Hearthstone Best Arena Class By Tier (February 2014 Update)

*Updated: February 03, 2014 for patch 1.0.0.4482

Hearthstone Best Arena Class By Tier

Hearthstone Arena is similar to No Limit Holdem Poker in most respects.  There is an undeniable amount of luck involved, especially during the draft phase.  However, a highly skilled and knowledgeable player will usually find a way to overcome any deficiencies that were encountered during draft picks by their play on the table.  How did these players become skilled at Hearthstone so quickly?

You’ve heard the phrase ‘knowledge is power’, right?  It’s as simple as that.  It happens the same way as it happens with a poker player.  You start out consuming as much information as you can get your hands on and then you use that knowledge in your gameplay.  As you make mistakes you note them and fix them.  Finally, you grind out games until you have so much experience that you master whatever it is you are trying to excel at.  This is exactly how poker players become great at what they do.  Practice, practice, practice (Allen Iverson would not approve but the infamous Raid Leader might).

 

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Choose wisely

 

Here is a quick list of the Hearthstone Best Arena Class by Tier for the month of February:

Tier 1 – Paladin, Mage

Tier 2 – Druid, Shaman, Hunter, Priest, Rogue, Warrior

Tier 3 – Warlock

 

A few things to consider:

  • Paladin and Mage continue to lord over other classes in Arena play.
  • All Tier 2 classes are relatively equal in effectiveness, though they are ranked in order of most consistent to least.
  • Hunter makes the biggest jump after it’s past month’s success due to the Unleash the Hounds change.
  • Warlock requires the most luck while drafting since it plays best as aggro in Arena, which is why it is the only tier 3 on this list.  It is still very possible to get 12 wins with this class, as it is with the other classes above it.  Draft well, make the most efficient decisions with your cards, get lucky, and you will eventually get 12 wins with any class you play.
  • Ultimately, any of the classes can get 12 wins regardless of tier.  Some will take more lucky drafts to get there than others.  However, if you follow this tier guide and choose the better class for the current meta you will have more consistent results.

 

This information is based on my personal experience from playing, watching good streamers, and reading comments from the top players on the Hearthstone forums throughout each month.  If you find yourself unable to figure out which hero to choose at the beginning of Arena, then you may want to consider the tier list above.

 

 

 


44 Comments

  1. hoguean March 1, 2014 1:15 pm  Reply

    Looking forward to the March update – I feel like Pally might drop down a bit but could just be me :)

    • freethnkr March 1, 2014 9:15 pm  Reply

      I hear you. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if a card or two were nerfed.

  2. Martin Lundqvist February 22, 2014 7:19 pm  Reply

    I have noticed that recently Arena has become a lot harder. Could this be because all the new players, swarming in after open beta started, run out of gold and didn’t get to play Arena as often? What do you think?

    • freethnkr February 23, 2014 10:49 pm  Reply

      That would make sense. I haven’t noticed the new players drying up yet, as I have been averaging about 6 wins per run. It’s bound to happen sooner or later though.

      Try to play earlier in the day if you can instead of late at night. Arena tends to be a little easier that time of day.

  3. shawn February 18, 2014 3:00 am  Reply

    are the links broken I cant seem to find anything

    • freethnkr February 18, 2014 9:25 pm  Reply

      It’s all working fine on my end.

  4. Johnny Chau February 18, 2014 1:22 am  Reply

    I don’t get how Rogue is not tier 1. What is this tier system based off of? Personal experience or real stat sheets? Because I can assure you that Rogue has been, and STILL is #1 in arena wins according to SEVERAL stat sheets, global and regional.

    • freethnkr February 18, 2014 10:49 am  Reply

      These “real stat sheets” you are referring to only sample a very small percentage of players that voluntarily submit their results. There is no way you would ever get precise results unless the entire community submitted their stats. Rogue is not number one right now, I assure you. Paladin and Mage have been the most consistent classes for a very long time.

      That being said, Rogue isn’t that far behind Paladin and Mage and can definitely win against them (as can all classes).

    • Jay Kim February 27, 2014 1:02 am  Reply

      johnny, I don’t think you understand that those stat sheets are incomplete. If you ask any of the top streamers (kripp, trump, hafu, etc), they will all argue that mage is above all else with pallys as a close second.

      • Johnny Chau February 27, 2014 6:03 pm  Reply

        I dont know where you would think that lol. Trump believes all classes are finally ‘balanced’ for arena (which is false) Kripp doesn’t believe Mage is top dog anymore and hafu, don’t know, dont keep up with her anymore. So your random comment of asking any of the top streamers that question, is actually quite wrong.

        Don’t get me wrong, mage is still strong, but it’s definitely not as strong as it used to be.

        In any case I do believe Rogue is Tier 1, if not #1, they have many tools to roll over the early game and with a hero power that is pseudo-mage-like, I’d have expected Rogue to be right alongside mage.

        - freethnkr, In your post you have Rogue listed as Tier 2, but also the 2nd least consistent out of those and ranked lower than Warrior and Priest. Do not assure me that Rogue is not number 1 when your rankings are ludicrous.

        • freethnkr February 28, 2014 12:32 am  Reply

          You are welcome to your opinion. Rogue is definitely not Tier 1 though, in my opinion.

  5. Godfeelling February 17, 2014 6:24 pm  Reply

    Hi, freethkr, if you haven’t ideas for things to update here and you have free time, i would really LOVE, a ‘guide’ for neutral cards, for example:
    - Stormwind Champion
    Solid card / great 7* drop / pretty good in Mage decks / 8/10 “overall”
    It doesn’t need to be detailed, but for newbies, and i bit for myself, i don’t know if creature X is good for something or would be nice in X class, i am been guiding the neutral cards that i don’t really know if are fiting on decks (constructed decks), on you arena tier list, so i would like you to make a kind of “constructed tier list”
    Cheers again mate for the awesome work.

    • freethnkr February 17, 2014 7:17 pm  Reply

      Here are some decks that might help you in constructed. http://www.hearthhead.com/user=freethnkr#decks

      I’m not sure how to go about making a constructed neutral guide but I will consider it.

      Thank you for visiting the site!

  6. Mundus February 12, 2014 1:26 pm  Reply

    While i do probably agree that mage and paladin are better than the rest (although i’ve had more success with rogue than any of the other classes and my 2nd favorite is shaman) i don’t agree that druid is tier 2.

    Its my least consistent class after hunter pre buff, but hunter was buffed and is now very good imo. Only 2 classes you could argue are worse than druid is warlock and priest imo. Druid requires a lot of luck to ever brake 10 wins imo, wheres other classes can get there with mediocre decks, druids pretty much must have wraths and swipes, which you don’t always get.

    • Mundus February 12, 2014 1:35 pm  Reply

      For reference i have 12 wins with every class except priest and i play all classes equally except i don’t pick pala and warrior anymore cause i already have those classes level 60.

      The druid deck that got 12 had 2 legendaries 4 swipes 2 starfalls so it was just luck in the draft imo, still think the class is really inconsistent.

    • freethnkr February 12, 2014 4:32 pm  Reply

      Some classes are better for people than others. Maybe it is just preference. I have multiple 10+ win runs with Druid.

  7. Sips February 12, 2014 12:49 pm  Reply

    In my experience rouge is more consistent then the other classes in tier 2 by consistent i mean draft not wins

  8. Sips February 12, 2014 12:39 pm  Reply

    Hi i would like to stop by and give my incite on the classes by ranking them 1 to 3 for arena im not going to post paragraph reasons just 1 sentence.
    1-Paladin good consistency great mid game/4 drops.
    2-Warlock seems to be flexible with arguably the best hero power it allows you to build an aggressive deck a mid range all around deck or a removal late game deck.
    3-Shaman great class cards fire elemental op/Fa nominal epic’s example doomhammer/Earth elemental

  9. Jay Kim February 2, 2014 9:38 pm  Reply

    I don’t know if I am just bad with warlock, rogue, priest, and warrior, but after countless arena runs with them, I cannot get to 12 wins. The other classes I feel have a much higher chance and that includes hunter. Although it is necessary to have beasts to be really successful, all you really need is unleash the hounds which is a common card. To be successful with warlock, rogue, priest, and warrior, you need a series of really good rares and/or epics. That is why mage and pally are so good. All of their best cards are common rather than some cards just being OP.

    • freethnkr February 3, 2014 10:36 am  Reply

      I agree with UTH. It is a very good card now if your opponent has a few minions on the board. Hunter has done better since the change. Each month I put together my notes on the previous month and adjust the rankings based on results from multiple sources. So yes, Hunter gets an upgrade this month.

      Priest isn’t all that tough to draft. You just need a decent number of high health cards that you can play efficiently with. Warrior and Rogue are dependent on getting weapons and low cost minions/spells, for the most part, because they want to end the game early. Warlock is very hit or miss in Arena since it tends to play best as aggro.

      Overall, all of the classes that I have ranked tier 2 are fairly equal at this point, as I mentioned in the article above. Paladin and Mage do tend to be a little stronger than the rest, mostly because their drafts are so consistent. That will probably change once Flamestrike is no longer a common card.

      Getting 12 wins is no walk in the park. It takes a good deck and skilled play (or a great deal of luck in matchmaking). Don’t feel bad that you haven’t hit 12 wins on those heroes yet. Not many can say they have.

      • Jay Kim February 3, 2014 8:12 pm  Reply

        I completely agree, but priest is tough to draft because their hero ability makes them utter crap in the beginning of the game. The need more 2 drops than any other class because of that + crappy removal (no weapons). Thus, it makes them very weak. Even if they do get to the late game, generally they lose board control and cannot get it back because the only board clear is a very inefficient holy nova.

        I agree with most of your rankings, but I just feel as if there needs to be more tiers.

        I would put it as…

        Tier 1: Mage

        Tier 2: Pally, (maybe shaman b/t 2 and 3)

        Tier 3: Druid, Hunter, (maybe rogue b/t 2 and 3)

        Tier 4: Priest, Warlock, Warrior

        I personally would put Shaman on the same tier as pally because fire elemental, feral spirit, unbound elemental, and stormforged is so good, but that is up to opinion. I’ve gotten about ten 12 win runs, and oddly enough it mostly happens to be with shaman. (I don’t play mage cause they are cheap n boring)

        • freethnkr February 3, 2014 9:12 pm  Reply

          I hear you. Mage gets boring quickly. I rarely pick it anymore.

          Priest is one of the harder classes to play, but if you make it to mid game without falling behind too far then it’s usually a win. I’m not surprised that you have had a great deal of success with the Shaman. It is a strong class, but it does tend to be reliant on getting Lightning Storm and Fire Elementals. If you miss out on both of those then things are much more difficult.

          Regardless, I think we’re on the same page. I just prefer using a 3-tier system.

  10. drstein January 24, 2014 12:24 am  Reply

    Imo after the unleash the hounds buff and the nerf to both locks and warriors, hunter isn’t the weakest class anymore.

    What people should understand is that if you want to go 9+ wins with hunter you must ignore most beast cards. Timber wolf is a good beast (if you have unleash the hounds) but getting a raptor over a Faerie Dragon is a mistake.

    • freethnkr January 24, 2014 11:29 am  Reply

      I consider all tier 3 classes roughly equal now. The Blood Imp nerf isn’t as bad as people think. In some some situations the mechanic works better since you retain all minion health gains after the Imp dies.

      I have no doubt that Hunter can get 12 wins. I did it just a few days ago. The class can win with beasts or without, it’s true. The problem is that many Hunter specific cards synergize with beasts, and thus it requires either a lucky draft or a draft that isn’t filled with beasts. This makes it very hit or miss.

      These tier rankings are partly ranked based on luck required to draft a good deck. Warriors need weapons. Warlocks need low cost cards. Hunters rely on beasts, for the most part. Those are just 3 examples, but that is primarily why they are all tier 3 and not higher at this time.

  11. AbsolutMolotov January 20, 2014 4:20 am  Reply

    Hello i wouldnt post if it wasnt for the “hunter trasshtalk” :D i drafted a pretty decent deck as hunter and wnt 11/3 it would easily be 12/2 since i was 9/0 at start but there was a rogue with 5 eviscerates on my last match anyway what i want to mention is that hunteer imho doesnt really need that much beasts u can play a good rushdeck + his passive witch imo makes him really good on the arena

    • freethnkr January 20, 2014 9:49 am  Reply

      You’re confusing “trash talk” with facts. Everyone knows Hunter is the weakest class in the game right now. Most of us want to play the class but it is the least likely to get to 12 wins until the devs decide to fix things. As I said on this page, that doesn’t mean Hunter can’t get to 12 wins; it’s just less likely to happen.

  12. Derpa January 17, 2014 7:39 pm  Reply

    Ok stop saying the nerfs to classes are because of arena. They are only nerfing/buffing around constructed.

    • freethnkr January 17, 2014 7:48 pm  Reply

      Have you thought about what you’re saying at all? You expect Arena draft choices and play to stay the same even though Constructed is changing due to cards being nerfed? Arena is nothing more than a randomized version of Constructed/Casual. Most people realize this. I’m guessing you are taking issue with me using the term “Arena meta”. You’ll get over it.

  13. Rogosh January 7, 2014 10:37 am  Reply

    Not really sure how rogue is top tier, its good in ranked sure but it just seems to be lacking in arena.

    • freethnkr January 7, 2014 11:13 am  Reply

      The meta changes things. Mage is easily the most played in Arena and Rogue counters heavy control well due to it being the best tempo class in the game. Obviously, it takes a good draft to do well, but Rogue has the necessary tools to overcome much of what makes Mage seem so overpowered.

  14. HearthstoneAddict January 4, 2014 10:04 pm  Reply

    How come Mage’s back on top after the nerfs in the December patch? Nothing has changed since.

    • freethnkr January 5, 2014 9:26 am  Reply

      It doesn’t always have to do with class nerfs. I fully expected Mage to keep falling down the list as Blizzard takes away some of its power, but it hasn’t happened yet. There are just as many people playing Mage now as there ever was. Even the new players are having an easy time with the class and getting good results in Arena. The biggest reason it is back at the top spot is purely based on results I have seen through my personal play and on some of the top streamers. Mage continues to dominate nearly every Class. It is one of the classes that doesn’t have to have an amazing draft to win, just a few Flamestrikes, and that’s a problem Blizzard needs to address.

  15. Jay_S December 21, 2013 11:01 pm  Reply

    Thanks for the update! I was literally just reading this page few minutes ago and was looking for an updated tier class for this patch. Looks like it’s almost the same. Definitely have to try paladin a lot more

    • freethnkr December 21, 2013 11:20 pm  Reply

      You’re welcome.

      Yes, it hasn’t changed much. Mage dropped a spot because of the freeze stall nerf it received. Really, almost all of the Tier 2 and Tier 3 classes all moved up in effectiveness since Mage got the nerf, so things are much more balanced now. Hunter still needs some help though.

  16. James Mangum December 21, 2013 2:17 pm  Reply

    It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this fantastic blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will share this website with my Facebook group.

    • freethnkr December 25, 2013 1:03 pm  Reply

      I’m glad you like the site. Donating isn’t necessary but I went ahead and added a donate button if you really want to. The proceeds will only go towards supporting this site.

  17. hoguean December 4, 2013 11:06 pm  Reply

    Love the articles! I have them open every time I draft. I was intrigued by Akiaida’s charts, would you be able to share them with me? Or other good references?

    Thanks

    • freethnkr December 5, 2013 12:11 am  Reply

      They are actually my charts. Akiaida did the spreadsheet format to make it easier for everyone to read. I will be doing the Rare and Legendary card rankings soon. In the meantime, I will email you a link to my spreadsheet.

  18. online poker December 4, 2013 12:37 am  Reply

    Hello! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading your articles.

    Thanks a ton!

  19. Trohn November 29, 2013 8:18 pm  Reply

    anyone have a beta key?

  20. KanyeEast November 23, 2013 1:27 am  Reply

    Hey man, great guides, I’ve effectively done the same as above post, through use of this guide along with team liquids draft for neutrals. I’ve made it from 2-5 wins to 3-8 wins per arena, any chance you could add me also ? :D

    • freethnkr November 23, 2013 1:41 am  Reply

      Sure thing. I will be doing a neutral and legendary minion post eventually. Soon I will also post an image of all class card rankings on one sheet made by Akiaida. That way people don’t have to load up a spreadsheet at the start of every arena draft.

      If there is any specific content you would like to see please let me know and I will do a post on it.

  21. Akiaida November 22, 2013 2:02 pm  Reply

    Hey!

    I love your arena card guides! They’ve really helped me take my arena game form a standard 4-6 wins to 7+. Got so close to my first 9 stretch last night!

    I’d like to give back! I have a buttload of freetime at work where I unfortunately cannot play hearthstone, damn you Blizzard Mobile! So i made a fancy colored coded spreadsheet of all your rankings. It gives you plenty of credit, and is protected but the actual fields can be changed if you alter your card rankings with future balances etc. Id love to email it to you and if you like it you’re welcome to share it on your blog. Just let me know where to send it if you’re interested.

    Thanks for the help! Are you NA? I’d love to add you!

    Akiaida#1765

    • freethnkr November 22, 2013 3:57 pm  Reply

      That’s great! It’s good to hear you have had success with the guides.

      I will get in touch with you.

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