After a fun start to the game mode, Hearthstone: Battlegrounds has received its first major meta shake-up with a batch of new heroes. Hearthstone Battlegrounds is a tactical “autobattler” where the minions you place on the board pick their own attacks, and your hero takes or deals damage based on the final board-state.
You pick from a list of three Hearthstone Battlegrounds Heroes at the start of a game – there are 24 in total – all based on characters from Warcraft lore who’ve appeared as Hearthstone cards or bosses in Solo Adventures.
As with any competitive game though, not every hero’s power levels is totally balanced with the rest of the field. Here’s a list of all of the Hearthstone Battlegrounds Heroes that you can choose from, along with some meta commentary on each one to help you decide who’s best for you.
How to play Hearthstone Battlegrounds
A match of Hearthstone Battlegrounds takes place between 8 human players, who all discover a hero at the start of the game from a list of three. The objective of the game is to build up your board to defeat opposing players’ and reduce their life total to 0.
Between combat rounds, players retreat to Bob’s Tavern to recruit minions, play cards from their hand, and use their hero powers.
Minions are arranged into 6 tiers based on their power level, and if you collect 3 of the same minion, they combine into one, upgraded version of that minion. You also get to discover a minion that’s one Tier higher than your current Tavern Tier level for each triple.
Each of these actions cost Gold. At the beginning of the game, you have 3 Gold to spend, which increases by 1 each turn until you reach the maximum of 10. All minions cost 3 Gold to recruit, but only give you 1 Gold in return if you sell them back to Bob at the Tavern.
Increasing your Tavern Tier level also costs Gold, but the cost reduces with each passing round. You can also pay 1 Gold to refresh the minions in the Tavern, or freeze them in place for free.
Hearthstone Battlegrounds Heroes
|Hearthstone Battlegrounds Hero Name:||Hearthstone Battlegrounds Hero Power:||Hearthstone Battlegrounds Hero Power Description:||Hearthstone Battlegrounds Hero Power Cost:||Affinity:|
|A. F. Kay||Procrastinate||Skip your first two turns. Start with a minion from Tavern Tier 3 and 4.||Passive||Any|
|Bartendotron||Skilled Bartender||Reduce the cost of Tavern Tiers by (1).||Passive||Any|
|Brann Bronzebeard||Battle Brand||After you play a Battlecry minion, give a random friendly minion +1/+1||Passive||Buff minions|
|Dancin' Deryl||Hat Trick||After you sell a minion, randomly give two minions in Bob's Tavern +1/+1.||Passive||Any|
|Elise Starseeker||Lead Explorer||When you upgrade Bob's Tavern get a "Recruitment Map" (Spend 3 Gold, discover a minion and hire it)||Passive||Any|
|George the Fallen||Boon of Light||Give a friendly minion Divine Shield.||4||Any|
|Giantfin||Murloc King||At the start of next combat, give your minions "Deathrattle: Summon a 1/1 Murloc".||1||Murlocs|
|Infinite Toki||Temporal Tavern||Refresh Bob's Tavern. The last minion will be from a higher Tavern Tier.||2||Any|
|King Mukla||Bananarama||Whenever you buy a Beast, add a Banana to your hand.||Passive||Beasts|
|Lich Baz'hial||Graveyard Shift||Take 3 damage and add a Gold Coin to your hand.||0||Demons|
|Lord Jaraxxus||Bloodfury||Give your Demons +1/+1||2||Demons|
|Millificent Manastorm||Tinker||Mechs in Bob's Tavern have +1/+1.||Passive||Mechs|
|Nefarian||Nefarious Fire||At the start of next combat, deal 1 damage to all enemy minons.||1||Any|
|Patches the Pirate||Fire the Cannons!||At the start of the next combat, deal 3 damage to two random enemy minions.||1||Any|
|Patchwerk||All Patched Up||Start with 60 Health instead of 40||Passive||Any (or Demons)|
|Professor Putricide||Rage Potion||At the start of next combat, give your left-most minion +10 Attack.||1||Any|
|Pyramad||Brick by Brick||Give a random friendly minion +2 Health.||1||Any|
|Queen Wagtoggle||Wax Warband||Give a random friendly Mech, Demon, Murloc, and Beast +1 Health.||1||Any|
|Ragnaros the Firelord||DIE, INSECTS!||At the start of next combat, deal 8 damage to two random enemy minions.||2||Any|
|Shudderwock||Burbling||Your next Battlecry this turn triggers twice.||2||Battlecry Minions|
|Sindragosa||Stay Frosty||At the end of your turn, Frozen minions get +1/+1||Passive||Any|
|Sir Finley Mrrgglton||Power Up!||Give a random friendly minion +1/+1. After you sell a minion, refresh this.||1||Any (Token minions)|
|The Curator||Menagerist||Start the game with a 1/1 Amalgam that has all minion types.||Passive||Any (Amalgams)|
|The Great Akazamzarak||Prestidigitation||Discover a Secret. Put it into the battlefield.||2||Any|
|The Lich King||Reborn Rites||At the start of next combat, give your right-most minion Reborn.||1||Any (Deathrattles/Cleave minions)|
|The Rat King||King of Beasts/Mechs/Murlocs/Demons||Whenever you buy a Beast, Mech, Murloc/Demon, give it +1/+2. Swaps type each turn.||Passive||Any|
|Trade Prince Gallywix||Smart Savings||Add a Gold Coin to your hand.||1||Any|
|Yogg-Saron, Hope's End||Puzzle Box||Hire a random minion in Bob's Tavern and give it +1/+1||2||Any|
Best Hearthstone Battlegrounds Heroes – Tier List
- A. F. Kay
A. F. Kay is a popular choice in the meta because of her unique hero power which means she has to skip the first two rounds, but gets 1 Tier 3 and 1 Tier 4 minion in return.
This means that you fall behind in the very early game – effectively meaning that you start with around 35 health instead of 40. But if you discover the right minions on round 3, you’re pretty much set for the whole match.
If you can get a Tier 4 scaling minion like Junkbot right from the off, you’re golden. But there’s always the chance you could just get unsynergetic junk.
From round 3 it’s now likely that you’ll have better quality minions than everyone else, so you have time to tech up your Tavern Tier level and catch up with the rest of the field.
Right now, A. F. Kay is one of the best heroes in Hearthstone Battlegrounds.
Bartendotron is a decent – if a little basic – pick. While he lets you access higher Tiers more easily, but once you’re at Tier 6 it’s like you don’t have a hero power which means you can miss out on late-game value.
You’re also at the mercy of RNG. Higher Tiers are all well and good, but you can still get offered garbage or minions from tons of different tribes.
Bartendotron is about middle of the road.
- Brann Bronzebeard
Appearing as both a minion and Hero, Brann is a bit like Crowd Favorite, but for your whole board.
Brann heavily rewards coupling Nightmare Amalgam with one other distinct tribe – or a Crowd Favorite. Then you can continually pick up buff minions, play them, then sell them straight away for an stat-boosting engine that snowballs really quickly.
Even though there’s a random element, you have more control over when the Hero Power activates than some others, which is a plus too.
In the right hands, Brann Bronzebeard is a strong Hero.
- Dancin’ Deryl
Dancin’ Deryl’s hero power seems powerful at first, but is highly dependent on RNG and difficult to make use of for the whole game.
The variance involved in buffing minions in Bob’s Tavern can mean you’re wasting value on useless minions, but can also add up to a lot of power throughout the game.
Deryl works well in the early game with minions that summon tokens like Alleycat and Murloc Tidehunter.
But you can also get a good Nightmare Amalgam engine going with him by getting lots of weaker stated minions who dish out buffs to a particular tribe, using their battlecry, and then selling them off again. These include things like Nathrezim Overseer, Houndmaster, Screwjank Clunker, and Defender of Argus.
- Elise Starseeker
The issue with Elise’s Hero Power is that there’s no infinite value. Once you’re at Tier 6, you’re done with Expedition Maps. However, you can get around this by rushing Tiers and choosing value-over-time minions early, like Lightfang Enforcer.
Although early minions are generally weak, you can gain an advantage by pushing out an extra unit after you’ve tech’d up on turn 2 and pull ahead.
While you’re at the whim of RNG for the choices you’re given, at higher tiers you’re likely to get something useful – although less so since Junk Bot was nerfed to a 5 star.
We’ll need to see more of how Elise shakes out in the meta, but at this point she’s one of the more useful heroes with a Hero Power that lets you choose synergies more easily.
- George the Fallen
Divine shields are incredibly powerful, especially combined with poisonous Murlocs or an Amalgam. However, George the Fallen’s hero power is just so expensive that it be tough to squeeze value out of in the early and mid game.
If you’re happy to sit tight and build a buff board without help from your hero power, then Boon of Light can swing the late game in your favour.
This means George is another middle-of-the-road hero. He’s not the best, but isn’t useless by any means.
Personally, I think Murlocs are one of the more difficult tribes to play because you can’t rack up the same huge stat totals as beasts or demons quite as easily.
This means that you need to use poison to even the score, but Giantfin’s hero power does nothing to support that plan. His Tinyfin tokens are just too smallfry to have any great effect on the board past the early game, making Giantfin is one of the weaker heroes in Battlegrounds.
However, Giantfin has been rotated out of the pool for now.
- Infinite Toki
Toki’s hero power is pretty nuts, and should mean you have better minion quality than just about any other player.
Her main weakness is that you’re quite dependent on RNG, but if you stick at Tavern Tier 5, then you can get a Tier 6 minion every turn using her hero power. This constant stream of quality means that you can pack out your board with overpowered minions.
With that said though, the current meta doesn’t wholly rely on high Tier minions. Boards with Wrath Weaver, Scavenging Hyena, and Rat Pack often make it to the final round, so it’s not all about Tier 6.
This means Toki is a strong hero, but not without qualifiers.
- King Mukla
Post-patch King Mukla was a bit better because the front-loading of his banana buffs meant you could rush the board quickly. Despite the nerf to Mama Bear, Beasts are a powerful tribe and there are many worse picks than him.
Almost as quickly as he came though, Mukla was gone – rotated out of the choice pool (which suggests Blizzard rated him as the 2nd best Hero). He is supposed to return at some point in the future.
- Lich Baz’hial
A lot of the heroes so far have been middle-of-the-road, but there’s nothing mediocre about Baz’hial. She’s just bad.
Taking 3 damage to get 1 Gold is too big of a trade off, making Lich Baz’hial one of the weaker heroes.
No one’s missing her now she’s rotated out of the pool for a while.
- Lord Jaraxxus
Mr J’s hero power seems to have a high degree of variance. Demons are strong, but can be tough to wrangle and buff into a solid board.
Once you’ve got yourself set though, continually buffing your team can add up quickly. It’s worth saying though that popular demon-lovers like Wrath Weaver and Crystalweaver aren’t demons themselves and so aren’t buffed by Jaraxxus.
Lord Jaraxxus is a decent hero with a well-defined synergy to follow from the outset – so there’s no messing around trying to work out which tribe to collect.
- Millificent Manastorm
Millificent Manastorm is easily one of the most powerful heroes in Hearthstone Battlegrounds.
Mechs are awesome. She buffs every Mech you buy – do we need to say any more?
Thankfully in the opinion of some, Manastorm was rotated out to make room for new Heroes.
Nefarian’s hero power has very specific utility: getting rid of divine shields. This can make or break late game rounds where your opponent has magnetised an Annoy-o-module onto a huge poisonous Amalgam.
But as we say that’s a very specific situation, and he’s not all the useful otherwise. Nefarian isn’t awful, but is on the weaker side of mediocre.
- Patches the Pirate
Patches is similar to Nefarian, only he deals 3 damage to just two targets. Therefore Patches is strong in the very early game – when his cannon might take out a minion or two – but starts to lag behind very quickly.
By the late game Patches’ hero power starts to feel less and less useful, making him one of the weakest heroes.
Patchwerk’s health boost can mean he plays similarly to A. F. Kay, where you just tech up in the early rounds and tank the hits.
However he can also synergise well with demons that damage your hero.
Often, Patchwerk’s extra health is an lifeline when you make a mistake in the mid-game and take a really heavy beating on one round – so he can be a decent pick if you’re getting a feel for the Battlegrounds gamemode.
- Professor Putricide
Putricide loves two minions more than any other: Cave Hydra and Foe Reaper 4000.
His +10 buff to your left-most minion’s attack is super powerful when you plonk it on a minion who does splash damage, and is a strong combo in the late game for both Beasts and Mechs.
With that said if you can’t get one of those minions up-and-running that buff will probably just get sucked up by a high health taunt like Annihilan Battlemaster or Amalgam.
+2 to Health for 1 gold is just too small of a deal to justify picking a hero. This means that Pyramad is towards the bottom of the league in terms of power level.
- Queen Wagtoggle
If +2 Health isn’t worth picking a hero for, then +1 definitely isn’t. Queen Wagtoggle’s utility doesn’t make up for the weakness of her buff, making her one of the worst heroes.
- Ragnaros the Firelord
Sadly, Ragnaros isn’t very good either. In the early game you’ll probably take out two minions with 8 damage, but you won’t have enough Gold to spare for the cost.
By the mid to late game, you’ll only tickle even smaller minions, and you’ll need the 2 Gold to dig through the Tavern to fill out your triples.
Like Ragnaros, you’ll struggle to justify pressing Shudderwock’s hero power. Paying 1 Gold is a nice way to smooth out odd curves, but 2 Gold seems to put too much of a spanner in the works.
Another weak hero.
Minions left in Bob’s Tavern aren’t much use to you when you’re battling it out for the board, which makes Sindragosa’s Hero Power incredibly situational.
It’s poor in the early game when you want to hire the best minions as quickly as possible to create a presence. Then it’s poor in the late game when your board isn’t changing much and you need to dig in the tavern for the minions you need.
There might be some interesting marginal gains that I’m missing here, but Sindragosa feels like quite a weak Hero.
- Sir Finley Mrrggleton
Sir Finley is similar to Brann, but requires a bit more finesse.
When you’re selling a lot of buff minions once their Battlecry has been used, you’ll get a lot of opportunity to refresh Mrrggleton’s Hero Power. However, I feel like it’ll be too expensive to be really top Tier.
He’s not the worst hero, but there are definitely better ones.
- The Curator
I like The Curator. Nightmare Amalgam is a great minion in the meta, and you get one plonked on your board for free from turn 1.
This means that you can start off your synergy with any tribe, but it’s easy to recruit yourself into corner if you stick to one set too dogmatically.
The Curator is a solid choice with good utility.
- The Great Akazamzarak
The Great Akazamzarak is unique in his use of secrets, but like Ragnaros and Shudderwock, I don’t find myself using the power all that often. Otherwise your board falls behind.
- The Lich King
The Lich King is an interesting example of anti-synergy with the meta. Conventional wisdom is that you should place your scaling minions like Junkbot and Hyena on the right-hand side of your board so they attack last – giving them time to power up before they do.
However if you give one of those minions reborn, they come back without the buffs and you have to wind them up all over again. Because of this, The Lich King’s power isn’t strong enough to pick him over a more useful hero.
Your best case scenario is to use him with a powerful Deathrattle like Ghastcoiler.
- The Rat King
Hearthstone Battlegrounds is all about building a synergetic board, so you should use The Rat King to pick and support which tribe you collect, rather than hire a random pile of minions based on a +1/+1 buff.
You’ll pick up some good value over the course of the game this way, making The Rat King a solid choice.
- Trade Prince Gallywix
If you often find yourself painstakingly 1 Gold short of executing your plans, then consider Trade Prince Gallywix, who lets you bank your cash for later.
The only thing about this is you’ll usually be able to find a use for all of your Gold every turn – whether that’s teching up or refreshing Bob’s Tavern searching for something to freeze for next round.
There may be some disgusting combo-wombos that I’m missing with Gallywix, but he’s yet another weak hero, especially because his power doesn’t have a direct effect on the board.
- Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End
Give in to RNGesus, and you will be rewarded. Yogg-Saron essentially lets you recruit one buffed minion for cheaper than it should be every turn.
Obviously there’s huge variance there, but if it goes wrong it’s only a net loss of 1 Gold because you can sell the unwanted minion back to Bob.
The discount means you can build wide boards quickly, but it can be difficult to stick to a tribe. However, Yogg is still a strong hero.