A Spooky Arena Event
There's a completely whacky Arena event on right now, and I was going to take some time today to talk about the possible combinations and synergies that might help you during this All Hallows Festival that Blizzard has thrust upon us.
First off, I have to admit I am thrilled the "synergy" force picks are removed from Arena. Having to first pick a Servant of Kalimos and never seeing another Elemental was a miserable feeling. But, the new system has some interesting synergies that don't punish you simply for playing! The current Arena set up for Halloween week allows players to choose two heroes, first a base hero and the second a hero power (you get a choice between 3 each time, just like normal Arena). The catch is that you can get class cards from either class.
I think this is an interesting experiment and practice for players to think through actual synergy picks and not the tribal "here's a Murloc option so now pick more Murlocs if we happen to give you them later" synergy that they had previously. The first step is to consider which hero and hero powers work best together. I joked originally about "anything plus Warlock" hero power, but obviously there are class cards more likely to show up that synergize well with the Warlock hero power. Some of the Shaman elementals, for example, heal for a large amount of a life, thereby improving the Warlock hero power.
Deciding your hero power and second class based on your first hero pick is an important step in addressing potential synergy picks that come up later. One of the more successful runs I have had combined Priest into a Paladin hero power pick. My reasoning was that each class had a lot of stat buff cards that are tier-one picks to begin with, but would shore-up some of the concerns each class might have. Temple Enforcer and Kabal Talonpriest, for example, are incredibly powerful options but can often run the risk of missing a two-drop to curve into in the early game or become awkward top decks in the late game. Having the Paladin hero power solves this issue on occasion.
Mage and Rogue seem well positioned, as well, as cheap interactive Mage spells can combine to improve Rogue combo cards. My only concern with this combination, however, is the frequency with which combo cards appear in Arena. Having said that, a 1/2 Flame Elemental from a Flame Geyser is always an excellent enabler for a Vilespine Slayer or SI:7 Agent.
Another interesting option a friend of mine had an 11 win Arena with was combining Paladin and Mage for a Secret Extravaganza. The amount of secrets and secret enablers across these two classes is incredible, and he was able to pick up two Kabal Crystal Runners, two Hydrologists, and a smattering of other cards to completely overrun most of his games.
Although this Arena festival is a bit of an oddity, it is nevertheless an interesting experiment in thinking through decisions and choices we often face in Arena runs. It can still be excellent practice for the game as a whole, as we are able to think about synergy picks and possibilities in deck building that help us sharpen are general tools for the game. Enjoy the costumes!