Jousting is a mechanic in which each player reveals a random minion in their decks, compares the mana cost, and declares a winner. There are currently eight cards in the game that use this ability, each of which rewards the player who summoned them for winning said Joust. The player with the higher cost minion is the victor with ties causing the initiator to fail activation. Once completed, the two revealed cards are shuffled back into the deck. It's commonly accepted that this changes its original position in the order.

Joust is a weird mechanic in that it doesn't have it's own keyword. Each and every card reads, "Reveal a minion in each deck. If yours costs more, [do X]." Blizzard has said this is the case because it's more complicated than most other keywords.

Introduced with The Grand Tournament expansion, the Hearthstone team knew they couldn't do a themed content release like this without the age-old ceremony of Jousting.
Originally posted by Blizzard (View Original)

There are many ways for a knight to prove their valor, but there’s only one true test of mounted might! An aspiring champion may face off against raging beasts in the arena or best skilled challengers in melee combat, but nothing shows off one’s heroic grandeur like mounting a noble steed and charging with a leveled lance in the ultimate chivalrous contest: the joust!

 

What Classes Have Joust?

As of the TGT release, only Shaman, Paladin, and Hunter have class cards that utilize Joust.
  1. Neutral - 4
  2. Paladin - 2
  3. Hunter, Shaman - 1

What Are The Best Joust Cards?

The problem with Jousting is that you're inherently going to lose more than you'll win. Even if you have the exact same deck, since ties go against you, you're more likely to fail the Joust. The only time you're really favored is when you're running a deck focused on Control while you're facing a ton of aggression. Because of this, it's hard to justify running cards with this mechanic in anything but Midrange or higher on the control scale.

Constructed

There are three cards with Joust that are routinely run in Constructed:
  • King's Elekk: A new staple of the Midrange Hunter deck, King's Elekk allows you to get some of the more impactful cards out of your deck and into your hand. Even if they aren't Savannah Highmane on a perfect curve, they serve to bolster the power of your hand. Oftentimes getting Piloted Shredder or Houndmaster can be enough to set you significantly ahead.
  • Tuskarr Jouster: For Paladins, Tuskarr Jouster can serve as a replacement for Antique Healbot. It's a bigger body that heals for one less if you win the Joust. You can see why some Midrange Paladins, which typically have a higher mana curve, choose to run this one.
  • Healing Wave: Shamans have long needed a way to heal and this is one of the best in the game. At its worst you spend three mana to heal seven health which isn't terrible for the class. Win the Joust and you're healing for just under half of your potential health, the highest of any card in the game. That's of course aside from the nine mana cost Alexstrasza when you're at at one health or Tree of Life. Heck of a deal for three mana, no?

Arena

It's worth noting that Arena decks generally have a higher mana cost overall so it can be significantly harder to win Jousts. That said, because of the nature of the game type, they're even more influential and have the power to wildly swing the game.
  • Armored Warhorse: A four mana 5/3 body in Arena isn't terrible. But give it Charge and that's actually a pretty darn good card. It can be used to push more damage to the face or take care of another troublesome minion. Again, this is assuming you win the Joust.
  • Master Jouster: See, Sunwalker is annoying but not too troublesome as there are a good number of cards that can handle the five health. But bump it up to the stats of Master Jouster if you win the Joust and you're basically guaranteeing a two-for-one trade.

Clarifications

  • Jousting always reads the base cost of each minion in your deck and does not take into account cost reduction. Because of this Molten Giant is usually an instant win, regardless of your life total.
  • If no minions/cards are in your deck, the Joust will fizzle and no benefit will be rewarded.
  • If only your opponent has no minions, you'll win the Joust by default.
  • There used to be issues with Nozdormu that would cause your opponent's entire turn to be skipped due to the length of the animation.
  • Most Jousts are caused by Battlecry but one, The Skeleton Knight utilizes Deathrattle.

Some Decks to Try out Joust

Kripparrian's Legend Midrange Hunter

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Tuph's Midrange Paladin