With the release of Hearthstone Patch 22.2, Blizzard introduced to us the all-new Battlegrounds Buddy System. Each hero gets their own buddy to join them in combat and compliment their hero power and play styles. Your “Buddy Meter” determines the timing of your Buddy’s arrival. In the first half of the gauge, you get your first copy of your buddy. When the entire meter fills up, then you get two more copies. However, the second half of the gauge is more difficult to fill up.
The prediction of when you can get your buddies are as follows:
T2: First Buddy (Turn five, seven gold) | Two Buddies (Turn nine)
T3: First Buddy (Turn six, eight gold) | Two Buddies (Turn eleven)
T4: First Buddy (Turn seven, nine gold) | Two Buddies (Turn twelve)
The following are the ways you can gain Buddy Meter:
- Entering combat phase.
- Dealing damage to enemy minions.
- Pop Divine Shields.
- Win or Tie a combat round.
- Small bonus for each turn for how many minions you have at the start of the combat.
Entering combat phase
The speed of filling your “buddy-meter” depends on the tier of your buddy. The table below shows how fast you passively gain progress on your “buddy-meter.” Below are the tentative numbers we have to work with, as not everything is completely solved yet, and many changes are to come for the buddies system. Much of the information here is a collection from sources, including the BobsTavern Reddit community and YouTubers.
Dealing damage to enemy minions
The most effective way to gain meter is through dealing damage to enemy minions. Cards such as Wrath Weaver and Evolving Chromawing are sought out in the early game due to their potential to gain high amounts of attack in the early game. The high progress potential is also why heroes like Rokara tend to get her buddy early on despite having a T4 buddy.
Pop Divine Shields
Popping divine shields does give you Buddy Meter but does not give you as much as it would dealing raw damage. It is more beneficial for you to have a Divine Shield minion as it will deny your opponent the extra Buddy Meter while it gains you extra Buddy Meter progress for dealing damage.
Win or Tie a combat round.
If you tie with your opponent, you will gain around 1-3% on the Buddy Meter. Meanwhile, winning your combat phase and dealing high amounts of damage to your opponent’s health can give you 1-10% into your Buddy Meter.
Small bonus for each turn for how many minions you have at the start of the combat.
By having a lot of minions on your board, you can gain more Buddy Meter once you enter the combat phase, but it is a small bonus of around 0-2%, with having a full board giving you the highest amount.
Buddy Meter Cap Per Turn
To prevent players from gaining their buddies too fast, there is a cap for each turn, depending on how far into a match you are. Up to 30% for T2 buddies, up to 25% for T3 buddies, and up to 23% for T4 buddies. If your Buddy Meter closes and you are at 99%, unfortunately, you can’t gain any more during the combat phase, but you can still gain a small 1-2% bonus for winning or tying.
The Second Half of the Meter
Once you enter the second half, gaining meter becomes much more difficult. The numbers above have been for the first half of the gauge. Now cut these numbers by around half, and that is how much you gain from your buddy meter. Fortunately, if you are close to getting your buddy, at around 95-99%, you will gain the same amount as the first part of the Buddy Meter when the gauge overlaps to the second half. The diminished meter gain of being in the second half won’t begin until you enter your recruitment phase.
Now with that out of the way, let’s discuss three different kinds of Buddies. There are three kinds of Buddies in this game: Win Condition buddies, Battlecry Buddies, and Value Buddies
Win Condition Buddies
Win Condition buddies are Buddies that you will be carrying with you the entire game. They’re made specifically to work well with your hero power and to be the reason why you are stronger than your opponents. For example, Queen Wagtoggle’s Elder Taggawag and The Curator’s Mishmash fit the role of win condition buddies. These Buddies can make their board increase in size faster than the other heroes. Since there is a lot of benefit to keeping them on the board, especially once they’re golden, you will most likely keep these buddies.
Other buddies such as Al’Akir allow them to bring out a unique playstyle to themselves that can either be a win condition or early tempo for a much better strategy. Al’Akir, with his buddy Spirit of Air, can give multiple minions taunt, windfury, and divine shield. The Spirit of Air works well for builds involving Champion of Y’Shaarj, Arm of the Empire, Gemsplitter, and poisons. But if you manage to get something better, such as finding yourself in a Monsterous Macaw build with Goldrinn, the White Wolf, then it is best to throw away your buddy to prevent anti synergy.
These are buddies you will rarely see in the late game and will only stick around for a turn or two. Goldening these minions may be beneficial, but sometimes it is best to sell them early on. Battlecry Buddies like Trade Prince Gallywix’s Bilgewater Mogul can give one of his minion’s extra stats just from spending gold.
Bilgewater Mogul is a buddy that you do not need to keep, despite the potential from a golden. Keeping the buddy on your board and waiting for the triple will prevent you from having a full board of strong minions. As such, keeping the Mogul results in losing more fights and slowing down your process to getting the last copies of your buddies. Something else worth considering is how these battlecry buddies interact with Brann Bronzebeard, a minion that doubles battlecries. In some cases, the extra flexibility outperforms the golden version.
Value Buddies give a small bonus using your hero power, but should not last as long on your board as win condition buddies, but will last longer than battlecry buddies. Captain Hooktusk’s Raging Contender is a great example as there is a lot of benefit from finding more minions to discover with your hero power. However, that does not help you in the combat phase. It could get you important cards or triples, but once you find a proper win condition, you should get ready to ditch the buddy. But that does not mean Raging Contender is useless once you get your win condition. If you find a Nomi, Kitchen Nightmare, or Aggem Thorncurse, Raging Contender becomes very useful since various T1 minions help the respective win conditions.
Please note none of these are hard rules. Each game and hero are different, so you should figure out yourself when it is best to keep or throw away your buddy. That’s all you need to know about each buddy. Thank you all for reading, and good luck with your games.
Thank you for reading this updated guide, and we hope it helps you all. For more of Mewwy’s Battlegrounds content, follow on Twitch, Twitter, subscribe on Youtube, book a lesson, or join our discord! Also, be sure to check out some of the recent guides to Battlegrounds heroes like Cookie the Cook, Sneed, and the upcoming Standard Hearthstone rotation.