03/07/2022

It’s been an eventful year for Hearthstone, both for good and for ill, but now it’s time to dive into the game’s third expansion. After training hard in the Barrens with the Horde and fighting alongside the armies of the Alliance in Stormwind, the two factions are ready to clash in Fractured in Alterac Valley.

Blizzard is fresh off of its latest pre-expansion theorycrafting session and Hearthstone’s top content creators have continued to experiment with new decks throughout the weekend. Shacknews has studied hard to try and gauge where the meta is going and we’ve found a few decks that will help you begin your Alterac Valley journey.


Before going any further, we wish to acknowledge the continuing situation at Activision Blizzard. As a show of respect to the employees, we would like to take a moment to repost their demands that they made public prior to their walkout earlier this year. Furthermore, we would like to encourage our readers to donate to the following charities: Black Girls CODE, FUTURES, Girls Who Code, RAINN, Women in Animation, and Women in Games International.


NoHandsGamer’s Taunt Token Druid

  • 2x (1) Adorable Infestation
  • 2x (1) Guardian Augmerchant
  • 2x (1) Irondeep Trogg
  • 2x (1) Vibrant Squirrel
  • 2x (2) Clawfury Adept
  • 2x (2) Composting
  • 2x (2) Encumbered Pack Mule
  • 2x (2) Razormane Battleguard
  • 2x (3) Fangbound Druid
  • 2x (3) Oracle of Elune
  • 2x (4) Park Panther
  • 1x (4) Wing Commander Mulverick
  • 2x (5) Arbor Up
  • 1x (5) Greybough
  • 1x (5) Teacher’s Pet
  • 1x (5) Wildheart Guff
  • 2x (7) Frostsaber Matriarch

Deck ID: AAECAZICBJSlBKbhA4mLBJLNAw2E9wOXpQSB9wO50gO57APh7gPJ9QPevgPhpASI9APR9gOM5APnpAQA

No, this is not a repost, nor are you seeing things. For the second straight expansion, we’re starting off with a Taunt Token Druid from Hearthstone Grandmaster NoHandsGamer. It’s not going to be the sexiest deck to come out of this expansion, but there are a few tools that are going to make this an extremely effective deck that strikes fast.

The new card to look out for is Frostsaber Matriarch, which reduces in cost for every Beast that’s been summoned. That includes any 2/2 Wyverns that may have been summoned off of Wing Commander Mulverick. This deck can get out of control quickly and, really, the lone outlier here may be the new Wildheart Guff Hero Card, which should probably be left for slower decks.


Trump’s Handbuff Paladin

  • 2x (1) Irondeep Trogg
  • 1x (1) Ivus, the Forest Lord
  • 2x (1) Knight of Anointment
  • 2x (1) Righteous Protector
  • 2x (2) Encumbered Pack Mule
  • 2x (2) Hand of A’dal
  • 1x (2) Murgur Murgurgle
  • 2x (2) Ram Commander
  • 2x (3) Alliance Bannerman
  • 2x (3) Catacomb Guard
  • 2x (3) Hold the Bridge
  • 1x (3) Saidan the Scarlet
  • 1x (4) Blademaster Samuro
  • 1x (4) Cariel Roame
  • 2x (4) First Blade of Wrynn
  • 1x (4) Korrak the Bloodrager
  • 1x (5) Blessing of Authority
  • 1x (5) Overlord Runthak
  • 1x (7) Lightforged Cariel
  • 1x (8) Varian, King of Stormwind

Deck ID: AAECAZ8FCvGkBJHsA/y4A+q4BPvoA+CLBPKkBL/RA6qKBNn5AwrhpATM6wPJoASI9APKwQPw9gOhjQT0pASH9APz9gMA

While other classes can win on finesse, Paladins will enter this expansion looking to win on brute strength and massive numbers. This is a great time to try trotting out huge minions and Jeffrey “Trump” Shih is introducing this deck that takes advantage of the Paladin’s numerous handbuffing skills.

The most interesting card here is the new Lightforged Cariel Hero Card, which is not only able to repeatedly buff minions through her Hero Power, but the 2/5 Immovable Object weapon cuts any incoming damage in half.


Brian Kibler’s Felrattle Warlock

  • 2x (0) Ritual of Doom
  • 2x (1) Flame Imp
  • 2x (1) Possessed Villager
  • 2x (1) Wicked Shipment
  • 2x (1) Wicked Whispers
  • 2x (2) Boneweb Egg
  • 2x (2) Nerubian Egg
  • 2x (3) Desecrated Graveyard
  • 2x (3) Fiendish Circle
  • 2x (3) Revenant Rascal
  • 2x (3) Sacrificial Summoner
  • 1x (4) Disciplinarian Gandling
  • 1x (4) Korrak the Bloodrager
  • 1x (4) Tamsin’s Phylactery
  • 2x (5) Burning Blade Acolyte
  • 1x (5) Envoy Rustwix
  • 1x (5) Vectus
  • 1x (6) Dreadlich Tamsin

Deck ID: AAECAf0GBvGRBLCRBOfRA/KkBPbjA4rSAwyN5wOEoATooATFgATQ4QPV0QP4tQTmoASX3gOskQTRoAT16AMA

If you’re not playing the Quest Warlock (and, don’t get me wrong, Quest Warlock is still quite viable), then you’re going to want to look into decks that utilize Tamsin’s Phylactery. The beauty of this card is that there are numerous Deathrattles that can be used with it, whether it’s Envoy Rustwix providing nearly endless Legendaries or Korrak the Bloodrager filling the board with almost-unkillable copies of this minion.

There are ample possibilities and Brian Kibler’s deck proves to be an easy introduction to Phylactery shenanigans. Finding minions to use the Phylactery spell on should be simple, too, thanks to Dreadlich Tamsin offering card draw and regular 3/3 Imps.


MarkMcKz’s Xyrella OTK Priest

  • 2x (0) Raise Dead
  • 2x (1) Call of the Grave
  • 2x (1) Gift of the Naaru
  • 2x (2) Insight
  • 2x (2) Thrive in the Shadows
  • 2x (3) Amulet of Undying
  • 2x (3) Deliverance
  • 2x (3) Gift of Luminance
  • 2x (3) Palm Reading
  • 2x (3) Shadowed Spirit
  • 2x (4) Hysteria
  • 1x (4) Korrak the Bloodrager
  • 2x (5) Spirit Guide
  • 2x (6) Undying Disciple
  • 2x (7) Humongous Owl
  • 1x (8) Xyrella, the Devout

Deck ID: AAECAaKrBALoiwTypAQOp8sD184D4t4D+98D+OMDoegDhvcDjIEErYoEr5EE15IEhaMEiKMEiqMEAA==

The new Xyrella, the Devout Hero Card for the Priest can be a strong late game play. It can also be a win condition in itself, provided you play the right cards. In this case, you’re looking for the Humongous Owl, which deals a whopping eight damage to a random enemy. Because Xyrella replays all Deathrattles, if you play enough of these superb owls over the course of the game, the Hero Card can just end things outright.

Make sure to keep an eye on your health as you use cards like Raise Dead, Call of the Grave, and Gift of Luminance to create multiple owls. If you can clear the opponent’s board for a Xyrella play, simply end the game with multiple owl Deathrattles to the face.


Warshack’s Freeze Shaman

  • 2x (1) Devolving Missiles
  • 2x (1) Guidance
  • 2x (1) Windchill
  • 1x (2) Bolner Hammerbeak
  • 2x (2) Frostbite
  • 2x (2) Sleetbreaker
  • 2x (3) Brilliant Macaw
  • 2x (3) Cheaty Snobold
  • 1x (3) Cookie the Cook
  • 1x (3) Instructor Fireheart
  • 2x (3) Snowball Fight!
  • 2x (4) Canal Slogger
  • 2x (4) Wildpaw Cavern
  • 2x (5) Snowfall Guardian
  • 1x (5) Taelan Fordring
  • 2x (6) Glaciate
  • 1x (7) Bearon Gla’shear
  • 1x (8) Bru’kan of the Elements

Deck ID: AAECAaoIBpzOA4b6A6SBBKiKBMKRBMORBAzgzAOK5APB9gPTgAT4jASnkQSxkQS5kQT5kQSVkgTckgTblAQA

For a long time, Freeze Shaman has been like “fetch,” in the sense that Blizzard has really wanted to make it happen. It took years, but they might finally have something!

Alterac Valley has added a lot of tools to the Freeze Shaman archetype, but unlike previous expansions, the sum of the parts all add up to something monstrously effective. Windchill and Snowball Fight do a great job in keeping the opponent board still to stall the game to the later turns. That’s where you can whip out Snowfall Guardian and create a massive minion to attack the board next turn.

Better yet, try combining Snowfall Guardian with Bolner Hammerbeak, which repeats the Battlecry and becomes pretty massive itself. Still not big enough for you? If those minions remain alive for the next turn, go ham with Brilliant Macaw and keep the madness going.


Funki Monki’s Token Demon Hunter

  • 2x (1) Demon Companion
  • 2x (1) Illidari Studies
  • 1x (1) Tuskpiercer
  • 2x (2) Battleworn Vanguard
  • 2x (2) Feast of Souls
  • 2x (2) Field of Strife
  • 2x (2) Parade Leader
  • 2x (2) Ram Commander
  • 2x (2) Sigil of Summoning
  • 2x (3) Coordinated Strike
  • 2x (3) Flag Runner
  • 1x (3) Traveling Merchant
  • 2x (4) Renowned Performers
  • 1x (6) Kurtrus, Demon-Render
  • 1x (6) Skull of Gul’dan
  • 2x (7) Expendable Performers
  • 2x (13) Ur’zul Giant

Deck ID: AAECAea5AwTZxgP97QOK9AOHiwQNgtADyd0Dyt0Ds94D8+MDoO4DoY0ErpIEtpIEgJ8EyZ8E1p8E5bYEAA==

It’s been a while since I’ve featured a Demon Hunter deck in one of these posts, but there’s a good reason this one from Funki Monki is making the cut. It’s basically death by a thousand cuts, as the idea is to overwhelm the opponent early and often with small minion after small minion.

If the opponent is able to survive the early minion barrage, the 8/8 Ur’zul Giant gets discounted to an affordable cost shockingly fast. You’ll have your opponent seeing stars in no time and this should be able to outpace most aggro decks.


RegisKillbin’s Burgle Rogue

  • 2x (1) Parrrley
  • 1x (1) Savory Deviate Delight
  • 2x (1) Secret Passage
  • 2x (1) Swashburglar
  • 2x (1) Wand Thief
  • 2x (2) Ambush
  • 2x (2) Dirty Tricks
  • 2x (1) Maestra of the Masquerade
  • 2x (2) Plagiarize
  • 2x (2) Reconnaissance
  • 1x (2) Shadowjeweler Hanar
  • 2x (2) The Lobotomizer
  • 1x (2) Vanessa VanCleef
  • 2x (3) Double Agent
  • 1x (5) Cera’thine Fleetrunner
  • 2x (5) Contraband Stash
  • 2x (5) Wildpaw Gnoll
  • 1x (7) Shadowcrafter Scabbs

Deck ID: AAECAaIHBvumBPuKBKH5A5fnA/vEA//uAwy7pAT7pQTspwTYpgS6pAS+gATuoATOuQPMuQPl0wOk0QOqywMA

Burgle Rogue has come and gone throughout the years in Hearthstone, but this latest incarnation looks like it’ll be a hoot. It has some of the usual thievery tricks that this class has to offer, but it also has some backup tactics in the form of Cera’thine Fleetrunner. Basically, if you steal minions that aren’t really worth playing, Cera’thine will generate entirely new ones that will then cost two mana less.

The new Shadowcrafter Scabbs Hero Card isn’t so much a win condition as it is a counter play. If the board gets out of control, playing this Hero Card will put every minion back in the opponent’s hand, which could disrupt their game plan severely. At that point, play what you’ve got and roll the dice with whatever you’ve stolen.


Hearthstone: Fractured in Alterac Valley is available today. For more on this latest expansion, be sure to click on the Hearthstone topic. If you have any decks you’d like to share with the rest of the class, join the conversation and let us know in the comments.