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Cong “StrifeCro” Shu is the first player to advance to the WePlay Strength tournament playoffs. The American defeated first Mark “Petrify” Fittipaldi and then Adrian “Lifecoach” Koy to take first place in Group A.

StrifeCro had a flawless run on the back of a blue/green combo token deck. Centered around mana acceleration into infinite mana with Incarnation of Selemene, StrifeCro’s deck had no issues setting up two-turn ancient kills in his lane of choice.

Over the four games he played, StrifeCro’s opponents experienced the same nightmare. First, he would find a way to slow down his dying in two of the lanes, buying himself as much time as possible. Then, in his lane of choice, he’d play a combination of Stars Align and Aghanim’s Sanctum to ramp up to his Incarnation of Selemene. Once the mana refresh is in effect, StrifeCro would start channeling his blue barrage. Gust and Thundergod’s Wraths would obliterate all of the enemy heroes, securing one full round of no spells being cast against him. Then, Prey on the Weak and Emissary of the Quorum would come down, doing massive amounts of damage. No ancient tower lived for more than two turns.

StrifeCro did come close to death on a number of occasions, however. In his match against Lifecoach, the total health of his three towers was less than 10 at one point, but proper initiative management allowed the UG combo to win just in time.

With StrifeCro advancing, only one more player will exit Group A. In the deciding match, Lifecoach’s RG midrange ramp will face the winner of Petrify’s UR Control and Raphael “GameKing” Iciren’s BR Midrange. The tournament is ongoing here.

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WePlay deck spotlight: Lifecoach’s RG midrange

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