Blizzard reveals how good your Battlegrounds MMR really is

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Other than the Sisyphean drive to endlessly improve your MMR, there really isn't much in the way of endgame to Hearthstone's Battlegrounds mode. Which thus far hasn't proved a problem because it's addictive as hell anyway. However, a little context when it comes to understanding your own number couldn't hurt, so here's senior game designer Dean "Iksar" Ayala to explain. He took to Twitter to break down what the mode's MMR distribution looks like, and threw in some other fun stats that Blizzard has gathered: 

<5000 62% of Players
5500+ Top 20%
6000+ Top 10%
6500+ Top 3%
7000+ Top 1%
8000+ Top 0.1%
8700+ Top 0.01%

The good news (for me anyway, as I'm sat a hair above 6k) is that if your MMR is over 5,500 then you're well ahead of the pack. Note that these numbers only include players who've completed five games in the last 20 days. Ayala also broke down the most-picked minions at each tavern tier, which made for interesting if not completely surprising, reading.

Tier 1: Murloc Tidehunter
Tier 2: Spawn of N'Zoth
Tier 3: Cobalt Guardian
Tier 4: Defender of Argus
Tier 5: Brann Bronzebeard
Tier 6: Ghastcoiler

No shock that Cobalt dominates Tier 3. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the card gets shunted to Tier 4 or removed entirely. Defender of Argus being the pick at Tier 4 only illustrates the importance of strategic taunting, and what a desert the Tier 4 pool is. I imagine Baron Rivendare ran Brann pretty close at Tier 5, and Ghastcoiler at Tier 6 benefits from being good in both Deathrattle and Beast comps. 

On the subject of which heroes are strongest, the results were more intriguing, primarily because they vary wildly depending on the MMR they're played at. For instance, Ayala noted that among players with greater than 5K MMR, Jaraxxus has only the 28th highest average finishing placement. However, for players under 5k, the same hero performs much better, finishing with the 5th highest average placement. In fact, in that same group, Jarraxus has the second highest top four rate (69.5 percent), only bettered by Deathwing.

On the subject of the OP dragonlord, Ayala acknowledged that the hero is too strong: "Deathwing is the most powerful hero in all regions at all levels outside the very, very top rated players. We're playtesting him internally at +2 attack and will likely nerf him to that soon™." 

Last week saw the removal of Tirion, another domineeringly strong hero, so he can receive a rework. According to Ayala, Tirion had been the most powerful hero in all regions and at all levels. "We playtested with his hero power at 2 Mana and it felt like too big of a detriment," he said. "We also thought about changing the minion pool but opted to take some more time to playtest internally while we deactivate."

Some more gems from the thread: Nozdormu has the highest average placement among players over 11k MMR. Reno Jackson is the 4th most picked hero but his average placement is 24th. (You're probably not going to be rich, after all.) Dancin' Deryl is the 2nd most played hero on the NA, EU, and Asia servers—but only ranks 11th in China. Finally, if you're looking for the worst hero, Millhouse Manastorm is your man. The ignominious gnome has the lowest rate of top four finishes and wins. Ayala hinted he'll be getting a much-deserved buff. 

You can read his full thread here, and see my own favorite and most successful heroes below. 

(Image credit: Blizzard)
Tim Clark

With over two decades covering videogames, Tim has been there from the beginning. In his case, that meant playing Elite in 'co-op' on a BBC Micro (one player uses the movement keys, the other shoots) until his parents finally caved and bought an Amstrad CPC 6128. These days, when not steering the good ship PC Gamer, Tim spends his time complaining that all Priest mains in Hearthstone are degenerates and raiding in Destiny 2. He's almost certainly doing one of these right now.