A recap of the much anticipated matchup between Dog and Fibonacci as the HCT Americas 2019 playoffs kickoff.
The first duel of the day had promise to be one of the more interesting match-ups of the HCT. It did not disappoint, going going to the final games in this best of 5 match up. Dog‘s 4 decks were Zerek’s Priest, Deathrattle Hunter, Holy Wrath Paladin, and Mech’athun Warlock. While Fibonacci brought Secrets Hunter, Control Priest, Dead Man’s Hand Warrior and Even Warlock. Dog banned the Even Warlock and Fibonacci wanted nothing to do with the OTK Paladin. Here is a review of all 5 epic games.
The first duel was a showdown of Dog’s Priest against Fibonacci Hunter. Secret hunter is the most common deck of the tournament, basing of the Emeral Spellstone that summons four 3/3 wolves when fully charge. Meanwhile, Zerek’s Cloning Gallery summons a 1/1 copy of every minion in your deck, and with 2 Radiant Elemental, a Malygos and a Velen, the OTK potential with Mind Blast is real.
The game started great for Dog, cleaning the wolves, the first spellstone of Fibonacci, with a good Mass Hysteria. When he played Zerek’s Gallery, he brought Velen, Lyra and 2 Elemental, as he started recycling spells to fill his own resurrection spellstones. However, Dog made a crucial mistake when he Spirit Lash his own minions to have more space to play card, causing him to lose both Elementals and Lyra. This ended up costing Dog the game, as Fibonacci recovered creating several beasts with Deathstalker Rexxar’s Hero Power, using the Poisonous beasts to clear the board, while Adapting his own to hit Dog in the face.
The next game was much more straightforward for Dog, as he executed the win condition of his deck much better. Dog picked the Hunter deck, while Fibonacci tried his own Priest deck. Fibonacci tried to gain board control, using Duskbreaker and Twilight Drake as the big presences. However, Hunter disposes a lot of damage, which Dog used to earn a health lead.
In the end, Dog managed to bring to the board, both Carged Devilsaur and King Crush, extremely beefy Chage minions that gave him the advantage. All of this while using Spider Bomb to control the board, his Charge minions were free to hit Fibonacci, and eventually he accepted defeat, as Dog tied up the series.
Fibonacci used his infamous Warrior against Dog’s Zerek Priest. This ended up being an endless match, as Dead Man’s Hand allowed Fibonacci to continuously have cards to draw from his deck, and the Warrior innate defensive tools made him survive any danger, growing 30 armor if unchecked.
By the end Dog ran out of resources to use, even with Lyra, and conceded his second defeat with his Priest deck. Even if did Dog manage to copy the infamous Dead Man’s Hand card, the resourcefulness of Dr. Boom gave Fibonacci more options and more cards to play.
Fibonacci was up 2-1, needed one more win with his Control Priest to advance to the next round. However, this time Dog chose the Mech’athun Warlock. This deck consists in drawing all your deck, putting Mech’athun on the battlefield after reducing his cost with 2 Galvanizers, using Bloodbloom with your last 2 mana crystals to cast Cataclysm while fulfilling all of Mech’athun’s conditions for victory.
During the match, Dog was drawing like a beast, and Fibonacci tried to pressure Dog’s health, holding even 3 Mind Blasts just waiting for that health threshold. However Dog never allowed his health to be under 20, because of the insane Lifesteal the deck holds. Eventually Dog drew all his deck and pulled off his combo, faster than usual, tying up the series at 2 and moving into the fifth and deciding game.
The last match ended up being a Priest mirror, noted that both players losses had come using Priest. It came down to who was capable of pulling off the combo first. Looking at previous matches, Zerek’s Priest was closer to achieving victory, and his combo is less complicated to pull, as it depends more on luck. Meanwhile there’s a reason the traditional Control Priest is so popular, it keeps the board clear with Psychic Scream.
But crucially, when Dog pulled the Zerek’s Cloning Gallery, he left his 1/1 copy of Velen vulnerable to being stolen. Fibonacci, who had lethal with Velen plus 2 Mind Blasts did not see this play, and ended up Psychic Screaming both Velen and Malygos into Dog’s deck. Luckily for Dog, Lyra gave him another Zerek’s, and a couple of turns later he used it to bring both, Velens and the Malygos, while Mind Blasted Fibonacci for 40 damage to win the game and the match.
Dog’s victory was an excellent start to the HCT Winter 2019 Playoffs.