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Hearthstone’s Best Tavern Brawls

Hearthstone Columns - By Michael Bitton on November 23, 2015

Hearthstone’s Best Tavern Brawls

The addition of Tavern Brawl to Hearthstone has turned out to be one of Blizzard’s best decisions for the game. Each week, players can look forward to battling each other in often zany scenarios and rules with often hilarious results. This week, we’ll be taking a look at our five favorite Tavern Brawls, so go ahead and take a seat by the hearth!

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Showdown at Blackrock Mountain

This was Hearthstone’s first Tavern Brawl and it did an excellent job at showcasing the potential for the mode. Instead of just opting to shake things up with some rule changes to your typical Hearthstone match, Showdown at Blackrock Mountain has players take on the role of Nefarian or Ragnaros in a duel to the death.  Both Nefarian and Ragnaros have access to some crazy cards and hero powers, but the  most to be had in this particular brawl is being able to use Ragnaros’ “DIE, INSECT!” hero power to deal eight damage to a random enemy each turn. Praise RNGesus!

 

Randomonium

Even before Blizzard introduced Tavern Brawl, many of us here at MMORPG.com sort of created our own fun by dueling each other using decks created entirely by the game’s deck auto-fill feature. It should come as no surprise then that we were excited when Blizzard implemented a similar idea as a new Tavern Brawl. Randominum takes things a bit further than simply auto-filling a deck from your collection. Instead, players pick a class and the game assembles an entirely randomized pre-made deck with the potential to break typical two card maximums (or one card in the case of legendaries). On top of having no clue at all what your deck may consist of, the mode would roll a chance to change the mana cost of each card in your hand. Randomonium is pure Hearthstone chaos at its finest.

 

Too Many Portals!

Imagine a deck consisting of nothing but eSportals, um, I mean Unstable Portals, and you’ll have an idea for the sort of madness found in the Too Many Portals! Brawl. Like a box of chocolates, you never knew what you were going to get when playing Too Many Portals! but you can be sure that many expletives were often shouted on both sides of the table in reaction to some truly disgusting pulls.

 

Unite Against Mechazod!

This brawl was memorable more for novelty’s sake than anything else. Unite Against Mechazod! represents Blizzard’s first experimentation with cooperative gameplay in Hearthstone. In this brawl, players teamed up against Gearmaster Mechazod using a pair of pre-made decks. This was interesting in that it made us think differently about plays each turn. The beauty of the mode was in the slow realization that we could buff each other’s minions and actually cooperate in taking down the enemy AI. Of course, misplays could end up punishing both players, due to the fact that Mechazod is considered the victor once any player dies. If you’re playing with a friend who isn’t quite as good at the game as you are, you may need to put your carry pants on to come out on top. Thankfully, Blizzard thought ahead on this and allowed players to earn their free pack for the week regardless of how their first match went.

 

Captain Blackheart’s Treasure

The current Tavern Brawl, Captain Blackheart’s Treasure, allows players to select their class of choice and go into battle with a deck consisting entirely of 30 2/3 Pirates. The real twist comes in that each turn players will trigger the new Discover mechanic featured in Hearthstone’s latest adventure, League of Explorers, forcing them to decide on one of three cards to add to their hand. We’re fans of the new Discover mechanic; it’s Hearthstone RNG done right. Tying random elements to player decision making is the best way to approach RNG in Hearthstone as it gives players some level of control over the outcome. While Captain Blackheart’s Treasure may not be the most chaotic of brawls out there, it manages to hit the sweet spot of offering enough variance to be interesting, without nearly as much frustration as one might experience when partaking in some of the more chaotic brawls we discussed. 

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager.
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