Hearthstone: 4 decks to watch during the 2018 HCT Fall Championship

This weekend, 16 of the world's best Hearthstone players compete for $250,000 and a chance to compete at the HCT World Championship. Today, Shacknews breaks down four decks to watch this weekend.

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The Hearthstone Championship Tour is at the end of another leg of the 2018 season. Twelve of the top Hearthstone players in the world are set to converge upon the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, CA this weekend, where they will compete for the bulk of a $250,000 prize pool.

Competitive Hearthstone is a great spectator esport, where fans can watch top-tier players compete at the game's highest level. However, events like this weekend's HCT Fall Championship are also a great opportunity to scope out some of the latest decks to try out on the Ranked ladder. For today, Shacknews is spotlighting five of the weekend's standout decks. Keep an eye on these decks to see how they fare over the weekend and maybe keep them in mind to try out for yourself.

Moyen & Sintolol's Shudderwock Shaman

  • 2x Earth Shock
  • 1x Far Sight
  • 2x Hex
  • 2x Mind Control Tech
  • 1x Acolyte of Pain
  • 2x Mana Tide Totem
  • 2x Lightning Storm
  • 2x Volcano
  • 2x Glacial Shard
  • 1x Prince Keleseth
  • 2x Saronite Chain Gang
  • 1x Zola the Gorgon
  • 1x Grumble, Worldshaker
  • 2x Healing Rain
  • 1x Hagatha the Witch
  • 1x Shudderwock
  • 2x Lifedrinker
  • 1x Zilliax
  • 2x Giggling Inventor

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My jaws that bite! My claws that catch!
My jaws that bite! My claws that catch!
My jaws that bite! My claws that catch!

This one should look familiar to anyone who's played Hearthstone in 2018. The Shudderwock Shaman isn't the terror that it once was, but it's still a high-level deck, since Shudderwock remains the Shaman player's best weapon. There are many reliable versions of the deck that rely on Saronite Chain Gang, Grumble, Worldshaker, and Lifedrinker for repeated Shudderwock plays and potential one-turn kills. But like Raphael "Bunnyhoppor" Peltzer and Torben "Viper" Wahl before them, Jan "Moyen" Moy and Thomas "Sintolol" Zimmer have introduced a twist into their Shudderwock deck.

The twist invovles using Boomsday Project staples Giggling Inventor and Zilliax. This is a bit of a gamble, partly because they slide in at the expense of card draw tools, like Acolyte of Pain and Far Sight. These cards are clearly in place to help stall against zoo decks, but the big risk is that a tech Mossy Horror simply wipes the Annoy-o-Trons off the board.

The other big risk involves a hand overload off the actual Shudderwock play itself. This is especially true with Hagatha the Witch generating spells, but the Grumble effect could lead to Annoy-o-Trons flooding the player's hand, which take up valuable real estate for any extra Shudderwocks. There is such a thing as generating too many resources in Shudderwock decks and that's a big risk that these two players are running with the inclusion of Giggling Inventor. Whether they serve their purpose of stalling opposing zoos works out remains to be seen.


Bloodtrail's Even Warlock

  • 1x Dread Infernal
  • 2x Spellbreaker
  • 1x Acidic Swamp Ooze
  • 2x Hellfire
  • 2x Mountain Giant
  • 1x Sacrificial Pact
  • 2x Twilight Drake
  • 2x Sunfury Protector
  • 1x Doomsayer
  • 2x Defile
  • 1x Skulking Geist
  • 1x The Lich King
  • 1x Bloodreaver Gul'dan
  • 2x Lesser Amethyst Spellstone
  • 2x Vulgar Homunculus
  • 1x Plated Beetle
  • 2x Hooked Reaver
  • 2x Shroom Brewer
  • 1x Genn Greymane
  • 1x Demonic Project

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There are a handful of Even Warlocks making their way into the HCT Fall Championship this weekend. But Wu "BloodTrail" Zong-Chang brings a particularly intriguing version of this deck into the competition. That's because it's the only one of the Even Warlock decks to include Demonic Project.

Anyone who has played against any kind of Control Warlock knows that Demonic Project has the potential to ruin anyone's day. While it's just as likely that it will wipe out one of the player's own useful minions, the Demonic Project's objective is to wipe out the opponent's win condition outright. And it will nail Shudderwock and Malygos more often than people think.

This Even Warlock shares a lot of the tools for success that other similar decks utilize. It has two Mountain Giants, high-powered Demons, and a Skulking Geist that removes those pesky Naturalize and Cold Blood spells. But the Demonic Project is what makes this Even Warlock stand out above its contemporaries and with over a dozen decks utilizing either Shudderwock or Malygos, there's a good chance Bloodtrail will strike gold with it.


Hatul's Odd Warrior

  • 2x Shield Slam
  • 2x Frothing Berserker
  • 2x Brawl
  • 2x Faceless Manipulator
  • 2x Ironbeak Owl
  • 1x Gluttonous Ooze
  • 1x Vicious Fledgling
  • 2x Carnivorous Cube
  • 2x Reckless Flurry
  • 1x Azalina Soulthief
  • 1x Baku the Mooneater
  • 1x Darius Crowley
  • 1x Town Crier
  • 2x Festeroot Hulk
  • 2x Rabid Worgen
  • 1x Zilliax
  • 2x Supercollider
  • 1x Dr. Boom, Mad Genius
  • 2x Dyn-o-matic

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Eden "Hatul" Zamir is the first player to enter a major Hearthstone Championship tournament and represent the nation of Israel. He didn't get to this stage by playing things safe and he's definitely rolling the dice with some of these decks he's bringing in. He has the only Spell Hunter, one of the only Control Priests, and then there's this deck. It's the only Warrior deck of any kind to be featured this weekend.

Hatul is opting for the heavy control variety of Warrior, utilizing tools like Rush minions and mixing them with newer tools like Supercollider. But there's an eye opening inclusion in the form of Festeroot Hulk, a minion that's not commonly seen on the Ranked ladder. But upon giving it some thought, the inclusion makes sense, especially after dropping Dr. Boom, Mad Genius. At that point, all of Hatul's Mechs will receive Rush, including the Dr. Boom Hero Power that grants him three 1/1 Microbots. If all of those Microbots attack, the Festeroot Hulk goes from a 2/7 to a 5/7.

The addition of Festeroot Hulk is a very interesting inclusion on Hatul's part and it'll be curious to see how much play this minion winds up getting.


RENMEN's Togwaggle Malygos Druid

  • 2x Nourish
  • 2x Naturalize
  • 1x Malygos
  • 2x Wild Growth
  • 1x Mind Control Tech
  • 2x Moonfire
  • 2x Swipe
  • 2x Spreading Plague
  • 2x Ultimate Infestation
  • 1x Malfurion the Pestilent
  • 2x Lesser Jasper Spellstone
  • 2x Branching Paths
  • 1x Twig of the World Tree
  • 1x King Togwaggle
  • 2x Arcane Tyrant
  • 1x Azalina Soulthief
  • 2x Ferocious Howl
  • 1x Flobbidinous Floop
  • 1x Dreampetal Florist

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Roman "RENMEN" Kudriavtsev's Druid has something that most of the other Druids don't: a backup win condition.

This Druid deck mainly relies on Malygos and Flobbidinous Floop upping the Druid's Spell Damage to the point that it can demolish the opponent in a single turn with Moonfire and Swipe. Any discounts from Dreampetal Florist are gravy. And with enough card draw, Armor tools, and stall tactics at the ready, this Druid deck should have no trouble reaching this win condition.

But what happens when some jerk uses Demonic Project and wipes out Malygos? Or what happens when a Quest Rogue uses Vanish and Malygos gets milled? No problem! The potent combo of King Togwaggle and Azalina Soulthief will leave the opponent with no cards, while their deck now sits with RENMEN.

RENMEN has cleverly crafted his deck to the point that he's feasibly fit both of these win conditions into his deck, simply by setting aside the usual Wrath spells. It's going to take a lot to take out this Druid and it could very well be one of the best decks entering the weekend.


Be sure to visit the Hearthstone website for more information on this weekend's HCT Fall Championship.

What decks will you be watching? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments. The Hearthstone Fall Championship begins this Thursday on the Hearthstone Twitch Channel. And remember, you only have until Wednesday to Choose Your Champion and attempt to win free Boomsday Project card packs.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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