Yes, you can beat this week’s Hearthstone Tavern Brawl
Hearthstone’s Tavern Brawls can be lots of fun, throwing you oddball mechanics that push the game in all new directions. And this week’s certainly qualifies, pairing you with a random teammate to fight Nefarian. He acts just like a minion, and swaps sides of the board each turn so you can attack him. Tough dragon that he is, Nefarian has 200 health and taunt, plus he can’t be targeted by spells. And though he doesn’t attack, each turn he casts a random spell that does damage to you or your minions, or swaps your hand with your opponent’s. It’s a match that will keep you on your toes.
The fight has three phases:
- Nefarian starts with 0 attack and 200 health. That zero damage gives you time to get some cards on the board, so take advantage of it while you can. At 160 health, he deals 4 to 6 damage to all minions and phase 2 begins.
- In phase 2, Nefarian jumps up to 5 attack, which makes him a lot tougher to burn down because as he finally starts hitting back . At 60 health, he deals 30 damage to all minions and heals himself for 30. This can be a board clear that’s hard to come back from. Now phase 3 kicks off.
- In phase 3, he jumps up to 10 attack, making it even harder to burn through his remaining 90 health, because he’ll really tear through your minions. But you’re in the home stretch here, so keep fighting!
This fight can be a challenge, but you can win to get your free classic pack (or complete quests). However, you’ll probably need a little patience to do it. And because knowledge is half the battle, let’s run through some tips to make your fight a successful one.
Here are the fight basics:
- You’re randomly assigned to play either Shaman or Priest, with a pre-made deck. So there’s no worrying about cards: just focus on strategy.
- This is a cooperative brawl, which means you and another player are working together to bring down Nefarian. If either of you dies, you both die. So try not to die.
- Because it’s cooperative, you can target your opponent’s minions with buffs and heals. Assuming your opponent understands how the match works, this can really help.
The image above gives away the secret to winning this match. Do you see it? The secret is buffing the heck out of your minions (i.e. that 96/96 on the board). The Priest deck is full of buffs, and you should stack them on whichever minion is most likely to survive. Before you switch phases, be sure your best minions can survive it — if not, wait until you can heal or buff them enough to make it (and hope your opponent understands what you’re doing).
There are a few minions that are particularly good targets for buffs:
- Intrepid Dragonstalker, which gets +1/+1 each time a card is played. This minion can get big, and if you buff it up, it will only get bigger.
- Stoneskin Gargoyle is a rather tepid 1/4, but heals itself to full at the start of every turn. That gives it the kind of survivability you’ll need to get to the end of this brawl.
- Fjola Lightbane, who gets Divine Shield whenever targeted by a card, is another solid option. The survivability can keep her alive and putting pressure on Nefarian.
- But don’t necessarily hold out for the perfect card. Waiting too long could be the death of you, so use your best judgement.
And there are a few other cards to be aware of:
- Main Tank gives all minions +2/+2. It’s a great target for a Youthful Brewmaster (which returns a minion to your hand). The more times you can play this card, the more mileage you’ll get out of it.
- The Priest card Raid Healer heals your opponent’s hero whenever your hero is healed. Whichever side you’re playing, throw heals on whoever has Raid Healer on the board to boost both heroes’ health.
- The Priest deck has exactly one Inner Fire, which sets a minion’s attack to be equal to its health. Play this carefully, waiting for a minion that has been buffed like crazy. If you cast this right, it can be a game-winner.
- Justicar Trueheart is in the Priest deck, and it can upgrade the Priest hero power to heal for 4 instead of 2. Sideshow Spelleater is in the Shaman deck, and it can take your opponent’s hero power. Priests, get that Justicar out as soon as is practical, and Shamans, wait to play your Seplleater until the Justicar has been played. The extra healing power can make a difference.
Good luck out there, Hearthstone players. You can do this! I have faith in you! So get out there and kick a dragon in the teeth for me.
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