Hearthstone is a game that at its most basic, is all about board control and card advantage. As such certain cards are better than other cards, and therefor the class cards available to each class grant certain classes more power than other classes. While this is mitigated slightly in the open format where you can select from your whole collection of general cards, it does play into the Arena game significantly.
Keep in mind that the Arena in Hearthstone has a major component of RNG and Luck involved, since you are give random cards to select from. However, knowing which class to select to have the best chance in an Arena game gives you a large advantage.
Knowing that some classes are better than others, let's start with the worst current Arena Classes (as of end of December 2013) and work our way to the best.
While this is an awesome card in a pre-set environment, in the Arena it can hurt badly. There are too many Warlock cards that hurt you and therefore need to be used when you can control everything in your deck it makes them a poor choice.
The Worst Hearthstone Arena Classes
The worst classes in the arena are the Druid, Hunter, Shaman, and Warlock.
While these classes can compete and with good playing get to the maximum 12 wins, it is an uphill battle.
Druids and Shaman are the best of the worst with their attack and totem abilities giving them a slight edge compared to the other classes in this section.
The Warlock class can be awesome with the right speed based cards, however if you are not lucky enough to draft enough of them, you will have to end up burning through your own health in order to get a card advantage and therefore usually hand over the win due to low health.
The Hunter class can be competitive, but only if you are lucky enough to draw a significant number of beasts and the other cards that boost their ability. If they do not though they are almost completely out of luck in the arena.
The Mediocre Hearthstone Arena Classes
The middle of the road Hearthstone classes for the Arena are the Rogue and Warrior.
Both of these classes are fairly balanced and can hold their own in the Arena, and with some good draws can make their way up to the max wins. However, they are harder to do so with than the best classes.
The Rogue excels at taking out small early game enemy minions by using their hero power to summon a weapon and taking them out before they can do you any real damage. This works to gain you the advantage in two ways, firstly it keeps the board clear for a board advantage and secondly it keeps a card advantage for you since you have removed an enemy without expending a card. Later in the game, your combo cards help provide dual benefits while only using one card.
The Warrior works by stalling damage through their hero power to add armor. They also have access to a significant number of cards that deal with multiple enemy minions which can go a long way to keeping a card advantage.
The Best Arena Classes
The best three classes to pick in the Arena system are the Paladin, Priest, and Mage. The Paladin and Mage are generally considered slightly better than the Priest, but all are better than the other classes, at least up until this point in the beta.
These are just a few of the cards that help the Mage and Paladin class be among the best in the Arena.
The Priest class has many cards that mess with the opponent and their deck, and was stronger early in the beta, however a few of the cards have had their mana cost raised over time and has therefore dropped in power. Cards like Shadow Word: Death and Shadow Word: Pain allow the class to remove enemy minions no matter their health with a single card. Then there are cards like Thoughtsteal, Mind Vision, and Mindgames that copy enemy cards giving you a potential card advantage as well as access to cards that you normally would not have access to. The big card for Priests has got to be Mind Control though as it give you control over an enemy minion. At 10 mana it can not be cast until the end game, but it can be a game changer after your opponent summons a huge and powerful legendary, and you then steal it away for the win.
The Mage class has been one of the strongest, if not the strongest class in the Arena system since the Beta launched. It has recently lost a little power due to changes to many of the freeze spells. While a little less powerful than before, they are still a force to be reckoned with, having more board control that any other class in the game. The freeze cards like Cone of Cold, Blizzard, Frostbolt, and Ice Lance offer a lot of control over enemy minions. Mages also have access to huge nuke spells capable of killing weakened opponents with a single hit in the late game. These cards are Fireball and Pyroblast, and even some of the weaker direct damage spells become dangerous once you have a few spell damage minions in play.
The Paladin class has many class cards that are really strong cards that trade well providing at least a 2-1 advantage. Cards like Consecration and Equality hit all enemy minions with strong damage or de-buffs. Team that up with excellent minions like the Aldor Peacekeeper and Argent Protector and you have the base for a very strong deck. Then add in weapons like the Sword of Justice that buffs your minions, or the Truesilver Champion that heals you as you attack and it just gets better. Then on top of everything the Paladin class has probably the best class legendary out there with Tirion Fordring. Unless your opponent has a silence and then an Acidic Swamp Ooze, this minion equates to a huge threat, able to put out 6 damage a turn until killed, which isn't easy considering he has divine shield, and then grants you a 5/3 weapon as a deathrattle ability. This card, if you are luck enough to draft it, is a game winner all by itself.
Comments on The Best Classes for Hearthstone Arena Play
It is important to remember that any class stands a chance in the Arena as the randomness of card availability means even the best class could get unlucky and get the worst possible cards. If you have different ideas on which classes are the best, let us know by posting your thoughts and justifications in our comment section below.