Brawlers – Captain Blackheart’s Treasure

Discover what the Captain left to you and choose wisely in this Tavern Brawl reprise. Sorry, no weapons allowed.

Previously on Brawlers

Two games with wife on Saturday STOP Two wins STOP Back to Arena and Ladder STOP

(Yeah, I told you I didn’t like last week’s rule…)

Rule of the Week

“The Captain left treasure for EVERYONE, but mostly for you! Each turn, open a chest of three random cards and choose one to put in your hand!”

Did you know that the Discover mechanic was initially named Treasure? If you didn’t know you can find more info about this here. I haven’t found a source where they decided to change the name but it seems the Captain leaving treasures suited the original name.

What you’ll probably know is that this is not the first time we’ve played this Tavern Brawl but… did you know this is actually the third time we have it? Yes it is! Some of us were able to suffer the first attempt of this Tavern Brawl. I tried to play it a couple of games the first time it was released. I even got the pack in one of those games thanks to my opponent conceding before the game crashed. Because Tavern Brawl games always crashed with the “Treasure” rule. It was so buggy that they had to replace it (they even changed the name) and that week we ended playing the Spiders one. I thought I was going to get two packs that week when they made the update but I wasn’t so lucky, heheh.

Nowadays we are used to the rule thanks to the Discover mechanic that definitely arrived with League of Explorers. But the first time we could experiment with the last mechanic added to Hearthstone we all thought on tracking, with the obvious difference of choosing among random class and neutral cards instead of own deck ones, and Arena deck creation phase.

The rule is quite simple. Every turn you’ll get three cards on your screen, you have to choose one of them and it will go to your hand. This mechanic substitutes the draw of every turn. The options will be cards from the class you’ve chosen to play and neutral cards. It’s a kind of “Arena” style. You won’t have “all common” or “all legendary” choices but mixed ones. Oh, and high rarity cards appear frequently.

The deck

Pirates everywhere. Mulligan if you want, they’ll be back. Draw if you want, you’ll get more. And sorry, it’s not the card I’ve put on the deck, you have to omit the text of the card. They’re vanilla pirates (the name is incorrect as well). At least they’re pirates…

General tips

Two keys about this Tavern Brawl. Card advantage and board control. Both are related as we’ll se lately. It will be hard to recover board control if we lose it, we depend on the next random picks so the strategy has to adapt to this premise since the beginning. Games will be an attrition war until someone dominates the board. It’ll be hard to make a swing, the class we choose will make the difficulty of this swing easier or even harder. Tempo is less important, we depend on random picks every single turn so it’s hard to control this concept. Sometimes we will make a good tempo play, but others we won’t. (If you want to read about Card advantage and Tempo, Cynthia Crescent wrote two great articles months ago).

Vanilla Pirate 2/3 is the Brawl test (remember to skip the box when looking at the image on the left). Players will have at least 3 (on the play) or 4 (on the draw) pirates that will eventually reach the board so when choosing a card it’s important to think if the choice is better or worse than the Pirate. In my opinion first picks should be, if possible, late game cards or AoE effects. It’s senseless to pick a cheap card, you already have the pirates to play on your first turns and that cheap card won’t be very relevant in the long run. Why would you choose a 3/2 to play on turn 2 that will  trade with a Pirate? You’re wasting a pick, don’t do that. So you’ll have to think further the current play when picking your cards. Games will usually be long, don’t spend a whole choice picking a weak card even being able to play it at that moment. Probably the slower one is the correct option.

Let’s go in-depth on card advantage. There’s no draw in this Tavern Brawl and we will see that our hand is thinner and thinner as the turns go by. So we will have to be imaginative and look for card advantage every single attack we do and every single pick we choose. It will reward us in the last stages of the game.

So let’s choose one the best vanilla creatures of the game, chillwind-yeti. He has the potential of killing THREE Pirates. One card vs three cards. Probably it’ll be a Pirate and a bigger minion. For one card and four crystals I’m in!

Let’s look for another example with spider-tank. One card vs two cards. You can play it on turn three instead of the foreseeable Pirate and it will kill two Pirates. A good opponent would attack your turn 2 Pirate to get back in advanced the card advantage he’s going to lose. We’ll see more 3/4 in the next lines. They’re the best pirate killers!

Common creatures with deathrattle effects such as piloted-shredder. It has the potential of killing two pirates or a big creature and then the spawned one kill another pirate (it’ll depend on the creature you receive of course).

AoE damage spells are a great way to get card advantage. And they’ll be scarce, so don’t miss the opportunity of picking one when you see them.

You’ll find sometimes a “draw X card(s)”  among your choices. It’s ok. We know exactly what we are going to draw (there is a strange exception with low chances of happening if a card has been shuffled into our deck) and that’s card advantage. A weak one, but advantage in the end.

We also have Inspire effects that generate card advantage. nexus-champion-saraad will give us a random spell or kodorider, as an example of “card advantage” in the form of a 3/5 creature, with their Inspire abilities.

There’s a bad card that could have its moment this week, summoning-stone. We will need spells to activate it, but its effect, if we manage to do it, can be devastating for our opponent. I played against a Mage that played in the same turn Summoning Stone, sorcerers-apprentice and arcane-missiles  that killed the damaged creature I had (I don’t remember the creature I had and the creature he got from the Stone), I didn’t have removal to answer it and the next turn he played echo-of-medivh. Well played. Concede.

And finally, the Discover mechanic. The first time we played (well) this Tavern Brawl, we didn’t have Discover cards but now they’re here. And that’s the ultimate way of card advantage. I’m not thinking on raven-idol, that’s a re-roll when the other choices are horrible, or sir-finley-mrrgglton, there’s no card advantage there. I’m thinking on jeweled-scarab or tomb-spider, both cards that will give you an extra card among three choices.

Extra tips: Have you seen a weapon? After nearly 50 games I haven’t… I suppose is intentional. Blizzard probably saw that weapon classes would have a big advantage with the presence of weapons (they would…) and Captain kept all weapons in the armory. Captain doesn’t like Jousts as well. You can try, but you’ll probably don’t win it…

Classes review

You’ll probably noticed that I’ve only mentioned neutral cards. Now it’s time to analyze classes one by one.

Rogue

Hero power is very useful. One load, two uses. That ping will finish an opponent pirate with the help of our own pirate. And we will have an extra use for the next turn. deadly-poison is a great option if it appears the first turns. You play Pirate on turn 2 and then Hero Power and Deadly Poison on turn 3 killing opposing Pirate and having another load for the next one. We have 3 turns (9 cards) to get the Deadly Poison. Chances are low, I know. But it’s one of the best startings so I have to mention it.

Rogue has two legendaries that will bring us card advantage, anubarak and trade-prince-gallywix. The first one is a sticky minion that will leave a body and come back to our hand, the second one will give us the spells our opponent plays or at least will prevent him for playing them for a while.

AoE is strong as we know from Oil Rogue decks. But it will depend entirely of spending two picks on it (fan-of-knives is not strong enough). We will need blade-flurry and a boost for our Wicked Knife in the form of deadly-poison or tinkers-sharpsword-oil.

Among creatures I would like to highlight a couple of pirates: shady-dealer will probably be a 5/4 for 3 crystals and that’s BIG. one-eyed-cheat will be a cheap minion with high Attack and Stealth as long as we keep playing pirates. We can enter aggro mode if we see them.

burgle is a fair way of getting card advantage. It will give us 2 random class cards from opponent’s one.

Mage

Again hero power is important here but it’s clearly worse than Rogue one. The main difference is obvious, two uses instead of one.

If we look at Mage’s legendaries, there are two great options. rhonin with its three arcane-missiles and archmage-antonidas with his potential fireball every time we play a spell.

AoE Mage damage cards are always worth it. flamestrike will bring us back lots of games and blizzard will clean and stall the board to give us the chance of recovering the board control.

ethereal-conjurer will be a big creature to remove that will give us an extra spell through Discover, so it’ll be the best among three options. And echo-of-medivh can suppose absurd card advantage.

Paladin

Hero power will give as a constant flow of little creatures so it’s a good option when we are going to choose the class.

Paladin’s legendaries are all useful. First picking bolvar-fordragon would give us a huge creature for the late game, eadric-the-pure will serve as soft removal leaving a body on board and tirion-fordring… ohhh. When a creature is good it’s always good. One of the few options of getting a weapon this week. And Ashbringer is a big one.

Paladin offer us lots of ways of 2-1 our opponent. aldor-peacekeeper and keeper-of-uldaman. Both will leave a body and will affect opponents board as well. The first as soft removal of a big opposing creature and the last buffing an own creature, maybe a Pirate that will kill an opposing Pirate, or debuffing a big opposing creature.

murloc-knight is a powerhouse as usual. Enjoy getting free murlocs every time you use the hero power.

Buffs are also a good way to remove an opposing creature and leave a bigger one on our side, specially seal-of-champions.

Paladin looses nearly all his weapons, so chances of getting the good class cards are higher than for other classes. But we still have weapons available in the form of Ashbringer, thanks to Tyrion, or muster-for-battle, a great card, three soldiers and lights-justice. Pirates, tremble!

Overall Paladin is a complete class for current rule.

Priest

Hero power will help our minions to survive. It’s not a good idea to use it very early, but it will affect the board for sure.

confessor-paletress is as good as usual, giving us a free random legendary creature every time we use the hero power. With more limited resources than ever, we will thank it a lot. voljin will help to trade a Pirate into a bigger opposing creature.

lightbomb can be devastating but Pirates will avoid it. Anyway, Priest will mold its board to get the best from it.

Among creatures I will highlight museum-curator (but not as a 2-turn play, we have to take control of the board first), dark-cultist, (a great Pirate killer), and cabal-shadow-priest (come with mummy Pirate…)

Warrior

Warrior love for weapons will harm him a lot. His hero power doesn’t affect the board as well, leaving him as a weak class for this week.

We have a great Legendary card, varian-wrynn 13/16 spread on four creatures. But its 10 crystal cost could be too late.

brawl will reset the board but let’s see if the survival is ours or we won’t have the initiative after playing it.

Fortunately we have two of the best 3 drops for this week, fierce-monkey andfrothing-berserker.

I think there are better options so I wouldn’t play it a lot…

Warlock

Hero power is less useful as usual. It will help us to get more creatures on the late game, but four crystals and two life for a 2/3 seems bad.

Fortunately, lord-jaraxxus could come to help us, changing the little 2/3 Pirate into a big 6/6 Demon at a reduced cost and no life harm. malganis will also help us to get card advantage for free (damage) and wilfred-fizzelbang for free (cost).

Anyway, the rule of Gul’dan is that you have to pay a price for higher effects. Discarding cards would be devastating on this scarce of resources Tavern Brawl and that’s one of Warlock mechanics. I wouldn’t choose him this week.

Shaman

No weapons, awful hero power. Maybe neptulon is the ultimate way of card advantage for this week but sadly the-mistcaller doesn’t affect “discovered” cards. Overload could ruin our plans, we don’t know what choices we will have next turn. I don’t see it, sorry. If you want to try it, do at your own risk and leave your comments below.

Hunter

No good legendaries, no good hero power, no good AoE. No control of the deck to play the aggro style. Should I continue? Sorry Rexxar, I think it’s not your week.

Druid

I’ve seen him a lot but I don’t know why. I had the 3-victory task and it cost me A LOT. Sorry, I cannot give you clues about Druid. If you ask me to play it again I would say, NO THANKS. Druid has always had problems recovering board control and his AoE removal effects are not enough. I know Druid has big late game minions but legendaries are not very good. If you’ve managed to get good results with him, congratulations. I haven’t.

Conclusion

Lots of players will complain about the Random Number Generator factor (RNG factor) of this Tavern Brawl. I agree, RNG is there, but there are more things to worry about when playing this week. I’ve won games facing many legendaries and I’ve lost a game with two sneeds-old-shredder in hand so you won’t read me crying of loosing due to the RNG factor. It’s part of Hearthstone and the Discover mechanic gives us the power of modify this random game.

Others will say that games are too long. I agree with that again, and I think Blizzard could slightly change this Tavern Brawl to allow games reach fatigue mode. Discarding a Pirate from the deck each turn after the Discover phase would be an easy option.

Now that we’ve discover Captain’s secrets (I hope) , let’s play a game. If you had to roll a die before the game starts, you won the roll and you had to choose if going first or second, what would you choose this week? Leave your answer in the comments before reading my conclusion here:

[spoiler]Second, of course! You’ll have the initiative since the first turn if you play a Pirate with the coin. Usually games start as follows:

Player 1 – Turn 1: Skip

Player 2- Turn 1: Coin, Pirate

P1-T2: Pirate

P2-T2: Pirate, Face with the other Pirate (2 damage)

P1-T3: Pirate, Face with the other Pirate

P2-T3: Here’s the critical turn. Here we have some options to clean opposing board, maintaining ours, such as southsea-captain, raid-leader or dire-wolf-alpha. And that would be devastating for our opponent’s plan.

If we don’t have the chance, no rush. We will have the initiative the whole game if we play wisely. So don’t lose it![/spoiler]

Have fun! Arrrrrrrrr!