Hearthstone Festival - Strategy & Line-up Explained

Hearthstone Festival – Strategy & Line-up Explained


Hi I’m Mitsuhide (Twitter: One_Mitsuhide) playing for Sector One. Some of you might have seen my name appear on this website before, as I also post guides on a regular basis. Besides experimenting with decklists, I also really love competing in Hearthstone. Last weekend I attended one of the biggest tournaments in my Hearthstone career: Hearthstone Festival in Lille, France. The event had an awesome atmosphere and one of the biggest live audiences to ever attend a Hearthstone event. The event had tons of side activities, but the main event was a tournament with a €20.000 prize pool, attracting many professional Hearthstone players from all over the world like Naiman, RDU, Thijs and Tiddler.

I’ll try my best to explain the reasoning behind the decks I chose and will talk a bit about how I prepared myself going into the tournament.


I tend to favor an aggressive playstyle. I can play most decks but tempo decks are my strong suit. I also believe that these decks are some of the strongest decks in the current meta.

Hearthstone Festival - Strategy & Line-up Explained - Dragon Warrior
Class Specific Cards
  • 0Inner Rage1 
  • 1Blood To Ichor2 
  • 2Execute2 
  • 3Fiery War Axe2 
  • 2Slam1 
  • 2Alexstrasza's Champion2 
  • 3Frothing Berserker2 
  • 3Ravaging Ghoul2 
  • 4Kor'kron Elite2 
  • 8Grommash Hellscream1 
Neutral Cards
  • 1Sir Finley Mrrgglton1 
  • 2Acidic Swamp Ooze1 
  • 2Faerie Dragon2 
  • 4Twilight Guardian2 
  • 5Azure Drake2 
  • 5Blackwing Corruptor2 
  • 6Drakonid Crusher2 
  • 8Ragnaros the Firelord1 

Dragon Warrior list created by Danielrickhuss.

This deck can snowball rapidly when curving, often a Alexstrasza's Champion / Fiery War Axe will guarantee your early game and you’ll be able to keep the pressure going with all the Dragon synergy. I chose this deck over Tempo Warrior, because it has a better chance facing off against Shaman and Hunter. The deck overall performed decent for me. The Acidic Swamp Ooze is a tournament tech, helping me out against both Shaman & Hunter. I felt like dragon warrior was the weakest deck in my lineup, so I was quite happy that it got banned in the later stages of the tournament.

bearnuggetHS” wrote an entire guide on how to play Dragon Warrior, he is not running the same decklists as I am. But I nonetheless recommend reading his guide.

manacrystal - hearthstone - sector one
Hearthstone Festival - Strategy & Line-up Explained - Aggro Shaman
Class Specific Cards
  • 1Lightning Bolt2 
  • 2Rockbiter Weapon2 
  • 1Tunnel Trogg2 
  • 2Flametongue Totem2 
  • 2Totem Golem2 
  • 3Feral Spirit2 
  • 3Lava Burst2 
  • 3Tuskarr Totemic2 
  • 4Flamewreathed Faceless2 
  • 5Doomhammer2 
  • 6Thing from Below2 
Neutral Cards
  • 1Abusive Sergeant2 
  • 1Argent Squire2 
  • 1Sir Finley Mrrgglton1 
  • 2Flame Juggler1 
  • 3Argent Horserider2 

I decided to go with the standard aggro Shaman created by Xixo, as it’s just very consistent across the board. This deck can do shaman things and there’s not too much to say about it other than that it has a bunch of great matchups when you take “Zoo” out of the equation (Hunter, Druid, Tempo Warrior,…).

manacrystal - hearthstone - sector one
Hearthstone Festival - Strategy & Line-up Explained - Zoo Warlock
Class Specific Cards
  • 0Forbidden Ritual2 
  • 1Mortal Coil1 
  • 1Power Overwhelming2 
  • 1Soulfire1 
  • 1Flame Imp2 
  • 1Possessed Villager2 
  • 1Voidwalker2 
  • 2Dark Peddler2 
  • 3Darkshire Councilman2 
  • 3Imp Gang Boss2 
Neutral Cards
  • 1Abusive Sergeant2 
  • 2Crazed Alchemist1 
  • 2Dire Wolf Alpha2 
  • 2Knife Juggler2 
  • 3Argent Horserider1 
  • 4Defender of Argus2 
  • 4Gormok the Impaler1 
  • 5Leeroy Jenkins1 

This version of Zoo is my own creation, it cuts the Doomguards and runs Argent Horserider and Leeroy Jenkins instead.

Zoo warlock has to be one of my favourite archetypes in the game. Ever since the early beta stages of Hearthstone I love the idea of having the initiative and demanding answers from my opponents. Zoo has just always been performing outstanding for me, and this tournament was no exception. Expecting a lot of Aggro Shaman and Hunter is one of the main reasons I brought the deck.

I’ve written my own guide about this particular Zoo list and how to play it. It’s been used by multiple players to finish top 100 and most recently by Cydonia to win the NA Spring championships.
Guide link : (http://sectorone.eu/top-50-legend-in-depth-zoo-guide-by-mitsuhide/)

manacrystal - hearthstone - sector one
Hearthstone Festival - Strategy & Line-up Explained - Hybrid Hunter
Class Specific Cards
  • 1Fiery Bat2 
  • 2Quick Shot2 
  • 3Eaglehorn Bow2 
  • 3Animal Companion2 
  • 3Deadly Shot1 
  • 3Kill Command2 
  • 3Unleash the Hounds2 
  • 4Houndmaster1 
  • 4Infested Wolf2 
  • 6Savannah Highmane2 
  • 9Call of the Wild2 
Neutral Cards
  • 1Abusive Sergeant2 
  • 1Argent Squire2 
  • 2Flame Juggler2 
  • 2Huge Toad2 
  • 3Argent Horserider2 

I created this deck a week before the start of the tournament, it’s a lot faster than the usual mid-range hunter cutting Stampeding Kodo and other slower cards to keep up with more aggressive decks. The decklist is still somewhat experimental, but seems to be working great for the current meta. I peaked at top 10 legend with this list and it also performed very well at the tournament.

Again I’ve wirtten a guide on how to play this deck:
Guide Link : (http://www.hearthpwn.com/decks/579125-top-10-legend-hybrid-hunter-s27)


  • My general approach to preparing for a tournament!

Before I even started preparing for the tournament I already knew I would be taking shaman, zoo and warrior. These classes had been performing great for me over the past couple of weeks and there was no reason not to include them in my lineup.

After some brainstorming I went with dragon warrior and aggro shaman, as I banned zoo. My other consideration was banning shaman and going with tempo warrior and midrange shaman instead. A fourth deck had to be chosen, and as I reached top 10 with my hybrid hunter a few days prior I decided to give that deck a try.

I have to say that I didn’t spend a whole lot of time preparing for this tournament in particular as I was already quite familiar with the meta decks and had played a lot in the weeks leading up to the festival.

  • My test partners

I asked a lot of fellow pro’s for their opinions on strong meta decks or counters. Including Naiman, Xixo, Boarcontrol and Hoej. Their insight and help was crucial to the creation of this successful lineup. Other than that I prepared a bit with my teammates. Chinoize in particular helped me and contributed greatly to my success by always motivating me to become a better player.

  • The decks I was expecting

I was expecting everybody to bring zoo, shaman, warrior and hunter or mage. This was exactly the case. The only thing that surprised me was the amount of dragon warriors over tempo warriors. Even though the deck was very popular on ladder during that time, I didn’t expect 90% of people to bring it. Predicting the abundance of midrange hunter helped me, as I crafted my lineup to counter it.

Banning Strategy

I banned warlock every round, as my lineup was very weak to zoo. Had I brought tempo warrior and midrange shaman over dragon warrior and face shaman, I think I would have banned shaman instead.


  1. I really appreciate you taking the time to write all of this out with the links to the lists and everything. As a relatively new player, it’s incredibly helpful to get some insight from a pro player’s perspective. I watched the whole tournament, and I was very impressed with the way performed. When you lost in the 1st final you didn’t let it rattle you. Instead you marched right back through bracket to get a second shot at maverick, so well played. Since he was the only person you lost to, is their anything from his lineup that you felt gave you a tougher time than all the other opponents?

    • Hey! Thanks for your comment. From the start, I felt like Maverick’s lineup had a slight advantage over mine. The main difference was that he played a control dragon warrior whereas I played a tempo dragon warrior. Control dragon warrior lined up way better versus my aggressive/midrangey decks with all the board clears and heal. Another thing was his choice of tempo mage over hunter. My lineup was designed to soft-lock midrange hunter and tempo mage turned out to be pretty good versus my decks.


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