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 Warlock 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. Warlock’s hero power is extremely powerful later in the game, when you have you have enough mana to play cards drawn from Life Tap.
Minions – 24
- 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.
2x dark-peddler — New!
- Dark Peddler is great on turn 2 or turn 3, as on turn 3, you’ll often be able to discover a minion to play on the same turn. Because Dark Peddler only discovers 1 mana cards, there’s a great chance of discovering useful spells like mortal-coil or power-overwhelming, which can often be played on the turn Dark Peddler is played.
- 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 jeweled-scarab — New!
- Jeweled Scarab is a good way for our deck to discover cards that are outside of the adventure card sets. This class has many good 3 mana minions and spells so it’s a good inclusion to our limited deck.
- Whoo! Probably the best card in our deck. The imp-gang-boss passes the Vanilla Test and is super annoying. He’ll spawn one of more minions for you before he dies, and with the plethora of removal spells in our deck, you’ll be able to use your tokens to take down much better and more expensive minions.
- 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!
- His stats are worse than boulderfist-ogre, and his battlecry can sometimes backfire against us, but thankfully we can choose when to play him.
- He can be used as a mini-board clear. Just make sure you trade in your tokens into your opponent’s minions before playing dread-infernal.
- 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 best 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.
1x arch-thief-rafaam — New!
- A secondary win-condition in our deck after kel-thuzad. Arch-Thief Rafaam lets us choose between three incredibly powerful spells that can help us finish the game on the following turn when we play it. The 7/8 body is also a threat that needs to be dealt with immediately following the turn he is played.
Spells – 6
- A situational card made better by haunted-creeper and imp-gang-boss. Oftentimes those little 1/1 tokens can bring down minions to exactly 1 health so mortal-coil can cycle you a card.
- Playing this early hurts your tempo, as on turn 4, playing this means you most likely won’t be playing anything else, but late in the game you can play shadow-bolt to remove a minion and play something else as well, which is great.
- A double-edged sword. Play this card to clear your opponent’s board. As long as your life total is high enough, you can also use this to lethal your opponent. Just take into the account the damage it’ll do to you and your board first before you play it.
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: dark-peddler, haunted-creeper, jeweled-scarab
- 3 Mana: imp-gang-boss, shattered-sun-cleric
- 1 Mana: mortal-coil against Hunter and Paladin
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 mortal-coil ? 2x abusive-sergeant
- 2x jeweled-scarab ? 2x knife-juggler
- 2x shadow-bolt ? 2x power-overwhelming
- 2x hellfire ? 2x imp-losion
- 2x dread-infernal ? 2x doomguard
- 2x chillwind-yeti ? 2x dark-iron-dwarf
- 2x senjin-shieldmasta ? 2x defender-of-argus
- 1x emperor-thaurissan ? 1x sea-giant
- 1x arch-thief-rafaam ? 1x dr-boom
- 2x zombie-chow ? 2x flame-imp
- 2x shattered-sun-cleric ? 2x nerubian-egg
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.
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