After finishing our Basic deck series, I received many requests for decks that could be constructed with cards from the Naxxramas set. In terms of value, the Naxxramas expansion will pretty much guarantee you the best value for your gold or cash. It’s not surprising that many newer players — even those without many Expert cards — have chosen to unlock the Naxxramas set first.
The inclusion of several Naxxramas cards allowed us to fill in several gaps we had from the Basic version of this deck, and also allowed us to improve the overall efficiency of our minions. Take a look!
Minions – 22
2x Northshire Cleric
- The card that this deck is built around! She’ll be our primary way of drawing cards late in the game. Synergizes well with our Hero Power and Holy Nova.
2x Zombie Chow
- A wonderful minion for early pressure. While his deathrattle is a drawback, the objective is to establish board control with Zombie Chowearly, trading him for something more valuable while your opponent is already at high health.
2x Acidic Swamp Ooze
- Basically the best 2 mana minion in the Basic card set. His 3/2 body for 2 mana passes the Vanilla Test, and his battlecry is useful against more than half the classes in the game (Hunter, Paladin, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior).
2x Haunted Creeper
- This spider is our counter to aggressive decks that like to drop multitudes of 1 health minions. He’s a mini Harvest Golemthat spawns two 1/1 tokens instead of a single 2/1 token. The spawned tokens become nice targets for our Shattered Sun Cleric.
2x Dark Cultist
- Pretty much the best 3 mana minion in the game right now (which may change when Goblins vs Gnomes is released). 3 mana gets you a 3/4, which is already Yeti-like value, but when he dies, he gives something else on your board +3 health. Insane. You’ll make opponents cry when you The Coinout a Dark Cultiston turn 2, just to follow it up with another one on turn 3.
2x Shattered Sun Cleric
- Her battlecry is great for tempo on turn 3, if you can mana to buff one of your minions to trade up, or to survive what would have been an even trade. She leaves behind an attractive 3/2 body as well.
2x Chillwind Yeti
- The best 4 mana minion in the Basic card set. His stats allow him to trade with three 2/4 minions, or two 4/4 minions. This means that on turn 4, he’ll help you reestablish the board if you’re behind, or put you further ahead if you already have an advantage.
2x Sen'jin Shieldmasta
- 4 mana for a 3/5 with taunt is pretty good value. We need him to stabilize the board when we’re faced with aggressive decks with many small minions.
- Loathebis consistently rated as one of the best cards from the Naxxramas set. To the beginner it can be hard to see why. 5 mana for 5/5 is a statline commonly seen in many other cards that are Common, so what’s the big deal? Frankly, his battlecry is what makes him so good. Many decks in constructed rely on spell combos, and this throws a wrench into that system. If you can predict that your opponent will play a Holy Novaor Flamestrikethe following turn, this card can make that play impossible, forcing your opponent to skip their turn, or dump minions on the board, giving you an extra turn to trade for more value before the expected board clear.
2x Sludge Belcher
- Sludge Belcheris basically a Sen'jin Shieldmastacombined with a Goldshire Footman. The great thing is that the 1/2 token with taunt spawns immediately after he dies, forcing your opponent to use at least one more minion to get rid of it. This is especially good against other Hunters who like to Unleash the Hounds.
2x Boulderfist Ogre
- The best 6 mana minion in the Basic card set. His stats allow him to trade with three 3/6 minions, or two 6/6 minions. It’s also nice that he’s a plain 6/7 because he’s not susceptible to Big Game Hunteror The Black Knight.
- Unlike Loatheb, Kel'Thuzadis a card that beginners look at and think “wow, that card is incredibly broken”. In situations where you have board control over your opponent, he is indeed amazing. However, without board control, he’s a 6/8 for 8 mana, which is inefficient for its cost when dropped onto an empty board. The nice thing is that if you can utilize his passive ability to respawn your minions even once on the turn he comes out on, he’s worth it.
Spells – 8
2x Power Word: Shield
- Gives 2 health to any minion for 1 mana, and draws you a card. Ideally, you’ll want to play this on a minion that would have died in a trade without the extra health. Make sure to play this first before your other cards, as the card you draw from it might be useful.
2x Shadow Word: Pain
- A pretty efficient card. The dream is to use this against hard to remove minions like Water Elementaland Fen Creepers. Just keep in mind that this doesn’t work around battlecries and deathrattles.
- Neither this nor Shadow Word: Deathaffect 4 attack minions, making Priest weak against 4 attack cards.
2x Shadow Word: Death
- A great card to draw into late game to eliminate your opponent’s late game threats. Just keep in mind that this doesn’t work around battlecries and deathrattles, so using this on your opponent’s Sylvanas Windrunnerwill still have her steal one of your minions.
- Neither this nor Shadow Word: Painaffect 4 attack minions, making Priest weak against 4 attack cards.
2x Holy Nova
- Priest’s primary board clear card. Works well in conjunction with our Northshire Clericto draw cards and heal our minions after clearing your opponent’s board.
The key differences between this deck and the Basic version are the inclusions of
- Zombie Chow: While the 5 health deathrattle is a drawback, the key to playing this card effectively is to utilize him to gain board control when your opponent is already at relatively high health. It won’t matter if you can trade your 2/3 into his 3/2 on turn 2 while he’s still at 30 health. When buffed by a Shattered Sun Cleric, the Zombie can trade with two 2/3s or 3/2s. Pretty awesome value.
- Haunted Creeper: An upgrade over the vanilla Bloodfen Raptor. This is a great card against aggro decks that tend to have more 1 health minions. As a bonus, the 1/1 tokens work extremely well with Shattered Sun Cleric, allowing you to potentially trade a 2/2 token into a 3/2.
- Dark Cultist: Pretty much the best 3 mana minion in the game right now (which may change when Goblins vs Gnomes is released). 3 mana gets you a 3/4, which is already Yeti-like value, but when he dies, he gives something else on your board +3 health. Insane. You’ll make opponents cry when you The Coinout a Dark Cultiston turn 2, just to follow it up with another one on turn 3.
- Loatheb: A minion that can seriously shut down your opponent’s tempo if you can accurately predict when he’ll play removal. It’s a good play on turn 6 so your opponent can’t play Flamestrikethe very next turn, buying you time to either clear the board, or inch closer to lethal.
- Sludge Belcher: An upgrade over Sen'jin Shieldmastathat also filled a glaring hole at the 5 mana slot. When you’re behind, he can buy you the time to get back into the game.
- Kel'Thuzad: A win-condition for our deck. He’s safe against Big Game Hunterand The Black Knightand can have an immediate impact the turn he is played as long as you already have some board presence. While his stats are underwhelming for the cost, he can be a win condition if you already have a few minions out that you can use to clear your opponent’s board.
In general, you want to mulligan so that you can put out minions on your first three turns. If you’re going second, feel free to keep a single 4 mana minion so that you can coin it out on turn 3. Coining out a minion on turn 3 is actually a significant tempo boost, as a card like Chillwind Yeti
Cards to Keep
- 1 Mana: Power Word: Shield, Zombie Chow
- 2 Mana: Shadow Word: Pain, Acidic Swamp Ooze, Haunted Creeper
- 3 Mana: Dark Cultist, Shattered Sun Cleric
- 4 Mana: Chillwind Yeti, Sen'jin Shieldmasta
Remember, you want to plan out your first three turns with your opening hand, so if you already have a 1 mana and 2 mana minion, you should mulligan away your remaining card or two to dig for a play on turn 3.
I won’t make an exhaustive list of potential upgrades this time, but here are a few cards that will improve your deck.
- Minions: Wild Pyromancer, Injured Blademaster, Auchenai Soulpriest, Cabal Shadow Priest
- Spells: Circle of Healing
Give the deck a try, and let me know how you do! As always, I’d be happy to address any questions you may have
I’m Sheng, a community guide writer and 7+ win arena player. I’ve coached over 100 hours of hearthstone to students around the world, and I’d love to coach you! Please visit www.HearthstoneCoaching.com for more information