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Tavern Brawl - promo.png The subject of this article is part of the
Tavern Brawl game mode.

Battle of the Builds.jpg

"What's better? Battlecry, Deathrattle, Spells, or Murlocs? Make a deck, pick a side, and let's find out!"

Battle of the Builds is a Tavern Brawl. It debuted on January 6, 2016. For exact times, see the schedule.


Tavern Brawl Start End
30 January 6, 2016 January 11, 2016

On July 20, 2016, this Brawl was briefly reprised as the fifty-eighth Brawl, until bugs were discovered. Blizzard quickly removed the Brawl and replaced it with a reprise of Idols of Azeroth.


This Brawl sees players creating their own custom decks using any class. At the start of their first turn, each player chooses one of four possible bonuses: Battlecry Bonus, Deathrattle Bonus, Murloc Bonus or Spell Bonus. The chosen bonus remains in effect for the rest of the match, and cannot be reselected.

Special cards[]

Each player must choose one of the following bonuses, at the start of their first turn.

Battlecry Bonus(27276).png
Deathrattle Bonus(27294).png
Murloc Bonus(27522).png
Spell Bonus(27292).png
Generated cards
Murloc Tinyfin(27225).png


  • Battlecry Bonus and Deathrattle Bonus are board-wide auras. As a result, the +1/+1 enchantments generated by them will be applied and removed depending on the state of each minion. This has several consequences:
    • Minions which lose or gain the Battlecry or Deathrattle abilities may lose or gain the enchantments depending on which bonuses the players have selected. For example, Explorer's Hat can grant the Deathrattle ability, while Silences can remove it.
    • Minions which switch sides may lose or gain the enchantments depending on which bonuses the players have selected. For example, if a player who has chosen the Battlecry Bonus takes control of a Murloc Tidehunter, the minion will gain +1/+1.
    • These bonuses are activated depending on the minion's card text, not the activation of the effect. For example, a Battlecry minion does not have to be played from the hand in order to benefit from the Battlecry Bonus effect.


Murlocs vs Deathrattles

With each of the bonuses complementing a specific type of card, this Brawl encourages players to choose a single focus for their deck. One of the advantages of this Brawl is that the opponent's focus is declared at the very start of the match, making it clear what the player is up against.

Murloc Bonus[]

Even Murloc Tinyfins can easily grow to monstrous proportions during this Brawl

The Murloc Bonus makes it far easier for players to take advantage of Murloc buffs, matching the traditional strategy of Murloc decks which focus on board wide synergy from minions like Murloc Warleader and Old Murk-Eye. This Bonus guarantees that you will end each turn with at least one Murloc on the board, although it may have been removed before your next turn starts.

While the Murloc Tinyfin may not seem particularly fearsome, combined with buffs it can quickly grow to frightening levels; with a pair of Murloc Warleaders the player gains a 5/3 at the end of each turn, not a 1/1. More than ever, this encourages opponents to remove buffing minions as quickly as possible, since it is impossible to stem the tide of Murlocs. Murloc Tinyfin's summoning will also trigger Murloc Tidecaller.

Spell Bonus[]

The Spell Bonus grants Armor, which may encourage control type play, with spell-focused decks able to hold out for longer while they focus on defeating opponents through direct damage.

The Armor generated by this bonus can be effective in combination with Shield Slam.

Deathrattle Bonus[]

Deathrattle-themed decks waned in popularity after the January 2015 nerf to Undertaker, but it remains a solid choice for this brawl. An aggressive Hunter with Leper Gnome and Savannah Highmane might be effective, as could a tempo Mage with Harvest Golem, Piloted Shredder, and Sludge Belcher. Rogue recently received a strong option with Unearthed Raptor, which will likely have a target and receive the +1/+1 boost as well.

There are several other Deathrattle cards that have definite merit. Include a few staple spells (Kill Command, Fireball, Eviscerate), and perhaps even a couple Mechwarpers, and you're likely to collect a few wins.


The first player chooses a bonus

The bonus is entered into the history

The other player chooses a bonus; the order of the cards is randomised

Their bonus is displayed and recorded in the history