MUA: Fatigue Warrior vs Warrior

This is the matchup analysis of Fatigue Warrior versus Warrior. We’re using this decklist as a basis. Keep in mind there are decklists with slight variations, each one tweaked to the player’s own taste and the meta they’re facing. Cards To Keep Situational Keep if you know enemy is the Patron Warrior. if you think enemy is a […]

Introduction

This is the matchup analysis of Fatigue Warrior versus Warrior.

Sample Decklist

We’re using this decklist as a basis. Keep in mind there are decklists with slight variations, each one tweaked to the player’s own taste and the meta they’re facing.

Mulligans

Cards To Keep

Shield Slam Fiery War Axe Bash Death’s Bite Harrison Jones Justicar Trueheart

Situational Keep

Brawl if you know enemy is the Patron Warrior. Bouncing Blade if you think enemy is a slower Warrior.

Warrior Meta Decks

This deck really wants this matchup. No matter if you play against Control Warrior or against the Patron Warrior, you’re the favorite. There are also some Aggro Warrior matchups, like Mech Warrior/Enrage Warrior/Pirate Warrior and stuff, but I have never faced them with this deck and honestly, those aren’t even slightly popular decks. Let’s maybe start with the more explosive matchup, which is Patron Warrior.

Patron Warrior

Patron Warrior is one of the most bursty decks in the game. Fatigue Warrior is however one of the most defensive decks in the game. The very old question comes into the mind: What happens if unstoppable force hits the immovable object? Well.. it depends on the draws.

Let’s start with this – the game is going into Fatigue on Patron’s side. He’s going to draw A LOT more than you do. So feel free to use your Shield Blocks and cycle the Slams. You also want to deny as much of the draws from him as you can. Don’t ever hit his face, let him sit at 30 health, it makes his Battle Rage weaker. If everything goes according to the plan, by the time you start dropping your minions and he’s going to be able to damage himself with the weapons, he’s going to gain some Armor, so he’ll still be at 30.

Kill the Acolyte of Pain in one swing and don’t let it stick to the board so Patron Warrior can damage it himself. Using a Bash on Acolyte might seem bad, because he cycles and you’re one card behind, but that’s fine. You won’t need all the removals in your deck to deal with the Patron Warrior anyway. Just remove everything he plays, those minions aren’t important.

You need to prepare for two big swings. First one is a Grim Patron turn. You absolutely need to kill the ones that have 2 or more health. You can leave the 1 health ones, because they aren’t that scary.

The standard turn for Patrons is Grim Patron + Inner Rage + Whirlwind effect. It spawns 2x 3/3 Patron, 1x 3/2 Patron and 1x 5/1 Patron. The first time they can do it is turn 6 or turn 5 with Death’s Bite set-up or Coin. Meaning you want to have a weapon equipped going into one of those turns. Besides the weapon, a lot of your removals work fine. You can for example Bash the 3/3, Slam the 3/2 and hit the last 3/3 with a weapon (if it’s the Death’s Bite you might even kill the 5/1). The problems start if there are more Patrons than that. In case enemy spawns like 5-6 of them, you suddenly NEED the Brawl. Brawl is a clear way to kill them most of the time – just finish the last one with the weapon, Shield Slam, Execute or something.

Another way to clear the Patron board is Revenge, but only if you’re at 12 health or below. If that’s your last resort and you have NO other way to clear the Patrons, you should let enemy take your down to this amount of health and clear everything with Revenge. That’s a sad play, because you want to have the health for their Frothing burst, but that’s still not game over if you draw the right cards.

You absolutely want the Armor gain. The earlier you get the Justicar Trueheart, the better your chances to win are. That’s why you should even keep it in the starting hand. The game is usually going to last at least for 10 more turns if you drop Justicar on turn 6, meaning you can get up to 40 Armor from your Hero Powers. Add 2x Shieldmaiden, Shield Block and you should be ready to face the burst.

Their biggest threat you ABSOLUTELY need to remove the turn it’s played is Emperor Thaurissan. A good Patron player won’t likely drop it too soon – he really needs all the proper combo pieces in his hand to even challenge your Armor. So Thaurissan is often going to be dropped after the Patron goes to Fatigue – this way he’s guaranteed to discount everything he needs. Patrons aren’t that scary if you have the Brawl. They’re the mid game win condition Patron Warrior has, but you’re rarely going to die from them.

The most scary thing in this matchup is the Frothing Berserker burst. Once they set up the Frothing turn, you don’t play ANY minion. That’s it – you don’t play ANY minion. I mean, you can surely play them in the mid game, way before Thaurissan comes down, but once Patron Warrior is setting up lethal, leave your board empty. You can swing enemy with the weapons if your hand is full, you can even Revenge the empty board or something, but just use the Hero Power and pass. The only minion you might play is the Harrison Jones in case the Patron sets up the second Death’s Bite (later about that). Every minion you play gives a lot of damage to the Patron Warrior.

Playing the Sludge Belcher might seem like a good idea, but it’s really not most of time. It’s only good if the enemy has gone through both of his Executes, has no Death’s Bite set-up and can’t combo Grim Patrons with Frothing on the same turn. So against a good Patron player, who knows what to do, Sludge Belcher is going to backfire and just give him more damage than it saves.

The maximum amount of damage Patron Warrior can do on the empty board just from his hand really varies – it depends on the exact cards he has kept. For example, Warsong Commander + Grim Patron + Inner Rage  +2x Frothing Berserker + 2x Whirlwind is around 40 points of damage.

Something like Warsong Commander + 2x Frothing Berserker + 2x Armorsmith + Unstable Ghoul + Inner Rage + 2x Whirlwind also deals around 40 damage. That’s around the most burst Patron Warrior can pull out from their hand. A little more with the weapon hit too. It means that if you stay over 50 Health and you have no minions on the board, you should be safe. Once you pass that health barrier, Patron Warrior can’t kill you and you win the game.

When it comes to the Harrison Jones – you generally don’t want to play him on the first Death’s Bite. The first one is usually used as a removal or a way to set-up the Patron turn. Destroy it only if you don’t have a clear way to deal with the Patrons. But if you do – just let him do his thing and use the first Death’s Bite. The second one is more important. It’s usually used when setting up the burst. Warrior is likely going to sit on it for a long time. Additional Whirlwind effect + weapon hit might mean up to ~15 more damage.

If it’s already the super late-game scenario where Patron Warrior has played Thaurissan already and he sets up for the only turn he can win on, after playing Harrison, you want to KILL IT. Yes, you want to kill your own minion. Just Bash it, Shield Slam it, Bouncing Blade it, whatever. You don’t want it to be on the board. One of the biggest reason you don’t want minions on the board is that it allows enemy to get Whirlwind effects from the Unstable Ghouls. Obviously, depending on his hand, he still might have a way to proc it (like the Inner Rage), but the chances are much smaller.

The same goes for other minions. Let’s say you have Shieldmaiden in your hand. You can play it to gain 5 Armor if you can Shield Slam it afterwards to get it out of the board. You have +5 Armor, but you have nothing on the board so enemy won’t get more damage with Frothings. So, the whole game usually explodes on this turn. Enemy has only one shot, you should have an easy way clearing the lefover Frothings and he won’t be able to attack again (both should be at 1/2 health, so stuff like Revenge, Baron Geddon, Brawl etc. should kill them). Once he throws out his whole burst and doesn’t kill you – you win the game. It’s a really hard matchup to play properly, but once you learn how to do that, you’re a favorite. Edit: Patron Warrior is getting nerfed, boys! Or more like completely destroyed. I’ll still leave this section, because it’s useful until the nerf hits.

Control Warrior

The second most popular Warrior matchup is the one against Control Warrior. If you know how to play it, you’re a HUGE favorite. I’ve played around 10 games against Control Warrior and lost only one of them, because enemy dropped Justicar Trueheart on turn 6 and it was one of the last cards in my deck.

This is the game is going to the fatigue 99% of time. Unless you draw NO answers at all and they overwhelm you with their threats, it’s not going to end soon. Control Warrior can’t pressure you in the early game.

The game really starts on turn 5 when he drops the Sludge Belcher. Or even not that. Sometimes the first minion is actually dropped around turn 6-7 and you Bash yourself into the faces and use the Fiery War Axe hits to get rid of cards in your hand.

Because the matchup is really slow and it’s going to Fatigue, you DON’T DRAW THE CARDS. The only situation where you can draw the cards is when enemy misplays the matchup and he does it too. For example, if he plays the Shield Blocks, drops cards like Acolyte of Pain or even Varian Wrynn. Then you can afford to get some draws. But you still don’t want to be ahead in fatigue. Staying 2-3 cards behind is perfect, this way enemy can’t win the match in fatigue war but you aren’t behind on the answers.

When enemy plays the Acolyte of Pain and you know it’s a Control Warrior, you might punish him with the Bouncing Blade. It forces him to draw 3 cards, meaning not only if the game goes into fatigue you’re guaranteed to win, but he might also burn something. You want to maximize your Armor gain – try to Armor Up every turn unless you have to do something else.

Justicar Trueheart is an absolute MVP. In the matchup that lasts for 30 turns or more, the difference between +4 Armor per turn and +2 Armor per turn is huge. Actually, my longest Fatigue Warrior match lasted until turn 41 and I have two other games at 40 turns. Armor matters – if you have a lot more Armor than enemy, it lets you survive one more fatigue tick and it’s often a matter of life and death.

Harrison Jones is completely useless card. You want to drop him on the first opportunity when enemy DOESN’T have weapon. You want him to not draw any card. But in long Warrior matchups it might be actually hard, because enemy usually sits on a weapon. So once you get an opportunity, drop it. Even if enemy plays the Gorehowl, you DON’T want to destroy it. Gorehowl is most likely going to the face, because he has a lot of different removals for your minions, so you’re saving the 7 damage. But the long fatigue game might go to 15 Fatigue damage, so while you’re saving 7 now, you might be taking 8 more in the future.

When it comes to the general game plan, you’re both very reactive decks. Even though you’re much more reactive than the standard Control Warrior build, it also runs a lot of removals etc. So you both are going to sit on 10 cards a lot of time. There are moments when you have full hand and you don’t even have anything to play. Then you have to let’s say equip the weapon and attack enemy face. Or use Bash on enemy face. This way you don’t overdraw.

When it comes to the weapons – use them only to kill the small threats. Killing something like Sludge Belcher is fine if you only take 3 damage, but hitting Dr. Boom or Baron Geddon is a big no-no unless you have to. Between 2x Execute, 2x Shield Slam, 2x Bouncing Blade, Big Game Hunter etc. you should have enough removals to get rid of enemy big stuff without using your face to tank the damage.

Remember that if you’re equal on the cards left in the deck, the one that goes into fatigue with bigger health pool usually wins. And talking about the weapons, you want to have one equipped almost all the time. You actually might bait enemy by equipping the Death’s Bite and not attacking with it. New / unexperienced Warrior players are going to take the opportunity and use the Harrison.

After all getting rid of your weapon and drawing 2 cards is impressive value. But it’s really not and that makes them lose the game in a long run. When it comes to the Grommash Hellscream – you use it as a way to chop off some Armor from your enemy. It’s not a big deal most of the time, but you don’t want to use it as a removal. It doesn’t matter whether you keep it until the fatigue war or you drop it somewhere mid-game, it deals 10 damage and that’s it. Enemy is going to have an answer for it no matter what. You don’t run enough threats to bait all the removals before using the Grommash. If you’re desperate, enemy drops something big and you have no answer, you might use it as a removal, but that’s not likely going to happen.

Brawl. This card is one of the most useless in this matchup. If you play against someone unexperienced you may get a lot of value. But that’s most likely not the case. Enemy probably won’t even drop two minions on the board. And if he EVER will, you should go for the 50/50 Brawl. You won’t likely get the better one. Also, against the Dr. Boom, you might go for the 66% Brawl and hope that Boom Bot survives. It shows how bad Brawl is in this matchup and since you run two of those, you want to get any value at all. But even if you don’t get great value Brawls, it’s not a BIG deal. Unless enemy plays a super-greedy version of Control Warrior with 7-8 big drops, you should have answers for everything.

In case enemy plays the version with Varian Wrynn, it’s PERFECT for you. Not only you will likely get the Brawl value, but enemy also draws 3 cards. So, continue with your game plan, remove every threat they play, DON’T DRAW, try to Hero Power every turn unless you really can’t, when you have full hand just weapon up and go into enemy face or play some minions or Bash enemy face. You might even Revenge the air, because in this matchup the card is only good to activate the Grommash and Execute. If you play this matchup perfectly, you shouldn’t lose it.

The only way to lose it is if enemy really knows what he’s doing and he draws the Justicar Trueheart before you. If he has 30-40 Armor more than you and stays pretty much on the same amount of cards left in the deck, you won’t win that game.

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