Mastering the Control Warlock: Matchups and Mulligans

This is part 3 of this extensive deck guide series. Be sure to check out the other sections: Part 1: Beginner Guide Part 2: Advanced Strategies, Alternate Cards, and Tech Choices Part 3: Match-ups and Mulligans In this section, we’re gonna show you how to play against other popular decks – whether you’re a favorite and the general strategy […]

This is part 3 of this extensive deck guide series. Be sure to check out the other sections:

Matchups and Mulligans

In this section, we’re gonna show you how to play against other popular decks – whether you’re a favorite and the general strategy of playing against it.

Midrange Druid

Unfavored

Cards you look for: Darkbomb, Imp Gang Boss, Twilight Drake, Voidcaller

Cards you might keep: Imp-losion, Emperor Thaurissan (with Coin)

Pretty hard matchup. A lot of answers for your mid game threats and strong pressure can ruin your day. You need to stabilize before turn 9 and Taunt up – if you do, you will win the late game.

  • It’s important whether Druid has a Wild Growth or Innervate start. If not, it will be much easier – Druid can’t put too much pressure in the early game without those.
  • The smallest drop you can interact with will probably be Piloted Shredder – Druid won’t likely reveal the Shade of Naxxramas in case he plays it. Darkbomb might be a good way to kill Shredder, Imp-losion is even better, but more risky. If you roll 2 and fail – Druid can get rid of the 1/1’s and be left with 4/1 Shredder.
  • Imp Gang Boss isn’t the best thing ever, but it’s a minion enemy has to deal with in some way. If you can get rid of the first body of the Shredder, it’s gonna be pretty strong against most of 2-drops coming out of it.
  • Your 4-drops are really important. However, both of them are vulnerable to Silence and line perfectly with Druid’s Keeper of the Grove. If you have two 4-drops, try to bait the Silence with your first, less important drop and then continue with the second one.
  • AoEs are really important. Even the Hellfire can do a lot against Midrange Druid. You might want to snipe the Shade of Naxx with AoEs before it grows out of control.
  • Clear their whole board all the time. Try to preserve your health total. You need to survive – if you do, stabilizing will be pretty easy.
  • Think about the Force of Nature + Savage Roar combo. If you can afford to, play around it from turn 7, especially if opponent didn’t use any Innervates yet. If you can’t afford, try to play around it from turn 9. Taunting up or staying above 14 (15 if you count Innervate, with Emperor he can easily do the FoN + 2x SR for 22 damage, but that’s not something you can play around most of the time) health is important. Sludge Belcher is awesome against the combo – it tanks 10 damage in total.
  • Once you stabilize, start pushing Druid back. When you put pressure on him, he won’t be able to put pressure on you.
  • Lord Jaraxxus is not safe unless you really have to play him or you’re behind a Taunt wall. Without Lord Jaraxxus, you can Healbot way over 20 health and be much more safe. However, getting him on the board is great – Druid has no good way to deal with 3/15 minion.

Aggro/Face Hunter

Equal

Cards you look for: Mortal Coil, Darkbomb, Acidic Swamp Ooze, Ironbeak Owl, Imp Gang Boss

Cards you might keep: Twilight Drake / Voidcaller (with Coin or with Imp Gang Boss)

This matchup can go either way – if you get your early answers you’re gonna stabilize easily, if you won’t – Hunter is gonna rush you down. Very draw-dependant matchup.

  • Hunter puts a lot of pressure on you since the first turns. They usually get a smooth curve and aggressive drops. Having early answers is really important. For example, if Hunter opens wtih Leper Gnome and you have Mortal Coil – you’re gonna take 2 damage. But if you don’t – Leper Gnome will probably push for at least 6 or even 8. A huge difference.
  • darkbomb is your only way to deal with Knife Juggler on turn 2 and if you won’t do that, prepare to take a lot of damage.
  • Acidic Swamp Ooze is nice because not only it gets rid of either glaivezooka or eaglehorn-bow but also puts a body on the board. Don’t wait to get a lot of value – just destroy any weapon Hunter plays, even saving 2 health is fine.
  • Most of the Face Hunter builds run 2x explosive-trap, which isn’t that strong against your deck. It’s much worse than freezing-trap. But in case Hunter might play both, Silencing Mad Scientist is never a wrong play.
  • Silencing leper-gnome is a pretty good way to protect your health total.
  • Imp Gang Boss is your saving grace. Unless enemy plays Animal Companion and rolls Misha, you’re gonna trade him 2 for 1 or even 3 for 1 if you count the Imps.
  • The 4-drops are good, but not great. Enemy runs 2x Ironbeak Owl, so they are often gonna get Silenced. Still, a good play with Coin – at least it forces them to play the Owl and the first 4-drop and you can follow it with second or Imp-losion.
  • Imp-losion is either phenomenal or extremely bad. It’s enough to kill most of their minions and leaves you with nice board presence. The problem is that if Hunter follows your 3-4 damage Imp-losion with Knife Juggler + Unleash the Hounds, you’re in really bad spot.
  • You need to stabilize around turn 5 or 6. Taunt up, heal and start pushing Hunter back. He puts you on the clock so you can’t play the game too slowly.
  • Your big drops like Sylvanas or Dr. Boom are usually too slow. But if you survive with a lot of health, dropping them might seal the game.
  • If you survive until turn 9 and you didn’t get your biggest Demons out from Voidcaller, both Lord Jaraxxus and Mal’Ganis might save your skin. The first one heals you to 15, often putting you out of burn range and the second one gives you Immunity, so the enemy has to deal with 7 health body before damaging you.

Midrange Hunter

Unfavored

Cards you look for: Mortal Coil, Darkbomb, Acidic Swamp Ooze, Ironbeak Owl, Imp Gang Boss

Cards you might keep: Twilight Drake / Voidcaller (with Coin or with Imp Gang Boss)

A little slower than the Face Hunter, but that’s not necessarily good for you. Against Midrange Hunter you not only have to draw for early answers, but also keep up with their mid game threats.

  • Early turns are similar to Face Hunter. Small drops can be less aggressive – like Webspinner and Haunted Creeper, but they still can put much pressure with Leper Gnomes or Knife Jugglers.
  • Their trap choice is much more annoying – freezing-trap slows you down and the only good way to activate it for you are the 1/1 Imps –  which you don’t always have. The second trap they often use is Snake Trap – this one is also pretty hard to deal with because you really have to trade into their minions and you don’t want to do that when they have Snake up. One way is to play around it is to Taunt up and go for the face and the other is to proc the Snake and AoE them down.
  • Try to kill their beasts to play around Houndmaster – the buff is really strong and the Taunt might protect their more important minions.
  • Silence is really important – both against Mad Scientist and against Savannah Highmane. The 6-drop you have really hard time dealing with. You can’t Big Game Hunter it unless it’s buffed (either with their Leokk, Glaivezooka or your own Abusive Sergeant). Even when you kill the first body, two more spawn. You’re gonna waste a lot of resources to kill it – but you have to, you can’t let it stay on the board and hit you for 6 every turn.
  • Some Hunter builds run bigger cards like Dr. Boom or even Ragnaros the Firelord. Still, if you have no better play, dropping a Big Game Hunter on the board without a target to gain some tempo is not bad – you’d rather have a body on the board to trade with something than count on the fact that they will drop 7+ attack minion.
  • Your big legendaries will come handy there. Most of the games will last couple more turns than against Face Hunter, so you will usually be able to use them.
  • It’s important to start playing proactive. When you only answer the Hunter’s threats, you get bad trades and play inefficient. You want to be the one initiating trades and having some board presence. Your late game is obviously stronger, but the Hunter puts you on the clock, so you can’t play the really long game.

Freeze Mage

Favored

Cards you look for: Ironbeak Owl, Imp Gang Boss, Twilight Drake, Voidcaller

Cards you might keep: Mal’Ganis / Lord Jaraxxus (with Voidcaller), Emperor Thaurissan (with Coin)

Even though the matchup heavily depends on the cards Mage draws, you generally put enough pressure on the Mage + have a lot of ways to survive after Alexstrasza.

  • Early game is pretty slow so you can easily tap once or twice at the start. However, don’t take it too slow – for example, coining out a Twilight Drake is usually better than just passing turn 3.
  • You don’t really care about enemy small drops. If they hit you couple of times – that’s fine, unless they won’t take you below ~20 health enemy is gonna Alexstrasza you anyway later.
  • Don’t Silence the Mad Scientist or their card draw like Loot Hoarder and Acolyte of Pain. Silence is really important to protect your board against Doomsayer – you have no other way to kill it easily. Also, in case enemy plays Archmage Antonidas and you can’t kill it, Silence is also important.
  • The matchup is pretty straightforward. Hit enemy in the face as much as you can, put as much resilient minions on the board as you can, kill their Emperor Thaurissan and Archmage Antonidas as soon as they play it.
  • The really interesting game begins after Alexstrasza. You will probably have Big Game Hunter to kill it, but what’s more important is healing. Don’t use your Antique Healbots before that (or before enemy starts burning you). Mal’Ganis is another way to preserve health – enemy can’t attack you until it kills the 9/7. If enemy gets you really low without killing you, you can use Lord Jaraxxus to gain health.

Aggro Paladin

Unfavored

Cards you look for: Mortal Coil, Darkbomb, Acidic Swamp Ooze, Ironbeak Owl, Imp Gang Boss

Cards you might keep: Twilight Drake / Voidcaller (with Coin or with Imp Gang Boss)

Really fast matchups – the games won’t likely last more than 6-7 turns. It’s hard to stop that much early aggression and Divine Favor works against you.

  • You absolutely need early answers. Paladin can flood the board easily and if you have nothing to do before turn 4, you will probably lose.
  • Early removals come handy to get rid of their small drops. Mortal Coil to kill most of 1-drops and Darkbomb for Knife Juggler. Imp Gang Boss is awesome – it should get some good trades unless enemy has a minion with Divine Shield and buffs it.
  • Hellfire might be a saving grace on turn 4, but sometimes it just doesn’t work – the more Divine Shields enemy has, the harder it will be to remove them.
  • ironbeak-owl is probably your best way to get rid of buffs and shields. It’s a nice counter to the Blessing of Kings.
  • Play your hand – don’t keep your cards. The less cards you have in your hand, the worse Divine Favor becomes – you can’t give Paladin too many draws.
  • The most important thing is clearing enemy board. Try to kill every minion he plays – even 1/1’s.
  • Try to bait Silence on your 4-drops so that enemy will have no way to Silence your Taunts. Taunting up is really important – not only it protects your life total, but also enemy is forced to run his minions into yours, which is big. Healing is fine when you have stabilized already.
  • Paladin can’t really pull out too much burst from his hand, but you should prepare for around 10 damage with the combination of weapons, charge minions and buffs. Try to not go below 10 health if Paladin has couple of cards in his hand.
  • Early Jaraxxus or Mal’Ganis from the Voidcaller might save you. Jaraxxus can make a huge Taunt or at least trade for a lot of enemy minions and Mal’Ganis protects you until enemy actually kills him. However if enemy plays Equality, it might simply not work.
  • If you get a slow start – there is really not much you can do without Molten Giants. If you stabilize – Paladin runs out of steam pretty quickly so you should win easily.

Oil Rogue

Favored

Cards you look for: Darkbomb, Imp Gang Boss, Voidcaller, Twilight Drake

Cards you might keep: Mal’Ganis / Lord Jaraxxus (with Voidcaller), Acidic Swamp Ooze (with a 3-drop or 4-drop)

Rather easy matchup. You can easily grind Rogue out of cards. If you will keep your life total high and clear everything they play, you should be fine.

  • Early turns from Rogue are pretty slow. He runs no small drops he just wants to drop on the board. He might use Southsea Deckhand on turn 1, but that’s fine – he won’t have it for the later combos. Him dropping Bloodmage Thalnos is also fine – especially if you have Mortal Coil. But you’ll rarely see any minions before turn 3 or 4.
  • On turn 3 he might drop tempo SI:7 Agent or Earthen Ring Farseer without getting value from their Battlecries. Either Darkbomb them or use your 4-drops.
  • Rogue has really hard time dealing with big Twilight Drake. He’s gonna either use 2-3 cards to kill him, Sap him or ignore him. Every outcome is fine for you.
  • Imp-losion is pretty bad in this matchup because of Fan of Knives and Blade Flurry. Use it to deal damage, but don’t expect your Imps to actually survive.
  • Violet Teacher might be annoying. If you have no way to deal with it, consider Silencing. Rogue can get a lot of value by spawning 1/1’s . When it comes to 4-drops, Piloted Shredder is easier to deal with, at least the first body.
  • You should save Defender of Argus for later turns, especially when Rogue is already out of Saps.
  • If Rogue has no Saps left, both Lord Jaraxxus (on the board with Defender of Argus) and Mal’Ganis might get a lot of value and make you almost impossible to kill.
  • Prepare for a big burst. Rogue can squeeze around 20 damage from the empty board as long as he has enough cards. Don’t overextend into the board because of Blade Flurry – for example with Deadly Poison and Tinker’s Sharpsword Oil Rogue can deal up to 7 AoE damage, including damage to your Hero. Having Voidcallers on the board and some Demon in your hand is good, because it guarantees something on the board after the clear.
  • Antique Healbots are really important – in the late game, especially if Rogue is holding 5+ cards in the hand, keep yourself at high health.
  • Don’t be greedy with your acidic-swamp-ooze. Hitting a 3/1 weapon is fine – Rogue will usually Blade Flurry bigger weapons, so that’s often as much as you can get. Sometimes even using Ooze just to destroy the 1/2 Dagger is fine – it gives you 2 mana of tempo and can disrupt Rogue combos.

Handlock

Favored

Cards you look for: Ironbeak Owl, Big Game Hunter, Voidcaller, Twilight Drake

Cards you might keep: Mal’Ganis / Lord Jaraxxus (with Voidcaller), Emperor Thaurissan or Sylvanas Windrunner (with Coin)

Matchup versus Handlock is usually long and grindy. You run enough of the answers to deal with all their threats, so some of the matches will even go to fatigue. Really high skill matchup where one mistake can lose you the game.

  • Tapping on turn 2 and 3 is really important. You want to have as many cards as you can get. You want to draw into Ironbeak Owl and Big Game Hunter by turn 4. The first one counters enemy Twilight Drake and the second one Mountain Giant. Enemy dropping all his mid game bombs and you having no answers is one of the ways you can lose.
  • Hopefully enemy didn’t draw into all of his Mountain Giants and Drakes and slows down a little. If you don’t have the above cards, use the combination of Darkbomb, Imp-losion and Mortal Coil to kill their threats.
  • Your first 4-drop will likely take a Silence, but that’s fine. If it doesn’t – Twilight Drake will be able to trade into some of their stuff and Voidcaller will hopefully gain you the tempo.
  • Don’t hit enemy Hero! If you put him into Molten Giant range too early it’s gonna be hard. If enemy plays their 8/8’s for low mana you probably won’t have a way to answer them.
  • Your mid game drops are pretty similar. Emperor Thaurissan, Sylvanas Windrunner and Dr. Boom are usually played by both of you. Be smart and don’t waste your removals or Silence into something like Sludge Belcher, because there are much bigger threats in their deck.
  • Start attacking enemy only when you’re ready for Molten Giants. And don’t get him to 10 at once – getting him down to 15 means that he’s still gonna use all his mana to cast both of those. It makes it much easier to actually deal with them if they’re the only threats on their board.
  • Sylvanas Windrunner + Shadowflame is a great way to clear enemy board. Handlock runs a lot of minions with more than 5 health, meaning that stealing something is pretty easy. Remember that enemy can do the same, though.
  • Bait Big Game Hunter on your Dr. Boom before using Mal’Ganis. The +2/+2 to all Demons effect is really important and if he stays on the board, you’re gonna get a lot of value or just kill the enemy.
  • lord-jaraxxus is really important. Play him on the first opportunity. Even if it means you’re actually losing health. The faster you do that, the easier it will be to grind enemy down. On the other hand, try to have as much pressure on the board as you can without extending into the AoE. Even if you have 7-8 damage in the board, enemy isn’t likely gonna play Jaraxxus because he fears you can finish him off.

Zoo Warlock

Favored

Cards you look for: Ironbeak Owl, Darkbomb, Imp Gang Boss, Twilight Drake, Voidcaller, Imp-losion

Cards you might keep: Hellfire (with Ironbeak Owl)

If you won’t get rushed down early, this matchup shouldn’t be that hard. Your mid game is stronger and you can get favorable trades as long as you won’t die too fast.

  • First turns are slow from you, but fast from Zoo. If they get a strong start like Flame Imp followed by Knife Juggler followed by Imp Gang Boss it’s going to be really hard.
  • Ironbeak Owl is a good way to deal with the Nerubian Egg. Try to Silence it on the turn it’s played so enemy can’t play Void Terror next turn and activate it. You can’t deal with 4/4 and 3/5 on turn 3 easily.
  • Darkbomb might come handy to kill their aggressive drops – Flame Imp, Juggler or Dire Wolf Alpha. While other minions like Haunted Creeper or Voidwalker can be annoying, they won’t push for a lot of damage because of 1 attack.
  • You can drop Big Game Hunter as a tempo play in this matchup. Don’t do that however if they have Nerubian Egg on the board – you just give them the target to kill with Abusive Sergeant. While Zoo has some BGH targets, regaining board control in the mid game is more important than worrying about Sea Giant or Mal’Ganis.
  • Imp Gang Boss is great. It gives you something annoying on the board that can slow the Zoo down. It might not even kill anything if Zoo gets good buffs and trades, but the most important thing is that it stops a lot of damage and damages enemy minions.
  • Hellfire can be either excellent or useless on turn 4. It works great against many of their targets, but is pretty bad against Nerubian Egg, Haunted Creeper or even Imp Gang Boss. If you can get rid of the Deathrattles by Silencing them on the previous turn and follow with Hellfire it’s pretty good.
  • Imp-losion is another interesting card and what you need against Zoo. It gets you a nice swing on the board. Not only it can kill one of their minions, but also gives you some board presence.
  • Twilight Drake / Voidcaller is what you need. If they are not Silenced, and most of the Zoos run only one Silence (some builds don’t even run any), they are gonna get great value. Getting your big Demons on the board, especially Jaraxxus, can be really useful. Twilight Drake is also nice because you want something with a lot of health, something that can stick to the board and trade into couple of enemy minions.
  • Turn 5-6 is where you should start stabilizing. Try to clear everything enemy plays – even if it’s a Haunted Creeper, you might hit it 3 times to kill it. It may be an overkill, but the only way Zoo is gonna win with you is by having the board presence. They don’t have board – they can’t as long as you’re out of Doomguard[/card’s range.
  • Talking about Doomguard, it’s probably one of the most annoying minions in the Zoo. It’s pretty hard to kill it and 5 damage a turn is a lot. Abusive Sergeant + Big Game Hunter might do the trick if you have the combo.
  • [/card’s range.
  • Talking about Doomguard, it’s probably one of the most annoying minions in the Zoo. It’s pretty hard to kill it and 5 damage a turn is a lot. Abusive Sergeant + Big Game Hunter might do the trick if you have the combo.
  • card]Sylvanas Windrunner is also very good. Zoo Warlock relies on having board to actually do something – and Sylvanas is great against deck like that. It makes it awkward for him to play more minions, but he can’t stop playing them or he loses.
  • Once you stabilize, the game should be won pretty easily. Just tap every turn, play everything you have, Taunt and heal up, once you have some bigger board presence start pushing for damage. By the point you actually start seriously damaging him, Warlock should be already pretty low from Life Taps, Flame Imps and occasional damage you deal to him.

Control Warrior

Favored

Cards you look for: Acidic Swamp Ooze, Imp Gang Boss, Twilight Drake, Voidcaller

Cards you might keep: Emperor Thaurissan or Sylvanas Windrunner (with Coin), Mal’Ganis (with Voidcaller)

A really slow and grindy matchup – your deck should outvalue the enemy in the long run. Expect a lot of games to last until fatigue.

  • Warrior doesn’t really do much on the first turns. He might drop Armorsmith on turn 2, but you don’t care. If he follows it with Cruel Taskmaster to push – that’s also fine, you can either take some damage or Darkbomb it. Acolyte of Pain is his main source of card draw, so you might even consider Silencing it so he won’t get too much value.
  • Your 4-drops are really important. Twilight Drake is probably gonna either eat a Shield Slam or an Execute, but that’s fine. You actually want to bait the removals on smaller minions so you can finish the game with your big bombs.
  • Warrior really starts dropping bigger minions on turn 5. If it’s a standard Control Warrior, it’s gonna be Sludge Belcher. Blackwing Corruptor from the Dragon version.
  • Acidic Swamp Ooze is useful, but not THAT great. You don’t really have to keep him – even using him on Fiery War Axe is fine if the weapon threatens your board. Obviously it’s better to wait for the Death’s Bite, but it’s not as necessary as in Patron matchup.
  • Don’t overextend into the board. I’ve seen that a lot of builds lately are running double Brawl – try to not have more than 2-3 minions on the board at the same time. If you spawn a lot of 1/1 Imps – trade them into something. It’s gonna make his Brawls awkward and he’s often gonna use it on just 3 minions.
  • Sylvanas Windrunner is great. Warrior rarely runs Silence so you’re often gonna steal something or at least clear big part of his board.
  • Try to not drop Lord Jaraxxus on the board with your Voidcaller. You want to use him. And actually, you want to use him fast. Obviously don’t do that when enemy has board control, but once you get a proper board position and some way to Taunt up / heal in your hand – do that. In the long run, enemy can’t deal with the 6/6’s so the only way for him to win this is rushing you down. That’s why it’s good when you have some sort of defense to protect against weapons and Grommash Hellscream. The most standard reaction for Jaraxxus I’ve seen is equipping Death’s Bite and going to face in order to finish the game next turn with Grom. If you survive – you have the game in your pocket.
  • The above means that you don’t want to use Healbots too soon. The most burst damage Warrior can realistically deal without weapon is 12 with Grommash + Cruel Taskmaster. If he has Death’s Bite equipped, count for 16 damage at best. So if you stay above that amount or have Taunts on the board, it should be easy.
  • In most of the games, you’re gonna be ahead of Warrior in fatigue. It means that you usually don’t have to stop tapping even if you’re low on cards, because Warrior is gonna win fatigue in the long run anyway. You want to push your card advantage even further and just win before fatigue kills you. At this point Warrior should no longer have any answers and if you have Jaraxxus, there is no way he’s gonna win value war.

Patron Warrior

Favored

Cards you look for: Acidic Swamp Ooze, Darkbomb, Imp Gang Boss, Twilight Drake, Voidcaller

Cards you might keep: Emperor Thaurissan or Sylvanas Windrunner (with Coin), Mal’Ganis or Lord Jaraxxus (with Voidcaller)

Much more explosive than the Control Warrior one. While the game is usually really slow from the Warrior too, once he starts doing the combo he forces you to have the answer or die. Still, unless he one-shots you with Frothing Berserker, it should be in your favor.

  • What you need to think about is the Patron’s win condition. Obviously, the combos are his win condition, but to do the combos, he needs to draw a lot first. That’s the thing you should target – denying his draws. Don’t attack his Hero to not allow him additional draw from the Battle Rage. If you’re lucky enough and Warrior Hero Powers couple of times or drops an Armorsmith, he can get a good chunk of Armor, meaning it will be hard for him to damage himself even with weapons. Also try to clear his board – with couple of minions he can easily drop one or two more, Whirlwind and Battle Rage to draw half of his deck.
  • Next source of card draw is Acolyte of Pain. While Darkbombing it means that you waste a card and Warrior doesn’t, it’s what you should do most of the time. Warrior can easily squeeze 3 draws from the Acolyte, so making him draw only 1 is a big deal. Even Silencing his Acolyte is fine – there aren’t much Silence targets in Patron anyway.
  • Use your Imp-losions and Imp Gang Bosses early, before Warrior can Warsong Commander + Grim Patron. Those are great way to feed his combos so use them on later turns ONLY if you have the answer to Patrons. What you can do, however, is bait the second Warsong Commander. The only way Warrior is gonna win this matchup is with Warsong Commander + Frothing Berserker combo to one shot you. There is no way he’s gonna outvalue you. So, if he used the first Commander already, you can give him the perfect board to drop Warsong + Patron on. Bait the Warsong, kill it and win the game. Frothing Berserkers are useless against you without Commanders, so that’s really good. Good players won’t probably get baited, but you can always try.
  • Both Hellfire and Shadowflame are great answers to their Patron combos. If you can however deal with their board without using them – keep them for safety.
  • Try to not use Imp-losion on 3 health Acolyte of Pain, it can backfire. And DO NOT do that on 3 health Grim Patron, the risk of failing is too high – not only you don’t kill it but you also give him a way to copy the new one (1/1’s). Do that only if you have no other way to kill it and you need to take the risk.
  • Acidic Swamp Ooze. Use him only on Death’s Bite and I mean it. Destroying Fiery War Axe is not worth it. Warrior sets up Death’s Bite before his combos. If you destroy it prematurely, you usually ruin his plans. Either you don’t let him clone his Patrons, kill you with Frothing on draw a lot of cards with Acolyte of Pain / Battle Rage. You also save one of your minions that could die to 5 damage from the second hit. No matter which one was that, destroying it is really important. Especially the second one. If you feel like you have a way to survive the Patron combos on let’s say turn 5 after he set-up the first Death’s Bite – you can actually allow him to do those. The second Death’s Bite is usually used for lethal – a way to give one more Whirlwind effect for the Frothing without actually having to spend mana on the turn he plays it. Also as a way to deal 4 more damage to the face or go through some Taunt like Sludge Belcher. Destroying that one is much more important.
  • Emperor Thaurissan – you need to have a way to deal with him, absolutely. Even the one turn can lead to explosive OTK and if you leave him for 2 or more turns, usually there is no coming back.
  • Don’t keep too many minions on the board. Think before dropping the Imp Gang Boss – do I really need that minion on the board? The more minions you have, the stronger Frothing Berserker becomes. ESPECIALLY when the minions is Imp Gang Boss which spawns an additional minion every time it gets hit. It means that one Imp Gang boss can give enemy 10 additional damage with double Frothing and 3 Whirlwind effects. That’s a lot.
  • Set up a taunt wall and drop Mal’Ganis late game so he can’t OTK you with Frothing. But remember that versus a Patron Warrior, sometimes you can’t win. I remember a game when I had 28 health, three 5+ health Taunts and Mal’Ganis on the board. Patron Warrior still killed me. On turn 9, with just one Emperor Thaurissan discount. The deck is sometimes unstoppable so don’t worry if you lose this way, it can happen. Try to push him and finish the game before he can do that.

This is part 3 of this extensive deck guide series. Be sure to check out the other sections:

Team HSP

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