Note: Since Battleground Buddies are no longer available unless you play with E.T.C., Band Manager, check out our Hearthstone Battlegrounds strategy guide for season 4.
Battlegrounds Buddies are back! As Hearthstone fans all around the globe are trying to figure out the new meta in Patch 25.6, we decided to help you out and provide a list of our top picks. Keep in mind that the new changes that were introduced in the latest patch require you to, not only pay attention to how your hero skills align with your desired build, but also how the hero’s Buddy fits with the build and the hero skill itself. Basically, instead of two, the game now has three key elements – Heroes, Battlegrounds Buddies, and Minion builds. Without further ado, let’s check out some Battlegrounds buddies that are OP in the current meta.
8. Valithria Dreamwalker
Ysera’s innate ability to add a Dragon each time Tavern is refreshed means that Dragons are your only option. This ability was OP even in previous patches, and with Valithria Dreamwalker as Ysera’s Battlegrounds Buddy, you are able to boost your Dragon army further. If you played Dragons before, you know that stats are the key to victory.
You will be able to get enough Divine shields but the main issue is the lack of offensive power. You will overcome this issue by summoning Valithria early and focusing on regular Dragon builds, preferably the Divine Dragon build with Cyborg Drake as your key minion.
Pro tip: Many players make the mistake of collecting low-level dragons without scaling their way to Tavern Tier 5 – don’t do this. Sacrifice some of your life points in order to get to a higher tier and then start buying dragons with buffs that Valithria provides – this tactic will allow you to compete for first place in the Arena.
As you can see, in the latest 25.6 patch, Shudderwock has been reworked – it no longer can repeat Battlecries, now it just triggers one each turn. However, combined with Muckslinger’s ability to add a random Battlecry minion to Bob’s Tavern, Shudderwock is a formidable foe thus making his companion one of the best Battlegrounds buddies out there.
You should aim for a Murloc build; If not possible, go for a Dragon one instead. The essential unit here is as always, Brann Bronzebeard. Play defensively early as your key units are Tavern Tier 4 and higher and try to amass enough creatures to fight off the opponents. Once you get Brann it will be easy as you will be able to trigger at least 6 Battlecries each turn. That will provide you with enough stat boost to overpower your opponents.
Pro tip: Get Blazing Skyfin if you can because you will be able to buff it up very fast and you might even be able to put Divine Shield and Poision combo on it as well.
6. Brann’s Epic Egg
Brann has been a top pick for a long time – his simple combo with Brann Bronzbeard and Murloc army is a safe choice. In addition to that, Brann now has a Buddy called Brann’s Epic Egg that comes with Taunt and Deathrattle: Summon a random Battlecry minion and add a copy of it to your hand. (upgrades to two copies when golden). The reason why Brann’s Epic Egg is on our top list of Battleground Buddies is the fact that the synergy between its effect and Battle Brand is one of the best ones in the game.
Your early game should be focused on two things: surviving and playing any Battlecry minion that you can. As soon as you get Brann you should try and get Brann’s Epic Egg on the field as well. In just a couple of turns, the combined Battlecries will get you in front and you will be able to enter the late-game phase with a strong army.
Pro tip: Be sure to utilize the minions that have Battlecries of summoning other minions in order to save gold.
5. Nathanos Blightcaller
This wouldn’t be a Blizzard game if Sylvanas wasn’t on a top list of any sort. Sylvanas’s Reclaimed Souls ability was useful before, but was inherently very limited – it worked well only with Divine-Shield-Low-Mech build. However, with Nathanos Blightcaller added as her Buddy, Sylvanas is a force to be reckoned with in Hearthstone Battlegrounds.
Your aim should be to utilize Divine shield minions, preferably making a Mech or Dragon build. Try to save minions with high stats until you can get Nathanos Blightcaller – and then buff up your key minions with it. The buff can be so strong if you wait long enough that it can be a game changer thus making Nathonos Blightcaller one of the best choices between Battlegrounds Buddies. If you are making a Mech build, try to buff up Holy Mecherel and/or Deflect-o-Bot. With Dragons, anything with Divine Shield will work. This is a type of play that probably won’t get you into the first position – but you will be in the top 3 for sure.
Pro tip: Add Taunt to Holy Mecherel and place it on your right side. Put other Divine Shield minions on your left side. In this way, Mecherel’s divine shield will renew every time you attack.
If you are in for some Demon build, Lord Jaraxxus and his Kil’rek Buddy are a good way to go. Lord Jaraxxuses comes with Bloodfury: Choose a friendly Demon. It consumes a minion in Bob’s Tavern to gain its stats. His Buddy Kil’Rek has Taunt with Deathrattle: Add a random Demon to your hand. (upgrades to two demons when golden). As you might guess by now, your sole goal is to get Kil’Rek as soon as possible.
The main problem with this build is the low survivability of Demons in the early phase of the game. You need to acquire some protection until you can get Kil’Rek and the best way to do it is to simply buy the strongest minions you can. You don’t need to aim for Demons in the beginning, just build up any kind of army until you get the Buddy. Once you have Kil’Rek on the field your Demon army will grow and you should try and get Insatiable Urz’ul as well because its effect stacks nicely with Kil’Rek’s demon summoning ability.
Pro tip: Try to obtain a golden Legion Overseer. In a long run, its effect will provide massive buffs to your army of Demons.
3. Death’s Head Sage
We talked about the importance of combining the three key gameplay elements. Death’s Speaker Blackthorn with his Buddy Death’s Head Sage is all about the synergy of minions, the hero’s passive skill, and the buddy’s passive skill. Death’s Speaker Blackthorn comes with a passive “Bloodbound: After you upgrade Bob’s Tavern, get 2 Blood Gems“. Its Buddy Death’s Head Sage allows you to “After you gain a Blood Gem, gain an extra one. (upgrades to “gain two extra” when golden)“. This combo is all about spamming Blood Gems.
First, you need to survive long enough to get Groundshaker or Dynamic Duo. Since both are Tavern Tier 4 this shouldn’t be too hard. Death Speaker Blackthorn Bloodbound ability should allow you to survive easily until Tier 4 and after that, it should be easy. This build might not be the strongest one but if you are aiming to end up in the upper bracket of the arena it is the safest one – probably you won’t end up victorious as Quilboars don’t have enough protection against any Divine or Poison build but you won’t lose any MMR points as well.
Pro Tip: Stay away from Bannerboar as Death’s Head Sage ability doesn’t affect the end/beginning of the turn effects.
2. Snow Elemental
Snow Elemental, once on the field, has the following effect: Bob always offers an extra Frozen Elemental whenever the Tavern is Refreshed. (upgrades to offer two extra frozen elementals when golden). Your goal is simple – survive until your Elementals become strong enough to overwhelm enemy forces. In the early game, buy as many minions as you can, especially Elementals. You don’t need to pay attention to how well the minions will fit in your build as you will replace them anyway in mid-game.
In order to unleash the full potential that Snow Elemental has, you need to get one of the two key cards for Elemental build – Nomi, Kitchen Nightmare, or Recycling Wraith. Once you get one of these and have Snow Elemental on the field, it’s just a matter of time before you emerge victorious and that’s why he is one of the best Battlegrounds Buddies that you can get. If you can’t get one of those two cards, having Master of Realities and Party Elemental combo might provide you with some protection. However, your primary goal should always be to get Nomi or Recycling Wrath at all times. After you get those two, you will be able to employ summon-refresh-sell-repeat tactics and boost your army easily.
Pro Tip: Don’t spend any gold on Tavern Tier 6 upgrade. You don’t need any minions from that tier in order to win so just get it once Avalanche decreases the cost to zero.
1. Ticket Collector
Tickatus is one of the most underrated heroes in Hearthstone Battlegrounds. Although his ability to uncover a Darkmoon Prize can be pretty random, it still provides enough potential to pick Tickatus. Ticket Collector is on our list of best Battlegrounds Buddies for a reason – it greatly enhances Tickatus’s innate passive. You can get 3 more Darkmoon prizes with this buddy which consequently means that you will (most likely) get Training Session as well.
Your tactics should focus on building up the army and getting as many Darkmoon prizes as you can, ultimately using Training Session to switch the hero ability to something more effective. In this way, you will gain enough buffs and you will end up with another hero ability in the late phase of the game. Although the prizes are randomly given, you always get three cards to pick from so RNG element is not that strong. The best build for Tickatus is the one that has the highest defensive capabilities – surviving mid-game is the key when playing this hero.
Pro Tip: Tickatus has the most synergy with low stat builds because you can buff the minions with various Darkmoon prizes – give it a try with Mech or Dragon build.