Welcome to another Budget or Fudge It Showdown, the Hearthstone article series that forces affordable decks to fight in a brutal competition for almost dozens of fans. Each episode of this series will feature two decks that build around the same theme with different requirements. One deck will be completely budget-friendly: Only Commons, Rares, and Core Set cards. No Epics, no Legendaries (except for the free ones). Its opponent will be slightly more expensive, but only by so much: It will have most of the same Budget restrictions but has the option to bulk up with either a single Legendary or up to four Epic cards.

Last time, the Fudge It Clan took an early series lead on the Budget Brigade behind the dominance of the School Bullies. This week, our matchup pits two aggressive Taunt Druids against each other, with similarities that will emphasize their differences. Both are scary. Both are fast. Only one can come out on top in Budget or Fudge It Showdown.


The Contenders

Kazakus, Golem Shaper Card Image

In the grey corner, weighing 3340 Dust and representing the Fudge It Clan, it's the Beastly Brawlers! This Druid deck uses the power of Battleguards and Buffs to get on the board, then make its Beasts even bigger threats. At its top end is "The Crafty Krafter," a golem-shaping machine who can adapt his creations to be whatever the game needs them to be--whether they're small utility creatures or massive monsters. The Brawlers await their Budget opponent, confident that they have what it takes to emerge triumphant.

Pride's Fury Card Image

And there they are! Emerging from the shadows and into the puce corner, weighing in at 1800 Dust, the Budget Brigade's Druid contender is...Wait! Is that--it is! That's Drek'Thar's music! It appears that Dr. Wrecker has turned on the Fudge It Clan and joined their enemies as part of the Pride Wreckers! I can't believe this is happening! This team swarms the board in a hurry and buffs its minions any way from Sunday, making life miserable for whoever happens to be on the other side of the board.

I don't know why he did it, but Dr. Wrecker has turned his back on his former teammates! Will the Fudge It Clan punish him for his betrayal, or can the Budget Brigade score their first win of the series thanks to his treachery? The stage is set, the lights are bright, and we only have this venue reserved for another thirty minutes: It's time for a Showdown!


The Core

Razormane Battleguard Card ImageTreasure Guard Card ImageAquatic Form Card ImageFrostwolf Kennels Card Image

These decks have a lot in common. First is the Taunt package of Battleguards and a variety of 2- and 3-Cost Taunts. Each also has the DIY Embiggen combo of Azsharan/Sunken Gardens plus Aquatic Form (which can also draw any card in the deck after turn 4). Moonlit Guidance is another shared inclusion thanks to the cheapness of the cards in these decks. Rounding off the core is a decent curve of Peasant, Clawfury Adept, and Frostwolf Kennels.

Now that we've seen how they're alike, let's dig into what they've done different with the rest of the deck.


The Budget: Pride Wreckers

Drek'Thar Card ImageIrondeep Trogg Card Image

The Pride Wreckers take that core and build on it the only way Drek'Thar's knows how: with more minions that cost less than he does. Old friend Tar Creeper and a single copy of Injured Tol'vir--great with Drek'Thar's, OK with Battleguards--give the deck some defensive minions that can protect both face and smaller minions like Irondeep Trogg to set up for a backbreaking Pride's Fury. The Pride Wreckers can come in low, then finish by swinging high.

Unique Package: Drek'Thar's, Injured Tol'vir, Irondeep Trogg, Tar Creeper

What It's Good At: Filling the Board, Sinking Gardens, Making Small Things Bigger

What It's Bad Against: Falling Behind, Large Taunts, Running Out of Stuff


The Fudge It: Beastly Brawlers

Heart of the Wild Card ImageThorngrowth Sentries Card Image

The Beastly Brawlers have built their deck to abuse the power of The Crafty Krafter, and have gone even lower with their curve than the Wreckers. This deck's AoE buff of choice is Heart of the Wild, a spell that gets better with every Beast that hits the board. To make their dream a reality, they've included cheap Beast generator Thorngrowth Sentries and the ever-popular 1-Drop Druid of the Reef. For more card draw options, the Brawleers put in a single copy of Jerry Rig Carpenter to grab Sow the Soil for even more buffs.

Unique Package: The Crafty Krafter, Druid of the Reef, Thorngrowth Sentries, Sow the Soil

What It's Good At: Buffing Beasts, Controlling Tempo, Shaping Golems

What It's Bad Against: AoE Removal, Persistent Healing, Infinite Attacks


The Showdown

The Brawlers open with a taunted Druid of the Reef, then answer the Pride Wreckers' passed turn 1 with a pair of turtles from Thorngrowth Sentries. If the Wreckers don't do something fast, they'll be staring down the promise of a beatdown from Heart of the Wild!

But it looks like they've woken up! Azsharan plus a Coin into Battleguards and Annoy-o-Tron gets the Wreckers right back into this! The Brawlers buff their Beasts anyway, but are forced to use the damage to kill the Mech but can't quite get the 3/3 Quilboar. The Wrecker's next turn is Aquatic Form to find Sunken Gardens, then play a pair of big Encumbered Pack Mule! It looks bad for the Brawlers!

Don't count the them out yet: Just in time, it's "The Crafty Krafter" coming down the pipe. Can you smell what Kazak is cooking? It's a Golem, but whatever he's chosen to shape, it'll have to wait another turn to see action.

The Pride Wreckers answer one 4-Drop with another: it's Drek'Thar's time, and he's brought some Garden-buffed friends with him. The Wreckers' board is only getting bigger! If the Brawlers want to stay in this, they need a miracle from their Golem!

Here's the Golem: It's a 5/5 that draws 2 cards...That's not even close to being enough! The Pride Wreckers get their turn back and immediately slam down Pride's Fury for a huge buff to their board, dealing with the Brawler's board while sending a lot of damage to the opponent's face!

There's no way for the Brawlers to get back into the game now, and so they'll go down to the Pride Wreckers! What a match!


The Finale

And with that, the Budget Brigade have picked up their first win in a thriller of a match. It's all thanks to the Pride Wreckers and Drek'Thar's heel turn. Wait! Our judges are telling us that although this result will remain unchallenged, Drek'Thar's may see some future disciplinary action. I don't think that the Budget Brigade is too bothered by that right now. Either way, this turn of events is sure to provide motivation to the Fudge It Clan. Join us next time for another brutal budget bloodbath, in Budget or Fudge It Showdown!

Out of Cards would like to remind you that its cards are trained professionals.
You should never emulate what they do in the ring, unless you're pretty sure you can do it.