This week’s Hearthstone Tavern Brawl is spell-based and all the latest expansion cards


You may have already played Hearthstone’s latest Tavern Brawl, The Great Summoner Competition, as it was featured some time towards the release of the mode. It provides the special effect of summoning a minion of equal cost to any spell you play. Being so spell-based, it’s naturally easy to play as a Mage, but because of the creature-creation element, Priest becomes even more unbeatable. Mind Control is even more abusive when sometimes it also makes a no-Battlecry Deathwing.

I am obscenely unlucky with this one, almost guaranteed to make board-wiping Doomsayers the turn before I win. To cheer us up, and distract from another repeat-week, let’s discuss some of the latest revealed cards from the upcoming expansion, as they’re quite interestingly bad.

Specifically, three recently revealed epics caught my eye for being cool but terrible. Epic has always been an odd slot in Hearthstone, home to as many class-defining unkillables that turn games around as it is utter unplayables. A lot of the latter camp seem to be coming out of this expansion.

The warlock Dreadsteed is a very interesting card, in that it can never fully die. Whenever it’s destroyed it will replace itself with a copy – that will then replace itself with a copy. However at 4 mana, you’re not getting nearly enough bang for your buck at only a 1/1, even if it’s unkillable. Perhaps if buffs were copied onto the new version as well, like a more interesting version of Echoing Ooze, it would be worth it, but that isn’t true either. Worst of all, it can even be silenced, preventing a copy being made upon death.

Moving on, the Druid’s Astral communion is equally weird and just as bad, by my reckoning. There are just very few cards you can play that discard your entire hand and they have to affect the board. Deathwing literally blows up everything and even he’s a fringe playable in certain decks rather than an auto-include. There’s potential in the future of this, as there is with Dreadsteed, but only if Blizzard starts to put out more cards that have controllable activated effects that draw cards – a very dangerous area of design, power-level wise.

Lastly there’s the warrior Sea Reaver. Now I do get the joke with dealing damage to your own minions – berzerkers, patrons and all the rest – but doing it without having any control over when it happens, not so much. Downsides that can be turned into upsides are great. Downsides that happen randomly and thus can’t be reliably turned to upsides are asking to lose. Would it have been too much to have it at least be a whirlwind, rather than self-mutilation? Its stats aren’t even that good, comparing favourably only to Arena all-star and constructed sad face Boulderfist Ogre.

Plenty of other exciting things coming out of the expansion, of course, just these three cards announced so close to each other and all sharing the bottom of the quality barrel got me thinking. What have you seen from The Grand Tournament that interests (or infuriates) you?