Initially, normal modes serve as a tutorial for familiarizing with the maps and can be mastered even with a 4-5 level deficit compared to the recommended level. However, the real challenge unveils itself in the heroic maps, ranging from level 11 to 25, each with similar tests to the normal stages but with brutal mechanics stacked on. It’s advisable to be within a level of the recommended zone level as the AI holds a significant resource advantage. Plus, the game demands different decks across five different leaders of each race to conquer each stage, with each victory bringing in a hearty 200 gold (or 300 with the arclight booster upgrade), paving your way for mid-to-endgame stages.
There’s a clear goal – resource optimization. Investing heavily in a tight-knit team of 8-12 units that synergize well across different leaders and races is the key to advancing in heroic and dungeon levels. This tier list aims to help newcomers focus on potential units. Spreading resources among all units slows down your conquests.
This guide is solely focused on PvE. The listed units have proven capable of clearing level 20 stages without over-leveling.
Units Tier Breakdown:
Deck Construction Primer: Rumble’s gameplay is captured in the tutorial’s battle introduction: Place tanks at the forefront, and ranged or flying DPS at the rear. A well-rounded team usually consists of 2 – 3 tanks (including a tanky leader like Tirion or Sneed) while the rest are DPS units, ensuring a solid hand to counter AI strategies.
The Linchpins: The prowess of two unbound tanks – Quilboar and Earth Elemental – is instrumental in securing victory in most stages. They excel in drawing aggro from tough units like Ogre Magi or Huntress, providing a protective shield for your DPS units to unleash destruction. Here’s a deeper dive into these units along with some notable mentions:
- Quilboar: At a cost of 2 and being unbound, it’s your shield against high-cost units like Ogre Magi and other AOE casters. Its magic resistance is a boon in sustaining against these threats. Recommended Talent: Leaning towards Tunnel Vision talent for extra hits, although Bristleback is a viable alternative for countering units like Chickens or Skeletons.
- Earth Elemental: Mirroring Quilboar’s utility but armored instead of resistant, priced at 3. Unbound tanking is its way, enabling face-away tanking. Recommended talent: Break into 2 Shardlings.
- Harpies: A non-negotiable inclusion in every deck due to its unparalleled DPS, flying attribute, and poison talent that amplifies its boss-melting capability. Recommended talent: Poison on hit.
- Defias Bandits: 1 mana, but easily will become a 2 mana unit in the near future. Stealth is extremely useful here and paired with extra stun points can even stun the boss! For a 1-cost mana unit! Recinnebded Talent: +2 gold when opening chests as the first talent. Stun on death next.
- Huntress: The best ranged unit in the game. She technically has the largest AOE in the game and can sometimes chain-bounce to a backline way out of range. When she reaches the boss and is well protected, usually any units they summon near their boss will be cleaved by her bouncing attacks making her very strong. Recommended Talent: 50% damage on the first bounce to help her tear through the frontline and boss faster.
- Blackrock Pyromancer: The cheapest AOE unit that hits both land and air, she packs a lot of punch for her cost and has a very big splash when talented. Recommended Talent: Double splash area. 3x damage on the first hit.
- Stonehoof Tauren: The tank unit that can reach the enemy backline has a low cost. Bring extra AOE units with him to clear the trash mobs while he goes after the major units. Recommended Talent: Double Charge. The other talents remove his unique factor of being a tank.
- Necromancer: The generator of infinite value. Unfortunately, Necromancer takes a ranged spot that may be better used depending on the situation. Summoning skeletal mages is one of his key talents as the mages will slow targets.
- Whelp Eggs: They are useful for taking out enemy units in the backline. Depending on how you drop the whelp eggs they can handle enemy pyros and open up options. Recommended Talent: Flame burst on death.
- Safe Pilot: Treat these like whelp eggs and take out enemies on the back lines.
- Batrider: An inexpensive 2 cost and cheap drake alternative. Deals a ton of AOE damage safely.
The choice of a main leader for heroics is pivotal, each with distinct advantages. Here’s a breakdown based on my experience across various heroics with each leader:
- Alliance: Tyrion stands out with his holy shield and healing talent, ideal for a slow-push playstyle. Maeiv accelerates quest clearing while Jaina, despite her good performance, falls short due to the spell investment required.
- Undead: Baron’s skeletal mage summoning is a value generator, albeit his utility as a unit is limited. Thanalos, on the other hand, thrives with under-leveled spells, bolstering his level and solo stage clearing potential with unbound tanks for protection.
- Blackrock: Their rend ability reduces the cost of flying units by 1, making it effective against high-tier units. When combined with the scales talent, Blackrock becomes both tanky and does high DPS. Additionally, it is believed that this combo is the easiest and lowest-level deck to clear Onyxia. Drak is a decent leader, but he moves and attacks too slowly.
- Horde: Horde leaders are good but not overpowered. Grom is my preferred choice for his aggressive playstyle with berserk allies, which can help blast through stages with overwhelming damage. Pick Blade Fury for AoE or Mirror Image for tankiness. Carine has a slower push playstyle but can trade well with Resurrect. Sneed used to be OP, but his level gain has been capped. Although he is still strong, he is not useful in all stages. He performs well only in stages with mine.
- Beast: Murky is great at generating value with his summons. Use an unbound tank to protect his 6-10 mana of free Murlocs and they will destroy anything. Pick the extra 5 seconds of summoning talent or the stun talent. Hogger is better suited to PvP. Charlga is not a great option due to the poor quality of most 6-cost units.
The following teams should get you through level 21+ and manage every battle.
Tyrion: Bandits, Huntress, Earth Elemental, SAFE, Quillboar, Harpies
Murkey: Quillboar, Harpies, Earth Elemental, Huntress, SAFE,
Tauren Rend: Drake, Whelp, Harpies, Quillboar, Pyro, Earth Elemental
Garrosh: Stonehoof, Batrider, Harpies, Quillboar, Huntress, Earth Elemental
Baron: Necro, Neat Wagon, Earth Elemental, Pyro, Quillboar, Huntress
The unit and leader choices are tailored to tackle heroics and dungeons, with some unit swaps based on specific stage requirements. The objective is to find that sweet spot between resource investment and tactical diversity to navigate the challenging, yet rewarding landscape of heroics.