If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds - Early Game Guide

Walking you through how best to start in Hearthstone's Battlegrounds.

We’ve put together a guide on what your general gameplan should be early on, and how to carry a strong start into a top 4 finish or even a victory. It’s not easy to get to grips with Battlegrounds, especially for those of us used to the normal way of playing Hearthstone, so it’s well worth taking our tips on board and thinking about the plays you’re making.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds - How to play the early rounds

This page will take you through how to succeed in the early game, as well as how to build out your team composition in the most efficient way possible.

Round 1

Unless you’re playing A.F. Kay, you’ll begin each game with 3 coins. These should always be spent on a minion. Keep an eye out for a token-generating Battlecry minion, such as Alleycat or Murloc Tidehunter, as they’ll come in handy in the next couple rounds. If you can grab one of these guys, absolutely do so as it’ll make future rounds far easier to handle.

If not, pick up something you think synergises well with your Hero, such as a Beast with King Mukla or a Demon with Jaraxxus. We’ve got more info on Hero picks and synergies in our tier list, so check that out if you haven’t already.

The first round isn’t really in your hands to be honest, so don’t worry too much if you lose out - the maximum you’ll lose is a few points of Health.

Round 2

In almost every situation, you’ll be wanting to upgrade your Tavern for 4 gold in round 2. Most of your opponents do the same, and if you don’t upgrade you run the risk of being left behind for the rest of the game.

In very rare situations you may want to try switching it up and buying a minion - If you’re looking to force a certain synergy and the perfect card pops up then you can sometimes justify buying for another round.

Almost every game, however, you’ll be looking to get Bob’s Tavern to level 2, offering you the opportunity to gain more powerful minions the following round. Remember - minions always cost 3 coins, so upgrading your tavern is something you should never neglect.

One more thing: If you see either a Murloc Tidehunter or Alleycat, freeze the tavern as you’ll probably want to grab it next round.

Round 3

Once you’ve upgraded your Tavern, you’ll likely be offered some more powerful minions. We recommend keeping an eye out for Nightmare Amalgam, as it fit excellently in any team comp.

You’ll have 5 gold, so if you can afford to sell a minion then now’s the time. This is why we like to pick up a token-generating Battlecry minion - you can sell the token and buy two 2-star minions.

Keep an eye on your synergies at this point - if you’re playing Jaraxxus, for example, you’ll want to get your hands on Demons early on so you can start buffing them in a couple rounds.

Round 4

For most Heroes, you’ll start the fourth round with 6 gold and a 5-cost tavern - not a brilliant way for things to line up. With 6 gold, you want to be buying 2 units, efficiently using your mana and maximising your chance to win the coming rounds.

Try to pick up minions that synergise with your gameplan, but regardless of this, just filling your board a bit is massively helpful. Nightmare Amalgam is the best 2-star minon to pick up, with its solid vanilla stats and ability to synergise with literally every team composition possible.

Round 5

You’ve got 7 gold in this round, so upgrade your Tavern for 4 gold, and purchase a unit from your existing choice with the 3 gold you’ve got left.

Once you’ve got yourself to this point in the game, your path will diverge significantly. If you’re playing as a Hero with specific synergies you should aim to maximise that utility. With Mukla, start grabbing Beasts to boost your minions with Bananas for example. Again, we’ve got a nice tier list guide to help you out here.

You’re on your own slightly more now, but we’ve put together some important tips to remember when playing Battlegrounds! These are especially important if you’re an auto-battler fan coming at the mode from outside of Hearthstone, so give them a browse.

That’s all for our early-game plan and guide! Let us know if you need any more Battlegrounds tips and we’d be all too happy to provide. While you’re here, we’ve got information about accessing the Battlegrounds, as well as our Best Heroes tier list to help you decide who to play as.

Rock Paper Shotgun is the home of PC gaming

Sign in and join us on our journey to discover strange and compelling PC games.

In this article


Video Game

Related topics
About the Author
James Law avatar

James Law

Former Guides Writer

James was part of Rock Paper Shotgun's guides team from 2020-2021, bringing his expert knowledge about FPS games, Hearthstone, Path Of Exile and more from his time at Metabomb. He's also a dab hand at Hitman 3, and making his own jam - things which may or may not be related to one another.