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.
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 that are competitive on the Hearthstone ladder.
When I first started playing Hearthstone, I would often go online to lookup the most popular decks played at Legend rank, and find that my limited card collection would not build them. While it was sometimes possible to substitute less important cards, there would often not be cheap substitutions for a crucial Epic or Legendary that completed a deck.
Given this dilemma, I’ve set out to help those of you with a limited collection by providing ladder-viable decks for each class that cost 1000 dust or less.
- Reach Level 10 to unlock all of the Basic cards for this class.
- Complete the Naxxramas and Blackrock Mountain expansions.
- Have 1000 dust available for crafting.
Before I started this series, I spent a considerable amount of time last season testing the most popular and viable decks played at Legend rank. From my climb to Legend, I devised an algorithm for constructing a budget deck.
- From my data, compile a list of the most essential Commons and Rares for a particular class.
- Calculate the total crafting cost of those cards. If the total exceeds 1000 dust, reduce the number of cards until we reach our budget.
- Fill in the rest of the deck with cards from the Basic and single-player expansion sets.
While this algorithm seems simple, it’s very easy to get Step 2 and 3 completely wrong, as it can be difficult to determine which cards to build around when you’ve exceeded your budget.
In general, my methodology for determining which cards to cut comes from my experience playing these classes in Legend rank, and my own opinion on which cards are best to build around.
In the end, the result is a deck that is considerably stronger than one built soley from Basic and single-player expansion cards, yet cheap enough such that a new player who has played Hearthstone for a month can craft for themselves.
- Budget Face Hunter’s goal is to beat your opponent down as quickly as possible. The general theme of the deck is to get onto the board extremely quickly with minions like leper-gnome and worgen-infiltrator, and then finish opponents off with direct damage spells and charge minions.
- One of the best ways to think of Face Hunter is a boxing match. You’re an extremely strong and powerful boxer who packs a mean punch. The only problem is that you lack the stamina to go the distance, so you need to finish your opponents off as soon as possible with a K.O. each time.
- After establishing a board of cheap minions early on, you should be using your hero power to continuously chip away at your opponent’s life total. It is absolutely critical to save your removal spells and charge minions for turns when you have mana to play them along with your hero power. If you don’t follow this advice, you’ll find several turns down the road that you’re missing the damage you could have done in previous turns from your hero power.
- Save your ironbeak-owls for difficult to remove taunts, and utilize your spells properly so you can ensure you have enough reach to finish opponents off before you run out of fuel.
Minions – 17
- Unless you have no other options, the Abusive Sergeant should be used to trade up with larger minions that you can’t ignore, or to buff another minion to deal an additional two damage to your opponent.
- An excellent minion that allows us to establish a presence on the board early. When he dies, he also hurts our opponent, which fits right in with our deck’s theme.
- Another minion that allows us to establish a board presence early. Worgen Infiltrator’s main goal is to stay on the board to get buffed by an early glaivezooka.
- Haunted Creeper lets us contest the board early and synergizes well with our knife-jugglers.
- A Beast that allows us to bypass annoying taunts so we can go back to hitting our opponent in the face.
- knife-juggler provides an extra bit of reach for our deck and synergizes extremely well with all of our low-cost minions.
- A card we look for in our opening hand to bring out explosive-trap for free.
- Generally we want to save the Arcane Golem for turns where we don’t have any other options for direct damage. The reason for this is because his Battlecry gives our opponent an extra mana crystal, which can be used to accelerate out cards like sludge-belcher which can significantly slow us down.
- A charge minion. He’s usually 3 mana for 3 damage, but sometimes that’s just what we need for lethal.
Spells – 10
- Tracking is generally 1 mana to draw into some sort of direct damage to our opponent’s face.
- Not a card we ever want to play out of our hand if we can help it, but extremely useful when it’s drawn from a mad-scientist.
- We generally want to hold onto Quick Shot so we can utilize its card draw if we can. Sometimes this isn’t possible, as the longer you hold onto a Quick Shot, the more likely you’ll draw into another one, meaning we won’t be able to draw two additional cards. #FaceHunterProblems
- Always mana-efficient. Most of the time we’re looking to summon huffer from this.
- An incredibly mana-efficient spell that can be used to clear a larger taunt like senjin-shieldmasta or to deal lethal damage to our opponent. You should always try to save this until you have a Beast on the board to combo with.
- Synergizes extremely well with knife-juggler. Each of the Hounds have charge, so you sometimes be able to come up with lethal from playing Unleash.
Weapons – 3
- Often 4 points of direct damage for two mana, which is extremely mana-efficient, but Glaivezooka can also be used to protect our minions like huffer from dying to other two health minions. The general goal, however, isn’t so much to control the board but rather to find the most efficient way to deal the most amount of damage throughout the course of the game.
- Synergizes well with our explosive-trap. Ideally we want these traps to spawn from mad-scientist.
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.
- 1 Mana: leper-gnome, worgen-infiltrator
- 2 Mana: haunted-creeper, knife-juggler, mad-scientist
- 2 Mana: glaivezooka
- tracking for any type of Charge minion or Spell that can help you deal lethal damage to your opponent.
- worgen-infiltrator + glaivezooka.
- mad-scientist‘s Deathrattle into an explosive-trap.
- eaglehorn-bow + explosive-trap.
- kill-command + any Beast minion.
- knife-juggler + haunted-creeper‘s spectral-spiders or unleash-the-hounds.
- leokk + haunted-creeper‘s spectral-spiders or unleash-the-hounds.
Here are a few simple substitutions that will make this budget deck even stronger.
- 1x abusive-sergeant for tracking.
- 1x misdirection for explosive-trap.
I hope you enjoyed my guide to Budget Face Hunter. For more advanced Hunter decks that aren’t constrained by a limited dust budget, check out the Hunter meta decks on our sidebar. As always, I’d be happy to answer questions from you in the comments section.
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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