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 Priest is a tempo-oriented deck whose goal is to out-value opponents through the course of the game using efficient minion trading and removal spells.
- When effective, this style of play snowballs to card-advantage in the late-game, which can overwhelm opponents. Priest’s hero power is especially useful when northshire-cleric is on the board. This synergy creates a card-draw engine that can allow Priest to draw multiple cards on a single turn with healing spells.
- League of Explorers introduces entomb, which allows Priest to deal with our opponent’s win conditions extremely effectively.
Minions – 22
- The card that this deck is built around! She’ll be our primary way of drawing cards late in the game. Synergizes well with our Hero Power and holy-nova.
- 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.
2x museum-curator — New!
- Museum Curator is a great little card that allows us to put a body on the board (worth 1 mana), while allowing us to discover a Deathrattle minion. This can be especially beneficial to our limited deck as it opens the door to options like piloted-shredder, piloted-sky-golem, and sylvanas-windrunner.
- 3 mana gets you a 3/4, which is already Yeti-like value, but when he dies, he gives something else on your board +3 health. Insane. You’ll make opponents cry when you the-coin out a dark-cultist on turn 2, just to follow it up with another one on turn 3.
- 3 mana for 3/2 isn’t mana efficient, but the battlecry more than makes up for it. The downside is that if you don’t have a minion on the board, this card suffers.
- The ideal scenario is to play this on the same turn a minion you control can trade with something equal in value and survive, or can trade up to kill something more expensive.
- 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.
- While at first glance the Emperor seems overpowered, he’s only truly valuable in decks that have relatively large hand sizes to allow him to reduce the cost of multiple cards on the same turn. When you can tuck him behind a taunt or two, he’s almost impossible to get to and can seriously snowball games for you. The weakness to the Emperor is in situations where you don’t have many cards in your hand and don’t have a board to protect him with, so play him wisely.
- 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 – 8
- Gives 2 health to any minion for 1 mana, and draws you a card. Ideally, you’ll want to play this on a minion that would have died in a trade without the extra health. Make sure to play this first before your other cards, as the card you draw from it might be useful.
- A pretty efficient card. The dream is to use this against hard to remove minions like water-elemental and fen-creepers. Just keep in mind that this doesn’t work around battlecries and deathrattles.
- Neither this nor shadow-word-death affect 4 attack minions, making Priest weak against 4 attack cards.
- A great card to draw into late game to eliminate your opponent’s late game threats. Just keep in mind that this doesn’t work around battlecries and deathrattles, so using this on your opponent’s sylvanas-windrunner will still have her steal one of your minions.
- Neither this nor shadow-word-pain affect 4 attack minions, making Priest weak against 4 attack cards.
- Priest’s primary board clear card. Works well in conjunction with our northshire-cleric to draw cards and heal our minions after clearing your opponent’s board.
2x entomb — New!
- Entomb was automatically included into Control Priest decklists the week it was released. This is a great answer to late-game threats, and doesn’t require the 10 mana needed to play mind-control. The reason Entomb is so good is because it will ignore Deathrattles, and allows you to deal with a threatening minion like sylvanas-windrunner very cleanly. In addition, by stealing your opponent’s win-condition, you can give yourself an additional win-condition by putting it into your own deck.
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, museum-curator
- 3 Mana: dark-cultist, shattered-sun-cleric
- 2 Mana: shadow-word-pain with the-coin.
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 acidic-swamp-ooze ? 2x wild-pyromancer
- 2x shattered-sun-cleric ? 2x injured-blademaster
- 2x senjin-shieldmasta + 2x chillwind-yeti ? 2x circle-of-healing + 2x auchenai-soulpriest
- 1x boulderfist-ogre ? 1x cabal-shadow-priest
- 1x emperor-thaurissan ? 1x cabal-shadow-priest
- 1x loatheb ? 1x justicar-trueheart
- 1x entomb ? 1x lightbomb
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!