Hearthstone Budget Decks For Showdown in the Badlands, Cheap Decks for Laddering in Hearthstone!

One of the big complaints about Hearthstone is the price to pay (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 Bronze or Silver divisions. Some of the stronger builds should be viable throughout Gold and possibly even Platinum if you master them. We don’t recommend those decks in Diamond or to attempt a Legend climb, unless you replace some of the budget cards and turn them into actual meta decks. You CAN hit Legend with some of them, but you would really need to master them and play very well, and by that time you most likely will have enough resources to build a full version anyway.

The game is in a better state than it was a while ago. The new free Core Set, as well as the current rewards system, are both pretty generous (at least by the old Hearthstone Standard). We’re also commonly getting other free stuff like packs, Legendaries etc. during expansion releases, events and from outside of the game (e.g. Twitch drops). While things have gotten much better for new and F2p players, it’s hard to deny that the game is still 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 alike.

Defining a Budget Deck

We’re trying our best to keep the budget decks as cheap as possible while making them as strong as we can. Overall, there’s no hard cutoff, but we try to keep the decks within the 2-3k Dust range (Dust cost listed next to decks below isn’t always accurate, since it includes cards that are given away for free). However, their real cost is usually much lower, because players tend to own a lot of Commons / Rares used in them already.

When it comes to Commons & Rares – it’s simple, all of them are allowed. It’s very easy to get a full Common & Rare collection (doubly so with the recent addition of Catch-Up Packs), and even if you’re missing some of them, they’re cheap to craft.

As for the Epics – if it’s not possible, we try to not include them. If a deck can be built with no Epics at all, that’s great. However, that is sadly quite rare. Epics are often key cards in a given build, so removing them is either impossible or would drop the deck’s win rate by a lot. Even in the worst-case scenario, we try to keep it down to a few Epics, but if choosing between a deck that has to include four Epics and a completely unplayable deck, we’ll choose the former. Playing a deck that virtually can’t win any games is just not fun.

Legendaries are completely excluded UNLESS they are available for free. This includes all of the Core Set Legendaries, as well as Legendaries that were given out for free in the current Standard rotation (e.g. Pozzik, Audio Engineer – if you don’t have it, all you need to do is buy a single Festival of Legends pack and go to the pack opening screen, you will get the card automatically).

Showdown in the Badlands Update

Budget decks in the latest expansion are kind of a mixed bag. We have some amazing options, but many of the new packages simply can’t be played on the budget. Many Excavate decks, for example, require Legendary cards to work. Reno decks doubly so, those are historically some of the most expensive builds, and the same can be said about the current roundup. On the other hand, some of the best decks in the format (like Naga Demon Hunter, Buff Paladin, or Enrage Warrior) are pretty cheap and you’re only a few cards away from a meta build.

Because of that, we have a weird mix of really powerful budget decks and those barely playable. Some classes didn’t get a worthwhile budget update in a few expansions. Priest, Rogue and Warlock are nearly exactly the same decks as last expansion (in fact, Warlock is exactly the same card for card). Some other classes got an update, but their budget options are very weak/limited (Shaman, Mage).

The rest of the builds are pretty okay – not as impressive as DH/Paladin/Warrior, but passable. For example, Dragon Druid is close to the full meta build (and the class even gets two options!) and Unholy Aggro DK can quite easily be turned into a Plague DK which is semi-competitive.

If you can play any class, then you should be doing on budget in Showdown in the Badlands. But if you only play a couple of classes, well, it really depends on which. I’ll go into details under each deck below.

Cheap Hearthstone Decks

Deck Import

This deck is mostly old cards, yes, but it comes with a new twist compared to our previous budget Death Knights – Plagues. While I agree that Plagues are not amazing without Helya, they actually make a lot of sense in the current meta. You see, with Reno decks popping off after Showdown in the Badlands, Plague Death Knight is a great counter to those. Shuffling two of the same Plague into their deck counts as a duplicate, so their Highlander effects are no longer active. This makes the matchups much easier. Sadly, without Helya, there’s a chance they draw the Plagues and get rid of duplicates this way, but if you shuffle enough, the effect should still persist throughout most of the game.

Normally Plagues are played together with Excavate cards, but here’s a problem – payoff. While you can absolutely run the Excavate package on the budget, the issue is that the reward is quite weak this way. The Azerite Rat (Legendary Excavate Treasure) needs a great target, and while your Chained Guardian (most likely resurrection target) is okay, the effect is a bit wasted. Guardian already comes with Rush and Reborn, so you’re only giving it +2/+2 and Lifesteal. That’s still alright in certain scenarios, but not good enough to run a whole Excavate package. For it to work, you really want Reska, the Pit Boss – the card works insanely well with Azerite Rat because of the Deathratlle steal effect. That’s why I decided to combine Plagues with some Aggro cards. Yes, it’s not perfect, but it kind of works. Also given the current popularity of aggressive, board-based decks like Aggro Paladin, having access to a board clear is amazing in aggressive DK (Tomb Traitor). Without it, some decks can just overrun you on the board and you have no way to deal with them until Turn 8’s Marrowgar, which is too late.

Overall, while this is an okay-ish budget deck, if you’re interested in playing it seriously, you need to add cards like Helya, The Primus and Reska, the Pit Boss together with Excavate package (and, less importantly, Magatha, Bane of Music and Sylvanas, the Accused). However, to be completely honest, just adding Helya will make this build significantly more powerful (infinite Plagues are a serious win condition in multiple matchups). You can find some full builds in our Plague DK deck list section.

Deck Import

Let’s start with a truly budget take on Death Knight – all-in Aggro build. This deck runs no Epics and no Legendaries whatsoever (or rather, technically it runs some Legendaries, but they are all free).

Your goal is to rush down the opponent while drawing as many cards as possible. On the one hand, you have cards that shuffle your hand back into your deck (Dispose of Evidence, Bibliomite) at a stat/effect premium. On the other hand, you have easy ways to refill your hand (Magnifying Glaive, Weight of the World, Sightless Magistrate). The goal is to balance both of those – first utilize the effects of the former (or just play your low cost cards) to reduce your hand size, then refill it. Additionally, the deck runs some cards that synergize with drawing cards – Crystalline Statue is extremely easy to activate in the mid game (and even playing it on T2 usually lets you activate it on T4), and a 2 mana 5/4 with Rush is quite powerful. Then you have Momentum, which you should use to deal with bigger Taunts/must-kill minions or just hit your opponent in the face.

You want to deal as much early/mid game minion damage as possible (one of your 5-attack minions connecting is a big deal, for example) and then finish things off with your Hero. You have a lot of reach – Dispose, Chaos Strike, Desperado, Glaive, Momentum. You should be able to deal 15+ damage from your hand over the course of the game quite easily.

However, adding a few Epics will turn it into a real, full-fledged meta deck called “Naga Demon Hunter”. So if you’re on a slightly less tight budget, you should check out the deck below instead.

Deck Import

I think this deck is A LITTLE too expensive to be called a budget build, that’s why I put it as an extra. But right now it’s one of the strongest decks in the game, and it requires zero Legendaries, which makes it an interesting proposition.

This deck wins games twofold. The first win condition is a bit similar to the previous build – your high attack minions connecting to the face combined with some burn damage from hand. However, the second and more likely win condition is what makes it unique. Blindeye Sharpshooter is one of the most busted cards printed in a while. All you need to do is cycle between Nagas and Spells to keep drawing and keep dealing damage to random targets. With the right draws, it’s actually possible to OTK your opponent around Turn 4-5 from an empty board. I have seen clips of people coining out Sharpshooter on T2 and killing their opponent on T3 because they couldn’t answer it. Of course, it’s not always that simple and things don’t line up that well all the time, but this deck’s damage potential is crazy.

While games can’t be planned for and will often play out dynamically, here’s what you want to do. Ideally prepare for the combo by discounting some of your cards with Wayward Sage/Frequency Oscillator (it discounts Mistake to 0 mana making it easier to chain Nagas for you). Also have a couple of “backup” cheap Nagas/Spells in your hand in case you brick on your draws. Then around Turn 4-5 you can go in with Sharpshooter. Drop it, and cycle between cheap Nagas and Spells. If that doesn’t kill your opponent, you always have a second copy for another try. If you don’t draw your Sharpshooters, just play your other cards and draw more with Glaive/Magistrate. If you play against a deck that can’t easily deal 5 damage on Turn 3, you can even drop Sharpshooter on the curve and then start fresh with full 4 mana next turn (but that one is a risky move and requires you to know your opponent’s deck quite well, but it can pay off big time).

Do note, however, that at the time I’m writing this we’re waiting for a balance update, which is quite likely to nerf this build. Will it still be viable after the nerfs? Sadly it’s impossible to say. That’s why if you aren’t in a hurry, you might want to wait a day or two before crafting it if you’re truly on budget.

Deck Import

Nearly entire of Druid’s Showdown in the Badlands set focused on Dragons. And it shows. A deck that had zero synergies before suddenly became a solid meta option. And the best part is that it can be played on budget. Sure, it’s big brother – Reno version – requires a lot of expensive Legendaries. And while some people might find it more fun, they’re actually quite similar in terms of power level

Your main condition with this deck is Dragon Golem. The card summons a wall of Taunts equal to the number of Dragons in your hand. With 4 Dragons, for example, it will summon the base version + 4 copies, for 5 minions in total. That’s great already, but at a 3/4 it’s not THAT threatening and quite easy to take down with some AoEs. That’s where your handbuffs come into action. You have Azsharan Gardens (buffing all minions in your hand by +1/+1, if you have Aquatic Form you can then draw the Sunken version that buffs every minion in your hand, deck and battlefield by +1/+1). You have Take to the Skies (it’s kind of random, but the chances of drawing your Dragon Golems are relatively high). And maybe most importantly, you have Snapdragon. With 2/3 of your deck being Battlecry cards, buffing all of them is incredibly powerful. Playing both (which you can tutor with Peaceful Piper) can lead to some explosive turns even without Dragon Golem.

If your opponent answers your first Dragon Golem and then your second Dragon Golem, well… the game will be much harder now, but still winnable. You have other cards you can drop, and if they were buffed by Snapdragon, then they are proper threats too (for example, Desert Nestmatron is essentially a 0 mana 5/7 Taunt with two Snapdragon buffs). You also run some reach – if you get your opponent low enough, you can finish them off with Amber Whelps or Alexstrasza the Life-Binder.

The only card you’re really missing from a full build is Fye, the Setting Sun. And while it might not seem like a big deal, she’s really important. You can use her to stabilize against Aggro decks. You can use her to heal up after you get burned down. You can use her to develop a high health threat that is outside of the range of most AoEs. And the best part is that she can often be played for 0 mana in the late game. Other cards that full builds run include Astalor Bloodsworn and Dragon Tales. But they aren’t strictly necessary – it’s nice to have them, but you can live without them. There’s also a kind of a Hybrid build that runs duplciates with a Dragon package, but also Rheastrasza and Reno, Lone Ranger. The idea is that you can draw your duplicates quite quickly and then still take advantage of the Highlander effects. However, this one is still pretty new and stats on it are limited, so I can’t say that I recommend it just yet.

Deck Import

Surprise! Another Druid deck. I figured out that since Druid has two budget options, why not put both of them here? I want to say that the Dragon version is most likely better, but if – for whatever reason – you don’t want to play it, this is quite viable too.

It plays similarly to most of the Token Druid lists, just with a Treant flavor. Your goal here is to get a wide board and AoE buff it with Herald of Nature, Soul of the Forest and – maybe most importantly – Cultivation. Hitting those effects on multiple minions makes them incredibly powerful. Just sticking a few low attack minions can lead to explosive turns. For example, if you start your turn with five minions with 8 attack in total, going for a double Cultivation suddenly turns your board from “it barely hurts” to “I just killed my opponent” (28 damage).

The deck also has another high tempo trick up its sleeve – play Blood Treant + Conservator Nymph combo on Turn 3 (or even T2 on Coin). While this costs you 5 health, you end up with a 3/4 and a 5/5 minion. It’s difficult to answer them so early into the game, which can snowball into a tempo advantage and ultimately a game win.

There’s also an advantage of playing this deck – opponents expectations. When they see Druid, they expect a Dragon build (either normal or Reno), but they don’t really expect a Treant version. However, this deck is kind of a dead end – there are no real great ways to upgrade it, so if you want something higher win rate, you should play that Dragon Druid build instead.

Deck Import

Cleave Hunter is a quite interesting deck with unique gameplay for the class. While it’s not technically new, it became popular in Showdown in the Baldands thanks to Messenger Buzzard, giving you easier ways to handbuff. Sadly it’s not as good on the budget, but you can fix it with a single Legendary (more about that later).

The idea behind this deck is to play a big minion with Cleave effect (Stonebound Gargon or Hollow Hound), buff it with Always a Bigger Jormungar and attack some low health minions. The extra damage from all three hits will damage your opponent’s face. The most damage I managed to deal when testing this budget build is ~25, but it’s possible to do more (I once dealt over 50 damage with a full version). However, even that should be enough to finish your opponent off most of the time.

However, in order to get there, you must first handbuff your Cleave minions. The best way is – of course – Messenger Buzzard. It draws a Beast and gives all minions in your hand (not only Beasts) +1/+1. It might not seem like a lot, but it adds up pretty quickly. That’s why Buzzard is your main mulligan target – you also want to discover more copies of it with Selective Breeder. You can also get more attack with Bestial Madness and Ten Gallon Hat, but the latter is RNG and only hits the minion it draws. The last way to buff your Beast is Thornmantle Musician, but keep in mind that it applies to the next Beast you summon, so if you want to add it as a part of your combo, make sure to play it just before your combo turn.

Another important ingredient is Absorbent Parasite. It’s the only Magnetic card that can attach to Beasts, which is pretty important. At base, it gives you 3 extra attack, but it also usually get handbuffs, leading to more extra damage. And so, for example, you might end up with a 6/7 Stonebound Gargon and a 5/2 Parasite. Combining those together gives you 11 attack. Add in +2 damage from your Jormungar buff and that’s 13. Now if you hit three 3 health minions – that’s 30 damage to your opponent’s face. Fun, isn’t it? Of course, Parasite is not always necessary to combo your opponent, BUT since this budget deck usually ends up with less handbuffs, it’s great to have it.

And it’s worth mentioning that you can sometimes with without the Cleave OTK. Sometimes an early Awakening Tremors into Buzzard or two is enough. Giving those 4/1’s two handbuffs turns them into 1 mana 6/3’s, and that’s just insane. If your opponent has no way to clear them easily, they deal so much damage. Even without any handbuffs, 1 mana 4/1’s are great in some matchups (such as vs Priest or Druid).

The card this deck misses the most compared to a full build is Hope of Quel'Thalas. It gives you extra +2/+2 across the board, making your OTK much easier and your decks stronger overall (even if you don’t OTK). The other card you want to add is Aggramar, the Avenger – it’s not important for your main Cleave strategy, but it’s just an insanely powerful Hunter card so you want it in every deck. Replace your Ten Gallon Hats with those and you have a full meta build.

Deck Import

Good news – this is another new deck. Bad news – it’s not amazing. Okay news – turning it into a viable meta deck doesn’t cost THAT much (by replacing the Secret package with a Rainbow package – more about that later).

This deck’s main win condition is the Excavate package. After four Excavates, you get The Azerite Hawk (Legendary Excavate Treasure) which adds a random Titan to your hand and makes it cost 1. That’s, obviously, a very powerful effect and depending on the Titan you roll it can win you the game by itself. For example, getting Sargeras, the Destroyer vs a slower deck or Aggramar, the Avenger when your opponent is pretty low on health.

Now, your other win condition are Secrets. It kind of ties to the first one – Reliquary Researcher is the reason you run a Secret package in the deck in the first place. After just two Excavates (so possibly even on curve), you can drop Researcher and then a 0 mana Contract Conjurer. 3/5 + 6/6 + two random Secrets. If any of those Secrets turns out to be a Counterspell or Objection!, you just had a big tempo swing and you’re most likely going to stop some tempo from your opponent. This is often a game-winning play that they might have no answer for. You run some Secrets so your Conjurers aren’t useless even without Researcher. For example, you can set up an Anonymous Informant on Turn 2, then play a 0 mana Secret + Conjurer on T3. You can also play the second Secret and then a 0 mana Conjurer if you have both in your hand. Costumed Singer is a very efficient way to draw those.

Finally, the deck runs some other “good cards” such as Cosmic Keyboard, Nightcloak Sanctum or Cold Case. Those aren’t going to win you the game by themselves but can give you a nice curve to stall into your Excavates. You also have access to some burn in a form of Frozen Touch (try to cast it after Infusing to keep it in your hand) and Arcane Bolt from Wyrm. Technically Blastmage Miner can burn your opponent for quite a bit, but it also hits minions and you aren’t likely going to have a big hand in the first place.

And what I promised at the beginning – if you have some Dust to spare and want to play Mage, you can cut the Secret package and add Rainbow cards instead. The only Legendary you absolutely need is Sif. Infinitize the Maxitude is nice to have, but not technically a requirement. Then throw in a few Epics like Prismatic Elemental and Wisdom of Norgannon and you’re good to go. Do keep in mind, however, that Rainbow Mage is a rather difficult deck to pilot. You can look up some full builds here.

Deck Import

Straightforward Paladin decks are often underrated by pro players, but they can wreck havoc at lower ranks. Even up to Legend in certain metas – and this is definitely one of those.

This deck has two basic win conditions and both are related to buffs. The first one is Crusader Aura. Going wide on the board in the early game, playing Crusader Aura on Turn 4 and just buffing your entire board is how you will win lots of games against slower decks that might not have answers to your early minions. And let’s just say that answering them is difficult, because they either have Divine Shield or you summon multiple of them at the same time. However, what if this strategy doesn’t work and your opponent clears your early boards?

Well, you proceed to your second play – The Garden's Grace. +5/+5 and Divine Shield for 10 mana is a lot, but the card gets cheap very quickly. Play Hand of A'dal, Boogie Down, Seal of Blood, and it’s suddenly only 2 mana (and after casting the first one the second one will be 0). However, the strongest part about this strategy is that you can easily draw both of them nearly every game thanks to Order in the Court. It orders your deck from highest cost (so Garden’s Grace) AND draws a card. So let’s just say that you had a single 1/1 minion on the board. You could, for example, play Order in Court, Hand of A’dal, and then 2x Garden’s Grace. Now that single 1/1 minion becomes a 13/12 minion with Divine Shield. Most decks will struggle to deal with that. Your opponent played Taunts to stop your huge minion? Don’t worry, you either drew or should be drawing Keeper's Strength very soon.

But let’s just say that your opponent has managed to deal with it after you smacked him in the face. Now what? Well, if you managed to get your opponent low enough, don’t worry, you still have a backup plan. Because right after drawing both of your Garden’s Graces, you drew Horn of the Windlord. The weapon can deal 12 damage over two turns, but that’s not all. You also have For Quel'Thalas! to buff it further. With this, you can burst your opponent for 10 damage without a single minion on the board

Only after all of those plans have failed, you lost the game. Technically, the full version of the deck has ANOTHER strategy in the form of The Countess. Just drop her on the board and Discover 0 mana Legendaries. They will often let you clear the board, give you tons of value or extra reach (e.g. King Krush). If you add Countess and Blood Matriarch Liadrin, you end up with a full meta build of the deck.

Deck Import

This deck is the same as last expansion with no new cards added. And last expansion it was basically the same as the expansion before. Sadly, Priest has got no other real budget options. Other Priest decks require multiple Legendaries to function properly, and are way, way out of reach for a budget player.

Because this is such an old deck, I won’t go into details about how it plays. The basic premise is to drop Undead minions on the board, take advantage of the Undead synergies, try to deal as much early-mid game minion damage as possible to then burn your opponent down with a mix of Hero Power, Mind Sear, Bone Flinger, Shadowed Spirit, Rotting Necromancer and Shadow Word: Undeath. It’s really straightforward and you shouldn’t have problems piloting it.

As for the build itself, the budget version is relatively close to a full meta build. All you need is a couple of Legendaries. There are three to consider – Soulburner Varia, High Cultist Basaleph and Aman'Thul. The first two synergize with Undead Priest in particular while the last one is just an overall good Priest Legendary. Most of the builds run two of those, in different combinations. I’d say that Aman’thul is the strongest of the bunch and it’s also the most flexible, as you can also run it in a Control Priest deck if you wish to do so in the future (it should see play throughout its entire time in Standard). At the same time, I just can’t recommend crafting the Undead-specific Legendaries, as this is the only build that runs them and frankly, even a full meta version is just not that great.

Deck Import

Rogue is another class that didn’t get any budget options this expansion. In fact, Rogue didn’t really get any good options this expansion, period. The strongest Rogue deck is still Mech Rogue, with many builds not running a single new card. However, you need a few Legendaries in order to make Mech Rogue work, that’s why the deck is not great on the budget.

This deck is exactly the same as last expansion with one exception. I’ve decided to add in a singe Triple Sevens. The card might not seem great, but I think that it’s exactly what this deck needs. What you want is to draw as many cards to find your weapon buffs and Air Guitarists. Try to save your Preparation for Triple Sevens if you have it – this combo costs “only” 5 mana, clears one minion and draws you 7 cards. That’s most likely enough to not worry about any card draw until the end of the game. You also have a pretty high chance to get the second Prep or Dread Corsairs to do something else immediately.

Other than that, the gameplay stays the same. Your goal is to find Swordfish, preferably Dredge a Pirate to make it a 4/3 weapon. Then start buffing it and attacking your opponent. That’s the whole philosophy really. It’s very vulnerable to weapon destruction (and less so to Taunts, but you should be able to get through most of those) but when it works, your opponent really has no chance, as you hit them for 10 or so damage per turn in the mid-game.

Ther’s really no “full deck” you aim towards, if you want to play Rogue in this expansion, you should probably just switch to Mech Rogue instead.

Deck Import

Elemental Shaman is another new deck in this expansion. However, the issue is that even the full build kind of sucks. I expect them to either get buffed or get more synergies in the mini-set. There’s some real potential, but it’s just not there yet. However, it makes for an okay-ish budget build.

Your goal is really simple. You want to play Elementals every turn to take advantage of your Elemental synergies. Skipping a turn here and there might not have been a big problem in the past, but it is now. You REALLY want to keep a long chain to get your Azerite Giants to low mana cost. 8 mana 8/8 is really bad, but if you played Elementals every turn, you can drop them for just a few mana points (or even for free) in the mid-late game. It also means that your synergies like Living Prairie or Minecart Cruiser are constantly active.

So your goal is to tempo out with Elementals and then possibly win with reach from Fire Elemental/Al'Akir the Windlord. Either Al’akir or Brass Elemental (as long as he stays alive) can benefit heavily from Jam Session. Buffing them to 6 attack means 12 damage, that’s a lot.

The biggest downside of this build compared to the full version is that it doesn’t have Skarr, the Catastrophe. Since you’re already keeping an Elemental chain to get your Azerite Giants down, having another pay-off is really great. And Skarr is some payoff indeed. I saw him dealing over 10 AoE damage in the late game, and that includes face damage. Other than Skarr, you also want to add Magatha, Bane of Music (your deck is mostly minions so she tends to draw a lot), Mistake, Amalgam of the Deep and Trusty Companion. If you run Skarr, consider adding Cold Storage too. This can be your late game win condition – play Skarr and immediately copy it with Cold Storage. Then play it again the turn after.

Still, I wouldn’t invest heavily into this deck for now, as even a full Elemental build is just mediocre. If you really want to play Shaman, Reno Shaman is actually doing VERY well, but the deck is also incredibly expensive, so it’s out of the question for any budget player. There’s also Nature OTK Shaman, which can be relatively cheap, but it’s a difficult deck to pilot. While a select few players can climb to the top Legend, others are stuck at around 40% win rate.

Deck Import

Another deck that stays the same. I know, I know, it’s not great, but there are really no other options – this is the best we can get on budget. Sludge/Toxic Warlock is even worse on budget than Imp Warlock. We also have Excavate Warlock, but not only their treasure (The Azerite Snake (Legendary Excavate Treasure) got nerfed, but you REALLY need at the very least Tram Conductor Gerry (and, more realistically, also Sargeras, the Destroyer and a couple of other Legendaries). I would like to have better news, but that’s that.

The goal of the deck is to flood the board with Imps and then keep buffing them with either Nofin's Imp-ossible (which is like a cheaper Soul of the Forest for your Demons) or Vile Library (an amazing single-target buff). Then… just kill the opponent. But it’s easier said than done. While this deck was semi-viable even on budget two expansion ago, the current power level is just way too high.

Currently it’s hard to recommend any full Warlock deck. The class is in a pretty bad state and until some buffs or maybe the mini-set, it will probably stay mostly irrelevant.

Deck Import

And finally – the last budget deck. Enrage Warrior was already a solid budget option last expansion and it got even better now. You have almost everything you need, this deck can even get to you to Legend if you play well enough.

The deck has two main win conditions. First is tempo with AoE board buffs. In the mid game, prepare your Imbued Axe (preferably Infused version, although the base one is good enough too), then play a few minions, AoE damage your board (either with Sunfury Champion or Jam Session and hit with a weapon. This way you create a really big board that needs to get answered immediately or you buff it again next turn. Ideally, you also want to do something else WHILE making this big board. For example, drop  Anima Extractor before AoEing everything in order to get a lot of handbuffs. Or drop Acolyte of Pain to get a couple of draws. This way even if your board is cleared, you didn’t end up with nothing. If you fall behind at any point, you have two options – Trial by Fire (it’s a great way to clear multiple minions, usually leaving you with something on the board in the end) or Sunfury Champion with a few Fire spells. If you need to deal more than 3 AoE damage, you can buff Champion with Jam Session to keep him alive and well (while dealing 1 extra damage).

The second and your most likely win condition is the Charge combo. There are two ways to do it. First and more simple one is Grommash Hellscream. Here, realistically all you need is Sanguine Depths already on the board. You play Grommash, hit him with Depths and copy with Battleworn Faceless. It’s a 10 mana combo, but it deals massive damage already (2x 12 damage). However, an even better, more flexible combo includes Crazed Wretch instead. While the same set-up only puts it at 5 damage vs 12 damage from Grommash, the big difference is that it costs only 2 mana. It gives you a lot more room – you can, for example, play two Faceless instead of one. You can also buff it with Jam Session. You can play the weapon/Sanguine Depths on the same turn as your combo to not draw suspicions. Either way, both combos also benefit from handbuffs – any buff that lands on Wretch or Grommash makes it easier for you to kill the opponent.

You’re only missing a single important card – Thori'belore. With so many Fire spells in your deck, you can keep bringing it back over and over again. A 4/4 with Rush is not very strong the first time you play it, but over the course of the whole match, you can easily bring it back 5+ times. You can even copy it with Battleworn Faceless and then whenever you play a Fire spell, you get not one, but two 4/4’s back. It makes some matchups a walk in the park. Another card you can add is Decimator Olgra, although she’s not nearly as important as Thori’belore. Some builds also run Remornia, Living Blade, but I’m not a fan.


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


  1. Pat190
    October 16, 2023 at 9:17 am

    Really good work this season. Can you update this based on the mini-set? And perhaps some more budget options for each class that vary in play style. Tall ask on my part, but these guides are really helpful.

  2. Pramadito
    October 4, 2023 at 7:16 am

    Is drum druid good enough for budget?

  3. BIackBear
    September 12, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    Really helpful guide

  4. Sotospeak
    May 18, 2023 at 1:28 pm

    After a year of HS I disenchanted all rotating cards and had 32k dust. Still these guides come in handy, and i made the BIG DH one since i already had Xhillag. It seems fun to play!

  5. Melchy101
    May 15, 2023 at 6:12 am

    Yo, that first death knight deck got me on a 13 win streak. Really good! Thank you for the work you do.

  6. Johan
    December 24, 2022 at 6:15 am

    Which cards out in the warlock budget to add Imp King Rafaam and Sire Denathrius.

  7. Joopiter
    November 11, 2021 at 1:46 am

    Any additions after Deadmines release?
    I bet Mr. Smite can be added to most aggro decks and maybe budget Big DH is better than this budget Deathrattle one?

  8. Sotospeak
    September 24, 2021 at 8:04 am

    I am using Elemental Shaman with Earth Elemental in place of Lilypad Lurker and climbed to D1. Robes of Protection is an interesting tech choice against mage and Quest Hunters too. I just crafted the Pirate Budget too, I had only a Cargo Guard and Anchorman missing, and I won the only game I played with it at D3.

    Great budget decks thank you.

  9. Xanflo13
    July 12, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    It’s a real shame it’s been 3 months and you guys have no updated budget decks.

    • Mush shrap
      August 25, 2021 at 3:05 pm

      They updated their budget decks after 3 months? Better complain about it!

  10. LuKeAA
    April 16, 2021 at 2:25 am

    Face Hunt”er”s again;

    hope you all prefer that to Watchtowers; this trend of “either the games last until T5 or it’s no fun” is so annoying; no adaptation on new expansions, always the same. Between all the nerfs, BOTH watchtowers was the one I was mostly against.

  11. Caimael
    April 7, 2021 at 6:00 am

    I’m very excited to see what the Year of the Gryphon will bring for F2P Hearthstone players. Do you think that the new core set will be better for this expansion’s budget decks, or do budget players now lack some good cards from the basic set? I’m hoping to see a couple of viable budget control decks using some of the new core set dragons, hopefully this could be a possibility this year!

    • Asperkraken
      April 15, 2021 at 7:16 pm

      It’s a better time than ever for budget players. Yeah there are some high power builds out there but all the free Legendaries (many of which are surprisingly decent) have made building budget decks, especially for classes you may not like, easier. I am very happy with the new Core Set. Honestly it was time for a refresh.

  12. Placebo
    August 30, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Do you think that I can toss in my Edwin into the aggro rogue list? And if I can, what card do I replace?

  13. Nerose
    August 25, 2020 at 11:16 am

    Some of the best budget decks ever.

  14. Sunsmith
    August 16, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    I love the budget decks, they always help me decide where to spend my very limited dust. I would however, caution against dumping your dust into one and expecting to climb much higher than gold 5. The guide makes the claim that the agro Demon Hunter can climb to Legend rank, but unless you’re a far better player than I am, it can’t. So far I’ve found that it gets effectively walled by Druids, Paladins, and Priests that flood the board, clear the board, and use super cheap buffs. Unless you’re lucky to draw very specific cards in a very timely manner, there doesn’t seem to be much that can be done about this.

    Mage also has a very tricky deck that can give them infinite, free spells that exponentially climb in spell power around turn 5-6, and I have not found a way to deal enough damage by then to prevent being burned by *20* damage fireballs.

    • Sunsmith
      August 18, 2020 at 8:06 pm

      Does anyone have advice? I’m still walled at gold 5-4, warriors and paladins especially, but not only them.

      • Sotospeak
        September 16, 2020 at 4:50 pm

        I first time climbed last month to legend with face hunter, and in this season Pirate Warrior is giving good success too (at Diamond 4 right now). I have Dragon Bane too and essentially am using VKLiooon’s list for Hunter, and Krastinov 2 Steeldancers and Green Skin in Pirate, so the latter is not actually budget, but is serving well with much damage coming from weapons (Scythe, Ganarg and Ancharr) countering board clears. With Demon Hunter Aggro I have been suffering more, so I would definitely recommend Face Hunter to climb.

      • Isaaccp
        November 30, 2020 at 6:38 pm

        I am using the Demon Hunter deck (with one Stiltstepper) and I got so far to Gold 2, but likely can make it a bit further.

        Take into account that as long as you are winning 51% of your games you’ll eventually climb up 🙂

        For Demon Hunter a thing that helps a lot is knowing the mana cost of the opponent’s early removal and trying to play Mana Burn or Cult Neophyte at the right time to push them one turn further.

        It is definitely game over if a Priest gets to 8 mana though 😀

        • Isaaccp
          November 30, 2020 at 7:34 pm

          Platinum 8 now. FWIW, the Stiltstepper really helps push it in the end if it’s close. Get them if you can afford them 🙂

      • Tungizzi
        December 9, 2020 at 1:52 am

        If u played DH, I would suggest the Altruis variant of the Aggro build. Of course, u have to craft Pokelt; however, Pokelt is a neutral that is quite flexible and is used in Face Hunter, Highlander Hunter, Galakrond Rogue. Most of the aggro DH I encountered in Legend run this variant over the budget build anyways.

    • Gibilan
      December 8, 2020 at 8:52 pm

      You can hit legend with any deck

  15. Bombasticbob
    August 13, 2020 at 9:33 am

    Could you maybe add some cards that you can add if you want to make them better?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      August 25, 2020 at 7:18 am

      Each deck has a full guide which includes upgrade path – basically cards that you want to add to make the deck better or full deck lists you should be aiming for once you find more Dust 🙂

  16. MajklE63
    April 24, 2020 at 1:17 am

    Your deck guide for Spel Druid inspired me to play and push for the legend for the first time. I reached 24k legend, I used slightly edited version with Rising Winds (minus Treenforcements and minus one Soul of the Forest) on Rank 5 diamond to legend with winrate 28wins and 13 loss. Deck si powerful you can create unkillable boards or just to trade and wait for the right moment to buff, you can reach legend with it quickly.