The Arena: A Guide To The Not-So-Obvious

Posts: 89
Preface

Last Update: Dec 2013
Video section added at bottom.

I'm Ben#1806, currently Grandmaster rank in The Arena. I've saved screenshots of my journey from 0 gold to 1000 gold (Currently at 7000+ gold). The album can be viewed here:

http://imgur.com/a/ElKSS#9

Current stats: http://puu.sh/5vYpz.jpg

With this guide, I aim to point out the less obvious facets of The Arena. This is the information you need to know to start going infinite. This is a guide to winning games.

Hero Selection

Like every game with different classes, some are more powerful in the current patch balance. The Arena is also unique in that you're less likely to get class-specific cards. This means a class like Hunter which relies heavily on synergy and/or rushing will not do as well as in Ranked.

Following a tier-list isn't absolute, but it is the easiest way to start if you're new to a game.

My Personal Tier-List:

Note that this list is based on my personal experience of the ability of the class to get at least 7 wins (going infinite).

Tier 1

Mage - Flamestrike, Fireball, Blizzard, and Polymorph. The more of those you draft, the more likely you'll win the game. Very strong AoE abilities in a minion-spam heavy meta. Mirror Entity is a great common that can lock down a properly mana curved deck.

Paladin - Good hero ability and class-specific minions, but relies heavily on Consecration and Truesilver Champion. Tough to get 7 wins without those cards. Keeping an Acidic Swamp Ooze in hand and not overplaying <2HP units can make it difficult for a Paladin.

Shaman - Good class cards and easy synergies with hero ability (+attack aura minions, flametongue totem, Dark Iron Dwarf, Abusive Sergent, etc.). Remember to pickup some spells (Forked Lightning, Lightning Bolt, Rockbiter Weapon, etc.) or a Stormforged Axe to clear the field and give you time to buildup a totem army.

Tier 2

Warrior - Spam weapons, upgrade, charge minions. Gorehowl is generally auto-win (remember to pickup some Shield Block if you have a lot of weapons). Fallen out of meta slightly due to increased prevalence of Swamp Ooze being drafted by opponents.

Rogue - Nerfed hard, but still playable only because she can equip weapons. Starting coin -> Defias Ringleader into Assassin's Blade / Deadly Poison is your best bet to win. Weak to minion spam and aggro (due to loss of HP from attacking with hero often).

Warlock - Predictable hyper aggro class. Spam cards blindly until you run out of cards, then spam your hero ability until you run low on HP. Relies heavily on Blood Imp and gets countered by AoE wipes.

Tier 3

Priest - Mind Control costs what now?

Druid - My favorite class, has the best class-specific minions for The Arena. The cards are great stand alone, generally have taunt, and spamming them is usually enough to win you the game as your opponent runs out of resources to deal with it. Relies on Swipe a lot however, and a draft without it could go bad.

Hunter - Great aggro class against new players, however due to the inflexable nature of his hero ability, their next turn play is easily predicted. Knowledge of attack order and how to test for traps like Snipe / Explosive Trap / etc., wariness of turn 3 Animal Companion / Eaglehorn Bow and turn 4 Multi-Shot will allow you to beat a Hunter.

Card Selection

Work In Progress Tier-List
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ahily_Ox0TSldExQYW02NkVWclU2ZXdodXdSZVExQ0E&usp=sharing

Any card that can increase a minions stats instantly is very good. Cards like Dire Wolf Alpha, Shattered Sun Cleric, Defender of Argus, and Dark Iron Dwarf are very strong cards which can ruin your opponent's plans.

Any card that draw cards is very playable. Novice Engineer, Loot Hoarder, Gnomish Inventor, etc.
Any cards that have / give divine shield are also strong in general.

Some key cards to look for:

Warrior: All weapons, Upgrade, Arathi Weaponsmith, Execute(1~2), Warsong Commander(1), Frothing Berserker, Cleave, Slam

Druid: Ancient of Lore/War, Keeper of the Grove, Starfall, Swipe, Druid of the Claw, Ironbark Protector, Starfire

Warlock: Blood Imp, Demonfire, Flame Imp, Succubus, Soulfire, Doomguard

Rogue: SI:7 Agent, Defias Ringleader, Deadly Poison, Assassin's Blade

Mage: Blizzard, Kirin Tor Mage, Mirror Entity, Flamestrike, Polymorph, Fireball, Water Elemental

Shaman: Earth Elemental, Feral Spirit, Lightning Storm, Flametongue Totem, Hex, Stormforged Axe, Bloodlust (1), Fire Elemental

Priest: Injured Blademaster, Holy Nova, Lightspawn, Thoughtsteal, Shadow Word: Pain, Temple Enforcer

Paladin: Sword of Justice, Aldor Peacekeeper, Divine Favor, Truesilver Champion, Consecration, Noble Sacrifice, Hammer of Wrath, Hand of Protection, Argent Protector

Hunter: Snake Trap, Eaglehorn Bow, Animal Companion, Kill Command, Unleash the Hounds, Tracking, Explosive Shot, Houndmaster

Example; choosing between: Azure Drake | Defender of Argus | Demolisher

Always choose the card with an immediate effect (ie. not Demolisher). Choose Drake if you need the Spell Power or you are lacking in Card Draw, otherwise choose the Defender of Argus. Taunt and sudden stat boosts are extremely strong in The Arena.

Mana-Curve

A good Arena curve for most classes is something like:

1mana: 1~3
2mana: 7~10
3mana: 7~10
4mana: 5~7
5mana: 3~5
6+mana: 2~3

Paladin and Shaman can shift the curve up a bit (centering around 4) due to their hero abilities, and can get away with running more 1 mana buffs/nukes.

Gameplay Tips

As odd as it may seem, the key to winning your match, is to understand The Art of War.

---

"All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near."

The takeaway here is the baiting of key cards (as listed above). If you deceive your opponent into using one of the above cards on something trivial, even if it's 1 for 1 trade, you have gained.

To illustrate:

Your Opponent: Warlock, 20HP, 5 mana, 4 cards in hand | Field: 1/2 Novice Engineer
You: Paladin, 20HP, 6 mana, 5 cards in hand | Field: 2/2 Argent Protector, 1/1 Silver Hand Recruit

Your turn. Your Hand: Murloc Warleader, Elven Archer, Murloc Tidehunter, Aldor Peacekeeper, Truesilver Champion

The simple play: Elven Archer and crash Silver Hand Recruit to remove Novice Engineer, attack enemy hero with 2/2, and play Murloc Warleader + Murloc Tidehunter.

Response: Hellfire and now you're behind.

You need to check for Hellfire and try to bait it out if they have it.

Correct play: Attack the 1/2 Novice Engineer with your 2/2, play Elven Archer and use the ability on the Warlock, attack with your 1/1, use your Hero Ability, end turn.

Now your field consists of 2/1, 1/1, 1/1, 1/1. Very tempting for the Warlock to Hellfire, and yet if he does, your play next turn is still very strong and has good options.

2nd Example:

Your Opponent: Shaman, 20HP, 10 mana, 4 cards in hand | Field: 5/5 Stranglethorn Tiger (stealth)
You: Paladin, 20HP, 10 mana, 4 cards in hand | Field: 4/5 Chillwind Yeti, 1/1 Silver Hand Recruit

Your turn. Your Hand: Truesilver Champion, Tirion Fordring, Dread Corsair, Consecration

The simple play: Tirion + Hero Ability. You're setup to block the Tiger from trading favorably with your Yeti.

Response: Silence on Tirion (Earth Shock or a Silence Minion)

Now you've lost Tirion's effects (Divine Shield + Battlecry) and your Yeti in exchange for nothing! That is not good.

Correct play: Play the Dread Corsair + Use Hero Ability.

Dread Corsair silenced? Play Tirion next turn and make your opponent regret wasting it. Why not play Truesilver Champion since it makes Dread Corsair free? Because your opponent is at 20HP with nothing for you to attack with it. If they play an Acidic Swamp Ooze next turn, you played into a bad trade.

---

"It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle."

This is a key concept, and will be expanded upon further down. But to illustrate:

Your Opponent: Mage, 15HP, 6 mana, 2 cards in hand | Field: 1/1, 3/2 Knife Juggler
You: Rogue, 9HP, 6 mana, 5 cards in hand | Field: 3/3 SI:7 Agent

Your turn. Hand: Azure Drake, Murloc Tidehunter, Defias Ringleader, Backstab, and Deadly Venom.

The simple play: Backstab Knife Juggler, Use Hero Ability on the 1/1, Attack with 3/3, play Azure Drake or Tide Hunter + Ringleader.

Response: 1. Flame Strike and you lose. 2. Fireball at your face, you lose next turn to her hero ability.

At 7 mana next turn, you must know that a Mage will very likely use Flame Strike.

Correct play: Backstab Knife Juggler, Use Hero Ability and save it for next turn, Attack the 1/1 with your 3/3, play Tide Hunter, End Turn.

Now her responses, 1: Flame Strike and your Hand is still full of options. 2: Fireball and you still have 2 turns to live from her Hero Ability, allowing you to topdeck a healer or an Assassin's Blade.

---

"The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand."

In card game terms, this means you should have a vision for how your deck wins. Don't just blindly choose a bunch of cards and enter a match.

Ask yourself questions such as:

What is the mana curve on your cards?

For example, Warlocks would have a low cost-curve, which dictates that you must play everything you can from your hand every turn.

Do you need field control?

For example, Mages would likely let your opponent slowly build up and take the field until Flame Strike is played. This means playing only enough cards to stay alive, even if you have the mana to play more.

What card should I always start my hand with (else mulligan entire hand)?

For example, a Warlock would almost always want to play a first turn Flame Imp. Dump your entire hand if you don't have one.

What is your win condition?

For example, a Paladin's win condition is generally to generate card advantage through Divine Shield and a properly timed Consecration. This means make sure to kill things with more than 2HP, and leave things with 2 or less HP alone if you can.

The more you envision before the actual match, about how you deal with every situation using your deck, the better off you will be. This doesn't mean you should afk after building an Arena deck and simulate duels in your head for 2 hours. But you should have a general idea of all these things, and keep it in mind when you play. This comes with experience.

Class Specific Tips

Expanding on know yourself, know your enemy, you have to play differently depending on what class you're playing against. To know your enemy comes with experience, but below are some tips to follow against each class that should hold true most of the time.

Do note however, that the metagame can change at any point, and you must eventually come to your own conclusions of what certain classes and decks do.

Versus Warrior

The Warrior is a mid-game class. It tends to lack Taunt minions but uses weapons to defend early game rushes. The best way to beat a Warrior is to stall until late game and spam cards that are out of range for the Warrior's weapon damage.

The key card that you need to watch out for against a Warrior is the Arathi Weaponsmith. If the Warrior will have 4 mana next turn, you must expect 2 damage instantly along with a 3/3. So playing a 3/2 the turn before is not a good idea. Play a crappy minion instead like Loot Hoarder or Novice Engineer to waste durability stacks on his weapon.

Versus Druid

Swipe - Never overextend with a field with one minion at 3/4 HP and the rest at 1HP.
Starfall - Never overextend with a field with minions all below 2HP.

Also, with Swipe and Starfall, keep in mind the Druid's hero ability, which means one minion can have 1HP extra and still result in a field wipe.

Basically if you have 10 mana and the only cards you can play are in Swipe/Starfall range, try to bait it out and never play out all that you can.

Also, the 8/8 Taunt tree is very common, so try to keep cards like Execute and Polymorph for the late game instead of using it early unless you're going for the early win.

Versus Warlock

If you leave a Warlock alone, his Hero Ability will win him the game. You must start doing damage ASAP, making him scared to use it. Remember to select a card that can deal with Blood Imps during the draft (ie. Whirlwind, Multishot, etc.), or it'll be a tough early game.

The Key card to watch out for is Hellfire, never overextend with an entire field of minions 3HP or below. Bait it out first.

Versus Rogue

The key to easily beating a Rogue is to play as many Taunt and high HP minions as you can. Cards like Shiv, Backstab, and Eviscerate will then lose their value. Most Rogue decks have 0-1 Assassinate only, so take advantage of that. With the recent nerfs, out-aggroing the Rogue so that she doesn't have enough HP to attack minions is another option.

The key card to look out for is the Defias Ringleader. Rogues going 2nd will Coin -> Ringleader combo on their first turn. Make sure to dump your entire hand to fish for a card to defend against it.

1HP minions are also generally useless against a Rogue, and should be discarded from your opening hand to be spammed in multiples late game. Unlike a Mage or Druid, the weapon from the hero ability persists another turn. This means forcing the Rogue to use her dagger ability by playing a x/1 minion is not going to slow the Rogue down a lot.

Versus Mage

Beating a Mage requires you to hold back. One way or another, your field WILL be wiped at some point. Only play enough cards to maintain field control. If you have 2 minions and she has none, and it's your turn, play nothing unless your hand is 7+ cards. Don't try to force the win.

The key card to watch for is Flame Strike. Keep in your mind that once the Mage has 7 mana, a Flame Strike can come down at any time. Play 5HP + / Divine Shield minions and hold back cards. Keep in mind that at 9 mana the Mage can also kill one 5HP minion with Flame Strike + Hero Ability.

Unit positioning can also play a role here. Playing a stealth minion or Faerie Dragon in the center of 3 units can save you from a cone of cold.

Versus Shaman

Totems, totems, totems. To beat a Shaman you must keep the totem count as low as possible on the field. A Shaman deck should mostly consist of Overload cards, cards which buff totems, and the random 5+ cost neutral cards.

The key cards to watch out for are Lightning Storm and Flametongue Totem. Make sure your losses are minimal when Lightning Storm is played. For Flametongue Totem, if the Shaman has 2 creatures ready to attack, you can usually expect this totem to come down between them. Either make sure the Shaman never has 2 creatures on the board when your turn ends, or make sure that there's nothing worthwhile for you to lose when they attack with the buff.

Versus Priest

Priests will try to heal their minions whenever possible to increase card efficiency. Always try to do perfect kill damage. Cards like Hex and Polymorph will ruin a Priest. If you can't do perfect damage, sometimes damaging the minions is still a good idea to force them to use 2mana on healing, slowing down their field control.

Make sure to play around Holy Nova by keeping your minions above 2HP at the 5 mana mark. No longer need to worry about Mind Control after the nerf from 8 to 10 mana.

Versus Paladin

Relies heavily on Consecration, Divine Shield, and various buffs. Bait out consecration, use hero abilities or 1/1's to remove Divine Shield if possible, and save Silence cards for major threats.

For example, a Scarlet Crusader is not a good target for Silence. Try to hold on to the Silence and destroy the Scarlet Crusader through other means. This will pay off later when you silence a Sunwalker or a minion with Blessing of Kings.

Always keep Acidic Swamp Ooze in your hand if you draw into it. Truesilver Champion is a major 4-mana threat.

Versus Hunter

Prepare an early defense and gain field control as soon as possible. Watch out for Eaglehorn Bow turn 3 and Multi-Shot turn 4.

A card to make note of is Explosive Trap, always attack with a minion first before playing new ones when a Secret has been set (unless the new minion buffs the old ones past 2HP). If the Secret does not trigger on attack, expect Snipe. If Snipe does not trigger, it's Snake Trap.

Unit positioning for Explosive Shot is also important. Place units such that the center of 3 is the least desirable target for a 2-5-2 damage spread.

Noob Mistakes

Not really an intention of this guide, but I see two mistakes being made very often.

1. Putting bad Arena cards in your deck. For example, Sinister Strike is a terrible card that basically says "Pay 1 mana; dump this card on the ground and do nothing". 95% of the time when you draw it, it's worthless. I have seen so many 1-3 win Rogues play this card, I laugh and win every time.

2. Do not play into a bad trade. For example, Mage plays 1/3 Mana Wyrm on turn 1. You were planning to play a Leper Gnome. DON'T. The mage can simply attack it with the Wyrm, and it lives. Now you need to spend extra resources to finish off the wyrm, meaning the trade was not 1 for 1. Save the card for later.

Note that the Mage ability is NOT the same as having the Wyrm on the field. She has to spend 2 mana (resources) to kill your 1 mana Leper Gnome, which means she's not spending that 2 mana playing a River Crocolisk or something which limits what you can play next turn to something with 3+ attack or 3+ hp to trade or survive an attack.

Video

Warrior (New):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9_CH-MGK2M

Warrior (Old):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEW25eBB1BI
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/b/472826170

Rogue:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FCTdpXZ8vY
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3132753

Paladin:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7EN1b4Y-SI
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3161780

Druid:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gtu-zZZoeUg
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/b/475008638

Shaman (New):
www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9O-wH-nzbQ

Shaman (Old):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjHXJ82e01s
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3168137

Hunter (New):
www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQfSVJviEGQ

Hunter (Old):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PLaevzadCY
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3170270

Priest:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ed-FU85BVMc
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3171006

Warlock Pt. 1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHuWcLS4_Nk
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3173041

Warlock Pt. 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U91Yb98AsXQ
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3173046

Mage:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=carp4fMYUa0
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3175987

Post-Nerf Mage Videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qj3qqGGs-7k
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNxMCp9EWSI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeDZiJ24XX4

Misc. Videos

Shaman Draft and Play:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sGesBnQcEU

Shaman Draft and Play 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvmf1p6LKC4

Warrior Draft and Play:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaY57_sZEeM

Warrior 12-win attempt:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTYaM0nFtmY

Rogue 12-win attempt:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d7jS-pBUiY

Druid 12-win attempt:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWI23dUrVnE

Hunter Angry Chicken Arena Run:
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3189555
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EUNO4lsq7s

Short Video Series - Draft - Rogue
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxCkgoYn0uI
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3262729

Deck Play / Result:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF1x0iOy0sY
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3263119

Short Video Series - 9th Win - Rogue
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/b/477958829
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3uHezUKajc

Short Video Series - Draft - Paladin
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3222076
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJvYCOxT-jU

Short Video Series - 9th Win - Paladin
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3222507
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX3egXNMUfQ

Short Video Series - 9th Win - Shaman
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_cFh72eJ9o
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3268789

Short Video Series - Warrior Draft:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiIodzzNJ8g
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3269551

Short Video Series - Warrior Draft Result:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RndwyHgs1nU
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3269538

Bad Draft Highlight Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt6eiZd5v7o
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3283205

Mage Draft:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sUeh8MQz9Q
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3299068

Mage Deck Result:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v43nt2FVlgo
http://www.twitch.tv/legendsend/c/3299073

Closing

If you understand everything written here, then you should be well on your way to getting consistent 7+ win streaks. Thanks for reading! Feedback is welcome, and see you in Hearthstone.

-Ben#1806
Edited by Ben on 2/1/2014 7:53 PM PST
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Posts: 463
Excellent little guide Ben. I applaud you for sharing this information with the community. As a complete newbie to TCG's I have taken some of this advice and used with success outside of the Arena. Can't wait to try it out in the arena now. :)

Cheers!
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Posts: 38
This is a great guide, I wholeheartedly agree with all the advice. Especially the simple play vs. correct play breakdowns.
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Posts: 439
Nice guide

A fair bit of effort went into that
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Posts: 2
I enyoed reading, thank's a lot
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Posts: 29
Nice Ben! Well put together and I am sure the players will definitely appreciate this as much as I did.
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Posts: 64
Just a slight modification to your flamestrike tip: a mage with 9 mana can do better than kill a 5 hp minion, it can kill ALL 5 hp minions. That's what you get for taking his candle.
Edited by Seanner on 8/22/2013 9:04 PM PDT
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Posts: 5
Excellent article; this should be stickied. It's a very interesting read. Thank you!
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Posts: 11,502
I'd actually pick Druid/Rogue/Paladin as the top arena classes.

Followed by Hunter/Mage

Then Warrior

and Shaman and Warlock Last

-----

I've gone 9 kill sometimes with hunter just because tracking is probably one of the very best cards in the arena format. Taking a card and throwing 2 out knowing you won't get that *crap* in the next 2 turns helps a lot to get things set up for aggressive decks. And late game it helps you throw out stuff which missed your timing window. Personally not a fan of direct damage as hunter either, but I guess that may come down to playstyle. I think my lowest with hunter was a 7 kill so far.

Druid is easy to set up massive burst damage. I feel that a lot of players underrate the class, so I'm glad you have it rated up there. I'd probably say my favorite class to play, though my rogue and hunter games are probably statistically better.

I only rate paladin high because if there was a statistics chart, I'd guess 30-40% of my losses are against paladins. So if out of 9 classes over a third of my losses are from Paladin, they're definitely good against certain playstyles.

As for warrior, I only tried it once, and I didn't even get a single option for a weapon. Maybe that's why I consider the class so poorly. IMO if the chance of getting weapons is so low, it's hard to consider it a top pick. The only class i seem to reliably get options to take weapons is rogue. I've gotten a weapon once as a hunter as well, but that's about it. I see a lot of paladins get weapons out as well, though I never played the class myself.

-----

Your picks list is definitely interesting though, since it's pretty different from mine. I guess that goes to show that this game allows a variety of playstyles to do well. Then again of the other games I've kept top 2% finishes in (WoW, SC2, and other less known games) I've generally kept a different playstyle from most players. Even in both MTG and Pokemon TCG I've played semi-competitively on custom non-mainstream decks :P
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Posts: 220
I got my first 9 win run today with hunter. I'd hardly call it the worst. The beasts all synergize really well and can get really efficient if you play them right. Scavenging Buzzard and Animal Companion are particularly awesome.
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Posts: 129
This is an interesting guide. I always felt that warriors were the weakest but I'll give it a shot if I get the chance. I just started playing a few days ago. I feel kinda proud that I've beaten Ben and Beakyboo^ already :D

At the end of the day this is still a casual luck-based game moreso than skill like in MTG. It's just about having fun more than hardcore competition and I like that about the game.
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Posts: 1,182
Thanks for all the hard work put into this guide :)
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Posts: 107
/tagged.

Thanks for the post and tips!
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Posts: 1,714
Nice quick guide. Thx for posting.
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Posts: 34
Nice guide. I was wondering if someone could go a bit more into depth about the Druid. It's my favorite class, and yet I've literally never won a single game (arena) with it. I thought maybe the class just sucks for arena, but looking here it's obvious I'm playing it wrong. I usually do fine early game, even get a significant advantage, but then later the opponent puts down some massive Taunt creature or something and I lose everything. I've had 30health+5armor vs. a priest with 8health and he turned the game around and won. Kept healing his taunt creature, and mind-controlled some of my bigger stuff.

Specifically, the questions you ask about knowing yourself, I can't answer properly.

- What is the mana curve on your cards?
I usually go for fewer low-cost cards and more higher-cost cards. Ironbark Protector and such. I seem to always have lots of mana late-game.

- Do you need field control?
Not sure about this. It seems to be more direct damage.

- What card should I always start my hand with (else mulligan entire hand)?
This is something I'd really love to hear opinions on. I have no clue which ones. I'm usually fine with my opening hand unless it has nothing that I can play on turn1.

- What is your win condition?
Again, no clue. Build up a bunch of creatures and hope to overwhelm the other guy.
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Posts: 1,983
Your class ranking is overly simplistic to the point where it is wrong. My best class is, by far, the shaman, and the worst I have done with him so far is 8 wins out of like 8 runs with shaman. The shaman cards offer a good balance of control and damage potential that synergizes with the relatively hearty totems which also offer great utility. If you aren't winning all the time with shaman in Arena, I think you are just doing it wrong. If you want to make your ranking accurate, you are going to need more than just a blurb about each class.
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- Hearthstone
Posts: 11,716
From personal experience, I'd put Rogue as #1. I don't mean that as a personal opinion, though that much is true as well, but I mean statistically, I'm pretty sure I see Rogues win Arena games more often than any other class. If I had to guess, Paladin is probably #2, but I'm not sure on that; it would be nice to get some statistics on it to validate if that's true or not.

Other than that, while I don't agree necessarily with your exact ordering, I think you have the jist more or less right. Hunters are relatively low in my experience mainly because in Arena they have to generally really on beast-synnergy cards, and almost all beasts are low-cost minions, meaning you either need to rush the opponent down or you probably will lose in the end-game.
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Posts: 413
I found the warrior being ranked #1 extremely surprising. I don't have beta access, so I can only speak as a 3rd party witness, but it seems people generally view the warrior as the least playable class. Especially in arena.
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Posts: 953
I really disagree with your class ranking. I'd personally rate them:

Mage
Hunter
Shaman, Rogue
Warrior, Druid, Warlock
Paladin
Priest

Which isn't to say any particular class can't do well in Arena, but you're definitely gambling on pulling more exotics with the lower tier ones.
Edited by tangmcgame on 9/2/2013 8:46 AM PDT
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Posts: 79
Some great tips overall. I have to agree with some of the others that your rankings seem out of whack. Through my experiences, I would have to rank them like this:

Tier 1 - Rogue, Shaman, Mage, Warlock
Tier 2 - Warrior, Druid, Paladin, Priest
Tier 3 - Hunter

Hunter tends to be popular with the newer players because of the clear synergies and aggressive style, but it's also one of the most easily stopped. The biggest problem with the class is that it's so difficult to generate card advantage. The longer the game goes, the worse it is for the hunter. The only exception to the rule is that they can give rogues a run for their money if the rogue has been using weapons to control the board.

One very important tip I'd add is to remember the cost of the best common spells and minions for your class, especially the ones with high mana costs (4+). Do your best to avoid taking other common cards early in your draft that share that cost. For example:

You're drafting a shaman deck. Three picks into the draft, you're presented with a choice of Lord of the Arena, Harvest Golem, and Shattered Sun Cleric. While the Lord of the Arena is arguably the stronger card of the bunch, the other two are very solid minions that I wouldn't mind having in my deck. More importantly, one of the most powerful common minions for shaman is the Fire Elemental. I'll take a Fire Elemental over any other common in almost every situation imaginable, and I'll take as many as I can get. Drafting other 6+ cost minions puts your deck in jeopardy of being extremely slow and ultimately unsuccessful. If it's late in your draft and you haven't had the opportunity to take any Fire Elementals, the Lord of the Arena gains much more value.

On top of that, many minions are excellent with some classes yet mediocre (or poor) in others. Gurubashi Berserker is a perfect example. The Berserker is a wrecking ball for Mages and Priests, solid for Warrior, but mediocre or sub-optimal for the remaining classes.

Here are the common cards you want to draft high while avoiding too many other cards of the same cost:

    Druid - Swipe, Druid of the Claw, Ironbark Protector
    Hunter - None
    Mage - Water Elemental, Flamestrike, Gurubashi Berserker
    Paladin - Truesilver Champion, Consecration, Frostwolf Warlord
    Priest - Holy Nova, Mind Control, Gurubashi Berserker
    Rogue - Assassin's Blade
    Shaman - Fire Elemental, Frostwolf Warlord
    Warlock - Hellfire
    Warrior - Arathi Weaponsmith, Arcanite Reaper
    All - Spellbreaker

Hope this helps some of you to reach the 9 win club. Happy drafting!
Edited by Weeble on 9/2/2013 3:55 PM PDT
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