Top 3

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Tavern Brawl - promo.png The subject of this article is part of the
Tavern Brawl game mode.


Top 3.jpg
"Let's mix it up a bit, shall we? Pick three cards and we'll make you a deck with ten copies of each card."

Top 3 is a Tavern Brawl. It debuted on September 14, 2016.

This Brawl is a sequel to the earlier Top 2.

History[edit | edit source]

Tavern Brawl Start End
66 September 14, 2016 September 19, 2016
231 November 13, 2019 November 20, 2019

The second appearance of this Brawl was a stand-in for Brawliseum - Battle of the Bans, the debut of which was prevented by technical difficulties. After a short period during which players were unable to access Tavern Brawls, the latter Brawl was replaced with Top 3.

Overview[edit | edit source]

This Tavern Brawl sees players doing battle with custom decks composed solely of copies of three cards chosen by the player. Each deck includes precisely 10 copies of each chosen card. Players cannot include more than one copy of any card.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • If Prince Malchezaar is chosen for the player's deck, his effect will shuffle 33 (if going first) or 34 (if going second) random legendaries into the player's deck, rather than the usual 5. (The 10 Malchezaars should generate 50 cards in total, but the number is limited by the 60-card deck size limit.)
    • Despite the large number of cards added, Prince Malchezaar functions as usual, meaning the legendaries generated are random, but unique within the deck (no duplicates).

Strategy[edit | edit source]

A huge variety of combinations are possible in this Brawl, some competitive, some just for fun. Some provide reliable but perhaps boring face damage, while other aim for unlikely but potentially spectacular payoffs. A number of decks are listed below, included some strong competitive choices and some fun alternatives.

Most popular
  • Discard Warlock - Malchezaar's Imp + Soulfire + Fist of Jaraxxus/Silverware Golem: A potent burst deck, potentially allowing the warlock to use an endless stream of Soulfires to rapidly defeat the opponent. Malchezaar's Imp replaces discarded cards and puts Fist of Jaraxxus/Silver Golem into play. Capable of a turn 2 victory with the right RNG, but very draw-dependent.
  • Mech Hunter - Mechwarper + Metaltooth Leaper + Enhance-o Mechano/Annoy-o-Tron: Mechwarpers quickly make the other cards free, enabling the hunter to rapidly fill the board with Mechs, which are then buffed by the Metaltooth Leaper to threaten early lethal. Enhance-o Mechano has a similar function to Metaltooth Leaper. Like Bolster Warrior, weak to removal. Gorillabot A-3 is a viable substitution against limited removal, adding sustain.
  • SN1P-SN4P decks - Mechwarper + Galvanizer + SN1P-SN4P: Get three Mechwarpers in hand and reduce them with Galvanizer. Magnetizing to a Galvanizer creates a hitter with 80+ attack as early as turn 3. Warlock is the best candidate for this list thanks to Life Tap, although it helpfully can be played by any class.
  • Mogu Paladin - Crystology + Mogu Cultist + Time Out!: Stall the game under Time Outs until you can summon 7 Mogu Cultists and form Highkeeper Ra. Most decks cannot answer a 20/20 minion who clears the board. This is a one-in-the-chamber strategy; if the opponent can deal with Ra, you will lose. Can be weak to Mill, since you need to hold 7 specific cards and can only afford to mill 3.
Less common
  • Burst Priest - Auchenai Soulpriest/Embrace the Shadow + Flash Heal + Circle of Healing: Use Auchenai/Embrace with Flash Heal to burst the opponent down. Circle of Healing is a strong counter to minion decks, but can be thrown away against other decks. Flash Heal provides a counter to burst decks when used to heal the priest.
  • Barnes decks: Barnes serves to create 1/1 copies of powerful minions early in the game. Best combined with effects to pull other minions into play, or highly powerful effects in themselves. Weak against removal. Barnes decks can work with any class, but are most popular with druid, using Innervate to get the action started from as early as turn 1. Hunter is an alternative, using Flare to cycle the deck. Priests can use Silence or Purify to revert the 1/1 copies to their full stats, although any useful abilities will be lost, making a large minion necessary.
    • Y'Shaarj: Barnes serves to create 1/1 Y'Shaarj copies. Their ability mimics Barnes' Battlecry but at full strength, and can pull real 10/10 Y'Shaarjs onto the board. Works well with Innervate to start the combo before the opponent has counters available.
    • Ragnaros the Firelord: Even a 1/1 Ragnaros deals 8 damage at the end of each turn.
    • Deathwing, Dragonlord: The Deathrattle of the 1/1 Deathwing, Dragonlord created by Barnes will pull 12/12 Deathwing, Dragonlords from the player's hand. Hunters can use Flare to make sure there are some there to pull.
  • Prince Malchezaar decks: These decks use Malchezaar to fill their decks with random legendaries, then typically use control combinations to stall out the game until the more powerful ones can be played. This is a hard counter to Mill Druid, since the additional 30 cards make it impossible for the player to fatigue before the druid does. Priest and Paladin are both good choices for Malchezaar decks.
  • Burn Mage - Sorcerer's Apprentice + Burst spells + Card draw spells: By cheapening both spells to zero, with the right top-decks there is the potential for a lategame infinite turn of card draw and damage. The Apprentices are top targets and vulnerable to any removal, but can be played on-turn for an auto-win, usually just after turns 4 or 5. Common choices are Frostbolt, Forgotten Torch, and Research Project. Even without free spells, Roaring Torches generated provide some defense against mill decks, which also serve to refill the mage's rapidly emptied hand. Arcane Intellect can jam your own hand and actually makes you more vulnerable against Mill.
  • Bolster Warrior - Bolster + Target Dummy + Shieldbearer: Throw out as many free/cheap Taunts as possible, then buff them with Bolster to create a formidable army. Fairly fast, but weak against decks with minion removal, and quickly empties the hand.
  • Mill Druid - Naturalize + Coldlight Oracle + Ferocious Howl: The same idea as the Mill Druid of old (see below), but much slower.
  • Pogo Rogue - Pogo-Hopper + Shadowstep + Novice Engineer: Draw your deck, playing larger and larger Pogohoppers each turn. Cycle your smaller Pogos into larger ones using Shadowstep. Slower to start and weak to mass minion stall like Time Out! and Frost Nova.
Other decks
  • Ambush Rogue - Beneath the Grounds + Preparation + Conceal: This extremely strong deck counters both aspects of Mill Druid by granting you board control and card advantage. This is especially compounded by the three Nerubians per Grounds as opposed to Naturalise's 1:1 card ratio, and in exchanges with Oracles each is 2:1 stronger. While your opponent is removed from fatigue, this stops them drawing vital spells preventing Naturalize and saving yourself from being milled. Finally you can Conceal at the end of your turn to screen your Nerubians and use the board control granted by them to clean off the face.
  • Power of the Wild Druid - Living Roots + Power of the Wild + Innervate: Early game aggro from buffed Saplings.
  • Yogg-Saron Druid - Raven Idol/Living Roots + Yogg-Saron + Innervate: Lots of cheap spells followed by repeated Yogg-Sarons for days of animations.
  • Missile Mage - Arcane Missiles + Bloodmage Thalnos + Flamewaker: Compared to Wyrm Mage, Flamewaker can be better value per card and harder to remove, as it provides immediate and more consistent control, which can become a constant +2 on face buff for spells. On the other hand it can be harder to play spell spam against anything other than Mill, and early tempo is lost due to mana curve constraints. Thalnos reduces those downsides by buffing Missiles until Flamewaker's +2x can come out, and his deathrattle cycles the deck to maintain card advantage.
  • Snow Mage - Mechwarper + Snowchugger + Enhance-o Mechano: Similar to Mech Hunter, but trades early aggro for the ability to freeze enemy minions.
  • Inner Fire Priest - Inner Fire + Divine Spirit + Shieldbearer: A time-honoured combination. Build up a Shieldbearer to ridiculous proportions and let fly. Weak to burst and single-target removal.
  • Doom Priest (cheap) - Loot Hoarder + Mind Blast + Doomsayer: Strong burst, but one-trick pony that suffers against healing (eg armor warrior).
  • Blood Paladin - Blood Knight + Steward of Darkshire + Muster for Battle: Somewhat slow combination due to mana costs, but with all the Divine Shields, can churn out incredible Blood Knights. Weak against removal.
  • Murloc Paladin - Murloc Tidecaller + Bilefin Tidehunter + Murloc Warleader: Tidecaller's ability allows it to be fed and grown, the Bilefins stall and double the ability, and the Warleader buffs if left unchecked.
  • Overload Shaman - Tunnel Trogg + Lava Burst + Lava Shock: Much like Wyrm mage, combine pumped-up Troggs with Lava Burst to the face, with Lava Shock or possibly cheaper Lightning Bolt to ensure a steady flow of damage.
  • Armorsmith Warrior - Armorsmith + Whirlwind + Rampage: ridiculous chain procs off Armorsmith increase Health to defend against any Burst. Weak against Removal.
  • Shield Warrior - Shield Block + Shield Slam + Ironforge Portal: Massive control from stacked armour and Shield Slam to clear board. Counters Burst.
  • Burn Mage - Ice Block + Arcane Intellect + Fireball: Use Ice Blocks to stall the game, Fireballs to burn the opponent down, and Arcane Intellect to refuel. Opponents are extremely unlikely to waste a deck slot on Secret removal, making this deck nearly unbeatable by minion and burst strategies, but vulnerable to Mill and healing.
Prior Decks

These decks were used in older versions of the brawl, but have been rendered ineffective or unusable through nerfs. They are listed here for historical reasons.

  • Mill Druid - Naturalize + Coldlight Oracle + Innervate: This is a straightforward (and super-powered) mill deck, using Coldlight Oracle to bring both players rapidly to fatigue, and Naturalize ensure the opponent gets there first, as well as to deny board control. Innervate provides a lot of tempo, especially with the endless card draw from Oracle, allowing for rapid progress and long turns. Effective against everything except Loatheb Druid and certain extended decks, such as Prince Malchezaar. Healing Touch is an alternative against burst decks, but Innervate is hard to beat.
    • Tips: Don't be afraid to play the coin as an inferior Innervate. In an exact mirror match, you should Naturalize your own Oracles before your opponent. By denying your opponent targets for the same, you effectively gain double your two card lead to four, as you stop them from making you draw, while causing them to draw instead. Don't let Naturalizes choke your own hand: have enough to kill priority targets for removal from your opponent, but after that don't be afraid to hit your own Oracles as fatigue growth is stronger than linear board control damage.
  • Loatheb Druid - Loatheb + Innervate + Coldlight Oracle: This deck plays Loathebs on consecutive turns. This locks out spells, notably removal such as Naturalize which allows for board control. Coldlight Oracle helps with refilling the hand. As most decks in the Brawl are based on spells, this shuts down many, but it is weak against spell-less decks.
  • Wyrm Mage - Ice Lance + Mana Wyrm + Frostbolt: Lance provides damage from the hand, as well as being a cheap and repeatable buff to Mana Wyrms to finish. Will likely run out of cards quickly and is reliant on multiple Wyrms staying alive to fearsome size for constant damage. Suffers against cheap removal such as Naturalize. Mirror Image is an alternative to one of the spells as a stall, but increases vulnerability to removal.
  • Burst Shaman - Rockbiter Weapon + Doomhammer + Lightning Storm: A slow deck due to Doomhammer's mana cost and Overload. On turn 6 with max mana to four Rockbiters, a 28 damage OTK from 2x(2+4x(+3)) is possible, with the two on-turn attacks allowing you to kill the enemy from 32 HP. It does not matter when the coin is played as long as it allows extra Rockbiters to be played. The third card is used to enable the combo, in this case to slow Mill's Oracle spam. This stalls with a Lightning Storm on turn 3 as a spell board clear to avoid Naturalize. Against other match ups, you can use spare mana on Totemic Call; without Naturalize your third could alternatively synergise with cheap Thing from Below spam.

Archetypes[edit | edit source]

Certain archetypes exist within various different combinations, often deciding in themselves the outcome of the match.

  • Mill: Due to the limited means of countering fatigue and its rapid pace, Milling beats most decks. Innervate makes Druids the undisputed master of milling this Brawl, especially as Loatheb and Prince Malchezaar are the only real counters. Naturalize serves as very effective removal.
  • Deck extension: Uses cards that shuffle cards into the deck, such as the ostensibly lengthy minion deck of Prince Malchezaar. This serves as a hard counter to mill decks. Combine with removal or healing to give the player time to get their legendaries out. An alternative is to use Golden Monkey to replace the whole deck with Legendaries, seeing as though you will be drawing a lot against a mill anyway. The doubled card from a Forgotten Torch also fits into this category, albeit less strongly than Malchezaar. Similarly the Rogue's Beneath the Grounds or Warlock's Curse of Rafaam can be used to extend the opponent's deck, jamming them and stopping their mill cards from coming into play.
  • Removal: Decks with strong minion removal are usually control decks, and are often hard counters to minion-based decks. These tend to be weak to burst decks unless they include healing, and are ineffective against mill. These spells can be countered by blocking spell draw, or
  • Healing: An alternative to removal, effective against burst decks but less so against minion decks. Healing and removal can be combined to form a very strong control deck, but this is still weak to mill without Malchezaar.
  • Burst: These decks deal damage from hand, and can win in any matchup, with their speed giving them a chance even against mill decks. Discard Warlock is a strong example this Brawl.
  • Cost-reduction: Use of Mechwarper or Sorcerer's Apprentice to reduce card cost to 0 can dramatically increase the amount of cards played per turn, assuming they have been drawn.
  • Fast minion/minion buffs: These decks fill the board with enough buffed minions, such as Mana Wyrm, to threaten lethal in a few turns. Weak against removal, especially as they usually lack draw to replace the lost minions. Usually not fast enough to counter Mill Druid, but may have a chance against burst decks.
  • Slow minion/big minion: These decks focus on minion abilities or stats. They may use Barnes to make Deathrattle or ability copies early on, or try to stall long enough to be able to play them from hand. Must include removal or healing to survive against faster decks. Weak against removal.
  • Stealth: The most common example is the combination of Rogue's Cold Blood and Conceal, with a low-cost Stealth minion such as Worgen Infiltrator. This is impossible to counter without any AoE-damage, random damage or Taunt minions.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The gnome in this Brawl's art is holding Lightning Storm, Fiery War Axe and Flare, a combination that is not only impossible (being cards from three different classes) but also not particularly effective.