How to unlock the secret Cow King battle in this week’s Hearthstone Tavern Brawl

This week, Blizzard’s entire range of games are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Diablo with their own themed events and goodie giveaways. We’ve already explored what Diablo III has to offer and checked out WoW’s take on Diablo II’s infamous cow level. Over in Hearthstone, this week’s Tavern Brawl also has a decidedly bovine flavor. To the consternation of some, there’s no free card pack for completing it this week, but if you can best the Hooded Stranger you will receive a sweet “Secret Level” card back.

The Diablo card back

Winning isn’t all that hard with any respectable meta deck, but the real fun comes from unlocking the bonus encounter with The Cow King. To do that you’ll need to trigger all three secrets which the Wanderer starts with in play. There are ten possible secrets to test for, and this being Hearthstone, which ones you get each game will be completely random. The secrets are bespoke to this brawl, and you’ll need to do things like play a certain type of minion or reduce both players health to below 15 in order to make them activate.

If you’re a shameless netdecker like me, you can simplify the process by seeing the full list of secrets here. That page also provides a good deck containing cards suitable for sniffing out the secrets. Activate them and you’ll be sucked through a portal into the battle against the Cow King and his endless army of Hell Bovines. They really are endless, because their Deathrattle effect places them back in his deck—although, rather brilliantly, one player has already managed to mill the Cow King to death

With a little bit of luck and a lot of patience, it’s also possible to use Sylvanas to become the Cow King yourself. You can watch Amaz pull it off in the video below. All the emotes are “Moo.” I mean, of course they are. 

Tim Clark

With over two decades covering videogames, Tim has been there from the beginning. In his case, that meant playing Elite in 'co-op' on a BBC Micro (one player uses the movement keys, the other shoots) until his parents finally caved and bought an Amstrad CPC 6128. These days, when not steering the good ship PC Gamer, Tim spends his time complaining that all Priest mains in Hearthstone are degenerates and raiding in Destiny 2. He's almost certainly doing one of these right now.