The Hearthstone Team Gave Us Five Decks to Try on Day One of Ashes of Outland

The Year of the Phoenix is about to begin on April 7 in NA (April 8 in ANZ) in Hearthstone

, ushering in a new expansion – Ashes of Outland, and a whole new class – Demon Hunter. The Hearthstone team is giving everyone 30 Demon Hunter cards to get them started, while new and returning players also get to choose a free deck in the class of their choice. Not only that, but card packs will no longer contain duplicates at any rarity – until you have a complete collection for that expansion at that rarity, of course.It will be a great time to play Hearthstone, in other words, and to help you get up to speed, we asked Senior Game Designer on the Hearthstone team, Chadd Nervig, to give us a handful of decks for people to try on day one. These aren’t meant to be tier 1 decks, but reasonably competitive options to get you started. Let’s run through them.

Demon Hunter – Glaives of Fury

Chadd Nervig, Senior Game Designer: “It focuses on attacking synergies… such as early game plays like Battlefiend and Furious Felfin. Umberwing is also a really strong card, letting you get an attack in on two turns.

“Since this is a pretty aggressive deck, it uses Kayn Sunfury as a finisher a lot of the time, and/or Maiev to get around a big taunt. Glaivebound Adept is just really strong for all-round stats and damage, for both going over taunts and just being a big body. You’d probably think of Imprisoned Antaen as a ‘Big Demon’ card, but it has a pretty significant ability to close out a game with its damage… Metamorphosis is also an ‘over two turns Pyroblast’ so you can close out games.

Skull of Gul’dan is one of our few sources of card draw in this deck. It’s a pretty strong card draw tool, and the Outcast effect of it is pretty reliably castable in this deck… everything is pretty cheap. And because we’re attacking a bunch, [we include] Warglaives of Azzinoth.”

Deck code:


(Copy this code to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone.)

Glaives of Fury – Deck List and Key Cards

Demon Hunter – Illidari Souls

Chadd Nervig, Senior Game Designer: “We’ve called this Illidari Souls because the primary token it’s using is Illidari Initiates that are summoned by Coordinated Strike or Command the Illidari. The main theme here is using tokens to generate power when they die, through things like Feast of Souls or Wrathscale Naga. Because we’re going to be summoning a bunch of tokens, we’ve also got Knife Jugglers in there.

“There’s a bunch of recurring themes here like Warglaives of Azzinoth, [which] is just a pretty good board clear, Metamorphosis can help close out games and Glaivebound Adept is pretty strong. But then Nethrandamus comes in to help be a big elbow drop sort of card…

“Illidari Souls is more of a combo deck – these big swing turns where you play a Coordinated Strike or even a Command the Illidari and use those to kill something off while you’ve got a Knife Juggler out and then Feast of Souls afterwards.”

Deck code:


(Copy this code to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone.)

Illidari Souls – Deck List and Key Cards

Demon Hunter – Demon Crushers

Chadd Nervig, Senior Game Designer: “This is the deck if you like big demons. The early game mostly revolves around stuff like AOE, discover, the lifesteal weapon, Eye Beam – ways to hold on, play defensively until we can start cranking out our big bombs. [The mid-range minions also help] get through to that period – defensively statted, with lifesteal and taunt, and explicitly not demons, because we want our demon synergies to be saved up for the stuff at the bottom [of the deck list]. Not all of our big things are demons – Coilfang Warlord’s not. You’ll just play him on curve. Take something big out with it and end up with a threatening taunt on the board.

“You’ve got Chaos Nova and Immolation Aura in here to act as AOE, Warglaives [of Azzinoth] is kind of a pseudo AOE. The big demons start coming in with the Raging Felscreamer – you can play that on four and then a Priestess of Fury on five, that’s a great combo. Then Fel Summoner on six. It’s only got three health so you can probably find some way to make it die the next turn. And then having that pull out hopefully a Pit Commander or a Hulking Overfiend or a Priestess of Fury – get some big bombs going. You effectively have eight biggish demons in the deck – the Priestesses of Fury, the Hulking Overfiends, the Pit Commanders and whatever you discover off of Netherwalker.”

Deck code:


(Copy this code to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone.)

Demon Crushers – Deck List and Key Cards

Mage – Spells are SO Fun!

Chadd Nervig, Senior Game Designer: “This is a deck that uses all spells. There are a couple of power cards in here that are specifically tied to that archetype – Font of Power to get you some minions: one mana to get three random Mage minions is pretty good. Apexis Blast is also quite good for this. It’s kind of like an old Firelands Portal, but for two less mana… and because our deck is all spells, Incanter’s Flow is of great value to us.

“We’ve got a couple of secrets in here, just Flame Ward and Netherwind Portal, so we’re running Ancient Mysteries as a way to draw those and make them free. We’ve got mostly mid-range-y cost spells here other than a couple of our freeze tools to hold onto the board.

“We’ve got the sidequest to get some big minions off all our spells, and whenever we don’t have a good play, or whenever we run out of steam, Evocation will fill us back up. Evocation’s pretty interesting in that – assuming you have a reasonable amount of space in your hand – you can kind of use it as a ‘I want to go off and do a ton of things all at once’ or you can use it as ‘I don’t have a good play, it’s turn seven, he’s got a board and I don’t have any good play, I’ll just Evocation, get six cards to look at and one or two of them will probably be a pretty reasonable use of my mana,’ so it can sort of fill in any hole.”

Deck code:


(Copy this code to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone.)

Spells Are SO Fun! – Deck List and Key Cards

Priest – Buff ‘em Up!

Chadd Nervig, Senior Game Designer: “This is a Priest deck using some of the new cards in Ashes of Outland, and also some of the new Basic and Classic Priest cards… we’ve got Kul Tiran Chaplain, just reasonable stats [with a bonus]. We want Priest to be able to hold the board with high health minions and then heal them back up. We’ve also got some improved removal tools for control for Priest, such as Holy Smite and Shadow Word: Ruin – that’s the new AOE to destroy all the big things on the board – we like Priest being good at conditional removal.

“In terms of Ashes of Outland-specific cards, there’s a theme going on for Priest in Ashes for buffs, so we’ve got some cards like Sethekk Veilweaver – this is just a good tool in a buff deck. After you cast a spell on a minion – probably a buff, but it also works on removal cards like Holy Smite, we get to refill with more spells… this can chain quite a bit. Apotheosis is just a great buff – makes something bigger, gives it lifesteal. And Psyche Split is a really big buff, or rather, a small buff and then a copy. If you can have something stick… and then Apotheosis it and Psyche Split it on turn eight… that’s pretty reasonable. Dragonmaw Overseer is another good example of them fighting for board – good stats on the board… and then there’s a little resurrect in here – a lot of these cards work well with Psychopomp.”

Deck code:


(Copy this code to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone.)

Buff ’em Up! – Deck List and Key Cards

Want to see the full Ashes of Outland set?

Hearthstone: See Every Ashes of Outland Card

How about going behind behind the scenes on Demon Hunter?
Cam Shea is Editor in Chief for IGN’s Australian content team and is getting Japan withdrawals. He’s on Twitter.

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