This past weekend was the top 32 of the A Curious Journey Seasonal tournament, our first Seasonal with World Championship qualification spots on the line. Whether you’re hearing about how things went down for the first time or looking to relive all the excitement, check out our written recap of the event!
SnipeCross opener: Sion, Boom Baboon, Ravenous Flock, Get Excited, Vi
Kevor24 opener: Saga Seeker, Single Combat, Petricite Broadwing, Brightsteel Protector, Zenith Blade
Kevor took an early board lead with a Saga Seeker into Brightsteel Protector combo, followed by a Petricite Broadwing. SnipeCross evened things out with a Get Excited, but took aim at the Broadwing rather than the vulnerable Seeker. SnipeCross still had a Ravenous Flock that could be used on it later, but Kevor attached a Yuumi to his 1 drop, and Snipe took away its blocking potential by pulling it with Flame Chompers to push 5 damage. Zenith Blade was cast on the Seeker on the following turn, effectively ending any chance SnipeCross had to remove it outside of a large Vi attack paired with Flock, or if he could draw into one of his Scorched Earth.
SnipeCross managed to stave off the Seeker for a little and even stopped Kevor from developing a 2nd threat in a Wounded Whiteflame. He got off a large attack, trading Vi for a 2nd Whiteflame and knocking Kevor down to just 8 Nexus health. But his wide board of 1 health units turned out to be a liability as Kevor was able to connect a hit with the 10 attack Seeker and push for lethal with Cataclysm. Snipe dodged it by playing Mystic Shot on his own unit, but when he summoned Sion the next turn to push for lethal Kevor revealed a 2nd Cataclysm off the top and stole the win away.
SnipeCross opener: Treasure Seeker, Merciless Hunter, Merciless Hunter, Inner Beast, Quicksand
Kevor24 opener: Mystic Shot, Thermogenic Beam, Assembly Line, Jayce, Jayce
The action in the early game was halted by an Assembly Line out of Kevor, trading one for a Treasure Seeker and Beast Within while the other sat on the field, vulnerable tag included courtesy of Merciless Hunter. On the 5th turn Snipe dropped Udyr, reducing the cost of his in-hand Stance Swap to 0. Kevor played Lux, and lost her barrier as well as a Forge Chief to Ram Stance. Waking Sands followed up to challenge the remaining Forge Worker, but no other attacks were submitted. Kevor’s turn was spent casting another Assembly Line, creating a Final Spark, and using that in conjunction with Thermogenic Beam to kill Udyr after a small scuffle over the health of the champion.
SnipeCross summoned another Udyr, but lost it yet again to a combination of Mystic Shot and Final Spark after committing a Stance Swap. SnipeCross drew his 3rd copy of Udyr, but Kevor finally threw down a copy of Jayce who leveled immediately, turning the other copy into Shock Blast for a total of 2 in hand. SnipeCross used Rite of Negation to counter Acceleration Gate, but thanks to the rules change in the most recent patch, Lux still generated a Final Spark. The ensuing combat left SnipeCross at 9 Nexus health thanks to Quicksand saving some HP, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Shock Blast and Final Spark combo on the next turn from presenting lethal.
Top 16 - Yrebellion vs Prodigy
Yrebellion opener: Time Trick, Ballistic Bot, Ballistic Bot, Deny, Iterative Improvement
Prodigy opener: Xerath, Ancient Preparations, Rite of Negation, Rock Hopper, Rock Hopper
Prodigy’s early double Rock Hopper had their Roiling Sands eaten away by a couple of Daring Poros from the opposition, clearing the way for a safe turn 4 top deck Viktor on the side of Yrebellion. It was Prodigy however who took the first major swing, using Azir and Clockling to challenge the Poros and send his Hoppers at the nexus. Yrebellion fell to 14 but rolled Elusive onto his Viktor post-combat, putting his Ballistic Bot up to 5 attack as well. Viktor leveled up on the following turn and swung into a top-decked Quicksand. Viktor took some damage and Prodigy summoned Xerath, using the other copy in hand as a Rite of the Arcane to try and finish off the Machine Herald. Yrebellion countered with Deny, so Prodigy cast Ancient Hourglass on Xerath - leveling both champions as we headed into turn 8. With only 11 attack on his Viktor and 14 nexus health on the side of Prodigy, Yrebellion decided to get some Augment procs in before going to combat. Viktor gained regeneration from the Hex Core and was promptly obliterated alongside both Ballistic Bots by Sandstorm. With no other threats in hand and down to just 6 nexus health on their own, Yrebellion surrendered.
Yrebellion opener: Camavoran Soldier, Camavoran Soldier, Ancient Hourglass, Vile Feast, Aspiring Chronomancer
Prodigy opener: Rite of the Arcane, Taliyah, Ziggs, Endless Devout, Ancient Preparations
After kicking off the turn using Rite of Calling to tutor Viego, Yrebellion’s attempts to safely develop Viego were thwarted by an Ancient Hourglass to deny the Spiderling off of Vile Feast. He summoned the Viego anyway, ending the turn after doing so. Endless Devout challenged Viego on the next turn as other units swung for the fences, knocking Yrebellion down to 11. Prodigy took an attempt on Viego’s life with Rite of the Arcane, but an Hourglass from Yrebellion kept him safe, but the freshly played level 2 Ziggs on the side of Prodigy gave him a consolation prize of 2 Nexus damage. Yrebellions next turn was spent clearing out Roiling Sands with Treasure Seeker and Waking Sands, while Prodigy developed Taliyah.
Prodigy sent in the cavalry, threatening more than lethal against the 5 health of Yrebellion. He cast Rite of Negation to clear out the Short Fuse and Threaded Volley, committing a Quicksand at the Restored Devout challenging his Viego. Prodigy threw out an Absolver // Absolver’s Return to reestablish the threat of lethal, countered by a 2nd Quicksand. Prodigy used a Quicksand of his own, taking some trading power off the units hitting his champions, and preventing a Viego level up. On Yrebellions turn they summoned Invasive Hydravine, leveling Viego at round end while Yrebellion played Herald of the Magus. Prodigy’s Taliyah died at the start of their turn, but it may have been a blessing in disguise. It allowed him to play Hexplosive Minefield, copy it with a fresh Taliyah, challenge Viego with Taliyah, and push through lethal with Short Fuse and a little overwhelm help.
Top 8 - KraftyOne vs SantaTCG
KraftyOne opener: Rite of Negation, Rite of the Arcane, The Absolver, Endless Devout, Ancient Preparations
SantaTCG opener: Zap Sprayfin, Parrrley, Make It Rain, Yordle Grifter, Jagged Butcher
Santa spent a majority of the early and mid-game hitting all of the boxes that you want in a Plunder deck: consistent turn after turn damage to the enemy Nexus, Warning Shot sitting in hand for a key Sejuani turn, and a wide board to keep the pressure up so your champions can act as finishers. What he was lacking, unfortunately, was any champions. By the time Santa’s level-up conditions had been met on turn 7, he still didn’t have any champions to speak of while Krafty had access to both of his. Both players were sitting rather high at 15 and 14 respectively.
Gangplank hit the board and Rite of the Arcane was used to more or less bring things back to parity, as well as level up Ziggs. Santa ended up only attacking with a few 3/3 units as a result, knocking Krafty down to 9. He summoned Rock Hopper, which gave vulnerable to Santa’s Clockling at the start of the next round. He then attacked both the freshly summoned Powder Keg and Clockling with Ziggs and Taliyah, casting The Absolver // The Absolver’s Return to push through 14 damage for lethal as Santa was left staring at their 7 card hand containing 4 Warning Shot.
KraftyOne opener: Treasure Seeker, Unraveled Earth, Preservarium, Endless Devout, Ancient Preparations
SantaTCG opener: Jagged Butcher, Marai Warden, Marai Warden, Make It Rain, Sejuani
Santa’s hand was well-positioned to go wide, and while Krafty was able to match to some extent a turn 2 Make It Rain to clear out Treasure Seeker and Rock Hopper really started Krafty on the back foot. Continuous Marai Wardens from Santa continued to snowball the board advantage, tipped ever further by the first one played on an attack token turn summoning a Dunekeeper. Krafty continued to develop landmarks from their hand, and once they had tapped low enough, Santa used Parrrley to kill his only blocker in Endless Devout, letting the ensuing open attack on the following turn knock Krafty down to 4 Nexus health on turn 5. Krafty spent turn 5 developing what they could and turn 6 trying to swing the board back into their favor with Xerath and Rite of the Arcane, but a Sejuani from Santa kept the board 6 wide going into the next turn. Santa’s next attack left Krafty with 1 life and a dream, but one that was quickly snuffed out by a Make It Rain.
KraftyOne opener: Xerath, Xerath, Ancient Hourglass, Unraveled Earth, Clockwork Curator
SantaTCG opener: Treasure Seeker, Aspiring Chronomancer, Aspiring Chronomancer, Camavoran Soldier, Quicksand
Despite Krafty not committing any units to the board early, Santa decided not to run out the go wide aggressive hand and instead play a more traditional gameplan, sacrificing his Treasure Seeker to Rite of Calling on turn 3 to tutor out Viego. He managed to whittle Krafty down to 12 by turn 4 anyway, but from there Krafty started to stabilize the board and summoned a level 2 Xerath in the face of Viego. Santa filled their board with 2 copies of Waking Sands, causing Krafty to lose all of his followers and fall to 7 Nexus health. With the Clockwork Curator coming down earlier all Krafty needed to do was find Azir and ascend his champions to turn off the possibility of Viego leveling up, but now he had to keep an eye open for Atrocity as well. He found and played a Rite of Calling, but the card searched out his 3rd copy of Xerath.
KraftyOne drew Azir on their next turn anyway, ascending his champions and gaining access to the Emperor’s Deck. He drew and played Golden Herald, ready to win the game as soon as the attack token was passed back to them. Santa summoned Viego and the turn passed to Krafty who swung out, securing victory and a spot at the 2022 World Championship with Rite of Negation to stop Atrocity from stealing the win.
AK Tomaszamo opener: Ferros Financier, Vile Feast, Thermogenic Beam, Piercing Darkness, Production Surge
Prodigy opener: Rite of the Arcane, Preservarium, Preservarium, Rock Hopper, Inventive Chemist
Prodigy was able to take an early board lead thanks to Desert Naturalist using Teen Spirit to destroy a Scrappy Bomb to summon Grumpy Rockbear. After chump blocking the Rockbear, Tomas summoned Jayce with challenger, using it to take out the Naturalist and casting Thermogenic Beam on the Ziggs Prodigy cast post-combat. The attack token went back to Prodigy, who played Hexplosive Minefield and then destroyed it with another Naturalist. Tomas cast Production Surge for 6, getting 3 blockers and immediately losing one for the turn to another Minefield. In the end only 4 damage was pushed through, and Tomas was able to clean up most of the board with a Trueshot Barrage he manifested earlier in the game.
Fast forward a turn and Prodigy summoned a level 2 Taliyah, who was instantly set to 1 health with Piercing Darkness. Prodigy went to combat and saved his champion from Vile Feast with The Absolver // The Absolver’s Return, pushing Tomas from 20 back down to 8. On his turn Tomas summoned a Hextech Handler and used Shock Blast to take out 2 units, but Prodigy was able to preserve his Taliyah with Ancient Hourglass. The turn came back to Prodigy who was significantly wider on board and was able to win on the open attack as Tomas was stuck on slow speed removal only.
AK Tomaszamo opener: Hextech Handler, Heimerdinger, Ferros Financier, Production Surge, Shock Blast
Prodigy opener: Treasure Seeker, Quicksand, Camavoran Soldier, Camavoran Soldier, Rite of Negation
Tomas kicked off turn 3 with a Production Surge, losing their MK5: Rocket Blaster to Vile Feast before getting a chance to summon Hextech Handler. Board parity remained even for most of the early game, with the first main point of action coming from Prodigy’s 7/6 Viego summon on turn 6. Tomas tried to weaken it with Piercing Darkness to finish it off with Vile Feast like he did the previous game, but Rite of Negation sacrificing a Camavoran Soldier meant Viego turned out even stronger than before, as he summoned an Encroaching Mist for his fallen ally. On the following turn, Tomas decided sending Thermo Beam after the Viego was too risky, and ran out Heimerdinger instead. Prodigy tapped out to summon Invasive Hydravine, and the turn ended. Prodigy swung out with his ensemble and 2 6/6 Mists, leveling Viego mid-combat. Tomas was left with a Heimerdinger and 4 Nexus health, and used Thermogenic Beam to kill Viego post-combat and summon a T-Hex. Prodigy summoned The Rekindler, reviving his Viego and killing the T-Hex due to board space on the following turn. The attack token was on the side of Tomas, who lined up a Shock Blast and Mystic Shot to get in a little Nexus damage before surrendering.
Finals - KraftyOne vs Prodigy
KraftyOne opener: Preservarium, Taliyah, Rock Hopper, Endless Devout, Ancient Preparations
Prodigy opener: Desert Naturalist, Taliyah, Inventive Chemist, Rock Hopper, Preservarium
The early game was a lot of setup on the side of both players in this mirror match, with the payoff being that both players got to level up Taliyah on curve by duplicating Preservarium. Unfortunately for Prodigy, his Taliyah was vulnerable. Krafty took advantage of that immediately by throwing out an open attack with his own Taliyah after staving off Prodigy’s attack. Prodigy summoned a second Taliyah, copying Ancient Preparations. He went on the offensive next turn with another Taliyah attack, which Krafty blocked with his own copy while lining up an Ancient Hourglass to preserve his champion. Prodigy tried to secure the kill with Rite of Negation but had it countered by Krafty’s Rite of Negation, which had the added benefit of canceling all of the Threaded Volley’s on the stack.
Post combat both players went wide with Desert Naturalist. On his turn Prodigy was able to predict into The Absolver but it would be a few turns before he could take advantage of it and try for a lethal push. In the meantime he was only able to push 2 damage at Krafty, who secured their position with The Arsenal, rolling a medley of useful keywords. Prodigy summoned Ziggs and cast Rite of the Arcane to remove the spell shield from Arsenal, but Krafty countered with Ancient Hourglass. Because Hourglass summons an exact copy of the unit and Arsenal gains keywords on summon, when it popped back out on Krafty’s attack turn it had every keyword available in the pool as well as Impact 8, easily crushing the remaining Nexus health of Prodigy.
KraftyOne opener: Ancient Preparations, Rock Hopper, Rite of Negation, Preservarium, Rite of Calling
Prodigy opener: Pokey Stick, The Absolver, Ancient Preparations, Endless Devout, Preservarium
As is characteristic of these Shurima mirrors, the early game was once again filled with action of little consequence as each player threw down landmark after landmark. The first major moment came when Prodigy was able to target Buried Sun Disc with Desert Naturalist, but Krafty was able to stay in the game with Rite of Negation. With Krafty now down a mana gem, Prodigy was able to take the board lead using Hexplosive Minefield with 5 mana open to threaten Krafty off of playing a unit. Krafty sacrificed his stunned unit to Rite of Calling, and used Quicksand to stem some of the bleeding as Prodigy sent in his units for 6 damage.
Krafty summoned level 2 Xerath and used Xerath’s Rite of the Arcane to try and regain some board position, but Prodigy managed to replace every unit that was killed right away, including establishing both of his own champions on field. On Prodigy’s attack turn, they sent in an open attack, pushing 14 damage to the 11 Nexus health of Krafty. Krafty cast Quicksand, barely surviving at 1 health. Prodigy cast The Absolver, hanging back The Absolver’s Return in case of a 3rd Quicksand that Krafty did in fact have in hand. Once all the cards had fallen, it was 14 damage back on the table to move us to a game number 3.
KraftyOne opener: Ancient Preparations, Azir, Xerath, Unraveled Earth, Quicksand
Prodigy opener: Rock Hopper, Treasure Seeker, Rite of Calling, Rite of the Arcane, Golden Ambassador
Prodigy kicked off the Buried Sun Disc mirror aggressively, pushing 5 damage with his turn 2 attack token thanks to Treasure Seeker and Rock Hopper. Krafty found himself stuffed up on the more expensive cards in the deck, using a Quicksand to stop 4 damage coming in from Prodigy’s turn 4 attack, but the defensive tool also slowed down his development. On Krafty’s attack turn, both players summoned Azir into Roiling Sands granting it vulnerable, but Prodigy’s was the larger of the two as it was grabbed off of a Golden Ambassador the previous turn. The turn rolled over to Prodigy who cast Waking Sands while Krafty cast level 2 Xerath, and rather than attempt to kill Azir with the Sandstone Charger Prodigy pulled Azir to the side with Treasure Seeker and sent everything else at the Nexus, representing 16 damage. Krafty blocked with Xerath and once again used a Quicksand, falling down to 5. Prodigy summoned his own Xerath and ended the turn.
Krafty spent turn 7 playing out landmarks to progress his Azir level up, and just as he drew Clockwork Curator off of Preservarium to ascend that turn, Prodigy fired off a Rite of the Arcane to kill Xerath. Krafty summoned the Curator which advanced the Disc and leveled up Azir, but with only 1 mana left and no Xerath there wasn’t much he could do on that turn. Once the ascension was complete, Prodigy used his remaining mana to cast Rite of the Arcane to kill Azir, then cast Ancient Hourglass targeting his Golden Ambassador. The Stasis Statue summon was enough to level up Azir, with Xerath leveling upon its breaking at the start of the 8th round. Krafty’s Clockwork was obliterated, and nothing stood between him, Prodigy’s army of the ascended, and his 5 health Nexus.
And that’s a wrap on the Seasonal! Congratulations to Prodigy for the win, and to AK Tomaszamo, KraftyOne, and HDR Ez2Win for rounding out the top 4 and securing their spot at the World Championship later this year!