The Mean Streets of Gadgetzan Hearthstone Arena Tier List
Wed 11th Jan 2017 - 10:26am
In the history of Hearthstone Arena, the different classes have always been less balanced in contrast to standard. And Mean Streets of Gadgetzan (abbreviated with MSoG) is no exception to this. The expansion dropped roughly a month ago, and now that we have had enough time to play around with the new cards, we can rate each class beginning with the strongest. But before I begin, it is important to note that in Arena common cards are usually the most important ones, since they appear the most often.
Unsurprisingly, Mage still reigns supreme as the best overall Arena class. With a versatile Hero Power, removal spells and decent minions there is no reason to not pick mage. On the other hand, this expansion did not give Mage that many good Arena cards. While it received a cheap boardclear with Volcanic Potion, Freezing Potion and Cryomancer are subpar-commons that keep Arena Mage in check and give other classes better chances, speaking of which...
There is no point in hiding it, Warlock got some ridiculous Arena cards, especially in the common slot. Abyssal Enforcer, Blastercrystal Potion and the underrated Crystalweaver are all great cards. Warlock has always had a great Hero Power which allows you to draft aggressively, which is currently the best archetype both in Arena and in Standard. One thing to consider when drafting a Warlock deck is that you might end up with low health points when you use your Hero Power too often. Having a few taunt minions and at least one heal is recommended.
Despite suffering from a Hero Power that is near useless when behind, Priest has gotten by far the best cards in the expansion. Kabal Talonpriest is among the best Arena cards in the game and if you get off a decent Potion of Madness, you most likely have won the game thanks to that 1 Mana spell. But Pint-Size Potion shows us what is still wrong with the Priest class: it is inherently a "win-more" class. Many cards, like Pint-Sized Potion, are useless when behind but helps you snowball if you have early board control. If you however fall behind in the early game because of a bad opening hand you need to draw your boardclears to get back into the game.
The previous tempo king of Arena took a big hit this expansion: Jade Golems are pretty bad in Arena. And 2 out of its 3 commons being Jade related cards definitely doesn't help. It's third common, Shadow Rager is more of a joke than a card. Despite that, Rogue still has a good Hero Power and has gotten some good Rare cards this expansion, but they just won't appear as often as commons.
As the first Grimy Goon on the list, Paladin is a very balanced class right now. Decent Hero Power, decent previous cards and decent new cards. Grimestreet Outfitter and Smuggler's Run are some good early game snowballing cards and a good Grimestreet Protector can singlehandedly win the game. While there are better options than Paladin, it's definitely a solid choice that can still get crazy good decks.
Similar to Priest, Warrior simply has a bad Hero Power. It gives no Tempo, Value or Board Control. In contrast to Priest however, Warrior didn't receive common cards that are as crazy as the Priest cards. The main way a Warrior actually wins is by trading his health for board control by using weapons. But the only weapon it received this expansion is Brass Knuckles, which is not only a slow card with low attack, but is also an epic. Grimy Gadgeteer and I Know a Guy are decent, but not enough to keep up with other classes that actually have a good Hero Power.
I was unsure whether to put Hunter in tier 2 or not. I thought about creating a "Tier 2.5" but I wanted the list to be clean and decided to sneak Hunter into the second tier. The main problem with Hunter is the same problem that has always plagued Hunter: his Hero Power only allows one playstyle, which is aggro. But as previously mentioned, being aggressive is a good playstyle and it definitely works well when playing Hunter. In Arena going face is not as easy as it is in constructed, as you need to know how aggressively you have to draft and when to stop trading. But great new cards like Alleycat, Shaky Zipgunner and Dispatch Kodo will help establish early board control which is of the upmost importance when playing aggressively.
Shaman is another Jade Golem class, just like Rogue. And just like Rogue 2 out of 3 common class cards are Jade Golem related cards. While Jade Lightning is not too bad of a card, getting synergy with it is extremely unlikely. The better cards, such as Jade Claws and Lotus Agents are unfortunately rare cards, being offered even just one of them is quite unlikely. The reason that Rogue is at least Tier 2 is because it has a good Hero Power. Meanwhile, Shaman's Hero Power is much too unreliable, unless you are extraordinarily lucky.
What happens when you give an already sub-par Arena class some Jade Golems and underwhelming class cards? Mean Streets of Gadgetzan Druid happens. In Constructed Druid is in a good place because of Kun, Aviana, Malygos, and others. But in Arena you won't get that much synergy, ever. So, what is Druid left with? Mark of the Lotus can help snowball an early game, but won't have much impact without synergistic cards like Violet Teacher or Living Roots, and in Arena you can't count on that synergy. Lotus Agents is a decent mid-game card but it's a rare and has a mediocre stat-line. I'm having trouble finding a third decent card that's not of epic or legendary quality. I guess Celestial Dreamer is not necessarily bad, but if that's the third best card a class gets in an expansion (in terms of Arena) I can't recommend picking it.
In conclusion, let's take a look at the tri-class common cards: Kabal Chemist is pretty good, Grimestreet Smuggler is mediocre and Jade Spirit is bad. Similarly, the Kabal classes are pretty good, the Grimy Goons are decent and the Jade classes are mostly bad.
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