Hearthstone Masters Tour: Voyage to the Sunken City Preview
Hearthstone Masters Tour: Voyage to the Sunken City will be the third Masters Tour of 2022. Players from all over the world will compete for the prize pool of $250,000. Fans will be able to watch the entire tournament through their official live streams. The event will start on April 29th and will end on May 1st. There were multiple ways to qualify:
- Being a Hearthstone Grandmaster.
- Similarly, finishing as a top performer at a previous Hearthstone Masters Tour.
- Qualifying through the China Gold Series.
- Securing an invitation through a licensed third-party Hearthstone competition.
- Finishing with one of the highest win percentages among qualifier competitors with a minimum sample size of 10 qualifiers played in a season.
- And, of course, winning an online Hearthstone Masters Qualifier.
There will roughly be around 400 players battling it out amongst themselves. Since the tournament takes place over three days, this is what it will look like:
- Day 1 and Day 2 will start off with swiss pairings, four rounds each day.
- Day 3 will start with 16 finalists going into a playoff single-elimination round. Only eight of them will then pass onto the next phase, where they will compete for the title.
The Voyage to the Sunken City Expansion
Hearthstone has had a lot of expansions, or rather major card set additions, and the proof is that being the 20th one. They usually do 3 per year, and every year has a theme. 2022 is called the “Year of the Hydra.” With every new year, there are changes to the card pool available in the Standard format. The first set of the Year of the Hydra is Voyage to the Sunken City, though players can still use cards from the Forged in the Barrens, United in Stormwind, and Fractured in Alterac Valley sets, alongside the Core set of cards.
When an expansion leaves the Standard format, it is still playable in the Wild format; in recent years, the game has introduced cards previously exclusive to Wild back into Standard to change up the metagame. We can expect two more major card set additions before the end of the year.
The first expansion, called Goblins vs. Gnomes, was released way back in December 2014. The 2014 and 2015 card cycles featured no unique names, but in 2016 a year structure was introduced with the “Year of the Kraken.” After that, they just ran with the theme, each year having a unique name. Mammoth, Raven, Dragon, Phoenix, and Gryphon were the subsequent ones leading us to the current Hydra.
Getting back to the newest one, the Voyage to the Sunken City was released on April 12th, 2022, and features 135 new collectible cards. The theme of the set takes players on an underwater voyage to the ancient city of Zin-Azshari.
The expansion features two new keywords, Colossal and Dredge. The Colossal keyword means that whenever a Colossal minion is transformed into or summoned, uncollectible minions, also known as appendages, are summoned as well. The other mechanic, Dredge, permits you to look at the bottom three cards from your deck, then choose one to put on the top. Additionally, they have added new cards with deck manipulation mechanics so you can combine them with Dredge.
A new minion type is also introduced in the form of the Naga. Most Naga minions usually activate if you have played your spells while having the minions in your hand. But, interestingly enough, it goes the other way around too. Some spells can be activated only if you have played Naga minions while the spells are in your hand.
Explaining Hearthstone Masters
Hearthstone Masters is a three-tiered tournament introduced in 2019 that consists of:
- Hearthstone Masters Qualifiers
- Hearthstone Masters Tours
- Hearthstone Grandmasters
Hearthstone Masters Qualifiers
This is the first-tier, entry-level competition. It is open to all, so anyone can join in and have fun with the rest of the community. Each week during the Qualifiers season, there are 30 tournaments. Players have the option to choose any time at which they will participate. Players can also play in any region, provided they have its collection. The main goal here is to advance to the Hearthstone Masters Tours. Those players that don’t make it won’t leave empty-handed as they get card packs for participating.
Hearthstone Masters Tours
This is the second-tier tournament. It is an invitation-only tournament where around 300 players, including Masters Qualifiers winners battle for the glory and the prize money. Players who participate can take a share of an annual prize pool of a whopping $3,000,000. Competitors who manage to finish Masters Tour events with the most accumulation of prize money get the opportunity to play at the Hearthstone Grandmasters.
This is the third-tier tournament and the absolute pinnacle of Hearthstone tournament competition. Only the best of the best can compete here. The best of the best consist of 48 of the world’s top players that compete in two intense seasons lasting eight weeks each. The players who made it up here compete for a share of roughly $500,000 in prize money each season. The winners from these seasons can then advance to the Hearthstone World Championship to earn a final share of $500,000 in prize money. This is the final step where we differentiate the best of the best from the actual best.
There have been crazy moments happening in these tournaments over the years. And this one should be no different. Fans are excited, and rightly so. Since the event will be live-streamed, everyone will have a chance to watch it. All that remains is to wait a little bit more and then witness the epic duels that are about to happen!