Tavern Brawl

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The Tavern Brawl interface

Tavern Brawl is one of Hearthstone's lighter game modes. A weekly event, a new Tavern Brawl begins each Wednesday (Thursday in Asian regions), ending the following Monday. Outside of these times, the mode is not available for play. See the schedule for this week's times.

Each Tavern Brawl presents a limited time opportunity to face other players in special matches with unique rules. These might be requiring players to use special pre-made decks, adding random cards or minions, or changing the very rules of ability activation or mana use. Some Tavern Brawls allow the player to construct special decks especially for the challenge from within the game mode itself, while others provide powerful premade decks, or entirely random decks, and some Brawls even see players take control of special heroes with their own Hero Powers. Some Brawls feature Tavern Brawl cards, special cards not playable normally, as well as boss cards from adventures such as One Night in Karazhan. Each week sees a fresh Tavern Brawl, with its own unique rules.

As well as being matched against other random opponents, players are able to challenge players on their friends list to a Tavern Brawl, as a special type of Friendly Challenge.[1]

An intentionally "fun" game mode, Tavern Brawls offer unique limited time experiences, with far less of a competitive focus than other game modes. This makes them good for quick matches, friendly games and accumulating gold through quests and cumulative wins. With many Brawls incorporating random card generation or minion summoning, winning a Tavern Brawl often involves a fair amount of luck, as well as the ability to adapt to and deal with the situation at hand. Tavern Brawls help to break up the focused rigours of Hearthstone's other game modes by providing a fresh twist on the game's rules each week.

Tavern Brawls are intended to be highly accessible, even for players without extensive card collections.[2] However, Tavern Brawls are not unlocked until the player reaches level 20 with at least one class.

For a compact list of unique Tavern Brawls, see Brawls list.

Schedule[edit | edit source]

Each week, the current Tavern Brawl will open and close according to the following schedule, depending on region:[3]

Region Open Close
Americas Wed 9:00 AM PST Mon 3:00 AM PST
Europe Wed 10:00 PM CET Mon 6:00 AM CET
Taiwan/China Thu 5:00 AM CST Mon 6:00 AM CST
Korea Thu 6:00 AM KST Mon 7:00 AM KST

History[edit | edit source]

# Open Close Tavern Brawl Type
102 May 24, 2017 May 29, 2017 A Peek to the Past Constructed
101 May 17, 2017 May 22, 2017 Reprise: An Evil Exchange Premade
100 May 10, 2017 May 15, 2017 A Cavalcade of Brawls! Premade
99 May 3, 2017 May 8, 2017 Reprise (variation): Heroic Tavern Brawl - Wild format Constructed
98 April 26, 2017 May 1, 2017 Reprise: 'Servant of Yogg-Saron' Tryouts Randomized
97 April 19, 2017 April 24, 2017 An Ancient Recipe Premade
96 April 12, 2017 April 17, 2017 Reprise: Valeera's Bag of Burgled Spells Randomized
95 April 5, 2017 April 10, 2017 Reprise: The Masked Ball Constructed
94 March 29, 2017 April 3, 2017 A Mammoth of a New Year Cooperative
93 March 22, 2017 March 27, 2017 Decorating Stormwind Single-player
92 March 15, 2017 March 20, 2017 Reprise: Encounter at the Crossroads Randomized
91 March 8, 2017 March 13, 2017 Reprise: Heroic Tavern Brawl Constructed
90 March 1, 2017 March 6, 2017 Gadgetzan Throw-Down Premade
89 February 22, 2017 February 27, 2017 Reprise: Cloneball! Randomized
88 February 15, 2017 February 20, 2017 Blood Magic Constructed
87 February 8, 2017 February 13, 2017 Reprise: Battle of Tol Barad Constructed
86 February 1, 2017 February 6, 2017 Reprise: Gift Exchange Constructed
85 January 25, 2017 January 30, 2017 Boss Battle Royale Premade
84 January 18, 2017 January 23, 2017 Spellbook Duel Constructed
83 January 11, 2017 January 16, 2017 Reprise: Cart Crash at the Crossroads Randomized
82 January 4, 2017 January 9, 2017 The Dark Wanderer Single-player
81 December 28, 2016 January 2, 2017 Reprise: Party Portals! Randomized
80 December 21, 2016 December 26, 2016 Reprise: Clockwork Card Dealer - Standard Constructed
79 December 14, 2016 December 19, 2016 The Battle for Gadgetzan Premade
78 December 7, 2016 December 12, 2016 Reprise: Double Deathrattler Battler Constructed
77 November 30, 2016 December 5, 2016 Reprise: 'Servant of Yogg-Saron' Tryouts Randomized
76 November 23, 2016 November 28, 2016 Valeera's Bag of Burgled Spells Randomized
75 November 16, 2016 November 21, 2016 Heroic Tavern Brawl Constructed
74 November 9, 2016 November 14, 2016 Reprise: Miniature Warfare Constructed
73 November 2, 2016 November 7, 2016 Yellow-Brick Brawl Constructed
72 October 26, 2016 October 31, 2016 Reprise: Captain Blackheart's Treasure Randomized
71 October 19, 2016 October 24, 2016 Reprise: ShiftCon Randomized

Older Tavern Brawls[edit | edit source]

# Open Close Tavern Brawl Type
70 October 12, 2016 October 17, 2016 All-Star Squad Constructed
69 October 5, 2016 October 10, 2016 A Friendly Game of Chess Premade
68 September 28, 2016 October 3, 2016 Reprise: Boom Bot vs. Annoy-o-Tron! Premade
67 September 21, 2016 September 26, 2016 Reprise: Randomonium Randomized
66 September 14, 2016 September 19, 2016 Top 3 Constructed
65 September 7, 2016 September 12, 2016 Reprise: Cart Crash at the Crossroads Randomized
64 August 31, 2016 September 5, 2016 Party Portals! Randomized
63 August 24, 2016 August 29, 2016 Reprise: Captain Blackheart's Treasure Randomized
62 August 17, 2016 August 22, 2016 Nefarian Rises! Cooperative
61 August 10, 2016 August 15, 2016 A Dark Recipe Premade
60 August 3, 2016 August 8, 2016 Storming Stormwind Single-player
59 July 27, 2016 August 1, 2016 Reprise: Randomonium Randomized
58 July 20, 2016 July 25, 2016 Reprise: Idols of Azeroth Premade
57 July 13, 2016 July 18, 2016 'Servant of Yogg-Saron' Tryouts Randomized
56 July 6, 2016 July 11, 2016 Reprise: Clockwork Card Dealer Constructed
55 June 29, 2016 July 4, 2016 ShiftCon Randomized
54 June 22, 2016 June 27, 2016 Pick a Hand, Any Hand Randomized
53 June 15, 2016 June 20, 2016 Reprise: Heart of the Sunwell Constructed
52 June 8, 2016 June 13, 2016 Cloneball! Randomized
51 June 1, 2016 June 6, 2016 Cart Crash at the Crossroads Randomized
50 May 25, 2016 May 30, 2016 Shadow Towers Constructed
49 May 18, 2016 May 23, 2016 Reprise: Unite Against Mechazod! Cooperative
48 May 11, 2016 May 16, 2016 Top 2 Constructed
47 May 4, 2016 May 9, 2016 Reprise: Spiders, Spiders, EVERYWHERE! Randomized
46 April 27, 2016 May 2, 2016 Reprise: Encounter at the Crossroads Randomized
45 April 20, 2016 April 25, 2016 Idols of Azeroth Premade
44 April 13, 2016 April 18, 2016 The Great Stone of Challenge Constructed
43 April 6, 2016 April 11, 2016 Reprise: Too Many Portals! Randomized
42 March 30, 2016 April 4, 2016 You Must be This Tall to Brawl Constructed
41 March 23, 2016 March 28, 2016 An Evil Exchange Premade
40 March 16, 2016 March 21, 2016 Reprise: Battle of Tol Barad Constructed
39 March 9, 2016 March 14, 2016 Reprise: Randomonium Randomized
38 March 2, 2016 March 7, 2016 Deal Your Fate Constructed
37 February 24, 2016 February 29, 2016 Clash of the Minions Constructed
36 February 17, 2016 February 22, 2016 Lead from the Front Constructed
35 February 10, 2016 February 15, 2016 Reprise: Decks Assemble! Premade
34 February 3, 2016 February 8, 2016 Blingtron's Beauteous Brawl Constructed
33 January 27, 2016 February 1, 2016 Miniature Warfare Constructed
32 January 20, 2016 January 25, 2016 Reprise: Captain Blackheart's Treasure Randomized
31 January 13, 2016 January 18, 2016 Return of Mechazod! Cooperative
30 January 6, 2016 January 11, 2016 Battle of the Builds Constructed
29 December 30, 2015 January 4, 2016 Reprise: Who's the Boss Now? Constructed
28 December 23, 2015 December 28, 2015 Reprise: Randomonium Randomized
27 December 16, 2015 December 21, 2015 Gift Exchange Constructed
26 December 9, 2015 December 14, 2015 Reprise: Encounter at the Crossroads Randomized
25 December 2, 2015 December 7, 2015 Decks Assemble! Premade
24 November 25, 2015 November 30, 2015 Battle of Tol Barad Constructed
23 November 18, 2015 November 23, 2015 Captain Blackheart's Treasure Randomized
22 November 11, 2015 November 16, 2015 Reprise: Showdown at Blackrock Mountain Premade
21 November 4, 2015 November 9, 2015 Unite Against Mechazod! Cooperative
20 October 28, 2015 November 2, 2015 Reprise: Spiders, Spiders, EVERYWHERE! Randomized
19 October 21, 2015 October 26, 2015 Who's the Boss Now? Constructed
18 October 14, 2015 October 19, 2015 Randomonium Randomized
17 October 7, 2015 October 12, 2015 Clockwork Card Dealer Constructed
16 September 30, 2015 October 5, 2015 Boom Bot vs. Annoy-o-Tron! Premade
15 September 23, 2015 September 28, 2015 Underdog Rules Constructed
14 September 16, 2015 September 21, 2015 Reprise: Too Many Portals! Randomized
13 September 9, 2015 September 14, 2015 Double Deathrattler Battler Constructed
12 September 2, 2015 September 7, 2015 It's Raining Mana! Constructed
11 August 26, 2015 August 31, 2015 Reprise: Encounter at the Crossroads Randomized
10 August 19, 2015 August 24, 2015 Grand Tournament Match Premade
9 August 12, 2015 August 17, 2015 Reprise: The Great Summoner Competition Constructed
8 August 5, 2015 August 10, 2015 The Masked Ball Constructed
7 July 29, 2015 August 3, 2015 Too Many Portals! Randomized
6 July 22, 2015 July 27, 2015 Heart of the Sunwell Constructed
5 July 15, 2015 July 20, 2015 Encounter at the Crossroads Randomized
4 July 8, 2015 July 13, 2015 The Great Summoner Competition Constructed
3 July 1, 2015 July 6, 2015 Spiders, Spiders, EVERYWHERE! Randomized
2 June 24, 2015 June 29, 2015 Banana Brawl! Constructed
1 June 17, 2015 June 22, 2015 Showdown at Blackrock Mountain Premade

Repeated Tavern Brawls[edit | edit source]

While most weeks see a brand new Tavern Brawl, just under half are reprises of previous Brawls. Since each Brawl is only available for 5 days, this allows players to enjoy old favourites again, and avoids Brawls becoming overly similar due to a desire to explore past mechanics. Most reprises are simple repeat outings, identical to the original Brawl, but some involve changes, such as fixing bugs or balance issues, or even adding in extra elements.

The following table lists Tavern Brawls that have appeared more than once, including brief notes of any known changes.

Tavern Brawl Number of appearances Known changes
Randomonium 5
Encounter at the Crossroads 5 The 5th appearance introduced Party Crashers, and instead of a Classic card pack, awarded a Journey to Un'Goro card pack.
Captain Blackheart's Treasure 4
Battle of Tol Barad 3
Cart Crash at the Crossroads 3
Clockwork Card Dealer 3
Heroic Tavern Brawl 3 The 3rd appearance used wild format decks.
'Servant of Yogg-Saron' Tryouts 3
Spiders, Spiders, EVERYWHERE! 3
Too Many Portals! 3
Unite Against Mechazod! / Return of Mechazod! 3 Assassinate replaced by Prioritize in Mechazod's deck
An Evil Exchange 2 The 2nd appearance changed Kel'Thuzad's Hero Power from "Resurrect a friendly minion that died this game" to "Add a random Naxxramas minion to your hand."
Boom Bot vs. Annoy-o-Tron! 2
Cloneball! 2
Decks Assemble! 2
Double Deathrattler Battler 2
Gift Exchange 2
Heart of the Sunwell 2
Idols of Azeroth 2
Miniature Warfare 2
Party Portals! 2 Changes made to Romulo, Party Elemental, Party Elemental and Mime
ShiftCon 2
Showdown at Blackrock Mountain 2 Starting Mana Crystals for Nefarian reduced
The Great Summoner Competition 2
The Masked Ball 2
Who's the Boss Now? 2

Latest Tavern Brawl[edit | edit source]

An Evil Exchange banner.jpg

An Evil Exchange[edit | edit source]

Main article: An Evil Exchange
"Kel'Thuzad and Rafaam are competing to see who the superior endboss is! Take a side and battle for evil supremacy!"

This Brawl sees players taking on the roles of Kel'Thuzad and Arch-Thief Rafaam. Each player's role is randomly selected at the start of the match, determining their Hero Power and pre-made deck, featuring some unique and overpowered cards.

Heroes
Kel'Thuzad(31158).png
Rafaam(31159).png

Previous Tavern Brawls[edit | edit source]

The most recent Brawls are listed below. For a complete list, see the History section, above.

A Cavalcade of Brawls!.png

A Cavalcade of Brawls![edit | edit source]

Main article: A Cavalcade of Brawls!
"Welcome to the 100th Tavern Brawl! Each class is associated with a previous Brawl and loads you up with a deck based on that Brawl’s rules!"

This Brawl presents a reprise of nine previous brawls. The player's choice of class determines which brawl they will play, with each player bound to a separate set of rules. Each player receives a pre-constructed deck.

Heroic Tavern Brawl banner.jpg

Heroic Tavern Brawl - Wild format[edit | edit source]

Main article: Heroic Tavern Brawl
"Make a Wild deck to compete with the best! Stakes are high, the competition intense. More wins means more rewards. Can you make it to 12 wins, or will 3 losses end your run?"

This unique Tavern Brawl resembles an Arena run, and unlike other Brawls has an admission fee (1000 gold, or real money equivalent to USD $9.99). At the start of each run, players must first construct a special Wild format deck from their collection, which will be used for all games in that run. The player is then matched against other Brawlers in a series of games until the player has lost 3 games or won 12, after which they will receive semi-random rewards based on their number of wins. Each player can only participate in 100 runs in total. There are no special rules for this Brawl.

A high-risk, high-reward experience, this Brawl is intended for the most experienced and competitive of players, with a tournament feel. In contrast to most Brawls, Heroic Tavern Brawl is "definitely not for the average player".

This third iteration of Heroic Brawl is the first to allow all cards in Wild format.

'Servant of Yogg-Saron' banner.jpg

'Servant of Yogg-Saron' Tryouts[edit | edit source]

Main article: 'Servant of Yogg-Saron' Tryouts
"Help Yogg-Saron find a servant! Your deck is full of wannabes who cast a random spell at a random target when played."

This Tavern Brawl sees players doing battle with randomized decks, consisting entirely of minions. Every time a minion is played, a random spell is cast, with targets selected at random, similar to the Battlecry of Servant of Yogg-Saron, but with no limit on the mana cost.

An Ancient Recipe.png

An Ancient Recipe[edit | edit source]

Main article: An Ancient Recipe
"Un'Goro has lain dormant for eons... and it hides many delicious treats! Pick a class and we'll cook you up the Un'Goro Deck Recipe for that hero."

This Brawl sees players using decks constructed from the Un'Goro themed Deck Recipes.

Valeera's Bag of Burgled Spells.jpg

Valeera's Bag of Burgled Spells[edit | edit source]

Main article: Valeera's Bag of Burgled Spells
"Valeera has stolen spells from every class and filled your deck with them! Each of those spells will summon a random minion of the same cost when played."

This Tavern Brawl sees all players doing battle as the rogue hero Valeera, with randomized decks consisting entirely of spells. Whenever a spell is cast, a random minion of the same mana cost is summoned for the player.

A Mammoth of a New Year Tavern Brawl.png

A Mammoth of a New Year[edit | edit source]

Main article: A Mammoth of a New Year
"The party is here! Work together with another player to decorate the tavern and kickoff a grand New Year of Hearthstone"

This cooperative Brawl revolves around decorating the Tavern while fighting with Party Crashers. After decorating the Tavern with 25 pieces, the Piñata Golem Boss appears. One player will play as druid, and the other as rogue.

Decorating Stormwind banner.jpg

Decorating Stormwind[edit | edit source]

Main article: Decorating Stormwind
"It's time to prepare Stormwind for the party! The city starts undecorated, but send your minions in to dress it up! How ready can YOU get Stormwind?"

The objective of this Brawl is to inflict at least 30 damage upon the enemy hero before the player's Health is reduced to zero. When the player takes fatal damage, the Brawl ends in victory for the player if at least 30 damage was dealt to the enemy hero, and defeat otherwise. The player can also end the Brawl in victory by dealing 100 damage to the enemy hero. At the end of the Brawl, a scoreboard appears showing the total amount of decorations (damage) inflicted upon the enemy hero and the number of revelers (enemy minions) destroyed.

Encounter at the Crossroads banner.png

Encounter at the Crossroads[edit | edit source]

Main article: Encounter at the Crossroads
"Encounter at the crossroads! Pick a class. Let's see what's in your deck this time!"

This Brawl sees players competing with almost entirely randomised pre-made decks. Players can choose any class, and will then receive a deck randomly composed of neutral and class-specific cards. Decks are composed of 30 cards, but may break the usual card limitation of 2 copies per deck (1 copy per deck for legendaries), allowing any number of copies within a deck. This could be a reference to world PvP common at the Horde town Crossroads, which was prone to random encounters.

Heroic Tavern Brawl banner.jpg

Heroic Tavern Brawl[edit | edit source]

Main article: Heroic Tavern Brawl
"Make a Standard deck to compete with the best! Stakes are high, the competition intense. More wins means more rewards. Can you make it to 12 wins, or will 3 losses end your run?"

This unique Tavern Brawl resembles an Arena run, and unlike other Brawls has an admission fee (1000 gold, or real money equivalent to USD $9.99). At the start of each run, players must first construct a special Standard format deck from their collection, which will be used for all games in that run. The player is then matched against other Brawlers in a series of games until the player has lost 3 games or won 12, after which they will receive semi-random rewards based on their number of wins. Each player can only participate in 100 runs in total. There are no special rules for this Brawl.

A high-risk, high-reward experience, this Brawl is intended for the most experienced and competitive of players, with a tournament feel. In contrast to most Brawls, Heroic Tavern Brawl is "definitely not for the average player".


Notes[edit | edit source]

Tavern Brawl, promo art

Access[edit | edit source]

  • Tavern Brawls have free admission.[1][4][5] Very rarely, a Brawl such as Heroic Tavern Brawl may charge an admission fee.
  • Tavern Brawls are only available to players with at least one level 20 hero.[1]
  • Players can play each Tavern Brawl as many times as they like while it is active.[6][7]
  • Only the current Tavern Brawl is accessible to players. Players are not able to access past Brawls, or challenge other players to take part in them.[8]
  • While each Brawl has a limited run, some Tavern Brawls are repeated later on. Reprise selection appears to be largely based on popularity.

Decks[edit | edit source]

  • Tavern Brawls use unique decks, which do not take up any of the player's regular deck slots.[9][10] Players create Tavern Brawls within the Tavern Brawl interface, and the deck is lost when the Brawl is retired.
  • The composition of Tavern Brawl decks depends on the Brawl. Many are constructed partially or wholly from the player's own collection, with some seeing random cards added to the deck made. Other Brawls feature premade decks, either with specific (and often unique) cards, or entirely randomised.
    • Brawl decks will not require or allow the player to use more than 2 copies of a card from their own collection, or more than 1 in the case of legendaries.[11]
  • Most Brawls require the player to choose a class, either during deck construction or in place of deck construction, but some instead randomly assign players to take control of special heroes, with their own decks.
  • Tavern Brawl cards are similar to Boss cards, special cards specific to Tavern Brawls are not available in other types of play. See below for more information.

Matchmaking[edit | edit source]

  • Unless specifically challenging a friend, players will be randomly matched against other participating players "of similar skill level".[12]
  • Initial player seeding is apparently based on rankings in other types of play.[13] This is most likely based on Casual or Ranked mode play, or a combination of the two.
  • After the initial placement, player matchmaking is controlled by the player's success in Tavern Brawls, using a hidden MMR.[14] Tavern Brawl MMR is ongoing, and carries over from week to week.[15]
  • Cooperative Tavern Brawls are an exception, and do not use any MMR.[16]

Rewards and quests[edit | edit source]

  • Players earn a free Classic card pack for their first Tavern Brawl win each week.
    • No additional rewards are offered after the initial win. This is intended to prevent players from feeling they have to play,[17] and may also be in order to allow design space for unusual and potentially uneven arrangements, which could otherwise prove frustrating for those seeking to earn repeated rewards through wins.
    • Very rarely a Brawl will offer other rewards, such as a unique card back, in place of the usual card pack.
    • The card pack reward was originally announced to end when the "launch event" ended.[1][18] However, having begun in June 2015, it seems likely the reward is now intended to be ongoing.
  • Tavern Brawls are eligible to count toward daily quests.[19][20] Wins also count toward the "10 gold per 3 wins" reward.[21]
  • There is one Brawl-specific quest, "Everybody! Get in here!", which awards 60 gold for winning 5 Tavern Brawls.
  • Challenging a friend to a Tavern Brawl will not be eligible for most quests, as these matches are considered Friendly Challenges for these purposes.[22]
  • Players can earn experience in Tavern Brawl.[23]

General[edit | edit source]

  • Tavern Brawls are released in the Americas region first, followed by the Europe, Taiwan/Korea and China regions, simultaneously, around 4 hours later. As a result, the Americas region sometimes experiences technical issues following the release of a new Brawl, serving as a testbed for the latest modifications. Despite not directly modifying other game modes, the release of a Tavern Brawl nevertheless involves changes which can cause disconnections and extended downtime for the entire game, making this testing period necessary to limit disruption to a single region. The four hour delay following the Americas release is intended to allow time for the developers to attend to any stability issues or severe bugs, before launching the Brawl in other regions.
    • As of December 2015, additional testing measures are planned, to reduce related stability issues.[24] However, the changes will "take some time to implement".[24]

Tavern Brawl cards[edit | edit source]

Tavern Brawl cards are special cards, heroes and Hero Powers only available to players when participating in a specific Tavern Brawl. These are usually provided through pre-made decks, although they may be granted to players directly during matches. Tavern Brawl cards usually match the theme of the Brawl, and often feature fun or outlandish powers not seen in regular cards.

For a full list of known cards, see Tavern Brawl card. Featured Tavern Brawl cards for each Brawl can be found on individual Brawl pages, or in the Previous Brawls section.

Design[edit | edit source]

"I'm not exaggerating when I say that each week, people tell me that we've created the greatest brawl ever, at the same time that others are saying it's by far the worst." - Ben Brode[25]

As of October 2016, Tavern Brawls are primarily designed by Pat Nagle (the namesake of Nat Pagle) and Dan Emmons.[26] The two designers "sit in a room and brainstorm", with additional inspiration from the internet and other team members. The ideas are then playtested and iterated upon with the rest of Team 5.[27][28] Tim Erskine serves as producer for Tavern Brawl content.[29]

According to designers Emmons and Nagle, the most important goal of Tavern Brawls is to provide variety and freshness, "mixing up" the standard game experience of ladder or Arena play, and providing players a reason and reward for logging in regularly.[26] The "Surprise" of the new Brawl each week is also "really big" for the developers.[26]

The designers originally considered having a ranked ladder for Tavern Brawl mode, including a Legend rank.[30] However, they decided not to in order to avoid players feeling pressure to play, instead adopting a strong focus on "fun".[30] For example, the card pack reward for a single win provides a reward for trying each Brawl, without creating any sense of compulsion for players who didn't that week's Brawl.

The first 19 Tavern Brawls, by popularity. Green Brawls are premade; brown use constructed decks; blue are randomised.

The Tavern Brawl mode is also designed to help with the game's accessibility. This is partly achieved through Brawls that don't require players to own a lot of cards, and also in the 'free' card pack reward each week, helping players to build their collections.[30]

Tavern Brawls allow for experimentation, and are sometime used to test or develop new mechanics, allowing the developers to observe player reactions. This time spent developing the required technology makes it relatively simple to then implement the mechanic elsewhere in the game.[31] Examples of this process include Discover. However, the developers balance the ease of experimentation with a desire to keep new mechanics fresh for players to discover in new sets. Ben Brode explains:

"There are pros and cons. The pros are obviously that we would get more confidence on balance. One of the cons is that part of the fun of card games is exploration. If we are putting it out there and a lot of it gets solved or figured out, then when we release a set it isn’t as crazy and exciting as it could be."[32]

The brevity of Brawls also frees the developers to experiment with a variety of designs, since "even if [the developers] make a really bad one" it will only last a few days.[26] This allows the designers to create Brawls that target specific groups of players, and take risks with their designs.[26]

The designers learned from early Brawls like Spiders, Spiders, EVERYWHERE! with decks composed solely of minions, incorporating a small number of random spells into later minion-focused Brawls such as ShiftCon.[30]

History[edit | edit source]

Tavern Brawls were being discussed by the developers prior to the launch of Hearthstone.[33] However, it was not until June 10, 2015, more than a year after the game's release, that the feature would be announced to players.

The Tavern Brawl system was added with Patch 2.7.0.9166 on June 15, but was not activated until June 17, when the first Tavern Brawl, Showdown at Blackrock Mountain, went live. In the interim period before the first Brawl, the as yet blank fourth button on the game box would begin to sparkle each time the player entered the main menu.

Captain Blackheart's Treasure was planned for release in October 2015, in order to debut the upcoming Discover mechanic.[27] However, technical problems prevented this, and the keyword was instead announced at BlizzCon 2015 with its accompanying adventure, The League of Explorers.

On November 4, 2015, the first cooperative Tavern Brawl was released, Unite Against Mechazod!, marking the first cooperative two-player experience within the game. At the time of its creation, this was the most difficult Brawl to create yet.[27]

In December 2015, with disconnections and downtime in the Europe region coinciding with the release of the latest Tavern Brawl becoming a regular occurrence, Blizzard announced that they would be adding additional testing measures to help prevent this in the future.[24] Shortly afterwards it was announced that the release times for Tavern Brawls in each region would be changing: instead of debuting in the Europe region at 4pm UTC, followed by Americas at 6pm and other regions at 7pm, new Brawls would now debut in the Americas region at 5pm UTC, then in all other regions 9pm.[34][3]

In October 2016 Heroic Tavern Brawl was announced, marking a new hybridisation of the Tavern Brawl and Arena game modes. This was also the first known Brawl to use Standard format, rather than the usual Wild format. The first explicitly Standard format Brawl followed in December 2016 with Clockwork Card Dealer - Standard, a simple variant of the original Clockwork Card Dealer.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • As of October 2016 Randomonium is "by far the most popular Brawl", both in terms of number of games played and hours in total spent playing.[35][36] Designer Dean Ayala explains, "[Randomonium] continues to be one of the mostly highly played brawls by unique user in addition to one of the most highly played brawls by individual user. Basically this means a ton of people play it, and the ones that do play it play a ton of games."[37]
  • The developers considered placing the Tavern Brawl button in the third slot (currently occupied by the Arena button), which would have provided a more symmetrical appearance given the smaller amount of space available for lettering on the fourth button. However, they decided against it, possibly due to length issues in languages other than English.[38]
  • On July 29, 2015, Showdown at Blackrock Mountain was mistakenly reprised as the seventh Tavern Brawl, sparking widespread complaint from players, who assumed this to be the intended Brawl. The correct Brawl, Too Many Portals!, replaced it around an hour later, but not until many players had already played and won games in the former Brawl, earning their weekly card pack. Zeriyah remarked, "Sometimes when you play with dimensional space, the wrong Tavern Brawl gets sucked through the portal. Whoops."[39] A similar error has taken place with subsequent Brawls. On July 20, 2016, Battle of the Builds was reprised as the fifty-eighth Tavern Brawl, but bugs quickly became evident. Blizzard announced a few hours later that the Brawl "wasn't behaving" and replaced it with another reprise, Idols of Azeroth.[40]
  • Following the Gift Exchange Tavern Brawl, the 2015 winter break saw a repeat of Randomonium rather than another new Tavern Brawl. Ben Brode explained that this was partly due to there being "nobody in the office over the break to fix things if they go wrong, which new brawls are more likely to do."[41]
  • The 5th reprise of Encounter at the Crossroads was the first Brawl that didn't offer a Classic card pack, but instead a card pack from an upcoming expansion.
  • The popularity of the Tavern Brawl game mode in Hearthstone has led to its adoption in other Blizzard games. Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm saw the introduction of the "Weekly Brawl" and "Heroes Brawl" game modes on March 22 and April 10, 2016, respectively, less than a year after the Hearthstone format's launch;[42][43] while "PvP Brawls" were added to World of Warcraft on April 5, 2017.[44] While the Tavern label is specific to Hearthstone, the term Brawl has thus become shorthand for an "alternative way to play", featuring special and regularly changing twists on the game's normal ruleset, with an emphasis on fun, "crazy" and "unique" matches.[42]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

There is a couple of days' downtime after each Brawl
Trying to queue into a Tavern Brawl just after it has closed
The basic Tavern Brawl interface
The collection manager has some minor colour and interface tweaks when used in Tavern Brawl mode, and uses the Standard format colouring despite viewing in Wild format

Patch changes[edit | edit source]

  • Mean Streets of Gadgetzan logo.png Patch 7.0.0.15590 (2016-11-29): The Tavern Brawl button on the main menu now lights up whenever there is a Brawl available that the player has not yet played.
  • Whispers of the Old Gods logo.png Patch 5.0.0.12574 (2016-04-24): Players can now challenge their friends to Tavern Brawls from any game screen. Previously the player had to be on the Brawl screen when issuing the challenge.
  • Blackrock Mountain logo.png Patch 2.7.0.9166 (2015-06-15): Added.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Brace Yourself for Tavern Brawl. (2015-06-10). 
  2. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2015-06-10). 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Tavern Brawl Time Change. (2015-12-15). 
  4. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2015-06-10). 
  5. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2015-06-10). 
  6. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2015-06-10). 
  7. Whirthun on Twitter. (2015-06-10). 
  8. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2015-06-10). 
  9. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2015-06-10). 
  10. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2015-06-10). 
  11. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2015-06-15). 
  12. Yong Woo on Twitter. (2015-06-17). 
  13. Yong Woo on Twitter. (2015-06-17). 
  14. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2015-06-18). 
  15. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2015-06-18). 
  16. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2016-01-13). 
  17. Yong Woo on Twitter. (2015-06-17). 
  18. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2015-06-10). 
  19. Whirthun on Twitter. (2015-06-10). 
  20. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2015-06-10). 
  21. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2015-06-10). 
  22. Zeriyah on Twitter. (2015-06-15). 
  23. Tested by User:Taohinton, 2015-07-01. Gained XP (and a level) on rogue playing Spiders, Spiders, EVERYWHERE!
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Official forums: Tavern Brawl and Stability Issues. (2015-12-02). 
  25. Ben Brode on reddit. (2016-10-17). 
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 Designer Insights with Dan and Pat: Tavern Brawls. (2016-10-17). 
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Tavern Brawls and Open Q&A - BlizzCon 2015 Live Panel Recap (Fireside Chat). (2015-11-07). 
  28. 28.0 28.1 Ben Brode's Stream Notes (17/April/16). (2016-04-17). 
  29. Yong Woo on Twitter. (2016-08-03). 
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 Hearthpwn: Tavern Brawls and Open Q&A - BlizzCon 2015 Live Panel Recap (Fireside Chat). (2015-11-07). 
  31. Whispers of the Old Gods Developer Q&A Transcript, This Week in Card Reveals. (2016-04-11). 
  32. PCGamer - Hearthstone’s Ben Brode on Old Gods and Reynad's match-making theory. (2016-03). 
  33. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2015-06-18). 
  34. http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/blog/19803850/hearthstone-patch-notes-2709166-tavern-brawl-new-heroes-and-customization-6-15-2015
  35. Ben Brode on reddit. (2016-10-17). 
  36. Ben Brode on reddit. (2016-10-17). 
  37. Dean Ayala on reddit. (2016-09-25). 
  38. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2015-06-14). 
  39. https://www.reddit.com/r/hearthstone/comments/3f1ai5/the_new_tavern_brawl_is_too_many_portals/ctkfenm
  40. Official Hearthstone on Twitter.
  41. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2015-12-30). 
  42. 42.0 42.1 Overwatch Beta Patch Notes – March 22, 2016. (2016-03-22). 
  43. BREAK ALL THE RULES WITH HEROES BRAWL. (2016-04-10). 
  44. [Patch 7.2 Content Release Timeline {{{3}}}]. (2017-03-29). 

External links[edit | edit source]