Random spells and random minions make Shiftcon West Hearthstone Tavern Brawl particularly unpredictable
Shifty things are afoot in this week’s Hearthstone Tavern Brawl, Shiftcon West. The chief minion here is Shifter Zerus, a Legendary 1/1. Each turn he’s in your hand, he’ll transform into a random minion. Accompanying Zerus are Shifting Scrolls, a Common Mage spell. Each turn, the scroll transforms into a random Mage spell.
In short, you’re playing with a deck full of ever-changing minions and spells.
Tavern Brawl basics
- Name: Shiftcon West
- Description: Shiftcon has gotten so big it’s had to expand! Shiftcon West brings all the same fun but now includes commemorative Shifting Scrolls!
- Fun level: 3/10
- Difficulty: 5/10
- Replayability: 9/10
- Format: Wild
- Type: PvP
- Deck: Provided
- Rewards: 1 Standard pack. This pack can contain any card from any set in the current Standard rotation.
We’ve seen various iterations on the Shiftcon Brawl over the years. In this Brawl, which debuted in January 2019, you’re provided a deck so the size of your card collection doesn’t matter. The deck is full of Shifter Zerus and Shifting Scrolls. I’m not sure about the ratios, but in my games it felt like you had similar numbers of spells and minions.
The Scrolls will always turn into Mage spells while the minions can turn into anything. I’ve seen Shieldbearers all the way up to Deathwing. The one thing you won’t see is Hero Cards.
The Brawl is Wild format, so the range of possible cards is quite large.
How to win the Shiftcon West Tavern Brawl
It’s high time we shift into gear and get that W. Paladin is a strong choice for your Hero here. Often your hand won’t have any great plays in those first turns. The Paladin Hero Power lets you get some board presence and have a target if one your Shifting Scrolls turns into a buff. Shaman also puts minions on the board with their Hero Power, but only one of the four possible minions can attack on its own.
There’s a constant tension in Shiftcon West as to when to play your minions and spells. If you leave it in hand, it could turn into something even better next turn (or something worse), but if you wait for the perfect minion or spell, you’ll fall behind on the board. If you don’t have the mana to play a card that turn, you can ignore it. There’s no point planning ahead, or setting up a multiple turn play as your cards are going to change every turn.
Card draw is something to prioritize. Card advantage (having more cards in hand than your opponent) is helpful as each card represents another roll to get a great spell or minion. I liked card generators with Discover and similar effects. Those cards don’t change each turn, giving you something you can plan around. Discount any Joust effect. You’ll never win the joust as you and your opponent have the exact same minions in your deck. Anti-secret cards are great too as you’re likely be seeing secrets from your opponent.
Don’t give up, even if the situation seems hopeless. You never know when your cards are going to give you a perfect board clear. Of course, you could be looking at Snap Freeze and Elemental Allies turn after turn. No, no one could be that unlucky.
If you want the card pack, just keep queuing up. The RNG has to fall in your favor eventually, right?
Originally published February 27, 2020; updated September 13, 2023
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