In an exciting move for Hearthstone players who have more money than time, Blizzard announced that they will start selling complete Hearthstone decks for real money. Many other card games have been doing this for years, and such decks can be a great option for many players, especially more casual players who just want to chill with some meta decks when they happen to have time to play. Note that in the initial offering, you can only buy one of the decks per account.
In this article, I will examine the value of Blizzard’s offer. How good are these decks? Which one is the best? Do you get your money’s worth if you buy a deck? Let’s take a look at each deck individually and then compare them to see which ones are the best options.
Demon Hunter Battle-Ready Deck
Dust cost: 7600 – 3 Legendary cards, 4 Epic cards, 8 Rare cards
The battle-ready Demon Hunter deck is a bit perplexing. It is a Deathrattle Demon Hunter deck in a style that was common in the early days of Forged in the Barrens, but the archetype does not use Kargal Battlescar and Mor'shan Watch Post anymore. Far Watch Post is still sometimes used because of its strength as a stand-alone card, but the full Watch Post package is weak nowadays.
However, the deck also includes Kurtrus Ashfallen, which has only become common more recently and is a strong performer in the current meta. The deck is missing Ace Hunter Kreen, which is the other more recent Legendary inclusion in the archetype.
Straight out-of-the-box, the Demon Hunter list fails to impress. It can be improved quite cheaply to modern standards, but even so, the archetype is not top-tier right now.
Druid Battle-Ready Deck
Dust cost: 7840 – 2 Legendary cards, 10 Epic cards, 2 Rare cards
The battle-ready Druid deck is a Clown Druid that gives you almost all the important cards for the archetype. The deck includes Moonfang and Y'Shaarj, The Defiler, both of which are optional in the archetype and it is missing Speaker Gidra that also sees occasional play.
Alas, Clown Druid is not even the strongest Druid archetype in the game. Token Druid is clearly stronger, but it includes fewer expensive cards than any of the battle-ready decks, so from a card value perspective, it makes sense that Blizzard has chosen to go with Clown Druid instead. Out-of-the-box, this deck is roughly a 50% win rate deck: playable, but not great for climbing the ladder. There are only limited ways to improve it either because the archetype is not top-tier at the moment.
Hunter Battle-Ready Deck
Dust cost: 8200 – 3 Legendary cards, 6 Epic cards, 6 Rare cards
I like the battle-ready Hunter deck a lot. It is a Face Hunter – a traditionally cheap archetype that has become much more expensive in Forged in the Barrens – and a well-built one at that. The deck includes all the improvements to the archetype that have been found during Forged in the Barrens: Kolkar Pack Runner, the dynamic duo of Mankrik and Barak Kodobane, Warsong Wrangler to tutor for Trampling Rhino, and my favorite, one copy of Scavenger's Ingenuity to give you more reliable access to Beast tutors.
Face Hunter as an archetype is quite strong. It is weak against Priest and Warrior, but very capable of handling any other threats you may meet on the ladder, and this deck is one of the finest available for the archetype.
Mage Battle-Ready Deck
Dust cost: 8220 – 4 Legendary cards, 2 Epic cards, 5 Rare cards
The battle-ready Mage deck raises so many questions. Why does it not include Incanter's Flow and Refreshing Spring Water? Those are extremely high-performing cards in a Spell Damage Mage deck like this one, and not only in No Minion Mage. Also, why is the deck not a No Minion Mage deck, as that is the superior archetype? One might even read that there is a chance for Incanter's Flow and Refreshing Spring Water to get nerfed in the future, and maybe this is what Mage decks will look like next.
However, the deck is even missing Fireball. That card is surely not on a nerf candidate list, and that omission makes the deck a lot weaker. I am just left speechless by the card choices in the deck.
As an upside, the deck gives you a great collection of Legendary cards: Astromancer Solarian, Ras Frostwhisper, Jandice Barov, and Kazakus, Golem Shaper are all extremely powerful and go into multiple decks: Ras is a Mage/Shaman dual-class card, Jandice is a Mage/Rogue dual-class card, and Kazakus is the strongest Neutral card in Forged in the Barrens.
While the Mage deck’s performance is less than stellar, it gives you a lot of great building blocks.
Paladin Battle-Ready Deck
Dust cost: 8160 – 3 Legendary cards, 6 Epic cards, 6 Rare cards
The battle-ready Paladin deck is a Secret Paladin, which is one of the best decks in the game right now. This list also gives you all the important cards for the archetype: two copies of all the good Epic cards (Conviction (Rank 1), Oh My Yogg!, and Hammer of the Naaru), Murgur Murgurgle, and Kazakus, Golem Shaper.
In order to keep the deck’s dust cost up, there is also a copy of Cannonmaster Smythe, but honestly, that card is trash. The inclusion of Argent Squires is also a little questionable, as they are not performing too well. Cut those three and add Taelan Fordring and a pair of Argent Protectors from the Core set, and you’re ready to take on the ladder at any level. Paladin is just good.
Priest Battle-Ready Deck
Dust cost: 7480 – 3 Legendary cards, 4 Epic cards, 6 Rare cards
The battle-ready Priest deck is a Control Priest, and this particular style is sometimes also called Heal Priest. It includes a good collection of the best Priest cards in the game at the moment, such as Soul Mirror, Xyrella, and Sethekk Veilweaver. Blademaster Samuro combined with Apotheosis provides the deck huge healing potential and there is a pair of Lightshower Elementals in the deck for even more defensive prowess.
Priest is great against aggro decks right now, and this is one of the most defensive lists you can build at the moment. Priest can also outlast Rush Warriors, but it has a huge weakness in Control Warlock, as the matchup can be as bad as 10-90 to the disadvantage of the Priest. This list does not include Mindrender Illucia, so you are vulnerable to combo decks, should you happen to meet any on the ladder, as unlikely as it may be.
Overall, not exactly a top-tier deck, but a fine specimen of Priest and easily a deck that can climb the ladder.
Rogue Battle-Ready Deck
Dust cost: 8600 – 4 Legendary cards, 2 Epic cards, 10 Rare cards
The battle-ready Rogue deck is a modern take on Secret Rogue: it can generate tons of value with Shadowstep and Tenwu of the Red Smoke multiplying the value of Kazakus, Golem Shaper, Jandice Barov, and Alexstrasza the Life-Binder. Get a discount on Alex or Tenwu with Efficient Octo-bot and you can combine them for a whopping 16 damage burst.
The deck is two cards away from a top meta list: cut the two copies of Field Contact and replace them with Bamboozle, and you have an up-to-date meta deck. I am curious about this design choice: obviously, the deck is at the higher end of the dust budget for these decks, but running with only four Secrets when you need them for multiple synergies seems a little risky. The meta lists include at least five Secrets, in many cases six. Even adding a single copy of Bamboozle should improve the consistency of the deck a fair bit.
The deck is competitive, even more so if you can add another Secret, and you can play it all the way to Legend.
Shaman Battle-Ready Deck
Dust cost: 7540 – 4 Legendary cards, 7 Rare cards
The battle-ready Shaman deck is an Aggro Shaman. Sadly, there are not a lot of good options for a deck if you want to play Shaman, and while this deck is one of the better Shaman decks, it is deeply flawed. With abysmal matchups against Hunter, Paladin, and Warrior, this deck cannot climb the ladder.
The dust value of the deck is also on the lower end, so there is not much to see here.
Warlock Battle-Ready Deck
Dust cost: 8280 – 4 Legendary cards, 2 Epic cards, 8 Rare cards
Oh boy. The battle-ready Warlock deck is a Tickatus Warlock. If you enjoy getting your deck burned by Tickatus, you may get to experience that a lot more often in the near future with easy access to a fully ladder-ready list.
The deck includes Tickatus, Y'Shaarj, The Defiler, Soulciologist Malicia, and Tamsin Roame. All the Legendary cards you want for the archetype are right there. The only expensive card that is missing is Void Drinker, which I would consider an important anti-aggro piece in the current meta. Perhaps Blizzard left a small opening for aggro decks intentionally?
Warlock is slightly below tier one right now, so while a couple of battle-ready decks are better than this, it is still a Legend-capable deck.
Warrior Battle-Ready Deck
Dust cost: 8140 – 3 Legendary cards, 5 Epic cards, 9 Rare cards
The battle-ready Warrior deck is, unsurprisingly, a Rush Warrior. It is a close approximation of NoHandsGamer’s list, with Venomous Scorpid and Outrider's Axe replacing the two copies of Shield of Honor. Perhaps surprisingly, Playmaker has made the cut into this list, even though it and Shield of Honor are the weakest cards in the original deck.
Rush Warrior is a tried and true concept. Weak against Priest and Warlock, but strong against almost everything else, this is a solid choice for climbing the ladder and competes with Paladin for the #1 spot among all the battle-ready decks.
There are some extremely good decks up for grabs in the form of battle-ready decks, but they are not all equal. Dust-wise, the decks cost between 7480 and 8600 dust to craft, but there are major performance differences, as some of the decks can hardly reach Platinum whereas others are capable of breezing into Legend.
- Rogue: 8600 (2050 dust when fully disenchanted)
- Warlock: 8280 (1995 dust when fully disenchanted)
- Mage: 8220 (1965 dust when fully disenchanted)
- Hunter: 8200 (1970 dust when fully disenchanted)
- Paladin: 8160 (1965 dust when fully disenchanted)
- Warrior: 8140 (1935 dust when fully disenchanted)
- Druid: 7840 (1895 dust when fully disenchanted)
- Demon Hunter: 7600 (1810 dust when fully disenchanted)
- Shaman: 7540 (1795 dust when fully disenchanted)
- Priest: 7480 (1780 dust when fully disenchanted)
- 1st: Paladin
- 2nd: Warrior
- 3rd: Hunter
- 4th: Rogue
- 5th: Warlock
- 6th: Priest
- 7th: Druid
- 8th: Mage
- 9th: Demon Hunter
- 10th: Shaman
Comparing the performance of the decks, Paladin and Warrior are the clear top duo, and both of them are easily capable of reaching Legend. Hunter and Rogue form the next evenly-matched pair: they have some more weaknesses, but both should still comfortably climb the ladder. Warlock and Priest are more meta-dependent: Priest preys on aggro decks, and Warlock preys on Priest and other decks that prey on aggro decks. In the right meta, both can shine, but they can also meet unwinnable opponents if the stars do not align. Druid might be able to climb, but it is even weaker to bad matchups and more of a coin toss, really. Mage, Demon Hunter, and Shaman cannot be recommended at this time based on their performance.
Should you buy a battle-ready deck or should you buy packs? In almost all cases, a good battle-ready deck is worth far more than $20 worth of packs, even if they are part of a bundle. The only situation where a battle-ready deck is not worth it is if you already have the key cards and would simply dust them as duplicates. Other than that, as long as you know which decks are performing well or have key cards that you are missing, it is hard to go wrong with these.