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The best Hearthstone decks

best Hearthstone decks
(Image credit: Blizzard)

You need the best Hearthstone deck if you're planning on grinding through Ranked this month. Each Hearthstone class feels unique to play, but it's easy to feel overwhelmed by all the choice. Crafting a viable deck with limited Dust can also be challenging, so I'm here to help you spend it wisely.

Thanks to data shared by HSReplay, we can see which Hearthstone decks are performing well since the Forged in the Barrens expansion launched. While nerfs are just around the corner, this selection of builds will help you climb the ranks in the meantime. Here are the best Hearthstone decks in the game right now, the strategies you should follow for each, and some essential cards that are worth crafting.

Best Hearthstone decks: Tier 1 

Secret Libram Paladin deck

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Forged in the Barrens Secret Libram Paladin deck

Deck code: AAECAZ8FBITBA4PeA/zoA6iKBA3KuAP9uAPquQPruQPsuQPKwQOezQOfzQPM6wPO6wPP6wPb7gPIoAQA

Cost: 5760 Dust

best Hearthstone decks

(Image credit: Blizzard)

It's fair to say that Secret Libram Paladin is broken at the moment, so much so that we can expect to see it nerfed early next week in Hearthstone's 20.0.2 update. However, you can continue to take advantage of its ridiculous 60 percent win rate in the meantime. Since Librams were introduced, we've seen Paladin perform consistently well, but the new Core Set and Forged in the Barrens cards have made it unstoppable.

Combined with the Sword of the Fallen weapon (after your hero attacks, cast a Secret from your deck), secrets like Avenge (when one of your minions dies, give a random friendly minion +3/+2) and Galloping Savior (After your opponent plays three cards in a turn, summon a 3/4 Steed with Taunt) ensure you have a strong early game. Later on, you can call upon Kazakus, Golem Shaper to build a custom Golem as this build doesn't run 4-Mana cards. As always, you can rely on your Libram spells to buff your minions and heal. Then use Taelan Fordring to draw your highest cost minion, which is usually Lady Liadrin.

If you'd rather not call upon the Libram package, here's the deck code for the best Secret Paladin deck, which is also crushing the meta: AAECAZ8FAvzoA4DsAw7KwQPczAOezQPG0QPK0QOD3gPO6wPP6wPj6wOr7APqnwTIoATJoATQoAQA

No Minion Mage deck

Forged in the Barrens No Minion Mage deck

Deck code: AAECAf0EAr/gA5PhAw7BuAOMuQOBvwPgzAPHzgPNzgOU0QP30QPr3gPQ7APR7AP8ngT9ngT+ngQA

Cost: 6720 Dust

best Hearthstone decks

(Image credit: Blizzard)

We've already covered how No Minion Mage has quickly seen Hearthstone descend into complete lunacy. And while, like Paladin, its days are numbered, it's unlikely that Team 5 will nerf it into exile.

This build relies on spells to do its dirty work, with its best card being Deck of Lunacy, a Darkmoon Faire Legendary that transforms the spells in your deck into ones that cost three more. It sneakily squeezes in C'Thun, the Shattered for four 5-Mana spells that can be upgraded to 8 as early as your first turn, and Incanter's Flow then reduces the cost of the random new spells in your deck.

After transforming your deck it's very difficult for your opponent to keep up, especially as you have Refreshing Spring Water to draw cards and refresh your Mana Crystals. Even if you don't manage to coin out Deck of Lunacy immediately, spells like Primordial Studies, Font of Power, and Runed Orb will keep offering you more cards to play until you find what you need.

Top Hearthstone decks: Tier 2

Watch Post Rogue deck

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Forged in the Barrens Watch Post Rogue deck

Deck code: AAECAaIHBNnRA/roA/zoA+fwAw3evgOqywOfzQPHzgOk0QPn3QPz3QP36AP56AOo6wOq6wOr6wP2nwQA

Cost: 8560 Dust 

best Hearthstone decks

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Tim was quick to notice just how powerful the Barrens Watch Post neutral cards are, and Watch Post Rogue does a pretty good job of slotting them into a build among the likes of Kazakus and Jandice Barov. Neither Far Watch Post nor Mor'Shan Watch Post can attack, but they're a pain to remove in the early game. The former bumps the cost of your opponent's cards by 1 Mana every time they draw, and the latter summons a 2/2 Grunt whenever they play a minion. Eventually, you'll throw down Kargal Battlescar to summon a 5/5 Lookout for each Watch Post you've summoned to overwhelm the board.

You can make your hand 1 Mana cheaper by playing Efficient Octo-bot and pinging it with Pen Flinger to activate its Frenzy effect. You also have plenty of options to draw thanks to Secret Passage, Swindle, and Field Contact, which lets you draw a card after you play a Battlecry or Combo card. A friendly word of warning: Be careful playing Secret Passage after you've sent Mankrik into your deck as it's easy to burn Olgra, Mankrik's Wife when you replace your hand.

Control Warlock deck

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Forged in the Barrens Control Warlock deck

Deck code: AAECAf0GCM/SA5XeA/zeA87hA/bjA/LtA6iKBIWgBAusywPM0gPN0gOO1APG3gPm4QP14wP44wOS5AODoATnoAQA

Cost: 10020 Dust

best Hearthstone decks

(Image credit: Blizzard)

If you're sick of losing to Mage and Paladin, consider starving them of their best tools with Gul'dan's unforgiving Control Warlock. Your opponents can't wear you down with their overpowered cards if you burn them all, and that's why Darkmoon Faire's Tickatus is shining so brightly at the moment. You'll get beaten down quickly by super aggro decks, but if you can survive the first few rounds you stand a good chance of winning. Stay alive by shuffling Soul Fragments into your deck, and use your selection of board clears to stave off enemy minions. 

You can score three Prime Legendary minions from Envoy Rustwix, and play your expensive cards to Corrupt Strongman and Tickatus, before playing them again, courtesy of Y'Shaarj, the Defiler. This setup also features Lord Jaraxxus, who has been added to the Core Set as a Hero. 

In my Ranked matches I've found that Control Warlock decimates No Minion Mage, and in some cases I didn't even need Tickatus as my opponent raced into fatigue on their own. My advice is to clear anything the opposing Mage/Paladin slams onto the field, as their game plan is to buff their minions and overwhelm you, and don't be afraid to take a few hits as your Soul Fragments and Drain Souls will heal you.

Clown Druid deck

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Forged in the Barrens Clown Druid deck

Deck code: AAECAZICApXkA6iKBA7ougOVzQO60AO80AOT0QPe0QPw1AP+2wPR4QPm4QO+7APe7AOJnwSunwQA

Cost: 7000 Dust

best Hearthstone decks

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Clown Druid has wavered in popularity, previously overshadowed by the class' more successful Gibberling and Guardian decks. Naturally, it stars Carnival Clown, a neutral Darkmoon Faire Epic that fills your board with 4/4 Taunts if you manage to Corrupt it. Your goal is to ramp Mana quickly with cards like Wild Growth and Overgrowth, then play Primordial Protector to draw Survival of the Fittest and summon a 10-Mana minion.

The remainder of your deck is lined with beasts like Twilight Runner, Moonfang, and Lake Thresher, all of which are difficult for your opponent to clear. Druid of the Plains is also a ruthless new Rush card which transforms it into a 6/7 Kodo with Taunt when you trigger its Frenzy effect, just to add insult to injury. If you're keen to strongarm your way to a win, this is the setup for you.

Deathrattle Demon Hunter deck

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Forged in the Barrens Deathrattle Demon Hunter deck

Deck code: AAECAea5AwTZxgP66AO/7QOoigQN4c4Dyd0D8+MD9+gD+egDmOoDmeoDu+0DvO0Dvu0D/e0DgIUEpooEAA==

Cost: 5980 Dust 

best Hearthstone decks

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We knew Deathrattle Demon Hunter was on its way, and it turns out that Illidan has lots of fun new tools with which to build a respectable deck. This setup also uses the new 2 and 3-Mana Watch Posts, Kargal Battlescar, and popular Taunt, Divine Shield, and Deathrattle minion Taelan Fordring.

Tuskpiercer lets you draw a Deathrattle minion to get the ball rolling. You can also rely on cards that summon Deathrattle minions directly from your hand or deck, including Razorboar which summons a 3-Mana minion from your hand when it dies, and FitB Legendary, Death Speaker Blackthorn which summons three Deathrattle minions that cost 5 or less from your deck, when played. There's still room for trusty insta-include cards like Skull of Guldan to replenish your hand. That is, until you can pull off a satisfying finisher by summoning Illidari Inquisitor and using your Hero Power to guide it straight at your opponent's face.

OTK Hunter deck

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Forged in the Barrens OTK Hunter deck

Deck code: AAECAR8Gg7kDtrsD9tYDj+MDqIoE4Z8EDP+6A+HOA4biA/foA/noA+rpA9zqA5rsA/DsA9vtA6mfBLugBAA=

Cost: 8920 Dust

best Hearthstone decks

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Do you like the sound of three copies of King Krush smashing into the enemy Hero? To make this OTK Hunter deck work, you'll need to play your Selective Breeders early to discover a copy of a beast in your deck (ideally King Krush), or play Warsong Wrangler to discover a beast and give all copies of it +2/+1. Alternatively, you can also rely on Scavenger's Ingenuity to draw Krush to give it +2/+2.

With multiple dinosaurs in hand you can summon Taelan Fordring to then draw Beastmaster Leoroxx, who will kindly summon all three and let you charge into your opponent for lethal damage. RegisKillbin managed to cruise all the way to Legend using this build, so while it isn't the most popular deck in our list, it's capable of helping you rank up. Even if things don't go your way and you don't manage to land the dream dino combo, awarding these buffs to other beasts like Zixor, Apex Predator and Trampling Rhino isn't the end of the world. 

Hero Tower Mage deck

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Forged in the Barrens Hero Tower Mage deck

Deck code: AAECAf0ECo27A9nRA+XRA5boA/roA9jsA53uA6iKBKqKBMGgBAr3uAObzQP7zgOk0QP36AP56APT7APW7APAoATEoAQA

Cost: 10040 Dust

best Hearthstone decks

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If you want to move away from a No Minion deck, consider Hero Tower Mage. This build is packed with Legendary minions, and as the name suggests, revolves around using your Hero Power and Watch Posts.

Wildfire increases the damage of your Hero Power by one, as does Fallen Hero. You can also use your Hero Power to draw cards with Manafeeder Panthara, or make it cost zero Mana with Tour Guide. After you've managed to deal 10 damage with your Hero Power you can play Mordresh Fire Eye, a 10-Mana brute that deals 10 damage to all enemies. If this minion manages to stick around until your next turn, play Potion of Illusion to add a copy to your hand.

Mage recently lost some of their most-played board clears, but with newcomer Reckless Apprentice, you can fire your Hero Power—which you'll likely have upgraded—at all enemies for just 4 Mana. Cards like Combustion and Varden Dawngrasp (Battlecry: Freeze all enemy minions. If any are already frozen, deal four damage instead) should keep you out of harm's way, and don't forget that you can bring Kargal Battlescar onto the field after playing your Watch Posts.

C'Thun Celestial Druid deck

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Forged in the Barrens C'Thun Celestial Druid deck

Deck code: AAECAZICBKPRA53YA7/gA7WKBA2kB+W6A+i6A5vOA/DUA4ngA4rgA6ThA9HhA8DsA4mfBK6fBNqfBAA=

Cost: 10000 Dust

best Hearthstone decks

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I have a very special hatred of C'Thun Celestial Druid, mainly because it feels so frustrating to lose to, and that's exactly why you should try it. With the help of Gadgetzan Auctioneer and a slew of spells, it's a deck that lets you draw cards at lightning speed, before slamming down Yogg-Saron, Master of Fate and C'Thun, the Shattered to end the game.

Using Celestial Alignment, you set each player's Mana Crystals to zero and change the cost of all cards to 1 Mana. You can use Lightning Bloom, Wild Growth, Nourish, and Overgrowth to build your Mana back up and speed through your remaining cards. Meanwhile, you've restricted what your opponent can actually play. It's pretty mean to watch them squirm after losing all their Mana, but it's one way to rake in those bonus stars.

Elemental Shaman deck

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Forged in the Barrens Elemental Shaman deck

Deck code: AAECAaoIBJzOA/roA4CgBJ+gBA2n3gOq3gOr3gOM4QP36AP56APe7APg7AOt7gOv7gOU8AOMnwTjoAQA

Cost: 6000 Dust

best Hearthstone decks

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Shaman has been lacking headline decks for some time, but this Elemental Shaman deck is a fun option to try if you're eager to revive Thrall. While its win rate is nowhere near as pleasing as the likes of current Mage and Paladin decks, it'll still score you a few wins in Ranked.

Despite the fact that Murlocs are back in full force in the latest expansion, Elementals appear to be a safer bet at present. Their versatility helps you to build an early board and deal consistent damage while removing your opponent's most intimidating threats. 

Arid Stormer is a Barrens addition with a Battlecry that gives it Rush and Windfury, providing you played an Elemental last turn. You can also neutralise enemy minions using Lilypad Lurker to transform one of them into a 0/1 frog with Taunt as long as you meet the same conditions. Chances are that you'll be playing an Elemental most turns, so this isn't a difficult requirement to meet. You also have the Watch Post/Kargal Battlescar package, Primordial Protector to draw your Dunk Tanks, and even Al'Akir the Windlord to close the game.

As PC Gamer's guides writer, Emma is usually juggling several games at once. She loves competitive first-person shooters like CS:GO and Call of Duty, but she always has time for a few rounds of Hearthstone. She's happiest when she's rescuing pugs in Spelunky 2.