Hearthstone Battlegrounds: A Guide to Tier 1 Minions

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A guide to take better decisions on your first buys on the Battlegrounds, along with explanations on why certain cards stand out and how they work in the Metagame!

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Battlegrounds Tier 1 Minions Guide

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Introduction - About Battlegrounds

The first turn on the battlegrounds is quite important, as it is your first action in the game, and you must choose 1 out of 3 options for minions to start your journey.

However, there is a Meta regarding these choices, so I decided to write a guide to help you find yourself better on your first turn. And always start the game with the best minions possible.


Tier 1 Minions

We'll start from worst to best, with a brief description of what the minion does, what it proposes in the game, and why and when you should buy it.

Minions rank 1 out of 5

Those are minions that only lose or draw, do not generate savings, and do not take your composition anywhere. In general, they are not good either at the beginning or at the end of the game, and investing resources in them is not recommended at all. Avoid them as much as possible.

Tavern Tipper — ★☆☆☆☆

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It is possible to prepare a build that scales from the first turns with the Tavern Tipper, which can be very strong, but not all heroes allow this planning, and in general, it is not worth it.

Hoarding resources to increase this minion's stats isn't a brilliant long-term strategy. In the past, due to quests, Tavern Tipper was a little better, and some rewards allowed you to not be punished as much when your entire Gold was not spent.

But these days, being efficient with your economy is crucial, and this minion pushes your game towards high-risk comps with middling rewards.

Deck Swabbie — ★☆☆☆☆

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Deck Swabbie is useful, but not as your first buy. This minion doesn't scale, doesn't generate economy, and doesn't get you anywhere for the first few turns. Its only use is to have a useful effect in the mid-game, but for Deck Swabbie to be worth, you need to already have an advanced board that can generate gold by buying cards from the pirate tribe.

And even then, he's still not the best option at this stage of the game. Let's say that this card is only excellent if you triple it to the second or third turn, then you can upgrade your tavern tier really fast. But that rarely happens.

Minions rank 2 out of 5

These are minions that have useful effects, but do not have synergies and do not generate economies. Typically, you buy these minions when there is no better option. They can even guarantee you a victory in the first turn, but nothing more. They are rarely useful at other times in the game.

Picky Eater — ★★☆☆☆

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The only usefulness of this minion is that it can gain enough stats to win a few turns for you. And that's it. Picky Eater does absolutely nothing in the late game. He can get big if you're building a comp of demons with consume, but even then, he's the worst minion of this archetype and should only be bought as a last option.

Mini-Myrmidon — ★★☆☆☆

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This minion also only serves to give you a chance not to lose the first turn. He has an interesting synergy with nagas. However, there are much better minions, the Myrmidon is very replaceable and is rarely a card worth investing in.

The naga archetype isn't that great, although some of them are the best cards in the game, but these incredibly strong minions do not have synergy with nagas themselves. And Myrmidon only works on metagames where all nagas are strong.


Razorfen Geomancer — Note: ★★☆☆☆

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The Geomancer can be a useful card to generate attributes on your board, but usually getting Blood Gems so early isn't so interesting. There are minions that will benefit much more than it from this +1/+1 buff.

Also, players frequently prefer not to force Quilboar builds, and because of this, many times this card ends up receiving the buff of its own Blood Gem. Turning it into only a 4/2 minion that gives you the chance of not losing the first turn. And that's basically the only use of this minion.

At the end of the game, there are infinitely better ways to get Blood Gems as well.

Icky Imp — ★★☆☆☆

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Unfortunately, the imp has synergy with an archetype that is currently very weak. However, it can be a super useful card in the first turns, to guarantee you some life points, it's like this minion is a 3/3, that is very strong against early divine shield minions. He's not that strong at the end of the game.

Scallywag — ★★☆☆☆

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This card is considered by many to be the “noob-chaser”, because it looks amazing. And in fact it's a strong card in the first turns, it's like a unit with 4/2 attributes, but divided into 2 minions. But it doesn't go beyond that.

Scallywag is not strong at all in the late game. Currently, pirates aren't benefiting as much from this unit's mechanics. So, most of the time the space it occupies on the board is better used by other pirates who generate economy or distribute status.

Rockpool Hunter — Note: ★★☆☆☆

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This card is quite strong, but not for your first buy. It just isn't considered a 3-star graded card in this list, because there are Murlocs with better effects than this unit. It has decent stats for the first turns, but this card really shines when brought as a second or third minion, and if your board already has a Murloc.

As the vast majority of players prefer not to force compositions, this minion is not normally bought, and as a result, this card has such a low rating. But it is definitely the best among the grade 2 minions.

Minions rank 3 out of 5

These are minions that have strong synergies, and can direct you to interesting compositions early on. These are usually minions worth investing resources in, and even in some cases they can be your strongest minions on the field.

But for that to happen, you'll probably have to force a build, or get a little lucky. Therefore, these minions can be considered “High Risk, High Reward”.

Swampstriker — ★★★☆☆

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Let's talk about stats right off the bat, as in general, minions with 4 health on the first turn are pretty strong, as they rarely lose. This minion is only strong, because the Murloc tribe is one of the few that is worth forcing a composition at the beginning of the game.


Even if you're going to sell your Murlocs afterwards, there are enough synergies for you to get pretty healthy in the first few turns, and build up a respectable board early on. Swampstriker can get gigantic towards the end of the game as well, but that largely depends on how your shop comes in mid-game.

Refreshing Anomaly — ★★★☆☆

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This card is awesome, but not as a first buy. Its effect is one of the strongest in the game, except in the first turns. If this card had worse attributes, it would still be good, however, as we are evaluating your first buy, it gets a score of 3.

That's because, despite 4 health, it doesn't offer as much security for your Hero's health, and also doesn't have any synergy with low-ranked minions. It really shines at the end of the game. And just for that reason, it deserves this rating. The Anomaly also gives you a false sense of economy early in the game, so don't fall into that trap, there are better units in general.

Sun-Bacon Relaxer — ★★★☆☆

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This minion has pretty bad stats, and you'll almost always lose the first turn with it. However, it really shines because of its effect, even more so if you find a Quilboar that has a combo with Blood Gems early on.

If this card had better attributes, it would definitely be a 4 graded card in this list. Some heroes prefer many minions on the field and distribute the attributes among them early on, so that later you can upgrade your tavern tier. And the Relaxer doesn't quite fit in this strategy, it's a minion that forces you to play slower, and therefore you will eventually sacrifice some of your health.

Because of this, it is only recommended for players who know exactly how to proceed with their strategy at the beginning of the game. If you have any doubts about how to use it and prefer not to lose life early on, it is better to just buy another card.

Wrath Weaver — ★★★☆☆

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This card is quite strong, and tends to guarantee some wins in the first turns, in case you find demons in your store. The problem is that you may not find these demons, and it may not be ideal to invest in them either. And you're also losing life points in the process, so it's a pretty tricky card to play.

Of course, out of all the minions, he best fits the phrase “High risk, high reward”. However, if you are lucky in your store, you will rarely lose the first turns with him on the field.

Pupbot — ★★★☆☆

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It is a simple and strong card. And it is only fair to give an average note for Pupbot. He's not outstanding and doesn't have many synergies, but he certainly does his job, which is to absorb damage.

That's why it's usually a minion worth having on your board because you can give it taunt during the mid-game, or keep filling it with status. In general, divine shield minions are quite strong in the current Meta, and because of this, Pupbot is almost always the perfect choice for your first buy.


Scavenging Hyena — ★★★☆☆

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The Hyena can seem very strong at times, and maybe in past Metas it really was stronger, but don't be fooled, this card can abandon you quite often. Be cautious in investing resources in it, as it is usually not worth much.

It's a card that forces you to buy other beasts, and forces specific positioning, so, from the first turn, you will be playing around the Hyena. This can be great in some games, but in the vast majority of games, at some point you stop finding synergies with it in your store, and you will have to sell this minion. Then you will be forced to transition your build to something else. It only gets a score of 3 because, when you find the right cards to combo with the Hyena, it ends up being extremely strong.

Rot Hide Gnoll — ★★★☆☆

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Of all the tier 1 cards, this one has the most potential to scale very quickly, and it also synergizes with the vast majority of low tiered minions. The security that this card proposes for your board, is out of the charts.

It just isn't a higher rated card because it only scales during combat, and you'll soon find better minions to replace the Gnoll. Other than that, the Undead tribe is in the Meta and this card benefits from that in the majority of the games.

Red Whelp — ★★★☆☆

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In the past, this was the best tier 1 minion. However, currently the dragon tribe is not so strong anymore, the dragons are in a neutral position in the Meta. But they are still strong enough for you to think about investing in them early.

If it were in past metas, you'd be forced to buy this minion, but nowadays, there are better options. But make no mistake, this card is still extremely strong and very efficient. However, the game has changed a lot, and perhaps the Red Whelp is no longer on your first purchase priority list.

Dozy Whelp — ★★★☆☆

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This card is surprisingly good and can scale a lot early on, and grant you a massive mid-game minion. Its problem is that it depends a bit on luck, and normally, your opponents can play around that and only purchase minions with 3 or more attack, thus delaying your whelp's scaling a lot.

Even so, in some matches it is still worth investing in this unit. If you can find ways to add life points to it, this minion can quickly become the card that will be carrying the game for you.

Minions rank 4 out of 5

These minions are the ones you'll buy the most, and are sure to perform well in your match. Usually, they will bring a lot of security, a little savings, or safe scaling. These units can be considered “Moderate risk, high reward”.

They are unlikely to abandon you, as they have good synergies, with other minions and with some Heroes.

Evolving Chromawing — ★★★★☆


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This unit is the worst of the grade 4 cards. But it is still quite strong, as it is perhaps one of the cards that best gives you direction during the match. In general, dragons are pretty safe at tiers 1 and 2, and because of that investing in them is pretty straightforward.

This minion can be huge with a lot of attack when you reach tavern tier 3 with it, and only sell Asacromika at the end of the game. Even so, the vast majority of the time this card will only stay on your board until turn 6 or 7, and you'll find other directions or synergies along the way. But be aware that in some cases this card is just great and can carry your gameplay.

Thorncaptain — ★★★★☆

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This card, out of all tier 1 cards, is the best in terms of attributes. You guarantee a big minion without risking too much.

The good thing about this card is that unlike others already mentioned, it doesn't force you to keep buying minions from specific tribes, so you're not tied to an archetype. Allowing the player to always make the most economical decision. Because of this, it's the safest card if you're aiming to get healthy early in the game.

Risen Rider — ★★★★☆

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This card is amazing and has a lot of synergy with other cards from different tribes as well. It can even be a late-game taunt option if you're really needy.

Its two keywords are great together, and it's like you have a 4/2 minion on the field, which absorbs two attacks. If you're building an Undead comp, this card can scale a lot of damage for your late game as well. Not to mention that it is a very safe option for you to guarantee you not to lose your health in the first turns.

Alleycat — ★★★★☆

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This card doesn't have interesting attributes, you usually lose the first turns with it, but it is the first card that generates economy on this list. You can sell one of the cats early on, to buy an extra minion on your turn 3, and still have another 1/1 minion on the field.

Out of all the minions that generate economy, this one is the worst. However, Alleycat has a lot of synergy with some Heroes like Malygos. And it can even be a great mid-game synergy option with beasts. However, it is a slightly weak card, it is only a 4 star graded one, because generating economy is critical in the current Meta.

*Micro Mummy — ★★★★☆

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Micro Mummy is only here, as it has a lot of synergy with many low tier cards, and gives you a lot of direction. As well as being a safe early game pick with moderate scaling potential.

Its keyword “Reborn” is on the rise and you should abuse it. Additionally, this minion has two tribes, and can synergize very well with Mechs and Undead. It's a good early game investment, and rarely will this unit perform poorly.


However, it is not a minion that will stay at your board for very long, you will definitely find better options throughout your game. The attributes that the Micro Mummy distributes are not excellent, but they are certainly welcome, and can help you resolve some enemy formations.

Minions rank 5 out of 5

They are the best minions, being very rare games where these minions are not the best options for you to buy. There are only two tier 1 units that have top marks in the game, and there is a community discussion about which is better.

I propose that we evaluate them and discuss them because although these cards have similar proposals, they work in very different ways, with even more distinct synergies.

Shell Collector — ★★★★★

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This minion allows a board with 3 minions, and tier 2 tavern, on turn 3. In addition, he has strong offensive attributes.

It's a great card for late turns too, if you're looking for synergies of buying and selling minions, like the famous “APM Pirates” comp.

Economy has always been very important in Battlegrounds, but in the current Meta it is the most important thing in the game now that we no longer have quests and rewards. And that's why the Collector shines so brightly. It's even a card worth to triple.

Remember: money is never too much on the battlegrounds. This card just isn't stronger, because the naga tribe isn't doing so well in the Meta, but this card is definitely one of the best in the game.

Sellemental — ★★★★★

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In my opinion, this is the best tier 1 minion. It has slightly more synergies than Shell Collector. In terms of attributes, this unit is pretty fair, but if you are building elementals build, this card has the potential to become gigantic in some games.

Just like the Collector, Sellemental allows you to have a board with 3 minions, and tier 2 tavern, on turn 3. Comparing to “Shell collector”, the Sellemental is a minion with slightly more defensive attributes, but honestly, it doesn't make much difference.

What does make a big difference is that during a match, there are more situations in which the Sellemental is more useful than the Collector. However, this usually only happens if you are building an Elementals build. In case you aren't, the two cards are equally strong, and work almost identically.


I hope I helped you to better understand how to make your first decisions on the battlegrounds!

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