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 Mech Shaman is a midrange deck whose goal is to utilize mechwarper to develop a board of Mechs as quickly as possible, and then utilizes the burst from Windfury cards and fire-elemental to finish off opponents.
- In the early game, you want to bring out minions like cogmaster and mechwarper as quickly as possible to establish a board.
- In the mid game, with mechwarper you can bring out threats like mechanical-yeti and piloted-shredder sooner than normal.
- In the late game, you should be able to finish your opponents off with your board of Mechs, or rockbiter-weapon to combo with whirling-zap-o-matic for burst.
Minions – 20
- Cogmaster is an extremely mana-efficient minion for us, given that our deck is full of Mechs. You generally want to drop him on turn 1, and then follow up with a Mech on turn 2 before trading or attacking your opponent for 3 damage.
- Protects our mechwarper early primarily from weapons like fiery-war-axe.
- Allows our Totems to become more useful for us, and can synergize well with whirling-zap-o-matic and other annoy-o-tron.
- The minion that this deck is built around. You generally do not want to play this on turn 1 when you have the coin, but instead, you want to play him on turn 2, when you can coin out another 2 mana Mech for 1 mana.
- A mana-efficient Mech with Windfury that can win games for us when combined with rockbiter-weapon or flametongue-totem.
- An extremely mana efficient Mech.
- Another mana efficient Mech whose Spare Part Deathrattle can sometimes be a liability. However, he’s great when we can mechwarper him out on turn 3.
- A sticky Mech minion that is a staple in all Mech decks. Great when played on turn 3 with a mechwarper on the board.
- A mana-efficient minion that allows us to shut down our opponent’s spells the next turn. You generally want to play Loatheb when you’re a turn before lethal, or to shut down a board clear spell on the following turn.
- 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 kel-thuzad. Good luck getting past that wall of taunts when both are on the board at the same time!
- 6 mana for a 6/5 isn’t great stats-wise, but he gives us a free lightning-bolt ability when he comes into play which can swing the tempo in our favor. We’ll gladly trade the two extra health that we’d get with boulderfist-ogre for 3 damage to any target we choose.
Spells – 8
- Great for bypassing taunts so we can do face damage, or to delete minions like loot-hoarder and leper-gnome without triggering their Deathrattle.
- Can be used as straight-up removal or as a way to buff a Windfury minion for lethal.
- Crackle has replaced lightning-bolt as the go-to direct damage removal spell in Shaman. While the results can be random, Crackle is one mana more expensive but generally provides more reach, with the same amount of overload the next turn.
- Awesome unconditional removal. It’ll get rid of that pesky sylvanas-windrunner or cairne-bloodhoof and won’t trigger any deathrattles. A key card.
Weapons – 2
- A really great weapon for its cost, Powermace’s Deathrattle synergizes really well with whirling-zap-o-matic to help us burst down opponents.
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: cogmaster
- 2 Mana: annoy-o-tron, mechwarper, whirling-zap-o-matic
- 1 Mana: earth-shock, rockbiter-weapon
- 3 Mana: powermace
- wrath-of-air-totem + earth-shock or crackle.
- cogmaster or mechwarper + any Mech minion.
- rockbiter-weapon + whirling-zap-o-matic.
- flametongue-totem + any minion.
- powermace + any Mech minion, but especially whirling-zap-o-matic thanks to Windfury.
Here are a few simple substitutions that will make this budget deck even stronger.
- 1x doomhammer for hex.
- 1x dr-boom for hex.
- 2x fel-reaver for sludge-belcher.
I hope you enjoyed my guide to Budget Mech Shaman. For more advanced Shaman decks that aren’t constrained by a limited dust budget, check out the Shaman 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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