Hearthstone Madness at the Darkmoon Faire Decks to Try

by in Hearthstone | Nov, 27th 2020

Hearthstone’s latest expansion, Madness at the Darkmoon Faire does a lot to reignite my interest in the card game as a whole. One of my favorite concepts in Warcraft, after all, was the madness-inducing Old Gods. So with the big names coming back in the form of powerful neutral Legendaries, I’m very excited to see decks that focus on these. I kind of worry that they’ll be viewed as “good but not useful”, but I’m going to be researching concepts where they work. So this week we’re going to look at standard Hearthstone Darkmoon Faire decks that are worth trying.

These aren’t necessarily going to be the best decks on the market, because the meta just started. There is a new mechanic in Corrupt, and just a wealth of really interesting cards. Some concepts feel really pushed, like Dude-adin, but I’m very curious to see if these are actually going to work out. Just because a style of gameplay is pushed into reality, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to actually be good in the competitive meta. 

I will as always, be coming back and adding more decks to this as time passes. For example, I’m torn between a N’Zoth Menagerie deck, or simply a Menagerie deck that uses Ringmaster Whatley and friends to buff our Dragons/Pirates/Mechs without the Old God. The N’Zoth deck is far more expensive to craft, though. There are so many possible decks right now, which is really exciting. I’m really excited about several concepts, so I want to highlight them, regardless of whether they’ll be Tier 1 or not. 

One of the things Hearthstone does exceptionally well is keeping strong to a theme. The circus/faire theme is really fun, and I like what it holds for the rest of the meta. Each of the new Gods has a lot of possibilities, with the exception of C’Thun, if you ask me. C’Thun could be really powerful. You have to summon its parts before the actual card is shuffled into your deck though. On top of that, if the other player counters any of the C’Thun parts, you cannot summon C’Thun, the Shattered for the remainder of that match. That’s just too dangerous for me. You might not agree though, and that’s fine! So without further ado, let’s look at some Darkmoon Faire decks for Hearthstone!

Pirates, Mechs, and Dragons, Oh My! (Warrior Aggro Menagerie)

This is technically a Menagerie deck instead of Aggro Pirates. Why? Because it has a handful of non-Pirates. We have a few Mechs, a Dragon, and a Murloc. Oh, and a Mimic/All minion too. Circum Amalgam is a fantastic neutral for that because it’s a ⅘ Taunt with All Minion Types. That way, it literally fits into any deck that requires a certain type of minion. It’s got you covered.

As long as Skybarge is around, Pirate Aggro is likely going to be a fixture in Hearthstone. We have so many cards that make Pirates more powerful/offer free damage simply for having Pirates. We also have a Dragon that can in theory cost 1 or 0 (as a 5/5 Rush minion). This is a very streamlined deck courtesy of Nohandsgamer, who produced something absolutely brutal. 

One of the important things about a solid aggro deck, is that it has to 1. Have low-cost, effective creatures, and 2. Have plenty of damage. Being able to pull stuff out of your deck for free is a pleasant bonus. That’s where Ringmaster Whatley comes in, as the most-expensive creature in the deck (5 mana). Sure, Tent Trasher is also a 5-cost, but it’s almost always going to come in as at least a 4 mana cost. 

But Ringmaster Whatley also makes you draw a Mech, Dragon, and Pirate. We have 4 Mechs in the deck, 2 Dragons, and 7 Pirates as well. I added 1 to each, thanks to the Circus Amalgam because I imagine it can be picked up no matter what. At it’s heart, this is still a pirate deck, so a lot of the familiar Pirate trappings are here, but they synergize well with the new cards. Our goal? To batter the other player as fast as humanly possible. 

How’s It Work?

One of the best things in aggro is being able to fetch things from your deck simply by playing another card. With most everything in this deck costing 1-3 mana, we’re going to have the ability to drop several cards a turn in the mid-game. We don’t want this to go to the late game though. We’re looking for quick stomps. 

This Warrior Aggro deck can also do a lot of buffing of cards in our hand. It’s beautiful! We can keep a Dragon, a Pirate, and a Mech in hand until we need it, steadily buffing it with our Ringmaster’s Baton if we want. The Pirate we want to leave in our hand for as long as possible for my money, is the Southsea Deckhand. It can be our game winner if we time things right. It has Charge if we’re equipped with a weapon, meaning we can just attack the other player’s face.

Assuming it’s the only Pirate in hand each time we attack with the Ringmaster’s Baton, it can become an 8/7, before the Southsea Captain grants it +1/+1. We could get another +1/+1 out of it, if Corsair Cache drew the Baton instead of Ancharrr. I understand this is a really ideal and unlikely situation, but it can happen. Each time we attack as a warrior with the Ringmaster’s Baton, it gives a Dragon, Mech, and Pirate in our hand +1/+1. 

That makes it important to keep one of each in hand to receive the buff consistently. Ringmaster Whatley draws a Pirate, Mech, and Dragon when we play him too, so that’s another way to make sure it happens. Does this mean we don’t attack until this happens?

Goodness no! Of course not! We want to drop that Skybarge quickly, so we can start spamming Pirates. After we summon a Pirate, it deals 2 damage to a random enemy. If we can clear their board, we can start just damaging the other player’s face with it. In a deck where we can play Pirates for free, or draw them for virtually nothing, that’s going to make Skybarge a serious threat. 

Parachute Brigand is just such a card. If this is in hand and we play a Pirate, summon this one too from your hand. If we manage to get both of the ones in our deck in hand, that’s a free 6 damage from Skybarge, simply because we played a Pirate. If this pirate was Sky Raider, we also add another random Pirate to our hand. A turn-3 Skybarge can signal the end of the game if we’re careful. 

Speaking of “add a card to your hand”, let’s go over the many ways we can add cards to it. This helps us stay on the curve, and constantly have threats that need to be answered. You may reach a point where one of your cards is a greater threat than Skybarge, somehow. 

Join the Crew

A turn-1 Sky Raider is amazing because it guarantees another Pirate. It’s also a Random Pirate, so it could be literally anything. We are likely to get something useful that we either don’t own/don’t have in the deck. Corsair Cache draws a Weapon, and gives it +1 Durability. Since we only run two weapons (Ringmaster’s Baton/Ancharrr), no matter which is picked, we’re going to be in a good spot.

Speaking of which, the Ancharrr weapon draws a Pirate from our deck anytime it attacks, and its base Durability is 2. On the topic of legendaries though, Ringmaster Whatley draws a Mech, Dragon, and Pirate from the deck, so it’s probably the biggest draw in terms of raw value. If we have the Baton in play, it’s even better!

Not every card in the deck gives us something for nothing, but enough of them do! Everything else is built around the concept of Pirates, Mechs, and Dragons. One of my favorite Mechs is in the deck though – Hot Air Balloon. The longer this stays in play, the more dangerous it is. It is weak from a power perspective (a ½), but at the start of your turn, it receives +1 Health. If we don’t attack with it (or hit things with 0 power) we can just keep making it grow. 

It’s also a fantastic thing to see when using Ringmaster’s Baton, so it has more overall Attack power. Our other mechs are the aforementioned Skybarge and the Darkmoon Dirigible. A 3/2 with Divine Shield, that if you cast it as a Corrupt (cast something that costs more while this is in hand), it also gets Rush. No matter what mech sits in our hand, we’re covered.

Trent Trasher is our only Dragon, but it’s again, a 5/5 for 5, but can cost 1 less for each unique minion we have in play (minion type). Since we have Dragon, Pirate, Mech, Murloc, and All, it should be able to be dropped for 0 mana at the best of times. That’s seldom going to happen though. But getting a 5/5 (or higher) for 1 or 2 mana? EZCLAP.

This is a deck where we play creatures on curve and swing as fast as possible. Keep up Warrior attacks, and hit the other player in the face as often as you can. Since Skybarge hits enemies at random for 2 when we play a Pirate, I feel like we’re safe to aim our actual creatures at someone’s face as many times as possible. It will make this game go nice and fast.

Pirates, Mechs, and Dragons, Oh My! (Warrior Aggro Menagerie)


Class Cards:

Sky Raider (1) x2

Corsair Cache (2) x1

Ringmaster’s Baton (2) x2

Stage Hand (2) x2

Ancharrr (3) x1

Sybarge (3) x2

Sword Eater (4) x2

Ringmaster Whatley (5) x1

Tent Trasher (5*) x2

Neutral Cards:

Bloodsail Corsair (1) x2

Hot Air Balloon (1) x2

Southsea Deckhand (1) x2

Parachute Brigand (2) x2

Prize Vendor (2) x2

Darkmoon Dirigible (3) x2

Southsea Captain (3) x1

Circus Amalgam (4) x2

Deck Code


Final Thoughts

All told, this isn’t my favorite deck, but I like that Pirate Aggro has some new friends, turning it into a Menagerie Deck. It’s going to be a lot of fun to see pop off, I think, and that’s what matters. It could very easily have the speed to hang in the meta as the next few months go on. Once some of these older cards rotate out, I  think this deck will endure, thanks to the other creatures in Darkmoon Faire, and whatever comes next. I think Warrior Menagerie will continue to see support well into 2021.

Lifesteal? Haven’t Met ‘Em (Demon Hunter Il’gynoth Combo)

Out of every card revealed for Madness at the Darkmoon Faire in Hearthstone, the concept of Il’gynoth decks appealed to me the most. No matter what I say going forward, this is the deck. The idea of Lifesteal dealing damage to the enemy Hero, instead of healing you is amazing. The downside to this card is immediately apparently though: The other player is going to move Heaven and Earth to stop Il’gynoth. We have the capacity to nearly one-shot people thanks to all the dumb lifesteal we have. 

We combine Lifesteal shenanigans with cards like Mo’arg Artificer, which doubles all damage taken from spells to minions. This turns cards like Eyebeam and Felscream Blast into very potent ways to deal with an opponent. Suddenly, you deal 6 damage to a minion and also deal a free 6 damage to the enemy player. That doesn’t factor in Bloodmage Thalnos either, which increases Spell Damage. Between those, and buffing our Hero with a Lifesteal weapon? Now it’s double damage! 

It’s a pretty standard Demon Hunter deck, with a few other bits and bobs thrown in to take advantage of our present situation. It also has the standard area damage/minion damage that we desperately want in a deck like this. Card draw, free damage, AOE minion damage, this deck is packing all of it and then some. If we’re really feeling spicy, we can get a few Mo’arg Artificers in play, because unlike Brann Bronzebeard, he says “Double”, and not “Twice” for his ability.

So if we get 3 of them in play, our spells go from 2x damage, to 4x damage, to 8x damage, if all goes right. That is a very ideal situation, but it could turn our Felscream Blast into an OHKO, or darn near it. That’s what makes this deck so annoying. So let’s talk lifegain! Or not.

How’s It Work?

Il’gynoth is a gimmicky sort of minion. He changes our Lifesteal into something else. Instead, it deals direct damage to the enemy Hero. It doesn’t specify what we hit with our lifesteal either. That’s why Mo’arg Artificer has so much potential in this deck. As it doubles the damage our spells do to minions, if we have both of these in play, Felscream Blast hits the enemy player for 4-6, while doing 2 to an enemy minion and its neighbors. 

All of a sudden, everything we can do is dangerous. Even weapons like Aldrachi Warblades, which are normally sort of mediocre, are now godlevel threats. On its own, it’s just 2 damage. But if we target the enemy Hero, now it’s 4 damage. Add Twin Slice/Second Slice to the equation, it’s 12 damage. Throw a Chaos Strike on top of that, now it’s 16 damage. 

Best of all, already having the Warblade equipped, and Il’gynoth in play will mean we need significantly less mana to do this. Chaos Strike/the Two Strikes only runs us 4 mana. We also have Eye Beam which deals 3 damage to a minion with Lifesteal attached. It can cost 1 if it’s an Outcast (left/right-most card in hand). 

Simply having the Aldrachi Warblades/Il’gynoth in play means the game is practically over; the other player just doesn’t realize it yet. Sure, we need those cards in hand to make that happen, but this isn’t a game where we run 100 card decks. That’s our basic gameplay loop. Get Il’gynoth in hand, and wait until we have the other pieces of the puzzle. You don’t want him to just sit out too long. It’s dangerous to leave it in the position to take damage. Sure, it’s a 2/6 for 4, but that’s still not safe.

If you’re worried about not getting Il’gynoth, or Skull of Gul’dan (our biggest cards), Lorekeeper Polkelt will help. It adjusts your deck so cards are in order from highest cost to lowest. This means Skull of Gul’dan will always be an Outcast card if you draw it this way. That will give you 3 cards for 3 mana, and that’s insane value.

If we can get Bloodmage Thalnos out at the same time, that’s neat too. The +1 Spell Damage isn’t a game-breaker, but it sure helps. The whole Deathrattle: Draw a card can’t be beaten either. While Ilg’ynoth is important to the deck, so is Mo’arg Artificer.

Artificer Board Wipe

Doubling the damage we do to minions is really key. It’s for more than just the Lifesteal bombs we can drop (though let’s be honest, blasting someone in one turn with just an Eye Beam is hilarious). If we assume that Mo’arg Artificer is in play for all of this, we can do so much. Suddenly even cards like Immolation Aura (deal 1 damage to all minions twice) is a force of nature. Now it’s 2 damage to all minions twice. 

If we buff ourselves (Attack Power), and then cast Blade Dance? It deals damage equal to our Hero’s Attack to 3 random enemy minions. Now it’s twice that. This also makes Throw Glaive potentially a board-clearing bomb. Now that it deals 4 damage to a minion for 1 mana, we can do it, again and again, to just melt enemy minions (potentially). If we want to double our pleasure and our fun, we have Felosophy. It copies the lowest cost Demon in our hand – we only run one in the whole deck – Mo’arg Artificer! If this was an Outcast card, it also gives them both +1/+1, making them 3/5s total. 

If you’re worried about pulling cards, we’ve also got lots of card draw going on. Crimson Sigil Runner can have you draw a card if it’s an Outcast, and it’s only a 1/1 for 1 at that. Spectral Sight is in the same boat, with a 2-drop spell that draws a card, and a second card if it’s an Outcast. But the best card draw in this deck, for my money, is Acrobatics. It draws 2 cards for 3 mana, and if you use both, you draw 2 more cards. 

I absolutely love it. Even if you don’t get 4 cards for 3, 2 for 3 is not so bad. Most of this deck is a very low cost too, so the odds are with you. Then our Skull of Gul’dan is another fun card draw, so it’s not like we’ll be down and out for long, at all.

This is honestly a very straight-forward, easy to set up deck. We need a 4-cost Legendary (Il’gynoth), and either creatures/weapon+weapon buffs. That’s it! The more we can stack into one turn, the easier it’s going to be to win. This is deck is more spell than creature though, so it’s not going to be one where we push to win until we’re ready. It’s not a deck that’s going to win quickly, so bear that in mind. Once we have an Aldrachi Warblade equipped, I tend to wait to swing with it until I have Il’gynoth and my buff spells (Twin Slice/Chaos Strike) ready to go. 

Otherwise, I get Il’gynoth, Mo’arg (or more than one) out, and start dropping spells. A counter to this though is the other player simply not playing minions. If they realize we don’t have a lot of ways to deal damage (we can nickel and dime with those minions at least), they might slow down minion summoning.

I love this deck because it’s such a strict departure from your typical Demon Hunter aggro deck. We haven’t had this kind of alternate playstyle yet, and it’s awesome. Is it a bit risky? Of course. Could we be overrun before we get moving? It could happen. But this kind of deck isn’t too stressed about Taunt, since we have so much creature damage. 

It’s a deck that can still quite easily win from 1-2 life. It’s not unrealistic to see a one or two turn win. This is especially true if you go the spell damage route with a couple of Mo’arg in play. Even Felscream Blast can be a OTK if you hit 3 enemies for x8 damage. Just some food for thought.

Lifesteal? Haven’t Met ‘Em (Demon Hunter Il’gynoth Combo)


Class Cards:

Crimson Sigil Runner (1) x2

Felosophy (1) x2

Felscream Blast (1) x2

Throw Glaive (1) x2

Twin Slice (1) x2

Blade Dance (2) x2

Chaos Strike (2) x2

Immolation Aura (2) x2

Spectral Sight (2) x2

Acrobatics (3) x1

Aldrachi Warblades (3) x2

Eye Beam (3) x2

Il’gynoth (4) x1

Skull of Gul’dan (6) x2

Neutral Cards:

Bloodmage Thalnos (2) x1

Mo’arg Artificer (2) x2

Lorekeeper Polkelt (4) x1

Deck Code


Final Thoughts

One of the best parts about Demon Hunter decks is how cheap they are to build, relatively speaking. MOst of the good cards are either Basic Class cards (Aldrachi, Chaos Strike), or in the Common Range. We only need three Legendary cards and a handful of Epics. It’s not really too expensive, comparatively speaking – clocking in at about 8,200 dust or so. I love a weird combo deck, and this fits the bill. In a game that does not have a lot of “counterplay” so to speak, it’s pretty safe to just fort up and wait for a perfect situation. We have more than enough answers for creatures, and once we can start blasting them and the Hero at the same time? Double the fun! It’s certainly worth a try.

Druidic Clown College – Or Krusty the Druid-Clown (Druid Carnival Clown Midrange)

Okay, so that deck name could probably use a little work. But when Carnival Clown popped up as a neutral card, the answer became so clear I could see through it: Druid. You run it with Survival of the Fittest and some mana ramp. That way, we can get this going around tur ⅞, and hit the ground running with a board of 8/8 Taunt minions. It would also make Y’Shaarj, The Defiler into a 14/14, just as an aside. 

Druid still has access to an absolute mountain of mana ramp too. Corrupt, with that in mind, is a very powerful feature in a Druid deck. If we cast something higher than 7 mana, we can drop a 6/6 Taunt for 0, as a point of fact. One of my very first decks in all of Hearthstone was a Paladin Taunt deck. Being able to do it on a much bigger scale, for far less mana just fills me with joy. 

It’s my thought that the overall gameplay of Hearthstone is going to slow down in Darkmoon Faire, and the Corrupt decks are a lot of why that might be. Since you would be foolish to cast it without Corrupting it first, the overall pace of the game goes down by a turn or so. Druid decks can roughly ignore that, thanks to cards like Innervate, Lightning Bloom, Wild Growth, and Overgrowth. It’s very easy to get to that 10 mana mark so we can start dropping bombs on people’s faces.

How’s It Work?

We have so much card draw and mana ramp in this deck, it’s sickening. Imagine casting Overflow to restore 5 health to all characters, and draw 5 cards, only to follow it up with Anubisath Defender for 0 mana! We’re also going to be taking advantage of a few Corrupt cards. This is going to be fun, considering we have Y’Shaarj, The Defiler. He will add a copy of every Corrupt card we’ve played this game to our hand, and they will cost 0 this turn.

We don’t have a lot of Corrupt cards, but the ones we have are Neutral and very useful. The big game-winner for us is likely going to be Carnival Clown. It’s a 9-cost Taunt 4/4, that summons 2 copies of itself; unless it’s Corrupt. Then we fill the board with copies instead. That’s why we want to cast Survival of the Fittest first or Yogg-Saron/Y’Shaarj. Survival of the Fittest gives +4/+4 to all minions in our deck, hand, and battlefield.

Plus it makes us fill the board with annoying, 8/8 Taunt creatures. For my money, the immediate follow-up is Animated Broomstick. Keeping one of these around is going to be handy. Why you ask? It gives our other minions Rush! Now those 8/8s can attack our opponent’s creatures immediately. If you have Y’Shaarj, The Defiler in hand, we can use those as aggressively as we want. Then, when they die, we play Y’Shaarj and re-cast our Corrupt creatures. 

In addition to the Carnival Clown, there’s also the 6/6 Corrupt (costs 0 if corrupt), Strongman! Normally, it’s a 7-cost. If we use Survival of the Fittest with it, it’s now a 10/10 Taunt. This is our end-game: Survival into Clowns, and just batter the other player with a host of 8/8 and 10/10s, and then finish off with the Old Gods. 

Mana Ramp is a Go:

But we need mana. That’s why this is a Druid deck! We have a pair of 0-cost spells, that offer temporary Mana. Lightning Bloom is a 0-cost that gives 2 Mana Crystals for the turn, but hits us with Overload 2 the next turn (so two fewer mana that next turn). We also have Innvervate in the 0-cost slot, which gives us 1 Mana Crystal for the turn.

Wild Growth gives us 1 empty Mana Crystal for 3 Mana, and Overgrowth gives 2 empty Mana Crystals for 4 mana. We can easily use those 0-costs to bump into the early ¾ cost spells. It’s going to be a godsend to start popping off way earlier than we should. The rest of the deck is to help let us last/set up for the above combo.

We have Guardian Animals, for example, to summon two Beasts that cost 5 or less from our deck and give them Rush. Several of these are fun early picks, but for my money, Lake Thresher is the best choice. After all, It’s a 4/6 that damages the minions next to whatever it targets. Nice, wide sweep of 4 damage (minimum) across up to three targets! That is of course, provided there are two minions next to the initial target. It won’t always be the case.

Twilight Runner is another great pick though because it’s a 5/4 Stealth that has us draw 2 cards whenever it attacks. If we got two of them somehow, it’s 4 cards that turn! We’ve also got Yogg-Saron for a dose of chaos, but I’m not really sold on it. I don’t trust myself to land anything good on it. It’s definitely possible.

We want to use those mana ramp cards in the early game, to set up Survival of The Fittest. From there, we’re going to drop Carnival Clowns. The idea of flooding the board with Taunt (hopefully also Rush) minions that are also huge? Our end-game is to hold off until that’s a reality. We have so many Taunt minions in the deck, so most decks will have no choice but to slowly whittle their way through them.

When they’re low, that’s when you drop Overflow to heal up and draw more cards. This deck is mad disrespectful, and so very fun.

Druidic Clown College – Or Krusty the Druid-Clown (Druid Carnival Clown Midrange)


Class Cards:

Innervate (0) x2

Lightning Bloom (0) x2

Nature Studies (1) x2

Wild Growth (3) x2

Overgrowth (4) x2

Anubisath defender (5) x2

Teacher’s Pet (5) x1

Twilight Runner (5) x2

Overflow (7) x1

Guardian Animals (8) x2

Survival of the Fittest (10) x2


Neutral Cards:

Animated Broomstick (1) x2

Lake Thresher (5) x2

Strongman (7) x2

Carnival Clown (9) x2

Y’Shaarj, The Defiler (10) x1

Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate (10) x1



Deck Code


Final Thoughts

This is such a fun deck! I think Carnival Clown combos may not be Tier 1, but I hope they wind up there. It’s such a weird, wacky way to play. Plus it’s the next evolution of the Embiggen Deck, only with Clown College instead. Suddenly hitting the field with five or six 8/8 Taunt minions? You absolutely love to see it (unless you’re on the receiving end). If we can pair it with the Animated Broomstick, it suddenly becomes a battering. Mana Ramp, set up Corrupt cards, and laugh as the other player get their face bopped by huge, angry Old Gods and their allies. 

Pure Dudeadin Power (Pure Paladin Aggro/Midrange)

I love the idea of Dude-adin coming back. Dude-adin is a Paladin archetype built around the Silver Hand Recruits. We can make them as a Hero Ability and through a variety of other cards. We buff them and make them way more useful than normal. However, the deck isn’t quite enough on its own. That’s why we pair this with another fun part of the meta: Pure Paladin! Pure Paladin is also not quite aces on its own if you ask me. 

We put these two together into one easy-to-manage deck and we will mash people into bits. Madness at the Darkmoon Faire has cards that fit into both types of Hearthstone decks. So why not do a little fusion dance, and make them join forces? Between High Exarch Yrel and Lothraxion the Redeemed, we have so much power. In fact, this deck uses primarily new cards, with a host of others from the rest of this year’s Hearthstone content. I. Love. This. Deck.

How’s It Work?

It’s all about playing your minions on the strongest curve you possibly can. Between that, you want to use your Libram minions (reducing their cost via Aldor Attendant/Aldor Truthseeker). This also makes your later turns viable, for when those Librams start dropping. We don’t have a lot of comeback potential, but we do have someConsecration deals 2 damage to all enemies, and Lightforged Zealot offers you a 4/2 Truesilver Champion weapon if there are no neutrals in the card. Which there aren’t.

This deck offers quite a lot of stopping power, and the ability to recharge our hand thanks to Lightforged Crusader.  However, Silver Hand Recruit creatures are pretty weak overall. They’re a solid way to hit face, or be a minor threat. We have a few ways to bolster them though. Some of our effects are temporary. I say temporary because these effects only trigger for as long as the required creatures are in play. Carnival Barker reads “Whenever you summon a 1-Health minion), give it +1/+2. 

That’s automatically a must-use for our Silver Hand Recruits. It’s only a 3-mana creature, too. The downside is the other player can easily deal with this, as a 3/2. Balloon Merchant has a Battlecry that triggers only on the Silver Hand Recruits in play. It gives them +1 Attack and Divine Shield. So we don’t want to use this until we have several in play. We can make them with our Hero Power, or. . .

Day at the Faire is a 3-cost spell with Corrupt. If we cast a higher-cost spell first, Day at the Faire goes from summoning 3 Silver Hand Recruits to 5. We may not necessarily want to wait for a Corrupt since we’ll want at least something else in play (like Balloon Merchant). It’s possible to wait though and cast something like Lightforged Zealot or Consecration. It’s a way to set up some defenses/slow down the other player. We also have Air Raid to summon two 1/1 Silver Hand Recruits with Taunt. A special bonus is that it is a Twinspell, so we get a copy of this spell back to cast again! 

Thankfully, we also have a permanent buff to our Silver Hand Recruits, in the form of the brand-new Lothraxion the Redeemed. Simply casting this 5/5 for 5, a Battlecry triggers that lasts the whole game. For the rest of the game, summoning a Silver Hand Recruit, give it Divine Shield. Now they can deal damage to something, and live long enough to do it again! That’s what makes this deck so great. But it can become even stronger. The Librams certainly tie neatly into our Silver Hand Recruits. We just need to make our Libram of Wisdom cost 0 (or even 1) mana! It gives a creature +1/+1 and Deathrattle: Add a ‘Libram of Wisdom’ to your hand. 

This may run out one day, and that’s where Lady Liadrin comes into play. She adds a copy of each spell we cast on friendly characters this game to our hand, as a 7-cost 4/6. We’ll get this back and Hand of A’dal, which offers +2/+2 to a minion and gives us a card to draw. 

Easily done with a single cast of Aldor Truthseeker (4/6, 5-Cost, Taunt, Reduces Libram cost by 2). We also have a pair of Aldor Attendants to play (⅔, 2-Cost, Librams cost 1 less the rest of the game). We want to use this mostly on our Silver Hand Recruits (Libram of Wisdom) because they’re the ones most likely to die in glorious combat. That way, we can just keep casting it for 0 mana, buffing them, and ensuring we can always use it again.

This will also lower the cost of our Libram of Hope, which restores 8 Health and summons an 8/8 Guardian with Taunt/Divine Shield. Normally a 9-cost, we can at least make it manageable. It can also make the 6-cost Libram of Justice down a bit. We definitely want this cheap and ready, since it gives us a ¼ Weapon, and changes all enemy minions Health down to 1. If we can combine this with Consecration, it’s a nice, easy boardwipe.

We have two final rewards for being a Pure Paladin deck. Lightforged Zealot’s free 4/2 sword is nice, but we can do better. High Exarch Yrel is an 8-cost 7/5, with a powerful Battlecry. In the event our deck has no Neutral cards in it, she gains Rush, Lifesteal, Taunt, Divine Shield. If we can drop Hand of A’dal on it as well, Yrel becomes a 9/7. She’s going to maim anything she hits and will have a free shot the next turn too. In addition, Lightforged Crusader, which gives us 5 random Paladin cards in our hand. These are worth having no neutrals in the deck.

We want to use all those Silver Hand Recruits to hit the other player in the face as often as possible. Once they start getting Divine Shield/buffs, we can start using them to batter the enemy minions freely, before then attacking the other player the next turn. I prefer to aim right for the face, and hold out for our Consecrate combo to board wipe. 

Pure Dudeadin Power (Pure Paladin Aggro/Midrange)


Class Cards:

Aldor Attendant (1) x2

Air Raid (2) x2

Argent Braggart (2) x2

Hand of A’dal (2) x2

Libram of Wisdom (2) x2

Carnival Barker (3) x2

Day at the Faire (3) x2

Balloon Merchant (4) x2

Consecration (4) x2

Lightforged Zealot (4) x2

Aldor Truthseeker (5) x2

Libram of Justice (5) x2

Lothraxion the Redeemed (5) x1

Lady Liadrin (7) x1

Lightforged Crusader (7) x1

High Exarch Yrel (8) x1

Libram of Hope (9) x2

Deck Code


Final Thoughts

I really want this deck to be successful. You’re going to want to take smart trades in this deck. It’s not always going to be smart to defeat every enemy minion. Use your Silver Hand Recruits to trade and defeat the minions that are key to the other player’s success. There’s going to come a time in the game hopefully, where you can freely drop Silver Hand Recruits, and swing right at the other player’s face. We have enough powerful Legendaries and a potential hilarious bomb in the form of Argent Braggart. It gains the Attack and Health to match the highest on the battlefield. We can play him, then set up our Consecration/Libram of Justice combo. This has a nice smooth tempo, and we should always have a move to make each turn. If nothing else, make Silver Hand Recruits and get them ready (or serve them up as sacrificial pawns).

A Mighty Totem Army (Shaman Totem Aggro)

Totem Aggro is wildly quick, and if we’re given a few turns to get this moving, we’ll just run any other deck down with a sudden swarm of buffed Totems. Thanks to the 0-cost spells of Totemic Might/Totemic Surge, we can drop a Totem early, through hard casting, or through Hero Power. Then we buff it with spells and start making copies. From there, it’s all downhill as we start battering the other player in the face with totems. Who needs actual creatures anyway? We have a few, but they ultimately all serve the Greater Good of Totemic Mastery.

That includes cards like Diligent Notetaker, who has Spellburst: return the spell back to your hand. So you Diligent Notetaker, and drop a Totemic Reflection to give a Totem +2/+2, and also summon a copy of it! It’s a pretty straight forward deck that promises to be a lot of fun.  While this is mostly a Pure Shaman deck, there are a few neutral cards that really go well in here. In particular, Circus Amalgam has “All Types” as a minion; that means it’s also a Totem! That should mean Grand Totem Eys’or will buff it turn after turn, as long as it’s in play. 

Another great part of this deck is how low-cost most of it is. There are a couple of five costs in Bloodlust/Totem Goliath, but most everything else is a 4-or-less. We want to drop a few totems, buff/double them, and then cast Bloodlust to make sure you deal as much damage as possible. You can keep aiming for face without it, but that’s just going to make it a bit easier.

How’s It Work?

This is a deck that needs to snowball out of control and do it quicklyh. There are several cards we either want to have at the start or draw into them very early. It’s all about how you mulligan/how the early game goes. You want cards like Totemic Reflection, Tour Guide, Surging Tempest, Cagematch Custodian. It’s so important to get and keep a Totem. Tour Guide makes your next Hero Power cost 0 mana. That way, you can immediately drop a totem for no mana. That’s what makes an early Totemic Reflection so key. 

Since it gives a minion +2/+2, and since it’s a totem, you also get a copy of it, you can potentially do a lot with this. Cagematch Custodian is also very useful in the “Snowball out of control” strat. It has us draw a weapon, and of course, there’s only one weapon in the deck: Splitting Axe. You’ll want to save using the Custodian until you have a few useful totems out. This weapon summons copies of your Totems. Honestly, the best one to have in play for either of these is our new legendary totem: Grand Totem Eys’or. Eys’or gives +1/+1 to all other Totems in your hand, deck, and battlefield at the end of your turn.

So having two or three of these in play is going to buff your totems (other than Hero Power ones) at such a profound rate. It is our best Totem for my money, but we have a few others we can hard cast from our deck. 

Totem Protection

EVIL Totem is a 2-cost Totem 0/2 that adds a Lackey to your hand at the end of each of your turns. While these aren’t great, they’re a fun way to add more power to your game in case things go wrong. Mana Tide Totem is a 0/3 that draws a card for you at the end of each turn. Totem Goliath and Circus Amalgam are the ones we want to be buffing in the deck if possible (or through our 0-cost spells/Totemic Reflection). Totem Goliath is a ⅘ that summons all four basic Totems when it dies (Deathrattle), and also Overloads you 2. 

That means you’ll have 2 less mana next turn. Circus Amalgam on the other hand, is a ⅘ Taunt that has all minion types, so it takes advantage of also being a Totem. As far as Totem Goliath goes, using it and then losing it is great, provided we have Ey’sor either in play or in our hand. Those four totems that drop will be baseline stats until we start using Grand Totem’s passive.

We can also buff via Storm’s Wrath. Sure, it Overloads us 1, but it gives our Minions +1/+1, which just makes it easier for our Totems to attack. Even the Basic totems are great with some buffing. We want to be able to cast Totemic Might (+2 Health) and Totemic Surge (+2 Attack) on our Totems as soon as we have some in play. It’s all in play Totems, so having more is just better. Quick maths, that. 

Once we have a couple of buff Totems in play, the Cagematch Custodian can be played, to draw up Splitting Axe. If we have the mana, then play it! Honestly, we can play this creature anytime. It doesn’t equip the weapon, it just draws it. We’ll wait to cast it until we have at least one (maybe two) totems in play. We’re likely going to want to just ignore the other player’s minions (barring Taunt). We just want to snowball and hit them in the face until they’re gone.

The idea here is that we snowball by buffing/flooding the board with totems before the other player can react. In the Aggro matchup, that’s going to be very hard. They’re going to see our first totems and try to take them out. That’s partly why Lightning Bloom in the deck in the first place. It gives us a free 2 mana crystals for the turn, at the cost of Overload of 2. Tour Guide also helps here by making our Hero Power cost 0, giving us more mana to do other things.

If we’re dealing with harder match-ups where control is in play, we won’t want to waste our buff spells/axe quite so freely. Wait until we can buff our bigger totems, and copy them via Totemic Reflection/Splitting Axe on something like the Totem Goliath. One of the other smartest moves we can make is Diligent Notetaker, and then trigger any of our spells – Totemic Might, Totemic Surge, STorm’s Wrath, Totemic Reflection, or Bloodlust. That will make that spell return to our hand so we can use it again on another turn (or this turn, if we have the mana available).

A Mighty Totem Army (Shaman Totem Aggro):


Class Cards:

Totemic Might (0) x2

Totemic Surge (0) x2

Storm’s Wrath (1) x2

Surging Tempest (1) x2

Cagematch Custodian (2) x2

Diligent Notetaker (2) x2

EVIL Totem (2) x2

Grand Totem Eys’or (3) x1

Instructor Fireheart (3) x1

Mana Tide Totem (3) x2

Totemic Reflection (3) x2

Splitting Axe (4) x2

Bloodlust (5) x1

Totem Goliath (5) x1


Neutral Cards:

Lightning Bloom (0) x2

Tour Guide (1) x2

Circus Amalgam (4) x2

Deck Code


Final Thoughts

This feels very much like an all-or-nothing deck. You either snowball right away, or it all falls apart. I appreciate that though. It’s still a lot of fun! You can hold people off with a few minions or lucky Taunt Totems. From there, you just hold off until you can drop a few spells at once, double/buff a Totem or two, and get right back into the fight. We want to have the game under our thumb as early as possible, and the moment we can start dealing damage at the other player, we want to start doing so. I feel like this deck’s success is very hinged upon having the right cards in your start/early draw. 

Big Game Hunter (Face Hunter Hyper-Aggro)

Face Hunter is a deck archetype that appeals to me greatly as a Hearthstone player. I don’t care to fuss with the enemy minions. I just want to hit the other player in the face again and again until the game is over. This is a deck that I can only call “Hyper-Aggro”. We start flooding the board with 1-cost minions early, drop some secrets, and do obnoxious damage because we’re Hunters, and the other player (hopefully) isn’t. It’s a deck that has seen a lot of changes over the years and wasn’t always in a good position.

But with cards like Rinling’s Rifle, Mystery Winner, and Inconspicuous Rider, we can drop some pretty nasty secrets and really mess with the other player while also hitting them rapidly. Steady Shot (our Hero Power) is also very key to the procession of this deck. There are decks that feel like the Hero power is secondary to everything else. But when we can deal 5 damage to a random enemy simply by shooting the other player for 2? Oh yes. I do believe Dragonbane lets you hit the other player in the face too, so you can wind up with 7 damage for 2 mana (or 0)!

We’re going to mix in some Secrets, some direct damage, and some minions that synergize well with our overall strategy. We have two important ways to play this deck though. If it’s an aggro mirror match up, you’ll want to dominate the early game trades, so you can snowball. Conversely, against control, you need to think a few steps ahead and manage resources wisely. You’ll probably wind up using your Hero Power more, to conserve other cards/resources that you’ll need later.

How’s It Work?

If we want to dominate with this deck, the early game is so darn important. It feels like no matter what, we need basically the same cards from the get-go. Intrepid Initiate, Demon Companion, Mystery Winner are all high priority cards in your starting hand. No matter what, we want as many of these at the start as possible.

Intrepid Initiate/Demon Companion are an incredible pairing, and if you can do it at the same time, even better. Our Initiate friend has Spellburst: Gain +2 Attack. So we need to trigger that with a spell immediately. Enter the 1-cost Demon Companion! We summon a random Demon companion for 1 mana, and our Hero gains +2 Attack. We can immediately use that to strike the other player.

Another fantastic turn 1 is the Mystery Winner. Their Battlecry is “Discover a Secret”. Even though this deck runs 4 styles of Secret, getting a few more can’t hurt. It’s those kinds of cards that really throw people off and make them nervous about attacking/playing cards. They have no idea what that new trigger could be! So that’s our early game: 1-cost minions. Tour Guide, Wolpertinger, Mystery Winner, Intrepid Initiate. We get these onboard and start harassing with them. We want more threats than most players can deal with at this point in the game.

We’re going to want to start setting up Secret shenanigans around this point too. After all, we have a few, and we can do a lot with them. For example, the Eaglehorn Bow gains +1 Durability whenever a Secret is revealed. As a 3/2 weapon, we can keep this out for a long time with some planning and luck. This leads me to another one of the most important cards in this deck, Phase Stalker. Whenever we use our Hero Power, cast a Secret from your deck.

Hopefully, we draw that Phase Stalker using Scavenger’s Ingenuity because we draw a Beast and give it +3/+3. We’ve only got two Beasts in the deck though. It and Wolpertinger, and getting a 4/4 that makes another 4/4 would be pretty awesome too. While we don’t have a ton of Beasts in the deck, we can make more, via Snake Trap or Pack Tactics. Both are Secrets, which I’m about to get into.

Tour Guide so great and is integral to the deck. He’s a 1/1 for 1 that makes our next Hero Power cost 0 mana. As a fun fact, that 0 will hold over through turns until you use it. So you can save it for when you trigger either Phase Stalker, or even better perhaps, you have Dragonbane on the board. That’s why we want to have that 0 Mana Hero Power waiting. We want an immediate return on value for these cards. If they come into play and die before we can even use a Hero Power once, that’s a waste. 

If we even get these triggers once, they’re worth it. With Phase Stalker casting a Secret from your deck, and Dragonbane dealing 5 damage at random to an enemy, that’s straight value. Both of our weapons are Secret synergized too. We already talked about what the Eaglebow can do, but what about the new Rinling’s Rifle? Sadly, it doesn’t build Durability, so it’s only going to be out for two attacks. But it’s a 2/2 for 4, and when we attack with our Hero, Discover a Secret and cast it!

It really triggers well with Phase Stalker/Dragonbane, and also helps with Petting Zoo. That is a 3-cost spell that summons a 3/3 Strider, and then repeats for each Secret we control. All of this is why we also want an early game Inconspicuous Rider. He casts a Secret from our deck, when we play him (for 3 mana). We can Discover Secrets thanks to Mystery Winner and Rinling’s Rifle

We can cast them from our deck via Phase Stalker’s Passive and Inconspicuous Rider’s  Battlecry. But what default Secrets are we running?

  • Open the Cages (2 Mana): When your turn starts, if you control two minions, summon an Animal Companion.
  • Pack Tactics (2 Mana): When a friendly minion is attacked, summon a 3/3 copy.
  • Snake Trap (2 Mana): When one of your friendly minions is attacked, summon three 1/1 Snakes.

We have three flavors of Trap, and ways to get some we don’t actually have access to. Of course, you can mix these up however you want, or add in some Explosive Traps, or Freezing Traps depending on your needs/comfort level. As soon as you start running out of cards in your hand, you want to play the Voracious Reader. Don’t be shy about it either. At the end of your turn, if it’s in play, draw until you have 3 cards. It’s a great way to keep threat on the board. We want to keep pinging the other player with our minions, traps, and Hero Power as much as possible. 

Take trades when they’re wise to do so, but focus on their face as much as you can. That’s what makes this deck so fun. You put as much pressure as you can afford on the other player, and put them on the backfoot. Let them start making mistakes, and stressing out about how much damage you can dump out; because it’s a lot. Don’t let anyone but you control the flow of gameplay. You’re going to do it through violence.

Big Game Hunter (Face Hunter Hyper-Aggro)


Class Cards:

Mystery Winner (1) x2

Wolpertinger (1) x2

Open the Cages (2) x2

Pack Tactics (2) x2

Phase Stalker (2) x2

Scavenger’s Ingenuity (2) x2

Snake Trap (2) x1

Eaglehorn Bow (3) x2

Kill Command (3) x2

Petting Zoo (3) x2

Dragonbane (4) x1

Rinling’s Rifle (4) x1


Neutral Cards:

Demon Compnaion (1) x2

Intrepid Initiate (1) x2

Tour Guide (1) x2

Voracious Reader (2) x2

Inconspicuous Rider (3) x2

Deck Code


Final Thoughts

This is basically the only Hunter deck I have fun with. It really comes down to how you use the tools you have. It’s a deck where you want to be as aggressive as possible. You don’t want the other player to get their mid/late game spike. By the time that happens, you’ll want to be smashing their face for a glorious victory. We want to deal damage to the other player as quickly as possible with our minions, Steady Shot, and cards like Kill Command. Be aggressive, be pushy, and show that player who the boss is.

Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts (Warlock Control)

One of the more interesting things about Hearthstone just in general is that we only have 30 cards to work with. Mill (making a player discard cards off the top of their deck) isn’t quite as common, compared to games like MTG Arena. However, Madness at the Darkmoon Faire is bringing it back in such a huge way for Warlocks! Bear in mind, running out of cards doesn’t mean they immediately lose. However, they’ll start taking damage instead, anytime they would draw instead.

Tickatus is the Demon that makes this happen. Normally this is an 8/8 for 6, and it removes the top 5 cards from our deck. However, if we play it as a Corrupt card, which is the intended goal, it removes the top 5 of the enemy instead. So we absolutely do not want to ever cast this creature normally. In theory, if we pull it through Free Admission, it reduces the cost by 2 (down to 4). Then we can cast something in the 5-6 range instead to corrupt him. 

Then we do this again later down the line, through Y’Shaarj, the Defiler. He will bring back every Corrupt card we’ve cast this game, and make them cost 0 this turn. Then we drop Tickatus again, making sure the other player has lost 10 cards this game. The longer the game has gone on, the worse this is going to be. If we deck them out, we can just play patiently and laugh as they struggle to come back. With as many possible Corrupt cards as we have, we can just smash them to pieces and leave them with nothing.

What kind of Corrupt cards do we have? How about one of my personal favorites, Cascading Disaster? It’s a 4-cost spell that can be Corrupted twice! If we do it twice, it destroys 3 random enemies. If they only have 3 minions in play, then they lose it all! I adore this deck because control is 100% my preferred way to play any card game. 

How’s It Work?

One of the downsides to this deck is that it is not fast. We’re going to be relying on Life Tap (Hero Power) to draw cards early, but that comes at the cost of life. With that in mind, you want to be extra vigilant on removal/creature dropping. You want to avoid taking as much damage as possible. If we can start with cards like Spirit Jailer, Free Admission, and Imprisoned Vilefiend that would be a serious boon. Now, Imprisoned Vilefiend admittedly lays dormant for 2 turns, but it’s a ⅗ Rush for 2, so it’s a fair trade off.

Spirit Jailer puts 2 Soul Fragments into the deck and is a ⅓, so it’s a solid start to building a defense/defeating early threats. Free Admission is our aforementioned way to start pulling threats from our deck. You draw 2 minions from your deck, and if they happen to be Demons, reduce the cost by 2. Ultimately though, the name of the game is to use Life Tap anytime it’s comfortable to do so. We want to use a few spells in the early game to make sure the other player has no threats.

If we have a full hand, Dark Skies can be powerful, especially if we don’t have minions on the board. If Vilefiend is still dormant, it can’t be targeted. Dark Skies deals 1 damage to a random minion for each card in your hand. This is devastating if you’ve used Valdris Felforge in the mid-late game. After all, he makes our hand size go up to 12 and lets us draw 4 cards. He’s a part of keeping us in business in the mid game. Also, a terrific card to drop to set up a Tickatus on turn 7.

On turn 4 we can also drop Fire Breather (3 with The Coin). It deals 2 damage to all minions except Demons, so this could be potentially devastating to the other player, and is a 4/3 on top of that. This leads us mostly towards the mid-game though. That’s when we want to start dropping cards like Void Drinker and Abyssal Summoner, as powerful Taunt minions to hold the other player off. Void Drinker is why we want to see Spirit Jailer as early as possible. Then we can destroy a Soul Fragment to give the Void Drinker +3/+3 (turning it into a ⅞ Taunt). 

Conversely, the Abyssal Summoner creates a Demon with Taunt that has stats equal to your hand size. The more cards you’ve managed to hold onto, the sturdier it will be. We also have the 6-cost Aranasi Broodmother, that restores 4 Health to you when you draw it. It’s also a 4/6 Taunt. If we that early Tickatus from Free Admission, any of the aforementioned minions can Corrupt our big, tanky demon. 

There may come a time when we want to obliterate the field though. Either the other player is bearing down on you, or you simply want to slow the pace of the game down, there are some solid times to drop a Twisting Nether (8-Cost, destroy all minions). If you have both Y’Shaarj and at least one Strongman in your hand, this could be devastating. That way, you drop one or two 6/6 Taunt minions for 0, thanks to Strongman’s Corrupt ability, and the following turn, you blow up the spot with Y’Shaarj for 10!

He creates copies of all of the Corrupt cards you’ve played so far and makes them 0 cost. So until you’ve played Tickatus, you don’t want to cast this. Hopefully we’ve triggered Cascading Disaster twice and popped it to destroy 3 minions. That will give us that same power again. 

Finally, when we have cast Tickatus, it wouldn’t hurt to play Man’ari Mosher before attacking with it. That way it gets +3/+0 and Lifesteal this turn. Getting 11 life would give us a lot of extra time in the game. We can also use this on Void Drinker or any other useful Demon we have. After all, the Mosher only offers this to a friendly Demon when said Mosher comes into play.

So what’s our end game? Obliterating the other player’s deck and hitting them in the face repeatedly with powerful demons. It’s very likely that through our spells and returned Corrupt cards, we can delete the other player’s whole deck, and then eliminate all threats on the board. We can either slow things down and let them lose to their own Fatigue (having no cards in the deck), or we can just batter them with huge Taunt/Demons. That’s probably the more satisfying move. Don’t be a jerk, but get a guaranteed win. 

Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts (Warlock Control)


Class Cards:

Dark Skies (3) x2

Free Admission (3) x2

Man’ari Mosher (3) x2

Cascading Disaster (4) x2

Fire Breather (4) x2

Void Drinker (5) x2

Abyssal Summoner (6) x2

Aranasi Broodmother (6) x2

Tickatus (6) x1

Valdris Felgorge (7) x1

Twisting Nether (8) x2


Neutral Cards:

Spirit Jailer (1) x2

Imprisoned Vilefiend (2) x2

Soul Shear (2) x2

Soulciologist Malicia (7) x1

Strongman (7) x2

Y’Shaarj, the Defiler (10) x1

Deck Code


Final Thoughts

I feel like this is probably going to be an expensive deck to build, but it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s really up to you to utilize your control/threat removal efficiently and burn through your life for Life Tap at the right times. If you can manage Tickatus and Y’Shaarj, you have a 10 card advantage, and likely will make sure at that point the other player has no cards left to draw. We want to Corrupt and cast Tickatus as fast as possible, as this immediately gives us a head up on the other player. Warlock’s one of my favorite Heroes in Hearthstone, so seeing the possibility of a really disrespectful mill control option fills me with glee.

Elementals, Elementals Everywhere (Mage Aggro/Tempo)

Ahhh, Mage Aggro. Aggro seems to be the order of the day in a lot of decks right now. Aggro or Tempo. Tempo wants us to constantly play cards/spells on the curve, and set up for our game winning finishes. We have some early game creatures, and ways to create more of them (Elementals) to start doing damage. Then, once that’s done, we use all the card draw we pulled early on to make sure we can dole out the finishing blow. Between +Spell Damage cards and the ever-present Sorcerer’s Apprentice (-1 Spell Cost), we can drop lots of damage for relatively no mana.

We want to pair Sorcerer’s Apprentice with low-cost spells to create insane value. If we can drop lots of spells in one turn for 0/1 mana a piece, it’s going to either destroy the board, the other player, or both. With that in mind, please don’t cast Sorcerer’s Apprentice in the early game. Unless you have a second in hand, don’t give the other player an opportunity to waste it; they will. The only time it’s fine is when you have enough free/cheap card draw and damage to eliminate any threat.

Even then, I don’t think it’s going to work out quite the way you want. But we’ve got a lot of ways to pull spells/cards from the deck, or just to create a host of really annoying Elementals. That’s going to serve Elemental Allies in particular, quite well. This is also a deck that takes advantage of Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate, but frankly, I wouldn’t hinge the game on him. That’s because I don’t trust him pulling something I need/want. 

How’s It Work?

The beauty of Mage decks is how efficient we can use just a few mana. Everything in this deck costs 1-2 mana, except just a few cards: Chenvaala, Mana Giant, Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate. Heck, Mana Giant only starts as 8 mana! But for each card we play this game that does not start in our deck, it costs 1 less! So we can easily play this card for 0 or 1 mana, with the right pacing. On top of it being an 8/8, dropping an 8/8 elemental for 1 is absolutely devastating.

Then we pair it with Chenvaala, which has us summon a 5/5 Elemental after we cast three spells in a row. Suddenly, our cup runneth over with boots to bop into people’s faces. It’s a very violent cup like that. Our early game is all about putting some elementals on board and taking advantage of early damage. Depending on the situation, we can’t get blinded by going directly to the face (hitting the player directly).

Especially against Aggro. Against the aggro matchup, we do want to try and drop a fairly early Sorcerer’s Apprentice and start dealing with the aggro threats. We want the other player to have no board to harm us with. That’s how we’ll survive long enough for our sick combos. I want to go back to the Mana Giant, because it’s one of our great ways to deal damage for low mana.

With that in mind, we want to conjure/Discover spells that aren’t in our deck. Since we’ve got cards to increase Spell Damage (Lab Partner, Astromancer Solarian/Solarian Prime) and ways to make our spells cost 1 less (Sorcerer’s Apprentice), let’s discuss some of the cards that are going to give us the options to bombard the otherplayer.

Out of Deck Experience

A lot of this deck hinges on us taking cards that don’t belong to us initially, and putting them to work. It can start as early as casting Violet Spellwing for 1 mana. When that 1/1 for 1 dies, it adds an Arcane Missiles to our hand. We also have, speaking of the early game, Ray of Frost, which adds a copy of the same spell to our hand, thanks to Twinspell. Magic Trick also does something similar, letting us Discover a spell that costs 3 or less. That is even better, since we can try to pick the spell that is perfect for the board state.

Confection Cyclone’s Battlecry adds two ½ Sugar Elemental cards to our hand, which just makes Mana Giant even easier to cast. Depending on how many spells you cast in one turn, Mana Cyclone adds that many Mage Spells to our hand at random. This is perfect with Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Evocation, if I can be honest. Making all your spells cost 1 less, and then dropping Evocation to fill your hand with Random Mage spells? That could be a recipe for disaster. You don’t need to do that with Sorcerer’s Apprentice though.

Personally, I’d recommend just racking up a full hand of cards like Brain Freeze (Freeze a Minion: Combo: Also deal 3 to it), Primordial Studies (Discover a Spell Damage Minion, your next costs 1 less) and virtually anything else we have that’s low cost. We don’t Mana Cyclone’s only a 2-cost, 2/2, and we don’t have to cast those Mage spells this turn. It just adds them to our hand. So as a mid-game bomb, it can be exactly what we need to get things going. 

Don’t forget Wand Thief either, since if you cast a spell before it, it Combos into Discovering a Mage Spell. Yogg-Saron, in the late game, can give you a card you didn’t have access to, which can also spiral things out of control.

Elemental Allies will also be grateful for all these inexpensive Elementals. We just have to play an Elemental 2 turns in a row. The easiest way? Cast Confection Cyclone, and then next turn, play one of the Sugar Elementals. The reward? Draw 3 spells from our deck. With a few +Spell Damage cards in play, we can make Cram Session give a few cards too, with 1 card base, and it is improved by Spell Damage.

Finally, Astromancer Solarian. He gives us +1 Spell Damage, and is a 3/2, but it’s his Deathrattle that shines. It shuffles Solarian Prime into our deck, and we want him. Badly. Playing him casts 5 Mage Spells at random targets (but prioritizing enemies). As a 7/7 that also gives +1 Spell Damage, this might be our bomb that wins the game. 

What wins in this deck is an efficient use of our early game Elementals, and wise use of the various cards we are granted for free. There’s a lot of them, and it’s almost always random. So we have to figure out what we can do to maximize our efficiency clearing the board and bombarding the other player’s face. Ideally, we get Chenvaala out at the same time as Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Now, our 1-cost spells are 0-cost, and it’s very easy to start getting free 5/5 Elementals. Sorcerer’s Apprentice in the mid-game is our gateway drug to success. Either Chenvaala or Mana Cyclone can guarantee success in their own way. We can use the Mana Cyclone after dumping our hand to refill it with cards we didn’t own. 

It’s also been suggested to use Archmage Antonidas in this deck. As he’s a 7-drop, it’s risky, but his passive is second-to-none. It creates a Fireball spell in hand anytime we cast a spell. If you know you’re playing against control decks, he’s a great addition. If your opponent isn’t battering down your +Spell Damage minions, it’s going to be a very bad time for them. We can get a few out, and start throwing spells with impunity. 

Elementals, Elementals Everywhere (Mage Aggro/Tempo)


Class Cards:

Elemental Allies (1) x2

Evocation (1) x1

Lab Partner (1) x2

Magic Trick (1) x2

Ray of Frost (1) x2

Violet Spellwing (1) x2

Astromancer Solarian (2) x1

Confection Cyclone (2) x2

Cram Session (2) x2

Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2) x2

Chenvaala (3) x1

Mana Giant (8) x2


Neutral Cards:

Brain Freeze (1) x2

Primordial Studies (1) x2

Wand Thief (1) x2

Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate (10) x1

Deck Code


Final Thoughts

Mage Aggro is a deck that relies a bit on chance, so it’s not one of my favorites if I can be 100% honest. Relying so heavily on cards we don’t have in our deck is pretty risky. I have a feeling it’s still quite powerful as a series of combos. Being able to Sorcerer’s Apprentice into Mana Cyclone, we can potentially drop quite a few near-zero cost spells in one turn, and just light someone’s face up. It’s a deck with personality and possibility though. While I’m not crazy about Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate, he does create a 0-cost spell for you to use. All you have to do is cast 10 spells before he’s played; easy!

If you have a life lead, you can hopefully get Rod of Roasting (cast Pyroblast randomly until a player dies), or you can hopefully get Devouring Hunger to maybe get enough Attack to just win with Yogg alone. Or Hand of Fate to fill your hand with spells at random, that cost 0 for the turn. Honestly, no matter what you get, it’s going to be powerful. So you just have to believe in the Heart of the Cards. It’s a fast, tempo-oriented deck that might take some practice. Once you learn where you need to focus your damage, it’ll be a breeze to bring other players down.

Dragon Priests: Masters of Fate (Priest Dragon Midrange)

Priest decks are a tricky beast. In particular, this one rewards players that are adequately aware of what the other deck can do/needs to do to win. We’re going to use some really awesome Dragons, and deal early damage to apply pressure. We’ve got control and meaty monsters that work together nicely. But the best part of the deck is letting the other player get what they need to win the game, and then stealing it from them. 

With all the board control and Dragons we have, we have the capacity to stay a threat the entire game. Well, to be fair, we don’t have a ton of dragons in the deck, just a couple. But we pair them with cards like Draconic Studies to make sure we Discover a Dragon, and we also have Murzond the Infinite. This deck just is a host of really annoying spells and creatures that are just big enough to be a threat. Plus, with the combo of Cabal Acolyte and Wave of Apathy, we can steal any minion your opponent has that is a threat. It’s random, but we can influence that by deleting the weak minions we don’t want.

But gaining control of an enemy that has 2 or less Attack, and making all enemy minions suddenly have 1 Attack until the next turn? Just imagine we use it something like Rattlegore! Sure, it’s a 1/9 for the turn, but on the next turn, it’s back to be a 9/9! We have everything we need to deal with whatever threats come our way, a little chaos (Yogg-Saron), and of course, a powerful Dragon to make a player’s game-winning set up suddenly backfire on them.

How’s It Work?

Getting an opening hand with Draconic Studies and Cleric of Scales is wildly important to start things off. Draconic Studies has you Discover a Dragon and makes your next one cost 1 mana less. So we drop that first, so we’re holding a Dragon, guaranteed. That means, when we cast Cleric of Scales, its Battlecry triggers, having us Discover a spell from our deck. For two mana, that’s an incredible value. 

Hopefully, we can start with Sethekk Veilweaver too, or at least pull it early. It adds a Priest spell to our hand whenever we cast a spell on a minion (any minion). It’s very key to the early growth of this deck. We naturally have quite a few spells that target minions; this is a Priest deck after all. This is hypothetical because I don’t know the answer right off hand but: If your Hero Power counts as a spell, that could be hilarious.

Perhaps most important is Apotheosis, which gives a minion +2/+3 and Lifesteal. It can go right on Sethekk Veilweaver, but it’s also great on the Nazmani Bloodweaver. That says “After you cast a spell, reduce the cost of a random card in your hand by (1)”. If we only have a few cards, this could spell someone’s doom. But also consider this: Apotheosis+Wild Pyromancer. Wild Pyromancer deals 1 damage to all minions anytime you cast a spell, and Apotheosis turns him into a 5/5. In many cases, this will be enough to clear the board and give you more than enough life to jump right back into the game. This can be the difference between victory and defeat. That and it’s just soul-crushing. I’ve seen people just throw in the towel after. 

We could also use it on Cabal Acolyte after we’ve cast Wave of Apathy. That would turn it into a 4/9 Taunt/Lifesteal. What a defender! If it should die, we might get lucky on a cast of Raise Dead, which deals 3 damage to our Hero but returns two friendly minions that died this game to our hand. 

Speaking of the Veilweaver, we also have a variety of ways to uncover/draw/Discover spells in this deck. It’s part of what keeps us in the game for so long. Wand Maker, for example, adds a 1-Cost spell from your class to your hand. Cobalt Spellkin adds two 1-Cost spells from your class to your hand (and is a ⅗ Dragon). If we pair all of these 1-cost spells with Palm Reading, we can start casting things for 0! Palm Reading is a 3-cost spell that Reduces the Cost of spells in our hand by (1) and also Discovers a spell first. We can get some serious threat on board as well as control/buffs.

These cards, plus Shadow Word: Death is how we stay in control of the game. We may not always get a ton of removal from the aforementioned cards, but it’s likely we’ll get something. But if things start to get perilous, that’s where the Cabal Acolyte comes in with Wave of Apathy. Use of this combo is what makes or breaks a game. 

The ability to steal a minion with 2 or less Attack is amazing when you consider Wave of Apathy reduces the enemy minion’s Attack down to 1 for a turn. Just long enough for us to steal something. The most important thing is to know what deck your opponent is playing. Knowledge of the over-arching meta, and what their deck is most likely going to use as a game-winning creature, we use that to our advantage. Keep their board clear of threats, and when they drop Solarian, a Prime, Rattlegore, or whatever big, beefy jerk they need to win, you just borrow it. 

What about Soul Mirror though? That’s for when the other player is flooding the board, but you want a reliable shot at the other player’s one particular minion. Even better if you can lower the cost through Nazmani Bloodwaver/Palm Reading. Normally a 7-mana spell, Soul Mirror summons copies of enemy minions that attack their copies. If your opponent doesn’t have that game-winner out yet, use this to clear the board to make it easier to access.

Last, but certainly not least, Murozond the Infinite helps us use whatever huge moves the opponent played. An 8/8 Dragon for 8, its Battlecry is “Play all cards your opponent played last turn”! Did your opponent set up some obnoxious, horrific combo, but they can’t win with it yet? Why not win with it instead? It says “All cards”, so minions, spells, quests, secrets/traps, you name it! 

Dragon Priests: Masters of Fate (Priest Dragon Midrange)


Class Cards:

Cleric of Scales (1) x2

Draconic Studies (1) x2

Renew (1) x2

Sethekk Veilweaver (2) x2

Shadow Word: Death (2) x2

Apotheosis (3) x2

Nazmani Bloodweaver (3) x1

Palm Reading (3) x2

Cabal Acolyte (4) x2

Soul Mirror (7) x1

Murozond the Infinite (8) x1


Neutral Cards:

Raise Dead (0) x2

Wave of Apathy (1) x2

Wandmaker (2) x2

Wild Pyromancer (2) x2

Cobalt SPellkin (5) x2

Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate (10) x1

Deck Code


Final Thoughts

It’s so important to master the control of the board before using Acolyte/Apathy. Being able to completely isolate the biggest enemy your opponent has, before stealing it. That makes the odds ever in your favor. Thankfully we have so many spells to help, plus spells that aren’t even in the deck! You can also throw in Galakrond, the Apocalypse if you want (probably for the Bloodweaver), because it’s frankly, an amazing card. Sure we aren’t invoking it, but it’s going to be more than enough power. This is a deck that heavily leans on knowing what the other player can do.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. … If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War – Attack by Strategem.

Win Conditions Are For Dorks (Rogue Tempo/Secret)

Yeah, you heard what I said! Rogue Secret decks have no regular win condition! Our goal is to just out-value the other player until we win, they give up, or they simply run out of answers to our never-ending list of problems. This is a deck where we use our minions to generate more value. From Wand Thief giving us a Mage Spell (so maybe Evocation), EVIL Miscreant to add Lackeys to our hand, down to Foxy Fraud making our next Combo Card cost 2 mana less, there’s so much we can do! We can slow down players with Blackjack Stunner (if we control a Secret), to put a minion back in the other player’s hand (or ours, if we really want), and make it cost more mana.

Hopefully,+ we can early-drop a Questing Adventurer, so we can build it up over and over. After all, it gains +1/+1 anytime we play a card. As a 2/2 for 3, it’s going to get out of control with the sheer number of 0-cost cards we have, not to mention the cards we can make cost nothing. If it really lasts long, we can perform some late-game nonsense with Shadowjeweler Hanar! That’s something we must wait til the late game for, if we want to maximize the salt we produce in the other player. 

We can win via minion damage. We have lots of minions we’re going to play to set up other plays, but of course, in the late game, we can drop some nonsense like Edwin VanCleef after playing 5-10 cards in a turn, thanks to having 10 mana, and a Secret Passage. There’s no telling! With careful control of our mana/cards, we can play a whole host of cards for 0 mana, and suddenly have a 12/12, a 14/14, or higher! His Combo is to gain +2/+2 for each other card we’ve played this turn. 

Now, if only we could give him Taunt or Charge. . . what could be. This is not a deck with a ton of Secrets in it, but we take advantage of what we have to get even more of them. It’s a deck that again, requires a bit of patience and sneakiness, but it’s well rewarded.

How’s It Working?

Our minions make the world go around. Sure, we have lots of spells and plenty of combo shenanigans. But we can constantly create a source of frustration in the other player, via our early game. Plenty of minions we want to see in our starting hand, as they create plenty of value. That’s the name of the game: Maximum Value. See the Pharaoh Cat, that adds a random Reborn minion to your hand upon casting. It might be our best turn 1.

Wand Thief is one of my favorite cards in this whole deck for that reason. It’s a Combo Card for 1 mana (so we need to play something else first). If we Combo it, we Discover a Mage Spell. Like I was saying if we could land Evocation from this? Oh lord. Fill our hand with Mage Spells for a turn. It’s a 1-cost, so we can wait until mid-game, drop it, and bombard the other player. This is even better when we’ve got a Questing Adventurer in play. Since it gains +1/+1 for every card played, that’s all we need to buff it.

We also have, on Turn 2 and later, Foxy Fraud, which is one of the newer cards (thanks to Madness at the Darkmoon Faire). It’s a 3/2 for 2 and makes our next Combo card this turn cost 2 mana less. Suddenly, Eviscerate hits the other player in the face for 4 damage for 0 mana! Or we could use it on Swindle, to draw a spell and a minion for 0 mana! Finally, we can play EVIL Miscreant for 1 mana, which would give us a ¼ for 1, and gives our hand two random Lackeys. We can also finally, use it on Wand Thief since it requires a combo, and she is a 1-cost. It might feel like a waste to do that though, so consider what you need more. You can always just play this for 1 on the same turn, mana pending.

As far as Secrets go, let’s talk about those. Shadowjeweler Hanar should only be used when we have 10 mana available to us. He’s only a 2-cost and is a ⅕, but it’s what his passive does, that’s the key. After we play a Secret, Discover a Secret from another class! So you can drop Hanar for 2, cast Preparation (for 0) to make Ambush (After your opponent plays a minion, summon a ⅔ Ambusher with Poisonous) or Dirty Tricks (After your opponent casts a spell, draw 2 cards) be played for 0 mana. 

If we wait until we have 10 mana, this means we have 8 mana to cast Secrets with, even after Prep/Ambush/Dirty Tricks. As long as we have mana, we can keep Discovering and dropping even more Secrets. That’s what makes this so amazing. We can pick and choose whatever Secret is most important to us, play it, and then do it again. If you want, you can use Blackjack Stunner to bring Shadowjeweler back to your hand.

That would make him a 4-cost to replay him, but as long as you have a cheap Secret to start with, you can do even more. Or you could drop as many low-cost Secrets as possible, and finish up with a 3-cost Edwin VanCleef to have a big bomb to start swinging with. Jandice Barov will help with that also, but she can played on another turn. She summons two random 5-cost minions, and we pick one that dies when it takes damage (secretly). If these are rush minions by chance, we can pick one to take damage when it dies, and throw it away to delete a minion (while also losing the minion). 

If you don’t want to use Questing Adventurer early, we can either get a lucky Evocation pull, or use another strategy. Dump your hand, except for Secret Passage. Cast it for 1 (or Preparation it to make it 0), and “Replace your hand with 5 cards from your deck. Swap back next turn”. You don’t have to dump your hand, since you get it back. But it really depends on the situation you’re in. Either way, you pull 5 new cards to us. Play as many as possible, buff the Adventurer off their backs, and get your old cards next turn.

Hopefully, this will happen late enough in the game to simply play all five cards in one go. That’s what makes this deck so great. That and we’re so unpredictable. There’s no telling what we’ll get from one turn to the next, and we’ll always get threats to slow the other player down. There are other options to use in this deck though. You can replace Questing Adventurer with Khartut Defender for life gain, as well as Taunt/Reborn. 

Conversely, if you want more minion shenanigans, try slotting in a Togwaggle’s Scheme for one of the Eviscerates or something like it. Togwaggle’s Scheme lets you pick a minion, and shuffle 1 copy of it into your deck (but upgrades each turn). This can be one of yours (Wand Thief, Foxy Fraud) or the opponent’s game winner! Of course, you’ll still have to draw into it, but that’s where Secret Passage and our other card draw options come in.

Win Conditions Are For Dorks (Rogue Tempo/Secret)


Class Cards:


Backstab (0) x2

Preparation (0) x2

Shadowstep (0) x2

Blackjack Stunner (1) x2

Pharaoh Cat (1) x2

Secret Passage (1) x2

Ambush (2) x2

Dirty Tricks (2) x2

Eviscerate (2) x1

Foxy Fraud (2) x2

Shadowjeweler Hanar (2) x1

Swindle (2) x2

Edwin VanCleef (3) x1

EVIL Miscreant (3) x2


Neutral Cards:


Wand Thief (1) x2

Questing Adventurer (3) x2

Jandice Barov (5) x1

Deck Code


Final Thoughts

Now I know I often say “I don’t care for chaos/RNG decks”, but I love decks where the win condition isn’t really that clear. If you can’t guess what is coming next, the other player can’t either! It’s admittedly a lot of fun, and tries the limits of your creativity and play-making skills. That’s where this shines. Players that really know the game, and what you can do with each card, you can start making killer, infuriating combos. While it’s not a deck I can see myself running a lot of, I respect the possibilities that can come from it. 


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