In Hearthstone I'm having difficulty winning in the Arena; no matter what deck I make I seem to fail. Is there any template I should follow while making the deck? Any tips and tricks are helpful.

  • Pretty broad question... might be better to be more specific about the help you want. Do you like a certain class? Certain types of cards? etc.
    – control
    Oct 14, 2013 at 19:07
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    Arena is set up to be "random" and based more on your skill and knowledge of the whole game vs "heart of the cards" and your "gimmick" decks. The best tip I can give is expand your knowledge of the game to multiple heroes, playstyles, patterns, etc. That way the random cards you are given you will be able to handle better. Go to deck builder, and let it build a completely random deck for you and do some practice matches.
    – Rapitor
    Oct 14, 2013 at 19:13

2 Answers 2



This question is pretty vague, but I will give the best advice I can from personal experience.


In my 93 arenas, my average wins is 5.29 (I have done at least 6 runs with each class). I also have CCG experience from a long time playing Magic the Gathering.


The best way to learn is to gain exerience. Learn the cards (all of them) and how they interact.

One of the fastest ways to do this is to watch videos of other people playing the game. If you go to twitch.tv, select "games" from the menu on the left and select Hearthstone, it will give you a list of people streaming their games.

I spent over 40 hours watching people play before I got my access. Kripp (kripperian) streams a lot and is a very good player. Sadly, he doesn't always speak through his thought process so it is harder to learn from him if you are not familiar with the game, so this is not the best place to start, in my opinion.

Another option is to go to Youtube and watch some of the arena videos posted by Husky (huskystarcraft) or TotalBiscuit (thecynicalbrit).

TotalBiscuit has ~20 videos of himself drafting and playing Arenas. I have found his commentary to be the most insightful as to card value when drafting. It is also valuable to watch them play with the decks they draft and to see how it all comes together.

These will help you to see what other people have done well and poorly and you will be able to better understand your own mistakes.

That advice given, here are some areas to be aware of tactically.

STRATEGY: Part 1 - Card Advantage

Card Advantage is king - One of the first concepts you need to understand is card advantage. Card advantage is gained or lost based on the efficiency of your cards as well as how you play them.

As an example, as a mage you could play Arcane Blast (deal 1 damage to all enemy minions) on turn 2 to kill his turn 1 creature with one health. But if you instead play out 2 minions with +1 Spell Damage and play the Arcane Blast on turn 4 do deal 3 damage to all those minions and get 3 kills, you are creating card advantage.

Card advantage is often referred to as going "2 for 1" or "1 for 1". If you used your Arcane Blast as in the 1st example in the last paragraph, you would have gone "1 for 1", that is, you used one card to kill 1 card. In the second example you would have gone "1 for 3" or "3 for 1" (it is often said either way, the point is 3 cards were negated by 1).

Knowing what cards can be used in what situation to generate card advantage is important to increasing your skill level as a player. Sometimes it is the best decision to do nothing (wait a turn).

Card advantage can also be thought of as "Number of card choices available", as in your handsize. In this sense, a card that draws cards can generate a powerful amount of card advantage sometimes by giving up Tempo. A great example of this is the Priest's Northshire cleric. A 1/3 creature played on turn 1 can draw a lot of cards if not answered quickly.

An example of a great play for card advantage here would be going 2nd with a Priest, you play a Northshire Cleric for 1, use your coin and follow it up with Power Word: Shield. Powerword shield makes your minion a 1/5 (hard for your opponent to deal with on turn 2), it also lets you draw a card.

Now if you opponent does have a spell to kill your creature on turn 2, they have gone "1 for 2" against you since you invested two cards already (plus the coin, which usually isn't counted). You did get a draw out of the Shield, but understanding how to make cards work together will help you become a better player.

STRATEGY: Part 2 - Board Presence

Strategically, you need to be aware of the concept of board presence. When you play an Arcane Blast that kills off 3 minions on turn 4 and you still have a 2/2 and a 1/4 each with +1 Spell Damage in play, you have captured board presence.

Certain cards help to generate board advantage more quickly, but trying to recapture board presence is like climbing uphill. That does not mean that the player with the most minions on the board is going to win, but you need to understand in what situations what cards are useful.

I would also like to tie the idea of Board Awareness to this. Generally it is considered sound strategy to control the board (prioritize killing your opponent's minions over dealing direct damage). However, there are a lot of situations where that may not be the correct decision. Even if you can not win on the current turn, if you can bring an opponent from 15 life to 5 and represent fatal damage for the following turn, that could be a better choice.

So when analyzing Board Pressence, be aware also of the players' current health.

STRATEGY: Part 3 - Health & Deck Types

In hearthstone you have to consider the value of life. Having more life than your opponent does not mean you are winning. Life is a resource, similar to cards (card advantage) and mana crystals.

A great illustration is the Warlock's ability lifetap: lose 2 life but generate a card (creating card advantage at the cost of life and tempo).

Some decks have a lot of cards that try to rush down an opponent quickly before they can start dropping big cards late game. Warriors have a lot of good synergy with this strategy from increased availability of Charge and also support from weapons.

Opposite of the aggressive style, there is also more of a control heavy style that uses a lot of spells to remove your opponents creatures. Prime examples of this would be a mage with +spell damage minions. These type of decks tend to need more support from Taunt.

Do not ignore the value of minions with Taunt. That does not mean you need 12 taunts in deck, but without any you may find you struggle whenever you lose board presence.

STRATEGY: Part 4 - Balance

With specific regard to Arena, your decks need to be drafted with balance. You want to have some minion kill spells and some taunt. It is harder to generate gimmicky effects, but synergy is still important to consider.

That said, there are some simple rules to follow.
- Picking a Murloc is a huge gamble b/c of how that race works. You need to get a lot of them to synergize well together. That does not mean that it is the wrong choice to include 1, but be careful not to commit yourself too much to one idea.
- Picking a Pirate with a weaponless class is almsot always a bad idea, but not necessarily the worst (for example, given the choice between Dread Corsair, Wisp, and Argent Squire, sadly the best pick may be the pirate (this happened to me recently).
- Learn the class specific cards (Which classes have weapons, what are they? Which classes have secrets, what are they? What is each class' "kill spell")
- Make sure to have some taunt and a way to kill minions.
- Silence can be very valuable! Ironbeak Owl is not that great of a card, whereas Spellbreaker is one of the best.
- Spells / Abilities that heal are easy to over value, especially if they can only heal your character and not a minion. That same can be said of spells that can only deal damage to an oppoent but not to minions. Learn how to value cards well and you will become a better drafter and deck builder.

Good luck! I hope this helped.

  • @Wojtek'Charkz'Hordyniec You're welcome. I very highly recommend checking out TotalBiscuit's "Lord of the Arena" series. I think that is what helped me the most, but all the above should help step your game up a notch. Best of luck. Report back your success in the comments and what you found the most useful in learning once you have had more success. There will be a lot of other players looking for insight in the next 2-3 months, so this could be very helpful for them too. Oct 15, 2013 at 20:34
  • Emm, I watched his "Lord of Arena" series till episode 7, I need to continue. I also watch Ek0p on twitch. I only seem to have problems on Arena in Ranked constructed decks I still manages to get a 3:1 Win lose ration. Are you on Skype or any talking programs?
    – Charkz
    Oct 15, 2013 at 20:45
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    Good advice; it's almost like TotalBiscuit himself wrote this answer :) I've watched every episode of TotalBiscuit's Hearthstone play, and most of NorthernLion's. I got beta access ~48h ago and already had some very good wins (and some hilarious blunders). Like that time I got a Lightbringer to 15/15 and triggered a Misdirection secret... gahhhh Oct 31, 2013 at 13:24
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    I'd just like to add that having a suprise finisher is a must have in the arena. A high damage minion with charge, a pyroblast, etc can really suprise your opponent. If they make even 1 mistake you can win the game if their health is already low. When playing against mages, I tend to value my health more so than others as I know the moment my health drops to 10, that pyroblast is coming out.
    – l I
    Jan 31, 2014 at 14:43
  • By the way, your cleric comment works as a simple example but is generally considered a mistake to play on turn 1. You should wait to play it in a combo when you're ready to heal some damaged minions. Just wanted to put it out there for the beginners reading this post.
    – Marcin
    Jan 31, 2014 at 15:05

DiabloMonkey wrote a very good answer for learning the game on your own. However, I have somewhat limited time to dedicate to Hearthstone, so I've leaned on other resources to lend a hand. I thought I'd include a few resources I've been using in Arena to rank card choices. During deck building, it can be tough at first to think past the 'vanilla test' in terms of card value for a particular class.

Card Value Reference

In a LiquidHearth thread, AntiGrav1ty posted a doc of Arena tier picks by class. It seems to be generally agreed that it is a decent guideline for relative card value "in a vacuum", as in, not considering your other cards. It's also being maintained as cards change.

There's also Trump's Arena Tier List which has more in-depth breakdown of 'why' a card is generally considered good or bad. They also note that a 'best card' is "Always amazing, always the best card unless your mana curve is exceptionally bad at that particular mana." It's usually a good strategy to choose the best card out of the 3 until you are further into deck building and may have mana curve concerns.

LiquidHearth has some great guides on Arena strategy as well.

Deck Synergy

Beyond that, there's a site called ArenaValue which will help you choose between the current set of 3 cards, based on what you've already chosen. It will also track the types of cards currently in your deck. I haven't used it much yet, but it seems to do well, and even has a client which can screen-scrape the cards you are looking at. At the very least, it should be a good learning tool to help you think about what would fit best in the deck, based on what you've already chosen, and provide a recommendation to fall back on.

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