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The Many Faces of Warrior (Standard – Kraken)

by - 2 years ago

Disclaimer: This article is written for Standard play mode and competitive or ladder play in mind. The content is my subjective impression of the game. If you disagree or would like to comment about anything related to this article please do so below or tweet @OtakuMZ1978. Most importantly, I hope that you enjoy reading it. Have fun!

Warrior was my most favored class since I began playing Hearthstone. I already loved playing this class as a main tank in WoW, and that remained true for Hearthstone. Warlock is my other preferred class, but has to some part fallen out of my favor at least, as I am a little tired of playing Zoo and Reno decks are not particularly my piece of cake. Also, I try to make Control Shaman work almost every season – with minor success so far. I am tinkering with a N’Zoth Shaman right now, which is decent but not competitive. Btw, if you are interested in this build, head to my Twitter account where I posted my most recent iterations.

Back to the topic at hand: Warrior. The Warrior class was not considered a very flexible one before the release of Whispers of the Old Gods and the format changes. Most of the time it was played it relied on the hero power, which forced Warrior into a defensive and controlish style of play. There was really only one other archetype viable before League of Explorers and Old Gods: Patron Warrior. Patron, despite the nerf of Warsong Commander and its proclaimed death, remained a force to be reckoned with in its 2.0 version. Aggressive, weapon-centric types of Warrior saw only fringe play, as did Dragon Warrior. Tempo Warrior, which should more correctly be called Midrange Warrior, wasn’t a thing until just before Standard. Other archetypes were non-existent in the competitive scene.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Control Warrior and I got the hang of Patron reasonably well, but there wasn’t really anything else viable besides those two decks. With League of Explorers, and specifically the release of Sir Finley Mrrgglton, we were at least able to switch hero powers – but that didn’t make aggressive Warriors playable.

With the Old Gods expansion, the class’s tools widened once more and Aggro Pirate Warrior is now viable. Cards like N’Zoth’s First Mate and Bloodsail Cultist, in combination with the neutral Blackwater Pirate, pushed that archetype into ladder playability. There is also a refined Tempo Warrior that arranged itself  well with the lack of Death’s Bite. Most notably Bloodhoof Brave, Blood to Ichor and Ravaging Ghoul were great additions. These three cards seem to be so flexible that they have found their way into almost every other archetype, too. Patron adapted and is ever-so-present in its 3.0 version . C’Thun Warriors emerged and are also viable; they can be divided into either Control- or Dragon-style decks. Non-C’Thun Control Warriors are still top tier and can are categorized into Dragon, Pure Control, Fatigue and Reno variations. Atop, Lifecoach (G2 Esports) tried a Midrange Dragon Warrior. I have to admit, this last mentioned type is new to me and I do not know if it is actually working out or fizzled.

As we sum up, we have we all the four big play styles represented in the actual iterations of Warrior decks: Aggro (Pirate), Midrange (Tempo), Control (C’Thun / Dragon / Reno / Fatigue) and Combo (Patron). Below I will give you example builds of all the archetypes I was able to come up with. I tried to provide the deck architect as well. If I am wrong and falsely proclaimed or neglected prime deck builders please do not hesitate to leave a tweet (@OtakuMZ1978). I haven’t found a good and ladder-viable Reno list yet; I you have one, feel free to send it over and I will add it. Have fun trying all the builds! (Snapshots of the builds were token from hearthstonetopdecks.com)


Fast Warriors

Fast Warriors

Dragon Warriors

Dragon Warriors

Control Warriors

Control Warriors

Update, May 15th 2016:

Firebat come up with another deck, the newest iteration of OTK Warior. Here it is:

[26] Firebat OTK 2.0


Martin "OtakuMZ" Z.

Real life physician and afterhour card battler. Martin "OtakuMZ" contributes to the Hearthstone team of BlizzPro since late 2015. Additionally, he contributes analytic articles for Hearthstone and Gwent as a member of Fade2Karma and in his collumn on the Gwentlemen site. He is best known for his infographics which can be accessed at a glance at https://www.facebook.com/hsinfographics and https://www.facebook.com/gwentinfographics