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Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons - 5 Standard decks to try

The new Hearthstone expansion, Descent of Dragons, is live, and there are a lot of new dragons taking to the skies. Shacknews has five Standard deck suggestions for those just starting out.


In what's been a pretty big week for video games, Blizzard has released the latest Hearthstone expansion, Descent of Dragons. The dragons have finally made their presence known in the Year of the Dragon and that means over 100 new cards to experiment with. But with so many new cards and some new ideas to work with, it might be a little difficult to know where to even begin.

Fortunately, Shacknews is here to help everyone, at the very least, get started. We've spotlighted some of the best ideas to help Hearthstone players get started on their Ranked journey in Descent of Dragons, which mix together new cards with a few old ideas. Let's take a look at five of the best decks from Day One.

Brian Kibler's Dragon Warrior

  • 2x (1) Shield Slam
  • 2x (1) Town Crier
  • 2x (2) Dragon Roar
  • 2x (2) Ritual Chopper
  • 2x (3) Awaken!
  • 2x (3) Scion of Ruin
  • 2x (3) Shield Block
  • 2x (3) Smolderthorn Lancer
  • 2x (4) Devoted Maniac
  • 2x (4) Molten Breath
  • 2x (4) Restless Mummy
  • 1x (4) War Master Voone
  • 2x (5) Emberscale Drake
  • 1x (5) Zilliax
  • 1x (6) Kronx Dragonhoof
  • 1x (7) Galakrond, The Unbreakable
  • 1x (8) Akali, The Rhino
  • 1x (8) Deathwing, Mad Aspect

Anyone who has followed the Hearthstone scene for any amount of time know that Brian Kibler is the foremost expert on Dragons. But Descent of Dragons gives him a chance to do something a little different. Rather than going to his old standby of Dragon Priest, he's focusing on Dragon Warrior. And why wouldn't he? The Warrior has a buffet table's worth of Dragon options, with the ability to add even more with Dragon Roar.

The interesting inclusion here is Akali, the Rhino, but it does make sense given the high roll play. Akali's effect has a good chance of drawing Scion of Ruin, which would put three 8/7 Rush Dragons on the board, significantly diminishing the opposition's defense.

All of this sets up Galakrond, which can significantly chip away at the opponent's health as the game hits the later turns.

DeadDraw and/or Takas' Deathrattle Rogue


  • 2x (0) Backstab
  • 2x (0) Shadowstep
  • 1x (0) Wisp
  • 2x (1) Bloodsail Flybooter
  • 2x (1) Pharaoh Cat
  • 2x (1) Praise Galakrond!
  • 2x (2) Sap
  • 2x (3) EVIL Miscreant
  • 1x (3) Edwin VanCleef
  • 2x (3) Necrium Blade
  • 2x (3) Seal Fate
  • 2x (4) Necrium Apothecary
  • 2x (5) Faceless Corruptor
  • 1x (5) Zilliax
  • 1x (6) Heistbaron Togwaggle
  • 1x (6) Kronx Dragonhoof
  • 2x (6) Mechanical Whelp
  • 1x (7) Galakrond, The Nightmare


  • 2x (0) Backstab
  • 2x (0) Shadowstep
  • 2x (0) Wisp
  • 2x (1) Bloodsail Flybooter
  • 2x (1) Pharaoh Cat
  • 2x (2) Eviscerate
  • 2x (2) Sap
  • 2x (3) EVIL Miscreant
  • 1x (3) Edwin VanCleef
  • 2x (3) Necrium Blade
  • 2x (4) Necrium Apothecary
  • 2x (5) Faceless Corruptor
  • 1x (5) Leeroy Jenkins
  • 1x (5) Zilliax
  • 1x (6) Cairne Bloodhoof
  • 1x (6) Flik Skyshiv
  • 1x (6) Heistbaron Togwaggle
  • 2x (6) Mechanical Whelp

Both of these Deathrattle Rogues are riding along the top of Legend at the moment and the biggest difference is Galakrond, the Nightmare. UK player Jack "DeadDraw" Bancroft has opted for the Galakrond build, which bolsters his Lackey count and makes Heistbaron Togwaggle an optimal play in the late game. Meanwhile, his Deathrattles can fill up the board in the late game, especially if he can draw something like Mechanical Whelp for free.

However, DeadDraw jumped on Twitter and pointed to Koren player Takas' build as superior. For Takas, he's removed all of the Galakrond cards and sprinkled in valuable Legendaries that provide additional Deathrattles (Cairne), control (Flik), and win conditions (Leeroy).

Your Deathrattle Rogue will be a matter of preference, but both of these builds are solid.

Zalae's Quest Shaman

  • 2x (0) Mutate
  • 1x (1) Corrupt the Waters
  • 2x (1) Invocation of Frost
  • 2x (1) Sludge Slurper
  • 2x (2) EVIL Cable Rat
  • 1x (2) Novice Engineer
  • 2x (2) Questing Explorer
  • 2x (2) Sandstorm Elemental
  • 2x (3) Mind Control Tech
  • 2x (4) Devoted Maniac
  • 2x (4) Troll Batrider
  • 2x (5) Corrupt Elementalist
  • 2x (5) Dragon's Pack
  • 2x (5) Faceless Corruptor
  • 1x (7) Galakrond, the Tempest
  • 2x (7) Mogu Fleshshaper
  • 1x (9) Shudderwock

Quest Shaman is back with a vengeance, thanks to this expansion. It looks a little bit different, but it's not less powerful. Paul "Zalae" Nemeth has put together a strong new-look Quest Shaman, one that runs on Galakrond, The Tempest. Galakrond's invocations combined with the Shaman Uldum Quest has proven to be a control option that few anticipated. The 2/1 Rush minions pile up fast and are often able to clear the board with little trouble. That sets the stage for an insurmountable Shudderwock play near the end of the game.

BoarControl's Highlander Warlock

  • 1x (0) Wisp
  • 1x (1) Mortal Coil
  • 1x (2) Acidic Swamp Ooze
  • 1x (2) Doomsayer
  • 1x (2) Nether Breath
  • 1x (2) Sunfury Protector
  • 1x (2) Zephrys the Great
  • 1x (3) Dark Skies
  • 1x (3) Earthen Ring Farseer
  • 1x (3) SN1P-SN4P
  • 1x (3) Scalerider
  • 1x (4) Bone Wraith
  • 1x (4) Dragonmaw Poacher
  • 1x (4) Hellfire
  • 1x (4) Spellbreaker
  • 1x (4) Twilight Drake
  • 1x (5) Barista Lynchen
  • 1x (5) Crazed Netherwring
  • 1x (5) Faceless Corruptor
  • 1x (5) Omega Agent
  • 1x (5) Rotten Applebaum
  • 1x (5) Zilliax
  • 1x (6) Abyssal Summoner
  • 1x (6) Aranasi Broodmother
  • 1x (6) Evasive Wyrm
  • 1x (6) Khartut Defender
  • 1x (7) Lord Godfrey
  • 2x (7) Valdris Felgorge
  • 1x (9) Dragonqueen Alexstrasza
  • 1x (12) Mountain Giant

So far, these decks have a lot of Galakrond. But what about decks that don't use Galakrond? To start, let's take a look at George "BoarControl" Webb's unique spin on the Warlock. This doesn't use Galakrond, but it also doesn't use a lot of the stronger Zoo mechanics of previous expansions. Nor does it use something like a fallback Arch-Villain Rafaam.

No, this simply uses a lot of strong cards that work on their own, some primo tech choices like Dragonmaw Poacher, and the big-time Highlander plays like Zephrys, the Great and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza.

Barring some bad RNG draws, this deck should serve a lot of Warlock players well, with cards for almost any situation.

Thijs' Cyclone Mage

  • 2x (0) Elemental Evocation
  • 2x (1) Elemental Allies
  • 2x (1) Magic Trick
  • 2x (1) Mirror Image
  • 2x (1) Ray of Frost
  • 2x (1) Violet Spellwing
  • 1x (2) Khadgar
  • 2x (2) Mana Cyclone
  • 2x (2) Research Project
  • 2x (2) Sorcerer's Apprentice
  • 2x (3) Arcane Intellect
  • 1x (3) Banana Buffoon
  • 1x (3) Chenvaala
  • 1x (3) Frost Nova
  • 1x (3) Stargazer Luna
  • 1x (4) Conjurer's Calling
  • 2x (8) Mana Giant
  • 2x (12) Mountain Giant

We've explored enough of the "EVIL" classes. Now let's end on one of the heroic classes, namely the Mage. Cyclone Mage has been one of the most fun decks to play in previous expansions, but it's gone under the radar as far as most improved classes goes. European legend and tea drinker extraordinaire Thijs Molendijk has come up with a fun new twist on the Cyclone Mage, where Chenvaala would appear to be the big win condition. Flanked by Sorcerer's Apprentice and a slew of cheap spells, there's a lot here to help activate Chenvaala's effect and fill the board with 5/5 Elementals.

If that's not good enough, Mana Cyclone's effect will keep your hand full to the point that Mountain Giant becomes an easy play. But more than that, those random spells all dock the cost of Mana Giant, which can get reduced to (0) quite quickly. Mana Giant is one of the quiet MVPs for the Mage in this expansion so far and he could be your win condition if all else goes wrong.

Best of luck to everyone playing today. Has anyone discovered a deck worth playing in Descent of Dragons? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 11, 2019 12:30 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Hearthstone: Descent of Dragons - 5 Standard decks to try

    • reply
      December 11, 2019 11:35 PM

      The deathrattle rogue stuff is decently powerful. Even highlander versions of deathrattle rogue seem to be showing success.

      Shaman is super busted. Their galakrond cards are just clearly better than what other classes do. And it’s basically impossible to beat them at tempo with all their rush minions.

      So I’ve just been playing holy wraith pally around top 50 legend because it’s doesn’t care about tempo at all.

      I’m really curious what goes on in the hearthstone balance team. Like I understand that not every card/deck should be at the same power level, but pretty consistently this year we’ve seen egregiously broken things that feel like no testing had happened at all.

    • reply
      December 12, 2019 3:20 AM

      Any chance you could include deck copy codes in future articles?

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