November 6, 2013
We’ve been playing a ton of Arena lately, and it’s time to pass along the wisdom learned through a hundred beatdowns. This week we tackle the best cards in Arena for Warlock, Mage, Priest, and Druid!
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Basic strategy: Take out early threats and survive to the late game, where you rule the board with massive creatures and big spells.
Will almost always kill one big threat and take a few small threats with it as a bonus. You can target the hero too, for some finishing damage. Get some +Spell Damage and it’s the best damage spell in the game.
Nice and simple. This big guy is always a great play, and a strong stalemate-breaker.
It’s expensive, but it replaces itself while usually removing their biggest threat on the board. Even better in late-game when both sides are top-decking.
Raging Worgen / Emperor Cobra
This is a tie. I know that’s not fair, but these two neutral minions epitomize the two types of minions you want to get. Because of the Druid’s strong buffs that add damage, health, charge, and/or taunt — pets that are potent but fragile are key. Minions with strong windfury effects like Raging Worgen get insane offense potential after you buff their health. And minions with powerful combat procs like Emperor Cobra get insane defensive potential once you buff them with health and Taunt. In short: Druid has plenty of plain minions. Look for minions with high upside in the neutral pool.
Basic strategy: Use your hero power to gain board control and card advantage. Last until the late game, and use your spells to take you home.
I’ve never won a game when my opponent has played this card. Period. I have yet to feel the glory of using it. As a side note, this is a card worth crafting and needs to be in every Mage deck. It just wins games.
With all of the +1 to spell damage mage has, this card rarely does only 2 damage. Even on it’s own, doing 2 damage and freezing all minions then you get to use your hero power to finish a creature off and use your attack to clear anything else up.
I call this card lolymorph because that’s what you’re doing when your opponent goes all in on their 20/20 or 8/8+. You’ll snap play lolymorph so fast the only thing you have to worry about is missclicking.
Play this card at the right time (especially if you have some +1 to spell damage going) and you take complete control of the game. Play this card at the wrong time and you still will probably take control of the board at the very least.
Basic strategy: I like Warlocks because they have some of the most efficient removal spells and beater minions in the entire game. I also love that they don’t need fancy tricks or combos. Just get removal, get big dudes, and rely on your hero power to ensure that you always have both in your hand.
This is not for the weak of heart, but for those brave enough to toss their own minions into the flames, this is top-tier premium removal. It’s a great trick to crawl out of a losing board state. You have a big advantage because you know it’s coming. Smash your minions into their biggest ones to weaken them, and then nuke everything with Hellfire.
This may be the best single-target removal spell in the game. It’s so cheap for 4 damage to a minion. It stops any dangerous mid-game aggression instantly. Even against their biggest threats late-game, you can usually combo it with a small minion to take it out.
This one’s a new addition for me, but it’s opened up an entirely new strategy. If you get a few of these, you can spam high-attack, low health minions like the Murloc Tidehunter or the Reckless Rocketeer. Those cards are risky because they’re fragile, but with Blood Imps, suddenly you have the best of both worlds. It doesn’t play well with Hellfire, though — you need to choose one strator the other, not both.
This card is my early-game insurance. There are several classes that just need to get a 1/1 on the board that they can buff to dish out some real hurt. This ensures that you can slow down their aggression, without losing card advantage. Card advantage is basically the ability to keep more cards in your hand than your opponent has — certain types of spells or minions really help this, such as the Acolyte of Pain that draws card every time he’s damaged. Mortal Coil is so good because it can remove a card from your enemy’s and replace itself in your hand — which means you just earned 1 card-advantage.
Basic strategy: Keep your creatures alive with your hero power while maintaining board control with your spells. Basically lean on them slowly, eventually they will tumble.
Not only do you get one of their creatures, you gain information. Arena is all about information and since you only get to play that opponent 1 time, learning about what they have in their deck is always a good thing. Plus if you hit a fatty this card could just help you win the game.
Priest games are usually longer drawn out games and you’ll find yourself coming down to the wire in a lot of cases. This card has a lot of utility because you can use it to take out a big threat while giving yourself that extra hp, or you can use it on the hero and create a 10hp swing.
This card (when properly protected) just wins games. One of the biggest things in any card game is card advantage. Even if you only draw 2 cards from this and they had to use 2 cards to get rid of it you’ve created a 3 card swing into your favor which is huge. Keep it alive for longer and get 4+ cards off of it, you pretty much sealed yourself a victory.
If your opponent plays mind control on you and you still win the game, give yourself a round of victory beers because you played exceptionally well to do that. If YOU play this card and still somehow lose, you should feel bad and stop playing for the rest of the day.
Honorable Mention: Holy Nova
It ain’t no flamestrike but its aoe board clear and it can swing the tides of battle.
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