Brawlers – Battle of the Builds

Join the Murloc swarm or learn how to stop it in the first article of this new tavern brawl series


Do you want to play an Abusive Sergeant even more abusive? What about a bigger Pilote Shredder dropping a Madder Scientist or a Huger Toad? Have you dreamt of dressing your Priest with a shiny Armor? Then come and have a beer on current Tavern Brawl. And don’t forget to close the door.

Too late! Another tiny murloc joined the party…

Welcome Brawlers to a new Tavern Brawl series here at Hearthstone Players.

In this series I’ll try to complement underdawg2014 vision about the weekly Tavern Brawl and give you some more tips and ideas. Actually I was thinking of starting a contribution with Hearthstone Players to talk about brawls before underdawg2014 started his own. Reading him gave me the final impulse to start doing it.

Tavern Brawls are so fast that even having two different visions wouldn’t be enough to completely understand the format before it goes so I’m sure you’ll be able to get advantage of both of our articles.

But before going deep, let me introduce myself. Like lots of HS players I arrived here from Magic The Gathering, THE card game. My teammates tried to convince me to play HS since beta version but I didn’t have time to play MTG as I wanted so I was not going to start a new game! Until the 31st of May of 2014. That day I decided to give it a try and I started my adventure here.

A year and a half later I’ve mostly quit MTG and HS has been the perfect replacement. Unfortunately life changes and my priorities right now are work and two little kids so it was near impossible for me to keep on track with MTG.

When I started here I decided to be a pure F2P player. Yes, I love the game, but I have more than enough with what I get playing free mode to enjoy it. Don’t be wrong, my account has lots of good cards. I’ve bought the three adventures with gold and I can build enough tier 1 decks to have a full experience the game. I even have around 16000 spare dust. My problem here is that I never know what to craft with them and, above all, I’m always afraid of crafting a card and open it in the next pack!

Due to my lack of time, I haven’t reached Legend (yet?). My single serious try was last July, with short work day. But I ended at Rank 1 with 4 Stars. Yeah, a couple of wins more and now I could show the Legend card back. I have to give it another try, maybe next summer… Until then I’ll keep playing the best format of HS. Tavern Brawls, of course.

My main goal with this kind of articles is to explain as much as I can the rule of the week trying to find out relevant cards and then show sample decks that you will probably find on the tables.

Unfortunately for me, the first week I write for Hearthstone Players has the widest tavern brawl we’ve ever seen so I have preferred to center on one of the rules in order to release the article on time. If I have more time and ideas I’ll try to publish another one before the rule says goodbye. But I don’t promise anything.

Rule of the Week

Battle of the Builds

“What’s better? Battlecry, Deathrattle, Spells, or Murlocs? Make a deck, pick a side, and let’s find out!”

With this brief sentence it seems that we will have to center our deck into one of the previous four themes. Anyway, for the first entrance, let’s mix them all into the same deck and see what’s going on inside the tavern. Put some good Battlecries, add some good Deathrattles. Dress the deck with some Spells. And don’t forget a couple of Murlocs, just in case…

Ooops! As we suspected, there are more rules… When you start the game a “Discover” choice is presented to you:

  • Murloc Bonus: You get 1/1 Murloc at the end of your turn.
  • Battlecry Bonus: Your Battlecry minions have +1/+1.
  • Spell Bonus: Whenever you play a spell, gain 3 armor.
  • Deathrattle Bonus: Your Deathrattle minions have +1/+1.

Really?! So now I have a completely useless Mage mess, I mean, deck. And in front of me there’s a proper Deathrattle Mech Mage deck. Anyway let’s choose Spell Bonus and survive the most we can…

…twenty minutes of agonizing survival later…

Wow! I managed to get the pack on the first try! (Sorry Ron)

I would show you the deck but it’s so silly that it won’t apport anything besides the following lesson: “Never give up!”

Ok, now that we know the whole rule of the week, it’s time to see how to build a proper deck.

The first rule is the most obvious one. Fill a deck with Murlocs and run. Aggro style 100%. First thing that came to my mind were the annoying Murlock decks (Murloc Warlock) we saw in the first stages of the game. But we also have another two characters that could make the deal as well: Paladin and Shaman.

Battlecry and Deathrattle bonus look quite fun. Anyway, there will be a lot of work here. We don’t even know which characters will suit better to these rules (Deathrattle Rogue or Hunter are quick examples).

Spell bonus is clearly oriented to Control decks. First thoughts are Freeze Mage and Control Warrior, tons of extra armor to get here! And both of them already have good ways to stall the game. Question is, would it be enough or aggro decks would be too fast for them?

Bonus tip: the-coin gives 3 armor, it’s a spell!

As I usually do, I choose the most aggressive deck for the first real approach to the new born metagame (more about this maybe on a future article). Independently of your preferences when you choose the deck you’re going to play this tavern brawl, I’m sure you’ll face Murlocs current week so let’s try to dissect the archetype a bit.

Key Cards

hungry-crab: I know, now you could be thinking: “So you’ve decided to present a Murloc deck and the first card you mention is a beast!” Yes, it is. But this “little” crab eats Murlocs and benefits from the Battlecry Bonus as well so I think it’ll be one of the MVP cards for this week. It doesn’t matter if you choose the Murloc or the Battlecry side. I hope you still have Hungry Crabs gathering dust on your collections, you should include them for sure.

murloc-knight: The funniest Knight of the game came in August to join the Murloc swarm. It will help you to fill even more your side of the table with thirsty “little” creatures.

everyfin-is-awesome: First step, fill the board with Murlocs. Second step, make them all huge and win.

murloc-warleader: Same as above. But beware if you face a mirror deck. Bonus will go to your opponent’s murlocs as well!

The deck – Murloc Shaman

I said earlier that the most intuitive choices to make a Murloc deck would be Warlock, Paladin and Shaman. I will present here a Shaman deck. Reasons are:

  • Best AoE spell: lightning-storm deals 2-3 damage to the opponent’s minions. Even if we have in play wrath-of-air-totem, we could do 3-4 damage. consecration costs one more and always do 2 damage, sometimes not enough to clean the board. This lack of damage is increased this week as there are two Bonuses that give +1/+1 to certain type of minions. Warlock’s hellfire affects both sides and we don’t want that so I’ve dismissed it.
  • everyfin-is-awesome: with the inclusion of the League of Explorers adventure, Shaman gets this card to boost all your creatures. Murlocs will reduce the cost of the card and you’ll get the benefit earlier.
  • Cheap direct damage and Silence spells: To finish the game when the opponent stalls the board with Taunts.
  • The purest murloc deck. Other characters’ versions include too many cards of other sides, that’s cheating! Here we accept the Hungry Crab but just because sometimes we feed him to control our own Murloc population.

Let’s dive through the list:

  • 2x murloc-tinyfin: If you want explosive starts you will need the 0 cost murloc.
  • 2x grimscale-oracle: Boosts all murlocs. Mandatory.
  • 2x murloc-tidecaller: It’ll grow a lot if it’s left disregarded.

  • 1x sir-finley-mrrgglton: Change your weak hero power for Warlock’s or Hunter’s one if able and enjoy.
  • 2x hungry-crab: Eats opposing murlocs or own ones if necessary to become a respectable 3/4 for just one crystal.
  • 2x bluegill-warrior: Go direct to your opponent’s face or use it as removal to protect key murlocs.
  • 2x murloc-tidehunter: Two murlocs in one card. Remember you have to fill the board to do something awesome…
  • 2x puddlestomper: The last 2-drop murloc to fill the curve. Vanilla creature but a murloc in the end.

  • 2x murloc-warleader: Now your tiny murlocs look more dangerous.
  • 2x everyfin-is-awesome: And of course, with this one they’ll look awesome. You will never pay 7 crystals to play it for sure.
  • 1x old-murk-eye: The final hit. Glorious in mirror games.
  • 2x ancestral-knowledge: To refill the hand. You won’t usually care about overload, deck is too cheap. I’ve seen versions with coldlight-oracle, but I prefer my choice even being the second a “draw spell with murloc legs”. I don’t want the opponent to receive cards at all. They’ll probably be better, heheh.
  • 2x earth-shock: Clean the path of taunts to keep hitting the face. It will also kill lots of Battlecry or Deathrattle X/1 as it denies the Bonus they receive this week (I’m looking at you lepper-gnome).
  • 2x lightning-bolt: To protect your key creatures from opposing minions early or for the last damages later.
  • 2x lava-burst: This one usually goes to the opponent’s face but it can be used on opposing minions as well. Overload? Who cares when the opponent is dead.
  • 2x lightning-storm: Sometimes going fast is not enough and you’ll need to reset the opponent’s side.

The strategy of the deck is quite simple but you’ll have to be very fast or you’ll lose in the long run. Vomit your hand and go to the face. If you have a key murloc in play (Grimscale Oracle, Murloc Tidecaller or Murloc Warleader) try to defend it if possible, even trading one of your minions. You’ll receive free ones every turn so who cares of the loss. You’ll make more damage in the long run.

Mulligan is very easy. Look for 1-cost murlocs (Murloc Tinifyn included). You can also keep Murloc Tidehunter and Murloc Warleader if the rest of your hand is cheap. Hungry Crab is a must keep against Shaman and maybe Paladin (you can eat your own murloc if you guessed wrong).

I would throw back spells to deck. Maybe keep Earth Shock or Lightning Bolt (that one is risiker) if the rest of the hand is good enough. Keeping Everyfing is Awesome is a bit greedy. Be sure that you’ll have enough murlocs to play it before the opponent starts cleaning your board.

How to beat the swarm

If you face Shaman Murloc this week in the tavern the most important thing you have to know is that you are not the aggro deck. Full stop. Asume it, Murlocs will be faster. They’ll keep coming and coming and they’ll eat you if you don’t stop them. So keep the opposing board as clean as possible. Even the tiniest murloc may become huge thanks to the boosts the deck has so don’t give the opponent the chance.

Early taunts like Deathlord would stop this strategy a lot. But don’t think you’re safe enough. An Earth Shock can ruin your defense.

I suppose a proper Spell Bonus deck could stop the deck but I have to say that after around 40 games I haven’t seen a deck of this type (except my initial mess, heheh).


Now it’s your turn. Are you going to join the Murloc swarm or do you prefer to experiment other kind of builds? Whatever you choose, I hope you’ve find this guide useful and above all, have fun playing the Tavern Brawl.

Please, feel free of leaving any feedback on the comments and maybe share with us your thoughts and decks about current rule.

Greetings from Spain!