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HearthstoneAug 15, 2019 11:15 am CT

Four great budget decks scoring wins in Hearthstone’s Saviors of Uldum expansion

ESL Legendary Series

Hearthstone’s Saviors of Uldum expansion has spawned a bunch of new and exciting decks. They’re a blast to pay, but they’re also expensive with many new Legendary and Epic cards that you probably don’t have yet. For players with a smaller collection, this can be frustrating time, especially if your free Quest card was one of the less powerful ones (looking at you Unseal the Vault). Not everyone can afford a $50+ preorder, but it sometimes feels like every opponent you encounter has every single new card.

Luckily, Saviors also created or enhanced decks with a decidedly more wallet-friendly cards. These four decks should all be buildable even if you’re free-to-play, and they’re all performing well on the ladder.

So let’s get started deck-building!

Zoo Warlock

Deck cost: 3440 dust

Win rate: 50%

The original zoo deck, Zoo Warlock saw some play in Rise of Shadows using Lackeys and Magic Carpet, but the Saviors version is doing far better. It’s been clocking at over a 50% win rate all week, going as high as an unbelievable 62% at one point. As expected, EVIL Recruiter made an excellent addition to this deck and Serpent Egg gives another good target for your EVIL Genius.

It follows the basic zoo strategy of flooding the board the minions, then buffing them. It runs buff cards like Abusive Sergeant and Dire Wolf Alpha, but the big finisher is Grim Rally. Lackeys give the deck a needed power boost.

If you have to craft every card, deck only costs 3440 dust. Diseased Vulture, a new card in Saviors, is the lone Epic card in this deck. It’s a token generator with a good stat line. There’s also one Legendary card: The Soularium. It’s a powerful card draw engine, but I’m not sure it’s strong enough to craft just to finish this deck. I’d suggest throwing in another draw card like Gnomish Inventor if you’re skipping Soularium. If, after a few games, you find you enjoy playing this style, then go ahead and craft The Soularium.

Murloc Shaman

Deck cost: 2950 dust

Win rate: 59%

Mmrrggll! This is another aggressive, zoo-style deck and it’s currently posting a ridiculous 59% win rate. Like any good zoo deck, the plan is to go wide and put many minions on the board — if you can overwhelm your opponent with early pressure, you’ll kill them by turn five or six.

If your board gets wiped, just fill it up again with more Murlocs. Buffs come from your Grimscale Oracle, Murloc Warleader and Coldlight Seer. Soul of the Murloc and Murmy provide some stickiness. The deck runs Fishflinger and Underbelly Angler for resource generation and Tastyfin is your only card draw. Toxfin provides single target removal, and if you need a board clear (or an OTK) you can also play Bloodlust and burst them down.

The deck costs 2950 dust. It runs two epic cards: Murloc Warleader and Nightmare Amalgam. Neither card is from Saviors, so there’s a chance you already have them. As part of the Classic set, Warleader is a safe craft that will fit in any Murloc deck, but both are good cards. If you don’t have the Amalgam, any other Murloc can work in its place.

Token Druid

Deck cost: 1720 dust (not including SN1P-SN4P)

Win rate: 48%

Token Druid isn’t a new deck per se. It saw play throughout the Rise of Shadows expansion, but Saviors of Uldum added BEEES!!!, Desert Hare, Garden Gnome, and Anubisath Defender, the lone Epic card in the deck. Garden Gnome and Anubisath Defender synergize off The Forest’s Aid (the only spell costing more than 5 mana in the deck).

Token Druid is another zoo style deck, but instead of Murlocs or Lackeys, it builds a board with loads of token generators. If your opponent clears your board, you load it up again. Once you have enough minions on board, Savage Roar wins the game. The deck only runs two buff cards (Blessing of the Ancients and Power of the Wild), concentrating on constantly generating more minions rather than building big minions. Soul of the Forest is a good defense against a Brawl, though later in the game Warpath and new cards like Earthquake can cause problems with their quick board clears.

I do question the inclusion of Swipe in the list, and you can take it or leave it. While it can help against other zoo decks, it’s a defensive card in a more aggressive deck. If I’m playing a Token Druid and they spend four mana on Swipe, I’m feeling good about the way the game is going.

The deck has a cost of 3320 dust but that number is inflated by SN1P-SN4P which was a freebie Legendary. The true cost of the deck is 1720 making it the cheapest deck on this list by a wide margin. As of this writing, it’s posting a 48% win rate on HSReplay after being over 50% most of the week. You’ll see these daily fluctuations in the meta.

Secret Mage

Deck cost: 3720 dust

Win rate: 50%

Secret Mage is the lone deck on this list which avoids the zoo-style flood strategy. It still runs minions and likes to have the board, but it’s built on disrupting your opponent’s plays with Secrets and pumping damage into their face. Secretkeeper and Sunreaver Spy get buffed while Flame Ward and Arcane Flakmage keep your opponent’s board cleared. Fireball, Lifedrinker, and the new Cloud Prince account for a minimum of 30 potential face damage, all of which ignore those pesky taunts. One of the nuances with this deck is choosing the best secrets to play and playing them in the correct order if you’re casting multiple secrets in one turn.

Secret Mage is a shade over 50% win rate after being up and down most of the week. The deck cost 3720 dust, making it the most expensive deck featured here. It runs no Legendary cards, but does have three Epic cards: Masked Contender and Splitting Image from Rastakhan’s Rumble, and Arcane Keysmith from The Witchwood. If you’re missing all three, I’d prioritize one Splitting Image, then one Arcane Keysmith. Throw in a Spellbender (if you have it) or Mirror Entity, and Ethereal Arcanist to fill out the deck while you try it. If you find you like the style, you can craft the other missing cards.

No deck will win every game

Just like the MMOs with which we’re all familiar, the more time you put into Hearthstone, the more deck-building options you’ll have. But as these decks show, you can win even with a budget deck. Sure, you’ll hit those matches where your opponent has a golden everything and multiple Legendary minions, but these fast, aggressive decks can run over those decks with great opening draws.

Hearthstone is designed to give you about 50% win rate when everything is balanced, and overpowered decks are usually reigned in with nerfs. Playing these budget decks should help you rack up some wins, complete quests, and generate some gold for card packs or the upcoming single player adventure.

These are our favorite low-cost decks at the moment, but you may have your own favorites. Which budget decks have you had success with?

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