”Victory (turn 5) or death!” – Garrosh Hellscream, 2017
Welcome, dear readers, to the first installment of the 9 part article series of ”The Definitive Guide To” where instead of looking at different decks and deck archetypes I will be taking a look at the 9 classes instead, one each week, and it is only fitting to kick this off with my personal favorite class, the warrior! It is the class that I’ve played the most so far, the one that I know to its very core, and today I will be sharing my knowledge with you! We’ll take a look at everything regarding warrior, from the history of the class all the way to decks for not only standard but wild as well.
Sit back, relax, and let’s dive right into this!
As always, this guide will be divided into three sections. The first section, this one, will cover the basics behind warrior class including a brief history of the class and the cards and in which directions can you take the warrior decks. If you’re looking for a more in depth analysis and/or decks and are not interested in these very basics then feel free to skip ahead to the next section where you’ll probably find what you’re looking for.
When I’ve started playing Hearthstone for the first time, Molten Giant
During the very early days of Hearthstone control warrior, this version being known as wallet warrior because of all the legendary minions that it had, was the best deck the in the entire game and it was stupid hard to beat it. Shortly after I began playing Hearthstone the three decks that were dominating the early ladder were the original face hunter, wallet warrior and ramp druid with handlock popping out a bit later. When Curse of Naxxramas came out there really wasn’t any ”solution” to the warrior ”problem” but warrior had instead been given two powerful cards in the form of Death's Bite
When Goblins vs Gnomes came out, control warrior was given yet another new toy in the form of Dr. Boom
The warrior had entered the standard format with a very surprising deck which didn’t really work before and that was midrange warrior. To be completely honest with you, I don’t really remember much of that deck and I didn’t really play it too much. It ran cards like Bloodhoof Brave
All of this had changed with the Mean Streets Of Gadgetzan when we were given the pirate warrior that we all know and love. Jade golem druid had completely killed control warrior and I suspect that it will remain so until the deck rotates out of standard because there really is no way for a control warrior to consistently beat it. Dragon warrior didn’t really leave but was more absorbed into the pirate package and now we have the dragon pirate deck and the pirate warrior deck.
But what about the wild format? What happened there after the introduction of standard?
I’m glad that you ask! Barely anything had happened since the introduction of standard. Control warrior had remained as one of the best decks in the format but now it was running N'Zoth, the Corruptor
This leaves us at the present day.
Pros And Cons Of Playing The Warrior
Why would you play the warrior? In truth, there are multiple different warrior deck out there but instead of focusing on each and every one of them I’m going to give you my opinion on the pros and cons of the class as a whole. Things that you need to know before you jump in and start making your warrior deck. The following is the same for both formats, standard and wild.
Very Control Oriented: Warrior is the go to class for control decks in Hearthstone. It was designed that way and that is the very core of the class. Warrior’s hero power, armor up, provides you with a better form of healing where you’re not only ”healing” yourself for 2 damage for 2 mana but this second health, the armor, can exceed the 30 points mark which makes the warrior a very difficult opponent to beat in the long game. It has reliable recovery in the form of armor but, even more so than that, the class has mountains of removal, from weapons to spells, which fills the package of ”what a control deck must have”: health sustain and removal. Almost every warrior deck besides the latest pirate warrior is very much capable of going into the late game. Some control warrior decks are even designed to drag the game into the fatigue and simply win because the opponent will take more fatigue damage than you due to the armor mechanic.
Best Weapons In The Game: Fiery War Axe
Plenty Of Staple Cards: I did mention a few different warrior decks which came out so far like dragon warrior, patron warrior and pirate warrior, but what all of them have the same is a good portion of the same cards. Warrior’s basic cards alone are so powerful and so synergistic that they make their way into every warrior deck. While warrior decks are not the cheapest out there (we will get into this soon) there are plenty of cards that are used in all warrior decks which will make crafting a new warrior deck a lot cheaper.
Most Expensive Control Deck In The Game: If history has taught us anything than it is that the control warrior is the single best control deck in the game. However, the deck itself is extremely expensive to a fault where it becomes a deck that most players will build towards as time goes by than craft it quickly and start playing. The only other deck in the entire game which costs close to control warrior is Reno lock which says a lot about the cost of making control decks in this game.
Lack Of Diversity: The last point that I’ve mentioned in the cons is how it is great that there are so many staple cards in the warrior class. This is not only a pro but a con as well. What I mean by the lack of diversity is that, from my experience, warrior decks don’t change that often. Most cards in the warrior decks come from the basic cards and the cards from classic set because other warrior cards aren’t too good and this leads to a big repetition of cards in various decks. This is a common theme with all classes but as someone who plays warrior the most I’ve certainly felt it more than with all other classes (mage coming in second). Sure, there are those decks that deviate from the norm but most don’t. Going back to the control warrior, this was one of the safest crafts in the entire game and, at least for wild, it still is because the deck barely changes with upcoming sets and sometimes just doesn’t change at all.
Longer Games: I know that this sounds silly because the pirate deck can kill you by turn 5 but most of the warrior decks are slower than that. The main reason for this is the kit which is far more tailored towards survival than anything else which by itself drags the game out. Control warrior is infamous for being the slowest deck in the entire game and the games with or against it taking forever to end but other warrior decks, like midrange, patron and even some dragon decks, can go pretty deep into the late game until the do what they have set out to do.
Types Of Warrior Decks
So, what different types of warrior decks are there?
Interestingly, warrior is the only class in the entire game which had done every type of deck right and without too much effort.
Control warrior is control
Dragon warrior is tempo
Midrange warrior is midrange
Pirate warrior is aggro
Patron warrior is combo
Control warrior is for those types of players who really love playing huge, usually legendary, minions that do various stuff when they enter the game and the requirement for playing such a deck is understanding and accepting the fact that the games will take forever to end. If you’re playing this deck, and playing it correctly, than you’re the only player in the entire match that is actually playing something because whatever your opponent drops will most likely die on the following turn which usually leaves an empty board which is filled once you drop a huge minion that your opponent can’t deal with. It is unfortunately not a deck for new players because it costs a lot to craft.
Dragon warrior is a tempo deck. It provides you with a really fast start and doesn’t really slow down after it. It is a very aggressive that which hits face more often than not and uses its various weapons and removal spells to clear any threats that your opponent plays. Like with every other deck, there are slower and faster versions of the deck, but both of them rely on the same dragon synergy cards that we will go over in the next section. The deck by itself is really not bad though it was pushed out in the current meta but I can see it returning once the pirate package has been nerfed. This is also one of the cheaper warrior decks to craft because a good portion of the cards come from adventures.
Pirate warrior is an aggro deck, like you all know by now. Unlike other warrior decks on this list it is the one warrior deck that actually looks to end the game as fast as possible, but probably where it deviates the most from other warrior decks is that is uses weapons solely to hit face while others use them as extra removal. The deck runs a lot of small minions that have great synergy with weapons to buff both them and the weapons and then ignore everything else on the board that doesn’t have taunt and swing wildly at your opponents face with the end goal being them either losing very fast of simply conceding. It is a very powerful deck in its own right and I’m expecting a nerf very soon.
Patron warrior is a combo deck. This deck increases its board and the damage output by damaging its own minions in order to either make them grow bigger or just make more minions. The deck is called patron warrior because the star of the deck is Grim Patron
I haven’t mentioned midrange warrior because I both know next to nothing about the deck and it was a badly preforming one which had vanished pretty quickly (unlike others which are still here).
Advanced Armoring Up!
In the second section of this article I will talk about all the cards that you need and why do you need them to construct the four decks mentioned above and how to play them. If you’re looking for decklists they will be at the very end of this section (there is a hyperlink to that part of the section at the article info box).
Constructing Warrior Decks
Now that you know everything that you need to know about different types of warrior decks it is time to check out how to make them, which cards to use and why. This isn’t a full deck guide, the decks will be provided at the end of this section, but more of a construction guide to help you understand how to craft those different decks and why are they made the way that they are.
First off is the control warrior, my personal favorite deck in the entire game.
When constructing a control warrior deck you are looking for three things: sustain, removal and endgame. Unfortunately you must have all three of those otherwise the deck won’t function at all. Sustain is here to get you to the very late game and help you survive the early stages of the game in which this deck is a bit weaker. Removal is here to ensure that your opponent never has any threats on the board. Endgame is, well, endgame, because you need ways to actually win the game in case that fatigue isn’t your preferred win condition. Regardless of standard and wild, the first two are usually the same, so what I tell you here can be applied in both formats.
Removal: Shield Slam
Yes, I wasn’t joking around when I’ve said that control warrior runs A LOT of removal. Shield Slam
Other cards: Acolyte of Pain
Dragon warrior is an aggressive tempo deck.
Many of the cards mentioned above will be repeating itself in all decklists so I won’t be going through the same explanations every time but I will just mention them. Dragon warrior seeks to get a strong start and then not slow down which can be accomplished thanks to many very powerful synergy minions in this deck. As sustain, removal and endgame are the three pillars of a control deck, the pillar of a dragon warrior deck is synergy cards.
Synergy Cards: Alexstrasza's Champion
Tech Cards: Sir Finley Mrrgglton
Sir Finley Mrrgglton
Other cards: Blood to Ichor
Pirate warrior is an aggressive deck.
The main basis behind the deck is simply to win as fast as possible and before you run out of resources. That is, in fact, the biggest problem with this deck. It can lose easily once it gets to topdeck phase and if your opponent is careful enough. The main pillars of this deck are pirates and weapon synergy cards.
Pirate Cards: Patches the Pirate
Patches the Pirate
Weapon Synergy Cards: Upgrade!
Other Cards: Fiery War Axe
Patron warrior is a combo deck.
This deck seeks to win by swarming the board with Grim Patron
Combo Pieces: Grim Patron
Other cards: Shield Slam
THIJS’ (WILD) LEGEND PATRON WARRIOR
ORANGE’S DRAGON WARRIOR
FIBONACCI’S GADGETZAN N’ZOTH CONTROL WARRIOR
RYTHMC’S RANK 1 (WILD) LEGEND CONTROL N’ZOTH WARRIOR
XIXO’S AGGRO PIRATE WARRIOR
We’ve reached the end of the 1st out of 9 class articles. I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading it and that it will help you create warrior decks of your own. What kind of warrior decks do you use? Which is your favorite one? Can you also not wait for the death of pirate warrior? Let me know in the comments below. As always if you’ve liked this article do consider following me on twitter https://twitter.com/Eternal_HS. There you can ask me all sorts of Hearthstone questions (unrelated to this article) and I’ll gladly answer them as best as I can.