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HearthstoneAug 22, 2019 10:00 am CT

The Great Amalgamation Hearthstone Tavern Brawl is fun for the whole family

fighting thunderaan

I don’t enjoy every week’s Hearthstone Tavern Brawl, but this week’s brawl is a real winner. The Great Amalgamation brawl considers all of your minions to be Elementals, Mechs, Demons, Murlocs, Dragons, Beasts, Pirates, and Totems, all at once. That means cards that trigger an effect based on card type will now trigger for all of your cards, making for some truly fun (and truly overpowered) plays.

The downside of this brawl is that you’ll need to build your own deck to play — which can be a pain for players without big card collections. And even worse, it’s a Wild brawl, meaning every card the game has ever had can be used — which can be even more of a pain for players without a big card collection.

However, the brawl strongly favors minion-heavy zoo-style decks that can be very budget-friendly. Successful decks (so far) revolve around the classic zoo strategy: pack your deck with cheap minions, get them on the board fast, buff the heck out of them, and overwhelm your opponent before they know what hit them.

As long as you’re the one throwing that first punch, it’s a pretty fun way to play.

Key cards

Because every minion is every type of minion, you have to think a little differently about how your cards interact. There are a lot of cards that interact with specific minion types, and while these usually have limited use they’re big winners in this brawl. Here are some cards that I’ve found key when putting together winning brawl decks:

  • Hungry Crab/Golakka Crawler: Both of these get buffs when they destroy a minion of a certain type, and for most decks you have to use them on your own minions because you can’t count on your opponent having them. But in this brawl, you can use them to take out any of your opponent’s minions — and they get a buff on top of that.
  • Mechwarper/Galvanizer: These two Mechs reduce the cost of your Mechs, but since everything is a Mech, they reduce the cost of all your minions.
  • Ship’s Canon: When you summon a Pirate, this deals 2 damage to a random enemy. But now when you summon anything it deals 2 damage to a random enemy — and since we’re building decks with lots of cheap minions, this damage adds up.
  • Southsea Captain/Murloc Warleader: These two cards are both epics, but they’re also from the Classic set so you may have collected them them (and if you haven’t, they aren’t bad to craft). The former gives all of your Pirates +1/+1 while the latter gives all of your Murlocs +2 attack — both nice buffs to your entire board.
  • Murlocs: I just mentioned the Murloc Warleader, but there are a lot of Murloc cards built around buffing your other Murlocs. Any cards that buff Murlocs now buff everything, so these are a good choice. Any class can build a Murloc deck, but Shamans — and to a lesser extent Paladins — have a little more Murloc synergy than other classes.
  • Magnetic minions: If you aren’t familiar with this mechanic, Magnetic Mechs can be attached (with magnets!) to the Mech to their right, making a bigger, badder Mech. Neutral Legendaries SN1P-SN4P (which you should have gotten for free) and Zillax are excellent options if you have them — and if you don’t have Zillax, it’s still a fantastic card to craft. While you can use Magnetic buffs with any class (there are plenty of neutral Magnetic cards), Hunter and Paladin both have some Magnetic cards that add a bit of extra synergy.
  • Scargil: This 4-mana Shaman Legendary makes all of your Murlocs cost 1 mana. That means it makes all of your minions cost 1 mana. If you have this card, it’s a must-play for this brawl.
  • Dr. Boom, Mad Genius: This Warrior hero card is, frankly, a little too expensive to play in a zoo deck. At 7 mana, the game could be over before you get him on the board — but if the game does get to that point, Boom gives all of your Mechs Rush for the rest of the game. That gives you some powerful board clear that might turn the tide. It may not be the best card for this brawl, but it’s dang fun to play if you can get it on the board.

Building your brawl deck

While these are the cards I’ve found particularly useful, they’re far from your only options. You can pick whatever class you feel like playing — or whichever class you have a quest for — and build around the cards you have. I’m not going to link any specific decks because there are just too many good combinations, but here are some rules of thumb to help you build the perfect deck:

  • It’s all about the minions. Pack your deck with minions to make the best use of the brawl buff. I’ve gotten plenty of wins with all-minion decks, or decks with just one or two cheap buff spells. (I’ve personally gotten a lot of mileage out of the Shaman card Totemic Surge, a 0-mana spell that gives all Totems +2 attack.)
  • Keep mana costs down. Zoo decks are all about overwhelming your opponent quickly — and that means you may never get a chance to play higher cost cards, no matter how good they are. If a card costs more than 5 mana, it probably doesn’t belong in your deck.
  • Search for synergy. When your deck is mostly minions, you want to fill it with minions that buff other minions. You’re specifically on the lookout for cards that buff specific types of minions, which will be cheaper and faster to get on the board than cards that affect all minions. When building your deck, search for Elementals, Mechs, Demons, Murlocs, Dragons, Beasts, Pirates, and Totems one by one to see which cards you have that trigger off minion type — you’ll get a lot of use out of them!
  • Murlocs are your friends. If you don’t have a huge card collection, look to your Murlocs. Many Murloc cards are fairly common, and most of them offer some kind of buff to your other Murlocs. But don’t forget that those Murloc buffs will also buff your other minions, so even if you pack your deck with cheap Murloc cards, you can find good synergy with other cards, depending on what’s in your collection.
  • You can probably skip board clear. When everyone’s flooding the board with minions, you may think board-clearing cards, like the neutral minion Doomsayer or the Mage spell Blizzard, would be must-haves. But remember, you’re playing for speed. If you don’t win quickly, you’re probably not going to win at all, and defensive spells really only delay the inevitable. Skip out on defense and play aggressive to bring down your opponent.

So pick your poison and get brawling, Hearthstone fans! This is a great brawl for clearing out your quest log — and just plain having fun.

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