Yesterday the Hearthstone [Free (HD)] expansion Curse of Naxxramas was released. The non-heroic difficulty levels of the three bosses and class challenges are pretty easy, but heroic is an entirely different ball game. If you're stuck on the normal challenges, check out our guide from yesterday. If you're stuck on the heroic bosses, read on, just keep in mind there are potential spoilers ahead as these single player adventures are essentially deck building puzzles.

Similar to their normal versions, the key to beating heroic bosses hinges entirely on exploiting the gimmick their deck uses. These challenges are definitely stacked against you, as you'll be fighting both the insane boss decks as well as the game's random number generator to get you what you need. The health of bosses has been increased to 45, and everything else has been tuned to be even more brutal.

The health buff has made Alexstraza an absolute bomb in the heroic format, as it's effectively a 30 damage nuke for 9 mana. If you're going to construct any card to work through heroic Naxx, it should be Alexstraza. Additionally, since the power level of the boss decks are so much higher, you're probably going to need a bunch of pretty expensive cards to stand a chance. Sticking with the theme of heroic raids in World of Warcraft, think of this as the gear you need to fight the stronger bosses. You could probably get creative and substitute legendaries, but you're going to have a hard time.

Heroic Anub'Rekhan Strategy & Deck List

While you could beat normal Anub'Rekhan by just playing a fast deck and beating him down before he gets his big dudes on the board, that just straight up doesn't work in heroic. (Well, I suppose it could if you just got a nuts hand and every card you need exactly when you need it, but I digress.) His hero power allows him to spawn a 4/4 Nerubian for 2 mana (up from 3/1 in normal), which is insane. Aside from an endless stream of 4/4's, Anub'Rekhan's deck has two other main threats: Abominations and Deathlords.

597 7753

I was able to beat Anub'Rekhan using a druid deck. Getting Bloodmage Thalnos (Or Kobold Geomancer) out to buff up your Swipe card then targeting an Abomination is effectively a complete enemy board wipe, as the 5 damage to the Abomination kills it, then it spills over 2 damage to everything else. When the deathrattle effect of the Abomination triggers it'll do another 2. Since the bread and butter of the Anub'Rekhan fight is dealing with his endless stream of 4/4 guys, being able to wipe them all out is ultra helpful.

Typically after this, it seems he likes playing Deathlords. This also synergizes well with druid decks, as you typically have a bunch of very expensive beefy creatures. Using a Dark Knight or just straight up beating down a Deathlord is a great way to trade for potentially a much bigger creature than you could cast with the mana you have for free.

With those two key strategies in mind combined with just ramping up in to big guys and buffing them up, here's the druid deck I ended up beating him with:

  • 2x Innervate
  • 2x Mark of the Wild
  • 2x Wild Growth
  • 2x Wrath
  • 1x Bloodmage Thalnos
  • 1x Healing Touch
  • 2x Harvest Golem
  • 2x Swipe
  • 2x Chillwind Yeti
  • 2x Keeper of the Grove
  • 1x Starfall
  • 1x Azure Drake
  • 2x Druid of the Claw
  • 1x Faceless Manipulator
  • 1x Maexxna
  • 1x The Black Knight
  • 2x Ancient of Lore
  • 1x Ancient of War
  • 1x Ragnaros the Firelord
  • 1x Alexstraza

Heroic Grand Widow Faerlina Strategy & Deck List

7829Grand Widow Faerlina felt like the easiest of the heroic bosses as the strategy to beat her largely remains the same. Rain of Fire is her hero power, which in heroic mode only costs her one mana instead of two. This basically means you've got to race even harder, as she's going to cast it basically every turn.

You need to play a deck that's absolutely explosive out the gate which means going Warlock, and mulligan/restart until you're at the point where you're playing off the top of your deck by your third turn. From there, it's just luck of the draw as to whether you get the cards you need fast enough. Just go nuts life tapping, as you need to be playing two cards per turn to stay ahead. Leeroy Jenkins buffed up with Power Overwhelming is a great finisher, but it's highly dependent on getting them in your hand. Like I said earlier, heroic is all about the random number generator rolling in your favor.

I beat Grand Widow Faerlina in a few attempts using Trump's Warlock Murloc zoo deck mentioned in the other guide. Here's the warlock deck list:

  • 2x Soulfire
  • 2x Power Overwhelming
  • 2x Flame Imp
  • 2x Grimscale Oracle
  • 2x Leper Gnome
  • 2x Murloc Raider
  • 2x Murloc Tidecaller
  • 2x Voidwalker
  • 2x Young Priestess
  • 2x Bluegill Warrior
  • 1x Knife Juggler
  • 2x Murloc Tidehunter
  • 2x Coldlight Seer
  • 2x Murloc Warleader
  • 1x Hellfire
  • 1x Leeroy Jenkins
  • 1x Old Murk-Eye

You really want to mulligan to have one (or even two, that'd be sweet) Voidwalkers in your opening hand, as none of your other low costed cards have the toughness to stick around for the first two Rain of Fire volleys.

Heroic Maexxna Strategy & Deck List

7756Heroic Maexxna is one frustrating fight. If you haven't yet developed a deep hatred for your deck not giving you what you need and Hearthstone's random number generator, this will be the card battle that pushes you over the edge. It starts out unfair from the start, as Maexxna's hero power casts for free at the start of her turn and she has two Haunted Creepers on the board before the game even begins. The key strategy seems to be stalling until turn nine, casting Alexstraza to bring Maexxna down to 15, and pray you've got the life to survive to turn ten and the cards to do 15 damage that turn.

The class that's the king of stalling is the Mage. You've got the ability to get loads of armor, freeze dudes, and straight up cheat death... So we'll be exploiting all of those cards to survive. The basic strategy amounts to keeping Maexxna's side of the battlefield full of little dudes that do one damage, and mitigate damage as long as you can. The Haunted Creepers actually vaguely work to your advantage here, as you can kill one and get two 1/1 Spectral Spiders out of it. Ideally, you want to split the two starting spiders in two and have Maexxna play another one along with any other 1 damage guy.

7835From there, you're getting 7 damage a turn, which is quite a bit, but you can buy yourself loads of time via Frost Nova, Ice Barrier, and similar. The next step is to abuse the constantly casting web wrap, which will put two minions from the battlefield back in your hand at the start of each turn. How do you get the best bang out of your proverbial buck with cards that keep going back to your hand? Battlecry effects of course!

Part one of the strategy to beat Maexxna is stalling, step two is by looping back two dudes each turn with powerful battlecry effects or the ability to charge. Early game, this means using Elven Archer to do things like kill Haunted Creepers, while transitioning in to potentially casting both Voodoo Doctor and Earthen Ring Farseer to heal yourself five per turn. (Or six if you've got two Earthen Ring Farseers and the mana to do it.) Keep in mind, any time you play a third minion there's a high chance you won't get one of them back.

This fight takes lots of luck, as tons can go wrong. You're basically counting on a perfect ability to draw things you need to stall, heal, get Alexstraza, cast it to knock Maexxna down to 15 life, then have the ability to seal the deal and do 15 damage on the next turn. It's super tough, and it should be, it's the last boss on the hardest difficulty of a Naxx wing.

maexx

Here's the mage deck I used:

  • 2x Ice Lance
  • 2x Elven Archer
  • 2x Voodoo Doctor
  • 2x Frostbolt
  • 2x Bluegill Warrior
  • 1x Novice Engineer
  • 2x Arcane Intellect
  • 2x Frost Nova
  • 2x Ice Barrier
  • 2x Ice Block
  • 2x Arcane Golem
  • 2x Earthen Ring Farseer
  • 2x Wolfrider
  • 2x Fireball
  • 1x Leeroy Jenkins
  • 1x Alexstraza
  • 1x Pyroblast

7833I've seen other people discussing alternate strategies such as focusing on totally wiping Maexxna's board instead of soaking the 7 damage a turn. The reason I like dealing with the 7 damage better is because it's predicable, and you know what's coming. Maexxna's deck is full of big nasty minions you don't want to deal with. Keeping her board filled with a bunch of 1 damage guys means you can distill the fight down to mitigating 7 damage and getting two guys bounced back. Some people have run Argent Commander and Polymorph to deal with late game threats better, but when I tried that it felt like I was getting them when I didn't need them and Leeroy is a far better repeat damage dealer.

What's pretty fascinating about the Maexxna fight is there doesn't seem any "best" way to do it just yet. People have been having luck with hunters and exploiting Unleash the Hounds against the seven minions Maexxna will almost always have out, and Paladins for damage mitigation similar to what this Mage deck does.

...Now, who else is excited as hell for the Plague Quarter opening next week?

  • shdwstar2417

    Thank You !!!!

    • torosama

      Ya I blew through everything with my standard priest deck I use with no modifications. But this fight was killing me and I knew I was gonna have to pick something to counter the sending stuff back to my deck.

      Also of note, they almost completely ignore 0atk creatures. So with priest the healing wells will keep you alive in all the other fights no problem cause they ignore them. I just saved up till I got all the health boosting items and 1 hit killed everything when I boosted and double boosted health and inner fired to make atk equal health and bam insta kill.

  • Bruciato

    No need of legendary cards, I consider using Alexstrasza just like cheating in this adventure, there's no fun with it. I also used the mage and mostly with the same cards, but more battle cry cards (Ironbeak Owl is also a great) and all the aoes, with Mind Control Tech also you can easily steal creatures in the early rounds.

    I played Heroic Maexxna with no legendaries and I got with this deck something like 6 wins out of 10 games.

    You make the first part of the game about control, stealing creatures, using owl to silence and the elf or the dwarf to deal 1 damage to enemies. Aoe when needed and after Maexxna is with 1/2 cards per round is just an easy win thanks to all the creatures you saved.

    • Zack Bridges

      This is basically what I did. When you kill a haunted creeper that 1 damage becomes 2 damage, unless you silence it with an ironbeak owl, which you'll get back every time early game.

      Running 2 mirror images was also handy. If they both get sent back you'll have 2 0-mana taunts in your hand for next time.

      I don't have mind control tech, but I ran 2 each of razorfen hunter and murloc tidehunter to help with board control.

      Then blizzard, flamestrike, missiles, freezing spells, and ice barrier provided the longevity I needed to whittle Maexxna down.

      By the end, Maexxna had nothing but silenced nerubian eggs on the board (0 attack) and was top-decking minions that were easily eliminated with the spells and minions I had accumulated.

      Like any classic, old school boss, once you nail the strategy it's not too difficult.

    • Keith

      I did something similar, using Wild Pyromancer for additional AoE, Big Game Hunter for the giants, and Argent Commander either for cleanup or to hit Maexxna in the face.

  • http://geekologie.com Dr Sketchy

    This looks awesome!

  • Tom B. Taker

    Thanks. I used your deck (mostly) to beat Anub'Rekhan. I didn't have a lot of the fancy cards, so I made the best substitutions I could, including the Kobold Geomancer swap you mentioned. I was successful on the third try.

  • Jake7905

    Any developer looking to get into the freemium gaming market should be required to play Hearthstone first. It's one of the few games that doesn't turn the "free-to-play" tag into a punchline. This expansion, and Blizzard's handling of it, is all the proof anyone would need.

  • krane cupples

    Here's how I beat Maexxna: It felt like cheating but I can't afford an Alexstraza. So I did it on my first try with a priest.

    Voodoo doctor x2
    Earthen ring farseer x2

    holy nova x2
    Priestess of Elune x2

    Rest doesn't matter but perhaps some charges (i didn't use them) you want to make sure you get your healing minions back

    For me Maexxna always did the same thing, casts hero power, summon minions, then attack my face. The key was to get her full of 1 damage minions and keep her there.

    I kept my health above 20 until turn 5 with my healing characters. At turn 5, I used Holy Nova and that set her with all 1/1 minions. Then you just keep putting out healing minions and healing yourself more than the 7 damage she does each turn. At one point, I put out 3 healing minions and was left an Earthen ring farseer after she returned the other two.

    Then, depending on which 2 Maexxna returned, from then on my turn was either:

    1. Play priestess and earthen and attack with the earthen that was left on the board (dealing 3 damage and restoring 7 health at a cost of 9 mana) or...
    2. Playing 2 earthen, attacking with priestess and using my hero heal (dealing 5 damage and restoring 8 health at a cost of 8 mana). Maexxna never attacked the remaining minion.

    I won with each of us having 9 cards left in our deck and with 23 health.

  • Djacko

    Sunwalkers buy a lot of time in the first battle, if there is only nerubians on board he will happily burn through 3 of them

  • Bruciato

    Alexstrasza is definitely not needed

  • torosama

    Odd, that only happened to me once. Sorry bout that. I literally had no problems with that till the very last fight where I had to load up on heal battlecrries and mind control tech.

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  • neowiz73

    I use a Mid-Range/ramp style druid control deck with Caire and Black Knight as the main legendaries plus the FON combo. It got me all the way to Maexxna. Then had to use a similar Mage build, but I don't have Alex or Leeroy...
    So i used Doomsayer + Freeze combo and wild pyromancer with magic missle or whatever available spells for extra removal, 2 polymorphs and 1 BGH to make sure I can take down the 8/8 sea giants. (lucked out as soon as it dropped the first 8/8 giant, I top decked BGH) Used 1 Voodoo doctor and 1 Earthen Ring Farseer, that was plenty since Maexxna will return them to your hand most of the time. 2 Ice Barriers for sure... used 2 novice engineers none of the arcane intellect, because you don't really have to draw that many cards. 2 Arcane Golems and 2 Argent Commander for damage/finishers.

  • Joseph El Youssef

    The handlock Warlock with two Hellfires and two shadowflames, plus adding in the extra sunwalker (remove the mountain giants, not much use, but definitely keep the molten giants) was successful on first or second tries with the first two bosses. It's not too hard, once you get the card draws before hand. For Maexxna, I built a priest deck with heals, all boss targeted spells (holy fire and mind blast) with alexstrasza. The aim was to let him get only 1 attach minions (drop the initial spiders and any others that he summons to max out his board, then he won't do anything except 7 damage per round, 6 damage if you're lucky enough to have him summon an egg as well), use holy smite or SW: Pain to get rid of other 2-3 damage minions. Once you are able to heal 7-8 per round, just wait for Alex to come, drop it on him, then hit the face with spells for easy win. Additionally, using an altered handlock with leeroy jenkins on repeat summons would be useful to tap out the spider queen in no time.

  • Vance Tullier

    I had zero issue offing Maexxna on heroic within a couple rounds with a well equipped warrior option. With a couple heal cards and some damage dealing cards (and of course weapon options) you can weather 7 damage per turn with relative ease. Then throw in a few good charge cards (Leeroy is a fantastic option for this if you have him, Grommash is a decent option as well and incredibly useful paired with Crazy Alchemist for clearing out those stupid 4/6 mobs it likes to use. You end up sacrificing a bit to get rid of the Giants but otherwise the rest of it was cake. By the end I was no longer going backwards (hp/armorwise which can be a bit tough early on until you get the cards you need and anytime you need to unload cards if you're using somewhat cheap cards it's easy to do without losing the important ones) and finished him off with ease.

    • Vance Tullier

      Sidenote, I went back to demonstrate and offed him the very next try as well with the same deck. And of course if you can pull Execute earlier it's not as painful with the giants.

  • Chungston

    Thanks. Was having some trouble with maexna.

  • Adrian Jones

    Great decks above! Just wanted to add my own that I call 'Divine Juggler' and beat Maexxna Heroic on my 2nd attempt. This is for those of us out there with limited Legendaries and no spare dust! It is a Paladin deck, in fact has zero legendaries, with 2 x the following: Humility, Elven Arch, Voodoo Doc, Holy Light, Argent Protect, Ironbeak Owl, Knife Juggler, Novice Engineer, Aldor Peacekeeper, Earthen Ring Farseer, Truesilver Champ, Blessing of Kings, Consecration, Hammer of Wrath. Then 1 x Argent Com and 1 x Guardian of Kings. Basically similar as other strategies: use Maexxna's hero ability against her to recycle heals, then turn 4 onwards Knife Juggler wreaks havoc with arrows everywhere, ideally give it divine shield so survives if doesn't get returned to hand, combine with Ironbeak on Taunts, Consecrate to clear then use your finishers. Enjoy!

  • Jax

    Thanks for the Maex decklist - got it first try. The key, which I didn't realise before the fight, is that on heroic the HP is auto-cast at the start of each turn, so there's no fear of the minions dying unless you have 3+ out. With that in mind, if you survive to turn 9 and have Alex plus a charge minion (or damage minion like Elven Archer) in hand, you'll ultimately win (as long as you've set the board up as a 7-damage-per-turn board), given that every 2 turn cycles Maex can only deal 14 damage, which gives you one turn to heal to 15, then one turn to play your charge minion/s for damage.

    • Jax

      Also, Leeroy's battlecry is surprisingly useful for this fight, given that you want to flood with 1/x minions.

      If people are finding more draw power is required, adding in 1-2 Coldlight Oracle and/or another Novice Engineer could be useful, given that they're reusable - with the drawback being that overdraw is a genuine risk in this matchup, given that the only cards you'll be getting rid of are non-minions, and charge minions that you suicide into minions (or x/1 minions you kill with the mage HP).

  • BootDoggy

    I don't have Alexstraza and am a fan of priest decks, though unlike @enark i found charges to be essential. Once you have Maexxna setup with seven 1 attack minions (include Leroy's welps to quickly fill her up) she plays the same every turn - pulling back two minions and doing seven damage to your face. You can heal that with voodoo/farseer/hero power for 7 mana, leaving ten mana to play charge cards like bluegill, stonetusk or wolfrider or direct damage with mind blast. Once you've beaten her down a bit you can finish with Leeoroy and reckless a few times as you keep your head above zero.

    My winning deck:
    2x wisp (cheap minions for her to pull back)
    2x power word shield
    2x Stonetusk
    2x Voodoo doctor
    2x Mind blast
    2x bluegill warrior
    2x lightwell
    2x novice engineer
    2x arcane golem
    2x earthen ring farseer
    2x wolfrider
    1x Leeroy Jenkins
    2x Holy Nova
    2x Holy Fire
    2x Princess of Elune
    2x Reckless rocketeer
    1x Ragnaros (didnt get him out but would've been good if i had)