One of the big complaints about Hearthstone is the price to play when you first start. There are a ton of legendaries released, and if you are unlucky you may have not received much in the way of playable cards. This is unfortunate, so we’ve gone ahead and created some budget decks that should serve you well if you are in the ranks around 50 – 20. They should also be viable between Rank 20 and 10, but as you get closer to 10 (and meet more competitive meta decks), the road road is going to be much more difficult and only a couple of them will manage to continue to climb steadily after that. Some of them, however, might work even up to R5 if you master them and make a few upgrades!
Luckily for new players, Blizzard has been giving out quite a lot of freebies recently – we’ve been getting free packs, Legendaries and other goodies during expansion releases and events. Still, it’s hard to deny that despite that, the game is quite expensive. F2P players should easily be able to build one or two full meta decks per expansion, but the issue is that they can’t play whatever they want. So once they commit to crafting some cards, if they want to switch to another class – tough luck! That’s why we think that those budget decks can come really handy. No matter if you want to do Daily Quests for another class, test a deck before crafting a full version or just play around with different options, they should be a good option for new and F2P players.
Budget Deck Rankings
When it comes to Saviors of Uldum budget lists, we’ve got quite a few good options. If I had to rank the budget decks, I’d say that they would look like that:
Budget Decks in Saviors of Uldum
Saviors of Uldum is the second expansion of Year of the Dragon. On the one hand, we’ve just lost a MASSIVE amount of strong budget cards in the last Standard rotation. On the other hand, Saviors of Uldum has brought quite a lot of great, new options (budget deck building usually gets better later into the rotation, because we have more cards to work with). We’ve also had cards like Archmage Vargoth or SN1P-SN4P given out to everyone for free. Especially the latter makes a lot of budget decks stronger – given that cheap builds are usually Aggro/Midrange, SN1P-Sn4P fits prefectly into lots of them. That’s why I’ve decided to keep him as a part of budget builds. Realistically, most of players do have it, since he was given out for free just a month before Saviors of Uldum launch. However, if you are a new player or just came back after a longer break, there’s a SN1P-SN4P replacement at the bottom of every guide (it’s not key card in any deck).
All in all, we have quite a few strong budget options this time around. Many of the decks are close to the full meta builds, with just 1-2 cards difference. Most of them can be easily upgraded just by adding a few more expensive cards, and the upgraded decks can easily take you all the way to Legend.
Whizbang the Wonderful
I’ve seen a lot of mention about Whizbang, and yes you can craft it as a budget option. There’s some disadvantages to the card, you don’t get to choose the deck you get to play and it will take longer for you to learn how to play any particular deck due to the random nature of the card. However, it is a good option if you like the variety and the fun of playing multiple different decks you wouldn’t normally have access to. Check out our Whizbang Deck Recipes List Guide to learn all about him!
Budget Player Goals
I encourage you not to make your goal to go to all the way to Legend. It’s a tough climb even if you have a meta deck, let alone if you are running a budget deck. There’s no real reason to do it, and it will likely make Hearthstone a far more grueling experience than it needs to be (there are no win-streaks which help immensely when climbing). Rank 5 is a fine goal if you are getting close to a meta version of any of these decks, and you get nearly the same rewards at rank 5 as Legend does at the end of the season.
Cheap Hearthstone Decks
Our rule is that we don’t include any Epic or Legendary cards in our budget decks (the current exception is SN1P-SN4P, as explained above). You might have opened up some, however, so we always have a potential upgrades for every deck (which means that you might be able to use your Epics/Legends too). There is a deck for EVERY class!
Be sure to click on the deck name at the top of each deck for a full guide! It includes mulligan, strategy, as well as upgrade paths for each of the decks.
Token Druid was always one of the better and cheaper options for Druid. While slower decks often use many Epics / Legendaries (especially if they are build around some sort of combo) which you can’t cut, Token version – even if it runs some expensive cards – can usually switch them out.
Token strategy in Druid is nearly as old as Hearthstone itself. The class could always take advantage of wide boards thanks to Power of the Wild and Savage Roar, and most of expansions feature some ways to flood it too (or even more buffs). The goal is to produce a solid board, have some minions survive to your turn, and then buff them or just drop Savage Roar and kill your opponent.
Druid fans playing on budget should be really happy this time around, because our budget version of the deck is basically a full-fledged version. That’s right – the only Legendary commonly played in Token Druid right now is SN1P-SN4P and it was given out for free during Rise of the Mech event. If you, however, started playing in Saviors of Uldum or came back after a long break and don’t own him, don’t worry – the deck is still good! Read the part on the bottom for a replacement.
While Bomb Hunter is a relatively new build (it only got popular in Rise of Shadows, even though most of the cards were introduced back in Boomsday Project), the idea of an aggressive Hunter deck that snowballs the board dates as far back as Undertaker Hunter in Naxx. Unlike a classic Face Hunter build, Bomb Hunter heavily relies on board to deal damage. You can’t just charge into your opponent’s face every turn – you want to stick a Mech and then keep Magnetizing onto it to deal more and more damage. That’s the snowball part I was talking about.
What makes the deck so good are Goblin Bombs, which don’t really look that scary by themselves. However, since they are 0/2’s that deal damage to your opponent on death, they don’t really want (and sometimes can’t) clear them. If they don’t do it, however, you will keep buffing and buffing them, and at one point either they will have to do it or you will just kill THEM. While this strategy has some vulnerabilities, it can punish slower decks that can’t handle your early game minions quite well and just die by the time they get to their late game power peak.
Bomb Hunter didn’t really get anything new in Saviors of Uldum (no new Mechs it wants to play were printed this set), but it’s still a solid deck and a strong budget option (and just a few Legends away from a full meta deck that is placed around high Tier 2).
Mage is one of the three main Secret classes in Hearthstone (while Rogue also got a few, it seemed like a one-time thing), and probably the best one historically. Mage had a viable tempo deck built around Secrets in many metas, thanks to multiple synergies the class got. It is an aggressive deck that relies on establishing early board tempo by cheating out Secrets / playing oversized minions / taking advantage of having Secrets on the board to activate your minions’ effects.
And Saviors of Uldum was a perfect expansion for Secret Mage fans. The deck has got not one, but two strong synergies, as well as a new Secret! Arcane Flakmage and Flame Ward give the deck very necessary tools to come back after opponent takes over the board, while Cloud Prince is an amazing, flexible “Fireball on a stick” – for just 1 more mana you get a 4/4 body on top of the usual removal / burn damage.
The deck is quite close to a full meta version, although there are some minor changes that would make it better. Even the full meta deck, however, is not very strong right now. It’s still fun and can produce some solid results, but especially in the current Warrior-heavy meta, it’s not the best option.
Aggro Paladin took a massive hit last rotation, when Blizzard has decided to Hall of Fame Divine Favor. Going all-in and then still ending up with a full hand against slower decks was the deck’s main strength, and with that gone, it sort of disappeared from the meta. However, there’s a chance for it again. Between the buff to Crystology (which makes it probably the most efficient card draw in the entire game) and a bunch of new cards in Saviors of Uldum (Brazen Zealot, Sandwasp Queen and Salhet's Pride), Aggro Paladin is back on the radar.
That said, being completely honest, “back on the radar” is still far from “back in the meta”. Full version of Aggro Paladin is playable, but it still isn’t incredibly powerful. The budget version is obviously even worse, but during my playtesting I was able to snatch a few wins against full meta decks (and even against its biggest nemesis, Control Warrior).
Combo Priest is one of the “original” combo decks. I remember builds playing Divine Spirit + Inner Fire combo as far as Classic Hearthstone, and while they didn’t work for very long time, once people got better at deck building and we’ve got more tools from different expansions, the deck became popular. Some kind of Combo Priest was present in nearly every meta and viable for the last 2-3 years. Of course, every expansion and especially every rotation, viable builds look differently, but the general idea remains the same
Since most of the key cards in Combo Priest are Free, Common & Rare, it’s very easy to make a cheap deck around them, so it’s usually the best option for budget players. Saviors of Uldum in particular has brought a bunch of great cards to the build, to the point when it became one of the strongest meta decks. However, while some of them made it to the budget decks (e.g. Injured Tol'vir and Neferset Ritualist), others great additions are more expensive (Psychopomp, High Priest Amet). If you own some of them, you can easily make yourself a Tier 1 meta deck. But even without them, it’s still a solid option and one of the best budget decks available in Uldum.
Tempo Rogue is one of the most popular decks in Year of the Dragon. During Rise of Shadows, the class was so strong that it has seen not one, not two, but three nerfs. Even after a big chunk of the deck getting hit, new builds popped up and they were still strong. The situation didn’t change much in Saviors of Uldum – Tempo Rogue is still a solid build, but players have decided to take an even more aggressive stance when building it. They cut some of the long game cards like Spirit of the Shark or Heistbaron Togwaggle and went for more face damage with Hooked Scimitar and another 1-drop – Pharaoh Cat. Those two additions have proven to be working quite well so far.
Budget version of Rogue is not very far off from the real deal gameplay-wise. However, you’re missing some quite important Epics & Legendaries. What used to be a quite cheap deck in the past now costs up to 10k Arcane Dust, which is way, way out of budget for lots of players. This version should, however, work okay until you can build the actual deck.
Murlocs have been one of Hearthstone’s most prominent tribal synergy strategies since its introduction. Murlocs are typically designed to benefit from each other and begin to quickly snowball as each one is added to the board. This, along with the generally low mana-cost of the cards, pushes most Murloc strategies to be aggressive.
While initially best in Warlock, Blizzard started introducing Shaman support (and later also Paladin support) for Murlocs in Goblins vs Gnomes. Murloc Shaman would continue to get fairly regular additions as sets came out, but the problem was always quantity. There were never enough powerful Murlocs in Standard to create a competitively viable Murloc Shaman deck… until Rise of Shadows. With a few new Neutral options, as well as Shaman’s own Sludge Slurper and Underbelly Angler, the deck was finally viable. While Saviors of Uldum did not introduce any new Shaman Murlocs, it has added two solid Neutral options that this deck will gladly take advantage of – Murmy and Fishflinger.
Zoo Warlock is an archetype that dates back to the early days of Hearthstone. The deck always revolved around low-cost minions (the deck can have a low curve because of Hero Power that lest Warlock draw more cards whenever they need) and various means of leveraging a favorable board state to trade up into opposing minions before making a lethal push.
Because of its low-curve, Zoo Warlock has long been a favorite of budget-minded players sacrificing very little for the sake of keeping costs low. Additionally, the deck has long served as a powerful teaching tool for new players eager to learn about core Hearthstone concepts such as Tempo, trading up, and timing a push for lethal.
Saviors of Uldum has introduced quite a lot of new Zoo Warlock tools, and luckily – most of them are cheap. The biggest change compared to the previous expansions is a new Lackey support. While EVIL Genius has seen play in the deck already (just because it was good), we now have an extra way to generate Lackeys (Sinister Deal) as well as a massive pay-off card (EVIL Recruiter). There’s also a new self-damage mini-package with Neferset Thrasher and Diseased Vulture. Sadly, the second part is Epic, which means that it’s not a budget option, but it’s the best upgrade you can make for the deck (and Thrasher is still good enough even without Vulture).
Aggro Warrior is a tempo-oriented, aggressive build, which was always the best budget option for the class. Warrior is usually associated with the expensive, Control builds that all cost over 10k Dust (“Wallet Warrior” term became a thing for a reason). But given that those decks always rely on Epics & Legendaries, it’s simply impossible to build them on budget.
Saviors of Uldum, however, has brought back the faster, Aggro/Tempo Warrior builds. While players have attempted to do it ever since Witchwood (when Rush Warrior became a potential archetype), it didn’t really work that well until now. The archetype has got a bunch of new, strong cards like Temple Berserker, Bloodsworn Mercenary, Livewire Lance and Restless Mummy. However, as you can see, two of those are Epics. And sadly for budget players, the two Epics are strongest of the bunch and basically required to play the best version of Aggro/Tempo Warrior. Which means that while the deck can still be built on budget, it will lose a substantial amount of its power. If you manage to upgrade it to a full meta version, however, it should serve you quite well as a solid ~Tier 2 deck.