Hearthstone is a game that at its most basic, is all about board control and card advantage. If you can control the board by having more of your minions in play than your opponent while still having more cards in your hand to chose from, then you are more likely to win than they are.
This is of course known by all players and most decks are built around these two basic principles. However, when you enter the arena you don’t get free reign to pick any card you want. You are limited to the cards that pop up in the pseudo-draft rotation. The principles for your final deck are still the same though, board control and card advantage. With the above in mind, which cards are the ones you should be looking for when you are drafting an Arena deck?
In this guide to Arena cards and drafting we will look at the top 10 common cards that I would pick when creating an Arena deck. Keep in mind that this is just a generic listing and only includes the common cards that everyone will get access too. Rare, Epic and Legendary cards will be dealt with in their own guides. Class cards are discussed in the class guides found here (Hearthstone Deck Guides) for each class.
Also keep in mind that the cards that you want will change slightly based on the class that you choose to play, mainly near the bottom of the list though as some of the class cards will filter into the list dropping some of these cards off.
10 – Sen'jin shieldmasta
Players really tend to underrate taunt minions, and there is a reason for that, generally they give up some attack and health in exchange for the taunt ability. This card though is one that should always be looked at. For 4 mana you get a solid 3/5 minion that is really hard to kill off with only one card. Better yet it will likely provide 2 turns of defence to stop incoming damage against your health pool.
9 - Raging Worgen
This is an amazing card in almost any deck as it trades so well, you can likely trade it against 2 enemy minions. The only issue I have with the card is that at 3 mana for as powerful as it is, I never get a chance to actually use it. As soon as it is summoned, it is killed off with direct damage.
If you are able to get it to survive until your turn though, it can attack a weak minion such as a 1/1 or 2/2 and then immediately attack again doing 4 damage to either kill off another minion or hammer your opponents health pool and make him deal with the worgen on his turn before it hits him again for 4+4 damage. If you are able to buff this minion once it gets enraged it becomes even better.
8 - Silver Hand Knight
This is a good choice when picking arena cards as it is 2 minions for one card. You get a 4/4 minion for 5 mana, which isn't that great, but then you also get a 2/2 minion as well.
Being two different minions provides more options than if it was one single 6/6 minion, since you can buff them individually as needed, or trade one off against an enemy minion while keeping the other, or whatever else you need.
7 - Shattered Sun Cleric
This is a really good card that helps with board control early on by buffing an existing minion to make it bigger and therefore harder to kill off. There are so many great uses for this card no matter if you get it early in the game or later on in the game. Early it can be used to buff a minion to be able to kill off a more dangerous enemy minion, or to survive the next turn against an enemy minions attack. Later in the game it can still be useful as it allows you to buff already strong minions to make them even stronger. If you add in the extra +1/+1 the cleric provides, you are essentially getting a 4/3 minion for 3 mana, which is very strong indeed.
6 - Venture Co. Mercenary
I have seen many players ignore this minion, simply due to his downside. Sure, the fact that all other minions you try to summon will cost 3 mana more while he is alive is pretty bad, but think about the damage he will inflict while alive. At 5 mana for a 7/6 minion your opponent is going to be forced to deal with him. If you are able to cast him on turn 5 (or better yet turn 4 if you went second) it will not be uncommon to then have your opponent have to use at least 2 cards to remove him. Worse for your opponent they may have to use 3 cards to remove him.
No matter what, he will likely only last a turn or two and make you opponent fall behind by at least 2 cards. In the mean time you will have inflicted a lot of damage giving you a health advantage as well.
5 – Acidic Swamp Ooze
At 3 attack and 2 health for 2 mana, this minion starts of as a pretty good early game minion. However when you add in its ability to destroy your opponents weapon, this minion becomes an almost must have in any deck.
Any time you have to play against a Rouge, Shaman, Warrior, or Paladin this minion can really save your backside if you are lucky enough to draw it early. The important part is to remember to save it in your hand until your opponent uses a weapon. Against other classes you can play it as a pretty good normal minion early on as its 3 attack can deal some early game damage.
4 – Harvest Golem
This minion is a really good early game minion, because for 3 mana you are essentially getting 2 minions. First you get a 2/3 minion that trades well with other 3 mana cost minions, then in addition you get it’s death rattle ability which summons a 2/1 minion when killed.
Sure at 1 health that second minion will be removed easily, however remember that early on any extra minion is essentially a card advantage and this makes it a great deal. This is a solid card in almost any deck.
3 – Dark Iron Dwarf
This minion is a great minion for 4 mana he provides you a 4/4 minion as well as boosting another minions attack by +2. Since attack/health of equal to the mana cost of a minion is considered a good card, when you add in the fact that this minion is essentially 2 above that due to the battlecry boosting another minion, this is a solid choice that is much better than it’s mana cost. The only down side is that the +2 bonus attack is for one turn only, but it can help trade minions extremely well. If you have a 1/1 out that is able to attack, you can buff it to 3/1 and kill off an enemy minion that was much more expensive.
2 – Spellbreaker
This is another great common minion for 4 mana. For that cost you get a 4 attack 3 health minion with silence. While silence is not a full removal ability, it is great against many different minions that would other wise cause you issues. You can remove a minions boosted health or attack, remove an annoying taunt, remove a card drawing ability, or any other effect that is causing issues.
At only 3 health, it is still susceptible to a lot of low cost removal cards, but at least you will have severely downgraded one of your opponents minions worth and made them use another card to remove this one. The trick with this card is actually holding onto it until the silence factors into play. Don't cast it early just to have a minion, hold onto it to get the best bang for the buck.
1 – Chillwind Yeti
You might be wondering why this minion shows up so high on the list, since it doesn’t have any special abilities. It is pretty simple, at 4 mana for a 4 attack and 5 health minion, it is better than any other basic minion in the game for its cost. Sure there are minions, like those lower down in the list that provide added benefit in addition to their basic attack and health, but none have the same power as this card does for the cost. It can trade at least evenly with every other 4 mana cost minion in the game and in most cases your opponent will have to send 2 of his minions at it to kill it off. Some players may shift him down a few ranking spots and move cards like Spellbreaker and Dark Iron Dwarf up, however both of those cards need other requirements to be in place to maximize their benefit (an enemy minion that needs silencing or another friendly minion ready to attack), where as the Chillwind Yeti is always a good card to play as soon as you can.
Comments on Top 10 Common for Hearthstone Arena Play
As with any Top 10 list, there will be different opinions out there. These are mine, if you have your own idea for cards that I missed that are common and available to all classes, let me know by posting them in our comment section below.