Are you looking for something new to try out today while the meta is still fresh? Read on to see how you could get ahead of the Hearthstone metagame!

The new Hearthstone expansion, Festival of Legends, got released today. This not only means 143 new cards, but the rotation of the oldest cards from Standard! Many great streamers and pro players have built new Festival of Legends decks for the format. In this article, we will feature a deck from each class that you should try on the first day of the expansion!

Festival of legends decks and new gameplay mechanics

Included in Festival of Legends are several new game mechanics to be acquainted with:

  • Finale: A powerful bonus several cards acquire if they use all of your remaining mana on a turn.
  • Overheal: The new evergreen Priest keyword that grants additional bonuses if a minion is healed above their maximum health.
  • Legendary Musicians and Songs: New legendary spells and minions which have synergy and flavor with their class.
  • Instrument Weapons: Weapons that get improved while on the board, leading to a powerful Deathrattle swing effect.
  • Harmonic Spells: Spells that change the nature of their effect based on the turn they are used.
  • Soloists: Minions that gain their effects if they are the only one present on your side of the board.

We have covered all of these mechanics in previous articles in the run-up to Festival of Legends. If you are looking to learn more about these new game mechanics, be sure to check them out after you are finished seeing the new decks on offer!

As a disclaimer — if you don't have dust spare, make sure to wait for the meta to settle before crafting anything you may regret!

Death Knight

With three different runes available to augment your Death Knight deck, as well as the brand new Climactic Necrotic Explosion, Death Knight players are spoiled for choice on how to build their first decks in Festival of Legends. Our first choice is an Unholy-based Aggro deck, courtesy of Vicious Syndicate:

Unholy Aggro Death Knight (Deck via Vicious Syndicate)
Unholy Aggro Death Knight (Deck via Vicious Syndicate)
  • Deck Code: AAECAfHhBAblsASJ5gSX7wSk7wSE9gTipAURlrcE9OME/eMEieQElOQEj+0Eh/YEsvcEs/cEtvoEq4AFopkFnqoF8cIFyMcF4MgF16IGAAA=

This list is centered around the new one mana spell: Death Growl. This spell allows you to proc multiple powerful Deathrattles throughout the early game to put pressure on the opponent. From Nerubian Egg summoning 4/4 Nerubians, to Naval Mine dealing 12 damage, the synergy is immense!

In a callback to the Shaman decks of old, this deck has a simple gameplan. You load the board with sticky minions. Then, you finish the game in one turn with a Grave Strength adding three attack to all of your creatures in play. Cards like the Eggs, Battlefield Necromancer, and Blightfang ensure a stream of minions and corpses for Grave Strength. Watch out for this archetype and the next one below if the meta is looking to be on the greedy side!

Demon Hunter

Many of the expansions from 2021 and 2022 had Demon Hunter players being well known for their combo gameplay. With the rotation of Final Showdown and Jace Darkweaver, the class is adapting to be an aggressive beatdown deck. The list highlighted here is also from Vicious Syndicate:

Pozzik Aggro Demon Hunter (Deck via Vicious Syndicate)
Pozzik Aggro Demon Hunter (Deck via Vicious Syndicate)
  • Deck Code: AAECAea5AwT7vwSU1AT0yAWongYN0p8EiLIEmLoE+b8EntQEpeIEq+IExuIEve0EjaUF2tAF4fgF0J4GAAA=

This is another older deck being given new life through the expansion. In this case, the spotlight falls on the brand new Pozzik, Audio Engineer. A four mana 5/4 minion is slightly below average by himself, but this card places a dilemma for the opponent. When Pozzik enters play, he adds two 3/3 Audio Bots into the opponent's hand; also minions that are bad for the mana cost. When Pozzik dies, he summons any leftover Audio Bots in hand to your side of the board. It's a devastating tempo swing if timed correctly with other aggressive cards.

Cards such as Cult Neophyte amplify this problem; making it more difficult to remove the Demon Hunter's early game efficiently. You typically end the game around turn six or seven, utilising cards like Metamorphosis for burst damage or Sightless Magistrate for refill. We recommend this Festival of Legends deck if you're looking for quick games and quicker concedes from the opposition!

Druid

The Mayor of Value Town is back to theorycrafting once again. This time, Jeffrey "Trump" Shih has built a new Druid archetype focused on giving your Hero Power additional attack power. Druid historically has had a few different aggro builds, but nothing quite like the build below.

Hero Power Druid (Deck via Trump)
Hero Power Druid (Deck via Trump)
  • Deck Code: AAECAZICBJbUBOKkBargBavgBQ2HtwSuwASA1ATB3wS3mAXsowXuowWfpAXPyAX83wWK4AWR4AWp4AUA

This deck feels reminescent of older Poison Rogue decks of the past. Instead of building a big weapon to swing at your opponent, you constantly improve the damage output of your hero power. Using it to deal lethal amounts of damage before your opponent can muster effective opposition. Cards such as Sunfury Clergy and Treasure Guard help you survive against other aggro decks, though other lists online have cut these for increased aggression.

We would recommend using this list as a starting point, and then mess around with a few of the cards to see what kind of strategy you prefer to lean into!

Hunter

The most recent update to Hunter comes from pro North American player and streamer Luna "lunaloveee" Eason. She recently produced a video going over her Top Day One Decks, which put a spotlight on this chunky Big Beast Hunter decklist.

Big Beast Hunter (Deck via lunaloveee)
Big Beast Hunter (Deck via lunaloveee)
  • Deck Code: AAECAR8K4qQFl+8Ex7IEr54G9MgF0+QE2PYF6soF57kE4Z8ED52wBMHjBOT1BaqkBYiyBOjKBdL4BaeQBbCeBszkBIPIBNDkBIHJBK6kBajRBQA=

Mid-range Hunter decks like this one aim to survive the early game and then take the initiative back with big swing turns in the mid to late game. The big tempo swing for this deck is Faithful Companions: a seven mana spell which can summon a massive beast from your deck. Ideally, you'd like to get something like Banjosaur, which can rush in with a massive statline and add extra beasts to keep the pressure up in the late game.

Several of the Legendary minions in this particular list such as Ara'lon, Pozzik, or Zilliax aren't staples in the deck. If you're lacking in dust, these cards can be swapped out without much issue. The big beasts however, are crucial for the deck to function. If you don't think you can craft them all, we would recommend you play something different in the meantime!

Mage

This build of Control Mage by Vicious Syndicate focuses on repeated use of the spell Lightshow. It's a spell that allows the player to shoot a ton of beams randomly at enemy targets based on how often they were able to get to play the spell.

Lightshow Control Mage (Deck via Vicious Syndicate)
Lightshow Control Mage (Deck via Vicious Syndicate)
  • Deck Code: AAECAf0EBIvnA6neBKOQBaaTBQ2WtwTa0ATK3gTFkwWqmAWrmAWdpAWAwgWmwwXgwwXoxQXVzgXQ+AUAAA==

Cards such as Rewind, Volume Up, Audio Splitter, and Commander Sivara grant the player additional Lightshows. These Lightshows are then duplicated with Vexallus before pulling off a final flurry of beams with Grand Magister Rommath on turn nine. The amount of damage this deck can deal with the right setup borders absurdity!

We do have some concerns about whether this Festival of Legends deck is able to stabilize consistently against several of these aggro archetypes already showcased in this article so far. The lack of any board clears in the list is telling. That being said, if your opponent is running a slow enough control deck of their own, you'll be hogging that spotlight all the way to victory!

Paladin

The Hearthstone community has been downplaying Pure Paladin ever since Lightforged Crusader was released, but it might now be a terrifying tier one archetype. Tom "Meati" Wayland describes it best in a quote.

"Disco Maul is a two mana Blessing of Kings on a stick. Boogie Down is an Arcane Intellect that builds your board. Jitterbug is the deck's major draw engine!"

The list below is what he theorycrafts the deck to be looking like early on into the expansion.

Pure Paladin (Deck via Meati)
Pure Paladin (Deck via Meati)
  • Deck Code: AAECAZ8FBISWBaHiBIWlBYbiBA3JoASBlgW/4gTrnwTy7QTAxAWrkwW1ngbBxAW6xwWDlgXKxAXi0wQA

The combination of Divine Shield and cycle makes Paladin a very dangerous opponent for any board-centric deck. Not only can the class now have a large amount of refill, but it also has several ways of crafting dangerous boards. Cards such as Kotori Lightblade and Funkfin have the potential of singlehandedly winning games on their own!

If you're looking for a cheap and reliable deck to play on the first day, then this Paladin deck is a solid start! The deck itself has a very linear game plan, which additionally entices newer players looking to get into Hearthstone for the first time.

Priest

Nicolas "TicTac" Gillet is a Belgian pro player who has historically been well known for his advocacy of the Control Priest archetype. Over the past week leading up to the release of Festival of Legends, he has worked on refining the next iteration of Control Priest:

XL Control Priest (Deck via TicTac)
XL Control Priest (Deck via TicTac)
  • Deck Code: AAECAa0GCuWwBKi2BMXkBJfvBO+RBf3EBc/GBcbHBazRBdj2BQ++nwSWtwTk0ATy2wT52wS43AS63ASGgwXgpAWUxAW7xAW/xAW7xwX7+AW4ngYA

Love Everlasting is arguably one of the strongest spells printed in Hearthstone. The ability to reduce your first spell by two mana every turn is absurdly powerful. Of note is its synergy with Sister Svalna, granting you an unlimited use of this effect even if you don't have a regular spell to weave in on your turn.

With unlimited spells that often cost two less mana than usual, this Festival of Legends deck aims to win a long battle of attrition against the board-centric meta that we will see develop early into the expansion's runtime. Over time, this archetype may have to evolve to be more competitive against combo decks. But for now, it's a solid choice if you don't mind spending a lengthy amount of time in each game.

Rogue

What is there left to say about this archetype that hasn't been established by the community already? Meati posted the newly-updated rendition of Miracle Rogue along with his Pure Paladin archetype.

Miracle Rogue (Deck via Meati)
Miracle Rogue (Deck via Meati)
  • Deck Code: AAECAaIHBMygBeKkBeigBe7DBQ33nwT2nwTfwwXgoAX03QTBoQW3swTQngbdoAXfoAX13QTBgwX87QQA

Now that Cult Neophyte is back in Standard, this deck has been given a speedier win condition. With Neophyte increasing the cost of enemy removal, it is possible to go for a massive combo turn with Neophyte and a Shadowstep; increasing enemy spells mana cost by two. Staring down a 12/12 ghost on turn four or five last format was already tough to deal with. Doing so now with spells costing more mana as well is crazy.

Miracle Rogue was by all metrics the best deck for the entirety of March of the Lich King. Now with a rotation, and a fresh injection of cards in the meta, we wait with baited breath to see if Valeera can deliver a repeat performance!

Shaman

Shaman has always had a troubled relationship in terms of synergy in its sets. On the one hand, it is well known for Elementals and Murlocs. This new take on Bloodlust Shaman by Vicious Syndicate aims to incorporate them both!

Menagerie Aggro Shaman (Deck via Vicious Syndicate)
Menagerie Aggro Shaman (Deck via Vicious Syndicate)
  • Deck Code: AAECAaoIAvSgBa/DBQ7VsgT6tATgtQSywQTFzgTy3QSgmQXmowWFqgWVqgWWtwXizQXB0AXa0AUAAA==

The lynchpin of this archetype is Frostfin Chomper. It's a three mana Murloc that spawns three tokens if an Elemental was put into play on the previous turn. Cards such as Mistake and Amalgam of the Deep already count as Elementals, but the other Elementals in the list certainly help with synergy. Ideally, this deck likes to swarm the board early and then capitalize on those gains. If not with Bloodlust, then with Rotgill or The One-Amalgam Band as a finisher.

Warlock

The last Festival of Legends deck Meati posted on Twitter is a brand-new take on Control Warlock, which is an archetype revolving around many of the Undead minions from March of the Lich King.

Undead Control Warlock (Deck via Meati)
Undead Control Warlock (Deck via Meati)
  • Deck Code: AAECAa35AwTFpQX5xgXOkgXCpQUNz54GxJ4Gsu0EyOsF1aAE9MYFwJIFj58ExaQFpZIFhZMFjpIF1JUFAA==

This decklist screams late-game win conditions. The Symphony of Sins shuffles in six useful Control options while Rivendare provides a direct win condition if all four of the Horsemen die during the game. Thaddius and Dar'khan Drathir can also be summoned through Amorphus Slime or Flesh Behemoth's Deathrattle effect. The question is whether this deck is able to last the onslaught of many of the aggressive archetypes we've presented in this article before its big swing takes place.

The amount of board clears available to Warlock indicates that it is feasible. Direct burn damage from classes like Hunter or Mage, or spell disruption with Neophyte in Miracle Rogue both seem to be pretty oppressive for this kind of strategy. If you're a lover of Handlock, give this a go! If you can last long enough, this archetype can bring in big results.

Warrior

The final archetype we have on display for this article is world champion Raphael "BunnyHoppor" Peltzer's Riff Control Warrior build utilizing Blackrock 'n' Roll.

Blackrock 'n' Roll Control Warrior (Deck via Bunnyhoppor)
Blackrock 'n' Roll Control Warrior (Deck via Bunnyhoppor)
  • Deck Code: AAECAQcI5bAEzJIFtsQFiKAE2PYFgdwEiN8EsMcEC8SSBYmgBJDUBOrQBbT4BevQBY7UBO/OBMaeBuzQBY2yBAA=

Garrosh has had it rough ever since the nerfs that took place at the start of 2022. This variant of Control Warrior aims to go back to the roots — by playing a bunch of big things and forcing your opponent to deal with them! Blackrock 'n' Roll is a five mana spell that buffs every minion in your deck by stats equal to their mana cost. In other words, what would normally be a 3/2 Zilliax is suddenly an 8/7 Zilliax! Now that is a lot of Lifesteal!

Perhaps the most important interaction with the card is with Naga Giant. Since Naga Giant normally costs 20 mana, Blackrock gives it a whopping +20/+20! It's an incredible amount of stats. Combining the spell with Sir Finley also means you can often receive many of these buffed minions immediately rather than waiting to draw them one at a time.

The question here is similar to the aforementioned Warlock deck: can you last long enough to pull it off? If so, then you'll have a blast pounding your opponent with these massive titans. Give this a go if you're feeling tired of slower attritional control archetypes like the TicTac Priest.

What Festival of Legends decks should I play?

When thinking about which Festival of Legends decks to play in the new expansion, always consider what you think you will have the most fun with. Different archetypes appeal to different people. There are plenty of different feasible decks in this expansion from aggro to control and everywhere between! If you're wanting to ensure you retain a solid balance in your collection, we have already posted a guide on that topic.

That's all for now! Be sure to stay up to date with esports.gg as we cover the Festival of Legends meta over the coming few weeks. If you want a list of all of our pre expansion coverage, we have an extensive Twitter post on a variety of topics! Here's to a great expansion and even greater pulls. We will see you back in the tavern soon!

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