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Weekly Brawl Review: Battle of Tol Barad!

Welcome back everyone after the holiday weekend, hope everybody had a nice Thanksgiving or at least got a few days off work. Coming back with another Tavern Brawl review, I’ve been quite busy with my holiday stuff so this one is out towards the end of the brawl but that gave me a few more days to test everything out.

Firstly Tol Barad is a place in Bilzzard’s World of Warcraft game that came out with the release of their Cataclysm expansion. It was the 2nd area that players could battle over in a world pvp setting (Alliance vs. Horde) and the victor would be able to do a few raid bosses usually uncontested by the opposing faction. Whoever controlled the keep would have their faction guards on the island usually preventing the enemy from invading. Sometimes however the opposing faction would form a group and fight through the guards anyways either to kill us for fun or to do the raid themselves. These raid bosses were powerful demons that were captured and imprisoned by the Baradin’s Wardens on the island. Once killed they would drop some PvP or PvE gear that players could use from the current tier. I remember battling with my guild and other friends against the enemies every few hours to either defend or take Baradin’s Hold to get some gear or just for honor points and it was great fun.

This brawl functions similar to a previous brawl where you would play a spell and get a minion of the same mana cost on the board for free. The Battle for Tol Barad is the opposite except when you play a minion, a random spell gets put into your hand of equal value to the minion you just played. That spell costs 0 mana but was initially equal mana cost to the minion you just played. This made for some wacky and amazing decks because certain high mana cost minions only had a few spells associated with them. For instance if you played a 10 mana card these were the only 2 cards you would be able to get and whichever you got would be free.  A free mind control sounds good to me. The 9 mana cost minions would also yield only 1 option for spells: Tree of Life which would again be free. The 8 and 7 mana cost cards are also pretty useful except for Twisting Nether  because if you need that card to survive, you probably aren’t in a very good spot and the chances of it really helping are pretty slim. So if you managed to make some sort of control deck with high mana cost minions and actually lasted till that point, you would easily be able to start making a comeback. One of my favorite cards that cost 9 mana was IcehowlYou could play it, charge and kill something and then get a free tree of life to heal yourself and your icehowl back to full health. I must say that I didn’t have much success with any sort of control or midrange decks that I made because the brawl was littered with a special kind of mage deck that sort of ruined the brawl in my opinion.

flamewakerknife juggler

Good ole’ Flamewaker his evil twin Knife Juggler. These cards was over powered in this brawl to say the least but it was mainly flamewaker. I would like to take a moment to talk about one of the reasons I love the brawls each week and that is I get to do my daily quests in a different type of environment other than the ladder that seems to be filled with the same 6 or so decks. This week I had some warlock victory quests saved up and I managed to get only 1 win in 7 games because even though I was playing a fairly strong zoo/demon warlock deck, it didn’t stand a chance against the flamewaker and knife juggler combo. So after 7 games I gave up on doing my quests and just stopped for a while. I came back later and decided to take the easy way out and make this deck. I just sort of threw it together in 1 minute and thought that the mech synergy, which is already pretty strong, would help me get to the midgame area and then I could drop my flamewaker and maybe a knife juggler and just shit out damage with all my free spells I had saved up. And that’s exactly how it worked for the most part. The only real challenge was other mages with the same idea.

Some other cards worth noting that were very useful or just fun to play were Summoning Stone and Loatheb. The Summoning Stone may have been bugged but Blizzard either left it in for the whole brawl or it was functioning correctly. Even though the spells cost 0 mana to play, something with the Summoning Stone gave you a minion of the real cost of the spell. So you could play a flamestrike for 0 mana and Summoning Stone would summon a random 7 mana minion for you. It was pretty hilarious when I found out how broken that was and just seeing people concede because you created some huge board for free basically was pretty entertaining. Loatheb also helped you survive a turn against flamewaker because it made those 0 mana spells cost 5 for the turn after you played him. I would say he was a must have and probably saved me from dying more than a few games.

This brawl was sort of tough for me to really enjoy because I couldn’t really play the fun decks I had in mind because it seemed like 90% of the people I faced were playing the flamewaker mage garbage. Maybe I just got unlucky with the amount of mages I faced but that’s how it seemed to me. I really like the control style of Hearthstone and it’s sad that those decks are few and far between because they have a hard time making it to the point where they start to shine. Once I gave in and played the flamewaker combo I did have some momentary fun but it just felt like cheating almost. I really liked the idea for this brawl but maybe Blizzard could implement some sort of card bans in the future to prevent this over powered stuff from dominating. Until next time, best of luck to you all and may the RNGesus be on your side!

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