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 many students achieve the same.
After finishing our Basic Hearthstone Deck series, I received many requests for decks that could be constructed with cards from the Naxxramas set. In terms of value, the Naxxramas expansion will pretty much guarantee you the best value for your gold or cash. It’s not surprising that many newer players — even those without many Expert cards — have chosen to unlock the Naxxramas set first.
The inclusion of several Naxxramas cards allowed us to fill in several gaps we had from the Basic version of this deck, and also allowed us to improve the overall efficiency of our minions. Take a look!
Minions – 22
- A wonderful minion for early pressure. While his deathrattle is a drawback, the objective is to establish board control with zombie-chow early, trading him for something more valuable while your opponent is already at high health.
- Basically the best 2 mana minion in the Basic card set. His 3/2 body for 2 mana passes the Vanilla Test, and his battlecry is useful against more than half the classes in the game (Hunter, Paladin, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior).
- 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 our shattered-sun-cleric.
- The Naxxramas card set gave us several neutral 3 mana minions to consider. At the end of the day, I went with the Shade because he has the least number of drawbacks. deathlord looks formidable, but is an easy target for a shadow-word-pain or stampeding-kodo. dancing-swords looks like a card that can trade 2 for 1, but ends up drawing your opponent a card, nullifying its advantage. The Shade is also nice, because when left untouched, he’ll gain one attack and one health each turn, making him more and more valuable.
- Her battlecry is great for tempo on turn 3, if you can mana to buff one of your minions to trade up, or to survive what would have been an even trade. She leaves behind an attractive 3/2 body as well.
- The best 4 mana minion in the Basic card set. His stats allow him to trade with three 2/4 minions, or two 4/4 minions. This means that on turn 4, he’ll help you reestablish the board if you’re behind, or put you further ahead if you already have an advantage.
- 4 mana for 2/4 isn’t great statswise, but a 2/4 isn’t awful.
- Primarily we want to play her for her battlecry that draws a card later in the game when we’re low on cards. By playing her late, she gives you the potential to play her and whatever she draws on the same turn.
- 4 mana for a 3/5 with taunt is pretty good value. We need him to stabilize the board when we’re faced with aggressive decks with many small minions.
- loatheb is consistently rated as one of the best cards from the Naxxramas set. To the beginner it can be hard to see why. 5 mana for 5/5 is a statline commonly seen in many other cards that are Common, so what’s the big deal? Frankly, his battlecry is what makes him so good. Many decks in constructed rely on spell combos, and this throws a wrench into that system. If you can predict that your opponent will play a holy-nova or flamestrike the following turn, this card can make that play impossible, forcing your opponent to skip their turn, or dump minions on the board, giving you an extra turn to trade for more value before the expected board clear.
- 5 mana for a 4/6 is pretty good, but the fact that he can’t be targeted by Spells or Hero powers is the reason why we include him in our deck. This is an innervate target that can’t be dealt with with spells like hex, polymorph, or fireball.
- The best 6 mana minion in the Basic card set. His stats allow him to trade with three 3/6 minions, or two 6/6 minions. It’s also nice that he’s a plain 6/7 because he’s not susceptible to big-game-hunter or the-black-knight.
- Unlike loatheb, kelthuzad is a card that beginners look at and think “wow, that card is incredibly broken”. In situations where you have board control over your opponent, he is indeed amazing. However, without board control, he’s a 6/8 for 8 mana, which is inefficient for its cost when dropped onto an empty board. The nice thing is that if you can utilize his passive ability to respawn your minions even once on the turn he comes out on, he’s worth it.
Spells – 8
- This is best used to get your 4 cost minions out on turn 2 going first, and turn 1 with The Coin). Alternatively, you can use this to get 5 cost minions on turn 3, or 6 cost minions out on turn 4. It is very difficult to deal with an early chillwind-yeti, spectral-knight, or boulderfist-ogre. A well timed early innervate can snowball games.
- A great utility removal to help you clear minions in the early game. You can use this on turn 3 to clear a 3/2 minion, and play a 2 mana minion of your own on the same turn.
- Pretty much the best Basic Druid card, and Basic Druid’s only board clear spell. You can use it to clear your opponent’s board, on your opponent’s face for lethal damage.
- This can be used to take out 5 health minions or finish a game. As a bonus, it draws you a card. starfire isn’t cheap removal, but it’s reasonable for its cost and replaces itself.
The key differences between this deck and the Basic version are the inclusions of
- zombie-chow: While the 5 health deathrattle is a drawback, the key to playing this card effectively is to utilize him to gain board control when your opponent is already at relatively high health. It won’t matter if you can trade your 2/3 into his 3/2 on turn 2 while he’s still at 30 health. When buffed by a shattered-sun-cleric, the Zombie can trade with two 2/3s or 3/2s. Pretty awesome value.
- haunted-creeper: An upgrade over the vanilla bloodfen-raptor. This is a great card against aggro decks that tend to have more 1 health minions. As a bonus, the 1/1 tokens work extremely well with shattered-sun-cleric, allowing you to potentially trade a 2/2 token into a 3/2.
- shade-of-naxxramas: Usually an upgrade over ironfur-grizzly. The only time this is really bad is if you’re playing against a Warrior, and you have another 3/2 minion on the board (imagine cleave in this situation). He’ll gain one health and one attack each turn, making him a “soft-taunt” that your opponent will want to get rid of right away.
- spectral-knight: An upgrade over senjin-shieldmasta that also filled a glaring hole at the 5 mana slot. You can innervate him out on turn 3, and your opponent will be forced to trade two or minions to deal with him.
- loatheb: A minion that can seriously shut down your opponent’s tempo if you can accurately predict when he’ll play removal. It’s a good play on turn 6 so your opponent can’t play flamestrike the very next turn, buying you time to either clear the board, or inch closer to lethal.
- kelthuzad: A win-condition for our deck. He’s safe against big-game-hunter and the-black-knight and can have an immediate impact the turn he is played as long as you already have some board presence. While his stats are underwhelming for the cost, he can be a win condition if you already have a few minions out that you can use to clear your opponent’s board.
In general, you want to mulligan so that you can put out minions on your first three turns. If you’re going second, feel free to keep a single 4 mana minion so that you can coin it out on turn 3. Coining out a minion on turn 3 is actually a significant tempo boost, as a card like chillwind-yeti can be used to trade against at least two lower cost minions.
Cards to Keep
- 0 Mana: innervate (1 Copy)
- 1 Mana: claw, zombie-chow
- 2 Mana: acidic-swamp-ooze, haunted-creeper
- 3 Mana: shade-of-naxxramas, shattered-sun-cleric
- 4 Mana: chillwind-yeti, senjin-shieldmasta
Remember, you want to plan out your first three turns with your opening hand, so if you already have a 1 mana and 2 mana minion, you should mulligan away your remaining card or two to dig for a play on turn 3.
I won’t make an exhaustive list of potential upgrades this time, but here are a few cards that will improve your deck.
- Minions: keeper-of-the-grove, druid-of-the-claw, ancient-of-lore
- Spells: wrath
Give the deck a try, and let me know how you do! As always, I’d be happy to address any questions you may have 🙂
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