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Hearthstone: How to Win Arena with Warlock, Mage, Priest, and Druid 9

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!

Part 2: The best Arena cards for Hunter, Rogue, and Warrior
Part 3: The best Arena cards for Paladin and Shaman

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The Links

hearthstone heroes


  • Adam is on the show this week
  • Topic: The best cards for each class in Arena
  • Reasons to be happy this week

How Arena Works

  • Quick recap: picking a hero and cards
  • Goal for this week: help you make the best card choices while playing Arena
  • Includes neutral minions as well

The Best Druid Cards for Arena

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.

Ironbark Protector
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.

The Best Mage Cards for Arena

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.

The Best Warlock Cards for Arena

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.

Shadow Bolt
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.

Blood Imp
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.

Mortal Coil
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.

The Best Priest Cards for Arena

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.

Holy Fire
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.

Northshire Cleric
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.

Mind Control
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.


  • Question from Derrick: Best way to spend gold?
  • iTunes Review: no review this week!

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About Josh

I'm a game designer at Daybreak. In my free time, I enjoy talking about games I love on podcasts and websites. I like people, and hope to someday make things out of wood.

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9 thoughts on “Hearthstone: How to Win Arena with Warlock, Mage, Priest, and Druid

  • Diego R.

    most of the people dont know why the fuck they want a betakey, they are just thinking newnewnew!-blizzard!-warcraft! and they are becoming crazy.
    this is probably because you guys are not pleased
    with the current game you are playing, for example, for me its dota2 and i love it. but i didnt just happen to play this game, it started with warcraft, then defense of the ancients and then..
    so yes.. warcraft, a long time ago, when i was a child, so the reason, yes.. the reason i want to try out hearthstone is because of the way I feel as part of the relationship i have built with WC. Like ridin an old bicycle, like somehow connecting your SNES or N64 and having the great experience of feeling again like a 10-year-old.
    And of course! who did not play magic, pokemon or fucking yu-gi-oh’s trading card game. It is like all wrapped up, such a great combination.
    I dont care if I get the beta key, thinking about it was fun

  • Doctor Bones

    I fortunately have a beta key, but I can empathize with those that do not have one. The game is good and certainly worth playing.

    For what it is worth, there is a CCG out there called Shadow Era (SE) that Hearthstone practically took most of their mechanics from. While I was waiting for my beta key, I played tons of Shadow Era in order to get back into the groove with CCGs. I’m not advertising for SE, I just mention it because it kept my attention for several weeks while I was awaiting my beta key.

    Also, Might and Magic has a CCG that’s pretty good too, but SE is closer to the Hearthstone mechanics.

    It won’t be too much longer before all of you are in Hearthstone. See you in there soon (we all hope).


  • Doctor Bones

    I think the most frustrating thing about arena for me is the insane amount of randomness it involves.

    While I realize I’m new to arena and therefore likely lacking significant skill, I feel like I am often just a victim of bad luck.

    An example: I just opted for a mage deck which I was happy about because I win with Mage in Constructed > 75% of the time. But my arena construction options included:

    – no pyroblasts
    – no fireballs
    – no cone of cold
    – no blizzards
    – no legendaries (not a huge deal)

    My offensive cards were limited to:
    – one ice lance (useless; minions must be frozen to take damage)
    – one frostbolt

    I played two games which were just laughable. I lost both. I had so much defense I lost around turn 15, but my opponents all ended with >28 health.

    Just frustrating, but this seems to be a typical arena experience for me.

    Any thoughts? (Other than “you suxxorz, l2p n00bface!!11oneone lolz”)

  • GeekJock

    Bones, Shadow Era, is nearly a card for card thieving of the WoW CCG from the physical cards. They stole it and put it into a fremium model on iOS a while ago.

    They then put it out into a physical form. The only real reason they get away with it is b/c in board/card games you cannot copy write or sue over mechanics. (Only art).

    It’s pretty bad what they have done and made millions off of.

    The only thing a good argument that could be made is for the mana system of the game, which has already been done by CCG’s before SE did it so not so much a stealing by Blizz.

    Great show guys! Keep up the good work as always!

  • Andrew Beisel

    Love the show. Haven’t received a beta key yet. I’m a former WoW player and a big MtG player. Can’t wait for a chance to okay. Seriously my brain might explode.