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(Standard) Heroic Tavern Brawl Returns!

by - 6 months ago

It is no secret (and to some of us, no surprise) that the Heroic Tavern Brawl experiment last year was a massive success. While certainly not for everyone, the format scratched the competitive itch for well-known streamers and every-day players alike. For the former, it helped boost viewership; for the latter, it allowed a chance to live out our delusions of grandeur. It gave all of us the tournament mode that we’ve been asking for for ages (kind of).

Just a few weeks ago, as part of the massive Year of the Mammoth reveal, Blizzard promised us a Wild-Format Heroic Tavern Brawl after Journey to Un’Goro launched. (link) Today, however, Blizzard announced that we would be getting a Standard-Format Heroic Tavern Brawl much sooner than that–next week, to be precise. (link)

For anybody who did not participate last time, or wants a reminder, here is what you need to know:

  • The Heroic Tavern Brawl replaces the normal, weekly Tavern Brawl. [This was probably initially done because Blizzard did not know how well the format would be received, and wanted to keep it temporary in case it flopped. Now that it has become a major success, we can expect it to become a permanent fixture at some point, but probably not any time soon (or even soon(TM)), or there would have been an announcement about it.]
  • The Heroic Tavern Brawl costs $9.99 USD or 1000 gold to enter.
  • Upon entry, players construct a normal 30-card deck from their collection–as if they were going into play or casual modes. Once players lock in their decks, they cannot make any changes to the decklist.
  • As in Arena mode, players play games until they win 12 or lose 3.
  • The prize cutoffs are steep (in fact, some players have complained that Blizzard’s “rake” or “cut” is far too high to be palatable). In consulting the chart below, one can see that by normal dust and gold valuations, a player must win approximately five games (62.5%) to “break even.” Conversely, players who are specifically saving gold for the upcoming expansion must win the full 12 games to get their gold back (minimum winrate of 85.7%). Blizzpro warning: the vast majority of players end of losing resources by entering the Heroic Tavern Brawl. But, the players who do manage to get 12 wins are rewarded handsomely–50 packs Mean Streets of Gadgetzan packs, ~1100 dust, ~1100 gold, AND five golden legendaries!

    (link to Heroic Tavern Brawl rewards)

One final point of interest is that last time Blizzard ran the Heroic Tavern Brawl, the metagame was pretty well established, so most competitors knew the tops decks and their counters. This time, the Heroic Tavern Brawl follows shortly after a metagame shakeup (of course, the Small-Time Buccaneer and Spirit Claws nerfs). It will be interesting to see how that affects the format. What are you planning to run?


Nicholas Weiss

Is a lawyer by day and a cardslinger by night. He's decent at both. He's been playing Hearthstone since open beta and writing about it for the past year or so.