Event, #1 at Assembly Summer 2016 BYOC
  • Zumpp: Semi-finalist at Dreamhack Summer 2017

That’s a lot of good Dreamhack finishes, so even though the event was limited to a single nationality, it featured some high-level Hearthstone.

Results

The event was played in a best-of-five Conquest format with one ban and a double-elimination bracket. Here are the results of the upper bracket and lower bracket:

In the end, it was Vardu who prevailed and will face Kallootulloo in the Hearthstone Finnish Championships Grand Final in August.

The focus of this article is analysis, so let’s start digging deeper into decks, archetypes, and performance.

Class distribution

The decklists have been published on Google Drive.

Classes in top 8 from the most popular to the least popular:

  • Warrior: 6
  • Mage: 6
  • Druid: 6
  • Shaman: 5
  • Paladin: 5
  • Rogue: 2
  • Priest: 2
  • Hunter: 0
  • Warlock: Zero. Zippo. Nada. Zilch.

Warlock remains dead as expected, and this time two Priests made it to the top 8 whereas Hunters missed out.

The top five classes (Warrior, Mage, Druid, Shaman, Paladin) were very evenly split, and for some reason Rogue did not find many supporters among the top Finnish players.

Archetype distribution by class and performance

The tournament featured a highly aggressive meta: Pirate Warrior, Aggro Druid, and Evolve Shaman were the most popular archetypes – and right behind them Freeze Mage to counter them all.

This meta resulted in some very different outcomes than usual: Jade Druid went 0-2 and did not win a single game, and Quest Rogue was barely able to get an even record at 4-4. This goes to show how meta-dependent Hearthstone deck choices are. Even the traditional good decks can and will struggle when facing an unfavorable meta.

Aggro decks themselves did not perform that much better. Aggro decks fighting other aggro decks can go either way, and none of them were able to establish clear dominance. Evolve Shaman’s strength is undeniable, and even in an aggressive environment, it pushed through with a positive winrate at 7-5. Aggro Druid also simply forced its way through to an 8-7 record regardless of opposition. Pirate Warrior felt a bit more pain at 5-7 and Murloc Paladin just could not find its way out of a 3-6 record.

The big winners were anti-aggro decks. Control Paladin (4-1) and Freeze Mage (6-2) shined as the two most successful archetypes in the tournament, even while Freeze Mage and Zumpp’s Hybrid Freeze Mage (the same list he famously brought to Dreamhack Summer) were banned a total of six times, more than any other deck. Freeze Mage has found a good place in the current meta on both ladder and tournaments.

Paladin

  • 2 Control Paladin (4-1, banned 2 times)
  • 2 Murloc Paladins (3-6)
  • 1 Midrange Paladins (3-1, banned 2 times)

Warrior

  • 4 Pirate Warriors (5-7, banned 3 times)
  • 2 Taunt Warriors (5-6, banned 2 times)

Druid

  • 4 Aggro Druids (8-7, banned 3 times)
  • 1 Big Druid (0-1, banned 1 time)
  • 1 Jade Druids (0-2, banned 1 time)

Mage

  • 1 Gunther Mages (1-0, banned 1 time)
  • 1 N’Zoth Control Mage (0-4)
  • 1 Secret Mage (1-2, banned 1 time)
  • 2 Freeze Mage (4-1, banned 3 times)
  • 1 Hybrid Freeze Mage (2-1, banned 3 times)

Rogue

  • 2 Quest Rogue (4-4, banned 1 time)

Shaman

  • 4 Evolve Shamans (7-5, banned 5 times)
  • 1 Jade Elemental Token Shaman (2-2)

Priest

  • 1 Combo Priest (1-2)
  • 1 Control Priest (4-2)

Decks and performance by player

Creapz:

  • Aggro Druid (3-3) (Tinkmaster Overspark)
  • Freeze Mage (2-1) (1xCounterspell, 1xIce Barrier)
  • Evolve Shaman (0-2) (Sea Giant)
  • Pirate Warrior (2-2) (Hungry Crab)

Ersee:

  • Evolve Shaman (1-0)
  • Murloc Paladin (1-5) (Ragnaros Lightlord)
  • Secret Mage (1-2) (Archmage Antonidas, Yogg-Saron)
  • Aggro Druid (3-1) (2xSouthsea Captain)

Janetzky:

  • Evolve Shaman (3-3)
  • Pirate Warrior (2-4)
  • Midrange Murloc Paladin (3-1) (Vinecleaver, Deathwing)
  • Aggro Druid (3-2) (Southsea Captain)

NoRage:

  • Pirate Warrior (1-0)
  • Aggro Druid (1-3) (Southsea Captain)
  • Jade Elemental Token Shaman (2-2)
  • Murloc Paladin (2-1) (2xArgent Protector, Divine Favor, Finja)

Roarr:

  • Big Druid (0-1)
  • N’Zoth Control Mage (0-4)
  • N’Zoth Control Paladin (1-0)
  • Pirate Warrior (0-1)

Threat:

  • Quest Rogue (1-2) (2xHungry Crab)
  • Gunther Mage (1-0)
  • Combo Priest (1-2) (Inner Fire, Divine Spirit, Yogg-Saron)
  • Jade Druid (0-2) (2xWild Pyromancer)

Vardu:

  • Control Priest (4-2) (2xGolakka Crawler, Medivh, Free from Amber)
  • Control Paladin (3-1) (2xGolakka Crawler, 2xRallying Blade)
  • Taunt Warrior (3-1)
  • Freeze Mage (2-0) (Eater of Secrets)

Zumpp:

  • Quest Rogue (3-2)
  • Evolve Shaman (4-1) (Sea Giant)
  • N’Zoth Taunt Warrior (2-5)
  • Hybrid Freeze Mage (2-1)

Bans, expected winners, journeys, and upsets

With expected matchup winrates from Vicious Syndicate, 20 out of 28 bans in the tournament were optimal. The unoptimal bans reduced the expected winrates by 3 percentage points on average – however, none of them were significant enough to change who was favored overall in the match. In two cases, the bans turned a 51% match into a 54% match, of which one was won by the favored player who banned correctly, and one was won by the player who was unfavored and further reduced his chances.

Overall, 9 out of 14 matches were won by the expected favorite.

Zumpp was responsible for most of the upsets, winning unfavorable matches against Creapz, NoRage, and Threat. According to VS data, Zumpp did not have a single favored match in the entire tournament, and he still managed to finish third! Zumpp only lost to Janetzky, in both upper and lower bracket.

Vardu’s story was something completely different. He was heavily favored in all of his matches except for the first round, where Roarr was expected to take the win. This may be more appearance than reality though, as Roarr had a Control Mage that went 0-4 in his lineup, and I used Gunther Mage winrates as the nearest estimate for its performance. If the Control Mage just wasn’t going to make it in the meta of this tournament, that explains the apparent first-round upset.

These two journeys demonstrate both the piloting skills and meta-reading skills needed to succeed in Hearthstone tournaments: Zumpp put on one amazing show, but the prize was ultimately gathered by Vardu who played well and also brought the best lineup for the meta.

Janetzky also deserves special mention. After all, he was the only player who beat Zumpp in the tournament, and he did it twice. He also lost to Vardu twice, but for a time it seemed as if he would push through with willpower alone: he first lost to Vardu 3-0, but fought his way back to the final match and made it a real battle, losing 2-3 in the end with a highly unfavorable lineup. One of Janetzky’s miracles was making Midrange Paladin work in this meta: 3-1 record from the only player who believed in Midrange Paladin is very impressive, and it included taking a game from Ersee’s Murloc Paladin in the deciding game of their match.

Deck spotlights

There were some interesting decks in the tournament. Alas, they failed. Seeing a N’Zoth Control Mage is impressive, but seeing it go 0-4 is not. Ostkaka-inspired Big Druid made an appearance, but it only resulted in one ban and one loss. We also got to see a Combo Priest, but only briefly as it 1-2’d its way out of the tournament.

There were still some nice decks that both look good and perform well. Nothing too unique, unless you count having a Priest as unique, but interesting variations of some common themes nonetheless.

Enjoy!

Vardu’s Anti-Aggro Control Priest

Finally a tournament where a Priest deck performs well!

Vardu brought this anti-aggro Control Priest to a tournament that happened to have an aggro meta. Nom nom nom, said the Priest, and proceeded to a 4-2 record.

This Priest just does not want to lose to aggro: double Potion of Madness, double Golakka Crawler, double Shadow Word: Pain, it just has all the defensive tools available.

Deck code: AAECAZ/HAgbJBpAHobcCz8cCmcgCvsgCDOUE0wrXCvIMkrQCtbsC6r8C0cEC2MEC2cEC5MIC38QCAA==

Vardu’s Control Paladin

Another great meta read from Vardu, this Control Paladin list also has a heavy anti-aggro focus with its double Golakka Crawlers and double Rallying Blades over Truesilver Champions to hit that three health sweet spot that so many common minions now have.

Deck code: AAECAYsWCPoG+wyKrgLmrgK5sgK5wQLfxALTxQILigHcA/QF9gePCdmuArPBApvCAuTCAojHAsnHAgA=

Janetzky’s (Hoej’s) Midrange Murloc Paladin

Janetzky finished in the top 16 at Dreamhack Summer 2017 with a Midrange Paladin in his lineup. He kept Midrange Paladin in his lineup for this tournament, but switched the list to that of another Dreamhack Summer top 16 contender, Hoej.

The deck adds a touch of additional aggression to the traditional midrange build with two copies of Grimscale Chums (bringing the number of one-cost minions to six), Blessing of Kings, and Finja, the Flying Star. Hybridization of Murloc Paladin and Midrange Paladin has been an ongoing theme for months now, and this deck is still firmly in the midrange camp.

On the top end, the deck includes a Vinecleaver, and the dragon of choice to be drawn by The Curator is in this case Deathwing intead of Primordial Drake. When you want to clear the board, you can really clear the board with this list.

Deck code: AAECAZ8FCsIGzwb6Bq8H2a4CubICvL0C474CucECg8cCCtsD3AOnCNOqAtO8ArPBApvCAp3CArHCAojHAgA=

NoRage’s Murloc Paladin

NoRage was able to find some success (2-1) with his take on Murloc Paladin. He had chosen to improve his on-board trades with a pair of Argent Protectors, who also synergize well with Rallying Blades.

Deck code: AAECAZ8FCNwDpwX6BrmyAry9AuO+ArnBAojHAgvbA+MFrwf+B6cI06oC2a4C07wCs8ECncICscICAA==

Appendix: Hearthstone Finnish Championships Event #2 Matches

Raw data on matches, lineups, and bans.

Upper bracket, round 1: Creapz vs NoRage

Expected win rates for each matchup:

Decks Pirate Warrior Aggro Druid Token Shaman Murloc Paladin
Aggro Druid 0.61 0.5 0.45 0.6
Freeze Mage 0.45 0.69 0.63 0.59
Evolve Shaman 0.62 0.55 0.5 0.57
Pirate Warrior 0.5 0.39 0.38 0.57

 

Match win rates with each ban combination:

Decks Pirate Warrior Aggro Druid Token Shaman Murloc Paladin
Aggro Druid 56% 56% 59% 53%
Freeze Mage 51% 57% 59% 50%
Evolve Shaman 55% 56% 58% 51%
Pirate Warrior 62% 61% 64% 60%

 

Expected bans: Creapz was expected to ban Token Shaman and NoRage was expected to ban Evolve Shaman.

Actual bans: Creapz banned Pirate Warrior and NoRage banned Evolve Shaman.

Creapz has a dominant strategy to ban Token Shaman – even more than these figures show as Token Shaman is favored in the mirror vs Evolve Shaman – and NoRage is expected to answer that with the best option, Evolve Shaman ban. Freeze Mage ban for NoRage could actually be good if Creapz deviates from the optimal strategy, and not too punishing if he doesn’t, but there are still no rational ground to go for that. Banning anything else than Murloc Paladin is still pretty good for Creapz.

Expected winner: Creapz at 55%

Games:

Aggro Druid loses to Murloc Paladin

Freeze Mage wins against Aggro Druid

Aggro Druid wins against Token Shaman

Pirate Warrior wins against Aggro Druid

Creapz 3 – NoRage 1.

Upper bracket, round 1: Vardu vs Roarr

Expected win rates for each matchup:

Decks Big Druid Control Mage Control Paladin Pirate Warrior
Control Priest 0.43 0.48 0.43 0.41
Control Paladin 0.33 0.48 0.5 0.55
Taunt Warrior 0.3 0.49 0.5 0.45
Freeze Mage 0.29 0.39 0.49 0.45

* Win rates for Big Druid and Control Mage are from Jade Druid (similar matchups, except Big Druid is favored in the mirror) and Gunther Mage (really peculiar list, but should function in ways closer to Gunther than Freeze) because of lack of data.

Match win rates with each ban combination:

Decks Big Druid Control Mage Control Paladin Pirate Warrior
Control Priest 46% 39% 35% 37%
Control Paladin 41% 35% 34% 36%
Taunt Warrior 43% 38% 36% 37%
Freeze Mage 45% 38% 39% 39%

 

Expected bans: Vardu was expected to ban Big Druid and Roarr was expected to ban Control Paladin.

Vardu has a clear dominant strategy to ban Big Druid, and Roarr has a clear dominant strategy to ban Control Paladin. There is only one way this can go.

Actual bans: Vardu banned Big Druid and Roarr banned Control Paladin.

Expected winner: Roarr at 59%

Games:

Control Priest loses to Control Paladin

Freeze Mage wins against Pirate Warrior

Control Priest wins against Control Mage

Taunt Warrior wins against Control Mage

Vardu 3 – Roarr 1.

Upper bracket, round 1: Janetzky vs Ersee

Expected win rates for each matchup:

Decks Evolve Shaman Murloc Paladin Secret Mage Aggro Druid
Evolve Shaman 0.5 0.57 0.55 0.55
Pirate Warrior 0.38 0.57 0.53 0.39
Midrange Paladin 0.46 0.38 0.55 0.39
Aggro Druid 0.45 0.6 0.41 0.5

 

Match win rates with each ban combination:

Decks Evolve Shaman Murloc Paladin Secret Mage Aggro Druid
Evolve Shaman 46% 41% 42% 47%
Pirate Warrior 49% 47% 47% 49%
Midrange Paladin 54% 45% 51% 52%
Aggro Druid 49% 46% 43% 50%

 

Expected bans: Janetzky was expected to ban Aggro Druid and Ersee was expected to ban Evolve Shaman.

Ersee has a clear dominant strategy to ban Evolve Shaman, and Janetzky is expected to react to that. The best choice seems to be Aggro Druid, with Evolve Shaman mirror ban close second.

Actual bans: Janetzky banned Evolve Shaman and Ersee banned Evolve Shaman.

Expected winner: Ersee at 54%

Games:

Aggro Druid loses to Aggro Druid

Pirate Warrior wins against Secret Mage

Aggro Druid loses to Secret Mage

Aggro Druid wins against Murloc Paladin

Midrange Paladin wins against Murloc Paladin

Janetzky 3 – Ersee 2.

Upper bracket, round 1: Zumpp vs Threat

Expected win rates for each matchup:

Decks Quest Rogue Gunther Mage Combo Priest Jade Druid
Quest Rogue 0.5 0.49 0.63 0.73
Evolve Shaman 0.54 0.45 0.56 0.53
Taunt Warrior 0.31 0.49 0.48 0.3
Hybrid Freeze Mage 0.57 0.39 0.32 0.29

 

Match win rates with each ban combination:

Decks Quest Rogue Gunther Mage Combo Priest Jade Druid
Quest Rogue 35% 36% 36% 41%
Evolve Shaman 38% 39% 39% 42%
Taunt Warrior 44% 51% 49% 49%
Hybrid Freeze Mage 52% 49% 45% 49%

 

Expected bans: Zumpp was expected to ban Jade Druid and Threat was expected to ban Quest Rogue.

Threat has a dominant strategy to ban Quest Rogue, and Zumpp is expected to answer that with a Jade Druid ban.

Actual bans: Zumpp banned Jade Druid and Threat banned Quest Rogue.

Expected winner: Threat at 59%

Games:

Hybrid Freeze Mage loses to Gunther Mage

Evolve Shaman wins against Combo Priest

Taunt Warrior wins against Quest Rogue

Hybrid Freeze Mage wins against Combo Priest

Zumpp 3 – Threat 1.

Lower bracket, round 1: NoRage vs Roarr

Expected win rates for each matchup:

Decks Big Druid Control Mage Control Paladin Pirate Warrior
Pirate Warrior 0.52 0.54 0.45 0.5
Aggro Druid 0.62 0.47 0.34 0.61
Token Shaman 0.53 0.45 0.47 0.62
Murloc Paladin 0.66 0.56 0.49 0.43

 

Match win rates with each ban combination:

Decks Big Druid Control Mage Control Paladin Pirate Warrior
Pirate Warrior 49% 57% 60% 53%
Aggro Druid 50% 54% 57% 54%
Token Shaman 48% 54% 59% 54%
Murloc Paladin 50% 54% 58% 49%

 

Expected bans: NoRage was expected to ban Control Paladin and Roarr was expected to ban Aggro Druid.

NoRage has a dominant strategy to ban Control Paladin, and Roarr is expected to answer that.

Actual bans: NoRage banned Control Paladin and Roarr banned Aggro Druid.

Expected winner: NoRage at 57%

Games:

Token Shaman wins against Control Mage

Murloc Paladin wins against Big Druid

Pirate Warrior wins against Control Mage

NoRage 3 – Roarr 0.

Lower bracket, round 1: Ersee vs Threat

Expected win rates for each matchup:

Decks Quest Rogue Gunther Mage Combo Priest Jade Druid
Evolve Shaman 0.54 0.45 0.56 0.53
Murloc Paladin 0.57 0.56 0.66 0.66
Secret Mage 0.57 0.51 0.59 0.58
Aggro Druid 0.67 0.47 0.44 0.62

 

Match win rates with each ban combination:

Decks Quest Rogue Gunther Mage Combo Priest Jade Druid
Evolve Shaman 62% 68% 65% 61%
Murloc Paladin 56% 62% 60% 57%
Secret Mage 59% 65% 62% 59%
Aggro Druid 62% 65% 60% 61%

 

Expected bans: Ersee was expected to ban Gunther Mage and Threat was expected to ban Murloc Paladin.

However, Threat had a tech choice in his Quest Rogue, double Hungry Crab, which made Secret Mage potentially a bigger threat than Murloc Paladin.

Actual bans: Ersee banned Gunther Mage and Threat banned Secret Mage.

Expected winner: Ersee at 65%

Games:

Evolve Shaman wins against Quest Rogue

Murloc Paladin loses to Quest Rogue

Aggro Druid loses to Combo Priest

Aggro Druid wins against Jade Druid

Murloc Paladin wins against Jade Druid

Ersee 3 – Threat 2.

Upper bracket, round 2: Creapz vs Vardu

Expected win rates for each matchup:

Decks Control Priest Control Paladin Taunt Warrior Freeze Mage
Aggro Druid 0.44 0.34 0.3 0.31
Freeze Mage 0.32 0.49 0.42 0.5
Evolve Shaman 0.56 0.47 0.41 0.38
Pirate Warrior 0.59 0.45 0.55 0.55

 

Match win rates with each ban combination:

Decks Control Priest Control Paladin Taunt Warrior Freeze Mage
Aggro Druid 44% 44% 46% 44%
Freeze Mage 33% 40% 41% 41%
Evolve Shaman 36% 37% 38% 36%
Pirate Warrior 31% 32% 35% 34%

 

Expected bans: Creapz was expected to ban Taunt Warrior and Vardu was expected to ban Pirate Warrior.

Both players have a dominant strategy. And both deviated from it!

Actual bans: Creapz banned Freeze Mage and Vardu banned Freeze Mage.

Expected winner: Vardu at 59%

Games:

Aggro Druid loses to Taunt Warrior

Aggro Druid wins against Control Priest

Evolve Shaman loses to Control Paladin

Evolve Shaman loses to Control Priest

Creapz 1 – Vardu 3.

Upper bracket, round 2: Janetzky vs Zumpp

Expected win rates for each matchup:

Decks Quest Rogue Evolve Shaman Taunt Warrior Hybrid Freeze Mage
Evolve Shaman 0.54 0.5 0.41 0.38
Pirate Warrior 0.65 0.38 0.55 0.55
Midrange Paladin 0.51 0.46 0.68 0.5
Aggro Druid 0.67 0.45 0.3 0.31

 

Match win rates with each ban combination:

Decks Quest Rogue Evolve Shaman Taunt Warrior Hybrid Freeze Mage
Evolve Shaman 41% 55% 51% 54%
Pirate Warrior 38% 47% 48% 51%
Midrange Paladin 35% 49% 51% 51%
Aggro Druid 48% 55% 50% 54%

 

Expected bans: Janetzky was expected to ban Hybrid Freeze Mage and Zumpp was expected to ban Pirate Warrior.

This one is actually quite complicated. Janetzky will never ban Quest Rogue, but all other bans can be the best option, depending on what Zumpp bans. Zumpp, on the other hand, will ban Pirate Warrior or Midrange Paladin, the other two are never optimal. Midrange Paladin is only best if Janetzky bans Quest Rogue, which he will never do, so Zumpp will always ban Pirate Warrior. Thus, Janetzky will respond with Hybrid Freeze Mage ban. This actually happened!

Actual bans: Janetzky banned Hybrid Freeze Mage and Zumpp banned Pirate Warrior.

Expected winner: Janetzky at 51%

Games:

Midrange Paladin wins against Taunt Warrior

Aggro Druid wins against Quest Rogue

Evolve Shaman loses to Evolve Shaman

Evolve Shaman wins against Taunt Warrior

Janetzky 3 – Zumpp 1.

Lower bracket, round 2: Zumpp vs NoRage

Expected win rates for each matchup:

Decks Pirate Warrior Aggro Druid Token Shaman Murloc Paladin
Quest Rogue 0.35 0.33 0.46 0.43
Evolve Shaman 0.62 0.55 0.5 0.57
Taunt Warrior 0.45 0.7 0.59 0.38
Hybrid Freeze Mage 0.45 0.69 0.63 0.59

 

Match win rates with each ban combination:

Decks Pirate Warrior Aggro Druid Token Shaman Murloc Paladin
Quest Rogue 65% 56% 61% 65%
Evolve Shaman 54% 46% 46% 51%
Taunt Warrior 53% 51% 49% 49%
Hybrid Freeze Mage 49% 46% 45% 49%

 

Expected bans: Zumpp was expected to ban Pirate Warrior and NoRage was expected to ban Hybrid Freeze Mage.

Both players have a dominant strategy, this one is clear.

Actual bans: Zumpp banned Pirate Warrior and NoRage banned Hybrid Freeze Mage.

Expected winner: NoRage at 51%

Games:

Taunt Warrior wins against Token Shaman

Evolve Shaman loses to Token Shaman

Evolve Shaman wins against Aggro Druid

Quest Rogue loses to Aggro Druid

Quest Rogue wins against Murloc Paladin

Zumpp 3 – NoRage 2.

Lower bracket, round 2: Creapz vs Ersee

Expected win rates for each matchup:

Decks Evolve Shaman Murloc Paladin Secret Mage Aggro Druid
Aggro Druid 0.45 0.6 0.41 0.5
Freeze Mage 0.63 0.59 0.44 0.69
Evolve Shaman 0.5 0.57 0.55 0.55
Pirate Warrior 0.38 0.57 0.53 0.39

 

Match win rates with each ban combination:

Decks Evolve Shaman Murloc Paladin Secret Mage Aggro Druid
Aggro Druid 58% 52% 56% 56%
Freeze Mage 54% 45% 51% 52%
Evolve Shaman 55% 47% 55% 53%
Pirate Warrior 59% 54% 62% 55%

 

Expected bans: Creapz was expected to ban Evolve Shaman and Ersee was expected to ban Freeze Mage.

Evolve Shaman is the best ban for Creapz in every other case except Ersee banning Pirate Warrior, which Ersee will never do. Therefore, Creapz will ban Evolve Shaman. Ersee’s best response is Freeze Mage, with Evolve Shaman mirror ban a close second.

Actual bans: Creapz banned Evolve Shaman and Ersee banned Evolve Shaman.

Expected winner: Creapz at 55%

Games:

Aggro Druid loses to Aggro Druid

Aggro Druid wins against Murloc Paladin

Pirate Warrior wins against Secret Mage

Freeze Mage wins against Murloc Paladin

Creapz 3 – Ersee 1.

Lower bracket, round 3: Zumpp vs Creapz

Expected win rates for each matchup:

Decks Aggro Druid Freeze Mage Evolve Shaman Pirate Warrior
Quest Rogue 0.33 0.43 0.46 0.35
Evolve Shaman 0.55 0.38 0.5 0.62
Taunt Warrior 0.7 0.58 0.59 0.45
Hybrid Freeze Mage 0.69 0.5 0.63 0.45

 

Match win rates with each ban combination:

Decks Aggro Druid Freeze Mage Evolve Shaman Pirate Warrior
Quest Rogue 54% 65% 60% 63%
Evolve Shaman 49% 51% 48% 56%
Taunt Warrior 46% 49% 44% 48%
Hybrid Freeze Mage 46% 49% 46% 48%

 

Expected bans: Zumpp was expected to ban Freeze Mage and Creapz was expected to ban Taunt Warrior.

For Zumpp, the optimal ban is Freeze Mage in every other case except Creapz banning Evolve Shaman, in which case Pirate Warrior ban is better. Creapz has a dominant strategy to ban Taunt Warrior. Therefore, Zumpp is expected to respond with a Freeze Mage ban.

Actual bans: Zumpp banned Aggro Druid and Creapz banned Taunt Warrior.

Expected winner: Creapz at 54%

Games:

Hybrid Freeze Mage wins against Pirate Warrior

Quest Rogue wins against Freeze Mage

Evolve Shaman wins against Pirate Warrior

Zumpp 3 – Creapz 0.

Upper bracket, round 3: Vardu vs Janetzky

Expected win rates for each matchup:

Decks Evolve Shaman Pirate Warrior Midrange Paladin Aggro Druid
Control Priest 0.44 0.41 0.33 0.56
Control Paladin 0.53 0.55 0.39 0.66
Taunt Warrior 0.59 0.45 0.32 0.7
Freeze Mage 0.63 0.45 0.5 0.69

 

Match win rates with each ban combination:

Decks Evolve Shaman Pirate Warrior Midrange Paladin Aggro Druid
Control Priest 59% 64% 67% 49%
Control Paladin 52% 57% 60% 43%
Taunt Warrior 53% 56% 59% 44%
Freeze Mage 51% 54% 59% 41%

 

Expected bans: Vardu was expected to ban Midrange Paladin and Janetzky was expected to ban Freeze Mage.

Both players have a dominant strategy, this should be clear. However, Janetzky deviates – Taunt Warrior ban is nonetheless even with Freeze Mage ban given Vardu’s ban.

Actual bans: Vardu banned Midrange Paladin and Janetzky banned Taunt Warrior.

Expected winner: Vardu at 59%

Games:

Control Priest wins against Pirate Warrior

Freeze Mage wins against Evolve Shaman

Control Paladin wins against Pirate Warrior

Vardu 3 – Janetzky 0.

Lower bracket, round 4: Janetzky vs Zumpp

Expected win rates for each matchup:

Decks Quest Rogue Evolve Shaman Taunt Warrior Hybrid Freeze Mage
Evolve Shaman 0.54 0.5 0.41 0.38
Pirate Warrior 0.65 0.38 0.55 0.55
Midrange Paladin 0.51 0.46 0.68 0.5
Aggro Druid 0.67 0.45 0.3 0.31

 

Match win rates with each ban combination:

Decks Quest Rogue Evolve Shaman Taunt Warrior Hybrid Freeze Mage
Evolve Shaman 41% 55% 51% 54%
Pirate Warrior 38% 47% 48% 51%
Midrange Paladin 35% 49% 51% 51%
Aggro Druid 48% 55% 50% 54%

 

Expected bans: Janetzky was expected to ban Hybrid Freeze Mage and Zumpp was expected to ban Pirate Warrior.

For Janetzky, the optimal ban can be either Evolve Shaman or Hybrid Freeze Mage. For Zumpp, the optimal ban given those two alternatives from Janetzky, is Pirate Warrior. Janetzky should therefore ban Hybrid Freeze Mage.

Actual bans: Janetzky banned Hybrid Freeze Mage and Zumpp banned Aggro Druid.

Expected winner: Janetzky at 54%

Games:

Midrange Paladin loses to Quest Rogue

Pirate Warrior wins against Taunt Warrior

Midrange Paladin wins against Taunt Warrior

Evolve Shaman wins against Taunt Warrior

Janetzky 3 – Zumpp 1.

Final: Vardu vs Janetzky

Expected win rates for each matchup:

Decks Evolve Shaman Pirate Warrior Midrange Paladin Aggro Druid
Control Priest 0.44 0.41 0.33 0.56
Control Paladin 0.53 0.55 0.39 0.66
Taunt Warrior 0.59 0.45 0.32 0.7
Freeze Mage 0.63 0.45 0.5 0.69

 

Match win rates with each ban combination:

Decks Evolve Shaman Pirate Warrior Midrange Paladin Aggro Druid
Control Priest 59% 64% 67% 49%
Control Paladin 52% 57% 60% 43%
Taunt Warrior 53% 56% 59% 44%
Freeze Mage 51% 54% 59% 41%

 

Expected bans: Vardu was expected to ban Midrange Paladin and Janetzky was expected to ban Freeze Mage.

Both players have a dominant strategy.

Actual bans: Vardu banned Midrange Paladin and Janetzky banned Freeze Mage.

Expected winner: Vardu at 59%

Games:

Control Priest wins against Evolve Shaman

Control Paladin loses to Aggro Druid

Taunt Warrior loses to Evolve Shaman

Taunt Warrior wins against Pirate Warrior

Control Paladin wins against Pirate Warrior

Vardu 3 – Janetzky 2.

 

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