With the Mage hero I listed Mage is great for newer players it is better to list card swaps for the majority of other Heroes. Mage is one of the easiest to play and takes much less strategic work. Below is a Basic Warrior deck.
Playing the basic Warrior isn’t easy and takes a considerable amount of work, card selection and trades matter a great deal. While some heroes can get away with adding a few splash cards, Warrior needs to be much more selective and careful about each and every choice. Below is a deck that can be played for zero dust—technically right out of the “box.”
Warrior cards: 2X Execute, 2X Fiery War Axe, 1X Cleave, 1XShield Block, 2X Kor’Kron Elite and 2X Arcanite Reaper
Basic Cards: 2X Elven Archer, 2X Acidic Ooze, 2X Bloodfen Raptor, 2X Razorfen Hunter, 2X Shattered Sun Cleric, 2X Chillwind Yeti, 2X Gnomish Inventor, 2X Sen’jin Shieldmaster, 1X Stormpike Commando, 2X Boulderfist Ogre, 1X Stormwind Champion
To play this deck well you should Mulligan for Fiery War Axe because it is very powerful early card and can help defeat early drops that can bring about too much card advantage or deal early damage to your Warrior causing you to make inefficient Minion trades or play certain removal cards too early. An early 1/3 that draws cards when a friendly minion is healed or any 2/3 creature with a special ability can be detrimental to your control efforts early if dropped with a coin first turn. The Fiery War Axe helps take out very early combo cards or pesky low cost Taunts. Mana Wurm is also a card that should be killed one or two turns after it is dropped unless very late game and you have board control.
The Warrior deck can’t make efficient trades without weapons, not usually. However Gnomish Inventor that is 2/4 can really help with this. If an opponent plays a 3/2 and you have Gnomish Inventory, the Inventor would have drawn you a card to replace itself and can kill the 3/2 and still survive. Even if the Hero is a Mage and has to pay for the Hero power you are costing the opponent more resources than you have spent. This is especially important for the Warrior.
Swaps: As you play through adventures and continue to gain cards you can replace Sen’jin Shieldmaster with Sludge Belcher. Stormwind Champion can become Ysera or Mukla’s Champion. Inspire abilities like Mukla’s buff all other friendly Minions with +1/+1 and also you gain 2 Armor for using your Hero power. Later instead of one Shield Block I would swap it for Crush. Crush is a 7 cost kill card that even destroys divine Shield Minions and has an upside in cost; if you have a damaged Minion it cost 4 less to play. Later on you can swap out one Acidic Ooze for Piloted Shredder or even Loatheb.
Once you find yourself having fewer cards in hand than an opponent it is best to ignore Minions and go for the Face. Hit the hero hard and only deal with Taunt creatures or something that can simply destroy your chances of winning by just being on the board. As you learn the Warrior more you will eventually begin to make your own Swaps and figure out when to trade Minions and what to Mulligan. However always Mulligan cards if you don’t have Fiery War Axe.
Priest Cards Hearthstone
Priest Hero has the ability to pay 2 (Using the Hero power) and Heal 2 damage from any character. Below is a basic deck that can be played immediately. One of the best cards is Northshire Cleric. The Northshire Cleric draws a card anytime a Minion is healed. This card drawing engine is exceptionally hard to stop if played very early and against certain heroes like Paladin and Warrior. In fact the Northshire Cleric is used in 77% of the current decks and finds a home in a variety of Control and other decks. It is rarely used in Aggro and Tempo decks but otherwise Northshire is an exceedingly consistent play and a truly powerful card.
Priest Cards: 2X Holy Smite, 2X Power Word: Shield, 2X Northshire Cleric, 1X Divine Spirit, 2X Shadow Word: Pain, 2X Shadow Word: Death, 2X Holy Nova
Neutral Cards: 1X Voodoo Doctor, 1X Acidic Ooze, 2X River Croclisk, 2X Ironfur Grizzly, 2X Shattered Sun Cleric, 2X Chillwind Yeti, 2X Gnomish Inventor, 1X Darkscale Healer, 1X Gurubashi Berserker, 1X Stormwind Champion,
2X Boulderfist Ogre
Swaps: Swap out one Shadow Word: Death and Divine Spirit for 2X Valen’s Chosen to ramp up health and gain Spellpower boost. This enchantment grants +2/+4 and +1 Spellpower. The Northshire Cleric allows you to draw cards if you can heal any Minions. The idea is to create a strong board presence and to gain considerable card advantage. Save AOE (Area of Effect) Spells till you can generate a considerable advantage or against a single Minion that is preventing your entire deck from gaining and advantage. Archmage Antonidas, for example, must be removed as soon as possible or you will lose.
The Priest deck can survive and heal Minions to keep them alive and also draw cards. Chillwind Yeti is a strong card against another Priest because it dodges the removal spells of Shadow Word: Death/Pain and the smaller Minions such as River Croclisk and Ironfur Grizzly are sticky Minions for their cost. Any Minion that is 2/3 an cost 2 or less is a great bargain. The Darkscale Healer could AOE heal and thusly draw several cards through Northshire Cleric for little effort. This allows you to refill your hand and likely over power an opponent with plays as their hand is depleted in the early and mid-game.
Paladin Cards Hearthstone
Paladin is harder to play out of the box than Priest but can be rewarding. Early removal is a problem the class faces but it does possess some of the best mid-game cards in the basic set of any class.
Here is the deck: Paladin Cards: 2X Truesilver Champion, 2X Blessing of Kings, 2X Concsecration, 2X Hammer of Wrath, 2X Guardian of Kings
Neutral Cards: 2X Acidic Swamp Ooze, 2X Bloodfen Raptor, 2X Murloc Tidehunter, 2X River Croclisk, 2X Razorfen Hunter, 2X Shattered Sun Cleric, 2X Chillwind Yeti, 2X Frostwolf Warlord, 2X Boulderfist Orgre and 2X Stormwind Champion
Swaps: You can drop the Guardian of Kings for 2X Equality. Equality is a two cost card that changes all Minions to one health and allows you to wipe your opponents board presence, almost every time, when combined with Consecration, an AOE that deals 2 damage to all enemy characters. 2X Boulderfist Ogre can be swapped out for 2X Murloc Knight.
The Paladin can teach you to rely on Hero Power and keep putting out recruits to help you control the board. It will help you learn efficient trades in battle and how to play a longer game…gaining advantage and tightening control of the board at four mana coins and beyond. The Paladin has powerful 4 cost cards in the basic set. Blessing of Kings adds +4/+4 to a Minion and creates pressure on the opponent to deal with such a large creature. Also if you use Shattered Sun Cleric it will give Taunt to all adjacent Minions. This protects the Hero and causes the opponent to make inefficient trades against Minions that do not normally have Taunt.
Notice the deck does not have a one-of card in it…the consistency allows you to more reliably draw what you need. Blessing of Kings is rather strong and is used in about 40% of Paladin decks and is chosen in Arena rounds a staggering 90% of the time. Aggro, Tournament and Midrange decks is where this card is most useful. But Blessing of Kings has found way into some Paladin Control decks. Blessing of Kings is considered by some to be too OP, so use it knowing you have made the correct choice if playing Aggro, Midrange and certainly in Tournament play. The deck is designed to often use the Hero power. Don’t forget to use the Hero power to generate a Minion. Also don’t be afraid to use Shattered Sun Cleric to make your little 1/1 a Taunt if you have taken a good deal of damage. Never be afraid to play Blessing of Kings on even a 1/1 because that makes the Minion a real threat against a variety of decks for very little Mana.
Warlock Cards Hearthstone
Warlock Cards: 2X Mortal Coil, 2X Soulfire, 2X Shadow Bolt, 2X Hellfire, 2X Dread Infernal
Neutral Cards: 1 Acidic Swamp Ooze, 2X Murloc Tidehunter, 2X River Crocolisk, 2X Razorfen Hunter, 2X Shattered Sun Cleric, 2X Chillwind Yeti, 2X Gnomish Inventor, 2X Sen’jin Shieldmaster, 2X Frostwolf Warlord, 1X Boulderfist Ogre
1X Stormwind Champion.
Swaps: Power Overwhelming replaces Soulfire. This is an interesting swap as it allows your Minion to become very powerful for one turn before it dies. You can make an efficient trade but killing an expensive enemy Minion or dealing a large amount of damage to your opponent directly. You can swap out Boulderfist and one Frostwolf Warlord for 2X Imp Gang Boss or the very aggressive 2X Doomguard.
The way to play this deck is to draw cards with your Hero power in order to maintain a card advantage, gain some control early and put out even more threats mid-game. This allows you to, hopefully, have cards and threats left to carry you into the late game with good resources. Mortal Coil could draw you a card if it kills off a Minion and it can be put into combo with Hellfire. Hellfire deals 3 damage to all Minions and Mortal Coil can help you finish off a stronger Minion to wipe the entire board and draw a card. Also note that Dread Infernal is a strong 6/6 that deals 1 damage to all characters, except itself and can be a strong late game play when also combined with Hellfire. That is 4 damage to all Minions and Heroes and leaves you with an untouched 6/6 on the board late game.
Never worry too much about using the Warlock Hero power even though it cost life. The card draw should outweigh any loss of early life and allow you to gain control and start dealing damage to the face quickly. Later on as you gain more cards and play time your strategy and card selections will change for the better. It won’t be long until you have the cards you need, making smart swaps away from some basic cards, to play more complicated and stronger strategies/cards.
Try and play something every turn with this deck and also use the Hero power. You might not be able to do it all the time depending on the opponent you face but don’t ignore the raw might of your Hero power.
Hunter Cards Hearthstone
Hunter is a hero that deals 2 damage for cost of 2 mana with its Hero power. This is not OP only because it cannot also hit Minions without support from a Minion. Hunters have excellent basic cards to use and honestly even after you gain every card in all sets, the out-of-the-box Hunter class cards will still be relevant and impossible to replace…at least so far; including the latest Adventure: League ofExplorers.
Hunter Cards: 2X Hunter’s Mark, 2X Arcane Shot, 2X Tracking, 2X Animal Companion, 2X Kill Command, 1X Multi-Shot, 2 X Houndmaster
Neutral Cards: 2X Stonetusk Boar, 2X Acidic Swamp Ooze, 2X Blodfen Raptor, 2X River Crocolisk, 2X Ironfur Grizzly, 1X Razorfen Hunter, 2X Shattered Sun Cleric, 2X Chillwind Yeti, 2X Oasis Snapjaw
For this deck, saving the Coin to get out an earlier Houndmaster is a good play. Also Tracking allows you to look at three cards and choose one and put it in your hand. This power is similar to the Discover mechanic because it gives you three choices and you pick one. However after this the similarities end since you are looking at cards actually in your deck and not three cards from outside your deck and choosing one. The Hero power while powerful also has a weakness because it does not change the state of the board or do anything with Minions in play.
Swaps: You can easily drop one Stonetusk and one Acidic Swamp Ooze for 2X Explosive Trap. Also Defender of Argus is a good swap that could replace Shatter Sun Cleric.
As you learn more about the Hunter you might tend toward more aggressive decks while understanding a few creatures with Taunt and very worthwhile. After you play for a short time it might also be time to include a few more secrets and the addition of weapons will improve your board control and damage dealing ability. Heavy Taunt creatures will really hurt Hunter so including some Silence effects is also a good idea. Silence removes card text, Buffs and powers from a Minion, this includes the Taunt ability.
Your Hero power of an RNG for very basic Totems that grant certain advantages: Taunt, Spellpower, Healing and 1/1 Minion. Spellpower is very useful to the Shaman since his damaging elemental effects thrive with such a boost and can help remove stubborn Minions. The true strength of a Shaman is his two or more for one trades he can cause using AOE Spells with Overload. Overload causes you to play a penalty next turn and it will “lock” up some of your mana crystals so you cannot use them next turn. While this is temporary, be aware that playing an overload spell too early won’t give you a true tempo gain most of the time because you still have to pay for part of the cost of the spell next turn. So be careful how and when you use Overload cards. Do not be afraid to use them however as they are strong even if they do possess RNG damage effects. Hex is a very powerful card that turns a Minion into a 0/1 Frog with Taunt.
More on Hex later…
Shaman Cards: 2X Rockbiter Weapon, 2X Flametongue, 2X Hex, 2X Bloodlust, 2X Fire Elemental.
Neutral Cards: 1X Acidic Swamp Ooze, 2X Bloodfen Raptor, 2X Murloc Tidehunter, 2X Razorfen Hunter, 2X Shattered Sun Cleric, 2X Chillwind Yeti, 2X Gnomish Inventor, 2X Sen’jin Shieldmaster, 2X Frostwolf Warlord, 1X Stormwind Champion, 2X Boulderfist Ogre.
Swaps: 1 Bloodlust for Lightning Storm or you could swap out Senjin Shieldmaster for Sludge Belcher.
Hex is a card that turns a Minion into a frog but when making a decision of when to cast Hex consider two things: How late in the game is it and did I attack first for maximum damage and board control? Remember the little frog still has Taunt. If the Minion you want to Hex does not have Taunt and you play Hex before attacking that might mean you sacrificed damage to another Minion you needed removed or giving up damage to the face. Opponents will try and bait a Hex from you so be wary of using them against Minions you can get creative against or can let ride a little while to see how the board develops.
Shaman is a good choice for Mid-range play and can also be aggressive and with care it lends itself to tempo with deadly force and very good results. However you will need cards like: Haunted Creeper, Lava Shock, Feral Spirit and Dr. Boom.
Druid Cards Hearthstone
Druid Cards: 2X Innervate, 2X Claw, 2X Mark of the Wild, 2X Wild Growth, 2X Swipe, 2X Starfire, 2X Ironbark Protector
Neutral Cards: 1X Acidic Swamp Ooze, 2X River Crocolisk, 2X Shattered Sun Cleric, 2X Chillwind Yeti, 2X Gnomish Inventor, 2X Sen’jin Shieldmaster, 1X Darkscale Healer, 2X Boulderfist Ogre, 2X Stormwind Champion
Swaps: Savage Roar can be swapped in to replace Claw. Savage roar gives a powerful one turn boost of +2 attack for all friendly characters, even your Hero. Savage Combatant can be swapped in to replace Boulderfist Ogre. Also if you are running Savage Roar you need Force of Nature in your deck and the Ironbark Protectors can be taken out for 2X Force of Nature.
Druids have excellent ability to generate tempo gains with Wild Growth and Innervate. A Druid could play a 4/5 first turn using 1X Innervate (it grants 2 mana for a single turn) and the Mana Coin…first turn Chillwind Yeti. This isn’t always a strong play but it does cause the opponent to deal with the threat. If the opponent can’t deal with the threat for at least two turns then very likely it was worth the sink in resources.
Mulligan for Wild Growth with this deck so you can get to your 4 Drop Mana slot as soon as possible. Using Innervate early is a good play, usually, since it loses impact over time. Putting Mark of the Wild on Gnomish Inventor is good play since the Gnome already has 4 health and this would kick it up 2 more and grant Taunt too.
The Druid Hero power should also be used to help batter down some Minions saving your creatures on the board to go for the face. Watch your life total especially against a freeze Mage.
Rogue cards Hearthstone
Rogue Cards: 2X backstab, 2X Deadly Poison, 2X Sap, 2X Shiv, 2X Fan of Knives, 2X Assassin’s Blade, 2X Assassinate
Neutral Cards: 2X Acidic Swamp Ooze, 2X Kobold Geomancer, 1X Bloodfen Raptor, 1X Razorfen Hunter, 2X Shattered Sun Cleric, 2X Chillwind Yeti, 2X Gnomish Inventor, 2X Sen’jin Shieldmaster, 2X Boulderfist Ogre
Swaps: Boulderfist Ogre becomes Sprint. And you could use Burgle instead of Shiv.
Rogue is best played as a Tempo class and you should use your Wicked Knife charges to take out Minions instead of deal one damage to the enemy Hero. Since Backstab cost zero you can use it to deal 2 damage to a Minion immediately on your first turn. If you have the Coin you could also use your Hero power to create Wicked Knife and take out a 3 health Minion. This is a good idea against Northshire Cleric, don’t leave this card on the board.
Taking damage early of fine in order to control the mid and late game. Don’t waste your charges of Wicked Knife…even if you have no other target just save the charge and don’t attack the hero unless it would bring you a win.
In closing: The basic cards are staples for the early player when just getting started in Hearthstone. As you have noticed Shattered Sun Cleric and Chillwind Yeti have shown up a great deal as has Sen’jin Shieldmaster. The reasons are:
Shattered Sun Cleric can grant Taunt to up to two Minions. Chillwind Yeti, even after gaining many Epic and Legendary cards you will find this is still one of the very best Minions in Herthstone. Also the Taunt Minion Sen’jin Shieldmaster has 5 Health and 3 attack making him sticky and a very good damage dealer for Mana cost.
Three toughness for Minions is pretty much the break-point of where it starts getting much more difficult to remove or deal with Minions. A 5 or 6 Health Minion can usually hang around being a bother and causing as much as a two or three for one trade in cards to kill it. Always be mindful of trades and try to pinpoint if your opponent is playing: Mid-range, Aggro, Tempo or Control as soon as you can. Once you know this it will likely help you make choices with the cards in your hand and possibly make more efficient trades. The opening turns of Hearthstone are kind of like rock/paper/scissors when it comes to Minion trades. Soon however the underlying strategy and tactics become apparent even with the early game and you learn that it is so much more than a simple game of Y beats Z. Hearthstone is about Resource management with a side order of RNG. (Random Number Generator) that will help keep the game and the cards intriguing as more and more cards, Deck types and strategies come to light.
Written by: Matthew Hallman exclusively for eSprts.com