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HearthstoneMay 27, 2021 2:00 pm CT

Nefarian takes on Ragnaros in the Showdown at Blackrock Mountain Tavern Brawl

As players prepare for the launch of The Burning Crusade Classic on June 1st, the Hearthstone team is bidding their own farewell to WoW Classic this week by featuring two of the iconic bosses from the expansion: Nefarian and Ragnaros. Who will be the supreme king of Blackrock Mountain — the elemental lord made of chaotic fire itself, or the head of the dreaded Black Dragonflight? You will decide in the Showdown at Blackrock Mountain Tavern Brawl.

Tavern Brawl basics

  • Name: Showdown at Blackrock Mountain
  • Description: The two epic bosses of Blackrock Mountain are settling things once and for all… with your help!
  • Fun level: 5/10
  • Difficulty: 5/10
  • Replayability: 3/10
  • Format: Wild
  • Type: PvP
  • Deck: Provided
  • Rewards: 1 Year of the Phoenix pack

You’ll take control one of these two iconic heavyweights. Each boss has its own unique deck filled with minions and spells. Some are collectable cards, but some are cards created by the team for this Brawl.

In the blue corner, hailing from the heights of Blackwing Lair, and weighing in at just over twenty tons, we have Nefarian, the eldest son of Deathwing the Destroyer. Nefarian starts out with a 3 mana advantage, and has a Hero Power that generates a random spell with its cost reduced to zero. Joining Nefarian are Razorgore, Vaelastrasz, Rend Blackhand, Chromaggus, and many other minions from Blackrock Mountain.

In the red corner, hailing from the depths of Molten Core, and weighing in a seventeen tons, we have Ragnaros, the Firelord. He starts out with a 2/6 weapon and a Hero Power that summons a 5/1 Magma Ravager. When the weapon is destroyed, his Hero Power changes to DIE INSECT! (deal 8 damage to a random character) as you would expect. Ragnaros brings Moira Bronzebeard, Coren Direbrew, Lucifron, Garr, and several others to the fight.

Each boss has its own strengths, weaknesses — and strategy to win.

How to win the Showdown at Blackrock Mountain Tavern Brawl as Nefarian

You want to take an aggressive mindset. The longer the fight goes, the more the odds shift in Ragnaros’ favor. You start with the mana lead and need to use it to your full advantage.

Mulligan for your Chromatic Drakes (and insert the 4 mana 7/7 meme). Don’t start using the Hero Power until later on. You want to grab the board and put as much pressure on Ragnaros as you can. If you do get behind, Magnatron plus Shadowflame is an awesome board clear. I try to save Onyxia, Open the Gates, and Dragonkin Hatcher for after Ragnaros switches to DIE INSECT! to give him more random targets. Remember, at some point after turn 7, the Ragnaros player is going to play Flamestrike and wipe your board.

Your Hero Power provides a bit of randomness to the game. Sometimes, it will give you just the answer the you need to finish the game, but sometimes, it will give you something completely useless.

How to win the Showdown at Blackrock Mountain Tavern Brawl as Ragnaros

Early board control is key. Don’t hesitate to slam your face into a minion with your weapon to kill it, even those big 7/7s. You’ve got a bit of life gain with Flameheart. Losing some health early will help get your Molten Giants and Golemagg out sooner.

Try to mulligan for Living Lava, and Living Bomb. Living Bomb is a great way to take care of Nefarian’s board. Try to get taunts and pseudo taunts like Core Hounds, or High Justice Grimston on the board. Make Nefarian damage anything but your precious face. Wait until you have 9 mana to play Coren Direbrew so you can play the generated Brawl the same turn and guarantee the board clear. If you can survive long enough, your Hero Power will begin to take over for the win.

Balance has improved since this Brawl first appeared

Hearthstone has featured this Brawl several times — in fact, it was the first ever Tavern Brawl. With each iteration the team gets the balance between the bosses closer and closer. The two are close enough now that many games are decided by the mulligan and Nefarian’s hero power. The games tend to play out the same so there’s not a ton of replayability here, but there are some fun and powerful cards to enjoy while you pursue your Year of the Phoenix pack.

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