Brawl Musings: Nefarian Rises!

This week we get a new brawl which is very similar to one of my favorite brawls. It’s called Nefarian Rises! and shares some systems with the Machazod brawl. Don’t look to this brawl to finish very many quests for you because you only play Priest or Shaman and hardly ever kill your opponent’s minions.

This brawl is one where you are randomly assigned to Priest or Shaman and then given a stock deck full of familiar and new cards. Unlike Mechazod, where it feels like each class plays a “role,” this brawl feels much more… fluid? I’m actually not sure how to describe the fact that both decks are full of healing, damage and tech cards.

I think one of my favorite (and least favorite) Nefarian attacks is where he switches your hand with your opponent. My favorite thing about it is how it gives insight to your opponent’s last decision and also is a damage-less attack. However, when you’ve been collecting an awesome combo only to see your opponent mishandle it, this attack can be very frustrating.

Strangely, this battle is quite forgiving. I’ve had many match-ups where our board is completely wiped when Nefarian hits 60 HP, yet we still win. (At the writing of this, I have yet to lose a battle and I’m on my seventh hand.) I think one of the biggest things to remember is not to overplay your hand when Nefarian is close to 160 or 60, that way you have some gas in the tank for the next turn. I’ve seen some websites say to buff a minion past 30 HP, but I have yet to see that actually work out.

Let’s talk a bit about why getting a minion to 30 HP before Nefarian reaches 60 HP has yet to happen. The main reason, this early in the week, is that not everyone knows this AOE is coming. Even in cases when I’ve tried to “hint” that it’s coming by not using a windfury minion who’s health is too close to 30, it hasn’t helped. An unwary opponent will still flood the board and loose it all. *sigh*

Now it’s time to share my favorite combo. I consider this a “heads up” moment because my hand had just been switched out with my opponent (for probably the fifth time that game). I now held Leroy and drew into Bran. I knew my opponent had Bloodlust because I just had it, so I played out 9 mana and gave him 4 1/1 drakes. With the 6 damage I did using Leroy and the following 12 damage my opponent did, we had lethal.

Lastly, let’s talk about some “new” cards. I use quotations since there’s no knowing if these cards will even be playable in other formats.

  • Raid Healer
    I like this one more for its name than its effect. I can’t really imagine when you might use it in constructed, except as some kind of burst damage. (Divine Spirit + Inner Fire, once it can attack.)
  • Intrepid Dragonstalker
    This would be a WONDERFUL card to have in a collection. As a 5-mana 3/3, it wouldn’t see much arena play. In constructed, however, it challenges your opponent to have an answer without using too many cards.

Overall, I thought this was a fun brawl, though each battle is kind of long. It’s one I would enjoy seeing again, with different hero combinations, similar to the way they’ve done Mechazod. So, what did you think of this brawl? Did you have fun or was it a struggle?




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