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Hearthstone: Scholomance Academy - 8 decks to try on Day 1

Hearthstone launches its Scholomance Academy expansion tomorrow, so we're going to spotlight eight decks to try out on the first day. That's four from us and four from the Hearthstone pros!

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Hearthstone's Scholomance Academy is about to start its school year. The next big expansion for Blizzard's collectible card game will arrive this Thursday, which means it's going to be time to play around with new deck ideas and refine some old ones to work in a new way. So where does one even begin?

Shacknews is here to help answer that question. This is normally the point where we look at some of the pro/streamer deck ideas and make our case for why they'll be fun to play. And we're still doing that! The difference this time around is that Blizzard also invited Shacknews to last week's Theorycrafting event, which meant we also got to toy around with some deck ideas. So here are eight decks ideas to try out, four from the greater Hearthstone world and four from myself.

Pathra's Duel Paladin

  • 2x (0) First Day of School
  • 1x (1) Sphere of Sapience
  • 1x (1) Wave of Apathy
  • 2x (2) Air Raid
  • 2x (2) Hand of A'dal
  • 1x (2) Lightforged Blessing
  • 2x (2) Subdue
  • 2x (3) Call to Adventure
  • 1x (4) Archmage Vargoth
  • 1x (4) Nozdormu the Timeless
  • 2x (5) Duel!
  • 2x (6) Judicious Junior
  • 2x (7) Commencement
  • 2x (8) Batterhead
  • 2x (8) Plagued Protodrake
  • 1x (8) Tirion Fordring
  • 1x (8) Turalyon, the Tenured
  • 1x (9) Burly Shovelfist
  • 2x (10) Scrapyard Colossus

The Paladin has a lot of big bodies to play with in this expansion, which means that the Duel Paladin deck is looking a lot more enticing. The Archmage Vargoth/Duel! combo is not new, but it's gotten so many new tools that it's now become quite viable. Scholomance Academy offers a lot of new big bodies like Plagued Protodrake, Judicious Junior, and Turalyon, the Tenured to pull from Duel. And meanwhile, the new First Day of School spell offers a new opening play that doesn't poison the Duel well, while Sphere of Sapience puts larger minions at the bottom of your deck to wait for their Duel turn. Pull out double Duels with Vargoth and you can wreak havoc on Warlock and Demon Hunter decks, overwhelming your opponent before they can even react. Pick up the pace with Nozdormu the Timeless and get that combo online quickly.


Ozzie's Galakrond Control Priest

  • 2x (1) Disciple of Galakrond
  • 2x (1) Renew
  • 1x (2) Mindrender Illucia
  • 2x (2) Power Word: Feast
  • 2x (2) Sethekk Veilweaver
  • 2x (2) Shadow Word: Death
  • 2x (3) Apotheosis
  • 2x (3) Breath of the Infinite
  • 1x (3) Educated Elekk
  • 2x (3) Shadow Madness
  • 2x (4) Brittlebone Destroyer
  • 2x (4) Fate Weaver
  • 1x (5) Headmaster Kel'Thuzad
  • 2x (5) Shield of Galakrond
  • 2x (5) Time Rip
  • 1x (6) Kronx Dragonhoof
  • 1x (7) Galakrond, the Unspeakable
  • 1x (7) Soul Mirror

Deck ID: AAECAZ/HAgbjtAPIvgPIwAOzzAP70QO61QMM3AHTCtesA9qsA/KsA/6uA82vA5O6A5u6A6+6A9bOA7TRAwA=

On the one hand, there isn't a lot to fix in the Galakrond Priest deck. There's so much healing and so resource-heavy that it could still carry you, even through this new meta. There are a few new tools I wanted to play around with. Because there are so many healing tools like Renew, Brittlebone Destroyer felt like a strong inclusion to further establish control. Power Word: Feast works well with Sethekk Veilweaver. And then there's Headmaster Kel'Thuzad, which can make a lot of noise if he's discounted by Fate Weaver.

A card I like to play on tempo is Educated Elekk, just because I can add some additional spells to my deck. But if you want to talk about unexpected plays, it's Mindrender Illucia, which is an "In case of emergency, break glass" play. If you sense your opponent's nearing their win condition, play this and toss those cards away, even if it means losing a few tools yourself.


RegisKillbin's Secret Thief Rogue

  • 1x (1) Bazaar Buglary
  • 2x (1) Blackjack Stunner
  • 2x (1) Dragon's Hoard
  • 2x (1) Secret Passage
  • 2x (1) Togwaggle's Scheme
  • 2x (1) Wand Thief
  • 2x (2) Ambush
  • 2x (2) Bamboozle
  • 2x (2) Clever Disguise
  • 2x (2) Plagiarize
  • 1x (2) Shadowjeweler Hanar
  • 2x (2) Underbelly Fence
  • 2x (3) Coerce
  • 2x (4) Hench Clan Burglar
  • 2x (4) Vendetta
  • 1x (5) Jandice Barrow
  • 1x (6) Flik Skyshiv

Deck ID: AAECAaIHBKeoA/vEA9nRA8GuAw3QuQO3rgOqywOvkQOk0QPMuQO5vgOtqAPl0wP7mgOK0AOQlwP+mgMA

The Rogue has received so many theft tools that the Uldum Quest is suddenly viable again. Plagiarize and Wand Thief are chief among the fabulous new thief cards now available to the Rogue player.

But the key to making this deck work is Rogue Secrets, especially with Shadowjeweler Hanar. What makes the Secret Rogue deck so much more dangerous now is the addition of Secret Passage, which allows Rogue players to further rummage through their deck.

This deck is so resource-heavy that it could crush a lot of its opposition. Its weakness appears to be larger-target removal, but any new cards you pick up off of something like Wand Thief should be able to help with that.


Ozzie's Spell Mage 2.0

  • 2x (1) Devolving Missiles
  • 1x (1) Evocation
  • 2x (1) Font of Power
  • 2x (1) Learn Draconic
  • 2x (1) Magic Trick
  • 2x (1) Primordial Studies
  • 1x (1) Raid the Sky Temple
  • 2x (2) Frostbolt
  • 2x (2) Incanter's Flow
  • 2x (3) Combustion
  • 2x (3) Counterspell
  • 2x (3) Flame Ward
  • 1x (3) Netherwind Portal
  • 2x (5) Apexis Blast
  • 2x (6) Blizzard
  • 2x (7) Flamestrike
  • 1x (10) The Amazing Reno

Deck ID: AAECAf0EBLmlA4y2A8K4A8W4Aw1xyQOWBewH/50Dv6QD8a8DwbgDjLkDgb8D4MwDzc4DlNEDAA==

The second iteration of the all-spell Mage has a lot of potential. Much of that is because of the addition of new control spells like Combustion. But the real cheese comes in finding new tools off of effects from cards like Evocation, Font of Power, and the new Primordial Studies. The spells you pack in can keep opposing boards under control while anything new you find off effects, including the completed Uldum Quest, should help lead you to victory. And of course, remember to use The Amazing Reno when your back is absolutely against the wall.

Is this Mage deck fun? Yes it is. Is it the best Mage deck to try on Day 1? Oh, lord no. That would be...


Thijs' Exodia Mage

  • 2x (1) Arcane Missiles
  • 1x (1) Evocation
  • 1x (1) Magic Trick
  • 2x (1) Primordial Studies
  • 2x (1) Ray of Frost
  • 1x (1) Sphere of Sapience
  • 2x (2) Ancient Mysteries
  • 1x (2) Bloodmage Thalnos
  • 2x (2) Doomsayer
  • 2x (2) Loot Hoarder
  • 2x (2) Sorcerer's Apprentice
  • 2x (2) Arcane Intellect
  • 1x (3) Flame Ward
  • 2x (3) Frost Nova
  • 2x (3) Ice Barrier
  • 1x (4) Potion of Illusion
  • 1x (5) Mozaki, Master Duelist
  • 2x (6) Blizzard
  • 1x (8) Jepetto Joybuzz

Thijs Molendijk has dealt and been on the receiving end of this new OTK Mage combo. Mozaki, Master Duelist is the key to success here, as it gains Spell Damage +1 for every spell cast. So the idea is to drop Sorcerer's Apprentice, play cheap spells like Primordial Studies or free Secrets off of Ancient Mysteries before blasting opponents to oblivion with super-powered Arcane Missiles.

The scary thing is, this isn't even this deck's final form. Somebody's going to think to add even more Arcane Missiles by finding a spot for Violet Spellwing. This one could get ugly and if you're on the right side of this combo, it's going to be sweet.


Ozzie's Soul Fragment Warlock

  • 2x (0) Raise Dead
  • 2x (1) Felosophy
  • 2x (1) Spirit Jailer
  • 2x (1) Unstable Felbolt
  • 2x (1) Voidwalker
  • 2x (2) Imprisoned Scrap Imp
  • 1x (2) Kanrethad Ebonlocke
  • 2x (2) Soul Shear
  • 2x (2) Twisted Knowledge
  • 2x (3) Dark Skies
  • 2x (3) School Spirits
  • 2x (3) Shadowlight Scholar
  • 2x (4) Brittlebone Destroyer
  • 2x (5) Void Drinker
  • 1x (7) Soulciologist Malicia
  • 2x (8) Flesh Giant

Deck ID: AAECAfqUAwLWuQPP0gMOMOusA622A8e5A72+A6zLA7jOA9bOA9fOA//OA8HRA8zSA83SA87SAwA=

Here's a deck that takes advantage of the new Soul Fragment mechanic that's being introduced with Scholomance Academy. The obvious key to winning here is making sure your Soul Fragment supply is filled up. So don't feel any shame in using Felosophy on that 1-Cost Spirit Jailer. You need Soul Fragments to make this deck work, after all.

And if you have Soul Fragments at the ready, then the Void Drinker becomes a dangerous Turn 5 drop. If your opponent can get through those, then that'll be the point where you're ready to start dropping Flesh Giants.

This is another deck that could be made that much better with some tweaks. For example, take a moment to reflect on whether you really need Karenthad Ebonlocke in this deck. Or think about whether you might want to surprise opponents with Lord Jaraxxus.


Alliestrasza's Big Warrior

  • 2x (1) Athletic Studies
  • 2x (1) Shield Slam
  • 1x (1) Sword and Board
  • 2x (2) Corsair Cache
  • 1x (2) Execute
  • 2x (3) Bladestorm
  • 1x (3) Bulwark of Azzinoth
  • 2x (3) Ramming Speed
  • 2x (3) Shield Block
  • 1x (4) Kargath Bladefist
  • 2x (4) Reaper's Scythe
  • 2x (5) Brawl
  • 2x (7) Commencement
  • 1x (8) Deathwing, Mad Aspect
  • 2x (8) Troublemaker
  • 1x (9) Rattlegore
  • 1x (10) Colossus of the Moon
  • 2x (10) Dimensional Ripper
  • 1x (10) The Boom Reaver

Deck ID: AAECAQcI9sIDkQb5wgO+uQPfrQOr1APfqQP2lgML4swDogTAuQO4uQOK0AP/B+PMA0vS0QOnzgOWlAMA

Bigger is often better, so Allie 'Alliestrasza' Macpherson started rounding up the heavy hitters for her Warrior deck. This deck relies on control tools, Armor buildup, and protection until the late game, at which point the big bodies start raining down. While I didn't play against Alliestrasza during the Theorycrafting session, I didn't need to in order to get a firsthand look at the damage that Dimensional Ripper can cause in a deck like this. If that pulls out double Rattlegore, you are in for a world of hurt.

Commencement will likewise do a lot of work in a deck like this. Picture it pulling out Deathwing, Mad Aspect or Kargath Prime and giving them Divine Shield and Taunt on top of everything else. Yikes!


Ozzie's Miracle Shaman

  • 2x (0) Lightning Bloom
  • 2x (1) Primordial Studies
  • 2x (2) Diligent Notetaker
  • 2x (2) Dwarven Archaeologist
  • 2x (2) EVIL Totem
  • 2x (2) Wandmaker
  • 2x (3) Far Sight
  • 1x (3) Instructor Fireheart
  • 1x (3) Lady Vashj
  • 2x (3) Lava Burst
  • 2x (3) Mana Tide Totem
  • 2x (3) Marshspawn
  • 2x (4) Groundskeeper
  • 2x (5) Hagatha's Scheme
  • 1x (6) The Lurker Below
  • 2x (8) Tidal Wave
  • 1x (9) Malygos

Deck ID: AAECAaoIBLQD5LgDk8IDnM4DDYEEsgbgBq2RA9+gA/mlA5i5A+HMA83OA6HRA/7RA67SA/DUAwA=

I won't lie, I went into the Theorycrafting event hoping to pull off some cool OTK Malygos combos. But along the way, I discovered just how much fun Instructor Fireheart could be. Now imagine how much more fun it is when combined with Dwarven Archaeologist, which discounts all of Instructor Fireheart's spells.

Your worst case scenario is that you'll often clear out a threatening board state. At best, this ends the game, as you can just keep on going face with spells like Lightning Bolt and Lava Burst.

My best piece of advice is to move fast! Start the combo immediately as soon as your turn begins, because you'll get the rope timer much faster than you think. Time flies when you're performing miracles.


Those are some of the decks we recommend for the first day of Hearthstone's Scholomance Academy expansion. What are you looking to try out? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments. Are you not registered? Click the button at the top of the page and register with our Chatty community. And don't forget to subscribe to Mercury for the optimal, ad-free Shacknews experience.

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?

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