What will HS Mercenaries tournaments look like?

by NPH Pasca

We already know that Mercenaries tournaments are going to exist. There is a big, official one announced that will take place in China. However they have kept secret the format that they will use.

Formats are an important part of tournament play. They determine where you need to put your focus, how polyvalent/specialized you need to be, how long matches go, etc. For example, constructed Hearthstone has Conquest and Last Hero Standing, open or closed decklists, best of 3 or best of 5, with or without bans, and other formats like Strike where you ban matchups and Specialist where you have to alter your deck by ±5 cards. Battlegrounds has points systems where you play multiple games in a row and cumulate your finishes. You get the idea.

For Mercenaries the competitive formats can be anything we make them. Do we want players to disclose the composition of their party? Do we want them to play multiple games? Should there be bans? If they bring multiple parties, how different would they need to be?

Here are 3 ideas for potential Mercenaries tournament formats. Please let me know on Twitter, Reddit or Discord if you have other ideas or if you know of one of in a different game that would fit perfectly.

7 Mercs Bo1

Players register for the tournament with a list of 7 Mercs that they wish to play. Before each match, they ban one of the 7 Mercs their opponent has. Then they play the game with their 6 characters that survived the ban phase.
Pros: Open lists, so payers who have information about what their opponent used in previous rounds cannot use it to counter queue. Only 1 comp, so players with a limited collection have a chance. Meta comps get disrupted, allowing for a different feel than ladder.
Cons: Very short matches, allowing for high variance. Probably better suited for large Swiss events.

Closed list Specialist Bo3

Players queue the 6 Mercs of their choice for game 1. They don’t have to be the same in every round of the tournament. After the game, they are allowed to replace 2 of their 6 Mercs for the following game; they need to keep 4. The first player to win 2 games wins the match.
Pros: Only 1 comp, so players with a limited collection have a chance.
Cons: Not clear if the metagame will have enough depth to gain an advantage by swapping 2 Mercs, possible that everyone just keeps playing the same.

3 parties Conquest

Players register for the tournament with 3 lists of 6 Mercs, with at most 1 Merc in common between any pair of lists. Before a match, each player bans one of their opponent’s lists. For game 1, they queue whichever of their parties that survived the ban phase. The losing party is eliminated. The first player to win a game with each of their lists wins the match, similar to Conquest in standard Hearthstone.
Pros: Variety of games.
Cons: Players need to have 16 different Mercenaries.

These are just examples and we shall see what the community comes up with in the next couple of months. If you are interested in competitive Mercenaries, please give us feedback on the ideas above and stay tuned for upcoming events hosted by NoProsHere!

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