SirSalty’s Masters Tour Las Vegas Predictions
Today we have the United Kingdom’s own David "SirSalty" Chee to give his unique perspective on what we can expect to see at Masters Tour Las Vegas this weekend. SirSalty won the first tournament he ever played in, a UK Nationals, where he beat George "BoarControl" Webb in the finals. After finding that win, he traveled to Norway where he took Top 8 at HCT Oslo. It took him three tries to qualify for Masters Tour Las Vegas, and five tries to qualify for Masters Tour Seoul.
SirSalty expects a “circle of decks” consisting primarily of Warrior, Rogue, Hunter, and Mage, with outliers such as OTK Paladin. He also anticipates a spread featuring newer, unconventional, or under-utilized decks such as Pogo-Hopper Rogue and Heal Druid. “I wouldn't be surprised if there were a couple of Heal Druids, it’s an interesting one,” SirSalty said. “It’s actually very good against Bomb Warrior and is pretty good against Rogue as well.”
With more than 300 invited competitors, you can expect a few left-field lineups to be submitted. While most players will likely stick to the safety of what they know, the element of surprise can make a world of difference. “The advantage you get with playing an unusual deck is more about you knowing how to play all these weird matchups very well,” said SirSalty. “Whereas your opponent may have never played the matchup before.”
A common trend in decklists we’ve seen in Masters Qualifiers is a strong primary deck, a secondary or tertiary deck meant to win the mirror, and a secondary or tertiary deck teched for bad matchups. That said, we’ve seen instances in Hearthstone Grandmasters where a secondary or tertiary deck offers up more of a fallback game plan by including cards like Chef Nomi or Mecha’thun.
While Rogue is a popular class at the moment, everyone seems to have a different opinion on which list will prevail once the tournament is underway. “There was uncertainty on what is the best Rogue list and how it should be played,” said SirSalty. “Also, right now not all Rogues play weapons, which means it's much riskier to include weapon removal in your side decks. This fact alone makes it harder for classes to tech against Rogue.”
What about adding tech for the rest of the field? “It's very much do you want to tech to make your good matchups better, make your 50/50 slightly better, or do you choose to tech for the decks you're unfavored against,” said SirSalty. “I think that's going to be the big difference between these big events compared to Grandmasters. In Grandmasters you only play against two opponents a week so you can kind of go all-in on trying to target a specific deck with tech choices. However, in a very large field such as this one it may be better to be a bit more generic with your techs.”
Finally, SirSalty expects to see less Midrange Hunter and other budget decks that have been popular in the Masters Qualifiers meta. He also is expecting fewer Mage decks than we are currently seeing in Grandmasters, as the popular and powerful Cyclone Mage list is quite difficult to pilot successfully. “In the Qualifiers people avoid Mage a lot because it has a higher skill cap,” said SirSalty. “But you see it in Grandmasters because they are more comfortable playing it overall. It's a deck that mostly targets other decks rather than being a powerhouse itself, so it's riskier to bring to a larger field like Vegas."
Do you agree with SirSalty’s predictions? Let us know in the comments! You can watch the tournament meta unfold for yourself when the broadcast for Masters Tour Las Vegas goes live Friday, June 14, at 9 a.m. PT at Twitch.tv/PlayHearthstone!