How did Warrior all of a sudden become the most diverse class in Hearthstone?
Since the beginning of time, everyone has always played Warrior with the goal of winning on, like, turn 25. Now, things are changing.
In the past, you would assemble massive stacks of armor, a lot of efficient removal, and maybe one or two finishers in Elise or Grommash, and you would win the game. There was no creativity in the class, and that was a bummer. I remember when Patron Warrior first started tearing it up in 2015, and I was so excited that Warrior finally had a new relevant deck to play with. It proved that there were other ways to win with Garrosh, and now, after the Standard rotation, Warrior is probably the most diverse, interesting class.
By my count, Warrior currently has seven different competitive archetypes, and you can read about each of them below. A lot of this has to do with Sir Finley Mrrgglton, a brilliantly designed card that’s opened up a lot of corners in the meta by offering new hero powers in the early game. But I also think Hearthstone pros are simply becoming better deckbuilders, which makes the scene more exciting everyday. If Drakanoid Crusher can be a relevant card in the meta, literally anything is possible.
Still the standby, Control Warrior has been a good deck for the entirety of Hearthstone’s lifespan and that continues unabated in Whispers of the Old Gods. The list is still pretty standard, and the win condition is still to gain a ton of life and wear down your opponent in the late game, but new filler minions like Bloodhoof Brave and activators like Ravaging Ghoul are doing work. It’s still a pretty expensive deck to build, but in a Zoo-heavy meta, it’s something to look for.
This is a close cousin to Control Warrior, except the late game is built around N’Zoth. That means you’ll be running Cairne, Sylvanas, and maybe even a Chillmaw! This list was piloted by Hearthstone player Fibonacci—who’s basically the patron saint of Warriors—to legend last season. Give it a shot if you want to play Warrior with a very distinct finisher.
C’Thun decks inherently have a more control-oriented playstyle, and that makes Warrior a natural fit. You’re basically piloting the skeleton of a Control Warrior except with the parts retrofitted with cards that buff C’Thun, and Ancient Shieldbearer (which gives you 10 armor if your C’Thun has 10 attack), and the Twin Emperors (which, honestly, is the only reason to play a C’Thun deck in the first place), and it’s pretty effective, if only for its decent matchup against Aggro Shaman.
Yes, Patron Warrior is still alive and relevant. It’s not quite as dominant as it was before Old Gods, simply because lists are missing the ludicrously efficient Death’s Bite. But it’s still nothing to sneeze at. Blood to Ichor and Ravaging Ghoul are the only additions, as extra activators for both Patrons and Frothing Berserkers.
Alright, now we’re heading into some more exotic territory. Tempo Warrior has been a top tier deck for the entirety of Old Gods, and that’s mostly thanks to Sir Finley Mrrgglton. Warrior always had interesting aggressive cards like Kor'kron Elite and Frothing Berserker, but the ability to jump into Life Tap or Steady Shot has made them a lot more viable. Isn’t it funny how after months of being a disappointing presence in control decks, Varian Wrynn has finally found a home as a turn 10 win condition for a tempo deck? Hearthstone can be a very surprising game.
I wrote about Pirate Warrior a couple of weeks ago, and it’s still holding steady on the ladder. It’s also one of the most entertaining decks to play. Your win condition is to make a giant weapon and go face. It goes against all the traditional rules in Hearthstone and I kind of love it for that. Never change, 7/4 Arcanite Reapers.
This is the one deck I don’t think anyone saw coming. When you read Dragon Warrior, you’re probably expecting a ridiculously slow control deck that looks to win with Ysera and Nefarian, right? Well, no, this is a tempo deck, and it’s finally giving the super underrated Alexstraza’s Champion some shine. I said from the beginning that a two mana 3/3 with charge is so good that you could build a deck around it, and yeah, here we are. The most expensive dragon in the entire deck is Drakanoid Crusher. Yes, one year later Drakanoid Crusher is a lynchpin finisher in a competitive deck. Hearthstone certainly keeps us guessing, doesn’t it?