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Update: We've published a guide to Blackrock Mountain in case you need help with the newest expansion's bosses.
Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas presents players with some challenging single-player encounters. If you're stuck, here's a run-down on how to beat each of the dungeon's encounters.
The expansion has three game modes: Normal, Class Challenges, and Heroic. Normal and Class Challenges are the same difficulty. The difference is that the latter forces you to use a specific deck against a specific boss. Heroic mode cranks up the difficulty. It boosts the effectiveness of the boss' hero abilities while also bumping their health up to 45.
This guide focuses on teaching you the heroic fights. The strategies apply to the Normal and Class fights as well, though you'll have a much easier time of things in those modes.
Curse of Naxxramas's five wings are being rolled out over five weeks. We'll update this guide when a new batch of bosses is available.
Hero power: Skitter (2 mana) - Summon a 4/4 Nerubian
Description: Anub'Rekhan's Hero power makes him a pain in the early game. He can start throwing down these powerful Nerubians in the second turn and get some quick damage on your Hero. He then protects them with Taunt minions like Deathlord or Abomination.
If you manage to survive through the early rounds and get some minions on the board, Anub'Rekhan will start casting Locust Swarm. This annoying spell can rip apart your army while giving him crucial HP.
Strategy: The other two Arachnid Quarter bosses are essentially DPS races. However, beating Anub'Rekhan is all about patience. You need to keep his minions off the board with spells while getting your own out there. You can't surrender the board to him early on.
Taunt minions are especially key here. Be sure to buff or heal them as needed. These tanks will give your high-damage minions some protection so they can focus on damaging Anub'Rekhan or his defensive line.
Once you're past the early game, things get a lot easier. Anub'Rekhan doesn't have many high-mana tricks to speak of. Eventually you'll be able to summon minions too powerful for him to take out with a single hit. Locust Swarm sucks but 3 damage isn't that much on an 8 health minion. Slowly but surely, you'll overwhelm him.
Suggested deck: Ramp Druid for its quick mana gain and consistent defense throughout every stage of the fight. It's the perfect deck for surviving until the late game and then steamrolling Anub'Rekhan.
Grand Widow Faerlina
Hero power: Rain of Fire (1 mana) - Fire a missile for each card in your opponent's hand
Description: Faerlina's cheap Rain of Fire on Heroic means that she can wreak havoc on your hero and minions right from the start. To make matters worse, she has a 3 mana card called Worshipper that gives her 3 attack on every turn. This bonus stacks with multiple Worshippers and she's got five in her deck so this battle can get out of hand really quickly.
Strategy: If you want to take down Faerlina, you're going to need board control. Try to get multiple, cheap minions on the field. This cuts down on the size of your hand, minimizing the damage of Rain of Fire and spreading out its damage among multiple targets. Inexpensive taunting minions like Shieldbearer or Voidwalker will buy you some much needed time. Once you've got some minions on the field, put most of your energy toward damaging Faerlina.
There are two minion types you should make sure to clear, though: Worshippers and Necroknights. Necroknights are like the exploding barrels of Hearthstone: if you kill them, they'll destroy minions on either side of them. They have 6 health, though, you're better off letting them whittle down their HP by hitting your taunts or other minions. Then finish them off and take out several of Faerlina's minions at once.
Suggested deck: Zoo Lock because of its abundance of cheap minions and early damage potential.
Hero ability: Web Wrap (0 mana) - Returns two random enemy minions to your opponent's hand.
Description: Maexxna's Hero power suuuucks. A zero mana Web Wrap will keep you from keeping minions on the battlefield. This ability works even on minions that normally can't be targeted, like Faerie Dragons or creatures with Stealth.
While keeping your side of the board clear, Maexxna steadily fills hers with minions. She has 6 Haunted Creepers, a spider minion that becomes two more spiders when you kill it. On the other end of the mana curve is her pair of Spectral Knights, minions that can't be hit with spells or Hero powers. Once her mana is built up and she has enough cards on the field, she'll play a Sea Giant to make short work of your Hero.
Strategy: Maexxna is a little dumb when it comes to using her Hero ability. She'll always cast it at the start of her turn. In other words, she'll return minions to your deck rather than get easy kills. As long as you have two minions or less on the field at the same time, they'll never get killed.
The result is that you can use Battlecry minions over and over. Throw down cheap minions with Charge, buff them with minions like Abusive Sergeant, and then smash Maexxna in the face. Battlecry heal minions can help you stay upright when Maexxna has control of the board.
She only has two Taunt minions and their 5 mana so you can open up a big lead on her. Even when she does put the Taunt minion (Sludge Belcher) on the field, you can throw down an Ironbeak Owl to remove its abilities.
Make sure that you have some abilities to help you clear the board as well. Maexxna's minions are bound to outnumber yours at multiple times throughout the fight. Cards like Holy Nova, Kill Command or Consecration are really helpful in removing this advantage.
Suggested deck: Face Hunter due to its early-game offense. The other nice part about the deck is that it has cards like Hunter's Mark, Explosive Trap and Misdirection to blunt Maexxna's offense and remove her minions.
Noth the Plaguebringer
Hero power: Raise Dead (0 mana) - Whenever an enemy dies, summon a 5/5 Skeleton.
Description: If you like flooding the board with cheap minions, Noth is not going to be a fun fight. His Hero ability allows him to turn the tables on players with armies of 1 or 2 mana minions. Every time he kills one of your henchmen, he gets a powerful minion for free. You can get overwhelmed very.
Even if you survive late into the game and get control of the board, you're not in the clear. Noth can quickly flip things around on you with Plague. This 6-mana card instantly kills any minions who aren't Skeletons - giving himself some new Skeletons in the process.
Strategy: The key to beating Noth is to not feed him new Skeletons. This means you should only use a few minions. The minions that you do use need to be durable. Use a deck slanted toward spells that allow you to kill Noth's minions and damage him without risking a Skeleton spawn.
I say "spells" instead of "weapons" for a reason. Noth has a pair of Skeletal Smiths in his deck that cost 3 mana and can destroy weapons. Rogues and Warriors may have a rough time with this fight as a result.
Even in the late game (6+ mana), make sure you don't have multiple minions on the board. Otherwise you're asking for a beatdown with Plague. One thing to note, though, is that he only has one of those cards in his deck. After the first Plague cast, feel free to start throwing all your big minions on the board.
Suggested deck: Spell-heavy mage decks like this one can do the job. They allow you to mount an early defense and keep the board clean until you have enough mana to start throwing down damage-heavy minions and spells. Control druids work well for the same reason.
Heigan the Unclean
Hero power: Eruption (0 mana) - Deal 3 damage to the left-most enemy minion.
Description: Heigan is at his core an aggro lock. He has a lot of low-mana minions and abilities to establish an early lead. Meanwhile, his Hero power Eruption prevents you from getting a foothold with minions.
Strategy: This fight's not really that bad. If you've been playing Hearthstone for any length of time, you've run into a crap-ton of aggro locks at this point. Your plan-of-attack for Heigan is roughly similar: prevent his offensive for the first few turns and then counter-attack. His biggest monsters are a pair of Dread Infernals (6/6) so he's not well-equipped for taking down your heavies.
Eruption will wipe out most cheap minions. If you plan to play any, make sure they're to the right of a more durable comrade. However, the low end of your deck's mana curve should be slanted toward abilities. Like Noth, Heigan has a couple weapon-breaking minions so you should leave your weapons outside.
Suggested deck: Priests are a popular choice because of their assortment of offensive spells, buffs and heals. This Control Lock deck is another cheap option that leverages high-health minions and deathrattles to stomp Heigan.
Hero power: Necrotic Aura (0 mana): Deal 3 damage to the enemy Hero.
Description: Loatheb looks impossible at first. He's 99 health instead of the usual 45 for a Heroic boss. Every turn he smacks you in the face for 3 damage. On top of all that, he starts with a taunt minion (Fen Creeper, 3/6) on the board.
Oh, and his boss Kel'Thuzad just noticed that you've been cheesing fights with Alexstrasza. He'll kill the minion as soon as you play it.
Strategy: You do have a chance in this battle, though: the Spores. Loatheb summons these little 0/1 minions that give ALL of your active minions +8 attack when you kill them.
Your challenge is to have multiple minions on the field when a spore is popped so you can take full advantage of their +8 damage buff. You also have to make sure that they stay alive long enough to pummel Loatheb or any minions in your way. Low-mana minions that have higher-than-average health or a quick way to attack Spores are very valuable.
Loatheb has strong board-clearing capabilities, thanks to his abundant supply of Sporeburst (1 damage to all enemy minions) and Deathbloom (5 damage to a single enemy) cards. However, as long as you're releasing a steady stream of minions and keeping them safe, you'll be able to complete this damage race.
Suggested deck: A Priest deck is a natural choice due to their ability to keep minions alive and boost their effectiveness. Because so many low-mana minions are neutral, though, a lot of classes are viable. Here's an example of a Shaman deck.
Hero power: Unbalancing Strike (1 mana): Deals 4 damage
Description: Razuvious is the hardest-hitting boss you've encountered yet. His Hero power lets him smack you or one of your minions for 4 damage just a single mana crystal. Then there's his Massive Runeblade, which can hit you for 20 damage. This means you can end up with only 6 damage after a turn.
Fortunately, you start the fight with a Mind Control Crystal in your possession. This lets you convert his two Understudy minions to your side. You're going to need them to have a chance in this fight.
Strategy: To survive long enough to kill Razuvious, you need to keep yourself behind Taunt minions. The two Understudies are a nice start. However, he can take one out with a single swing of his Massive Runeblade (a 3-mana card). It's a good idea to have some other Taunts in your deck just in case one or two of your Understudies fall.
A class that can heal or buff Understudies is very useful for this encounter. You want to keep them alive as long as possible. They start with 0 attack and if you give them some offensive capabilities, the battle's going to go a lot smoother.
Finding a way to neutralize Massive Runeblade is crucial as well. He has four in his deck so eventually he'll break through your defenses with a Runeblade at the ready. However, if you can break a couple of these blades or steal them from his deck, you'll buy yourself enough time to take out Razuvious.
Suggested deck: Priest decks like this one and this one are cheap paths to victory. They can boost up an Understudy to ridiculous attack and health with Divine Spirit and then Inner Fire. These decks have everything else you need, too: cheap alternate taunts, weapon breaks, and card steals.
Gothik the Harvester
Hero power: Harvest (1 mana): Draw a card. Gain a Mana Crystal.
Description: Gothik is a marathon runner. He uses his Hero power to collect mana along with a pile of cheap minion cards to spend them on. He also has Warlock spells like Corruption and Shadow Bolt to keep you from assembling an army of your own.
Many of his minions will summon ghosts to fight on your side. Don't thank him, though. These minions cause 1 damage to you each turn, which can quickly put you behind in the health race.
Strategy: This fight is similar to Razuvious: you're handed minions and need to put them to work for you. That's a harder task in this fight, though, because the Spectral minions spawned on your board are worthless at first. They have 0 attack and no Taunt, so their only function is to bleed you of health.
This means that buffs are even more important. Minions that can buff numerous allies at once like Sunfury Protector or Defender of Argus are especially valuable. if you're going to be stuck with these ghosts, they may as well help you out.
Corruption and Shadow Bolt allow Gothik to quickly wipe out high-cost minions. It's a better idea to summon several cheaper minions. The added advantage of this approach is that if you fill your side of the board, there are no room for Spectral minions that would normally be summoned by killing Gothik's henchmen.
Suggested deck: Paladins and Shaman are both strong choices thanks to their buffs and board clears. They can stay in the fight long enough to counter all Gothik's punches and slowly take him down.
The Four Horsemen
Hero power: Unholy Shadow (5 mana): Draw 2 cards.
Description: Baron Rivendare starts the fight with three 2/7 minions on the board. You'll need to kill them before you can attack the Baron. He's immune to damage before all three are dead.
Even alone, Rivendare is a formidable opponent. His Runeblade's attack power is boosted by 6 once his companions are dead. His Hero power allows him to rapidly accumulate cards in the late game. These cards are spells from several different classes that allow him to weaken or kill your minions.
Strategy: Getting rid of Rivendare's three minions is the first challenge. You can't use Equality or Doomsayer on the fight; I guess Blizzard figured that would be too easy. Other quick takedowns like Shadow Word: Pain or Charge minions will work, though.
The Baron only has 14 health but killing him is easier said than done. His spells make it tough for you to mount an offense. Minions might not stay alive long enough to do any damage. Use heavy-hitting offensive spells or Charge minions to finish him off.
Acidic Swamp Ooze is a good card to bring into the battle. It's a cheap minion that lets you break the Baron's Runeblade. This will spare you some serious damage while you collect enough spells or minions to kill him.
Suggested deck: Hunters can be a good choice because of their quick offense. They can wrestle the board away from the horsemen and keep it. This Druid deck is a good choice as well because of its heals and Taunts. Both of these decks use the legendary Loatheb card from the Plague Quarter because his Battlecry stalls his flurry of spells.
Hero power: Hateful Strike (4 mana): Destroys a minion.
Description: Patchwerk, like his World of Warcraft incarnation, is a DPS race. His weapon lets him hit for 4 damage two times every round. Meanwhile, his Hero power lets him instantly kill any of your minions.
That's the entire fight. He doesn't draw any other cards. He wants to smash you so you have to smash him faster.
Strategy: This is a really simple fight. All you need to do is stall his offensive long enough for you to wear down his health. The key is finding ways to keep him from hitting you. Freezes, weapon breaks, and taunts are all good options.
Cheap minions with these stalling effects are very valuable. His Hero power lets him wipe out any minion regardless of health so you should go for quantity rather than quality. Summon minions at a faster rate than he can wipe them out and you'll win the fight easily.
His lack of cards can be exploited in some ways as well. If you force him to draw cards by playing Coldlight Oracle, he'll take Fatigue damage. Deathlord normally summons a random minion for your opponent on death. Patchwerk has no minions, though, so this card becomes even more effective than usual.
Suggested deck: Ice mage decks like this one or this one make short work of Patchwerk. They have freeze spells to render Patchwerk helpless and enough defensive tricks to buy some time.
Hero power: Poison Cloud (0 mana): Deal 2 damage to all enemies. If any die, summon a slime.
Description: Grobbulus is a pain in the ass. He's very good at taking control of the board and keeping it. His Hero Power quickly eliminates your cheap minions and turns them into 2/2 slimes for his team.
Maybe his most devastating move, though, is Mutating Injection. This ability adds four Health and four Mana to his minion along with Taunt. If he uses this in conjunction with Echoing Ooze, he'll end up with two 5/6 Taunt minions on the field. That combo by itself could sink you.
Strategy: Don't feed Grobbulus slimes. He's bound to finish off some of your minions with his Hero Power but don't make it easy on him. Try to kill your minions in clearing his side of the board. Or, better yet, keep your team alive with buffs or heals.
Make sure you've got some cards to quickly remove or silence his minions. Don't just fritter them away on his cheaper minions. Your success or failure in this game is going to hinge on how quickly you can get rid of his high-health Taunts.
Suggested deck: These Priest decks have the right idea: durable minions, healing spells and removal abilities. The Divine Spirit and Inner Fire combo lets you boost minions to outrageous power. Once you've beefed up a minion, keep him or her alive with heals and wipe out all opposition.
Hero power: Decimate (0 mana): Change the Health of enemy minions to 1.
Description: Gluth is a powerful enemy that uses your efforts against you. His weapon, Jaws, starts out with only 3 attack but that ramps up by 2 each time a minion with Deathrattle dies. That's unfortunate because almost every minion he plays has a Deathrattle.
He's able to boost the power of Jaws even without your help. Bite and Enrage bumps up his Attack by 4 and 6. These abilities, combined with some careless killing of his minions by you, could allow him to stomp you before you have a chance.
If all that isn't annoying enough, he knocks all of your minions down to 1 Health every turn.
Strategy: This is another fight that could be one or lost depending on your mulligan. You want an Acidic Swamp Ooze in your hand to be able to destroy Jaws. He has 4 in his deck so he may be able to replace it right away. However, if you'll get lucky, you'll have a few turns where he has no weapon to strike you with.
Once his weapon is gone, you can do some significant board clearing. The explosions from Abomination and Unstable Ghoul can help a lot. Zombie Chows, meanwhile, can help you regenerate some needed Health.
Decimate makes your minion choices a bit easier. Because their health is going to get knocked down to 1, you can favor high Attack minions over high Health ones. Charge and Divine Shield minions, meanwhile, have a better chance of causing some damage before they die.
Suggested deck: Paladins can quickly clear out a crowded field with Equality or Consecrate. Mages have strong clears as well, and can generate more Oozes thanks to Duplicate.
Hero power: Polarity Shift (0 mana): Swap the Attack and Health of all minions.
Description: Thaddius starts with two formidable minions on the board. Feugen and Stalagg are 4/7 and 7/4. This means that they'll pummel you for a whopping 11 damage right off the bat.
Getting minions on the board to stop this duo isn't easy. Thaddius is a Shaman so he has two AoE lightning spells at his disposal. The result is that you might be defeated in just three or four rounds.
Strategy: The key to this fight is getting Feugen and Stalagg off the board as quickly as possible. If you've got any cheap removal spells, this is the fight to use them. Surviving these two will probably require some luck with your opening hand, though.
You can take advantage of the Attack and Health switch every round to killing them easier. For example, the Paladin card Humility reduces a target's Attack to one. If you use this on Feugen or Stalagg, they'll then have 1 health the following round - making it much easier to take them out.
Once the two are dead and you have a fair amount of Health, the rest of the fight's a snap. Just keep his other minions off the board and get some damage on him before he devastates your side with AoE.
Suggested deck: Paladins work well because of Humility, Equality and their damage spells. Their buffs and heals, meanwhile, keep their minions and Hero afloat long enough to strike back at Thaddius. Regardless of class, Nerubian Eggs are a good choice because Polarity Shift will pop them the following round and give you a 4/4 minion.
Hero power: Frost Breath (0 mana): Destroy all minions that aren't Frozen.
Description: Heroic Sapphiron is a big step up from his Normal mode incarnation. You no longer have a Frozen Champion on your side to shield your minions from his breath. This means that any minion you play is going to be killed by the start of his turn.
While you can't keep a consistent team of minions alive on your side, Sapphiron doesn't have any such problems. He plays minions like Shade of Naxxramas, Faerie Dragon and Spectral Knight that can't be easily killed by you. His Skeletal Smiths, meanwhile, will smash your weapon upon death.
Sapphiron is also armed with a very nasty card called Pure Cold. This spell deals 8 damage to you and then Freezes you. This card is only 5-mana so it can bring a swift end to the match.
Strategy: Sapphiron's Frost Breath limits your options a lot. If you're going to have any minions, they need to be useful in the span of one turn. If they don't have a Charge, Battlecry or Deathrattle, you probably shouldn't bother having them in your deck.
No matter what your actual strategy is, your deck should be skewed toward abilities and weapons. Yes, you can keep minions alive by freezing them with your Water Elemental or Ice Lance. You're throwing a lot of mana around just to buy your minion another turn, though. It's best to just enter battle with deck stocked only with a few pivotal minions.
The key to this fight is avoiding damage while hitting him as quickly as possible. His two Pure Cold cards can do a combined 16 damage to your Hero so if you let him get easy shots in early on, you're not going to survive until the late game when you can bring your heaviest artillery to bear on him. Secrets and spells that can wipe out or defang his minions are a must.
Suggested deck: Mages are popular because of their defensive ability, AoE, and heavy-damage spells. This Mage deck is based around stalling with ice spells until you can summon Feugen and Stalagg, who in turn bring Thaddius (11/11) to the battlefield. Charge and weapons make Warriors a smart pick as well, though you need to make sure not to kill Skeletal Smiths while your weapon is out.
Hero power: Phase 1 - Frost Blast (0 mana): Deal 3 damage to the enemy Hero and freeze it. Phase 2 - Chains (8 mana): Take control of a random enemy minion.
Description: There are two phases to Kel'Thuzad's fight. Both of them suck.
In the first phase, he's protected by a thick wall of armor and will steadily smack you for 3 damage per round. Once you've torn down that armor, he ends your turn and summons two 5/5 Taunt minions called Guardians of Icecrown. This is the start of Phase Two.
Phase Two doesn't get much easier once you've taken out these new minions. He's still got a range of ice spells and minions at his disposal to blunt your offensive. Then there's Twisting Nether, a lovely card that kills every minion on the board. On top of all that, his Phase Two hero power lets him permanently take hold of one of your minions.
Strategy: This fight is all about speed. You need to get through Phase One before he hits you with too much damage. Then you have to get the Guardians of Icecrown out of the way so you can go back to hitting Kel'Thuzad. After that, you have to kill him before he can turn the match around with Twisting Nether, Blizzard, or Chains.
Buffing up minions to incredible health and attack worked well for a lot of Curse of Naxxramas bosses. However, Chains throws a wrench in that plan. There's no sense in investing cards and mana to strengthen a minion just to have Kel'Thuzad steal it the following turn.
His Twisting Nether and ice mage attacks, meanwhile, make it very easy to stall or wipe out weaker minions. So yeah, don't get too attached to any minion in this match. Just make sure you can replace them in quick fashion and keep the pressure on Kel'Thuzad. Don't let him get control of the board.
Suggested deck: Priest and Paladin decks seem to be widely-used. However, I personally found more luck with aggro decks like Zoo Lock or a Bloodlust Shaman. They have quick offense but no mega-minions to get mind-controlled. Twisting Nether sucks obviously but as long as luck's on your side, you'll eke out a win.