Brawlers – Return of Mechazod

Call a friend and play the return of the co-op Tavern Brawl.

Previously on Brawlers

Last week we had a really interesting rule in the Tavern Brawl. You can find more about it here:

Brawlers – Battle of the Builds

It was impossible to explain all the possibilities soon enough so I just offered a good deck that covered one of the rules. And I had lots of fun games with it. I hope the ones that tried it had them too!

During the weekend I followed LightsOutAce advice and tried the conventional Freeze Mage deck. Unfortunately it was really disgusting. The first three games were three control mirrors (2 Freeze mage and one Oil Rogue) so I got quickly bored with never-ending matches and moved to another deck again. If control vs control games are usually long, imagine with the Spell bonus! Even alexstrasza was not enough as Armor was still there. After three days of no Spell Bonus decks (really, no one in three days), when I choose to play it I face three in a row. Enough! If I was going to face Spell Bonus decks now, at least one of the decks in the field wouldn’t have that rule.

So I switched to a Battlecry Hunter just to test new ways of playing the rule. Now was the turn of Murloc Shamans. Again three in a row. Poor opponents. I knew their decks as if I were built them… You’ll know for sure Sun Tzu quote: “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” I didn’t play a hundred games but I won every single game I faced a Murloc Shaman during the weekend with the Battlecry Hunter deck I played.

I’ll tell you a secret. Against Shamans I didn’t choose the Battlecry Bonus, I chose the Murloc one. Even going blind I kept choosing the Murloc one. My creatures were always a bit bigger than theirs, even not choosing the expected rule for my deck. And now opponents didn’t know what to do! Their constant stream of free creatures was answered with my constant stream of free creatures. hungry crabs becoming 3/4 after lunch (even 5/6 with brann-bronzebeard) and angry dogs from unleash-the-hounds eating murlocs every game. A betrayer murloc-tinyfin killing a brother every turn and denying the proper use of opposing murloc-warleader. If Blizzard reuses the rule in the future I will show you the deck, promised! But now let’s move to current rule.

Rule of the Week

“Mechazod wants a rematch! This time new allies stand against him. Good luck with this return co-op brawl!”

If you’ve been playing HS since November 2015 you will remember this brawl featured by Anduin and Uther. This is the second time we have a co-op brawl, now with Malfurion and Medivh on board. Join your forces with your “opponent” to kill the annoying bot. If any of the players die, then you both will lose, so help your partner and beat Mechazod before! Cards in Mechazod’s “deck” are:

  • Prioritize: Deal Attack damage to the biggest minion.
  • Bomb Salvo: Deal Attack damage to up to three targets.
  • Overclock: Gain 2 Attack.
  • Double Zap: Deal Attack damage to both players.
  • Kill the Lorewalker: Destroy Lorewalker Cho.

Mechazod is a 2/95 Taunt that changes the side of the board each turn. He won’t attack anybody. Instead of that, he will play a card every time the active player changes. I don’t know if Mechazod runs a deck but I think he doesn’t, being the card randomly chosen from the list, except the last one, that will be used on Malfurion’s turn with Lorewalker Cho on the battlefield, allowing your partner to use and give you spells before Cho is killed (if he survives the bombs from Bomb Salvo as well).

Remember that if f one side is full and Mechazod has to change to that side, he will clean it so NEVER leave 7 minions on your side or you both will regret.

Key cards

I will highlight two cards of each deck. The chosen ones from Medivh’s deck are…

brann-bronzebeard: Medivh’s deck has up to 12 creatures with Battlecry. You and/or your partner will benefit of double healing, double drawing, double ramping. Every one will be useful but if I had to choose a card to play the same turn and guarantee the doubled effect will be refreshment-vendor (8 life for each player can be the difference between being dead or surviving two turns more) and coldlight-oracle (four cards for both players is a great dig into the decks).

mirror-entity: Medivh only runs this secret so it’s not a secret anymore. What would I copy?

lorewalker-cho: Copying this card will have two great effects. Firstly, of course, playing spells will generate more copies. The second one is that now Mechazod will waste two turns playing Kill the Lorewalker and that can make the difference between winning or losing. Great “comboed” with millhouse-manastorm.

aviana: I’m sure Malfurion runs Aviana not for himself but for allowing Medivh to play lots of creatures the next turn.

troggzor-the-earthinator: I know both players have it. And yes, it’s really good if it can survive at least one turn. If Malfurion comboes it with Millhouse Manastorm and Troggzor the Earthinator survives, enjoy all the burly-rockjaw-trogg you’ll get. And if Mirror Entity can copy it, why not?

And from Malfurion’s side:

lorewalker-cho: I’ve put it as the first creature I would try to give to Medivh. Yes, he’s that good. You will receive lots of burn from Medivh if you’ve copied it. Remember to play Millhouse Manastorm the same turn if able. In fact, I would try to wait until drawing both if possible.

savage-roar: Malfurion’s finisher besides Troggzor. If it weren’t for this card then Malfurion’s deck would only be a support deck.

The decks

Let’s review the rest of the cards Medivh’s deck has:

  • arcane-blast, forgotten-torch, fireball, pyroblast: The fire. I would use Forgotten Torch every time I have the chance to do it, even not having +X Spell damage creatures on board. You will get the cheaper Fireball later so it’s a good deal. The same for Pyroblast, this time if you don’t have any other play. Please, save Arcane Blast until a good board is set up as it doubles the Spell damage bonus and it will do a fair amount of damage. It’s not a turn 1 play!
  • bloodmage-thalnos, kobold-geomancer, ancient-mage, azure-drake: Your +X Spell damage cards. Try to play at least one “fire” card after playing any of them.
  • coldlight-oracle, arcane-golem, king-mukla, leeroy-jenkins, the-beast: Support cards, your partner will benefit of their downsides. Play Arcane Golem as soon as possible, Malfurion will benefit of the ramp if you do it early. Leeroy Jenkins is good when the board has not a good presence or to protect (a bit) big creatures. You’ll need targets for Bomb Salvos. King Mukla will give your partner spells that could create burly-rockjaw-troggs. I hope your partner won’t eat the bananas until troggzor-the-earthinator stands on your board. If he has read this article, now he knows.
  • earthen-ring-farseer, refreshment-vendor, animated-armor: The healing. I’ve included the Animated Armor in the list because it’s a protection Medivh has. Try to use the first two with brann-bronzebeard on board, of course. If both players have nearly the same amount of life, use Earthen Ring Farseer on your partner, you have Animated Armor and he has zombie-chow so be polite and protect the weakest character.

And now let’s do the same for Malfurion’s deck:

  • zombie-chow, healing-touch, ancient-of-lore: The healing. Please, don’t play the zombie on the first turn! And don’t be greedy with drawing. If someone needs healing, choose that option of Ancient of Lore.
  • darnassus-aspirant, wild-growth, grove-tender: The ramp. A deck wouldn’t be a Malfurion’s deck without ramping cards. Anyway, it’s not too necessary this time. If you don’t play it early, it’ll maybe better to save Wild Growth to draw when you reach ten crystals.
  • wrath: The fire. Malfurion doesn’t have too much fire on his deck, but at least Wrath can also be used in the draw mode. So don’t care of not waiting for Spell Damage bonus if you need cards.
  • haunted-creeper, violet-teacher, force-of-nature, cenarius: We know that we run two copies of savage-roar. These cards will give us bodies to boost.
  • feugen, stalagg, lorewalker-cho, millhouse-manastorm: The Best Friends. I’ve already talked about the second couple so let’s present the first one. They can be played on different turns and they’ll give you a big body when they die. Take into account that the second one you play (for safety the second) is also a good target to copy with mirror-entity. You’ll get a thaddius, so your partner do when his copy dies.
  • jungle-moonkin, grove-tender: The support. Jungle Moonkin is here to boost even more the Spell Damage of Medivh. And Grove Tender will benefit both players as I mentioned above.

General tips

I’ve read that this co-op version of killing Mechazod is harder than the previous one. I haven’t noticed that, I’ve won (with my unknown partners) all the serious attempts I’ve made. It’s true that Divine Shield we had in the previous co-op guaranteed a wider board presence that now we don’t have. But it’s also true that there are new fancy combos to exploit.

One thing I’ve noticed is that there’s no early play for Medivh. His first useful plays are turn-3 cards. That hurts. If you have to play Medivh, mulligan for arcane-golem, coldlight-oracle, earthen-ring-farseer and king-mukla. You could also keep forgotten-torch. I wouldn’t keep mirror-entity as you could copy a weaker card. Please druids, don’t play darnassus-aspirant when your mate has a secret in play…

For Malfurion is easier, there are some turn-2 options in the form of ramp (wild-growth, darnassus-aspirant) or draw tool (wrath). I would keep grove-tender as well to help slow Medivh to start playing.

Board presence is necessary to survive, protect big minions and for Druid’s savage-roar. So don’t waste your little minions just for scratching a life. They’ll give you more benefits if they just stand on the board. I repeat again that you should NEVER have 7 minions or you will regret when Mechazod moves to your side.

Try to play healing cards to get full value. All the lives you win will be welcomed. Malfurion can use his hero power as a healing as well. But don’t attack, that damage will probably be unnecessary.

And the most important thing, be solidary. This is a co-op Tavern Brawl so you have to think on both players when making a play.

Conclusion

In my opinion co-op Tavern Brawls are the worst idea Blizzard has had the way they’ve done it. The intention is good, a new game within the game. It’s a good way to play a couple of casual games with your friends but after that, the Brawl is finished. Right now it’s a kind of “get your free pack and move on”. There’s no chance of communication between players so you’ll have to improvise the strategy and hope your partner will know what to do.

Above all, it seems there are players who have fun wasting his and his partner’s time and will kill you instead of Mechazod (it wasn’t possible in the previous co-op but it is in this one) or will make clearly stupid plays. These kind of players will ruin the experience of a fun Tavern Brawl. Unfortunately for me, the risk of facing these players don’t worth playing the Brawl. I’m sure there will be no Hearthstone Players readers who play this way, but I had to say it.

A little change would be enough to promote playing co-op Tavern Brawls more. If someone of Blizzard is reading the article, think about changing a little thing. When you put a co-op Tavern Brawl, let players earn gold when playing with a friend. Just for those days. They will have to play properly to beat Mechazod (or whatever it comes) so they won’t cheat the free money system. I’m sure more games would be played if you get the reward every 3 wins when playing with a friend as we have in solo modes. In fact it’s a co-op Brawl, so why not encourage playing it with friends?

And you, what do you think about co-op Tavern Brawls? Feel free of leaving your comments and let’s talk about current system. Meanwhile, here I’m afraid I’ll spend the rest of the week on ladder and arena.

Have fun! (If your partner lets you…) And remember to keep bananas to feed Troggzor!