Hearthstone Grandmasters were vocal about their dislike of the new Trio format. Was this Trio’s first and last time?

Trio, the new Hearthstone competitive format, made its debut in Grandmasters last weekend, and not every player welcomed it. With a lot in the line in an extra-short GM season, some argued that it wasn’t the time for experimenting with new formats. What happened this last weekend with Trio in Hearthstone Grandmasters?

Trio’s debut in Hearthstone Grandmasters

Trio, the new Hearthstone competitive format, was part of the changes for 2022 HS Esports announced last December. The basic idea of this format is to take players out of their comfort zones, break the optimal Conquest strategy, and create space for more variety in terms of viable decks.

Under the Hearthstone Trio format, players have to choose between predetermined sets of 3 classes. Then, it develops as a normal Conquest format. If you are unfamiliar with Trio and want to go over the specific details of Hearthstone’s new competitive format, you can check our article explaining it.

Hearthstone Trio format explanation
Hearthstone Trio format explanation

The idea seems to solve the class variety problems. However, players argue that it wasn’t well executed. The criteria Hearthstone Esports used to create the different sets of classes, or, “buckets” was disclosed by Abar, HS Esports Product Manager. 

“We looked at MT win % data, internal win % data, and the number of times classes were brought to GM, and made class power rankings. We then paired good, medium, and bad classes in different ways to make relatively balanced groups.”

Abar's insight on how they made the Trio class buckets. Source

The Trio Class Sets for the week were:

  • Druid, Hunter, and Warrior
  • Mage, Priest, and Rogue
  • Priest, Shaman, and Warrior
  • Mage, Priest, and Warrior
  • Demon Hunter, Paladin, and Warrior

What do Hearthstone Grandmasters think about Trio?

As we previously said, some Hearthstone Grandmasters were vocal about their negative experience with the Trio format. Lunaloveee, three-time World Championship contender, was harsh on social media. Luna expressed her feelings about how influential this format ended up being in a Grandmaster season with only three weeks of regular competition.

“I just wish GM wasn't the guinea pigs for new formats, especially with this only being 4 weeks.”

Lunalovee on trio format

Bunnyhoppor, a seasoned Hearthstone pro-player, and winner of Europes week under the Trio format, also shared his take on the format. Live in the winner’s interview, he sided with Luna showing his discomfort with the format. Bunnyhoppor said that “With the Buckets we had, this was a little bit of a dumpster fire”.

Bunnyhoppor during winner's interview about Trio Format

Hearthstone Americas Grandmaster Dimitrikazov added some analysis to what Bunnyhoppor said on why Trio format couldn't reach its goals. He agreed with the previous statements that the root of the problems with Trio format was the classes were grouped into buckets, and how little maneuver space players ended up having.

Is this the end of Trio?

Trio’s debut in Hearthstone maybe wasn’t what players expected. However, that shouldn't mean the format itself is a failure. To begin with, Abar himself said that the team is eager to hear feedback from players and viewers to improve this format. It might be difficult for players to be part of this experiment when there is much in the line. On the other hand, there aren’t many testing windows either.

In the end, all the criticisms point the same direction, the buckets. How classes were grouped, and the possible viable strategies forced Grandmasters to play low-skill or bad decks. There is definitely room for improvement in this area. As a matter of fact, this will be different in every metagame. Even Bunnyhoppor, after criticizing the format, mentioned that Trio can work in competitive Hearthstone.

“Theoretically, this can work, but you need to up the buckets. Not have one good class, one middle class, one bad class. Scrape all the bad classes, no one wants to play them anyway. Just make us play different sets of good classes.”

Bunnyhoppor during Grandmasters winner's interview

Only time will tell if Trio was a one-night-stand format in competitive Hearthstone or if the format can survive this first bad impression from the players and evolve into a long-term relationship.

Don’t miss the end of Grandmasters' regular season this weekend live on Youtube. Stay tuned to Esports.gg for more Hearthstone news and updates. See you next time in the tavern.