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Heroic Tavern Brawl Announced: Value Analysis for Most Skill Levels

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Blizzard have announced that this week's Tavern Brawl is going to be a competitive Brawl with an entry fee and an Arena style payout structure.

The announcement, which is posted on battle.net, explains that the Brawl will involve making a constructed Standard deck, and then locking in that deck for the duration of the Brawl. In a move away from usual Brawls, this one is highly competitive, with a 1000 gold, or $9.99 entry fee. The Brawl ends when you have lost three matches, or won twelve. This is the same system that is used in Arena. The payout structure is shown below.

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I have included a table below, which shows the expected returns. There are a few notes to understand about the methodology. Firstly, Gold is counted as 100 for a pack. Golden Legendaries count as 3200.

Secondly, the model breaks down a little around the extremes, It becomes unstable in the high 60s and low 30s because it doesn't factor in that your 10-0 opponent is also on a very good score. This means it overstates the number of 12s slightly for good players, and 0s for weak players. You can see for yourselves where this starts to occur in the chart.

Thirdly, the average for a 50% player is 2.99, not 3.00. This is correct because if you were going to go 33-2, you never get to finish that run when you are cut off at 12-2. Look up your anticipated win percentage, and read across to the pretty colours to find out your EV.

EHL4UPH.png

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They are saying you can only participate in it for a limited amount of completed runs but they aren't being very specific. I'm assuming one can participate in more than one but for how many more past that I wonder. Also I'm predicting an overflow of Shaman decks in this weeks Brawl

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Considering that I don't have 1000 gold and would have a much better use than an constructed Arena run for those if I did, I'll pass. No extra pack this week, I guess...

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Just now, Keizoku said:

Considering that I don't have 1000 gold and would have a much better use than an constructed Arena run for those if I did, I'll pass. No extra pack this week, I guess...

This Brawl is bad for F2P players, which I am not the happiest about. I myself will pay the $10 to play it once but I understand that a lot of players either can't do that or choose not to (which I respect their decision). I like the idea of this brawl but like I said, I'm not happy about the cost of entry to play. 

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As a unique live test run for an eventual new game mode, I'd have nothing against it. But the rewards for a successful run are just so insanely overboard that it will never go live as such. I might be too cynical, but this just looks like a quick money grab to me.

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9 minutes ago, Keizoku said:

I might be too cynical, but this just looks like a quick money grab to me.

This was exactly my first thought when I looked at the rewards then looked at the entry fee. The real entry fee to this brawl is $10 because we know and they (Blizzard) knows very few players have 1000 gold lying around. But Blizzard is notorious for quick money grabs. 

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Hmmmm, Idea and concept are fine. But this is the re-run of the season. Constructed arena = Constructed Ranked where everyone starts at zero. Entry fee comparing to the rewards would be fine if there were Rare and Epic cards also in the rewards.

But puting all this aside it looks like Blizzard needs a gold sink. By the way as I understand those are standart packs.

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20 minutes ago, Dantalian said:

By the way as I understand those are standart packs.

It shows 50 "Whispers of the Old Gods"  in Blizzard's News article.

 

23 minutes ago, Dantalian said:

Entry fee comparing to the rewards would be fine if there were Rare and Epic cards also in the rewards.

I agree that there should be more Golden card rewards at lower "ranks" given how high the entry fee is. 

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Honestly, this feels like a pretty ugly cash grab and/or gold sink on Blizzard's part. For what? To play the same decks you face in ranked. Gonna be a lot of salt over this one.

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Worst Brawl ever because simple is not a Brawl, Arena with a 7x entry fee.

I've the quest Win 5 brawls how I'm supposed to do a quest if i've to pay 10 euro to do it?

If entry fee was at 150 gold or around that would be somewhat acceptable... but 1000 is more than an adventure wing is purely nonsense.

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I'll be surprised if anyone is able to go 12-2 in order to get the top reward. The only way you're able to do this in Arena is because skill matters in the selection. In standard everyone can go grab a deck from Sottle's lists, read for 5 minutes, and at least be competitive to steal a game or two from the top players. Going on two 6 game win streaks in normal games is really intense. The break even point is also around 5-6 games (depending on how you value dust) Which is REALLY high.

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3 hours ago, Laragon said:

I'll be surprised if anyone is able to go 12-2 in order to get the top reward. The only way you're able to do this in Arena is because skill matters in the selection. In standard everyone can go grab a deck from Sottle's lists, read for 5 minutes, and at least be competitive to steal a game or two from the top players. Going on two 6 game win streaks in normal games is really intense. The break even point is also around 5-6 games (depending on how you value dust) Which is REALLY high.

There are going to be very few pros hitting the 12 win runs and getting rewards that they honestly don't need. There are pros like Kibbler who have solid gold legend decks and 10's of thousands of gold and dust, so these rewards are and will be a bit wasted on players like him. But sadly with this brawl, the rich get richer. 5 or 6 wins have a pretty good money value seeing how much packs cost, but no one wants nor should have to spend $10 per entry. I could possible see this whole thing treated as an event and the entry fee being for the entire event. Once you pay you get to play as many runs as you want. Still more than it should be but in my opinion more reasonable than what they are offering now. 

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I feel that I like the idea but not the actual thing. 

EV is bad. Payout is really skewed towards 12 wins. Your chances to make it here with 70 whooping percent winrate are quite low. Also, if you have a consistent 70% Constructed winrate, you probably make enough gold in Arena and your top 100 legend finishes give you so much Twitch followers that you don't care about prizes.

Current Standard meta is weird. It's tuned in a way that there are decks that reward skill, but there are also decks that don't care about any of players doing the right thing at all and they can clutch wins just based on good draws. Or fold to themselves. It balances itself with a big sample, but not in a 15 single deck brackets. 

And the whole single deck idea is as anticlimactic as it could be. There is a reason we have Conquest and LHS as featured tournament formats. It's just more depth and ultimately more skill involved.

Personally, I'm not competing in Heroic Brawl. I'm way too far from my optimal shape(it's a big thing in digital athletics, heh). High-profile players will find this event exciting and they don't mind the investment, and I'm glad for them. It's a good sign that Blizzard are making some content not for their average casual crowd, that path has been filled with ups and downs for more than 20 years. They should have given us an option to play Randomonium instead, though.

And one more thing : in Magic: The Gathering, a 12-3-1 record locks you in a top 8 of the highest profile events - Grand Prix level and Pro Tour. 12-4 can pass depending on tiebreakers. Top 8 is considered a real achievement, you'll pretty much be in the books for the rest of Magic's history, not to mention the paycheck. It's also fairly common to split prizes, because actually playing out the Top 8 matches can go south for both sides. Now think about this and 3 golden Legendaries + 50 packs.

Edited by Paracel
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5 hours ago, Laragon said:

I'll be surprised if anyone is able to go 12-2 in order to get the top reward. The only way you're able to do this in Arena is because skill matters in the selection. In standard everyone can go grab a deck from Sottle's lists, read for 5 minutes, and at least be competitive to steal a game or two from the top players. Going on two 6 game win streaks in normal games is really intense. The break even point is also around 5-6 games (depending on how you value dust) Which is REALLY high.

I'm not sure that's true. The top players in constructed have pretty high win-rates. I'm pretty new (started playing in July) and went 61-41 in the climb from Rank 4 to Legend last season. The players who are getting there way before the end of the season must have significantly higher win rates than that. Also in high rank constructed you're facing people with viable decks who know how to play them, that is unlikely to be the case in the first few games of this.

Also, knowing how to play a deck is much more important than knowing how to draft. You can grab a deck from Sottle's lists and be utterly useless with it (e.g. I tried the new Freeze Aggro mage that's been going around recently and won about 25% of my games, Trump has a few vids on YouTube where he played it to Legend with a near 80% win rate). Merps and Adwcta's latest Lightforge has quite a bit of discussion about the importance of draft and playing-skill, they rate the latter as way more impactful than the former.

I do feel this brawl is rather tough on new/weaker players though. Even a 0-3 run in arena returns an average of 122 dust/gold (from my sample of 6 anyway) which is an 81% return. A 0-3 in this gives a 10% return which is going to leave a lot of people feeling pretty disappointed.

Edited by Bozonik

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I will try the brawl for fun. 1k gold won't affect me that much, I already have all the adventures and am able to run arena permanently, so I don't really need gold at this point. I won't even mind getting a 1k gold pack, though I don't think it will be my case. I won't get 12 wins, I probably won't break even, but at least it will be fun (as far as HS can be considered fun). 

So, freeze mage is the best midrange shaman counter? Well, it's time to start getting used to it on ladder :

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With a bit of creativity and some luck, I can see myself being successful here. Let's hope the rules for this brawl are fun yet not too RNG based. If this brawl promotes control, I will do well... if it promotes Aggro, I will fail

 

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1 hour ago, YourGod said:

With a bit of creativity and some luck, I can see myself being successful here. Let's hope the rules for this brawl are fun yet not too RNG based. If this brawl promotes control, I will do well... if it promotes Aggro, I will fail

 

Based on what is released from Blizzard. It is literally that "Participants will create a Standard deck from their existing card pool and lock it in before their first Heroic Brawl match." It's standard with out the ability to adapt to changes in meta at different levels. There is nothing that will promote control, or aggro, or anything unique. It's the game we all play, just adding a high risk - high reward touch from arena. The problem is it costs more than an entire adventure wing, with possibly little reward.

After some thought. I think they messed up by making the risk-reward too high for what we are already playing. They should have lowered it to around or less than 500 gold and lower rewards to match. Yeah, three gold legendaries is an exciting prospect, but there will be a LOT of people that won't play this. Brawl has always been about goofiness and giving a free pack so people can try and catch up without a huge investment. It's odd to see such a stark change for (hopefully) just one week.

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Not sure if they delayed it, or made a mistake in the launch, but I just played this week's brawl and it's ShiftCon, with a deck full of Shifter Zerus.

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1 hour ago, Neuric said:

Not sure if they delayed it, or made a mistake in the launch, but I just played this week's brawl and it's ShiftCon, with a deck full of Shifter Zerus.

Good catch! just signed on to do mine just in case they pull it later like they do a couple times before. I got my free pack.

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Placeholder for tweet 788437522015588353

They tweeted that the heroic brawl won't be coming this week. It is possible it will be super delayed though, so it drops as close to the start of the next expansion as possible.

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On 10/20/2016 at 6:45 AM, positiv2 said:
They tweeted that the heroic brawl won't be coming this week. It is possible it will be super delayed though, so it drops as close to the start of the next expansion as possible.

"Soon"

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      In this example nine of the last ten Druids we faced were Jades, which extrapolates to a 90% chance that the current Druid you are currently facing is also a Jade. If you assume that keeping the Skulking Geist drops your win percentage from 50% to 0% against all other Druids (which it doesn’t), you’re still only giving up 5% win percentage over the course of 10 games (50% or .5 divided by 10). This means that keeping the Skulking Geist would still be the smarter decision if getting to play the card increased your overall match win percentage against Jade Druid by more than 5.6% (50% or .5 divided by 9), which I’m almost certain that it does. Though it might seem greedy to keep an expensive or narrow card in your opening hand without being certain what you’re up against, the numbers show that it’s often correct to do so.
      Try to resist the urge to mulligan away an expensive card in your hand before considering the odds that it could tilt the matchup in your favor. Consider the prevalence of each deck in your opponent’s class, as well as the impact an individual card has on the overall win percentage in each matchup. It’s far too complex to calculate exact numbers, but with time and practice you can start to get a sense for when and why you should keep certain narrow or expensive cards in your opening hand.
      Conversely, there are cards which are typically strong in opening hands but must be mulliganed away based on your opponent’s class or the expected matchup. These cards might line up poorly against the enemy’s Hero Power or common class cards. For example, minions with one Health are typically miserable against Mage, and early Deathrattle cards like Kindly Grandmother with 2 power or less can get blown out by Potion of Madness. The ability to recognize when it is correct to mulligan away cards that are typically strong is just as important as the ability to recognize when it is correct keep cards that are typically weak.
      50% Theory
      It is often correct to hold onto a card which might not be ideal but is just above the cut. In what I call “50% Theory”, I always try to stop and ask myself if there is a greater than 50% chance that the card I’m thinking about mulliganing away will turn into a worse one. I often find that my first instinct is to mulligan away a less than perfect card to try and find something better, but that when I apply 50% theory I realize that my odds of improving my hand actually decrease by shipping the card away.
      Curving Out
      Another reason to keep potentially expensive cards is because your hand can naturally curve into them. For example, let’s say you’re playing a deck which typically always mulligans away 4 drops in the dark. If the other two cards in your hand are a 2 drop and a 3 drop, then it could potentially be worth keeping the 4 drop so long as it is a natural follow-up to the other two cards.
      Checking the curve of our hand can also help us catch when we might have too much of a good thing. Many cards which are typically excellent in opening hands might not pair well with the other cards in our hand, or even with a second copy of itself. N'Zoth's First Mate is typically the best card for Pirate Warrior on turn one, but the second copy should almost always be shipped away. The same can often (though not always) be said for Innervate, depending on what the final card or cards in your opener are. If you’re on Aggro Druid and your opening hand is double Innervate + Bittertide Hydra, then you have a potentially game winning play on turn one. If your hand is double Innervate + Living Mana, then you’ll want to ship both the Living Mana and one of the Innervates to try and find yourself a better curve.
      The Checklist
      To recap, here are a list of questions you should ask yourself about each hand while mulliganing:
      Based on my opponent’s class and the local metagame, which decks could my opponent be playing? Is this a line up theory matchup? Are there any narrow answers or threats in my hand? Do I have any cards which are very powerful against one of these decks? Am I increasing my overall win percentage by keeping these cards? Do I have any cards which are very weak against one of these decks? Am I decreasing my overall win percentage by keeping these cards? Does this hand curve out? Does it have a game plan? Do I have any expensive cards which I should mulligan away for something less expensive? If so, is there a greater than 50% chance that getting rid of one of these cards will yield a worse result? It’s important to note that the de facto “most important factor” of mulligans, the mana cost of the cards, is the second to last question when working down this checklist. This isn’t to say that the mana cost of the cards in your opening hand isn’t important, it's just that there are many other things you should be thinking about as well.
      Another thing of note is that I never stop to ask if I have cards in my hand which should be automatically kept. I believe that you can get yourself into trouble by thinking about cards as “automatic keeps”, and should instead start off by viewing each card through the lens of the specific matchups you’re anticipating. Granted, to this day I have still never mulliganed away the first copy of Flametongue Totem, but I’d like to think that’s because I have yet to encounter a matchup where it isn’t good in my opening hand and not because the card is an "automatic keep".
      Conclusion
      Line up theory can help us think about our boards, hands, and decks as distinct sets of limited tools. By lining up our tools against our opponent’s problems we can attempt to organize our game plan into the most effective and thorough plan possible. Some matchups are dictated entirely by line up theory, while in other matchups we can use the lessons we've learned from line up theory to gain small edges in efficiency.
      Mulligans are an often overlooked or misunderstood facet of the game, but they are sometimes the most important decision we make in the entire game. By taking the time to carefully consider all the reasons why we should or shouldn’t keep each card in our opener, we are adding one more edge to our game which will help propel us to the next stage of the ladder.
      For the fourth and final installment of Legend in the Making, I will discuss all of the subtle ways that game behavior can inform the exact content of player’s hands. By analyzing the ordering decisions and tiny mistakes our opponents make we can glean much more information about our their game plan than you might think. Please join me in part four as we make the final push towards our ultimate goal of reaching Legend.
      - Aleco
      Part 1 - Ranks 25 to 15 - Knowing your Role and Embracing Mistakes
      Part 2 - Ranks 15 to 10 - Having a Plan and Playing to Outs
      Part 4 - Ranks 5 to Legend - Tools for the Climb and the Art of the Read
    • By Aleco

      In episode two of "What's the Move?" Aleco discusses an open-ended situation which doesn't have a clear answer.
      In episode two of "What's the Move?" Aleco discusses an open-ended situation which doesn't have a clear answer.
      We kicked off this new series by analyzing a tricky situation which had only one optimal line of play. In episode two we'll take a look at a very different kind of situation, one where there might not be a perfect move at all.
      Please let us know in the comments what you would have done in this situation! One of the primary goals of this series is to foster improvement at Hearthstone by generating discussions. We would also love to hear your feedback on the video itself, as the series is still very new and has plenty room to improve on its format.
      - Aleco
    • By Stan

      In the latest Hearthstone update, Blizzard made adjustments to several cards. The patch is now live now on desktop and it should become available on mobile devices in the coming hours.
      Philosophy and reasons behind these changes can be found here.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Card Changes
      Innervate now reads: Gain 1 Mana Crystal this turn only. (Down from 2)
      Fiery War Axe now costs 3 mana.  (Up from 2)
      Hex now costs 4 mana. (Up from 3)
      Murloc Warleader now reads: Your other Murlocs have +2 Attack. (Down from +2 Attack, +1 Health)
      Spreading Plague now costs 6 mana. (Up from 5) 
    • By Zadina

      A new Brawl has landed in the Tavern.
      Just like with the previous expansions, it's time to try out the deck recipes of Knights of the Frozen Throne in this week's Tavern Brawl. The archetypes for each deck recipe are the following:
      Druid: I guess the best name for this deck is Midrange Druid. It has Ultimate Infestation and Spreading Plague, so... PROFIT?! Deathrattle Hunter Elemental Mage Divine Shield Paladin Control Priest (you've probably seen variations of it in ladder) Jade Deathrattle Rogue Freeze Shaman Zoolock Control Warrior with Enrage minions This is a good opportunity to try out cards that you don't own. Good luck and have fun!
    • By Zadina

      The balance patch is arriving in the beginning of the next week.
      The wait is over! The anticipated card balance changes will arrive on September 18th and hopefully freshen up the meta a little bit. As the case always is with balance patches, for the next two weeks if you disenchant Spreading Plague and/or Murloc Warleader, you will get their full value in Arcane Dust.
      Daxxarri
      In the recent Upcoming Balance Changes – Update 9.1 blog, we discussed the details and philosophy behind balance updates that are coming to several Hearthstone cards:
       
      Innervate - Now reads: Gain 1 Mana Crystal this turn only. (Down from 2) Fiery War Axe - Now costs 3 mana. (Up from 2) Hex - Now costs 4 mana. (Up from 3) Murloc Warleader - Now reads: Your other Murlocs have +2 Attack. (Down from +2 Attack, +1 Health) Spreading Plague - Now costs 6 mana. (Up from 5)
      This patch is currently targeted for September 18th PDT. Please note that updates for mobile devices may take a few additional hours to propagate.

      Once these card changes are live, players will be able to disenchant cards that are not Basic (Murloc Warleader and Spreading Plague) for their full Arcane Dust value for two weeks. Basic cards cannot be disenchanted and will not be available for an Arcane Dust refund. (source)