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As Week 4 of The NUEL Hearthstone Championship ends, let’s take a quick look at our top performers so far. We have a lot of familiar names pop up from the Summer Tournament, but also some solid new contenders as well. With a new pool of players, a new meta, and a new academic year, the National Championship is turning out to be an interesting addition to our regular line of esports here at The NUEL.

Here are the top players in the tournament so far:

Top Players

Noodles – 11 Wins

xCooom – 10 Wins

AntiFlame – 10 Wins

rose – 9 Wins

PacWac – 9 Wins

Brandon – 9 Wins

Meta-Game Changes and What They Bring

One of the biggest changes we have seen since our Summer Tournament is the lack of Garrosh’s presence thanks to the “change” (it’s actually just a huge nerf) to Warsong Commander. This effectively killed the One Turn Kill ability of Patron Warrior and the ability for Grim Patrons to clear soft boards effectively. What interesting new developments does this bring? Most competitive players would definitely argue that Patron Warrior was a metagame defining deck, meaning that the viability of other decks are dependent on how well they can play into Patron Warrior.

We saw in the Summer Tournament that Patron Warrior did a number on the matchup to both Secret Paladin and Dragon Priest. However, with it being non-existent, those decks that were already popular, are now even more so. In addition, we have seen an influx of more aggressive decks as they can live without fear of Whirlwind and Unstable Ghoul clears and one of the most talked about is Aggro Druid. With the strong tempo game this deck brings and the horrifying 5 mana 8/8 body that is Fel Reaver, matches will certainly be more dynamic when Malfurion takes to the battlefield.

What does this mean for other decks? Tempo Mage will certainly be a lot less hesitant to drop their Flamewakers without fear of triggering an infinite number of 3/3s. Freeze Mage won’t likely be forced to drop Ice Blocks at full health in fear of the OTK combo. Similarly, the number of turns Handlocks get to draw out the game won’t be restricted to the number of Taunts they give up to Executes and Combos. Hunters will have a better time cutting health down without Armorsmiths to ruin the fun. It’s pretty safe to say that in general, the Hearthstone competitive scene has a lot more options to choose from with the removal of Patron Warrior. What decks did you bring to the tournament? Got any great new deck ideas for this split? Leave them in the comments below and get back on Battle.net because this season is just kicking off.

Will “Reverbe” Xu