Hello and welcome to the newest version of the arena class tier list presented by Team Genji. This arena tier list covers the most viable classes and archetypes to play in the arena mode.
#1. Paladin: Difficulty: Easy
#2. Rogue: Difficulty: Medium (Aggro), Hard (Midrange/Control)
#3. Warlock: Difficulty: Easy (Zoo), Hard (Control)
#4. Priest: Difficulty: Hard
#5. Mage: Difficulty: Easy
#6. Shaman: Difficulty: Medium (Aggro/Midrange), Hard (Control)
#7. Hunter: Difficulty: Easy
#8. Druid: Difficulty: Medium (Aggro), Hard (Midrange)
#9. Warrior: Difficulty: Medium
Arena Tier List
The most consistent classes/archetypes
Class difficulty: Easy
TLDR: Paladins build wide board positions in the mid game and win with the help of their large weapons.
Common Archetypes: Aggro, Midrange
1. Large weapons: “Large weapons” give paladins an insane amount of value in the late game and reduce the need for other large finishers, be careful not to pick more than 2 of these, however, as their value decreases drastically after that point. Silver Sword is a card that paladins should look to build their deck around before it even shows up. This card is under bucketed and as a result can almost always show up in a draft among inferior cards. Vinecleaver is bucketed higher as a result showing up much less but it is often worth picking especially if a “Large weapon” hasn’t already been chosen.
2. Buffs: Buffs for paladins are important because of their synergy with minion-based strategies. Many of the best buff cards for paladin include: Spikeridged Steed, Blessing of Kings and Dinosize these are rightfully in the best bucket and compete against each other. Spikeridged Steed is the clear winner out of these three buff cards for it’s sheer power and defensive capabilities. Some other solid buff cards which are less rare include: Potion of Heroism, Sounds the bells, Blessing of Wisdom, Blessing of Might and Dark Conviction. Some of these buffs cycle themselves and are versatile, whilst others are strong at turning smaller minions into larger threats to pressure the opponent.
3. Silver Hand Recruits: Some cards are reliant on producing silver hand recruits in paladin such as Lightfused Stegadon. Therefore it can be beneficial to have cards that can produce recruits alongside paladin’s hero power to fuel a card like Lightfused Stegadon, Crystal Lion, and on rare situations Level Up!. These silver hand recruit producers in paladin include Vinecleaver, Unidentified Maul, Lost in the Jungle and Drygulch Jailer which luckily are usually solid cards by themselves.
Class difficulty: Medium (Aggro), Hard (Midrange/Control)
TLDR: Rogue decks look to capitalize on efficient tempo cards to outvalue or kill their opponents.
Common Archetypes: (Tempo) Aggro, Midrange/Control
1. Hero Power: (Equip a 1/2 Dagger) The Rogue’s hero power is a “ping effect” and reduces the need for two drops as it is usually an effective play in the early game.
2. Removal: Vilespine Slayer, Envenom Weapon, Backstab and Sap are the main premium removal tools with high win rates, other removal spells include Eviscerate (Flexible) and Assassinate/Cheap shot (Slow/Average Cards) Note: Betrayal is very conditional. Poisonous minions including: Plague Scientist and Patient Assassin are abundant and powerful to develop in response to large minions in the late game. Finally, for early/mid game removal the following weapons can be considered: Shadowblade, Deadly Poison, Assassin’s Blade, Obsidian Shard and Perditions Blade. These weapons add to the Rogue’s removal options for killing small creatures, creating tempo and damage potential, although, rogue players must take caution using their life total as a resource.
3. Card Generation: Rogue has a couple flexible options for card generation, some include: Elven Minstrel, Blink Fox, Hallucination and Fan of Knives. Card Generation is rare for rogue but important, so these cards are valuable. It is worth noting that Mimic Pod and Pick Pocket generate cards, however, they are bad cards when trying to focus on a tempo strategy which is usually what rogue decks look to accomplish.
4. Tempo: Definition: The players control over the momentum of the match in the short term particularly concerning minions being played to obtain board advantage. This concept is important for rogue in arena as a good rogue player will constantly fight for board control. This section has too many examples to go into every card, however, some examples of common neutral tempo minions with high win rates that are difficult to answer include: Firefly (Helps with combo) Hench Clan Thug, Dark Iron Dwarf, Bone Drake, Cobalt Scalebane and Violet Wurm. Some solid class specific tempo cards that weren’t already mentioned in other sections include: Kidnapper, SI:7 Agent and Fal’dorei Strider.
Class Difficulty: Easy (Zoo), Hard (Control)
TLDR: Warlock has a reliable card draw effect which allows it to outvalue opponents, a focus is placed on strong early game cards and board clears.
Common Archetypes: Aggro (Zoo), Control
1. Hero Power: (Draw a card and take 2 damage). Card advantage is very strong, making this one of the best hero powers in the game. It is effective for control decks to have more cards and options, can also allow an aggressive “Zoo” deck to refill their hand after contesting the board with cheap minions.
2. Zoo: An aggressive “Zoo” strategy consists of cheap minions that are powerful. Some classic examples of “Zoo” minions are Flame imp and Voidwalker. Since “Zoo” decks consist of primarily cheap minion’s it becomes easy to empty your hand, therefore, cards that require discard increase in value like Doomguard and Soulfire. Ravenous Pterrordax is an example of a minion that becomes very valuable in a “Zoo” strategy when a cheap minion can be sacrificed on curve.
3. Removal: A control warlock deck needs a good amount of spot removal spells to destroy key minions, removal spells can also be valuable in a “Zoo” deck. The best removal spells in warlock include: Siphon Soul, Lesser Amethyst Spellstone, Feeding Time and Shadow Bolt. Conditional yet still effective removals include: Soulfire, Unwilling Sacrifice, Drain soul and Demonfire.
4. Board Clears: Board clears are very necessary in Control warlocks and should be prioritized in this archetype. The best board clear spells include – Hellfire, Defile, Twisting Nether and Shadowflame. Minions in Warlock can also provide board clear effects including: Despicable Dreadlord and Dread Infernal
5. Card Generation: Some extra card generation can be utilized to lower the reliance on warlocks’ hero power ex. Kobold Librarian, Mortal Coil and Chittering Tunneler.
Less consistent classes/archetypes
Class Difficulty: Hard
TLDR: Priests control the board in the early game and dominating the late game with powerful swing turns.
Common Archetypes: Control, Midrange
1. Hero Power: (Restore 2 Health) In nature this hero power lends itself to defensive strategies as it makes priests more difficult to kill, however, this effect can be very weak in the early game with no targets. Luckily Priest has many high health minions that can trade and be healed over time. Cards such as Northshire Cleric can synergize with this hero power to generate card advantage.
2. Late game value: Priests can outvalue other strategies in the late game by playing large minions and stealing the opponent’s minions and cards. Cabal Shadow Priest can steal smaller minions in the mid game whereas Mind Control can swing the late game in the priest’s favor if it hits a large minion. Shadow visions can find key spells such as Free from amber which summons large minions like Obsidian statue. These large minions can be revived with spells such as Lesser Diamond Spellstone and Eternal Servitude. Although slow on tempo Thoughtsteal and Devour Mind can be used for card advantage.
3. Removal Spells: Removal spells are important for priest to control minions of different sizes Shadow Word:Death destroys larger minions in the late game and Shadow Word:Pain and Shadow Madness target minions with lower attack. Auchenai Soulpriest can be used in combination with healing effects to destroy minions and turns the hero power into a Holy smite. Holy water and Holy fire can pick off mid sized minions and generate additional value.
4. Board Clears: Psychic Scream and Holy Nova are the two main board clears in priest. Holy Nova is very important for priests as it is the only board clear that doesn’t clear your own board and can be rewarding in a more board-centric strategy.
5. Dragon Synergy: A Priest deck with Dragon Synergy can be difficult to pull off but can be very rewarded through cards such as Duskbreaker and Twilight acolyte. Nightscale Matriarch is a solid dragon that can be used in this type of strategy and synergizes with healing effects like Squashling.
Class Difficulty: Easy
TLDR: Mages look to control the board and outvalue their opponents with card generation or finish the opponent off with burn spells.Common Archetypes: Control, Midrange
1. Hero Power: (Deal 1 damage) A “ping” effect that can be used to finish off minions with low health and generate value over the course of the game.2. Card Generation: Mages generate cards to respond to the board position or out value their opponents. Strong cards used for card generation include: Primordial Glyph, Book of Specters and Arcane Intellect. Minions are also used for card draw/generation in mage, some examples are: Arcanologist, Steam
Surger, Bonfire elemental, Coldwraith, Arcane Keysmith, Shimmering Tempest and Raven Familiar.
3. Board Clear: Mages have some of the best board clears in the arena, Notably: Meteor (Doubles as a removal tool), Flamestrike and then Blizzard. Dragons Fury can also be used in a deck which spells have a high CMC (Converted Mana Cost).
4. Removal/Burn Spells: Mages are capable of efficiently handling threats with cards that remove minions such as Polymorph, however, many of mages removal spells can also transition into burn spells into the mid-late game to finish off the opponent. Examples of premium burn spells for mage include: Fireball, Frostbolt, Pryoblast, Flame Geyser and Explosive runes.
TLDR: Shamans goal is to use powerful minions and effects to gain an advantage on the board and kill their opponent.
Class Difficulty: Medium (Aggro/Midrange), Hard (Control)
Common Archetypes: Midrange, Aggro and Sometimes Control
1. Hero Power: (Summon a random totem) Shamans hero power is useful as it adds one of four unique totems to the board that can protect other minions (in the case of healing/taunt totems) or threaten the opponent (1/1 or spell power totems). Often these totems will be easily answered and are very low on tempo but can accrue
value if extra mana is available.
2. Elemental Synergy: Elemental synergy is a theme in shaman specifically due to the card Earthen Might which relies on early minions and elemental synergy to generate additional value. Luckily, shamans have many powerful elementals to synergize with cards such as Earthen Might. These elemental choices include Fire Elemental, Earth Elemental, Hot Spring Guardian and Unbound Elemental.
3. Removal cards: Removal effects are important in any balanced arena deck. Shamans premium removal card is Hex. Crushing Hand can also be used for large minion removal. Weaker removal cards such as Rockbiter Weapon, Lightning bolt and Lava burst can often double as burn spells. Flametounge Totem is a form of creature-based removal which should be picked highly in Shaman as it is another effect that can make small minions more impactful on the board. Finally, an important weapon used to remove early game minions is Stormforged Axe.
4. Board Clear: Shamans two primary forms of board clear are Volcano and Lightning Storm. Both board clear effects have overload, so it is important to use these cards in the correct scenarios as to not fall behind on board. It is worth nothing that Runespear can also clear the board by casting Volcano or Lightning Storm.
5. Finishers: Shaman has some powerful methods to finish games. Bloodlust is a good example of a finisher in an aggressive strategy of shaman. Unstable Evolution has the power to easily upgrade totems or small minions into substantial threats. Another powerful finisher for shaman is Kalimos, Primal Lord and has a powerful board clearing affect. This card is not commonly seen simply due to it’s rarity although it can be discovered through cards such as Earthen Might, Blazing Invocation and Servant of Kalimos. An example of a weaker finisher is Lesser Sapphire Spellstone.
6. Value picks: Class cards that can generate additional value include Spirit Echo and Ancestral Spirit. Blazing Invocation and Witch’s Apprentice can also be useful to gamble on finding powerful cards.
Class Difficulty: Easy
TLDR: Hunters aim is to be aggressive by taking control of the board and finish off the opponent with the inevitability of their hero power.
Common Archetype: Aggro
1. Hero Power: (Deal 2 Damage to the enemy hero) Hunters hero power is very linear as it can only be used to damage the opponent therefore it forces hunter into an aggressive strategy. When this hero power is used in the late game the opponent will hopefully be low on health, so it can be used to apply constant pressure to their life total as it will deal a higher percentage of their maximum health.
2. Beast Synergy: Hunter has cards that reward focusing on beast synergy. Some of the strongest beast cards synergy card include Crackling Razormaw and Kill command. Tundra Rhino, Scavenging Hyena and Kathrena Winterwisp also benefit from a beast centric deck. Some beasts that can help facilitate this strategy include Savannah Highmane, Animal Companion and Hunting Mastiff.
3. Secrets: Building a deck around Lesser Emerald Spellstone can be key for Hunter to have success. This Spellstone requires hunters to pick a fair amount of secrets for the early game. Some of the best secret options include Venomstrike Trap, Snake Trap, Freezing Trap and Wandering monster. Explosive Trap and Misdirection can also be used but they are weaker on average.
4. Removal: Hunter has solid removal options such as Crushing Walls, Deadly Shot and Hunters mark that can destroy large minions. Flanking Strike, Explosive Shot and Wing Blast are all effective removal spells that can destroy medium sized minions.
5. Weapons: Weapons are useful for hunter’s aggressive strategy to provide reach, but, can also be important to clear minions. Eaglehorn Bow, Gladiator’s Longbow and Candleshot are the three main weapon’s and they are all very powerful.
Class Difficulty: Medium (Aggro), Hard (Midrange)
TLDR: Druids look to control the early game and ramp into large finishers.
Common Archetypes: Midrange, Aggro
1. Hero Power: (+1 attack this turn, +1 armor) This is a “ping” effect but requires the druid to hit something to damage it. Its primary use is to kill minions with low health, sacrificing some of your own health in the process. This hero power can also be used to gain a small amount of armor over consecutive turn whilst damaging the opponent.
2. Choose One: Choose one is a mechanic that can give druid cards extra flexibility. This is seen both on powerful minions such as Druid of the Swarm, Druid of the Scythe, Druid of the Claw and Spellshifter as well as spells such as Power of the Wild.
3. Removal: The Druid class has a plethora of powerful removal options which can destroy small-medium sized minions including: Swipe, Starfire, Wrath, Starfall and Lesser Jasper Spellstone. Webweave and Naturalize can allow druid to destroy larger threats which can be otherwise difficult for Druid as a class.
4. Ramp: Druids can ramp their mana with Wild Growth and Nourish to play large cards faster than the opponent.
5. Taunts: There is incentive for Druids to choose taunt cards as many are powerful and can be buffed with Strongshell Scavenger. Some powerful taunt options for Druid include: Spreading Plague, Crypt Lord, and Ironbark Protector.
6. Finishers: Druids have very power finishers and rely on these to be successful. The primary example is Ultimate Infestation which is undeniably one of the best cards in arena as it allows the druid to completely take control of the late game. Savage Roar is another finisher effect that encourages the druid to build a wide board position and can instantly kill the opponent. Both cards encourage the druid to play a lot of early game minions and are best played when ahead on the board.
Inconsistent classes or archetypes
Class Difficulty: Medium
TLDR: Warriors generate value and tempo from their weapons and aim to overpower their opponent.
Common Archetype: Midrange
1. Hero Power: (Gain 2 armor) Warrior has the weakest hero power in arena because it does not affect the board and is very difficult to use as a win condition. This is a very defensive hero power that should only be used if nothing else is beneficial.
2. Weapons: Weapons are certainly the most important cards for warrior as they can effectively clear minions and push face damage. Some great weapons for warrior include Arcanite Reaper, Woodcutter’s Axe, Fiery War Axe, Blood Razor, Gorehowl and Arathi Weaponsmith. Forge of souls can find weapons, Upgrade! can be used to make these weapons stronger and Lesser Mithril Spellstone is a payoff card for casting weapons as it will often summon three 5/5’s for 7 mana.
3. Rush: Warrior has some great rush cards such as Militia Commander, Rabid Worgen, Darius Crowley and to a lesser extent Redband Wasp. Town Crier is a powerful tool that can be used to search for rush minions and Woodcutter’s Axe can buff them.
4. Card Draw: Warrior decks tend to be inconsistent, so card draw is critical to success. Slam, Commanding Shout, Battle Rage, and Forge of souls can be useful to find specific cards.
5. Board Clears/Removal: Warriors have a few useful board clears and removal spells, these include: Execute, Warpath, Cleave, Brawl, Mortal Strike and Heroic Strike.
Thanks for reading, hope to see you on the arena!
An Article by Mentalistic
Want to get notified whenever the Tier List changes? Make sure to subscribe to our Newsletter!