Hearthstone Guide: Learn More About Battlegrounds

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Learn more about this latest mode.
Learn more about this latest mode. Blizzard

Hearthstone's newest mode, Battlegrounds, is set to go live today for a week of Early Access. After that, an Open Beta will start on November 12.

This new mode is Hearthstone's very own entry into the auto-battle genre similar to Auto Chess, Dota Underlords, and Teamfight Tactics. Like the other games, eight players fight it out in a series of duels until a single winner is crowned.

Whether you've managed to get early access, or are simply waiting for the open beta, you're going to need background on this new mode. In today's guide we do just that.

Choosing your Hero

When Battlegrounds launches, there are 24 different heroes that will be available at launch. Each one has its own Hero power that can impact how you recruit and battle against your opponent. Once the match starts, be sure to take time to check to see if the Hero you want falls in with your overall strategy.

Take The Lich King for example. Its power says that at the start of next combat, your right-most minion gets Reborn. This means you need to consider positioning when playing this hero. George the Fallen, meanwhile, gives a friendly minion Divine Shield so you can revolve around that power. Millificent Manastrom's power, on the other hand, is a passive that causes all Mech minions from Bob's Tavern to get an extra +1/+1. Thus, you may want to have mechs to make the most out of this power.

You can view the heroes here.

Get those Minions out!
Get those Minions out! Blizzard

Tavern Phase

In Hearthstone you need to build a deck of cards before fighting. In Battlegrounds, you need to come up with a group of Minions when you visit Bob's Tavern. The thing is, you don't only do this at the start of the match. You also visit the tavern in between combat rounds.

As the match progresses, you're going to get larger amounts of coins that you can then spend to upgrade and modify your board. You're going to need coins in order to get most of the things offered in the Tavern, so be sure to save coins to spend on all the good stuff. Here are some things you can do while in the Tavern:

  • Recruit a Minion
    • Every time you enter the Tavern, you're going to be presented with a fresh line-up of minions that you can recruit for your team. Each minion you recruit is going to cost you three coins. You can view the list of Minions here.
  • Refresh the Board
    • If you don't want the current choices available, you can always refresh the current line-up for one coin.
  • Freeze the Board
    • If you don't have enough coins, but want some of the Minions in the current line-up, you can freeze the board. This is free and gives you the same set of Minions the next time you are at the Tavern.
  • Fire a Minion
    • Since you recruited a Minion, you can also fire them. This is used typically when either the Minion is taking up space or it's not really working for you. Firing a Minion lets you regain one coin.
  • Improving the Tavern
    • The strength and number of the Minions being offered in the Tavern is dependent on the tavern's Tier. The Tier also affects the Minion's base damage. What this means is that the higher your Tavern Tier is, the more powerful the Minions that are offered. Upgrading your Tavern costs coins and the amount increases each time you upgrade. However, if you choose not to upgrade your Tavern on a certain round, the cost is reduced by one the next time you return.
  • Creating a Triple
    • When you recruit three identical Minions, they immediately combine into one golden version of that Minion. A golden minion has increased stats and effects. In addition, any buffs placed before they were combined are retained.
    • That's not all, since when a combined Minion is placed on the board, you'll get a reward card in your hand that lets you discover a free Minion from the next highest Tavern level.
  • Arranging your Minions
    • After you've recruited your Minions, you need to place them on the board. Be strategic in how you position them. You can either put them on the board from your hand or, if they're already on the board, switch their positions. You can do this in-between combat phases.
Who will emerge victorious?
Who will emerge victorious? Blizzard

Combat Time

Once the time in the Tavern is over, you're going to enter the combat phase. Here you're going to fight against a randomly chosen opponent until a winner is declared.

Each Minion takes its turn attacking, with each player's left-most Minion attacking first. The enemy attacked is randomly selected. Keywords in Hearthstone also work the same way in Battlegrounds as well. Thus, Taunt Minions are going to be attacked first. Poisonous Minions are going to destroy Minions that they deal damage to, and so on.

At all times, the status of all other players is visible on the Leaderboard, which is located on the left of the board. However, you are going to have to wait until the next battle starts in order to see the Minions you are up against and how they are positioned.

Once combat has concluded, you then go back to the Tavern and reconfigure your board. This pattern of Tavern and Combat repeats until only one player is left standing.


In Battlegrounds, the ranking is pretty simple. You can see your current skill match before heading to the match. After each match, your ranked is adjusted either up or down depending on your performance. The number of points you gain or lose depends on where you currently stand, as well as your opponent's rank.

That's pretty much it. Join Battlegrounds and see how you stand against other players when the Open Beta starts on November 12.

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