Hearthstone has added something new called Tavern Brawl. It is a new option for players. You can Play against other players in a somewhat casual match, play the Solo Adventures against the A.I., try Ranked Play and maybe earn a card back, or spend some gold or real world currency in order to enter the Arena…. and now, do a Tavern Brawl.

Tavern Brawl is unlocked once a player has a level 20 Hearthstone Hero. It doesn’t matter which Hero/Deck that happens to be. I decided to give the Tavern Brawl a try while it is free to play. There is also the potential for players to win a free card pack.

The screenshots you see in this blog were taken on June 19, 2015.

The information on Battle.Net about Tavern Brawl says: Tavern Brawls will have free admission when the new mode becomes available. As part of the launch celebration, you’ll earn a free card pack when you win your first game of the week in the first several brawls!

It also says that the Tavern Brawl will put you against another player (not the A.I.). Each Tavern Brawl is going to have “new and exciting rules”. Some of the examples were: playing with preset decks, crafting a brand new Tavern Brawl deck following specific guidelines, buffs to specific minion types…. it could be anything!

When I logged into Hearthstone, it became very obvious that the Tavern Brawl thing was now available.  The Innkeeper says: You, have you tried the Tavern Brawl yet?

I decided to give Tavern Brawl a try, mostly to see what it was like.  It wasn’t going to cost me anything to check it out.  I hadn’t been keeping up with the news about Hearthstone, so I had no idea what I would be getting into.

This is the screen that appeared after I entered Tavern Brawl.  I figure it will probably look pretty much the same every time, and that the image in the middle will change.  The Innkeeper says: Welcome to the Tavern Brawl!

The screen says: Showdown at Blackrock Mountain at the top.  In the middle of the screen, it says: The two epic bosses of Blackrock Mountain are settling things once and for all… with your help!  I haven’t earned enough coins to unlock the Blackrock Mountain solo content in Hearthstone yet, and I’ve barely been in any version of Blackrock Mountain in World of Warcraft.  At first glance, I’ve got no idea who these bosses are.

Towards the bottom, there is a little box that is going to keep track of how many “Wins” I get. Right now, it says: 0.  The only match I’ve won in Hearthstone since May was in the Naxxramus content.  I was fully expecting that 0 to be there… forever.

This Tavern Brawl features Ragnaros the Firelord vs Nefarian.

I got randomly selected to play the Nefarian Deck.  My opponent got randomly selected to play the Ragnaros the Firelord Deck.  I’m guessing that the board is probably the one that matches the Blackrock Mountain solo content (but I’m not sure, since I’ve never been in there).

Ragnaros the Firelord: I WILL HAVE MY REVENGE, DRAGON!

I think I might have seen the Onyxia card before.  The rest were completely new to me. I was looking forward to trying out these cards and seeing what they do.  I highly doubt that I will ever own any of the cards myself, so the Tavern Brawl is useful because it gives me a chance to try them anyway.

Nefarian: I am the master here!

Ragnaros the Firelord starts with 60 health and 2 attack.  He’s also got some kind of 2/6 weapon, with a skull on it (that must do something).  Nefarian has 30 health and a 30 point shield.  Does that make them evenly matched?  I guess I wouldn’t find that out until I learned what was in each deck and had a chance to figure out how to play them.  Nefarian starts the game with 4 mana, while Ragnaros the Firelord starts with only 1 mana.

Nefarian’s Hero Power is called “Wild Magic”.  Add an additional spell from any class into your hand.  It costs (0).  Using the Hero Power costs 2 mana.  The cards it conjures up and puts into the player’s hand will cost 0 mana to use.

Ragnaros the Firelord’s Hero Power is called “Molten Rage”.  Summon a 5/1 Magma Rager.  His Hero Power costs 2 mana to use.  My opponent seemed a bit undecided about what to do.  Maybe he was as new to the Tavern Brawls as I was.

Oh, look!  There’s the rope that appears when a player hesitates for too long.  Please, don’t let this guy be one of those players who intentionally tries to waste as much time as possible each and every round!  That playing style really sucks all the fun out of the game.

Ragnaros the Firelord: TIME BURNS AWAY!

Ragnaros the Firelord: I WONDER…

The Innkeeper informed me: Your opponent left.  Really?  Oh.   That was anticlimactic.  I didn’t actually get a chance to do anything yet!

I won!  Take a good, long, look at this Victory thing with Nefarian in the center.  It turned out to be the only match I was able to win in the Tavern Brawl.

I did not expect to see this reward appear.  As I said before, I hadn’t bothered to look up any details of the Tavern Brawl before jumping in.  It seemed awfully strange that the game wanted to reward me for winning as a result of my opponent leaving the game.  On the other hand:  Yay, a free pack of Hearthstone cards!

I would later learn that everyone who wins their first game in Tavern Brawl is going to get a free pack of cards.  Or, that’s what is being offered at the time I am writing this blog.  After I was done playing Hearthstone, I went to find more information, and learned that these are the “Classic” packs of cards – meaning they contain cards that were part of the game before the Goblins v Gnomes expansion.

There’s my 1 win!  The chest that sits on the side of the screen used to be closed, but now it is open.  I’ve won a pack of cards, and that is all the game is offering in prizes for Tavern Brawl.  I fully intended to play a few matches in Tavern Brawl, but it turned out I didn’t have to.  The other player left, and that was all it took to earn me a free pack.

I did end up playing a few more matches, though.  The main reason I wanted to try Tavern Brawl was to…. you know… try it.  My next match gave me the Ragnaros the Firelord Deck, and I lost.  The one after that also gave me Ragnaros, and I lost.  Next, it gave me the Nefarian Deck, and I lost.  Things got really boring, so I stopped playing Tavern Brawl.

When the next Tavern Brawl appears (after this one is done), I will consider giving it a try, mostly out of curiosity.  However, I’m only going to do that if it is free to play.  If I am required to spend either gold or real world currency… I won’t bother.  After all, I can lose over and over again for free in Ranked Play and regular Play.

What cards did I get from the free pack?

Ravenhold Assassin can be played by all Classes (and put into any kind of deck).  It has 7 attack and 5 health.  The card says: Stealth.  The blue gem in the center of the card means that this card is Rare.

Tauren Warrior can be played by all Classes (and put into any kind of deck).  It has 2 attack and 3 health.  This card says: Taunt. Enrage: +3 Attack.  The white gem means that this card is Common. Overall, I think that cards that can Enrage have a lot of potential.  I don’t actually know that from experience, however, because the instant I put one on the board – my opponent kills it off before I have the chance to use it.

Kidnapper is a card that can only be put into a Rogue deck.  It has 5 attack and 3 health.  The card says: Combo: Return a minion to its owner’s hand.  The purple gem (which looks more pink than purple right now) means that this card is Epic.  I’m fairly certain that this is my very first Epic card.

Blood Knight is a card that can be played by all Classes and put into any deck.  It has 3 attack and 3 health.  The card says: Battlecry: All minions lose Divine Shield.  Gain +3/+3 for each Shield lost. The purple gem means that this card is Epic.  I now have a total of 2 Epic cards!  

It seems to me that the best way to use this card is after your opponent has at least one minion on the board that has Divine Shield.  Play the Blood Knight, and it gains +3/+3 for each Divine Shield it takes away.  One minion with Divine Shield – a 6/6 Blood Knight.

Battle Rage can only be put into a Warrior deck.  It says: Draw a card for each damaged friendly character.  The white gem in the center of this card means that it is a Common card.  “Battle Rage” describes how I feel after losing three or more matches in a row.

Overall, this was probably the best pack of card I’ve opened.  I got two Epic cards out of one pack. That’s never happened for me before.  The Tavern Brawl is an interesting idea, but I would enjoy it more if I were able to win a few matches.

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