Forums  /  Hearthstone series  /  Curse of Naxxramas  /  Heroic strats discussion

Interesting methods. How fast do you normally win with the freeze mage in anub'rekhan? Curator could help to draw Alextraza and Coldlight Oracle. And that Maexxna method is really interesting indeed.

Recently, I had an idea of using an Astral Communion deck for Anub'Rekhan. Basically just restart until you got the Innervate + Astral combo lol. Especially since Anub'Rekhan's deck is the most 'regular', he'll probably have no way to counter the early big minions unlike some other bosses.

If one day I'm done with BRM, seems like it might be fun playing around with your decks.


Astral Druid against Anub sounds feasible. Ramp seems to be one of the more popular suggestions to beat him in heroic, so it should be possible to startscum an early Communion. I actually haven't timed my freeze practices, but it doesn't feel slow since the plays are often obvious and Anub will miss out on a lot of attacks due to freeze.

In general it might be better to wait until Karazhan is out entirely. Curator might become a combo piece that breaks adventures apart, and personally I'm expecting great things from Runic Egg.


Gothik with Mill Druid:

Mill Druid is really suitable in this boss since the boss draws 2 cards each turn, and he's not that strong so Mill Druid's limited control tools are enough to survive against this boss. Seems to be slightly faster than the old Shaman strats, I got around 4:00-5:20 with this deck while the old Shaman deck probably takes 4:30-5:30+.

The decklist that I posted above have lots of cards with only one copy, because I'm not sure which of those cards I need to take out of the deck. Branching Paths should also be strong for this deck, and for most Druid decks in general.

I haven't tried to make a Tempo/Midrange deck yet for this boss, probably not feasible since this boss have a strong early tempo from his Hero Power, but it'll probably save even more time if a consistent Tempo deck can be made.


About 2 months ago I tried some Naxx bosses, but realised that optimising everything will take lots of time so I stopped since I need time to prepare for my LOE run at ESA. Here are the bosses that I've tried.
Also note that Boomsday is coming out soon, so we'll have new cards and possibly some more AI changes.

With more defensive tools these days, you can afford to play more card draws and have a high chance of doing the Majordomo trick within 3 turns after Kelthuzad switches to his second phase.

Using Priest. Win condition is to use Alexstraza + Velen/Mind Blast. Rest of decks are taunts, weapon removals and card draws. (Note that he have 4 copies of the 3-mana 20-damage weapon). Have a high chance of getting low 3 minutes on my tests and is very consistent.

Note that Grobb is currently bugged where he never plays his Mutated Injection. Same win condition as Razuvious, which is similar to how Tsubaki did Grobbulus. High chance of getting low 3 minutes and sometimes sub-3 too.

Tried to use Paladin and managed to make it consistent, still a small chance to lose with bad early game draws though.

Usual Mage strategy but I managed to optimize this deck to very consistently get turn 6 kill. I can't get a turn-5 though (except one time out of 20+ where I'm very lucky), so the only other way to optimize this is by not playing cards that give extra animation such as Millhouse.

I tried to optimize the dude paladin deck with newer cards. Might not be optimal yet, there's still a pretty small chance of the fight being much slower than average if you have a lack of resources on late game. The one copy of Seal of Light is good to clear the board on early game, might not be a bad idea to put two of these.

Maexxna with nerfed Rogue Quest:
So this Quest Rogue uses lots of 0-drops to complete the quest. The nerfed quest does hurt this deck though, I have a huge variance in the finishing time, from low 3 minutes to high 5 minutes.
Although this deck might not be optimal yet, or we just have to deal with the fact that there's no way quest rogue can be as fast as Tsubaki's run anymore.
What makes Maexxna pretty slow is the animation of Haunted Creepers attacking one by one. If there's a reliable way of clearing the Creeper+Tokens early on, a combo deck such as Alex+Velen+Mind Blast could have a potential here.

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I made my first entry into speedrunning and into HS speedrunning just few days ago and I wanted to share couple of strats I used there. I don't think they are optimal but it's mostly different from what I've seen other runners use before. All listed strats take about 4min on average per boss. I'm happy if I get under 4min in my runs and it's unfortunate if you happen to be near or past 5min (or worse, need to reset) with the decks/strats I present to you below.

It's yet another Alex-Mindblast Priest but do note the Duskbreakers. Since maexxna keeps bouncing them, you can pretty much board clear for days as long as you have another dragon in hand, but do watch your hand size. It also includes a plethora of board clears and some healing to ensure you can survive until you can setup 2 turn lethal. The Shadowbombers were a nice addition that came from srd's iteration and you can often use it to find/setup lethal when you have alex and 1 mindblast but no other damage sources.

I'd say this is an unoptimized list but I hope I can get across the main ideas presented in the deck. The plan is to mulligan to find tools to deal with Heigan's turn 0 voidcaller + whatever he vomits on the board in first 1-2 turns, including the voidcaller deathrattle. Once you clear that board you aim to stabilize with reavers, giants and voidcaller/lackey pulls into one of your big demons and establish a huge board that will run over him.

Strategically, this is in the same vein as Heigan. I honestly applied the idea to this deck first then went back to Heigan and made changes. Main difference is that we're taking advantage of Boss's Stalag and Feugen to make our own Stalag/Feugen even more potent. It's even more imperative you have a good removal based start on this one or your life will evaporate much more quickly compared to Heigan. Corrupting Mist and Curse of Weakness are MVP cards though I would not keep curse of weakness in mulligans if I didn't have something to deal with Stalag and Feugen in hand already because it only really shines when you can echo it.

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A new strat for Sapphiron is to use Hemet Jungle Hunter + Mecha'thun to make it fast in emptying your deck, and triggering Mechathun's effect is easy because Sapphiron will destroy all of your minions every turn. Druid is probably the best class for this because of early defensive spells and ramps.
It's faster compared to other old decks such as OTK Priest, although the decks that I've tried is still not so consistent.

There are two variants of this deck:

- Using Hemet, Mechathun and Branching Paths as the only cards costing more than 3:
(I also have tried not using Branching Paths, but I think Paths is too good not to include)

- Using Witchwood Piper, Hemet and Mechathun as the only minions, fill rest of deck with spells costing 3 or less: (credits to Vinceomatic for this deck)

The double Witchwood Piper variant is the one I find most consistent, with a winrate of around 60%. I can draw the Piper in time for most of my attempts, and all of my wins have been within 10 turns. My finishing time ranges around 2.5 to 3 minutes.

Alternatively, you can use Mechathun strat without Hemet, which allows you to put more expensive cards like what Mirin did in his 1:05 run. This variant seems consistent but is probably slower than OTK Priest.


Let me put Monk and Vinceomatic's decklists here so it doesn't get drowned in Discord chat:

Monk's google doc on decks he's working out for all adventures:

Vinceomatic's decks for Naxxramas:

Also here's one1_won's and Mirin's decklist used on their PBs, for more reference:
one1_won's 1:03 :
Mirin's 1:05 :


Some decks that I've recently tried and talked about in the discord channels with others:

Monk's iteration of this deck works consistently fast, I usually got a time between 2:30 to 3:30, could be even faster if I got really lucky tempo with Molten GIants.

Freeze Mage works well here, partly thanks to more card draw from Research Project. Just stall until you got Alexsztraza.
Note that Noth doesn't have any burst from his deck, but he have 3 secrets which are 2x Counterspell, 2x Duplicates and 1x Ice Block.

Four Horsemen:
Gameplan is to kill Baron RIvendare with Potion of Madness + Divine Spirit + Topsy Turvy. Keep any card draws in your opening hand, I usually take out any combo pieces from opening hand because I'll get them later anyway.
This current iteration is consistent, and usually kills him within 8 turns, getting sub-3 minutes most of the time.
I don't think Radiant Elemental and Mind Blast is useful for this deck,

Sapphiron (with Mechathun Warrior):
Similar to the Mechathun Druid strats with 2x Witchwood Piper + Hemet, Jungle Hunter. But this turns out to be really consistent even though slightly slower than Druid.
I usually got a time of 3 to 4 minutes, although there's a small chance it can be significantly slower than usual if you didn't get a Piper or Hemet for a long time. Tried this deck 10+ times and never lost yet (although I got really lucky in one fight, so there's still a small chance to lose)


The recent patch fixed the bug in Grobbulus and Razuvious. Razuvious's bug fix doesn't really matter most of the time, but Grobbulus's bug fix does have a significant impact since he can play lots of huge minons through his Mutating Injection spell.

Here's the adjustment I made to the Alextrasza Priest deck, got 10/10 wins on practice

The major change (other than adding SW:D and Mass Dispel), is to add Spirit Lash and Bloodmage Thalnos, which made to synergize with Dragonfire Potion. Without those two, Dragonfire potion is usually not that effective since his buffed minions are outside Dragonfire Potion's range (Lightbomb is also not a good alternative since buffed Echoing Ooze wont be killed by Lightbomb)

Obviously average time will be slower now that the boss has improved. Average speed might not be slower by much. but the variance seems to be pretty high.


Just for reference, here's the decklists I used in my ESA Movember run (not long before Rastakhan Rumble's released), if anyone's wondering what I replaced Giggling Inventor with
No major changes other than Grobbulus because of the bugfix or replacement of Giggling Inventor


This is the changes I made with the new cards from Saviors of Uldum:

The major change is Faerlina where I used an all new strat based on Mechs and Magnetic. The idea is to build a giant mech which is getting bigger en bigger and to go face with it. It's possible to do so because Faerline doen't have hard removals to deal with one huge minion. In your starting hand you want mana cost reduction and cheap Mechs with Magnetic because you want to start building your Mech as fast as possible. On average, the deck kill on turn 7 and it's pretty consistent.

Now, let's see the minor changes. First I stopped using Ice Barrier in Combo Mage decks because the animation is pretty slow and sometimes it's faster to let the opponent trigger directly your Ice Block. Then, I tried Soup Vendor in Combo Priest decks and I really like the result. This minion can allow some "Miracle" turns sometimes by drawing a lot of cards and getting your combo fastly. However, it demands good health management because if your health is too high you can't draw cards but if it's too low you can die if the opponent has some damages in hand. Finally, I stopped using Majordomo strat on Kel'Thuzad because I had too many games where KT killed it instead of stealing it. I don't really know why it happens because I'm the only runner with this problem but I don't want to have a run ruined by this even if it means using a slower strat.

You can find my decklists here https:/​/​imgur.​com/​a/​QpPbb3y and the deckcodes here https:/​/​pastebin.​com/​y7HeCTAX


Anubrekhan with Necrium Apothecary + Deathwing Dragonlord:

Not a consistent strat since you need to get Necrium by turn 6, but really suitable for the first boss. The nerf doesn't really affect this deck, just makes the fight one turn slower if you have your Necrium early.

- Sinister Strike is to have more combo activators for Necrium
- 1x Witchwood Piper seems to be the right amount. Piper itself isn't ideal cause it can be countered by his Nerubar Weblord. Having 2 also gives the chance of Piper drawing another Piper, which sucks
- Shadow Strike is good to clear one minion, especially Nerubar Weblord when you have Piper in your hand

This strat can be applied for few other bosses as well, though that'll make the run a lot more reset heavy.
(Also credits to Hess who first tried this strat)


Tried to tweak the Priest Grobbulus deck recently, I got around 90% winrate with this deck.

Decided to drop the Dragonfire + Spirit Lash/Thalnos and went with Mass Hysteria and Breath of Infinite instead, since those two cards doesn't require comboing with other cards
Breath of the Infinite really helps with early game consistency, Mass Hysteria isn't 100% effective though and I tend to use it when I don't have Psychic Scream in my hand.
Also thought of adding 1x copy of Flash/Binding Heal for extra healing, but it dilutes the Shadow Vision pool, actually harms me once cause of it

For an alternative strat, can try out the highlander priest deck made by monk. More consistent but slower.


i'm using mecha'thun against gothik and kel'thuzad now (and sapphiron but i was already doing that)
here's my decklists as of rn



For Faerlina, tried to play around with the egg warlock deck similar to what Tsubaki used in his run. Think this is the list I'll go with.

Maybe about 70% winrate overall? All my wins have been in turn 7-9.

I also tried to play around with Mech Paladin like what Vinceomatic did, still haven't finished optimising. Mech Paladin seems to have similar winrate with more variance in the finishing time, though seems to have less animations overall compared to warlock which might makes it a bit faster overall.

Here are some explanations for card choices:

Cards in decklist, some of these could be replaced with other tech choices:
- Abusive Sergeant: Could help triggering egg and help trading as well
- Sunfury Protector: Help triggering eggs and taunts might help later as well in protecting your face or your bigger minions depending on the situation.
- Millhouse Manastorm: Good stats for this fight and drawback doesn't really matter.
- Dancing Swords: Good stats and drawback doesn't seem to matter as well. Could help in late game as well for an extra body. Neferset Thrasher has better stats but his drawback is sometimes too painful.
- Mortuary Machine: I put this in as an extra late game finisher, to make it more consistent in getting fast time. Obviously worse than Fel Reaver, but I put this one instead cause Fel Reaver's animation could cost a lot of time for this boss. The Reborns doesn't matter when you're already ahead in tempo, which is when you usually put this minion.
(Also kinda want to try this one for the memes 😛 )

Cards that I'm considering putting in, but didn't:
- Corrupting Mist: Could help in triggering egg and kill her early game minions, but so far the Power Overwhelming and Plague of Flames has been enough.
- Soulfire: 4-damage burst is good in here, but having Spirit Bomb seems enough so far
- Neferset Thrasher: Drawback sometimes make it unusable for late game
- Fel Reaver: I would put this in if I want more huge finishers, but Mortuary Machine and Molten Giant seems to be enough so far. Fel Reaver's effect could costs lots of animation time cause Faerlina's cards have quick animations.
- Hooked Reaver: Effect isn't that consistent since sometimes you're well above 15 health. Would've been a good late game finisher if the trigger can be more consistent.
- EVIL Genius: Thought this might help in triggering eggs, but effect's too slow and adding cards to your hand will buff Faerlina's hero power.
- Amethyst Spellstone: Tsubaki used this in his deck, though I don't think I need the healing. If you're at low health, but ahead in tempo, it's not hard to prevent her from hitting your faceo.

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I think Mech Paladin is better than my Egg Warlock deck in terms of speed and consistency. This is the list I'll probably go with.

Won 7 attempts in a row with this version just before I wrote this, with most wins in turn 7-8. The game will have less animations as well compared to warlock where you have to trigger bunch of egg deathrattles.
I do have times where I got few loss streaks when still juggling the card choices yesterday though, and once in a while the game goes significantly slower than turn 9.

First of all, the way this deck is played is to aim in having one big mech using the magnetics. Sometimes you only start building your board in turn 3 or 4. Normally you'll hope a mech managed to stick in turn 2, and you can start buffing that mech in the following turns.

For mulligan, I usually keep any cards with <=2 mana cost except for Potion of Heroism. Might keep Bronze Gatekeeper (or even Annoy-o-Module) as well if I already have other early game cards in hand.

The main change I did compared to Vinceomatic's version is to remove a lot of the 1-drops and 1-attack minions. I want to make Crystology have a high chance of getting Galvanizers, cause a turn 2 or 3 Galvanizer can enable you to play lots of cards in the following turn, even if you sacrifice tempo beforehand.

Explanation on card choices:
- Millhouse Manastorm: Really good stats for this fight even though it's not a mech, could help stabilise the board in early turns
- Mortuary Machine: As mentioned in previous post, worse than Fel Reaver but doesn't trigger that much animation. Was considering putting Fel Reavers in as well but that's probably too much late game.
- Target Dummy: Can use this and other Magnetics in the same turn so the main mech have +2 health, or a way to protect your other mechs from dying.
- Hand of Protection: Good way of keeping a mech alive early on, and cheap cost to curve and emptying your hand to weaken Faerlina's hero power.
- Potion of Heroism: More for late game usually, but still useful to keep your main mech tougher. Was considering to put in Hand of A'dal as well though that probably is too much spells in your deck.

Cards that I removed from Vinceomatic's version:
- Mecharoo/Skaterbot: Dont think these do much, and removed this to make the Crystology pool smaller.
- Clockwork Gnome: Died even easier than Mecharoo, and Spare Part might not be useful which ends up buffing Faerlina's hero power.
- Annoy-o-Tron: Could have a similar role to Target Dummy, but it dilutes the Crystology pool as well.
- Sound the Bells: Prefer Potion of Heroism than this one, Potion is more likely to have impact and card draw is probably more useful for late game.

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Loatheb with Druid (still unsure if I'll use this list):

This list is still isn't that consistent, maybe about 50% or less winrate. But it's probably not possible to be both fast and consistent with Loatheb.
I think Druid is better than Shaman or Paladin if you're looking for a turn 6-9 win, more healing (from lifesteal or armor gain) and cheaper ways to summon 2-health tokens to play around his Sporeburst and Unstable Ghoul.
Still no guarantee to get a quick win even if I do win though, once in a while it could go quite a lot longer than turn 10 if Loatheb didnt summon a Spore for a long period.

First, the way you play this deck is to not destroy a spore immediately in turn 1-2. Normally you want to make sure you have 1-2 minions on board after turn 2, and you can destroy Spore and another 2-drop in turn 3 to build a huge board. (Look at Tsubaki's run for example)

The 1-mana Augmentors from latest expansion is really effective in clearing Spore and getting a token, similar to Elven Archer. I put the three Augmentors with no Elven Archer, and usually I don't need to mulligan for an Augmentor cause I'll probably get one of them within turn 3.

There's couple of reasons why the boss isn't that consistent if you're using a fast token deck. Loatheb fight gave lots of possible situations, and you can't try to play around all the following scenarios:
- Losing early game tempo
- Board clears from Sporeburst and Unstable Ghoul, with not getting counters to it. Even worse when he got multiple clears.
- Taking too much damage on early game and not getting the healing
- Loatheb seldom play his Deathbloom (4-mana 5 damage card) unless you have a buffed minion already. (This is a topic that I could elaborate more later)

These cards are what I think important to this deck:
- Dreamway Guardians: Cheap 2-health token summons and usually heal a lot as well
- Echoing Ooze: Cheap 2-health tokens
- Cloakscale Chemist: Can't be traded and will survive when trading, really good in here
- Augmentors: Think 3x Augmentors is the right amount. Could put Elven Archer as well but that's probably too much spore activators in the deck.
- Unseen Saboteur: Could help in activating Deathbloom, and it's also good if he activates Poison Seeds since that means Loatheb won't be able to use that card again once you got a buffed board.

These cards are decent but might still be replaced by others:
- Naturalize: Cheap removal, and the card draws on Loatheb might give him a Spore card to play.
- Worgen Inflitrator: Can't be traded, good for early game curve. Although weak to Sporeburst or Unstable Ghoul
(Was thinking of using Gilbin Stalker as well though that's more expensive and not as durable as Cloakscale Chemist)
- Vicious Scalehide: Good healing, not effective to play on turn 2 though.

Cards in the list above that I'm still not that sure to put in the deck:
- Branching Paths: Can be used to draw or heal, and buffing tokens might be useful once in a while. Could be clunky to play due to the mana cost though.
- BEES: Activates Spore and summoning tokens simultaneously, although vulnerable to 1-damage board clears. Might be used to kill his minion as well.
- Mark of the Lotus: Put this to counter 1-damage board clears, to make my 1-health tokens be 2-health.
- Earthen Scale: Lots of healing when you activate a Spore, and could buff a 1-health minion to counter a board clear.
- Living Roots: Could summon tokens for cheap, or used to activate a Spore as well. 1-health tokens so it's vulnerable to board clears though.

Cards not in the list but I'm still considering putting in:
- Force of Nature or Doppelgangster: Good way to solidify your board presence in late game.
- Mark of the Wild: Could buff your board to counter board clears, though hard to play on early game due to the mana cost. Might be used to summon one extra minion as well if needed.
- Shrubadier: The 1/1 is vulnerable to board clear but the 2/2 isn't.

Cards that I tried but not putting in anymore:
- Landscaping: Better to play the 2-mana cards that summon 2x 2-health tokens than this one.
- Blistering Rot: Same as Landscaping, was hoping the Rot's end-of-turn effect could bait a Deathbloom from Loatheb, but turns out it doesn't.
- Coldlight Oracle or Jeeves: Don't think I need more card draws than Branching Paths.


Razuvious using Mage with Kobold Stickyfinger:

Usually finishes in turn 6-8. Mage works best cause you can keep freezing Razuvious which prevents him from destroying his weapon early. Winrate seems close to 100%.

Usually takes three attacks from the weapon to kill him, which is why I have Rummaging Kobold to get another weapon after the first one is used up.

Note that AI will still play his weapon even if he's frozen, so you want to start freezing him in turn 3 (or turn 2 if he doesn't coin turn 1).

Mulligan: I'll keep one cheap freeze, maybe one draw card, and Parrot/Stickyfinger/Rummaging Kobold. Don't need to keep the taunts since you'll get taunts in turn 1 immediately.

I also put in Shieldbreaker cause it could help in silencing his Deathlord, if he have one.

Demo video:


Kelthuzad with Mechathunlock:

This has been consistent, and often kills him before he got to his second phase. So it's faster than the Majordomo Priest strats.

It's easy to control the board in here, but his hero power deals lots of face damage so you'll need lots of healing. That's why I include Gurubashi Offering as well, it often triggers successfully.

For the board clears, Doomsayer/Depth Charge seems enough (plus cheap taunts to protect them). Unstable Felbolt and Darkbomb is good as well since he have lots of 3-health early game minions.

I'm using Dorian combo since it should be safer as you don't need to spend a turn to setup with Thaurissan. Haven't tried the Thaurissan yet but I'm guessing it's slower, because having one extra turn to setup might triggers his second phase (which is a lot of animation).

Didn't put Soularium here. It might help triggering the combo one turn earlier if I don't get an early Hemet. Though it could also just clog your hand early on, which might make the deck less safe.


Gluth using Mage with Kobold Stickyfinger:

Similar method with Razuvious, but not as consistent. Maybe about ~75% winrate?
Usually finishes in turn 7-10, should be significantly faster than the old Paladin deck on average.

Done by blowing his early minions with Flame Ward (ideally in turn 4), then steal his weapon (ideally in turn 5/6). Usually can freeze him few times before the steal, to prevent the durability from getting wasted

Firstly, Gluth isn't guaranteed to get his weapon early, unlike Razuvious which seems to be fixed in having the weapon by turn 3. Gluth have 4x Jaws though, so it's still very likely for him to get it within 3 turns.

Secondly, you need to have two cards (Flame Ward and Kobold Stickyfinger) on time, instead of only one. Being late in getting these (Ward by 5 turns, Kobold by 6 turns) and it could be pretty hard to win. We do have lots of card draws and tutors which makes it likely to get these on time.

The taunts (Mirror Image/Wax Elementals) is to be used after Flame Ward, not earlier. Useful in late game if your health isn't high.

Flame Ward plus 3 tutors (2x Ancient Mysteries and 1x Mad Scientist) seems to be the right amount.
Mad Scientist is normally played on turn 3, since AI doesn't like to trade it. Then you trigger his deathrattle in turn 4.

Also put in Shieldbreaker since it's occasionally useful to handle his taunts. (Unstable Ghoul, Sludge Belcher, Abomination)

Mulligan: Main goal is to have Flame Ward & Stickyfinger or their tutors. Don't need to have more than one copy of these though. Keeping one copy of a cheap freeze and draw is also useful. Don't keep taunts since that's for later.