Battlegrounds is a different game mode in Hearthstone that completely changes the way you play the game. You could even say that it’s a new game built into Hearthstone. The general idea behind it was to take the popular Auto Battler genre and translate it into Hearthstone. It doesn’t play like most “Auto Chess” games, and it still feels a lot like Hearthstone, but that might be an advantage!
Players currently have access to 96 Heroes: the pool changes from time to time with some Heroes being changed, new Heroes being added, and some of the old ones being removed in balance patches. While they do not affect the minions offered in the Tavern, each Hero comes with a different Hero Power – a special ability that is either completely passive or an active ability that you can use in the Tavern (between combat phases). Some of the Heroes are stronger in the early game, whereas some have good late-game scaling, so you can adapt your strategy to the Hero you’ve picked. However, sometimes the right strategy is to ignore your Hero Power altogether and go with strong minions that are offered to you: use your Hero Power to your advantage when you can, but also be ready to choose a different route when you are not offered minions that have synergy with your Hero Power.
When you start a match, you get two Hero choices and pick one. No two players will ever share the same Hero – no one will be offered duplicates. The number of Heroes you can choose from goes up to four if you purchase the Battlegrounds Season Pass that unlocks additional Hero picks and cosmetics. The Battlegrounds Season Pass is currently available only for real money through Runestones.
Some Heroes are stronger than others, even significantly so. Nonetheless, it is possible to win games even on leaderboard ranks with any Hero. If you’re having fun with a specific Hero, don’t worry about its tier. That said, this tier list guide can help you choose your Hero based on how useful various Hero Powers are in general. We’ve categorized Heroes into four tiers. Click on each one of them to learn more – including how they look like, what their Hero Power is, and why they are put into a given tier / what kind of strategy they usually run.
- Professor Putricide
- Queen Azshara
- Master Nguyen
- Teron Gorefiend
- Forest Warden Omu
- Ambassador Faelin
- Inge, the Iron Hymn
- King Mukla
- Tess Greymane
- Infinite Toki
- The Lich King
- E.T.C., Band Manager
- Dancin’ Deryl
- Lich Baz’hial
- Cookie the Cook
- Murloc Holmes
- Sir Finley Mrrgglton
- Vanndar Stormpike
- Sire Denathrius
- Trade Prince Gallywix
- George the Fallen
- Death Speaker Blackthorn
- Kurtrus Ashfallen
- Heistbaron Togwaggle
- Varden Dawngrasp
- Fungalmancer Flurgl
- Scabbs Cutterbutter
- The Great Akazamzarak
- Thorim, Stormlord
- Reno Jackson
- Millhouse Manastorm
- The Rat King
- A. F. Kay
- Elise Starseeker
- Silas Darkmoon
- The Jailer
- Lady Vashj
- Arch-Villain Rafaam
- Rock Master Voone
- Edwin VanCleef
- Jandice Barov
- Queen Wagtoggle
- Ini Stormcoil
- Kael’thas Sunstrider
- Captain Hooktusk
- Skycap’n Kragg
- Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End
- Zephrys, the Great
- Cariel Roame
- Mr. Bigglesworth
- Aranna Starseeker
- Dinotamer Brann
- Millificent Manastorm
- Lord Barov
- The Curator
- Tamsin Roame
- Mutanus the Devourer
- Ragnaros the Firelord
- Patches the Pirate
- Illidan Stormrage
- Tavish Stormpike
- Sylvanas Windrunner
- Captain Eudora
- Cap’n Hoggarr
- Overlord Saurfang
- Maiev Shadowsong
- Lord Jaraxxus
- Guff Runetotem
Tier 1: The Best of the Best
These Heroes are extremely strong. You can generally aim to win the lobby with them and should find yourself in the top 4 most of the time.
Professor Putricide’s Hero Power allows you to Discover two Undead minions and merge them together. Some of the Undead are from the general Battlegrounds minion pool, and some are specific to Putricide, generally from Constructed Hearthstone. The minions you Discover are from your Tavern tier or lower.
Generally, you want to use the Hero Power on tier three for the first time. At least the last Discover should be spent on tier six. Tier six is especially strong, as you can generate Eternal Summoners with additional effects.
As Professor Putricide, you generally always play with Undead.
Queen Azshara’s Hero Power becomes active when your warband reaches 25 Attack. Until then, Queen Azshara’s Hero Power does nothing, but after that, it turns into Naga Conquest: a one-Gold Hero Power that Discovers a Naga minion up to your current Tavern Tier. This synergy is so strong that you want to force Naga when playing as Azshara.
Your main goal is to activate your Hero Power. Reaching 25 Attack during combat also counts, so in-combat buffs can help you get there!
Shudderwock’s Hero Power costs 0 and triggers a friendly minion’s Battlecry. This means that you generally want to use it every turn. Try to find minions with good Battlecry effects, buffs are especially useful, and keep going with them.
The best tribe for Shudderwock is Murlocs with Brann Bronzebeard. If you play Shudderwock with Murlocs, you can keep a Primalfin Lookout on the board and proc the Battlecry with your Hero Power, twice if you also have Young Murk-Eye.
Dragons with Peckish Feldrake and Stormbringer also have great synergy with the Hero. Peckish Feldrake gains attack from the Hero Power, and so does Stormbringer. Together with Kalecgos and Brann, you can generate huge buffs for your board.
Master Nguyen is a unique Hero that is played differently in every game. Every turn, after seeing the minions available to you in the Tavern, you get to choose your Hero Power for the turn from two random Hero Powers. This means that you can take advantage of any tribe bonuses while taking your current Tavern into account.
You can get Forest Warden Omu’s Hero Power for a turn when you want to upgrade your Tavern – often with the Hero Power enabling an early upgrade. You can get Reno Jackson’s Hero Power and make one of your minions Golden. You can get Millhouse Manastorm’s Hero Power to buy cheaper minions. You can get The Great Akazamarak’s Hero Power and get yourself an Ice Block (one Ice Block per game).
There is no one set path for Master Nguyen. Sometimes you follow the basic Tavern upgrade path, and sometimes you can upgrade early or delay your upgrades, depending on the Hero Powers that are offered to you. The main thing to keep in mind is to look at your Tavern before picking your Hero Power each turn to maximize potential synergies.
The Hero Power offering rates for Master Nguyen are a black box. We know that they were adjusted in patch 21.3, before which Nguyen was the best of all Heroes, and his power was diminished a little bit by that patch, but there is no information on how commonly each Hero Power is offered.
There is also an Anomaly, Nguyen’s Shifting Disks, where every player is Master Nguyen. Note that every player will pursue a different strategy in that one depending on the Hero Power options they are given.
Teron Gorefiend’s Hero Power destroys a friendly minion that you have chosen at the start of combat. Then, it summons an exact copy of that minion when you have space on your board. Because Teron’s Hero Power is free, you want to use it as soon as you find any Deathrattle or Reborn minion to destroy with it.
If the minion has a Deathrattle effect that summons something or Reborn, it will return later. If the minion does not summon anything to take its place, it comes back immediately.
Beasts are generally the best comp for Teron as they have lots of Deathrattle summon effects, including Octosari, Wrap God. Undead with Eternal Summoner are another strong option to go for.
Forest Warden Omu
Forest Warden Omu gains additional Gold whenever you upgrade your Tavern. This means that you can adopt a much more aggressive leveling plan than most other Heroes, and this advantage just keeps growing with each early upgrade. You should upgrade your Tavern on the second turn, and you can hit Tavern Tier three a turn ahead of others on turn four, Tier four on turn five or six, and Tier five as early as turn seven (at nine Gold, the turn when others usually reach Tier four). Early leveling means early access to powerful minions, and that is where Omu shines.
Omu is a high-risk, high-reward Hero. If you manage to survive, you will start to gain an advantage in the mid-game at around turn nine when you’re leveled up nicely and can start to bring in higher-quality minions than your opponents. If you take too much damage early on while you’re still working on getting your Tavern Tiers up, you will lose.
As Ambassador Faelin, you skip your first turn. During what could have been your first turn, you Discover a tier-two minion, tier-four minion, and tier-six minion. When you reach those Tavern tiers, you get the minions that you Discovered.
You will always upgrade to Tavern tier two on your second turn, as that will unlock the first minion for you. From there, you want to start building up your board and go for the next Tavern tier upgrades on turns five (seven Gold) and six (eight Gold) to get your second Discovered minion on turn six. You generally want to reach Tavern tier six as Faelin to get your Discovered tier-six minion as well, but this will take some more turns.
Greybough’s Hero Power passively buffs all the minions that you summon during combat. This makes early-game Deathrattle and Reborn minions extremely strong for the Hero, and opening up with a Manasaber or Scallywag can result in several early wins.
The minion revamp boosted Greybough’s late game. Beasts have many Deathrattle effects that summon more minions, and minions that give the summoned minions even more buffs, and Greybough’s Hero Power complements them perfectly. Beasts are by far the strongest tribe for the Hero.
Onyxia’s passive Hero Power summons a 3/1 Whelp that attacks immediately whenever Avenge (3) triggers. To make the most out of your Hero Power, you want to focus on Deathrattle and Reborn minions in the early game.
For the late game, you want to get into Undead or Beasts for synergy with your passive Avenge Hero Power.
Vol’jin is one of the most flexible Heroes in the game. His Hero Power swaps the stats of two minions on the board. Those minions can be part of your warband or in the Tavern, anywhere on the board is fine.
Early in the game, Vol’jin can buy a minion for its effect and just grab the biggest available stats from the Tavern for it.
In the early turns, Vol’jin can continuously improve the stats on his board by swapping any low stats with higher stats from the Tavern. As the game goes on, new opportunities arise: you can swap stats from a scaling minion to Divine Shield minions or cleave minions. You can also give stats away from a minion on your board to a minion in the Tavern before you buy it, the possibilities are endless.
Mechs are an excellent tribe for Vol’jin because you can switch stats into Foe Reaper 4000.
Inge, the Iron Hymn
Inge’s Hero Power gives a minion Attack or Health equal to your Tavern Tier, switching between the two each turn. On turn one, it always gives Attack. The Hero Power is free, so you will use it every turn.
Because Inge’s Hero Power is free, it is powerful. Try to pick a minion with high Health on turn one, and give it one more Attack to win the first combat round most of the time. Upgrade your Tavern Tier on turn two and give your minion two Health, and you will keep winning the early fights.
You can buff anything and everything as Inge, and you start the game with an advantage. You will have ample time to go for an end-game comp like Mechs or Undead because of your early advantage. You can also start building towards a Demon comp on turn one with a Wrath Weaver that you can buff immediately.
King Mukla can buff up his minions, but you also donate buffs to all of your opponents. Mukla’s Hero Power is completely passive and hands out Bananas at the start of every turn. You generate two Bananas (zero-cost cards that give a +1/+1 buff to a minion) for yourself and one for all your opponents. Everyone also has a one-in-three chance to get a Big Banana that gives a +2/+2 buff to a minion instead of a regular one. As you can spend your Bananas a turn earlier than the other players and you get one more of them each turn, you have a tempo advantage in the early game.
You do not want to spend all of your Bananas on your first minion, but you do want to spend at least some of them early to keep ahead of the competition in stats.
Mechs are an excellent late-game tribe for King Mukla because you can add stats to Divine Shield and cleave minions.
Tess Greymane is comfortable picking a popular composition: for one Gold, you can refresh your Tavern with all the minions from your last opponent’s warband – including minions from higher tiers than you have access to!
You want to use as popular of a composition as possible so that you can pick good additions to your army after each battle. Murlocs, Beasts, and Undead are some of the most popular comps at the moment.
Tess is stronger than usual early in a new patch when people often try to force the new minions and it is easier to pick up suitable minions for your composition with your Hero Power.
Tier 2: Very Strong Heroes
These Heroes are very strong, but their Hero Powers are slightly less powerful than those of the Tier 1 Heroes. Early tempo and snowballing to victory have proven to be extremely important in Battlegrounds, and these Heroes sometimes lack the means to make the most out of those opportunities. They have major strengths, and when they can play with those, they can easily win games.
When you refresh the Tavern with Infinite Toki’s Hero Power, two of the minions you are offered are guaranteed to be from the next tier. Late in the game, you can get guaranteed Tavern Tier 6 minions on Tavern Tier 5. This is especially significant because you are usually not guaranteed to see any minions from your highest available tier! Even a tier 6 Tavern does not guarantee that you see any tier 6 minions.
With Toki, you can race to be the first to get strong build-around minions like Sister Deathwhisper and Mama Bear. However, in the early game, there are lots of minions that are not worth buying even if they are from a higher tier, so you may not gain any advantage from the Hero Power. Toki can be unstoppable in the late game, but she is weak in the early game, and that can prove to be fatal.
The Lich King
The Lich King is a powerful early-game Hero with some great late-game moves as well. Because your Hero Power costs nothing, you should use it every turn to give one of your minions Reborn. Early in the game, try to use it on Divine Shield or Deathrattle minions for maximal effect. Note that minions are Reborn without any buffs, so you should not use the ability on minions that rely on high stats to succeed. Technically, you can also target minions in the Tavern, but there should be no reason to do so.
In the late game, you can use your Hero Power to double the effect of some powerful minions like Anub’arak or Eternal Summoner. Undead are a great match for The Lich King overall. Murlocs and Beasts are other good tribes for the Hero.
Drek’Thar’s Hero Power is a permanent buff in the form of Avenge (2): Give your minions +1 Attack permanently.
Drek’Thar is especially strong with Mechs and Beasts, as the Deathrattles producing tokens keep buffing your board.
E.T.C., Band Manager
No mechanic really leaves Battlegrounds. We have Denathrius to keep Quests alive and Tickatus to keep Darkmoon Prizes in the game, and E.T.C. is here to keep Buddies in the game. E.T.C.’s Hero Power costs 3 Gold and Discovers a Buddy. The Hero Power is only available from Tavern Tier 2, so you cannot use it on turn two. The earliest chance you have to pick up a Buddy is turn three after upgrading your Tavern on turn two. E.T.C. also has his own Buddy, Talent Scout, that can turn one of your Discovered Buddies into a Golden version.
Because the pool of Buddies is vast, E.T.C. games can go in very different directions. Aim for a strong meta comp and be ready to adjust depending on the Buddies you find.
Dancin’ Deryl was redesigned in patch 26.6. Previously, the key to playing with Deryl was the dance where you bought and sold many minions in a single turn to give a minion in the Tavern a major buff. Now, Deryl is no longer a speed machine. Instead, every time you buy a minion, you give it a +1/+1 hat that passes to a friendly minion when you sell the minion. This means that the stat buffs are now accrued slowly over time instead of a big swing turn. You also get to keep all the stat buffs throughout the game as they always pass to another friendly minion when you sell your obsolete minions.
Mechs are a great tribe for Deryl, as their Divine Shields make sure that they use the stat buffs to their fullest.
Lich Baz’hial’s Hero Power costs one Gold to steal a minion from Bob’s Tavern, but you take damage equal to its Tavern Tier. This makes Baz’hial a powerful Hero early in the game, as you can keep grabbing minions for one Gold and take just a point or two of damage in return. You want to steal minions in the early turns whenever you have a Gold to spare: and this can already be on turn one thanks to a Sellemental or Shell Collector!
Demons are by far the best tribe for Lich Baz’hial, as Soul Rewinder prevents the damage from your Hero Power and allows you to keep using it throughout the game.
Pyramad’s Hero Power gives a minion additional Health and gets better the longer you wait until you use it. At first, it gives +1 Health, but it increases by one each turn when you don’t use it. You generally want to wait for the first few turns and start buffing up your minions on turn five so that you can give them five Health a pop. This will turn your board into a monster in the mid-game!
Mechs with Divine Shields work well with Pyramad, but you are flexible with your composition choices. Undead are pretty good with almost any hero right now.
Al’Akir’s passive Hero Power gives your left-most minion a huge buff at the start of each combat: Windfury, Divine Shield, and Taunt. This is a major advantage early in the game and also affects your late-game compositions and positioning.
Al’Akir loves Foe Reaper 4000, Blade Collector, and Mannoroth. The bigger your left-most minion, the better.
Cookie the Cook
Cookie likes to eat minions from Bob’s Tavern. Target a minion in the Tavern (not your own warband!) each turn, and once you have eaten three of them, you get to Discover a minion from their minion types, up to your current Tavern tier. For example, if you eat two Undead and an Elemental and you are on Tavern Tier three when you eat the last one, you are offered a Discover with two Undead and an Elemental as options, and they can be from tiers one to three.
If possible, you want to time your Tavern upgrades to your Discover turns, and going straight through to tier three is the main strategy for Cookie to get a chance for a tier-three minion on turn three. Depending on how aggressive your lobby is, this is not always possible. Therefore, sometimes you can only get to tier three on turn five (seven Gold). Either way, you really want to hit tier four on turn six (eight Gold) to immediately get a chance to Discover a tier-four minion.
Murloc Holmes’ Hero Power has you look at two minions and guess which one your next opponent had in their last combat. Pay attention to the available information on your opponent, most notably the most common tribe they are using that you can see from their portrait. It is especially easy to guess the right minion on turn two, but you should be able to get a lot of Coins throughout the game.
Because you have fairly reliable access to Coins in the early game, you can upgrade your Tavern on turn two and use a Coin on turn three for a double buy without selling your existing minion.
Sir Finley Mrrgglton
Sir Finley Mrrgglton does not have a Hero Power of his own: instead, you get to Discover a Hero Power at the start of the game. Think of this as a second chance to pick a Hero. There are several strong Heroes in the game, so if you’re offered one of them, go ahead and pick it, but if the options given to you originally are mediocre, choose Finley to get another chance.
As a further upside, you get to see what minions you are offered on turn one before you choose your Hero Power. This enables you to only pick Chenvaala’s Hero Power if there is a Sellemental available, for example.
Galakrond’s Hero Power allows you to choose a minion in the Tavern and Discover a higher-tier minion to replace it. This gives Galakrond access to high-tier minions early in the game, and because the effect is a Discover, you have a wonderful opportunity to find something great from it.
You want to start using Galakrond’s Hero Power right from the start, freeze the Tavern, and delay your Tavern upgrade a little in order to get access to an individual strong minion, possibly from tier-five or tier-six, early in the game. An early big minion can swing the game in your favor even though you take some damage early on.
In the mid-game, you can also sometimes upgrade a minion in your Tavern and freeze it so that you can upgrade it for another rank next round.
Vanndar Stormpike’s Hero Power is a passive effect that gives you Avenge (2): Give your minions +1 Health permanently. It is not a super fast scaling mechanic, but Vanndar has a strong mid-game thanks to the Health buffs. It takes a few turns to get them going, and then they become weaker in the late-game, but they provide you with an excellent window to find your late-game comp. Try to buy some Reborn minions or minions that summon more minions as a Deathrattle effect to increase the speed of your Health gains.
Sire Denathrius keeps the Quest mechanic in the game! You get to choose your Quest from two options at the start of the game. While you get to start on the Quest early, you also lack any other Hero Power, so do not get too greedy. It is better to complete a lower-value Quest successfully than to perish while working on a long one.
Trade Prince Gallywix
Trade Prince Gallywix’s passive Hero Power gives you one extra Gold for each minion that you sell for the turn after you sold them. As Gallywix, you can start turns with more than ten Gold – and the gold does not come in the form of Coins that take up hand space, it is immediately available as currency. Gallywix is at his best in the late game, where you can have turns with as much as fifteen or nineteen Gold. This enables you to upgrade your Tavern and buy multiple minions in the same turn.
Gallywix is extremely effective with comps where buying and selling minions is important. Brann Bronzebeard comps, whether Dragons or Murlocs, are a good fit for the Hero. Elementals are also strong with Gallywix.
George the Fallen
George the Fallen has a strong Hero Power: it can grant minions Divine Shields at will, and Divine Shields applied in the Tavern are permanent and carry over to future turns. Improving the survivability of your key minions, such as Blade Collector, can result in some very strong boards. Thanks to Blade Collector, Pirates are a good tribe for George even though they are not one of the top meta tribes. Undead are the best tribe for George though.
George’s Hero Power has been buffed multiple times, and now it costs only two Gold to use. In practice, your first opportunity to use it is on turn three (at five Gold), and your second chance is on turn six (at eight Gold). After that, you can use your Hero Power almost every turn.
In theory, Chenvaala can advance through Tavern tiers fast because its Hero Power reduces the cost of the upgrade for every three Elementals played. With an early Sellemental, you can activate the Hero Power early and sometimes get to Tavern Tier 3 already on turn four (at six Gold).
However, it is not always easy to find those Elementals. You mainly try to force Elementals, but if you find key minions for a Beast or Murloc comp, you can also play almost as if your Hero Power does not exist.
Death Speaker Blackthorn
Death Speaker Blackthorn’s Hero Power gives you two Blood Gems for one Gold, and it can be used twice per turn. The Hero Power used to be passive and tied to Tavern upgrades, but now it is an active ability. As an active ability, you now have an infinite source of Blood Gems for all your Quilboar Blood Gem synergies.
While Quilboar have a natural synergy with Blood Gems, they are not always the best tribe even for Death Speaker Blackthorn. In the current meta, Quilboar are strong enough that you should force them when playing as Blackthorn though.
Kurtrus Ashfallen has a passive Hero Power that activates once per turn after you have bought three minions on that turn. When the Hero Power activates, you get to Discover a plain copy of one of the three minions you just bought.
What this means is that you really want to find access to additional Gold. There are several ways to accomplish this. Southsea Busker, Shell Collector, and Freedealing Gambler are some of the early-game minions that provide you with additional Gold.
Malygos allows you to reroll two minions each turn for free. This is especially powerful in the late game because there are fewer high-tier minions in the game, so you are more likely to find a specific minion. However, it helps you right from the start: you can look for a strong minion on turn one, and when you reach Tavern Tier two you can reroll whatever tier-two minion you are offered to look for an improvement (like Soul Rewinder or Blazing Skyfin). This goes on every turn: you can refresh tier-three minions to look for Deflect-o-Bot and tier fours to find that Banana Slamma. You have a better chance to find what you need throughout the game at no extra cost.
Malygos’s Hero Power can also be used on the minions in your army, not just the ones for sale in the Tavern. For example, you can try to turn a Battlecry minion that you just played into something more powerful when it is on the board.
Heistbaron Togwaggle’s Hero Power takes all minions from Bob’s Tavern in a single sweep. The Hero Power costs ten Gold, but it becomes one Gold cheaper each turn until you use it, at which point it resets back to ten Gold.
Heistbaron Togwaggle uses a special leveling curve: you want to level up to tier three latest on turn four. Buy a minion on turn one, and upgrade your Tavern on turn two. If you can spare a minion, sell one to upgrade your Tavern again on turn three. Then, you are able to use your Hero Power on turn four (six Gold) to grab all the offered minions at once. If you do not have the funds to use your Hero Power on turn four, plan to use it on turn five (seven Gold), so upgrade to Tavern tier three on turn four in that case.
Varden Dawngrasp’s passive Hero Power copies and freezes the highest-tier minion in Bob’s Tavern, after the Tavern is refreshed. Because the start of a new round counts as a Refresh, you are always offered at least one pair in the Tavern each turn. If you do not want to keep the frozen minion around for the next turn, you need to freeze and unfreeze your Tavern.
Varden’s Hero Power makes it easier for you to find triples, and sometimes you can get strong pairs from it when you are on a new Tavern tier.
The key to success with Flurgl is, unsurprisingly, Murlocs. After you sell five minions, you get a random Murloc, so getting Murlocs is relatively simple for the Hero. Note that the Murloc that is added to your hand by the Hero Power is from the same Tavern Tier or lower than your current Tavern Tier. This synergy is so strong that you want to force Murlocs when playing as Flurgl.
As Scabbs, you get to Discover a minion from the warband that your next opponent used in the previous round for two Gold. This means that the Hero Power does nothing on turn one, but it is great already on turn two when you get a copy of whatever minion your opponent started the game with. Just don’t use it against A. F. Kay or Ambassador Faelin who have no minions on turn one! You get the minion to your hand, so any Battlecry effects can be activated as usual.
You should generally use Scabbs’ Hero Power on most turns starting from turn three. Keep an eye on the party compositions of your opponents to determine whether you want a base copy of one of their minions, or whether you have some better use for the Gold. The copies are cheap, so when in doubt, Hero Power.
Tier 3: There Is Still Some Power Here
These Heroes have some major strengths under the right circumstances, but their overall power level cannot quite match that of the higher-tier Heroes. Either they are situational or just generally less powerful, but their Hero Powers can and do win games.
Bru’kan’s Hero Power is free, so you want to use it every turn. Each time you use it, you get to choose one of four effects to happen at the start of combat (so it is not permanent):
- Double your left-most minion’s Attack
- Deal 1 damage to 5 random enemy minions
- Give 4 friendly minions Deathrattle: Summon a 1/1 Elemental
- Give your right-most minion +3 Health and Taunt
Bru’kan will almost always win the first combat round thanks to the +3 Health and Taunt buff.
On turn 2, you want to upgrade your Tavern and use the Health buff again.
As the game goes on, the effect you choose becomes more situational. Deathrattles are good with Avenge minions, double Attack can be strong with a Cleave minion, and area-of-effect damage can counter Divine Shields.
The Great Akazamzarak
The Great Akazamzarak brings a unique Hearthstone mechanic into Battlegrounds: Secrets. Every time you use Akazamzarak’s Hero Power, you get to discover a Secret and put it into play. If the Secret is not triggered during a battle, it carries over to the next turn. Because battles tend to be back-and-forth affairs, most Secrets are triggered immediately in the next battle, but sometimes you can set things up so that you get to keep them for longer.
Notably, Akazamzarak can discover Ice Block, which only triggers when you take lethal damage, preventing the damage. This can help you buy time and go for greedier strategies if you discover it early in the game. Note that you can only Discover Ice Block once per game. Another key Secret is Competitive Spirit: it gives all your minions +1/+1 permanently after the next battle, which can result in huge tempo gains. You can also get other powerful Secrets, such as Splitting Image (creates a copy of your minion when one is attacked, only triggers if you have enough board space for an additional minion) and Autodefense Matrix (gives your minion Divine Shield when one is attacked).
N’Zoth starts the game with a 2/2 Fish that gains the Deathrattles of friendly minions as they die in combat for the duration of that combat round. While there are late-game applications to this in some Titus Rivendare Undead compositions and Octosari Beast teams, the main advantage N’Zoth has is in the early game: when you only have a couple of minions on the board, duplicating a Deathrattle can be the difference between winning and losing a battle.
Setting up a nice Deathrattle board with Beasts or Undead is ideal for the late game.
When playing as Thorim, you Discover a Tier 7 minion at the start of the game. The minion then stays locked in your hand until you have spent 65 Gold. Depending on how much extra Gold you are able to find, you can expect to unlock the minion on turn 9 at the latest (the second turn with 10 Gold) and on turn 7 (at nine Gold) at the earliest.
The strongest Tier 7 minions to go for are Moira Bronzebeard (Murlocs), Papa Bear (Beasts), Recurring Nightmare (Undead), and Champion of Sargeras (Demons). Your Tier 7 minion selection will also guide your overall game plan.
Reno Jackson is here and he wants to make you rich by giving you a Golden minion. Reno’s Hero Power can be used only once per game, so you need to carefully consider when is the best time to use it. When you use the Hero Power on a minion, that minion becomes a Golden version of itself. This only affects the minion on the board, you do not get the Discover effect that you usually get when playing a Golden minion from hand.
The main way to use the Hero Power is to wait until you get a powerful effect-based late-game minion, such as Sister Deathwhisper, Brann Bronzebeard, or Mama Bear. If you are able to discover such a minion from a triple early on, the power spike from making it Golden can carry you all the way to victory.
It can be hard to find a good target for Reno’s Hero Power. Sometimes you get a suitable effect-based minion early on and just roll on with it, but sometimes your minions are more stats-based and not particularly good targets for improvement.
Ozumat has a passive Hero Power that summons a Tentacle with Taunt at the start of combat. The Tentacle starts out as a 2/2 and then gains +1/+1 each time you sell a minion. It is also a Beast, so it synergizes well with Beast comps that can buff in-combat summons with Banana Slamma and Mama Bear.
Ozumat’s main weakness is the same thing Y’Shaarj used to suffer from: the Hero Power is only useful if there is space on the board. If your board is full, you get nothing.
Ozumat is incredibly strong in the early game but becomes weaker as the game goes on and boards fill up. However, Banana Slamma Beast comps can overcome this weakness by making the Tentacle huge. This makes Beasts by far the best tribe for Ozumat.
Rakanishu’s Hero Power can buff up your minions, but you need to get to a higher Tavern tier to fully benefit from the effect.
The first opportunity you have to use Rakanishu’s Hero Power is on turn three (at five Gold), where it can smoothen your curve instead of a sell into a double buy. You want to upgrade to Tavern tier two on turn two to set up a +2/+2 buff from your Hero Power for turn three. You want to follow this up with a Tavern upgrade to tier four already on turn four (at six Gold) so that your Hero Power grows in power. If the minion offering on turn four is particularly good, you can delay the upgrade to the following turn. Try to use your Hero Power on most turns.
Nozdormu has a powerful passive Hero Power: your first Refresh each turn is free. This means that you can refresh the initial offering on the first turn to look for a better minion. It also means that on key turns where you would usually buy a minion and upgrade your Tavern, you can upgrade the Tavern first, refresh on the new tier, and then buy a minion. You are also faster at finding triples to make golden minions because you can look for them an additional time every turn. In practice, it is almost as if you had one additional gold available every single turn!
Nozdormu works well with any meta comp, as you have better odds to find what you need than other players. Undead, Beasts, and Murlocs are solid options.
Deathwing wreaks havoc and brings destruction wherever it goes. Its passive Hero Power gives a permanent +2 Attack buff to all minions, including your opponent’s minions, at the start of combat. The key to succeeding with Deathwing is to have more bodies on the board than your opponent: any Divine Shield minions or Deathrattle or Reborn minions that summon tokens will do, just make sure to get a bunch of bodies on the board.
Deathwing works especially well with Divine Shield Mechs in the late game, as you get to build up their Attack over time.
Millhouse’s Hero Power changes the entire economy of the game. His refreshes cost two gold, but he can buy minions for only two gold. However, his Tavern upgrades cost one more gold. This means that you have to stay on Tavern Tier one for your second turn and use it for a double buy.
Millhouse can generate a lot of tempo early on, and this often carries him throughout the game. After building a strong early board, you can quickly upgrade your Tavern and catch up with others on turn five (seven Gold, upgrading to Tavern tier three) and overtake them on turn six (eight Gold, upgrading to Tavern tier four).
In the late game, Millhouse works best with comps that buy and sell a lot of minions. Murlocs, Dragons, and Elementals are solid options when playing as Millhouse.
Galewing can fly you to one of three destinations: Westfall (In 1 turn, give your left-most minion +2/+2), Ironforge (In 2 turns, gain 2 Gold), or Eastern Plaguelands (In 3 turns, Discover a minion of your Tavern Tier). After your flight has been completed, you can choose a new one. You cannot fly to the same location twice in a row.
The main strategy with Galewing is to start with a flight to Eastern Plaguelands and upgrade your Tavern Tier on turns two and three. By doing so, you get to Discover a tier-three minion when you arrive at Eastern Plaguelands on turn four. Then, you can fly to Ironforge to gain some Gold, and fly to Eastern Plaguelands again for more minions.
Alexstrasza’s Hero Power allows you to discover two Dragons the moment you hit Tavern Tier 5. These Dragons can come from any tier, so sometimes you are offered low-tier minions only, and sometimes you pick up Kalecgos. You get the minions for free, so upgrading to Tavern Tier 5 is a major priority for Alexstrasza: you do not need to have any leftover Gold to upgrade your board on that turn, because you will get two minions anyway. Alexstrasza aims to upgrade to Tavern Tier 4 on turn six (at eight Gold) at the latest and immediately follow that up by going to Tier 5 on turn seven (at nine Gold).
Alexstrasza is, unfortunately, inconsistent. At worst, the two Dragons you get are useless for your army and only worth the two gold you get from selling them. At best, the two Dragons win you the game. You should nonetheless force Dragons as Alexstrasza because it improves your odds of finding a triple from the Discovered Dragons even if you cannot pick up Kalecgos directly.
The Rat King
The Rat King’s Hero Power allows you to Discover a minion of a specific minion type that changes each turn. This minion costs only two Gold, so you have a high likelihood of getting something good from the tribe you are offered and at a discount, too.
The Rat King has a good capability to find strong build-around minions for many tribes. Undead, Murlocs, and Beasts are generally the strongest tribes for the Hero.
A. F. Kay
A. F. Kay cannot buy any minions on the first two turns and has to just passively wait and take the damage without a board of her own. The only thing you can do is freeze the minions offered to you in the Tavern, which you should do if Sellemental or Shell Collector is being offered because then you can buy them, sell the first part or grab the Coin, and upgrade your Tavern on turn three.
Turn three is a power spike for the Hero because she gets to Discover two minions for free, and those minions are from Tavern Tier 3. Being the first Hero to find Prickly Piper, Scourfin, Deflect-o-Bot, or Accord-o-Tron can be great, but failure to roll good minions from the Discovers can set you up for a rough game.
Elise’s Hero Power Discovers a minion from your Tavern Tier. Initially, it only costs one Gold, but it becomes more expensive with each use. Therefore, you want to level up fast to make the most of your Hero Power.
Upgrade your Tavern on turn two, and go for the usual sell into double buy on turn three. On turn four, you can upgrade to Tavern tier three and use your Hero Power for the first time to get a tier-three minion. Alternatively, if you need more survivability, you can double-buy on turn four and do the upgrade and Hero Power on turn five. Use your Hero Power again when you reach Tavern Tier four.
When you play as Silas Darkmoon, some of the minions in the Tavern will glow with Darkmoon tickets. When you acquire your third ticket, you get a free spell to Discover a minion from the Tavern Tier you were on when you bought the final minion. This puts Silas players into a conundrum: every third ticket you get is essentially a free minion, but if you chase tickets too hard, you may lose tempo early on and lose the game before those minions get to help you.
Try to complete your tickets on your Tavern upgrade turns: for example, if you can buy your third ticket on turn 5 (at seven Gold), you can first upgrade to Tavern Tier 3 and then immediately get a tier-three Discover on top.
The Jailer’s Hero Power costs one Gold and gives a minion +1/+1. It upgrades every time nine friendly minions have died.
Unfortunately, the infuse requirement for the Hero Power is too high for it to be strong. Token-based compositions can get it to a reasonable level and you can start using it for real somewhere around turn six, but it is of minor importance overall. Its one upside is that it can target any minions, so you can also buff minions that do not have a tribe with it.
Rokara’s passive Hero Power gives a permanent +1 Attack buff to your minions that kill an enemy. Your minion gets the buff even if it dies on the same hit.
Minions that benefit from high Attack the most – ones with Divine Shield or cleave – are the best for Rokara. Mechs with Foe Reaper 4000 are Rokara’s ideal late-game comp. You can work with any late-game comp as long as you do not hold on to your mid-game minions too tight: the Attack buffs will help you early on, but be ready to ditch them for a strong late-game comp at the first opportunity.
Lady Vashj’s Hero Power allows you to Discover a Spellcraft spell of your Tier or lower and makes it permanent. At the moment, there is only one Spellcraft minion on tier one, so you will always Discover Give a minion Deathrattle: Summon a 2/2 Crab when on Tavern tier one. On tier two, a Spellcraft for +4 Health and Taunt, another one to give a minion stats equal to your Tavern Tier, and one to choose a minion to add a minion of its type to the Tavern are added to the pool. At this point, you are no longer guaranteed a specific option, and there are more Spellcrafts on tier four.
You generally prefer to play with Naga, but Beasts, Undead, and Murlocs are never bad options either.
Arch-Villain Rafaam is a master at acquiring useful minions – by copying them from other players! At one gold, these are basically free minions, because you can sell any that you don’t like for the same price. Because players tend to have useful minions on their board, the overall quality of the copies can be high: Foe Reapers and Brann Bronzebeards are up for grabs, and you can sometimes even get to triples without recruiting a single copy from the Tavern. Any triples you get are automatically converted when you enter the Tavern, so keep that in mind if you ever want to keep a pair of regular minions.
When playing as Rafaam, you should buy a minion and Hero Power on turn two instead of upgrading your Tavern. You may even want to delay your first Tavern upgrade all the way to turn four and follow it up with rapid upgrades on the following turns. Keep an eye on your opponent though! A. F. Kay and Ambassador Faelin have no minions on turn two, so you cannot steal anything, and some powerful early-game Heroes may have too much power on the board for you to kill anything, in which case you also do not get a free minion.
Rock Master Voone
Rock Master Voone has a passive Hero Power that gives you a plain copy of the left-most card in your hand every three turns. This card can be anything! It can be a minion, it can be a Discover card, or it can even be a Golden Monkey from Elise (for which there is no plain copy). You do not have to hold the card for multiple turns either, as the game will let you know when the copy turn is and you can then get a card into your hand to be copied. Drakkari Enchanter also works with the Hero Power and can give you two extra copies for an instant Golden minion.
Voone can help you get some key Golden minions regardless of your comp, so it generally works with all strong comps, such as Mechs, Undead, Murlocs, and Beasts.
Edwin VanCleef provides you with a cheap buff that improves over time. The buff starts at +1/+1, and upgrades after you have bought four minions. Edwin’s Hero Power is a targeted ability, and that makes it especially useful because you can buff any minions, including ones that are usually difficult to improve. This can be used to protect your key assets, such as Mama Bear. The buff is permanent, so you can build up your key minions to some big numbers over time. You can also buff minions in the Tavern and freeze them for later, although usually, you want to buff minions that you already have.
Unfortunately, the Hero Power scales quite slowly, and Edwin may struggle to maintain tempo even in the midgame when the Hero Power is at its best.
You can use Jandice’s Hero Power to send Battlecry minions back to the Tavern to rebuy them and get their effect again or you can send back any minion that you are about to sell anyway for a chance to get a minion you want for free.
Any minions that you send back to the Tavern retain their buffs, so you can keep recycling minions that have useful effects and have them keep their stats.
Note that you do not get the Battlecry effects of minions that are swapped in, so remember to buy any Battlecry minions you want the regular way.
You want to use Jandice’s Hero Power on most turns, there are seldom occasions where you cannot gain some advantage from using it.
Queen Wagtoggle’s Hero Power has been redesigned and is now completely passive. At the start of combat, she gives a friendly minion of each type stats equal to their Tavern Tier. As these are in-combat buffs, they are not permanent. Consequentially, Wagtoggle is strong in the early game but becomes weaker as the game goes on. Nonetheless, this early advantage gives you more time to find your end-game comp.
Ini Stormcoil’s passive Hero Power gives you a random Mech from your Tavern Tier or a lower tier after 10 friendly minions die. This steady stream of free Mechs makes Mechs the best tribe for Ini.
At the start of the game, you want to look for Deathrattle and Reborn minions to feed your Hero Power. They do not have to be Mechs, you will transition to Mechs during the game. In the beginning, it is vital to just get more bodies on the board to increase your overall power.
Kael’thas has a passive Hero Power that buffs every third minion you play. Note that this was changed from every third minion you buy! Usually, Kael’thas follows the basic tier progression and upgrades the Tavern on turns two and five in the early game. What you need to pay attention to are your spheres and which minions end up with a buff. With Kael’thas, you almost always sell your initial minion on turn three to buy two minions, the latter of which you play will get a +2/+2 buff. This is Kael’thas’s power turn and should help you to win the battles on subsequent turns.
Try to play important minions with the buff and temporary minions and possible Battlecry effect minions when you do not have the buff available.
Captain Hooktusk has been the target of many balance changes on the cost and exact effect of her Hero Power. In its current iteration, Hooktusk’s Hero Power is free, so you generally want to use it every turn.
When you use Hooktusk’s Hero Power on a friendly minion, you destroy it and get to choose from two minions from one Tier lower (or from Tier 1, if you target a Tier 1 minion) and you get the chosen minion into your hand. This means that you will be able to activate any Battlecry effects of the minion you choose.
You can also use Hooktusk’s Hero Power to look for triples, especially Tier 1 triples, and if you cannot think of any other use for it on a turn, you can always use it on any minion you plan to sell to see if anything useful comes up.
The Hero Power of Y’Shaarj gives you a minion from your Tavern Tier at the start of combat. If you have available board space, it also summons a copy of it for the battle. Because this is a guaranteed way to get minions from the highest tier available to you, it is a great use of your Gold. If possible, you want to use your Hero Power whenever you upgrade your Tavern to get immediate access to higher-tier minions.
As Y’Shaarj, you want to pursue an aggressive leveling strategy to start rolling for those sweet tier-five and tier-six minions: ideally, you upgrade to Tavern Tier 3 on turn four (six Gold) or five (seven Gold), Tier 4 on turn six (eight Gold), and Tier 5 on turn eight (ten Gold). Finally, you may go for Tavern Tier six at around turn nine or ten.
Patchwerk has a larger Health pool than other Heroes, and this allows you to play a more greedy game early on and develop toward your late-game win condition faster. Patchwerk is especially good at going greedy with Demons because it can afford to take more damage than other Heroes. Undead, Murlocs, and Beasts are also great options for the Hero.
Xyrella’s Hero Power enables her to buy a minion each turn for only two Gold, but its stats will be set to 2/2. Early in the game, this is phenomenal, as Xyrella can pick up an improved tier-one minion at a discount.
You can sometimes delay your Tavern upgrade until turn three and use turn two to sell a minion and buy two minions from the Tavern: one with the Hero Power and the other as a regular purchase. Only do this if you have a particularly good Tavern available though. In general, your Hero Power is useful on most turns, so always keep an eye on opportunities to use it.
Skycap’n Kragg’s Hero Power grows stronger each turn, so the longer you wait, the bigger swing you can get from it. This means that Kragg is a weak Hero early in the game and will struggle to answer the boards of other Heroes who are more tuned for early aggression. Start with the basic curve and upgrade your Tavern to tier two on turn two and to tier three on turn five (seven Gold). From there, you want to get ready for your big swing and upgrade to tier four on turn six (eight Gold) if at all possible.
The most effective moment to use your Hero Power is typically on turn eight (at ten Gold): you can upgrade your Tavern to tier five, use your Hero Power, and get some fresh minions on the same turn, and this power spike can carry you to victory.
Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End
Yogg-Saron can recruit a minion for a mere two gold: sure, it is a random minion from the line in front of you, but it comes with a buff, which is a big deal in the early game.
With Yogg, you can refresh your Tavern on turn one to look for more powerful minions because you will almost always grab one with your Hero Power. If you find something to sell, like Sellemental, you can delay upgrading your Tavern and grab two minions on turn two: one with your Hero Power, and the other with a direct buy.
You can also easily grab two minions on turn three when you have access to five gold. Other Heroes need an extra Coin or waste gold on refreshing the Tavern or using their Hero Power on that turn, while you can always get more bodies on the board. You can also upgrade your Tavern and use your Hero Power for a minion on turn three if you did not upgrade your Tavern on turn two.
These powerful turns often secure an extremely strong early game for Yogg-Saron.
Zephrys, the Great
Zephrys never has to worry about finding the third piece to fill a triple: his Hero Power turns a pair of minions into a Golden minion that comes into your hand so you can play it and get the Discover effect as usual.
You follow the basic Tavern tier progression and usually use your Hero Power when you reach either Tavern tier four (around turn six or seven) or Tavern tier five (around turn eight) for your first triple. Then you can immediately Discover a tier-five or tier-six minion that will give you direction for the rest of the game.
Cariel Roame’s Hero Power initially gives two random friendly minions a permanent +1/+1 buff for one Gold. After you upgrade your Tavern, you can choose an improvement to your Hero Power, either to give stats to an additional minion, give an additional +1 Attack, or give an additional +1 Health.
Building up strong stat bonuses can be extremely valuable. Health is especially strong early in the game, and you want to use your Hero Power on most turns starting from turn three. Upgrade your Tavern on turn two and get ready to start Hero Powering from the following turn. You are strong throughout the mid-game thanks to your Hero Power, so you have ample time to find a good end-game comp.
Mr. Bigglesworth is a great late-game Hero. As other players start dying, Mr. Bigglesworth receives a major power boost from discovering their old minions, including their Golden minions for additional Discover effects! The problem is getting to the late game without any early-game abilities.
Go for popular compositions to maximize your odds of finding a suitable improvement to your army: Undead, Beasts, and Murlocs are often good alternatives. Mr. Bigglesworth is at his best early in new patches when people often try to force the newly-added minions and you can more consistently get upgrades as they fall.
Aranna Starseeker’s Hero Power starts by doing nothing. However, after 14 friendly minions have attacked, the first minion you buy each turn is free. This makes Aranna into a powerful late-game hero, but surviving long enough to get there can be an issue. Try to get as many attacks as early as you can, whether through Divine Shields, Reborn effects, or Deathrattles. The faster you activate your Hero Power, the better your chances.
Use the basic curve and upgrade your Tavern on turn two and then on turn five: you need to keep up with the Tavern upgrades to get a big boost when you get your free minions.
Dinotamer Brann’s Hero Power gives you a free Brann Bronzebeard once per game after you have bought five Battlecry minions. Getting that free Brann is a major goal for you early in the game.
Brann is best used with Murlocs and Dragons: they have a lot of Battlecry effects and synergies, and once you get your Brann Bronzebeard, you can double them all.
Enhance-o-Mechano can give you some incredibly strong minions, but it’s all random. Take a good look at the minion that gets the buff. Remember Divine Shield Murlocs? As Enhance-o-Mechano, you can pick some of those up straight from the Tavern. Deathrattle minions with Reborn? Yup, also up for grabs.
Your main plan is usually just a typical meta comp. The buffs you roll in the Tavern can make you pivot in another direction. Be ready to respond when an opportunity opens up.
Millificent’s Hero Power adds +2 Attack to any Mechs you summon. As Millificent, you always want to force Mechs, as this Attack bonus can really help them when they have Divine Shields.
As Lord Barov, you want to use your Hero Power every turn from turn two, and if you can correctly predict the winner of combat, you get a significant tempo boost. If you guess wrong, you gain nothing. If there’s a tie, you get your one Gold back. On average, you earn half a coin per turn, and good streaks can win games.
Succeeding with Lord Barov requires paying close attention to your opponents so that you can better estimate who will win their combat. This does require extensive knowledge of all the Heroes though. Changes in the meta clearly show in Lord Barov’s performance. It is more difficult to evaluate winners in a new meta and Lord Barov can struggle when major changes happen. The more confident you are about your meta knowledge, the stronger Lord Barov can be for you.
Lord Barov has proven to be a problematic Hero for Blizzard, and it has often been disabled because of bugs. If you do not see Lord Barov for some time, he might be on a timeout once again.
The Curator gains an immediate advantage early in the game from having a 2/2 Amalgam with Venomous as a starting minion. This means that it can often win early turns by virtue of having that extra body on the board. However, its advantage is not limited to early turns, because the Amalgam has all minion types and can be buffed by anything.
The Curator’s Amalgam is one of the few minions in the game that can reliably be buffed into a huge Venomous minion with Taunt and Divine Shield (with Mechs in the game), even if it only starts with low stats.
The Curator’s success largely depends on how well it can take advantage of its Amalgam: if it finds a buff-based composition, it can run away with the game. If buffs are scarce, the Amalgam quickly becomes useless and you can expect a mediocre game. The Amalgam is a particularly good fit with Mechs, Beasts, and Murlocs.
Tier 4: Life Could Be Better
These Heroes have some glaring weaknesses or lack of power. They can win high-MMR games in the right circumstances, but you need to work hard for it, and sometimes simply ignore their Hero Power altogether.
Tamsin’s Hero Power destroys your lowest-Health minion at the start of combat to give your other minions a temporary stat buff equal to the destroyed minion’s stats. The minion is not permanently lost, you get it back in the Tavern. If you have multiple minions at the same Health, the one that is destroyed is random. Any Deathrattle or Reborn effect is triggered, but a minion summoned from the effect does not gain the stat buff.
In the early game, go wide quickly to get a nice stat buff on multiple minions. There are currently only a few uses for Tamsin’s Hero Power in the late game, but it can work with Tunnel Blaster’s Deathrattle to remove Divine Shields, for example.
Mutanus the Devourer
As Mutanus the Devourer, you can use your Hero Power to eat one of your minions to give their stats to another random friendly minion. You also get one Gold back, so whenever you want to sell a minion, you should consider eating it instead. Note that you can only eat one minion each turn, so try to eat the biggest minion you plan to sell that turn and avoid eating minions that have a beneficial on-sell effect, like Sellemental.
Generally, your first opportunity to use your Hero Power is on turn three: if you need to sell a minion to afford a double buy, you can buy a minion first, then eat your original minion to give its stats to your new minion (or vice versa), and then buy the second minion.
You cannot use your Hero Power a lot early in the game as you’re still filling up your board, but once you have a full board, you can eat a minion almost every turn to buff up your other minions.
Ragnaros the Firelord
Ragnaros’ Hero Power does nothing until you have killed 25 minions. After that, your left-most and right-most minions gain a permanent +3/+3 buff every turn.
Just try to buy the strongest minions you can early in the game to get kills on the opponents’ minions so that you complete Sulfuras as quickly as possible and start getting that +3/+3 buff on your left- and right-most minions every turn. Then start growing your minions: a damage-dealer, maybe with cleave or Divine Shield, on the left and a big Taunt on the right can carry you through the game.
Tickatus’ Hero Power is a copy of the Darkmoon Prizes mechanic: you Discover a prize spell every four turns (at six Gold, ten Gold, and so on), and the spells get progressively more powerful as the game goes on.
While the Darkmoon Prizes include some powerful spells, such as Ice Block, the pool is large enough that you can be left with no major improvements, which makes Tickatus inconsistent. In the first Discover, you generally want the free Tier-one minion or two Gold to ramp up your economy. In the second Discover round, more minions or a cheaper Tavern upgrade are generally the best options. In the third round, Ice Block is by far the strongest option.
Patches the Pirate
Patches’ Hero Power generates additional Pirates for you, and it gets cheaper the more Pirates you buy from the Tavern. Because you can generate Pirates out of thin air, Patches can easily force Pirates. As Patches, you want to follow the basic tier progression (upgrade on turn two and then on turn five) and use your Hero Power on most turns starting from turn three (five Gold).
If you manage to find a Pirate on both turn one and turn two, you can also Hero Power on turn two to add a third Pirate to your board and delay upgrading your Tavern to turn three.
Illidan’s Hero Power changes the attack order at the start of a battle: your left-most minion will attack first followed by your right-most minion, and they also have a +2/+1 buff for the duration of the combat. These attacks always take place before the opponent can do anything. The regular attacks start after that with your left-most minion attacking again as your first minion if it survived the bonus attack (and possibly the opponent’s first attack, if they got to go “first”).
Illidan has some nice tricks for the late game if you can get there. Buffed-up Cleave minions (like Foe Reaper 4000) are especially strong for the Hero. If you can set up a board with them, you can end fights almost before they have even started. Another good option is Venomous Murlocs.
Tavish Stormpike’s Hero Power deals damage to the opponent’s minions for free, so you want to use it every turn. The damage dealt starts at two and doubles every three turns. You can choose where the damage is dealt from four options: the left-most minion, right-most minion, lowest-Health minion, or highest-Health minion.
Generally, you want to start by dealing damage to the highest-Health minion. Late in the game, you can try to snipe tech cards by targeting the lowest-Health minion or use the Hero Power based on what you know about the opponent’s comp.
Sylvanas’s Hero Power costs one Gold and gives a +2/+1 buff to your minions that died in the last combat. While you want to use your ability on most turns, it is not very strong. Just play a regular game of Battlegrounds and aim for a strong comp like Mechs or Undead. If you can find some Divine Shield minions, your Hero Power may actually help them scale a bit.
Captain Eudora’s Hero Power gives you a shortcut to Golden minions. After you have used your Hero Power five times, you receive a random Golden minion from your Tavern Tier or lower. The Golden minion is added to your hand, so when you play it, you get the usual higher-tier Discover as you do with regular Golden minions. The Hero Power is then set back to five digs, so you can find even more Golden minions later in the game.
With Eudora, you want to use your Hero Power every turn starting from turn two. Try to get your Tavern Tiers up while using your Hero Power to get the best possible Discovers from your Golden minions. Usually, this means delaying the first Tavern upgrade to turn three or four (five or six Gold) and proceeding with rapid upgrades to tiers three, four, and five on turns five, six, and seven or eight.
Cap’n Hoggarr is a Pirate Hero through and through. Hoggarr has a passive Hero Power to give you one Gold after you buy a Pirate. Therefore, your Hero Power only works if you go for Pirates. The current Pirate minion pool has great synergies with Gold, especially Underhanded Dealer, who gains a buff each time you gain Gold, so each time you buy a Pirate as Cap’n Hoggarr.
You will want to force Pirates as Cap’n Hoggarr, and the strength of the Hero mostly depends on how strong Pirates are in the meta.
Overlord Saurfang’s Hero Power gives a minion in the Tavern +2/+1, and it doubles every three turns. Your first opportunity to use the Hero Power is usually on turn three, and you can use it on most turns from there.
You especially want to find cleave minions that greatly benefit from increased Attack. Divine Shield minions are also useful targets for the Hero Power, which makes Mechs the most powerful tribe for Saurfang.
Maiev Shadowsong’s Hero Power allows you to buy minions for a mere one Gold, and with a +2/+2 buff too! However, the downside of the current version of her Hero Power is tough to bear: you need to wait for three turns to actually get the minion.
As Maiev, you want to start using your Hero Power as soon as possible: if you can buy a Sellemental or Shell Collector on turn one, you can buy a minion and also use your Hero Power already at the start. Otherwise, start using your Hero Power on turn two and delay upgrading your Tavern until turn four, and then upgrade it rapidly to catch up with the other players. If you manage to pick up a triple with your Hero Power, you can get a powerful Discover from it on turn six or seven.
Keep using your Hero Power for the first five or six turns, after which it becomes far less important because of the long wait time. You can still pick up something every now and then, but your main focus will be on playing without the Hero Power in the late game.
Lord Jaraxxus’ Hero Power costs one Gold and lets you choose a friendly Demon that will then consume a minion in Bob’s Tavern to gain its stats. If you want to use your Hero Power, you need to have at least one Demon in your comp.
Generally, you want to play with Demons as Jaraxxus, but sometimes it can be better to ignore your Hero Power and go with Murlocs or Beasts if good ones are up for grabs.
Sindragosa is at its strongest in the early game. For the first few turns, you should simply stay frosty. Sure, you buy a minion on the first turn, but you also want to freeze at least one of the others. Note that your Hero Power’s passive buff works on all frozen minions, not just the one you freeze with the Hero Power itself. If you keep freezing the minions you are offered, you can buy the two that have been there since the beginning with a +4/+2 buff on both on the third turn, and you can buy even more buffed minions on the fourth turn.
After those turns, Sindragosa’s Hero Power becomes weaker, but minion stats are important early in the game, and Sindragosa has a small window of opportunity to rule the battles and work on a late-game transition.
C’Thun’s Hero Power gives a random friendly minion +1/+1 at the end of your turn. It upgrades each turn.
When playing as C’Thun, you want to make the most out of your Hero Power. Your first good chance to use it is on turn three when you can buy a minion and use the Hero Power. You might not have enough Gold to use it easily for the next couple of turns, but from turn six, you should be able to use your Hero Power on most turns.
C’Thun is especially good with Dragons thanks to Whelp Smuggler giving all of your Dragons tons of Health as they gain Attack from your Hero Power.
Sneed can give your minions a powerful permanent buff: Summon a random minion of a lower Tavern Tier.
This ability becomes stronger as you progress through the tiers, as summoning some additional tier-five minions is far more powerful than summoning some tier-one minions. You can also use your Hero Power on the same minion multiple times, so as long as they are not the first to fall, you can summon multiple new minions from a single minion!
You should start using your Hero Power early in the game, targeting the minions that you are planning to keep the longest. As you start to reach your late-game warband, you should keep buffing them to turn your warband into a near-endless horde. Note that you can also target minions in the Tavern and freeze them to buy them later. This can be useful if you do not have high-tier minions in your warband yet but have some coming soon from the Tavern.
Ysera’s Hero Power passively adds an additional Dragon minion from the tiers that are available to you to your Tavern every time it is refreshed. Therefore, on a Tier one Tavern, your additional minion is always either an Upbeat Frontdrake or Dozy Whelp. Tier two adds Twilight Emissary, Low-Flier, and Blazing Skyfin, and so on.
Ysera’s Hero Power does not guarantee high-tier Dragons, but it increases your odds of finding good dragons and finding triples, so you should force Dragons when playing as Ysera.
Guff Runetotem’s Hero Power buffs a random friendly minion of each Tavern Tier by +2/+2 for two Gold. To make use of your Hero Power, you need to build a board with minions from multiple tiers as quickly as possible and buff them up throughout the game.
Therefore, you want to upgrade your Tavern on turn two and buy a minion and use your Hero Power on turn three (five Gold). From there, try to use your Hero Power on almost every turn while acquiring minions from new Tavern Tiers.
August 28, 2023
- Updated for the 27.2.1 content patch
- New Hero: Thorim, Stormlord
- Changed Heroes: Cariel Roame, Kurtrus Ashfallen.
July 28, 2023
- Updated for the 27.0 content patch
- Changed Heroes: Cariel Roame, King Mukla (Big Banana chance for all players, no text changes), Aranna Starseeker, and The Curator.
July 1, 2023
- Updated for the 26.6 content patch
- Changed Heroes: Cariel Roame, Dancin’ Deryl, Deathwing, Death Speaker Blackthorn, Drek’Thar, Edwin VanCleef, Illidan Stormrage, Ini Stormcoil, King Mukla, Kurtrus Ashfallen, Onyxia, Overlord Saurfang, Queen Azshara, Queen Wagtoggle, Rakanishu, Tamsin Roame, Tavish Stormpike, The Curator, Aranna Starseeker, and The Great Akazamzarak (Secret pool only).
June 9, 2023
- Updated for the 26.4 content patch
- New Heroes: Inge, the Iron Hymn and Cap’n Hoggarr
May 24, 2023
- Updated for the remaining minion releases of the 26.2 content patch
- Changed Hero: E.T.C., Band Manager Hero Power now costs 3, down from 4
May 13, 2023
- Updated for the 26.2 content patch, first two waves of minions
- New Heroes: E.T.C., Band Manager and Rockmaster Voone
- Changed Heroes: Shudderwock, Lich Baz’hial, Lady Vashj, and Queen Wagtoggle
- Huge minion pool revamp
February 25, 2023
- Updated for the 25.4 content patch
- New Hero: Teron Gorefiend
- Multiple minion changes
January 21, 2023
- Updated for the 25.2 content patch
- New Heroes: Sylvanas Windrunner, The Jailer, Enhance-o-Mechano, and Professor Putricide.
- Multiple minion and Hero changes, new and removed minions
- Quests are out
September 5, 2022
- Updated for the 24.2 content patch
- New Heroes: Murloc Holmes, Sire Denathrius, and Heistbaron Togwaggle.
- Updated Heroes: Rakanishu, Patchwerk, Vanndar Stormpike, Drek’Thar, Aranna Starseeker, Fungalmancer Flurgl, Skycap’n Kragg, Galewing, Lich Baz’hial, Guff Runetotem, Deathwing, Kael’thas Sunstrider, Elise Starseeker, The Lich King, Sneed, and Edwin VanCleef.
- Multiple minion changes, new and removed minions
- Darkmoon prizes are out and new Quests are in!
July 4, 2022
- Updated for the 23.6 content patch
- New Heroes: Ozumat and Lady Vashj
- Updated Heroes: Onyxia, Pyramad, Tamsin Roame, Cariel Roame, Drek’Thar, Guff Runetotem, Overlord Saurfang, Sneed, Vanndar, and Y’Shaarj
- Multiple minion changes, new and removed minions
- Darkmoon prizes have returned
May 23, 2022
- Updated for the 23.2.2 content patch
- New Heroes: Ini Stormcoil and Queen Azshara
- Updated Heroes: Varden Dawngrasp and Fungalmancer Flurgl
- Multiple minion changes, new minions, and removed minions. Nagas have arrived!
- Buddies have been removed!
March 20, 2022
- Updated for the 22.6 content patch
- New Hero: Ambassador Faelin
- Updated Hero: Shudderwock Hero Power cost from 2 to 1.
- Multiple minion changes, new minions, and removed minions. In particular, Murloc Tidehunter and Maexxna have been removed.
- Armor has returned. This changes the relative power levels of the Heroes a lot while not affecting their general strategy nearly as much.
February 19, 2022
- Updated for the 22.4 content patch
- New Heroes: Varden Dawngrasp, Rokara, and Onyxia
- Heroes re-enabled: Kael’thas, Silas Darkmoon, and Chenvaala
- Many changes to Buddies as Blizzard is looking for the right balance.
February 3, 2022
- Updated for the 22.2 content patch – every Hero now has a buddy!
- New Heroes: Bru’kan, Drek’Thar, Vanndar Stormpike, and Tavish Stormpike
- Heroes temporarily disabled: Kael’thas, Silas Darkmoon, and Chenvaala
December 27, 2021
- Updated for the 22.0.2 content patch.
- New Hero: Scabbs Cutterbutter
- The Diablo event has ended and Diablo has been removed from Battlegrounds.
- Sneed’s Hero Power cost changed from 1 to 2.
- Tamsin’s Hero Power cost changed from 0 to 1, now also buffs Attack.
November 24, 2021
- Updated for the 21.8 content patch.
- New Hero: Tamsin Roame
- Another round of Diablo buffs, and other balance changes (armor for Heroes, minion buffs/nerfs)
November 10, 2021
- Updated for the 21.6 content patch.
- New Heroes: Diablo (temporarily for the event), Sneed, and Cookie the Cook.
September 27, 2021
- Updated for the 21.3 content patch.
- Several Heroes have been changed: Shudderwock Hero Power now costs 2 (up from 0), Galewing Eastern Plaguelands flight now reduces the cost of the next Tavern Tier upgrade by 5 (instead of just upgrading the Tavern), and Master Nguyen Hero Power offerings have been changed.
- Multiple minion changes: nerfs to Demons and Leapfrogger, buffs to Quilboar and Pirates.
September 10, 2021
- Updated for the 21.2 content patch – the major Battlegrounds minions rework!
- Master Nguyen and Cariel Roame have been added to the Hero pool.
August 20, 2021
- Updated for the 21.0.3 content patch.
- Galewing has been added to the Hero pool.
- Several Heroes have been changed: Dancin’ Deryl, Fungalmancer Flurgl, Maiev Shadowsong, and Malygos.
- Shudderwock has returned to the Hero pool.
July 10, 2021
- Updated for the 20.8 content patch.
- Kurtrus Ashfallen has been added to the Hero pool.
- Several Heroes have been changed: Edwin VanCleef, Dinotamer Brann, Illidan Stormrage, Sindragosa, Guff Runetotem, Overlord Saurfang, N’Zoth, The Curator, and King Mukla
- Galakrond, Trade Prince Gallywix, Maiev Shadowsong, and The Lich King have returned to the Hero pool.
- Shudderwock has been temporarily removed from the Hero pool.
- Darkmoon Prizes have returned in 25% of games!
June 11, 2021
- Updated for the 20.4 content patch.
- Mutanus the Devourer and Guff Runetotem have been added to the Hero pool.
- Maiev Shadowsong and The Lich King have been temporarily removed from the Hero pool.
May 15, 2021
- Updated for the 20.2.2 content patch.
- Quilboar have arrived!
- Death Speaker Blackthorn, Vol’jin, and Xyrella have been added to the Hero pool.
April 16, 2021
- Updated for the 20.0.2 content patch.
- Captain Hooktusk and Queen Wagtoggle have returned to the Hero pool with somewhat altered Hero Powers.
- Overlord Saurfang has been added to the Hero pool.
February 24, 2021
- Updated for the 19.6 content patch.
- Captain Hooktusk has been temporarily removed from the Hero pool.
- Hero changes: Y’Shaarj adds a copy of the summoned minion to your hand, Elise Starseeker‘s Recruitment Map costs three Gold, King Mukla‘s Big Banana dro rate has been increased to 1/3, and The Great Akazamzarak can only Discover Ice Block once per game.
- Elistra the Immortal has been removed from the minion pool and multiple minions have been buffed.
- The Darkmoon event has ended, making Tickatus the only Hero with access to the special prizes.
January 27, 2021
- Updated for the 19.4 content patch.
- New Heroes added: Tickatus and Greybough.
- New Demon minions added.
December 21, 2020
- Updated for the 19.2 content patch.
- New Heroes added: C’Thun, N’Zoth, and Y’Shaarj.
- Galakrond has been removed from the Hero pool.
- Sir Finley Mrrgglton and The Great Akazamzarak have returned to the Hero pool.
- Several minions added, most notably various Taunt and Menagerie synergy minions.
- Heroes buffed: Silas Darkmoon, Zephrys the Great, and Patches the Pirate.
November 8, 2020
- Updated for the 18.6.1 balance patch.
- Nefarian has been removed from the Hero pool.
- 11 minions were changed, including buffs to Demons and Pirates and a nerf to Elementals.
- Heroes that were buffed: Queen Wagtoggle, The Curator, Captain Hooktusk, The Rat King, Rakanishu, George the Fallen, Ysera, The Great Akazamzarak (temporarily removed because of issues), Galakrond, Tess Greymane, Elise Starseeker, and Lord Barov.
- Zephrys, the Great is now available to all players.
October 19, 2020
- Updated for the post-Elementals 18.4.2 balance patch.
- Bartendotron has been removed from the Hero pool.
- Heroes that were nerfed: Ragnaros the Firelord and Maiev Shadowsong.
- Heroes that were buffed: Patchwerk, Chenvaala, Sindragosa, and King Mukla.
- Several changes to minions, most notably the removal of Pogo-Hopper from the minion pool.