While having a large collection is useful in Hearthstone, it is by no means necessary to succeed in the game to a fairly high level.
Many streamers have completed free-to-play Legend climbs, where they start a new account and work towards a single top-tier deck and climb to Legend in a matter of days. The current favorite way to do so is to choose the free new player Rogue deck and build from there, and it is indeed the most effective way to reach Legend quickly.
However, my approach is a little different. I climb to Legend with cheap decks from a variety of classes, most of the time without a single Epic card, although some of the classes are only playable if you add a couple of Epic cards in the decks, and some classes cannot be played on a budget at all.
During Ashes of Outland, I have climbed to Legend with budget decks twice: after the first nerf patch and after the second nerf patch. I believe my approach is closer to a genuine free-to-play player experience: playing multiple classes but not having all the cards to build the meta decks for any of them. (I would expect long-term F2P players to be able to build a couple of full meta decks for every expansion, but they would probably still need to play budget decks for some of the classes.)
Ashes of Outland is actually a fairly nice place to be on budget decks. There is, of course, Demon Hunter, which is the strongest budget class ever thanks to a plethora of free cards, but success is not limited to one class. In fact, the majority of classes can reach Legend right now with budget or semi-budget decks.
In this post, I will take a look at a collection of Legend-capable budget decks for multiple classes.
Budget Tempo Demon Hunter (840 dust)
Deck code: AAECAea5AwT5rgPMugPWvgP5yAMNlwb9pwOLugO9uwPXuwPgvAO6xgPHxgPZxgPXyAP3yAP+yAPyyQMA
Tempo Demon Hunter is incredibly powerful and fairly easy to play. My budget version includes the Raging Felscreamer / Priestess of Fury package, but also some actual tempo plays with Questing Adventurer and Mana Burn.
Mana Burn at the right moment is back-breaking and the card is extremely good at protecting your Questing Adventurer. Without access to the expensive power cards – Warglaives of Azzinoth, Kayn Sunfury, and Metamorphosis – the Questing Adventurer package gives the deck the power it needs to succeed.
Budget Aggro Demon Hunter (720 dust)
Deck code: AAECAea5AwLMugPUyAMOlwb9pwP5rgOLugPXuwPgvAPWvgO6xgPHxgPZxgP3yAP5yAP+yAPyyQMA
The deck can also be built as a faster version without the Priestess of Fury package. In this variant, controlling the tempo of the game is even more important, and well-timed Mana Burns and Questing Adventurers are the keys to success.
Budget Face Hunter (1240 dust)
Deck code: AAECAR8AD6gCyQSIBZIF7QaXCNsJ/gzzpwP5rgP7rwP8rwOiuQP5ugP/ugMA
Face Hunter remains a powerful alternative for climbing the ladder. Thanks to Scavenger’s Ingenuity, the deck also works without Toxic Reinforcements, so it is one of the cheapest ways to climb to Legend with something else than Demon Hunter.
Budget Dragon Hunter (1280 dust)
Deck code: AAECAR8AD6gCyQThBJcI/gyKrQP5rgP7rwP8rwPnsAP/sAOFsQOHsQP/ugPZvgMA
Dragon Hunter struggles more on a budget than Face Hunter because giving up on Stormhammer and Rotnest Drake hurts. The upcoming nerf to Priestess of Fury may help the deck a little because then Evasive Wyrm can kill a Priestess.
Budget Midrange Hunter (1200 dust)
Deck code: AAECAR8AD6gCtQPJBJYGlwjFCP4M+a4D+68D/K8DorkD/7oD1r4D174D2b4DAA==
This is the deck that I completed my Legend climb in May. The deck targets Demon Hunter and Warrior by playing cards that make them as uncomfortable as possible, including early Enrage minions.
Unfortunately, it has an abysmal matchup against Priest, so increasing Priest numbers may make life difficult for it.
Budget Spell Druid (2260 dust)
Deck code: AAECAZICBP0C05wDsawDrroDDf4B9wPmBcQGuZQD4p8D3KID26UD5boD6LoD7LoD7roD77oDAA==
I played the same Spell Druid list in April and in May and had excellent results both times.
Without access to Rising Winds, I have opted to ditch Moonfires (not enough reliable draw to use them) and went for Worthy Expeditions instead. This gives the deck access to surprising tools, or sometimes just Rising Winds.
Budget Galakrond Priest (2700 dust)
Deck code: AAECAa0GAvYHyMADDh7cAZcCyQbTCpmpA5+pA9qsA/KsA/6uA82vA5O6A5u6A6+6AwA=
Galakrond Priest is known for its plethora of Legendary cards, but it is actually possible to play the archetype without any, apart from the free Galakrond, of course.
The budget version is a bit more control than the full-cost version because it cannot steal the opponent’s win conditions as quickly.
Sethekk Veilweavers give the deck access to surprising resources and provide the needed power to push through when you don’t have your Galakrond.
Budget Galakrond Rogue (1440 dust)
Deck code: AAECAaIHAs0Dy8ADDrQBlwaIB90Ij5cD9acDua4D/q4Dqq8Dzq8DgrEDubgDu7gD1r4DAA==
I struggled with Budget Rogue a lot. The Secret package without Hanar just did not seem to be good enough and eventually I moved to a vanilla Galakrond Rogue with Questing Adventurers and Cursed Vagrants as win conditions. Cursed Vagrant has proved to be hilarious, because most decks have no good way to deal with it. Except Priest. Sadly, the budget version is far worse than the full-cost version against Priest.
Budget Spell Mage (2480 dust)
Deck code: AAECAf0EAk3CoQMOuwLJA6sE7QSWBZ+bA/+dA7+kA/SrA/GvA8G4A4y5A4G/A97EAwA=
Spell Mage has been surprisingly good on a budget. Lots of direct damage and stall give me some Freeze Mage vibes when playing the deck.
There are three Epic cards in the deck: two copies of Apexis Blast (the archetype payoff card) and one Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron. If you run out of options, Box can always bail you out.
Budget Warlock Zoo (1040 dust)
Deck code: AAECAf0GAA8woQKIBeMFzgfCCIidA/2kA/2nA/muA7W5A7a5A8e5A96+A9++AwA=
Zoo is already a cheap deck to build, you only need a couple of Magic Carpets. Nonetheless, I decided to experiment with Carpetless Zoo, and the charge variant turned out to be playable even without the Carpet. I went 10-6 with this deck, but I only won games where I had the Scrap Imp by turn six at the absolute latest, so I don’t know how I really feel about the deck. Nonetheless, it is another option for a budget player.