Galakrond Shaman is back! – Hearthstone deck guide March 2020

Shaman is not doing very well in Hearthstone, and whenever a class is in the bottom, it can feel like innovation for the class stalls. The top tier archetypes are played hundreds of thousands of times and the lists are getting iterated card by card, but the bottom classes are stuck with very few people trying to make them work.

I have been working on Shaman a lot over the past few weeks, and built several variants: Highlander, Quest, Budget, you name it. After building a successful Budget Galakrond Shaman, I thought it might be possible to upgrade that concept to a full-cost version. The deck was based on Galakrond, Lackeys, and Evolve cards (Mutate and Explosive Evolution), which is a combination that cannot be found on statistics sites such as HSReplay. Does it mean that it’s bad? No, it just means that the particular variant is not yet fully tested.

It turns out that the concept transformed extremely well to the full-cost world: Kronx makes it easier to find Galakrond and also provides devastations, and Shudderwock gives the deck a ton more value as it repeats invocations, the Galakrond Battlecry effect, and all the Lackey Battlecry effects. It seems to me that this might be the strongest Shaman deck currently in the game.

Galakrond Shaman decklist

Deck code: AAECAaoIBO/3AuO0A5+3A9PAAw20kQO0lwPGmQPUpQP5pQO3rQO5rQP5rgP+rgOqrwPQrwOCsQOitgMA

It’s a tight list. Galakrond synergies, Lackeys, Evolve effects, that’s pretty much it. Blazing Battlemage gives you more one-drops to get on the board immediately, and SN1P-SN4P is just a solid minion at any stage of the game, in this case preferably as a three-drop.

Galakrond Shaman mulligan

Galakrond Shaman is a midrange deck and you mulligan for a good mana curve. Blazing Battlemage is the strongest one-drop you have, but Sludge Slurper is also fine. Whenever you can get away with it, try to get an EVIL Totem on the board early, because the value and tempo swings from all the Lackeys it can generate can be incredible.

SN1P-SN4P is the strongest play you have for turn three.

Galakrond Shaman tips and tricks

There are several ways the deck wins games. Sometimes you just play a ton of Lackeys and overwhelm the opponent with those. Sometimes it’s the Galakrond synergy cards and ultimately Galakrond itself with its 8/8 Rush minions. Sometimes you Mutate or Evolve your Mogu Fleshshapers and overpower the opponent. Sometimes the game goes long and you need a Shudderwock to fill your hand with new resources and your board with new minions.

Evolve mechanic is crucial for the deck. Note that there is a 50% chance to get a 7/8 Taunt minion from Mogu Fleshshaper with Explosive Evolution. That can help you defend a lot. Corrupt Elementalist can be turned into a nine-drop, and that can also give you one of several powerful minions. Faceless Corruptors can become eight-drops, which can also be powerful.

There are four Evolve effects in the deck: two copies of Mutate and two copies of Explosive Evolution. You can often afford to spend at least one early, even on a one-drop, to get off to a good start. Big swings are fun, but early tempo wins games.

Think about how you want to use Shudderwock in each game. Most of the time, you want to repeat the Galakrond Battlecry effect, but sometimes it is fine to just invoke things and get a bunch of Lackeys too.

Galakrond Shaman gameplay video

Finally, here is a video recap of the guide with some gameplay included to give you a better idea of how the deck functions.

Quest Druid deck guide – Hearthstone March 2020

Quest Druid is one of the best decks in Hearthstone. After you complete the Druid Quest, all of your Choose One cards will have both of their effects: Nourish gives you two mana crystals and draws three cards, Oasis Surger summons two 5/5 Rush minions, and so on. This gives the deck immense power in the mid-game, where all of its cards are extremely effective.

However, it is not a steady performer: the deck is great against Rogue and Warrior, which makes it a strong choice in the current meta, but it also has a number of weak matchups, such as Mech Paladin and Highlander Mage.

Quest Druid can be outvalued by extremely greedy decks, and it can be defeated before it gets going by aggro decks. The decks in between, those that have a good midgame, but do not have infinite value, fall prey to the Quest-buffed midgame of Druid.

Quest Druid decklist

Deck code: AAECAZICBiT3A67SAvX8AvihA/atAwxAVl/+AcQGv/ICqaIDyKID76ID2akD+bUDxrcDAA==

There are several variants of Quest Druid, and it is by no means obvious which one is the best. All common lists share 24 cards, but there are tens of variants when it comes to the last six cards.

In this list, those last six cards are:

  • One copy of Crystal Merchant
  • Power of the Wild
  • Two copies of Steel Beetle
  • Two copies of Ferocious Howl

Some lists cut one copy of Crystal Merchant because it is at its strongest in the early game and can be a weak draw later in the game. However, this makes it even less likely to draw it early on, so this cut seems to be unfounded.

Power of the Wild is used in between zero and two copies. It is a mid-performing card in the deck.

Ferocious Howl used to be core in the deck, but with Steel Beetle in the card pool, Ferocious Howl is sometimes replaced by that card to retain armor gain and gain some tempo, but at the loss of some card draw. Some lists run both cards to improve the archetype’s odds against Hunters.

Furthermore, Worthy Expedition and Zephrys the Great appear in some of the lists. Zephrys, of course, is only active in the late game in a deck full of duplicates, so it is mostly an anti-control tool to compete better against Highlander Mage.

Overall, the sample sizes of Quest Druid decks are not sufficient to fully determine the best list. Some choices depend on the meta and can improve specific matchups at the cost of others. The list I played attempts to beat Rogue and Warrior while improving the Hunter matchup to be close to even. It is not very good against Mage.

Quest Druid mulligan

You always keep the Quest in the mulligan in every matchup. Against aggressive decks, the cards you look for in addition to that are Crystal Merchant for a strong early game and Oasis Surger for a big tempo swing when the Quest is ready.

Against control decks, you look for Crystal Merchant and Nourish: ramping up quicky is important in those matchups.

Quest Druid tips and tricks

Completing your Quest is vital. You can spend the Coin after playing Quest on turn one to get it done one turn faster. However, sometimes you need to delay the Quest in order to survive: be prepared to do so, but only do so in a dire situation. The line when you have to do it is something you can only fully learn from experience.

Ysera is your main win condition, especially in slow matchups where you want you Floop to be a second copy of it. Try to ration the rate at which you draw portals: if you’re low on real cards, avoid drawing more so that you do not get all of your portals too quickly. This allows you to have multiple boards from them.

Flobbidinous Floop is one of your most flexible cards. It can be a pair of 5/6 Oasis Surgers. It can be another Wardruid Loti. It can be another Ysera. In control matchups you often want it to be Ysera, whereas against aggro you use it defensively, sometimes even as another Anubisath Defender.

Wardruid Loti is another flexible card. It is your only hard-removal piece, and as such vital in defeating giant minions. Against some opponents – such as in a mirror match – a stealthed Loti can stay on the board indefinitely, as the opponent has no tools to remove it. This can be an effective strategy to make your Wraths, Swipes, and Starfalls deadlier.

Cenarius gives you burst potential if you have board control. With +2/+2 to all of your minions, it is a small Savage Roar in addition to a potential defensive tool.

Quest Druid gameplay video

Finally, here is a video with a recap of the guide as well as gameplay with the deck. I hope it showcases the types of decisions you need to make when playing it.

Hearthstone Spring 2020 Announcement Teaser Analysis

The much-awaited spring announcement for Hearthstone is coming! The announcement was teased on Twitter and Instagram with a short video clip showing cards floating towards mysterious ruins and the date of the announcement given as March 17th at 9 am Pacific Daylight Time (which is 5 pm Central European Time).

What can we see in the teaser? All the floating cards have the Classic card back, which could indicate the regular Hall of Fame rotation, but given the large number of cards shown, it could also indicate more extensive changes to the Classic set.

Players have speculated on a rotating Classic set for some years now, and perhaps the time is finally here.

There are four stone statues on the foreground: Lunara, Medivh, Morgl, and one character that I cannot recognize because the status is a bit further away and it is hard to see it properly.

It is hard to see what these characters have in common, but the fact that they are stone statues is interesting. There are some basilisks in Warcraft, but the main appearances of stone statues are the terracotta armies of the Mogu.

Speaking of Mogu, storms are also associated with them. Mogu Cultist, in fact, says that “the storm is coming.” Storms and thunder have a long history with the Mogu, as one of the villains that players faced in World of Warcraft during Mists of Pandaria was Lei Shen, The Thunder King.

Lei Shen (left) and Highkeeper Ra

Lei Shen, in turn, stole his storm powers from Highkeeper Ra, who also appears in Hearthstone – summoned by Mogu Cultists!

In World of Warcraft, players fought against Ra in Mists of Pandaria after defeating Lei Shen, and very recently Ra became an ally in the war against N’Zoth. Unfortunately, he was corrupted by N’Zoth and players had to fight him again, this time killing him.

So, what is the storm that is coming? Lei Shen? Ra? Corrupted Ra?

It seems likely that we are getting some kind of Mogu and Mists of Pandaria themed expansion.

There are still some gaps though.

First, I cannot recognize the place where the video is from. It is possibly underground and there are some ruins there, but where is it? Pandaria?

Second, I do not understand the line about darkness looming upon the garden. Which garden is that? Vale of Eternal Blossoms, the old seat of power of the Mogu, is kind of a garden. In ancient Warcraft history, Emperor Shaohao became one with the land there to prevent The Sundering from reaching Pandaria.

Vale of Eternal Blossoms is also known for its pools, one of which is underground in Mogu’shan Palace. Perhaps that is where the video takes place?

We will find out soon, but I have high hopes that this will be a Pandaria-themed expansion. It was a great expansion for World of Warcraft, and maybe it can be great for Hearthstone too.

Here’s the analysis on video, if you prefer that. Check out my youtube channel for lots of other Hearthstone videos too!

Best Green Screen for Streamers: Elgato Green Screen long-term use review

Old Guardian streaming with an Elgato green screen

If you don’t want to show your room to the world while streaming on Twitch or on Youtube videos, it is a good idea to invest in a green screen. Once you have a green screen, you can set up a chroma key filter in your streaming software to replace your background with the game graphics (or anything else) for an appearance similar to the above picture, which is taken from my stream.

I have been using an Elgato Green Screen for three years. Because I do not have a permanent place for it, I needed a portable green screen, and Elgato’s product has been a perfect fit for my needs.

Setting up the screen takes just seconds: you flip the support legs to a perpendicular position, open the case, and pull up the screen itself. It can be freely adjusted and maintains its position automatically.

I have opened and closed the screen more than a thousand times and it still works flawlessly.

At one point, I was streaming from my bedroom, and simply stored the green screen under my bed between streams. The case is made of aluminum and it is robust.

Currently, I stream from my home office, where I do not have space to keep the green screen open all the time, so it simply waits on the floor in the corner for stream time. Setting it up takes mere seconds.

The size is perfect for streaming: at 148 cm wide and 180 cm tall, it is not a movie production green screen, but instead, something that fits into small spaces that you can pull up behind your chair for some streaming.

I have had it as close as 10 cm from my chair: if it’s a place from where you can stream, you can fit the green screen there too. If you need to move it around a lot, remember to check that it covers the entire background before going live!

I have actually taken the green screen with me on holiday trips so that I can stream from holiday homes as well. It fits snugly inside my roof box! I originally thought about saving the package it was delivered in, but it turned out that the case is sturdy enough to transport by itself. It has traveled in my roof box for more than 4000 kilometers by now.

If I had a permanent place for a green screen, it would obviously be an option to build one myself. However, the Elgato Green Screen has been fabulous for me: extremely transportable, perfectly set up in seconds, and highly durable.

You can find the Elgato Green Screen from multiple vendors, including Amazon (affiliate links):

Budget Token Druid deck guide – Hearthstone March 2020

One of the few viable budget decks that you can build without Galakrond is Token Druid. The archetype has been around for a long time, and it is still going strong: flooding the board with tokens, buffing them up with spells, and ultimately using Savage Roar for burst damage.

In Galakrond’s Awakening, the Budget Token Druid to go for is the Treant version. Mech Token Druid is still possible to build, but because it comprises mostly Year of the Raven cards that will rotate out of Standard format in April 2020, it is not a great investment right now.

Budget Token Druid decklist

Deck code: AAECAZICAv0CypwDDu0D9wPmBd/7Ar/9AtWDA8OUA86UA9OcA6+iA+2iA/ytA/6tA/+tAwA=

This is the Budget Token Druid I recommend at the moment as the best compromise between cost and power. It requires two Epic cards: two copies of Force of Nature are mandatory for the synergies with Garden Gnome and Mulchmuncher.

One card that I want to highlight in particular is BEEEES!!! – Token Druid is quite straightforward and does not allow for many interesting plays, but BEEEES!!! enables you to respond to the board in a much more proactive way. I find this to be essential especially for the budget version that needs to use any advantages it can find.

In some earlier metas, the budget version of Token Druid has wanted to cut The Forest’s Aid for speed, but currently, all the expensive spells are core for the Treant synergies.

Budget Token Druid mulligan

You want to get on the board early, and therefore mulliganing for your one-drops and Shrubadier is so important. If you have some early game already, you can also keep cards such as Landscaping and Garden Gnome, but you need to get out there early, or you will have a hard time gaining board control.

Budget Token Druid tips and tricks

Do not overtrade when you play Token Druid. Your main, and only, threat comes from your ability to buff up your board and make it much bigger than it is. If you trade with unbuffed minions so that they end up getting destroyed, you lose board control. This is, of course, situational and needs to be balanced depending on what your opponent can do to wide boards, but in general, you want to preserve your minions so that you can get the most out of your buffs.

BEEEES!!! is really, really good. You can use it to clear a four-health minion, but often you can also make some of your bees survive and stay on the board, ready to be buffed. Sometimes trading a two-attack minion to get two bees on the board can be the right move, you want to go wide, after all.

Aeroponics is a great card draw tool. Note that when you have three Treants on the board, the spell is free. Force of Nature can make it free alone, and Landscaping can make it cost just one mana. Plan your Treant use accordingly when you have it in hand.

Budget Token Druid upgrade path

I played with several different versions when building this budget list. In fact, the most successful version was one where I used Wispering Woods instead of Soul of the Forest (but double Dreamway Guardians was worse). However, because Wispering Woods is an Epic card that is about to rotate out of the Standard format, and it is not generally used in the full-cost version, I do not recommend that version because of the cost. If you happen to have a copy of Wispering Woods, you could use it in this deck though.

Upgrading the deck to the full version is straightforward.

Replace Dreamway Guardians and Soul of the Forest with Anubisath Defenders, and replace one copy of Blessing of the Ancients with Goru the Mightree. You can do the replacement in any order.

Budget Token Druid gameplay video

Finally, here is a recap of the guide and several matches of gameplay with the deck on video. I hope it gives you a deeper understanding of the archetype!

Budget Galakrond Shaman deck guide – Hearthstone March 2020

Shaman is the worst class in Galakrond’s Awakening. So can a budget Shaman have any chance?

Murloc Shaman has been around for a long time, and it remains unchanged and cheap, but it falls off in performance sharply once you reach higher ranks. It is definitely an option on low ranks though.

However, I wanted to do better and build a budget Shaman deck that could actually win against the top meta decks. Much to my surprise, Lackey Galakrond Shaman was actually able to perform really well!

I did make some concessions because of the overall poor state of Shaman. I included two copies of Dragon’s Pack in the deck even though it is an Epic card because Dragon’s Pack has been essential in every successful Galakrond Shaman list. I also included two copies of Explosive Evolution because it has great synergy with many of the cards in the deck. Explosive Evolution is from the second chapter of Galakrond’s Awakening, so it costs 1400 gold to get to it, but given how important the adventure is anyway, I figured this was an acceptable compromise to give the deck a bit of a boost.

Budget Galakrond Shaman decklist

Deck code: AAECAaoIAv8F08ADDrSRA7SXA8aZA9SlA9WlA/mlA7etA7mtA/muA/6uA6qvA9CvA4KxA6K2AwA=

The deck is a Galakrond Shaman, so you really want to invoke Galakrond and eventually turn yourself into Galakrond for some big Rush minions. That is your main win condition.

The secondary win condition is the use of the evolve mechanic in the form of Mutate and Explosive Evolution. Turning your Mogu Fleshshapers into 10-drops or 12-drops (that means either Mountain Giant or Grave Horror, by the way, you have a 50% chance to get a Taunt minion when you explosively evolve a Mogu Fleshshaper) can get you a big body on the board that the opponent will struggle to answer. Even turning your Corrupt Elementalist into a seven-drop or nine-drop can be powerful.

Finally, you have a large Lackey package in the deck for general trickstery and tempo.

Budget Galakrond Shaman mulligan

Your basic mulligan is Blazing Battlemage and Invocation of Frost, just a pair of good early-game cards to keep you in the game at the start.

If you’re playing against a slow deck, you really want your Galakrond and you can also afford to keep it in the mulligan. It can be a strong keep in faster matchups too, but only if it is supported by a strong early game.

EVIL Totem is another strong card against slow decks, as it can potentially give you multiple Lackeys if the opponent is slow to react to it.

Against decks that like to flood the board, Mogu Fleshshaper is extremely powerful. If you keep a Mogu, you should also keep a Mutate to make it big after it value-trades.

Budget Galakrond Shaman tips and tricks

Generally, you want to become Galakrond as quickly as possible. That is your best chance to win the game.

Mutate and Explosive Evolution are some of your most powerful tools. It is great to use them on a Mogu Fleshshaper or even a Corrupt Elementalist, but especially in fast matchups you often need to use them for tempo. Do not shy away from turning a one-drop into a four-drop if that’s what it takes to keep contesting the board.

Explosive Evolution can target the opponent’s minions, whereas Mutate cannot. This can sometimes give you lethal by turning a Taunt minion into something slower.

Budget Galakrond Shaman gameplay video

Finally, here is a video of gameplay with the deck. I hope it helps you understand deeper how the deck functions.

10 Cards Will Be Unnerfed – My Predictions On Which Ones! (Hearthstone)

Iksar wrote on Twitter that the Hearthstone team is planning to revert a number of old nerfs before the Standard rotation.

Currently, they expect to unnerf 10 cards: five from Wild, four from Year of the Raven, and one from Year of the Dragon.

I’m throwing my hat in the ring and will try to predict the ten cards that the team has chosen!

Year of the Dragon

The one card nerf from Year of the Dragon that will be reverted will be the only one that affects the Standard format. There were a lot of cards nerfed this year, but in choosing what to predict, I approach this from a meta point of view: which class needs help? For Standard, that’s Shaman.

Multiple Shaman cards were nerfed: Sludge Slurper, Mogu Fleshshaper, and the whole Galakrond synergy package. Which one to revert?

With Mutate still around, I think the boost will come in the form of returning Sludge Slurper to 2/1 stats from its current 1/1 stat line. This will help Shaman contest the board better in the early game, and the change will help all Shaman archetypes.

Year of the Raven

Four nerfs reverted? Seriously? From a year where only six cards were nerfed in the first place!

Dr. Boom Mad Genius, Extra Arms, Reckless Experimenter, Raiding Party, Giggling Inventor, and Luna’s Pocket Galaxy are the only Year of the Raven cards that were nerfed.

Now, these buffs will touch the Wild format, so I expect support for classes that are not doing too well there: Priest, Druid, Hunter, Rogue, and Warrior.

With those picks, I’d assume that the class cards for those classes will be buffed:

  • Dr. Boom, Mad Genius from 9 mana back to 7 mana to buff slower Warrior decks
  • Extra Arms from 3 mana back to 2 mana to buff Priest
  • Reckless Experimenter back to making minions free now that Echo minions have their own limitations, thus making Mecha’thun an option again
  • Raiding Party from 4 mana back to 3 mana to improve Pirate Rogue

Wild cards

The potential revert pool in Wild is a fair bit bigger, but I’ll continue with the assumption that the weaker classes will receive the buffs.

Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End was nerfed to stop casting spells when it dies. No more board clear followed by a newly generated board! With Puzzle-Box of Yogg-Saron already in Standard format, there is no reason to keep Yogg weak. Let the randomness begin!

Lesser Emerald Spellstone was nerfed to 6 mana and Call of the Wild to 9 mana to limit the power of Hunter in Standard. There are no similar issues in Wild, so they can easily be reverted to 5 mana and 8 mana to buff up Wild Hunter a little.

Spiteful Summoner was nerfed to 7 mana because the pool of 10-drops in Standard was so strong. This is not an issue in Wild, and Spiteful Druid can have its 6-mana minion back.

Druid can also receive a survivability buff with a 5-mana Spreading Plague. Yes, I’m serious. Spreading Plague was brokenly good back in the day, but the power level has increased since. Spreading Plague was also one of Iksar’s favorite cards, so now that he has a chance to unnerf it, why not?

We will get to know the final list in the coming weeks, but these are my predictions!

You can also check out my predictions on video if you enjoy that format better:

Budget Galakrond Warrior deck guide – Hearthstone March 2020

Galakrond Warrior is one of the best decks in Hearthstone right now, but it contains a fair number of Epic and Legendary cards. Is it possible to cut down its cost without sacrificing performance?

I started testing Galakrond Warrior with a full budget list that included no Epics or Legendaries whatsoever, but unfortunately, I was unable to make it strong enough. However, adding four Epics to the mix helped the deck immensely, and I can confidently say that the archetype is completely playable at 2920 dust if you include Town Criers and Scions of Ruin in the deck.

Budget Galakrond Warrior decklist

Deck code: AAECAQcCkAPFwAMOFhzUBI4F+wyd8AKz/AL0pwPYrQParQP+rgOqrwPSrwOrtgMA

The key to building a budget deck is to find a different twist compared to the full-cost version of the deck. If you cannot find that, you are simply playing a watered-down version of the meta deck, which can still be reasonably good, but it will always just feel worse than the full version.

The twist in Budget Galakrond Warrior is Frothing Berserker. Frothing allows you to snowball in some matchups and end games even faster than the full version is capable of. Frothing also benefits from the absence of Risky Skipper, because you generally want to keep it as healthy as possible, especially in a meta where ways to deal three damage are abundant, but ways to deal four damage are rarer.

I tried Frothing without Town Crier and Scion of Ruin, but then it just did not work out, and in fact, a full budget version is better off without it, but a full-budget version is simply not good enough overall. Town Crier and Scion of Ruin allow Frothing to shine.

Budget Galakrond Warrior mulligan

You always want to keep your main one-drops, Town Crier and Eternium Rover. Temple Berserker is usually a good keep as well.

If you face aggressive decks and need to defend, Ritual Chopper and Armorsmith are good cards to keep. In slower matchups where you want to be aggressive, Bomb Wrangler can be more effective, and sometimes you can even keep Galakrond itself in such matchups.

Budget Galakrond Warrior tips and tricks

Try to keep your Frothing Berserker healthy: there are not that many ways to deal four damage in the meta right now, so Frothing can dodge some major removal tools if it avoids all damage.

Temple Berserker can have good synergy with Battle Rage: if you trade with it, the Reborn token comes out pre-damaged and ready to give you a card from Battle Rage.

Because you cannot copy Charge minions with this list, holding on to Inner Rage is not important. Use it to push damage, sometimes to trade, or even to activate Acolyte of Pain or Bomb Wrangler. Likewise, you do not need to hold on to Kor’kron Elites, because you cannot copy them anyway. Be proactive.

Budget Galakrond Warrior upgrade path

There are several variations of the full-cost Galakrond Warrior. Some come with Eternium Rovers, the number of Battle Rages varies, and some include more specific tech cards, such as Injured Tol’vir. However, there are also a number of staples that are missing from the budget version. The upgrade path shows you how to add in the staples, after which you can tech the final slots to your liking.

The first upgrade you should do is to improve your burst damage capability. You can add Leeroy Jenkins and Bloodsworn Mercenary to replace Kor’kron Elites. Now you have access to some serious burst with an Inner Raged Leeroy and a copy of it!

The next step is to improve your card draw and area-of-effect damage potential to help you find those key pieces. Replace the Temple Berserkers and Frothing Berserkers with Risky Skippers, Kronx Dragonhoof, and another Bloodsworn Mercenary: now you have the full package to get to your Galakrond, draw a bunch of cards or gain a bunch of armor, and deal a lot of burst damage.

You can see that there are still a couple of differences between the example list and where you are now, namely Eternium Rovers in your deck and another Battle Rage and an Injured Tol’vir in the example. These slots can be used to tech against whatever you are facing.

Budget Galakrond Warrior gameplay video

Finally, here is a recap of the guide in video format and gameplay with the deck. I hope it gives you further insight into how to pilot the deck.

Budget Galakrond Rogue deck guide – Hearthstone March 2020

Galakrond Rogue is one of the most powerful decks in the game at the moment, but it is also full of Legendary cards: many lists include seven Legendary cards in addition to Galakrond itself, which is given to all players for free.

Can such a deck really be built on a budget? After extensive testing, I have come to the conclusion that yes, it can, and here is how!

Budget Galakrond Rogue decklist

Deck code: AAECAaIHAr0Dy8ADDrQBzQOXBogH3Qjv8QKPlwP1pwO5rgO/rgP+rgOqrwPOrwOCsQMA

This is the best Galakrond Rogue list I was able to build on a budget. Budget decks always need some little twist that makes them viable on their own and not just a weaker version of the meta deck, and in this list, that twist comes in the form of Questing Adventurer.

You are not as likely to find Galakrond as the full-cost list and burst damage from Galakrond is unreliable at best without Leeroy: I opted to include Reckless Rocketeer for some burst potential, but it is not worth including Shadowstep in the list just for that.

Instead, this list uses Bloodsail Flybooters to more reliably enable combo effects, buff up Questing Adventurers, and have targets for Faceless Corruptors.

It is more of a grind or a snowballing Questing Adventurer that delivers the wins with this list than huge burst from free cards, but Galakrond nonetheless proved essential to the list, also because of all the Lackeys you get from Invoke effects, which in turn can again make Questing Adventurers better.

Budget Galakrond Rogue mulligan

There are two cards that you always keep in the mulligan: Pharaoh Cat and Questing Adventurer. You really want to get on the board early, and you need to find your win condition. If you have the Questing Adventurer, you can also keep Bloodsail Flybooter.

If you’re on the coin, EVIL Miscreant becomes a viable keep.

Budget Galakrond Rogue tips and tricks

The deck is not the same as a full-cost Galakrond Rogue. You have far less burst and find your Galakrond less often. It is still nice to become Galakrond and get some free card action going, especially if you can build a huge Questing Adventurer from it, but overall you just are not as well-positioned to take things to the late game.

Questing Adventurer is your best friend. Try to make the most of it given your current hand. If your hand is really dry, you may need to take a chance with the Questing Adventurer, and win if it cannot be answered. If your hand is already good, you can try to set up a stronger and more consistent Questing Adventurer turn.

Faceless Corruptor is one of the strongest cards you have. Always think about how you can give it a target, whether from a Pirate or a Lackey generated by one of the Invoke cards.

You can be far more liberal with your use of Lackeys because you do not have a Heistbaron Togwaggle to save them for. Lackeys generate a lot of tempo, take advantage of that.

Budget Galakrond Rogue upgrade path

There are lots of upgrades available for the deck, and many of them can be done independently of the others. If you have some of the good cards, feel free to put them in even if you do not have all the pieces. This upgrade path is the recommended order if you need to craft everything.

The most straightforward upgrade is to add Leeroy Jenkins over Reckless Rocketeer. This can be done at any time. You can also consider adding a Shadowstep over a Bloodsail Flybooter when you add Leeroy, and at the latest when you add Heistbaron Togwaggle, which replaces the other Bloodsail Flybooter.

Flybooters give you cards in hand, and you want to get rid of them when you add Togwaggle so that you have space to draw with the Wand.

One Questing Adventurer can be replaced with Edwin VanCleef at any time. Edwin works in much the same way Questing does and replaces it as a win condition.

Before you can replace the second Questing Adventurer, you want to have Leeroy Jenkins in the deck for a powerful burst finisher. Once there, you can add Kronx Dragonhoof as a replacement, so that you get to your burst win condition more reliably.

At this point, you can also add the second Shadowstep to replace a Lifedrinker.

The Mech package gives you more early game and some potential healing. Add SN1P-SN4P and Zilliax to replace an SI:7 Agent and a Lifedrinker.

You can add Flik Skyshiv at any time to replace an SI:7 Agent. Optionally, you can also tech for the mirror by adding Boompistol Bully to replace one copy of Sap.

After all of these changes, you have the meta version of Galakrond Rogue!

Budget Galakrond Rogue gameplay video

Finally, here is a video recap of the guide that also showcases gameplay with the deck. I hope it gives you further insight into how to pilot the deck.

Best Hearthstone decks to climb to Legend – March 2020

The Hearthstone meta is always evolving, and compared to just a few weeks ago, there have been some major changes in what the best decks are.

Embiggen Druid fell off rapidly, and this has opened up space for Galakrond Rogue to make a powerful comeback and for Galakrond Warrior to emerge as the new challenger to Rogue. With such a large number of Rogues around, Priest cannot limit the power of Galakrond Warrior either.

There is always an element of rock-paper-scissors in the meta, so you can expect changes to continue, as when specific decks become popular, it opens up space to counter them with new decks.

As for right now, here are the top six decks to play to climb to Legend!

#6: Quest Druid

Strong against:

  • Galakrond Rogue
  • Galakrond Warrior

Weak against:

  • Hunter
  • Mech Paladin
  • Highlander Mage

It would have been unimaginable for Quest Druid to thrive just a while ago, although it already found a foothold in high Legend ranks last month. It is weak against many of the more aggressive, and cheaper, decks, but as you get closer to Legend you start to face increasing numbers of Galakrond Rogues and Galakrond Warriors, and Quest Druid can defeat them at relative ease.

Deck code: AAECAZICBiSu0gL1/AL4oQP8owP2rQMMQFZf/gH3A8QGv/ICqaIDyKID76ID2akD+bUDAA==

#5: Dragon Hunter

Strong against:

  • Embiggen Druid
  • Quest Druid
  • Highlander Hunter

Weak against:

  • Mech Paladin
  • Resurrect Priest
  • Galakrond Warrior

Dragon Hunter has been fine-tuned over the past weeks and it remains a powerful deck. Unfortunately, it is weak against the new Galakrond Warrior lists, which gives it considerable trouble in the final stages of a Legend climb. Galakrond Rogue is a fairly even matchup, so that does not help a lot either.

As an upside, Dragon Hunter is good against other Hunters and against Druids, so if your opponents try to counter the meta with Druid, you can counter them with Dragon Hunter.

Deck code: AAECAR8ExwOHBK8Eh7ADDeEElwiKrQOLrQP5rgP7rwP8rwP+rwPnsAP/sAOHsQO6tgOvtwMA

#4: Quest Hunter

Strong against:

  • Embiggen Druid
  • Galakrond Rogue

Weak against:

  • Resurrect Priest

Quest Hunter lost its biggest ticket to fame when Druid numbers started to go down, but it is the best Hunter deck against Galakrond Rogues, which gives it a good starting point to a Legend climb. Its rather mediocre matchup against Galakrond Warrior holds it back a little bit, but it is still a solid choice overall.

This month’s list features Boommaster Flark again, as it seems to somewhat outperform Shu’ma in the current meta.

Deck code: AAECAR8IrwTh9QKggAPjiwOkpQPYsgOftwPztwMLlwjbCaCFA8edA+SkA7ulA5ipA46tA/ivA4KxA7i2AwA=

#3: Highlander Hunter

Strong against:

  • Galakrond Warrior
  • Embiggen Druid

Weak against:

  • Dragon Hunter

The best Highlander Hunter list has not changed by a single card since last month.

Highlander Hunter has climbed to be the best Hunter deck right now, because it is, ironically, the most consistent one despite running only single copies of cards. It has a steady matchup spread, which makes it a good choice for just about any meta, because nothing can hurt it too much.

In the current meta, its good matchup against Galakrond Warrior shines in particular, and its weakness against other, faster Hunter decks is not fatal.

Deck code: AAECAR8eqAK1A8cDhwSvBOEElwjbCaCAA6CFA7acA/yjA+SkA6alA4SnA4qtA4utA46tA/muA/uvA/yvA/6vA4ewA/+wA4KxA5GxA9iyA4S2A5+3A6+3AwAA

#2: Galakrond Rogue

Strong against:

  • Resurrect Priest
  • Galakrond Warlock

Weak against:

  • Embiggen Druid
  • Quest Druid

Galakrond Rogue is by far the most popular deck on high ranks just before Legend. It is a solid performer that always has a chance because it can generate opportunities out of nowhere at any time. Its main weakness is Druid, but Druid numbers are down and Galakrond Rogue can enjoy the meta. If you choose to play Galakrond Rogue, you can expect tons of mirrors, but the overall power level of the deck is just incredible.

Deck code: AAECAaIHCrICzQOvBKCAA5KXA8GuA+O0A8O2A5+3A8vAAwq0Ae0CiAePlwP1pwO5rgP+rgOqrwPOrwOCsQMA

#1: Galakrond Warrior

Strong against:

  • Galakrond Rogue
  • Dragon Hunter

Weak against:

  • Druid
  • Priest

While Galakrond Rogue is the most popular deck, it is not my #1 recommendation right now. When everyone is playing a specific deck, you can find opportunities to counter it, and the most balanced counter to Galakrond Rogue is Galakrond Warrior: it is not the strongest counter, but it is favored in that matchup while also being favored in the majority of other matchups you may encounter.

With Druids and Priests forming but a small minority of the ladder, Galakrond Warrior stands favored against all the popular alternatives.

This list features Injured Tol’vir, which is a good card against Rogue in particular, and also helps to make Battle Rage a little better.

Deck code: AAECAQcErwTSpQPjtAPFwAMNFpAD1AT7DJ3wAtypA9itA9qtA/6uA6qvA9KvA6S2A6u2AwA=

Best decks on video

You can find more information about these decks, as well as tons of other Hearthstone material on my Youtube channel from analysis to gameplay and budget decks.