Unite Against Mechazod!
- "Can you defeat Gearmaster Mechazod? Join forces with another player and see. It's a cooperative Tavern Brawl!"
As well as its own repeat appearances, this Brawl has been followed by Return of Mechazod!, featuring almost exactly the same mechanics, but with different classes and decks for the players.
|21||November 4, 2015||November 9, 2015|
|49||May 18, 2016||May 23, 2016|
The return of this Brawl in May 2016 brought with it two changes. Firstly, Assassinate was replaced by Prioritize in Mechazod's deck. This had apparently been part of the original design, the card having been added to the game data with the Brawl, but did not feature in its first outing. Assassinate may have been used as a stand-in for Prioritize due to bugs, which would explain Prioritize having already replaced Assassinate in the follow-up Return of Mechazod!. Secondly, the original Brawl awarded its bonus card pack simply for completing a match, regardless of the outcome, helping to ease players into this new way of playing and counter potential frustration, while the reprise followed Return of Mechazod! by instead requiring a win.
Unite Against Mechazod! is the first co-op Tavern Brawl. In this Brawl, two players cooperate to defeat Gearmaster Mechazod, a special minion. Each turn, Mechazod will swap which side of the board he is on, allowing the currently active player to attack him. Mechazod will in turn seek the defeat of both players, through casting a spell of his own at the start of each turn.
Unlike other Tavern Brawls, Unite Against Mechazod! is a co-operative Tavern Brawl, meaning the two players are working together to defeat Mechazod, rather than attacking each other. What's more, if either player is defeated, both players will lose the match, making it important to do everything you can to keep the other player alive. Only a victory for both heroes will award players with their weekly bonus card pack.
At the start of the match, one player is randomly selected to play as Anduin Wrynn (priest), and the other as Uther Lightbringer (paladin). Players do battle with special pre-made decks, ensuring good chances of defeating the Gearmaster. With Mechazod dealing a lot of damage to players, both decks feature strong healing-synergy, and are designed to benefit the other player using card effects which are traditionally undesirable, such as the Deathrattle of Dancing Swords or the Battlecry of Millhouse Manastorm. Survival will not be easy, but can be achieved through cooperation.
- Although not mentioned in his card text, Mechazod is a Taunt.
- During the End of Turn Phase, if Mechazod wouldn't be able to switch sides due to a full opposing board, he will automatically destroy every minion on that side of the board using an Assassinate-style effect. (He will play a card during the Start of Turn Phase as usual.)
- While the appearance during a match is ambiguous, Mechazod casts his spell at the very start of each turn, during the Start of Turn Phase. This means that if Mechazod uses Bomb Salvo to destroy a Lightwell, the Lightwell will take fatal damage; then heal a friendly target; then be destroyed. (If Mechazod's spell was cast at the end of the turn, the Lightwell would have been removed from the board without activating.)
- Gearmaster Mechazod's choice of spells is mostly, but not entirely, random. There are algorithms in place to prevent irregular and overpowered sequences, such as simply playing Overclock every turn, but the choice of cards is otherwise random. Consequently, Mechazod's choices are often poor, and appear to have no relationship to the state of the board or the heroes.
- There is one exception: Kill the Lorewalker, which is only played when Lorewalker Cho is in play, and is always played at the start of the paladin player's turn following Lorewalker Cho coming into play. If multiple copies of Cho exist (such as by playing Cho into Mirror Entity), the boss will kill each successively using a separate copy of Kill the Lorewalker.
- Mechazod has no Mana restrictions, and can play any card at any time (with the exception of Kill the Lorewalker).
- Given Mechazod's automatic response to Lorewalker Cho, and the need for an algorithm to prevent repetitive sequences, it seems likely that he simply generates cards semi-randomly each turn, without either a deck or hand. The nature of the Brawl ensures relatively short matches, but Mechazod appears to be capable of playing several copies of any given card.
- This Brawl is played on the Goblins vs Gnomes battlefield.
- Players queuing solo for the Tavern Brawl will be matched with a partner as usual. Players can challenge friends in order to play matches with them.
- Despite Mechazod's role as the objective of the Brawl, the other player remains the opponent for the purposes of game mechanics. This allows cards such as Dancing Swords and King Mukla to benefit the other player, while effects like that of Troggzor the Earthinator and Lorewalker Cho will activate from spells cast by the other player, but not from spells cast by Mechazod.
- Like all cooperative Tavern Brawls, Unite Against Mechazod! does not use an MMR to determine matchmaking.
Mechazod appears not to use a deck or hand, but instead to semi-randomly generate a spell from the above list each turn. He does not use other cards. For details, see the Notes section.
|Paladin||Blessing of Kings||2|
|Paladin||Blessing of Might||2|
|Paladin||Blessing of Wisdom||2|
|Paladin||Guardian of Kings||2|
|Paladin||Hand of Protection||2|
|Paladin||Seal of Champions||2|
|Neutral||Earthen Ring Farseer||2|
|Priest||Light of the Naaru||2|
|Priest||Power Word: Shield||2|
|Neutral||Burly Rockjaw Trogg||2|
|Neutral||Troggzor the Earthinator||1|
This is a surprisingly difficult Tavern Brawl. Players need to work together to survive the relentless onslaught of the tiny mechagnome, especially as his Attack continues to increase through Overclock, empowering Double Zap and Bomb Salvo. Make sure to keep both heroes alive, since if either dies, both die. This may mean focusing all your healing effects on the other player. This is very contrary to how the game is normally played, and it's easy to forget to keep your opponent topped up, or prioritise yourself over the opponent; but in this Brawl this will quickly lead to defeat.
Mechazod's behaviour is very straightforward, and limited to playing the 5 spells in his deck, one of which he will play at the start of each turn. The main synergy is Overclock with Double Zap/Bomb Salvo/Prioritize. Since Mechazod never attacks any character, these spells are the only use of Overclock. Mechazod makes liberal use of Prioritize to deal Attack damage to the most powerful minion, and does Mad Bomber-style damage with Bomb Salvo. Mechazod automatically use Kill the Lorewalker at start of the paladin's next turn if Lorewalker Cho appears.
The players will always be playing Paladin and Priest. Their deck composition includes both class and neutral cards, many of them benefiting the other player, thus turning cards with what would be typically considered downsides into upsides. Cards of this nature include Zombie Chow, King Mukla, Coldlight Oracle and Dancing Swords; Millhouse Manastorm in the Priest's allows the Paladin to cast the more expensive Blessing of Kings and Blessed Champion for free; Lorewalker Cho on the Paladin's side allows duplication of spells (although Mechazod has a special card to deal with him) etc. Cards such as Burly Rockjaw Trogg and Troggzor the Earthinator require cooperation between the players.
The two main elements necessary to win are healing and damage dealing. Players must keep their Health topped up, especially if Mechazod is casting Overclock and Double Zap a lot. While Mechazod is in theory capable of defeating the players in only a few rounds, in practice the unpredictability of his cards means players can use healing to survive much longer than expected. Some amount of hero healing is necessary to survive most games, but burst healing can be hard to come by. Anticipate the possibility of a Double Zap and always keep your Health above lethal. If both players can't be kept above lethal, make sure to keep at least 1 player is above lethal in case of a Bomb Salvo.
Healing aside, all efforts should be focused on creating minions capable of dealing substantial damage to Mechazod. Because of his Attack (which quickly reaches high levels) most minions will only survive a single attack, and are therefore more useful as fodder for Bomb Salvo (see below). However, the paladin's deck contains a number of buff cards, which in combination can allow a single minion to reach extremely high Attack. Spells such as Blessing of Kings, Blessed Champion and Seal of Champions can be used to build a minion up to high Attack, and use it to repeatedly deal damage to Mechazod. While the paladin deck contains the buffs, the priest can deck contains minions which can grow in power through healing synergy, like Lightwarden, Holy Champion and Burly Rockjaw Trogg. These make ideal targets for the paladin's buffs, but other minions can also work well, especially those with high base stats. Using a paladin minion has the advantage of being targetable by Argent Protector, which can be critical for survival.
Be aware that the high Attack minion will be a special target for Mechazod's attacks due to Prioritize. Because of this, there isn't usually time to build up the minion to lethal levels before attacking; it will need to repeatedly attack Mechazod. However, Mechazod's fairly high Attack means the minion will soon die from this, unless repeatedly healed or protected with Divine Shield, the former being primarily provided by the priest, and the latter by the paladin through cards like Hand of Protection and Seal of Champions. This protection is critical for allowing the minion to survive, not only from trading damage, but also from Bomb Salvo and most critically Prioritize, which will always target the highest Attack minion. Because of the likelihood of Prioritize, once the minion has reached around a third or ideally half of Mechazod's Health it is usually best to use it to attack, but in some cases a Shade of Naxxramas-style stealth approach can be successful. The predictable damage of Prioritize and the low likelihood of Bomb Salvo hitting the same minion twice make it possible to play within a safe margin. It is often wise to wait to attack until you have enough healing or protection in hand to ensure the minion can survive not only combat damage but a subsequent hit or two, allowing it to attack at least twice. When the minion's Health is too low to survive even a single attack from Mecahzod, it may be wiser to make use of its Attack and trade with Mechazod, unless it is serving to shelter another fairly high-Attack minion.
Another key point is not to use smaller minions to attack Mechazod, but instead to allow them to serve as fodder for Bomb Salvo. There are numerous non-critical and Battlecry minions in the two decks, and these can perform a vital role in allowing higher-Attack minions to survive. Only trade them if needing to play other minions to replace them, although bear in mind the 7 minion limit - if Mechazod can't find room to move to the other side of the board, he will destroy all minions on that side, so be sure to always leave a space for him. Even those with useful Deathrattles should be left on the board, since due to Bomb Salvo they will likely die soon anyway, and by doing so will contribute far more than by dealing their Attack damage.
The priest Hero Power Lesser Heal is vital to maintaining Health, and is especially useful with the healing-synergy cards and Garrison Commander. It should be used often, especially as more mana becomes available, and in order to safeguard against imminent destruction. The paladin Hero Power Reinforce can be very useful for providing targets for Bomb Salvo, but is otherwise not a good way to spend mana, since there are no multiple-minion buffs in the decks. The Silver Hand Recruits can make a decent target for buffs like Blessing of Kings at a pinch, though.
Lorewalker Cho deserves special mention for his unique role in the Brawl. The paladin's Cho can provide copies of key buff cards like Blessed Champion, Blessing of Kings and Hand of Protection, making reaching lethal possible, but only if played right. However, the lack of communication between players can make this tough to achieve, especially since neither player knows what cards the other player has. Because Mechazod will destroy Cho at the start of the paladin's next turn using Kill the Lorewalker, each player has only one turn to make the most of Cho's effect. Cho is therefore best played on at least 5 mana, and with several cards in the other player's hand, so they have a good chance of being able to cast several spells that turn. Follow Cho immediately with as many spells as possible, even if casting them provides little benefit. The best Cho play of all is to wait for the priest to play Millhouse Manastorm, before following with Cho and a flurry of spells. Millhouse is likewise best reserved until at least round 5, both for synergy with Cho and to allow the paladin to accumulate several spells. More importantly, Millhouse is best played when there is already a good target on the board for the paladin to buff with their many spells. If you draw either of these cards, try to make the most of their potential; playing them well can single-handedly enable victory, while a misplay can single-handedly throw the game away.
For the most part, the Paladin will be the main damage dealer while the Priest will be responsible for keeping the players and their minions alive. The Paladin's deck includes heavy hitters such as Icehowl and Bolvar Fordragon and Attack buffs such as Blessing of Might/Blessing of Kings, Seal of Champions and Blessed Champion; while the Priest uses Lightwells, Garrison Commanders and Zombie Chows to restore Health. However, both sides have complementing cards. The priest can use Lightwarden (generated from Light of the Naaru) and Holy Champion to deal large amounts of damage, while the Paladin can heal using Holy Light and Guardian of Kings.
In general, maintaining a strong board presence is key. While it might be tempting to suicide weaker minions to wear down Mechazod's immense health, Mechazod's removal spells can quickly kill off whatever presence either player has. Buff spells should be used on minions that can attack during the same turn, since they may otherwise be destroyed by Bomb Salvo or Prioritize before the effects can be put to good use.
A possible strategy for the Priest player would be to populate his field with Zombie Chow, Lightwell and Garrison Commander, giving him more opportunities for healing. If a Holy Champion is on the field, Zombie Chow can then be suicided into Mechazod, healing the Paladin while boosting the Holy Champion's attack. The Paladin can use Lorewalker Cho and give the Priest player a copy of Blessed Champion to be used on the Holy Champion if she survives.
- Opening remark
- I will cleanse you both of the Curse of Flesh!
- Kill the Lorewalker
- Print is dead, Lorewalker Cho!
- Overclock (first time it is used)
- Increase clock speed!
- Combine forces to defeat Gearmaster Mechazod. You’ll each be piloting a pre-built deck assembled to give both you and your partner on the other side of the board a chance to take out the technological terror. Each turn he’ll move from your side of the board to your friend’s, and you’ll need to play your cards just right to bring him down together. Watch out! If one of you is defeated, then you both are, so don’t be stingy with the heals.
- Gearmaster Mechazod is ready for you! He’s got an arsenal of gnasty gnomish inventions and he’s going to use every tool at his greasy fingertips to wreck you and your partner.
- This was not only the first cooperative Tavern Brawl, but also the first cooperative two-player experience of any kind in the game.
- This Brawl was originally devised by He-Rim Woo.
- At the time of its creation, this was the most difficult Brawl to create yet.
- The designers tried having Mechazod in several different positions, including the middle of the board, the central minion column, and the top corner of the screen, but none felt right. It is possible they might have changed the interface more substantially for the Brawl, but were prevented due to time constraints. Likewise, premade decks were chosen in part in order to reduce complexity in preventing players from using cards such as Equality and Execute that would otherwise trivialise the encounter.
- Kill the Lorewalker was added to ensure Cho didn't stay in play for more than one turn, allowing for a small dose of his mechanic without it getting out of hand.
- Release Coolant is a special card speculated to have been removed from this encounter prior to its release.
- Witnessed by User:Taohinton, 2015-11-04. Exactly as described.
- Tavern Brawls and Open Q&A - BlizzCon 2015 Live Panel Recap (Fireside Chat). (2015-11-07).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2016-01-16).
- PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2015-11-03).
- PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2015-11-03).
- Ben Brode on Twitter. (2016-01-13).
- Get Ready to Unite Against Mechazod!. (2015-11-03).
- Yong Woo on Twitter. (2015-11-05).
- Get Ready to Unite Against Mechazod! (2015-11-03)