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 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. This is the Warlock Hearthstone Deck.
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.
- A key minion for his spell power bonus. All the spells from our deck can benefit from an ogre-magi being on the board. A 4/4 body is not bad either.
- 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.
- sludge-belcher is basically a senjin-shieldmasta combined with a goldshire-footman. The great thing is that the 1/2 token with taunt spawns immediately after he dies, forcing your opponent to use at least one more minion to get rid of it. This is especially good against other Hunters who like to unleash-the-hounds.
- 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.
- 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 haunted-creeper tokens into your opponent’s minions before playing dread-infernal.
- 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
- The best removal spell in our entire deck. While it costs us a card, the tempo swing soulfire brings can be outrageous. Gets bonus points because this spell can be played on the same turn you play ogre-magi to deal 5 damage.
- It’s best to see if you can empty your hand first before playing soulfire, as it won’t cost you an additional card.
- This is a situational card. We play two copies because of the potential this has with ogre-magi, which doubles the amount of damage we can do with it.
- 2 damage and draw a card for 1 mana is the dream.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- sludge-belcher: An upgrade over senjin-shieldmasta that also filled a glaring hole at the 5 mana slot. When you’re behind, he can buy you the time to get back into the game.
- 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
- 1 Mana: zombie-chow
- 2 Mana: acidic-swamp-ooze, haunted-creeper
- 3 Mana: shade-of-naxxramas, shattered-sun-cleric
- 4 Mana: chillwind-yeti, ogre-magi
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.
Instead of making an upgrade list, I’d recommend you check out Spark’s guide on building a cheap and efficient Warlock Zoo deck, which includes cards from the Naxxramas set.
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 🙂
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!