Written by Cipher
It has been a while since Control Warrior (CW) was a tier 1 deck. The addition of one new card, Ironforge Portal, has pushed it back to the top though. The card only has average stats of 3.23/4.14 with 4 armor gain. This seems to render it a worse Shieldmaiden. Yet, as we have learnt from cards like Bash, any armor gain card seems to be beneficial for CW. It aids CW’s desire to stall and activate Shield Slams. The other big deal is that Ironforge Portal is a spell. It makes Yogg-Saron finally viable in CW. Atop, Yogg-Saron himself got a better after ONiK with the addition of the portal cards.
With Zoo, Dragon Warrior, Tempo Mage, and Aggro Shaman all being buffed, it’s the right time for an anti-aggro deck to enter the meta to prey on these archetypes.
Here are some crazy stats:
Since I began streaming this deck, I have gone 36-5 (88% win rate). Four of those games were decided by Yogg: It was either mine casting Astral Communion (twice BabyRage) or their’s being over the top insane.
Removing everything, then win in fatigue/late game is how the majority of your games will go. Starting your game with a Fiery War Axe and Ravaging Ghoul helps a lot. The deck has a lot cycle so don’t be greedy with your removal, you will find more – better to be safe than sorry. You should only keep Blood To Ichor (BTI) if you are going second vs. Shaman/Mage/Zoo. Try not to be too obvious when setting up Brawls. Your opponent won’t put anything more on the board if you just armor up and pass in the midgame.
Be very sparing with your resources. You don’t have much value apart from Elise Starseeker, but that won’t come till the end of the game. Try to sit back and get good value out of Brawl.
YOU DON’T ALWAYS HAVE TO PLAY YOGG. In about half your games, you will be far enough ahead and it’s not worth the risk to play him. Especially when you aim to win in the fatigue war you don’t want the extra draw Yogg often provides.
N’Zoth decks, especially N’Zoth Paladin should be hard for this deck to overcome. C’Thun Warrior should also be favored against this version of warrior. Midrange Hunter, while historically the counter to CW, seems to struggle vs this list with all the extra removal. Yogg on top serves as an additional way to clear Call of the Wild.
Adjusting for the Meta
The great thing about CW is and has always been the ability to adapt to the meta due to having a lot of flex cards. Right now the deck is as anti-aggro as possible only short of adding Doomsayers. Let’s speculate what the deck might look like if the meta slows down:
If CW becomes one of the top ladder decks, we might reach a point where Prince Malchezaar is played just to add 5 cards to your deck. This way we would win the fatigue game. You would also add Harrison Jones to deal with your opponents Gorehowl.
If other control decks like N’Zoth Paladin start to become more popular on ladder, it would not be too hard to cut BTI and add a couple of value cards like Ysera. At this point, though, you might see people transition to N’Zoth/C’Thun Warrior lists rather than standard CW.