Descent of Dragons Theorycraft Deck Lists – New Builds For Every Class!

If you’re looking for our pros & streamers deck lists from new expansions, check out this post!

Descent of Dragons expansion launches December 10, but we already know all of the new cards. This is a perfect opportunity to theorycraft, so build new decks “in theory”, without a way to test them out yet. Of course, it means that many of those decks won’t end up working in the end, but at the same time, they should be a great base for your own experimentation when going into the new expansion. Taking them to the ladder on Day 1 is your best bet if you want to test out your favorite strategies.

We’ll start with Highlander decks for every class and then keep adding more and more, all the way until expansion’s release – e.g. Dragon decks and Galakrond decks are already being covered! If you want to see a specific build, let us know in the comments and we’ll see what we can do.

Update #1: Added 5 new Rogue decks by J_Alexander.

Update #2: Added 5 new Galakrond decks by Tharid.

Update #4: Added 8 new Dragon decks by Yellorambo.

Update #5: Added 4 new decks (Treant Druid, Dragon Cyclone Mage, Lightforged Paladin, Pirate Warrior) by Stonekeep.

Find all the necessary information about the set, as well as a full list of cards in our guide!

Table of Content

Theorycraft Articles

Druid

Deck Import

Druid turned out to be the most difficult Highlander deck to build. With a Highlander deck, you cannot effectively use Untapped Potential, and Quest Druid has been insanely powerful, effectively turning every Druid win condition into a variant of itself. The Quest is at the core of the modern Druid experience, no matter whether you play a Malygos deck or a Nomi deck.

So, while I did build a Highlander Druid deck, I came to the conclusion that it sucked. I’d much rather put Elise the EnlightenedZephrys the Great, and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza into a Quest Druid shell and simply use them once I get through most of my deck. Druids do not play by the rules, they’re cool like that.

There is even some anti-synergy in this list, as Ysera, Unleashed shuffles duplicates into the deck. This anti-synergy, however, is more apparent than real, because you go through those extra dragons quickly and they provide additional tempo on the way to the ultimate end game.

Deck Import

The basic concept of Druid’s new Dragon deck is straightforward: ramp up and play big dragons. However, digging into the available cards a bit more reveals an interesting idea about the potential win conditions. There aren’t actually that many strong ramp tools, even with Breath of Dreams – you do, however, have a ton of card draw to utilize. That is especially important if you want to make use of the Dream Portals generated by Ysera, Unleashed. As such, the featured build opts for a slightly lower curve with a lot of initiative tools, plus copious amounts of card draw (including a copy of Overflow, though Nourish is potentially a better alternative for slower matchups) to generate a consistent board presence until the free dragons fly in to finish off your opposition. With all the Battlecry effects in play, Barista Lynchen and Jepetto Joybuzz serve as interesting curveballs to throw in value-based matchups.

Deck Import

Treant Druid is not a new concept. Let’s start with the fact that Token Druid is one of the oldest Druid builds, but specifically Treants have been pushed for multiple expansions now. However, so far they were only an addition to otherwise regular Token builds. Right now things might change, since we’re reaching a critical level of strong Treant synergies. This expansion alone has brought Treenforcements, Aeroponics and Goru the Mightree – flexible 1-drop that can turn into a buff, 0 mana Arcane Intellect and permanent buffer which makes most of your cards stronger for the rest of the game.

The deck will still play like a regular Token Druid – trying to flood the board, AoE buff stuff and then finish the game with Savage Roar. However, extra Treant synergies might prove themselves useful, especially during longer games. Aeroponics in particular is incredibly powerful – you can play it for 1 mana after Landscaping or Garden Gnome (notably, if no other Treants are present on the board, it will also activate it) and for 0 mana after either Force of Nature or The Forest's Aid. Not to mention that even with a single Treant on the board, it’s already an Arcane Intellect, which is not a bad card. Then, Goru will definitely help during longer games. He curves perfectly into Forest’s Aid, which now will summon 3/3’s instead of 2/2’s. Not only it’s more damage in case they survive, but it lets them dodge some AoEs, like Consecration or Starfall (or even Lightning Storm if you get lucky).

Hard to say whether Treants will finally be better than the regular Token build, but now’s the best time for it to happen.

Hunter

Deck Import

The Highlander Dragon Hunter foregoes the defensive power of the Secret package in favor of fully utilizing the power of Dragons. This gives the deck additional Rush capabilities with Evasive Wyrm, additional resource generation with Primordial ExplorerBrightwing, and Firetree Witchdoctor, and a serious threat with Stormhammer. Who needs Eaglehorn Bow anyway, when you can have a hammer that just does not lose durability.

Deck Import

The Highlander Secret Hunter stays close to the ideals of Highlander Hunter from Saviors of Uldum. Secrets help it navigate the early game and come back as a fully formed Christmas tree with Zul'jin later in the game. Meanwhile, an assortment of powerful Hunter cards keeps up the pressure, and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza is splashed on top as a lone Dragon, because her power is too great for any Highlander deck to ignore.

Deck Import

Though there’s a lot of hype about a midrange-ish Dragon archetype, the relevant Hunter class cards are uniquely well-suited for an aggressive strategy, as long as you can cobble together enough tribal support in a low-curve deck to make them work. With Faerie Dragon, Nightmare Amalgam and Primordial Explorer, Stormhammer should be active often enough, and Dragon Breeder doubles as a curve card and a source of staying power if the game goes longer. Hoard Pillager seems like an extremely underrated aggro option, and with the two copies of Eaglehorn Bow added for redundancy, this build should be capable of non-stop weapon swinging, which is pretty much the wet dream of aggro players.

Pro tip: don’t tell the Control players: Scalerider can go face. Might be worth experimenting with that one as well.

Mage

Deck Import

I went through multiple iterations of Highlander Dragon Mage. Initially, I built it as a semi-combo deck that reduces the health of the opponent to 15 with Alexstrasza and finishes the job with DragoncasterPyroblast, and Fireball for 16 damage for ten mana.

However, after I saw how good Pirate Warrior looked like in the early access streams, I streamlined the deck and made it faster, and that included cutting all ten-mana spells from the list. The reveal of Cobalt Spellkin opened up a new avenue to find burn spells with Archmage Antonidas, and the deck ended up becoming a more straightforward Dragon deck that can generate pressure with its various minions and ultimately Dragonqueen Alexstrasza, and finish the job with Fireballs generated by Archmage Antonidas.

Deck Import

An interesting part of the current Mage toolkit is that there are enough Discover effects going around to allow you to build a mostly minion-based deck without having to give up on the class’ juicy initiative tools. The featured build opts for all the juicy stuff coupled with spells that are compatible with Tortollan Pilgrim, including the (admittedly ultra-greedy) “double Luna” combo alongside the usual suspects.

Deck Import

Cyclone Mage was dominating the Rise of Shadows meta for a while, then it nearly disappeared after Luna's Pocket Galaxy and Conjurer's Calling were nerfed. Now might be time for it to make a comeback, and possibly even without those cards. While Highlander build seems to be the one more suited for Dragons, I feel like they also have some potential in Cyclone build. That’s mostly because of two cards – Arcane Breath is basically a PERFECT card for the deck. Not only it helps you control the board, it’s a cheap spell for the sake of synergies, but also lets you pick another spell after you play it. The second card is Cobalt Spellkin – while pretty slow by itself, but fits perfectly into this build, since Cyclone Mage cares about 1 mana spells so much. You also have a high chance that one of those 1 mana Spells can generate another one (Breath, Magic Trick, Ray of Frost), which is absolutely amazing. Since we run Dragon package, Malygos, Aspect of Magic is also an obvious choice. All of the upgraded spells are powerful, but some of them are also heavily discounted. Those cheap spells will be exactly what you want in the build, and sometimes it will give you a solid burn card to finish the game.

Since we need some more Dragons to make this package work, Azure Explorer and Twilight Drake were my picks. The first one because Explorers are good for those small Dragon packs, since they can be dropped onto the board and you will still be holding a Dragon afterwards. And +2 Spell Damage is pretty juicy and can come very handy at times. Twilight Drake, on the other hand, for a reason similar to why Mountain Giant was played – in this build it’s easy to fill your hand to its limits, so it will often drop as a 4/7 or better, and that’s not bad.

Besides Dragon package and synergies, the deck has got two other new cards. First one is Chenvaala, which combos very well with what this deck is trying to accomplish. It should be easy to summon a 5/5, sometimes even 2-3, and that’s a lot of free tempo. The second one is Mana Giant – this deck is full of spell generation, so it should be pretty easy to bring him down to just a few mana points, or even 0.

I believe that Dragon build should be stronger than the regular Cyclone Mage, but whether it will be good enough or not is hard to say.

Paladin

Deck Import

Any Dragon Paladin deck just has to be a handbuff deck, right? With access to both Dragon Speaker and Glowstone Technician, even a Highlander Dragon Paladin can find some handbuffs fairly reliably. Dragonrider Talritha may not have particularly impressive stats for a three-drop, but the Paladin three-drops suck anyway, so it is not that bad of a card to play in that mana slot for the class. It requires a lot of Dragons to be good, but Paladin has access to more Dragons than any other class and can easily fill even a Highlander deck with them.

I have also opted to use Nozari in the deck: you don’t particularly mind that the opponent heals to full health when you are playing minions with 7/15 or 10/7 stats non-stop. If you can survive to turn ten against aggro decks, Nozari might be just the right tool to stabilize and deprive your opponent of all hope.

Deck Import

Slower Paladin archetypes basically went the way of the dodo ever since Hearthstone’s Control decks started working with resource generation rather than exhaustion. As it turns out, summoning an endless sea of Silver Hand Recruits over a long period of time isn’t quite enough when your opponents can reliably add at least half a dozen cards to their hand over the course of the match. With this development in mind, most Paladin decks inevitably had to go in a faster direction, and it’s quite possible that the smattering of Dragon support tools from previous sets has now reached the critical mass required to enable this kind of an archetype for the class. The featured build attempts a midrange strategy with the goal of finishing off the fight off the back of the tempo generated by overstatted minions before the cavalry arrives for the dedicated Control decks.

Deck Import

“Lightforged” is a new deck building concept for Paladin, akin to other restrictions such as Highlander. In this case, the goal is to not run any Neutral cards. Which is honestly a pretty difficult task. While some very specific, especially Spell-heavy builds naturally don’t run many Neutrals, your average build is often close to 50/50. There are lots of good Neutral cards, and Paladins very often have to lean on them. The issue is that Paladin as a class has so many synergies that it’s hard to build a full deck around one of them without using Neutrals. Let’s say Dragons – there simply aren’t enough class Dragons / Dragon synergies for it to be worthwhile. Highlander? Definitely not – Zephrys the Great and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza are Neutral, no to mention that mixing those two deck restrictions would be very difficult. Mechs? A big part of the Magnetic synergies that you really need are Neutral. Quest/Reborn? Again, Reborn cards are mostly Neutral. Secrets? Well, maybe… Secrets themselves are all class, but we still have Neutral synergies. As you can see, going for a specific synergy is pretty difficult and I don’t think that’s the way. If you want a Lightforged deck, you need to build a generic Midrange Paladin with no tribes and such, otherwise it will be too weak. And that’s exactly what I’ve tried to do.

But let’s talk a bit about pay-off. It’s really nice, I have to say. Lightforged Zealot is a Truesilver Champion attached to a 4/2 body – insane tempo move, you’re getting a 0 mana 4/2 minion (which is worth ~2.5 mana) on Turn 4, and that’s amazing. But Lightforged Crusader is probably even better. Even though random cards are worse than drawing cards, 7 mana 7/7 that gives you 5 cards is still tons of value. It’s cool that  it can give you another Lightforged card, including a copy of itself (with 5 cards and only limited to class cards, the chances are relatively high). And the best thing is that you can run two copies of both, because they aren’t Legendary.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t think that Lightforged deck will be extremely powerful or will take over the meta, but it’s a pretty fun deck building challenge. I heavily doubt that this is the best build. Maybe going for one of those synergies, in a limited way, will be the best strategy after all? Or maybe the extra tempo from Zealot and value from Crusader will carry such a generic build? We’ll find out very soon!

Priest

Deck Import

I have to admit that I am not sure what Priest is supposed to do in Descent of Dragons. My best guess is that you just play Combo Priest as if nothing happened. Alternatively, you can use the new zero-cost spells to make Nomi Priest even faster than before. Neither of those archetypes really work as a Highlander deck though, so I had to try to come up with something else for this piece.

Therefore, I proudly present the Highlander Galakrond Dragon Priest, a deck that kills minions, even if it does not kill players. Eventually, the endless stream of random Priest minions may kill players too, especially if Princess Talanji succeeds in summoning a large number of them at once. Add in Murozond the Infinite and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza, and Priest actually has multiple potential tempo swings for the late game.

Deck Import

Priest pessimists claim that the Battlecry effect of Galakrond, Azeroth’s End is a mediocre one compared to other Galakrond effects.

But those people don’t remember Shadowreaper Anduin. Looking at the limited numbers of minions destroyed in its final form without the attack value restriction, we can talk about a pretty similar effect, which shows the true potential of Galakrond’s Battlecry effect in the later stages of your average Priest game.

Besides that, this effect does exactly what the deck tries to achieve: Pure control. And that control is used to generate infinite value thanks to Galakrond’s Wit, Galakrond’s Priest Hero power.

Adding a random Priest minion one at a time to your hand may sound a bit underwhelming at first; however, your average Priest minion will cost 4 to 5 mana and have a decent amount of stats. And not only that: It adds a ton of versatility and survivability to your toolkit.

Getting full use out of Galakrond’s Wit requires the highest amount of control tools. Mass Hysteria and Plague of Death will do the trick against complex mid and late game, while Depth Charge will most certainly carry almost all DoD control archetypes into the safe harbour called mid game.

All that combines greatly with a lot of high-value dragons starting on turn 4. May it be classics like Twilight Drake or Brightwing, or new powerhouses like Fate Weaver and Chronobreaker; this version of Control Priest should reach late game without too many problems.

And that is where the fun begins for this list: Murozond the Infinite and Dragon Breeder lie in wait for your opponent’s power turns, while Princess Princess Talanji already counts the number of randomly generated minions in your hand.

Deck Import

Since the Galakrond deck is inevitably going to be more proactive than a pure Dragon-based Control Priest build, we wanted to have some fun with this one and go down the ultimate greed route. If you miss the Deathrattle Priest decks from the Doom in the Tomb event, we’ve made a valiant attempt to recreate the experience for you. Results may vary!)

Rogue

Deck Import

While Tempo Rogue has been the best-performing Rogue deck in Saviors of Uldum, Highlander Rogue has also seen a fair bit of play. It is basically a less consistent Tempo Rogue that has a few additional tricks up its sleeve. This Descent of Dragons Highlander Rogue theorycraft has been built based on these same principles: it is a Tempo Rogue at heart, but one that wants to kill the opponent in a hundred different ways instead of murdering them with brutal but boring efficiency.

Because all Rogue Invoke cards generate Lackeys, it is easy to include Heistbaron Togwaggle in the deck. The Lackeys can also be excellent fodder for Faceless Corruptor.

Deck Import

Coming in at a mere 4,840 total dust, this deck leverages the Burgle package to provide powerful early-game tempo swings. In fact, pretty much everything about this deck is focused on either (a) putting out as many stats as you can for the amount of mana you have, (b) removing stats from the opponent’s side of the board, or (c) both of these at once. Your aim is to hit your curve, playing minions onto the board each turn. Use your cheap minions to transform into the powerhouse of Faceless Corruptor copies and finish your opponent with a massive push of stats.

With the amount of minions you should be playing and the removal options available to Rogue, Troll Batrider becomes an interesting possibility. A 4-mana 3/3 that on Battlecry deals 3 damage to a random enemy minion looks a lot like Flanking Strike; a Hunter card that saw plenty of play in its time. While the “random” word may scare people off, between your minions and removal options, including your dagger, there’s a good chance you should be able to reliably guarantee this damage hits a minion you want it to. 

If the Legendaries of Edwin VanCleef and Flik Skyshiv are too rich for your blood, feel free to replace them with cheaper tempo-based cards, like Sap or Hench-Clan Thug

Deck Import

Jumping into the opposite end of the spectrum, Galakrond Rogue is one of the more expensive Rogue decks you could build this next expansion, coming in at about 10,000 total dust. However, since we get the Galakrond, the Nightmare for free, that no doubt inspires many people to build around it, and this is one way of doing so (there are others, and I’m not at all sure what the best will be yet). 

This is a Hybrid Combo/Tempo list. Your goal is to try and keep your opponent off the board in the early game (getting it yourself if you can) as you Invoke your Galakrond, picking up a Lackey each time (coincidentally, these lackeys can help you keep that tempo), especially when combined with Faceless Corruptor. Make sure to play for the board as often as you can.  

Once you have Invoked 2-4 times, this deck can go off quickly. The coins from Umbral Skulkers can radically boost up a Questing Adventurer or Edwin VanCleef, as can the 0-cost cards you draw off Galakrond and King Togwaggle. If you’re in Galakrond Rogue, Kronx Dragonhoof can push huge amounts of tempo, and combining many of the minions with Spirit of the Shark (especially when things start costing 0) can truly make for huge moments. 

Deck Import

If you’re interesting in Gnoming people, you can now do so for real in Hearthstone. Much like the Gnome meme, this deck may also be a meme or something truly powerful. Only time will tell on it. 

The game plan is close to identical with the Free-to-Play Tempo/Burgle Rogue from above. This utilizes many of the same cards to capture the early game board, but operates with bigger (and less consistent) payoffs. The ideal play is a turn 4 Shadow of Death (on your minion or an opponent’s) or a Portal Keeper, into a turn 5 Stowaway that then draws 2 cards while summoning 2 minions, giving you a massive tempo push. 

Deck Import

If you want to hit your opponent in the face, this is the deck for you. It resembles the aggressive Raiding Party lists of previous metas with a few new tools. Get on board early and fast, finish with burst. Simple and respectable. 

Blazing Battlemage and Bloodsail Flybooter offer this deck something it was badly looking for for some time: better 1-drops that can hit the board on curve and/or act as cheap combo activators in the later stages of the game. Both of those help this game plan a lot. This deck used to operate much differently when it had the coin, and now that difference may be minimized.While these decks used to cheat tempo primarily with weapons and Dread Corsair, we may get to double-dip with the Parachute Brigand, putting stats on board even quicker for 0 mana. It’s possible this deck might want an additional Pirate to increase consistency a bit more in the early game and, if that’s the case, feel free to reach for Bloodsail Corsair, as its weapon synergy has some other implications in this list. 

Deck Import

Like most good Rogue decks, this one follows the tempo-based game plan of above with the potentially-huge power spike offered by Necrium Apothecary and Necrium Blade. Get the early board and quickly snowball it with 7/7s to crush most opponents before they know what hit them. 

One notable exclusion form this deck is Necrium Vial. While it might seem like that’s a good card for a deck with Deathrattles it is both slow and conditional, which are two words I do my best to avoid when possible. Vial is such a late-game consideration that its most common usage in this deck would be sitting in your hand, taking up space.

While this is a Deathrattle deck, that component is relatively small. We only want the best Deathrattles; not every one. 

Deck Import

Good news everyone – both Invoke cards in Rogue’s toolkit are spells, so guess what? The minion base of this Galakrond Rogue list can basically be built as new iteration of Lackey Rogue!

With new cards like Shield of Galakrond and Seal Fate, Galakrond looks to take more control of the early and mid game, only to build up insane hands overflowing with Lackey cards in the later stages of the match. Praise Galakrond! may be one of the strongest Invoke cards of the set, providing a cheap yet effective board buff including a Lackey for free.

Spirit of the Shark serves as the main value generation engine, as it not only buffs Lackey generation, but Invoke effects and Galakrond’s Battlecry effect as well!

On top reigns Heistbaron Togwaggle and his lieutenant EVIL Miscreant, waiting to command their Lackey army, just like they used to during their first battle after the release of Rise of Shadows.

As already said, this list relies on Galakrond’s Hero Power – which doesn’t mean that its Battlecry effect is useless. However, in this case of Galakrond Rogue, it’s basically the cherry on top!

Shaman

Deck Import

Shaman has several options on where to take its Highlander deck. Corrupt Elementalist‘s double Invoke makes it easier for Shaman to Invoke Galakrond, so a Highlander Galakrond deck is closer to Shaman’s reach than it is for most other classes. Shaman also has good synergy with Dragons, because most Dragons have a Battlecry, and Shudderwock can be used to repeat them later. In this hybrid build, I have opted to use both Galakrond and Dragons to create a steady stream of threats throughout the game.

Deck Import

Yes, the majority of the community has seen enough decent Shaman decks this year – but wait, there is more!

Shaman’s Galakrond Hero card as well as its hero power seems to be a versatile to addition to many different archetypes; but after taking a look at the board-centric Galakrond Hero Power, Token Shaman could provide the best card base.

One reason for that are Shaman’s great Invoke cards – Invocation of Frost on the one side is basically a Glacial Shard on steroids; Corrupt Elementalist brings a total of 12 stats and three tokens on the board, while serving as a prime target for Mutate.

In the mid game, all those tokens can easily be buffed by what looks to be Shaman’s strongest card of the set: Storm's Wrath. Together with Surging Tempest early game domination is guaranteed. As always, the same goes for late game and Bloodlust.

Besides Token Shaman classics like Thunderhead and Vessina, a very special minion also made this list: Shu'ma! This gargantuan piece of Old Gods creation may be one of the most underrated cards of the set, and we will see it have its place in token-based decks all over the game.

Deck Import

Just like in the case of most decks above, the most promising part of the Dragon package in this set is the level of initiative they bring to the table. In the case of Shaman, this means there are actually enough Battlecry tools to work with even in the case of a slower deck. By the same token, the exclusion of Squallhunter will likely be seen as the most controversial decision with the featured deck – however, it has a very negative effect on the curve and it can’t be played alongside Earthquake later in the game. A different build without an emphasis on Battlecries would likely make great use of it – this is something a little different.

Warlock

Deck Import

This Highlander Dragon Warlock deck is as close to a control deck as I have dared to build it. With Dark SkiesNether Breath, and Crazed Netherwing adding more removal tools to Warlock’s arsenal, Abyssal Summoner providing a good mid-game Taunt minion, and Zzeraku the Warped and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza adding new win conditions, the deck has a chance to succeed.

The bigger question is whether any control deck can weather the storm unleashed upon the field by all the powerful new bombs introduced in Descent of Dragons. However, should it fail, there’s always Zoo.

Deck Import

Galakrond, the Wretched‘s Hero Power summons two 1/1 Imps, and that basically means that you’re an Odd Paladin now. Highlander Zoo Warlock was successful in Saviors of Uldum, so perhaps it can also succeed in Descent of Dragons. You have an endless supply of 1/1 tokens, so there are plenty of targets for the likes of EVIL GeniusDire Wolf AlphaKnife Juggler, and Faceless Corruptor. The Highlander part of the deck adds Zephrys the Great and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza to the mix, providing flexibility in the form of board clears or even a Bloodlust as well as a powerful refill later in the game.

Deck Import

Another board-centric deck that uses Galakrond is Galakrond Zoo Warlock. Similar to our Rogue list, this iteration of Zoolock tries to make the most use out of Galakrond’s Malice, Warlock’s Galakrond Hero Power.

In terms of Invoke cards, Warlock only really offers one decent option, and that is Fiendish Rites. In itself it’s basically two 2/1 minions for 3 mana, which doesn’t feel too overwhelming. However, the board-wide attack value buff adds a whole new level to Zoolock plays, just because you almost always will have other minions on the board by turn 3. Dragonblight Cultist played on an empty board is a 3/1, but the fact that it stays on 1 health makes it more of a “token producer” than anything.

Another reason why we play this mediocre minion is Veiled Worshipper. Zoolock players know how important card draw can become, so trying to pull of two Invoke effects as soon as possible seems imperative when playing this list. That is why we include Devoted Maniac, another mediocre minion that only gets a little better because it produces two imps. 

Galakrond, the Wretched‘s Battlecry effect, in comparison to other class Galakrond cards, can make or break the game. Similar to Bloodreaver Gul'dan, summoning up to four random demons already sounds quite strong, and the demon tribe pool has improved by quite a bit this Standard year.

Deck Import

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a pure Handlock deck: the last time Warlock had a chance to play around with Mountain Giants in a non-meme fashion was back in the dark days of Genn and Baku, when Evenlock’s ability to drop one of those behemoths on turn 3 made it a fantastic option in the metagame, often capable of much more aggressive lines than their previous counterparts. Some of the fancier new class cards in Descent of Dragons gives us a good reason to revisit the archetype, with a few minor alterations to incorporate a decent-sized Dragon package.

Nether Breath is worth its weight in goal for slower decks, and Crazed Netherwing also makes it worth your while to add some other Dragons to the mix. Considering Twilight Drake was always a staple in the archetype – and that Zzeraku the Warped is also a Dragon – there’s just enough to work with here. For a deck which values hand size a lot, we also dropped in two copies of Cobalt Spellkin to the featured build: the slate of Warlock 1-cost spells is surprisingly flexible right now, with options like Plague of Flames, Spirit Bomb, Shriek and Soulfire providing initiative alongside admitted duds like Call of the Void and Corruption. (It can also fish out the quest for you, which is just a hilarious idea.) The featured build also includes Archivist Elysiana to ensure that you can keep up in a longer match despite all the extra draws.

Warrior

Deck Import

This Highlander Warrior deck builds upon the success of Saviors of Uldum Highlander Warrior: an aggressive midrange deck that has some scary burst damage in the form of Leeroy JenkinsInner RageBloodsworn Mercenary.

The new additions include Dragonqueen Alexstrasza as a new late-game bomb, Sky Raider as a new one-drop that generates additional resources when played, and Hoard Pillager as a tempo minion that allows you to re-equip one of the weapon you have used in the game.

Deck Import

Any discussion of Warrior just has to include Control Warrior. With Dragonqueen Alexstrasza and its potential synergy with War Master Voone, a Highlander Control Warrior is likely going to go for Dragons as their minions of choice.

OK, I’m not ready to give up on Dr. Boom, Mad Genius quite yet, so the deck includes the famous Hero card and a small contingent of Mechs: Eternium RoverSN1P-SN4P, Omega Devastator, and Zilliax. However, the main focus has moved towards Dragons. I just can’t wait to see Deathwing, Mad Aspect in action!

Deck Import

Last but not least we managed to come up with a great way to make Galakrond Warrior work. Thanks to Rise of Shadows, Aggro Warrior managed to rise up once again, and that could happen with Galakrand Aggro Warrior as well.

The core list looks like your average Saviors of Uldum iteration of this archetype; however, Warrior’s Invoke cards bring in the spice: First there is Ritual Chopper, which looks a whole lot like an ancient weapon called Fiery War Axe, and it does exactly the same at least on one of the two turns where you can attack with it.

Warrior’s second Invoke card Awaken! doesn’t look as strong; however, this deck played often played one copy of Warpath in the past, and one more mana for a +3 attack with your hero could actually make the cut in the long term.

Scion of Ruin certainly will impact the success of Galakrond Aggro Warrior. A 3-mana 3/2 Rush minion on its own can perform well; three copies of it turn into a legit mid game threat. Faceless Corruptor complements the Rush package and shares great synergy with staple cards like Livewire Lance.

Ultimately, Galakrond, the Unbreakable‘s role in this deck is obvious: Give good Rush minions big stats! That and its Hero Power through Invoke effects could give Galakrond Aggro Warrior just enough juice to overcome its core problems like early board control and minion flooding.

Deck Import

The launch of Descent of Dragons will be a sad day for Control Warrior players everywhere. The presence of Platebreaker as a tech option means that you need to have a more proactive strategy even with the slower archetypes of the class. Though we still value the “remove-things-until-Dr.Boom” strategy, a lower-than-usual curve coupled with the removal of a few staple board clear tools for additional board presence serves as a reasonable Dragon-focused update on the classic archetype.

Deck Import

Pirate Warrior is one of the last decks I’ve expected to make a comeback this expansion. After they revealed Ancharrr, I didn’t feel like it belongs here, with no other Pirates and Pirate synergies. But I guess that they were saving the best for last… best if you like smashing face, that is. While the set is – obviously – focused on Dragons, it also brought a lot of powerful Pirates. So many that I think that the deck actually makes sense, and it might be one of the stronger Aggro decks in the upcoming meta. Sky Raider is one of the best 1-drops you can expect from a deck like that – 1/2 stats, Pirate tag, adds another Pirate to your hand so you don’t run out of stuff to play. Parachute Brigand is a 0 mana 2/2 – it will come down on T1 alongside another Pirate very often, and that’s an amazing opener, buying you lots of free damage on the opponent, which is super important in an Aggro deck like that. Then, Hoard Pillager gives you back a weapon that you’ve already used (or was destroyed by the opponent). To be honest, in this build no matter which one you get is great – the worst case scenario is a 4 mana 4/2 “Equip a Livewire Lance“, which would be an auto-include into the deck anyway. Okay, the worst case scenario is getting it before getting any weapons, but that won’t happen very often with 5 weapons in the build. While not a Pirate, we’ve also got something that’s close to a reprint of Ship's Cannon, one of the key cards in oldschool Pirate Builds and current Wild Pirate Warrior. Dropping that extra 2 damage every time you summon a Pirate is huge. Against faster builds, it lets you get a board advantage, while against slow decks it lets you get that sweet, extra face damage.

And then there’s your main dish – Ancharrr. The weapon is absolutely broken in a Pirate deck. To be honest, a 3 mana 2/3 weapon is what I could see being printed at one point. That’s fair. But what if you drew a card every time you swing? At no extra cost? Yeah, that’s Ancharrr. Of course, you NEED to play a Pirate deck for it to be useful, but as it happens, this is a Pirate deck!

As you can see, that’s a lot of new additions to the strategy, and to be perfectly honest, each one of them is very powerful. Other than those, the deck runs a bunch of generic Pirate/Aggro Warrior cards – other Pirates, weapons, Charge minions, and a Frothing Berserker for a good measure (it’s one of the strongest aggressive Warrior cards, since it’s so easy to stack attack on him). Like I’ve said before, I think that Pirate Warrior has a solid chance of becoming one of the best fast decks of the upcoming meta, and that’s a lot given how high power it shapes up to be.

Stonekeep

A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over that time, he has achieved many high Legend climbs and infinite Arena runs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

Leave a Reply

30 Comments

  1. Yufreus
    December 9, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    a simple question… i have buyed two preorders but i wanna know when im gonna get the two golden legendaries.. do they just appear when expa launches tomorrow or do i have to do something for them to be shown?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      December 10, 2019 at 4:05 am

      Yes, you will get two! They will show up when you launch the game after expansion is released.

  2. Supergimpoman
    December 8, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    Oh golly, I’m glad that I pre ordered and saved gold for a long time. I did the dual pre order thing, so I’ve already opened a ton of packs. I also have 8,765 gold saved up, so it’s safe to assume that I’ll have the entire set day 1. Whatever I don’t open I’ll just craft it up. I currently have 18,190 dust and that’s before the mass dusting from the new expansion cards.

    Anyway! All that means that I’ll be able to play everything day 1, which’ll be a nice change of pace! 🙂 lol, I used to have to save everything in game in order to play a single competitive deck.. now I’m playing everything and it feels so much better. 🙂

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      December 9, 2019 at 4:33 am

      Oh, hahah, it definitely feels great to be able to play everything on Day 1 🙂 I always buy just one pre-order, because between the packs from gold, packs from pre-order and all the Dust I have accumulated over years it’s still enough to playtest anything I want. Or rather, anything I NEED, because I always want to playtest the best early builds I’m covering :p I rarely have time to play the meme decks I want to, at least during the first few days after expansion’s release, which are very busy.

  3. Stonekeep - Site Admin
    December 8, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Added five more decks – Galakrond builds for every class from Tharid! Stay tuned for more theorycrafts!

  4. RainManKianig
    December 8, 2019 at 2:36 am

    I think no matter how fancy these highlander decks look, they will definitely fail to beat the consistency of Aggro Shaman or Token Druid. The Aggro decks look so consistent with respect to draw and pressure. This is all theory, we will have to wait and watch once the expansion is out.

    • Phoesias
      December 8, 2019 at 4:05 am

      i rly dont think so. Im playing Highlander Priest (non meta yeah i know) for nearly 3 years now, i love the decktype and since you have access to many different AOEs + now Zephrys (twice with seance) + reborn (wich is kinda annoying for aggro) its consistent enough to still have a chance vs aggro decks.

      especially Highlander Mage looks pretty strong to me this expansion.

  5. Stonekeep - Site Admin
    December 7, 2019 at 7:16 am

    Added five Rogue theorycrafts from J_Alexander! More will come soon! 🙂

  6. Maximum
    December 7, 2019 at 12:20 am

    Galakrond taunt warrior or aggro Druid plz

    Btw can I just mention how many new decks there are to theorycraft because there are a ton!

  7. SlyFox
    December 6, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    Might as well let the inkeeper autofill the deck after you put in dragon queen alexstrasza coz this list is basically just featuring the card.

  8. Spidermannerdlikeme
    December 6, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    I kinda don’t like this expansion ok much because the decks had a theme, Shaman used elements and minions form the swamp, rogue gambled for riches, priest had clerics and healers to support the injured and more. This is just dragons jammed with other random stuff, it kinda feels lazy and messy

    • Phoesias
      December 8, 2019 at 4:12 am

      excactly this.

      Blizzard has created very specific deck types for each class. There is no deckbuilding, its just autopilot. More than ever Blizzard has obviously created certain types of deck which are either strong or weak, there will not be anything in between. It’s like playing on rails without any room for experimentation. There are Galakrond, Dragons and Highlander. Add to that the typical aggro decks.

  9. Irhmgg
    December 6, 2019 at 9:09 am

    in highlander dragon druid you can target your duplicates using Pschmelon, so if you have like 6,7,8,9 mana duplicate dragons and you play Embiggen once, your Pschmelon is gonna pull all your duplicates out and i think this the right way to take the deck

  10. LegendaryBot
    December 6, 2019 at 6:58 am

    Galakrond rogue please, because the normal one will probably be better than highlander, but who knows…

  11. H0lysatan
    December 6, 2019 at 6:52 am

    oh my. finally. theorycraft is here..
    dayumm….

    wait wha?
    Highlander Warrior?
    are you serious right now?
    I expected like a pirate warrior showing out of nowhere.
    and here I have dr.boom? without galakrond?

    • H0lysatan
      December 6, 2019 at 6:56 am

      I guess I’ll try some fun deck in the ranked 5 milestone.
      and since galakrond is free, those 4 explorer class can wait.
      Not enough dusts to create many unrealistic decks.

    • H0lysatan
      December 6, 2019 at 6:59 am

      my bad. not reading thoroughly is one of my flaw.
      will wait for the rest of theorycrafts.

    • Spidermannerdlikeme
      December 6, 2019 at 4:26 pm

      Too many highlander decks

  12. Bigturdblossom
    December 6, 2019 at 6:22 am

    So basically just highlander theorycrafts?

    • Nickus89
      December 6, 2019 at 6:30 am

      The rest will follow.
      “We’ll start with Highlander decks for every class and then keep adding more and more, all the way until expansion’s release – e.g. Dragon decks and Galakrond decks are already being covered! If you want to see a specific build, let us know in the comments and we’ll see what we can do.”

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      December 6, 2019 at 7:02 am

      More will come tomorrow!

      • Mild723
        December 6, 2019 at 7:28 am

        the BRIGHTWING card is not playable at all, it is best to replace it with another better dragon

        • Yufreus
          December 6, 2019 at 7:56 am

          Hey what about a shaman quest highlander dragon galakrond i mean the value of shaman quest .. actívate this new legendary of 4 mana that reduces cost of dragón -2 x 6 mana you can have all dragón in your deck 4 mana cheaper…. playing a on curve a turn 7 that vives u 4 dragones cost 0 .. im going to build something Luke that

      • Bigturdblossom
        December 6, 2019 at 10:44 am

        Thanks!