Our Hearthstone Arena Tier List will be ranking the best characters in Blizzard’s phenomenal deck-building game, Hearthstone.
Last Updated: September 2021
If you haven’t heard of Hearthstone yet, then we don’t know which rock you have been living under for all these years. Because, for your information, this magnificent game has successfully revolutionized the world of digital card games in many different ways. For one, its release in 2014 single-handedly blew open the digital card game market on PC. It also proved that it is possible for digital card games to be more than just bad adaptations but also be balanced, competitive, and fun. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the deck-building genre was created thanks to Hearthstone.
Hearthstone Arena is a free-to-play online digital collectible card game. It builds upon the existing lore of Warcraft by using the same characters, elements, and relics. The game features cross-platform play, allowing players on any supported device to compete with one another, restricted only by geographical region account limits.
It features a variety of game modes in which players can battle each other and enjoy the game. The game modes come in two forms: single-player solo experiences and multiplayer matchmaking modes. Single-player game modes include Adventures, Missions, and a Practice mode. The multiplayer modes include Arena, Battlegrounds, Duels, and Tavern Brawls. In this Hearthstone Arena Tier List, we will be focusing only on the Arena game mode.
Now that you have an idea of just how great of a game Hearthstone is, let’s now jump into the cool characters this game offers with the help of our Hearthstone Arena Tier List.
HEARTSTONE ARENA TIER LIST
The first thing that you need to do after entering the arena is to choose one hero from a choice of three random heroes presented to you. Your choice here is important, for it will define the pool of cards from which you will be able to pick. It will include random neutral as well as class cards appropriate to your hero choice.
In Arena, each class has specific strengths and weaknesses. For the most part, these traits come from the class’ Hero Power, and their class specific cards, particularly those of Common rarity. These differences are a lot less pronounced than in Constructed, as most decks will contain the same standard of high-quality neutral cards if drafted well.
Nonetheless, there are still classes in Arena that are considered stronger than others. Although it’s important to note that the gap between the strong and the not-so-strong ones can be easily filled through intelligent drafting and high level play. You may find that your personal success rate differs from what we suggest, simply because you have your own playstyle, and of course, strengths or weaknesses as a player.
Our Hearthstone Arena Tier List divides the 10 hero classes into five tiers namely: S-Tier, A-Tier, B-Tier, C-Tier, and D-Tier. As with any other tier list, S-Tier will refer to the strongest hero classes while the D-Tier will pertain to the weakest. Keep in mind, that this is simply a guide, and that even among the very best Arena players, opinions differ widely on the relative strengths of each class.
|Tier||Hearthstone Arena Tier List: Hero Class|
|S Tier||Warlock, Mage|
|A Tier||Demon Hunter, Druid|
|B Tier||Warrior, Paladin|
|C Tier||Rogue, Hunter|
|D Tier||Shaman, Priest|
Hearthstone Arena Tier List: S TIER
In the face of demonic power, most heroes see death. Warlocks see only opportunity. Dominance is their aim, and they have found a path to it in the dark arts. These voracious spellcasters summon demonic minions to fight beside them. At first, they command only the service of imps, but as a warlock’s knowledge grows, seductive succubi, loyal voidwalkers, and horrific felhunters join the dark sorcerer’s ranks to wreak havoc on anyone who stands in their master’s way. Warlocks can ignite distant enemies in searing flame, send them fleeing in terror and pain, or afflict them with corrupting diseases and curses that steal the victim’s vitality.
Calling nightmarish Demons to their aid, warlocks are willing to sacrifice their own life, cards, and even their own minions to overwhelm their enemies. Regarding their own lifeblood as nothing more than a currency, warlocks readily trade away their Health to draw additional cards, but must often pay a terrible price for the services of the infernal beings with whom they consort.
The warlock Hero Power is Life Tap, allowing them to sacrifice two Health (and two mana) in order to draw a card. While this may seem like an unworthy trade, the ability to gain card advantage is very strong, and Life Tap is widely considered as one of the strongest Hero Powers in the game since cards are the fundamental tool used to win. This ability will allow you to draft a very aggressive low curve, overwhelming your opponent in terms of Tempo. This is clearly the strongest way to draft Warlock decks.
Warlock also has access to powerful removal spells such as Felfire Potion and Blastcrystal Potion, which provide the ability to draft successful Control decks. The Arena changes in March 2017 also drastically increased the viability of Control decks by lowering the frequency of common cards and many early-game minions as a result. Now, players are less likely to get overwhelmed in the early-game and are able to play a more controlling style. Of course, that will only happen if they are able to draft a deck consisting of many high-quality mid- and late-game cards instead.
Since Warlocks rely on lowering their own Life Total to maintain resources, cards such as Deranged Doctor and Rotten Applebaum have much higher value than usual. A card that heals you for four can be viewed as allowing you to draw two extra cards over the course of the game.
Students gifted with a keen intellect and unwavering discipline may walk the path of the mage. The arcane magic available to mages is both great and dangerous, and thus is revealed only to the most devoted practitioners. To avoid interference with their spellcasting, mages only wear cloth armor. Although arcane shields and enchantments can give them additional protection. To keep enemies at bay, mages can summon bursts of fire to incinerate distant targets and cause entire areas to erupt, setting groups of foes ablaze. Masters of ice can command blizzards that tear into flesh and limit movement. Should enemies manage to survive this assault, the mage can shrink them into harmless sheep in the blink of an eye.
Masters of arcane, fire and frost, mages wield formidable single-target and area of effect damage spells, and can freeze enemies in their tracks. Mages have a strong spell synergy, capable of turning minor incantations into devastating Fireballs, and can employ a range of magical Secrets to redirect enemy effects, protect themselves from damage, or stop the deadliest foe or spell in its tracks.
The mage Hero Power Fireblast is the most versatile of the 1 damage effect Hero Powers in Arena. That’s because it is unaffected by Taunt and does not cause you to take damage yourself when targeting minions. It is useful for board control as it is able to remove smaller minions like Bluegill Warrior or even large minions like Boulderfist Ogre if the minion has already been weakened. It can be strategically used to remove a Divine Shield from an enemy, or to hit one of the mage’s own minions to activate certain effects, such as Amani Berserker or Acolyte of Pain.
One of Mage’s greatest strengths is that many of its strongest cards are Common, or of Basic rarity. This means that Mages are extremely consistent to draft overall. It’s also one of the most versatile classes in Arena. With cards like Mana Wyrm, Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Frostbolt enabling you to draft very aggressive Tempo decks, and cards like Fireball, Polymorph and Flamestrike allowing you to win a slower, more Control based game.
Demon hunters, the disciples of Illidan Stormrage, uphold a dark legacy, one that frightens their allies and enemies alike. The Illidari embrace fel and chaotic magics—energies that have long threatened the world of Azeroth—believing that they are necessary to challenge the Burning Legion. Wielding the powers of demons they’ve slain, they develop demonic features that incite revulsion and dread in fellow elves.
Demon Hunters are agile fighters who call upon demonic allies and Fel magic. Outcasts of society, they attack with their blades and claws all while using fallen allies to fuel their power. Demon Hunters do not shy away from a fight and they specialize in granting their hero Attack damage for one turn.
While most classes spend two mana on their hero power, the Demon Hunter only spends one. Demon Claws, the class’ Hero Power, is a one mana-cost boost to the Demon Hunter’s Attack and is designed around robust synergies with its class cards. The low mana cost of Demon Claws also allows it to fit fluidly into curves, giving the Demon Hunter a unique gameplay feel. The hero power can reliably allow the Demon Hunter to fill their Mana curve, and can be used alongside their many synergistic cards such as Blade Dance and Satyr Overseer.
Because of Demon Hunter’s fantastic card draw, high chip and burst damage, most Demon Hunters are geared towards aggressive or midrange builds. Demon Hunters arm themselves with weapons and aggressively-started minions to take control of the board or apply massive face damage. They usually look to seal the game with cards like Imprisoned Antaen and Priestess of Fury before the opponent can stabilize.
Druids harness the vast powers of nature to preserve balance and protect life. With experience, they can unleash nature’s raw energy against their enemies. From raining celestial fury on them from a great distance and binding them with enchanted vines to ensnaring them in unrelenting cyclones. Druids can also direct this power to heal wounds and restore life to fallen allies. Due to how in tune they are with the animal spirits of Azeroth, druids can take on the forms of a variety of beasts. They can morph into a bear, cat, storm crow, or sea lion with ease. These keepers of the natural order are among the most versatile heroes in Azeroth, and they must be prepared to adjust to new challenges on a moment’s notice.
Shapeshift is the druid’s Hero Power. It grants the druid a +1 Attack for that turn, and +1 Armor, allowing them to tackle enemy minions head-on, or even attack the enemy hero directly. The Druid Hero Power is also notable for it can be used defensively (by slowly stacking up armor) or aggressively (by trading health for potential card advantage). Cards such as Swipe, Starfire, Druid of the Claw, or Ironbark Protector will always have a pretty big impact on the board during the mid-late stages of the game, while cards such as Wrath and Claw offer the Druid great solutions for the early game.
The weakness of the class is its one-dimensional nature. Almost every Druid deck relies on outclassing the opponent in the late game with high value cards and hard-to-remove Taunts. It is very difficult to draft a Druid deck aggressively since very few of their class cards play into this strategy. However, the addition of Shellshifter and Verdant Longneck has helped make this less of an issue. They are flexible enough to function as strong cards for potentially more aggressive Druid drafts, while also being solid defensive cards for more standard Druid Arena decks.
For as long as war has raged, heroes from every race have aimed to master the art of battle. Warriors combine strength, leadership, and vast knowledge of arms and armor to wreak havoc in glorious combat. Some protect from the front lines with shields, locking down enemies, while allies support the warrior from behind with spell and bow. There are some that forgo the shield and unleash their rage at the closest threat with a variety of deadly weapons. The warrior’s battle cries embolden friends and leave foes cowering in fear. With legendary precision, warriors target the smallest gaps in armor and slice at hamstrings in a blur of steel.
These lords of war use heavy weaponry and deadly attacks to slam and devastate the battlefield. While their skill with armor and shields allows them to soak up the mightiest of blows, their gladiatorial bloodlust brings synergy with Enrage and on-damage effects, sending their minions charging at the enemy.
The Warrior Hero Power allows them to gain armor, which is a powerful defensive option. It can be useful for slowly building a wall of Armor, through which the opponent will have to break to defeat the warrior. It also makes a solid option to fall back on when mana is not better spent elsewhere.
Having cards such as Fiery War Axe, Molten Blade and/or BloodRazor is essential, and games without them are extremely difficult to win. Solid aggro/tempo draft accompanied by weapons will let you shine with warriors. Weapons are the most essential cards for warriors but you shouldn’t be picking too many of them. You should have a good balance between weapons for tempo and high-value minions to provide you with attrition so that you can outlast opponents.
This call of the Paladin is to protect the weak, bring justice to the unjust, and to vanquish evil from the darkest corners of the world. These holy warriors are equipped with plate armor so they can confront the toughest of foes. They are also with the blessing of Light which allows them to heal wounds and, in some cases, even restore life. Ready to serve, paladins can defend their allies with sword and shield, or massive two-handed weapons. The Light grants paladins additional power against demons, ensuring that profane beings corrupt the world no longer.
Stalwart champions of the Light, Paladins are capable of wielding sturdy weapons and gifting the recruits of their order with Divine Shields and a range of powerful Blessings. They can also have a range of spells to heal themselves, smite their enemies or weaken foes, as well as Secrets to protect vulnerable targets.
The paladin Hero Power is Reinforce, which summons a 1/1 Silver Hand Recruit. This provides a cheap and unending supply of weak minions, which can be improved using spells like Blessing of Kings, or simply used to bolster the player’s forces.
They have the potential to draft very fast and aggressive decks, utilising cards like Argent Protector to retain minions on the board and force the tempo of the game onto your opponent. You can draft very effective late-game focused Paladin decks using powerful Control cards like Truesilver Champion and Consecration. This way you can push the game long and gain incremental advantages with the 1/1 tokens you can generate each turn.
One of the weaknesses of Paladin is that many of their strongest cards, such as Aldor Peacekeeper, Rallying Blade, and Sword of Justice are Rares and Epics. This means that they will not be offered to you very often, reducing the overall consistency of the class. It is also worth mentioning that if you are lucky enough to be offered Tirion Fordring, you should take it immediately as Tirion is widely considered to be the single strongest card in all of Arena.
For rogues, the only code is the contract, and their honor is purchased in gold. Free from the constraints of a conscience, these mercenaries rely on brutal and efficient tactics. Lethal assassins and masters of stealth, they will approach their marks from behind, piercing a vital organ and vanishing into the shadows before the victim hits the ground. Rogues can dip their weapons in paralyzing toxins that render foes unable to defend themselves. These silent stalkers wear leather armor so they can move unencumbered, ensuring that they land the first strike.
The Rogue Hero Power offers some ability to maintain board control, as it allows your hero to destroy 1-Health minions. With it you can establish control and force them to waste valuable removal early on.
As a Rogue, you will often lean towards an aggressive playstyle rather than a controlled one. This is due to a large number of cards that allow you to maintain a good momentum throughout the game (tempo cards), as well as your Hero Power. Rogue’s will often lower their own Health in the process of clearing minions with their Dagger, and as such, healing cards should be drafted more highly. Nonetheless, even in decks with no healing, you should still be aggressive with your own life as a resource, for your Dagger will always be a key to victory.
Cards such as Deadly Poison will always provide you with card advantage, while the majority of Combo cards and Backstab will contribute to the tempo and put your opponent under a lot of pressure.
Rogue is the queen of tempo decks. Utilizing cheap removal spells alongside well drafted mana curve, rogue can easily get out of control. Valeera’s hero power works as a decent tempo tool since it can technically get rid of two targets per usage. No matter how good of a tempo you can put out, it’s core to use your Life Total in a responsible way.
From an early age the call of the wild draws some adventurers from the comfort of their homes into the unforgiving primal world outside. Those who endure become hunters. As masters of their environment, hunters are able to slip like ghosts through the trees and lay traps in the paths of their enemies. These expert marksmen drop foes dead in their tracks with flawless shots from a bow, crossbow or rifle. With the ability to wield two weapons simultaneously, hunters can unleash a flurry of blows against anyone unfortunate enough to stumble into close combat with them.
With a synergy with Beasts, a selection of bows, and a supply of cunning deadly traps, hunters never miss their mark. Whether unleashing their Beasts upon the enemy or sniping them from afar, hunters possess relentless and immediate damage capabilities.
Steady Shot is the hunter’s Hero Power, dealing two damage direct to the enemy hero. Steady Shot is a very direct and straightforward Hero Power – unlike many other Hero Powers, it does not offer special synergies or boast a range of possible uses, but what it lacks in strategic complexity it makes up for in sheer effectiveness. Without Health or Armor-granting effects, Steady Shot can single-handedly destroy the opponent and win the game in just 15 turns if used every turn. This allows the hunter to rely upon Steady Shot’s damage to make steady progress toward victory, regardless of the state of the board. Steady Shot works well with an aggressive approach to build pressure on the opponent.
Hunters are often powerful in Arena, but are usually one-dimensional, relying on strong Tempo or Aggro decks to create pressure on the opponent. The reason for this is the linear nature of the Hunter Hero Power, which only causes damage to the opposing Hero. Although Hunters do have access to some strong Control cards like Multi-Shot and Explosive Shot, and some high value late-game minions such as Savannah Highmane, even the most Controlling of Hunter decks will eventually end in a race to finish the opposing Hero.
Shaman are spiritual guides and practitioners of the very elements. Unlike some other mystics, shamans commune with forces that are not strictly benevolent. The elements are chaotic, and if left to their own devices, they rage against one another in unending primal fury. It is then the call of the shaman to bring balance to this chaos. Acting as moderators among earth, fire, water, and air, shamans summon totems that focus the elements to support the shaman’s allies or punish those who threaten them.
Masters of the elements, Shamans command the service of mighty elementals, and even the Elemental Lords themselves. Shamans can Overload their mana in order to rise to the needs of the moment, with their attacks producing varying potency. They can also summon Totems to boost their powers.
The shaman’s Hero Power is Totemic Call, which randomly summons one of four possible Totem-type minions: Healing Totem, Stoneclaw Totem, Searing Totem, or Strength Totem.
The Shaman Hero Power is, unfortunately, random. This makes it a gamble and not so ideal since Totems are mostly a simple delay for your opponent rather than a serious threat. In order to benefit from your Hero Power, you need board control.
Shamans have some really powerful cards such as Fire Elemental and Hex, while the majority of Overload cards such as Stormforged Axe, Forked Lightning, and Lightning Bolt require some careful planning in order to generate advantage and not delay yourself. Shamans can be very strong, but much of their strength lies in their Rare cards such as Lightning Storm and Feral Spirit, which is not something you can rely on drafting consistently in the Arena.
A key to drafting Shaman successfully is valuing buff cards highly. Cards like Dire Wolf Alpha and Defender of Argus, among others, can turn your often useless Totems into an attacking force, and create card advantage for you over the course of the game. Cards that buff your entire board such as Stormwind Champion are particularly strong.
Priests are devoted to the spiritual, and express their unwavering faith by serving the people. For millennia they have left behind the confines of their temples and the comfort of their shrines so they can support their allies in war-torn lands. In the midst of terrible conflict, no hero questions the value of the priestly orders. These masters of the healing arts keep their companions fighting far beyond their normal capacities with an array of restorative powers and blessings. The divine forces at the priest’s command can also be turned against foes, smiting them with holy fury.
Devout healers with powerful restorative abilities, Priests use the power of Light to sustain themselves and their allies while pacifying enemies. However, they can also use their darker abilities to manipulate and destroy enemies, peering into or even seizing control of their opponents’ minds.
The default priest Hero Power is Lesser Heal, a powerful healing option which can be used on heroes or minions to restore Health. It can help restore damaged minions to full Health, keeping them alive and allowing them to trade against multiple enemies, leading to good card advantage. It can also be used to heal the hero itself, recovering Health lost to the opponent’s attacks. A powerful defensive tool, Lesser Heal can allow the priest and its minions to survive long after they should have been defeated, and fits best with a slower strategy, outlasting and outmaneuvering opponents.
The Priest Hero Power can be a great source of card advantage if you can heal your minions that survive combat. However, if you are unable to get onto the board, the Priest Hero Power can be a liability, since it has no effect on the tide of the game if you are unable to heal minions with it. The Priest class cards will always make you lean towards a controlled playstyle, as you will either need to create advantage through cards such as Mind Control or Temple Enforcer in the late game, or through efficient minion combat and Hero Power usage. This makes cards such as Holy Smite, Shadow Word: Pain, Holy Nova, and Power Word: Shield essential for your early-mid gameplay.
Hearthstone Arena Tier List: How the game works?
Now that we’re done with our Hearthstone Arena Tier List, we’ll dig in how Hearthstone works!
Simply put, the arena is a game mode in which players draft decks to battle against other players in a tournament-style format for the chance to earn rewards. Players choose cards out of 30 separate selections of cards, building a 30-card deck to do battle against other players.
Each admission to the Arena costs either 150 in-game gold or real money equivalent to $1.99 USD. For this reason, it is highly recommended that players who want to play arena to acquire a deep knowledge of cards, in general, and a basic knowledge of card abilities and card interactions.
The player should also know how to appropriately draft the strongest cards for their deck based on the cards offered in the draft and on the player’s chosen starting class. With a good knowledge of cards, card mechanics, and drafting strategy, a player will be able to do competently well in Arena.
Once players have drafted their deck, they will be put into a tournament-style format with other players. Players play until they have suffered three losses or claimed 12 victories, at which point they will be granted a number of rewards based on the final number of wins they achieved. Players do not have to play all of their Arena games in one go, and can return to continue their run whenever they wish. Winning at least seven games before being eliminated guarantees that the player will earn their entry fee back in gold.
Due to it’s high competitive level of nature, The Arena is locked for players until they have reached level 10 in every class.
Let’s go back to:
We know our Hearthstone Arena Tier List is on the meaty side but we can assure you that it is packed with relevant details that will help you dominate The Arena. We would also like to highlight that this is nothing but a guide. It can certainly help you become a better player, but to truly become a master, you will need to develop the right kind of mindset that will allow you to see the best possible play when there are several really good options available.
If you’re new to the game, the Arena can be a powerful tool to gain experience in the game while simultaneously building a card collection for use in Constructed play. As with everything in Hearthstone, you will need experience and familiarity with the mechanics and the cards in order to succeed, so do not be discouraged if your first Arena experiences are not very successful.
All that said, it’s time to get to the inn, pull up a chair by the hearth, and start your Hearthstone adventure!
If you like this Hearthstone Arena Tier List, make sure to check out our URF Tier List as well.