Hearthstone Battlegrounds has been one of the most popular game modes since its introduction to this Blizzard game. Whether you’re an old player coming back to the game after the new Ashes of Outland Expansion pack or you are a new player who are interested in getting better at this popular auto-battler game, this guide will teach you how to play the best heroes of Hearthstone Battlegrounds.
This guide will only cover the specific suggestions for each hero, not every build in the game. So it assumes a general understanding of the game mechanics and minions on the reader’s part.
Hearthstone Battlegrounds is available for free at Blizzard as part of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.
10. A. F. Kay
A. F. Kay used to be one of the most powerful heroes in Hearthstone Battlegrounds to the point that she got nerfed. But even with the drop in her power and popularity after this nerf, statistically, she is still one of the best heroes in the game. Her hero power makes you go inactive for the first two rounds, and on the third turn you will discover two tavern 3 minions.
To get the best start with A. F. Kay, you should look out for any token minions (Alleycat or Murloc Tidehunter) on your first two turns. You won’t be able to buy them or refresh the tavern, but you can freeze the tavern until your third turn. On your third turn, you will discover two tavern 3 minions, buy a token minion and sell the generated token, and level up. If you don’t get a token on your first two turns, it’s better to stay on tavern 1 for an extra turn and buy the best minion offered, this way you won’t fall behind in the mid-game. (Unless you discover two really powerful tier 3 minions.)
For the cards that you will discover on your third turn, you should look for one of these minions (Sorted based on their power level): Bronze Warden, Deflect-o-Bot, Soul Juggler, Imp Gang Boss or Pack Leader. These cards can lead to powerful mid and late game builds. If you don’t see any of these minions in your discover pool, you should get the minion with the best stats. You can also get one of the buff cards if you have a target for them, either by buying from the tavern or discovering one. You should avoid Shifter Zerus on this stage since you will fall behind too much if you pick him.
After your third turn, you will get a power boost for two or three turns and you can win unless you get unlucky. You should use this boost to tavern up and look for stronger builds for the end game.
9. Elise Starseeker
If you are a regular Hearthstone Battlegrounds player, you might be surprised by this entry. Elise is actually one of the most underrated heroes in the game. Whenever you tavern up, her hero power lets you discover a minion from that tavern tier for three gold. This hero power helps you get a decent minion on lower tavern tiers that you might not get by refreshing, and it lets you find build defining minions when you get to tavern five or six.
As Elise, you should buy the minions with the best stats at the start of the game so you won’t fall behind in the early game. Your hero power lets you find the best options when you tavern up to tier two and three. After you establish a decent board in the mid-game, you can rush to tavern five. You should usually skip rolling on tavern four or using the discover card on this tier unless you are looking for a specific minion.
After getting to tavern five, you can discover one of the key minions that will let you get a late-game build. These minions are Brann Bronzebeard, Baron Rivendare, Lightfang Enforcer or Goldrinn the Great Wolf. You can pick King Bagurgle or Primalfin Lookout if you have a few murlocs on board, Razorgore the Untamed if you have a few dragons, or Voidlord, Mal’ganis and Annihilan Battlemaster if you have a demon heavy composition.
8. Sir Finley Mrrgglton
Sir Finley is always a good option if you don’t have a good hero to pick at the start of the game. His hero power lets you discover a new hero power, basically giving you another chance to find a good hero to play. There is only one thing that makes Sir Finley unique, and that is the fact that you will see the first three minions you can buy at the start of the game before choosing your hero power. Having a token minion can affect your decision if you are presented with a hero power that can take advantage of those tokens.
7. Edwin VanCleef
Edwin has a powerful hero power that lets you increase the stats of your strong minions. For one gold, it will give a minion +1/+1 for each minion that you have bought that turn. This means that Edwin can really take advantage of tokens, buff minions and minions that give you an extra card like Primalfin Lookout and Murozond.
As Edwin, you should buy tokens and minions that you can sell later in the game until you get to tavern three. After getting to tavern three or higher, you should look for minions that can really take advantage of your hero power. These minions are Bronze Warden and Deflect-o-Bot at tavern three, Cave Hydra at tavern four, Annihilian Battlemaster at tavern five, and Foe Reaper 4000 and Holy Mackerel at tavern six. After finding one or two good targets for your hero power, you should try to roll as less as possible, and buy and sell minions that can buff your board or give you extra cards in order to power up your hero power as much as possible. Edwin VanCleef performs very well with divine shield and cleave builds because of his hero power.
Yogg has been one of the best heroes in Hearthstone Battlegrounds since the beginning, and it is because of its considerable early game advantage. Yogg’s hero power lets you get a random minion from the tavern for two gold and give it +1/+1. This hero power almost guarantees a win on your first two turns.
As Yogg, you should try to get the minion with the highest stat on the first turn with your hero power. If you have no good targets at the start, you can refresh once since your hero power costs 2 gold. You should then go to tavern tier two on the next turn, and on your third turn, you get to buy a minion and use your hero power once. This will get you the most stats on the board and gives you an advantage in the early game so you can tavern up and look for an end game build without the risk of losing too much health in the earlier taverns. You don’t need to use your hero power in the mid and late-game since you are usually looking for specific minions at this stage and the +1/+1 buff will be insignificant against more powerful opponents.
Deathwing was so strong when it was released that it was nerfed only after a few weeks. But it is still one of the most powerful heroes in Hearthstone Battlegrounds. His hero power gives every minion (on your board and your opponent’s board) +2 attack. This effect makes him very strong with tokens and deathrattle builds.
As Deathwing, your preferred starter should be a token minion, Rightous Protector or a Mecharoo. After getting to tavern tier two, you should buy a Rat Pack if you see one. Finding a Rat Pack early will give you a high chance of winning for one or two turns and you can tavern up faster than other heroes without the risk of losing too much health. After that you can transition in any late game build you can find, keeping in mind that mechs, beasts and deathrattles, especially Ghastcoiler are really good options for Deathwing. If you can’t find a Rat Pack at tavern tier two, you can buy any good deathrattle and token minion and tavern up normally on seven and nine gold.
You should keep in mind that your opponents can buy Rat Pack and have a huge advantage when facing you since your hero power affects both sides of the board. So if you see someone is playing beasts in the match history, you should be cautious about going to higher taverns on the turns you are facing against them.
4. Arch-Villain Rafaam
Rafaam is one of the most fun heroes to play in Hearthstone Battleground. For one gold, his hero power will give you a copy of the first minion you kill on the next round. This gives Rafaam a considerable early and mid-game advantage, and makes completing end game builds easier since you can steal important minions from your opponents.
As Rafaam, you should buy any good minion on your first turn. You can freeze your first tavern if you have two good minions since you won’t be going to tavern two as soon as other heroes. On your second turn, you will buy a minion and use your hero power. This will give you a stolen minion from your next opponent, giving you a head start on gold and board state. You should skip your hero power and tavern up only if you are facing against A. F. Kay on your second turn since she doesn’t have any minions for you to take. After that, you should hero power every turn through early and mid-game.
You should complete your build using the minion you get from your opponents or using the gold advantage they provide by selling them. You can take advantage of minions like Red Whelp, Kaboom Bot and Soul Juggler since they can kill minions behind taunts and give you a higher chance of getting more powerful minions.
3. Dancin’ Deryl
Deryl is one of the hardest heroes in Hearthstone Battlegrounds. His complicated hero power causes a lot of players to avoid him, But if played right, he is one of the best options. His hero power, gives two random minion in Bob’s tavern +1/+1 whenever you sell a minion. Token minions and buff minions that you would normally sell give Deryl a huge buff on the minions he buys.
As Deryl, you should start with a token minion, or buy the best option available. Tokens are so important that you can afford freezing the tavern if you are offered more than one on your first turn. You should tavern up on your second turn. On your third turn, you should sell your token, or the minion you bought if it’s a weak minion, to buff two minions in the tavern. Then you should buy the buffed minions unless there is a significantly better option available (like another token minion or Steward of Time). You should buy the two best options at six gold, and buy a minion and tavern up at seven.
Tavern tier three is where Deryl can take advantage of his hero power the most or as players tend to say, start dancing. Dancing means buying all the minions offered in Bob’s tavern except one, and selling them to buff that one minion. At tavern three, you will be offered four minions with each refresh, so with nine or 10 gold, you can buy three, sell them to buff one minion and buy the buffed minion. You should start dancing after reaching tavern tier three, and stay on this tavern until you have a strong board. The best minions to dance on are Deflect-o-Bot, Bronze Warden, Rat Pack or any minion with a strong effect or good starting stat.
In the past, players used to stay at tavern tier-three until the end, but with the power level of end game builds, this is not a valid strategy anymore. You should go to higher taverns when you have a strong enough board and look for minions to complete your build. You can still dance on higher taverns, but you have less chance of getting all the buffs on the minion you want since you can’t buy more than three minions without selling them and the buff will usually split between the two remaining minions.
You might not see this hero in many games, but statically, it’s currently the second-best hero in the game (maybe even the best with the recent nerf to the top hero). Nozdormu’s hero power is really simple and might seem boring to most players. His first refresh each turn is free. If you look at this over the course of a normal Hearthstone Battlegrounds game that lasts between 10-15 turns, it means Nozdormu gets a 10-15 gold advantage during the game. This is a huge advantage for this hero that most people overlook.
As Nozdormu, you want to buy the strongest minions at the early taverns. Keep in mind that you can refresh even at the first turn, to find the best option. In the late game Nozdormu can pull off most builds more efficiently because of his hero power, since looking for specific minions will be easier for you.
1. Millhouse Manastorm
Millhouse Manastorm is the most interesting hero in Hearthstone Battlegrounds. When first introduced, he was by far the worst hero in the game. His hero power used to make minions and refreshing tavern cost two gold, but he also started with two gold. After his weak performance, he received a small buff so he would start with three gold like other heroes. This small change seemed insignificant at first, but quickly he became the best hero in the game. This shows how precise the balance of the game is.
Currently, Millhouse has been nerfed again. Going to higher taverns will cost one more gold for Millhouse. This first position might change soon, but for now, let’s talk about how to play this hero.
As Millhouse, your best starting option is buying a token minion, selling the token and buying the next best minion. At the second turn, you should buy two of the best minions. Tokens are always a good option for Millhouse since they are basically free. You buy the token minions for two gold and you can sell each of them for one gold. On your third turn, you should go to tavern two. If you have a token on board, you can sell one to get a better minion on this turn. This start will give you a board advantage on early and mid-game. You should keep this advantage by buying the best minions offered each turn and avoid refreshing the tavern as much as possible. Because of this early advantage, Millhouse can go to higher taverns faster than others and look for powerful end game compositions.
Before the recent nerf, you could get to tavern six on the first turn you get to 10 gold without losing many matches. After the nerf, Millhouse won’t be able to tavern up as fast, but he still has a strong early and mid-game advantage. He might drop from the first spot soon, but he is still strong enough to stay in this list.