Season 6 of Hearthstone Battlegrounds is finally here! Gone are the days of random, unpredictable anomalies in every lobby. This season brings new fun to Battlegrounds with the newest addition – Tavern Spells. In Season 5, from August 22nd to December 4th, we had Anomalies and Tier 7 minions in Battlegrounds. But after December 4th, both of these are gone. (You can still get a Tier 7 minion if you play as Thorim, Stormlord.)
In the recent 28.2 Patch, which started Season 6, they removed 33 cards, brought back 5 old ones, and added 69 new ones (nice). The most significant change is the addition of Spells in the Tavern. These new Spells act similarly to Spellcraft spells from Naga minions, except these spells stay in your hand if you don’t play them. Not only are these spells powerful, but they are also extremely flexible and can be used to alter the course of your matches.
Instead of telling you what the game changed, we played it and figured out how things work in Season 6 of Hearthstone Battlegrounds. Currently, we are hovering around 6200 MMR in Battlegrounds, which is roughly in the Top 20% range worldwide (according to HSReplay).
We looked at different strategies, what’s good and bad about them, and which of the new Tavern Spells are worth picking up. We also used HSReplay to help identify the most successful compositions and strategies.
Let’s look at our experience with Season 6 of Hearthstone Battlegrounds.
Hearthstone Battlegrounds Guide
Season 6 – General Tips
- The Recruit Phase of each turn has a set duration, indicated by the timer replacing the End Turn button. Your first turn lasts for 60 seconds, with 15 seconds allocated for hero selection, followed by approximately 12 seconds of introductory animation before players gain control. Subsequently, each round adds 15 seconds, with a maximum duration of 120 seconds.
- It’s important to note that this timer starts as the Combat Phase begins, so quicker battles grant you more time for recruiting.
- If you play Hearthstone on a PC or Mac, we highly recommend using a Companion App or Tracker when you play. Here are the best ones:
- We recommend watching some Battlegrounds streamers to get a general idea of how compositions work and see how they assemble successful builds (Kripparian is our personal favorite!).
Early Game Tips
These tips are useful until around turn 8 (10 gold).
- Turn 1 (3 gold): To start each game, you want to pick up a minion that has the most value. The best minions to grab are either Sellemental or Shell Collector. If neither is available, go for one with Reborn, Divine Shield, or Deathrattle. Otherwise, grab the minion with the best stats overall.
- If you get crazy lucky and have a triple in the Tavern, freeze them and wait until Turn 4 (6 gold) to buy the rest.
- If you get offered bad minions, you can push your luck by grabbing Recruit a Trainee.
- Turn 2 (4 gold): Upgrade to Tavern Tier 2. You will fall behind other opponents if you waste time refreshing the tavern on Tier 1. Not to mention, Tier 2 minions are much stronger than Tier 1. If you see Sellemental or Shell Collector, freeze them for the next turn.
- Depending on your hero, it may be beneficial to use your hero power and buy a minion. Some heroes that fit here are Maiev Shadowsong, Galakrond, and Arch-Villain Rafaam.
- Turn 3 (5 gold): A few options here:
- 1) Sell your only minion and buy two better ones.
- 2) Buy a Battlecry or value minion, sell it, and then buy another minion to keep.
- 3) Buy the best minion available, and either Enchanted Lasso, Recruit a Trainee, or Chefs Choice.
- BONUS 4) Upgrade to Tier 3. Use your 1-cost hero power. (Very risky)
- Turn 4 (6 gold): Buy two minions. Go for the minions with the most value. Freedealing Gambler is an excellent card to pick up here. Patient Scout is good, but make sure you already have a solid board; otherwise, you will get trampled and take lots of early damage. If you already have a decent Demon build going, buy more Demons. DO NOT REFRESH.
- Turn 5 (7 gold): If you haven’t already, upgrade to Tier 3 and buy one minion. DO NOT REFRESH.
- Turn 6 (8 gold): This is when you want to start building synergies. That doesn’t mean you have to commit to a build, but you’ll need to create a build to survive to Tier 5 or 6. Since you have 8 gold this turn, you can afford 2 refreshes and 2 minions. No matter what, you want to buy 2 minions on this turn, so do not refresh more than twice. Upgrading to Tier 4 here is risky, check who your opponent is on the left side of the screen.
- You should only consider upgrading to Tier 4 if you are confident that you will beat your opponent (i.e. someone who left the match). Otherwise, you will take a heavy amount of damage and fall behind the competition.
- Turn 7 (9 gold): Upgrade to Tier 4 and buy a minion. You will fall behind if you don’t upgrade this turn.
- If you have a full board with a weak minion, you can upgrade to Tier 4, sell a minion to get to 4 gold, refresh, and then buy a better minion. This allows you to grab a Tier 4 minion early without falling behind on your board presence.
Mid Game Tips
- From this point on, there is no longer a one-size-fits-all approach to Battlegrounds. You will need to learn and adapt to what your opponents are doing. Pay close attention to your opponents and how they performing. Generally, you will know which opponents will die off and which ones will stay alive until the end.
- Take your time! Depending on how quick your battles are, you will have around 60-80 seconds to recruit more minions and adjust your board. Be sure to use this time to your advantage.
- If you have not picked your desired build yet, now is the time to do so. The biggest key here is to identify the important minions for your build. This goes for any build you have, all of which you can find below. Also, try to pick up good supporting minions for your build.
- Tavern Spells offer you a ton of flexibility on how you spend your gold. For example, with 1 gold remaining, it’s likely better to buy a 1-cost spell and then refresh the Tavern again.
- There are some situations where you don’t want to upgrade to Tier 5. Naga and Mech builds each have very strong Tier 3 and 4 units. It’s possible to win the game while still in Tavern Tier 4, especially with Naga builds!
- If you can’t find any key minions within the next couple of turns, it may be time to change strategies. Instead of going for a “traditional” build, try to build up your board with the strongest minions possible. Good options here are Leeroy the Reckless or anything Venomous. Fairy Tale Coroler is a great stat-boosting card for this specific situation. Remember, you don’t need to get 1st place to increase MMR – usually getting 4th place and up increases MMR!
Late Game Tips
- Once there are only one or two opponents left, you’ll need to figure out ways to counter their builds. Which opponent is likely to be the last person alive? Which opponent is destroying each opponent they come across? Much like in Poker, you need to play the people, not the cards.
- Consider picking up a backup minion or two. Tunnel Blaster, Mad Matador, and Transmuted Bramblewitch are all great tech cards to look for, depending on the build. On the last turn, it may be best to swap a weak minion with one in your hand. It’s all or nothing at this point, so winning is the highest priority.
- Season 6 late-game builds feature more Divine Shields than ever before,(Thanks Sacred Gift), Tunnel Blaser is a huge counter to this. Just make sure he doesn’t impact your build more than your opponents!
- If you have a great build and have a lot of Health left (25hp+), feel free to upgrade to Tier 6. If your opponent one-shots you, then you didn’t stand a chance anyway. You want to get to Tier 6 to fuel your builds even more and overwhelm your opponents.
- Your minion lineup on your board is extremely important at this stage. You should know what your opponent’s build consists of. Understanding the weaknesses of each build is key. For example, if you are up against an Undead or Beast build with a ton of Reborn minions, Sindorei Straight Shot would be a great tech card to place on the left side of your board. If your opponent is playing Demon, then they likely will have minions with huge stats. Divine Shield and Venomous minions are a good counter to those builds. You have to be good at adapting to different situations in the end game, as there are too many variations of boards to give straightforward advice.
- Sacred Gift is an auto-buy at this stage of the game. Put it on your most important minion. Depending on your build, you may want more than one (possibly all) minions to have Divine Shield.
- If you are 95% confident that your next battle will be the last one of the game, you should sell Brann Bronzebeard in favor of tech cards. Brann’s effect has zero impact on anything occurring “in battle”. It’s do-or-die at this point! It’s usually worth the risk, even if there is a chance for a tie.
Best Tavern Spells
- Enchanted Lasso: In the early game, using your gold efficiently is paramount. You can’t afford to waste your gold on refreshes when you should be buying minions. Enchanted Lasso steals a random minion in the tavern for only 2 gold. This is a perfect grab on Turn 3 when you have 5 gold; which nets you 2 minions. You can also you this spell in the mid-late game, but it’s not nearly as impactful.
- Recruit a Trainee: Similar to Enchanted Lasso, Recruit a Trainee also helps you efficiently use your gold in the early game. Use it on Turn 3 to get 2 minions without having to sell your other one. Plus, it’s great for when no good minions are offered in the Tavern; you can gamble on getting another random Tier 1 minion.
- Chefs Choice: Focused on building more synergies, Chefs Choice allows you to choose a minion, and get a different one of the same type. At the cost of only 2 gold, not only is this a value spell for the early game, but it also works well in the mid-game to help build tribe synergies.
- Overconfidence: Risk it for the biscuit! Thankfully, spending 1 gold isn’t super risky. It’s not too difficult to predict the power level of an opponent pre-battle. The reward for Overconfidence is great. The added tempo of gaining 3 additional gold after combat cannot be overstated. You could likely upgrade your Tavern Tier and purchase a minion, keeping you in pace with your opponents. Plus, if you happen to tie, you get your 1 gold back.
- If you’re playing someone who left the lobby, this spell is an auto-buy (unless your build stinks).
- Natural Blessing: The king of mid-game tempo. Natural Blessing is an instant buy when you have a full board of the same type. Spending 3 gold to give your board +3/+2 is crazy strong. It will also buff any minions in the Tavern with the same type, allowing you to freeze them to grab your next turn.
- Plus, if you use it on a double tribe minion, the effect boosts minions of both types.
- Tricky Trousers: Tricky Trousers is a great card to tweak your board with. For only 1 gold, you give a minion +1/+2 and Taunt. If the minion already has Taunt, remove it. This is useful for quickly giving a minion Taunt, which becomes more useful in the late game. Another use for this could be removing Taunt from a Mech that you Magnetize Annoy-o-Module to, as it will still keep the Divine Shield.
- Armor Stash: This spell has saved us from lethal damage at least a dozen times and counting. Since Armor Stash is on Tier 5, you’ll likely only see it in the late game. If you have no Armor left, this spell is a must-buy; you could even grab it to save for later while you still have Armor left. You should only grab this spell if you have 5 or more health, as you will (most likely) die anyway.
- Buddy Up: With Buddy Up, you get to discover a Buddy minion (from Season 4 of Battlegrounds), of which there are 74 in total. Given you can only pick from three of the 74 Buddies, there is a TON of variance. Buddies range from complete trash to game-breaking. If you have 4 gold to spare, this is worth grabbing on the off-chance that you get a minion that synergizes extremely well with your build.
- Unmasked Identity: A very situational spell, but Unmasked Identity could give you a huge advantage. This spell allows you to pick a new Hero Power. You HAVE to grab this if you are playing a hero whose Hero Power isn’t effective anymore; heroes like Ambassador Faelin (Expedition Plans), Patchwerk (All Patched Up), and Sire Denathrius (Whodunit?) just to name a few.
- The best new hero powers to pick are Three Wishes, Relics of the Deep and Gonna Be Rich! Wingmen is also extremely powerful in the late game, as your minions will always attack first.
- Upper Hand: Being a spell with no downside, Upper Hand catches your opponent off-guard by reducing one of their minion’s Health to 1. You may get lucky and have it hit your opponent’s largest minion. While it’s not as useful against Undead or Beast builds, nor is it an “auto-win” spell, it’s still extremely useful against builds with hugely-stated minions. It may even swing the battle in your favor.
- Sacred Gift: The gift that keeps on giving. Sacred Gift permanently gives a minion Divine Shield. In the late game, adding Divine Shield to your important minions is invaluable. It’s hard to think of instances where you don’t want to buy this. Yes, 6 gold is an extremely high price to pay. However, the ability to give ANY minion Divine Shield should be priced highly.
- Perfect Vision: While much more situational than other Tier 6 spells, Perfect Vision offers a ton of utility if used correctly. You could use it on Titus Rivendare to prevent it from getting sniped by Worgen Vigilante. Maybe you want to tech in a 20/20 cleave minion like Blade Collector or Foe Reaper 4000. Worse case, you can use it to boost one of your minion’s stats to 20/20.
- Lost Staff of Hamuul: For only 2 gold, Lost Staff of Hamuul allows you to refresh the Tavern with minions of a type that you choose. There is a lot of flexibility with this spell. Use it to grab one of the key minions for your build, or even for grabbing that triple you needed. This spell can be really powerful.
Important Minions: Soulsplitter, Champion of the Primus, Eternal Summoner
Supporting Minions: Handless Forsaken, Sister Deathwhisper
Undead builds are still a strong option in Battlegrounds. They do struggle to compete with others in the early and mid-game, due to their lack of defense. One way to overcome this is by further improving your damage potential, and Sore Loser does a good job at that. One or two of them coupled with a Handless Forsaken should push an Undead build safely to Tier 4. In the early game, Risen Rider is a solid minion to pick up.
Once you hit Tier 4, you need to look for Soulsplitter; the crux of any Undead build. Adding Reborn to another friendly Undead gives you much more board presence. Not to mention, Soulsplitter’s effect only works on Undead that don’t already have Reborn, meaning you can narrow down the potential recipients of this buff. Ideally, you want Soulsplitter giving Handless Forsaken Reborn.
Tier 5 unlocks Champion of the Primus, which will continuously scale your Undead minions the more that they die. Position this minion on the right side of your board, just to the left of your taunt units. Your Reborn minions will keep dying and resummoning, which continuously boosts the stats of all Undead. Titus Rivendare could be grabbed too, given you have Deathrattle minions. Also, continue to pick up any Handless Forsaken that you see; it is very good overall.
The best Tier for Undead is Tier 6, by far. Eternal Summoner and Sister Deathwhisper are both powerful units to add. Undead builds need a lot of Reborn and Deathrattle minions to be effective. Eternal Summoner has both, making it a super sticky minion that is hard to get rid of. The more your minions die, the more powerful your build becomes. Sister Deathwhisper permanently buffs your Undeads whenever a Reborn minion dies, which is when your build starts to scale very fast.
Hungering Abomination and Relentless Sentry are weak cards, and should be avoided unless there are no better options. They do not see play currently and will continue to do so unless they are buffed in the future.
Triggering deathrattle reborn undead with Archlich is PERMANENT
Countering Undead Builds
Undead builds rely solely on high damage and resummoning minions, which leaves them vulnerable on defense. Utilizing Divine Shield or Cleave minions are great options to counter this. If you can catch an Undead build in the early or mid-game, you shouldn’t have a problem beating them, as they don’t have enough time to scale.
Since Undead builds get more powerful as the game goes on, chances to counter them become more slim in the late game. Sindorei Straight Shot becomes your best shot against a powerful Undead build. She will hopefully take out a Risen Rider and remove Reborn from an important unit like Eternal Summoner or Handless Forsaken. This is no guarantee for success, as late-game Undead builds are very powerful. If you don’t see Sindorei, a Tunnel Blaster could take out some low-health enemies.
Important Minions: Banana Slamma, Goldrinn, the Great Wolf, Hawkstrider Herald
Supporting Minions: Titus Rivendare, Mechanized Gift Horse
Beasts are the strongest comp in the game.
Despite the nerfs/reworks for the Beast tribe in Patch 28.0.3, Beasts are still a strong build in Battlegrounds. The good news is that Mama Bear has been reworked to be a Tier 4 minion. The bad news is that Banana Slamma is now a Tier 5 minion. In the end, Beasts are now slightly better in the early game, and worse in the mid-game. The late game should remain largely unchanged.
The early game is relatively dull for Beasts. None of the Beasts are super impactful, so just grab whatever you can to survive until the mid-game. On Tier 3 you can grab a Monstrous Macaw. Not only is this a Beast, but it also has synergy with Deathrattles. You may have to sell Macaw later in the game to make room for more impactful Beasts. If your board is full and has at least 1 Beast, grab a Free-Flying Feathermane to keep in your hand. Odds are you will keep this for the entire game, (and don’t play it unless you want to sell it!).
While Slamma got moved to Tier 5, Tavern Tier 4 still has valuable minions for Beast build. This tier has three important Beast minions: Sly Raptor, Sprightly Scarab, and now Mama Bear. Believe it or not, Mama Bear is better for transitioning from early to mid-game; Manasaber and Sewer Rat get bigger buffs from Mama versus Slamma. At this stage, give your best Beasts Reborn with Scarab, prioritizing Sly Raptor, followed by Mama Bear. Wait until you have a good board before you upgrade to Tavern Tier 5.
Banana Slamma is the only Tier 5 Beast that we include in this build. The stat buffs from Slamma are crucial to your success in the mid and late-game. Titus Rivendare could be slotted into this build to maximize the Deathrattle effects.
Hawkstrider Herald could work with this particular build, but only if your board has empty spaces. Plus, it’s more suited toward a build that runs Goldrinn, the Great Wolf. If you can successfully assemble this build, you will win the game.
Tier 6 has great Beasts. In our opinion, Octosari, Wrap God should be the main priority, as its Deathrattle will scale as you progress through each round. If you only have a few rounds left before the end of the game, don’t get Octosari as it won’t be impactful. If you can get Octosari early, grab it. Another slightly controversial Beast is Ghastcoiler. While heavily-RNG dependent, it often provides one or two Deathrattle Beasts, that are then buffed by Slamma and Mama Bear. Not only that, but Ghastcoiler can also summon powerful tech cards like Leeroy the Reckless or Operatic Belcher.
You will likely need to leave a spot on your board for cycling through minions. All copies of Sprightly Scarab you find are helpful and provide either Reborn or Taunt to one of your Beasts. Also, be sure that you have a Taunt minion or two to protect Slamma, otherwise, you’ll be praying every round “please don’t hit the Monkey”.
Countering Beast Builds
Beasts are a strange build to counter. They involve a lot of RNG, so even if you have the perfect counter, there is a chance of still losing. With all this being said, your #1 goal needs to be taking down Banana Slamma. It is the engine of this build and completely falls apart without Slamma’s massive stat buffs. Try to use big cleaving minions to take him out, assuming Slamma is placed next to a Taunt minion.
Another situational counter could be using Zapp Slywick. It’s almost guaranteed to take out Titus Rivendare, but less likely to take out Slamma. Usually, opponents can counter this move by getting another minion with 1 or less Attack. Plus, Sly Raptor has less Attack than Slamma, so this counter could go wrong.
If you’re desperate, you can run Sindorei Straight Shot and hope it takes out some Reborn minions. You could also try to guess the placement of Slamma with Audacious Anchor. Neither of these is super reliable and is not recommended unless you have no other options.
Important Minions: Bassgill, Choral Mrrrglr
Supporting Minions: Operatic Belcher, Brann Bronzebeard, Bream Counter
As Season 6 progresses, Murloc builds power levels have fallen to the middle of the pack. This is more in part due to other builds getting better, rather than Murlocs themselves getting worse. Not much has changed for Murlocs this season; the core composition of Bassgill and Choral Mrrrglr remain the same.
The best part about Murlocs is that you can (usually) switch your build to Murlocs at any time in the mid-game. For example, Demon builds need to be set up from the early game, and get better the more you build in the mid to late game. Murlocs on the other hand, do not need to be built until you find one or two key minions in the mid-game, making for an easy transition.
As mentioned, the early game doesn’t matter for Murlocs. The goal should be getting to Tier 4 safely. Go through the normal routine and build up the best board you can. Along the way, you could grab Murcules and/or Scourfin to make things a little easier. On Tier 4, finding a Bream Counter is the first step of building for Murlocs. You are going to keep this in your hand for the rest of the game; DO NOT play it.
On top of looking for Bream, make sure you grab the most important minion in this build, Bassgill; you will struggle to compete without it. It will summon your massively-buffed Bream Counter, which usually turns the tide in battle. Wayward Grimscale is also a good minion to pick up; feel free to buff him up (and place him on the right side of your build!)
Upgrade to Tier 5 when you have a solid board. During this time, you want to be cycling through Murlocs to buff Bream. Tad or Battlecry Murlocs are great for this. A minion that is guaranteed to give your opponents headaches is Operatic Belcher. Being the main source of Venomous, he also gives Venomous to another Murloc upon death.
A non-Murloc to look for in Tier 5 is Brann Bronzebeard. He is another piece to add to this build, as he amplifies all the crazy Battlecries that other Murlocs have, (Primalfin Lookout, King Bagurgle, and Murky). Despite not being a Murloc himself, he is worth keeping for the entire game.
Tier 6 yields four different Murlocs, with each of them being great. The most important of the four is Choral Mrrrglr. Not only does it gain the stats of your massive Bream Counter, but it also gains the stats of all other minions in your hand. Your Choral’s stats will easily get into the hundreds. You’ll also want to slap a Divine Shield on it with Sacred Gift!
Relentless Murghoul is another strong Venomous unit, with the possibility to gain Reborn if five of your minions die before it. Murky is a powerful Battlecry Murloc that gives a friendly Murloc +10/+10 (hence the appeal for Brann). Young Murk-Eye is a bit situational, and should only be used if you have a Murky and Brann on your board. Other Battlecries aren’t powerful enough to warrant Murk-Eye in your lineup.
Countering Murloc Builds
The power of Murloc builds comes mostly from Venomous units. There are two ways for countering Venomous minions. One way is to use big Divine Shield minions to take out the Venomous units, leaving your minions unscathed. The other way is to simply hit the Venomous Murlocs with minions that are supposed to die, like ones with Deathrattle or Reborn. Keep in mind that you don’t need to kill the Venomous minions; you need to remove the Venomous effect. As long as your minions die, the Venomous effect will be removed.
And yes, Murlocs also have a ton of stats, but stat-heavy minions can be more easily countered with Divine Shield, Venomous, or tech cards like Mad Matador or Transmuted Bramblewitch.
Important Minions: Soul Rewinder, Malchezaar, Prince of Dance, Floating Watcher, Wrath Weaver
Supporting Minions: Famished Felbat, Insatiable Urzul
Demons is the only build where the early game is extremely important. Finding the important minions on Tiers 1 and 2 will either make or break your Demon build. For starters, every good Demon comp starts with finding Wrath Weaver. Not only does he synergize perfectly with other Demons, but he also quickly becomes a massive body on your board. Weaver with a couple of other Demons gives you a VERY strong start.
On Tier 2 you must find Soul Rewinder. You will keep this minion until the end of the game, guaranteed. He will quickly scale up into a strong presence, and his effect prevents you from taking any damage from the cards that you play. This effect is crucial when playing Demons, as you will constantly deal damage to yourself. If you find any Mind Muck units, we recommend targeting Soul Rewinder with them.
Tier 3 does not have any important Demons, and you should get to Tier 4 as soon as possible. On the other hand, Tier 4 has powerful Demons. Floating Watcher is a must-have. Like your other minions, Watcher scales incredibly fast and fits perfectly with your board. Another minion to grab is Malchezaar, Prince of Dance. His effect is twofold: (1) It enables you to damage yourself, further powering up your other units, and (2) the extra refreshes allow you to search for more Demons in the Tavern. All this to say, he’s pretty darn good.
Imposing Percussionist’s buff from Tier 5 to 4 makes it a much better play. It is great for finding triples or one of the important Demons that your build is currently lacking. Pick these up whenever you can. The recent re-addition of Felemental further increases the potential of Demon builds. Peckish Feldrake can be used as a big body to carry you to the late game.
Tier 5 has a couple of Demons, but they are mostly forgettable. Tichondrius and Insatiable Urzul are okay but don’t warrant enough power to take up a spot on your board. You would be much better off saving your gold, upgrading to Tier 6, and looking for Famished Felbat.
Felbat is an excellent minion; it gives your Demons additional stats at the end of every turn by consuming other minions in the Tavern. Also, make sure you only play one Felbat, as you won’t get any effects from having the second. Hold any additional Felbats in your hand until you get a Triple.
Countering Demon Builds
All Demon builds are based on high-statted units. Naturally, this makes them vulnerable to anything Venomous. Grab any Venomous minions that you find and throw them against the largest Demons. Demons also lack any Divine Shield or Reborn units, making them vulnerable to each. Murlocs, Mechs, and Beasts can all hold their own against Demon builds, with Murlocs being the best matchup against them.
Important Minions: Deflect-o-bot, Scrap Scraper, Replicating Menace
Supporting Minions: Polarizing Beatboxer, Foe Reaper 4000, Annoy-o-Module
To no one’s surprise, Deflect-o-bot is still the most important minion to any Mech build. The best build that we’ve tried consisted of generating lots of Magnetic units and sticking them to your mechs. You shouldn’t start building for Mechs until you get a Deflect-o-bot.
We found that Cogwork Copter is overrated. The main issue is the vulnerability in the early game. The effect only works if you have minions in your hand. In the early game, you want to play as many minions as possible to fill your board, otherwise, you will fall behind others and take lots of damage. By the time you have your board full, there will be better minions to replace Cogworth with.
As you level up Tavern Tiers, grab any Lullabot, Accord-o-Tron, and Replicating Menace that you find. Tier 4 has one of the most important minions; Scrap Scraper. This minion provides you with a constant stream of Magnetic minions to attach to your units. Tier 4 also has Annoy-o-Module, your best source for adding taunt minions. Tier 5 has Utility Drone, which buffs your Mechs based on how many Magnitizations they have. You can also grab a Drakkari Enchanter if you see one; it has great synergy with your units that have “end of turn” effects.
As of Patch 27.6, Kangors Apprentice has returned to the minon pool, allowing Mech builds to acquire another powerful minion that also triggers Deflect Bot.
Tier 6 is when this build starts to take off. Polarizing Beatboxer buffs itself from Magnetizing minions to other Mechs, which snowballs VERY fast. Foe Reaper 4000 is a classic Battlegrounds card that still is powerful today, and you want to buff it whenever you can. These two Tier 6 minions are a deadly 1-2 punch. You can also grab Mecha-Jaraxxus to give your best Mechs more stats with his “Mech Demons”.
Adaptable Barricade is a very confusing card to understand. We initially thought it only adjusted its Health to survive with 1 Health. This is true. However, we missed one essential part. When it shifts its Health, Barricade takes stats from its Attack first and then adds them to its Health. Simply put, the card can withstand a total amount of damage up to its Attack.
For example, your Adaptable Barricade has 100 Attack, 1 Health, and then a 100 Attack minion attacks. It will shift its stats to 0 Attack and 101 Health, surviving the hit with 1 Health. You can make this card good if you keep buffing its Attack. All that to say, we recommend magnetizing Annoy-o-Modules onto your other Mechs instead of buffing this card.
You can magnetize all of your mechs with Annoy-o-Modules to give them Divine Shield, and then use Trick Trousers to remove Taunt from the minions you don’t want attacked first.
Countering Mech Builds
Mech builds rely mostly on Divine Shield and said extra refreshes from Deflect-o-Bot. No minion counters Divine Shields better than Tunnel Blaster. You should always have one stored in your hand if another player is running Mechs in the late game. Make sure it doesn’t accidentally sabotage your build in the process! If you can’t find one, the next best option would be a tech card like Leeroy the Reckless or Transmuted Bramblewitch.
When facing Mechs, ALWAYS place your weakest, least important minion to the left of your board. Every good Mech build runs a Taunt minion with Divine Shield; you want a weak minion to take out the Divine Shield before throwing your big minions at it.
Important Minions: Kalecgos, Arcane Aspect, Warpwing, Amber Guardian, Brann Bronzebeard
Supporting Minions: Bronze Warden, Electric Synthesizer
Dragons are a difficult build to get correct. As a whole, their power level decreased significantly with the removal of key Dragon units from Season 4, in particular, Tarecgosa and Nadina the Red. Dragons are strong in the early and mid-game, but fall off in the end game. Unless you have no other choice, you should build something else. The only other reason you should focus on Dragons is if you chose a Dragon-centric Hero; Alexstrasza with her Queen of Dragons Hero Power, or Ysera with her Dream Portal Hero Power.
Starting off, Tier 1 only has two Dragons, Dozy Whelp and Upbeat Frontdrake. You don’t expect Tier 1 units to be super impactful, and this remains the case here. Dozy Whelp is the better of the two, providing a decent Taunt body with Attack that scales higher over time. Upbeat Frontdrake should be generally avoided. Yes, it gives you a random Dragon, but it’s every three turns. That feels like a lifetime in Battlegrounds. Not to mention, Upbeat’s mediocre stats will cause you to lose a lot of games early on.
Tier 2 is also relatively dull. You can get some early tempo with Low-Flier, but you will have to sell it later on to make room for more powerful minions. It’s not until Tier 3 that you (finally) get good Dragon options. Both Amber Guardian and Bronze Warden are solid additions to your build. Bronze Warden is just a great minion overall, not just because it’s a Dragon. Amber Guardian is especially good when paired with other big Dragons, as it will give one of them +2/+2 and Divine Shield. You will need this later in the game.
Stormbringer is an awesome Dragon that will be your main damage dealer. Every single Attack buff you give to other Dragons will also be given to Stormbringer, thanks to its effect. On a full Dragon board, playing Electric Synthesizer will supercharge the Attack on your Stormbringer. These are the two minions to look for on Tier 4. Peckish Feldrake should only be used as a placeholder until you get better Dragons.
Tier 5 yields lots of useful Battlecry Dragons. Inherently, this makes Brann Bronzebeard a unit to look for, since your Battlecries will now trigger twice (and he is needed for late game). General Drakkisath becomes crazy powerful if you have Brann; you get two Smolderwing minions that both give +10 Attack each, for a total of +20 Attack. Another Tier 5 minion that benefits the most from Brann is Murozond. Not only do you get two minion copies from your opponent’s warband, but Murozond is essentially a free minion. Selling Murozond and the two minion copies nets you 3 gold, which is the amount that Murozond costs to buy! Stonks!
Now, once you get to Tier 6, you have to find Kalecgos, Arcance Aspect at all costs. It is an integral part of this build and can NOT be replaced. Dragons do not have enough power without Kalecgos to be competitive. As long as you keep playing Battlecry minions, your Dragons will continue to scale with Kalecgos. Circling back to Brann Bronzebeard, he allows Kalecgos to trigger his effect twice, which is another reason to pair these two minions up.
Once you have your ideal setup with Kalecgos and Brann, you can go crazy and buy every Battlecry minion you see. The perfect Battlecry minions to grab are Electric Synthesizer, General Drakkisath, or Murozond. Note that the Battlecry minions don’t have to be Dragons; Kalegos’ effect triggers off of all Battlecry cards. On top of this, you should look for Warpwing, which you can also find on Tier 6. You almost always want this minion to attack first to take advantage of its Immune effect.
Countering Dragon Builds
Since Dragons naturally have a lot of Divine Shields, adding a Tunnel Blaster to your build easily takes care of that. You can expect them to have their Warpwing or Bronze Warden attacking first, so utilize a Taunt minion on the right side of your board to absorb their massive hits. Dragons are not difficult to counter, as their defensive capabilities are lacking when compared to other builds.
Important Minions: Slitherspear, Lord of Gains, Lava Lurker, Silivaz the Vindictive
Supporting Minions: Daggerspine Thrasher, Corrupted Myrmidon
Note: The Deep Blue Build that utilizes Deep Blue Crooner and Zesty Shaker isn’t as effective this season as seasons prior. We are focusing on a new build that features Slitherspear, Lord of Gains.
Not much has changed for Naga in Season 5. Eventide Brute was removed, (it wasn’t that good anyways), and was replaced by The Glad-iator, a decent Tier 3 unit. The core minions you need for a good Naga build are still Zesty Shaker, Lava Lurker, and Deep Blue Crooner.
Starting a good Naga build means upgrading quickly. Tiers 2, 3, and 4 contain the most crucial minions. The most important minion in the whole build is Deep Blue Crooner, which is at Tier 4.
Once you have at least one of each “core” minion, you start to ramp up your stats dramatically. The trick is to use your Deep Blues spell onto your Zesty Shaker, and then cast the copy onto Lava Lurker. Your Lava Lurker should have triple-digit stats in no time. Once your Lava Lurkers have 100-200 each in stats, you probably want to use your Deep Blues on your other Naga. This way, you won’t have all your stat buffs going to one or two minions, which makes them vulnerable to one-shot units.
Outside of the main three units, Dagger Spine Trasher is a great minion to look for. Triggering all of its effects is easy with the correct build, so it’s consistently a Venomous minion with Divine Shield and Windfury. It should be your main source of Venomous minions for this build.
When getting triples on Tier 4, You can potentially get either Glowscale or Corrupted Myrmidon from Tier 5. The only one you should look for is Glowscale. It can provide your board with Divine Shield, which is crucial in the late game. Corrupted Myrmidon is too slow and only provides real benefit in the late, late game when you have huge spells. You want to use your limited stat buffs on Lava Lurker instead.
Reef Riffer is an excellent minion to give you tempo in the early and mid-game but falls off in the late game. The Tier 6 Naga units are decent, but not necessary. Tidemistress Athissa is good if you have an open spot not taken up by a core minion, but doesn’t scale as fast as Deep Blue Crooner. Orgozoa, the Tender is only good if you use it for just getting the Spellcraft spell, (Discover a Naga). You should sell it immediately since it only provides other minions (not stats) and because it is not even a Naga itself.
Countering Naga Builds
There is one glaring issue with Naga builds; they are heavily stat-based. Even with Divine Shields from Glowscale, there are only going to be 1 or 2 units with Divine Shield. Any one-shot minions like Leeroy the Reckless or Transmuted Bramblewitch would be great tech cards when facing a Naga build. A Murloc build with Operatic Belcher is naturally a great counter to most Naga builds. Their biggest minion will be Lava Lurker, so position your minions in the right order to (hopefully) destroy this minion. If your build doesn’t run Divine Shields, Tunnel Blaster ensures that all of their Divine Shields are gone.
Important Minions: Recycling Wraith, Wildfire Elemental, Brann Bronzebeard
Supporting Minions: Party Elemental, Rock Rock
Elementals got a huge buff from the changes in Patch 28.0.3. Four Elementals got buffed in this patch, with the biggest ones being Dancing Barnstormer and Tavern Tempest.
Ever since Molten Rock and Crackling Cyclone were removed from the minion pool in Season 4, Elementals haven’t been the same. Season 5 isn’t much different. Bejeweled Duelist is a decent replacement for Molten, but it doesn’t have the scaling power the former had. The issue with Elementals lies within their play style. They have an identity crisis. Nomi, Kitchen Nightmare, and Rock Rock both rely on playing as many Elementals as you can. This is fine, but when many mid-game Elementals rely on “Refresh” mechanics, you can’t effectively scale up your build fast enough.
Be that as it may, there are ways to make Elementals successful. The most important minion to look for is Recycling Wraith. Ideally, you want to pair this with a Bejeweled Duelist to gain some low-level momentum. Make sure you also grab a Party Elemental, as it will supply your minions with important stat boosts to scale your build. Early on, be sure to grab Dancing Barnstormer. It will continue to buff all Elementals in the Tavern as you progress through the game.
Tier 4 contains two very important Elementals; Wildfire Elemental and Tavern Tempest. Being your primary damage dealer, Wildfire will need to be buffed so you can take advantage of its ability; “After this attacks and kills a minion, deal excess damage to an adjacent minion“. If positioned correctly, Wildfire can clear out multiple minions with each attack. Tavern Tempest will give you additional Elementals, all of which will trigger your minions’ effects. Always grab it when you see one.
Flourishing Frostling is a big body and a solid placeholder while you are making your way to the endgame. It also makes for a great placeholder to put in your extra space before each round starts (normally you would cycle minions in this spot).
Elemental of Surprise is good as it is your one true source of Divine Shield for Elementals. Not to mention, it also helps make your minions gold. Transmuted Bramblewitch is a very underutilized card, and can win games for you if used properly.
In the late game, you will need to play FAST. Rapidly playing Elementals is the most effective way to scale your build. There won’t be a turn where you have enough time to play everything. Play every Elemental as fast as you can, and utilize your free Refreshes from Recycling Wraith. Gentle Djinni is a great supporting minion for this playstyle, as you will get more Elementals from his Deathrattle. Rock Rock helps you supercharge your existing Elementals.
Countering Elemental Builds
All Elemental builds are focused on one thing; stats. The lack of their own Divine Shield minions proves costly for the build. They can be easily countered with a few placed Venomous and/or one-shot minions (like Leeroy the Reckless). Be sure to grab a taunt minion to counter any Transmuted Bramblewitch, and place it to the right of your board to minimize the damage done by Wildfire Elemental. Those are the two minions you need to worry about; the rest are easy to beat.
Important Minions: Tough Tusk, Prickly Piper, Charlga
Supporting Minions: Moon-Bacon Jazzer, Bongo Bopper, Bonker
Quilboars are still one of the weakest tribes in Battlegrounds. Season 5 didn’t change much, but did make Quilboar a bit worse with the removal of Dynamic Duo from the minion pool. The most consistent and powerful build for Quilboars is boosting the stats of your Blood Gems. Your main sources for buffing Blood Gems are Moon-Bacon Jazzer and Prickly Piper, so pick up these units whenever you see them.
Tough Tusk is going to carry through the early and mid-game. Try to keep an extra Blood Gem or two every turn so you can keep a Divine Shield on Tough Tusk (unless it’s golden, then it will get one permanently). Generating Blood Gems is another task you’ll need to prioritize. Withered Spearhide and Bonker are good choices for this until you get to Tier 5. Briarback Bookie can also accomplish this, but its effect can be clunky to trigger since you need unspent gold, which can mess up the timing for upgrading Tiers. We think Bonker is underrated since it both generates Blood Gems and is a strong body presence on the board. Plus, Windfury is awesome.
Once you hit Tier 5, look for Bongo Bopper and Bristleback Knight. Every good build has one of each. Bongo not only buffs itself but also provides Blood Gems to use on other units. Bristleback truly shines when you have buffed your Blood Gems a lot; it becomes a very dangerous minion. Transmuted Bramblewitch is not only a great Quilboar card, but also a great tech card for most builds. It’s always good to have one in your hand to spring on an unsuspecting opponent. Adding a Drakkari Enchanter to your build can also ramp up your stats even faster since it synergizes well with lots of Quilboar units.
bristlebach not good anymore
Tier 6 is where some of the best Quilboar are; Bristlebach and Charlga, with the latter being the better of the two. Charlga is what turns the tide of your build and, given you’ve buffed your Blood Gems enough, puts you in a position to win the game. Giving each of your minions a Blood Gem is HUGE, especially if think about how buffed your Blood Gems already are. Bristlebach is a decent substitute if you can’t find Charlga. It’s possible to out-stat your opponent’s build mid-battle and come out victorious if your Blood Gems are boosted enough. It also pairs incredibly well with Withered Spearhide.
Once your Blood Gems are seriously buffed, adding a Blade Collector or Foe Reaper to your board could be useful. The cleave effect can be devastating (and unexpected) for your opponents.
Despite the recent buff for Captain Flat Tusk, she still isn’t worth playing. It doesn’t fit into any build and is too slow. Same with Aggem Thorncurse.
Countering Quilboar Builds
Much like Naga builds, Quilboar builds are heavily reliant on stat boosts. One-shot minions like Leeroy the Reckless or Transmuted Bramblewitch are excellent tech cards against Quilboar. Venomous minions also can take out the opponent’s massive units. Having a Tunnel Blast on your board also can’t hurt, as it will remove all of the Divine Shields from the Quilboars. Also, make sure you have a taunt minion or two on the right of your board to absorb the huge hits from your opponent’s minions.
Important Minions: Blade Collector, Record Smuggler
Supporting Minions: Peggy Sturdybone, Underhanded Dealer, Gunpowder Courier
At the bottom of the totem pole, the Pirates sit alone. Since their massive rework at the start of Season 4, they have struggled to gain consistent success in lobbies. We wanted to see them get buffs with the rollout of Season 5, but it looks like we’ll need to wait a bit longer (fingers crossed).
In the early game, Ripsnarl Captain should be your target. He has good stats, and his effect works very well with the low-tier Pirate minions. Pair him with a couple of Scallywag units and you should roll right into the mid-game without issue (make sure the Scallywags attack first!). On Tier 3 you should grab Gunpowder Courier; it will give your Pirates 1 Attack for every 5 gold you spend. You can think of these as passive buffs when you buy minions and level up Tavern Tiers. We also shouldn’t have to mention that Bloodsail Cannoneer is great for buffing your Pirates.
Getting to Tier 4 should be your next goal since Blade Collector is going to be your main offensive powerhouse. Buffing this unit is crucial, especially since its base stats are very mediocre for Tier 4. We also recommend picking up Peggy Sturdybone if you see one. Audacious Anchor can be a great tech card to have; it’s great for taking out key minions like Banana Slamma or Titus Rivendare.
Tier 5 is where the real fun starts to begin (or end, if you can’t find the following minions). Record Smuggler is the engine of this build. It provides you with a surge of extra gold every turn and also powers up the other important unit, Underhanded Dealer. When you get these huge pools of Gold every turn, you can freely grab any Bloodsail Cannoneer or Lovesick Balladist minions you find. Not to mention, spending all of this gold is also buffing your Pirates via Gunpowder Courier. This cyclical gameplay loop is what fuels this build, and is fun when it works!
Getting to Tier 6 should be easy with your surplus of gold. The only minion you need to look for is Fleet Admiral Tethysm, which is the final piece to the “Pirate build” puzzle. He can’t “save” a bad Pirate build, but he helps skyrocket a good one. Soon, your hand will be constantly full of Pirates, and often scramble to play all of them before your timer ends. If you have an extra spot on your board, Brann Bronzebeard is a good addition; he buffs all of the Battlecry minions you play.
Unless you have no other Pirate choice, you should avoid Upbeat Impressionist. It does not affect your current board, and it triggers a mediocre effect every 2 turns. It’s just an awkward card to have. This minion doesn’t significantly contribute to any Pirate build, and you’re better off picking any other unit.
Countering Pirate Builds
Luckily, countering Pirate builds is relatively easy. Unlike all good builds in Battlegrounds, Pirates lack minions with Reborn, Divine Shield, and Venomous. Not so ironically, this means that Pirates are weak to minions with Reborn, Divine Shield, and Venomous. On top of this, Pirate units lack defense, leaving them vulnerable to weaker minions. Any good Mech, Murloc, or Beast build should clobber Pirates. On top of all this, Pirates don’t have any Taunt minions, forcing them to use other minion types. In case you haven’t noticed, Taunt minions are pretty important in Battlegrounds.
We hope this article has provided valuable insights and fresh ideas to enhance your Hearthstone Battlegrounds strategy in Season 6. Before we conclude, we’d like to leave you with one last piece of advice; these strategies aren’t foolproof, and there are ways to counter each. Don’t hesitate to tweak certain aspects of your builds to secure victory.
In all honesty, we like the addition of Tavern Spells in Battlegrounds, and hope they stay in future seasons! It’s refreshing to use gold for purchases other than minions. It also feels much better to buy a cheap spell over refreshing the tavern a couple of times.
Stay tuned for new updates as we explore new strategies in Season 6. Best of luck on your Battlegrounds journey!
For more Hearthstone content, check us out at Shark Games.