Savannah Highmane wrecks everything, but Fireball Blizzard

This week’s Hearthstone Tavern Brawl is “A Peek to the Past,” where Blizzard challenges you to remember how boring the game used to be. You draft a deck with common and rare cards from the Basic and Classic set. Cards won’t be reverting back to their pre-nerf versions, so that means no 3/2 Knife Jugglers or 2/1 Leper Gnomes to dominate your games. Cards from the Hall Of Fame are also banned, which means no Power Overwhelming for Warlocks hoping to win some games with old-fashioned Reynad Zoolock.

So many of the cards Hearthstone players have used as a crutch have disappeared; there’s no Patches to give you free early board control or Tirion Fordring to hand you 15 weapon damage. Like the Pauper Hearthstone fan-made game, where you can only use common cards, this Brawl has an entirely different meta landscape from Standard or Wild. Cards you forgot existed, like Sen'jin Shieldmasta, add value to a deck in a format where power creep no longer thrives.

With only Basic and Classic set cards, Hearthstone slows down tremendously. Each big minion is an actual threat; Boulderfist Ogre isn’t just a terrible Arena card anymore. Crafting a good deck for this Tavern Brawl involves a few things: you need to always be able to play on curve, have a stronger board presence over your opponent and never stop trading. Early Hearthstone games were decided by strong minions like Sunwalker and Chillwind Yeti for good reason. They can trade into other minions of the same cost and survive; you can’t say that about Houndmaster.

This is a pretty serious Tavern Brawl, with a ton of different deck combinations to try out. Personally, I’ve been having a ton of fun with Face Hunter, a deck I haven’t touched since all of its cards were nerfed into the ground. With some minor tuning and some much-needed upgrading, I’ve crafted a fairly powerful Face Hunter deck with some Mid Range flair. Unfortunately, cards like Quick Shot and Haunted Creeper, which made Rexxar the quickest killer in Azeroth, are retired.

That means I’ve had to replace that early game power with four to six drop minions. Savannah Highmane is still an amazing card and not including it in this deck would be treason. The lion has 10/9 worth of stats for the same price as a 6/7 Boulderfist Ogre, making it one of the best values in the whole mode. Wolfrider, Kill Command and Eaglehorn Bow attack your opponent directly, while Chillwind Yeti and Sunwalker trade into stronger Taunt minions that threaten your damage.

Here’s the decklist I’ve been using, feel free to swap out cards for whatever you think is best. It’s a Tavern Brawl, you’ll get that one with this deck, though it could take a few tries.

Hunter’s Mark x2

Leper Gnome x2

Stonetusk Boar x2

Tracking x2

Explosive Trap x2

Freezing Trap x1

Knife Juggler x2

Animal Companion x2

Deadly Shot x2

Eaglehorn Bow x2

KIll Command x2

Unleash The Hounds x2

Wolfrider x2

Chillwind Yeti x2

Savannah Highmane x2

Sunwalker x2