Patron Warrior is one of the strongest midrange decks in Hearthstone. It is a powerful list that has a large amount of burst, a surprising amount of consistency, and matches up well against most popular decks in the game. As a result, when getting ready to rank you are going to have to know how to beat it. In this guide we will look at how Camel Hunter, with its large minions and ever-present threat of damage, does a good job of bringing down the drinking dwarves.
It is easy to look at Camel Hunter and only see the original list. However, Hearthstone is all about variation, and you don’t need to just play the stock 30. Camel Hunter is a midrange deck built in the same vein as the classic build. As a result, do not be afraid to play different cards that help with the rank that you are at. Depending on what you’re facing, you can add in a secret package, play extra burst or simply focus on board control. The choice is up to you. To help you figure out what version makes the most sense, the original list has been linked below.
When facing Warrior you are going to mulligan for your early drops whether you think you are playing against Control or Patron. Both lists open in the same way, and you need to challenge that with as many minions as you can. You are a list that builds off of past plays, and you need to have strong minions (or board control by turn five) to win this game. Look hard for all of your early plays here, keeping three and four drops only if you have a good curve or the coin.
Cards to KeepWebspinner Glaivezooka Flame Juggler Haunted Creeper
Knife Juggler is a great keep if you have other solid opening minions.
Desert Camel should always be kept with the coin.
Animal Companion is strong keep with the coin or an early curve.
Houndmaster is a good keep with the coin and a solid beast opening.
How to Win
The way you are going to beat Patron is through pressure. Though it has a lot of strong minions, the deck does not have a lot in the way of removal. They greatly depend on their weapons for this, and only really have Execute beyond that. As a result, you never want to hesitate to slam down your strong minions. This is a game where you want to get as many minions onto the board as fast as you can. This will force your opponent to spend their time reacting to you.
The other way to take down Patron is to always play around their numerous combos like Grim Patron or Battle Rage. While you want to apply pressure, you need to keep their board clear early on. Patron is a deck that builds off of their minions, and if you limit the things they have on board, you limit their overall resources.
Early Game Strategy
During the opening turns of the game you want to play minions and see if Warrior can kill them. As stated, this is not a game where you want to be reactive. As soon as you spend your turns figuring out how to deal with Patrons you have lost. Rather, you want to begin quickly to dictate the trades and force their hand. Never let them get comfortable.
One of the most important parts of playing against Patron Warrior is recognizing it is not control. Because they run many stock cards like Fiery War Axe and Armorsmith, this may be hard to do early on. However, they also have a lot of tells, like Inner Rage, Cruel Taskmaster and Unstable Ghoul. As soon as you see any of those cards you know what you’re up against.
Desert Camel is very strong here, and you want to play it as soon as you can. Patron runs no one drops, which means this is either going to be two 2/4’s or a 2/4 and a 1/1 with no drawback. That is an incredible deal. In fact, it is so good that you should hold off coining out a two drop to play the camel on turn two if you can.
Always make sure to kill or have an answer to Frothing Berserker. The 2/4 will do massive amounts of damage if you let it live for more than a turn. If it happens, your opponent will then be able to pressure your health and put you on the back foot for the entire game. If you see the card on turn three you need to remove it immediately, even if that means trading in your board.
In addition, try to not let them draw more than one card off of Acolyte of Pain. This can be tricky because of how small your early game is, but you want to keep the card in mind. If you have a way to do three damage or get a three attack minion on the board, you should do so.
Once you know your opponent is Patron, you want to start figuring out the way you are going to navigate the middle turns. Patron has a lot of combos, but they are not the combo deck they once were. They are a midrange list, which means they do most of their work during this part of the game. Here is where you really need to stick your bigger threats and then use the threat of lethal to make your opponent use their removal instead of putting down their own large minions.
Always try to set up Houndmaster if you have it in hand. This card will not only apply a ton of pressure and board presence, but it also protects you from Death’s Bite in the same way Defender of Argus does for other decks. If you have a beast on board early you should always try to protect it.
As always, turn five is the most important turn when going up against Patron. Grim Patron is very hard to deal with when there are three or more staring you down from the other side of the board. You always need to have a plan for clearing them come turn five. If clearing them is not possible, then just try to push through as much damage as you can to make your opponent take a different line of play.
Your best card against Warrior is Savannah Highmane. This card is very strong against Control Warrior, which means it is insanely powerful in this match. The lion will always stop your opponent in their tracks and force them to change their gameplan. As a result, try to see this card as your own combo piece. Do your best to have board control (or have an empty board) when the lion comes down. That will make it so your opponent either has to respond to it immediately or let you dictate the rest of the game.
Late Game Strategy
The end of the game is very interesting because you and your opponent are both going to spend it pushing for final burst. Your burst comes from minions, while Patron’s largely comes from a mix of weapons and charge. If they have a good Grim Patron combo they can end the game that way, but most of the time then push for lethal in different ways.
You want to do your best to save a Hunter’s Mark for these later turns. If Patron does not have access to their dwarves during turns five and six they will have to end the game in other means (which mostly means big minions). While you can trade your board a lot of the time, being able to take out a Dr. Boom with a free removal spell is a much better option. This is one of the strongest tempo cards you have, and one of the best ways to seal a win when you are ahead.
Do everything you can to stay out of Grommash Hellscream range. This card is the way Patron wins a lot of their games, and if you ever get down to the mid-teens you can be in a lot of trouble. While ten and twelve life are the most dangerous spots, always remember that an equipped Death’s Bite can raise that to fourteen or sixteen respectively.
Always watch your life total throughout the game. That may seem very obvious, but it easy to spend your time going face or playing out minions and suddenly find yourself in the teens. When that happens, Patron can then push their own damage and force you to play defensively. You never want that to happen, so you need to always try to stay in the twenties if you can afford it or you need to push for damage.