When Queuing Decides Games on the Spot: A Full Analysis of RadamD’s Quarter Final Run11 months ago
The format of conquest continues to be a recurring problem in the HCT scene. Since the beginning of Hearthstone, all major HCT events have run in conquest format best of five with only one ban. This is different to point earning majors, such as PAX and Dreamhack which are both runs in last hero standing format. The problem with conquest is the variance that lies with queuing decks in the wrong order and playing too safe in a favorable matchup. RadamD’s Quarter Final Match is a perfect example of how queuing heavily influences the matchup. On paper, you can be favored to win a matchup, however queuing can sometimes prevail.
Let’s take a look at Match 1:
RadamD’s Murloc Paladin vs Diego’s Control Paladin= Win
Based on the decks played, it looks like RadamD banned Diego’s Taunt Warrior and Diego banned RadamD’s Token Druid.
Queuing Murloc Paladin against DiegoDias’s lineup was the best starting lineup simply because it was able to easily sweep any deck that Diego chose to queue. These are known as definitive wins. No matter how many times you play these matchups, you will almost always win guaranteed as well as give you some momentum while putting you on the scoreboard.
Now before we get into this matchup specifically, let’s consider RadamD’s options to queue.
Radam has options to choose from either his Pirate Warrior or his purify priest.
If he queues warrior, he wants to get the rogue and maybe the Jade Druid matchup (Pirate v Jade is about 50% win rate overall)
If he queues priest, he wants to hit anything except rogue, although rogue is still a winnable matchup.
In the end, RadamD does queue the warrior and while this is not a wrong play, it is what we know as a “safe queue.” The reason why I title this a safe queue is because he doesn’t want to miss the rogue matchup. What I mean by miss is if RadamD queues priest, encounters rogue, and loses, he won’t be able to get the rogue again. This is mainly due to the fact that RadamD’s lineup targets rogue and missing that queue would spell disaster for the rest of his decks.
RadamD’s Pirate Warrior vs Control Paladin= Loss
The only thing I want to comment about this matchup is how RadamD played around Spikeridged Steed too much. I feel as the aggressor you need to take risks, especially in these types of unfavored matchups and is also where smorcing could have changed the outcome of this matchup.
Pirate Warrior vs Jade Druid- Loss
Many People expect this matchup to be heavily favored towards the Pirate Warrior, however, the inclusion of certain anti-aggro cards like Earthen Scales and Primordial really push the Pirate Warrior to close things out before turn 8. Then again, if you draw patches, well gg.
Going down 2-1 feels really bad when you were trying to queue into rogue after the past two games. Unfortunately, he does get the matchup but at a deficit of two other matches.
Pirate Warrior vs Quest Rogue- Win
Feels good to be in the driver’s seat this game. Realistically, based on Diego’s list, his only real win condition is to bounce glacial shard over and topdeck like a god to alleviate some pressure, but obviously, Pirate Warrior prevails and Smorc Rules the day.
Purify Priest vs Quest Rogue- Loss
Even though this matchup is quest rogue favored, it was a lot closer than it should’ve been with mistakes being made on both sides. The first mistake was when Diego nearly dumped his entire hand on turn 5 without playing the quest on the same turn. Purify priest generally doesn’t generally have any mass AOE due to how clunky the hand can get, but the inclusion of wild pyro in combination with its vast majority of spells really help these kinds of matchups. The second mistake was made at this very instant by RadamD when he should’ve cleared most of the board using purify and silence in combination with wild pyro. Diego actually plays the glacial shard that he had not been bouncing, so that information could have been crucial to influencing his decision even more. Also, RadamD played the turn really fast and I wonder what his mindset was at the time.
In the end, Hearthstone is always being Hearthstone. Drawing Patches, Never topdecking a 4 damage card in the Pirate Warrior v Jade Druid matchup, as well as making some other mistakes in the final round, are all part of the game. I think Radam played extremely well this past weekend and his Swiss score does say stuff, but the risky queues from DiegoDias certainly paid off bringing him to Shanghai, China.