Here’s our guide on the Best Hero to pick at the start of your Hearthstone Battlegrounds journey.
Hearthstone’s new Battlegrounds game mode allows players to fight it out auto-chess style. You’ll have the choice between either 2 or 3 Heroes depending on your bonuses - our Battlegrounds release guide goes into more detail on that.
Which Hero do you choose though? Obviously, you won’t be able to take your pick of all 24, but we’ve put together a helpful guide to the very best picks, so if they come up it’s well worth nabbing them. We’ve found Hearthstone’s unique keywords to be extremely helpful when looking at strategies, so keep an eye out for synergies to take advantage of! Getting Divine Shield or Taunt on a minion can be the difference between winning and losing, and hitting the enemy’s trump card with Poisonous is just perfect.
Hearthstone Battlegrounds: Best Heroes Tier List
We’ll keep this list updated based on our experiences, as well as the developing meta around the Battlegrounds, so keep an eye out for our updates!
Several Balance Adjustments and Returning Heroes! (Jan 21st)
Hearthstone Battlegrounds' latest update is pretty hefty, with some returning heroes, hero power changes and more. We've also been promised that even more heroes and content is in the pipeline, so stay tuned!
Here's a look at the two new heroes:
- Tirion Fordring: Honorable Warband: [Cost 1] Give minions with no minion type +1/+1.
- Millhouse Manastorm: [Passive] Minions cost 2 Gold. Refresh costs 2 Gold. Start with 2 Gold.
Top Tier Heroes
Here’s our very favourite Hearthstone Battlegrounds Heroes. We pick them whenever the option arises, as the effects they bring from their Hero Powers create so much value.
Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End
Yogg-Saron’s Hero Power, Puzzle Box, hires a random minion from the Tavern and gives it +1/+1. It costs 2 coins, which is less than you’d usually be paying for a minion, and the bonus gives you a substantial advantage early on in the game. You'll have a stacked board to build off of, and even though you don't get to choose the minion hired with your Hero Power, you'll be in good stead to work out a build later on in the game.
Nefarian’s Hero Power, Nefarious Wind, deals 1 damage to all enemy minions at the start of combat. This may sound minor, but keep in mind that Divine Shield is hugely powerful in Battlegrounds, negating potentially enormous blows from buffed up enemy minions. Nafarian’s blanket 1 damage to all enemies, for the tiny cost of 1 coin, gets rid of all Divine Shields, so you won’t have to worry about a thing.
Her nerf has been reversed! This gives her hero power insane value. For only 1 coin (previously 2), she refreshes Bob's Tavern, with one minion guaranteed to be a level above the current Tavern level. This means she can cheat out more expensive minions earlier than anyone else, which makes it far easier to get those wins in the early game without investing an entire turn to a Tavern upgrade. Once you're at level 3 and 4, the 1 coin cost is an easy spend for the powerful minion, or synergy buff you're going for.
Losing out on your first two turns is pretty nasty, and you’ll be guaranteed a decent bit of damage to hit you. However, if the tier 3 minions you Discover synergise together, you’re onto a winner. For example, picking up Imp Gang Boss and Soul Juggler, you can snowball out of control and start pressuring your opponents’ health totals before they’re upgraded enough to respond. It takes a bit of luck, but even if you don’t get the perfect lineup, A.F. Kay can bring you a ludicrously strong early game, which can snowball ridiculously.
Brann is a Hero who can benefit far more from Battlecry synergies. When you play a Battlecry minion, a random minion on your side of the board gets +1/+1. He essentially gives you an extra +1/+1 Battlecry with every other Battlecry you play. Even non-synergistic Battlecries give you a bonus, making most buys worth the spend. With the likes of Alleycat early on, you’ll get an extra +1/+1, and even the likes of Houndmaster later on will give a random minion a bonus. Across the course of a game, this snowballs impressively, and we’ve found a lot of success with how surprisingly versatile Brann is.
High Tier Heroes
These Heroes are almost the best of the best. Their abilities are consistently powerful and give you a decent chance every time you load a game up. They aren’t always as overpowered as the Heroes above, but you can rely on them to always be useful.
This guy's got a pretty unique passive hero ability. It makes everything cost 2 gold, so this means Minions, shop refreshes, and even how much cash you start with at the beginning. At first glance it may seem very strong, and it is - if you can survive long enough to reach the lategame. Have a few unfortunate early rounds and it could haemorrhage your health a little too much, so much so, you'll end up dropping out of the match just before you're about to ramp up.
Make sure you have as a strong board as early as possible, and prioritise minions which'll help you do so. Also, don't forget that each shop refresh costs 2 gold, not 1! We've been caught idly refreshing, only to realise we haven't got enough to pocket. Once you've hit the endgame though, buying minions is significantly cheaper, and it becomes easier to max out your minions - this is where he really shines.
On the face of it, Bartendotron isn’t the sexiest offering when it comes to Hero Powers. However, the value of cheaper tavern tiers can’t be overstated. Rush your way to tier 6, and you’ll have far more time and gold to spend on crafting the perfect board with the very best minions. You’ll be the first to get your hands on Sneed’s Old Shredder, and it’ll be glorious.
Arch-Villain Rafaam’s ability allows him to pick up some very useful minions and at little cost to your bank account too. For 1 gold, you can add a plain copy of the first minion you kill to your hand, meaning you’ll pick up a 3 gold minion at the end of the turn. This makes it fantastic in the early game as you can build up your board quickly, and enables you to pivot to a different strategy quickly if Bob’s not giving you what you need. Also, if you don’t need the plain copy, you can stick it on the board (if you’ve got space), and then refund it for cash back - especially useful if you need an extra reroll or two!
This guy lets you start a game with a 1/1 Amalgam that has all minion types, similar to the Nightmare Amalgam. This lets you start buffing it up as early as you want, Rockpool Hunter offers +1/+1 in stats to your Amalgam, whilst Magnetic minions can be attached onto it. It’s the perfect opener and leaves you able to go down any composition route you see fit. It’s extremely strong later on once you start getting Lightfang Enforcers in your team too.
Edwin VanCleef’s provides a pretty powerful buff for a cheap price. The more minions you buy in a round, the better the buff, and the fact it’s a targeted ability means you can prioritise your key minions. We’ve found it especially useful for keeping squishy, yet powerful units alive like Kadgar, Soul Juggler and the like.
The Great Akazamzarak
This guy’s Hero Power costs 2 coins to use, and allows you to Discover a Secret and put it into play. The Secret pool is actually quite small, so you’ll be able to tailor your choice depending on your board’s situation. Need a few extra minions on board? Grab yourself a Snake Trap. Enemy minions getting too big? Venomstrike Trap can help take one down with Poisonous. The Great Akazamzarak is not tied down to a specific team composition too, which means you can play to whichever style you deem best for the minions you’re being offered from the Tavern. Remember: your Secrets remain in play if they aren't triggered, meaning you'll be able to grab an Ice Block and save yourself from lethal damage at least once.
This nasty gnome hits a very specific synergy. All mechs you buy from Bartender Bob receive a +1 Attack buff. This really adds up, and sets you down a clear path for how you want to build your team. Obviously, buy all the Mech minions you possibly can and beef them up using the various Battlecries and buffs available to you. Magnetic buffs are especially powerful here, and you can build yourself a pretty sweet board of minions with Divine Shield, Taunt and all sorts of other effects.
Sir Finley Mrrgglton*
Sir Finley’s Hero Power gives a random minion +1/+1 for 1 coin. Already on a par with the likes of Pyramad, the potential grows enormously with how versatile the ability is. When you sell a minion, you gain the ability to use the Hero Power again. With a bit of strategising, you can stack the selling of minions with the use of the Hero Power. Remember: you get 1 coin back from Bob with each sale, making the reuse of the Hero Power basically free if you’ve got a stash of minions to sell. He’s a strong pick, if a bit tougher to use than Brann.
For 2 coins, Lord Jaraxxus boosts your Demons by +1/+1. A small bonus for a newly reduced cost, just remember how this can stack. By the later game, you should have a board filled with beefy Demons, and given how powerful Demon compositions can become, you won’t regret spending those coins whenever possible. Remember too that minions keep their buffs when they combine to make golden copies, so get those stat boosts on every little thing you can.
Giantfin is ridiculously powerful, especially when you’re going for a Murloc team comp. For 1 coin, his Hero Power gives all your minions the Deathrattle: Summon a 1/1 Murloc. With Murloc buffs like Murloc Warleader, this Hero Power is extremely strong, and your Murloc Tidecallers get beefed up during the combat phase too.
*This Hero is currently unavailable in Battlegrounds, but will be returning in the future.
Nothing fancy here. Patchwerk starts with a beefy 50 health. This means you can take some early losses while you search for the perfect team composition without worrying too much, and even if you don’t need that, you can take some huge late-game hits without dying in one. Patchwerk is universally strong, and well worth playing a game or two with.
Mid Tier Heroes
These Heroes will serve you well in certain situations, but you’ll need a bit of luck for things to go your way. Don’t discount them as options though! You’ll often find yourself doing brilliantly with a mid-tier Hero.
Sylvanas’ ability allows her to sacrifice a minion to grant +1/+1 buffs to those adjacent to it. It’s 0 cost which makes it easy to use, and it enables you to gain value from binning minions. We’d recommend using this power to buff minions who don’t often see it, or those who you’d like to stick on the board. However, you won’t get refund gold for those shop rerolls or purchases so bear this in mind before you use it.
Elise’s Hero Power gives you a Recruitment Map every time you upgrade your Tavern. This manifests as a 3-coin spell that can Discover a minion of the tier you’ve just upgraded to. Its effect is weak in the early-game, as you’re not necessarily looking for anything in particular, but you can always save the spells for when you’ve got a solid gameplan in mind. Later on in the game, you can guarantee tier 5 and 6 minions, which can sometimes elude you in the Tavern when re-rolling normally. Elise is one of the tougher heroes to play, but with a bit of luck and forethought, it can all come together.
George the Fallen
George the Fallen has the ability to give any minion Divine Shield. Given how ludicrously powerful this ability is, you'd think this would put him up at the top of our list. Unfortunately, the 4 coin cost this ability will set you back is just too much to justify using it when you'd usually be better served rerolling the tavern or adding in new minions. Of course, if you come to the late game and you end up going with a Demon-based composition, you can give all of them Divine Shield and make your entire board unstoppable. Unfortunately, until the late-game it's unlikely you'll get much use out of the Hero Power.
Queen Wagtoggle’s Hero Power gives a random Mech, Murloc, Demon, and Beast +2 Attack. She’s got the potential for +4 Health every turn for just 1 coin. The main issue comes when you’re trying to build a team around her. She’s just too situational, and you’d usually rather focus your builds on a specific minion type. Even so, if you can get a zoo-style team going with all kinds of minion types (The Curator works well here), you can get them nice and upgraded to outlast your enemies by the end of the game. Again though, it takes a fair bit of luck to get the team you need.
In the right situations, you can get some truly ridiculous plays off with Shudderwock. It doubles your next minion’s Battlecry for 2 coins. Combined with minions like Pogo-Hopper, Shudderwock’s Hero Power can give you some truly ridiculous value that can carry you all the way to the late-game, but it’s heavily reliant on you being offered all these Battlecry minions throughout the game’s duration.
The Rat King has 4 Hero Powers that swap each turn. Each time you buy a Beast, Mech, Murloc or Demon, they’re buffed by +1/+1. Pretty solid, but you’ve got to ride the wave of fortune with this one. You’ve got the opportunity to snowball completely out of control, but you’re simultaneously running the risk of getting none of the matching synergies you’re after when you need them in the Tavern phase.
Every time you buy a Beast as King Mukla, you add a Banana to your hand. This lets you give any minion +1/+1 for 0 coins. Delicious. You’re forced down the path of Beasts, but this isn’t so bad, as beefing up your Scavenging Hyenas early on represents a solid win condition for later in the game. Since the Hero Power’s change, you’re now unable to increase your bonus from purchasing Alleycat and selling both the original copy and the Battlecry, but thankfully you have far more versatility with how your game can play. Previously, you weren’t really selling many minions in the late game, but with a bonus with every purchase you’ll find it much easier to keep Mukla’s value later on.
*This Hero is currently unavailable in Battlegrounds, but will be returning in the future.
Dancin’ Deryl is one of the tougher Heroes to play. Each time you sell a minion, two minions in the Tavern are given +1/+1. You’ll need to be careful when selling minions back to the Tavern, as each time you do so, you won’t want . It therefore takes a lot more planning ahead to get this guy right, but if you do, there’s the chance to highroll into some ridiculously powerful team compositions. Early on, getting minions like Alleycat and Murloc Tidehunter is great, as you can sell them back for extra bonuses and stat boosts. He’s not easy to get right and is still pretty situational though, so don’t be surprised if you crash out early.
Ragnaros the Firelord
Ragnaros’ Hero Power, DIE, INSECTS!, deals 8 damage to two random enemy minions before combat starts. If you get the chance to spend 2 coins at the end of a Recruit phase, it’s absolutely worth pushing that button, as you get a whopping 16 damage at the cost of absolutely none of your minions. It pings off Divine Shield too, something we’ve found to be extremely pervasive throughout a whole game of Battlegrounds. 2 coins will often be spent re-rolling later on in the game anyway, so you’ll be better off hitting the enemy minions for a big wedge of damage. Don’t get greedy with Tavern rolling too - you’ll end up relying on that 8 damage to a couple minions later on in the game, and the potential to slap a Soul Juggler or Scavenging Hyena off the board immediately can swing a round. Equally though, you can end up failing to make an impact by dealing 8 damage to enormous, 60 health Wrath Weaver or Annihilan Battlemaster. There’s both high and low roll potential, so be warned.
Patches the Pirate
With Patches, it’s pretty much the same deal as Ragnaros. Obviously, dealing 4 damage is far less brutal than 8, but the halved coin cost makes up for this nicely, allowing you to get some early round wins and avoid taking too much damage too quickly. This tempo carries over into the late game too, as you’ll be able to weave in Hero Power uses in between turns, putting you at a constant slight advantage over your enemy. Even so, the 4 damage scales slightly less well throughout the course of a match than Ragnaros’ 8. Patches is better in the early game but slightly less impactful later on.
Low Tier Heroes
These are the Heroes with whom it's harder to have success with. Of course, they're not unviable, but you'll need to get far luckier or play much more skilfully to make them work.
Tirion's ability, "Honorable Warband", costs 1 and gives minions with no minion type +1/+1. From our experience, it's not been great. Most minions this applies to simply aren't strong enough, and don't really fit into any synergies - they only take up board space.
The only time he might be strong is if you can rush to tier four and pick up a Festeroot Hulk or a Boogey Monster. You may also be building demons with Soul Juggler and want to give them some added survivability, but again, the buff is so minimal...
Sindragosa is unfortunately lacking in utility. Her passive Hero Power gives minions you’ve Frozen in Bob’s Tavern +1/+1, and unfortunately this doesn’t do the job you’d hope. You don’t usually want to be freezing the Tavern all the time, only when there's something specific you really want. You usually don’t have the kind of time mid-game to spend on buffing your minions from the Tavern. Ideally, you’re rerolling and buying, not waiting an entire combat round before you get your buffs.
Pyramad’s Hero Power is pretty simple. Spend 1 gold to give one of your minions +3 Health. Whilst absolutely not detrimental to your chances, you’re very often better off rerolling the Tavern with that 1 gold, especially when things aren’t quite going your way during the game. Even so, if you do choose to buff your early minions up, remember to make it the ones that scale strongly. Once they fuse into each other, they keep all the buffs to Attack and Health you've given them, so it's worth trying to beef up those glass cannons like Murloc Tidecaller.
The Lich King
Whilst the prospect of giving a golden Sneed’s Old Shredder Reborn is an enticing one, The Lich King’s Hero Power is often pretty pointless. For 1 coin, you give your right-most minion Reborn, but given that a lot of compositions are based on beefing up minions, these buffs aren’t possible to hold onto when the minion comes back from the dead. That huge Murloc Tidecaller you’ve been powering up this whole match? It’s getting resurrected with 1 attack, sorry. The potential for a highroll is there, but since your rightmost minion is the one that gets Reborn, utility is limited as you’re unable to bring back a minion on your own terms (unless it has Taunt). Usually, you’ve got to wait for it to die towards the end of the combat round, making it a lot less predictable.
For the cost of 1 coin, you can give your left-most minion +10 attack for the next combat round. Sounds ridiculously good, but unfortunately, it’s harder to make work than we’d like. By the time the mid-game approaches, foes will be forcing attacks from your left-most minion to hit Divine Shield and Taunt minions, making the actual utility of this ability surprisingly low a lot of the time. It’s hard to guarantee utility in all honesty.
Trade Prince Gallywix*
Gallywix is an interesting case. For 1 coin, you get to save 1 coin for a later round. If you play your cards right, this can lead to some ridiculous turns later on in the game, but it’s incredibly tough to balance out this with losing out in the early game
Baz’hiel has the exact same Hero Power as Gallywix, except it costs 0 coins. Well, not the exact same unfortunately. You take 2 damage instead. This Hero is incredibly risky to play, and even if you manage to pick up a Mal'Ganis to mitigate the self-damage, this happens late in the game and you’re usually at too low a health total to make any mistakes at all by this point.
*This Hero is currently unavailable in Battlegrounds, but will be returning in the future.
Remember, a skilled player can make all the Heroes work, so don’t be afraid of trying out someone we’ve ranked low on our list! Clinching that Lich Baz’hiel win is far more satisfying than cruising to a Mech-based victory with Millificent Manastorm anyway.
If you're looking to get access the Hearthstone Battlegrounds beta, make sure you have a glance at your How to access Hearthstone Battlegrounds early page!