Hearthstone Battlegrounds' heroes and their unique playstyles are what sets up the mode from other autobattlers. When Battlegrounds was first released in 2019, most of the hero powers worked like a bonus. The majority of heroes had a similar strategy with pretty much the same level-up curve, but the hero pool has diversified a lot since.
C’Thun is a very unique hero with its own level-up curve which no other hero follows. When C’Thun was first released, it plateaued around Tier 3 because players did not know how to efficiently use its hero power. But with time, high-skilled players established a new “C’Thun curve”, which propelled it to Tier 1.
Four tips for mastering C’Thun in HS Battlegrounds
C’Thun is one of the heroes with the best average placement but does not have the highest #1 finish percent. His strength is consistent, but not oustanding. Therefore, if you learn and follow the simple rules, you will likely finish above average and gain MMR.
1. Use the hero power on every turn, including turn 1
One of the most common misplays with C’Thun occurs on the first turn. Unlike most of the other heroes, you should not buy a minion on turn 1. Instead, press the hero power button. If you sacrifice your first turn, you usually lose only about 3~4 hp for +1/+1 on your hero power every turn. To maximize it, press the hero power every turn. If you survive for about 10 turns, that’s +10/+10 for the 3~4 hp. Now that you spent 2 golds on the hero power, there is 1 gold left. What should you do with it? Search for the token minions.
2. Search for a token minion
Because C’Thun passes the first turn without buying a minion, you should not level up on turn 2. Instead, you should buy one of the three token minions — Alleycat, Murloc Tidehunter, or Sellemental. On turn 2, you start with 4 gold. Buying a minion costs 3 golds and the hero power costs 2. To do both, you have to buy one of the three token minions, sell a token for 1 gold, and use the hero power.
Essentially, you get three chances to roll into a token minion. The first shop you get on turn 1, a reroll with the leftover 1 gold after pressing the hero power, and the shop you get at the start of turn 2. If you roll into any of the three token minions on turn 1, freeze it.
What if you are unlucky and do not roll into any tokens over the three rolls? With three tribe bans now, you might not even have a chance if all Beasts, Murlocs, and Elementals are banned. In this case, the safest choice is to buy the strongest minion and skip the hero power on turn 2. Of course, this way, you lose the benefit you earned by sacrificing turn 1. However, if you don’t buy a minion on turn 2, you will be in a far worse situation. Either you have to delay leveling up or not buy a minion again on turn 3 and take damage with an empty board for 3 turns.
3. When to level up C'Thun in HS Battlegrounds
Let’s assume that we found a token minion. Here is how common C’Thun games are played.
- Turn 1 (3 gold) : Hero power (-2 gold), reroll if needed (-1 gold)
- Turn 2 (4 gold) : Buy a token minion (- 3 gold), sell a token (+ 1 gold), hero power (-2 gold)
- Turn 3 (5 gold) : Hero power (- 2 gold), level up to 2 (- 3 gold)
- Turn 4 (6 gold) : Reroll if needed (- 1 gold), buy a minion (- 3 gold), hero power (-2 gold)
- Turn 5 (7 gold) : Hero power (- 2 gold), level up to 3 (- 5 gold)
This way, you will spend every gold efficiently and end up on Tavern Tier 3 by turn 6. Afterwards, the curve will be different depending on the game. If you don’t find a token minion by turn 2, you will either have to level up without any minions on turn 3 or not level up and buy a minion, which breaks the curve. Accept the low-roll, skip the hero power on turn 2, and make up for the loss by buying a good scaling minion later in the game. There could be rare cases where the curve can be manipulated in situations where you get multiple Deck Swabbies or token minions in the shop. These cases are rare, situation-dependent cases. Players need a precise calculation and understanding. If you are reading this guide, you are probably not an experienced C’Thun player. The safest choice is to simply follow the same curve and make up for the hero power loss by buying a good scaling minion like Iron Sensei or Lightfang Enforcer.
4. What minions to buy when playing C'Thun
Scaling minions: Micro Mummy, Roadboard
In most, if not all, C’Thun games you will finish with consistently scaling minions with large bodies. Generally, any scaling minion synergizes well with C’Thun. For example, Micro Mummy on Tier 1 and Roadboar on Tier 2 (getting a Blood Gem every turn equals to +1/+1 scaling every turn!) are great early-game scaling minions.
Divine Shield minions: Bronze Warden, Crackling Cyclone, Defect-o-Bot
Divine Shield minions are also great with C’Thun. Tier 3 shops have a lot of great Divine Shield minions, like Bronze Warden, Crackling Cyclone, and Deflect-o-Bot. The great thing about Mechs is that any Mech minion can be a Divine Shield minion later if you magnetize Annoy-o-Module on it. Micro Mummy is a great Tier 1 minion for C’Thun because it scales, can later get a divine shield, and also refill Deflect-o-Bot’s divine shield with its reborn.
With that said, it is difficult for C’Thun to fill the board with ideal minions only. Firstly, C’Thun is less likely to roll into a specific minion you want because it spends two golds on the hero power every turn, meaning two fewer rerolls per turn. Secondly, you can’t easily sell a minion you bought earlier in the game because C’Thun’s hero power keeps adding up to the minions you bought. The cute Alleycat you bought on turn 2 will probably be bigger than a 20/20 when you want to play a Lightfang composition with Cave Hydra as your only Beast. Unless Bob is generous enough to offer you the best shops, if you skip buying minions to hard search for better minions, you will be behind the tempo. Remember - the strength of C’Thun is the consistency, not the peak.
Best final comps for C'Thun
As said before, you are less likely to build the best ideal compositions with C’Thun. But after leveling up to Tier 4, you have a bit more freedom with the choices of minions. Here are few examples of where your compositions can end on.
Taunt compositions for any hero are good for finishing above average but not the best for winning the lobby. Also, the Taunt synergy is all about scaling with Arm of the Empire and Champion of Y'Shaarj. This is great because it synergizes well with C’Thun’s strategy. It is also easy to make a transition into a Taunt composition because you can buy a Defender of Argus to turn your old minions into a Taunt minion. Taunts will be your go-to comp a lot of times.
Menagerie compositions can win you the game more often than Taunt compositions. If you can find a triple to discover a Tier 5 Menagerie base scaling engine (Lightfang Enforcer, Brann Bronzebeard, Mythrax the Unraveler, Aggem Thorncurse) you can try to go for a Menagerie composition. However, C’Thun is less likely to find another scaling engine since you have 2 fewer gold each turn to spend on leveling up or finding a triple. Most of the time, it will be difficult to make an ideal Menagerie build you get with other heroes. If you think your Menagerie scaling is not enough, try to mix it with Taunt composition to keep your tempo up.
If divine shields are good, refilling divine shields must be even better. Deflect-o-Bot is amazing with C’Thun. If you can buy Deflect-o-Bots, Iron Senseis, Replicating Menaces, and Annoy-o-Modules, Mechs will work out great. However, keep in mind that it is very difficult to find a full set of Mech minions. Unless Bob offers shops full of Mechs, just take a couple of good Mech minions and fill the rest of the board with other minions, like Taunt or Menagerie synergy minions.
4. Selfless Macaw
If you can find Monstrous Macaws and Selfless Heroes early in the game, you can try to build a composition that plays Selfless Hero as the only deathrattle for Monstrous Macaws to keep giving divine shields to the whole board. This works for C’Thun because all your minions, including Macaws and Heroes, have a large body to make an ongoing chain of divine shields. However, remember that trying to force this comp is a high-risk play because it limits the type of minions you can buy. As said many times throughout this article, it is harder for C’Thun to search for the ideal minion. But if you can smoothly build-up to this combo, it will be very satisfying.
This concludes our basic guide to C’Thun. Remember that this is not the only way to play C’Thun. The fun of Battlegrounds comes from the diversity of playstyles. Take this as your beginner’s guide and try to explore more with it!