Our Headless Horseman Tavern Brawl guide contains tips, tricks and strategy advice for fighting in the Cat, Witch and Pirate Costumes.
Hearthstone's Hallow's End celebration has been running for a few days now, and it's the first time we've had a Halloween-themed event since the game launched back in 2014. There's a fun dual-class twist on Arena to enjoy - complete with free entry tickets across both weeks of the event - a new Tavern Brawl to experience, and a few other cosmetic tweaks to give the game a spooky makeover.
You can find more details about the whole thing over at our Hallow's End guide, but we wanted to break off a separate article for the special Heardless Horseman Tavern Brawl that's now live on servers around the world.
We'll also bring you tips and tricks for beating the encounter as soon as we've had a chance to play around with it ourselves! While we're busy doing that, don't forget to sign up and share your own strategy advice for beating the encounter.
UPDATE: 26th October 2017
The Headless Horseman Brawl is now live in all three Hearthstone regions. Now that we've had a chance to play the encounter for ourselves, we've added in plenty of tips for coming out on top and also tidied up some of the finer detail. We hope you're having fun with it!
Here's the official description of the Brawl:
“It's time to battle the Headless Horseman! We'll arm you with the finest Hallow's End costumes Azeroth has to offer.”
Tips, tricks and strategy
Before we get onto the strategy itself, here's an overview of what to expect when you get stuck into the action for yourself. Share your own tips in the comments and we'll add them in here - with credit - in a future update.
- You begin the match as the Stormwind Investigator.
- You can ignore the Mulligan phase completely as you'll always receive a stack of Stormwind Champions. Your replacement deck is based on the choice you make during the next step.
- When your first turn arrives, you'll have to Discover a special Costume: Cat Costume, Pirate Costume or Witch Costume.
- Each Costume is associated with a new Hero Power and a pre-constructed deck.
- The Cat Costume is built around Hunter and Druid cards and provides the Passive Hero Power: Sense Weakness.
- The Pirate Costume gives you a Pirate-themed deck and grants the Passive Hero Power: Conscription.
- The Witch Costume is more of a spell-heavy deck and grants you the Passive Hero Power: Witchcraft.
- Very early indications suggest that choosing the Witch Costume leads to the easiest path to success.
That's how things look for the player, then, but what about the Headless Horseman himself?
He begins the battle with 30 Health and a Hero Power that costs 3 Mana. This is the called Slash and dishes out 2 damage that's split randomly among all enemy targets.
You've got to do more than just knock his Health down to nothing though as usual.
Once he reaches that point, a second phase of the fight begins. The Horseman's Head (with 2 Attack and 35 Health”) must be destroyed but at teh end of each of your turns this entity fires of two randomly targeted 1-damage pings.
Strategy tips and tricks
Here are some advanced tips for handling this encounter:
- As with certain multi-phase Adventure encounters of years gone by, it is unwise to eliminate the Headless Horseman until you can kill the Head in a few turns. Plan ahead quite a bit here, and avoid triggering Phase 2 before you're fully prepared to deal with it.
- Poisoned creatures will not eliminate the Head and will only do damage. We've seen several Reddit reports of players drawing into a Stampeding Kodo through very fortunate RNG. This card will indeed obliterate the Head in one fell swoop, so go for it!
- Note that the Horseman's Heasd cannot be targeted by spells and so you should burn through any in your hand during the first phase of the fight against the Horseman himself.
- As your Hero Power suggests, with the Cat Costume you're heavily incentivised here to build out a wide board and then hope to buff the creatures up into one big slam-dunk finish.
- Remember that your Witch Costume spells are applied to twice, so if you can duplicate or otherwise enhance a significant minion on the board, you'll see the effect doubled.
- If you're going down the Pirate Costume route it's recommended that you delay playing Captain Cookie until right before you trigger Phase 2 of the encounter. That way you can dish out some immediate damage on the Horseman's Head and start the ball rolling nice and quickly.
The reward for participating in this special event is, as always, one Classic card pack. The good news though is that you don't actually have to beat the Headless Horseman in order to get your hands on the usual goodies. Handy if you don't fancy battling the RNG gods on this occasion...
Start and end dates
The Headless Horseman Tavern Brawl started on Wednesday 25th October 2017 and will finish up on Saturday 28th October. Note that this means the event is beginning and ending one day sooner than the typical Brawls we've been used to.
Everything below this point in our guide is based on pre-release data-mined information. It will be tidied up once the immediate launch frenzy is behind us!
All we know from the information that's been officially released so far is that the Headless Horseman is running amok through the countryside and it's your job to bring him down. It's not yet known whether the Horseman is AI-controlled, or a role taken on by another player.
When the Brawl begins you'll first of all have to select a costume. Each costume has a premade deck comprised of cards from across multiple classes. You will also receive a new Hero Power to use as well.
Check the next two sections for details of those new cards. We're not sure if the lists are complete yet, but they'll give you a good idea of what to expect!
We know from information datamined by Hearthhead that there will be at least ten new cards in this new Brawl. Here's the lowdown on each one.
- Cat Costume - Dress up as a Cat. Draw a new hand.
- Pirate Costume - Dress up as a Pirate. draw a new hand.
- Witch Costume - Dress up as a Witch. Draw a new hand.
- Sinister Squashling - After this minion attacks, destroy it and deal 3 damage to all enemies.
- Fiery Burst - Deal 2 damage to all enemies.
- Pulsing Pumpkin - At the start of your turn, destroy this and summon 2 Sinister Squashlings.
- Captain Cookie - Whenever you summon a Pirate while this is in your hand, this minion gets +1 / +1
- Spectral Steed - Minions attacking this have a 50% chance to attack a different character.
- Fear - Destroy all enemy minions with 4 or less Attack.
- Headless Horseman's Head - Destroy his head to win the game, but watch out for fireballs!
More Hearthstone Hallow's End coverage
Four new Hero Powers have also been unearthed from within the client update. The first three are Passive while the final one costs three Mana.
- Witchcraft - If you have enough Mana, your spells cost double and cast a second copy.
- Conscript - Your minions count as Pirates.
- Sense Weakness - Whenever a non-Boss enemy survives damage, summon a 1/1 Cat.
- Slash - Deal 2 damage randon.
We're going to make a tentative guess that Witchcraft pairs up with Witch Costume, Sense Weakness pairs up with Cat Costume and Conscript pairs with Pirate Costume. That just leaves Slash, which does not have a known associated costume at this stage.
Expect an update on this front when the Hallow's End event goes live!