With Grand Widow Faerlina out of the way, the path is clear for the final boss of the Arachnid Quarter. For Heroic Maexxna, I chose a familiar friend, Malfurion the Druid, to close out my raid adventure!
Heroic Maexxna was by far the most problematic boss for me as I played through Curse of Naxxramas. I played and lost the most games with her as I tried different heroes and different tactics. Before I jumped into Maexxna’s lair, I had to consider her Heroic ability and her tactics.
Hero power and playstyle
Maexxna’s Web Wrap gets buffed in two ways going into Heroic mode. First, it costs zero mana to cast from three, and second, it bounces two random minions instead of just one. While her deck composition doesn’t change much (swapped Rebirth with Spectral Knight), she starts the game with 45 health (like other Heroic bosses) and two Haunted Creepers already out.
Her first turn move is usually Coin into Haunted Creeper or just a Webspinner. Then she usually follows up with another Creeper or a Dire Wolf Alpha then a Shade of Naxxramas or Emperor Cobra on the third turn. These low cost minions ramp up her damage quickly, leaving you with very little time to set up a decent defense.
For Maexxna, I decided to take to Druid once again, and see if I can close the adventure with one of my favorite classes. Here’s the decklist:
The deck is specifically tailored to defeat Maexxna. Unlike an aggro strategy that aims to flood the board with cheap minions to the point where her Web Wrap ability becomes pointless, the deck aims to exploit her ability and her AI. This strategy is well-known and several heroes (Priest and Paladin) can use this method fairly well.
Strategy and deckbuilding
Since Maexxna bounces two random minions, and we want that to happen, the key is to have exactly two minions that you can cast for cheap that can aid you in keeping up your health or start whittling her life down. Voodoo Doctor and Earthen Ring Farseer can help with the former, while Elven Archer, Stonetusk Boar, and Bluegill Warrior can aid in the latter. Mulligan for these cards, or a mix of heal and damage, to make sure you can survive to the midgame.
Another thing to consider is Maexxna’s AI. She uses her Web Wrap as an opening move before casting anything else. Keep this in mind when planning on drawing cards, as you’d want to keep your hand at around 7 cards to make sure nothing gets discarded.
While you heal up, take potshots at the Creepers, readying them for the next phase of the fight: choking her side of the board. Maexxna will get to put down a Shade or—if you’re lucky—a Stoneskin Gargoyle or Webspinner. Both of these have 1 Attack, which is good because you’d want to get into a board position where she can’t put down any more high attack minions, since you’ve popped her Creepers.
In the screenshot above, I’ve managed (with a little luck) to choke her board so she can’t summon anymore, all the while keeping with the life gain thanks to bouncing Voodoo Doctor. You’d want something like Bite and Claw in the deck to gain a little armor and attacking power to take out big damage threats and pop Creepers. Healing Touch is a must have to keep your head above the water both early on and near the endgame.
On turn six, you would have managed to (hopefully) draw into your Farseer and Doctor. This gives you 5 life with enough mana to activate your hero power to start whittling away at her life. The +1 armor also means you’ll only be taking a net damage of 1 from her full board of seven 1 attack minions.
At 10 mana, you’d ideally want to have drawn into Ancient of Lore, so you can negate the damage dealt to you by her minions (5 heal from Lore, 2 from Doctor for a total of 7 health net) and still armor up and ping her for 1 every turn. From here on out, the game is locked and you can either ping her to death, hope to draw into a high damage charge minion like Arcane Golem or Leeroy Jenkins, or start decking her via Coldlight Oracle. I had to go a combination of ping and decking, because I miscalculated my hand size and burned off my Leeroy.
In the end, Malfurion and I finished the game in stunning fashion. Maexxna and I both ran out of cards and another miscalculation burned my only remaining copy of Ancient of Lore. The clock was winding down but since Fatigue damage increases every turn, I had to check and recheck my total damage.
Taking 4, then 5 Fatigue damage got Maexxna down low enough to finish the game with two Keepers of the Grove using their 2 damage ping ability. The Heroic mode journey started and ended in a very exciting and climactic fashion for me, as it was all down the wire!
The Heroic Maexxna deck is surprisingly budget-friendly. Most of the key cards are expert level or rare. The only epics were the Ancients of Lore, and while Leeroy is indeed a Legendary, he can actually be swapped in with an Arcane Golem. The Golem is more mana-efficient than the Argent Commander, which helps in this fight since it opens more options for healing and other strategies. Ancient of Lore is very important in this deck, as it is your only access to decent heals.
The Novice Engineers, and to some extent the Coldlight Oracles, are there to dig for your Ancient of Lore and the finisher of choice. Drawing Moonlight late in the game can be used on a Creeper or a Gargoyle, just so you won’t choke your hand while waiting for a finisher. The same can be said about Bluegill Warrior. Ramming it on a Gargoyle will kill it, so it won’t come back to your hand.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the deck and strategy guides for beating Naxxramas! Have fun and good luck!