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HearthstoneDec 17, 2020 5:43 pm CT

The decks you need to beat the Hearthstone Gift Exchange Tavern Brawl

Happy Feast of Winter Veil! It’s time once more for the Hearthstone Gift Exchange Tavern Brawl. It’s the festive tradition where Hearthstone players give each other gifts and proceed to beat each other senseless with them. Good will toward men, elves, trolls, and dwarves indeed!

Gift Exchange Tavern Brawl basics

  • Name: Gift Exchange
  • Description: Great Father is dropping cards on the battlefield! Get a gift each time you smash your opponent’s crate… or your own!
  • Fun level: 7/10
  • Difficulty: 5-8/10 (depending on the size of your card collection)
  • Replayability: 6/10
  • Format: Wild
  • Type: PVP
  • Deck: Constructed
  • Rewards: The Winter Veil card back OR 1 Classic pack if you already have the card back.

At the start of your turn, Great Father Winter will drop a a Winter’s Veil Gift on your side of the board if you don’t already have one. If you destroy a Winter’s Veil Gift (either on your side of the board or your opponent’s), you’ll get a Stolen Winter Veil Gift card. When you play the Stolen Winter Veil Gift, you’ll get a Discover type choice of three cards. If you destroyed your opponent’s Gift, the cards will be from their class. If you destroyed one of your own Gifts, the cards will be from your class. Either way, the cards are reduced by a juicy five mana.

You might also get a Hard Packed Snowballs card. This sends three random enemy minions back to your opponent’s hand. The cards will return to full cost in your opponent’s hand, but be wary of any powerful Battlecry effects.

How to win the Gift Exchange Tavern Brawl

Like most Constructed Brawls, the key to victory is finding a great deck. With this being an annual Brawl, players will pull successful deck lists from last year which will cut down on the experimentation. Over time, players discover the “meta,” the deck (or decks) that are particularly strong given the ruleset. These lists are published on sites like r/Hearthstone (and others) and become dominant. Counter decks rise and you fall into the same sort of ‘meta’ as you see on the Ladder.

The key to this Brawl is getting a bunch of Gifts. The five mana reduction in card cost creates powerful plays. Cards like Crazed Alchemist and Void Ripper are popular picks because their Battlecry can kill a Gift even if its protected by a Taunt minions. The Gifts also provide a minion on the board which is great for classes that love to buff their minions like Paladin or Druid.

Without further ado, let’s look at some of the decks people are trying out. You’ll probably find even more refined versions of these later in the week.

Demon Hunter Ruins Christmas

  • Deck code: AAEBAea5AwKRvAKe+AIO8gHUBbYTl8EClc4C+a4D5rsD4LwD3r4DusYD1MgD98gD8skDgtADAA==
  • Demon Hunter’s early game is the best in Hearthstone. This deck abuses that early game to get a lead on on the board. You use your minions and your Hero Power to destroy Gifts.

Secret Paladin

  • Deck code: AAEBAZ8FCsgE7Q+FENgUphXJFrnBAo6aA5+3A/bWAwqMAacFjA7qD9muAuPLAvjSAo22A8rBA8rRAwA=
  • Your Secrets protect your gifts while you build up your army of minions and control the board.

Gift Hoarder Priest

  • Deck code: AAEBAa0GAsPRA/vRAw4eoQSlCdcKhBSstALRwQLQ/gKYmwPZrAObugPWzgO00QPi3gMA
  • This deck has several spells to kill Gifts for zero mana with Topsy Turvey, Forbidden Words. Purify and Silence keep your presents from giving anything to your opponent while also still providing a target for your buffs. If you’re missing either Legendary (or both), sub in an Inner Fire.

Destruction Warlock

  • Deck code: AAEBAaPDAwAPoQbOBsIIxQndD/auAufBAvLQAojSAr3TAoniAv3qAtjuAvH3AtyGAwA=
  • Alternate Deck code: AAEBAf0GAA+hBs4GxQnhugLnwQKXywL40AKL4QKJ4gLY7gLx9wLchgOInQOdqQOwtgMA
  • Warlock has several cards which destroy friendly minions, and in this Brawl, that can payoff big time when used on your own Gifts. This denies them to your opponent.

Rush Warrior

  • Deck code: AEBAYwWCP8H/eoCze8Co4sD260DuLkDvrkDxcADC6EG7wed8AKSmAOfoQPYrQParQOqrwPSrwPizAOK0AMA
  • This deck relies on the Gifts as well, and on the fact that Warrior has some hit and miss cards in its arsenal. Sometimes, you’ll give your opponent cards they can’t make a ton of use of. The deck features a plethora of Rush minions to take out your opponent’s Gifts on each turn. Once you turn into Galakrond, put pressure on your opponent turn and turn with steady damage.

More Gift Exchange Tavern Brawl deck lists

Keep checking Hearthstone Top Decks. There are more Tavern Brawl decks being added by the hour.

Overall, I like the attempt at something fresh and new. The Brawl’s main weakness is the same as the overall Ladder. Aggro has been too strong since Ashes of Outlands release. There are some fun decks and ideas, but too often you don’t get to enjoy them because you’re run over by an aggressive deck. Aggressive decks are their own kind of fun, and some people really enjoy them. I think the balance has tipped a little too far in their favor currently.

If you need a break from testing your Madness at the Darkmoon Faire decks or your frantic Shadowlands leveling, give this Brawl a try. Good luck getting this week’s Classic pack!

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