The best Standard Hearthstone decks to try for Scholomance Academy

With a new expansion on the horizon, here are some decks to look out for in the Standard format.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Hearthstone’s Scholomance Academy officially launches tomorrow and every card has been revealed. The power level of this expansion has been compared to Descent of Dragons in terms of how many viable paths each class can follow.

From the aggressive Voracious Reader strategies to the hype of the new dual-class cards, here are 10 powerful Hearthstone decks, one for each class, using new Scholomance Academy cards.

Demonic Midrange

Class: Demon Hunter

  • 2x (1) Battlefiend
  • 2x (1) Demonic Companion
  • 2x (1) Guardian Augmerchant
  • 2x (1) Spirit Jailer
  • 2x (1) Twin Slice
  • 2x (2) Manafeeder Panthara
  • 2x (2) Soul Shear
  • 2x (2) Umberwing
  • 1x (3) Ace Hunter Kreen
  • 2x (3) Satyr Overseer
  • 1x (4) Kayn Sunfury
  • 2x (4) Marrowslicer
  • 1x (4) Star Student Stelina
  • 2x (4) Vilefiend Trainer
  • 2x (5) Soulshard Lapidary
  • 2x (6) Skull of Gul’dan
  • 1x (7) Soulciologist Malicia

Deck code: AAECAea5AwTj1APaxgOD0APP0gMN98gDgtAD3r4DzNID4LwD+84DzdIDi7oD+cgD0c0D6dID1NID2cYDAA==

With a strong debut in its freshman expansion, Demon Hunter players likely expect its sophomore experience to continue that trend in Scholomance Academy. While there are potential hyper-aggressive builds that focus on Voracious Reader and Glide as refuel potential, this midrange list aims to hit more consistent curves and threaten opponents with wide boards.

This deck uses the aggressive half of the Warlock/Demon Hunter Soul Fragment shell to provide ample threats at all stages of the game.

Classic Ramp Druid

Class: Druid

  • 2x (0) Innervate
  • 2x (0) Lightning Bloom
  • 2x (1) Nature Studies
  • 2x (2) Wrath
  • 2x (3) Wild Growth
  • 2x (4) Escaped Manasaber
  • 2x (4) Germination
  • 2x (4) Overgrowth
  • 2x (4) Swipe
  • 2x (5) Twilight Runner
  • 1x (6) Forest Warden Omu
  • 2x (6) Nourish
  • 2x (7) Guardian Animals
  • 1x (7) Kael’thas Sunstrider
  • 2x (7) Overflow
  • 2x (7) Winguard Guardian
  • 1x (9) Malygos

Deck code: AAECAZICBOQIo9EDrroDtAMN/gHw1AObzgPEBoS2A+a6A+i6A0De0QNfk9ED26UD/7UDAA==

Token Druid and Combo Druid are both being pushed in this expansion. But the most prominent and powerful decks will look to go back to Druid’s classic roots: Ramp Druid. With the power of an unnerfed Innervate in the form of Lightning Bloom and a Nature Studies to consistently find powerful tools, Druid is looking like a strong contender for this expansion.

The playstyle for Ramp Druid is easy to grasp. Spend the early game accruing as much mana as possible with Ramp, then plop down one threat after another. While the potential to create a large Germination combo with Omu and Malygos is there, this list’s main focus isn’t aiming to finish the opponent with a one-turn kill.

Dragonbeast Highlander 

Class: Hunter

  • 1x (1) Demonic Companion
  • 1x (1) Rapid Fire
  • 1x (1) Tour Guide
  • 1x (1) Tracking
  • 1x (1) Trueaim Crescent
  • 1x (2) Wolpertinger
  • 1x (2) Corrosive Breath
  • 1x (2) Explosive Trap
  • 1x (2) Freezing Trap
  • 1x (3) Pack Tactics
  • 1x (3) Phase Stalker
  • 1x (3) Scavenger’s Ingenuity
  • 1x (4) Snake Trap
  • 1x (4) Zephrys the Great
  • 1x (4) Ace Hunter Kreen
  • 1x (5) Desert Spear
  • 1x (5) Diving Gryphon
  • 1x (5) Primordial Explorer
  • 1x (5) Shan’do Wildclaw
  • 1x (5) Stormhammer
  • 1x (6) Unleash the Hounds
  • 1x (6) Zixor, Apex Predator
  • 1x (6) Dragonbane
  • 1x (7) Escaped Manasaber
  • 1x (7) Evasive Feywing
  • 1x (7) Krolusk Barkstripper
  • 1x (8) Rotnest Drake
  • 1x (7) Evasive Wyrm
  • 1x (7) Dinotamer Brann
  • 1x (9) Dragonqueen Alexstrasza

Deck code: AAECAR8egtAD7JYDm80DlwjhzgOizgOKrQPJBIcEpLkD+68D/7oDxwP8owPj1APkpAOOrQP+rwPB0AOLrQPbCYO5A4ewA4S2A/+wA+TMA6+3A4WxA6alA5GxAwAA

Hunter was a consistent threat on the ladder last expansion due to its powerhouse Highlander list. While Beast and Egg Deathrattle strategies are getting pushed in this expansion, Highlander Hunter still has potent tools it can adopt from Scholomance Academy to stay fresh.

While the Highlander Hunter for the last couple of expansions had a major emphasis on Dragons, this list splits its focus into adding more powerful Beast tools. Since this deck takes strong aspects from each minion type, the refuel potential will always be constant.

Tempo Mage

Class: Mage

  • 2x (1) Arcane Missiles
  • 1x (1) Brain Freeze
  • 2x (1) Lab Partner
  • 2x (1) Magic Trick
  • 2x (1) Ray of Frost
  • 2x (1) Wand Thief
  • 1x (2) Astromancer Solarian
  • 1x (2) Bloodmage Thalnos
  • 2x (2) Cram Session
  • 2x (2) Frostbolt
  • 2x (2) Loot Hoarder
  • 2x (2) Sorcerer’s Apprentice
  • 2x (2) Starscryer
  • 2x (3) Firebrand
  • 1x (4) Potion of Illusion
  • 1x (5) Mozaki, Master Duelist
  • 1x (5) Ras Frostwhisper
  • 1x (5) Vectus
  • 1x (7) Archmage Antonidas

Deck code: AAECAf0ECMfOA427A+0F5dEDkssD0M4DitIDuAgLtASFzQP/nQOfmwOk0QP30QOWBfsB5gT3uAP4zAMA

With Potion of Illusion’s inclusion, players were excited to see potential Combo Mage decks return to Standard. But Combo Mage may be difficult to pilot properly due to all of the aggressive decks and combo disruptor cards running around. Instead of trying to assemble combo pieces, this Tempo Mage list wants to get on the board fast and use massive Spell Damage amplification cards to finish off the opponent. Once a sizable board has been accrued, you can use Potion of Illusion to refuel for future turns to close out the game.

This deck features a neutral Deathrattle draw engine using the new Vectus to have an alternate way to draw cards outside of Cram Session turns.

Lightforged Scholomance

Class: Paladin

  • 2x (0) First Day of School
  • 2x (1) Aldor Attendant
  • 2x (2) Argent Braggart
  • 2x (2) Hand of A’dal
  • 2x (2) Libram of Wisdom
  • 1x (2) Murgur Murgurgle
  • 2x (2) Shotbot
  • 2x (3) Gift of Luminance
  • 2x (3) Goody Two-Shields
  • 1x (3) Lord Barov
  • 2x (3) Underlight Angling Rod
  • 2x (4) Consecration
  • 1x (4) High Abbess Alura
  • 1x (4) Lightforged Zealot
  • 2x (5) Aldor Truthseeker
  • 1x (7) Lightforged Crusader
  • 2x (9) Libram of Hope

Deck code: AAECAZ8FBPy4A5PQA8PRA5uuAw2ezQP9uAPg0QPKwQPruQONtgOnywPK0QP7uAPcA5yuA+y5A+q5AwA=

Pure Paladin is an archetype that’s been growing steadily more popular while all the classes around it have been getting nerfed in Ashes of Outland. With one of its weaknesses—a lack of early one drops—getting shored up, Pure Paladin is hoping to vie for a stronger spot on the tier list. High Abbess is a card that can have powerful high roll potential if you can hit your expensive spells, even gaining a free 8/8 Divine Shield with Taunt after you cast a cheap spell.

Tempo Priest

Class: Priest

  • 2x (0) Raise Dead
  • 2x (1) Beaming Sidekick
  • 2x (1) Frazzled Freshman
  • 1x (1) Reliquary of Souls
  • 2x (1) Grandmummy
  • 2x (2) Kul Tiran Chaplain
  • 2x (2) Power Word: Feast
  • 2x (2) Sethekk Veilweaver
  • 2x (2) Apotheosis
  • 2x (3) Dragonmaw Overseer
  • 2x (3) Gift of Luminance
  • 1x (3) Mindflayer Kaarhj
  • 2x (3) Wretched Reclaimer
  • 2x (4) Cabal Acolyte
  • 1x (4) Disciplinarian Gandling
  • 1x (7) Galakrond, the Unspeakable

Deck code: AAECAa0GBM6+A4WtA+fRA8jAAw3XzgP9pwParAO70QOtpQOk1QO00QObugOvugPpugOnywO2pQPj0QMA

Both Galakrond and Highlander Priest had strong showings during Ashes of Outland—and they’ll continue to be powerful going into this expansion. But this list shows a potential new contender: Tempo Priest. While Tempo Priest has been historically weak outside of Divine Spirit Inner Fire lists, this new era of Tempo Priest has a lot of early options to fight for the board quickly and keep healthy minions.

If the deck runs out of cards early, the single Galakrond at the top of the curve can grant Priest immense value for free, especially against slower controlling decks.

Tempo Rogue

Class: Rogue

  • 2x (0) Backstab
  • 2x (1) Deadly Poison
  • 1x (1) Pharoah Cat
  • 2x (1) Secret Passage
  • 2x (1) Spymistress
  • 2x (1) Wand Thief
  • 2x (2) Eviscerate
  • 2x (2) Skyvateer
  • 2x (2) Transfer Student
  • 2x (3) Edwin VanCleef
  • 2x (3) Greyheart Sage
  • 1x (3) Hooked Scimitar
  • 2x (3) Vulpera Toxinblade
  • 1x (4) Infiltrator Lilian
  • 2x (4) Waggle Pick
  • 2x (5) Cutting Class

Deck code: AAECAaIHArICq9IDDrQBywP1pwOqywO5uAOk0QOIB5u2A8PMA8+5A/+lA4jQA4mbA/fUAwA=

Galakrond Rogue was a deck that powered through Standard for two expansions in a row since its introduction in Descent of Dragons. The free value it gained from Invoked Lackeys and cheap draws from Galakrond himself was hard for other decks to keep up with. And now, with Secret Passage, Tempo Rogue has an alternate way to gain more opportunities to draw cards for a low mana cost. 

Spell Damage Shaman

Class: Shaman

  • 2x (0) Lightning Bloom
  • 2x (1) Ethereal Augmerchant
  • 2x (1) Lightning Bolt
  • 2x (1) Bloodmage Thalnos
  • 2x (2) Diligent Notetaker
  • 2x (2) Rune Dagger
  • 2x (2) Spellbook Binder
  • 2x (2) Arcane Watcher
  • 1x (3) Instructor Fireheart
  • 1x (3) Lady Vashj
  • 2x (3) Lava Burst
  • 2x (3) Marshspawn
  • 2x (3) Molten Blast
  • 2x (4) Serpentshrine Portal
  • 2x (4) Squallhunter
  • 1x (5) Ras Frostwhisper
  • 2x (5) Steward of Scrolls

Deck code: AAECAaoIBO0FnM4D5LgD0M4DDfDUA+C+A/kD4cwDpssDwZgDrpsD4AaYuQPOzgPbuAOsrQOTzQMA

Shaman is hurting from a weak showing during the Ashes of Outland expansion, even after receiving buffs. But with the powerful tools they obtained in Scholomance Academy, a Spell Damage focused Shaman build is looking to pull this class out of the low tiers and into contender status.

Zoo Lock

Class: Warlock

  • 2x (0) Raise Dead
  • 2x (1) Beaming Sidekick
  • 2x (1) Flame Imp
  • 2x (1) Sinister Deal
  • 2x (1) Soulfire
  • 2x (1) Spirit Jailer
  • 1x (1) Tour Guide
  • 1x (1) Voidwalker
  • 2x (2) EVIL Genius
  • 2x (2) Expired Merchant
  • 2x (2) Transfer Student
  • 2x (3) Magic Carpet
  • 2x (3) Neverset Thrasher
  • 1x (4) Disciplinarian Gandling
  • 2x (4) Diseased Vulture
  • 2x (8) Flesh Giant

Deck code: AAECAf0GApvNA+fRAw7XzgP9pwPCCPqkA84HzNIDMIidA/2kA8PMA7WfA/ukA4GlA8HRAwA=

Warlock had a couple of viable decks in the last expansion, such as Discard Zoo and Control Quest. This Zoo List tries to revive the self-damage strategy introduced with Savior of Uldum and combine it with the new cards from Scholomance Academy, like Flesh Giant and Raise Dead.

Big Ripper Commencement Warrior

Class: Warrior

  • 2x (1) Shield Slam
  • 2x (1) Sword and Board
  • 2x (2) Corsair Cache
  • 2x (2) Slam
  • 2x (3) Bladestorm
  • 2x (3) Coerce
  • 2x (3) Shield Block
  • 2x (4) Reaper’s Scythe
  • 2x (5) Brawl
  • 2x (5) Cutting Class
  • 2x (7) Commencement
  • 1x (7) Gorehowl
  • 1x (8) Deathwing, Mad Aspect
  • 2x (8) Troublemaker
  • 1x (9) Rattlegore
  • 1x (10) Colossus of the Moon

Deck code: AAECAQcEqgbfrQOr1APfqQMNogT2wgPAuQOyCLi5A4rQA/8H48wDS/fUA9LRA6fOA5aUAwA=

Midrange Tempo-focused Warrior was the best deck this class had in the last expansion. This deck looks to highlight the potential of a slower Warrior list that could pop up. Control Warrior has been a classic archetype since the dawn of Hearthstone. A similar strategy of solely using big minions existed during the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion to highlight the Recruit mechanic.

The strategy of this deck is simple. Remove all threats the opponent throws at you with spells and weapons, then grind out your opponent with high-value minions and spells like Dimensional Ripper or Commencement.


Look out for meta changes

While these lists are mainly speculative, there are many changes in the meta that can happen, including card balance updates and counters to the decks that appear to be the strongest.

Hearthstone’s Scholomance Academy expansion will be released on Aug. 6. Players can pre-purchase the expansion before it releases in one of two different bundles from Blizzard’s online store or in the Hearthstone client.