The best Hearthstone decks for beginners

Best Hearthstone decks

Just starting Hearthstone and too confused to get much further than the tutorial? We're here to help. These aren't the best decks in Hearthstone, but they are the ones you can build, play and win with as a beginner. With a minimum of spending, you'll get to start climbing the ranks, winning packs and opening legendaries.

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The decks below aren't totally free, but they do all cost under 500 dust, and use only common and basic cards. There's some advice for going further than these decks at the bottom, and given they're relatively easy to make no part of them is vital - you can customise them based on your collection and preferences.

Beginner Aggro Deck - Shaman

Beginner Aggro deck Hearthstone

 Shaman cards

Neutral cards 

  • 2x Lightning Bolt
  • 2x Spirit Claws
  • 2x Tunnel Trogg
  • 2x Crackle
  • 1x Flametongue Totem
  • 2x Totem Golem
  • 2x Hex
  • 2x Flamewreathed Faceless
  • 1x Bloodlust
  • 2x Fire Elemental
  • 2x Argent Squire
  • 2x Acidic Swamp Ooze
  • 2x Bluegill Warrior
  • 2x Ironfur Grizzly
  • 2x Wolfrider
  • 2x Chillwind Yeti

Where better to start in Hearthstone than winning games fast and early? That's exactly what an aggro (aggressive, tell everyone you worked that out on your own) is all about. Shaman is one of the better classes for it due to all their direct damage spells to finish opponents off, and high-powered creatures.

Specifically this deck, while limited, uses extremely powerful minions like the four mana 7/7 Flamewreathed Faceless to beat opponents down. When they're low enough, start pointing spells like Lightning Bolt and Crackle at the face, but don't be afraid to use them early to clear minions and keep yours alive. Bloodlust is a surprise game winner at the right time.

Beginner Control Deck - Priest

Beginner Control deck Hearthstone

 Priest cards

Neutral cards 

  • 2x Holy Smite
  • 2x Northshire Cleric
  • 2x Power Word: Shield
  • 2x Shadow Word: Pain
  • 2x Shadow Word: Death
  • 2x Thoughtsteal
  • 2x Priest of the Feast
  • 2x Holy Nova
  • 2x Mind Control
  • 2x Acidic Swamp Ooze
  • 2x Chillwind Yeti
  • 2x Sen'jin Shieldmasta
  • 2x Darkscale Healer
  • 2x Boulderfist Ogre

Maybe you prefer the long game, or want a challenge? Control decks require a little more skill to pilot, due to longer games, though often have more obvious decisions. Kill your enemy's minions to stay alive long enough to drop your large threats.

Priest is one of the better classes for it due to good spells for killing minions - the pair of shadow words - card draw, and the unbeatable endgame that is Mind Control. Try to draw as many cards as possible with Northshire Cleric and drown your opponent in their own threats with Thoughtsteal.

Beginner Ramp Deck - Druid

Beginner Ramp deck Hearthstone

 Druid cards

Neutral cards 

  • 2x Innervate
  • 2x Claw
  • 2x Druid of the Saber
  • 1x Mark of the Wild
  • 2x Wild Growth
  • 2x Jade Blossom
  • 2x Swipe
  • 2x Druid of the Claw
  • 2x Starfire
  • 2x Ironbark Protector
  • 2x Acidic Swamp Ooze
  • 2x Ironfur Grizzly
  • 2x Chillwind Yeti
  • 2x Gnomish Invetor
  • 2x Sen'jin Shieldmasta
  • 1x Boulderfist Ogre

Ramp decks are about playing the fattest minions around as fast as possible. Using any way they can to get more mana quickly, they'll sacrifice cards, life, or whatever else to give them more resources, and spend those resources on huge threats.

In a Druid's case that involves using the two very powerful class cards, Wild Growth and Innervate, to get them out far earlier than your opponent can deal with them. Jade Blossom helps in this regard too, and is worth playing without any other jade cards just to get you closer to 8/8s with Taunt. Then hit opponents in the face. A lot.

Beginner Burn Deck - Mage

Beginner burn deck hearthstone

 Mage cards

Neutral cards 

  • 2x Arcane Missiles
  • 2x Mana Wyrm
  • 2x Frostbolt
  • 2x Sorcerer's Apprentice
  • 2x Arcane Intellect
  • 1x Mirror Entity
  • 2x Fireball
  • 2x Polymorph
  • 2x Water Elemental
  • 1x Flame Lance
  • 2x Faceless Summoner
  • 2x Flamestrike
  • 2x Ironfur Grizzly
  • 2x Chillwind Yeti
  • 2x Gnomish Inventor
  • 2x Sen'jin Shieldmasta

Burn means, as you might expect, blowing up your opponent's face with spells - fireballs, frostbolts, the usual. To do this, you also need to make sure you're not going to die first, which is the challenging bit.

Mage is excellent at this, with a hero power that can contribute and the heaviest damaging spells in the game. They also have strong minions that buff this strategy, be it the spell-cheapening Apprentice or the power-gaining Mana Wyrm.

Beginner Token Deck - Paladin

Beginner Token deck Hearthstone

 Paladin cards

Neutral cards 

  • 2x Repentance
  • 2x Argent Protector
  • 2x Grimestreet Outfitter
  • 2x Blessing of Kings
  • 2x Consecration
  • 2x Murloc Knight
  • 2x Truesilver Champion
  • 2x Stand Against Darkness
  • 2x Acidic Swamp Ooze
  • 2x Raid Leader
  • 2x Shattered Sun Cleric
  • 2x Chillwind Yeti
  • 2x Sen'jin Sheildmasta
  • 2x Frostwolf Warlord
  • 2x Stormwind Champion

Token decks take a bit of Magic: The Gathering terminology, token, to mean small creatures that are usually created in groups or from other cards. Once you have your swarm, buffing them up to be more powerful or simply overwhelming your opponent will do wonders.

Paladin is good for this as it has a number of hand-buffing cards from the Gadgetzan set, as well as the ability to create minions with its hero power. You can even use Repentence to make sure you can beat through any minion to the face of your opponent within.

Improving your Hearthstone collection

You don’t have to spend money to play Hearthstone, but while investing a small amount of money in the game won’t necessarily give you an immediate winrate bump, it will give you access to a much wider selection of cards. That selection will subsequently improve the options available to you when it comes to building a deck, and will give you an advantage over an opponent who has a limited selection of cards..

There are three ways to collect new cards in Hearthstone, and all of them are available to you without spending a single pennycent. 

  • Firstly, buying packs. There is a choice of three different packs in the Hearthstone store, from each of the last three expansions plus the classic set. This is the main avenue with which the Hearthstone development team introduces new cards to the game. These packs cost 100 gold - Hearthstone’s in-game currency earned by playing the game - or around £1 / $1.50 each if you decide you want to open your wallet. There's also the Welcome Bundle, which is recommended for all players as it gives ten packs and a random legendary for £4 / $5, but can only be purchased once.
  • Secondly you can earn cards. As you level up each of the game’s nine classes you will be rewarded with cards from the basic set. You also have access to new cards via the game’s adventure expansions - these cost 700 gold per wing, and are a very efficient way of boosting the quality of your card collection. They can also be purchased for £13.99 / $19.99.
  • The final method of collecting new Hearthstone cards is crafting. You can craft cards that you want to include in a deck by spending ethereal dust which is obtained by destroying cards that you deem surplus to requirements. The rate on return is fairly low, with four disenchants required to make a card of that rarity, so we would suggest you think very hard before destroying - or ‘disenchanting’ - any cards that you have two or fewer copies of.

For those of you that have just picked up the game, the Welcome Bundle detailed above offers you the best value for money we’ve ever seen in terms of card collection. Alternatively, buying one or two of the game’s adventures will give you a huge boost to the deck options available to you. The adventures offer an excellent gameplay experience and around 45 cards for their relatively low price - start with whatever the most recent one is, at time of writing that's One Night in Karazhan.

Got suggestions for your fellow players? Put them in the comments below.

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Shriven avatarRobertweb avatarNick Wilson avatarDustyGerkin avatarPikaDoggy123 avatarRyuro avatar+5
Shriven Avatar
3 Years ago

I can vouch for the beginner paladin deck. 6 wins 1 loss. lovely.

DustyGerkin Avatar
1 Year ago

As a beginners guide you might want to explain some of the jargon that goes with it otherwise as it stands you'll need some knowledge to even start with these.

Will have to give some of those decks a go.

PikaDoggy123 Avatar
1 Year ago

Is there still a decklist for the death rattle shaman deck(You can't kill it)?

Ryuro Avatar
1 Year ago

where are the other decks

am0eba Avatar
1 Year ago

Are these decks still effective/up to date?

Berserk Avatar
11 Months ago

Just wanted to mention that using Nerubian profet instead of Thing from below is viable to and most importantly cheaper and available for all classes . Can be used on turn 3 if you start with it in your hand and once tranformed with evolve , it will turn into a 7 cost minion .

Berserk Avatar
11 Months ago

My comment was for the shaman deck btw

mechacharizard Avatar
1 Month ago

I'm confused, are these decks up to date or not? I am wondering since the comments are from 3 years ago...

Tim Edwards Avatar
1 Month ago

We update the story with new decks each patch. So yes, generally they're up to date

Lekonias Avatar
1 Week ago

in priest control deck there are only 28 cards

Robertweb Avatar
2 Years ago

Fix Druid deck , 28/30 cards...

Nick Wilson Avatar
2 Years ago

Fixed. The two missing cards were 2 x Starfire. Thanks for the heads up!

Robertweb Avatar
2 Years ago

Upload new cards.(Curse of naxxramas)