Caseyclarke is back with another set of interviews from the most recent week of THL action.
caseyclarke: You came to THL from Battle of the Discords right? Why did you choose to join the league?
theo: Yeah I found THL from battle of the discords. I've played in a few random online tournaments before I never wanted to be super competitive. THL seems like a great balance between competition and a friendly community.
caseyclarke: Do you think we get the balance between fun and competitive well? If you could make it more or less competitive would you?
theo: Well the fact that MCL mirrors the actual HCT hearthstone tournaments is great. I haven't played in Ragnaros or Sylvanas league but those intrigue me since they're unique to THL. I definitely prefer more competitive rules; if I want to mess around with decks or something I can just use casual or friendly battles.
caseyclarke: Who do you think is going to take home the gold in MCL this year?
theo: I'd say it's between Cinder and Joshsampson.I haven't looked at Catman's lists for semifinals but last I checked he was playing meme decks. And my lineup is looking terrible vs Joshsampson since he went full anti-control decks against my odd warrior and taunt druid. Some of my matchup spreads are <25% but there's always a chance! If I had to pick I would say Joshsampson to win.
caseyclarke: I guess you don’t believe in the heart of the cards... Just remember there are no bad cards in your father’s deck.
theo: Haha, yeah how could I forget
caseyclarke: How did you go about making your lineup this week?
theo: Well I'm a semi-budget player so I don't have a huge selection of decks to pick from. I looked through joshsampson's past weeks in MCL to try to figure out what decks he would play, but there wasn't much of a pattern so I just decided to bring solid all around decks. In the past I've brought even warlock and token druid almost every week.I decided to mix things up and bring taunt druid instead of token druid so I wouldn't be too predictable. I've just started to play odd warrior recently (the first time last week), and it actually got banned last week so I decided to bring it again. That was a pretty risky choice since it has very polarizing matchups, and it didn't exactly turn out well for me. I also usually bring an aggressive deck like odd rogue or paladin so my lineup isn't too control heavy, and I chose odd paladin this week for no particular reason.
caseyclarke: You come from an entirely MCL background. Do you think Rag and Sylv should go to open decklist?
theo: Hmm that's an interesting question. I would say that Rag and Sylv shouldn't go to open decklists because the mystery of which decks people bring is a large part of the fun and lineup-building strategy. Taking that away would remove another aspect that makes those leagues unique to THL. Also I assume that most people in those leagues would be against that change, but I'm just speculating since I have no experience with them.
caseyclarke: Is there a deck out there that you don’t think has gotten enough credit?
theo: I think midrange shaman is pretty strong but gets overshadowed by Shudderwock and Even shaman. I've been testing a more aggressive elemental/overload synergy version with Bloodlust as a finisher, and it seems like a solid deck.
caseyclarke: Lastly, is there anything else you would like to say to the THL community?
theo: I'd just like to say thanks to everyone in my first season of MCL for being friendly and the whole server for providing a great community to discuss hearthstone. Also thank you to the admins who do a great job maintaining this league. I feel like I should say some meme here, but oh well.
caseyclarke: What are you looking to get out of your THL experience?
Rumham: Have some good games and meet new players! I prefer bo5 format compared to most of the bo3 tourneys on battlefy so im super excited.
caseyclarke: Yeah. It’s great to have more depth than just bringing the three best decks. Which four classes do you think are best for THL at the moment?
Rumham: It's no question that Druid, Warlock, and Rogue are pretty much the strongest classes. But I prefer to try and bring decks that other people won't be bringing/expecting over bringing whatever the "best" decks are.
caseyclarke: Ahh. The Quest Paladin pocket pick. Can you talk about how you went about making that list? When I was playing against you I thought you would never be able to make a board but you did. Is the deck as bad as people would assume?
Rumham: I didn't make the deck personally, saw Thijs playing it on stream last week and figured I would try it out. I think a big misconception about the deck is that you have to win with the OTK, but with cards like Call to Arms and Giggling Inventor mixed with Tarim and Stonehills to find even more Tarims, you can often times play it like a midrange/control deck and the threat of the OTK will be enough to make your opponent overextend trying to kill you quickly.
caseyclarke: Are there any other wild choices you like?
Rumham: A magician never shares his secrets.
caseyclarke: You seem like the type of person who would enjoy wild. Do you play that format at all?
Rumham: Unfortunately no, I didn't start playing Hearthstone until just before Un'goro came out so I don't have any of the older cards.
caseyclarke: You’re a fast learner then! Have you played other card games before?
Rumham: No, not really. I use to play a lot of chess when I was younger so I think the similarities helped me pick it up faster. Also my friend who got me into the game was pretty good so he taught me a lot of stuff right off the bat.
caseyclarke: That’s good. In general, would you say you prefer control or Aggro?
Rumham: I prefer decks that can be flexible to do either of the two. For example my favorite deck at the moment is Even Shaman because you can choose to go super aggressive or play for value based on the matchup.
caseyclarke: Great. Is there anything else you would like to tell the THL community?
Rumham: I'm excited to see how THL goes, and If anyone wants to see more of my gameplay or just say hello I stream almost every day at Twitch.tv/rumhamhs. GLHF!
caseyclarke: What do you enjoy most about THL?
ClarkHELLSCREAM: I enjoy the friendly aspect of competition. This is a great stepping stone for new players who haven't done much with competitive scenes, and the experiences are not as negative, such as in Challenger Cups. First time I won a Challenger round, I got cussed out, but that hasn't happened once here.
What sort of prep has enabled you to be the only 4-0 1 seed left in the league?
Believe or not, I really don't prep too hard on my line ups. I do a lot of LHS series, so it really just comes down to what decks I feel comfortable with playing. I literally decide my line up the day before my match, and so far I've really only changed 2 decks since week 1. Mostly, I just jam ladder, so I'm familiar with what's out there and available.
caseyclarke: When building line-ups do you like to start with thinking about your decks you could bring or what your opponent might bring?
ClarkHELLSCREAM: I always think about what my opponents will bring, so it always will be a consideration in my line up. If you are 99% sure your opponent is going to be bringing a common top performing deck, wouldn't you want to have that slight advantage over it? It is a bit of a risk, but I believe as long as you know the deck you're planning on using, it'll be fine. It's really an added bonus if you were right and get a really favorable MU. As rebobson has told me, LHS is all about the oppressive MUs and maximizing your favorables. I try to do that with every tournament I go to.
caseyclarke: I believe you are headed to Dreamhack Atlanta soon. Do you have a prediction about how you will do?
ClarkHELLSCREAM: Yes, I am planning on attending Dreamhack Atlanta. It'll be my 4th Dreamhack. Last tournament I went to was Dreamhack Montreal, and I threw a chance at top 16. This time, I'm taking that placement.
caseyclarke: What is your opinion on the competitive meta right now? Do you think Blizzard electing not to do nerfs this expansion was a mistake?
ClarkHELLSCREAM: I think the meta is healthy in terms of diversity, but unhealthy in terms of oppressive MUs such as Quest Rogue and Odd Warrior. This is one of the best times to be playing ladder, but that doesn't mean there aren't issues. Quest Rogue is still a problem after all the nerfs, and it's all because of Giggling Inventor. I think Blizzard should have make slight changes as to get rid of the overwhelming power level of these decks. In my opinion, nerfing Giggling to 6 would be perfect so that Quest Rogues cannot double Giggling when they have Valeera the Hollow active. As far for Odd Warrior, I dunno how they can fix the deck without nerfing the HP. Other than that, it feels like skill and decision making on ladder is the most rewarding it's ever been. Same with tournament metas.
caseyclarke: Do you think there is any hope for BSM in Sylv or is it just too weak against other control lists?
ClarkHELLSCREAM: I think Big Spell Mage is particularly weak. The deck, in my opinion at least, is so dependent on pulling Jiana on 9 that if it doesn't, it severely hurts you chances of winning. It's not the best against other control decks, and it's not uncommon for aggro to beat it. The deck is definitely fun, just not a strong contender at the moment. The overwhelming amount of Druids and Odd Warriors makes it especially difficult for this deck to consistently get wins.
caseyclarke: Do you prefer Even of Shudderwock Shaman?
ClarkHELLSCREAM: I like the style of both decks, but I have a weakness for combo decks, so I gotta go with the Wock. I played a lot of Shudder Shaman last expansion, and I had a lot of fun with it, excluding how a wiff cost me a placement in HCT Germany. Regardless, it feels like a deck that rewards players for making the correct decisions. Take lgnuagehackr for example during Playoffs. There were a ton of extremely tough risk making decisions to be made, and he still ended up on top because he knew what to do and when. Even Shaman is fun too, don't get me wrong, but there is nothing like MY JAWS THAT BIT, MY CLAWS THAT CATCH.
caseyclarke: Is there anything else you would like to tell the league about yourself?
ClarkHELLSCREAM: I am ClarkHELLSCREAM. I stream on Twitch regularly (twitch/ClarkHELLSCREAM) whenever I'm not doing music gigs with my bands The Indigos and DTFunk. My plans are to attend as many tournaments as I need to so that I can begin to play this game full time, and actually earn a living doing so. I am planning on making it on a team here soon to try and make playing this idea of playing this game as a career into a feasible option. Until then, I'm gonna grind ladder and hope to get a top placement at every tournament I go to until the whole world knows about the wrath of ClarkHELLSCREAM.
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