A special mode for Hearthstone has launched today. You shouldn’t play it. I mean … I did. But you shouldn’t.
The Heroic Tavern Brawl has players make a deck based on the Standard format (where you can’t play cards from the oldest sets) and then compete against others until they lose three times. Like Arena, you then get rewards based on how well you do.
However, just entering this mode costs a whopping 1,000 gold. Buying a pack of cards in the free-to-play game costs 100 gold. So, instead of just purchasing 10 packs of cards, you’re rolling the dice to try to earn more. Except, unless you’re really good and extremely lucky, you won’t.
I went 3-3 with my games. This is incredibly average. I do not suggest that I should have done better. I am an average player. This is how well I expected to do. I also bet that around 50/50 is how well most players will do. So, what did my 1,000 gold investment net me?
Four packs of cards, 120 gold, and some dust (which you can use to craft other cards). So, about a 550 gold value. An average player likes me loses with this gamble. And it could have been worse. If I only won two games, I would have only gotten three packs of cards and no gold or dust.
Now, I wouldn’t mind that deficit if the experience was fun, but Heroic Tavern Brawl plays out exactly like the normal Standard mode. Unlike regular Tavern Brawls, you’re not dealing with any new or wacky rules. You could have the same exact game experience for free.
And since you’re playing Standard rules, you’re going to go up against the same decks that dominate that mode. In my six games, I only ever played against two classes: Warrior and Shaman. These are the same classes you run into over and over again in Standard. Shaman does well because its powerful early cards are hard for other classes to counter, while Warrior can use armor to survive longer than others. If I wanted to get wrecked by Shamans and Warriors, I could have just played the normal game.
But no, I paid 1,000 gold for the honor. And I’m telling you right now, you don’t have to. It’s also a shame to see that this is taking the place of a normal Tavern Brawl this week. Those have always been a great way to experiment with strange decks and new rules, and it’s an easy way for all players to earn a free pack every week. But right now, you have to go Heroic or bust.
I think there is a place for this kind of mode in Hearthstone. High-risk, high-reward is a solid idea. But a lot of average players (or even good players who have some bad luck) are going to have a bad time with the Heroic Tavern Brawl. Unless you get about six wins, you’re not going to feel great about your rewards.