Mastering the Grim Patron Warrior: Advanced Guide

This is part 2 of this extensive deck guide series. Be sure to check out the other sections for more info on this deck: Part 1: Beginner Guide Part 2: Advanced Strategies, Alternate Cards, and Tech Choices Part 3: Match-ups and Mulligans In this section, we want to give you couple of quick tips you can […]

This is part 2 of this extensive deck guide series. Be sure to check out the other sections for more info on this deck:

Tips & Tricks

In this section, we want to give you couple of quick tips you can use when playing Patron Warrior. Most of those will be obvious to more experienced players, but new players might not know / remember those.

  • If you desperately need a Whirlwind effect and you have a freshly equipped deaths-bite plus another weapon in your hand, equipping another weapon destroys Death’s Bite, activating its Deathrattle. It’s useful when you need more Armor from armorsmith or want to boost your frothing-berserker‘s attack.
  • You might use slam on your own grim-patron to cycle a card and spawn additional one. You can also use it on your acolyte-of-pain to make sure you’re gonna draw 2 cards off him.
  • If you kill your warsong-commander with a Whirlwind effect, spawning additional Patrons at the same time, those Patrons still get Charge, even though Warsong Commander dies.
  • Discounting a 0 mana card with emperor-thaurissan is not entirely useless. If you, for example, get two discounts on your inner-rage and enemy plays loatheb, you’ll be able to cast it for 3 mana instead of 5.
  • Minions that received Charge from Warsong Commander retain it even when enemy takes control of them using cards like sylvanas-windrunner or mind-control. It doesn’t happen often, but you need to take that into account when you’re close to dying. We’ve seen Priest killing Patron Warrior by stealing 15 attack Frothing Berserker and charging him back into his face.
  • Don’t be too greedy with your battle-rage. Sometimes even cycling it for 1 card is a correct play if you need to draw into something. You can also cycle your Inner Rage if you drop a full health minion and use it on him before casting Battle Rage.
  • Using Slam on a minion Divine Shield also draws you a card.
  • When you have the combos in your hand, especially Warsong Commander + Frothing Berserker, keep track of opponent’s health and your possible damage all the time. It might often surprise you how much damage can you deal in one turn, especially if you aren’t used to Patron Warrior yet.

Combos & Interactions

Patron Warrior is the deck based around the combos. Almost all of your cards have some synergies between themselves. While your main Combos revolve around Grim Patron and Frothing Berserker, there is much more to this deck. We want to talk about all of those more deeply, even though some of the interactions were already mentioned.

battle-rage is one of the strongest draw mechanics in the game, if you fit it into a proper deck. Just like the old gadgetzan-auctioneer was broken when combined with a lot of cheap Rogue spells, Battle Rage is broken when you combine it with a lot of Whirlwind effects and a minion that can clone itself. To make a good use of your Battle Rage, first you need some minions on the board. Having some from previous turns or dropping couple of cheap ones on the same turn is a good way to go. The card that has the most simple synergy with your Battle Rage is whirlwind. You cast Whirlwind to damage all of your minions, followed by Battle Rage to draw a lot . You might do the same with the second Death’s Bite hit. Your third Whirlwind effect – unstable-ghoul – is a little worse, because it’s not instant and you can’t control whether enemy is gonna kill it or not. But you still can drop it on one turn, and if he survives, follow with couple of cheap minions, trade him into something and Battle Rage (or just give him a Charge!). Both your inner-rage and cruel-taskmaster can force an additional draw. You might also slam your 3+ health minion to cycle it and get one more card. Battle Rage is great if you combo it with grim-patron. To clone your Patrons, you need to damage them first. When you damage them, you might also draw some cards. If enemy has a lot of small minions, playing warsong-commander + Grim Patron, clearing all of them and following by Battle Rage means up to 7 draws for 2 mana (the more realistic number is 4-5, which is still really high).

armorsmith is one of the most interesting cards in the deck. If used properly, it might get incredible value. Just like antique-healbot is used as a way to gain 8 Health, a single Armorsmith might get you as much as 20 Armor in some games. While against Aggro decks you want to drop him on turn 2 to stop their early advance, against slower (especially combo) decks you want to keep him for late game combos. The most basic Armorsmith combo is Armorsmith + Cruel Taskmaster or Inner Rage. It gets you one point of Armor and makes the Armorsmith a 3/3 minion, which is much more scary than a 1/4 one. If you do so, however, don’t expect to gain more than 2-3 Armor. What Armorsmith combos with best are Whirlwind effects and a board presence. If you get off a Whirlwind effect with 6 minions on the board, you gain 6 Armor. It combos nicely with Grim Patron, because you want to put a lot of damage on those guys. It also combos with Warsong Commander, because you might charge your small guys (like Unstable Ghoul) into enemy minions, gaining a lot of Armor. Against decks like Freeze Mage, you want to squeeze as much as you can from your Armorsmith.

frothing-berserker may be even more important part of the deck than the Grim Patron itself. It’s the card that allows crazy one turn kills. Obviously, the most basic combo is Warsong Commander + Frothing Berserker. But to make your Frothing rolling, you want to deal as much damage to everything around you as you can. It means that your Whirlwind and second Death’s Bite hit are really good. Unstable Ghoul is also really interesting. When you charge him into something, Frothing first gets +2 damage from Ghoul hitting enemy minion and getting damaged back, and then he might get much more from the Deathrattle AoE effect. Cruel Taskmaster is also a great card to combo with Frothing, because besides adding 3 damage with its Battlecry, the 2/2 body can also be charged into something (like a Taunt blocking your way) for 2 more damage. Also, the more minions you have on the board when casting your AoE’s, the more damage Frothing gets. It means that if you have a weapon equipped, getting out dread-corsair for free may add 3 damage from the Pirate itself, plus even more damage when it gets hit by AoE. The dream is getting out Warsong Commander, Frothing Berserker and Grim Patron all at one time – all the damage you deal to clone Patrons also buffs your Frothing to incredible attack values.

grim-patron is one of the key cards – it combos with almost half the card from your deck in some way. Again, the most obvious combo includes the Whirlwind effects. Whirlwind, Unstable Ghoul, second Death’s Bite hit. They all make you spawn a lot of Patrons. Cruel Taskmaster helps, but Inner Rage is especially useful. Basically, for 0 mana you give +2/-1 and spawn a 3/3 minion that can copy itself further. If you just combine Patron with Inner Rage and Whirlwind on turn 6, it’s already really strong play. The best way to use your Patron is charging it with Warsong Commander against enemy small drops. It’s great against Aggro and some of the Midrange decks (dream against muster-for-battle or imp-gang-boss/imp-losion). Besides the board clear, you get a lot of minions on your side of the board and allow for a big Battle Rage play. If you combo Patrons with Armorsmith, you might get a lot of free Armor – even if enemy removes them all with AoE somehow, you still get some Armor from that.

Alternate & Tech Cards

In this section, we’re gonna go through the cards you might include in your deck. Depending on the play style, meta or your general preferences, you might want to alter your deck list a bit. We’re gonna give a brief description of every tech card, why it might work in the Patron Warrior and how you should use it.

There are a lot of flexible cards in the list, so if you’re wondering which cards you might take out:

  • inner-rage – while the card is really nice to have, it’s not crucial in this deck. With one copy you need to keep it for the Patron combos instead of cycling with it.
  • armorsmith – you might get rid of one if you face a lot of Control decks, as opposed to Aggro / Combo ones. 1/4 stats and Armor aren’t what you want against Control deck.
  • unstable-ghoul – Unstable Ghoul is susceptible to Silence and you often can’t fit him in your Charge combo, so one should be enough most of time. If you remove him, however, remember that you have one less Whirlwind effect to play with.
  • fiery-war-axe – Xixo removed one Fiery War Axe from the deck. Axe is pretty bad against Control, and since you draw / cycle so much, you’re often stuck with too many weapons in your hand.
  • dread-corsair – the card gives you nice tempo if you combine it with weapons, but often doesn’t help you accomplish anything. If you draw it in your opening hand without any weapon, he might be dead card for a lot of turns (especially if you also remove Fiery War Axe).
  • gnomish-inventor – this card cycles and provides distraction – but the 4 mana cost is hard to fit into later turns and it often clogs your hand.

Grommash Hellscream

There are two main versions of Grim Patron Warrior – those who run grommash-hellscream and those who don’t. The card is commonly used in other Warrior lists, and has a great synergy with Patron as well. With as much as 10 activators, Grommash is a really nice include in Patron Warrior. Running cards like inner-rage make it even better, because you might get out a 12/8 minion with Charge on turn 8, which is huge. There are two problems with the card, however. First one is that it’s too slow. While some of your other combos also cost 8+ mana, you might also drop your combo pieces one by one if you need to. Grommash, however, is 8 mana no matter what. It’s too much against fast, Aggro decks, most of time you won’t have a time to drop him. The second problem is that he’s kinda redundant, because Warsong Commander + Frothing Berserker combo accomplishes the same thing, but is usually better. Many pro player still argue that he’s a good include and should be in the deck. More win conditions is never a bad thing, so you can add him.

Brawl

Grim Patron Warrior lacks board clears. Whirlwind effects are good against small minions, but when enemy plays couple of big threats, you often end up losing the game because you have no way to deal with them. brawl is a great card to counteract that. It significantly boosts your win rate against Handlock and Ramp Druid, because after they develop a board and Taunt up, you might just clear everything with the Brawl. It’s also great in the mirror matchup. Ironically, Patron Warrior has a really hard time dealing with grim-patrons. You often lose the game when enemy gets a full board of Patrons. Brawl can clear them and even let you develop something for the leftover mana. The problem with Brawl, however, is that it has no synergy with your deck. It’s also pretty hard to fit it into the list. You don’t want to run situational cards that are often gonna sit dead in your hand for the whole game. It also might be useless against fast decks, because all your Whirlwind effects and weapons are often enough to clear the small minions. If you face a lot of slower decks, Brawl is definitely a good include.

Commanding Shout

commanding-shout is a card that is used in many of the lists. Against some decks, the card is really great – for example Handlock. You might get a big power turn, clear 2-3 big minions and get your side of the board full. Against other decks it’s almost useless, though. If the deck is aggressive and it runs small minions, you don’t really have an opportunity to get Commanding Shout value. The good point about this card is that in the worst case scenario, it cycles itself for 2 mana. In matchups where the card is bad you can use it during one of your dead turns where you’d Armor Up instead. Commanding Shout itself has nice synergy with the deck. You can damage your minions without killing them. It means that running your Patron into anything (even 8 attack minions) leaves it at 3/1 and spawns a new one. Warsong Commander + Grim Patron + Commanding Shout is a 10 mana combo that can deal 18 damage to enemy board and leave you with a full board of damaged Patrons. It also combos with your Acolyte of Pain and Armorsmith – it allows you to run them into something (for example to activate execute), draw card / gain Armor and still survive. It also has a nice synergy with your Battle Rage, because it usually leaves you with a lot of damaged minions. The card is really interesting and there is a lot of merit to put it into a Patron Warrior deck. If you feel that if fits your play style and is good against opponents you face, go ahead and add it.

Loot Hoarder

loot-hoarder is used as another way to cycle cards and answer enemy early threats. The good thing about it is that with 2 attack enemy has to deal with it somehow, because it’s gonna kill most of their 1-drops and 2-drops. You often see enemy wasting a weapon charge or early removal on Loot Hoarder. Sometimes you’re even gonna trade him into something to get 2 for 1. Even if enemy just pings it, it’s 2 mana for 2 mana and you cycle a card. It’s an even tempo trade and because your deck benefits from cycling, you’re slightly ahead. You might also use him as an Execute activator. Later in the game, you might combo it with Warsong Commander for instant 2 mana 2 damage or to force the draw on the same turn. A solid 2-drop in a deck that wants to draw a lot. Remember, however, that you don’t want to put too much cycle into your deck, so you usually have to decide between those and Gnomish Inventors.

Dr. Boom

dr-boom is a great include in almost any deck just for its sheer value. It’s probably the strongest card in the game that can be used among all classes. No wonder why some of the players are trying to include him into Patron Warrior. It gives the deck a big threat and another win condition. Enemy is often using all of his removals to deal with your Patrons, so Dr. Boom might stay on the board. There is also a nice interaction with warsong-commander – the 1/1 boom-bots get Charge. Slamming him on turn 7 is pretty good, because turn 8 is usually your combos turn – enemy might have to deal with two big threats back to back. The problem with Dr. Boom is that it doesn’t accomplish much by itself. You still need your combos to win most of the games. Your deck also doesn’t run any other big-game-hunter targets (besides big Frothing Berserkers, but those are mostly used as an OTK anyway), so many decks will have a relatively easy way to deal with it. If you feel like adding a strong, big minion with great value, Dr. Boom is probably your best bet.

Big Game Hunter

big-game-hunter may serve as your another removal. Against slower decks, especially those with a lot of big minion, you might struggle. Handlock is a good example – if you don’t have an Execute for early mountain-giants, you’re in a pretty bad spot. Big Game Hunter can easily swing the game around. Most of the Midrange and Control decks run some 7+ attack targets. You might also Big Game Hunter the 5 attack minions thanks to inner-rage or cruel-taskmaster. It may be really useful against things like ancient-of-war. The problem with Big Game Hunter is that, again, he’s pretty hard to fit into the deck. The 4 attack makes him unable to be charged with Warsong Commander. Against Aggro decks, 4/2 stats are really bad for a 3-drop, because he can be taken down by any 1-drop. Definitely a good pick if you play against a lot of slow decks, not that great against fast ones.

Weapon Destruction

Weapon destruction is really strong in the current meta. Warriors, Hunters and Paladins are all common on the ladder, and all of those decks use weapons. Destroying them gives you a lot of value, tempo and often helps you survive. Rogue and Shaman are less common, but you still might meet them from time to time, and weapon destructions work nicely against them. When it comes to the weapon destruction, you have two options, both with their strengths and weaknesses.

acidic-swamp-ooze is your first option. It fits the deck for couple of reasons. Because of the 3 attack, it might be charged with your Warsong Commander. 2 mana cost is much easier to fit into your turns. It comes earlier so you might counter Hunter’s turn 2 glaivezooka or turn 3 eaglehorn-bow. Against non-weapon classes, 3/2 for 2 mana is a standard 2-drop and it doesn’t lose any stats for its effect. It’s also a good budget choice, because it’s a basic card, so everyone has an access to it.

Your second option is harrison-jones. The obvious upside is that it draws you cards. Usually it’s only 1 card (most of popular weapons have 2 charges and enemy attacks once before your turn), but sometimes you might get more. The 4 health is pretty weak for a 5-drop, and 5 mana is much harder to fit into your turn. On the other hand, it’s great when casted on curve against something like truesilver-champion or deaths-bite. Drawing cards is a big advantage, even if the deck has enough draw / cycle already. He can’t be charged with Warsong Commander, but he puts a pretty big threat on the board that has to be removed by enemy.

Both of the options can work in this deck, so the decision is yours. Remember that both of those boosts your Handlock matchup a little, because they might destroy weapon of lord-jaraxxus. Be careful with Harrison, though, because you might fatigue yourself!

Sludge Belcher

sludge-belcher is an interesting choice in Patron Warrior. On the one hand, the card is pretty slow, can’t cycle itself and is on the same mana slot as your Grim Patron. On the other hand, it’s great against Aggro and Midrange decks. If you didn’t have good answers for opponent’s early aggression, Sludge Belcher might save your skin. 3 attack is nice because you might charge it with your Warsong Commander. If you trade it with Commander on the board, the 1/2 Slime also gets Charge. It’s hard to get through without Silence, so it might be a good way to protect your Patrons against enemy minions and weapons. Definitely worth considering, because it’s an overall solid card.

Other Sections

This is part 2 of this extensive deck guide series. Be sure to check out the other sections for more info on this deck:

Team HSP

Team HSP is a group of professional Hearthstone players. Consist some of the top players of the game and we love sharing our knowledge through articles and guides such as this. These guides are the result of hundreds hours of playing, research and analyzing games by the team. We hope you find these guides useful!