Hungry Crab, Fatigue and Trump ending Artosis SSC run
Fatigue turns out to be the most lethal form of attack in the SeatStory Cup as Artosis' tournament life is ticking away with time and the deadly blanks from his deck in the end. Trump advances to the top three with the power of the crab, outlasting his opponent with his fan.
After the showcase between monk and Trump one would think the day of Hearthstone had reached the pinnacle of hype and excitement. The game between Trump and Artosis even topped that with an amazing counter deck and a Warrior mirror going the entire distance of both decks.
And all that was started with a fairly explosive match right away. The often-seen Druid against Druid in this tournament has become a staple and a rollercoaster of emotions with the board position switching very often or someone switching it up with the Token variation of Malfurion's deck. This time it was the standard mid-range against mid-range, but with a twist in the end. While Trump had control of the board for the early portion, Artosis was able to stabilize fairly quickly with Ancient Watcher and Defender of Argus after clearing the stacked board of Trump with a Swipe. From that moment on, at Turn 8, it looked like Artosis would have enough protection to stay alive and completely take control of the board in the next couple of rounds. Those plans and expectations were destroyed by the accelerated Force of Nature / Savage Roar combination, made possible by Innervate one turn earlier. With Artosis remaining at 17 health and Trump having 18 after the taunts vanished, it was a quick end to a game in which the BlizzCon champ looked to gain the upper hand slowly but surely.
The slow approach didn't work out for the Starcraft 2 caster, who then switched gears into the aggressive Murloc version that 4-0'd ek0p two games earlier. Despite a seemingly great opening for Trump using Innervate and Coin to bring out a Chillwind Yeti on Turn 1, the value Artosis got out of his Flame Imp buffed by Abusive Sergeant might have already decided the game. From that moment on Trump was constantly behind and the board of swarming Murlocs grew and grew. The last straw was a Tinkmaster Overspark play against a Murloc Warleader which turned him into the undesired 5/5 and sealed the deal for Artosis.
It was time for the secret deck of Trump - and what an epic one it turned out to be. Everyone expected him to bring a Mage deck to the tournament, but no one really expected the inclusion of Hungry Crab in it. The casters went mad at this, as Artosis saw his game getting eaten up in a heart beat and the Turn 6 Fireball / Frostbolt straight into Gul'dan's face boosted the Mayor of Value Town back up to the lead in the series.
This was a status that didn't held long with the "Murloc counter deck" looking significantly worse against the control Warrior of Artosis. Right away the in Korea living American had big threats like Alexstrasza or Ragnaros the Firelord in his hand, while also being in possession of enough removal to be in a great spot. Once the Molten Core raid boss hit the board, Trump had to scramble for alternative ways to deal with it, to no avail as Artosis was able to bring it back to the equalizer with 2 a piece.
The response of Trump to the Warrior was as expected Shaman, who are usually favored against Garrosh and his brute force, just because of the difficulty clearing the different totems efficiently. This turned out to be not a lot of trouble for Artosis, who took control of the game early, forcinh Trump into an Al'Akir the Windlord/Rockbiter Weapon trade for Ragnaros the Firelord. That took all the explosiveness away from Trump, who scrambled to hang on to the game, but failed to do so.
It was time for the most epic matches in the history of SeatStory Cup with a Warrior mirror. Usually that match appears to be fairly boring due to the general slowness of the class in the control setup, but this one got exciting. During the middle of the game a wild Cairne Bloodhoof brought insane value for Trump, clearing both Frothing Berserker and some other smaller units from the BlizzCon champ. That was actually the turning point of the game, although not being the end. What this came down to was Artosis hanging on to dear life after Grommash Hellscream mashed in his face, but running out of cards in the deck. At the same time that was also the problem for Trump, who had more armor and a little bit more life, but drew into the fatigue zone two turns earlier. The Fiery War Axe in hand and only a Brawl left it came down to Artosis losing the game, just one turn before Trump would have died to the fatigue and Artosis' board.
A heartbreaking loss, while still not being the end of it all. The GSL caster still had the favored Shaman deck at his disposal to get into the coveted top 3 and with that into the paid out ranks. Unfortunately for him it wasn't meant to be, because of Trump having the much better start, taking control of the board and being able to finish the game with a Grommash Hellscream into Whirlwind at Turn 9. Leading up to that Nat Pagle got him to additional cards and Ragnaros the Firelord tried to teach Thrall how to catch a fireball.
With this the underdog Trump moves on to play on Championship Sunday against the loser of the Upper Bracket Finals between StrifeCro and Gnimsh. A clash with the Polish player would mean a rematch of the Upper Bracket Semis, a duel against teammate StrifeCro would be a completely new match up. Whatever will happen, prepare your crabs!