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When you’re getting into the Arena in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, gauging card strength can be difficult. Some cards may be amazing in some decks but less potent in others. Class specific cards like Explosive Trap and Truesilver Champion can be crazy especially when you can pick up 4 or more copies in a single Arena, but what cards should players always be looking for outside of class cards, rares, and legendaries? Here are 10 cards you’ll see a lot of that you should always give some serious consideration to when planning your Arena deck.
This list does not include class-specific cards or rares, epics, or legendaries, and is focused on identifying powerful neutral cards you might be passing by. There might be some card game jargon in the list, but you're probably going to want to pick some up anyway as you play Hearthstone!
This unassuming 1/1 for one mana may not look like much, but the bubble really makes a difference. Opponents that have hero powers or cards that would normally trade favorably with this card will have to “kill it twice” making it a great way to establish board position on the very first turn.
The Leper Gnome does work when it comes to the opponent’s life total. While of lesser value against Mages, Druids, and Rogues, the amount of damage these little guys can do for their one mana cost is ridiculous. Late game, a suicide into a taunting troop or even using something like a Mortal Coil on your own troop can turn this feisty fiend into a game winner. Leper Gnome is an absolutely vicious way to start a game against many opponents.
Dire Wolf Alpha
2/2 for 2 mana isn’t amazing by any stretch, but being able to manipulate your other small creatures power values is no small feat. Your other creatures will be able to trade up into more powerful defenders or just dish out more damage to the opponent.
Even if the opponent takes out the loot hoarder with hero ability, this little guy never costs you a card. For 2 mana, you’re putting an annoyance on the board that the opponent may have to waste resources on to deal with and it will replace itself in the case of a board wipe or removal spell.
A lot of players miss this one because a 2/3 creature for 3 mana isn’t particularly exciting. The Harvest Golem’s deathrattle ability makes it a prize pick, no matter what happens you’re getting 4/4 of value on two different bodies that will cost the opponent removal cards, a silence effect, or multiple attacks to deal with. Don’t miss the opportunity to load your deck up with these.
Even if you don’t have a way to activate the rage yourself (Mage hero power), opponents with anything 2/3 or smaller on the table are left in an incredibly uncomfortable situation against the Raging Worgen. This creature offers huge damage and trade potential, even without reliable activation or boosts.
Shattered Sun Cleric
Getting to boost another creature that can be used to attack immediately and getting a 3/2 body for 3 mana is a great deal. Can you believe that the Shattered Sun Cleric used to be 3/3?
This creature is the image of pure cost/value. While the Chillwind Yeti doesn’t have any abilities, you get an incredibly solid 4/5 frame that will probably force the opponent to use a prime removal spell or several cards to defeat.
Dark Iron Dwarf
One less point of health than the Chillwind Yeti, but an incredibly relevant battlecry make the Dark Iron Dwarf a winning staple. There’s nothing like having a Dark Iron Dwarf come down to boost an Argent Squire that pushes into a much more expensive drop. Take as many as possible!
Gnomish Inventor is expensive to play at 2/4 for 4 mana, but the fact that it draws a card on entry makes it a potentially huge value play. Ideally you’ll be able to leverage the Inventor’s 4 health and tackle several 2/2’s and come out way ahead in the realm of card advantage.
You’ll have to evaluate these cards with the class options that get delivered with them, but when you’re looking for go-to commons to make up the bulk of your Arena deck, these won’t steer you wrong. Happy Hearthstoning!
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