In case you’re still stuck on the regular version of The Arachnid Quarter, you should check out my budget guide to help guide you through. For the rest of you, I presume you’re having some difficulty taking down the Heroic version of the bosses with their upgraded Hero Powers and cards. That or you’re just interested to see how someone else took to the challenge. In either case, you’ve probably at least had a go at the stream of 4/4 Nerubians or the “bounce everything you play every turn for free” showdowns. Read on for my best suggestions on how to power through and reap the rewards. (Editor’s note: There actually are no rewards, except the satisfaction and bragging rights. Though completing all Heroic bosses in Naxxramas will eventually unlock a special Card Back.)
Boss 1: Anub’Rekhan
Ability: (2): Summon a 4/4 Nerubian.
Deck Cost: 1680 Dust
Heroic Anub’Rekhan is, as you might expect, the easiest of the three Heroic bosses. Despite having access to an unending stream of 2-mana 4/4s, if you’re prepared, he should go down without too much trouble. His deck is modified slightly with a handful of new, powerful cards like Deathcharger and Locust Swarm. If you’ve been playing for a while, you may be able to take Anub down with one of your existing decks, but if you’re starting from scratch, the Warlock may be the way to go thanks to an abundance of 4-damage spells, which help keep his ability in check.
The premise of this build is to try to keep Taunt guys active with at least 4 power to be able to tangle with a Nerubian and, in theory, survive to tell the tale. With this build, you’ll want to be moderately aggressive, relying on Taunt to keep yourself alive, rather than working to keep the board clear. You do need to do some math when they start spamming 4/4s, though, as you want to ensure your Taunt guy will be able to weather the storm on the next turn. Sacrificing Ancient Walker or Spellbreaker to Shadowflame will almost always be a full board wipe, barring the Deathrattle spiders that put out 1/1s. You shouldn’t be too concerned about the little guys, though, just focus on keeping the 4-power minions off you long enough to take Anub down. The enemy playing an Anub’ar Ambusher can actually be a great help, since if you’re able to kill one of those, they’ll take another minion (often a 4/4 Nerubian) with them, and force a re-cast and another turn of summoning sickness for the Nerubian. Making it past Anub’Rekhan with this deck should be a fairly simple matter.
Boss 2: Grand Widow Faerlina
Ability: (1): Fire a missile for each card in your opponent’s hand.
Deck Cost: 840 Dust
Faerlina’s upgraded hero power allows her to launch a barrage of missiles for a single mana. No one-drop is safe. Fortunately, there is one class that revels in minion damage: Warrior. With Armorsmith and Frothing Berserker, those missiles become something of a liability for your opponent. Throw a slew of mid-range Enrage minions into the mix and you’ve got a serious counter to Faerlina’s otherwise brutal Hero Ability. It’s not just her ability, though, as her Worshipper card has been buffed significantly as well. Instead of a 1/4 that grants her one attack, it’s now a 2/4 that grants 3, which means if one of these stick around, her attack can potentially wipe out a large portion of your Enrage squad in a single hit.
Fortunately, the AI seems to be all about aggro, so she’ll often swing for the face instead of taking out your minions. It can be a little harrowing to see how fast she can take down your hit points, but once you get Armorsmith online, in conjunction with Shield Block and the Warrior Hero Ability, you’ll should be able to stabilize readily.
This is more of an attrition fight than Anub, which rewards aggression more so than keeping a clear board. You’ll want to get Armorsmith and Frothing Berserker out as a priority, but any of your Enrage minions should do well for you, assuming you have a couple (but not too many) cards in hand. Given the premium on hit points, you probably won’t want to use your weapons to take out minions for too long unless your armor is fairly well stacked. Once you’re running on an empty hand, you’ve just got to play smart to get her down to zero. Use Cruel Taskmaster or Inner Rage to ping their larger minions, then finish them off with Execute. Gurubashi Berserker acts as your finisher here, though by the time he comes down, you may well have an empty hand and have to figure out how to ping him yourself. Once he starts swinging, though, you should be in fine shape.
Boss 3: Maexxna
Ability: (0): Return 2 random enemy minions to your opponent’s hand.
Deck Cost: 3640 Dust (Eep!)
Without proper preparation, the final boss Maexxna is virtually unbeatable. Given that Minions are such an integral part of most Hearthstone games, being set back two minions every single turn can be incredibly frustrating. That is, unless you’re well prepared for it, in which case it becomes an exercise in amazing. The first time I beat Heroic Maexxna, I was running a Miracle Rogue variant, but it still took me several games to land a killing blow. After a few more trial runs with different builds, I discovered a new plan that seemed to be even more effective: Built-in Heals. I found that most of my time was spent with Earthen Ring Farseer trying to gain health to keep up with the constant swarm of spiders, so an extra two health every turn seemed like a good place to start.
Realizing also that the Deathrattle on the spiders often meant it was worse to kill them than not, the Priest’s ability to Silence all enemy minions with Mass Dispel was particularly appealing. Maexxna’s main fighting force are 1-power spiders, but she’ll occasionally drop a 5/6 that you can’t target with spells or Hero Powers. Having a Mass Dispel in hand for this scenario is incredibly useful, though getting lucky with a Mind Control Tech is infinitely more satisfying than just killing it. Your primary finisher is Leeroy Jenkins, which will return safely to your hand every turn, assuming you don’t cast more than two minions on any given turn. The AI isn’t designed to utilize the free hero ability strategically, instead simply activating it at the beginning of every turn. This behavior was the basis for this deck design.
Your gameplan during the match will be to basically hold steady for several turns, simply healing yourself with your ability and/or Voodoo Doctor. Ideally, you’ll have a Mass Dispel at the ready for when Maexxna fills her side of the board with Deathrattle minions and the like. Turn four Mass Dispel into a Turn 5 Holy Nova will put you in a really strong position to take her down. With a ton of zero and 1-mana spells, your Wild Pyromancer will be indispensable in keeping the board clear, especially when you’re casting Leeroy Jenkins every turn. Be sure to Silence the Hunter spider before you kill it, lest you end up facing down a really angry Beast. Once you’ve got her on her back foot, you’ll just want to spend your turns casting Leeroy, Pyromancer, Spell. That will clear the minions Leeroy summoned, and you can swing in freely. Heal up and pass the turn, and you’ll have her down in no time at all.
Have you already taken down the Heroic bosses? How was your build similar or different from the proposed decks here? Were you able to beat Maexxna without resorting to Leeroy? Tell us how in the forums, and be sure to check back next week when the second wing launches for more boss-beating tips!