Brawl Musings: Shiftcon

This week’s brawl is called Shiftcon, representing an idea that a huge convention of Shifter Zerus is taking place and that’s why they’ve flooded our decks. Shifter Zerus was a card added in the most recent expansion, Whispers of the Old Gods. The random nature of this card means you’ll either be playing a game that’s very fun or very frustrating.


One thing I noticed early on is that this is very similar to another Tavern Brawl where our decks were filled with Summoning Portals. In both brawls, you get random minions. In fact, this brawl starts you at 3 mana on turn 1 to compensate for the fact that Summoning Portal gives you a minion at a reduced cost. But there is one major aspect that makes them different, and that makes planning ahead difficult.

With the Summoning Portal, once you have your random minion, it never changes. If you have, for example, an Ancient of Lore in your hand early in the game, it will still be there later. Not so with Shiftcon, that high cost card you see now won’t be there later so don’t bother crafting a strategy around it. Every turn you have a new hand, which means you’re left with the decision to play what you can or hold out for better cards.

By the end of my play time with this brawl, I decided it was a bit like a wobbly arena. Unless I absolutely had to address my opponent’s minions, I only played a card if it was a good arena card. Once I applied this strategy, I started winning pretty often, even if I had poor hands from time to time.

If you want to see my starting run in this brawl (where I was loosing) followed by a tournament run on, then check out my stream at


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