The recent Battlegrounds Rework of patch 21.3 buffed the Dragon tribe significantly. The bigger winner here is the Emerald Queen herself, Ysera. Ysera’s strength comes from her simple ability of Dream Portal, which adds an extra dragon to each roll of Bob’s Tavern. That leads to the main question, for what minions should you look with Ysera?
The Basics of Ysera & Dream Portal
A common misconception with Ysera is that the best way to play her is to pick up every Dragon. Surely now that the Dragon Tribe got buffed, any dragons are good, right? While the Dragon tribe is certainly stronger, that is far from optimal. There are two dragons in particular worth looking out for, which are Tarecgosa and Prized Promo-Drake. The scaling of these two units combined is the main reason for Ysera’s current strength in Battlegrounds.
Ysera’s Game Plan
Ysera’s early game plan focuses entirely on finding the two minions we mentioned before. These two units are your main win condition and vital to your success. If you have a board full of dragons, you permanently buff Tarecgosa by +7/+7 every single turn. If you manage to find multiple Prized Promo-Drake’s or multiple Tarecgosa’s, you can scale your board even faster, out scaling most other Warbands. The consistency of finding these two units increases drastically due to Dream Portal, as you have a guaranteed extra chance at finding a dragon in every single shop of Bob’s Tavern.
The most difficult period of learning to play Ysera is the turns 1-4, where you try to survive to reach Tavern Three and Four. Something that may help is finding a Whelp Smuggler or Selfless Hero early, as those are great options to benefit Tarecgosa in the mid-game. Unlike before with the Dragons Tribe, Ysera doesn’t require Kalecgos to scale into the late game. Finding units like Razorgore, Kalecgos, and Nadina the Red is still extremely beneficial. Still, if you don’t have the opportunity to raise your Tavern that high, the main strategy often helps you reach the top places in your lobby.
Pitfalls to watch with Ysera in Battlegrounds
If you only focus on buffing your Tarecgosa, you may run into two problems: Divine Shields and Poison Minions. While the solution to Divine Shields is quite simple, because of the new unit Prestor’s Pyrospawn, dealing with Poison is more difficult. For those unfamiliar with Prestor’s Pyrospawn, the minion deals three damage to your minions’ target before the actual attack comes in. It removes their Divine Shield before you hit, or if your target has three or less life, your unit saves their health for the next attack.
If a composition relies heavily on the Poison from Deadly Spore, Prestor’s Pyrospawn is also a solution in that situation. However, if players have more sources of Poison, you need a different way of protecting your Tarecgosa, such as the earlier mentioned Selfless Hero or Nadina the Red, which permanently grants Tarecgosa Divine Shield.
What curve you should follow in Battlegrounds
Ysera’s main goal is to reach Tavern Three and Four in the best position you can manage. The standard Battlegrounds curve and three-on-three both come with a lot of associated risk as those (could) leave you in difficult scenarios health-wise, quite often. Recently, a curve that gained popularity is the Jeef Curve, also known as the “A.F.K. Curve.” The Jeef Curve allows you to have stronger turns one to three and reach Tavern Three by turn four.
Hotshotting your way to an early upgrade and having a likely chance to Tarecgosa. Afterward, you will be at Tavern-Tier four before most players to find PrizedPromo-Drake. Below is an example of the Jeef Curve for Ysera. For more on the curve, and its origins, be sure to read our recent Jeef Curve Guide.
Turn One (3 Gold) – Buy Murloc Tidehunter, Alleycat, Sellemental. If unavailable, buy an Evolving Chromewing. If your hero power gives you Red Whelp instead, purchase that unless you find a Deck Swabbie or a Sun-Bacon Relaxer.
Turn Two (4 Gold) – Find either a token generator or an Evolving Chromawing. Roll if necessary. If you didn’t find a token generator or Evolving Chromawing, think of other options. Deck Swabbie is good but pointless if you already played one in the previous turn. Sun-Bacon Relaxer is a similar case. Red Whelp is decent if you had another dragon.
Turn Three (5 Gold) – If you had a token generator, sell your token, purchase a minion and upgrade to Tavern Two. If you had Deck Swabbie, then you do not need to sell any minions. If you see a Sun-Bacon Relaxer or have one on your board, purchase it and sell it. Put the Blood Gems on your Evolving Chromawing if you have one. Afterward, upgrade to Tavern-Two.
Turn Four (6 Gold) – Immediately upgrade to Tavern Three. You need to find Tarecgosa’s immediately, and besides possibly Whelp Smuggler, you do not need anything in Tavern Two.
Turn Five (7 Gold) – If your hero power gives you Tarecgosa or Bronze Warden, pick those cards up immediately. However, if you have a healthy amount of life left (Around 30-40 health), you could upgrade to Tavern Four immediately.
Turn Six (8 Gold) – If you stayed at Tavern Three the previous round, now upgrade to Tavern Four. Sell a weak minion for a stronger minion if necessary. Remember, buff your Evolving Chromawing before upgrading if you have remaining Blood Gems or buff minions.
Turn Seven (9 Gold) – Start looking for Tarecgosa and Prized-Promo Drakes. Eventually, they will be able to scale faster than your opponents. Use that advantage to upgrade to either find Razorgore or triple and find Nadina the Red. Remember, Kalecgosa is only optional for Ysera. Nadina is the more useful one.
3-on-3 Curve – The risky alternative for Ysera
3-on-3 is an alternate curve that pushes you even faster to get to T3 and T4. The difference between 3-on-3 and the Jeef curve is that there is less room for error in the 3-on-3 curve. If you do not land good T3 minions, you may have a difficult time with your mid-game, but it may be worth the risk with a good start. Normally I would only suggest doing this when you got the Token Generators.
Turn One (3g) – Buy a token generator like Murloc Tidehunter, Alleycat, Sellemental, or Deck Swabbie. SunBacon Relaxer is fine too. If you pick Deck Swabbie, DO NOT play it yet.
Turn Two (4g) – Upgrade. If you have Deck Swabbie, then play it.
Turn Three (5g) – Unless you have Deck Swabbie, sell your minion and upgrade.
Turn Four (6g) – Buy the best minions available. Focus on Tarecgosa and Bronze Warden.
Turn Five (7g) – Again, buy the best minions available.
Turn Six (8g) – Upgrade. Buy a minion.
Afterward, you should be searching for Prized-Promo Drake as much as you can. Of course, you can get Pestor’s Pyrospawn and Drakonid Enforcer to be early tempo to help you gain time to find Prized-Promo Drake. Sadly, it does take time for Drake to scale, so be sure to find it as fast as possible.
Closing Thoughts for Ysera
Ysera is strong for a reason, and that is her consistency. Her biggest weakness is surviving until you can find those keycards. Follow this curve, make the right decisions, and you should be able to earn victories despite having low health. While her hero power is easy to utilize, make sure you are not forcing the build too hard. If you have only 2-3 gold remaining, you may need to purchase a card that is not Tarecgosa or Prized Promo-Drake to keep up your strength. Remember to make sure your positioning is proper. It should look like the following:
Strong Dragon or Nadina | A strong dragon | Prized Promo-Drake | Tarecgosa | Prized Promo-Drake | Tarecgosa | Another dragon
Of course, rearrange how you see fit depending on your situation. There may be times you even want to swap a dragon out for Foe Reaper or Cave Hydra. They will get an additional +6/+6 temporarily, and that may be key to removing a card like Baron Rivendare.