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Interview with Allura; Winner of Hearthstone Alley Brawl NA #2

Allura LongA veteran to the scene, Allura obtained his first major honours by clinching first in the Hearthstone Alley Brawl NA #2!

We managed to get him for a short interview with us today; below is the interview transcript:

Hello Allura, nice to have you with us today. You’ve finally taken a tournament first for yourself. You mentioned in your previous interview with us that you’re disappointed with your previous results. How are you feeling now?

Hey, it definitely feels great to finally take a gold – it was a pleasant surprise to be honest, as it was a change from my usual go-to class (Druid) and I don’t play too much with my Paladin.

Lets get right into the main topic then; who do you feel was your toughest opponent this time round?

That would probably be Demonmore. We were matched up in the finals and the games were extremely close – he took 2 games off me right off the bat and it really put me in a really tough spot that was seemingly impossible to come back from.

Demonmore was playing a Handlock; Warlocks were pretty common during this particular Brawl. Did you predict this situation? Did it have any influence over your choice of Paladin over your usual Druid?

To be quite honest i didn’t study the competition at all going into this tournament – I simply wanted to try out a different class other than Druid after the Tinkmaster Overspark nerf patch, and thought that this tournament would be a good place to start.

Paladin has generally been regarded as weak ever since the Tinkmaster/Pagle nerfs, as he lacks a reliable Early/Mid-Game card draw engine. What do you think about the class in general?

I feel that the Tinkmaster nerfs sort of hurt classes that lack proper hard removal more (Druid in particular, discounting Naturalize) and puts the other classes on equal footing, as they wouldn’t have him as well – one less answer for Tirion Fordring.

I feel that Nat Pagle is still quite decent particularly in this deck, but not so much in others due to the recent nerfs. My reasons for this lies in the fact that I run 2x Swords of Justice in this particular deck which gives me a pretty high chance to put out a 1/5 Nat Pagle on turn 3/4 which can be very annoying to deal with and gives him more time to draw. He isn’t as strong as he used to be for sure (some might argue broken) but I think he’s in a good place now.

On the whole, I don’t think Paladin is a top tier class at the moment as their stability vs some very common matchups rely extremely heavily on specific card draws – if you don’t draw into them, you sort of just lose.

The deck you brought into this tournament is very interesting – it seems like a Mid-Range deck but it contains certain cards which stand out. Sword of Justice is mostly seen on Aggro Decks. Why did you include this particular card in your deck?

My thought process going into the construction of this deck was directed towards a Mid-Range beatdown deck as you mentioned – I chose Sword of Justice primarily as a means to counter Druids previously, as the 1/1’s and 4/4s would be buffed out of kill range for Swipe and would force ineffective trades from them. It was also built to avoid Big Game Hunters gaining value as well, as all the minions (except Tirion) would all be 7 power or less post-Sword of Justice buff, which fit the deck theme well.

The card doubles up decently against Aggro Decks such as Warlock Zoo and allows you stave off the bleeding and keep up with buffed minions on the board – and paired with Equality, can be used as backup for removal, or squashing out 2/1 damaged Harvest Golem trades.

Allura Long

Another interesting card you have in the deck is Azure Drake. Azure Drake isn’t that commonly seen on Paladin. The only cards which have synergy with spell power on your deck are Consecration and Avenging Wrath. That’s a mere 3 cards which work with spell power. Is Azure Drake’s extra card draw THAT good?

I would say that the Azure Drakes are primarily in there for the 4/4 (5/5 with Sword of Justice!) body and card draw, yes. The spellpower is nice to have, and can lead to some pretty devastating effects if left unchecked (4 damage with 2 on board during one of the games vs Demonmore) The reason why I run this card instead of cards like say, Divine Favor which is used in Aggro-type Paladin decks, is that I don’t run a really low mana curve and toss out my hand alot.

As a result, reliable Mid-Game card draw is something that I feel is very important especially against control match-ups where I’m trying to gain resource advantage and make use of timely Equalitys to gain the upper hand. (Adding on to the previous point) This particular low-mid mana curve with Sword of Justices allows for me to repopulate the board with decent minions after Wild Pyromancer + Equalty combo.

What do you think of Cult Master as an alternative to Azure Drake for card draw? She isn’t seen very often outside of arena but she does synergize well with the Paladin hero power and is one mana cheaper.

I feel that Cult Master would probably synergize alot better in a more Aggro-Focused Deck. My main concern with playing Cult Master is that she’ll probably help you get more ahead (you have board control or have minions that managed to stick to the board) but doesn’t do well on her own (being played on an empty board) 4/2 or (5/3 with Sword of Justice) dies to a lot of low cost basic nukes or creature abilities, whereas with Azure Drake you’re more likely to force out a larger removal card (Swipe, Fireball) AND draw a card immediately as well. The extra health also sometimes allows for the Azure Drake to trade off 2 for 1 against most 2-5 drops (with Sword of Justice).

I guess the summation of my arguments for why Azure Drake > Cult Master here is that for this deck theme, i’m not trying to draw up my entire deck and unload my hand onto the board, and Azure Drake gives me more individual card value than Cult Master does and provides more stability when behind.

Thanks for sharing your opinion on some of the “rare” cards in your Paladin Deck. Any other tips and tricks you can give to people who wish to play this deck?

Probably just general Paladin advice like be really mindful of when you decide to use your board clears, but some specific deck tech choices like Blood Knight should be used to pop only the Argent Squire‘s/Argent Protector‘s and opponent’s bubbles. It might be tempting to pop  your own Scarlet Crusader‘s bubble but it loses too much of its value when you do that. Also plan your curve well – decide whether you want to stick with an Sword of Justice or Truesilver Champion, don’t keep both in an opening hand.

Bait out removals before playing Tirion Fordring and dont accidentally buff him with Sword of Justice if you suspect your opponent has Big Game Hunter!

We’ll probably be seeing more of you in upcoming Hearthstone Tournaments; what do you think are your chances for this Sunday’s team tournament?

Hopefully heh. School might start winding up a little soon and I’ll be playing less Hearthstone. Don’t really have any expectations for this Sunday’s team tourny – I’ll be joining with Equivocal and Kaiel, just gonna play for funzies 🙂

Good luck to you in the tournament! Any shout-outs you would like to make?

Thanks! Shoutout as usual to team ManaSurge and Hearthstone Alley, and to you for the interview! *PS Silfer is fat.

Allura is a player to watch out for if he can be more motivated.

Stay tuned to Hearthstone Alley, or our Facebook and Twitter for more quality Hearthstone and community news!

– xNVx

Image Credits: 

  • Silfer
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This entry was posted on April 1, 2014 by in Interviews.

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