The Tavern Brawls in Hearthstone are interesting because they change up the rules that one would expect in a typical Hearthstone match. Each Tavern Brawl is unique and only lasts for a limited amount of time. So far, every new Tavern Brawl has offered players one free pack of cards after they win their first match.
The Webspinner Tavern Brawl took place during the first week of July of 2015. As you may have guessed, it involved lots and lots of spiders. I happen to like spiders, so I figured that I’d have a great time with the Webspinner Tavern Brawl. Instead, I found myself struggling. The screenshots you see in this blog were taken on July 4, 2015.
One of the things I truly enjoy about Hearthstone is the artwork. The Tavern Brawls are presented with art that looks like a drawing on a chalkboard. It is as though the Innkeeper decided to create an artsy, eye-catching, chalk drawing to let patrons know that a new Tavern Brawl was available.
“Spiders, Spiders, EVERYWHERE!” The drawing of the Orc who is being attacked by spiders is amusing. This Tavern Brawl is described as: “Spiders have overrun everything, including your deck! Whatever class you play, your deck will be TEEMING with Webspinners.”
The prize for earning your first victory in the Webspinner Brawl is a free pack of cards. Each player can win up to one pack of cards. Additional wins do not result in additional free packs of cards. These are the Classic card packs, not the Goblins vs Gnomes card packs.
I love that Blizzard has included this prize because it gives players (like me) who don’t have the money to spend on card packs a chance to obtain some new cards. It could “level the playing field” a little bit between those who can afford to spend money on the game and those who cannot. For me, a free card pack is a great prize. I suspect that those who are able to drop money on several card packs whenever they want to won’t see this prize as enticing enough for them to play every Tavern Brawl.
The Webspinner Brawl was one that I struggled with. I did not immediately figure out the best strategy to use, and this resulted in at least six or seven losses in row.
I suppose I could take the time to do research on the Tavern Brawls before I get into the game. But, that takes time, and energy, and ultimately would make Hearthstone feel like “work”. My favorite way to play a video game is to jump in and see what happens. It’s fun to try and figure something out for myself.
I was only able to win one match in the Webspinner Tavern Brawl. It was against a Warrior Deck.
Here is the hand I started with. They weren’t kidding about the decks being overrun with Webspinners!
The Webspinner card only costs one mana, which makes it really easy for players to place it on the board (even in the first few rounds of the game). It is a 1/1 card, which makes it easy for an opponent to kill. It says: Deathrattle: Add a random Beast card to your hand.
Eventually, I figured out the strategy involved in this Tavern Brawl. Put a Webspinner on the board, and hope that your opponent kills it. Whenever one of your Webspinner minions dies, you get a beast card placed directly into your hand. So, you’re essentially “trading” the Webspinner for what would hopefully be a more effective minion.
In my case, it certainly appeared that all of my opponents had figured out this strategy. They employed the second half of the strategy for this Tavern Brawl. Try your best to avoid killing your opponent’s Webspinners. This tactic can increase your chances of winning the match because it prevents your opponent from obtaining anything tougher than a Webspinner.
To me, this was counterintuitive to how I would normally play Hearthstone. Usually, I try and kill off my opponent’s minions as fast as possible. I learned that doing this in the Webspinner Brawl actually worked against me, because what I was doing resulted in handing my opponent a bigger, better, tougher minion than the ones I had on the board.
Here are some screenshots of some of the highlights from the Webspinner Tavern Brawl that I won:
Look at all the Webspinners! They built up because neither one of us was interested in killing them (and handing our opponent a better card to use against us).
My opponent used a Whirlwind card. It deals one damage to ALL minions. This wiped all of the Webspinners right off the board. In a typical game, this situation would have put my opponent at an advantage. I lost five minions – and only had two cards left in my hand. I’d “used up” five minions that I would not have been able to replace. He only lost 2 minions, and has four cards in his hand.
However, this was a Tavern Brawl with crazy rules. Maybe my opponent realized I wasn’t going to kill his Webspinners, so he used Whirlwind in an effort to destroy his Webspinners – and have them replaced with better minions. In doing so, he also replaced my 5 dead Webspinners with 5 better minions.
I ended up with a pretty good hand of cards to use against my opponent.
My opponent used a Stampeding Kodo. It says: Battlecry: Destroy a random enemy minion with 2 or less attack.
The Stampeding Kodo randomly killed my Webspinner. I believe that my opponent was hoping it would kill my Dire Wolf Alpha instead.
The Dire Wolf Alpha is a 2/2 card, which means that it was eligible for the Stampeding Kodo to kill. Dire Wolf Alpha says: Adjacent minions have +1 Attack. If the Stampeding Kodo had killed off my Dire Wolf Alpha, it would have resulted in a “nerf” to both of the cards that were placed next to it.
Next, he used an Execute card. It says: Destroy a damaged enemy minion. The only damaged minion I had was my Emperor Cobra.
Here’s what the board looked like at the start of turn 7. I put a Timber Wolf card on the board. It says: Your other beasts have +1 attack. So, now I had a card that was “buffed” by Dire Wolf Alpha and three cards (including the Dire Wolf Alpha) that were “buffed” by the Timber Wolf.
On my seventh turn, I played a Core Hound card. The card costs 7 mana to use, so this was my first opportunity to use it. (I didn’t have enough mana until this turn). The Core Hound is a 9/5 card. This card can do a lot of damage. It can take away almost one-third of an undamaged opponent’s health in one move.
I placed the Core Hound next to the Dire Wolf Alpha card. The Core Hound was now a 10/5 card. The Timber Wolf was still on the board, and this resulted in the Core Hound becoming an 11/5 card. Things were looking good…
…until my opponent used his Savannah Lion card to kill off my “buffed” Core Hound. I didn’t even get the chance to use it!
When the Savannah Lion card dies, it uses its Deathrattle and summons two 2/2 Hyena minions directly onto the board. My opponent chose that moment to place The Beast on the board. It says: Deathrattle: Summon a 3/3 Finkle Einhorn for your opponent. The Beast is a 9/7 card. He also used his Webspinner to kill off my Timber Wolf minion. Things were looking bad.
I used a Blizzard card, which says: Deal 2 damage to all enemy minions and Freeze them.
The Blizzard card wiped out both of my opponent’s Hyena cards. It also froze The Beast and took away 2 health, leaving it at 9/5. A fireball reduced that card to 9/4. I prevented my opponent from using The Beast on his next turn.
He then played a Heroic Strike card, which gave him a +4 attack this turn. He used that +4 attack, and his built up shield, to kill my River Crocolisk card, which was 3/3, thanks to the “buff” from the Dire Wolf Alpha. If I remember correctly, I think he used The Beast to attack my Emperor Cobra.
The Emperor Cobra is a 2/3 minion. At this point in the game, my opponent’s The Beast minion was at 9/4. If you ignore what the card says, you might think the result would be that his The Beast would hit my Emperor Cobra for 9 damage, and kill the card. At the same time, my Emperor Cobra would cause The Beast 2 damage – and it would survive the battle.
However, the Emperor Cobra says: Destroy any minion damaged by this minion. The damage The Beast did to the Emperor Cobra, and the damage the Emperor Cobra did to The Beast, happened simultaneously. The Emperor Cobra was able to cause damage to The Beast, and destroyed it.
That is how I ended up with the Finkle Einhorn card. It is a 3/3 minion, with no “special” abilities. The only way to get it is to kill your opponent’s The Beast. I placed a Savannah Lion card on the board, and used my Dire Wolf Alpha and Webspinner to destroy my opponent’s shield.
I had just enough mana left to place one more Webspinner on the board.
My opponent used his Hero Power to give himself 2 Armor. He used one of his Webspinners to kill my Dire Wolf Alpha, and the other one of his Webspinners to kill one of my Webspinners.
My opponent had 7 health left and 2 Armor, for a total of 9 points. The three minions I had on the board were able to do a total of 10 points of damage.
There it is – my one and only win in the Webspinner Tavern Brawl! I struggled with this one. Next time, if this Tavern Brawl returns, without any changes made to it, I will do better than I did this time around. I’ll be going into it already knowing the strategy to use.
Players who win one match in a Tavern Brawl receive a free pack of cards. I don’t know how long Blizzard will continue to offer this prize in the Tavern Brawls. I’m going to play every Tavern Brawl that I become aware of, and stick with it until I win at least one match, until Blizzard stops offering free card packs. After that? I am undecided about if I will continue to play the Tavern Brawls or if I will ignore them.
What cards did I get?
Inner Fire can only be used in a Priest deck. It says: Change a minion’s Attack to be equal to its Health. The white gem means that this is a Common card.
Inner Rage can only be used in a Warrior Deck. It doesn’t cost any mana to use it. This card says: Deal 1 damage to a minion and give it +2 Attack.The white gem means that this is a Common card.
Lightwarden is a card that can be used in any deck. It says: Whenever a character is healed, gain +2 Attack. The blue gem means that this is a Rare card. I think this card would work well in a Priest deck because the Hero Power heals.
Lightning Bolt is a card that can only be used in a Shaman deck. It says: Deal 3 damage. Overload: (1).The Overload ability reduces the amount of mana that will be available to the player on his or her next turn by the amount stated on the card. The Shaman deck is the only one that can use cards that have Overload. The white gem means that this card is a Common card.
Upgrade! is a card that can only be used in a Warrior deck. It says: If you have a weapon, give it +1/+1. Otherwise, equip a 1/3 weapon. The blue gem means that this is a Rare card. I love the artwork on this card! That Draenei looks absolutely thrilled with his newly upgraded weapon. He might be the happiest Draenei I’ve ever seen.