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6 decks to try on Day 1 of Hearthstone: Madness at the Darkmoon Faire

Hearthstone: Madness at the Darkmoon Faire is about to open its gates, so why not check out these six deck ideas for the first day?


Hearthstone: Madness at the Darkmoon Faire is about to go live and that means there are more than 150 new cards to explore and experiment with. A whole new meta is about to kick in and you don't want to be left behind. That's why today, Shacknews is focusing on helping you find some exciting new decks to play on the first day of the new expansion.

Many of these decks come from firsthand knowledge, as we were among the outlets invited to last Thursday's Theorycrafting session. We not only played with many of these cards, we were often on the wrong side of these decks, watching helplessly as we were crushed like bugs. If you are interested in not being crushed like a bug, consider taking these decks out for a spin.

RDU's Galakrond Weapon Shaman

  • 2x (0) Lightning Bloom
  • 2x (1) Sludge Slurper
  • 2x (2) Cagematch Custodian
  • 2x (2) Deathmatch Pavillion
  • 2x (2) Invocation of Frost
  • 1x (3) Instructor Fireheart
  • 2x (3) Pit Master
  • 2x (3) Stormstrike
  • 2x (3) Whack-A-Gnoll Hammer
  • 2x (4) Devoted Maniac
  • 2x (5) Boggspine Knuckles
  • 2x (5) Dragon's Pack
  • 1x (5) Inara Stormcrash
  • 2x (5) Shield of Galakrond
  • 2x (6) Corrupt Elementalist
  • 1x (6) Kronx Dragonhoof
  • 1x (7) Galakrond, the Tempest

Deck ID: AAECAaoIBJzOA67eA+O0A9PAAw3w1APGmQOq3gOs3gPQrwOp3gOo3gOr3gOqrwPduAO3rQP+rgO5rQMA

The Shaman is being called one of the sleeper classes of this expansion and if Dima "RDU" Radu's Shaman deck proves anything, it's that this class has a lot of tools at its disposal. This deck utilizes a full Galakrond build, a lot of which can be used to Corrupt the 3-Cost Pit Master. There are a lot of weapons at play here, including Boggspine Knuckles to evolve what's on the board and the new Whack-A-Gnoll Hammer to buff any friendly minions. Both of those weapons will work well with the Galakrond Elementals, but the money is going to be in the new Legendary, Inara Stormcrash. This allows for extra Attack plus Windfury strikes, which will be handy with the aforementioned weapons. It'll be deadly if Galakrond is fully upgraded and gives you a 5/2 weapon, because you can basically hit for 14 damage.

While RDU is overall projecting Shaman to be a weaker class, the weapon tools give it a lot of potential in this expansion.

Alliestrasza's Big Priest

  • 2x (1) Draconic Studies
  • 2x (1) Holy Smite
  • 2x (1) Renew
  • 1x (1) Wave of Apathy
  • 2x (2) Insight
  • 2x (2) Penance
  • 1x (2) Shadow Word: Death
  • 1x (2) Shadow Word: Pain
  • 2x (3) Breath of the Infinite
  • 2x (3) Palm Reading
  • 1x (4) Archmage Vargoth
  • 1x (4) The Nameless One
  • 1x (7) Soul Mirror
  • 1x (8) G'huun the Blood God
  • 2x (8) Idol of Y'Shaarj
  • 1x (8) Plagued Protodrake
  • 2x (9) Blood of G'huun
  • 1x (9) Mass Resurrection
  • 1x (9) Ysera
  • 2x (10) Scrapyard Colossus

Deck ID: AAECAa0GCsvNA9MK1wrWmQOY3gPIvgP93wOs1AOZmwOiCQrezAOXApO6A/vfA5mpA/KsA+LeA/zfA/rfA/O7AwA=

Allie "Alliestrasza" Macpherson took a break from playing Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate for a bit and found one of the stronger day one decks. Yes, Big Priest is back! That's thanks mainly to new cards Blood of G'huun and Idol of Y'Shaarj. Getting to the big guys is the key to success in this deck, so fortunately there are enough control tools to reach the later turns.

The other major element to this deck involves using the new Palm Reading spell, which not only offers a potential extra control spell, but it also discounts the spells in your hand. So you could potentially play a cheaper Idol of Y'Shaarj or Mass Resurrection. The way this deck misses is if it pulls the big guys too soon, so try and keep them in your deck.

(If you really insist on putting Yogg-Saron in this deck, Alliestrasza also ran a version of this deck subbing Yogg in for G'huun the Blood God.)

DogDog's Big Druid

  • 2x (0) Innervate
  • 2x (0) Lightning Bloom
  • 2x (1) Crystal Power
  • 2x (1) Nature Studies
  • 2x (2) Guess the Weight
  • 2x (2) Steel Beetle
  • 2x (3) Moontouched Amulet
  • 2x (3) Wild Growth
  • 2x (4) Groundskeeper
  • 1x (4) Kiri, Chosen of Elune
  • 2x (4) Overgrowth
  • 2x (5) Anubisath Defender
  • 2x (7) Strongman
  • 2x (9) Carnival Clown
  • 2x (10) Survival of the Fittest
  • 1x (10) Y'Shaarj, the Defiler


Send in the clowns!

David "dogdog" Caero has gone full clown fiesta with his new Big Druid deck. On the surface, this is a standard Ramp Druid, where the object is to get to ten mana as quickly as possible. That allows room for a Survival of the Fittest turn. And you might be saying to youself, "And then Kael'thas Sunstrider plays it at a discount, right?"

No, you silly person! There should be a word for people like you... a person who wears makeup and a red nose, who's usually found at a circus. That word escapes me at the moment.

Anyway, no, you want to play Survival of the Fittest at its full cost, because that would then Corrupt the new Carnival Clown minion. When it's Corrupted, it fills your board with 4/4 Clowns. But wait! If it's buffed by Survival of the Fittest, it fills your board with 8/8 Clowns! That's disgusting! What does that even look like? Well, it looks something like this.

Even if the card's not Corrupted, just three 8/8 Clowns sounds like a nightmare to deal with. It's a clown show, bro! If you can ramp up your Druid fast enough, then send in the clowns!

Thijs' Tickatus Warlock

  • 1x (1) Felosophy
  • 2x (1) Mortal Coil
  • 2x (2) Midway Maniac
  • 2x (2) Mo'arg Artificer
  • 2x (2) Nether Breath
  • 2x (3) Dark Skies
  • 2x (3) Free Admission
  • 1x (3) Man'ari Mosher
  • 1x (4) Crimson Hothead
  • 2x (4) Fire Breather
  • 2x (5) Crazed Netherwing
  • 2x (6) Aranasi Broodmother
  • 1x (6) Ring Matron
  • 1x (6) Tickatus
  • 2x (7) Strongman
  • 2x (8) Twisting Nether
  • 1x (9) Alexstrasza
  • 1x (9) Dragonqueen Alexstrasza
  • 1x (10) Y'Shaarj, the Defiler

Deck ID: AAECAf0GCM7SA5PeA93MA7zjA87hA8UEkbED/N4DC8QIlt4D6b4D7KwD66wDld4Dkt4D5awD2pYD5uED2wYA

Fewer Legendaries are going to hurt more than Tickatus. When the Corrupt Tickatus gets online, it wipes out five of the opponent's card. And in Warlock decks, it's actually quite easy to Corrupt this Legendary. The easiest way to make this work is with Twisting Nether, which is a total board clear. This could be a 2-for-1 deal, because it'll also Corrupt the new Strongman card, which gives you something to leave on the board. Worst case, you can play the vanilla Strongman for 7 mana and that will also Corrupt Tickatus.

This deck is made even more brutal by the presence of Y'Shaarj, the Defiler. That puts Tickatus right back in your hand and allows you to burn another five of your opponent's cards. There's a very good chance that by that point, your opponent's win condition will be gone and it's just a simple matter of outlasting them.

RegisKillbin's Secret C'Thun Rogue

  • 2x (0) Backstab
  • 1x (0) Preparation
  • 2x (0) Shadowstep
  • 2x (1) Blackjack Stunner
  • 2x (1) Pharaoh Cat
  • 2x (1) Secret Passage
  • 2x (1) Wand Thief
  • 1x (2) Ambush
  • 2x (2) Dirty Tricks
  • 1x (2) Plagiarize
  • 1x (2) Shadowjeweler Hanar
  • 1x (2) Tenwu of the Red Smoke
  • 1x (3) Edwin VanCleef
  • 1x (3) Questing Adventurer
  • 2x (3) Ticket Master
  • 2x (5) Malevolent Strike
  • 2x (5) Stowaway
  • 1x (6) Flik Skyshiv
  • 1x (6) Grand Empress Skek'zara
  • 1x (10) C'Thun, the Shattered

Deck ID: AAECAaIHCoYJzLkD5dMD+8QDw+EDsgKXBsGuA+rdA7/gAwq0Ae0C0LkD9acDqssDpNEDzrkD5d0D8d0Dvq4DAA==

As we noted in our primer for The Old Gods, there's a lot of risk in using C'Thun. Getting to C'Thun is a long process and you have to get very lucky on card draws to make this work. Rogue has the tools to make this work with the Galakrond build, but here's RegisKillbin playing 4D chess and not using any Galakrond tools at all. Instead, this plays more like a Secret Rogue build.

The MVP of this deck turns out to be Stowaway. Remember that C'Thun's pieces technically don't start in your deck, so Stowaway can draw two of them. That gives you the tools in-hand to assemble your C'Thun. Once C'Thun is ready, there's little stopping it. And if on the off-chance your opponent survives, there's always Shadowstep.

Theo's Double God Paladin

  • 2x (0) First Day of School
  • 2x (1) Aldor Attendant
  • 2x (1) Animated Broomstick
  • 2x (2) Hang of A'dai
  • 2x (2) Libram of Wisdom
  • 2x (2) Redscale Dragontamer
  • 1x (3) Lord Barov
  • 2x (4) Circus Amalgam
  • 2x (5) Aldor Truthseeker
  • 2x (5) Carousel Gryphon
  • 2x (5) Fleethoof Pearltusk
  • 2x (6) Libram of Justice
  • 1x (6) Evasive Wyrm
  • 1x (6) Hammer of the Naaru
  • 1x (7) Lady Liadrin
  • 2x (8) Libram of Hope
  • 1x (10) N'Zoth, God of the Deep
  • 1x (10) Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate


The Pure Paladin build is going to be stronger than ever in this new expansion and it shouldn't take too much effort to put one of those together. But Mattius "Theo" Lieftink has thought outside the box with his Paladin build, instead focusing on two of the Old Gods. The new N'Zoth, God of the Deep will put a lot of big bodies back on the board, including your Circus Amalgams and your Fleethoof Pearltusk.

If things go south, Yogg-Saron will have a lot of spells to trigger it, thanks to the very nature of Libram Paladin. You'll have no trouble meeting the requirements to trigger Yogg, so at that point, let Yogg take the wheel!

Those are just some of the decks you can play with on Day 1 of Hearthstone: Madness at the Darkmoon Faire. What will you be playing with? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments. Hearthstone: Madness at the Darkmoon Faire goes live on Tuesday, November 17.

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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