Editor’s Note: With the new Standard Format in 2016 for Hearthstone, we highly recommend going for cards in the Classic set and Whispers of the Old Gods (Standard Format). Here are budget guides, also from Sheng, to get you started!
- Budget Standard Standard C’Thun Druid
- Budget Standard Midrange Hunter
- Budget Standard C’Thun Mage
- Budget Standard Aggro Paladin
- Budget Standard C’Thun Priest
- Budget Standard C’Thun Rogue
- Budget Standard Midrange Shaman
- Budget Standard Zoo Warlock
- Budget Standard Combo Warrior
Greetings, I’m Sheng, a Legend rank constructed and 7.5 win-average arena player. I run HearthstoneCoaching.com where our coaches have helped students around the world reach many of these same achievements.
If you’re new to Hearthstone, or just have a limited collection of cards—I feel your pain. It is often difficult to find cheap but viable decks to play on the Hearthstone ladder. Given this dilemma, I’ve set out to help those of you with a limited collection by creating budget decks for each class.
- Reach Level 10 to unlock all of the Basic cards for this class.
- Complete the Naxxramas, Blackrock Mountain, and League of Explorers expansions.
- Midrange Druid is a tempo-oriented deck whose goal is to out-value opponents through the course of the game using efficient minion trading and spells. Its primary win condition is savage-roar, and spells like innervate and wild-growth give Druid the ability to put out large threats several turns before opponents can answer them efficiently.
Minions – 18
- The Zombie Chow is strictly an early game minion used to pressure your opponent’s board early. The goal of casting a Zombie Chow onto the board early is to trade with your opponent’s more expensive minions before its deathrattle becomes a liability. There’s very little downside to killing off your own Zombie Chow when your opponent is close to full health, but playing him later in the game might just put your opponent out of reach if he has a way to deal with it.
- The Ooze is a great little card that has an incredible battlecry against more than half the classes in the game (Hunter, Paladin, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior). His 3/2 body for 2 mana passes the Vanilla Test, and there’s no downside to playing him even if the battlecry doesn’t destroy a weapon.
- This spider is our counter to aggressive decks that like to drop multitudes of 1 health minions. He’s a mini harvest-golem that spawns two 1/1 tokens instead of a single 2/1 token. The spawned tokens become nice targets for buffs.
2x mounted-raptor — New!
- Mounted Raptor is a mini piloted-shredder. Its ability to spawn a 1 cost minion after it dies is especially beneficial in our deck, as it leaves behind a minion that can be buffed by savage-roar.
- The Yeti is the benchmark on which all other 4 mana minions are compared. Not only does he pass the Vanilla Test with flying colors, he trades favorably with most other 2, 3, and 4 mana minions. The Yeti has no downsides and is a welcome sight whether you’re behind or ahead in the game.
- Taz’dingo! The Sen’jin Shieldmasta trades one point of attack in exchange for taunt, but it’s generally a fair trade. While a Sen’jin won’t 1 hit kill a 4/4 or 3/4 minion, he’ll be able to protect your lower health minions from dying to favorable trades from your opponent, and can be the key to slowing down the game against aggressive rush-down decks.
- Loatheb is an amazing card… when played correctly. 5 mana for a 5/5 is fair, but it’s Loatheb’s ability to shutdown opponent’s spells that makes him so valuable. Play Loatheb on turn 6 before a mage can cast flamestrike on turn 7 and he’ll win you the game.
- If you thought the senjin-shieldmasta was good, well just wait until you see his bigger brother, the Sludge Belcher. Sludge Belcher is an extremely annoying card to deal with, because when he dies, he leaves behind a smaller taunt. This effectively shuts down very aggressive decks, that are generally forced to use silence to get around him. Another benefit to the Sludge Belcher’s deathrattle is his synergy with kelthuzad. Good luck getting past that wall of taunts when both are on the board at the same time!
- The true definition of a big dumb minion. Except actually, now that I think about it, the Boulderfist Ogre may actually be the smartest Ogre in the Hearthstone universe given that he’ll always hit the target you ask him to. For 6 mana, you get a 6/7 minion that isn’t affected by silence, the-black-knight, and big-game-hunter. He’s a workhorse in this deck and does much of the heavy lifting to help you secure games.
- Kel’Thuzad is probably the most win condition in our deck. If you have any semblance of a board going into turn 8, he has a good chance of winning the game for you. His value only goes up when you have deathrattle minions on the board that spawn more minions.
Spells – 12
- Innervate combined with an early 4 mana or 6 mana minion is almost always instant board advantage. In general, you want to save innervate for larger and more expensive minions because of their ability to trade with two or more smaller ones. Remember that when you play innervate, you’re essentially losing a card from your hand, so the loss of card advantage needs to be worth it.
2x raven-idol — New!
- While Raven Idol may not seem like much, this spell is primarily used to give us tempo by providing us a minion later in the game, or to draw into an spell that can be an answer to a minion played by our opponent. The Raven Idol also allows us to access cards in the non-adventure sets, giving us additional flexibility.
- A great card to play early from your opening hand. Playing Wild Growth on turn 1 with the-coin is like having an extra coin every turn. This card has the most value the earlier it is played. The weakness of this card is that during mid-game (turns 4-6), playing Wild Growth might prevent you from playing a bigger minion, making it a dead card. However, if you hold onto Wild Growth long enough, or top-deck one late in the game with 10 mana crystals, playing Wild Growth will allow you to draw another card through excess-mana.
- Our primary form of burst in our deck, after building up a board of minions we can Savage Roar to trade our 1/1 minions away for more valuable minions, or for lethal damage to our opponent.
- One of the best Druid spells, period. It has the ability to clear your opponent’s board and can also be used as reach for lethal. I’ve never seen a legitimate contructed Druid deck played without Swipe, honestly.
- Starfire is a pretty versatile card that can take out annoying 5 health minions, or can be used to finish off an opponent. The downside to Starfire is that when you play it, it’ll generally take up your entire turn due to its high casting cost, but you do gain a card for your troubles.
In general, you want to mulligan to setup your first three or four turns. Please note that there is a distinction between going first and going second in Hearthstone, and this should factor into your mulligan choices.
When going first, your advantage is the ability to play first. In addition, you gain mana crystals before your opponent. To take advantage of this, you want to be aggressive in your mulligan to put minions on the board.
When going second, your advantage is mainly the-coin, which gives you tempo over your opponent for a single turn, and also an extra card. Depending on the nature of your deck, whether it’s Aggro, Midrange, or Control, you’ll be looking for different things.
- When playing an aggro deck, you’ll be looking for the same cards going second as you would going first. The objective is to quickly populate the board and bring down your opponent’s life total.
- When playing a midrange deck, you’ll also be looking to get onto the board early, with the caveat that you can keep a single copy of a situational minion or spell that you think may be useful to counter an opponent. This spell might be something like a kezan-mystic to counter classes with Secrets or removal like frostbolt.
- When playing a control deck, you’re looking to save the coin until much later in the game, generally when you can bring out a large late-game threat earlier than usual.
While I won’t make an exhaustive list, these are some of the cards you should consider keeping in your opening hand when playing this deck. In general, your goal with this deck is to get onto the board as soon as possible. It’s important to dig for an early 1 or 2 mana minion to play so you can begin to pressure your opponent’s life total.
- 1 Mana: zombie-chow
- 2 Mana: acidic-swamp-ooze, haunted-creeper
- 3 Mana: mounted-raptor
- 4 Mana: chillwind-yeti or senjin-shieldmasta with innervate or wild-growth
- 0 Mana: innervate
- 2 Mana: wild-growth
Here are some substitutions that will improve this budget deck. If you’re looking to craft cards to play this class, it’s best to start with the “Key Substitutions” first before working your way to the “Nice-to-Have” Substitutions. Unless stated otherwise, you can substitute a single copy of an upgrade card instead of two if you don’t have both.
- 2x raven-idol ? 2x wrath
- 2x acidic-swamp-ooze ? 2x darnassus-aspirant
- 2x senjin-shieldmasta ? 2x keeper-of-the-grove
- 2x starfire ? 2x force-of-nature
- 2x boulderfist-ogre ? 2x ancient-of-lore
- 2x haunted-creeper ? 2x azure-drake
- 2x chillwind-yeti ? 2x piloted-shredder
- 2x sludge-belcher ? 2x druid-of-the-claw
- 1x kelthuzad ? 1x dr-boom
- 1x zombie-chow ? 1x big-game-hunter
- 1x zombie-chow ? 1x emperor-thaurissan
I hope you enjoyed this guide! If you have questions, feel free to use the comment sections below. Our team at HearthstonePlayers would be happy to answer them.
If you’re interested in reaching Legend rank, or earning unlimited gold from arena, my team at HearthstoneCoaching.com would love to help! We’ve provided over a thousand hours of excellent coaching to students around the world.
Want to Become Better at Other Games?
I also run RankOneCoaching.com, where our top coaches will develop a personal plan for you to achieve your dreams in other games. Personal lessons are an in-depth experience and most students improve significantly after just one full session!