The Best Hearthstone Ashes of Outland Decks So Far
In less than a week of it being live, Ashes of Outland saw some major Hearthstone nerfs, which changed the nature of what decks were used. By that I mean, it changed some of the Demon Hunter decks being used! I’ll highlight those four cards in just a moment, but it doesn’t make the new class unplayable. Just. . . a bit more manageable to play against. With that in mind, a new expansion means new decks to play! We’re going to highlight some of the best Hearthstone decks in the current meta, across the board!
- Skull of Gul’dan: Mana Cost increased for 5 to 6
- Imprisoned Antaen: Mana Cost increased from 5 to 6
- Eye Beam: Outcast Mana cost increased from 0 to 1
- Aldrachi Warblades: Durability decreased from 3 to 2
This only means you have fewer OP options for Demon Hunter. But since they’re the new kid on the block, we’ll start with them. But we’ll talk about our favorite decks that are taking Hearthstone by storm, as the Ashes of Outland meta evolves.
Tempo Demon Hunter (Mid-Range Demon Hunter)
Honestly, this seems like a pretty easy enough deck to pilot, without any complicated combos. With this expansion, Demon Hunter is the first new class! It’s so exciting. There are two major Demon Hunter decks right now that I’ve seen: Tempo, and Highlander. Highlander is a bit more expensive, with three legendaries in the neutral category. The Tempo deck has a pair of Greens and Blues, instead of 3 Legendaries, so that’s already far more enjoyable to see.
The Tempo Demon Hunter deck seems to stand out the most to me. We’re running three legendaries, and they likely won’t be too hard to pick up, since they’re all Demon Hunter cards. This isn’t the “OTK Demon Hunter” combo deck that I want to see, but oy, that’s expensive. So instead, we’re going to look at this! The name of the game is having a ton of really easy to use minions, get Kayn Sunfury out, and swing for lethal.
Between “Ignore Taunt”, and Metamorphosis, we can do some nasty things to other players, without frankly, a whole lot of effort. We can also nickel and dime people down, as long as Altruis the Outcast is in play because he makes all of our spells Outcast, sort of. So, what do we have on deck here in this. . . deck? Look, they can’t all be winners.
How Does It Work?
So, we have a few options here if we want to dunk people down to size. Kayn Sunfury lets us again, ignore Taunt. With him in play, and enough creatures, we just smash our way through. Before that, I want to make sure we have Metamorphosis in hand and Warglaives of Azzinoth in hand. I just want that to buff certain creatures, or to swing lethal if necessary.
In an ideal world, we want a Battlefiend in play with this as well. Whenever you attack, he gains +1 Attack. So, you use Warglaives of Azzinoth to attack minion after minion and buff it. Warglaives let you attack again when you attack a minion. So you use Twin Slice for 0 Mana to give your Hero +1 attack, get that “Second Slice”, and make it easier to slaughter your opponent’s cards. This buffs Battlefiend further and further, and also synergizes well with Frenzied Felwing. It costs less each time your opponent takes damage.
So, you play it for 0, and laugh! So, one of the ways to win the game is Kayn Sunfury, a bunch of creatures, and ignore their creatures and swing at the other player’s health points. The key here though is to do this combo only when it’s time to win. Playing Kayn early means he’s going to get targeted and killed. I promise. How do we get them to lower health though?
Altruis the Outcast helps! Anytime you cast the left/right-most card in your hand, deal 1 damage to all enemies (so I imagine, that includes the player themselves). This isn’t a lot, but it can wipe a field down with enough low-cost spells. You have so many low-cost spells in this deck. If you can get the right cards into place though, you can do crazy things like Eyebeam for 1 and get 4 damage, and follow it up with a Glaivebound Adept. This relies on you attacking, so get that Warglaive in play early. You can, of course, use the Demon Hunter Hero Power (gain +1 attack power this turn).
Those are great ways to nickel and dime someone into killing range. But don’t forget about Metamorphosis. That changes your Hero Power to “Deal 5 Damage”, and you get two uses of it. So that’s 10 damage to the enemy player. You can set this up several turns in advance, like Warglaive, and wait for the perfect moment.
What else can we do to get damage out there? Satyr Overseer can help build your army! After you attack, you gain a 2/2 Satyr. Whether you attack normally or have the Warglaives, this is always going to be useful. Doubly useful with the Warglaives though, because the Overseer does not require you to hit anything in particular.
You have so many options for card draw too. Skull of Gul’dan, Crimson Sigil Runner, Spectral Sight, as examples. Those will let you set up for your combo over time. That’s the thing about this deck I like. You can just play patiently and wait for the other player. You ping away at them until the end. Play Kayn, swing out, and win! In a game that doesn’t have a lot of counter-play, this is more or less, a safe strategy.
This is honestly a very cost-efficient deck. This is in terms both of the cost of cards, and casting cost. We only run a pair of Epics, a trio of Legendaries, and the rest are common/rare. This deck only runs a couple of “high-cost” cards, and by that, I mean in the 5-6 range. That’s also why I wanted to start with it. It shouldn’t be difficult to get put together and start stomping on people with it. It does have a nerfed card or two in it. That said, it’s still the more popular of the Demon Hunter decks.
But makes this deck go go go?
Kayn Sunfury (4-Cost Legendary Minion): He’s what makes this go the hardest I think. Just hold him in your hand until it’s time to unleash the army of demons and the hunters. He’s got Charge, and he makes all friendly minions ignore Taunt! That means he brings a minimum of 3 damage to the table. The only way he could be any viler is if he gave your minions Charge too! So you set up a field of your low-cost, decent power creatures, and use Metamorphosis to lower them right into killing range. Drop Kayn, and ignore any taunt creatures that happen to be in the way. He’s great even if your opponent doesn’t have any in play right this second. They could always put them in if they somehow survive your onslaught.
Glaivebound Adept (5-Cost Basic Minion): He’s a 5-cost, but with Altruis in play, he could really hammer someone. If your Hero attacked this turn, he deals 4 damage, so that’s immediate damage to the other player. Altruis would turn that into 5 to one target, and 1 to their minions. On top of that, he’s a 7/4, so you hold them the turn before you drop Kayn Sunfury. That will turn your damage up to 10 minimum, as long as they stay alive. It’s got 4 health, so you have to be careful it doesn’t get targeted for destruction. It’s still a great card. You almost wouldn’t want to attack with the Hero just to get that free damage. You have Twin Slice to give your Hero that +1 Attack, so you could save the Hero Power cost (or if you have Metamorph in play, you can still do that)! Glaivebound Adept is amazing.
Skull of Gul’dan (6-Cost Rare Spell): Honestly, even with the 1-cost increase to this, it’s still amazingly powerful. You draw 3 cards and reduce their cost by (3) Mana. This is even better if you played Sightless Watcher first. That way you check the top three cards, put one on top, and you have an idea of what’s on the way. That way, you can choose if you draw them now or wait a little longer. You can also pair that Watcher with cards like Spectral Sight to draw a card, then use Skull of Gul’dan after, to pull what you need. Want to drop Metamorphosis for 2, Kayn for 1, and Glaivebound Adept for 2? You can do that all the next turn with a perfect pull! There are so many cards that are suddenly godlike, thanks to a cost reduction.
Tempo Demon Hunter Decklist
Twin Slice (0) x2
Battlefiend (1) x2
Crimson Sigil Runner (1) x2
Blazing Battlemage (1) x2
Furious Felfin (2) x2
Sightless Watcher (2) x1
Spectral Sight (2) x2
Umberwing (2) x2
Altruis the Outcast (3) x1
Eye Beam (3) x2
Satyr Overseer (3) x2
Kayn Sunfury (4) x1
Frenzied Felwing (4) x2
Glaivebound Adept (5) x2
Metamorphosis (5) x1
Warglaives of Azzinoth (5) x2
Skull of Gul’dan (6) x2
Deck Code: AAECAea5AwTMugPDvAONvQPaxgMN+a4DurYDi7oDxLwD4LwDusYDx8YD2cYD1cgD98gD+cgD/sgD/8gDAA==
I love this deck if I’m honest. The OTK and Highlander decks might ultimately be “better” or “more fun”, but I like the simplicity of this deck. It should be very easy to get a handle on, for new and veteran players alike. Not every deck for a CCG should be infuriating if you are missing one card for a combo. Out of all of the Ashes of Outland decks we covered for Hearthstone thus far, this one might be the easiest. The week will tell how true that is, but so far, it’s easy, shouldn’t be difficult to put together, and stomps faces. It’s fun, it’s efficient, and you have a lot of ways to seal the deal. You can just nickel and dime people down with a steady flow of 1/1 and 2/2s, or you can set up for the big combo in the mid/late game as you see fit. Make certain that the other player is NOT prepared.
Another card I was thinking about adding somewhere as an aside, is Overconfident Orc. You’re going to see it at least once in this article because they’re crazy good in the right situations! Which is a lot of situations, if I can be honest.
Embiggen Druid is a hilariously easy concept to understand. We make sure we have giant creatures in the deck, and then we Embiggen them so they’re even bigger when we bring them to light. Ideally, we can get them into play for free with Strength in Numbers, so the key there is the timing. It summons a random minion from your deck, after all. You want to at least have Embiggen cast once! It’s even better if you shuffled Mssh’fn Prime into the deck, because you could get him!
Embiggen is a silly deck, but thanks to the Demon Hunter nerfs, it stands strong still. You could go Dragon Druid, but that’s not as fun to me. This is a Druid deck after all! Creatures costing 10 mana isn’t such a big deal thanks to Overgrowth! You also have Breath of Dreams to potentially gain another Mana Crystal (empty), if you’re holding a dragon anyway. So. . . make sure you’re doing that before you cast!
This is a deck that just focuses on massive damage and superior numbers. In the right situation, you can just flood the board with monstrous damage. Would you like to Strength in Numbers a 6/14 Yser, Unleashed, which puts 7 Dream Portals into your deck? Then you play Overflow, which has you draw 5 cards. If you draw any of the Dream Portals, you summon random (likely furious) dragons!
There are so many hilarious, disrespectful things you can do in an Embiggen Deck, after all! You can stick it out with Alexstrasza to restore your health in a pinch, or you can summon Embiggened Scrapyard Colossus! That makes it a 9/9 with Taunt, by the by.
How Does It Work?
Our end-game revolves around huge, obnoxious creatures, and getting them into play as quickly as possible. One of the downers of Strength in Numbers is you could, in theory, pull something weak, even with Embiggen attached. Well, that’s the theory anyway! Every creature in this deck is worth pulling after Embiggen!
Evasive Wyrm should still be affected since it isn’t targeted by Embiggen (it affects all creatures in your deck) so that’s a bonus. We also have two Strength in Numbers, so you should be able to get two shots at an early Ysera, Unleashed. I’d use one early as possible, and hold the other until Archspore Msshi’fn, so we can get a chance to pull his “Prime” form.
Once Ysera, Unleashed has been summoned, that’s when we want to use all of our fun card draw powers! You can use them early if you’re in command of the board state, but it’s more satisfying to draw into several dragons on one turn. Wrath, Overflow, Big Ol’ Whelp, and Breath of Dreams are your ways to get extra cards. The longer the game goes on though, the better Ysera can be. The fewer cards that are in the deck, the better chance you have to pull a Dragon Portal, after all. If you do draw one of those that are slid into your deck thanks to Ysera, you also get a second draw, because the Dragon Portals aren’t “real cards”. So you technically can have two creatures that turn!
I wonder if you can use Overflow to get all five of those cards being Dragon Portals. That sounds implausible but hilarious. So what do those Dragon Portals do? When they are drawn, you summon a random Dragon from any part of the game. You could, in theory, have an army of legendary dragons to smash someone out of the ballpark. There’s a chance you could get something that hurts you, but that seems highly unlikely.
I wonder if you could pull a second Ysera, Unleashed that way. That’s an interesting, hilarious concept. Get another set of Dragon Portals! By then, I imagine your opponent would either surrender or be defeated by your army of giant creatures. But let’s talk about Strength in Numbers again, because it’s a key component of the deck.
It’s an early game card, in that it’s a 1-cost Sidequest. All you have to do to complete it is spend 10 mana on minions. You could cast this mid-game too, and complete it the very next turn. Play this, and with Embiggen already in play, those 9-cost dragons now cost 10! From there, just cast Alexstrasza, and draw something else from the deck.
Now, one of the problems with Overflow, is that all characters gain that 5 health back, so it does help your opponent. But that’s okay, because at that point, the game is probably over, and they just don’t know it yet. This is also a deck that has elusive creatures, of a sort. Winged Guardian and Evasive Wyrm are both immune to spells and Hero Powers, plus they’re huge! Winged Guardian as a point of fact, has Taunt and Reborn, so it’s going to at least come back one time! That’s one of my favorite Strength in Numbers cards, especially after Embiggen. If you’ve played both, It’s a 10/12 Taunt/Reborn.
So, that’s our destination in this deck. We want to play both Embiggens when the time is right, which, in my opinion, is early. Sure, it’s nice to wait for Msshi’fn Prime, but you don’t have to. We have enough mighty creatures in this deck. Plus, Embiggen being 0 mana means you don’t have to suffer not having mana for other things. We even still have some mana ramp in this deck.
It’s slow because they only add “Empty” Mana Crystals. They’ll be full the next turn at least! Overgrowth gives 2 empty mana crystals for 4 mana, Breath of Dreams adds 1 in addition to the card draw if you have a dragon in hand. We have two Overgrowths, so that’s four empty mana crystals which would be amazing in the early game.
The idea behind the creatures getting at least +2/+2 from your deck (but casting both for +4/+4 is better) is that while they cost a bit more, it becomes that much easier to defeat the other player. If you start playing 12/12s, 9/6s, and 9/9s, you just have to get past any Taunt creatures they have and shatter their brains with huge creatures. As long as you have creatures to play, the game can still be yours.
The biggest downer to this deck in my estimation, is that your creatures in hand are not affected by Embiggen! If you just have spells in hand when you cast it, then no harm. It only buffs the creatures in the deck at that moment, so keep that in mind.
So, Embiggen, Embiggen, Strength in Numbers, pray to RNJesus for something good and start smashing faces. The faster you can get this going, the better. Luckily we have all the tools for that. We have direct damage (Wrath, Bogbeam), summoning extra creatures (Ysera, Emerald Explorer, Strength in Numbers), you name it! This deck has all the tools, so it’s no shock that it’s still around in Ashes of Outland as a viable deck in Hearthstone!
It is my sincere hope that, despite loving this deck, the next time I talk about Druid, we have some new tech to discuss. This is not a new concept, though we at least have some new cards in it. I just want to do something other than talk about how fun Embiggen is! So, perhaps this time, I’ll focus on the new cards, and what makes them so interesting.
Overconfident Orc (3-Cost Common Neutral Minion): Overconfident Orc can very easily be the MVP of this deck. Why do you ask? It’s just a ⅙ Taunt minion for 3! But when you apply an Embiggen or two, he comes out with True Ultimate Power. When he’s at full Health, he has +2 Attack. So that makes him on cast at least 3/6. Then you add Embiggen to make him a ⅝ on cast for 3, or better still, a 7/10! Would you like a 7/10 for 5 mana? Then if they aren’t harmed, you just smack the player in the face! Easy peasy, just slap ‘em in the mouth with this brutal, angry Orc! He’s so good, and that cost is more than reasonable. Even if he’s not Embiggened, he’s a threat and has to be killed before they attack you directly (without Kayn in play for you Demon Hunters).
Scrapyard Colossus (10-Cost Rare Neutral Minion – Elemental): So, this is a 10-cost 7/7 minimum. What’s so great about it then? Embiggen doesn’t make the cost go up! Embiggen makes the cost of all creatures in the deck go up by 1 mana, with a cap of 10! That means you can get an 11/11 Taunt/Deathrattle for 10 mana, which is a bargain. When it dies, it comes back as a 7/7 with Taunt, so it doesn’t go away! With two of these in the deck, you could get one with Strength in Numbers and just laugh like a madperson. It’s a requirement. Say you get this on turn four or five. You could wrap the game up in a couple more turns with luck like that.
Archspore Msshi’fn/Msshi’fn Prime (3/10-Cost Legendary Minion): The Archspore Msshi’fn card is a 3-cost minion, so we want him to both come and go before we start using Embiggen/Strength in Numbers procs. Msshi’fn Prime is the card we want to pull with Strength in Numbers, after all. As a 10-cost, it can’t cost more due to Embiggen, and it’s a baseline 9/9. This 9/9 Taunt lets you summon a 9/9 Fungal Giant with Taunt or Rush, so when you pull it with Strength in Numbers, you get a second massive monster on top of it! Ahhh, if only we could give Charge in this deck. In the most ideal of circumstances, this would come into play as a 13/13 Taunt. I would just concede at that point I feel if I was the other player.
Embiggen Druid Decklist
Embiggen (0) x2
Strength in Numbers (1) x2
Breath of Dreams (2) x2
Wrath (2) x2
Archspore Msshi’fn (3) x1
Overconfident Orc (3) x2
Bogbeam (3) x2
Overgrowth (4) x2
Oasis Surger (5) x2
Big Ol’ Whelp (5) x2
Evasive Wyrm (6) x2
Emerald Explorer (6) x2
Overflow (7) x1
Winged Guardian (7) x2
Ysera, Unleashed (9) x1
Alexstrasza (9) x1
Scrapyard Colossus (10) x2
This is truly an obnoxious deck. In the late game, you should have a 10-cost to cast every single turn, and even better if you can start doing it earlier than normal! A lot of these creatures are expensive, but that’s not a big deal; you’re a druid! If you’re worried about Breath of Dreams, don’t! We have plenty of dragons in the deck, after all! It’s a deck that, as long as you have mana and cards to play, you can do rude, unpleasant things to the other player. I don’t want anything in my opening hand but stuff like Embiggen, Strength in Numbers, and probably Archspore Msshi’fn or Wrath. We don’t want any of those big creatures in the opening hand, because we need them to be blasted by Embiggen Rays like the Incredible Hulk.
I think decks that feature lots of board wipe or are incredibly aggressive might take you out though. If they can aggro you down before you start flooding the board with titans, that can be the end. At least, thankfully, we have a few taunt creatures and direct damage options. Not many, but just enough to tide us over until Alexstrasza or something else to show up. Believe in the Embiggen! I have seen something that can demolish this deck though: beware Warrior Magtheridon combos! He can awaken and flatten your board.
Dragon Hunter, Apex Predators (Mid-Range/Combo?)
I don’t play much Hunter personally in Hearthstone. It’s not my cup of tea. But Zixor, Apex Predator/Zixor Prime may have changed my opinion. This is a fairly interesting deck, that focuses deeply on being able to control the flow of the game by bombarding the board with secrets and smashing people in the face with Stormhammer. As long as you have a dragon in play, you can wield Stormhammer with complete impunity, after all. Trust me, we’ve got dragons on deck, too.
Most of the creatures in the deck are dragons, with a couple of notable exceptions. The Dwarven Sharpshooter, as an example, lets your Hero Power target minions. Pew pew! If you can combine this with Dragonbane, you can turn this into a fun control deck, obliterating most minions one by one. While dragons are the main focus here, we have a pair of beasts in the deck, but we only want to pull one: Zixor Prime.
As a point of fact, we want Zixor, Apex Predator to come and go very quickly. That way, we can draw him later using Scavenger’s Ingenuity! That will draw into Zixor Prime, and make it a 7/7. When you play him, you’ll summon three more 7/7 copies of him! So that’s the plan. The dragons are just a distraction, but don’t be misled; you can easily win with them.
Between Rotnest Drake, your Frenzied Felwing, and Dragonbane (though it’s a mech), you can do more than enough damage to win out. So what’s the move?
How Does It Work?
Do you want to control the early game? This is one of the decks in Ashes of Outland that can do that! That’s what our other beast, Phase Stalker is for! When you use your Hero Power, you cast a Secret from the deck! We have a few great Secrets too. Pack Tactics (Summon a 3/3 copy of a minion when a friendly minion is attacked) and Explosive Trap (When your hero is attacked, deal 2 damage to all enemies)!
This gives you several turns worth of burst and frustration to your opponent. I love Pack Tactics because when your opponent thinks they’re getting rid of Phase Stalker, you get another one! This also works for your Zixor. Frankly, any of your threatening creatures can make this work well at any stage of the game. For example, if they attack (but don’t kill) your Dragonbane, you could have two in play of the legendary mech. So then you ping something with your Hero Power, two random enemies get hit for 5 in response! Now that is the dream.
One of the solid things about the deck is how many Dragons we have, to pair with Stormhammer. As long as you keep one in play, your hammer won’t lose duration. That means you can keep bopping them with that 3-damage epic weapon! If your opponent doesn’t have any armor or weapons equipped, it’s free damage every single turn. So you don’t want to put every dragon into play with that in mind. You have Scalerider to deal 2 extra damage with its battlecry if you’re holding a dragon, for example. Then there’s Rotnest Drake, which destroys a random enemy if you’re holding a dragon.
This serves two purposes as we see. That way, in case someone wipes the board, you can play another dragon, and resume your slow, steady hammering of the foe, and proc those extra abilities. I want to have Phase Stalkers in play early though so the only Beast in deck will be Zixor Prime. Once Zixor, Apex Predator dies, the Prime form shuffles into the deck. If he’s the only Beast in the deck (or you’re simply lucky) you can end the game on the next turn. Swing for 28 directly to the other player’s face!
If you happen to get another Zixor, Apex Predator due to Pack Tactics, take heart! Make sure it dies too, and you can get another shot at it, though you shouldn’t need it. Pack Tactics and Explosive Trap will make people wary. If you can get a few extra shots of Explosive Trap thanks to Phase Stalker, you can decimate the other players board state. Between that, Dragonbane and Corrosive Breath (and honorable mention to Dwarven Sharpshooter to make your Hero Power target minions), you have so many options to batter them and prevent creatures from threatening you.
I have to say though, it’s a blast to bring a horde of Zixor’s out of nowhere, especially when they’re boosted due to Scavenger’s Ingenuity. I’m so glad that he’s classified as a Beast. That makes this combo way more exciting, even more so if you can get a second Zixor Prime into the deck. If at first you don’t succeed, clone, clone again, so they say.
Dragons, Dragons everywhere, and not a drop to drink! I like that we can win with Dragons, Dragonbane, and Stormhammer with relative ease. That Dragonbane makes destroying the enemy’s creatures a breeze if I can be honest. Unless of course, it’s something beefy like Magtheridon. Those 12/12s are a bit harder to handle. But this is a solid deck that’s made for a lot of success in the ladder, hitting legend in about a week it sounds.
Scavenger’s Ingenuity (2-Cost Basic Hunter’s Spell): Scavenger’s Ingenuity draws a Beast! That’s simple, right? But when you only have specific beasts in the deck, it sounds like it should pull exactly what you want. This deck only runs two, technically three. The rest are Dragons! So it’s going to be hopefully very easy to pull a Zixor, Apex Predator or Zixor Prime. The only other option is the Phase Stalker, which as a ⅚ for 2 would still be, frankly, incredible. It will stick around a lot longer to spam Explosive Trap/Pack Tactics.
Stormhammer (3-Cost Epic Weapon): The idea of a weapon that doesn’t lose durability as long as you have a dragon in play is quite terrifying. That means you are guaranteed three damage a turn minimum (as long as there are no Taunt creatures in play), not counting your other minions and Hero power. You have access to 12 cards that are dragons. 10 are in the deck, and 2 are Discover options thanks to the Poisonous Primordial Explorer. So if you spread them out, and don’t play dragons all at once, you could keep the Stormhammer in play the entire game, and use that as your win condition. If the Explorer gives you some huge dragons, you could simply hold them as a defensive option.
Dwarven Sharpshooter (1-Cost Basic Hunter Minion): Why the Dwarven Sharpshooter? What makes this 1-cost ⅓ basic minion so great? Because you pair it with Dragonbane! This minion lets your Hero Power target minions. You use that to ping a creature for a few points of damage, then Dragonbane triggers, dealing 5 damage to a random enemy. Sure, it works just fine with your Hero Power targeting the other player, but this makes it a double-dose of direct damage to the other enemies’ minions. It can be the difference between a creature living and dying. If this also lumps the player in with the enemy targets, that would be a whole other discussion. But having the power to target the enemy minions in the early game can be very powerful, amplified by that Dragonbane mech.
Dragon Hunter, Apex Predators Decklist
Dwarven Sharpshooter (1) x2
Tracking (1) x2
Corrosive Breath (2) x2
Explosive Trap (2) x2
Pack Tactics (2) x2
Phase Stalker (2) x2
Scavenger’s Ingenuity (2) x2
Faerie Dragon (2) x2
Scalerider (3) x2
Primordial Explorer (3) x2
Stormhammer (3) x2
Zixor, Apex Predator (3) x1
Dragonbane (4) x1
Evasive Feywing (4) x2
Frenzied Felwing (4) x2
Rotnest Drake (5) x2
This is a deck that’s fairly inexpensive to build and to utilize. We only have one 5-cost creature, a handful of 4s, and most of it is 2-cost. That’s amazing as we get into the mid-game, as long as we have a handful of options. That means we can play a few cards at once and set up combos. We have Tracking to try and pull Zixor, Apex Predator/Zixor Prime, as well as Scavenger’s Ingenuity. It’s easy enough to wait the other player out, pick the other player’s creatures off with Explosive Trap, Corrosive Breath, and Dragonbane to point a finger gun at the screen and go “Pew Pew!”, laughing as the other minions fall away, one by one. It’s fun, it’s easy to do, and we have a few options to slowly whittle away at their life points, or batter them down in one turn, whichever comes up first!
Priest Psychobabble (Control Priest)
Priest decks saw perhaps the greatest change of any of the classes in Hearthstone, in Ashes of Outlands. Their basic cards received what was essentially a complete rework, and it changed how the class worked a tiny bit. It was a class that didn’t feel very strong in our estimation, but we like what the Control Priest options are in Ashes of Outland.
We have a few new amazing cards on offer in this deck, and this is a deck that will slow people’s advance on your health to an absolute crawl with the right cards. Did you get Sandhoof Waterbearer in play, but your opponent is picking away at your minions? Then make another one with Psyche Split, and give that one Grave Rune, so its death makes two copies of it! That would give your creatures several instances of +5 health restored at the end of your turn every turn! Or better still, consider Catrina Muerte. Keep summoning minions that already died. No matter who dies, they can come back.
If that’s not wacky enough, consider Archmage Vargoth triggering your Soul Mirror every turn or two! You cast Soul Mirror for free, and it makes copies of enemy minions that attack those! Depending on how weak they are, you might just keep the copies for the enemy’s next turn.
There are just. . . so many annoying things to do here! Flood the board with dragons, keep healing your minions, make copies of Khartut Defender/keep summoning it back, the options just are never-ending. So what’s the play? How do we slow down the opponent and make them live in sad, frustrating times?
How Does It Work?
This is essentially a Mass Resurrection deck, where spells and creatures we play always come back, sooner or later. I mean, we’re running Mass Resurrection, that summons 3 friendly minions that died this game! The fewer minions that have died lets you control what you summon. We also have Catrina Muerte, that summons a friendly minion that died this game at the end of each turn. The key is to keep her alive as long as possible to keep this going.
This also likely counts for the minions that trigger other summons, like Psychopomp. It’d be interesting to see how that worked. It also makes your deathrattle triggers double fun, like say, Bad Luck Albatross. When it dies, you shuffle two 1/1 Albatross into your opponent’s deck, slowing them down even further. If we can keep bringing this back, or clone it with Psyche Split / Grave Rune, we can flood the enemy deck with obnoxious creatures that don’t do much for them.
Turns that draw into 1/1 Albatross are turns that they aren’t drawing into Pirates, Spells, Beasts, Dragons, or Demons. This is, at heart, also a Galakrond Deck. However, I say “at heart”, because we’re not running Invoke cards. We’re doing this for two reasons. The first is that it changes our Hero Ability to “Add a random Priest minion to your hand”, and the second “destroy a random enemy minion” is pretty sweet as a Battlecry.
That hero power is unpredictable but can bring us some amazing cards that aren’t in the deck already. Ultimately our strategy likely revolves around Catrina Muerte and Archmage Vargoth though. Archmage Vargoth casts a spell we’ve cast before, and the targets are random. While we have lots of healing options here, with Renew, Penance, and Holy Nova, but consider this. In theory, this could cast Grave Rune every turn he’s around. He can also return with our resurrection powers.
Grave Rune gives a minion Deathrattle: Summon 2 copies of this. So imagine repeatedly casting Grave Rune into the ¾ Taunt/Reborn/Deathrattle Khartut Defender! They would never break through your defenses, and each time one dies, you gain 3 health back. Catrina Muerte brings back a minion that’s died every turn, as long as she’s around, after all. So having him keep coming back is great.
Or Convincing Infiltrator, to trigger his deathrattle again (since he also has taunt), which destroys a random enemy minion. I’d love to see Holy Nova for free over and over in the mid game. It deals 21 damage to all enemies and restores 2 Health to all of your friendlies. Or, you could simply have Archmage Vargoth be nice, and recast Apotheosis. That gives a minion +2/+3 and Lifesteal! That’s how we’re going to win. The other player simply gives up, or you buff and clone, and swing away, and bring them back again, again, and again.
Nothing is ever really dead, not with this deck. Soul Mirror to blow up the enemy board, and also have more minions to attack with (potentially)! Just keep bringing things back with Catrina, Psychopomp, Psyche Split, and Vargoth, and make the other player regret logging in.
This deck is pure madness. It’s not cheap to build, because we are running 4 legendaries, but at least Galakrond was given away for free! It’s not cheap, but it’s very satisfying. One of the things that can be a potential downside, is that so many of our “retrieval” spells are out of our control. That’s a good thing because it would be absolutely horrifying and potentially unbeatable otherwise. If we could just Grave Rune/Catrina every turn, that would be the end. So, we’re going to look at some of our most useful cards to come into this deck, as of Ashes of Outlands.
Psyche Split (5-Cost Rare Spell): This goes especially well with all the constant revivals, and minions with deathrattle. We have several of those, no less. Psyche Split targets a minion and gives it +1/+2. Then, you get a copy of it! That doesn’t trigger Battlecries, mind, but it will trigger their various passives or deathrattles. You can do this to Bad Luck Albatross to have even more 1/1s in the other deck, or your legendaries to trigger their “end of turn” abilities twice a turn! Or Khartut Defender to make sure you gain more and more life back. For 5 mana, Psyche Split is an incredible card with serious value.
Soul Mirror (7-Cost Legendary Spell): Soul Mirror fills a lot of really interesting roles in this deck. The first, and possibly best, is that it can be a board wipe. You summon clones of the enemy minions that are in play, and they attack the originals. So if they are somehow weakened, and your versions stick around, you have more attackers for the next turn (or defenders). Second, when these inevitably die, they should count as “friendly minions that died this game”. So Mass Resurrection and Catrina Muerte count them in the list of things to summon. With proper timing, you can do some mean things. Finally, this can be re-cast again through Archmage Vargoth! Casting a legendary spell again? Oh yes.
Renew (1-Cost Common Spell): Here’s another fun one to cast through Archmage Vargoth over and over. You gain 3 Health for 1 Mana and Discover a Spell on top of that. It doesn’t specify a Priest spell, so you could get just about anything here. It’s not a “summon more allies” card like Mass Resurrection or Catrina Muerte, but it heals you, gives you more spells to use, and only costs 1 mana. That’s incredible value.
Priest Psychobabble Decklist
Renew (1) x2
Penance (2) x2
Shadow Word: Death (2) x1
Injured Tol’vir (2) x2
Bad Luck Albatross (3) x2
Apotheosis (3) x2
Grave Rune (4) x2
Holy Nova (4) x2
Bone Wraith (4) x2
Archmage Vargoth (4) x1
Convincing Infiltrator (5) x2
Psyche Split (5) x1
Sandhoof Waterbearer (5) x1
Khartut Defender (6) x2
Galakrond, the Unspeakable (7) x1
Soul Mirror (7) x1
Catrina Muerte (8) x1
Mass Resurrection (9) x1
I love how flexible this Ashes of Outland deck is for Priests in Hearthstone. So many of our creatures coming back is useful. It’s so hard to grind this deck’s life points out, thanks to Sandhoof Waterbearer, constant revival, Renew, and Apotheosis. Giving our bigger/buffed creatures Lifesteal is just beautiful. If I can figure out a way to easily get the cards for this deck, it would be the one I would try to run with the most. I love how chaotic and fun it is, and how many options you have, depending on what cards come back to play for you. I love turning a player’s options against them, and that new Soul Mirror does just that.
One Piece Pirate Warrior(s) (Warrior Control)
So, I knew I was going to talk about Warriors in some flavor, because I like where they’re at right now. I feel like this is one of the evergreen decks in Hearthstone, especially in Ashes of Outland. It’s not going to go away! They may have my favorite “Prime” character with Kargath Prime. I mean, he’s a 10/10 that gives you 10 armor every time he attacks and kills a minion! That’s vile! This deck has a ton of options to deal with almost any kind of deck.
But we’re also using some of those fun “damage all minions” cards, for more reasons than you might expect. Risky Skipper, after all, is amazing. But one of my favorite new cards for this deck is not a “Warrior” card, but it’s a card I was willing to dismiss as not being so great – Magtheridon! He’s a 4-cost, but you have to get rid of 3 1/3s to Awaken him. When he does appear, he kills all minions on the board! That gives you a 12/12, and if Kargath Bladefist is on the board, this kills him to set up Kargath Prime.
When I say this counters almost anything, I’m serious! Did your opponent equip a Stormhammer, ready to hit you every single turn with it? Equip Ancharr, swing with it, and draw the one pirate in your deck (Kobold Stickyfinger). Then you play him, and steal Stormhammer for your own when you run out of Ancharr swings!
Do you need a weapon to do some extra damage? Corsair Cache, draw one of your two weapons, give it +1/+1, and get ready to swing it! We have a lot of options here and can do just ludicrous damage, while also stacking armor and protecting ourselves from direct damage. We can do so much, and make people so upset.
How Does It Work?
One of the downsides to this deck though, it’s kind of slow in the early game. We don’t have a ton of options to make a splash. We’re all about setting up for the mid to late game, and complete domination of the board. We have the Risky Skipper to play a minion, and deal 1 damage to all minions as a response.
Some people don’t think Risky Skipper is worth using, but I think it is. Sadly, the minions played by Magtheridon don’t count for this. Risky Skipper requires you to “play” a minion, which means you cast it from your hand. Now, you can cast Magtheridon, get your 3 1/3s, and then play some other minions to kill off the 1/3s, and thus, get Magtheridon.
You can also pair the Risky Skipper with Armorsmith. Whenever a friendly minion takes damage, you gain 1 armor. So you stack those low-cost, early minions, or some Lackeys thanks to Livewire Lance, and build up Armor, while also setting up for Magtheridon. Him and Kargath Prime are our big damage options, alongside Deathwing, Mad Aspect. If you have a late Magtheridon, you can use Deathwing to kill (hopefully) your 1/3s. Since Magtheridon is dormant at this time, he can’t be targeted. This could make it easier to get a pair of majestic creatures on the board.
The majority of our deck is built around doing damage to minions to keep a few on the board as possible. We have Bladestorm to deal 1 damage to all minions until one dies, and Battle Rage to draw a card for each damaged friendly minion. Which is great after Kargath dies, you draw as many cards as possible with this, to make it easier to get Kargath Prime. If only he were a Pirate.
Once you have a bunch of armor, you can gain even more with Shield Block! That gives you 5 more armor, and a card draw! So now that say, you have 10-15, maybe even 20 Armor. What do you do with all that armor? You don’t get hurt, that’s what! Shield Slam deals 1 damage to a minion for each Armor point you have! So the more armor you have, the more value that 1-mana card has.
This deck even has a sort of board wipe! Brawl destroys all minions except one, for example! That’s for 5 mana, but the survivor is chosen at random. This could backfire, sadly. Are you slowing down, and your opponent has a weak creature, but offers something really powerful? That’s what Ramming Speed is for! Make the weak minion attack a stronger neighbor. You can also use this on your creature to kill your last ⅓, to summon the mighty Magtheridon!
One of the most important things in my estimation, is getting Kargath Bladefist out, and getting him into the graveyard. As he’s a 4/4 with Rush for 4, it’s not too hard to get him to die. It’s his Prime form we want though. That 10/10 for 10, that gives you 10 armor every time he kills a minion could be amazing. You just batter down weak enemy minions and build armor. Bear in mind, Kargath Prime does not have to kill enemy minions. You can buff your armor by having him kill your Restless Mummy that’s been reborn or the Lackeys from Livewire Lance! The key to success in this deck is knowing the right reaction to situations that come up.
You may not need to do anything in many cases. Just because you can react to a new board state, doesn’t mean you have to. You can boost your armor with your Hero Power and a variety of other sources, so if your opponent is only hitting for 1-3, they can get stuck trying to break through the armor.
Your perhaps most useful board control option though is Shield Slam. Use that on the biggest, meanest threats, when you’ve stocked up a good amount of armor. It can kill anything in the game practically, with enough armor.
With three titanic creatures in the late game, we have so many ways to win. Our opponent can simply give up by not being able to breach our defenses, for example! We can win with Deathwing, Magtheridon, or Kargath Prime! The other creatures exist to put you into a state where you can laugh at any incoming damage. We also have a pair of weapons to deal damage, and also set up board control. Our weapons aren’t gigantic, but they’re very useful.
Play patient, consider the state of the board, and learning what you need to do (or not do) will be key to growing with this deck.
Anyone who keeps up with my blogs knows one thing for sure: I. Love. Control. Decks. This is such a wild one, because when I think “Warrior”, I think “aggro”. I think annoying darn Pirates that flood the board and make me want to tear my hair out. This deck only has one pirate though, and their one goal is to steal the other player’s weapon! There are so many fun things you can do with that.
Magtheridon (4-Cost Legendary Minion – Demon): Oh Magtheridon. I wanted to find a way to use this so badly. I didn’t think it would be worthwhile in resurrection Priest, because it would still come back Dormant, which is gross. For 4 mana, you can get a 12/12 demon, and also three ⅓ Warders! But the 12/12 stays dormant until those creatures die. But when they die, all minions on the board are destroyed, and Magtheridon awakens. So, he’s a great way to get rid of your Kargath, and potentially simply win the game. You want him out as early as possible. But we have so many ways to get rid of those Warders. We already discussed this, but Risky Skipper, Brawl, Ramming Speed, Bladestorm, all kinds of ways to make sure creatures die! In theory, you could also have two of them! Get Magtheridon in play, get him to receive a few points of damage, then use Bloodsworn Mercenary! They can summon a copy of a damaged friendly minion. But having a 12/12 for 4 in the early game can seal the deal if you’re lucky.
Kargath Prime (8-Cost Minion): This is the evolved form of Kargath Bladefist! He’s your best way to win the game if I can be honest. He has Rush, and whenever the 10/10 minion attacks and kills another minion, you gain 10 armor! If you can find ways to attack your minions, he can just gain more and more armor for you. Plus he’s a 10/10, so on his second turn, he is going to batter the other player, if they don’t have taunt creatures in play. So between him and Magtheridon, that’s 22 damage. I like the idea of using him to just win, but I’d also slowly pick away at the other player’s creatures to build 50 or 60 armor. If only we could heal him in this deck.
Bladestorm (3-Cost Epic Spell): This is a new spell with a serious amount of upside. Bladestorm deals 1 damage to all minions, over and over until someone dies. However, if all the minions on board have the same health (so, say 1 as an example), it’s a board wipe for 3! Proper use of this can get you Magtheridon, or simply kill one or more minions that are harassing you. Proper timing and use of this can win or lose games, we think.
One Piece Pirate Warrior(s) Decklist
Risky Skipper (1) x2
Shield Slam (1) x2
Sword and Board (1) x2
Armorsmith (2) x2
Battle Rage (2) x2
Corsair Cache (2) x1
Ancharr (3) x1
Bladestorm (3) x2
Bloodsworn Mercenary (3) x2
Livewire Lance (3) x1
Ramming Speed (3) x1
Shield Block (3) x2
Warmaul Challenger (3) x2
Kargath Bladefist (4) x1
Magtheridon (4) x1
Restless mummy (4) x2
Brawl (5) x2
Kobold Stickyfinger (5) x1
Brawl (5) x2
Deathwing, Mad Aspect (8) x1
Deck Code: AAECAQcI9agD260D3q0D360DiLEDvrkDwLkDtckDC0uQA6IE1AT/B5+hA9ypA6S2A7i5A7u5A/bCAwA=
What a satisfying deck this one is! One of the big hurdles in a control deck is learning to not immediately use your creature control options as soon as your opponent plays something. Learn the important plays and minions they need to win and stop those. Don’t get baited! We can also do some shady things like play Deathwing late, wait for him to take damage (but not die), and make a copy of him using Bloodsworn Mercenary! This can work for any of our damaged beefy boys too! This deck is all about controlling the board slowly but surely, and figuring out what you need to take out, and what you can safely ignore. Because remember, Deathwing and Magtheridon clear several things (if not everything) upon arrival. Kargath can also spot remove things with proper timing. You have to pay attention and practice. But once you do have the hang of it, you can defeat almost anything, or simply stall them out by having more armor than they can deal in damage. If you just stack armor every single turn, the possibilities of winning drastically go down.