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Hearthstone: Forged in the Barrens - 7 decks to play on Day 1

It's the start of a new Standard year in Hearthstone. Shacknews is here with seven deck suggestions for the first day of the new Forged in the Barrens expansion.

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A new Standard year has begun in Hearthstone. Three sets have rotated into Wild and one new set has arrived today with the new Forged in the Barrens expansion. This opens up exciting new possibilities in the Hearthstone meta, but where does one even begin? Which new decks are worth trying out?

Hearthstone players, Shacknews is here to help! We're here with five decks from the game's most recognizable pros and streamers. We've played against some of these decks ourselves during last week's Hearthstone Theorycrafting Livestream and we can vouch for their effectiveness and/or fun factor. Get ready to step into the Hearthstone Tavern once more and consider using these decks.

Dekkster's Deathrattle Demon Hunter

  • 2x (1) Spirit Jailer
  • 2x (1) Tuskpiercer
  • 2x (2) Razorboar
  • 2x (2) Soul Shear
  • 2x (3) Aldrachi Warblades
  • 2x (3) Barrens Trapper
  • 2x (3) Death's Head Cultist
  • 2x (3) Razorfen Beastmaster
  • 1x (4) Baron Rivendare
  • 2x (4) Darkspear Berserker
  • 1x (4) Renowned Performer
  • 2x (4) Vengeful Spirit
  • 2x (5) Burning Blade Acolyte
  • 1x (5) Taelan Fordring
  • 1x (5) Vectus
  • 1x (6) Cairne Bloodhoof
  • 2x (6) Skull of Gul'dan
  • 1x (7) Death Speaker Blackthorn

Deck ID: AAECAea5AwaK0gPJ3QO/7QOoigSjoATSoAQM2cYDzNIDzdID9egDmOoDmeoDu+0DvO0Dvu0D/e0Dle8Dg58EAA==

On paper, Deathrattle Demon Hunter isn't something that should work. And, in fact, it's not something that I expect to stick around in the long run. However, it's far from ineffectual. In fact, Dekkster's build is pretty fun for what should be an interesting Demon Hunter archetype.

The available Deathrattle minions available for Demon Hunter aren't particularly great at the moment. That's why the key to victory for this deck is winning early. Razorboar and Razorfen Beastmaster help ensure there's constant board presence. Even if the opponent can wipe out the board in the early turns, something else will pop up to give them a hard time.

The other important thing to note, in case you aren't up to date on the new Core set, is that Baron Rivendare is back. His presence will be a big deal in this deck, because he can ensure that Deathrattles (including the one from the Vectus Whelps) go off twice.


Trump's Secret Paladin

  • 2x (0) First Day of School
  • 2x (1) Avenge
  • 2x (1) Conviction
  • 2x (1) Intrepid Initiate
  • 2x (1) Noble Sacrifice
  • 2x (1) Oh My Yogg!
  • 2x (1) Righteous Protector
  • 2x (2) Hand of A'dal
  • 2x (2) Sunreaver Spy
  • 2x (2) Sword of the Fallen
  • 2x (2) Crossroads Gossiper
  • 2x (3) Goody Two-Shields
  • 2x (3) Northwatch Commander
  • 2x (3) Voracious Reader
  • 1x (4) Kazakus, Golem-Shaper
  • 1x (5) Cannonmaster Smythe

Deck ID: AAECAZ8FAvzoA4DsAw6ezQPIoATj6wPczAPqnwSD3gPJoATKwQPQoATO6wOr7APK0QPP6wPG0

I tried out a version of Secret Paladin during the Theorycrafting session and the result was 30+ minute slog against Alliestrasza's Watch Post Priest. While Sword of the Fallen is a great weapon for running through the Secrets in your deck, I found the Secret Paladin's downfall was a lack of available card draw.

Trump has found a way around this. If your hand starts to run low, Voracious Reader will help you restock. That'll help you get to your heavy hitters, like Cannonmaster Smythe and Kazakus. This is another deck that's built for the early game, but the Paladin Secrets are so debilitating (Oh My Yogg! is particularly brutal) that they should be able to wreck unready opponents fairly quickly.


RegisKillbin's Polygamy C'Thun Rogue

  • 2x (0) Shadowstep
  • 2x (1) Armor Vendor
  • 2x (1) Prize Plunderer
  • 2x (1) Yoink!
  • 2x (2) Swindle
  • 1x (2) Tenwu of the Red Smoke
  • 2x (2) Wicked Stab
  • 2x (3) Coerce
  • 2x (3) Death's Head Cultist
  • 1x (3) Mankrik
  • 2x (3) Ticket Master
  • 2x (4) Potion of Illusion
  • 2x (5) Gold Road Grunt
  • 1x (5) Keywarden Ivory
  • 2x (5) Malevolent Strike
  • 1x (9) Ysera the Dreamer
  • 1x (10) C'Thun, the Shattered

Deck ID: AAECAaIHBr/gA8PhA4TkA+DlA+fwA7SKBAyK0APl0QPl3QPn3QPx3QPz3QOS5APu6QOY6gOq6wOu6wP2nwQA

Nobody could have guessed that polygamy would be the answer to all of Mankrik's problems. Except it isn't, really, because Mankrik keeps losing all of his wives! This Rogue deck from RegisKillbin lets players get familiar with Mankrik's many, many wives. You get only one Mankrik, but Shadowstep, Tenwu of the Red Smoke, and Potion of Illusion can create many Mankriks. This means you'll get several 3/10s that all hit face upon being drawn.

If that's not enough to polish the game off, there's always C'Thun, the Shattered, which is always the difference maker for games that go to fatigue.


Thijs' Midrange Hunter

  • 2x (1) Adorable Infestation
  • 2x (1) Sunscale Raptor
  • 2x (1) Trueaim Crescent
  • 2x (1) Wolpertinger
  • 2x (1) Wound Prey
  • 2x (2) Kolkar Pack Runner
  • 2x (2) Oasis Thrasher
  • 2x (2) Quick Shot
  • 2x (2) Scavenging Hyena
  • 2x (2) Selective Breeder
  • 2x (2) Tame Beast
  • 1x (3) Tavish Stormpike
  • 1x (3) Zixor, Apex Predator
  • 2x (4) Dire Frenzy
  • 2x (4) Warsong Wrangler
  • 2x (5) Trampling Rhino

Deck ID: AAECAR8CouwDg7kDDtvqA6LOA9vtA7nSA+HOA5/sA9+fBOrpA5rsA72gBPDsA4biA7ugBPHpAwA=

Thijs Molendijk tried out a handful of decks during the Theorycrafting stream. (That includes a deck where he was burning a lot of his own cards, but I'll get to that in a moment.) One of the most interesting decks was his Midrange Hunter, which centers largely around a couple of major cogs. The Sunscale Raptor and Trampling Rhino are the keys to victory, especially as the former can be replicated, thanks to the new Frenzy keyword. Warsong Wrangler, Dire Frenzy, and Selective Breeder will help ensure that you have multiple copies of either of these Beasts.

If you're looking for a Raptor Hunter variant, consider finding a place for Pack Kodo, which can offer much-needed resources. There's also Prospector's Caravan, which can work as a helpful handbuff tool.


Dog's Zoo Warlock

  • 2x (1) Flame Imp
  • 2x (1) Possessed Villager
  • 2x (1) Spirit Jailer
  • 2x (1) Tour Guide
  • 1x (1) Wicked Whispers
  • 2x (2) Apothecary's Caravan
  • 2x (2) Darkglare
  • 1x (2) Kanrethad Ebonlocke
  • 2x (2) Midway Maniac
  • 2x (2) Nerubian Egg
  • 2x (2) Wriggling Horror
  • 2x (3) Kabal Outfitter
  • 2x (3) Man'ari Mosher
  • 2x (3) Revenant Rascal
  • 1x (3) Teron Gorefiend
  • 2x (3) Void Terror
  • 1x (5) Neeru Fireblade

Deck ID: AAECAf0GBNDhA9a5A/PtA9S6Aw2EoATooATM0gPZ7QPLuQOW3gPv7QOT3gOX3gOBoATRoATK4wObzQMA

When you see a Legendary like Neeru Fireblade, you probably want to use some of the new Warlock burn tools, like Altar of Fire. Dog realizes that this isn't necessary at all. Neeru will fit right in with a standard zoo deck. But as I quickly learned when I took on Dog during the Theorycrafting session, the numbers game might win long before Neeru ever comes into play.

Apotecary's Caravan will help bring out your 1-Cost minions while Wriggling Horror and the new Kabal Outfitter will buff them up. And because the majority of this deck is so cheap, that means Revenant Rascal can run wild and ruin people's days by messing with their mana count.


Lt. Eddy's Celestial Druid

  • 1x (0) Innervate
  • 2x (0) Lightning Bloom
  • 2x (1) Animated Broomstick
  • 1x (2) Razormane Battleguard
  • 1x (3) Mankrik
  • 2x (3) Wild Growth
  • 2x (4) Overgrowth
  • 1x (4) Plaguemaw the Rotting
  • 2x (4) Thickhide Kodo
  • 2x (5) Twilight Runner
  • 2x (7) Celestial Alignment
  • 2x (7) Druid of the Plains
  • 2x (7) Marsh Hydra
  • 2x (8) Guardian Animals
  • 2x (8) Primordial Protector
  • 2x (10) Scrapyard Colossus
  • 2x (10) Survival of the Fittest

Deck ID: AAECAZICBK6fBLnsA8LsA+fwAw3w1AOJnwTougPe0QO+7APtugO60APzuwOVzQO17APe7APA7AOT0QMA

The new Celestial Alignment spell is a big work in progress. There's potential for something very broken here, but as I noticed with the Theorycrafting livestream, it's very much a work in progress. Observe this game I had with Slysssa, for example. What she had in place was solid. However, like fellow streamer/pro RDU, she was also running Carnival Clown. If you play Celestial Alignment before your Carnival Clown, there's no way to Corrupt it, since everything costs (1). Therefore, it stays a vanilla card.

The biggest conundrum with Celestial Alignment is how to run it without wasting any cards. Lt. Eddy is attempting to crack the nut with Marsh Hydra. On paper, this works better than Carnival Clown, though only to an extent. If you've played Celestial Alignment, your Marsh Hydra costs (1), but the minion it puts in your hand costs (8). Since you are down to a single mana crystal, it's a long wait before you can play that 8-Cost minion.

This one's a fun Druid deck to play on the first day of the expansion, but don't expect this to be the end of the Celestial Alignment experimentation. Somebody is going to figure out an optimized version of this deck. When they do, watch out!


Ozzie's Wildfire Mage

  • 2x (0) Flurry
  • 2x (1) Babbling Book
  • 2x (1) Primordial Studies
  • 2x (1) Wand Thief
  • 1x (2) Astromancer Solarian
  • 1x (2) Conjure Mana Biscuit
  • 1x (2) Evocation
  • 2x (2) Runed Orb
  • 2x (2) Wildfire
  • 2x (3) Cone of Cold
  • 2x (3) Firebrand
  • 2x (3) Venomous Scorpid
  • 1x (4) Potion of Illusion
  • 2x (4) Reckless Apprentice
  • 1x (4) Varden Dawngrasp
  • 1x (5) Jandice Barov
  • 2x (7) Flamestrike
  • 1x (9) Malygos the Spellweaver
  • 1x (10) Mordresh Fire Eye

Deck ID: AAECAf0ECI27A4XkA53uA9jsA+XRA8W4A7WKBNnRAwvEoATU6gPW7APQ7AP4zAPT7AP+ngSk0QOW6APNzgPmnwQA

Let's wrap this up with a deck of my own making. I don't know how long Wildfire Mage will be viable, but it is a fun deck to play. The keys to victory involve upgrading the Mage Hero Power with Wildfire (two at the least, but ideally more from Wand Thief or Venomous Scorpid), using your Hero Power through Reckless Apprentice, and setting up Mordresh Fire Eye. As seen in the video above, Mordresh can either be used as a board clear in an absolute pinch or it can be used as a straight finisher.

The other key to this deck is control through freezing effects. Flurry, Cone of Cold, and Varden Dawngrasp can keep enemy minions immobile and set up for a potential board-clearing Flamestrike.

Make sure to keep your resources coming with Potion of Illusion and enjoy the ride to Wildfire victory.


What decks are you using for the first day of the Year of the Gryphon? Join the conversation and give us your best Hearthstone: Forged in the Barrens in the comments and enjoy the new Standard year.

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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