MUA: Midrange Druid vs Warrior

This is the matchup analysis of Midrange Druid 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 or – with Ramp/Innervate – with Ramp/Innervate Right now, after the Patron […]

Introduction

This is the matchup analysis of Midrange Druid 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.

Mulligan

Cards To Keep

Innervate Darnassus Aspirant Wild Growth Shade of Naxxramas Piloted Shredder

Situational Keep

Druid of the Claw or Azure Drake – with Ramp/Innervate

Emperor Thaurissan – with Ramp/Innervate

Warrior Meta Decks

Right now, after the Patron Warrior nerf, the only popular archetype is the Control Warrior. It’s still hard to judge whether some other, non-Warsong versions of Patron Warrior will be created, so I’m not going to write about the matchup right now. There is also a Fatigue Warrior, but the matchup is very similar to the Control Warrior from Druid’s point of view. Besides that, some people have tried the aggressive Warrior builds like Mech Warrior or Enrage Warrior, but those aren’t really a part of the meta.

Vs Control Warrior

General Strategy

Most of the Control Warrior decklists are very similar. The biggest difference is mostly the amount and choice of the late game threats.  There are also small things like playing Slam + Bash or not, playing Cruel Taskmaster or not, some decks also try more Midrange approach with Piloted Shredders. But generally no matter which deck list you face, the matchup should be in your favor. Not only the Warrior gives you couple of free turns to ramp up or develop the mid game threats, but he also might have to take a lot of face damage when removing them with the weapons. Remember, however, that you need to finish the games fast, because once Warrior starts Hero Powering every turn, especially with Justicar Trueheart, he can get out of range pretty quickly.

Early Game

  • Warrior doesn’t have a lot of things to do in the early game. Most of his cards are reactive. The only minions he can drop are the Armorsmith and Acolyte of Pain, which have 1 attack, meaning they are not real threats. You can mostly just ignore those and kill them only when you’re going to have a clean way to do so (like 4 attack minion against Armorsmith).
  • You want to ramp up. If you play with the normal curve, it’s very likely that Warrior will find answers for everything you play. If you however get out a big threats early, the only way for him to get rid of those is the Execute.
  • Don’t use the Living Roots to summon 2x 1/1 on turn 1 unless you have a Darnassus Aspirant follow-up. They are very weak against Armorsmith and Acolyte of Pain (if he runs one), getting almost no value or even giving Warrior an advantage. If you, however, can follow them up with Aspirant, Warrior will often have to choose between killing it and dropping one of his minions. Meaning that 1/1’s should get some damage before they die.
  • Darnassus Aspirant is cool, but it won’t likely survive. Warrior has Fiery War Axe and Bash as the responses. It might survive one turn, but rarely longer than that. It doesn’t mean that you shouldnt play it. If Warrior won’t have an answer, it’s GREAT. Not only it gives you a thing to chop off the Armor (to negate the Shield Slam‘s value), but it also means that you ramped up at the same time.
  • Shade of Naxxramas is also cool. Since Warrior won’t pressure you, you can let it grow for a couple of turns.

Mid Game

  • That’s when you want to start pushing the Warrior. Piloted Shredder is best 4-drop. While Warrior should be able to take it with the weapon and 1 for 1 after 2 hits, he takes a lot of damage. That’s very good for you.
  • Druid of the Claw is also awesome, because 6 health is hard to take down. Only real way Warrior has to kill it on turn 5 (if he has no Armor or weapon set-up) is the Execute. Sometimes he’s just going to ignore it for a turn, because he can’t kill it. If you already put some pressure on Warrior, consider playing him in Charge mode. Not only you get instant 4 attack, but you don’t really need Taunt against Warrior. If you have something else on the board, he might be forced to choose which one he wants to kill. Also, if he wants to swing with a Death’s Bite to kill it, he takes 8 damage in total, which is fine for a 5 mana card.
  • Silencing a Sludge Belcher is a solid move if you’re putting pressure on Warrior. There is some merit in keeping Silence for the Sylvanas Windrunner, especially if Warrior isn’t under a lot of pressure or you have a clear way to kill the Belcher without sacrificing your own minions. But if you want to push 7 damage into the face, I don’t blame you.
  • Remember to not be too greedy with your Shade, because having it sit in Stealth for so long makes Warrior’s Brawl much better. If you drop only two other minions on the board, he can already get a decent Brawl value.
  • Emperor Thaurissan is awesome. If he’s your only turn 6 play, go for it no matter how your hand looks like. But if you have something else to do, you can wait with Thaurissan until you have your combo pieces in the hand. Since Warrior is very hard to kill, having a “double combo” (Force of Nature + 2x Savage Roar) might be your way to win this match.
  • Killing Armorsmith is often more worth than going into the face. While you sacrifice 4 damage to kill Armorsmith and Warrior gains 1 Armor, that’s only 5 health. If you leave Armorsmith unchecked for a long time and Warrior plays more minions + Whirlwind effect or hides it behind a Taunt, it might gain much more value in the long run.
  • Mid Game is where you should really start thinking about how to kill Warrior. Putting him into combo range is really important. Try to play the fast game.

Late Game

  • Even though with the amount of draw you have in your deck you should be afford to play a little longer game (over 10 turns), aim to finish the game as soon as you can. In late game, Warrior can Hero Power every turn, so it’s much harder to put pressure on him.
  • Justicar Trueheart is your worst nightmare. With Justicar, you need to have at least 5 power on the board to even start pressuring Warrior, probably around 10 to deal significant amounts of damage. Once Justicar hits the board, you need to close the game as soon as possible.
  • Their late game is obviously superior to yours. While Big Game Hunter comes handy against some minions, you have no real way to deal with the Ysera. Warrior might also be the one who starts pressuring you. If he Alexstrasza‘s your face, you’re under serious threat. He deals 10 damage with Grommash Hellscream, so he might only need 5 more damage to kill you.
  • The usual way you’re going to win this matchup is when one or two minions stick into the board, Warrior has no Taunts and you combo him. It happens quite often. But if the game goes for too long, you have no chance to kill the Warrior anymore. Even if you Hero Power him every turn, he gains 1 health per turn (or 3 with Justicar), not to mention stuff like Shieldmaiden, Armorsmith, Shield block or Bash. In the late game, Warrior can easily get out of combo range to 30+ health in matter of a few turns. Once he does, you won’t be able to kill him.

Resources