As Patch 27.2 arrived on August 22nd, Blizzard introduced an interesting new concept to Hearthstone Battlegrounds, Anomalies. Basically, at the start of the game, all players will get the Anomaly that is designated to that game and will have to adjust accordingly. This means stuff like starting with 10 Gold, turning every player into Sire Denathrius, dealing 30 damage to everyone at the start of the game, and other Hearthstone shenanigans that Blizzard loves to experiment with. We first saw something similar to this concept in Dalaran Heist Solo Adventure, arguably the most popular adventure in Hearthstone. Note that you are able to see the anomaly before you choose the Hero, so choose wisely.
It’s important to mention that Quests will be removed and this new mechanic will determine the gameplay in the foreseeable future. At first glance, we recognize that Blizzard wants to really shake up the Battlegrounds with this new introduction since, a lot of times, they will determine how you go about playing the game. Without rambling too much, here is the Tier List of all Hearthstone Battlegrounds Anomalies and their influence on the game.
We will be updating this article and the Hearthstone Battlegrounds Strategy Guide continuously as we test out new features from Season 5 of Hearthstone Battlegrounds. Note that this article has been updated for the latest 27.4 Patch with 12 new Anomalies added to the Hearthstone Battlegrounds on September 19th, 2023.
S Tier: Game-Changing Anomalies
Bring in the Buddies
Effect: Buddies are in the Tavern.
Well, the title says it all – our favorite companions, Hearthstone Battlegrounds Buddies are back with this Anomaly. However, unlike in season 3, you don’t actually get a Buddy with your Hero, you can buy one from Bob’s Tavern. As there are 75 different Buddies to choose from, this will cause havoc in the game for sure. This Anomaly is so chaotic that the best advice we can give to you is to go with the flow and utilize Buddies just as a means of surviving mid-game. You can’t possibly hope that you will actually obtain a golden Buddy that’s perfect for your game and aligned with your hero power so you should just use them as a means of survival – and for fun!
Everything’s On Fire!
Effect: At the start of the game, take 30 damage. Whenever another hero dies, regain 5 Health
Yeah well if you ever played Worms World Party, this is like activiting that ability that puts all your worms on 1 health. You need to survive in this one, any damage you take might be fatal – building defenses is of the utmost importance. You can try to go for some early build but overall, taking damage here is not an option – you simply don’t have enough health for it.
Secrets of Norgannon
Effect: Tavern Tier 7 exists. Start with 10 extra Armor.
This is perhaps the most important Anomaly since it has x5 chance to be in the game, compared to all other Anomalies. The basic idea is to make the game longer and play those cool new Tier 7 minions. Having that extra armor will just “encourage” the whole game to drag out and get the new juicy cards on the board. The trick here is not to get complacent – tier 7 minions are very powerful and if you remain at a lower tier and lose combat against a player who has upgraded to Tier 7, chances are that you will be one-shoted from the Arena.
Shackles of the Primus
Effect: After each combat, remove your warband. At the start of your turn, triple your Gold.
Shackles of Primus change the entire gameplay of Hearthstone Battleground radically – forget everything you know about the meta builds as no builds are available when this anomaly takes place. The fact that your warband gets removed after each combat means that it’s all about survival with this one – and a lot of things depend on how strong your Battlegrounds Hero power is. The heroes with “fast” kinds of power such as Al’Akir and The Lich King will surely have an advantage with this one – whereas heroes that offer a good tempo will perform poorly as there is basically no tempo in this one.
Effect: The first time you buy a minion each turn, get an extra copy of it
Double Header Hearthstone Battlegrounds Anomaly will make getting Triple much easier, that’s for sure. Since all players will be getting an additional minion per turn, survivability is the key here. Simply do not upgrade Tavern Tier unless you have bought a minion while this Anomaly is active – if you do, we guarantee that you will lose your next combat, at least in first 5 turns of the game.
Curse of Aggramar
Effect: Start at 5 Health and 5 Gold. Your hero can only take 1 damage at a time.
Curse of Agramar seems like a very dangerous anomaly that might occur – and like so many other game-changing ones, this one is also all about survivability. The fact that you can basically receive damage only five times means that early game is not to be disregarded; on Turn 2 probably the better option is to buy a minion instead of an upgrade (unless your hero power offers some kind of protection). Furthermore, playing Demons is not advisable until you get Soul Rewinder since you can’t afford to take any kind of damage with this anomaly in play. The builds that are difficult to assemble in the beginning (such as Mech or Naga) are to be avoided if possible in this one.
A Tier: Impactful Anomalies
The Golden Arena
Effect: ALL minions are Golden, but you do not get Triple Rewards.
Golden Arena Anomaly really stands up to its name – having all golden minions really does seem super fun. With this effect in place, the game will be a lot quicker – and it will be even quicker for you should you decide to upgrade before purchasing a minion from Bobs Tavern. Don’t forget, everyone is super buffed up and you need defenses first – the best advice we can give you is to upgrade only when you can buy a minion first.
Effect: At the start of each turn, spin the Wheel of Yogg-Saron (same result for everyone)
Let’s spin the Wheel of Mayhem! No strategies will help you with dealing with this anomaly – except for playing regularly and hoping that the wheel will give you something that you need at the start of each turn. Since there are several different outcomes of this wheel, who knows what you will get – but it surely seems like fun, the fact that all the players are spinning the wheel at the beginning of each turn!
Effect: Minions cost 2 Gold. You cannot Refresh the Tavern. It Refreshes itself after you buy a minion.
This is where the Economy minions will truly shine – and the Elemental Refresh build will fail. Actually, all the builds that rely heavily on refreshing are not a viable option when Golganneth’s Tempest battlegrounds anomaly comes into play. The best course of action is to stick to the builds that are most versatile such as Quilboar and Undead – and prey you get the right cards in Bob’s Tavern.
Nguyen’s Shifting Disks
Effect: All heroes are Master Nguyen.
Similarly to Transient Treasures (2 Quest Rewards Anomaly), this one does that, but with Hero Powers. Everybody will become Master Nguyen (Hero Power: Power of the Storm), which means that they will have a random new Hero Power given to them each turn, and again, this will just make everything chaotic and unreliable, since you really don’t know what your opponent will get or will your Hero Powers synergize with your board. Nevertheless, one Hero Power that stands out is the “Make a Minion Gold (Once Per Game)” which is just too good in this situation.
Effect: All minion types are in the Tavern. It always has 7 minions.
When Tavern Special hits the Battlegrounds, it’s basically like being able to make any kind of build regardless of what minion types are in the game – they are all in the Tavern. It’s all about making the right build and not getting too complacent as many minions will be available to you from the start of the game. Follow the regular gameplay strategies and you should do just fine.
Eonar’s Overgrown Arena
Effect: At the start of your turn, give minions in the Tavern +1/+1 for the rest of the game.
Eonar’s Overgrown Arena is one of the Battlegrounds Anomalies that influences stats of minions – or more specifically the ones in the Tavern. Long story short; the minions will be buffed up after a while. This means that builds that have traditionally low-stats and are difficult to buff might have the upper hand (such as Dragons). Keep in mind that you can also take some Divine Shield and Cleave minions during the mid-game as they will be buffed up as well in order to increase your survivability.
Blood of Sargeras
Effect: At the start of your turn, set your hero’s Health to 12.
Now this one looks really fun and the possibilities of how the entire game can go are endless – basically, this means that whoever takes 12 more damage will be eliminated from the Battlegrounds. Although this seems like a big change, this just means that you need to play safer and provide more tempo during mid-game. Other players will do the same one needs to find a delicate balance between building defenses and actually going for a desired build.
Denathrius’ Anima Reserves
Effect: All heroes are Sire Denathrius.
If we had one word to describe this Anomaly, it would be Chaos. Basically, every player is Sire Denathrius (Hero Power: Whodunit), which means that everyone will have 2 quests. Chances are, there will be some pretty powerful and overpowered boards because of all the combos that are possible with 2 quests. Your best bet is to get one early-game quest, and one late-game, so you can have momentum and a goal at the same time.
Effect: Start at 1 Gold. Minions cost (1) but sell for (0). Upgrading the Tavern costs (2) less.
It’s like everybody is playing Milhouse (Hero Power: Manastorm) on steroids, in addition to their Hero Power! This changes the fundamentals of the game because buying minions is almost free. Refresh will be extremely expensive, since 1 Refresh=1 Minion, and that math basically encourages you to just buy a lot of minions, and we mean a lot! Keep in mind that everybody will have this power, so if you decide to be greedy and upgrade your Tavern, the enemy can buy a ton of minions instead, so be careful when upgrading and wasting Gold.
Echoes of Argus
Effect: Your Battlecries and Deathrattles trigger an extra time.
Echoes of Argues is pretty straightforward – it’s like having Brann Bronzbeard and Titus Rivendare on the field at all times. So, you can just imagine the things you can accomplish with that – whatever you do, go for Battlecries and Deathrattle minions from the beginning. Just don’t get too complacent and refresh too many times early on, you still need to survive the mid-game. You know what minion type you need to go for – mgrlllmgrlr!!
B Tier: Situational Anomalies
Might of Khaz-goroth
Effect: At the end of your turn, set your left and right-most minions’ Attack to the higher of the two.
This is one of the less impactful Hearthstone Battlegrounds Anomalies. Basically, you put up a very powerful minion on the left side (100/100), and a very weak one (1/1) on the right side, preferably with the Divine Shield, and the right minion turn into a 100/1 monster with Divine Shield. This is the basic concept of this Anomaly, it isn’t anything game-breaking, but it can make a big difference. However, as the game progresses, this anomaly’s effect will really start to kick in – especially if you are playing Dragons or anything with Cleave.
Blessed or Blighted?
Effect: Start of Combat: Give your left-most minion Divine Shield and your right-most minion Reborn.
Blessed or Blighted Anomaly seems more like a hero power than an anomaly – and that’s why we put it in the B-Tier of our list. Right most minion having Reborn can be useful with some Deathrattle minions, especially with Leeroy the Reckless – but the real deal is the Divine Shield on the left-most minion. You can utilize Mannoroth or some of the Cleave units for that purpose. Other than that, it’s regular HS battlegrounds gameplay – good luck!
Effect: After you win a combat, Discover a minion of your Tier. Otherwise, get a random one of a Tier lower.
With Gladiator’s Spoils in the game, whoever gets the advantage early on will continue to build on that advantage throughout the game. Long story short – the players who are strong will be even stronger as the game progresses. This is why building defenses early on and avoiding Refresh is of the utmost importance with this Anomaly in-game. You might even want to consider purchasing a minion on Turn 2 instead of upgrading.
Summoning of Champions
Effect: At the start of the game, all players Discover a Tier 6 minion from the same choices.
Since Summoning of Champions has a global effect, not much will change except for the fact that (most) games will be faster. You will also know your desired build from early on as you will get a Tier 6 minion from the beginning. However, since all players will have the same thing, this anomaly won’t affect your gameplay-style much.
Effect: Start at 10 Gold.
This Anomaly may have a simple effect, but it essentially brings a very chaotic environment. Having every player’s starting goal set at 10 will just change the game fundamentally. Upgrading your Tier 2 is a non-issue and ramping up your power will happen in a matter of few turns. Don’t be surprised if you lose the game in a matter of minutes because, with this Anomaly, everything happens fast and every decision you make in the beginning can end the game for you very easily.
Effect: At the start of your turn, choose from 2 new Quest Rewards.
Don’t confuse this Anomaly with the Sire Denathrius one. Remember that with this Anomaly, you will get 2 new Quest Rewards at every turn, meaning everyone will be very powerful from the start. Since there are a lot of Quest Rewards, the game will naturally be very chaotic and you can’t really rely on any specific type of class to synergize with this Anomaly. Nevertheless, we love chaos and “fun RNG” and that’s what this Anomaly is.
Mimiron’s Clockwork Stadium
Effect: You cannot upgrade the Tavern with Gold. It upgrades itself every 2 turns.
Mimiron’s Clockwork Stadium provides an additional boost when it comes to the forces that players have. Traditionally higher builds like Undead or Quilboar will have the upper hand here as you won’t need to spend any Gold on upgrades – you just need to ramp up your defenses and wait for the right minion to come to your hand. It’s easier said than done, but overall, this anomaly will make the game easier for most players.
Oops, All /minion type/!
Effect: Only one minion Type is available in Tavern (and Neutrals)
Another RNG Anomaly (well all of them are, to be honest) is this one. What Oops, All /RNG inserts minion type/ will do is make everyone use the same minion type + Neutral ones. However, this Anomaly seems a bit boring because the winner will be determined probably based on the hero’s power. So here you need to choose the hero wisely as this will determine the outcome. The best advice that we can give you is that, if your hero power doesn’t stack with the minion type selected for the game, you should go for neutral minions. Since these are strong mid-game, at least you won’t end up in the last spot (probably).
Grapnel of the Titans
Effect: The first minion you buy each turn is free.
To put this in simple terms, the Grapnal of the Titans Anomaly effect means that everyone is Aranna Starseeker. The effect is exactly the same as the one that she has – you get a free minion each turn. This means that the game will be quicker – so build your defenses up and don’t simply go for the higher tavern tier upgrade because everyone will be buffed up in the Battlegrounds.
Effect: The Tavern always has 7 minions
Packed Stands effect fills Bob’s Tavern from turn 1 with 7 minions. Although this effect doesn’t seem too strong, the Packed Stands Anomaly will allow you to have a higher minion pool. That means that minion types that typically have difficulties with drawing cards, such as Deep Blue Naga Build, will have higher chances of emerging victorious from the Arena. Also, watch out for Demons in this one – they will be hungry.
Effect: Only Tavern Tiers 3, 4, 5, and 6 exist
This one seems pretty straightforward – and not much will change in the game with it. Of course, the builds that have higher-level key minions will benefit from it and the only downside will be that Naga and Demons will become almost unplayable. The thing is, one of the key Naga minions is on Tier 2 and the same goes for Demons – so if the Big League Anomaly occurs, stay out of these two minion types.
Effect: Only Tavern Tiers 1, 2, 3, and 4 exist.
Little League works exactly the same as the Big League – with the only difference that players that go for low-builds will be in advantage instead of high ones. This means that Mechs are in the meta with this one as all the key minions for the low-mech build are still available with this anomaly. The same goes for Naga and Beasts are another option although not a perfect one – Mama Bears are still on Tier 5 so buffing with Banana Slamma won’t be as effective. Whatever the case is, stay away from the Undead and especially Pirates.
Effect: After you upgrade the Tavern, Refresh it with minions of your most common type.
Overseer’s Orb means that everyone is playing the game in easy mode pretty much. However, be careful – keep in mind that you will get your build faster but so will everyone else. You can’t afford to waste any gold here, if there are no better options, upgrade and freeze. This is especially important for high-builds as the anomaly will refresh minions not just from the lower Tier but also from the one that you have just upgraded it to.
Effect: Start with a “Goldenizer” that makes a friendly minion Golden.
So, basically, everyone is Reno Jackson. That’s exactly what this anomaly does as everyone will be able to turn one minion of their choice Golden. Be careful with this – do not use it too early but also do not wait for your Tier 6 minion to appear, you need to survive as the game will be faster. For the first key minion that you get, use the Goldenizer on it – it’s better than taking tons of damage waiting for a perfect choice.
C Tier: Gameplay Not Affected Significantly
Fortitude of Khaz-goroth
Effect: At the end of your turn, set your left and right-most minions’ Health to the higher of the two.
The same concept applies to this Anomaly, if you have a very sturdy minion with a lot of Health, you can put him on the left side, and then put something that is lacking health, but has a lot of attack on the right side. A few things come to mind when trying to find a synergy with this Anomaly, like that some Undead minions that have a lot of attack and no defense, so you gain a lot from this.
Effect: You only need 2 copies of a minion to make it Golden. Instead of a Triple Reward, get a Gold Coin.
False Idols Hearthstone Battlegrounds Anomaly is very similar in effect to a Faire Reward. Although the effects are different, your game style should remain the same – you need to upgrade Tavern Tier ASAP! You simply can’t obtain desired minions in any other way since Triple Reward is just a Gold Coin with this Battlegrounds Anomaly.
A Faire Reward
Effect: Instead of a minion, Triple Rewards Discover a Tier 1 Darkmoon Prize. (Upgrades in 3 turns!)
When the Faire Reward (check out the spelling before you read that) is active, you won’t discover a tier-higher minion after getting the Triple. Instead, you will get a Darkmoon Prize. We won’t get into Darkmoon Prizes now as the RNG element is just too wild with those, we will just say that, with this Hearthstone Anomaly active, upgrading Tavern Tier is of the utmost importance. Simply you won’t be able to get a desired minion unless you are on its Tavern Tier. That being said, keep in mind that you still need to survive mid-game so don’t just rush Tier 5, try to gather some sustain first.
Effect: Start at Tavern Tier 2.
Finicky Hourglass falls under the most “boring Hearthstone Battlegrounds Anomalies” type. All players will start at Tavern Tier 2 so not much will change – the game will be quicker and minions that require higher-tier key units will have the upper hand in the end. However, this is just a slight advantage so you don’t need to do anything out of the ordinary when this Anomaly is active – simply follow basic Hearthstone Battlegrounds rules and you will be fine.
Effect: Minions in the Tavern have their Attack and Health swapped.
Besides its cool name, this Anomaly isn’t anything new to talk about, since we see very few cases where swapping the Attack and Health can be game-changing. Maybe it is good if you get some Divine Shield minions that can gain attack because of this swap, but other than that, it’s just not that impactful compared to some other Hearthstone Battlegrounds Anomalies.
Prudence of Amitus
Effect: Unspent Gold carries over to your next turn. If you saved at least 5, gain 1 extra.
At first glance, this Anomaly doesn’t seem that impactful, and shouldn’t be the deciding factor on which class you choose. Nevertheless, Pirates, Demons, and Mechs have that additional gold gain, so Prudence of Amitus can help in these situations. Moreover, some annoying things like having 1 Gold left at the end of the turn are non-issue now.
Effect: Guess which player will win your next combat. If you’re correct, get 3 Gold Coins
Basically, this Anomaly means that all players have around 2 golds more per turn on average. The good thing is that if you are familiar with Hero Powers, you can easily turn that to your advantage early on and predict who will win, getting 3 Gold Coins in the process. Later on, it’s just a guessing game so not much will change – except for an occasional 3 extra Gold Coins per turn.
Effect: After you upgrade the Tavern, Discover a Tier 1 Darkmoon Prize. (Improves in 3 turns!)
With Up-Prizing anomaly in the game, the gameplay will be a bit faster as all the players will be getting buffs from various Darkmoon Prizes. As those prizes are highly unpredictable, you can’t really build a strategy around that – just play the best you can and hope you get the one that helps you the most. That being said, since upgrading now actually gives you something, you should upgrade more often just be sure not to overdo it.
Effect: Minions in the Tavern each randomly gain Taunt, Windfury, Divine Shield, or Reborn.
I mean, this one is completely RNG. Reckless Enchancment is more like random enhancement as each one gets various modifiers – sure, some of them can be pretty useful like Reborn on Leeroy or Divine Shield on a Cleave minion but there is really not much to discuss here as it’s completely random. The best we can see is – good luck with this one!
Wisdom of Ulduar
Effect: At the end of every 3 turns, set your right-most minion’s stats to 15/15
Wisdom of Uldar is an interesting anomaly although not a very game-changing one. Setting stats to 15/15 in every 3 turns of your right-most minion isn’t too strong – especially not later on in the game. Be sure to pick up something with Divine Shield early on and buff it up – that will give you additional tempo during this phase. The other option is to go for a minion with Cleave and buff it up.
Path of the Treasure-Seeker
After you Refresh 5 times, find the Golden Monkey!
Path of the Treasure-Seeker allows players to obtain a Golden Minion by getting a Golden Monkey after 5 Refreshes. It will be interesting to see how Elemental Refresh build works with this as well as Demon Tichondrious as those builds have the most opportunities for extra Refreshing. If this anomaly pops up it’s better to go with a higher build since the opportunities for getting higher minions are increased due to Golden Monkeys that you will be getting.
Image Credits: Blizzard Entertainment