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‘Hearthstone’ Curse of Naxxramas Guide – Tips and Decks to Beat Heroic Arachnid Quarter

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Yesterday the Hearthstone (Free) 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.

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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?

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