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Hearthstone arena pro-tips from Blizzcon

Spare Parts

This year’s Blizzcon featured professional Hearthstone players Trump from Team SoloMid, and ItsHafu from Team Cloud 9 giving their suggestions on how to dominate in the Arena.  In case you missed the panel or don’t want to watch the 50 minute long video, here are some of the key recommendations along with potential Arena picks that feature some of the soon to be released cards for the Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion.

Picking the Class

This can be a tricky decision for any Hearthstone player, but Trump and Hafu seemed to agree on one key point.  Pick what you are comfortable with.  While both players clearly had their own preferences, they recommended, especially for new players, that going with what you know and learning it well will improve your overall game.

Mana Curve

These two players have very different play styles with Trump playing more of a mid-game pushing between 7 or 9 of the 2 mana cost cards.  Hafu on the other hand thought that a bit excessive for her play-style and ops for a few early drops in conjunction with late-game winners like Deathwing.

Playing Catch-Up

When picking your deck, you may want to at least plan for that moment when you get drastically behind in board control.  For this situation both players agreed that AOE is the best medicine to cure this ailment.  Working in a Consecration or Flame-Strike can mean the difference between victory or defeat.  Trump also urged a good way to avoid being in this position in the first place would be to work in plenty of 1 and 2 drops.

Goblins vs. Gnomes Arena Picks

Perhaps the most informative bit of the panel was when the players went through a sample Arena pick selecting their top choices between some of the newly spoiled cards from Hearthstones coming expansion.  Here are the highlights.

Clockwork Gnome

Hafu loved the 2/1 stats and mech status of the Clockwork Gnome given that mech units will be pretty common in the set this can be a very influential 1 drop minion.

Clockwork Gnome


Shrinkmeister was agreed upon as the best choice given these options for the good stat value plus a very beneficial battle-cry effect.


Unstable Portal or Flamecannon

Trump and Hafu were split on these cards, with Hafu believing the potential usefulness of the Unstable Portal was worth the risk of randomly getting a weak minion.  Trump on the other hand preferred the somewhat controllable effects of the Flamecannon when used correctly while pointing out that getting a wisp with your Unstable Portal would make any player very unhappy.

Flamecannon Unstable Portal


While a number of the other cards featured were also mechs the Spider Tank and Tinkertown Technician received special attention because both players agreed that these would become instrumental in Arena decks.  Spider Tank would be a great independently good card, with Trump saying it may even replace the Yeti, while the Technician would be extremely beneficial if your deck already has a decent supply of mech units.

Spider Tank


The newly introduced “Piloted” cards were agreed on by both players that they will become hugely instrumental in Arena play as the standard value for the cards is good, with the potential being extraordinary.  Hafu seemed especially excited to see a Piloted Sky Golem Deathrattle into a Piloted Shredder.  Trump believed the Golem would even be a better replacement for Cairne Bloodhoof, regarded as one of the best Arena cards in the game.  Trump was quick to point out the extremely high value potential of Sneed’s Old Shredder despite Battlecry effects not going into effect after the Deathrattle procs, when you consider the possibility of hitting something like Kel’Thuzad to bring back the Shredder you just lost.


Final Words
Given many of the new effects and the emphasis on powerful Deathrattles in the coming set, both Trump and Hafu believed that Silence was going to become extremely valuable once the expansion releases.  Keep your eyes on improving your Shaman and Mage game as well as the Polymorph and Hex cards will see a surge to combat the devastating Deathrattle effects.

Jesse Tannous

Jesse considers himself a writer first and a nerd second. He has been reporting for the video game industry on for the past three years after earning his degree in Creative Writing. He is also the editor-in-chief at IndieGameSource, and can also be found on Google+.