Countering the Flavor of the Week #9

Countering the Flavor of the Week Series are back! And this time Nuba is going to break down Patron Warrior!


Hello! After more than a month of Blackrock Mountain Release we are back with the Countering the Flavor of the Week Series! And in less than a couple of days after grim-patron was released we were already able to see powerful decks showing up using it. Of all the decks that appeared, however, one deck was able to shine a lot more than the others, bringing a lot of the top players back to the top and putting in check Zoo, that became the most played deck on the ladder.

This article is going to be all about Patron Warrior, not only teaching you guys how to counter, as it is the series’ title, but also teaching you how the deck works and how it is played. We in Hearthstoneplayers believe that in order to be able to constantly beat a deck, even as a Counter, you are supposed to learn how that deck properly works, and that is what we’ll try to do here.

With no more delays, let us start!

Explaining the Deck

Grim Patron is a very popular deck on the ladder, probably the most popular one since everyone, by now, knows that it counters Zoolock, that was the most played deck 2 weeks ago.

But what does the deck consists of? What makes it so powerful?

The deck basically consists of a more consistent Control Warrior deck, that has a lower curve and instead of using big Legendaries as finishers the deck uses cards like frothing-berserker and grim-patron combined with warsong-commander and a bunch of board damaging spells, weapons (deaths-bite) and minions.

The deck has a start very similar to the one of the Control Warrior, playing things like armorsmiths, Weapons, acolyte-of-pain and such, the deck has almost the same defensive core as the Control Warrior (except it doesn’t run shield-slam), but the deck also runs a few more early game drops like the Frothing Berserker and unstable-ghoul, which makes it slightly better early in the game than Control Warrior itself.

On the consistency Sector, the deck also fixes the problem that Control Warrior has: The lack of CA(Card Advantage). Here you are able to draw a lot more cards than the Control Warrior itself because you run cycling cards like loot-hoarder and straight up draw cards like battle-rage.

And, finally, the finishing factors, the deck is capable of flooding the board by activating its Grim Patron combined with a bunch of ways to inflict damage on its own minions, generating a bunch of “charged” Patrons with Warsong Commander, clearing the opposing board and finishing the opponent the turn after. The deck also has a second win condition, which also relies on Warsong Commander as it is a big Frothing Berserker hitting for a lot in a single turn.

Usually people think that if a deck is popular, it is because the deck is very strong, and generally it is, but I believe that this deck isn’t as powerful as many people think, and that is actually has many counters and ways to be countered. Those weakness are about to be shown, so keep reading, but first we need to understand a little more about the deck!

In case you are actually interested in playing the deck, Th3 Rat wrote an amazing guide about it, which can be found here.

The Deck’s Strengths

A very famous phrase, used in all the previous CFWS, explains a lot why I add this section to every CFWS I write: “In order to defeat the beat, one must first learn how it moves”. Translating that to “Hearthstonish”, it means you need to understand how a deck works in order to beat it, that is why we need to know the deck’s strengths, and in Patron Warrior’s case, they are:

  • Card Advantage – As said before, this deck has a lot of draws, which makes it so the deck’s inevitability comes faster than other standard decks.
  • Early Games Defenses – The deck has better ways of dealing with the board than the Control Warrior. Even not being that much, the deck still has the possibility of “combo”ing mid-game, clearing the board against an aggressive opponent and winning the game.
  • One Turn Kill – The deck has possible OTK combos.
  • Redundancy – The deck also has a lot of cards that do the same thing, so whenever you need an effect the odds of having it are big.
  • Same good matchups as the Control Warrior – Basically, Control Warrior’s good matchups are there because it is able to stack a lot of armor and “outheal” the opposing burst. Because of that, this deck is also able to do the same: By stacking a lot of armor, Patron Warrior is also known to be a good deck against both Face Hunter and Freeze Mage.

The Deck’s Weaknesses

Now that we know how the deck operates, we are able to understand how to properly beat it. At this point is must be very easy to know how to do so, as the deck has been opened for us. It is important to note how easy it becomes to see how a deck is beatable just by seeing how it wins and its strong points.

Moving on to the deck’s Weaknesses, we have:

  • Overly Dependant on the Combos – To win, the deck must combo. The number of times where the Patron Warrior wins without combo is very low.
  • Weak to Sweepers – Basically, at some point, he will flood the board. That is when sweepers come in. Notice how I mentioned the deck usually floods the board with Grim Patrons and then proceeds to win the turns after? Well, they will have trouble winning if they happen to lose their whole board filled with Patrons.
  • Big Taunts – Another thing, the deck only runs 2 removal: Executes. Meaning, having a bunch of Taunts out usually means you win. This is the reason why Taunt Druid is so good against Grim Patron while Combo Druid is so weak.
  • Freezing their face – The deck relies a lot on weapons to clear early game pressure, therefore mage things that are able to freeze the Warrior’s face like water-elemental and snowchugger are extremely efficient.
  • Still has most of Warrior’s Weaknesses – Things like savannah-highmane are still very hard for the deck to deal with. Mostly the reason why this deck is so bad against Midrange Hunter while being so good against Face Hunter.

How to Beat it!

Here are some small ideas on how to beat Patron Warrior as each class:

  • Shaman – Run more Spellpower minions such as 2x azure-drake and bloodmage-thalnos, because as soon as they combo and wipe your board, you will want to wipe their board without leaving a single Patron up, therefore you will have to drop a Spellpower minion to make sure that happen RNG-less.
  • Warrior – Brawl, brawl brawl brawl!!!! The matchup is really difficult for the Control Warrior, as you are usually over dependant on Brawl to win. And they can still catch up after you have cleared their board, but usually you’ll have a window to drop some big Legendaries to take over the board. Don’t forget to suicide your sludge-belcher’s Slimes, because leaving them up just means your opponent will have another Patron to beat you up with.
  • Rogue – Just exist. ‘-’. But seriously, that is basically what happens, the deck is pretty weak against Oil Rogue because of how easily the Rogue can destroy a board full of Patrons and have point removal for every card the Patron Warrior runs, even if they multiply!
  • Warlock – Play handlock. Basically, getting a board filled with Taunts usually means you win. Just don’t mindlessly try to rush the Patron Warrior, once you get 2 fatties taunted up it is really hard for them to win. Remember Patron Warrior only runs 2 hard removal!
  • Druid – I said this one section later, but i’ll repeat here: Play Taunt Druid. A friend of mine got to top 50 Legend yesterday by adding a couple of ancient-of-wars to his Combo Druid, so that can be an option as well if you really want to play Combo Druid.
  • Priest – Auchenai+Circle combo. Usually you’ll be able to hold Control over the board at all times, and the only way they’ll win the game is by overcommitment to the board. That is when the combo goes off. Usually Patron players say the matchup is good for them but I seem to be playing a different version of Priest then. Just to make sure, i’ll post my list on the next section!
  • Hunter – Play Midrange Hunter. The odds of you winning are as high as the ones of a Control Warrior winning versus Freeze Mage. Even a clueless Midrange Hunter can easily win against Patron Warrior.
  • Paladin – This one is hard. Very hard, I guess running more taunts than usual can diminish the number of losses, but usually your removal is very inefficient, and overall your matchup is pretty bad. I guess, don’t play Paladin for now! In case you still want to, usually a good, unresponded, start will win you the game. Play like an Aggro deck!
  • Mage – Play something aggressive. Usually Aggro mage builds are favorable against Patron Warrior: Be it Mech Mage, be it Tempo Mage, your matchup against Patron Warrior is somehow decent. Having some extra trouble? Run a copy of Flamestrike just to make sure you’ll never lose!

This Week’s Meta Suggestions

Uhhhh…Oh! Yeah, that is right, we still need to give you guys suggestion as to what decks you all should be playing this week.

Sincerely the metagame is pretty solid this week, and the decks we are bound to see the most are: Zoo, Patron Warrior and Face Hunter. So we need to make decks that do well against these kind of decks, so here are some ideas for you guys to play with:


First there is this…. Thing. It is a Midrange Hunter with Face Hunter stuff, or a Face Hunter with Midrange stuff, I am still not quite sure what it is, but just to make sure, I can assure you guys: It works. This is the list a lot of players in the top 100 Legend are currently using, because it is a Face Hunter that has the key elements to turn the Patron matchup into a good one (Freezing Trap, Piloted Shredder and Savannah Highmane).

Then we follow with K3lv’s personal Malygos Rogue list, the guy was able to get up to Legend rank 23 this season, and he happens to have written a full guide about it too! Interested in reading it? Go ahead and check it out by clicking here!


Then we follow-up with my 2 babies!

First, you guys have a slightly different version of Handlock. This one runs no Darkbomb, as the card became somehow weak in this metagame. This list runs a pair of Zombie Chows instead, which are proving to be even stronger as the metagame is kind of friendly to it right now.

We then move on to the list I promised you guys a couple of sections before this one. This is a pretty standard Control priest without any of the inconsistent and unreliable tools people are enjoying so much these days.

Both lists are pretty decent, and the Priest one seems to be doing pretty fine in today’s metagame because of how it is built.

There are no guides for any of these lists, and there are no plans from me to write such guides, but in case you want a guide, just let me know in the comments!


Actually, we are back! CFWS is finally back, and for those of you who didn’t know, this is a weekly series of Articles.

Once again, I hope you guys enjoyed reading all of this as much as I enjoyed writing! I couldn’t do any of this without you guys to back me up 😛 , are you interested in seeing any specific deck for the CFWS next week? If so, do not forget to mention it in the comments below!

Love you guys!