Hearthstone Battlegrounds tier list: the best heroes to play in 2021

We explain which of Hearthstone Battleground's 50+ heroes are worth your time

Are you one of the hordes of people that can’t get enough of Hearthstone Battlegrounds? The card-brawling autobattler can eat up a fair bit of your spare time, but when you consider the fact there are over 50 different heroes available in the game and that every single one of them changes the game and its synergies, it’s easy to get a little lost.

So, for those of you struggling to work out which of the four choices you should pick to kick off every Hearthstone Battlegrounds match, let this tier list serve as a guide. Not every hero was created equal, and while this list isn’t absolute — some decks are more or less powerful depending on the different decks available in a match — it should lead to more confident picks so you’re not setting yourself up to failure before you’ve even started.

So, with that in mind, here’s a guide to the best and worst heroes in Hearthstone Battlegrounds. Don’t know your Pyramad from your Infinite Toki? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds tier list

These are the best and worst heroes in Hearthstone Battlegrounds based on the current meta:

Tier Heroes
Tier 1 The Great Akazamzarak, C’Thun, Ragnaros The Firelord, Forest Warden Omu, Al’Akir, Maiev Shadowsong, George The Fallen, The Lich King, Jandice Barov, Arch-Villain Rafaam
Tier 2 Sir Finley Mrrgglton, Patches the Pirate, Greybough, Deathwing, Millhouse Manastorm, Lord Barov, Zephyrs the Great, Silas Darkmoon, Dancin’ Deryl, Kael’thas Sunstrider, Tickatus, Yogg-Saron, Edwin Vancleef, Lord Jaraxxus
Tier 3 Reno Jackson, Rakanishu, Nozdormu, Captain Eudora, Sindragosa, Patchwerk, Mr. Bigglesworth, Skycap’n Kragg, Alexstrasza, Tess Greymane, King Mukla, Infinite Toki, Aranna Starseeker, Millificent Manastorm, Ysera, N’Zoth, The Rat King, Pyramid
Tier 4 Y’Shaarj, Elise Starseeker, Fungalmancer Flurg, A. F. Kay, Malygos, Chenvaala, Dinotamer Brann, The Curator, Illidan Stormrage, Lich Baz’hial, Shudderwock

Tier 1 – the must-picks

The Great Akazamzarak

Remember when you played regular Hearthstone? Remember secrets? The Great Akazamzarak brings these over to Battlegrounds, giving you access to incredibly powerful secrets that can turn the tide of the battle.

If a secret isn’t triggered in battle, it’ll stay with the character until it is.

The most powerful secret is Ice Block, which will prevent you from receiving lethal damage. You’ll want to take this as soon as it pops up, because it means you can take greedier strategies, knowing that you have some protection if things go from bad to worse.

Elsewhere, Competitive Secret gives +1/+1 to all of your minions at the start of the next turn. This can give you a huge tempo advantage early on, and help you buff weaker minions that might struggle early on. Keep an eye out elsewhere for Splitting Image, which duplicates the first person attacked each turn, and Autodefense Matrix, which gives the first minion targeted each battle a Divine Shield.

C'Thun's tentacles sprawl into the background

C’Thun

C’Thun has a simple power. Every turn, C’Thun’s herro power will give a friendly minion +1/+1, repeating it for every time you have used the power.

So, the first time you use C’Thun’s power, it’ll give a random friendly minion +1/+1. The second time you use it, it’ll give a random friendly minion +1/+1 twice. The third time, thrice. This is incredible for boosting your tempo.

C’Thun’s powerful scales so much that you want to ensure you’re using it every single turn. This means that on turn one you should take the hit, skip buying a minion and instead use your hero power so it will level up. On turn two, rather than the standard route of upgrading your tavern, you should use your hero power again to make it more powerful.

By late game, you’ll be spitting buffs out all over, and every turn the game rolls on, the stronger you’ll get.

Ragnaros The Firelord

Ragnaros The Firelord is useless until you’ve bounced 25 minions. He has no special power, but the promise of something rather special indeed.

One you’ve killed 25 minions, Ragnaros gets a Hero Power that’ll give your left and right minions +3/+3 permanently, meaning they can quickly spiral out of control. So, winning with Ragnaros can come down to how quickly you can splatter your opponents minions, getting access to the huge buff and snowballing to victory.

Forest Warden Omu

Forest Warden Omu has a passive hero power that gives him two gold every time you upgrade the tavern, although only for the turn you’re currently on. This means you can be aggressive with your upgrades.

So, if you’re playing Omu then you can upgrade to Tier 2 on the second turn, Tier 3 on turn four, and by the time you get to turn seven you should be upgrading to Tier 5, which is when most players are upgrading to Tier 4.

Al’Akir

Al’Akir’s hero power is another passive, giving your left-most minion Windfury, Divine Shield, and Taunt. In the early game, this all but guarantees you’ll win your first few fights.

This power is free and triggers every turn, meaning you’re much more feisty in that early game. Later, you can use it to synergise well with poisonous minions to give you the early edge in any late game fight, or even big units you’ve been building throughout the game.

Maiev charges forward into battle

Maiev Shadowsong

A recent update hit economy-powerhouse Elise Starseeker with the nerfhammer, meaning she’s no longer as strong as she was — shown by her place way down the list. In her place is Maiev Shadowsong, who can buy minions with a +1 attack buff for just 1 gold.

The catch is that you only get these cards two turns later. Dormant minions don’t take up space in the tavern, so from turn two you should buy a minion and make another minion dormant for later. You do this instead of the more traditional Tavern upgrade.

To win with Maiev, you need to turn that economic advantage into a cards advantage. Buy early — perhaps even on turn one if you can get a card that spawns an extra minion, letting you sell it for an extra coin — build your strategy on the fly, and try to turn these early attack bonuses into a real lead.

George The Fallen

Not much to say about ol’ gorgeous George, here: for two coins, you can grant minions in your lineup a permanent Divine Shield, which is absolutely huge.

Use this to buff up minions like the Cave Hydra or one of your poisonous Murlocs, and you’ll find this power to be truly incredible. Early game you should be using it on turn three or turn six, but after that you can use it nearly every turn with great impact.

The Lich King

Hail to the king. The Lich King’s ability gives a friendly minion reborn for the next combat. You should give this to your heaviest hitter, or perhaps your minion with the scariest death rattle.

It costs nothing, meaning it’s a free win on turn one most of the time, and if you use it right, an easy path to the top four. What else is there to say?

Jandice Barov

Jandice’s Hero Power lets you swap a non-Golden minion with a random minion in Bob’s Tavern for the princely cost of zero coins. This means you can send Battlecry minions back to the tavern to rebuy them and get the effects of their Battlecry again, or even get rid of minions you don’t want for a chance at minions from a higher tier.

Jandice’s power is so strong that there’s rarely a time to use it that won’t generate an advantage. Make sure you buy Battlecry minions that give you a boost, and then use them again and again and again.

Arch-villain Rafaam

Rafaam has a fun, chaotic, hero power that allows him to create clones of the first enemy minion that you kill, and you get to keep them forever. The power only costs one gold, so you’re basically getting a free minion, providing you actually get a kill.

However, you’re going to need to keep an eye on who you square off against: A. F. Kay doesn’t have any minions for the first two turns, and a smart C’Thun won’t either.

Sir Finley the frog lofts a golden trophy in the air while enemies close in around him

Tier 2 – strong picks

Sir Finley Mrrgglton

Sir Mrrgglton’s hero power gives you the chance to discover another hero power, effectively letting you reroll your starting ability. A good rule of thumb here is that if you get a bunch of heroes you’re not so keen on, pick Finley and you can have another go.

Patches the Pirate

Patches’ power generates you pirates. You can get a pirate any time for Tier 3 gold. However, this hero power gets one cheaper every time you buy a pirate, meaning you can get a free pirate for every three you buy.

One fun economic play you can make with Patches means that if you find a pirate on your first and second turn, you can delay your Tavern upgrade and have three pirates on the board. Get really lucky and you could even have a golden minion on turn two.

An all-seeing tree looking monster looks towards the camera

Greybough

Greybough’s Hero Power gives a passive buff to anything you summon during combat. This means that Reborn minions or those with a summoning Death Rattle can be really strong early game.

His biggest issue is that his late-game is weak, as summoning gets weaker in late game as everyone else has a more complete late-game lineup. In the early game though, Greybough should be able to get you a substantial lead: what you do with it after that is up to you.

Deathwing

Deathwing is a simple one: all minions have +2 attack because of Deathwing’s passive. Including your enemies. This means you need to have more minions on the board than your opponent.

You’ll also need to be careful of beast decks, since a rat swarm or summoning Deathrattle could be a real pain.

Millhouse Manastorm

Millhouse’s Hero Power is an active one, and it completely changes the way the game plays. Refreshing the tavern costs two instead of one, buying minions cost two instead of three, and every tavern upgrade costs one more, per tier.

Millhouse generates a lot of early momentum, and if you can use it right than that’ll carry you through the entire game. You should start upgrading your tavern as soon as you can, so that you catch up with the others on turn five, pushing you up to Tavern Tier 3. Blow past this and you’ll actually be ahead, and can upgrade on turn six to Tier 4.

Pull this off and you’re in the lead, and should be able to surge to victory. Millhouse would be S-tier if it wasn’t for the fact you have to relearn a lot of the game to be good with him.

Lord Barov

This one is really silly: Lord Barov’s ability is Friendly Wager which lets you spend a coin to guess which player will win the next combat. Get this right and you’ll win three coins, if there’s a draw you’ll get your wager back.

Make this work and you’ll get a real boost to the economy. Get this right a few times and you’ll have enough money to bully the game.

Zephrys the Great

Zephrys has three opportunities to turn two cards into a golden card, as his hero power lets you find a third for any two copies you have.

When you use this is up to you, but using it early to complete high value gold cards will make you a tiny economic advantage and help you build around any deck you like.

Silas complete with his top hat and whip

Silas Darkmoon

Silas’ Hero Power can be a double-edged sword. Some of the minions in the Tavern will glow, indicating that they have Darkmoon Tickets. Get three of this and you’ll discover a free minion from the Tavern Tier you just bought.

So, here’s your problem: chase those Darkmoon tickets too hard and you might be putting together a mediocre lineup. Don’t chase the tickets, and you’re not getting the best out of things either.

So, balance is important here. It’ll probably take a few attempts to get right.

Dancin’ Deryl

If we were grading Battlegrounds heroes by their sense of style, this top-hatted Murloc would be at the very top. While he’s not sitting in the top tier in this guide, Deryl has a passive hero power that gives 1/1 to two random minions every time you sell a minion, making him a high skill-ceiling hero that can really pay off.

This card can get you +1/+1 on the same minion twice, so you want to get into a situation where you have just one minion on the deck and then you sell a few things and boost up the one remaining minion substantially. This can give you a really nice power spike, but requires a lot of fast clicking and quick decision making, to make it work.

Kael’thas Sunstrider

Kael’Thas has a passive Hero Power that gives every third minion you buy a +2/+2 buff. He’s easy to play and get the most out of, but you need to pay attention to what order you buy things in, so your throwaway Battlecry minions any other trash you buy should be bought unbuffed, and the minions you actually want can be bought for the +2/+2 buff.

Tickatus

Tickatus has a fairly straightforward power: his power mirrors the Darkmoon Prize system, which was removed from the main game recently. Every four turns you’ll get a Darkmoon Prize.

There’s a kicker: the pool of useful prizes on offer, as with the regular game, might mean that you get a weak spell, meaning there’s a risk and reward mechanic at play.

A group attacks Yogg Saron, who has big large teeth, with swords

Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End

Yogg Saron is one of our personal favourite risk/reward champions. Yogg comes with a Hero Power that lets you recruit a random minion from the Tavern for just 2 gold, giving it a +1/+1 buff.

Random minions aren’t always useful, but early game it’s very hard to sniff at a buff that can help you edge close fights. It also means that while playing Yogg you can get an extra minion on turn three — when you’ll have five gold — and secure yourself a very strong position as you leave the early game.

Edwin Vancleef

Ol’ Eddie has an excellent buff for the later game, with a one-cost spell that gives a minion +1/+1 for every minion you’ve bought this turn. It’s targeted, so you can choose which minion you want to receive the buff, meaning you could buff your special minions regularly.

The limit here is how many minions you can feasibly buy in a turn without upsetting your economy.

Lord Jaraxxus

Fans of big red angry men rejoice! Lord Jaraxxus has been buffed a whole bunch, but he’s just about where he needs to be now, with a Hero Power that costs one coin and will give every demon on your board +1/+1. Played right, that’s a +7/+7 buff to your board, every turn, for one coin.

However, playing Jaraxxus does mean you’re hard-locked into going big on Demons. That’s great, provided you can get the big cards you need.

Tier 3 – the mediocre heroes

Reno Jackson

Reno Jackson can make a friendly minion into a golden minion. One time. You don’t get the Discover effect, and they stay on the board.

So, when should you use it? The best time to use it is as a power boost for a mid-range minion that benefits from their golden card benefit. Battlecry minions are no good, because you won’t place them again, they’ll just stop being a plain minion and become a golden version.

Take advantage of this power spike, and there’s a lot of potential to exploit here. However, you’ll need something to keep your lineup strong when that power spike fades.

Rakanishu

Rakanishu’s Hero Power is an excellent buff, but requires you to fully beef up your tavern to get the most of it.

For two coins, you can use your Hero Power to give a friendly minion stats that line up with your tavern tier. You should avoid using this until turn six, but from then on you should be using it every turn.

Nozdormu

Your first refresh is on the house every turn when you play as Nozdormu. Useful if you’re looking for something — and you should use your free refresh on turn one to try and find a minion spawning card for an early advantage — but otherwise not super useful.

A fox in a pirate hat sits on a pile of gold

Captain Eudora

Eudora’s Hero Power lets you dig for a golden minion. Every five digs, you get a golden minion from your current tier and as it’s a golden card, it’ll also give you a discovery from your current tier, too.

Eudora doesn’t have a lot of strength, but to ensure you’re getting the best out of this hero you’ll want to use the Hero Power every turn from turn two. After five digs, you’ll get a golden minion and start again, meaning you’ll get your first free golden minion on turn six, and the second on turn 11.

Sindragosa

Sindragosa has a weird Hero Power, giving Frozen minions in your tavern +2/+1 every turn. This means you should buy a minion in the first turn and freeze the rest, before refreezing them at the end of the next turn. This means you can buy two minions with a +4/+2 buff on turn three and enjoy a power spike.

You can buy some other buffed minions on turn four, but Sindragosa’s Hero Power is next to useless from this point on.

Patchwerk

Patchwerk has 55 health rather than the usual 40. This might seem useful, but this 15 health advantage becomes meaningless later in the game because of the way damage scales rapidly upwards.

Mr. Bigglesworth

Bigglesworth is great, but his Hero Power is useless until another player dies. Whenever a player does kick the bucket, you can Discover a minion from their warband, letting you pick up one of their units with all of their buffs.

This means that late game Bigglesworth could be picking up a star minion every couple of turns. But you have to survive that long, which is why he’s so far down the list. Play a solid foundational game, and you can get regular wins, but there are easier options on the way to the crown.

Skycap’n Kragg

You can use Kragg’s power once and only once during the game. The power gives you free gold, with the amount of gold increasing by one every turn. This means that Kragg is weak early game, and weaker than most heroes as soon as you use your power.

So, when should you use it? The best bet is turn eight, when you have 10 gold. Use it then and you can upgrade your Tavern to tier 5, use your Hero Power, and then get some fresh minions from that upgrade. This power spike should let you assert some dominance over the next few matches.

Alexstrasza

After you upgrade to tavern tier five, you discover two Dragons. If you get good dragons, like Kalecgos or perhaps Razorgore, you can turn this power spike into a win. If it goes badly, you could end up with two Red Whelp’s, which is a disaster.

You could have excellent games as Alexstrasza, but it really depends what the RNG serves up.

Tess Greymane

Tess has a great Hero Power: for one gold you can refresh Bob’s Tavern with your last opponent’s Warband. This means you can grab minions from higher tiers, and pick up the strengths of each enemy you face.

However, Tess is relegated tier three in our list because she relies on her opponents being unaware in battle. If every one of your opponents chooses to play a separate type, Tess will struggle to make an impact.

King Mukla

For one gold, King Mukla can get two bananas, zero-cost cards that give a +1/+1 buff to a minion. However, the kicker is that while you may get two bananas immediately, everyone other player gets a banana at the end of the turn, letting them buff next turn.

This gets more complicated, because a third of your bananas will be a Big Banana, which gives a minion +2/+2 instead.

While it’s annoying to buff your enemies each time you power up, it’s best to lean into this and ensure you’re getting up to some monkey business every turn from three onward.

Infinite Toki

Infinite Toki offers up a cheap refresh with her Temporal Tavern Hero Power and it also includes a minion from a higher tavern tier. This is useful throughout, but it’s particularly useful when you get to tavern tier five since it’ll allow for easy access to tavern tier six minions.

However, you could dig up just about anything, and the reliance on getting good rolls is what limits Toki to a low tier place in our hearts.

Aranna Starseeker

Refresh five times and the Tavern will always have seven minions to choose from. Yawn. Stay on Tavern Tier 2 a little longer and refresh your heart out so you get to seven minions as quick as possible.

Millificent Manastorm

Millificent’s Hero Power gives +1/+1 to every mech that appears in the Tavern. As with any other Heroes that force you down a specific path, you’re going to need to find certain mechs to transition into the late game.

Worse, Millificent’s +1/+1 boost is largely irrelevant, and scaling can be difficult.

Ysera

Ysera’s passive adds a Dragon to the Tavern whenever it is refreshed. This makes it easier to play Dragons, but doesn’t guarantee those bonus Dragon cards will be top tier, so this is another one to stick into the RNG bin.

N’Zoth

N’Zoth has you start the game with a 1/1 fish that gains all of your deathrattles during combat. The fish is something of a trap: N’Zoth has a lot of value early game, but later on you might find that your Deathratlte minions often survive longer than your fish.

This requires careful planning. When it plays off it is excellent, but it requires more work to get a win than many other heroes.

The Rat King

The Rat King has an incredibly powerful passive ability. His power grants +2/+2 to all minions of a certain type when you purchase them from the tavern.

Here’s the catch: the type of minion buffed changes every turn. This means The Rat King relies on the love of the RNG to make it work, especially when a turn one +2/+2 boost will often win you the round but you don’t have the money to refresh your tavern .

Pyramad

Pyramad will give a random unit +4 health for one gold. That’s a great deal, but all it really does is increase your minions survivability. Start using it immediately on turn 2 and delay your tavern upgrade and you can build a bit of early tempo that will help you beast the mid-game.

However, this is unlikely to win you any games by yourself unless you manage to find some offensive options.

Tier 4 – the heroes to avoid

Y’Shaarj

Y’Shaarj looks strong as hell on paper, but in reality he’s quite weak. While his ability isn’t bad given he can summon high level minions at tavern tier five and six, the fact you need to keep a slot free can be problematic.

Elise Starseeker

Elise used to be one of the best heroes in the game, but Blizzard’s balancing attempts have left her in a sorry state. Right now, you should avoid her.

Fungalmancer Flurgl

Flurgl’s ability adds a minion to the tavern every time you sell a Murloc but you still have to pay for it.You can build a solid Murloc composition here, but you could probably build a strong Murloc lineup without this power, too. Avoid.

A. F. Kay

AFK can’t buy any minions for the few two turns of the game, but will discover two minions from Tier 3 on turn three.

If you don’t get a pair of good minions during that turn three power spike, you’re screwed.

Malygos

Malygos actually isn’t as bad as some of the other Tier 3 heroes on the list. They’re just a bit underwhelming, lacking the powers you get from other heroes.

Malygos allows you to reroll one minion each turn for free, replacing them with a minion from the same Tavern Tier. This means you can reroll higher tier minions to look for the one you want, which can be very powerful.

If you’re only given Tier C heroes to choose from, Malygos is probably the best bet.

Chenvaala

Chenvaala is great on paper. Every time you play three elementals, upgrading your Tavern Tier gets three cheaper.

In reality, it’s rarely worth it and you’re locked into an elemental deck. You can win with Chenvaala, but picking this hero gives you no room to maneuver whatsoever, meaning you would often be better served with someone else.

Dinotamer Brann

Another hero that looks great on paper, but is actually a little middling, Brann’s Hero Power lets him refresh the Tavern with Battlecry minions.

This makes Brann great for Murlocs or Dragons, but he sufers the curse of many Tier 3 heroes: limited power.

The Curator

The Curator starts with a 1/2 Amalgam that is classed as part of every single warband. This means you can buff it with any cards, meaning you could buff this with things like Poisonous, Divine Shield, and several others. However, the Amalgam starts with 1/2 stats, and if those buffs don’t show up then, hey, your Amalgam and the advantages that it brings are worthless.

Illidan Stormrage

Stormrage’s Hero Power gives you two bonus attacks at the start of a battle: your minions on the left and right will attack before the opponent’s first turn.

To make the most of him, you’ll want Monstrous Macaw or Scallywag, who get stronger when they attack, Goldrinn, who boosts his value by dying, or even just someone with Poisonous or Divine Shield.

You can get a win with Illidan, but again, there aren’t many options.

Lich Baz’hial

Lich’s ability lets you trade two health for a coin card you can lose later. This means you can give yourself an economic boost, but it’s high risk and medium reward. There are better chances if you like to live dangerously.

Shudderwock

Shudderwock allows you to trigger your next Battlecry twice for the low price of one coin. This can be useful for big sweeping Battlecry effects letting you toss big buffs around, and could help you build a strong lineup. Still, you will still need to find those Battlecry units and be careful to utilise them correctly.

This won’t work with Brann Bronzebeard, because essentially this hero power just mimics that effect.

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