How to Play Arena in Hearthstone

Hearthstone is one of the most popular online CCGs (collective card games) in the world. A part of its success comes from its replay value and a relatively low cost to enter the game. While competitive ladder playstyles will require a significant time investment, there’s another way to enjoy the game at a fraction of the cost –  the Hearthstone Arena mode.

How to Play Arena in Hearthstone

In this article, we’ll explain the nuances of Hearthstone Arena and share some tips on how to get better at playing it.

How to Play Arena in Hearthstone?

The Arena game mode can be found directly on the main menu. The option is available 24/7. All you need to do is click the “Arena” button on the main menu and start your journey.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. When you click “Arena,” you’ll get an Arena purchase menu. Each Arena run will cost you either 150 Gold (the in-game currency) or $1.99 (or equivalent in other countries).
  2. You can get free Arena runs from special events (unrelated to your in-game progress), and you’ll usually get a free run if your previous one was forcefully retired (perhaps due to a game update).
  3. Once you purchase a run, you’ll get three random hero classes to choose from.
  4. When you choose your class, the deck drafting begins.
  5. Each hero class has a pool of cards available in the Arena. Most of the time it will be a list of some Standard and some Wild sets and a curated list from the Basic and Classic sets.
  6. Standard and Wild sets available in the Arena change every few months to change the users’ strategies and keep them more invested in the game.
  7. In the near future, the Basic and Classic setlist will be replaced by the upcoming Core set (which features 235 cards from the game’s history and adds some new ones) to keep things more interesting and remove redundant cards.
  8. The game will give you three random cards from the current pool, and you can choose one.
  9. You’ll repeat the drafting process in the previous step a total of 30 times to get your deck.
  10. Unlike playing Standard or other ladders, you can play with more than two copies of a card (or more than one copy of a Legendary) if they show up in the draft.
  11. Once you draft your deck, you can start playing. Press “Play” to match against an opponent and start the game with your deck.
  12. Arena runs last until you get 12 wins or three losses, whichever comes first (they don’t have to be consecutive). You’ll be matched with players with a similar win/loss ratio in your current run. You can choose to retire a run before that point.
  13. Once your Arena run ends, you’ll receive rewards based on your performance.
  14. Your previous runs, statistics, and card collection don’t have any effect on Arena, which hero classes and cards you’ll be offered, or who you’ll get matched against.

Here are more details about the cards currently available and their appearance rates in the Arena.

  • Cards displayed in the draft are not weighed against each other based on strength and synergy, so you can get pretty much anything from the available sets (as long as it belongs to your class). This includes dual- or triple-class cards.
  • Class cards appear 50% more often in the Arena than neutral cards, and cards from the Basic and Classic sets appear 50% less frequently overall.
  • Spell cards, Weapon cards, and cards from the most recent expansion will show up 50% more. These rates can multiply with one another if a card fits a few categories.
  • Some cards are entirely excluded from the Arena to maintain game balance. These include:
    • Quest cards,
    • C’Thun-specific cards (as well as C’Thun itself),
    • Hero Cards (including Galakrond),
    • Invoke cards,
    • “Can’t Attack” cards,
    • Cards that create or depend on your current deck,
    • There are currently five cards removed due to balance concerns.

You can still get most of these cards via random events in the games (Quest cards can’t be generated in-game by any means).

While the game generally ignores card rarity when displaying your draft choices, your 1st, 10th, 20th, and 30th picks are guaranteed to be Rare, Epic, or Legendary. Legendary cards are extremely uncommon in the Arena, even with these guarantees.

If you’re wondering about Arena rewards, we have you covered as well! Here’s a (pretty large) summary about all the possible rewards in Arena based on how many wins you’ve achieved:

Wins

Number of Rewards

Guaranteed rewards

Random rewards

Reward pool #1

Reward pool #2

0

2

One card pack

One random reward

25-30 gold

25-30 dust

1 common card

 

1

2

One card pack

One random reward

30-35 gold

30-35 dust

1 common card

 

2

2

One card pack

One random reward

40-50 gold

40-50 dust

1 common card

1 rare card

 

3

3

One card pack

25-35 gold

One random reward

20-25 gold

10-25 dust

1 rare card

 

4

3

One card pack

50-60 gold

One random reward

20-25 gold

10-25 dust

1 rare card

 

5

3

One card pack

50-60 gold

One random reward

45-60 gold

45-60 dust

1 rare card

 

6

3

One card pack

75-85 gold

One random reward

45-60 gold

45-60 dust

1 rare card

 

7

3

One card pack

150-160 gold

One random reward

20-25 gold

10-25 dust

1 rare card

 

8

4

One card pack

150-160 gold

Two random rewards

20-25 gold

10-25 dust

1 rare card

35-50 gold

1 epic card

1 legendary card

1 golden common card

1 golden rare card

9

4

One card pack

150-160 gold

Two random rewards

20-25 gold

10-25 dust

1 rare card

85-125 gold

1 epic card

1 legendary card

1 golden common card

1 golden rare card

10

4

One card pack

170-180 gold

Two random rewards

65-95 gold

65-95 dust

1 rare card

85-125 gold

1 epic card

1 legendary card

1 golden common card

1 golden rare card

11

4

One card pack

195-200 gold

Two random rewards

65-95 gold

65-95 dust

1 rare card

140-180 gold

1 epic card

1 legendary card

1 golden common card

1 golden rare card

12

5

One card pack

215-225 gold

25-35 gold

Two random rewards

70-100 gold (33.12%)

One pack (35.37%)

1 golden rare card (31.19%)

1 golden epic card (0.32%)

1 golden legendary card (<0.32%)

140-180 gold (47.27%)

1 epic card (12.54%)

1 legendary card (0.97%)

1 golden common card (18.97%)

1 golden rare card (20.25%)

If you receive two random rewards, one of the rewards will be pulled from the first, and the other from the second reward pool.

How to Play Arena Well in Hearthstone?

Based on the reward structure, Arena becomes profitable after seven wins. The game rewards are then able to cover another Arena run’s entry cost. Any prizes above that are effectively a bonus, and additional gold can be stored in case of an unfortunate run.

There are a few major differences between the ladder and the Arena mode in Hearthstone. Arena doesn’t allow you to construct your deck beforehand, and the cards you get are mostly left up to chance.

However, the same applies to all other players in the Arena. This has a few implications, but the most important one is that the card quality (i.e. how powerful a card in the deck is on average) will be significantly lower in the Arena.

Since the drafting portion of the run is more or less controlled chaos in effect, you get very little say in what goes in your deck. Cards will appear regardless of what you have drafted previously, and you might not be able to draft a highly synergistic deck in some situations.

Since card quality is lower, it’s better to look at how each card in your deck forwards your current goal. Controlling the board and getting incremental advantage through strong minions becomes more important.

Since you’re matched against opponents who also have random decks, you may not be able to anticipate their strategy once they play one or two cards. If you notice the opponent has many low-cost cards that can swarm the board, try to counter their strategy with controlling cards and clearing the board.

Once you have drafted and played the Arena a few times, you should be able to get a general idea of which cards perform better or worse depending on the deck strategy.

Also, even though the odds are small, don’t discount the fact that players can have more than the usual number of the same card in their decks. Mages might have three or more Fireballs to burn a hole through your minions.

If you’re consistently able to win seven or more games, each Arena run will be able to pay for the next one. This is effectively known as “going infinite” and is a mark of great game knowledge and skill.

How to Play Priest in Hearthstone Arena?

The Priest is one of the most notoriously difficult hero classes in the Arena mode, thanks to a purely defensive hero power and a lack of early game options. Playing each class will be different from the next, but the Priest is usually the outlier that requires considerable game knowledge and strategy to pull off.

Since your hero power can’t be used offensively and your minions have to take damage (without dying in the process), you have to take stock of minions that can trade with the opponent’s minions effectively. A minion with high stats (especially Health) will be more beneficial to you since you can keep topping it off in the late game without spending a lot of mana.

Priest also has a somewhat unique removal suite. Since you can interact mostly with minions with either three or less, or five or higher Power, minions with four Power can be somewhat of a sore point. To counteract that, choose minions that can effectively block these minions and survive, or have additional benefits. You also have a few mass-healing spells (such as Holy Nova) to clear the board of small minions and get an advantage, so prioritize that accordingly.

A fun way of playing Priest is also to utilize card-copying effects (Thoughtsteal being the prime example). With this, you get a chance to play with the opponent’s cards. The downside is that they might not be as powerful as your cards or have less synergy. This is doubly important in Arena since cards in general will be less powerful.

Additional FAQ

Should I Play Arena or Buy Packs in Hearthstone?

If you have time to spare and want to improve your game knowledge and skill, playing Arena will get you more value for your Coins (or money). Since you get a card pack regardless of how well you do in an Arena, the effective cost of the run is only 50 gold, and you get a chance to get a bunch of prizes to boot.

What’s the Best Time to Play Arena in Hearthstone?

There’s no best or worst time to play Arena runs. Since Hearthstone has more or less a global audience, you’ll be able to get an opponent relatively quickly. The difference in player’s skill levels and queue time changes only slightly between days.

Why Can’t I Play Arena in Hearthstone?

You have to unlock every class before you’re able to embark on Arena runs. To do so, enter practice mode and win against each hero class once.

The Arena mode can also be down for maintenance during events or server outages. Playing around patch times may disconnect you from the game or erase your progress.

What’s the Cost to Play Arena in Hearthstone?

Starting an Arena run will cost you 150 Gold or the equivalent of $1.99.

Test Your Skill in Hearthstone Arena

The Arena game mode is one of the most skill-intensive game modes in Hearthstone, and some players have made it their life mission to become the best. If you’re good enough, you can get an entire collection solely from playing Arena runs.

What are some of your best Arena runs? How often do you play Arena in Hearthstone? Let us know in the comment section below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.