Are you still stuck middling around rank 20 in Hearthstone? Chances are you’re just not using a deck that has been optimized well enough to climb the ladder. Fear not, faithful readers, for we have scoured the internet in search of the best legend-capable decks on the internet since the launch of this month’s Journey to Un’Goro expansion. These are the decks that the pro-est of pro Hearthstone players have used the get all the way to that shiny Legend tier.


Quest Rogue

Let’s start with a little gem that everyone in the Hearthstone community loves to hate: Quest Rogue. Pro player Dog managed to pilot this deck to Legend on the very first day of the expansion!

The Deck:

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How to play it:

Quest Rogue revolves around the rogue legendary quest: The Caverns Below. The quest tasks you with playing “four minions with the same name.” You do this by “bouncing” minions back to your hand with cards like shadowstep and Gadgetzan Ferryman. You basically want to pick a low cost minion, like Southsea Deckhand, Novice Engineer or Swashbuckler, and try to play it four times. So, it’s very important that you mulligan for your bounce effects. If you don’t get them in your opening hand, use tools like Eviscerate and Backstab to stall your opponent. If you’ve “committed” to a minion, make sure you can always bounce it back to your hand at the end of your turn.

Once you complete the quest, be sure to use Preparation before casting it. This way, you can often activate the quest on the same turn you get it, transforming your entire board into 5/5s. Once your quest is finished, use cheap charge cards like Patches the Pirate, Stonetusk Boar and Southsea Deckhand to finish off your opponent with 5/5 charges.

How to counter it:

There are two hard counters to Quest Rogue. The first is to disrupt their combo with Dirty Rat. If you can manage to pull a card out of their hand that they have committed to, it is very easy to beat them. The second is to simply kill them quickly. Quest Rogue spends their first four turns setting up the combo, so aggro decks like Pirate Warrior and Zoolock can absolutely destroy them. Try to mulligan for early minions if you know you are playing a Quest Rogue. If you’re playing a quest deck yourself, it may even be worth mulliganing your quest.

Substitutions:

There are quite a few tweaks you can make to this deck. Moroes and Violet Teacher can be replaced by Fire Fly and Igneous Elemental for more consistent activators for the quest. Glacial Shard is also a popular choice, as it can assist in stalling your opponent long enough to complete the quest. Vanish is another decent tech choice, especially as it can help you win mirror matches.

Taunt Warrior

Next up we see Garrosh return to his roots as a control warrior, with another quest deck: Taunt Warrior. Pro player Sjow refined the Taunt Warrior decklist to also bring this deck to rank 1 Legend.

The Deck:

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How to play it:

Taunt Warrior is actually pretty simple. You play the warrior quest, Fire Plume’s Heart, play taunt minions, and eventually get Sulfuras and throw fireballs at your opponent’s face. Use cards like Ravaging Ghoul and Whirlwind in conjunction with Execute and Sleep With the Fishes to establish board control.

Stonehill Defender can be used to smooth out your curve, ensuring you’ll have a minion to drop on turn four, and The Curator can be used to draw Primordial Drake to play on turn eight, alongside one of your beast taunts like Direhorn Hatchling. Dirty Rat can be used to disrupt Quest Rogue and Quest Mage, or simply before using Brawl to pull another minion out of your opponent’s hand.

How to counter it:

Taunt Warrior is a very slow deck, so trying to rush it down is probably your best option. Dirty Rat, despite being a favourite of the deck, is actually also a counter to it, as Fire Plume’s Heart requires the player to play, not summon, seven taunt minions. If this deck is really frustrating you, The Black Knight may be a good tech choice, as well as cheap “poisonous” minions like Stubborn Gastropod to help get through their beefy taunts.

Substitutions:

There is a lot of debate around Direhorn Hatchling and Ornery Direhorn. While Direhorn Hatchling’s deathrattle effect is pretty damn good, it’s also very slow, which makes Ornery Direhorn a lot better versus aggro matchups. Similarly, teching in King Mosh and Tar Lord should help out a little bit with control matchups – especially those pesky Jade Druids.

Midrange Hunter

If the previous decks have been little too expensive for your taste, our next deck. Midrange Hunter may be more your style. The standard list contains no Legendary cards, and it’s a deck that many players have taken to Legend.

The Deck:

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How to play it:

Midrange Hunter has a very aggressive early game. Start with cards like Alley Cat and Kindly Grandmother to establish board control, and follow up with Crackling Razormaw and Houndmaster to keep it.

What to Adapt with Razormaw depends on the minion – it can be used to give a small minion like Kindly Grandmother poisonous to kill a big taunt, protect a high-priority minion like Scavenging Hyena with +health or Taunt, or give a charge minion like Huffer an extra boost of damage with Windfury or +attack.

Use Deadly Shot, Kill Command and Eaglehorn Bow for removal, and when things start to get into the midgame, drop a Savannah Highmane. Kill Command, Tundra Rhino and Unleash the Hounds can be used for burst damage to finish off your opponent.

How to counter it:

Trying to rush a Midrange Hunter to face is usually a folly – they simply have too much removal and too good of an early game. Your best bet is to try and outlast them, as the deck has fairly bad card draw. If you can manage to survive into the late game, with a deck like Exodia Mage or Taunt Warrior, you can finish them off easily. Dirty Rat is again your best friend, as it can pull out key minions like Houndmaster.

Substitutions:

Swamp King Dredd is a great card if you’re finding yourself stalled by late-game decks. It can also counter those pesky Dirty Rats if you happen to get lucky. Bittertide Hyrda is a cheaper alternative that serves a similar purpose.

Jade/Elemental Shaman

Since this is Hearthstone, Shaman is of course going to have a top tier deck. While the loss of Tunnel Trogg and Totem Golem did hurt the class, a Jade/Elemental hybrid deck has arisen from the new Un’Goro cards. Here’s the deck former world champion Firebat recommends.

The Deck:

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How to play it:

Just like Midrange Hunter, Jade/Elemental Shaman basically just plays minions on curve. In fact, the whole elemental package encourages it, and the Jade package gives you some more removal with the likes of Jade Lightning and Jade Claws, and an alternate win condition – building up some jades and then dropping Aya Blackpaw. This version of the deck also features the Pirate package for a bit of early game aggression.

Try to mulligan for Maelstrom Portal and Tar Creeper if you know you’re facing an aggro deck. These are crucial tools that will allow you to outlast your opponent into the late game. If you’re facing another control deck try to put the pressure on as early as possible, and finish things up with Kalimos and your elemental army.

How to counter it:

This is a difficult deck to play against, and doesn’t really have too many hard counters as it is such a midrange deck. Forcing your opponent to miss an elemental drop on curve by playing a high-threat minion that demands removals is a good way to mess up their flow. The deck also has a lot more single target removal than AOE, so decks that can flood the board with several minions (Murloc Paladin, Zoolock) tend to fare well. Just be sure to watch out for the Kalimos AOE on turn eight.

Substitutions:

The Pirate package is completely optional, and you can easily replace it with some more late-game elementals like Blazecaller and Fire Elemental. Igneous Elemental is a good card to add if you want something other than Fire Fly to help guarantee you have an elemental to play on curve.

Exodia Mage

This one is a little bit of a fun one for those of you who miss the old Freeze Mage. The Mage Quest, Open the Waygate, has led to two main versions of this one-hit-KO deck. While the simplest version just uses Arcane Giants and Alexstrasza, the classy, “Exodia” version revolves around Archmage Antonidas and infinite fireballs.

The Deck:

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How to play it:

Exodia Mage gets its namesake from the Yugioh Exoida deck, where if at any point in the game a player had all five pieces of the Exodia in their hands, they instantly won. Exodia mage is the same concept: if you manage to assemble all the pieces of your combo in your hand, you win. But that’s no easy feat, as the combo relies on completing the mage quest: Open the Waygate by casting six spells that didn’t start in your deck. You basically spend the majority of the game stalling with freeze effects and Ice Block, and attempting to complete the quest by using Babbling Book, Primordial Glyph, and Cabalists’ Tome.

Once you’ve completed the quest, you simply need your combo pieces: Sorcerer’s’ Apprentice, Archmage Antonidas and Molten Reflection. Then, on your turn, play one Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Molten Reflection on the Apprentice, then Time Warp. Then on your next turn, play Antonidas, the second Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and the second Molten Reflection. You should now have four Sorcerer’s Apprentices, Archmage Antonidas, and a Fireball that costs zero in hand, that gives you another Fireball that costs zero every time you cast it. Simply cast infinte fireballs at your opponent’s face to win.

How to counter it:

While Exodia Mage is cool as fuck when it works, more often than not, it doesn’t. Aggro decks absolutely destroy it, as killing your opponent before he can get his combo setup is usually the best way to go about it. Teching in Eater of Secrets to eat your opponent’s Ice Block is also another strategy – this deck really falls apart without it. If you can get Dirty Rat to hit Sorcerer’s Apprentice or Archmage Antonidas, it’s extremely difficult, if not impossible for the mage to win. Funnily enough, the Paladin secret An Eye for an Eye also completely screws over this deck if you can manage to pop their Ice Block at 1 HP.

Substitutions:

The less greedy version of this deck replaces Antonidas and Molten Reflection with Arcane Giants and Alexstrasza. It basically works the same way, but once you get your Time Warp you drop both giants, play Time Warp, play Alexstrasza to set your opponent to 15 life, the hit him in the face with the giants. An even less greedy version doesn’t use Open the Waygate at all, and simply relies on Pyroblast and Alexstrasza, alongside the standard freeze mage kit, to kill your opponent.

Pirate Warrior

When all else fails… just fall back on Pirates. If you were not a fan of the Pirate archetype, I’ve got some bad news for you: it isn’t going anywhere. Pirate Warrior is still one of the strongest decks on ladder, and here’s one that Trump (the other one) has engineered.

The Deck:

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How to play it:

It’s Pirate Warrior, the most braindead deck in all of Hearthstone. Play your pirates and hit face.

How to counter it:

Taunt Warrior pretty much destroys Pirate Warrior. Midrange Shaman, if they draw early game removals like Jade Claws and Maelstrom Portal, also fairs well against Pirates. Additionally, Journey to Un’Goro has added a few specific counters to this deck for you to tech in – Golakka Crawler, Gluttonous Ooze and Tar Creeper will all stop the tide of pirates dead in their tracks.

Substitutions:

Captain Greenskin, if you have him, is a decent addition. Otherwise you don’t really want to mess with this list too much. Don’t fix what ain’t broke.


So there you have it, six decks that can, at least in theory, get you to legend. These are all decks that have been tested and refined by various pro players in the weeks since Un’Goro‘s launch, but the Hearthstone meta is an ever shifting ether. Who knows how it will change in the coming months, particularly if some of our suggested nerfs go through…

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