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Rating  283

Contributed by

Sheng

Guide Type

Dust Cost

Last Updated

July 25, 2016

Table of Contents

Example Rogue Draft
Class Cards (12)
2
Backstab 0
Cold Blood 1
Conceal 1
Deadly Poison 1
2
Betrayal 2
2
Eviscerate 2
Assassin’s Blade 5
2
Assassinate 5
Neutral Cards (18)
Crazed Alchemist 2
Dire Wolf Alpha 2
Faerie Dragon 2
Earthen Ring Farseer 3
2
Harvest Golem 3
Imp Master 3
Wolfrider 3
Dark Iron Dwarf 4
Ogre Magi 4
2
Sen’jin Shieldmasta 4
Silvermoon Guardian 4
Stormwind Knight 4
Abomination 5
2
Azure Drake 5
Gadgetzan Auctioneer 6

Mana Curve

2 0
3 1
7 2
5 3
6 4
6 5
1 6
0 7

Attack Curve

11 0
1 1
5 2
7 3
6 4
0 5
0 6
0 7

Health Curve

11 0
1 1
3 2
4 3
7 4
4 5
0 6
0 7

Beginner’s Arena Guide: How to Win Games

Introduction


Greetings, I’m Sheng, a Legend rank constructed and 7.5 win-average arena player. I run HearthstoneCoaching.com where our coaches have helped many students achieve the same.

Today I’m here with the second part of our Beginner’s Arena Guide series. In this guide, I’ll be discussing the techniques and strategies you can use to consistently win 4 or more games in Arena.

What I Learned From Coaching


To research for this guide, I spent two weeks coaching fellow Redditors from /r/hearthstone on Arena to learn their common mistakes and weaknesses. These players ranged from complete beginners struggling to overcome 3 wins to good players averaging 5 wins hoping to double their earnings. For each of these students, I’d help them through the draft, and coach them through each of their games. This involved the proper way to mulligan, suggesting better plays when I saw them, and giving tips on what to look out for against different classes.

Beginners


In the complete beginners, I found that many had difficulty understanding card value, the importance of board control, and how card advantage wins games. With these players, I focused more heavily on the draft process, explaining why the average expected value of a card is much more important than its best case scenario.

Beginners often seemed to focus too much on cool combos and large minions, while neglecting mana curve and card value relative to cost. For these students, I suggested they read through the first part of this guide on drafting, which covers the concept of card value in length.

Setting Expectations


When it came to gameplay, I wanted players to set themselves reasonable expectations. Many expected that with an “infinite” player as a coach, they would be able to get 7+ wins on our first run. While ~7 wins was close to the average win rate for my sessions, I didn’t want my beginner students to feel disappointed in their Arena runs when I wasn’t there to help them. Instead I suggested that earning back 50 gold (3 wins) from a run should be the initial goal. Being able to do this consistently means that a player will earn back the full value of their entry fee.

An Example Run


Before each Arena run, I try to do a quick run-through to analyze my deck’s strengths and weaknesses. By remembering what cards I have in my deck, I give myself an edge later in the game when I need to know what answers I can draw into to respond to my opponent’s board.

Here’s how I categorized things in my head after I completed a Rogue draft recently. I find it helpful to go through and input my deck into a deck builder, like the one they have on HearthHead.com. It automatically allows you to sort and filter cards, which is quite handy.

Minions


I divided my minions into two categories. Playable and Situational. Playable minions are minions that you can play onto an empty board. Situational minions are minions that you’d like to play when there are minions already on the board so you can utilize their useful battle-cry. I generally hold onto Situational minions until I can utilize their battle-cry to achieve a positive outcome. You can think of these minions as spells that happen to leave behind a minion.

2 Mana

3 Mana

4 Mana

5 Mana

Conclusion: Very few 2 mana minions, but very strong 3-5 mana minions, and a complete lack of late game presence.

Spells


The saving grace to my early game, and lack of 2 mana minions, was my cheap removal. Having Backstab and Deadly Poison meant I could have an even board by the time it got to mid game, where my deck shined.

0 Mana

1 Mana

2 Mana

5 Mana

Conclusion: Very strong early removal, but also a bunch of situational spells that could clog my hand if I can’t find the right condition to use them. Assassinate helps a lot to get rid of threats that my mid-game minions can’t deal with in the late game.

Formulating a Deck Strategy


While I had very high quality cards like Azure Drake, Backstab, Harvest Golem, and Eviscerate, I wasn’t offered many good two mana minions or late game minions. Instead of choosing really crappy cards just to better fit my mana curve, I chose to pick cards with higher value. Part of this is because I know that Rogue can usually get away with daggering up on turn 2, because Deadly Poison and Backstab can help you regain the board.

Nevertheless, I felt that this deck would have been quite a bit stronger with some late game bruisers like Boulderfist Ogre. Oh well, sometimes, it’s just the way she goes.

After analyzing the cards I had in my deck, I listed my deck’s strength and weaknesses in order to find how I would try to win games.

Strengths

  • Strong cheap removal.
  • Strong mid-game minions.

Weaknesses

I recognized that my deck was a mid-range value deck that tapered off significantly after turn 6 or 7. In order to win my games, I needed to dominate the mid-game and secure an overwhelming lead in order to win late, as my opponents would start dropping minions that my 4 attack creatures would not be able to overcome.

Example Arena Results


This example Rogue deck ended up going 9-3. By game 4, the deck was 2-2, with both losses to mages who overcame me late game with Flamestrike (which was incredibly effective against my mid-game minions). I was lucky and ended up winning my next 7 games against Druids, Warriors, and Rogues until losing to an insane Paladin deck with multiple Consecrations.

Surprisingly the MVP of this deck was Crazed Alchemist, which was able to flip the stats on cards like Oasis Snapjaw for easy Backstabs. As a situational card, I never played him onto an empty board on turn 2, instead saving him until I could use his battlecry in a beneficial way. I even won one game with Conceal on a 4/1 minion.

In the games that I won, I followed the same strategy I formulated earlier during my deck analysis, and generally dominated the early to mid-game with a combination of cheap removal spells, and strong mid-game minions. If I hadn’t executed this strategy, there wouldn’t have been a way to achieve 9 wins with this kind of draft.

Lesson 0: Board Control and Card Advantage


Board Control

There are three key tips to controlling the board.

  1. Play your minions first.
  2. …Which forces your opponent into unfair trades.
  3. …Which eventually clears your opponent’s board.

Having board control means that you can decide the trades before your opponent.

Card Advantage

If you’ve controlled the board from the start of the game, then by mid and late game, the total number of minions you have on the board and cards you have in your hand should be greater than that of your opponent’s. Over time, your opponent will run out of cards, and you will win.

Lesson 1: The 4 Stages in an Arena Game


Much of my success in my Arena draft came from my ability to make the right plays at the right time. An amazing draft can only carry you so far. You’ll eventually get paired with players with decks that are just as good, if not better by Arena’s matchmaking system.

I believe that each game in Arena can be broken into separate cognitive stages. These are The MulliganThe Early GameThe Mid Game, and The Late Game.

Each stage is important, with each previous stage affecting the results of the proceeding stage. You can envision these stages as game levels, where beating a game level with a high score means you’ll be rewarded with better tools to use in the next level.

The Mulligan


Your Opening Hand

  • The Mulligan is the beginning of the game, where you’re given the option to keep or throw away cards.
  • The goal of the mulligan is to find low cost minions and cheap removal spells.
  • These cards are used to establish board control early. This is extremely important.

The Early Game


Turns 1-3

  • The goal of the early game is to establish board control. This is what wins Arena games.
  • The best way to establish board control early is to play a minion on every turn.
    • Imagine if you had Argent Squire, Bloodfen Raptor, and Raging Worgen in your starting hand.
    • By playing Argent Squire on turn 1, you can potentially trade up to kill a two mana 3/2.
    • By playing Bloodfen Raptor on turn 2, you can potentially trade up to kill a three mana 3/3.
    • By seeking to “trade up” each turn, you gain more value from your minions than your opponent.
  • You can imagine, that the goal of each turn is to play a card that can protect your more valuable minion that you play next turn.

The Mid Game


Turns 4-6

  • The goal mid game is to maintain board control, and gain card advantage.
  • Turn four is arguably the most important turn in the game.
  • Mid game is where a player that’s behind can come back and stabilize the board, or where a smart player that’s ahead can secure the late game.
  • This is also the hardest phase of the game.
    • In early game, your choices are simpler. You either have a minion to play, or you don’t, and you can either remove your opponent’s minion from the board, or you can’t.
    • In late game, when both players have very few cards in hand, your choices are much simpler as well.
    • In mid game, you have an exponential number of possible decisions to make, and it can be difficult to determine which one is best.
  • Generally, whether you’re ahead or behind entering the mid-game should determine what you do.
    • If on turn 4 you have more minions and cards than your opponent does, you’re ahead.
    • If you’re ahead, PLAY CONSERVATIVELY, unless you’ve drafted a deck that can’t win otherwise! I’ve come back from many games where my opponent was impatient and overcommitted mid-game, just to eat a Consecration or Lightning Storm that brought me back into the game.
    • As a very general rule of thumb for beginners, you don’t need more than 3 minions on the board at once, unless you’re absolutely certain your opponent doesn’t have a board clear spell or Mind Control Tech. There are some subtle ways to tell, but much of it comes from experience in recognizing situations.
  • If you’re behind, your goal is to claw back board control in any way you can. Unfortunately, if your opponent is smart and continuously forces you into poor trades and doesn’t overextend, then you’ve probably lost the game. In the case he doesn’t, punish him deeply for his mistakes.

The Late Game


Turns 7+

  • The goal of the late game is to finish off your opponent.
  • In the late game, you have to start paying attention to your opponent’s life total, and calculate how many turns it will take for him to die from the damage you have on the board.
  • Anticipate board clear spells. If your opponent didn’t have them earlier, it’s much more likely he’s drawn into them now.
  • If you’re behind, this is the most difficult place to make a comeback. You probably have a worse board position and less cards in your hand than your opponent.
    • You’ll need to take some RISKS if you’re behind, because inevitably, your opponent will be able to exhaust you of your cards.
    • Sometimes this means avoiding trades and attacking your opponent’s face, hoping you can kill him before he kills you.
  • If you’re ahead in late game, you just need to play conservatively.
    • Anticipate board clears and maintain moderate board pressure on your opponent, while exhausting him of cards. You win!

Lesson 2: Making The Optimal Play


Now that you understand each stage in the game, how do you win each of these stages? You can win each stage by making the best play you can on each turn. While coaching my students, I formulated a simple checklist for them to go through. These steps don’t require deep insight into what cards your opponent may be holding (though this was something I focused heavily on with my more advanced students).

The Checklist

1) Check for lethal damage to your opponent.

  • Always check to see if you can kill your opponent outright. Count the damage from your minions, your hand, and your hero power.

2) If you’re ahead, see if you can clear your opponent’s board.

  • Striking first is an advantage. By attacking first, you can trade your smaller minion to kill your opponent’s bigger minion.
  • By continuously clearing your opponent’s board, you’ll gain more value out of your minions than your opponent.

3) Between two equal choices, consider the choice that uses more mana.

  • If two cards accomplish the same goal, you may want to play the one that costs more mana, because the cheaper card can fit better into a later turn.
  • Always try to see if you can spend all your mana crystals efficiently.

4) Think of what your opponent can do next turn to disrupt your board.

  • Is it turn 6 against a mage? You probably don’t want to drop those 4 health minions on the board right now in case he plays Flamestrike the very next turn.

5) Plan out your entire turn in your head before you play anything. Then double check it.

  • There’s no penalty for taking longer each turn.
  • Playing through an entire turn in your head means you avoid potential mistakes from miscalculation.
  • Saying what you’re going to do out loud before you do it also helps.

6) If any of your decisions involve card draw, do that first.

  • After drawing a card, go re-evaluate your turn and do steps 1-5.

Lesson 3: Playing Around Board Clear


If you watch great Arena players like Trump stream, you’ll notice that they’ll often hold back from playing minions they have in their hand when they’re ahead. This is because they don’t want a board clear spell to completely reset the board, getting rid of the card advantage they’ve worked so hard to earn. Instead, they keep enough minions on the board to pressure their opponent, but hold back minions in case mass removal is played.

I would highly recommend newer Arena players to learn the casting cost and damage of the most popular AOE removal cards.

Here are a few that you’ll commonly see:

Shaman

Paladin

Mage

Druid

Priest

Hunter

Warrior

Rogue

Warlock

Note: If you want to play around Betrayal and Explosive Shot, I would recommend players to put their smaller minion in between their larger ones (against Rogue and Hunter), so it mitigates the potential damage these spells can do.

Conclusion: Putting It All Together


In conclusion, I believe that any player that can follow the advice on this guide consistently can become not just a 4 win arena player, but an “infinite” arena player. It just takes practice. If you ever get stuck, come back and read through this guide again and see if you’ll be able to gain more understanding of the concepts laid out here. As you play more games, these concepts will begin to make sense, and you’ll become a better Arena player.

I hope this guide was helpful for some of you guys out there struggling with Arena. Feel free to leave questions in the comments section, and I’ll be happy to answer them!

Coaching Lessons


If you’re interested in reaching Legend rank, or earning unlimited gold from arena, my team at HearthstoneCoaching.com would love to help! We’ve provided over a thousand hours of excellent coaching to students around the world. 

Want to Become Better at Other Games?


I also run RankOneCoaching.com, where our top coaches will develop a personal plan for you to achieve your dreams in other games. Personal lessons are an in-depth experience and most students improve significantly after just one full session!

Enjoyed this article?



Greetings, I’m Sheng, a Legend rank constructed and 7.5 win-average arena player. I run HearthstoneCoaching.com where our coaches have helped many students reach the same goals.

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32 Comments

Leave a Reply

  1. I found this extremely useful, using this outline I went out and crafted my own deck and I have won 4 of my 5 last games due to this. Thank you so much, looking forward to more content.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I really want to get to 8 wins at least that’s when the awesome rewards start but so far I have around 4 wins I think this guide helped a bit.

  3. I average 1-2 wins and draft bad decks.How do I keep my hopes up?How do I not just say ,,Screw this!”?

    • Stonekeep HSP says:

      The truth is that you should be able to pull off 4-5 wins even with the bad decks. There are some situations where your deck is incredibly bad or you just meet opponents with very good decks (sometimes even at 0-2 there is that guy with 12 wins deck), but generally 4-5 is the record you can achieve with pretty much anything. It means that

      When it comes to “bad drafts” – define those. Some drafts may seem bad for unexperienced player, but in reality they are very good. Also, even with mediocre draft you can get to 12 wins. I’ve recently hit 12-1 with Mage deck that had no Flamestrike, nor Fireball – you can check it out here: http://imgur.com/a/xcYu3. When I’ve first drafted it, my friend said that besides the Mech synergies the deck is bad and I’m not going to get more than 7 wins with it.

      So don’t give up. All you need is more experience – I think it’s the most important thing ever in Arena. You can also try using HearthArena for the drafts if you aren’t doing it already. I’ll be honest with you – when I’ve first started doing Arena, I’ve also sucked hard. It was the time where Arena was so much easier, because no one knew how to play it. And it still was hard to pull off 2-3 wins for me (when the max was at 9). But if you play a lot, you’re going to notice the progress.

      Oh! And if you have some more experienced friend, just get with him on the Skype (or meet in rl), let him spectate your games and tell you what you’re doing right or wrong. You can also buy the coaching lesson, but those do cost – friends advices shouldn’t cost you more than a beer :p

    • mightyred34 says:

      Exactly the same issues here. I have followed the spreadsheet, looked at synergy in the deck (usually next to none if I follow the drafting rules) and by that I mean 1st 10 off the ranking list, then look at what you have etc etc. When i get a deck with say Pala or Mage I think, right this is it, and then the mulligan sucks, or the draw is awful, and whatever i put down, they have the perfect answer to.

      Just don’t know what to do to improve and losing heart pretty fast here :-(

      • Stonekeep HSP says:

        Sometimes it’s just problem with the RNG. You can’t control what you’re going to draw and you might just end up with drawing all the late game in the early and not being able to play anything. It also happens that enemy might counter everything you play, but it shouldn’t be like that every game.

        I’d say that right now in Arena tempo is very, very important. Having the good early game curve can just win you the game. If you skip even one early turn when your opponent doesn’t, you’re in a bad spot. To fight against that, you should draft a lot of the early game in your decks. I don’t mean like ten 2-drops, but having at least 5-6 minions you can drop on the turn 2 is great.

        I’ve just finished the article about drafting a good deck in Arena, it should be released very soon, you can just check it out and if you have any questions, just ask and I’ll try my best to answer them!

        • mightyred34 says:

          Thank you, I am determined to get there. I’m quite a new player, finally finding my feet on the ladder, though missing cards still for the really good decks, but I could never get going on Arena, read here that its the key to learning the game, so going back and trying to remove the bad habits etc, but it can be so frustrating :-) will look out for your article and thanks for your replay.

    • 1novar says:

      HEARTHARENA. COM help me a lot!!! I knew about arena card value/tier and I improved my win rate a lot.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’d argue that HS has a terrible fighting system.
    Since there are Incredible amount of destructive magic/battlecries and the Health is so low, the game completely does not rely on heavies.
    I had excellent arena and ranked runs with decks that concentrated in producing tons of minions and quickly boosting their powers and ending the opponent.

    What’s the point of heavy, even if it’s 20/20, if it can be completely destroyed with a single card and the opponent has almost no way to prevent it? (kind of makes me remember why yugioh had a much better system, where you could focus of a heavy monster and try to establish some defence in long-term.

    in short – teh easiest way to win is choose paladin for his magic, spam 2-3 mana monsters, spam divine sheild and attack your opponents hero at every opportunity (unless you clearly see he will destroy your strongest monster). Opponent may try to ignore you and attack your hero, but you will beat him faster. If he kills your monsters he loses his own, leaving yet another window open.

    charge/boost decks will end most games before you even reach 7th/8th round

  5. Anonymous says:

    Google is your friend. Coaching is done online over skype and stuff. 20 buck per hour or less.

    • fff says:

      Who needs a f***g coach in heartstone?
      I’d understand there was more variety in this game, but all in all.. it is “monkey see, monkey do”. You can’t control much, so you can observe the table, do most basic logical things and forget it every time.

      It’s too simplistic. It lacks unknown dangers and twists in this game.
      Decks win the game, not skills.
      google a sample deck and you are set. It’s hard to imagine anyone being that dumb not to see some loginc in the simplistic HS over few matches to properly compete

      • Sheng says:

        A poor coach will only tell you what to do, but when I coach the focus is always on helping students internalize and understand why they should make certain plays and not others. I believe that skill definitely matters in Hearthstone, and it’s reflected in the winrates of players that consistently reach Legend each season or are infinite in arena.

        If Hearthstone is a bit too simple for your liking, perhaps you’d enjoy the thrill and danger of Call of Doody much more :)

  6. Crowds says:

    Also forgot to mention that I palyed battleforge (which sadly no longer exists;() ,also maged to reach rank 1 there in 1v1 and 2v2, aas well I am still a diamond 1 leagueof legends palyer.

  7. Crowds says:

    BTW: i paly since 3rd of january 2015

  8. Crowds says:

    Thank you so much for the guide. I play hearthstone since the 3rd of January, invested about 120 Euro (so i can get boosters and arena runs as in the beginning I only averaged 3 wins). Afterwards i built 4 very powerful ladder decks, hunter shaman (legendaries missing, always lost lategamne, had reduced succes) and warlock.
    My warlock deck costs about 1500 dust and brought me already to rank 10, but i dont really paly ranked.

    Right now I am averaging 7-8 wins in arena.
    Already had 3 ELEVEN win runs, 5 Eight Game runs 1 9 game run and a lot of 5-7 wins.
    My best class by far is paladin, averaging 8 wins. afterwards mage with 7 (often i dont even get fireballs or flamestrike, still so good).
    I have trouble finding a lot of wins with anything else, I usually never get less then 3 wins and quite often still make it with other classes to 5, but never higher,

    What also helped me a lot were the Trump Teachigns Video, especially important: board control (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xt2kLWiHnws).
    Also amazing and very important topic: OVEREXTENDING see (https://hearthstoneplayers.com/arena-matchups-killing-jaina/)

    I might shortly be releasing my own warlock deck here which is amazing for new players (who understand the game very well, as it is quite hard to play) as it costs around 1500 dust. Will release it once i reached rank 4 with it.

    Games that also helped me were
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominion_%28Spiel%29
    and of course magic the gathering which i played from age 11-18.

    Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much man I owe you, I ritgh now have 7+ Average wins, and nearly never less then 3. It took me about 40 arena runs till i got very good, now i dont need to spent any mmoney anymore.

    Another question btw, if i get 8+ wins i rarely get any legendaries (never( I usually only get gold worth 300-400. Is this noormal?

    • Sheng says:

      Wow, thanks for sharing your success. You… became really good at arena in a remarkably short period of time. As for the drop rate for Legendaries, it’s always been pretty low. I always cringe when I open a bag at 12 wins and it’s a Golden Common haha, which seems to happen a lot.

  9. jacktshipper says:

    Hey Sheng, Ive only recently started playing (r9 in first season I played so far, and 10 win key as max) and am enjoying your guides on arena alot!

    I’ve been reading them between matches as downtime. And I’m currently doing an arena run in which I am 6-1 so far. (decklist: http://imgur.com/4iLemS3, the wisp is another earth shock I picked so I have 3 of those total and no whisp, just figured it was easiest illustrated by picking a whisp.) At first I was a bit reluctant to go over my minions and divide them all into categorys and spend that much time thinking about the game away from playing kind off, but I figured why not take the leap, Sheng knows what he’s talking about, if he says it’s worthwhile, might as well do it and see how it goes. So I started dividing them, but I have a few questions!

    1) After you make your decklist on hearthead.com, what do I click exactly? I’ve just made it, but can’t seem to find the right buttons to truly analyze the deck with minimal effort of my own (I’ve created the deck there, but can only find this:http://imgur.com/Eab2vAd) Do I need an account or something? Because right now I’ve just ended up doing it in excel and writing everything out but it seems like the most inefficient way of doing it.

    2) My young priestess is obviously situational, so thats it for 1 mana minions, but when I get to 2 mana minions, I don’t know where to list unstable ghoul. It can be great in some situations, but one could also argue that it’s playable because of being a strong early game minion with a nice effect, because my only other 2 mana minions are youthful brewmaster and dire wolf alpha I listed both those under situational and ended up listing the unstable ghoul as playable, however I’m not sure if your even supposed to divide minions under playable or situational depending on the rest of your deck. The youthful brewmaster you could also argue for on either way imo but I find it more situational in this particular draft because of the dark iron dwarf, windspeaker and 2x darkscale healer or even sludge belcher in this deck. What do you think about all of this?

    • Sheng says:

      Hey Jack, nice job on your run so far! Reaching 10 wins after your first season is a great result.

      To answer your questions:

      1. I have an account on HearthHead.com. I believe not having an account there restricts you from saving the deck as a “Deck Guide”. Once you do so, you’ll have access to sorting by Minion/Spell Cost and some nice analysis tools. It’s free to join, and they don’t pester you with annoying emails, so I’d recommend doing so. You can also check the “Arena Deck” checkbox on the top right when you choose the cards which will let you add more than 2 copies of a card.

      2. Yes, looking at your deck, you do seem to have a lot of minions that are somewhat situational. Direwolf Alpha and Flametongue Totem are best played when they can be squeezed between your Hero Power Totems or other minions for buffs. Young Priestess is nice too, so long as she doesn’t die to a Hero Power outright. You drafted with pretty nice synergy in mind, because all the taunts in your deck end up protecting your weaker situational minions, increasing the likelihood that they’ll be able to maximize their value.

      Young Priestess is a situational card depending on what class you play against. She’ll stay in your hand for a while, being unplayable, if your opponent is a Mage, Druid, or Rogue unless you have a way of protecting her. She can however be dropped on the board to gain tempo, as forcing your opponent to use 2 mana to kill a 1 mana minion is advantageous on turn 3 or 4 if they can’t spend the rest of their mana. (Effectively you shut them down for an entire turn.)

      I’m not convinced that Unstable Ghoul works well in your deck, given the amount of low health minions and tokens you’ll have on the board throughout the game. You could argue that this is mitigated somewhat with Healing Totem, but killing your Unstable Ghoul is one Swipe or Arcane Explosion away from clearing your entire board. I’d consider Unstable Ghoul to be a situational card in your deck because of this.

      Youthful Brewmaster can be situational, yes, but it’s also a card that you can play onto an empty board without any negative consequences. He’s a good card very late in the game too, as you’ll be able to bounce another card back and play it again for the battlecry (or to heal it up).

      While useful, it’s not always necessary to divide all your minions into playable and situational buckets. I merely did it in my example as a way of determining how much removal I had in my deck, and to gauge what gaps I would have in my games against my arena opponents.

      The weakness I see in your deck is against Mages with Flamestrike, which you will certainly face later in your run, that can clear your entire board or get around your taunts with burn. Your late game is a bit lackluster, and once you lose the board, it’s hard to win it back (without any card draw), though this is pretty typical for Shaman.

      You’ll want to hold back from playing your entire hand against against Mage, to ensure that you’ll have stuff to play after a board clear. 5+ health minions are pretty key in this matchup, so you’ll want to make sure you trade your weaker minions to keep your big guys at 5 health or above.

      Other than that, I can see you steamrolling most players with this 😀

      Hope my analysis helps! –Sheng

      • jacktshipper says:

        Hey, thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed reply, that clears it all up alot!

        My 10 win key was very early on when I played with a friend next to me who started 3 weeks earlier or so and also had 9/10 win key already on his account, similair to your story from your most recent
        post.

        Yeah I really noticed in one of the last games unstable was just a dead card in my hand, and I took a mental note to consider more if I have a low or high mana curve up till that point when I see him the next time in the draft.

        I must say tho, today I did 4 arenas and got 8 wins (with this deck: got absolutely murdered by indeed a mage with flamestrike and a hunter with way too many explosive shots haha), 9 wins, 1 win and 4 wins. (my one win was rogue and I don’t really know how to play it at all so thats fine) I think my individual 8 and 9 are largely due to alot of the guides youve been posting so just wanted to say thanks and you’re doing a great job!

        • Sheng says:

          Hey, no problem. I’m glad to help. Rogue is one of my best classes (8+ win average). If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask!

      • Jimmy says:

        Wow, very detailed analysis :) Impressive response!

  10. capoch says:

    Thanks for the guide. But I don’t understand, why the Wolfrider is situational (because of charge i presume) but then the stormwind knight isn’t. Same with Dark Iron Dwarf and Earthen Ring Farseer, although with the latter one could argue that the heal can be cast on the hero..

    • Sheng says:

      Great question. I consider Wolfrider to be situational because of his 1 health and charge. Magma Rager is universally considered to be an awful card because of its 1 health, but because Wolfrider has charge, he’s not that bad. You can consider Wolfrider to be 3 mana burn spell that does 3 damage. Generally, I won’t play him just to deal 3 damage to my opponent. I’d rather save him to trade against another minion.

      It’s much safer to play a card like Earthen Ring Farseer, Dark Iron Dwarf, and Stormwind Knight onto an empty board, because they won’t die to a Hero Power.

  11. debilgobb says:

    GOD! Becoming a paying member was BEYOND worth it! I love this guide and all of the ones I have read today. Keep it up =D

    • Sheng says:

      Thanks! I’ll be posting a new arena guide tomorrow, so look for it then 😀

  12. Woosier says:

    This is the best, most comprehensive guide that I’ve come across and it’s helped me sooo much. My win rate has doubled and my whole outlook on the arena has changed. Awesome, 10/10…would buy again

  13. Ryuu says:

    This guide is awesome. I read it properly trying to understand every single point on it and I realize that my poor performance playing arena wasn’t just draft. Now I’ve more knowledge about mana cost, mana curve, strategy, stages of the game and decisions.

    Drafting with the trump’s tier was very useful for me I’ had some knowledge about draft because I see every day Trump’s strems and youtube videos but when I tried to draft like he does I never get good results until I read this guide.

    Maybe is too soon to say it, my arena run is just 2-0 could it finish 2-3 that will not be a sorprise because I’m the worst arena player as far, but now that I know my deck, my strong points and my weak points, my strategy is much solid this way, mana curve is quite important.

    This is a really complete guide, extremly usefull for someone like me who is new here (3 weeks on hearthstone). Not only is about draft and arena, has some essencial tips from the game it self and I can apply this not even on arena, on my own decks for casual, rank or adventure.

    The best game mode for me is arena, more than rank. Here you can get packs, gold, dust, everything and the draft system and competition style is really awesome but as a new player I’m not good and I never get 6-7 wins so I can’t play arena so often and that’s kinda sad for me. thank’s god there is some good guides out there like this.

    I really appreciate your time to do this guide and share your knowledge with us! you’re the best man! awesome guide.

    • Sheng says:

      Thanks! I appreciate it. Let us know how your run ends up doing!

      • Chaplin says:

        The guide is great but i dont get it i undestand most of the guied ( I can say all ) But im still like 0-3 2-3 or something like that is that i dont do things right or my luck is just bad :(…. I dont know what to do i read so many guieds watched many streamers and still . What em i doing wrong .. ;(

        • Sheng says:

          Have you tried consulting a coach? It’s hard to pinpoint your mistakes sometimes, so having an experienced player watch you play and guide you could help!

          • Chaplin says:

            Ye but the problem is i dont know where to look and also i dont know how much it cost . And also i think that a good coach lives in Bulgaria

          • Chaplin says:

            ”And also i dont think that a good coach lives in Bulgaria”