Three beginner and budget deck strategies for getting this month’s free Hearthstone card back
Every month Hearthstone offers a free card back, and to get it you need to win five games in ranked mode. This may seem tough if you’re new to the game — or if you favor a different game mode but still want to use this month’s cool card back while you play.
In this article, we’ll highlight a few decks that can help you accomplish that goal if you don’t know where to start with Constructed Hearthstone, as well as some card replacements for any Legendary cards you might be missing.
So read on to find out how to give yourself a higher chance of winning those games as quickly as possible — even if you don’t have a large card collection.
Frost Death Knight
This is the most budget-friendly deck we have this month, and it’s one that has been working for players for quite some time. Unlike previous versions of Frost DK that we’ve showcased before, your focus is not so much on blasting the opponent with direct damage spells — with the exception of Frostwyrm’s Fury, the cornerstone of this deck and the tool you’ll be using to close most games. That’s not only because of the damage it deals, but also because of the freezing effect, which might prevent your opponent from beating you and buy you just enough time to deal the last bits of damage you need.
Marrow Manipulator is your other big tool to defeat your opponent, though it requires you to play a very board-focused game where your minions win most combats. To that end, tools like Frost Strike and School Teacher are invaluable to control the board and generate more resources for you. Finally, Overseer Frigidara can help you find your powerful spells and help you keep the opponent minions in check at the same time, so use it smartly.
Possible card replacements:
None needed! Both Thassarian and Overseer Frigidara are part of the Core Set of cards that all players have access to simply by leveling up their heroes.
This aggressive deck is all about playing minions that refuse to die, or keep combing back from the grave. You’ll want to use tools like Undying Allies to ensure your Undead minions stick to the board, and cast your Grave Digging when they die to access your deck quickly.
The early game should be yours with cards like Banshee, Foul Egg, and Shadow Ascendant ensuring that your board stays strong for cheap. Use that to deal as much damage to your opponent as possible — don’t concentrate just on only killing their minions, but don’t neglect enemy minions either. Trade smart! And remember that Shadow Word: Undeath is a tremendous tool to help you with that.
Possible card replacements:
- High Cultist Basaleph: there are several replacement possibilities for this one, such as:
- Catrina Muerte for a free Legendary option, since it’s part of the Core Set — and the one that most closely mirrors Basaleph’s role, so it would be my first choice.
- Pozzik, Audio Engineer for another strong Legendary choice that all players have access to, since it’s a free reward on the Festival of Legends rewards track.
- Bone Flinger or Rowdy Fan for a little more early-game aggression, if you want to close games fast.
- Brittleskin Zombie for more Deathrattle goodness that makes your opponent think twice before killing your minions.
Darkbishop Benedictus doesn’t need to be replaced, since it’s part of the Core Set.
While not as budget-friendly as the other two, this deck is doing super well on the ladder at the moment, so it might be your best bet at winning games if you’ve got the cards (or the adequate replacements) for it.
With this deck, you’ll want to rely on your Divine Shields. Not only do they make your minions hard to kill, but they also get their attack buffed by Funkfin, a card that might help you squeeze out a lot of extra damage when played at the right moment. Your Divine Shields can also act as a tool to make you draw more cards through the very strong Jitterbug. And speaking of drawing cards, The Purator should be used as soon as possible, since it’ll definitely let you access a lot of your minions when played.
This deck can win games in many ways. Your strongest cards for tempo are Disco Maul — a very strong way to buff your minions as long as you capitalize on playing them — and Blood Matriarch Liadrin, which can set you up with some great trades and bolster your other Divine Shield effects. As for value, nothing beast The Countess — the invitations let you get extremely powerful minions for a hefty discount, very often turning games in your favor.
Possible card replacements:
- Blood Matriarch Liadrin and Kotori Lightblade: while these cards don’t fit the same role, they’re 2-cost minions that might be replaced by other 2-cost minions that work well with this deck, such as Grimestreet Outfitter and Seafloor Savior.
- The Purator: Order in the Court accomplishes a similar role of allowing you to draw specific cards from your deck — especially helpful if you’re using a deck tracker.
- The Countess: there’s no real replacement for this card, so you should try one of the above options or something like Shimmering Sunfish for a stronger early-to-mid game, or Holy Maki Roll to get some extra healing.
How to pilot those decks?
All of those decks are mostly based around winning the board and sealing the deal before getting to the later stages of the game. There are no combos or gimmicks you need to learn, so simply practice trading valuably by trying to clear as many enemy minions as possible while preserving yours.
But it’s very important to know that sometimes it’s better to directly attack your opponent’s face than to clear everything they have on their board. You need to judge whether what they have on their board is threatening enough that you need to deal with it — the answer will vary depending on which deck they’re playing, and how the game is going. Some key questions you need to ask yourself are:
- Can they kill you soon?
- Can you kill them soon?
- Can they clear your board and leave you in a position you can’t come back from, or are you able to recover if they do?
- Is the opposite true?
The most important thing is to play many games to practice: even if you’re losing, make sure you’re learning! Good luck, and have fun.
Originally posted April 14, 2023. Updated May 18, 2023.
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