One of the most difficult parts of Hearthstone for new players is meeting the dust requirement for competitive meta decks. With every expansion, new cards are printed and players find themselves in a hurdle unless they want to acquire packs with money to build a collection. While it’s possible to be a free-to-play player and slowly build a meta deck, you do need a starting point.
The decks below will not require you to farm out a lot of gold or invest money to buy packs, but they will also not allow you to reach the top of the ladder unless you improve it with meta cards. With these decks you should be easily be able to reach a plateau of Platinum and onwards, but improvements will be required if you want to continue climbing.
While Hearthstone was in a pretty rough state in the past couple of years and the basic decks were quite outdated, the recent changes to the free Core Set on top of a newly revamped reward system allow you to play competitively without a huge time investment.
Here are the best basic and budget Hearthstone decks you can play currently.
These decks are meant for new players who have started playing the game and lack gold and dust to craft cards. The cards included are granted to you for free as you level up each class, allowing you to experiment with the class before you start crafting cards for a certain deck.
The deck has some resilient early-game creatures to help you build a board lead. Use your hero power as often as possible to get the maximum damage output you can. Save your cheap removal spells to for your opponent’s high-mana cost creatures to create a tempo lead for yourself.
The Demon Hunter Core Set is very strong, with players reaching the top of the ladder with it when the class was released. Shortly after its domination and after multiple nerfs, the class became more balanced and in line with the existing classes. The one-mana hero power on top of great card draw allows you to pressure opponents with ease.
Warlock is one of the best free-to-play classes due to its hero power to trade two health for a card draw. With plenty of powerful core cards, you can snowball the game early on while you keep drawing your deck.
Mage has one of the strongest spells in its core set, which allows you to demolish opponents with much better decks with a bit of luck. Aided by a targetable hero power that deals one damage to any target, including your minions allows you to have a clear path to victory.
The Priest class has decent free cards, but its hero power isn’t that useful without effects to enhance the healing from it. As a result, while it might be picked due to its strong spells, it’s quite lackluster without the proper cards to enhance the gameplay.
While the traditional Warrior decks usually aim for a more control-oriented approach, this isn’t possible with the free cards. As a result, you’ll be having access to a Tempo version, where you need to trade with your minions early on to pressure your opponent.
Shaman has access to good cards, which hold over the expansions. The plan is to swarm the board with minions and then use Bloodlust to finish your opponent before he can react.
Armed with a hero power that summons 1/1 recruits, the Paladin is decent at swarming the board early on and take control of it via various buffs. It’s also supplemented by some nice healing effects to keep you topped up.
Druids doesn’t benefit a lot from core cards, which don’t have a lot of synergy without some other crafted cards. The identity that is between Token or Ramp Druid isn’t available with only the free cards, so you might be avoiding this class without discovering it’s main archetypes.
Hunter has a decent start deck, allowing you to rush your opponent and slowly wither their health pool down. With a wide array of direct damaging effects, you can easily control the board and win games even against the meta decks.
The decks included are meant for players who have dipped their toes a bit in Hearthstone and are looking to improve their experience with a little bit of time or money investment. The decks can also be improved into a meta deck over time as you gain more dust or gold for packs.
Midrange Demon Hunter
The deck uses a lot of cards from the Core Set, which is strong by itself and complements it with some minions to take control of the board, before unleashing a huge burst in the later stages of the game. Some Legendary or Epic cards can be replaced by others until you acquire it since the core cards on top of the Rare quality cards make up a good core.
Hunters usually have one of the cheapest budget decks due to their strong Core Set spells. The deck focuses on swarming the board early on with various beats and tunneling damage into your opponent. The tactic is complemented by the hero power which can deal two damage every turn and quickly add up.
A cheap minion-oriented deck, where your main game plan is to swarm the board with cheap minions, before buffing them up with your spells and maintain control of the board. If you lose the board, you’ll most likely lose the game, so be wary of it and try to do everything you can to stop your opponent from controlling it.
It’s one of the most fun decks to play, which relies on generating new cards and minions via random effects. The Spell Mage deck was at the top of the meta during the release of the latest expansion, but after several nerfs it lost a lot of potencies. It is still a great deck to play and cheap as well. A lot of cards are from the Core Set and won’t require you to invest a lot of time or money to gain access to them.
The current meta decider, the Secret Paladin deck is another budget-friendly deck, which allows you to win games against any other powerful deck in the current meta. Running a Secret package alongside minions which benefit from them allows you to overwhelm your opponent with powerful minions.
One of the hardest decks to play, but worth to master, Miracle Priest relies on getting a couple of spell generating minions on board and then unleashing a flurry of spells to generate other spells and in return build a wide hand with powerful effects. Aided by the Rally spell, you can return minions from the graveyard if they are removed and continue your game plan.
Using 28 cards with a mana cost of up to three mana, the plan is to swarm your opponent with early-game minions and spells and wither their health pool down from the first turn. The deck has a Self-Sharpening Sword included, which gives you one attack every time you attack with it, allowing you to snowball quite hard if you buff it up.
A deck which relies on pumping up a lot of early-game damage against your opponent, before surprise finishing him with your cheap spells. The deck is explosive and can take down even the toughest opponents. Doomhammer is also a great addition to the deck, especially since you have a wide array of buffs to it.
The ever-living archetype of Zoo Warlock never disappears from the meta. It remains a huge threat in every expansion due to the hero power which allows you to trade your health for additional card draw. This causes a snowball effect since if you get an early game control of the board, you can maintain it easily due to the inflow of cards you’ll be getting. Regardless of expansion, Zoo Warlock always finds a way back into the meta.
While the Warrior class is notorious for having a lot of Control Decks, the current expansion made the class pivot towards Tempo instead. With powerful early-game minions and minions with Rush effects, the deck is all about swinging early on and maintain control of the board, while also buffing your hand up. While it is one of the more expensive budget decks presented, you can forego most legendaries and replace with cheaper minions until you get enough dust to acquire them.