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#1 - 2013/10/22 05:00:00 PM
Hearthstone Innkeeper's Invitiational: Player Spotlight

As we get closer to BlizzCon and the Hearthstone Innkeeper’s Invitational tournament, we took some time to talk with our Inn-vitees to get to know them a little better.  In our Invitational announcement, we featured the eight players invited to participate in this fun tournament at BlizzCon: Noxious, Hafu, Husky, Reckful, Trump, Kripparian, Day[9], and Artosis. In today’s blog post, we profile four of the eight players in the tournament, and we’ll profile the last four in a future blog. If you’re unsure of who to root for in the tournament, read on and see if some of their Arena picks line up with yours, what their favorite cards are, and who they dread going up against live at BlizzCon!

Noxious

Noxious_Icon_250x250.jpg

Name

Kacem Alexandre Khilaji

Online Alias 

Noxious

What got you into playing Hearthstone?

I've been a Magic: the Gathering addict since my very early age, and World of Warcraft was the first MMO which I played on a "hardcore" level. I never had the funds (nor the nearby community) to get into the old WoW TCG, and was absolutely ecstatic when Hearthstone was announced. It was the best of all worlds: it was on a computer, it was a card game, and it was in the Warcraft Universe. I had a nerd epiphany.

What’s your Battlecry?

"That's the play!" When we win: "Jay Jay!"

What are your top 5 must-have Arena picks? 

I typically try to aim for cards that will be useful regardless of whether or not they make it to the next turn, so if I were to cite "must-haves" in common cards, I'd probably say the Dark Iron Dwarf, Cult Master and Harvest Golem. The first can give you an instantaneous "positive trade" (trading a small minion for a larger, more costly one), the second one can be played before you're about to trade everything you've got to replace it all, and the third one is a complete nightmare to deal with.

There are a lot of Rare cards I value highly, but I think the Azure Drake and Argent Commander are my top 2 favorite to see. The Drake being a 4/4 makes it a good,solid body, but the Spell Power and cantrip effect smacked onto it are just lovely. As for the Argent Commander, he's a surprise on a stick that can change board states on his own. This is even truer when you are not forced to use his Divine Shield right away (e.g: kill a Flametongue Totem), as the opponent will at least trade one card for it, and in some cases 2 or 3, and that is AFTER you've used him once!

If you had a card designed after you, what would it do? 

I think it would be a Legendary Gnome alchemist character that kills other minions at random by throwing vials of poison on them at the start or end of your turn. :D

What other players in the Hearthstone community do you fear or respect? Anyone you dread being matched up against?

Even though some of the people who have watched me think I'm a really good player, I know full well that a lot of the players in the ManaGrind community straight up outclass me, although they are much less known. Of those that I consider the best players, spaJJ comes to mind as well as Moon, Byke and jotto. And Doroxx, but I haven't seen him around in a long time! Can't say I'm eager to go against Trump and Kripparrian either. . . .

What’s your favorite part of Hearthstone so far?

As a whole, I have to say I'm in absolute love with the game's "physical" feel. I can't remotely believe the "physicality" of real card games was captured this well. And for the sake of awesomeness, I can actually control the Dragon Aspects!

Show your support for Noxious on Twitter using the hashtag #teamnoxious!

Hafu

Hafu_Icon_250x250.jpg

Name

Rumay Wang

Online Alias

Hafu

What got you into playing Hearthstone?  

I've never tried the CCG genre but I'm a huge Blizzard fan so I thought I'd give it a shot.  I'm super hooked now. :)

What’s your Battlecry?

“Hafu's the name, top-decking's my game.”

What are your top 5 must-have Arena picks? 

Acidic Swamp Ooze -- I think weapons are super strong in Hearthstone!  Oozing a Gorehowl is the best feeling. :)  

Ysera — My favorite Legendary card! 

Shadow Madness — Even though I'm still learning Priest, I feel like this card has a lot of potential for fun plays.

Kirin Tor Mage — I main Mage and feel like this card is extremely strong even without a Secret.  If you can combo a Secret with it, it's super scary.

Mad Bomber — Even though it's a love-hate relationship, I find myself picking Mad Bomber time and time again.  Please Bomber, have mercy-- I believe in you.

If you had a card designed after you, what would it do? 

Hafu — An 8 Mana 1/1 with Battlecry: Pick any card in your opponent's deck and play it. >: )

What other players in the Hearthstone community do you fear or respect? Anyone you dread being matched up against? 

I have a lot of respect for everyone who's playing in the tournament. I'm especially fearful of Kripparian and Trump since I know they have extensive CCG experience and have been playing Hearthstone non-stop for the last couple of months. Even though it's my first CCG I feel as though I should not be underestimated! My top-decking skills are unmatched. 

What’s your favorite part of Hearthstone so far?

I truly enjoy The Arena because although there is a small luck factor on the cards you draw, you more or less can construct a strong deck every time.  

Show your support for Hafu on Twitter using the hashtag #teamhafu!

Husky

Husky_Icon_250x250.jpg

Name

Mike Lamond

Online Alias

Most people call me 'Husky'. Oftentimes I have been referred to as 'that one guy.'

What got you into playing Hearthstone?

Ever since middle school I have played basically every collectible card game there is. The most obvious being Magic the Gathering but I have many fond memories of playing the Star Wars, Dragon Ball Z, and Pokemon card games as well. 

What’s your Battlecry? 

“HELLO EVERYONE, THIS IS H-TO-THE . . . aww screw it, ‘BRRRLRGLLGLRGGGGGLHRHGL!’”

What are your top 5 must-have Arena picks? 

I feel like this is a question where Day[9] and Artosis will probably go super analytic mode, carefully crafting their answers to be both insightful and inspiring. For me? I really like Murlocs, Pirates, and Bloodlusting totems. If I could make a deck consisting purely of Overlords, Wirt’s Leg, Mankrik's wife and that one dying guy outside the citadel in Diablo 1, I totally would.

If you had a card designed after you, what would it do? 

Name: HuskyStarCraft Cost: 10 mana Stats: 0/1 Rarity: WHY DO I KEEP DRAWING THIS CARD??? Description: Discard your enemy's deck. Or yours by accident. #TypicalHusky

What other players in the Hearthstone community do you fear or respect? Anyone you dread being matched up against? 

I firmly believe that I am the worst player in this tournament. For that reason the only thing they should fear is accidentally losing to me. Really the only thing important to me is that I don’t lose to Day[9] at any point in the tournament. 

What’s your favorite part of Hearthstone so far?

Honestly, Hearthstone is an extremely fun game. It’s a game you can play for countless hours or a quick 10 minute game. In typical Blizzard fashion, the game is easy to pick up but surprisingly challenging to master. I really think there is a lot more depth to the game than someone might first realize.

Show your support for Husky on Twitter using the hashtag #teamhusky!

Reckful

Reckful_Icon_250x250.jpg

Name

Byron Bernstein

Online Alias

Reckful

What got you into playing Hearthstone?

I received a beta key so I thought I'd try it out.  I didn't think I'd like the game—other than the Pokemon one when I was 10, I hadn't played card games in the past.  Within an hour I was hooked.

What’s your Battlecry?

"Turtle all day!"

What are your top 5 must-have Arena picks? 

All of the drawing cards:

Acolyte of Pain

Cult Master

Divine Favor

Battle Rage

Nourish

Skill seems to matter much more when both players have many cards in hand.  Although it's technically a bad card, some of my decks even use Coldlight Oracle, which draws 2 cards for each player.

If you had a card designed after you, what would it do? 

Farmer Byron - a legendary costing between 5-8 mana that spawns 1/1 crops every turn, and if the crop dies you draw a card (if the farmer harvests the crops you get a card). 

What I'm not sure is if the crops should spawn for you or your opponent—it could spawn crops for the opponent, and if you kill the crops you draw a card. It could spawn 0/1 crops for you with Taunt, and if the opponent kills them, you draw a card.  Both work; Farmer stats budgeted accordingly depending on which version.

What other players in the Hearthstone community do you fear or respect? Anyone you dread being matched up against? 

I respect all the players in the tournament, but I'm most scared of Day[9] and Artosis. Most the other players I've met or talked to; Day[9] and Artosis, in my mind, are a scary unknown. That famous person you haven't met yet; they always end up being human beings like everyone else, but there's that initial fear.

What’s your favorite part of Hearthstone so far?

The ability to log in and play a competitive game whenever I want. I've always played team games where I couldn't do that.

Show your support for Reckful on Twitter using the hashtag #teamreckful!

These custom-made icons you see will represent each player as they play at BlizzCon 2013—show your support for your Inn-vitee Champion on Twitter by making your favorite player’s icon your avatar for the event! Don’t forget to use your team’s hashtag during BlizzCon so we can follow along with your favorites!

Watch the full event, which includes exciting Blizzard developer panels and other features, by purchasing a Virtual Ticket today. We hope to see you at BlizzCon soon!