In this article, we’ll give you a rough idea of which individual minions and strategies are best in the game (while ignoring heroes for now) including info and tips about each individual minion in Hearthstone Battlegrounds.
A quick foreword: we talk about the four major tribe strategies as well as the “menagerie” strategy that attempts to combine at least one minion from each tribe. We order them based on their average performance (strength and consistency) based on our own experience and some research (streams, videos, etc.).
Within each strategy, we order all useful minions in tiers and give tips and information about each one. The minion icons are clickable and reveal all tips & info about the individual minion.
It’s hard to argue that the menagerie strat (mixing minions from each tribe) isn’t the strongest one in Hearthstone Battlegrounds for a couple of reasons:
The downside is that you aren’t utilizing board-wide tribe buffs as efficiently as single-tribe strats (e.g. Battlecry: Give your other Murlocs +2 Health), but this con is far out-weighed by the pros.
The main minion making the strategy possible is Nightmare Amalgam, who can benefit from all possible mechanics and buffs thanks to using all tribes. The thing is, however, that Amalgam isn’t just useful in Menagerie strategies – even if you’re playing one of the tribe builds below, it’s usually a great idea to include at least one Amalgam on the board to be able to benefit from some of the strengths of a menagerie strategy.
Nightmare Amalgam: the centerpiece of the strategy. It benefits from
all possible buff cards you find during the match. In the late game, your goal
is to have e.g. two high-stat Amalgams with Taunt
+ Divine Shield + Poisonous.
Tip: It’s not always ideal to combine the Amalgam into a golden version if you find three copies. Often you might prefer two large buffed bodies on the board rather than one. That said, if you need board space, it’s certainly possible to combine
Annoy-o-Module: gives your Nightmare Amalgam two of the things it needs – Taunt and Divine Shield. The good stats are just a bonus. Might use it on any additional Mech you’re running as well if your Amalgams have Taunt/Divine already.
Lightfang Enforcer: finding him early-on could win you
the game. Gives up to +8 stats in buff value each turn.
Tip: You might want to swap him for a larger body on the board (e.g. Maexxna, Sneed, Ghastcoiler, etc.) for the very last one or two rounds because of his weak combat-round stats).
Brann Bronzebeard: one of the major strengths of the Menagerie
strategy is that it can utilize recruit phase buffs extremely efficiently.
Brann amplifies that strength significantly.
Tip: similarly to Lightfang, you usually want to swap him for a larger body in the last few rounds.
Hydra: the usual Beast you want to run in the strategy. The reason is that it gives you access to Cleave – a very powerful mechanic in the late game because it can remove up to three divine shields (without triggering poison on two of them) and possibly even kill weaker non-taunt minions on the first strike. Having good stats on the Hydra is crucial (a low-attack Hydra is good only versus Divine Shield, which isn’t enough) – give it most Beast buffs and try to find three Hydras for the stats upgrade.
Toxfin: the usual source of Poison for your Amalgams.
Menagerie Magician: with Hydra + two Amalgams you have all three required targets for the Menagerie Magician to give you the full +6/+6 buff value.
Annihilan Battlemaster: the usual Demon you want to run in
the late game. Your Divine/Taunt/Poisonous Amalgams should be able to kill the
most dangerous (most importantly poisonous) minions on the enemy board. This
will allow your Annihilan with great stats (especially HP) to take care of
Tip: putting taunt on him sounds good because of the huge HP pool, but it’s a big mistake! A single poisonous minion will kill him. You want all poisonous minions dead before Annihilan enters the battle. Because of this, avoid Taunt and put him further to the right on the board so that he doesn’t attack into a Taunt with Poison.
Gentle Megasaur: it isn’t as valuable as it is in Murlocs, but it’s still quite amazing. It will give your Amalgams (and any other Murloc you might be running) the missing ingredient – usually Poisonous, possibly – Divine Shield. Even if you have all of Divine + Taunt + Poisonous, it could give you Windfury which is quite decent in the late game.
Replicating Menace: the stats buff is always useful on your Amalgams. The Deathrattle effect, however, is even better, especially if you’re running Cobalt Guardian and/or Jungbot.
Houndmaster: the usual source of Taunt for the Amalgams (if you haven’t found Annoy-o-module yet) with some additional stats. It could be used on the Hydra if you need more stats on it. If the Hydra has Taunt, make sure to place it as the first minion to minimize the chance it gets sniped on the first hit.
Metaltooth Leaper: decent stats buff value if you have two Amalgams + at least one more Mech, which isn’t that unusual. (typically +6 buff value)
Zoobot: with a Menagerie strat it’s quite easy to get the full +3/+3 buff value.
Crystalweaver: in the early game you might not be running any other Demons apart from your Amalgams, but in the late game you’re fairly likely to have at least one more (usually Annihilan), which means Crystalweaver gives relatively good buff value. (usually +4/6 buff value)
Cobalt Guardian: not as powerful as in a dedicated Mech strategy, but you can definitely make great use of it because your Amalgams are very likely to have the Replicating Menace Deathrattle effect (summons multiple Mech tokens), which refreshes the Divine Shield.
Strongshell Scavenger: you will have two Taunt Amalgams, which gives you +4/+4 total buff value. If you have another Taunt (which is fairly likely), it grows to +6/+6.
Junkbot: similarly to Cobalt Guardian, not as strong as in a dedicated Mech strategy, but thanks to the Mech tokens of Replicating Menace it could give you very good value.
Maexxna: Menagerie strats aren’t as board-slot-starved,
so in the late game you might have the extra slots to squeeze her in,
especially if you’re replacing low-stat buffers in the late rounds.
Tip: with Poisonous she essentially deals infinite damage, so health buffs are quite valuable on her.
Foe Reaper 4000: usually you have a buffed Hydra to provide Cleave, but if you have free board slots it could give you the same solution.
Zapp Slywick: an S-tier hero to put on the board if your alive opponents are running low-attack self-buffing heroes like Hyena and Junkbot. If they’re not – there are minions that provide better value compared to him.
Nathrezim Overseer: a fixed +2/+2 buff value is not amazing but shouldn’t be underestimated – after all, you’re trying to accumulate good stats on your Amalgams.
Screwjank Clunker: same as Nathrezim – fixed +2/+2 buff value, but still needed most of the time.
Virmen Sensei: same as the other +2/+2 buffs. If you have Hydra, you usually want to use the buff on it.
Coldlight Seer: you’re not very likely to run additional Murlocs apart from the Amalgams, so Coldlight Seer provides a bit less stats value. (usually, +4 stats value)
Defender of Argus: a tool to give your Amalgams (and any other heroes that need it) Taunt. Aside from the Taunt, he gives a total of +2/+2 on two heroes.
Iron Sensei: the discount version of Lightfang. Gives +2/+2 per turn, which isn’t amazing, but could be worth it for a couple of rounds if you have the board space. A bit better in Menagerie strats compared to Mech strats because it will give the buff more reliably to important minions. You’ll likely replace it sooner rather than later.
Crowd Favorite: you will run a lot of Battlecry buffs with a Menagerie strategy, so this minion will accumulate very decent stats if you find it early on. The problem is that there’s no way to give it Divine Shield/Poisonous (not counting hero powers), so you might have to sell it in the late game. If you keep it, don’t give it Taunt – similarly to Annihilan, you want to make sure the Poisonous minions are dead before a stat-heavy Crowd Favorite enters the fight.
Primalfin Lookout: a great tool to search for Toxfin if you need Poisonous on your Amalgams, but it’s not guaranteed you’ll find it.
Ghastcoiler: good stats and effect for a single board slot in the late game. Works amazingly well in combination with Baron Rivendare. In Menagerie strats you might have slots for both in the super late game.
Sneed’s Old Shredder: similar to Ghastcoiler, but arguably slightly worse.
Mechs are arguably the second-best strategy in the game (even after getting slightly nerfed), and they often get mixed and matched with the Menagerie strategies from above.
The biggest downside of Mechs is that they don’t have Access to Poisonous, which might be a problem in the late game. Moreover, they are a bit lacking on HP if you don’t manage to buff them enough and might crumble against super stat-heavy strats (e.g. Demons with a buffed Annihilan, etc.).
If you’re running Amalgam(s) in your Mech strat, which is recommended, take a look at the Menagerie tier list as well as this one. Here we’ll talk about Mechs on their own.
Cobalt Guardian: the centerpiece of the usual Mech strategy. The
idea is that you could refresh his Divine Shield multiple times in a fight by
summoning Mechs (from Security Rover, Replicating Menace, etc.), which needless
to say is extremely valuable. Running more than one Cobalt Guardian is quite
standard, and buffing him with additional stats is not a bad idea because you
want him to have high damage and at least enough HP to survive a couple of weak/token
hits without Divine.
Tip: position him to the left so that he loses his shield early in the fight. Put minions with mech summons close to the right so that they refresh his Divine ASAP. Don’t give Cobalts Taunt – you don’t want minions to hit them while they don’t have Divine.
Junkbot: the second carry in a Mech strat. You are
likely to have a large number of Mechs die during the fight because of the Mech
token summons. This will, hopefully, give Junkbot a big stats number by the end
of the round.
Tip: position him on the far right so that he doesn’t die before he accumulates the maximum amount of stats possible. Don’t put a Taunt immediately next to him if opponents have Cleave to make sure he doesn’t die to the Cleave hit.
Security Rover: your main source of Mech summons. The benefit
of Security Rover over other Taunts with the Annoy-o-Module is that the Rover’s
tokens have Taunt, which draws powerful enemy hits away from more valuable
low-health heroes like the Cobalt Guardians and Junkbot.
Tip: Usually you don’t want to give Rover Taunt to avoid getting him killed from Poison or Divine Shield. You also don’t want to give him Divine Shield – he needs to take damage to summon. He likes stats, however, because the more hits he can survive, the more summons he can put out.
Replicating Menace: a very important buff on your main Divine Shield taunts – the Mech tokens refresh the Divine Shield on Cobalt Guardian and feed your Junkbot with stats once they die.
Annoy-o-Module: a great way to give Divine Shield and Taunt to Mechs that don’t have it but can use it well (e.g. one of the Shredders, etc.). Afterward, it becomes a simple stat buff for the same minions. It gives good HP, which most Mechs lack.
Metaltooth Leaper: a no-brainer. If you’re running multiple Mechs, it will give you a lot of buff value.
Bolvar, Fireblood: if you’re running a strategy with Cobalt Guardians in addition to other Divine Shields, Bolvar becomes an additional carry you keep on the right side of the board. He has Divine Shield himself which is very useful, but at the same time, he doesn’t generate health, which means he’s more vulnerable than Junkbot in general.
Mechano-Egg: another way to summon an additional Mech. It summons only one Toke, but it has great stats so it can possibly kill some minions. Works great with Khadgar or Baron.
Psych-o-Tron: a well-rounded source of early/mid game value. Takes the focus away from your carries, and he’s a great target for Replicating Menace if you decide to keep him on the board and buff him as your main Taunt.
Kangor’s Apprentice: a bit RNG-based, but still very useful in general. The first Mechs that died are likely your Divine Shield Taunts (or possibly an unlucky Cobalt Guardian), so if you’re running Cobalt Guardians you’re likely to extract quite a lot of value from her. Works great with Baron.
Maexxna: a Mech strategy doesn’t have access to Poisonous. This makes Maexxna quite valuable – she could take care of an extremely stat-heavy enemy like Annihilan.
Foe Reaper 4000: cleave is quite useful to get rid of enemy Divine Shields and squishier non-Taunt minions. The earlier you get it the better because stat buffs are very valuable on Foe Reaper.
Harvest Golem: another Deathrattle that summons a Mech, refreshing the Divine Shields of the Cobalt guardians and feeding the Junkbot. Harvest Golem, however, has sub-par stats and summons only one Mech, which means he’s not amazing late-game material and you might end up selling him for board space. If you want to keep him, try to buff him with the Magnetic Golems (especially Annoy-o-Module) to increase his value on the board.
Screwjank Clunker: quite self-explanatory – decent stats for your Cobalt Guardians or main Taunt minions.
Piloted Sky Golem: great stats and decent Deathrattle. The problem with the minion is that the Deathrattle summon has a low chance of being Mech, which means it’s not that great with Cobalt Guardians. That said, it could still provide very decent value if you combine it with cards like Baron Rivendare and Annoy-o-Module.
Piloted Shredder: the discount version of Piloted Sky Golem. It has the same idea but has worse stats and summons, which means you rarely want to keep it for the late game.
Kaboom-Bot: great value in the early/mid game, but the damage value of the Bombs doesn’t scale, which makes him underwhelming in the late game. That said, if you manage to upgrade him you could make a good argument for running him in the late game with Baron Rivendare – 16 damage isn’t bad and it could remove multiple Divine Shields.
Pogo-Hopper: usually ignored because of the RNG involved in
making good use of it (ideally, you want to find six of those, which is
unlikely), but if you manage to find multiple Hoppers it gives great stats.
Tip: If you manage to find e.g. two in the early game, stay on tavern lvl two to maximize your chances of finding the third one. Once you find it, continue upgrading as usual and keep additional ones in your hand (possibly one on the field) for the possibility to find a second trio to place on the board in the late game.
Baron Rivendare: Mechs have a lot of Deathrattle effects. That said, the strongest Deathrattle effects with Rivendare aside from Kangor’s Apprentice (Kaboombot, the Shredders, Ghastcoiler) aren’t that common in the standard variation of the Mech strategies, which means you certainly won’t use him every time.
Strongshell Scavenger: great value if you have multiple Taunts (which is possible with Mechs), otherwise ignore.
Zapp Slywick: great at killing scaling carries like Hyena and Junkbot. If your opponents aren’t running those, ignore him.
Sneed’s Old Shredder: works the same way as the other Shredders. Better than them in terms of stats and potential summons, but you find him late in the game, which means he’s hard to buff and often you can’t easily find board space for him. Like the other Shredders - works Best with Baron.
Khadgar: works very well with the Shredders and unlike Baron Rivendare – Security Rover, which is important. He has terrible (unbuffable) stats, which means it’s hard to keep him in the very late game.
Micro Machine: the damage scales quite well, but the 2 HP is a big problem. That said, if you find multiple in the early game, you can still keep it and invest the Magnetic Mechs in it to make it a high-damage Divine Shield/Taunt with summons.
Shielded Minibot: the divine shield is useful in the early game. That said, bad stats make it hard to keep in the mid/late game unless it’s very heavily buffed.
Iron Sensei: if you find him early on, you should put him on the board if you have space. The buffs he provides aren’t amazing (mainly due to their random nature), but they are still valuable. Later on, you will swap him for something more powerful on the board - he doesn’t provide as much value as e.g. Lightfang to justify occupying a board slot for long.
Annoy-o-Tron: decent in the early game, but you usually don’t want to keep it for long and to waste buffs on it – it’s essentially the low-stats version of Psych-o-Tron, and you rarely have space on the board for it in the mid/late game.
Murlocs are an interesting strategy because of their unique power curve. They are very strong in the early game, weak in the mid game, and again extremely strong in the late game. This happens because:
The obvious drawback of Murlocs is that they depend heavily on finding a specific Tier 6 hero, which isn’t guaranteed every game. This makes them one of the more inconsistent strategies.
If you’re running Amalgam(s) in your Murloc strat, take a look at the Menagerie tier list as well as this one. Here we’ll talk about Murlocs on their own. That said, it’s HEAVILY recommended to run at least one Amalagam with your Murlocs to give you some much-needed mid/late game strength and make your strat slightly less RNG based.
Gentle Megasaur: the sole reason Murlocs are a very strong
strategy in the late game. Ideally, you want your whole board to be full of
high-stat Divine Shield/Poison Murlocs, which is incredibly hard to beat.
Tip: In order to find him from earlier, try to reach tavern level five ASAP and then combine triples for the free tier-six hero. Because of this interaction, trying to find triples for your Murlocs is usually a great idea even if it means holding the second in your hand for a few rounds.
Coldlight Seer: in the late game, you’ll kill minions with Poison, which means that attack damage isn’t as important in the long run in a Murloc strategy. Health, however, is crucial, so Coldlight Seer is a must-pick every time you see him.
Murloc Tidecaller: he is quite weak early on, but his damage scales very fast. His main problem is his health. This is where Coldlight Seer comes into play. Ideally, you want to find a triple of Murloc Tidecaller for the additional stats buff and the free high-tier card (a chance to find Megasaur if you’re on tavern lvl5).
Old Murk-Eye: he has great stats right-away, which makes him very important for the mid game in a Murlocs draft. His attack damage doesn’t scale as well as that of Tidecaller, but this is irrelevant in the very late game when both will likely become poisonous. He has better health, however, which is very valuable, especially if you manage to find a triple of him in addition to the Coldlight buffs.
Primalfin Lookout: he is a great way to find Toxfin and give at least one of your Murlocs Poisonous before the late game. Even if you don’t find Toxfin, however, he is always great because you can use him to find triples or simply more Coldlight Seer buffs. Selling him + the discovered buff Murloc nets you 2g, which means Primoalfin typically costs only 1g.
Toxfin: a good way to give at least one of your Murlocs Poisonous before you find Megasaur.
Brann Bronzebeard: Extremely powerful with Coldlight, Primalfin, and Megasaur. Keep in mind you need both Poisonous and Divine Shield, which means Brann makes it possible to find both with just one Megasaur.
Murloc Warleader: great early-mid game minion, but his bonus damage doesn’t scale well into the late game, so he’s not crucial to a Murlocs strat in the long run. That said, you can still keep him if you manage to upgrade him to gold and he has good stats.
Murloc Tidehunter: he summons two Murlocs, which is great for
Tidecaller and Murk-eye in the early/mid game. You can also use him to sell
tokes and give yourself extra gold in the early game. That said, you rarely
want to keep him in the mid/late game (unless he’s very heavily buffed).
Tip: the tokes can also combine as a triple, giving you two minions to discover, but this is very difficult to achieve because of board space.
Rockpool Hunter: a not-that-impressive buff, but still valuable in the early-mid game. The fact that you summon an additional Murloc is also good for Tidecaller.
Zapp Slywick: even though he’s not a Murloc, he’s useful in all strats as a counter to scaling carries like Junkbot and Hyena. Ignore otherwise.
Foe Reaper 4000: Murlocs don’t have access to Cleave, which makes Foe Reaper valuable if you need something to deal with Divine Shields.
Psych-o-Tron: Murlocs don’t have Taunts, which means a Psych-o-Tron can be very useful for drawing at least two powerful hits away from your Murlocs.
Sated Threshadon: Murlocs don’t have a carry that scales during the combat round like Hyena and Junkbot, so the 3 Murloc summons aren’t particularly useful aside from drawing hits away from enemy units and in the ideal scenario - breaking Divine Shield.
Shifter Zerus: there’s a chance he’ll give you Megasaur. It’s small enough that it’s not even worth picking him, but there’s a chance if you truly believe in the heart of the cards.
Demons are great at accumulating a lot of stats (sadly, usually at the cost of some hero HP). They are possibly the best out of all builds at this. Their problem, however, is that they have easy access neither to Divine Shield nor to Poisonous, which makes them very vulnerable to those two mechanics in the late game.
Reaching tavern lvl3 and lvl5 with Demons ASAP is quite important because a lot of the key Demons are on those two tavern levels. Pushing to lvl6 is usually unnecessary.
Like in the other builds, if you’re running Amalgam(s) in your Demons strat, which is recommended, take a look at the Menagerie tier list as well as this one. Here we’ll talk about Demons on their own.
Anihillan Battlemaster: by playing Wrath Weaver from the
early game you are unlikely to be on high HP in the late game, which means
Anihillan is pretty much guaranteed to have extremely high HP. Upgrading him to
golden can bump up his HP to absurd amounts.
Tip: don’t give him Taunt and place him on the right side of the board to make sure all Poisonous enemy heroes are dealt with until he enters the battle. He should be able to clean-up afterward.
Mal’Ganis: good stats, a decent board-wide buff (+2/+2)
for all your Demons, and the main benefit: your hero is Immune. This means you
can safely play Demons without sacrificing health even if you’re running a
Tip: Mal’Ganis and Voidlord are the main reason you want to rush your way to tavern lvl5 – finding them early on helps a great deal.
Voidlord: summoning additional Demons is extremely
valuable because of Soul Juggler. Voidlord + the three tokens equal to four
total shots (if you’re running one Soul Juggler). Moreover, the stats are not
bad and Voidlord could easily clean-up some weaker minions before he dies.
Running multiple Voidlords and searching for a golden upgrade is not a bad idea
at all. Voidlord works well with Baron and Khadgar.
Tip: keep him on the right side of the board, a bit before Soul Juggler. You want at least two of your other minions to die before Voidlord dies to make sure you have the board space for all three summons.
Soul Juggler: he obviously has amazing synergy with a Demons strat and is extremely synergistic with Voidlord. Running two Jugglers and trying to find a gold upgrade is quite important in Demons. He doesn’t scale amazingly in the late game (at that point the sheer stats of the Demons board become the real win condition), but he remains very useful for removing Divine Shield and sniping weaker minions.
Wrath Weaver: one of the easiest heroes to buff to extremely high stat numbers. Also, one of the costliest heroes to achieve that on. The health cost of Wrath Weaver in combination with some lost rounds in the early-mid game could kick you out of the lobby extremely quickly, so be careful. You might end up in a position where you don’t want to place more Demons simply because you don’t have any HP to spare (that’s why finding Mal’Ganis helps a great deal). At the same time, not running Wrath Weaver is not really an option because his amazing stats will practically carry you in the early-mid game.
Imp Gang Boss: Soul Juggler’s best friend alongside Voidlord.
Buffing his stats and upgrading him is a good way to guarantee he’ll be able to
tank at least a couple of hits and spawn at least a few tokens. Works well with
Khadgar, but doesn’t benefit from Baron.
Tip: To avoid Poisonous in the late game, avoid making him a Taunt. Place him further to the right but ahead of Soul Juggler so that some of your other minions die before Imp Gang Boss starts taking damage in order to have space for the summons.
Crystalweaver: a no-brainer – a lot of buff value if you’re running a lot of Demons.
Nathrezim Overseer: less buff-value for a board full of Demons compared to Crystalweaver, but Nathrezim is a Demon himself, which means he buffs Wrath Weaver additionally.
Strongshell Scavenger: you are quite likely to run a lot of Taunts in a Demons strat. If you aim to do it, it’s easy to fill almost your entire board with Taunts (with the help of Defender of Argus). Consequently, Strongshell can give amazing buff value. That said, this doesn’t mean going for a full Taunt board is the optimal play – it’s viable, but protecting some heroes from Poisonous in the late game by not making them Taunts (Annihilan and Imp Gang Boss) is also a smart thing to do.
Khadgar: very synergistic with Imp Gang Boss, Voidlord, and as a consequence – Soul Juggler. That said, you’re unlikely to have the board space to run him until the very late game.
Brann Bronzebeard: he doubles the buff value of Crystalweaver, Nathrezim, Strongshell, and possibly Defender of Argus. That said, if you’re not running multiple Taunts the number of valuable Battlecry cards falls. Consequently, he doesn’t provide as much value as in other strats and if you need the board space you’ll usually replace him sooner rather than later.
Siegebreaker: good stats and a slightly underwhelming +1/+1 aura. If you’re running multiple Taunts it’s definitely possible to keep him on the board and try to buff and upgrade him, but usually, you need the board space for Demons more synergistic with Soul Juggler.
Defender of Argus: good if you’re running a board full of Taunts (can turn your non-Taunts like Wrath Weaver into Taunts so that they benefit from the taunt buffs as well). That said, as we mentioned that’s possible but not always the optimal play with Demons.
Zapp Slywick: as mentioned before – an S-tier counter to Junkbot, Hyena, and other low-attack high-impact heroes. A pass otherwise.
Foe Reaper 4000: a counter to Divine Shields. Could be very valuable situationally: a Divine Shield + Poisonous could kill two of your high-stat Demons. If Foe Reaper removes the Divine Shield, however, (higher chance than other minions because he damages three targets) the Poisonous enemy is more likely to trade equally with just one high-stat Demon.
Maexxna: you don’t have access to Poisonous, so including her on the board is a potential tool for dealing efficiently with other high-stat minions (you might not be the only one running Annihilan as he’s used outside of Demon strats).
Baron Rivendare: synergizes with Voidlord and Soul Juggler, but doesn’t synergize with anything else, so he’s usually hard to fit onto the board.
Vulgar Homunculus: a good way to win early-game rounds. Trying to
upgrade him, however, is a bit costly in terms of HP (especially if you factor
in Wrath Weaver), which means most of the time you want to buy only one early
on and sell him later. That said, if you’re aiming for the Taunt strat you can
try to upgrade and buff him.
Voidwalker: decent tier-one hero, but the weak stats means you’ll most likely replace him later on when you need space (unless he’s very heavily buffed for some reason).
Phalanx Commander: if you’re running the Taunt strat he provides some value, but you’ll almost certainly replace him for a more valuable minion at some point.
Beasts are a unique strat because they utilize a lot of summons and in-combat buffs. They are the only strat that has a few ways to buff token summons, which allows them to trade much more favorably compared to token summons in e.g. Mechs or Demons.
That said, those mechanics are definitely not the dominant ones in the current state of Hearthstone Battlegrounds. Board space is a factor that makes summons a bit hard to utilize. Moreover, Beasts don’t have easy access to Divine Shield and to Poisonous, so they are at a big disadvantage in the late game, just as Demons. At the same time, some of their most important heroes (e.g. Mama Bear, Maexxna) are tier 6, so to reach the full potential of Beasts you need to reach the late game.
Like in the other builds, if you’re running Amalgam(s) in your Beast strat, take a look at the Menagerie tier list as well as this one. Here we’ll talk about Beasts on their own. Unlike the other strats, however, Beasts actually struggle including Amalgams easily because of board space issues. As is obvious from the S-Tier below, there are quite a few beast minions central to the strategy.
Rat Pack: the easiest way to fill the board with Beast
tokens (that will get buffed by heroes like Mama Bear and will in turn buff
Scavenging Hyena when they die). You want to buff Rat Pack a bit so that it
spawns enough Tokens. At the same time over-buffing it is possible - you want
Rat Pack to die before your right-most minions hit (i.e. Hyena & Mama Bear).
Tip: don’t give Rat Pack Taunt – it needs to die after most of your other minions are dead. Place it on the right side of the board, in front of Hyena.
Scavenging Hyena: your main carry – it gets buffed when Beasts die, which means it’s extremely synergistic with Rat Pack. Both heroes are two-stars, which means you can find them early in the game. Trying to upgrade your Hyena is a good idea in order to increase its starting HP and possibly survive a Zapp Slywick hit (which is its biggest counter).
Mama Bear: the hero that makes your token summons
extremely strong. The +4/+4 buff works in the recruit phase as well, however,
Mama Bear is a tier six minion, which means she’ll be one of the last minions
you find and you can realistically buff permanently only golden upgrades or other
high-tier Beasts like Ghastcoiler and Maexxna.
Tip: put her on the right side of the board so that she doesn’t die before your beast tokens spawn.
Goldrin, the Great Wolf: put him on the left side so that he dies first and he will give all your other beasts a powerful buff. Works great with Baron.
Cave Hydra: buffing the Hydra as much as possible is a very good idea – a high-damage Cleave hit could take care of multiple enemy minions at once or at least get rid of some Divine Shields. Put Hydra on the left side of the board, on the right of Goldrin, to make sure it gets the buff but at the same time hits early in the round (before it dies).
Maexxna: a source of Poisonous, very valuable against high-stat heroes like Annihilan. Unlike other strats, however, Beasts can easily buff Maexxna – with Goldrin, Mama Bear, etc. With higher stats, she’s more likely to survive more than one hit in the late game, which means she trades very favorably.
Ghastcoiler: Ghastcoiler has good stats and works extremely well with Baron Rivendare (some good RNG with this combo can win you some otherwise impossible rounds). That said, the Ghastcoiler summons are not very likely to be beasts, so it doesn’t synergize with Hyena and Mama Bear as much as some other heroes. This means you’re unlikely to run it without Baron.
Baron Rivendare: Beasts have a lot of Deathrattles, which automatically makes Baron very valuable. That said, Beasts also have board space issues, which means there will be times when you simply can’t fit him on the board easily.
Savannah Highmane: good stats and summons tow Beasts on death, which synergizes with Hyena, Mama Bear, Pack Leader, and Baron.
Ironhide Direhorn: if it has enough attack damage (which is likely with Goldrin and some other buffs), Direhorn is likely to spawn at more than one high-stat beats. That said, it’s not as reliable as e.g. Highmane and it provides fewer Beasts to feed the Hyena.
Virmen Sensei: one of two sources of Recruit Phase buffs for Bests, which makes it valuable. Slightly more versatile than Houndmaster, because sometimes you want to buff certain minions without giving them Taunt.
Houndmaster: one of two sources of Recruit Phase buffs in the Beast minion lineup. This makes him valuable. At the same time, you can’t use him on any beast because sometimes you don’t want some minions to have Taunt – e.g. you certainly don’t want to use Houndmaster on Hyena, because you want to make sure Hyena doesn’t take any hits at the beginning of the combat.
Pack Leader: the discount version of Mama Bear. It makes your token summons more powerful, which is extremely useful. At the same time, it’s weaker compared to Mama Bear, so in the late game, you’d usually sell it in her favor because of board space issues (running both buffs is possible, but occupying two board slots for the same purpose is sub-optimal).
Infested Wolf: a discount version of Rat Pack. The summons are limited to two, which makes it far inferior. That said, you’re likely to run it in the mid game while you have board space. Later on, you’ll certainly replace it.
Kindly Grandmother: another Beast Deathrattle summon. The token has better stats (3/2), but this is less important than the number of tokes because of how Hyena works. Moreover, the bad stats of the card itself makes it useful in the early/mid game but impossible to keep on the board mid/late.
Khadgar: you have lots of summons, so Khadgar is useful by definition. He’s very synergistic with Ironhide Direhord (because his summons are not Deathrattle). In all other cases, however, Baron Rivendare is superior.
Zapp Slywick: a counter to other Beast strats and Mech strats with Junkbot. Pass otherwise.
Alleycat: a good source of a Token in the early game, but has terrible stats, so you only buy it in order to sell it for 2 gold later on.
Mounted Raptor: the Raptor is a Beast, but the minion it summons on death is quite unlikely to be a Beast itself, which automatically makes it less valuable than a lot of other options from above.
Dire Wolf Alpha: the stats and the aura are quite weak, which means Dire Wolf is rarely a worthwhile purchase.
The Beast: it’s a beast with great stats, but the Deathrattle actually hurts you (summons a minion for your opponent), which means you usually want to avoid it.
Here you can see a couple of heroes that weren’t mentioned in any of the tier lists above. Sadly, this usually means they are either quite weak or quite hard to include in most viable strategies.
Selfless Hero: quite decent in the very early game. Impossible to keep on the board later on because of its terrible stats and because it doesn’t belong to any tribe, which makes it very difficult to buff.
Righteous Protector: draws two enemy attacks, but this is less valuable in Battlegrounds compared to regular Hearthstone. It also doesn’t belong to any tribe, which makes it a much, much weaker version of Annoy-o-Tron.
Spawn of N’Zoth: alright in the early/mid game. If you manage to upgrade it to golden and if you find Baron Rivendare, you can actually keep it in the mid/late game as well. That said, even in these perfect conditions you’ll likely have to sell it to free up space for a more powerful minion in the super late game.
Tortollan Shellraiser: actually possible to include on the board in the early/mid game if you have free board slots. It’s a Taunt with decent stats and an OK Deathrattle, so it can protect other vulnerable minions. That said, it doesn’t belong to any of the tribes, which makes it very difficult to buff and impossible to run in the late game when you’re starved for board slots.
Festroot Hulk: the self-buff mechanism is likely to trigger multiple times in strats like Beasts that have many summons. The buff value (+1 Attack), however, is very low and the fact that it doesn’t increase Health is a big problem. Most strats are board-space starved anyway, so you are extremely unlikely to have space for it.
The Boogeymonster: the self-buffing mechanism of this minion is very unlikely to trigger more than once per combat-round. Moreover, it doesn’t belong to any of the tribes, which makes it very hard to buff in recruit rounds. Both reasons make it unusable in any strat.
In Battlegrounds, the largest restricting factor is the board space. This means each possible strategy’s goal is to maximize the value you have on the board within the 7 minion slots you have. Different strategies do this in different ways, but not all of them are equal.
So, here is the mechanics' tier list of the most important tools which the different strategies abuse.
you for reading! If you like the Hearthstone Battlegrounds content, check out our Battlegrounds vs other Auto Battlers article!