Learning from the Pros: The Very Best of Starladder

-TheDacianWolf and Modorra

Watching good players is the best way to learn in Hearthstone, so lets take a look at some tough choices pro players faced at the Starladder tournament and what they picked. There were many plays we considered to feature but we only had space for 3. If you saw any that you’d like to see covered in the next instalment of the article feel free to leave it in the comment.

Remember that when looking at the solution you should not only check if you are right, but if your reasoning was correct as well. You can still learn quite a bit even if you picked the correct play.

Grim Prospects

Lets take a look at this situation between Dog and Surrender in game 5 of their match:

Dog vs Surrender Patron1

Context: Surrender had a slow start in which he hero powered on turn 2 and 3.  Surrender correctly intuited Dog wanted to make a bunch of Grim Patrons on turn 5 so he dropped Loatheb to stop him. Unfortunately Dog’s hand is full of spells.

Take a moment to think about what play you would make and why. Then open the spoiler below.

Open me!

An Imp in Time

Now its time to watch Surrender in the driver’s seat in his game against Lanshengzhe:

surrender vs shengzhe 1

Surrender has managed to wrest board control from the Aggro Shaman, but is it too late? What is the course of action that the Zoo player should take?

Me! Me! Pick me!

The End is Coming?

Lets dive into Stancifka vs Jab Game 2 Turn 5 playing Freeze Mage vs Tempo Mage:

Jab vs stancifka 1

For this example we are looking from Stancika’s point of view. As we can see Jab has a very threatening board, so our immediate goal is to deal with this board or set up for a way to deal it the following turns.

I want you to take a few moments to figure out what you believe the correct play is, it should be noted that Stancifka knows Jab’s current secret is not a Counterspell, and Jab at the very least runs a Duplicate and a Mirror Entity in his deck.

All done? Alright, double check your answer. I have granted you unlimited time and you haven’t double checked your answer? Most situations don’t grant you this…

Click when you unlimited time is up!

A Reminder that we Are All Human

After seeing Stancifka make such great plays all tournament long its good to have a little reminder that even pros make mistakes in high pressure situations. Later in the same game we get to see Stancifka and the casters miss the best play. Can you spot it?

Jab vs stancifka anto1

Answer

Sign off

This review of Starladder was brought to you by TheDacianWolf and Modorra. There were so many good plays that it was hard to pick just 4. If there is a play you’d like to see discussed leave it in the comments or send it to modorra@enterthehearth.com.

4 thoughts on “Learning from the Pros: The Very Best of Starladder

  1. I only missed #2… I thought it had something to do with sheep, but really only in hindsight would that have been playable. Fun article though!

  2. I don’t see the downside of starting with Explosive Sheep in #3. If it isn’t mirror you are still fine. You can just nova; tempo mage doesn’t run silence so you know that your sheep will pull mirror by killing scientist; either on opponent’s turn (if he clears it) or on our turn. In this line it is possible we can kill the shredder’s first half before playing doomsayer into mirror; thus achieving a full clear. It is also possible (though unlikely) that opponent will commit more to the board. Either way you save your valuable frostbolt.

    One concern is whether this results in a higher-value duplicate, say if the opponent sacrifices the mad scientist on their turn (maybe pinging the sheep). In this case you can ping off the 1-health Mana Wyrm to trigger duplicate before playing your doomsayer; you don’t end up clearing the Shredder’s first half, but it’s still an almost full-clear that buys you another turn and saves your frostbolt (an immediate solution that is not needed for this problem).

    Why is the frostbolt play superior?

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