Hearthstone Battlegrounds Review – Exploring the Unique Strategy and Gameplay of Blizzard’s Auto Battler Mode

The concept of Blizzard creating their own auto chess game has been a topic of discussion and desire among both myself and my gaming friends. Auto chess, as a genre, has been steadily gaining popularity, with a dedicated player base, and it offers a unique blend of strategy and competition. Blizzard, a renowned game developer, has a treasure trove of beloved intellectual properties and universes at their disposal, including Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, and Overwatch. These universes are rich in characters, lore, and settings, making them ideal for the foundation of a game like auto chess, where diverse and iconic characters can be pitted against each other in strategic battles. To draw a parallel, Blizzard previously ventured into the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) genre with Heroes Of The Storm, which featured characters from their various franchises. It demonstrated that Blizzard has the capability to successfully adapt their IPs into different gaming genres. The anticipation reached a peak during BlizzCon 2019, where gamers hoped to see an announcement related to a Blizzard auto chess game. However, while the event did bring some exciting news, it didn’t fully fulfill this particular wish. Instead, Blizzard unveiled Hearthstone Battlegrounds, a mode within their popular card game that incorporated auto chess mechanics. While this was a step in the right direction, it wasn’t quite the standalone Blizzard auto chess title that many had hoped for.

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Hearthstone Battlegrounds: A Unique Take on Auto Battlers

In my view, the second-best thing Blizzard announced this year was Hearthstone Battlegrounds. Even though it’s part of the Hearthstone game world, I was eager to try this new auto battler and thought I might get really into it. I’m a fan of auto chess and even wrote a detailed review about it earlier. I played it often in the past six months, even more than games like Overwatch and Call of Duty, which I played a lot before. So, I had a good reason to be excited about Hearthstone Battlegrounds.

However, my initial expectations took a different turn once I got a glimpse of how the game played. Hearthstone Battlegrounds doesn’t follow the traditional path of games like Dota Underlords or Teamfight Tactics in the auto battler genre. Instead, it offers a unique approach, deviating from the chessboard-like playing field and sticking to the OG Hearthstone setup—no pawns, just cards. The game combines basic mechanics from other auto battlers with elements from Hearthstone. It might sound straightforward, but it comes with its own set of complexities and intricacies.

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Hearthstone Battlegrounds: A Deeper Dive into Strategy

In traditional auto chess games, the process often involves selecting certain pieces that match class synergies, placing them on the board, and relying on RNG (Random Number Generation) for the outcome, particularly in the early game. Positioning considerations typically come into play later on. It’s a somewhat relaxed and automated process, suitable for winding down after a long day or during low-energy streaming nights.

Initially, Hearthstone Battlegrounds might have seemed like a lazier version of Hearthstone, with everything appearing somewhat familiar. Placing any card on the board while letting AI make most of the decisions didn’t sound particularly engaging, and you might have anticipated becoming bored after a few matches.


For those new to Hearthstone or card games, they’re more than just playing cards from one group. This is true for Hearthstone Battlegrounds too. If you kept losing early in the game, you knew you had to think harder. Even if you couldn’t rank higher than 6th in many games, you learned that winning in Battlegrounds is not just about card types. Just like in regular Hearthstone, knowing what each card does is key. While you can stick to one card group, it’s mixing card abilities that helps you win. Managing seven cards well is important to do well in the game.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds: Open Beta and Class Variety

As of the time of publishing this review, Hearthstone Battlegrounds is still in Open Beta, which leaves room for potential changes in the future. Currently, the game doesn’t offer Casual Play or Ranked modes, but it does utilize a rating score that fluctuates based on your placement in matches. Whether this system remains the same or sees alterations in the future remains to be seen.

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One noteworthy aspect is the limited variety of classes available in the current state of the game. There are only four classes to choose from: Demons, Mechs, Murlocs, and Beasts. This doesn’t provide a wide array of options to experiment with, and it’s hoped that the full release will introduce more classes for greater diversity. However, the shortage of class variety is somewhat compensated for by the hero selection. In every game, you are presented with a random choice of three different heroes. Much like regular Hearthstone, each hero comes with unique abilities or perks, which add a layer of distinctiveness to your card-playing experience in each match. Some heroes even have class-specific perks, although most can be used with any class. At present, the Demon class seems to be a preferred choice for many players, often used with a variety of heroes. Through these combinations, you managed to achieve an average placement of 3rd.

Nevertheless, the costs associated with selecting heroes appear somewhat inconsistent. While some heroes offer passive abilities for free, others come at various costs, ranging from 1 to 4 gold. This price disparity can seem quite significant when comparing the abilities themselves. For example, one hero’s ability to grant +10 attack to the card furthest to the right costs 2 gold, while another hero’s divine shield ability demands 4 gold. This discrepancy in costs can be a minor annoyance, especially when the impact of the ability doesn’t seem commensurate with the price.

Currency Management and Tips in Hearthstone Battlegrounds

In Hearthstone Battlegrounds, managing your currency becomes a critical aspect of gameplay. Unlike other auto battlers, your currency refreshes after every match and gradually accumulates to a cap of 10 gold, mirroring the mechanics of regular Hearthstone.

You’ll need to exercise caution regarding how you spend your gold. With a cap in place, prioritization becomes essential. Between playing/buying cards, refreshing card selections, using hero abilities, and leveling up, you’ll find yourself making numerous last-second, high-pressure decisions. One efficient strategy to manage your gold cap is always spending as much as possible and then selling, never the other way around, as gold will never exceed 10, regardless of circumstances.

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However, a significant issue arises from the inability to sell cards from your hand when your board is full. This limitation is a considerable drawback and needs immediate attention for improvement.

Here’s another gold-spending tip: consider waiting for leveling costs to drop slightly before upgrading your Tavern Tier. However, it’s crucial to strike a balance between leveling up and staying competitive with your current board and hand to remain effective in the game.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds: A Quick and Action-Packed Experience

In Hearthstone Battlegrounds, a departure from the norm occurs regarding self-leveling. Unlike many auto chess games where aggressive leveling isn’t recommended, Hearthstone Battlegrounds encourages a different approach. It’s highly advisable to prioritize leveling up every few matches to prevent more powerful cards from overpowering your lower-tier ones. This concept also applies to card leveling, where tripling up your cards is necessary to make them gold. The quicker pace of Hearthstone Battlegrounds games likely contributes to these differing leveling dynamics compared to other auto chess games.

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In terms of match duration, Hearthstone Battlegrounds offers a faster experience than traditional auto chess games. Regular Hearthstone games start with 100 HP, whereas Battlegrounds begins with 40 HP (with the exception of one hero having 60 HP). This quicker pace aligns with the principle that a quick game is a good game. Auto chess games are known for their longer durations, sometimes lasting between 30 to 45 minutes per match. However, Hearthstone Battlegrounds provides a swift and action-packed experience that caters to players looking for quicker matches.

The comparison between Dota Underlords and Hearthstone Battlegrounds further highlights the preference for shorter, more intense games. While both games offer exciting moments, Hearthstone Battlegrounds doesn’t always evoke the same level of suspense and tension during the later stages as Dota Underlords. In Battlegrounds, the outcome can become more apparent early on, which affects the overall atmosphere of the match. Nevertheless, the game still delivers exciting moments and gameplay that can be appreciated for its rapid and action-packed nature.


Hearthstone Battlegrounds, for the most part, can be seen as a more laid-back version of Hearthstone, where the AI takes charge of executing moves on your behalf. It offers an enjoyable experience, but many players, including myself, have expressed the desire for even more classes to be added, which would undoubtedly extend its replayability and depth.

Despite its casual nature, Hearthstone Battlegrounds has captured the interest of many players. It offers a different dimension to the traditional Hearthstone card game, emphasizing strategy, synergy, and quick decision-making over deck-building.

The availability of Hearthstone Battlegrounds in open beta on both PC and mobile platforms has made it more accessible to a wider audience. This accessibility allows players to engage with the game on their preferred devices, making it easier than ever to dive into this exciting mode within the Hearthstone universe.


Hearthstone Battlegrounds is a refreshing twist on the auto battler genre. It seamlessly merges Hearthstone’s iconic characters with automated combat, offering a unique and engaging experience. The game’s strategy, minion synergies, and hero powers make for dynamic gameplay, while its free-to-play nature ensures accessibility for all. Regular updates and a competitive scene keep things fresh. Whether you’re a Hearthstone fan or new to the genre, Battlegrounds is worth a try.


Q1: What is Hearthstone Battleground?

A1: Hearthstone Battlegrounds is an auto battler mode within the popular card game Hearthstone, developed by Blizzard Entertainment. It offers a unique gameplay experience that combines card game elements with strategic combat.

Q2: How does Hearthstone Battlegrounds differ from the regular Hearthstone gameplay?

A2: Hearthstone Battlegrounds differs from the regular Hearthstone card game by focusing on automated battles and strategy rather than deck-building and card draw. Players assemble a team of minions, position them on a board, and watch them battle automatically.

Q3: What makes Hearthstone Battlegrounds unique compared to other auto battler games?

A3: Hearthstone Battlegrounds stands out due to its integration with the Hearthstone universe, including well-known characters and abilities. It also features unique hero powers that add strategic depth to the gameplay.

Q4: How do you build a winning team in Hearthstone Battlegrounds?

A4: To build a winning team in Hearthstone Battlegrounds, you must consider minion types, synergies, and strategies. Combining minions with matching types and abilities is crucial for success.

Q5: What are the different minion types in Hearthstone Battlegrounds, and how do they impact gameplay?

A5: Minion types in Battlegrounds include beasts, mechs, demons, dragons, pirates, and more. These types determine which synergies and buffs your minions can benefit from, influencing your overall strategy.

Q6: How do hero powers work in Hearthstone Battlegrounds?

A6: Hero powers are unique abilities that each player’s chosen hero possesses. These powers can influence minion placement, combat outcomes, or provide other advantages, adding a layer of strategy to the game.

Q7: What are some tips for new players looking to get into Hearthstone Battlegrounds?

A7: New players should start by familiarizing themselves with minion types, synergies, and hero powers. It’s also essential to adapt your strategy based on the minions offered during the game.

Q8: Is Hearthstone Battlegrounds free to play, or does it require additional purchases?

A8: Hearthstone Battlegrounds is accessible to all Hearthstone players, both free-to-play and those who make in-game purchases. You can enjoy the mode without spending money, but additional card packs and cosmetics are available for purchase.

Q9: Are there regular updates and balance changes in Hearthstone Battlegrounds?

A9: Yes, Blizzard regularly updates Hearthstone Battlegrounds to introduce new minions, heroes, and balance changes to keep the gameplay fresh and fair.

Q10: Can you play Hearthstone Battlegrounds competitively?

A10: Yes, Hearthstone Battlegrounds has a competitive scene, including tournaments and rankings. Skilled players can participate in competitive play and earn rewards based on their performance.

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