I often see people asking for help in several groups and forums, so I wrot ea short guide for all beginners in the VS Arena that can also be found on legends-decks. Btw I am Rank 1 (Grand Champion) (Proof) and frequently hit 7 wins.
1. The class
Basically the choice of your class shouldn’t matter that much, as long as you feel comfortable playing it, plus it’s always helpful to pick a class which you feel already a bit ‚warm‘ with. The first arena runs can be used to explore the classes as they can feel different from constructed mode, due to the large variety of cards you are sometimes forced to pick. But let me say that classes (or decks) which tend to be more aggressive and proactive by their card design are easier to pilot in the beginning, because you go as the proactive player and the amount of difficult decisions is lowered and the strategy is just more simple and straightforward.
I noticed myself that most of the strength-based and intelligence-based classes (especially Crusader, Battlemage, Assassin or Archer) worked out very well for me in the beginning. They have a lot of aggressive cards and good answers.
2. The draft
Please keep in mind that for the next steps of this guide, we try to focus on more aggressive/midrange-y decks while we draft, because of the reasons mentioned above. Since the draft is a very random and individual process, it’s hard to give you THE one and only strategy. In general you will go very well picking cards based on the tier score of CVH’s awesome arena tier list. But it’s also important to not just go blindly by the the list, as you sometimes might need lower tier (not trash tier of course) or same tier cards which will support your deck archetype, play-style or provide you useful synergies.
Example: choosing a Mage Slayer over an Unstoppable Rage when you have no reasonable synergies or choosing a Lillandril Hexmage over a Shocking Wamasu when you have access to many actions.
Amount of copies
There are high tier cards you wanna have 3 times in a deck (in a perfect world). But there are also some high tier cards you just need a single copy in your deck. So always check if another copy is really needed and don’t be too greedy!
Example: having 1 Sanctuary Raid in your deck might be very useful and valuable, having 3 of them could make you lose several games due to its high cost and ‚dead card‘ potential. On the other side, having 3 Lightning Bolts in your deck might be useful all the time, thanks to it’s variety and range.
Curve and odds
Playing on curve is especially important in the early and mid-game in order to gain a strong presence on board and to deal with potential threats if needed. Starting a match going first without a 1-drop or 2-drop can bring you to a large disadvantage, often leading you to lose the game if you don’t have luck or good board clears (and both are rare). Therefore it makes sense to draft a healthy amount of early and mid game minions (and actions/items as well), not forgetting some late game drops as finishers. Here is also the rule: Don’t be too greedy.
Example: Having eight 2-drops in your deck gives you a 90.26% chance of getting a 2-drop in your hand when you mulligan aggressively in a match where you go first, while having just four 2-drops in your deck only gives you a 66.41% chance. You can find more odds in this interesting list here.
Take many prophecies in your deck. I won many games by getting lucky with prophecies when I needed them. They are useful against aggro decks not to lose the tempo, but also against slower decks not to run out of steam when they out-control you and you need that extra piece of damage next turn. Many prophecies support fast play styles, like Morkul Gatekeeper, Daring Cutpurse, Brotherhood Slayer, Lurking Crocodile or even Lightning Bolt.
The variety of decks and cards in VS Arena mode can be different from constructed. Here you see mostly less legendary and epic cards than in constructed, therefore there are cards you have to play around less, but still be aware of. On the other side, you will see cards and combos you are maybe not used too (hello my friend, Savage Ogre!) It often requires different, but exciting strategies, as you have to find out, what kind of deck your opponent plays and if you are the aggressor. These are things I can’t just teach you, it’s a matter of practice and experience over time.
Promotion & Rewards
As you finish an arena run with 7 wins, you climb an arena rank, starting from rank 9. You don’t queue up against people only of your rank, it’s still based on the win-loss-ratio, according to reddit. So it just shows, how often you got 7 wins. But the rewards for 7 wins are very valuable (150+ gold, 3 packs and more) and even bigger than in Solo Arena, so VS Arena is a good place to farm resources. Here is a list of all VS Arena Rewards.
That’s all for now, I hope you could learn something. Feel free to ask me stuff (maybe I will write more detailed guides to this topic in the future if you like) and have fun in the arena!