With a new expansion and even new format in Hearthstone we have found out some old decks don't work like they used to, some decks continue on being strong, and there are some exciting new decks that we really didn't see coming. THL has mirrored this in a way as we see some veteran teams thrive and others struggle to adapt to the new environment, while there are new teams surprising everyone with their early success. Just who are those teams? Let's take a look.
1. Team Rank Five (previous ranking 2)
Being at the top of the power rankings is a familiar position for Team Rank Five and after their second win and Soupreme's stumble they find themselves back on top. It was the middle of the roster coming through this past week with Imbolc, MVParker, and JesusC coming away with the wins against Boom Squad.
2. The Hairy Generals (previous ranking 4)
Another team accustomed to finding their name at the top of the rankings, the Hairy Generals had an impressive win over Soupreme in week two. Somewhat clouding this particular matchup was two forfeits from Soupreme and with three of their members playing in the Spring Preliminaries it's possible Soupreme's focus was elsewhere. Still, the Generals went about their business and now haven't lost a series since the playoffs of season one.
3. Xnergy (previous ranking 5)
After tearing through Entropy week one, Xnergy did pretty much the same thing week two against the Gosu Casuals. Out of ten individual matches Xnergy has only dropped one of those and find themselves as the points leader at the moment as a result. It's only two weeks but so far it seems the roster changes are paying off and putting distance between them and what happened last season.
4. Soupreme (previous ranking 1)
Somewhat surprisingly two of Soupreme's big three lost in week two but with all three of them playing in the Spring Preliminaries it's hard to determine what impact that had on their preparation. There were several teams with players playing in the prelims so they weren't the only ones affected, but they were the only team with three players participating. Along with those two losses, there were also two forfeits with their remaining seeds which is a pretty big concern. A loss is never fun but with their captain DeerJason having an impressive run to qualify for the Spring Championship it wasn't too bad of a week for Soupreme.
5. N.W.A. (previous ranking 6)
I think N.W.A would be the first to tell you they had a disappointing start to the season but they bounced back with a nice victory over Danger Zone, winning all five of their matches. This is probably more in line with what they and many of us expected from them before the season started but it will take a few more wins to forget about week one.
6. Noob Central (previous ranking 10)
After a close loss to Boom Squad in their opener, Noob Central followed it up with a win over division opponent Super Heroes. There is still a lot of shifting going on within the Orange division but it seems the Noobs may have the best chance of chasing down Team Rank Five.
7. Pure Strategy (previous ranking 3)
Few teams had a better week one than that of Pure Strategy and they quickly became one of the hottest teams in this still very new season but that fire was somewhat extinguished by Team Avatar. Pure Strategy is still extremely balanced but I believe expectations have been scaled back down a little, at least for now.
8. Team Avatar (previous ranking 13)
Speaking of Team Avatar, fresh off a win over the Gosu Casuals they kept the momentum going and took down the aforementioned Pure Strategy. Feeling disrespected after the preseason rankings, Leumer and his crew have wasted no time in their campaign to prove everyone wrong. One thing to note is their one seed and THL rookie, Gnetz, who has now taken down Slimsch and Alexstrasza; not bad. YGOadam and PumbaasBFF will swap seeds for week three and we'll have to see what effect this will have.
9. Archon Storm (previous ranking 15)
A disqualification in week one resulted in Archon Storm earning a tie but unfortunately for their rival Entropy, all of Archon Storm showed up for week two and it was the most uneven series to date this season. Now we wait for the answer to the question that's on many minds, is Archon Storm back?
10. Netherstorm (previous ranking 18)
Netherstorm was unable to handle Team Rank Five last week but had a much easier time with the Damaged Ones in their most recent series. It was a nice week for Twizz's team as four matches were 3-1 in their favor and their only loss was 2-3.
11. Yogg Champs (previous ranking 16)
After a tie in week one to Archon Storm, Yogg Champs were paired up with the Red division leader in the Dream Team and were able to get the win. It's still early but the Red division is looking like it might be one of the most interesting divisions to watch and the Yogg Champs hope to be right in the middle of it.
12. Dream Team (previous ranking 7)
With three substitutes in two weeks it's hard to accurately gauge the Dream Team. It looks like week three may be the first week where they are able to play with their full roster and it will be exciting to see what happens as they go against the Gosu Casuals.
13. Gosu Casuals (previous ranking 9)
The new look Xnergy was too much for the Gosu Casuals and the Casuals find themselves in a tough spot after two weeks. New member TheAnarchist picked up his second win if you're looking for a positive amid the negatives. Last season the Casuals didn't see their first win until week four and then started picking up speed so maybe they'll be fine, but with some strong teams in the Green division they can't afford to wait much longer.
14. Aeon (previous ranking 8)
One of the early surprises so far has been the struggling Aeon, now 0-2 after a recent narrow loss to Team Golden Wisp. Even with experienced players sometimes it takes time to adjust to the league format and that might be part of the issue as veteran Detrucci is the only member to have two wins so far.
15. Damaged Ones (previous ranking 11)
It was a rough outing for the Damaged Ones in week two against Netherstorm with Bytes being the only player able to earn a win. It's hard to figure out exactly where the Damaged Ones stand, but a week three matchup against Boom Squad will go a long ways in helping us determine that.
16. Boom Squad (previous ranking 12)
Did someone say Boom Squad? The Squad started off their season with a nice win over Noob Central but fell to the always dangerous Team Rank Five in their most recent series. With a looming matchup against the Damaged Ones and what will be their third division game I think we will soon get a better idea of their place within the Orange division.
17. Team Golden Wisp (previous ranking 19)
Starting off the season against the defending champions is never easy but things were a little easier this week as Team Golden Wisp grabbed their first victory in a close one against Aeon.
18. Entropy (previous ranking 14)
Week one was bad for Entropy and week two was even worse as their long-time rival Archon Storm limited them to just five points. Jaxox and company need to figure things out and quickly as N.W.A. is waiting for them in week three.
19. Super Heroes (previous ranking 17)
The Super Heroes are team with some talent, but with five rookies that inexperience may play a part in their early struggles. Also, playing Soupreme doesn't help and with a date with the Hairy Generals week three it doesn't seem things will get easier anytime soon.
20. Danger Zone (previous ranking 20)
It's been a tough beginning of season Corruption for Danger Zone as they figure out their seeding and look for wins. They'll have a chance at their first win in week three when they take on the motivated Team Avatar.
by TeamHearthLeague AP
As I mentioned last season, I believe following week one might be the most difficult time to rank teams as you begin to factor in results but have such little data to go on. You also have to be careful in not letting one series dictate too much. Complicating matters is the fact a lot of teams made changes in the period between when the preseason rankings were finished and now. As such there are a few teams whose rise or fall may seem a little extreme.
One other note on the power rankings: I don't take a team's division or schedule into consideration. If I thought Blue had the five best teams, I would rank them one through five, but obviously they couldn't finish like that. The best way to look at how I come up with these power rankings is to think of a 20 team tournament in THL right now, how would you seed them? Would N.W.A be bottom half because they lost or Team Avatar top half because they won? Maybe, maybe not.
But enough about the process, let's look and see what happened with the start of Season Corruption.
1. Soupreme (previous ranking 4)
Shortly before the season started the final roster for Soupreme was unveiled and what a roster it is. The wildly successful duo of Cheesee10 and DeerJason returned and were joined by none other than Vicious Syndicate's Rayc591, a player with an impressive resume of his own. There is no question this is the strongest one through three we've ever seen in THL, but being that top heavy does leave you less flexibility at the bottom of your roster. The strategy seems to be working out well so far though after putting up eighteen points against the Super Heroes in week one.
2. Team Rank Five (previous ranking 1)
Speaking of top heavy teams, the top three seeds of Team Rank Five (Moxie, Imbolc, MVParker) all came away with wins this week but coming up a little short were JesusC and Iamplanb. There is still a lot of talent and balance to this team but it is a different looking TR5 than the one we're used to.
3. Pure Strategy (previous ranking 9)
Few teams made a bigger statement this past week than that of Pure Strategy who steamrolled past a very respected N.W.A. team. Alexstrasza picked up right where he left off from last season and seems he will fill in the hole left by YuruYuri quite nicely.
4. The Hairy Generals (previous ranking 8)
The reigning champions came out swinging in week one and on the receiving end was Team Golden Wisp. The newcomers ArcaneFu and Vicarious both had a nice debut, sweeping their opponents and helping the Generals secure the win.
5. Xnergy (previous ranking 17)
Taking a tremendous jump in the power rankings this week is Xnergy, though there were was a roster change since the preseason rankings with Aroy replacing TheSacredJew. There also wasn't much known about rookie RedMarsh but a win over SmokedSalmon is a pretty nice introduction. As the only team to win all five of their matches this week I suspect they have gained the attention of much of the league.
6. N.W.A (previous ranking 2)
The highly regarded team of N.W.A didn't start off the season as they hoped as they struggled to find wins against Pure Strategy. One person who was able to find wins was Craeon who continues to make a case as being one of the best four seeds in the league. It was a rough week for N.W.A. but they are still a strong team and it's only one week, no need to hit the panic button just yet.
7. The Dream Team (previous ranking 11)
The only loss this past week for the Dream Team came from their substitute player. Substitution seems to be part of the Dream Team however, as not only used a substitute for week one but will use two for the following week as well. Not having the consistency that other teams have can put you at a disadvantage but it's still early in the season and not a big concern yet.
8. Aeon (previous ranking 3)
Another highly ranked team to fall this week was the new team of Aeon. Only one member, captain Detrucci, has any experience in THL so much of their ranking comes off expectation and potential. It's only one week and that potential is still there but they will need to adapt quickly in such a competitive league or risk falling behind.
9. Gosu Casuals (previous ranking 5)
Last season Team Rank Five started their season off by facing the wrath of the consensus last ranked team and now it was the Gosu Casuals turn to suffer that same fate at the hands of Team Avatar. It was a surprise to see consistent players like Slimsch, Mykel19XX, and ADKT struggle but TheAnarchist getting a sweep in his first game as a Casual is a silver lining.
10. Noob Central (previous ranking 6)
It was a close series but Noob Central's Orange narrowly lost to division foe in Boom Squad. It's still way too early to begin thinking about things such as playoff races but one does have to wonder if there has been a power shift within the division.
11. Damaged Ones (previous ranking 15) -
There was a lot of hype and excitement surrounding the new team of Aeon but that didn't deter the Damaged Ones who gained the victory over them this past week. When the preseason rankings were published the Damaged Ones had a vacancy at the top seed, but that has since been filled by Bytes who seems to have been a nice find on such a short notice.
12. Boom Squad (previous ranking 16)
Another team to change their one seed between the preseason rankings and now is Boom Squad, who added Pizza to their roster in place of DannyWu. Pizza grabbed a win in his first THL match and along with Dlineman and Asuna's wins was enough to push them past the Noobs.
13. Team Avatar (previous ranking 20) -
Due to many of their players being unknown and their low team PR, Team Avatar was ranked last in the preseason rankings but ignored that as they shocked the league and upset the Gosu Casuals. It's important not to overreact over one series but getting a win over such an established team will raise eyebrows and have people looking to see what comes next from THL's PR underdogs.
14. Entropy (previous ranking 7) -
When the rankings were rolled out there was still a lot up in the air in regards to how Entropy would look for season three. Since then we have seen the originally planned roster has stayed in tact and Delta4one has signed on as the one seed, last seen in season Kappa. It was a rough opening for them taking on Xnergy but we've seen this team bounce back from bad losses before.
15. Archon Storm (previous ranking 12) -
Past MVPs ClarkKent and Hertzdonut, along with n00basaurus, snagged big wins week one in what looked would be a win over Yogg Champs until a forfeit caused the two teams to tie. With the disqualification and some missteps in another match it's still hard to tell exactly what we should expect from Archon Storm.
16. Yogg Champs (previous ranking 10) -
As just mentioned, Yogg Champs was possibly bailed out with a forfeit and avoided taking a loss against Archon Storm. LightW8 playing in her first THL match was the lone win outside of the disqualification.
17. Super Heroes (previous ranking 13) -
The Super Heroes had first crack at slaying Soupreme's three-headed monster but were ultimately unsuccessful. Rookie Crono did pick up his first win and it's not often you'll have to face a team as stacked as Soupreme so I don't think you can tell too much from this loss.
18. Netherstorm (previous ranking 14) -
Although Netherstorm didn't match up well against the top half of Team Rank Five, their four and five seeds in Crovan and Gemini earned nice wins. Like many teams there isn't much difference in PR between some seeds and it will be interesting to see which players settle into the different seeds or if there will be constant movement.
19. Team Golden Wisp (previous ranking 19)
Team Golden Wisp started off their season getting reacquainted with their division pal and defending champion Hairy Generals. Hupnar and Vtiioma claimed victories but as they were only ones to do so the podcast team was unable to seize the win.
20. Danger Zone (previous ranking 17)
New team Danger Zone looked for their first win against the Dream Team but were unsuccessful in doing so. Gideoneko and V.Clique will swap seeds going into week two and we'll have to see if this will help the Danger Zone in their next series.
This offseason it looked like a soaring PR score was going to break-up Team Rank 5. Finally after two straight seasons of dominating the runner-up position, another team was going to have the chance to lose in or near the finals. The taste of sweet, sweet almost victory was about to be shared.
At least that's how it looked in the moments before TR5 found a top 100 player to shore up their starting five; Cassity, now regulated to team coach, published like a flippin' expert Hearthstone coaching article; they kept the league MVP; and TR5 was dubbed unanimous preseason favorites.
How about that ringer they snagged? Moxie joins one of THL's dynasties as an instant contender for league top dog. He has a recent run of three straight top 100 finished, is qualified for the spring prelims, and is further proof that Hearthstone must rank just slightly behind hockey and Tim Hortons when it comes to passions in the Great White North.
by TeamHearthLeague AP
Season Proliferation was an appropriate name for Team Hearth League's second season as the league expanded to 16 teams and the concept of four divisions was introduced for the first time. Along with the usual upsets and closely fought matches, divisions also allowed for rivalries to develop, leading to intense playoff races filled with drama and tension up until the final game was played. It was the Hairy Generals who emerged victorious over the team of Continuum to forever lay claim to the title of season two champions.
Much has changed since the Hairy Generals celebrated that win. With the introduction of standard and The Old Gods set, we now enter a new era of unprecedented upheaval for Hearthstone. THL has also changed, as each division now welcomes a fifth team among its ranks, with a total of seven new teams joining the league.
Entering its third season, THL fields 20 championship hopefuls—100 starting players of all skill levels jumping into the fray every week. That's not even taking into account the deep benches found in the sparring league this year.
All in all, it's as competitive a landscape as THL has ever seen. It's Season Corruption, and right now, it's anyone's game.
1. Team Rank Five
Following an impressive regular season where they finished with the most points of any team, Team Rank Five looked to get back to the title game for the second straight season, but were stopped short in the semi-finals by Continuum. Returning for season three will be MVP JesusC and Imbolc who both dominated at their seeds. They will be joined by the talented MVParker.
Some changes had to be made though as TR5 finished well above the salary cap. As a result Mainge and Cassity will not return as players for season three. Joining the team to replace them will be Moxie, currently the highest ranked THL member on HeroProgress, and Iamplanb who previously played as the fifth seed for the Super Heroes. Team Rank Five looks to continue their tradition of having a strong middle of the roster, but if Moxie is able to finally give them a true threat at the one seed then they will be one of the strongest teams yet again.
After spending two seasons as a deckhand Arthur Rhodes (Salt) will try his hand steering the ship, and so far seems to be doing well. Playing in the one seed will be HotAsianGirl who finished 22nd on ladder in February and will head into the Spring Championship ranked 66th. Salt himself will play in the two seed after a nice outing in that role this past season. Next is TonyMontana who is a rookie but comes in with one of the higher personal ratings for a third seed. A real steal in free agency is Craeon who packed an 8-2 record last season. Drudded will close out the team after getting his feet wet as a substitute.
This season, Cassity has moved into the role of coach for Team Rank 5. This raised questions. Why should just one team benefit from this Hearthstone savant’s collected wisdom? Why shouldn’t the entire League have a tap straight into one of THL’s greatest sources of game knowledge? Why doesn’t Cassity write a coaching column for the THL blog? In a true show of sportsmanship, Cassity shares some of this hard-won wisdom with THL.
Also! This article was written before Old Gods dropped, so some of examples are a bit wild.
We all know the rudimentary basics to Hearthstone: fight for board, make efficient use of mana, win the game. Most players who have put in the time to acquire strong collections and are able to build any meta-relevant deck know how to play their nut draws. They know, how to play Mysterious Challenger on six, Druid combo on turn nine, spawn four Grim Patrons on turn five, play Alexstraza into burn spells with freeze mage, etc. But there’s one area we can all improve in: resource management.
Hearthstone, like any TCG/CCG is a game based upon resources. Take control players. If you’ve ever heard a wallet warrior call face hunter a “no-skill deck,” chances are they assume cards are the only relevant resource in the game. That control player thinks, “Gee, if I can build card advantage over the course of the game, I’ll win no problem.” What that player often does not take into account, however, are the other resources with which we leverage advantages in Hearthstone.
For the purpose of this article, we will hone in on three key resources: Cards, Health, and Time (also often referred to as ‘Tempo’). Each of these resources exists in a balance with the other two, and the player who can best leverage their three resources is often the one who is put into an advantageous position more often than not. For each resource, I will attempt to illustrate a deck and/or scenario in Hearthstone to clearly highlight what I’m talking about.
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