Hearthstone is enticing players to come back to the game by giving all players who have not logged into the game for four months prior to March 17th a free deck. Furthermore, all new players get a free deck when they complete the new player experience. The new decks are available from March 26th.
There is one deck offered for each class, and you get to choose which deck you want. Not all decks are equal, so choose carefully!
All cards in the decks become part of your collection, so you can also use them in other decks or disenchant them if you so choose.
In this post, I will go through the options and evaluate how good they are in the current meta and how valuable the cards you get from the decks are for building other meta decks.
Free Druid deck
The free Druid deck is a Token Druid that costs 6280 dust and includes two Legendary cards: Keeper Stalladris and Goru the Mightree. You will also get Rising Winds from the Galakrond’s Awakening adventure as part of this deck!
Token Druid is currently a decent deck, but the meta version of the deck will lose a number of key cards in the upcoming Standard rotation: Dendrologist, Landscaping, and Mulchmuncher. It is unclear whether the archetype can survive these losses and carry on after the rotation. Especially the loss of Mulchmuncher hurts because it is one of the few tools the deck has to respond to events on the board.
This free version does not include any of the rotating cards, so it can be played as such after the rotation, but it sacrifices some power in order to be rotation-proof.
Upgrading the deck to the current meta version is easy because it already includes all the Legendary and Epic cards used in the archetype, but there are valid concerns about its longevity.
Free Hunter deck
The free Hunter deck is a Quest Hunter that costs 7000 dust. It also includes Sky Gen’ral Kragg and Licensed Adventurer from the Galakrond’s Awakening adventure!
The deck is rotation-proof, as are all of these decks. The current Quest Hunter meta builds include several rotating cards, such as Springpaw, SN1P-SN4P, Zilliax, Leeroy Jenkins, and Halazzi, the Lynx.
This version attempts to replace those losses by adding in more card draw with double Cult Masters and more defensive strength with double Bone Wraiths. These are some of the top choices I have also recommended when it comes to rotation-proofing the archetype, but the loss of burst damage and healing is nonetheless notable and makes the deck significantly weaker than the current meta version.
It is a playable deck, but not a great one. The Quest synergy cards from Galakrond’s Awakening are nice if you like Quest decks but do not want to buy the adventure, but other than that the deck offers little in the form of reusable cards.
Free Mage deck
The free Mage deck is a Highlander deck! It costs 6780 dust and includes all the Highlander synergy cards available to Mage: Zephrys the Great, Reno the Relicologist, and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza.
It is especially notable that Zephrys and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza are Neutral Legendary cards that can be used in any Highlander decks for the next year.
The deck also includes Arcane Amplifier from the Galakrond’s Awakening adventure.
While the deck resembles the current Highlander Mage decks, there are several key differences. There is no Luna’s Pocket Galaxy and there is no The Amazing Reno here. That means that the deck is not capable of similar swing turns as the full-cost version. After fitting in three big-ticket Legendary cards, there has not been much left in the dust budget to make the deck tick.
Performance-wise, the Mage deck is simply weak. Value-wise, getting the key Neutral Highlander Legendary cards is a big deal, if you do not have them already and you are interested in playing any Highlander decks.
Free Paladin deck
The free Paladin deck is a Pure Paladin that costs 5420 dust. It includes only one Legendary card, Tirion Fordring, but it comes with a full complement of Pure Paladin synergy cards (Lightforged Zealot and Lightforged Crusader) as well as some strong Epic cards (Micro Mummy, Sanctuary).
The only expensive card from the current Pure Paladin list that is missing from the free deck is Avenging Wrath.
Currently, Pure Paladin is mediocre at best, so the performance level of this deck is low. However, it looks like Pure Paladin is the only current Paladin archetype that can survive the rotation in some form, so this deck would give you some building blocks to make a post-rotation Pure Paladin by adding in cards from Ashes of Outland.
Nonetheless, its low dust value and low current performance level make this Paladin deck an unattractive pick.
Free Priest deck
The free Priest deck is a Resurrect Priest that costs 6860 dust. It includes two Legendary cards, Archmage Vargoth and Catrina Muerte. If you played during Rise of Shadows, you received Archmage Vargoth for free, which may make this option less attractive.
The deck includes the four key Epic cards that are needed to make Resurrect Priest tick: two copies of Psychopomp and two copies of Plague of Death.
The deck also includes two copies of Batterhead, another Epic card, although its performance in a non-Quest version of Resurrect Priest is not very high. If you have the Priest Quest, it can be nice to get Batterhead for free to use in that variant though.
There are no Bad Luck Albatrosses or Grave Runes in the deck, but they are not very expensive anyway if you want to take the deck into that direction. Colossus of the Moon is also missing, and it is a Legendary card if you would like to go for big minions instead.
Overall, the deck is playable right now and also has a chance to survive the rotation. If you missed the free Archmage Vargoth, it is also reasonably valuable.
Free Rogue deck
The free Rogue deck is a Galakrond Rogue that costs 5960 dust (assuming that you already have Galakrond and Shield of Galakrond for free). It comes with three other Legendary cards: Edwin VanCleef, Heistbaron Togwaggle, and Kronx Dragonhoof.
The deck is strong, but the lack of Leeroy Jenkins, of course, limits its burst capabilities. I would have wanted to see some Questing Adventurers in the list to make use of all the free cards you can draw, but you really cannot go wrong with this archetype.
The deck is strong now, potentially survives the rotation, and gives you two Rogue Legendary cards that you want to use in many Rogue decks and Kronx Dragonhoof that you want to use in most Galakrond decks. It is a solid choice if you like Rogue at all.
Free Shaman deck
The free Shaman deck is a Galakrond Control Shaman that costs 6460 dust (assuming that you already have Galakrond and Shield of Galakrond for free). It includes Kronx Dragonhoof that can be used in many Galakrond decks and The Fist of Ra-den from the Galakrond’s Awakening adventure.
Unfortunately, it is not a good deck. The Fist of Ra-den is unreliable at best and building a Control Shaman without Shudderwock and Hagatha the Witch is questionable.
The most valuable part of the deck is Kronx Dragonhoof, but you can get that in the Rogue and Warlock decks too alongside other highly useful cards, so that is no reason to choose Shaman.
Free Warlock deck
The free Warlock deck is a Galakrond Zoolock that costs 5800 dust (assuming that you already have Galakrond and Shield of Galakrond for free). It includes Kronx Dragonhoof and Dark Pharaoh Tekahn as Legendary minions and two copies of Sea Giant and Veiled Worshipper as Epics.
It is a fine deck overall. You can play Zoo for cheaper than the dust cost of this deck, but it includes the four Epic cards that you would add to budget Zoo first, and Kronx Dragonhoof is widely usable in Galakrond decks, even if it is not spectacular in Zoo.
Overall a fine choice if you like to play Zoo.
Free Warrior deck
The free Warrior deck is a Pirate Warrior that costs 6080 dust. It includes Ancharrr and Captain Greenskin as Legendary cards and two copies of both Livewire Lance and Southsea Captain as Epic cards.
Pirate Warrior is not particularly powerful right now as Galakrond Warrior has superseded it. However, it is a playable archetype and this list gives you all the key Pirate cards.
The deck is one of the strongest free decks straight out of the box, but the cards in it are mostly useful in Pirate decks, so it does not provide a lot of value for your future collection.
There is no single right choice among these alternatives, it all depends on what you want to do in the game.
- If you’re looking for the strongest deck, Rogue is the best choice. It also gives you several great cards, mostly for Rogue, but Kronx Dragonhoof goes into any Galakrond deck regardless of class.
- If you want to play Highlander decks of any class, Mage gives you a great toolkit for that. However, Highlander decks are expensive, and the Mage deck is not good out of the box.
- If you want to play grindy control decks, Resurrect Priest is your choice, especially if you did not get a free Archmage Vargoth last year. The Priest deck includes all the key pieces for the archetype.
- If you like to play Zoo, the Warlock deck is ready to hit the ladder straight away. It is not as strong as Rogue, but it is a good deck. It also gives you Kronx Dragonhoof for all of your Galakrond decks.
- If you just want to hit face, Pirate Warrior is a decent face deck. It gives you all the key cards of the archetype, but they do not have a lot of uses elsewhere.
- If you want to play Quest decks and don’t plan to get Galakrond’s Awakening, the Quest Hunter deck gives you the Quest synergy cards from the adventure. You really should just get the adventure though.
- The Shaman and Paladin decks are hard to recommend, even if you like the classes. The Paladin deck does give you all the important Pure Paladin cards, so if you really, really love Paladin, it is an option despite its low overall value. Just please don’t touch the Shaman deck under any circumstances.
Overall, my number one recommendation is the Rogue deck. It is a great combination of power and card value.
Resurrect Priest and Zoo Warlock are the next in line when it comes to deck power, and Highlander Mage is the most value if you have the means to build Highlander decks, although the deck itself as offered is not strong.