No matter what deck you want to play in Hearthstone, you have to know how to navigate the mirror match. Mirror matches are really important because, not only are they going to happen a lot when you play a popular deck, but they also can teach you a lot about your own list. Seeing your deck from a different angle can make you see connections, plays and interactions that you would normally miss. In this guide, we will break down how to navigate the Patron Warrior mirror match, and see what it reveals about the deck overall.
While Patron has a lot of cards that you have to play, there is a lot of variation. You can play sticky, bigger minions in a more tempo-oriented build, or you can choose to run more bust and be aggressive. Both versions are very strong, and each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Whatever you choose, make sure to go with the version that best suits your style of play. To help you with this, three sample lists and a guide have been placed below.
When playing against Warrior you always want to assume your opponent is playing Control and then go from there. That means you just want to hold onto early minions and weapons. Just about everything else can be thrown back, with the exception of Battle Rage and Grim Patron if you have a good hand. Your Whirlwind effects are pretty much useless, and your removal comes second.
Cards to KeepExecute Fiery War Axe Armorsmith Cruel Taskmaster Acolyte of Pain Death’s Bite
Inner Rage can be good to combo with activators like Armorsmith and Acolyte of Pain.
Battle Rage is good if you have an opening where you can set it up.
Piloted Shredder is strong keep with the coin.
Grim Patron is a good keep here if you have some opening plays to set it up.
How to Win
There are two parts to this matchup: combo and pressure. Playing to your “go big” Patron turns is very important, but so is being able to make sure your opponent never gets their footing. Damage is king in Hearthstone, and anytime you have the ability to threaten lethal or make your opponent fight for the board instead of advancing their own plan, you are in a good position. That is incredibly true in a midrange vs. midrange match where board presence is more important than anything else.
When it comes to combo, you should always be on the lookout for ways to trigger your own interactions. Grim Patron is the most obvious combo in your deck, but a lot of cards, from Battle Rage to Acolyte of Pain, have their own small nuances. Look for all of your subtle interactions, and always build toward a big turn. You may actually deal the final blow with charge or damage, but it is your different combos that get you there.
Early Game Strategy
The opening of this game is going to be all about attempting to get the most value out of your cards as possible. That can come in many forms, ranging from board presence to weapons to removal. Each one is an important part of your overall machine, and they all build you into the middle part of the game. The goal here is to clear as much as you can to make sure you take the least amount of damage possible.
Fiery War Axe is key in the early turns because of how well it can deal with cards like Unstable Ghoul and Acolyte of Pain. The most important aspect of this card is to never just run it out on turn two unless you need to as a way to fill out your curve. If you can trick your opponent into thinking you do not have a weapon you can get them to play their Acolyte of Pain right into it.
Try to use Acolyte of Pain when you can get some solid value from it. The three drop can be easily removed by your opponent’s weapons, and getting one card is usually a bad bet in this matchup. As a result, try to save it for a Death’s Bite or when you have some other type of Whirlwind effect.
On the flipside of that, always make sure you to limit your opponent’s Acolyte potential. That means preemptively taking down an Unstable Ghoul on turn two.
Do everything you can to clear Frothing Berserker. Though the card may seem innocuous on an empty or nearly empty board, your opponent can use it to do massive amounts of damage out of nowhere. As mentioned, you always want to mitigate the amount of damage you are going to take, and keep pressure off as much as possible. Once your opponent gets a huge lead on life it is going to be very hard to win, and taking a frothing hit allows them to do that.
This is where most of the game actually happens. The middle turns of the game are all about getting the board, and you need to stick to that plan no matter what. All of your cards should be used to get board presence here. Taking over the middle game will help you build into the late game, where you can easily finish your opponent off.
The number one rule of these turns is to go big with Grim Patron as soon as you possibly can. The dwarf is the best card in the match bar none because you and your opponent have very few ways to kill it and a ton of ways to trigger it. As a result, always try to save the second charge of your bite for the dwarf, which will let you go off a turn earlier due to the free Whirlwind. Inner Rages should be saved as well.
On the other hand, you always want to have a plan to clear your opponent’s Patrons. Every single Patron represents lethal or board control and you need to kill them as soon as possible. While it may seem weak, do not be afraid to burn an Execute here. Also, remember that 1-health Patrons cannot be copied so you can deal with them last. If you do cannot clear all of them, get rid of as many as you can and then play a minion with three or more attack.
Be aware of both Kor’kron Elite and Piloted Shredder. These two cards are large flex spots in Patron, and whether or not a deck has them changes from person to person. You need to play for the sticky mech as much as you need to be aware of the charging 4/3. Have a plan for each turn four and beyond.
Late Game Strategy
The end of the game is going to be spent with each side attempting to burst the other one down. While the middle turns are about steadily advancing your own presence, this part of the game is going to be about finishers. You and your opponent both have ways to get aggressive, and you need to understand your own while also taking the time to be wary of theirs.
The two most important end game cards are Dr. Boom and Grommash Hellscream. Theses are the finishers of this matchup, and they will take over the game (or end it) depending on the situation. Always save at least one Execute for the giant minions if you can, and try to get Dr. Boom down before your opponent. If they doctor up first, try to clear him as efficiently as possible.
If you make it to these turns, Gromm is going to be the way it ends. The raging orc is almost always twelve damage in this matchup, and you need to be very careful to not fall to the twelve or ten life threshold if you can avoid it. On the flip side, do not be afraid to push and get your opponent down to that range.
Note: There is a lot of fighting that occurs during the midgame, which costs both players a lot of resources. Do not hold back Gromm if your opponent has already used both of their Executes.
Armor can be a very useful tool in this match, and that is something you never want to forget. Because they are a midrange deck, it is very easy to overlook Patron’s damage potential. However, you and your opponent are both capable of taking out big chunks of life very quickly. As the game progresses, you want to make use of your hero power as much as possible.