You’ll need teamwork to take down Nefarian in this week’s Hearthstone Tavern Brawl
This week’s Hearthstone Brawl is a rerun, but it’s a fun one… so long as your opponent understands what they’re doing. That’s right, this week’s Nefarian Rises! Tavern Brawl is a cooperative encounter, and If your opponent doesn’t understand what they’re doing, well, you’re probably going to lose.
Fortunately, because it’s a rerun, most players — or at least most of the ones I’ve run into — do know what they’re doing. But if you aren’t sure how to make this Brawl work, here’s everything you need to know.
You and your opponent are given two pre-made decks: one Priest and one Shaman. You’re fighting Nefarian, a 0/200 with taunt, and getting through his health pool is going to take some teamwork. Each turn he switches sides, letting each player attack him. The fight has three phases:
- Phase 1: Neffy has no attack, but he casts a spell each turn. He’ll either summon a 0/3 explosive rune which does 9 damage to the hero if not killed or he’ll deal damage scattered across heroes and minions. Occasionally, he will cause you and your opponent (AKA temporary ally) to swap hands.
- Phase 2: At 160 health, Neffy casts Elemental Eruption, dealing 4-6 damage to all other minions. His attack goes up to 5 (making him 5/160), meaning doing damage will start hurting. He won’t attack, but will continue to cast spells each turn.
- Phase 3: At 60 health, Neffy casts Twisted Light, healing him for 30 and doing 30 damage to all other minions. His attack goes up to 10 (making him 10/90). He won’t attack, but will continue to cast spells each turn.
While you can chip away at Nevarion’s health in whatever way makes sense, there’s only one way to really win: buffing the heck out of a single minion until it is massive enough to take him down. Ideally, both players will invest all of their buff cards on a single minion, helping it survive damage while growing into a monstrous murderbeast that can reduce Nethy to a pile of dragon bones.
But you don’t want to buff just any minion: you want to buff the biggest, baddest minion you can get. There are three solid options here:
- Intrepid Dragonstalker, a Brawl-only 3/3 that gains +1/+1 every time either player plays a card. This can make it a pretty beefy minion without any help (though you want to help it anyway).
- Stoneskin Gargoyle, a 1/4 that restores itself to full health at the start of every turn. Though this minion starts off as a tiny thing, being able to restore itself to health gives it a lot of survivability.
- Fjola Lightbane, a 3/3 that gains divine shield whenever you target it with a spell. It isn’t the best card, but divine shield gives it a lot of survivability.
Another important card to keep an eye out for is Main Tank, a 4/4 that buffs everyone except Neffy by +2/+2. This is even more effective when paired with Youthful Brewmaster or Brann Bronzebeard (or both!) to this Battlecry buff more than once.
You want to have your selected murder-minion buffed sufficiently before each phase shift that it won’t die — so over 6 health before pushing him to phase 2, and over 30 health before pushing him to phase 3. This can mean not pushing to the next phase immediately, but waiting to heal or buff your minion before you go.
Don’t forget to heal!
While you’re building an absolute monster to deal with Neffy, don’t forget to keep both heroes healed — because if either of you die, it’s game over for both of you. The Priest’s healing ability can be buffed to +4 heal with Justicar Trueheart and the Shaman can steal that hero power with Sideshow Spelleater. That gives both heroes a lot of healing power.
Another key healing card is Raid Healer, which heals your opponent every time you’re healed. Two for one healing?! Fantastic!
After that, all you can do is be patient and keep trying… or keep waiting to be paired with a better teammate.
You’ll win one classic pack when you complete your first Brawl of the week, and you can complete quests in Brawls — so if you feel like doing this one more than once, you could manage some Priest or Shaman quests.
Good luck out there, Brawlers!
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