Everyone loves a good bit of brawling no? It’s the Hearthstone game mode in which many of the rules you’ve grown accustomed to are thrown out the window for new and interesting ones. Some of the favorite brawls of past are the ones that populate your deck with random cards and leave you throwing it down with your opponent. Frequently, though, the Tavern Brawl asks you to build your own deck, which is where a certain “meta” evolves. By the end of the week, everyone is playing the same few decks that all counter one another.
This week’s Tavern Brawl (Pick a Hand, Any Hand) asks you to pick a class, and then seven cards, and then the other 23 cards in your deck are filled with Unstable Portals, and already, the meta around this brawl seems obvious: combos reign supreme.
See, when you start the game, the Unstable Portals aren’t added until after the mulligan. So your starting hand will be comprised of 3 (or 4) of those 7 cards you’ve chosen, and therein lies the combo. Mages are already super strong in this brawl. Grab a couple Sorcerer’s Apprentices, and a pair of Flamewakers, and it’s practically over.
Personally, I’ve had a lot of luck with a VanCleef rogue deck (you can see the decklist in the above screenshot). Usually by the time turn 3 rolls around, you can toss out a 16/16 VanCleef, and then if the opponent doesn’t have an answer, it’s a painful and quick end for them.
The deck evolved from a generic miracle deck, with a couple Gadgetzan Auctioneers, but those proved to be too slow. I tossed out him to the curb, and threw in a bunch of 0-cost cards to combo with VanCleef. At first, I had a couple Shadowsteps in the deck, but a lot of the time, I wasn’t able to use them, so instead I replaced them with simple 0 mana 1/1 cards. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this brawl is how many players were able to deal with my 16/16 VanCleef by getting an owl out of the first Unstable Portal they played. Can you believe it was significantly more than one person?
Rogue and Mage seem like the best picks for the Tavern Brawl, but I lost one of my first games against a druid who Innervated out an Alarm-o-Bot, which then summoned a Blood of the Ancients. I conceded before he could summon an Ancient One.
My favorite brawls are easily ones that take away deck building all together and instead rely on premade (or completely random) decks, but this one isn’t so bad, and it’s infinitely better than the Tavern Brawl that populated your deck with the same two cards. Games are over fast, but there’s enough randomness from the unstable portals that it’s not impossible to come back after your opponent coins out a 16/16 VanCleef on turn 2.