The Current Arena Rules in Hearthstone – Arena Exclusive Cards, Banned Cards List, Card Appearance Rates

It can be hard to play the Arena as a new player, particularly because the game mode has a special rule set that’s frequently adjusted by Blizzard. Until now the only way to know of such things was to piece it together yourself through various patch notes or comments from game designers on social media. The developer released all of the relevant balance information in the 8.4 Patch. Rules were adjusted a few times ever since, but we’ll be updating you every time they change!

Looking for an introduction to the Arena? Check out our Arena beginner’s guide.

Arena Appearance Rate Adjustments

Not every card is equal in the Arena. Over time Blizzard revealed that certain types of cards had a much higher impact so they now appear less. Weapons, on the other hand, were almost too rare for the classes that use them so they’ve been adjusted to appear more frequently.

Note: Neutral cards form the basis for draft appearance rates.

  • On average, Arena runs consist of 60% Common, 28% Rare, 10% Epic, and about 2% Legendary cards.
  • Class minions are +100% more common than neutral cards.
  • Class Spells and Weapons are +175% more common than neutral cards.
  • Cards from the latest expansion (currently Kobolds & Catacombs) cards receive an additional +50% increase in their appearance rate. (the bonus was temporarily disabled in the last patch)
  • Flamestrike, Abyssal Enforcer, and Neutral Classic cards (like Chillwind Yeti and River Crocolisk)  will appear in drafts 50% less often.
  • Popular cards have had small drop rate changes to address class balance concerns. (Note – These changes range from 1-10% in total. They are small enough that they are unlikely to be noticed during an individual draft, but should have enough cumulative impact to help improve class balance.)

Arena Exclusive Cards List

In the Patch 10.4 (March 2018), nine new class cards, which are exclusive to the Arena (can’t be played in any other mode) have been added to the drafts. Those cards were chosen by the Blizzcon 2017 attenders in a community voting, and then slightly adjusted before getting into the game in the current form. If you want to read our reviews of the card, check it out here. You will also find a full list of them below.




Arena Banned Cards List

Some cards have been removed from the format for a various reasons. Most of them are related to balance – most of the cards removed were either too strong or too weak. On the other hand, cards that require massive synergy in order to work properly (like Quests) also got removed. On top of that, some cards that were very polarizing and felt bad to play against also got banned (e.g. Vicious Fledgling).

Those cards are only banned from drafting. You can still get them through the random effects and Discover.

Here is a full list of cards banned from Arena:

Banned Druid Arena Cards


Banned Hunter Arena Cards


Banned Mage Arena Cards


Banned Paladin Arena Cards


Banned Priest Arena Cards


Banned Rogue Arena Cards


Banned Shaman Arena Cards


Banned Warlock Arena Cards


Banned Warrior Arena Cards


Banned Neutral Arena Cards


Want some more reading on the Arena? Check out our new player guide talking about how to play the Arena, deck drafting, Arena rewards, and more.


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. Your moms boyfriend
    February 13, 2018 at 7:34 am

    so they banned a whole expansion basically why print the cards then?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      February 13, 2018 at 12:42 pm

      What do you mean a whole expansion? Whispers of the Old Gods?

      Cards are banned only in the Arena, they’re available in the other formats, so it’s obviously not the same as completely removing them.

      And it’s only about 10% of the expansion, 90% of the cards is still there.

      I don’t necessarily agree with removing all of the C’Thun-related cards (because honestly, most of them would be good in Arena even without C’Thun), but it makes sense.

  2. Redcyclone01
    February 9, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    Can you give us a list or a reference for cards that are slightly adjusted? I know hunter had some cards from the new set with their draft rate altered.

  3. PH
    February 8, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    But the cards are banned only as draft options? Or cards such as Hallucination and Swashburglar will still be able to find out these cards?

    • Skiffington - Site Admin
      February 8, 2018 at 3:26 pm

      I do believe that is the case, yes.

    • MattH
      February 8, 2018 at 10:03 pm

      I was about to make the same comment before I read yours.

      I was playing arena as warlock today and used renounce darkness which gave me hunter cards and I got Deathstalker Rexxar which means that they areonly banned from the draft as you have stated.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      February 8, 2018 at 11:50 pm

      Those cards are banned from drafts, not from the random cards pool. It’s weird and pretty lazy, I know, but that’s how Blizzard decided to handle it.

      I’m going to update the post and make that clear, sorry for confusion.