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HearthstoneDec 18, 2020 6:00 pm CT

How to defeat Chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof in Hearthstone’s Book of Heroes: Garrosh

Are you stuck fighting Cairne without knowing what to do? Can’t deal with his constant War Stomp dealing one damage to your board, or with his onslaught of Taunt minions getting in your way? Well, have no fear, young Warchief, for we are here to guide you throughout this Mak’gora — even if it means cheating just a little bit with a poisoned weapon. It’s okay, we won’t tell.

This fight is all about maximizing value. Your toolset is somewhat limited, but your cards have a lot of synergy with one another — if you’re lucky to draw them at the same time, of course. RNG is a factor here, as it always is in the game of Hearthstone. So do not fret if you can’t do this on your first try; surely luck will be on your side eventually.

With all of that said, let’s find out how to beat Cairne as Garrosh in Hearthstone’s Book of Heroes!

The early stages of the game

First and foremost, let’s learn what we should want to keep in our opening hand, and what we want to discard. This fight is not about tempo; you don’t necessarily want to keep a card that costs 1, 2, 3 and so on so that you will invariably have something to play on every turn. Instead, you should focus on the cards which will be the most valuable to you in dealing with Cairne’s minions until you can get to the middle stage of the fight — when you will shift to a different strategy.

The Mulligan

Cards to Mulligan for:

  • Playmaker, Magatha Grimtotem, Bonechewer Raider, Clan Trainer, Warsong Peon, Warsong Axe

Cards you may also consider including in your Mulligan, if you already have at least a few good options from the list above:

  • Might of Hellscream, Cutting Class, Upgrade!, Captain Greenskin, Malkorok

Cards to avoid having in your opening hand:

  • Frostwolf Warlord, Bloodboil Brute, Armored Goon, Deadly Arsenal

Try to bait an early Baine, to make his heal “whiff”

Do not start this fight by attacking Cairne. He has a powerful tool to stop your wanton aggression: his son, Baine, who will heal him for 10 when summoned. But there is a key strategy you can use to really dampen the effects of that!

Ideally, you want to do a little bit of damage to Cairne’s face early on — one minion hit will do, nothing more than that is needed. Eventually, Cairne will summon Baine to heal that damage, saving you the trouble of having to deal with a big heal later on, when you’re actually trying to deal as much damage as possible in order to close the game.

The midgame

Once a few turns pass, you will reach the stage where you are simply waiting to equip that sweet Gorehowl on turn 6 — or some other good combination of weapons and upgrades you can use. To get to that point, there are a few things you will have to do.

Control Cairne’s barrage of Taunt minions

You will have to keep clearing Cairne’s board until you get your Gorehowl, at which point you can shift gears and begin attacking him more. Your tools to do so include:

  • Playmaker, which should be combined with Warsong Peon. If you can, you will get an extra Warsong Peon, which will be damaged — and you can combo that with Might of Hellscream for a 4/1 with Rush in addition to the 2/4 with Rush you would be summoning regularly. It’s all about those value plays!
  • Warsong Axe, which you should never waste any charges of — make sure you’re getting as close to full value out of its 4 attack as you can.
  • Magatha Grimtotem, everyone’s favorite tauren shaman, is an extremely powerful removal tool due to the combination of Charge and Poisonous. Since she has 6 health, try to make her survive her first strike, so that she can attack at least one more minion before she dies. Try not to put Magatha down unless she can have an immediate impact on the board, because Cairne will prioritize taking her out with direct removal cards.
  • Bonechewer Raider, which can often become a 4/4 with Rush for only 3 mana.

Beware Cairne’s Feat of Strength

Later on, Cairne might use a card called Feat of Strength, which gives +5/+5 (and Taunt) to one of the minions in his hand. That spells the possibility that he might summon something like a 7/11 Bloodhoof Brave for only 4 mana. Be mindful of that, and try to save at least one of your best removal tools for that event — possibly Magatha, perhaps Deadly Arsenal (though that card is definitely not as reliable).

His Sunwalker is probably the most annoying minion to remove. That’s another one where Magatha, preferably combined with a hit from another minion from your board, instead of your weapon, might be very handy to have.

Warsong Axe can be safely Upgraded

Don’t use Upgrade! to create a 1/3 weapon under any circumstance. Save it for after you have Gorehowl — or, if the circumstances demand it, for Warsong Axe. The same applies to Captain Greenskin. Also, hold onto that Cutting Class if you get it, because once you have Gorehowl, or some other high-attack weapon, you’ll be able to cast for a very reduced cost, or even for free — and the value of drawing two cards cannot be overstated.

While you will often want to save those weapon buffs to your Gorehowl, an Upgraded Warsong Axe can also be an invaluable tool. You can kill one (or more) minions with it in a single turn, and with each extra point of durability it has, the more likely you are to still have a charge left after Cairne’s board is clear — which you should either save, if you have no other weapons to equip, or just attack the old bull’s face, if you do.

How to finish the game

Once you do have your most powerful weapons, all upgraded and ready to go, his minions become your secondary focus: you will want to begin maximizing face damage now.

Gorehowl to Cairne’s face

At turn 6, you want to equip Gorehowl, and you never want to be… Gorehowl-less (yes, that’s a word) ever again. If you have the mana to spare, you can (and should) hit Cairne’s face with it, and then re-equip it immediately. But the ideal situation, of course, is to buff your Gorehowl as much as you can with Upgrade! and Greenskin, so that it can hit Cairne’s face (or his many Taunt minions) multiple times.

If you have, say, a 7/2 Gorehowl (from using Upgrade!), don’t be afraid to spend one charge hitting Cairne’s face, if you have nothing else to do. You need to accumulate that damage; that’s key to taking the Chieftain’s health down to zero before his Taunts and War Stomps overwhelm you.

At the same time, avoid taking too much face damage if you can. Your health is not unlimited (of course), and unlike most other fights on this challenge, you don’t keep gaining Armor on this one. Be wise about your axe attacks. If you can remove minions with other tools instead, you should.

War Stomp will make your minions more expendable than normal

Keep Cairne’s War Stomp in mind at all times. If you have a badly damaged minion, it’s better to sacrifice it taking down something big with it. A 6/1 on your board will inevitably die as soon as your turn ends, so keep that in your calculations when figuring out the best play for a turn. You will often want to be more “wasteful” with your minions, instead of trying to conserve them at all costs, because of that constant War Stomp dealing 1 damage to them.

Another reason why your minions shouldn’t be cherished too much is that Cairne has Brawl in his deck, and that card can ruin your day. Once again: your minions are expendable, and the main source of damage to Cairne should be coming from your weapon hits — it is a Mak’gora, after all. Ideally, your minions should hit his minions, and you should hit him.

A True Warchief would never partner with cowards, so show everyone that you are not one. Good luck!

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