The Best Standard Hearthstone Decks for Forged in the Barrens
About a month ago, Hearthstone released Forged in the Barrens and we looked at some decks for the Standard meta. Now that that month has passed, I wanted to come back and see what the top decks in the meta actually are! Did any of those decks come back and steal the show (even if edited)? I sure hope so! I’m spending this week doing some research to see what I really like in the top decks of the meta. Now, some classes have several top decks – like Paladin. Secret Paladin, Libram Paladin, Aggro/Midrange Paladin. I’ll probably have to pick one, maybe two.
I will likely be taking Tier 1 and 2 decks to look at, and see what we are looking at for the top decks of Hearthstone’s Forged in the Barrens Standard. Now, you can use almost anything and climb. You can make the jankiest nonsense and get some victories and even climb to the top. But there are decks that have more synergy, are more powerful than others. That’s the nature of card games. As always, there are some interesting decks in Hearthstone, and the Standard of Forged in the Barrens is no exception.
There have been some interesting changes though. Turns out, Priest is not only viable but top-tier! It’s a little on the complex side, but you can slowly whittle away at someone with it, securing a victory that is equal parts frustrating (for your opponent) and satisfying (for you). Without further ado, let’s look at some card games!
Rush Warrior is the Real King of Games (Mid-Range/Aggro Deck):
Rush Warrior (or at least this version) is pretty new, thanks to the advent of the Year of the Gryphon. With all the old cards rotating out, we had to look for some new ideas. This mid-range-Esque deck is exactly what you want if you’re ready to batter people with consistency (and violence). There are a few new cards in particular that genuinely make this a horrifying concept. They let us out-trade our opponent’s with the greatest of ease, and keep drawing cards to always be on the move.
In particular, we’re looking at legendaries like Rokara and Samuro. Rokara’s ability to give a friendly minion +1/+1 when it survives damage is not to be underestimated. We can swing hard on weak minions with our Rush creatures, and get enough boosted stats to keep us well in the game. Blademaster Samuro is another Rush minion, and he has Frenzy. When he survives damage the first time, he edeals damage equal to this minion’s Attack to all enemy minions. We just need to buff him a tiny bit.
If we can keep him in hand and swing on people with Overlord Runthak, and maybe cast Conditioning, suddenly he’s going to be a force of nature.
How’s It Work?
I appreciate that this version of the deck also has a tool to help stop other similar builds. We want two things: Rush Minions, and Value. Playmaker brings us wild amounts of value, that’s for sure. Hopefully, we can keep this out as long as possible, even if it lacks Rush. Why? After you play a Rush minion, summon a copy with 1 Health remaining. Rokara? Make another! Bumper Car? Make another! This is doubly great because when it dies, its Deathrattle adds two 1/1 Riders with Rush into your hand. Another fun card in this deck to reward us for having Rush is E.T.C., God of Metal. Whenever we attack with Rush attacks, deal 2 damage to the Enemy Hero.
This counts for if they attack the enemy Hero too! We are rewarded for Rushing, and there’s nothing bad at all about that. There’s also Tent Trasher, which costs 1 less for each friendly minion with a unique type. Ringmaster Whatley is on board to help us get to some of those faster. He’s fantastic card draw. For 5 mana, he is a ⅗ that draws a Mech, Dragon, and Pirate out of the deck.
That means Bumper Car, Tent Trasher/Alexstrsza The Life-Binder, and Sword Eater are the rewards there. This iteration of Alexstrasza is expensive (like all big dragons), at 9 mana. An 8/8, when it enters play, you choose a character. If it’s friendly, restore 8 health, and if it’s an enemy, deal 8 damage. This ought to count for the Heroes as well, so it’s a lot of free damage.
We also have Mankrik, who seeks out his wife. Coincidentally, she’s somewhere in your deck! He’s another card that offers a lot of value out of nowhere. When we draw into her, the spell casts. A 3/10 Mankrik, Consumed by Hatred then immediately attacks your opponent.
This is a deck where we want to constantly be on the attack. These Rush allies are powerful in that they let you swing on your opponent’s creatures as soon as they come into play if you want. You can play them immediately and remove threats, or around turn ⅘, Overlord Runthak will help buff you. Whenever he attacks (and he has Rush of course), you give +1/+1 to all minions in your hand. Hopefully, we can get an early game (turn 1 or 2) Parade Leader too. A ⅔ for 2, he grants your Rush minions +2 Attack whenever you summon one.
Suddenly, Blademaster Samuro is a 3/10, at the bare minimum. Now Crabrider goes from a ¼ Rush/Windfury to a ¾ Rush/Windfury (for 2 mana)! Now he deals 6 damage to an enemy minion, and that’s before any further buffs. Corrupt is in this deck too! Stage Dive is a 1-cost spell with Corrupt, so it’s incredibly easy to trigger. It draws a Rush minion, and if it has Corrupt (cast a higher-cost spell first), it gains +2/+1!
I’d love to see this for Rokara or Blademaster Samuro. So we have creatures that buff Rush minions, that deal extra damage when we attack with minions, and we also have a way to constantly create more minions. Troublemaker may cost 8 mana, but it’s a 6/8 that creates two 3/3 Ruffians that attack random enemies at the end of each of your turns. More free damage! Huzzah! Sadly they don’t have Rush, but they do deal immediate damage.
These cards come together to offer unparalleled aggression to the other player. We never run out of options to fight with. It’s got a nice, smooth tempo, so as later turns go, we can drop several spells at once if we’d like. Only a couple of high-cost cards, in Troublemaker and Alexstrasza the Life-Binder. You can push over enemy threats early, quickly, and then resume hitting the other player in the face. You just love to see it.
Athletic Studies (1) x2
Imprisoned Gan’arg (1) x2
Stage Dive (1) x2
Bumper Car (2) x2
Conditioning (Rank 1) x2
E.T.C., God of Metal (2) x2
Crabrider (2) x2
Parade Leader (2) x2
Playmaker (3) x2
Rokara (3) x1
Warmaul Challenger (3) x2
Blademaster Samuro (4) x1
Sword Eater (4) x2
Ringmaster Whatley (5) x1
Tent Trasher (5) x2
Overlord Runthak (5) x1
Troublemaker (8) x2
Alexstrasza The Life-Binder (9) x1
From Conditioning to E.T.C., God of Metal, we’ve got a lot of value for our Rush creatures. Overlord Runthak grants +1/+1 to all minions in hand when he attacks and has Rush too. We focus on quick, brutal strikes, and leaving our opponent with nothing, while we constantly increase in power. There just aren’t many decks that stand a chance against it right now. We can fight down pretty much anything, and suddenly surprise enemy players with sudden, much larger creatures. It’s just the best. I’m so glad to see Warrior as one of the top decks, and especially this iteration.
Control Priest is Top-Tier?! It’s True! (Control Priest):
Xyrella makes this deck absolutely infuriating. She’s just the best! A 4/4 for 4, and its Battlecry depends on your healing/Restoring Health. If you restored Health the turn you cast her, deal that much damage to all enemy minions! Suddenly, all that healing you did is a cloud of doom over your foe. Seeing a Priest archetype among the Standard Hearthstone decks in Forged in the Barrens just fills me with joy. We want to spend the early to mid-game controlling the board with spells, and healing to stay on top. It’s a deck that slowly but surely puts pressure on the board.
We do focus heavily on removal, so we can win via attrition. It’s a slow but sure climb to the end of the game. We want it to be as slow and frustrating for the opponent as possible. Heck, we can win by making them give up if we want. It takes a little work to time Taelan Fordring work, but it’s likely we’re just going to pull Malygos the Spellweaver every single time.
It’s not an easy deck to pilot, but with careful timing and patience, you can do some really disruptive things. One of my favorite things to do is empty your hand, making Mindrender Illucia your last card. She swaps hands and decks with your opponent until your next turn, so we can use the rest of our mana to play their spells. That’s definitely a card that requires some planning. The better you plan ahead and the better you manage your removal, the more victories you’ll see.
How’s It Work?
It’s not always important to always kill every minion that hits the board. You have to figure out the most important threats to remove. One of the best cards to have around in the late game is Condemn (Rank 1) though. When you have 10 mana, this 2-cost spell hits all enemy minions for 3.
Forged in the Barrens gave Priests quite a few new tools like Xyrella, which can bomb the board for whatever healing you just did. We’re going to win via a battle of attrition like I said. As the game goes on, we’ll keep our board filled with threats, and whittle people down. We’ll remove their threatening, important creatures, refill our hand with spells through Malygos and win when the other player has exhausted any chance of a comeback.
Sethekk Veilweaver keeps us in the game for a long time too. As long as it’s in play after we cast a spell on a minion (any player’s minion), we add a Priest spell to hand. That just gives us more heals, buffs, and removal. So you can Shadow Word: Death a minion, and potentially get another removal spell back. This makes it an ideal candidate for Apotheosis, which grants +2/+3 and Lifesteal for 3 mana. We’ve got Desperate Prayer for 0, which heals both players for 5 life too.
At first, I was not sold on this card. “Why would I want to heal my opponent?” I asked myself. Then I realized the truth. It belongs in decks where the other players’ life pool isn’t relevant. We use it to stay in the game much longer, and then erase what we gave them. We’ve also got Raise Dead which harms our hero for 3. But then it returns two of our friendly minions that died this game back to our hand. This is especially great if we can get Xyrella back for another round of threats. If you can reduce the number of allies that die in a game, it can be easier to get the things you want back. If we can get an early Educated Elekk, it’s also going to make the game longer. Why? When it’s in play, it Remembers every spell that’s played. It doesn’t specify “your” spells either. When the Educated Elekk dies, its Deathrattle triggers, and shuffles those spells into your deck!
Even more value! Infinite value! Of course we have Taelan Fordring, and Blademaster Samuro as high-value neutral legendaries. If we want something our foe has, we can also use The Nameless One on it. The original gets Silenced, so be aware of that too. This is a deck that comes down to strategy and patience. If you play smart in the early game, your minions can clean up in the late game. Learn what makes each deck tick, and take it away from them.
Desperate Prayer (0) x2
Raise Dead (0) x2
Draconic Studies (1) x2
Holy Smite (1) x1
Renew (1) x2
Condemn (Rank 1) (2) x1
Sethekk Veilweaver (2) x2
Shadow Word: Death (2) x1
Wandmaker (2) x2
Educated Elekk (3) x1
Venomous Scorpid (3) x2
Hysteria (3) x2
Apotheosis (3) x2
Mindrender Illucia (3) x1
Palm Reader (3) x2
The Nameless One (4) x1
Blademaster Samuro (4) x1
Xyrella (4) x1
Taelan Fordring (5) x1
Malygos The Spellweaver (9) x1
Honestly, I’m just glad to see a control deck on top. It’s a deck I can’t give a ton of advice for because every situation is different. It’s a deck that relies heavily on understanding the meta, and the decks you come against. If you are great at reading a situation and thinking ahead, this is the deck for you. Lots of healing, tons of threat and threat removal, and a really obnoxious board wipe make this a hoot to run. It’s a deck that has a lot of threat generation, and it’s one of the few decks for my money that can make Rush Warrior stand down. If we just remove their serious threats and then heal away what little they did, they’ll run out of steam. This deck does not run out of steam though. We’re always waiting with another solution to a problem.
Paladin Buffs Win Games (Paladin Aggro):
That’s right, Paladin Aggro is going strong right now! It’s this or Paladin Midrange. Personally, I like the Aggro builds more. It comes from us spending the early game putting annoying creatures into play, and creatures with Divine Shield. They stick around more and let us get free damage on the board. We use a few weapons to create more threats. Once we have threats that are going to get us the win on the board, we stack some buffs to make sure we can easily win the game.
Some class buffs come from this deck, like Conviction (Rank 1), Blessing of Kings, and Blessing of Authority. It’s a fairly straightforward deck that can come out of nowhere with serious power. We aren’t using a whole lot of removal spells. Instead, we can take advantage of minions with Divine Shield to just safely get rid of things as they come into play. It’s easy to pilot in my estimation and is also a whole lot of fun. My first deck in Hearthstone was a Paladin Taunt/Divine Shield deck, and I still remember it fondly. Was it great? No, probably not. But fun and satisfying? Oh yes.
We run pretty low-cost, high-value cards in the deck. Once we’ve got suitable command of the board, we start buffing and start swinging. It won’t take too much either. We’ve got a few of the legendary cards from the neutral collection that you have already seen before in this blog: Alexstrasza the Life-Binder and Blademaster Samuro. This should be an indicator of how easy they are to put into a deck and become useful. Not “put them into play or lose”, but “Oh goodness, this really changes the game up and gives me an avenue for victory”.
How’s It Work?
Our early game is probably going to consist (hopefully) cards like First Day of School and Nerubian Egg. First Day of School is 0 mana, it adds 2 random 1-Cost Minions to your hand. We can easily just get things going off of this. If we follow up with Nerubian Egg, we can start setting up an early 4/4 Nerubian. That’s a 0/2 for 2 mana, but when it dies, it creates that 4/4 creature. One of the best things about Hearthstone, you can make your opponent slay this egg. Just declare an attack on an enemy minion!
If you’re really feeling saucy, you can buff the Egg, so it at least takes something out with it. I don’t think you should, but if you’re feeling confident it’s an option. Then when it perishes, you can have a turn 3 (hopefully) 4/4. We also have a one-cost 1/1, Righteous Protector. A Taunt/Divine Shield minion, this is the one I’d want to cast Hand of A’dal or something on. Hand of A’dal would grant it +2/+2 and draw a card, so now it’s a 3/3 Taunt/Divine Shield. Very frustrating, that.
Towards the mid-game, we’re hoping for Underlight Angling Rod and/or Hammer of the Naaru. Hammer of the Naaru is newer, and while it is a 6-cost weapon, it’s a 3/3. When you summon this weapon onto the board, you receive a 6/6 Holy Elemental with Taunt. That’s already a serious threat. You can now pretty safely pound people with the Hammer. Underlight Angling Rod is a 3/2, and when your Hero attacks, you add a random Murloc to your hand.
There’s a chance you could summon a Murgurgle Prime this way, though I have a feeling it’s unlikely. We do have Murgur Murgurgle though, so we can come across the Prime Murloc naturally. The Murgur Murgurgle card is a 2/1 with Divine Shield for 2, and when it dies, shuffle the Prime into the deck. He’s yet another of our “Divine Shield” minions to swing aggressively with. It would be nice if we can late-game find Murgurgle Prime, it can be everything we need to win. It summons 4 Murlocs with Divine Shield and is an 8/6 for 8.
Cariel Roame is in the deck but we’re only running one real Holy spell, Conviction (Rank 1). So we just need to swing with Cariel once to make it a 0-cost. Cariel reduces the cost of Holy Spells in your hand each time it attacks. They’re also a 4/3 with Divine Shield and Rush. It’s going to immediately be valuable to your cause. Through Knight of Anointment, we can guarantee we draw our only Holy spell in the deck – Conviction. It grants a random friendly minion +3 Attack. We want it to be 0-cost and hold it until we have 10 mana, making it a rank 3. If we can get both of them in hand at once, suddenly we trigger it twice.
Now it’s 0 mana if Cariel swings, and it’s in our hand. We’re going to be fighting the other player very hard, and there’s a fair chance we frequently lose minions. Barricade can be cast for 4 mana, and it summons a 2/4 Guard with Taunt. If it’s your only minion, summon another. That way, we can suddenly have a few bodies while we wait to cast something better. On a personal note, I tend to swing face pretty hard any chance I get. I’m willing to throw a bunch of buffs on one turn and see if mathematically, I can win in one blow. This is a deck where that’s possible.
If I don’t have minions that have to stay on the board, I force the fights by attacking face and making the other player hit me while I’m strong. They have to break themselves on my allies. However, if they have something super strong, I change it up and figure out what I have to sacrifice (or how to abuse Divine Shield). From here, we want to have plenty of tough minions on board. Samuro, Murgurgle Prime, Cariel Roame, that 6/6 Elemental. Maybe even Alexstrasza the Life-Binder. Our buffs are Conviction (like I already pointed out), and then cards like Blessing of Kings. For 4 mana, it gives a minion +4/+4. Blessing of Authority is even better, but it can’t attack heroes this turn (5 mana spell). It grants a minion +8/+8.
In a way, it’s a target. It’s going to have players doing everything they can to keep it from swinging on the other player. My strategy is to give it to someone with Divine Shield. That way, it can be protected from at least something. For my money, if things have drug on long, I’m putting it on Alexstrasza or Cariel. Whatever I have that’s the biggest. But aggro decks tend to have short matches. Play minions, swing as soon as you can. Enemy minions not a threat? Swing on face, over and over. Buff when you have the numbers to win (or eliminate something). You can buff whenever’s good for you, but make sure there are other buff spells going around for later.
Avoid burning all your extra damage for nothing. It takes a little practice, but aggro decks are pretty forgiving (and fun).
First Day of School (0) x2
Conviction (Rank 1) (1) x2
Knight of Anointment (1) x2
Righteous Protector (1) x2
Crabrider (2) x2
Hand of A’dal (2) x2
Murgur Murgurgle (2) x1
Nerubian Egg (2) x2
Goody Two-Shields (3) x2
Underlight Angling Rod (3) x2
Barricade (4) x2
Blademaster Samuro (4) x1
Blessing of Kings (4) x2
Cariel Roame (4) x1
Blessing of Authority (5) x2
Hammer of the Naaru (6) x2
Alexstrasza the Life-Binder (9) x1
A relatively inexpensive deck, Dust-wise and Mana-wise. We only have a handful of cards that really cost a lot. This way, as the game goes on, and we can hold onto spells, we can dump a few cards at once, and really make a game-winning minion. If by chance you have that Holy Elemental, a handful of buffs, and no threats, you can just turn him into a rough 15/15 or so, and batter the other player with one sound attack. It’s one of my favorite decks for the Standard meta of Hearthstone’s Forged in the Barrens scene. Play bold, play aggressive, and demolish anyone in your path.
Aim For the Face (Hunter Aggro Deck):
Aggro is still very popular in Hearthstone, and Hunter Aggro is no exception. We’ve got low-cost spells that hit the other player in the face and a ton of value in the rest of our cards. Minions that add spells to hand? A spell that draws a Beast out of your deck and buffs it +2/+2? Oh, it’s just terrific to see this deck pop up. We’ve got the new Trampling Rhino to pummel people, and we can round out games with Alexstrasza the Life-Binder because of course, we do! It’s been in…every deck so far I think? Or very close to it.
This sadly isn’t a Tier 1 deck, but it does exist in the Tier 2 rankings. This is mostly due to the might of Rush Warrior. That’s the must-beat right now, and this deck admittedly does have a hard time doing so. We can still beat the deck, but we have to get an early start on generating value. We want to get a Kolkar Pack Runner quickly and gain as much value as possible out of it.
Its ability to summon 1/1 Hyena cards with Rush whenever you cast a spell just means endless value. So you zap the other player with spells, get a Hyena, and begin weakening the other player. We’re packing a lot of spells that create minions, which then synergize with cards like Kolkar Pack Runner. If by some miracle those Hyenas live, you can then swing on the other player’s face!
How’s It Work?
Hunter decks are using fewer Beasts these days. That’s because we want to narrow down our possibilities. This deck runs three. We have early game Beast – Wolpertinger. It’s a 1/1 for 1, that creates a copy of itself in play. Zixor, Apex Predator is also key, because dying grants Zixor Prime in your deck as an alternate win condition. A 2/4 with Rush, it’s good on its own. Zixor Prime is a 4/4 for 8 with Rush. It has a Battlecry that summons 3 copies of him. So now we can push out 12 damage onto minions (or onto the enemy face next turn).
We also have Trampling Rhino, which casts for 5. A 5/5 with Rush, leftover damage after it kills a minion gets to hit the enemy player. So if we fetch it with Scavenger’s Ingenuity, now this becomes a 7/7. A two-cost spell, it pulls a Beast from the deck and grants it +2/+2. What if we get that Zixor Prime though? Now it’s a 6/6, and we get three more 6/6s! While that would be fun, it’s probably far more ideal for this to pull Wolpertinger or Trampling Rhino. Wolpertinger doesn’t sound great until you consider you now have two 3/3s for one mana. Instant, immediate value.
We use stuff like this to gain control super early. We have the typical “cast for minions” cards. Adorable Infestation gives a minion +1/+1, grants you a 1/1 Cub, and adds another Cub to your hand. Demon Companion summons a random Demon Companion, also for 1! Getting Kolkar Pack Runner and/or Intrepid Initiate first is key. That way we can cast these spells, get creatures, and also get benefits for it.
As far as direct damage, we have Quick Shot, which deals 3 damage for 2. Wound Prey deals 1 damage for 1, and also summons a 1/1 Hyena with Rush. We don’t have as many direct damage spells compared to the past maybe. We also have the Trueaim Crescent weapon, which is a ¼ for 1. It makes our minions attack our target when we attack a Minion. Through this, we help push over threats. Headhunter’s Hatchet is a 2/2 for 2, and if we control a Beast when it enters play, it gains another +1 Durability. Probably just going to use this to chop at the other player. Mankrik is back too, and we can hopefully get him back when we find his wife. Through this, we gain another very sudden damage. Barak Kodobane is also here to give us supreme amounts of value. It draws a 1, 2, and 3-cost spell, and is a ⅗ for 5. That’s so much satisfying to see.
If we want a finisher, you can Taelan Fordring into Alexstrasza. He is a 3/3, with Taunt, Divine Shield, and Deathrattle. When he perishes, you draw your highest-Cost minion, which will almost certainly be your Dragon. We have another potential bomb, depending on what you want from it. Kazakus, Golem Shaper. You can see every choice on offer here. You can make a 1-cost, 5-Cost, or 10-Cost Golem, if we have no 4-cost cards in the deck (we don’t).
We pick three choices. The first is the cost/stats – 1/1, 5/5, or 10/10. I personally want a late-game bomb, so he’s going to be a 10/10. Then I’m going to give him Stealth so he can’t be blocked for that first shot, and then either Icecap or Wildvine. Icecap on the 10/10 freezes all enemy minions, and Wildvine grants your other minions +4/+4. When I look at this card, I want it to be a game-ender, and this could do exactly that.
This is a deck we’re going to nickel and dime an opponent down with waves of low-cost, high-value minions. If we can keep that Kolkar Pack Runner out for several turns, we can essentially never run out of Beasts that don’t require us to cast them. Then, later on, you can cast another Kolkar Pack Runner to do it again! We’re never going to be without threats in this deck. If we can keep conjuring threats, and pushing our foes minions over, our bigger threats will freely smash victories out for us.
Adorable Infestation (1) x2
Demon Companion (1) x2
Intrepid Initiate (1) x2
Tracking (1) x1
Trueaim Crescent (1) x2
Wolpertinger (1) x2
Wound Prey (1) x2
Headhunter’s Hatchet (2) x1
Kolkar Pack Runner (2) x2
Quick Shot (2) x2
Scavenger’s Ingenuity (2) x2
Wandmaker (2) x2
Mankrik (3) x1
Zixor, Apex Predator (3) x1
Kazakus, Golem Shaper (4) x1
Barak Kodobane (5) x1
Taelan Fordring (5) x1
Trampling Rhino (5) x2
Alexstrasza the Life-Binder (9) x1
I’m not a big Hunter player if I can be honest. I still like this deck concept. It feeds into my desire to push people around in the game. The ability constantly pump out annoying creatures to whittle away our opponent’s frontline, and then swinging directly on their face. We have just enough damage from weapons. We have huge possible minions to just bomb someone’s face in. Alexstraza, our Golem, and Zixor Prime? Oh yeah, we’ve got the firepower.
Magical Mysteries (Miracle Rogue Deck):
Miracle Rogue is back, but it has a new engine. Gadgetzan Auctioneer is gone, but we have the new tool of Field Contact. For those who aren’t familiar, Miracle Rogue is a deck where we find an engine to draw, and over the course of a couple of turns, we draw most of our deck out. We run primarily low-cost (again) cards, so we can combo/battlecry our way into having almost our whole hand in one deck. This is a deck that might change in the future, but for now, I like where it is.
Miracle Rogue has a few desperately powerful combos, and if we can draw all the good stuff easily, we’re going to make opponents very upset. We just talked about Kazakus, Golem Shaper in the last deck, so you probably know exactly how to use him already. Just know he’s here, alongside the all-powerful Alexstrasza the Life-Binder. This is one of the weaknesses/strengths of this game. With Neutral legendaries, there are typically wildly powerful cards that show up in virtually every deck. We’re seeing a lot of that right now.
But how exactly do we do this? It sounds pretty unrealistic, but surprisingly, it’s not! We just have to have one card, and let our combos do the rest of the work. Sadly, it doesn’t run Pen Flinger anymore, after it got nerfed. Jandice Barov has stuck around though. Field Contact is going to show off some pretty serious value. Despite it not being a Tier 1 deck, it still manages to be valuable in the meta. I love decks like this.
How’s It Work?
Field Contact is a 3-cost minion that makes this deck go in the first place. A 3/2, after you play a Battlecry or Combo card, you draw a card. At this point, you need to have the mana to start playing a ton of cards. We have a lot of pretty classic Rogue cards from recent metas, like Shadowstep and Brain Freeze. Guardian Augmerchant helps too because it deals 1 damage to a minion and grants it Divine Shield. I think it’s risky to use it on the Contact though.
After we get Field Contact into play, we want to start playing cards as much as possible. Examples we can do with enough mana is Foxy Fraud for 2 mana. It makes our next Combo card cost 2 less. We Shadowstep it back to our hand, cast Swindle for 0 instead of 2 (draw a spell and minion), and then cast Foxy Fraud for another 0 mana. Now our next Combo spell again costs 2 less. From there, we can drop Wand Thief or Brain Freeze, something like that. With Field Contact in play, we just played 5 spells, and draw 5 more cards. 7 if we actually used Swindle. We used almost no mana for it as well.
That’s what makes this deck so powerful. We can very easily start pulling cards from our deck and hold onto them until the right time. We have creatures to nickel and dime someone down and spells like Wicked Stab (Rank 1) to slice away with. There are bigger combos to see victory come away faster though.
We can use Efficient Octo-bot to make the spells in our hand cost 1 less, after Frenzy procs. If we have another Shadowstep, we can pull him back and do this again for 0 mana (once he’s taken damage again). We want Alexstrasza the Life-Binder in the hand too. This will drop it to a 7-cost minion. Hit the other player for 8, and then we play Tenwu of the Red Smoke. Since this was in hand too, it now costs 1 instead of 2. It returns a friendly minion to your hand and it now costs 1 for the turn. Cast Alexstrasza again, and that’s 16 damage in one turn. If we also had Wicked Stab (Rank 3), we can cast it for 0 through Efficient Octobot.
You don’t need to bounce the Octobot and do it again though. It’s just fine to cast it, lower the costs by 1. On turn 10, we can manage all of this at one time (or if we’ve managed to hold onto a Coin this long). Through our Field Contact cards, we can make this go down pretty efficiently. Just pay attention to your mana, and what cards you have on hand. Draw away, hold onto your win conditions, and obliterate someone in one go. It’s so satisfying to see happen.
From here, it’s a matter of using the support cards you have. Cult Neophyte to make your opponent’s spells cost more, and Prize Plunderer to deal 1 damage to a minion for each other card you’ve played this turn. Depending on what you’ve done that turn, it can be an absolutely massive bomb for whatever huge minion your foe has. You also have the Vanessa VanCleef that Combos to add a copy of the last card your opponent played to your hand. Depending on when you cast this, it can be incredible.
Shadowstep (0) x2
Brain Freeze (1) x2
Guardian Augmerchant (1) x2
Prize Plunderer (1) x2
Secret Passage (1) x2
Wand Theif (1) x2
Cult Neophyte (2) x2
Efficient Octo-bot (2) x2
Foxy Fraud (2) x2
Swindle (2) x2
Tenwu of the Red Smoke (2) x1
Vanessa VanCleef (2) x1
Wicked Stab (Rank 1) (2) x2
Field Contact (3) x2
Mankrik (3) x1
Kazakus, Golem Shaper (4) x1
Jandice Barov (6) x1
Alexstrasza the Life-Binder (9) x1
This is a deck where if you don’t get it going, it might be frustrating. Even without Field Contact sticking around the whole game, that final combo can still trigger. But you want to be able to hit someone when the openings are there and draw as much as humanly possible. The idea is simple though. Draw as much as you humanly can, so you have any solution to any problems. It’s fun, it’s satisfying, and I love wild combos. This is easily one of my favorite combos in all of Hearthstone.
Oops! All Spells! (Spell Mage Deck – No Deck of Lunacy):
Minions are for chumps, after all. This deck used to use a power card named Deck of Lunacy. It transforms the spells in your deck into ones that cost 3 Mana more. However, they keep the original cost! Since it was nerfed to cost 4 mana instead of 2, it feels a bit less enjoyable to use. When the Year of the Gryphon began, lots of decks lost cards they needed to be successful. Spell Mage isn’t one of them! We aren’t worried about anything other than unleashing waves of destruction onto the other player. We didn’t lose anything of value, and in fact, gained a new power card!
That card is Refreshing Spring Water. It’s a 4-mana spell, that draws 2 cards. It then Refreshes two Mana Crystals for each spell drawn. Since of course, we aren’t going draw anything but spells, it’s 0 mana for two cards! That’s overwhelming power. It’s not our only card draw either. Cram Session draws 1 card (improved by Spell Damage).
Hopefully, our minion summoning spells get us some quality Spell Damage minions. Arcane Intellect also grants 2 cards for 3 mana. So we do have ways to get more spells, don’t worry. You can still include Deck of Lunacy if that’s your bag, but I think the spells we have are just fine. Since we didn’t lose anything bad this year, it’s a deck that has a real chance to do some damage right now.
There’s going to be a balance patch coming soon though and hopefully, nothing of this gets nerfed. If anything does, I think Rush Warrior will see some nerfs. We’ll just have to see. It’s a deck that doesn’t win quickly, but we keep up an overwhelming amount of pressure. We have some minions, but they don’t cast them traditionally. We acquire them through our spells that have other effects on top of that. I’m a big fan of this deck, and you may be as well.
How’s It Work?
There is so many options to reduce our opponent’s life total to zero, mind. My favorite big blast is Mask of C’Thun, which takes 7 Mana. It deals 10 damage to all enemies, randomly split up. But if your opponent has no creatures, it all goes right onto their face. Just a bit of food for thought. So we use that (10 damage), Runed Orb (2 damage), Fireball (6 damage), and Apexis Blast (5 damage). Two of these, we want to use sooner rather than later for pure value purposes. Runed Orb also Discovers a spell (at two mana to cast Runed Orb), and Apexis Blast summons a random 5-Cost minion if we have no minions in our deck.
This isn’t our only way to get a minion, either. Font of Power is a 1-cost spell that Discovers a Mage minion. But if your deck has no minions, keep all 3. So for 1 mana, we get 3 Mage minions to play! Between this and Primordial Studies, we have chances at Spell Damage minions. Primordial Studies costs 1 and grants us a Spell Damage minion, and makes the next one cast cost 1 Mana less. Hopefully, we can use this to keep a few Spell Damage minions. This way, we increase our damage output for as long as possible. Hopefully we can get these going at the same time as Cram Session.
Those spells will help boost our damage potential because we want to enhance our spell damage as much as possible. This will also help us clear away enemy threats. We also desperately want to cast Incanter’s Flow as fast as possible. If we can cast that on turn 1 with The Coin. This will make all the spells in our deck cost 1 less. Doing this twice is beautiful. The idea behind this and Primordial Studies will let us likely bombard someone with several of our direct spell damage abilities at once. Flamestrike is our big AOE board wipe spell. It costs 7 mana, so we want to lower its cost. When we look at Spell Damage minions, we could always get Astromancer Solarian. Having Solarian Prime in our deck is dangerous because it disables Font of Power and Apexis Blast’s extra effects. If this does happen, draw as hard as possible to get him out of your deck.
Devolving Missiles will help us as well. It shoots three missiles at random enemy minions. This transforms them into minions that cost 1 less. This could make them less useful/weaker, so it’s worth it. The rest of the deck is built around holding our foes off. Brain Freeze for example, freezes a minion and if you cast something first, it’s a Combo card. It then deals 3 damage to that minion. Combustion deals 4 damage to a minion, and the excess damage is then dealt to both of its neighbors.
You don’t always use your spells on the enemy’s face though. Cards like Runed Orb, Brain Freeze, and Combustion can be used to hopefully slow down aggro decks. Hunter aggro is a very bad matchup since it constantly floods the board. There’s not a whole lot you can do but push their minions down and have a better start. Ring Toss might help too. It Discovers a Secret and cast it. If Corrupt (4 mana base), Discover 2 instead! These could really help us out in a pinch. Speaking of secrets, we also have Netherwind Portal. It’s a secret that triggers after your opponent casts a spell. When this triggers, it summons a random 4-cost Minion.
If You Do Use Deck of Lunacy:
I wouldn’t add Deck of Lunacy personally. It doesn’t make life great against aggro decks. Netherwind Portal is the card to remove though if that’s your bag. Incanter’s Flow changes wildly how you play. You don’t want to play two of them before Deck of Lunacy. If you do, you’re going to get a bunch of 8-cost crap in your deck that isn’t very good. Maybe 1 drop of it before Deck of Lunacy. That will get you copies of Libram of Hope likely. However, if you don’t use it first at all, you’re likely going to get awesome cards like Nagrand Slam and Survival of the Fittest.
It’s been said that this often turns your deck into something more creature-based. That way you have to adjust how you play the game. I avoid it personally, but you can. Anytime you can dumpster big damage onto the other player, that’s the goal. Ping away at them and melt their life pool. This can go quickly against slow decks, but I don’t foresee it.
Font of Power (1) x2
Brain Freeze (1) x2
Devolving Missile (1) x2
Primordial Studies (1) x2
Cram Session (2) x2
Incanter’s Flow (2) x2
Runed Orb (2) x2
Arcane Intellect (3) x2
Combustion (3) x2
Netherwind Portal (3) x1
Fireball (4) x2
Refreshing Spring Water (4) x2
Ring Toss (4) x2
Apexis Blast (5) x2
Flamestrike (7) x1
Mask of C’Thun (7) x2
I’m glad to see this deck is still around. I like Mage decks, but have a hard time with the Deck of Lunacy/Highlander concepts. This is easier to control and pilot. Not having tons of random/chaotic possibilities makes it easier to plan with. It’s definitely got a shot at being one of the top decks for Hearthstone as of Forged in the Barrens. It doesn’t get a lot of new cards, but Refreshing Spring Water does a lot all on its own. This deck makes me happy, and I’m glad we’re seeing it here.
Token Druid Thrives in the Barrens (Token Druid Aggro Deck):
How fitting is it to follow a minion-less deck with another one? Well, we do run Gibberling and Guff Runetotem. They are the only minion in the whole of the deck. A turn-one Gibberling with Innervate/Lightning Bloom can really make people sad really fast. Token Druid is a hyper-aggro deck, where we rely on constantly casting spells that grant us more token minions, or we buff the ones that are already in play. Gibberling also helps us in this way. It creates more minions for us if we use it wisely. It’s so frustrating to see a turn one when someone drops about four Gibberlings.
We’re going to chip away at our foes as much as we can, and buff the minions we get to ensure a safe, easy victory. After you get some minions on the board you’ll worry about buffing them and making even bigger plays. It’s dangerous if you lose control of the board though. It can happen against aggro decks, but it should be fine, honestly. Just keep in mind the minions that are most dangerous and eliminate them as safely as possible.
In general, we’re going to do our best to push around our opponent. This is a deck I tend to be as aggressive as I possibly can with. It’s a deck where we almost never run out of options. Taunt minions, minion buffs, stuff like that. It’s super easy to get going too. Now granted, we do need a really great start to push people around with. If you get it though, it’s going to be a real bad time for the other player.
How’s It Work?
The best start, for my money, is Gibberling, Innervate, Lightning Bloom, and The Coin. That means we aren’t going first. The odds of our opponent stalling us on turn 1 are pretty slim too. You don’t need The Coin, but it does create another Gibberling. We spend our first point of Mana on Gibberling. It has Spellburst: Summon a Gibberling. That also has Spellburst: Summon a Gibberling. We can keep doing this as often as we can trigger Spellburst.
So in this ideal setting we cast Gibberling, then we cast Innervate. It gives us 1 Mana Crystal for this turn, so we cast another Gibberling. Then we cast Lightning Bloom, which grants us 2 Mana Crystals for the turn. It grants Overload: 2 next turn so we’ll have 0 mana. For now though, we cast another Gibberling. If we have another 1-drop from going on turn 2, we can cast say, Adorable Infestation or Nature Studies. The first gives a minion +1/+1, plays a 1/1 Cub, and adds a Cub to your hand. Nature Studies discovers a spell and makes your next one cost 1 less.
So we course, play another Gibberling. Finally, we use The Coin, which gives us 1 mana. We cast our final Gibberling. So on our first turn, we have a full board! Our next turn, we start swinging right on the opponent’s face. In this situation we have no mana for the turn though. Hopefully we pull Fungal Fortunes soon. It draws 3 cards, discarding any minions. Since there are two left in the deck, it’s highly unlikely we’ll wind up picking them. We’ll spend some time swinging on the opponent’s face and casting more Token cards. Guess the Weight is in a similar vein. It draws a card for 2 mana, and we guess if the following card costs more or less. Get it right and you get that card too! Considering almost everything in this deck is 2 or less, this should be a pretty big gimme.
Thorngrowth Studies gives us two ½ Turtles with Taunt for 2 mana, Arbor Up at 5 mana summons two 2/2 Treants, and gives our minions +2/+1. That’s an incredible value. Power of the Wild can grant us a 3/2 Panther, or give our minions +1/+1, whichever we prefer. If we have cards in hand, Glowfly Swarm for 5 gives us a 2/2 Glowfly for each spell in our hand. So the fewer minions we have out and the more cards we have in hand will be beneficial.
When we’re aiming to win the game, the most ideal situation will be to cast Solar Eclipse (2 Mana) followed by Arbor Up or Pride’s Fury. Pride’s Fury is a 4-cost spell and it gives all of our allies +1/+3. Doubling it makes it +2/+6. Or we can use it on Arbor Up to give us four 2/2 Treants and give all allies +2/+1 (then +4/+2 total). From there it should be very easy to smash through someone’s life points.
Most of our spells are Nature, making Guff Runetotem a fun inclusion. He’s a 2/4 for 3, and whenever we cast a Nature spell, give another friendly minion +2/+2. There are so many buffs we can drop on one turn thanks to him. Then we just keep the heat up. Control decks are tricky against this deck. We’ll want to spread things out a bit, so we can keep filling up the board (Glowfly Swarm and Gibberling). We’ll probably want to put in Soul of the Forest and remove a Mark of the Wild and Innervate. That way, when they inevitably board wipe us, our minions will have Deathrattle: Summon a 2/2 Treant.
Against Aggro decks, I try to get the Solar Eclipse/Pride’s Fury to pop off when it’s time to start really swinging. This way it’s so much harder to kill the minions through damage. If everyone has at least +6 Life, it’s going to be a bad time for the other player. You can play pretty aggressively with this deck generally speaking though. If the opponent has nothing I fear, I just swing on face over and over. Then they have to start taking my tokens seriously or lose the game.
If we want to slow people down, we have Mark of the Wild, which grants a minion Taunt and +2/+3. We also have Lunar Eclipse for 2 mana, which deals 3 damage to a minion and makes our next spell cost 2 mana less. That can go for a lot of cards, so use it when you see a minion that needs deleting, and there’s also a combo or setup you can make happen from it. I wouldn’t cast it unless I plan to do something right afterward.
This is a deck that rewards your aggressive playstyles, so don’t go in to take your time. Any moment it’s safe to do so, you’re going to want to hit the other player right in the nose. Again and again, until they understand the power of nature.
Innervate (0) x2
Lightning Bloom (0) x2
Adorable Infestation (1) x2
Gibberling (1) x2
Nature Studies (1) x2
Guess the Weight (2) x2
Lunar Eclipse (2) x2
Mark of the Wild (2) x1
Power of the Wild (2) x2
Solar Eclipse (2) x2
Thorngrowth Sentries (2) x2
Fungal Fortunes (3) x2
Guff Runetotem (3) x1
Pride’s Fury (4) x2
Arbor Up (5) x2
Glowfly Swarm (5) x2
I’ve only played Token Druid a couple of times over the years, but I really like what it can do. The other version I considered had no Guff Runetotem, but I really like his potential to pop off. If you keep him on the board, and in the mid-game, have a few spells to cast (that are Nature), suddenly, you may OTK someone. If you partner him with Arbor Up and Solar Eclipse for example, two minions will gain +2/+2, and then you’ll give all of your minions +4/+2 on top of that. That is a meaty pile of damage for anyone that can swing this turn. I’m a big fan of what sort of power and combos you can do with Token Druid, that’s for sure.