Fun Budget Decks: The Shockadin
This is the first in a series of guides on how to craft and play some budget friendly decks that are a whole lot of fun to play, while still being potent options for ranking up in the game. Currently, I’m playing my own version of a now-outdated paladin aggro deck called “The Shockadin”. It’s a lot of fun to play, will for sure get you through the early ranks, and will help you accumulate enough dust to buy even more costly cards!
I stumbled on a recipe for this deck a couple expansions back, and right away I loved the cavalier attitude it allowed, in fact encouraged, combined with the potential for some devastating finishes, with a healthy dose of combo potential. Another thing I really love about the Shockadin is it’s flexibility! When I read my first guide to crafting the deck, I didn’t have enough dust, so I took it as a creative challenge to make it work with the cards I had, and to try and win enough games with it to get more cards and craft the missing pieces to the puzzle. The results were so positive, and I felt a certain satisfying ownership over my own personal version of this deck that I was ranking up with. I would urge anyone looking for fun and glory in Hearthstone to try out their own version of this deck, and enjoy building it to suit their own playstyle. Now, on to the specifics of the deck, plus some tips on how to play as a Shockadin in general, no matter what flavor you go with.
First off, let’s start with my current main version of this ever evolving creation. Keep in mind these exact cards are a guide, and you should feel free to experiment with your own variations!
- Abusive Sergeant (x2)
- Argent Squire (x2)
- Blessing of Might (x2)
- Leper Gnome (x2)
- Worgen Infiltrator (x2)
- Equality (x2)
- Knife Juggler
- Argent Horserider (x2)
- Divine Favor (x2)
- Ironbeak Owl
- Consecration (x2)
- Hammer of Wrath (x2)
- Truesilver Champion (x2)
- Leeroy Jenkins
- Stand Against Darkness
- Avenging Wrath (x2)
- Sea Giant (x2)
Some budget replacements to the list above could be Argent Commander instead of Leeroy Jenkins. Of course, Leeroy is such a great card to have in this deck, and can deliver a lethal blow on one turn out of seemingly nowhere with the right buffs, but since he is a legendary card, he’s a bit on the costly side. Argent commander packs almost the same punch, but he’s a bit lighter on the dust cost. Another couple of cards you can replace are Stand Against Darkness and Knife Juggler with a Loot Hoarder for some more card draw, or a Sword of Justice and maybe a Stonetusk Boar or Bluegill Warrior. Lastly, if you can’t afford the two Sea Giants, don’t worry about it, just add a couple of the replacement cards I mentioned above. Next stop, player’s guide!
- The first step to playing a Shockadin deck is to learn to let go of the lives of your cheap minions. They are there to pressure and provide aggression early on, and force quality trades later in the game. Don’t get discouraged if they die! Just play more of them.
- Remember to play all the cards in your hand. With the exception of a couple combos and game changing cards like Equality or misplaying your Leeroy Jenkins, you should really be able to play almost any card, almost any time. The more technical cards such as Ironbeak Owl and Knife Juggler may be seen as exceptions to this rule, but air on the side of playing them when in doubt, especially at first as you’re getting used to the mechanics in the deck. You’ll learn when to hold on to them with time.
- Divine Favor. This card comes to the rescue more often than not, and you can almost feel the frustration of your opponent seeping through the screen as you empty your hand and then draw a fresh half dozen cards from your deck.
- When in doubt, go face. This includes cards usually seen as good for saving to clear annoying taunts off the board like Truesilver Champion, or Hammer of Wrath. Just hit them square in the face with these in the event you have a shot at it, and they’ll reflexively start buttoning up to protect themselves, while you should maintain board control with your minions. I did say, “When in doubt”, so remember to clear the taunts, especially when your face is vulnerable when playing against another aggro deck.
- Zerg everything. If there’s a big taunt, or other potentially threatening minion on your enemies side of the board, don’t be shy to drop a Blessing of Might and the +2 attack from Abusive Sergeant on an Argent Squire, or even a Leper Gnome or Worgen Infiltrator. Your hero power should always be used to reinforce, and keep you on the board even when things look grim, since even a Silverhand Recruit can quickly be buffed to take down almost anything your opponent can supply.
Those are some of the strategies that will help you control the tempo of the game and open up your opponent for some of the surprising combos this deck offers. Keep in mind that you might have to look towards upcoming turns to get the most value out of some of these combos.
- Equality + Consecration: This combo is one of the best board clears in the whole game, so when you have these two cards in your hand, keep them until there’s a worthy target, or better yet, multiple targets. Then let this combo loose, and watch the entire landscape change. Incredible value for 6 mana crystals.
- Knife Juggler + Stand Against Darkness: These two cards can change the whole scenery of the board for 7 mana crystals, leave your opponent swamped in a sticky situation and do 5 damage, possibly popping divine shields or killing off low health minions. It also sets up a 4 mana Sea Giant or 2 for next turn.
- Leeroy Jenkins + Blessing of Might (x2) + Abusive Sergeant (x2): 16 damage for 9 mana crystals combined with the infamous and iconic battle cry of one of World of Warcraft’s most legendary figures striking fear into the heart of your enemy as he faces down certain defeat is what I call value. Any combo with Leeroy and a buff or two should be noted while you’re looking for an opening for this lethal finisher.
I hope this guide helps you on your road to ranking up and getting gold. Get some victories, craft some cards, and invest your dust while you explore the full potential of the subtle art of winning in Hearthstone with a humble deck that challenges the meta in powerful ways. Next time we’ll take a look at a powerful tournament deck recently used by pros in Europe that comes in around 2,000 dust, and an account of how it compares to the usual competition in ranked. Good luck, have fun, and I’ll catch you on the flip side!