Battlegrounds Hero Tier List
Today we bring you our take on the Battlegrounds Heroes and how they stack up.
It's important to start with the knowledge that the Heroes are only as good as their Hero Powers, cause that's what sets them apart, and to realize that there are wildly different effects, from buffing minions to dealing damage, to getting more health for your Hero, making it very tricky to do 1 on 1 comparisons.
The very first week of a Beta may seem early to start on a Tier list, but we feel this is a valuable tool in getting discussion going and to see what the community thinks of the game so far. In order to do that we played a whole bunch of Battlegrounds, watched streams of people playing Battlegrounds and read far and wide to seek opinions. And we turned that into the list below.
Before we dive in one note: the Heroes are separated into Tiers, but within those tiers we do not feel that strongly for one Hero over another. So let's get started and please, leave a comment with your agreements or disagreements, because that's what this article is for!
Tier 1: Best of the Best
Nefarian: Early in this Battlegrounds meta there are 2 significant keywords: Divine Shield and Poisonous. Nefarian's Hero Power let's you quite easily take care of Divine Shield on minions (with the exception of Cobalt Guardian) for just 1 gold. It's not quite as strong in the early game where pinging the enemies board for 1 damage is only going to be mildly advantageous but that doesn't matter when you get such a distinct advantage in the mid and late game.
Tier 2: Real Difference Makers
The Lich King's Hero Power is cheap, which means it can be used early and often. It can be used in multiple creative ways: use it to get a Deathrattle to trigger twice, use it to protect an important minion from an untimely death. A very powerful effect when used correctly.
Queen Wagtoggle's Hero Power is a cheap way to get a lot of health on your minions, but it requires you to run a variety of minions or, more usually, some Nightmare Amalgams.
Shudderwock's Hero Power allows you to double up on powerful Battlecries. This can come in a variety of ways, from buffs on various minions to increasing your Pogo-Hopper. Not a Hero Power that will easily shine in the early game, but gets powerful with more and more buffs that take advantage of it.
Ragnaros' Hero Power is a random damage effect, which lowers it's value, but with 8 damage, it's significant enough to influence your opponent's board. It's going to matter less in the late game if it hits a 32/20 Amalgam, but it can still usually ping a Divine Shield or maybe snipe that unbuffed Khadgar that would have otherwise made life hell.
Tier 3: Strong but Specific
A.F. Kay's Hero Power is special. You are guaranteed to lose the first 2 turns, with nothing to show for it, but you then make up for it with the 2 minions you get for free. These are typically far more powerful minions than your opponent has at this point, but you are very much reliant on these minions being any good to build around. If you do, you get a head start, allowing you to build your tavern up sooner and snowballing. If you get bad minions offered then you are behind on everything with little ways to make up ground, as your Hero Power will do nothing the rest of the game, which gets significantly more painful in the later turns.
George the Fallen's Hero Power would be the best in the game if it were not for it's cost. 4 gold coins means you will not use this Hero Power early and by the time you get to late game there are often easier (and cheaper!) ways to put Divine Shield on a minion than with this. Divine Shield is still really powerful however so it's hard to place him much lower.
Gallywix's Hero Power is one of the more skill testing ones. It demands that you make the right call and decide when you need to save and spend your gold, when it's wise to roll again for another chance at better minions and when it's best to save that coin and use it on later turns to perhaps upgrade your tavern sooner. It gets held back by it's lack of any direct board influence however.
Millificent's passive Hero Power is one that absolutely rocks the early and mid game. By the time you get to late game however, getting +1/+1 on a minion is not impactful at all. So the choice here is to be very aggressive and bank on winning early. Obviously also pidegonholes you into running mechs, but since that's one of the stronger early game tribes, that's perfectly okay.
Patchwerk's passive Hero Power is a tricky one. If you play the game normally the extra health is nice and it will likely allow you to get a decent ranking, but it won't do much itself. You have to use your health as a resource, banking on weaker early turns and taking a bit more damage in order to set up more powerful late turns. The obvious way to do this is by going hard on the Tavern upgrades. This is also riskier and might result in not getting the breaks you need or running into a buzzsaw in the early turns and losing too much health. You have to risk something to gain something however... Patchwerk want to play!
Akazamzarak's Hero Power may seem like a joke, but his secrets are very impactful and can make a significant difference in how your turn plays out. They also last between turns, adding to their value. Use this search filter to see which Secrets are available. There's something for every archetype!
Dancin Deryl's Hero Power is far more random than we would like, but, when the main dev on Battlegrounds says that "I like Dancin Daryl the most though because he is incredibly skill testing and goes from worst to best hero depending on how well you understand him and how much experience you have with him." then we should probably take note, since he probably has the data and experience to back up his statement.
Tier 4: Interesting but Flawed
The Rat King's other Hero Powers: King of Mechs, King of Murlocs, King of Demons
He does well when you build for a diversified board. It then allows you to cheaply and effectively buff it. But, as with a lot of things in this game mode, building to 1 particular strength typically works better than diversity, unless you can get a Lightfang Enforcer early or even better Triple it. The fact the buff only works on minions when you buy them in their particular turn is a definite downside here.
Patches' Hero Power is basically the exact same as Ragnaros' but cheaper. And in this case cheaper is definitely not better. It will allow you to do well in the early game and it allows you to pop Divine Shields in late game just the same, but 3 damage is pitiful, and even on turn 4 or 5 that damage won't make much difference any more.
Professor Putricide's Hero Power can be used in a way that brings some very nice benefits. If you have a Divine Shield minion or a taunt minion that will survive a hit or 2, you can make this take out several bigger minions. At least, you can in the early game. By the time you reach late game, adding 10 attack is not that impactful. And once the initial minion you put it on dies, it's gone, meaning it's impact is typically short lived.
Giantfin's Hero Power is good in the early game, much like the Murloc tribe in general and it scales a little with the amount of minions you have, which is nice. But in the end, what good really are 1/1 murlocs? Unless you have Deathrattle synergies of some kind the impact of them is quite low, and Deathrattle synergy is not really a first choice when playing Murlocs.
I'm a Lord Jaraxxus fanboy. It's been my favourite card since the first introduction of Hearthstone. It finds itself here because getting +1/+1 on demons is pretty nice early game, but once you get to the late game it's not that impactful. The main problem however is that some of the minions you want to buff do not benefit at all, like Soul Juggler and Lightfang Enforcer. Lastly it forces you into Demons from the start where the board and offered minions might suggest a different way.
The Curator's passive Hero Power is nice on the surface. Nightmare Amalgam's are good, so a smaller, free version of them would be good too, right? Well, in some ways yes. It functions as a free Amalgam, allowing you to use any early buffs you see effectively. But you start getting actual Amalgams pretty early in the game, and you can Triple those into better versions. So it's nice, but it means you have 1 small minion and no Hero Power benefit the rest of the game. That does not translate well into late game.
Pyramad's Hero Power would be really good and definitely a tier up from here if it were not random. Being able to let your minions go 2 for 1 is a good mechanic in any game state. But not being able to control where the benefit goes tanks it's value. A missed opportunity that might still get corrected, with the game being in Beta, because we do not feel this Hero Power would be overpowered even when it's targetable.
Praise Yogg! Or, more likely, Curse Yogg. Yogg-Saron's Hero Power takes random to the extreme. Yes, it can make you end up with game breaking minions in the early game, potentially allowing you to snowball, but the chances of your gambles continuing to pay off are more like a snowball's chance in the Firelands. So let's look at this from another perspective: This Hero Power is PERFECT if you want to just have a random run of insanity and weird turns, with just enough of a power up that you won't just throw the game even when you get less ideal minions. That's worth something too.
Tier 5: Needs Work
Toki's Hero Power is meh at best. Yes, you get a chance at a higher tier minion, but you only get 1 shot at this per turn. The chances that it's a minion that fits your build aren't exactly great. So while it's not totally useless, we feel this one could benefit from another look and maybe think about making it a full time refresh replacement, instead of just once per turn.
Bartendotron's passive Hero Power is a bit of a headscratcher. Yes, it makes sense to get the Tavern upgrades sooner, but in the end all this Hero Power does is give you a maybe 1 turn advantage, provided that the game flow doesn't alter your game plan where it comes to Tavern upgrades. Looked at in another way, the only tangible benefit from this is that you save 5 gold coins. There's got to be a better way to convey a Tavern upgrade benefit then this. Perhaps making it a one time use Hero Power to get a free Tavern upgrade would give a more direct step up, since it would allow you to get to certain upgrades more than 1 turn ahead of the pack.
Lich Baz'hial's Hero Power is pretty good if your intention is to die early. There's a real benefit to having more coin than your opponents, but the price you pay for it seems out of whack. Let's say you use this Hero Power for 3 turns. That's basically a 1/4th of your health gone and your benefit is....1 extra minion. That does not seem to come anywhere near close to being worth it. Lowering the damage might make this worth using, but we are not so sure if that will be the case.
King Mukla's Hero Power makes us wonder if this was actually a very different Hero Power at first that got changed to what it is now because it was too powerful. That seems the only thing we can think of to explain this inexplicably underpowered Hero Power. We can only hope that this Hero Power receives some kind of attention and upgrade cause as it stands we feel this is the worst one among the ones we have.
We thought long and hard about this list and tried to do our best to make an actual ranking, devoid of the commonly used trick to put certain things much higher or lower than they should be just to spark conversation, but we are certain that the community is going to disagree with us on how we ranked these Heroes. And that's okay! Let's have a conversation about how you feel these stack up and we will try to come up with a better list next week, when the game might have seen changes and is officially into Open Beta, with more people able to lend their thoughts!
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