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 budget ladder-viable decks for each class.
- Reach Level 10 to unlock all of the Basic cards for this class.
- Complete the Naxxramas and Blackrock Mountain expansions.
- Have 1300 dust available for crafting.
Many readers have requested that I update my Budget deck series to include cards from The Grand Tournament. I have to apologize for the delay in getting these written, as I wanted to spend as much time as possible play-testing and tuning these.
Unlike last time, I didn’t set a particular dust limit to any of my decks, but rather limited myself to just cards from the single player adventures (Naxxramas and Blackrock Mountain at the time this was written), and cards from the Basic, Common, and Rare cardsets. Many of these decks mirror the top decks played at the Legend level, with substitutions for some of the more expensive Epics and Legendaries. At the end of this guide, there is an additional section that provides substitutions for cards to make this deck even stronger.
Again, the overall goal is to provide a set of budget decks for newer players that can be viable to at least Rank 10, and even below.
- Midrange Hunter, unlike our previous Budget Face Hunter deck focuses more on tempo and board control than face damage. It’s an extremely fun and flexible deck with many tools at its disposal.
- Early on, you want to establish board dominance with your 2 mana minions, and then by mid to late game, you can relinquish control of the board to race your opponent to lethal.
- The deck is designed to curve into savannah-highmane, a minion that really should be a Legendary. Hunters get to run two copies of this card. Ridiculous!
Minions – 18
- Webspinner’s primary purpose in our deck is as something to play on turn 1, or an enabler for houndmaster or kill-command.
- Sometimes, he’ll give you a Beast that can swing a game like king-krush.
- 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 buffs.
- Allows us to bypass Taunts and pesky Deathrattle minions. He’s a key card that can be thrown down late in the game to act as an enable for kill-command as well.
- Given that Ironbeak Owl’s silence is needed situationally, we only run one copy.
2x kings-elekk — New!
- King’s Elekk is an amazing new card from The Grand Tournament. While you may not always win the joust, he’s mana efficient as a 2 mana 3/2 Beast, and when you do win jousts, you’ll draw one more large minion out of your deck.
- This is great because it increases your chances of drawing a lower cost card in subsequent turns or whatever you draw from your joust can provide instant tempo when you have enough mana to play whatever you drew.
- Synergizes extremely well with haunted-creeper and unleash-the-hounds. Generally, I like to play other 2 mana minions first so opponents can use removal on those minions instead of the more valuable Knife Juggler.
- Mad Scientist is a great little card that helps you contest the board. When he dies, he can bring out a game-change secret like freezing-trap to slow down your opponent.
- A situational card that works extremely well if you have a Beast on the board. Don’t be afraid to play him for tempo on turn 4 if you have no other viable plays.
- In a vacuum, the Piloted Shredder is the best 4 mana neutral minion in the game. TGT has released many very very good 2 mana minions, which reduces the chance you’ll spawn a doomsayer on your own turn (though this has still happened to me several times in the past week #NeverLucky).
- The Shredder’s role in our deck is to be a sticky minion to be played on curve on turn 4 to pressure our opponent. They’ll generally need to throw multiple things into it in order to clear it.
- Loatheb is an amazing card… when played correctly. 5 mana for a 5/5 is fair, but it’s Loatheb’s ability to shutdown opponent’s spells that makes him so valuable. Play Loatheb on turn 6 before a mage can cast flamestrike on turn 7 and he’ll win you the game.
- Kind of a sleeper card that wasn’t played for a long time, Stranglethorn Tiger has made a comeback in many Midrange Hunter decks as it has great synergy with other cards like ram-wrangler and kings-elekk.
- When played on curve, the Tiger is a looming threat that can seal you games.
- I really don’t understand why this card is Rare. Its stats are better than many Legendary and Epic cards, and the Highmane spawns two 2/2 beasts when it dies. It’s just incredible value. Many opponents will save their silences just to play on the Highmane on turn 6.
- This card can win you jousts as well through kings-elekk giving you a very strong turn 6 play. According to Amaz, there’s an unspoken rule that if Savannah Highmane attacks an opponent in the face just once, the opponent loses. In many cases this is very true, as even after you’ve dealt with the 6/5 body, you have to deal with the 2/2s that spawn from it.
Spells – 10
- A situational card that allows us to deal with a Taunt or a minion that just can’t be ignored. Synergizes well with knife-juggler and unleash-the-hounds.
- A pretty good card against more aggressive decks like Face Hunter and Aggro Paladin. Sometimes you wish you drew a freezing-trap instead, as this can be played around quite easily.
- If you have snake-trap, you can substitute that for this.
- An amazing card if you can draw it from mad-scientist. Not only does Freezing Trap bounce a minion back to its opponent’s hand, it also increases the casting cost, making it sometimes likely that your opponent won’t be able to play that minion again for the rest of the game.
- It’s best to setup a board for Freezing Trap by clearing the rest of your opponent’s board and isolating a single minion that you want to bounce back.
- An extra bit of reach for lethal. While with our Midrange deck we won’t always be able to draw the extra card from Quick Shot, this spell is also a good answer to early darnassus-aspirants and minions we need to remove.
- An auto-include spell in any Hunter deck. All of the Beasts spawned from Animal Companion are great, but you need to consider what comes out, in order to map the optimal play for the turn.
- The primary finisher for our deck. With a Beast on the board, Kill Command is better than a fireball. It’s sometimes smart to keep a cheap Beast in your hand until you need to use it, like webspinner, if you’re not sure you’ll have a board by the time you need it.
- A great utility spell for Hunter that punishes opponents for over-extending. You can use it after your opponent generates a bunch of tokens through muster-for-battle to clear his board, to get that extra few points of damage needed for lethal.
Weapons – 2
- A great weapon that synergizes from our traps. This works best when you spawn a trap from mad-scientist so you don’t have to pay anything for the extra point of durability.
- Sometimes it makes sense to keep this at 1 remaining charge if you don’t have another copy of this in your hand in case you draw or play a secret.
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: webspinner
- 2 Mana: haunted-creeper, kings-elekk, knife-juggler, mad-scientist
- 3 Mana: animal-companion
- 3 Mana: eaglehorn-bow
Here are a few simple substitutions that will make this budget deck even stronger.
- 1x explosive-trap ? 1x snake-trap
- 1x quick-shot ? 1x dr-boom
I hope you enjoyed my guide to Budget TGT Midrange 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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