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Greetings, I’m Sheng, a Legend rank constructed and 7 win-average arena player. I run where our coaches have helped students around the world reach many of these same achievements.

If you’re new to Hearthstone, or just have a limited collection of cards—I feel your pain. It is often difficult to find cheap but viaable decks to play on the Hearthstone ladder. Given this dilemma, I’ve set out to help those of you with a limited collection by creating budget decks for each class.


This Standard deck is constructed with only Basic cards gained from reaching Level 10 with this class and cards from the One Night in Karazhan adventure set.

Deck Playstyle

Basic + Karazhan Warlock utilizes the synergy between multiple cards that benefit from the discard mechanic to generate tempo onto the board. Cards like Hellfire and Soulfire provide reach in the late game to finish off opponents.

Minions - 22

2x Malchezaar's Imp

  • Malchezaar's Imp is a mana efficient 1 cost minion that works well against aggro and allows us to gain back cards lost from playing Succubus and Soulfire.

2x Acidic Swamp Ooze

  • 2 mana for a 3/2 is good value, but it’s the weapon destroying battle cry that makes this the best 2 mana minion in the Basic set.

2x Succubus

  • Succubus provides 3 mana worth of stats for 2 mana, but has a significant downside of discarding one of the cards in our hand. This can be mitigated with Malchezaar's Imp on the board, when Silverware Golem is in your hand, or when your hand is empty.

2x Shattered Sun Cleric

  • A great card to play whenever you have a minion on the board. The dream is to buff a smaller minion to kill a larger minion, or a minion to survive what would have been an equal trade.

2x Silverware Golem

  • Silverware Golem is a mana efficient 3/3 minion that has the upside of being able to be cast from Succubus or Soulfire for free.

2x Violet Illusionist

  • Violet Illusionist provides great value for its cost and has the ancillary benefit of being able to shield our hero from damage when we use it to attack. Violet Illusionist synergizes really well with our Hero Power as we can draw cards without incurring damage.

1x Barnes

  • Barnes provides 4/5 worth of value between its 3/4 and 1/1 minion. Barnes' primary purpose in our deck is to generate two minions for the cost of one, but if you have Deathrattle minions in your deck, there's a chance you'll get better than just a plain 1/1.

2x Chillwind Yeti

  • A plain 4 mana for a 4/5. He’s almost always going to be the largest minion on the board on turn 4. This is one of the best 4 mana minions in the game.

2x Sen'jin Shieldmasta

  • A great card against aggro. 4 mana for a 3/5 is already fair, but the taunt is what makes this card good.

1x Prince Malchezaar

  • Prince Malchezaar is one of our primary win conditions in this deck. His value is similar to Boulderfist Ogre in terms of stats, but its the random Legendaries that he shuffles in our deck that can swing games in our favor against more expensive decks.

2x Boulderfist Ogre

  • A plain 6 mana for a 6/7. This card would actually be worse with 7 attack because of Big Game Hunter. 7 health means it survives 6 attack minions and Fireballs.

2x Dread Infernal

  • His stats are worse than Boulderfist Ogre, and his battlecry can sometimes backfire against us, but thankfully we can choose when to play him.

  • Playing card Gurubashi Berserker on turn 5 followed by Dread Infernal on turn 6 essentially gives you a 5/6 Gurubashi Berserker for 5 mana.

Spells - 8

2x Mortal Coil

  • This is a situational spell that we can use to remove a low health minion while drawing a card.

2x Soulfire

  • The best removal spell in our entire deck. While it costs us a card, the tempo swing Soulfire brings can be outrageous. Gets bonus points because this spell can be played on the same turn you play Ogre Magi to deal 5 damage.

  • It’s best to see if you can empty your hand first before playing Soulfire, as it won’t cost you an additional card unless you have Silverware Golem of course.

2x Shadow Bolt

  • Playing this early hurts your tempo, as on turn 4, playing this means you most likely won’t be playing anything else, but late in the game you can play Shadow Bolt to remove a minion and play something else as well, which is great.

2x Hellfire

  • A double-edged sword. Play this card to clear your opponent’s board. As long as your life total is high enough, you can also use this to lethal your opponent. Just take into the account the damage it’ll do to you and your board first before you play it.

Mulligan Guide

In general, you want to mulligan to setup your first three or four turns. Please note that there is a distinction between going first and going second in Hearthstone, and this should factor into your mulligan choices.

When going first, your advantage is the ability to play first. In addition, you gain mana crystals before your opponent. To take advantage of this, you want to be aggressive in your mulligan to put minions on the board.

When going second, your advantage is mainly The Coin, which gives you tempo over your opponent for a single turn, and also an extra card. Depending on the nature of your deck, whether it’s Aggro, Midrange, or Control, you’ll be looking for different things.

  • When playing an aggro deck, you’ll be looking for the same cards going second as you would going first. The objective is to quickly populate the board and bring down your opponent’s life total.

  • When playing a midrange deck, you’ll also be looking to get onto the board early, with the caveat that you can keep a single copy of a situational minion or spell that you think may be useful to counter an opponent. This might be a minion like Eater of Secrets to counter classes with Secrets or a removal spell like Frostbolt.

  • When playing a control deck, you’re looking to save the coin until much later in the game, generally when you can bring out a large late-game threat earlier than usual.

  • While I won’t make an exhaustive list, these are some of the cards you should consider keeping in your opening hand when playing this deck. In general, your goal with this deck is to get onto the board as soon as possible. It’s important to dig for an early 1 or 2 mana minion to play so you can begin to pressure your opponent’s life total.


  • 1 Mana: Malchezaar's Imp
  • 2 Mana: Acidic Swamp Ooze, Succubus
  • 3 Mana: Shattered Sun Cleric with a 1 mana or 2 mana minion, Silverware Golem, Violet Illusionist

Gameplay Video

Sheng's Basic + Karazhan Warlock

Deck Upgrades

To upgrade this deck, check out the Zoo Warlock section of!

Coaching Lessons

If you’re interested in reaching Legend rank, or earning unlimited gold from arena, my team at would love to help! We’ve provided over a thousand hours of excellent coaching to students around the world. Banner

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I hope you enjoyed this guide! If you have questions, feel free to ask in the comment sections below.

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