Tavern Brawl – A Less Friendly Game of Chess

This week’s Tavern Brawl is “A Less Friendly Game of Chess”!

Official Description for A Less Friendly Game of Chess

Things have gotten a little underhanded at Medivh’s Magical Chessboard. Bring 6 unique cards and hide them under the table, they could swing the match in your favor!

A Less Friendly Game of Chess Chalkboard

General Information

  • You get one Standard card pack for your first victory this week.
  • It’s the sixth time we see this Brawl. Last time we’ve seen it on August 17, 2022.
  • It’s a PvP Brawl.
  • Brawl’s format is Wild.
  • It’s a build-your-own deck Brawl, although you only pick 6 different cards that will get into your deck alongside 14 Chess pieces.
  • Your Hero Power also generates more Chess pieces.
  • The Brawl is a reference to Karazhan’s Chess encounter. The game is all about positioning and trying to counter the opponent’s pieces with your own.
  • A lot of Chess pieces have auto-attack – they attack the opposing minions at the end of their turn. Buffing those minions does NOT increase the amount of damage they deal (health buffs are still useful).
  • However, Chess pieces are affected by other keywords. The most powerful effect is Poisonous, as it makes them one-shot enemy pieces. But other keywords such as Lifesteal or Divine Shield can sometimes be useful.


A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over that time, he has achieved many high Legend climbs and infinite Arena runs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

Leave a Reply


  1. Killyridols
    October 16, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    The Darkness is pretty silly in this brawl.

  2. Funkychicken
    October 13, 2023 at 6:35 am

    worst fcking tavern brawl of all time

  3. Goblinta
    October 12, 2023 at 8:57 am

    The Rogue Poison Chess piece plan is not great.

    The Poison Chess pieces are fragile and everyone on Blizzard is playing it.

    Frankly, Chess Pieces are limited in what they can do.

    Real minions can go to face – and your opponent is at 20 life.

    Play cards that turn stupid chess pieces into real minions and do so repeatedly.

    For Warlock: Disciplinarian Gandling and Desecrated Graveyard are cheap, come out fast, and make 4/4s which give the chess pieces hissy fits. Sargeras, of course.

    Arch Villain Rafaam gives you a whole deck of useful minions.

    Symphony of Sins does so many things – and since the game is slow, you will play multiple movements.

    Dar’Khan Drathir goes to face now. Goes to face forever. And he is a 6/6.

    Note that Poison Pieces do not make Desecrated Graveyard go away.

    Once Dar’Khan or the Portal are out they do their work forever, Poison Pieces or not.

    Have fun!

    • Goblinta
      October 12, 2023 at 9:01 am

      Ok, Dar’Khan does not do his work forever. My bad.

      But it is still one helluva swing.

      The portals DO work forever.

    • Covalerahien
      October 15, 2023 at 12:03 pm

      Sure, that’s a nice change of pace. And against the right opponents, it should work great.
      Big points for creativity.

      But, you know what works great against that? Rogue Poison Chess.

  4. CardboardGroundhog
    January 13, 2021 at 11:16 am

    Got it in one with Poison/Spell Rogue. Vanish was the MVP of the deck and my win condition.

    1. Counterfeit Coin
    2. Shadowstep
    3. Ambush
    4. Plague Scientist
    5. Plaguebringer
    6. Vanish

    • Lxg
      February 19, 2022 at 10:09 am

      Nice, thank you.. First Try.
      My win Condition was double Plague Scientist with Shadowstep. Those poisonous Pawns took out so many of my opponent’s Material that i could finish with still full health at around Turn 6/7.

  5. Willtato
    August 6, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    I used priest with:
    -Circle of Healing
    -Power Word: Shield
    -Inner Fire
    -Divine Spirit
    -Shadow Visions

    Basically just try and get an extra copy of pws/divine spirit with shadow visions. Then turn any minion that sticks into a lethal threat my silencing then buffing it!

    • Haggeroffical
      February 18, 2022 at 11:12 am

      i tried
      -focused will
      and then some random survivability card

      1. survive early
      2. use spellweaver to draw combo
      3. focused will, divine spirit, bless to kill

  6. Kevman
    August 2, 2019 at 4:56 am

    Lord Jaraxxus is all i need

  7. Silentstorm108
    July 31, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    Everyone is posting great decks with rare or better cards but I won easily with a Rogue deck that cost me 40 dust (I didn’t have Plague Doctor).

    Sinister Strike
    Stolen Steel
    Fan of Knives
    Plague Doctor

    Weapons and sinister strike for face damage. Drawing cards to make sure I get my poisonous giving minions. Once I give poisonous, it’s a matter of placing my bishops and knights to keep the poisonous piece alive.

    • Virgo4ever
      February 16, 2022 at 5:53 pm

      Did you mean Plague “scientist”? Could not find a plague doctor

  8. MilesTegF
    July 31, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    Did it with:
    -Luns’s Pocket Galaxy
    -The Lich King
    -Arcane Knowledge
    -Giant Mastodon
    *Hard Milligan for Luna’s Pocket Galaxy, save Arcane Knowledge for after using it.

  9. Simon Black
    July 1, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Crushing with warrior these 6 extra cards:

    Fiery axe
    Arcanite reaper
    Frothing beserker (crashes iOS though)
    Leeroy Jenkins


    Play straight chess early. Might need weapons to stay in the game. Then finish incredible with leeroy gorehowl and reaper. Have beat the mage and priest hands most of the time.

  10. Enphyrio
    June 30, 2018 at 2:32 am

    Worth noting that Kel Thuzad doesn’t revive the chess pieces (I guess they are not minions? Therefore maybe spellhunter key spells would work?).
    Also drakkari enchanter doesn’t make the chess pieces attack twice (the auto attack happens at end of turn but is not an “end of turn effect”).

    My first try I used Shudderwock/Grumble/Hemet/Saronite/Lifedrinker/murmuring and won easily. But obviously not the best deck idea, nopas removal

  11. Gottferdom
    June 29, 2018 at 1:28 am

    I did do a Demonist Quest with Deathwing & gnomeferatu & howlfiend coupled with treachery and defile. You keep the quest in hand at start destroy some key hidden card with Gnome & his hand with howlfiend & treachery then put you quest on board & play deathwing to clear boards and give you the finished quest ! But well i did win with deathwing hit face…

  12. Edward Fowler
    June 28, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Mage for sure.
    Mind Control Tech
    Grim PAtron (Insane value)
    Poly Morph

  13. CD001
    June 28, 2018 at 4:11 am

    I hadn’t bothered to read what the brawl was so just decided to chuck as much random Mage nonsense together as I could:

    Shimmering Tempest
    Primordial Glyph
    Unstable Portal
    Arcane Keysmith
    Cabalist’s Tome
    Deck of Wonders

    It is, of course, terrible – but my opponent conceded so whatever 🙂

  14. ZEeoN
    June 28, 2018 at 3:44 am

    Won first try with:

    – Prophet Velen
    – Holy Fire
    – Holy Smite
    – Mind Blast
    – Shadow Visions
    – Psychic Scream

    Tactitc: You just wait until you have Velen and Holy Fire / Mind Blast in hand (preferably). If it gets out of hand and you’re about to lose, just scream if you can and play Velen right after. Once the opponent can’t clear him right away, which is very hard in this mode, you OTK (and even heal) with the combo. Especially big minions that threaten to kill your Velen can be taken out by Holy Smite after playing him, as it is not needed for the OTK combo. Shadow Visions helps to draw you the spells once Velen is in hand. Good luck!

  15. everseed
    June 28, 2018 at 2:18 am

    rogues ultimate miracle
    //deadly poison(1)
    //pick pocket(2)
    //face collector(3)
    //spectral cutlass(4)
    >>and last slot maybe a shiny-finder to mill your cutlass or something better
    cutlass maybe trigger by using rogues echos to get advance attacks,
    didnt try yet, (i do it when i go home later) but it still good to checkmate someone

  16. Thrombin
    June 27, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Jaraxxus is just so much fun!

    I’m currently 9 wins 0 losses with the following:

    ### Brawl Deck
    # Class: Warlock
    # Format: Wild
    # 1x (1) Power Overwhelming
    # 1x (4) Shadowflame
    # 1x (9) Lord Jaraxxus
    # 1x (9) Mal’Ganis
    # 1x (9) Voidlord
    # 1x (10) Sea Giant

  17. Mira
    June 27, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Poisonous clear hunter
    -Hunters mark
    -Toxic Arrow
    -Deadly shot
    -Crushing Walls

  18. Mr Bump
    June 27, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    ### Brawl Deck
    # Class: Priest
    # Format: Wild
    # 1x (2) Confuse
    # 1x (2) Divine Hymn
    # 1x (4) Shadow Word: Horror
    # 1x (4) Spawn of Shadows
    # 1x (4) Wailing Soul
    # 1x (6) Dragonfire Potion
    # To use this deck, copy it to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone

    Credit to Kiwibacon. Silence and then confuse your minions for an OTK, or just murder with Spawn of Shadows. Brutal.

  19. WingedScribe
    June 27, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Warrior’s got a ton of fun ways to abuse this. I personally prefer this one:

    – Animated Berserker
    – Whirlwind
    – Rampage or Execute (for taunts)
    – Frothing Berserker
    – Raging Worgen
    – Death Revenant

    Having a 20+ damage berserker on turn 4 or 5 is just crazy good.

    • WingedScribe
      June 27, 2018 at 11:44 am

      Miracle Rogue is also hilarious.

      – Counterfeit Coin
      – Shadowstep
      – Hallucination
      – Journey Below / Cold Blood
      – Swashburglar
      – Edwin Van Cleef

      Swashburglar always gives the Coin, so you can use that to power Edwin, too!

    • Arth
      June 28, 2018 at 12:34 am

      Thumbs up! cheap and works.

  20. RedHawk085
    June 27, 2018 at 10:28 am

    -Counter Spell
    -Meteor (troublesome cards legendaries like Ysera)
    -Flamestrike (that sweet sweet board clear)
    -The Lich King
    Pyroblast (should’ve been banned lol)

    • Taho
      June 27, 2018 at 11:08 am

      This is awful. Only use to give away free wins.

      • GrogDrinker
        June 27, 2018 at 1:39 pm

        Throw in a Sea Giant for good measure

      • GrogDrinker
        June 27, 2018 at 2:40 pm

        Also Firelands Portal, I’m using this right now:

        Fireball / FP / LK / Sea Giant / Ys / Pyroblast

        only time I lost is opponent played SG and I didn’t draw