Brawlers – Miniature Warfare

Take your toys out of the box and enjoy with the Miniature Warfare rule in this Tavern Brawl.

Previously on Brawlers

Hi Brawlers! Last week we had a very fun Tavern Brawl with premade decks. If you didn’t read it and want to know what was going on, you can find the article here.

I played lots of games with the first three classes but I enjoyed the most playing Mage. Long games getting advantage piece by piece, with cards like ethereal-conjurer or echo-of-medivh, until I had so much advantage that the enemy had tu surrender.

But let’s move to current rule. A very interesting one I would say. Now I can play grommash-hellscream the first turn!

Rule of the Week

“That pesky Shrinkmeister turned all your Hearthstone cards into toys! Now all your minions are 1/1 and only cost (1) mana!”

Hey, give me my money back! That’s not Grommash, that’s an angry-chicken with rush!

I’m afraid this is not your Brawl, Grommash, but it’ll be the rule for lots of big minions with fancy effects. So explore all your “undusted” legendaries, maybe it’s their moment…

Rule is simple, all minions will be 1/1 and will cost (1). It’s good to know that minions abilities will stay there. And that’s the important thing. But let’s now explain specific situations because there are lots of “What if…” questions on the table.

What if I summon a creature through a spell/Battlecry effect? Sorry, it won’t work. The summoned minions will be 1/1.

What if a deathrattle minion like sludge-belcher dies? You’ll receive a 1/1 creature. In this case it will have Taunt.

What if I use recombobulator? You’ll receive a new creature of the original cost of the minion you’ve transformed, but it will be a 1/1.

What if I buff a minion with spells like blessing-of-kings? Good one! You’ll now have a 5/5 ready to kill lots of opponent minions.

What if I play wailing-soul? Again, it won’t work. Silence effects won’t remove the overall rule that applies to minions when they’re on board. Anyway, Silence effects are still useful as they’ll remove other abilities or buffs minions have. And yes, if you use earth-shock on a buffed minion, it will die.

What if I play shade-of-naxxramas? You will have played a 1/1 Stealth creature that will get +1/+1 every turn so yes, it works!

Clear? Then let’s move on!

(If you have another situation that you want to talk about feel free of leaving a comment!)

General tips

Your opponent’s deck will have lots of bombs to play since the first turn so beware of including 1-turn answers to face them. Cards such as north-sea-kraken, stormpike-commando or elven-archer (please, choose them ordered…)  will kill opponent’s minion while leaving a body for the future. Cards with Charge would have a similar effect, better if combined with Divine Shield like argent-commander. Anyway, I’d prefer direct damage and don’t be stopped by Taunt minions.

There are some ways to play two (or more) minions with one card. The omnipresent dr-boom will avoid this week big-game-hunter and leave you three bodies on board. wobbling-runts will be a four creature – one card.

AoE damage will be very important. As neutral examples we have explosive-sheep, abomination or baron-geddon. Even random AoE damage minions such as madder-bomber, mad-bomber or knife-juggler could make the cut.

With such a low cost in your minions, you’ll see your hand empty very fast so when designing your deck don’t forget to include card drawing effects. chromaggus will help you to refill your hand. Try to play a draw effect after playing it or you won’t probably benefit of its ability. I’ve also seen nefarian as well but I don’t think it’s useful, giving that big minions are so undercosted. The spells you receive will have its usual cost and you don’t control what you’re going to receive so it’s not as good as it seems.

The cards

malygos: Lots of decks will choose this path of winning. The main problem of Malygos in normal constructed is its cost. Now that’s not a problem anymore! Enjoy burning your opponent with spells.

onyxia: Flood your board with dragons. You know opponent’s minions will have the same size your baby dragons have so it’s a good deal. Excellent for removing opposing big tiny legendaries and for wins with the help of buffs.

hobgoblin: Don’t you like to see your minions downsized? Then include this card in your deck. Now the toys you play will be respectable 3/3!

alexstrasza: Thirty life is a lot when running 1/1. So let’s accelerate things with this dragon. Excellent for OTK wins.

starving-buzzard: If you’ve been playing Hearthstone for a long time you will remember the real power of this minion. Every time you played against Face Hunter you were afraid of over-flooding your board and see how Rexxar refilled its hand and cleaned your board thanks to the starving-buzzard – unleash-the-hounds combo, sometimes with the help of timber-wolf. Now starving-buzzard is back!

Druid

Last week I left Malfurion for the last place, I think this week deserves the first place so I will comment a deck completely. Let’s move to another class.

Rogue

You will probably find Miracle Rogue decks this week. They will look very similar to Ladder ones but they win the flexibility of adding any kind of minion and don’t worry about the cost. Cards such as dark-iron-skulker become a powerful AoE minion. Enjoy playing gadgetzan-auctioneer early with a ton of spells to cycle your entire deck and find the pieces for the combos you’ve included on your deck.

Rogues will kill giants, demons and dragons with their daggers. It’ll be duck soup for them.

Priest

Malygos again. I think it’s the worst of the three options even having the company of prophet-velen. It’s true that the draw engine is very strong if you combine cheap or free spells with gadgetzan-auctioneer or take advantage of free minions and maybe free spells  thanks to shadowfiend, but the AoE effects are expensive so it’s more difficult to protect yourself before you get the combo. You won’t probably include the circle-of-healing, auchenai-soulpriest combo (you will need the second alive), holy-nova is a turn-5 play and lightbomb a turn-6 one. You will also need auchenai-soulpriest to change all your healing spells such as flash-heal andlight-of the-naaru into burn. Malygos and Velen will enjoy it but now you need too many cards to combo.

Mage

When you face a Mage he will probably try to kill you using the Freeze Mage style, probably dressed with Malygos. They won’t be able to rely on the frost-nova, doomsayer combo but arcane-explosion and arcane-missiles are good enough. rhonin, archmage-antonidas and alexstrasza will be there for sure. flamewaker could help as well. After having loaded your hand with burn spells, emperor-thaurissan will come to reduce the cost of them. And that’s its main problem, previous decks have cheaper spells for the combo. Anyway, Mage is a rock this week.

 

Hunter

When Hearthstone was young I enjoyed a lot playing the starving-buzzard – unleash-the-hounds combo. I will show you a Hunter deck so let’s talk about it later.

Paladin

Uther strengths will be buffing its minions, overextending its board and using weapons to kill opposing minions. muster-for-battle will give us two of the things we will need.

After flooding the board, competitive-spirit and muklas-champion will grow our minions and frostwolf-warlord will grow on its own. quartermaster will help our soldiers as well. This is a good deck to include our hobgoblin if we have it even not working for tokens.

Shaman

I think Shaman is not very well positioned this week. Specific ability, Overload, gives you the benefit of a undercosted effect (minion, spell) at the cost of locking one or more of your crystals next turn. Giving that you won’t usually benefit of Overloaded minions (they’ll be 1/1) you only have the spells and not Overload minions. Options are reduced then, the approach would be similar to the Paladin deck. At least the-mistcaller is playable this week and your Totems will be 1/1 and keep their abilities so they’ll be better than soldiers… Anyway, why would you choose to play bloodlust above savage-roar if you want to take the OTK path or flood the board with totems instead of soldiers knowing that Paladin has quartermaster and competitive-spirit?

Warlock

dreadsteed will be a headache for your opponent if you choose to play Gul’dan so try to put baron-rivendare as well and start flooding your board with infernal horses. Your removal pack should include dread-infernal, demonwrath could be better than shadowflame or hellfire. imp-losion will kill a minion and give you more cleaners. malganis is kind of mandatory for this decks to grow your demons but it’s so vulnerable that you won’t have time to enjoy the buff. I think there are better options this week.

Warrior

I’ve just seen a warrior and I remember the game as an easy one. They have whirlwind and deaths-bite to clean boards (own as well) but I cannot imagine a Warrior deck that relies on class cards. If cards you can play here can be played anywhere else, why would you choose the Warrior? At least varian-wrynn could give you four minions for 1 crystal.

The deck

Here is a version of a Malygos Druid deck. It also includes more combos to spread the options of killing the opponent. As usual in combo decks there are lots of cards oriented to dig into the deck. Let’s explain the choices:

innervate: It will allow us to play more cards the same turn, maybe the turn we are executing one of the combos, maybe previous turns when we want to play brann-bronzebeard and as much drawers as possible.

moonfire: One of the spells to use with Malygos on board. Removal if extremely needed.

living-roots: The other spell to use with Malygos. Here we have three modes of play, to the face, as removal or to leave two little Saplings on board that will serve as removal or to hit opponent’s face.

wrath: The usual mode will be the “one damage and draw” but we will find other situations when the “three damage” one will be needed.

savage-roar: It’s not the main purpose of this deck but opponents will think on a Malygos deck and will forget about the other combo Druid usually has. We don’t run force-of-nature so we will have to rely on other ways of flooding the board and hope that we will have enough minions the next turn.

swipe: Mass removal. Usually the 4 damage will go to the opponent’s face and we will clean opponent’s board with the rest.

ancient-of-lore: Best thing of Druid’s cards are their different modes. Here we have the best drawer, two cards only for us. And maybe sometimes we’ll have to use the healing mode.

ancient-of-war: An effective 1/6 with Taunt to set up our defenses.

novice-engineer,  gnomish-inventor: Draw a card and 1/1 body.

azure-drake: Draw a card and an extra +1 Spell damage bonus that we will maybe use.

brann-bronzebeard: Brann is here to double the effect of previous drawers. dr-boom will also benefit from him.

faceless-manipulator: There are lots of uses for this card. It will copy the best creature on board, sometimes it’ll be our, sometimes it’ll be an enemy minion. It can copy Brann for massive drawing, (Sorry, this doesn’t work as Vecc said) Malygos for massive burn but I will highlight a second combo we run. If the opponent has an empty board and we play alexstrasza, ragnaros-the-firelord and copy it, that’s all folks!

emperor-thaurissan: I know that minions are cheap this week, but we also run some spells (swipe costs 4). If we play him with a big hand full of drawers we will dig fast through the deck without spending mana initially and reserve it for the cards we draw.

baron-geddon: He is our third mass removal but remember that this time our board, except him, will be cleaned as well.

dr-boom: Three bodies in one card is good enough. Bombs will do extra damage as always. Maybe Brann will generate more bombs. And if all these minions are left unattended, savage-roar will do the rest.

ragnaros-the-firelord, alexstrasza, malygos and onyxia were already commented before so let’s finish the explanation of the deck.

Note: I’ve seen versions with coldlight-oracle but knowing that we will face lots of combo decks this week I’ve chosen to not give cards to my opponents and receive some from them if they play the murloc.

The budget deck

[spoiler]

If you read my first article you will know that I play the EU server and that my US collection is awful. Anyway, as US players have the opportunity to play Tavern Brawls earlier I usually make a deck to try the rule before we have it here in Europe. So I built a Hunter deck even not having all the basic cards! Here you have it:

Isn’t it beautiful? I know it’s an extremely budget build but it’ll show you how to build a proper deck with completely awful cards. My results were unexpected for everybody. I played five games and won four of them. Four of them! With this mess…

The best game I played was against a Mage that showed turn-1 ragnaros-the-firelord (that died to one of the shooters I run) followed by turn-2  archmage-antonidas and dr-boom (Antonidas died as well). An amazing onyxia helped me refill my hand thanks to the draw combo and lots of legendaries later ((on his board…) I won the game.

I’ve seen players including cards such as sneeds-old-shredder or feugen and stalagg instead of wobbling-runts so don’t be afraid of the stream of legendaries you can see this week. If you’ve built a proper deck you will win lots of games even going budget.

There’s a lot of work to do with this basic budget deck. You’ll have plenty of room to upgrade it, the version I’m playing now in the EU server is the following one.

It has evolved a lot. It’s a different approach for this week’s Brawl with some fancy combos. Card drawing relies on the starving-buzzard – unleash-the-hounds combo, supported by cult-master.

We play dr-boom, savannah-highmane and wobbling-runts as more-than-one-minion-in-one-card. Better than basic options.

elven-archer has been upgraded to north-sea-kraken. scavenging-hyena replaced frostwolf-warlord.

A couple of support legendaries, kelthuzad, to resurrect our minions and loatheb to stop combo decks. Also a single antique-healbot to heal after Alexstrasza. And one tracking to help finding silver bullets.

knife-juggler will be a machine gun with all the minions we can generate. I remember the starting of a game I played that will show you its real power:

On the play, after mulligan I have dr-boom, knife-juggler and faceless-manipulator. I draw mekgineer-thermaplugg so I decide to not play anything on turn one and probably play Juggler and Dr. Boom next turn to be sure of cleaning opposing board. The opponent plays rhonin, the-coin, faceless-manipulator. Ouch! Ok, I followed him copying Rhonin as well. He plays then chromaggus and novice-engineer and hit face. Now it’s my turn…

knife-juggler, mekgineer-thermaplugg, dagger to an opposing minion, a leper-gnome is born, another dagger, another death, another Gnome…

Now play all the arcane-missiles you want, friend!

You’ll miss alexstrasza here. Yes it’s an auto-include but I don’t have it. I’ll maybe craft it, who knows? But right now I’m having a lot of fun with this version and I’m very proud of mekgineer-thermaplugg, he was getting fat and now has an opportunity to fight.

[/spoiler]

Conclusion

Which path will you choose this week? Will you play a combo deck or do you prefer the zoo style decks? Whatever you decide, I’m sure you’ll enjoy a lot with this Tavern Brawl and you will play for sure cards that you didn’t consider playable at all.

Feel free of leaving questions in the comments if you have them or telling us your impressions about the rule. And please, don’t cry if you don’t have legendaries, there are other ways to beat your opponent!

Bye bye Brawlers! Now I have to comfort Grommash. Poor toy…