Pkughost - a returning winner - is interviewed once again by Thechiv. They discuss his recent win and his choice of including the often maligned Ancestral Spirit in his deck.
Name: Heng Guo
Location: Oxford, UK
|Minion (15)||Ability (14)||Weapon (1)|
Today, we have another returning champion of the MLG/ManaGrind open tournaments. Pkughost won this six weeks ago and has come back today with another victory. That's pretty impressive.
I am so glad to win the tournament again after 6 weeks.
To begin, are you still mostly playing Blizzard games?
I play only Blizzard games still, yeah.
Now, I know you have been busy with school and a move I see. What made you decide to play in the tournament today?
Grinding is boring... It is much more fun to compete in a tournament.
What about this tournament do you really like?
Sideboarding makes it possible to counter your opponent's deck. No deck is perfect and it is quite frustrating to lose to a deck that you stand little chance against on ranked mode... That said Druid is closest to be able to handle all circumstances with a single deck. It's no wonder most people play Druids on ranked.
Who was your toughest opponent?
It was, DeVoTeD, the winner of last week's open. It was a Shaman mirror match so it's all up to the draw. In the third match I sideboarded in Crazed Alchemist and Mind Control Tech. It worked pretty well.
Now when you won, what went through your head?
When the final finished it was 2 AM and I just wanted to go to bed at that moment... I have to say it is not as exciting as the first time, but I'm still pretty happy.
You played a Shaman today, why that choice?
Shaman has a lot of fun combos.
Now looking at your Shaman deck you played a typical control deck with a nice burst finisher. Do you think this is crucial to Shaman play styles?
Yes, you need something to win the game in any deck. For Shamans they use Bloodlust, Windfury, or a bunch of big legendaries. I ran Ancestral Spirit in my deck as well. With it Leeroy Jenkins can kill a taunt and then deal at least twelve damage with Windfury. Both Windfury and Ancestral Spirit have huge potential value especially when one has the board control. Consider a Cairne Bloodhoof resurrects into a 4/5 and another 4/5 with resurrect. On top of that I have a Faceless Manipulator to copy the buff to gain even more value.
We have seen Shamans rise up in popularity simply because they are one of the only hard counters to druids. What archetype would have given you the greatest issues?
Hunter, "all in your face" decks, according to my own statistics on ranked my deck has a less than twenty percent win rate against Hunters. It's pretty tough.
That's really funny considering that Druids in general can handle them very well and Shamans tend to one up Druids.
What were some of your sideboard choices this time around?
Against Shamans, I substituted in Crazed Alchemist to kill totems and Nat Pagle, and Mind Control Tech to deal with a flooded board. Against Warriors, I put in Sunfury Protectors to guard against their weapon.
Last time you were here you gave us several Neutral cards that you thought were great. Do you have any new choices in to that list?
At the moment I am a fan of Stampeding Kodo, people play a lot of 2/3 and 2/4 minions in the current meta which gives Stampeding Kodo great value.
Now with a second win under your belt, what do you think makes a great Hearthstone player?
Play, think, and learn from the losses.
Now your deck is similar to others we have seen before, but with some changes. What helped you prepare yourself for the tournament?
I just play ranked.
Getting into your deck some, what cards would you say were the most valuable minions of the tournament?
I want to say the Ancestral Spirit, Leeroy Jenkins, and Windfury combo. It is quite a versatile combo and should not just be used as a finisher. For example, in the game two of finals I used Leeroy Jenkins and Ancestral Spirit to kill a Frothing Berserker that went out of control and a 7/3 Bloodsail Raider when my board is empty. That combo saved me against a lot of damage and essentially led to my win.
That's pretty amazing. Ancestral Spirit is a very situational card and it seems you have found a way to make it very viable in constructed play. Changing gears a little, how can new players get better?
Practice and learn.
Now recently, we have seen a lot of negativity floating around the forums of Hearthstone. Players have been raging about sever issues, mostly be sparked by some interviews done by the developers of Hearthstone. Several threads were not only locked but removed off the forums and several people were given a "forum vacation". Do you have any thoughts on this?
I am mostly okay with the balance patches, but the bugs are really annoying. I think that Blizzard has its own idea of balancing control. However, the past reputation is that Blizzard's games have relatively less bugs in their games. They really should react faster in fixing them.
What features would you like to see added to Hearthstone?
The answer is still PvE mode, (or so called adventure) same as the last time.
Think the developers will implement this any time soon?
The only problem is Blizzard's notoriously slow work speed.
That was pretty amazing. I would like to thank you for taking the time today to do this interview and congratulate you on another victory. I hope to see more of you in the future and who knows, maybe be the first champion to hit three wins...