The Arena is a game mode in Hearthstone that allows players to build a deck from random selections of cards and play to win rewards. Anyone who plays Arena mode is guaranteed to get at least one pack of cards for their efforts, and could win additional rewards, including gold, arcane dust, or cards.

This guide explains how Arena works and shows the reward structure; for tips and tricks on how to win more games in Arena, check out Hearthhead's other Arena guides here.

Table of Contents

Entering the Arena


To enter the arena, click on "The Arena" from the main menu. There is an admission fee of 150 gold or $1.99 USD (cost varies in other currencies) to enter, however this fee is waived for players entering the Arena for the first time. This is the only way to spend gold in the game outside of the shop.

Once you pay your admission fee, you'll be given a choice of three heroes at random. Select one to start building a deck of cards. This deck you build is only available to you within the Arena, and will be destroyed once you claim your reward. You'll have to build another one if you visit the Arena another time.

Building Your Deck

Building a deck in the Arena is significantly different from building a normal constructed deck. You will be presented with 30 random sets of three cards each. From each set, you select one card to add to your deck. If there are multiple cards you want in a particular set, don't worry; it may come around again later, especially if it's a common or basic card. While each set of three cards will be of roughly equal value (in terms of independent strength and rarity), they will be entirely random and could include any card available by your chosen hero (except Promotional cards like Gelbin Mekkatorque), not just those found in your Collection. All cards will be regular, not golden.

Additionally, the typical rules limiting the number of a particular card are suspended in the Arena. During normal deck construction, you're only allowed to have two cards of each type at the most (at most one of each legendary card). This means that while you're playing, don't assume that your opponent is out of Polymorph cards just because they've already played two of them; they may be able to increase the size of your flock of sheep even further!

While building your deck, keep an eye on the mana curve shown at the bottom of the screen; this will update as you add cards to your deck. While you'll obviously want some powerful cards when they come up, keep in mind that you'll still need a good selection of cheaper cards to play in the earlier stages of each game. Also remember that you have no idea what cards you may see next; cards which have abilities dependent upon other mechanics may not be as useful in the Arena. For example, Grimscale Oracle is useful for a constructed Murloc-based deck, but it's very possible that you won't get to add any other Murlocs to your Arena deck, making his special ability useless (or a liability, if your opponent gets any Murlocs!).

Playing in the Arena

Once your deck has been fully built, it's time to put your deck to the test! Clicking the Play button will queue you for a battle against another Arena player; just like yours, their deck will be built out of random cards, which allows even unskilled players to fight on an even playing field. Other than the composition of the decks, however, Arena games play just like any other Casual or Ranked-play game.

You will be allowed to continue playing with your Arena deck until you have lost your third game, or won your twelfth game, whichever comes first. Until this time, you are free to enter and leave the Arena at your leisure; you won't be required to pay the admission fee again as long as you have an active Arena deck.

As you win games in the Arena, the large key displayed at the top of your screen will change, becoming more and more valuable. This key is the main purpose of playing Arena mode, as it will allow you to...

Claim Your Reward

Once you've suffered your third loss, or celebrated your twelfth victory, your time in the Arena will come to an end. The key you've been forging as you've played will begin to glow, ready to serve the purpose for which it was created. Clicking the key will unlock a chest, presenting you with several rewards. These rewards will become more valuable as you win more games. The table below shows what rewards you can get, and your chances of getting those rewards (assuming you have a 50% chance of winning each game).

 

Wins Probability Title Guaranteed Rewards Additional Rewards Key
0 12.5% Novice
  • One card pack from the most recent expansion
One of:
  • 25-40 gold
  • 25-40 arcane dust
  • One regular common card
1 18.75% Apprentice
  • One card pack from the most recent expansion
One of:
  • 30-50 gold
  • 25-50 arcane dust
  • One regular common card
  • Additional Standard card pack
2 18.75% Journeyman
  • One card pack from the most recent expansion
One of:
  • 40-60 gold
  • 40-50 arcane dust
  • One regular common card
  • One regular rare card
  • Additional Standard card pack
3 15.625% Copper
  • One card pack from the most recent expansion
  • 25-35 gold
One of:
  • 20-25 gold
  • 20-25 arcane dust
  • One regular common card
  • One regular rare card
  • Additional Standard card pack
4 11.71875% Silver
  • One card pack from the most recent expansion
  • 40-60 gold
One of:
  • 20-30 gold
  • 20-25 arcane dust
  • One regular common card
  • One regular rare card
  • Additional Standard card pack
5 8.203125% Gold
  • One card pack from the most recent expansion
  • 45-60 gold
One of:
  • 45-60 gold
  • 45-60 arcane dust
  • One regular common card
  • One regular rare card
  • Additional Standard card pack
6 5.46875% Platinum
  • One card pack from the most recent expansion
  • 75-85 gold
One of:
  • 45-60 gold
  • 45-60 arcane dust
  • One regular common card
  • One regular rare card
  • Additional Standard card pack
7 3.515625% Diamond
  • One card pack from the most recent expansion
  • 150-160 gold
One of:
  • 20-30 gold
  • 20-25 arcane dust
  • One regular common card
  • One regular rare card
  • Additional Standard card pack
8 2.197265625% Champion
  • One card pack from the most recent expansion
  • 150-160 gold
Two of:
  • 20-45 gold
  • 20-25 arcane dust
  • One golden or regular common card
  • One golden or regular rare card
  • One golden or regular epic card
  • One golden or regular legendary card
  • Additional Standard card pack
9 1.3427734375% Ruby
  • One card pack from the most recent expansion
  • 150-165 gold
Two of:
  • 20-120 gold
  • 20-50 arcane dust
  • One golden or regular common card
  • One golden or regular rare card
  • One golden or regular epic card
  • One golden or regular legendary card
  • Additional Standard card pack
10 0.8056640625% Frostborn
  • One card pack from the most recent expansion
  • 150-185 gold
Two of:
  • 65-125 gold
  • 65-95 arcane dust
  • One golden common card
  • One golden or regular rare card
  • One golden or regular epic card
  • One golden or regular legendary card
  • Additional Standard card pack
11 0.47607421875% Molten
  • One card pack from the most recent expansion
  • 195-210 gold
Two of:
  • 70-180 gold
  • 60-95 arcane dust
  • One golden common card
  • One golden rare card
  • One golden or regular epic card
  • One golden or regular legendary card
  • Additional Standard card pack
12 0.64697265625% Lightforged
  • One card pack from the most recent expansion
  • 215-235 gold
Three of:
  • 25-185 gold
  • One golden common card
  • One golden or regular rare card
  • One golden or regular epic card
  • One golden or regular legendary card
  • Additional Standard card pack
Rewards list and key images taken from Gamepedia. Win percentages are my own work.

Note that cards awarded can be from any Standard set; this includes Classic cards and the past two year's worth of Expansions (but does not includes Adventure sets such as League of Explorers, since those are earned through the adventure campaigns). The automatically-awarded card pack will always be from the most recent expansion set (Whispers of the Old Gods at the time of this editing), but additional card packs, if awarded, will be from a different Standard set. You do not has the option of selecting which set your rewards come from, and Blizzard has indicated they have no intention of changing this any time soon. Where a reward set notes "Two of" or "Three of" the list of options, it is possible to get the same option twice; for example, at 12 wins, it's possible (albeit extremely unlikely) to get four legendary cards at once.

Why Play Arena?

Arena mode can be a interesting break from the other game modes, and is guaranteed to get you a card pack at the very least. It can be especially good for players who are somewhat new to the game, as it allows them to play with cards they don't have yet and gain new cards at the same time. However, more experienced players, or players who only need card packs from one particular expansion set (especially Wild sets, which aren't awarded at all), may find it more economic to simply buy card packs directly from the shop; the value of the rewards isn't likely to exceed the cost of the admission fee unless you win at least four games, and there's a risk you may get a card pack you don't need. Regardless, very skilled or very lucky players can get some very impressive rewards, including free legendary cards. The randomized nature of Arena ensures that all players have a chance to get the higher-ranking rewards, regardless of their skill or experience.

Good Luck!