30 Decks to Try Out on Day 1 of Ashes of Outland

A curated list of 30 decks to try out on day 1 of Ashes of Outland.

After completing the comprehensive Ashes of Outland preview article, we’re back at theory-crafting! We encourage you to read the card preview as it can explain many of our decisions regarding deck building.

Important Message About The Data Reaper: Please Don’t Skip This!

Due to the revamped Ranked Mode, our data collection has been brought to a halt. Track-o-bot is an abandoned program that’s unlikely to be a viable method for collection anymore. Hearthstone Deck Tracker’s new ranked mode patch broke the plug-in we’ve used to collect data from you. We are currently working to release a new plug-in, and it should be ready to download within a few days.

We need our loyal data contributors (thank you for all you’ve done so far) to re-download the new plug-in as soon as it’s ready. We need our massive audience that has not contributed data before, to join and contribute their data if they play Hearthstone on the PC. Recovery of our data collection and our data contributors is essential. Otherwise, we will not be able to produce Data Reaper Reports anymore. This is the current reality. No date is currently set for the first Data Reaper Report of Ashes of Outland, and only you can change this. Check on the website in the coming days for updates on the plug-in and help us keep this project going. 

UPDATE: We’ve now released a new plugin, compatible with the revamped ranked mode, just in time for the launch of Ashes of Outland. We ask you to help us quickly recover and re-establish our database. Anyone who plays Hearthstone on the PC can use Hearthstone Deck Tracker and install the DataReaper plugin.

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Remember that while we have extensively worked to produce the featured decks, they are still untested, and nothing can replace the post-launch refinement that is backed up by real-time game experience and data. No, not even those early access streams can solve the meta!

If you have a limited collection, we highly recommend that you do not make big crafting investments on any theory-crafted deck. Wait at least a few days to see what strategies end up being strong and fun before making a significant commitment.

Now, you are prepared.

Outcast Demon Hunter

We believe this build typifies the approach that’s most likely to be successful in Demon Hunter, which resembles some of the Rogue decks from the past and present. Maintain early game board control through efficient removal, set-up a mid-game swing and finish off the opponent with burst damage.

Twin Slice will be your all-star performer in the early game, due to its interaction with your hero power, cheap weapons and Blade Dance. The mid-game set up involves Imprisoned Antaen, followed up by a Priestess of Fury resulting in 16 missiles hitting your opponents and their boards on turn 7. If the opponent is left standing after this assault, Metamorphosis and Kayn Sunfury are there to finish things off.

An important feature in this deck is its relative cheap cost, which helps you utilize outcast cards optimally and reload through Skull of Gul’dan. Altruis is another game changer in the deck since he can enable a devastating swing turn through smart manipulations of your hand.

Big Demon Hunter

This deck takes a page out of Warlock’s book and utilizes a heavy hitting legion of demons to lay the smackdown on your opponents. Raging Felscreamer and Fel Summoner are key cards to enable the summoning of demons for significant discounts, before they can be reliably dealt with. Wrathspike Brute and Hulking Overfiend offer strong psuedo-AOE abilities. Imprisoned Antaen, Priestess of Fury and Pit Commander are the primary threats and sources of damage. Kayn and Maiev allow them to hit face if they’re blocked by a taunt to finish an opponent off.

This build is a lot more expensive and heavier, so outcast cards are omitted as they are not expected to perform well when your hand is difficult to maneuver.  However, the build carries a similar early game removal kit that is purposed to help you stabilize until you can begin to exercise your game plan.

Kael’Thas Demon Hunter

Demon Hunter’s incredible arsenal of card draw has inspired us to take the class into the combo approach, with a unique finisher that’s fueled by Illidan’s former ally, Kael’thas.

The game plan, once again, begins with maintaining early board control through our efficient removal. However, instead of a mid-game set up, we look to aggressively cycle our deck in order to collect the combo pieces required to finish off an opponent through one or two turns.

The basic combo is playing Kael’thas, two cheap spells and Inner Demon. This can be done twice in one turn in order to deal between 16 to 22 damage depending on how many Twin Slices we’ve cast and whether we have a weapon equipped. Metamorphosis offers more damage to finish opponents off, but mana discounts through Skull of Gul’dan can help us increase the amount of damage we can do on a single turn.

Consume Magic and Mana Burn have excellent synergy with the deck: Consume Magic can help us cycle, enable Kael’thas and help us bypass a taunt. Mana Burn is both a Kael’thas enabler and a stalling tool.

But this isn’t all. Provided we steer Zephrys in the right direction (usually involves leaving up 5 mana after playing him), he will give us a Doomhammer. With Doomhammer equipped, our full Inner Demon combo can now deal a ridiculous amount of damage (around 40 usually). With Consume Magic, Kayn Sunfury and Maiev available, taunts are unlikely to save the opponent.

Data Reaper Report - Druid

Overgrowth Embiggen Druid

We think Overgrowth is the best card in Druid’s set, and the most likely to make an immediate impact. Embiggen Druid is a deck that’s thirsty for mana and wins more often when it has plenty of it. Breath of Dream is currently the most important card in the deck, and it’s reasonable to assume that Overgrowth will also be a strong performer for the archetype.

Embiggen Druid has a few adjustments to make after rotation as a result of the loss of Leeroy Jenkins, Zilliax and SN1P-SN4P. Msshi’fn should be a serviceable card in the deck, while Siamat is now an intriguing option since he offers a strong follow up to Overgrowth. Maiev should also become important to Druid, since the class lacks hard removal options. This list looks clean and ready to go.

Malygos Quest Druid

Quest Druid has two major worries entering Ashes of Outland. The first is the loss of Floop, which not only is an excellent all-around card in the deck but an important enabler for the Ysera attrition-focused win condition. The second is the loss of Loti, which provided Druid with excellent hard removal while also enhancing its AOE prowess.

Neither card can be easily replaced, which puts Quest Druid in a tough predicament. We think Maiev will provide some compensation for the loss of Loti, but the absence of Floop means that Quest Druid will have to fine tune its win condition.

The most obvious answer is Malygos, enabled by discounts offered by Imprisoned Satyrs and Germination. With just one discount, Malygos can deal over 20 damage with two Moonfires and either Swipe or Germination. With a double discount reducing Malygos to 0 mana, we can deal 30+.

We keep Ysera in the deck, since she can often pressure opponents’ life totals to put them within reach of a more easily executed combo (or help us win without any combo at all). This makes our Satyrs a little more flexible too. Germination can be used to copy a big dragon spawned by a portal from Ysera in order to stabilize our defense against decks that look to pressure us.

Spell Token Druid

The most interesting theme that Druid was given in this expansion was the prospect of a spell-centric Druid deck built around Fungal Fortunes and Glowfly Swarm. We’ve seen some players suggest a Token Druid deck that resembles the one in Descent of Dragons, plus Swarm to offer another Savage Roar threat.

In this build, we’re taking things up a notch and turning Spell Token Druid into a combo deck. Instead of playing an aggressive Token Druid that develops the board early, we’re looking to ramp up into our big swing turns. Our goal against aggressive decks is to either reach 5 mana and overwhelm them with Glowfly Swarm or reach 7 mana and stabilize with Overflow. Our goal against slower decks is to hit 7 mana, assemble resources with Overflow and set up Forest’s Aid on 8 and/or a Glowfly Swarm/Soul of the Forest combo on turn 9. That forces the familiar question from past Druid decks of “Can you clear two waves of minions in one turn or are you just dead to Savage Roar?”.

Of course, we can afford to sprinkle some Treant synergy in order to increase our drawing power even further through Aeroponics and add a couple more proactive plays with Garden Gnome and Force of Nature.

Data Reaper Report - Hunter

Outland Highlander Hunter

Dragon Hunter players don’t need to concern themselves with the new expansion. Go to the last Data Reaper, copy the code of Dragon Hunter, swap Leeroy for Maiev and you’re good to go.

Highlander Hunter has a bit more to do since it played quite a few cards that are rotating and there are quite a few new additions that we particularly like. Overconfident Orc is a solid defensive 3-drop. Guardian Augmerchant should be strong in this deck because it has a lot of mid-sized minions that can help you swing the board with a trade. It can also give you a 1 damage ping which Hunter normally lacks.

Zixor is fantastic alongside Diving Gryphon and Scavenger’s Ingenuity in a Highlander build. You simply run Zixor and Gryphon as your only rush minions, as well as your only beast minions. Gryphon will either tutor your Zixor or Zixor prime if it was already shuffled in, while Ingenuity draws all these valuable rush minions while buffing them (nuts with Zixor Prime in particular). Nagrand Slam is a strong finisher alongside Dragonqueen Alexstrasza and Dinotamer Brann. Maiev is Maiev. Highlander Hunter’s prospects are still looking very good in Ashes of Outland.

Handbuff Beast Hunter

This is the Hunter archetype that has received the largest share of support in this expansion. The build looks to be as aggressive as possible and maximizes consistency through turn 2 to turn 4. The primary game plan of this deck is to play a Deathrattle Beast on turn 3 and connect with either a Houndmaster/Fresh Scent buff or Mok’Nathal Lion on turn 4. Therefore, we like Bad Luck Albatross alongside Porcupine and Zixor for added redundancy. The build also avoids running beasts that are too expensive. This is done so that a turn 2 Scavenger’s Ingenuity will likely have a strong turn 3 follow up (rather than leave you stuck with a big and slow Highmane, for example).

We add a secret package with Pack Tactics, which works very well with many of our target minions. Dragonbane is there simply because it’s too strong a finisher not to include, while Tracking can help you fish for Zixor Prime in case we reach the late game. Needless to say, Diving Gryphon is going to be a hell of card in this expansion.

Leoroxx Quest Hunter

After searching for cool ways to utilize the potential of Beastmaster Leoroxx as a burst combo centerpiece, we found a promising home in Quest Hunter. A build that is lean on beasts and rush minions can help increase the consistency in drawing and executing the big power plays that this deck is built around.

This deck is a tutor dream. Scavenger’s Ingenuity targets Diving Gryphon, Zixor, and King Krush. Diving Gryphon targets Zixor and Faceless Corruptors. Tracking fishes for any missing piece you might urgently need. This build transforms Quest Hunter into a deck that can win in multiple ways.

It can win the old-fashioned way through flooding the board and utilizing its quest reward hero power in a Savage Roar-like fashion. It can draw and duplicate Zixor Prime with Ramkahen Wildtamer in order to repeatedly wear down the opponent. It can draw and duplicate King Krush with Ramkahen Wiltamer in order to burst down the opponent with Beastmaster Leoroxx cheating out the Krush copies. Ah… such glorious ways to win Hearthstone games.

Outland Highlander Mage

We think Mage could experience a little bit of trouble. Its Ashes of Outland set hasn’t been incredible, and speculated archetypes aren’t giving us a reason to be confident in their ability to compete. Highlander Mage is the strongest one on paper, but we can’t forget that it is losing Luna’s Pocket Galaxy, one of its most ‘unfair’ cards and highly responsible for Mage’s late game prowess.

Building the new Highlander Mage opens some new possibilities. We like the defensive utility of Overconfident Orc and Frozen Shadoweaver, filling up the 3-mana slot after the loss of Stargazer Luna and SN1P-SN4P. Maiev Shadowsong provides us with further stalling, while Deep Freeze is a major addition for Dragoncaster.

Most importantly, we’ve got Evocation and Astromancer Solarian. These two cards can change Highlander Mage’s entire landscape. Solarian is a potentially incredible comeback tool as well as a devastating finisher. In the late game, Evocation might give you the outs necessary for survival, or victory.

Outland Secret Mage

One of the directly supported archetypes in this set is Secret Mage. While it is a powerhouse in Wild thanks to Aluneth and its long-rotated synergies, the standard counterpart is nowhere near being competitive. We’re not sure whether Netherworld Portal, Starscryer and Apexis Smuggler are the cards that put it over the top. Netherworld Portal is a nice secret that helps us develop the board while the opponent responds to it. Starscryer is a more aggressive Loot Hoarder, while Apexis Smuggler is a River Crocolisk that our opponent would prefer not to ignore.

However, Evocation and Astromancer Solarian have a say on this matter too. Solarian is a perfect fit for an aggressive deck as much as he is a perfect fit for a defensive deck. Evocation should work even better in a faster deck that has less cards in hand.

Quest Spell Mage

This is the story of an underdog that has been completely written off by basically everyone. Could Spell Mage be a real thing? Could a Mage deck with no minions be successful just from the payoffs of Apexis Blast and Font of Power? We’re as skeptical as everyone and believe that Spell Mage probably needs another strong set to see competitive play.

But we still tried to get this archetype ready for Ashes of Outland. The main issue for Spell Mage is its value density. Since it cannot generate a lot of minions, opponents can deplete it from its resources and threats a little too easily.

Therefore, we’ve come up with a solution: Raid the Sky Temple! The quest that requires you to play spells is a perfect fit for the archetype that only plays spells. Perhaps two underdogs can join hands and climb to the top of the meta together? Perhaps not, but the quest reward provides Mage with a consistent stream of value that may help deal with its biggest underlying issue. As for the rest of the build, we’ve focused on the ability to generate as many minions as possible while also keeping in mind the importance of spells that generate other spells in order to accelerate quest completions.

Data Reaper Report - Paladin

Pure Libram Paladin

We think Paladin received the strongest set in Ashes of Outland, and the class has gone from being completely directionless, to one with a concrete game plan thanks to the Libram package. Pure Paladin, a previous utter joke, looks quite nice on paper now.

Pure Paladin lends itself to be a little more aggressive since Lightforged Zealot is a strong tempo play while Lightforged Crusader allows you to reload and sustain pressure. We like the Salhet’s Pride package in the deck for a couple of reasons. Brazen Zealot is a scaling 1-drop that offers a strong target for Hand of A’dar and Libram of Wisdom throughout the game. Murgur can be drawn by Pride, and Pride thins our deck so that we have an increased chance of drawing Murgur Prime and other key cards. This package provides Pure Paladin with both early proactivity and late game consistency.

If Pure Paladin becomes a competitive meta deck, it will be a classic two-way deck: one that can get in your face and pressure, but also exhibit significant sustainability and longevity.

Control Libram Paladin

The Libram package offers value, healing and removal, so it’s also a natural fit for a more classic control deck. Control Paladin can take advantage of a few neutral cards that complement its game plan perfectly. Wild Pyromancer is back again and it’s stronger than ever, boasting excellent synergy with Libram of Justice, Libram of Wisdom and Desperate Measures. Kael’thas Sunstrider is the centerpiece of our late game draw engine by giving us free Lay on Hands through our cheap spells. He can also help us tempo out a Libram of Hope. Finally, we have Elysiana, the ultimate fatigue card.

There are other options Control Paladin could choose from, which are meta dependent, such as Subdue and Equality to offer us more removal or Dragonqueen Alexstrasza and Tirion Fordring to offer us late game threats. As with all reactive decks, the meta needs to pose its questions before they can fully optimize their answers.

Outland Murloc Paladin

There’s promise beyond the Libram package too, with Murloc Paladin receiving some important cards that could lead to its revival. Imprisoned Sungill is highly criticized, but we think it’s a strong fit for the various mid-game buffs available to the deck. Angling Rod is the perfect weapon for Murloc Paladin and Felfin Navigator could have Gentle Megasaur-esque impact. Murgur is, of course, an incredible game ending threat.

We believe that Tip the Scales will be too slow of a card without Prismatic Lens, so we offer other methods of deck-thinning and draws. Hand of A’dar is going to be monumental for Murloc Tidecaller and Murmy on turn 2. Salhet’s Pride makes another appearance to increase Murgur’s consistency, while Skydiving Instructor is a pretty strong turn 3 play in this deck. Even if he pulls Imprisoned Sungill, the dormant 1-drop will be ready to receive divine shields from a Scalelord on turn 5.

Data Reaper Report - Priest

Reliquary Quesurrect Priest

Priest is in very bad shape. It has no card draw and no concrete pathways to victory other than trying to survive and “hoping for the best”. Its only fleshed out archetype is Resurrect Priest, and the deck loses Zilliax, Cloning Gallery and Mass Hysteria, which are three of the deck’s top five cards.

In this build, we’re trying to add more inevitability to the deck’s game plan. Cloning Gallery was often the “game over” card that helped the deck close out opponents, but in its absence, we feel that Resurrect Priest may have to rely on Activate the Obelisk once again. Together with Grave Rune and Reliquary of Souls, Resurrect Priest can set up some sort of game-ending play.

Holy Nova has been performing well for Resurrect Priest since it was buffed, and works well with the quest, though it could be swapped for other removal if necessary (such as Shadow Word: Ruin). A card we’ve settled on is Skeletal Dragon, which admittedly kind of sucks but is another way the deck can snowball.

Galakrond Dragon Priest

Galakrond Priest’s main issue is its ability to close games. Galakrond the Unspeakable is a removal card rather than a proactive play, while the random value generated by the hero power is not guaranteed to do anything worthwhile. This means that for Galakrond Priest to be competitive, it must be proactive rather than wait out for the late game so that it can get outclassed by decks with concrete, streamlined game plans.

Priest did receive some solid early game cards, so we’ve built a list that looks to get ahead on the board and pressure. The key is finding a minion to stick so that we can hit our buffs on turns 3/4 and start snowballing. We’ve narrowed down spells in this deck so that Cleric of Scales always has the option of either Apotheosis (Life gain), Power Infusion (pressure) or Breath of the Infinite (AOE). Time Rip is too slow and reactive, and we prefer to have our removal tied into our minions in a proactive fashion (such as Aeon Reaver and Chronobreaker). Invokes are mostly important for Fate Weaver rather than fully upgrading Galakrond.

Our curve is topped off by Murozond the Infinite. If Priest doesn’t have late game power plays, it will have to copy the opponent’s! Murozond is strong against Wonderous Wand and other unfair nonsense that Priest has little hope of doing by itself.

Outland Highlander Priest

Highlander Priest popped up in the last couple of weeks with some hype behind it. Let’s be clear: Highlander Priest is currently a Tier 4 deck on a good day. This bundle of garbage looks nowhere near competitively viable. It’s built as a control deck with reactive spells and value cards like Shadow Madness and Thoughtsteal but has no real concrete plan to speak of. Ashes of Outland should not change that.

Much like in the case of Galakrond, Priest players need to realize that the class’ reactive late game strategy sucks. If Priest is to run Zephrys and Alexstrasza, they need to be used in the way that Hunter currently uses them.  Zephrys gives you the finishing cards Priest does not possess, while Dragonqueen Alexstrasza is the final backbreaker after you’ve spent the game pressuring your opponent.

This leads us to our featured build. Proactive minions backed up by only the strongest spells (and not garbage like Thoughtsteal and Seance). The dragon package is a natural fit for any Priest deck that looks to fight for the initiative. Once again, Murozond is your greatest equalizer.

Data Reaper Report - Rogue

Stealth Galakrond Rogue

Rogue is in a strong spot mostly because it doesn’t need to do much to become a very successful class in Ashes of Outland. Galakrond Rogue is nearly untouched by rotation and can easily replace the rotating cards without drastically changing the deck.

However, Galakrond Rogue does have an option to incorporate one of the packages that the class received in this set. In this build, we add the stealth package to Galakrond Rogue as it seems to be a more natural fit for the archetype. Spymistress is a card you’d play in the deck regardless of synergy, while Skyvateer and Escaped Manasaber were not far away from being good enough already. Skyvateer now enables an on-curve Greyheart Sage, while Manasaber works extremely well with a turn 5 Lackey+Faceless Corruptor (or Shield).

Greyheart Sage provides immense card draw to an archetype that currently lacks it, while Akama provides inevitability in the absence of Leeroy Jenkins. The increased card draw may end up lessening the need for a full invoke package, so we’ve replaced one Devoted Maniac (a weak card in the deck that is currently a ‘necessary evil’) for the supreme Maiev Shadowsong.

Stealth Aggro Rogue

The Stealth package is a great fit for an aggressive Rogue deck, and the featured build utilizes the Aggro Rogue template from Saviors of Uldum that also popped up recently during the brief re-appearance of Raiding Party, with Hooked Scimitar and Waggle Pick enabling free Dread Corsairs and Frenzied Felwings.

Greyheart Sage and Skyvateer replace the card draw that is lost from Raiding Party and Myra’s Unstable Element. We run both Spymistress and Worgen Infiltrator in order to increase the consistency of a turn 2 Ashtongue Slayer. Hench-Clan Sneak provides us with a solid non-combo turn 3 play that helps us when we don’t have the coin,  and does not clash with our stacked turn 4. Maiev offers us a more proactive way to get past a taunt compared to Sap.

Hybrid Ninja Rogue

The secret package has not gone unnoticed from our experimentation, even though there is certainly some doubt regarding its viability. With no secret tutor and no way to cheat them out, a Secret Rogue would have to overcome the obstacles that no other secret deck has overcome before.

We’re particularly curious about a Stealth/Secret Hybrid, a sneaky Ninja deck. The two packages have potential to work well together. Bamboozle synergizes with stealth minions, while Blackjack Stunner is an amazing tempo card for an aggressive deck.

Can’t cheat out secrets for free? Did we forget about Preparation? Preparation works great with our abundance of card draw, Shadowjeweler Hanar, Edwin Vancleef and Cold Blood. Cold Blood is a card that’s very tempting to include in a Stealth deck, and we think the addition of Preparation makes it much more likely to occur. We top the curve with Burrowing Scorpid, which is a far more aggressive SI:7 Agent type of card.

Yes, this deck does not run Backstab as Shadowstep will likely be more valuable thanks to Stunner, Slayer and Sage. There were Aggro Rogues back in Classic Hearthstone that didn’t run Backstab because it doesn’t go face!

Data Reaper Report - Shaman

Knuckles Quest Shaman

The loss of Shudderwock might be the biggest blow to Shaman in the Year of the Phoenix and will require Shaman to make significant adjustments to its mindset. Quest Shaman will suffer an obvious blow to its late game, but Boggspine Knuckles could keep it afloat alongside Desert Hare.

The goal of this build, which excludes the Galakrond package, is to continuously evolve your board until your opponent crumbles. The strongest play with Boggspine Knuckles comes after quest completion, with 5 Desert Hares evolved on the same turn, much like during the Doom in the Tomb event. Hoard Pillager ensures a very high uptime of Knuckles so that Quest Shaman can keep evolving and snowballing a board lead. Even a board of harmless lackeys can eventually become a game ending push if they’re not dealt with. The nerfed Mogu Fleshshaper is included because the average 10-drop is very powerful, so the card is an extremely good evolve target.

Kael’Thas Control Shaman

Will Control Shaman ever be a thing? We’re not too optimistic about it, but this build is an attempt to fully optimize its possible win conditions and showcases the new cards it has received. We’re running an unmatched plethora of AOE and single target removal, putting us in a strong position against board-centric decks. With Elysiana, our ultimate win condition is to deplete opponents of resources and fatigue them, but we have a couple of ways to close out games earlier.

The Fist of Ra-den turns these reactive spells into value, while Phaoris offers us the late-game bomb that’s missing after the departure of Shudderwock. Kael’thas can help us scam out an Eye of the Storm with either two uses of Witch’s Brew or the help of Lady Vashj.

Big Fist Shaman

This Big Shaman deck doesn’t carry the late-game longevity of Control Shaman but looks to blow out games early through either Muckmorpher or a turn 6-7 Kael’thas/Eye of the Storm. While the deck will rue the untimely loss of Eureka, Scrapyard Colossus is an incredible Muckmorpher target alongside Walking Fountain.

The Fist of Ra-den serves a slightly different purpose in this deck. Since Reliquary of Souls will be the only 1-mana legendary in the format, casting a 1-mana spell will always result in its summoning. This means we can shuffle in multiple Reliquaries into our deck to abuse with Muckmorpher and Ancestral Spirit.

Data Reaper Report - Warlock

Hand Lackey Zoo Warlock

There are different ways to build Zoo in Ashes of Outland, and it’s hard to say which one will turn out to be the best (and whether Zoo will even be a competitive deck!), so we will describe the thought process that led us to the featured build.

What’s certain is that Kanrethad Ebonlocke looks nuts. This greatly encourages us to run the discard package with Hand of Gul’dan so that we can find our Kanrethad Prime more often. Kanrethad also encourages us to run a strong package of demons to get the most out of his Prime, and one of them is Darkglare. Darkglare pushes self-damage mechanics, so it works well with the Neferset Thrasher/Diseased Vulture curve.

To finalize the deck, we add the lackey package with Dark Pharaoh Tekahn and Grand Lackey Erkh. With the deck’s new drawing power, we really wanted to add a stronger late game for Zoo since it’s much more likely to draw a specific win condition. Chef Nomi and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza are too expensive and clash with Hand of Gul’dan, but Tekhan/Erkh work within the discard limitation and offer a sweet late game combo.

Portal Quest Warlock

The Dark Portal might be the most intriguing build-around card in Warlock, and one that is likely to be abused at some point in its standard life. A sensible idea is to run the card in a “Big” version of Quest Warlock, cutting the early game minions (except Kanrethad) for the potential to blow out an opponent in the mid-game with a big threat. Quest Warlock is already incentivized to run big minions because of its quest reward, so there’s good synergy here.

The archetype is also receiving new and potentially exciting big minions. Enhanced Dreadlord was basically made for Kanrethad Prime to resurrect, and Scrapyard Colossus is an immense Dark Portal target. Warlock is also one of two classes that we believe are best equipped to utilize Magtheridon. We’re aware he does not work well with Kanrethad Prime, but Mag’s value in faster matchups cannot be underestimated. His combo with either Hellfire or Crazed Netherwing can win games on the spot, and in slower grindy matchups, we can just save Mag for after Kanrethad Prime was played.

Finally, Plot Twist is the perfect enabler for Keli’dan the Breaker, giving us the second Twisting Nether effect built into a cheaper minion, lessening the need to run the clunky spell.

Phaoris Portal Warlock

This is the more extreme example of Dark Portal abuse: a deck that contains 29 spells and King Phaoris, resembling the meme King Phaoris deck we saw occasionally pop up in Paladin thanks to Prismatic Lens.

The game plan of this deck is simple. Use Life Tap, find The Dark Portal, use it to draw a 5-cost King Phaoris and proceed to win. If King Phaoris was drawn naturally to ruin your plan, Plot Twist him back into your deck and try again. If the opponent managed to deal with your King Phaoris board, tap into a full hand and play Shadow Council to turn your entire hand into threats. Randomly generate Lord Jaraxxus. Proceed to lose to a Sacrificial Pact created by Zephrys.

Data Reaper Report - Warrior

Outland Galakrond Warrior

Warrior is taking a big hit with the loss of some key cards, and while adjustments are possible to flesh out builds, they aren’t easy to swallow. Galakrond Warrior is a good example of a deck that doesn’t lose many cards, but those cards are so important. Town Crier is immensely valuable in every Warrior deck, and the loss in Galakrond Warrior significantly hurts the consistency of its game plan since Town Crier specifically drew either Devoted Maniac or Scion of Ruin. Eternium Rover will also be sorely missed for its premium stats and an ability that helped Warrior dominate aggressive Hunter decks. Finally, the deck lost Acolyte of Pain, which was the stronger card draw engine compared to Battle Rage.

How can the archetype adjust? One card we’ve already seen played in Galakrond Warrior is Ancharrr. While it performs well early, it’s terrible in the late game since it only specifically draws Risky Skipper, and the longer the game goes, the more likely it is that you have already drawn Skippers. However, if we add Sky Raiders to the deck as substitute 1-drops, we increase our pirate package to 4, which would justify the inclusion of Ancharrr.

Another card that’s easy to add is Kargath Bladefist, which is likely going to be played in every Warrior deck for its good initial stats and powerful prime version. Some food for thought in this specific list is whether we run Corsair Cache to draw our weapons, and whether we can fit Bloodboil Brute into the deck.

Taunt Control-Bomb Warrior

While Galakrond Warrior weeps over the loss of its 1-drops, Control Warrior weeps over the loss of its 1-drop AND its cornerstone card in Dr. Boom. Is it even possible to recover from such a blow? Perhaps it is more possible than you think. After all, Control Warrior has plenty of packages to build around and experiment with.

The Armagedillo Taunt package survives rotation and has even received an upgrade with the addition of Scrap Golem. Bladestorm offers a replacement for Warpath, with the two cards slightly differing in their strengths and weaknesses. Corsair Cache is an immense tutor for Control Warrior, an archetype that appreciates Livewire Lance and will also be very interested in Bulwark of Azzinoth. Warmaul Challenger is a pseudo-rush minion that’s strong against early game minions (rule of thumb: 7 stats or less makes for a good trade).

Warrior is also the 2nd class that can utilize Magtheridon well, with Bladestorm and Brawl having good synergy with the card.

In this Control Warrior build, we’ve also highlighted an alternative take in which we add the Blastmaster Boom package over the Elysiana fatigue/value plan. Much like other reactive decks, refining Control Warrior will be a work in progress through the first few days of the expansion.

Cache Pirate Warrior

The third Warrior archetype to discuss is the aggressive Pirate Warrior. This deck has only received one significant upgrade in this expansion, but it is a massive one. Corsair Cache helps us find our Livewire Lance and Ancharrr. Note that currently, these weapons are the very best performers in the deck through the early game, so increasing the likelihood of drawing them (while also buffing them) should be a bigger boost to the deck’s overall performance than you might think. It’s enough of a boost to make us think that Pirate Warrior could make a comeback.

As for the build, we cut Arcanite Reapers to ensure that Corsair Cache will be a strong mulligan target, and we’re running Faceless Corruptors since this deck is going to generate a lot of lackeys. A lot.


There you have it. The largest theory-crafting article yet, with 30 decks we’ve worked hard to refine for you to play a couple of games before you netdeck some streamer because he won three games in a row, in the first hour of the expansion. We hope you have so much fun playing Hearthstone that you’ll never feel like going outside.

Stay healthy,

The Vicious Syndicate Team


  1. So far, the more aggressive version of DH is clearly tier S. I’d be expecting nerfs within a week of release. There’s currently no other classes that it struggles against. I know the data on HSReplay is still fresh but when one class has a deck that is around 69% win rate and deep green across matchup spreads, there’s a clear power gap. My only hope is that it doesn’t earn the same fate as shaman and get nerfed into non-existence.

  2. Thank you team VS! I’ve followed you for years by now, and that have helped me a lot to improve my play style and my understanding of the game. I only regret that you don’t have an iPhone app, because I only play on it.
    And about this exp, your Outcast Demon Hunter will carry me to legend in an awesome winning streak! I’m already 20-1, diamond 4!

  3. I’m confused about the Kael’thas DH deck – why is Zephrys the Great in there? Doesn’t that only work in a highlander deck, which this is not?

  4. Although that would certainly be a great quality of life adjustment, I think it’s a bit of a nitpick considering all the work that went into the creation of the article in the first place. Much Kudos to the VS team for the article and all you do! I have updated my plugin and will continue to help keep Data Reaper alive!

  5. Just tried Quest Spell Mage. The main issue with this deck is not ‘value density’. Main issue is no protection and no healing. Game over by turn 5 against hunter and demon hunter.

  6. If you could work on incorporating visuals of new cards when you hover their name. That would make reading the article much less tedious for me.
    Every sentence i had to click the deck link, find the card you were talking about, and then come back to reading.

  7. Just some thoughts on demon hunter from someone who’s less qualified. I think you’re underestimating Urzul horror, and I don’t know why you didn’t include umberwing in the outcast deck. Also I think highlander demon hunter will be very good, but I get why you didn’t include it as it’s pretty boring I guess.

  8. Hey it looks like a pretty lucid theorycraft. I like it, im a sucker for priest so gonna try it… again. Ur res list looks solid but i feel like an awfull person when i play res priest. Anyway, enjoy they launch every1!

  9. This seems like one of your best theory craft articles yet. Maybe it’s the new expansion, but I love how many and unique the decks are for each class. Super excited for Tuesday. Also, I would 100% utilize a mobile tracker if available. Currently just using arcane tracker on Android. Hope you guys can get a plug-in released and get the data and audience buy in quickly.

  10. I always like to read theorycrafting articles and I must say yours look so much better than others.
    I love the site and even though I rarely play on pc I’ll download the plugin ad soon as it’s available.
    Greetings from Brazil, guys.

  11. If you could work on incorporating visuals of new cards when you hover their name. That would make reading the article much less tedious for me.
    Every sentence i had to click the deck link, find the card you were talking about, and then come back to reading.
    I stopped reading after a few classes, i just looked at the deck archetypes name to get the general idea.
    I thought i would leave my impression though since you guys put a lot of good work into this, i think it’s a waste not to put it in the best light.

  12. Wow, as I’ve gotten to the end I can’t believe that a single person created such an exhaustive list of these variations. Great food for minds of deckbuilders.

  13. Thank you for your investment, can’t wait to try these!

    Greetings from France.

  14. Thanks for the article, like every time.

    Your website has helped me immensely to understand Hearthstone as a whole. I’ll download your new app ASAP.

    The expansion as a whole doesnt look super exciting though.

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