Our Wild Arena guide for Hearthstone contains details of the best hero to pick, the best cards, entry costs involved and the rewards you can accrue for taking part.
The first stage of Wildfest - Blizzard's mid-meta celebration of all things to do with the Wild ladder - is now live on global servers.
As well as throwing a couple of new Tavern Brawls into the mix, Arena will now also be available exclusively in the Wild format for the duration of the event. That means you'll have the chance to pick cards from the entire history of Hearthstone's card pools - not just those that are part of the Standard rotation.
Int his article we've gather together everything you need to know about getting stuck into Wild Arena. If you want a general overview of what's happening, take a look at our massive Wildfest guide. We've also launched our article covering the exciting new Wild Brawliseum that's expected to land next week.
UPDATE #2 - We've updated this article with a snapshot of the top five Arena cards for each Hero at each level of rarity. These are the cards you want to keep a particularly close eye out for, and we've also provided links to the most popular card ranking sites which detail the power level of every card in the Arena format.
What's the best hero for Wild Arena?
Good question. As card sets have rotated in and out of usage, different heroes have become stronger and stronger over time, and relative to the rest of the classes in the game.
Historically - and certainly before Arena became a Standard-only format - Mage, Paladin and Rogue were considered incredibly strong, and very consistently so when you considered the entire pool of cards combined with their powerful, tempo-pushing Hero Powers.
For that reason they should probably be considered pretty solid picks at the very start of the Wild Arena celebrations. Kripp's thoughts in the video we've posted below pretty much back that thinking up. Do let us know what you think in the comments though, so we can work this one out together.
Key points from Kripp's video:
- At high win-rates, the decks that seem to be doing really well are those that are either really good zoo decks, or really good anti-aggro decks.
- The best classes to pick are those that do both jobs of control and zoo really well. Look to heroes like Mage, Paladin and Warlock. Priest struggles to be aggressive but is obviously great at control.
- Kripp recommends staying away from classes like Shaman because it struggles to do these things better than the other classes, and Hunter because it's so much more likely to draft offensively rather than defensively.
- Rogue is another good choice if you get it, but it's probably worth staying away from Druid altogether while Wild Arena is active.
- Finally, during the drafting phase, he recommends following the well-established advice of emphasising board-clears and removal options. Having Hellfire as a Zoo player, for example, is not necessarily a bad thing because you can't always guarantee you're going to win that early-game.
How to pick the best cards for Wild Arena
Having chosen your hero for Wild Arena, your next job will be to draft a deck of 30 cards, picking one card at a time from a - relatively - random choice of three. While there's more science to the drafting process than can be reasonably covered in this article, you will find sites like HearthArena.com and The Lightforge an invaluable source of card rankings.
We lean towards using HearthArena ourselves as we just find it faster to get through the drafting process with it. Seeing the deck breakdown and synergies afterwards can be really helpful too, especially if you're playing your run over the course of more than one session. When doing so it's easy to forget about the fundamentals of your unique deck.
If you just want a snapshot of the strongest cards for each hero, we've pulled together the Top 5 cards for each hero and across all rarities. Keep a special eye out for these, and you can view the entire list over on the HearthArena site:
|Swipe||Savage Combatant||Ultimate Infestation||Dr. Boom|
|Bonemare||Darnassus Aspirant||Primordial Drake||Deathwing|
|Druid of the Claw||Bomb Lobber||Ancient of War||The Lich King|
|North Sea Kraken||Sludge Belcher||Charged Devilsaur||Ragnaros the Firelord|
|Tortollan Forager||Argent Commander||Sea Giant||Onyxia|
|Flanking Strike||Savannah Highmane||Call of the Wild||Dr. Boom|
|Glaivezooka||Eaglehorn Bow||Piranha Launcher||Deathwing|
|Crackling Razormaw||Dispatch Kodo||Primordial Drake||The Lich King|
|Bonemare||Lesser Emerald Spellstone||Rat Pack||Ragnaros the Firelord|
|Animal Companion||Argent Commander||Bittertide Hydra||Sylvanas Windrunner|
|Firelands Portal||Bomb Lobber||Meteor||Dr. Boom|
|Flamestrike||Sludge Belcher||Primordial Drake||Deathwing|
|Fireball||Babbling Book||Primordial Glyph||The Lich King|
|Bonemare||Argent Commander||Sea Giant||Ragnaros the Firelord|
|North Sea Kraken||Saronite Chain Gang||Spiteful Summoner||Onyxia|
|Truesilver Champion||Muster for Battle||Coghammer||Dr. Boom|
|Keeper of Uldaman||Spikeridged Steed||Primordial Drake||Sunkeeper Tarim|
|Bonemare||Vinecleaver||Call to Arms||Tirion Fordring|
|Righteous Protector||Aldor Peacekeeper||Dinosize||Deathwing|
|Shielded Minibot||Grimestreet Protector||Sea Giant||The Lich King|
|Kabal Talonpriest||Bomb Lobber||Cabal Shadow Priest||Dr. Boom|
|Shadow Word: Death||Sludge Belcher||Psychic Scream||Deathwing|
|Mind Control||Drakonid Operative||Primordial Drake||The Lich King|
|Dark Cultist||Bone Drake||Dragonfire Potion||Vol'jin|
|North Sea Kraken||Excavated Evil||Lightbomb||Ragnaros the Firelord|
|Bonemare||Dark Iron Skulker||Vilespine Slayer||Dr. Boom|
|Sap||Envenom Weapon||Primordial Drake||Deathwing|
|Backstab||SI:7 Agent||Fal'dorei Strider||The Lich King|
|North Sea Kraken||Bomb Lobber||Sea Giant||Ragnaros the Firelord|
|Piloted Shredder||Sludge Belcher||Charged Devilsaur||Onyxia|
|Fire Elemental||Maelstrom Portal||Primordial Drake||Dr. Boom|
|Flamewreathed Faceless||Jade Claws||Earth Elemental||Deathwing|
|Bonemare||Lightning Storm||Hammer of Twilight||The Lich King|
|Flametongue Totem||Powermace||Sea Giant||Ragnaros the Firelord|
|Piloted Shredder||Stonehill Defender||Charged Devilsaur||Onyxia|
|Abyssal Enforcer||Despicable Dreadlord||Primordial Drake||Dr. Boom|
|Dark Peddler||Imp-losion||Bane of Doom||The Lich King|
|Imp Gang Boss||Siphon Soul||Sea Giant||Deathwing|
|Kobold Librarian||Sludge Belcher||Spiteful Summoner||Ragnaros the Firelord|
|Death's Bite||Frothing Berserker||Primordial Drake||Dr. Boom|
|Obsidian Destroyer||Stonehill Defender||Gorehowl||Deathwing|
|Ravaging Ghoul||Bomb Lobber||Sea Giant||The Lich King|
|Fool's Bane||Sludge Belcher||Bittertide Hydra||Varian Wrynn|
|Arathi Weaponsmith||Argent Commander||Charged Devilsaur||Grommash Hellscream|
|Bonemare||Bomb Lobber||Primordial Drake||Dr. Boom|
|North Sea Kraken||Sludge Belcher||Sea Giant||Deathwing|
|Piloted Shredder||Argent Commander||Charged Devilsaur||The Lich King|
|Fire Plume Phoenix||Saronite Chain Gang||Piloted Sky Golem||Ragnaros the Firelord|
|Tar Creeper||Bone Drake||Bright-Eyed Scout||Onyxia|
How much does Wild Arena cost to enter?
The entry fee for Wild Arena is just the same as it's always been at 150 Gold (or the equivalent price in your local currency).
In the build-up to Wildfest many had believed that we would receive a free ticket when the event went live. Wild has now been enabled, but there's no free ticket option at the time of publishing and we don't expect that to change.
At the time of publishing the latest, revised version of this guide, Blizzard had yet to confirm what will happen with unfinished Wild Arena runs when the event ends. Based on historical precedence though, it's likely your deck will be retired, you'll receive the rewards you'd earned so far, and you'll get a free ticket to the regular Arena as compensation. This has not been confirmed, however.
When does Wild Arena end?
Arena will be Wild for the next three weeks, and won't return to the Standard format until Wildfest ends on March 11th. As soon as we have a firm end time for the event we'll pop a note in here so you can get things wrapped up before your deck gets retired.
What rewards are there for competing in Wild Arena?
The Wild Arena rewards are expected to be identical to those you receive for reaching various stages of success in the Standard Arena. Head over to our Arena rewards page for the lowdown on what you'll receive for reaching the individual tiers of success in this format.