Feb 15, 2015
Among Hearthstone players, the Arena is one of the game’s most beloved features. In the Arena, you select one of three classes and draft a deck of 30 cards from groups of three random selections. Playing in the Arena costs $1.99 or 150 gold coins earned by defeating other players online or completing the game’s daily quests. The Arena strongly appeals to Hearthstone fanatics because every player wins one Expert Pack of cards — which normally costs 100 coins for one pack or $2.99 for two — even without winning a single game. In addition, for skilled players, the Arena is Hearthstone’s greatest opportunity to increase gold reserves quickly; winning the maximum 12 games produces a reward of at least 225 coins and up to two Expert Packs. Hearthstone Arena players dream of one day “going infinite” — earning enough gold from Arena runs to continue drafting without paying additional money or coins — but to do so, you’ll need to win an average of seven games during each Arena run.
Choose Your Class
When selecting your starting class for the Hearthstone Arena, bear in mind that you can’t count on your favorite rare class-specific cards to appear every time. Therefore, you’ll win more drafts if you select a class with many useful common cards. Most Hearthstone experts agree that you should always pick the Mage as your starting class if possible. Fireball, Flamestrike and Frostbolt are excellent removal cards that can take your opponent’s high-cost minions out of play or clear his side of the board entirely. In addition, the Mage’s ability to deal one point of damage to any target allows you to remove low-cost minions without taking damage yourself. On the other end of the spectrum, most consider the Hunter the weakest Arena class. This is because a strong Hunter deck depends on the synergy between Beast minions that enhance one another’s stats. In a random pool of cards, you’ll be unlikely to see a sufficient number of Beasts to draft a winning deck.
The First Card
When drafting your deck for the Hearthstone Arena, your first, twentieth and thirtieth cards will always be rare or better. Of these, the first pick is generally the most crucial. Avoid selecting a situational card because doing so may force you to make bad decisions later. For example, Murloc Warleader is a card that gives all other Murlocs in play an additional two attack points and one health point. This can be a game-winning card in a deck containing several Murloc cards, but drafting it early forces you to choose every Murloc you see later in the draft, even when more useful cards are available — and there is no guarantee that the rest of the draft pool will contain any Murlocs at all. When drafting your first several cards, select cards that provide the best return for the mana cost and are useful in any situation. Later in the draft, you can focus on drafting cards with situational abilities such as Silence and Taunt.
As you select cards, a graph at the bottom of the screen displays the number of cards you have drafted for each mana cost. In general, this graph should resemble a bell. At the beginning of the game, you can mulligan one or more of your starting cards in favor of a minion that costs one mana — but you wouldn’t want these weaker cards to appear too frequently in the later stages of the game. Likewise, a deck with too many high-cost minions will often lose to more aggressive decks. By the time you’re able to play these minions, your life total will be too low for you to shift the game’s momentum in your favor.
The Best Hearthstone Arena Cards
If you draw your cards in the ideal order, you’ll have a card with a cost of one mana to play on your first turn, a two-mana card on your second turn and so on. Therefore, when drafting for the Hearthstone Arena you should consider the cards that your selections are likely to go up against. Chillwind Yeti, with a cost of four mana, is one of the most popular Arena cards because it can defeat most other four-mana cards and survive to fight again during the next turn. Harvest Golem is a powerful card to play early in the game because when sent into battle against most other three-mana minions, both minions will die. Thanks to the Golem’s Deathrattle ability, you’ll have a minion with an attack power of two to use on your next turn. With any luck, your opponent’s side of the board will be empty.