Sneed is one of the three new heroes added to Hearthstone Battlegrounds in Patch 21.6. Let's check out how Sneed does in the Battlegrounds.
Sneed's hero power costs 1 gold and it gives "Deathrattle: Summon a random minion of the same Tavern Tier." to a friendly minion. At first glance, it does not look too fancy. Spending gold on a hero power has to be very powerful to be good — heroes Rafaam, Maiev, and Lord Barov like spends a gold to get 3 golds worth of value as return.
As a comparison, there are other heroes like the Lich King and Edwin VanCleef with abilities somewhat similar to Sneed but their current position in the meta is not too impressive.
However, Sneed currently stands in tier 2 as the 8th best hero in the top 5% MMR range (7,700+). Sneed is a lot better than other "buff a friendly minion" types of heroes because of avenge minions. Sneed and the Lich King are the only two heroes that can add deathrattle/reborn to a minion, but the difference is that Sneed's buff lasts permanently whereas the Lich King's buff only lasts for a turn.
The current Battlegrounds meta is centered around avenge minions, especially the tier 4 ones. Discovering tier 4 avenge minions early can snowball the game into the point where other players can't catch up to the tempo and value.
Spending a gold to buff a minion earlier in the game is usually not a winning play because those early game minions are thrown away in the late game. Sneed's hero power is amazing in the current meta because it can help with tempo in the first few turns then become fuel to power avenge engines in the mid-game.
Due to the importance of tier 4 avenge minions, Sneed has a unique mana curve different from the usual "Rafaam curve". This guide will teach you two different types of curves.
Note that deciding the curve can depend on many different factors, usually from the shop and the banned minion types. Always play with a flexible mindset.
1. Curve with token
The first curve is one that is closer to a regular curve. Buying a token minion on turn 1 can change Sneed's game a lot because it decided whether you can play hero power on turn 1.
Usually, the reason why a token minion on turn 1 is important is that on turn 3, you want to sell a token minion to buy two new minions and still keep the other half of the token minion on the board for both tempo and value.
However, Sneed doesn't need to buy two minions because using a hero power on a tier 2 minion works like buying two minions but better with avenge minions later in the game. By the same logic, if you find a token minion on turn 1, selling the token half and playing hero power on the other half is always better for both tempo and value.
Follow the table above until turn 5. After turn 5, the game is different based on many different aspects, such as the strength of your board, whether you can discover a tier 4 minion, banned minion types, and what's in the shop.
The one common goal is to find a tier 4 minion. If you think you can stay on tavern tier 3 to find a triple, you can stay on tier 3. If not, tavern up to tier 4 to find avenge minions in the shop.
2. Curve without token
This curve is probably familiar to you if you played or watched a lot of Battlegrounds games recently. After the addition of avenge minions and nerf on Impatient Doomsayer to tier 4, staying on tier 1 to search for pairs then double tavern up on turn 5 to discover tier 4 avenge minion quickly have been very popular.
The general idea of this curve is similar for any hero, but each hero has a bit different curve depending on the hero power. For Sneed, we have to take advantage of spending 1 mana that helps both the current board's tempo and value for avenge minions later.
These two curves are only the two major categories and there are many different possible paths to take. The common goal is to stick deathrattle minions on board and find a tier 4 avenge minion quickly.
Look at that Sneed's board. It's already insanely strong but it's getting even stronger! If you can build such board yourself, great! You are likely going to win the lobby. If not, well, try your best to avoid Sneed for at least a top 4.
Here are final few tips for playing with avenge minions:
- Dazzling Lightspawn is the best and Impatient Doomsayer is the worst of the four tier 4 avenge minions
- If you discover an early Mechano-Tank, tavern up quickly to take advantage of the insane early tempo. You might even want to tavern up to tier 5 for other possible routes like beasts or Tony Two-Tusk pirate.
- Always be careful with your board's strength with avenge minions on board. If your board is too strong, you will not scale enough. If your board is too weak, you will die before scaling. Find the golden ratio.
Enjoy avenging with Sneed!