Warrior is currently king of the meta and Control is one of its most popular archetypes. If you wanna take a deck to ladder, you need to know how to face it and you need to know how to beat it. In this guide we will look at how Yogg Druid, another popular archetype with a strong token sub-theme, uses their burst and card draw to overpower Control.
Though Yogg Druid has a very solid core built off or ramp and token elements, there are many cards that can be freely tweaked throughout the list. You will notice there are more than a few one-ofs, and you can change those freely depending on the meta you are facing. You can play more removal to battle midrange or aggro, you can play more card draw to give the deck some extra consistency, or, if you are seeing a lot of control, you can play extra large threats. The choice is up to you. Just make sure you are playing a list that fits your style. To help you make this decision, the stock Yogg Druid list has been linked on the side.
When facing Warrior you always want to mulligan low. The reason is that you cannot know what your opponent is playing. If you mulligan wrong against Tempo Warrior you will get overrun, but if you mulligan wrong for Control you can adjust. However, to play the middle field you want to prioritize your ramp over everything else. Removal comes second after that.
Cards to KeepInnervate Living Roots Raven Idol Power of the Wild Wrath Wild Growth
Feral Rage and Swipe follow the same rules as Mulch.
Mire Keeper can be kept with early ramp.
How to Win
This game is going to be all about resource management. Control Warrior has a ton of removal spells and AOE. To win, you need to bait those cards out at the right time and protect your big turns or strong minions. You are not a grindy deck. You want to push for big turns where you can go all-in and then use your minions to overcome your opponent. However, Warrior can easily offset most of your board floods. Always play some test turns, where you have just a few minions out, and see how your opponent reacts.
Another important part of this game is to always push. This does not mean burn cards to deal damage, but rather you need to always have some threat on the board. Warrior is a deck that is built on comfort. They want to have lots of armor, which then allows them to build up their cards while not having to worry about taking damage. To counter that you have to constantly force them to use resources and burn their hand. This will then run them low on cards and allow you to overpower them.
Early Game Strategy
When facing Warrior the first thing you need to do is identify your opponent as control. This is important because it will help you adjust your deck and plan out your future turns. An early Acolyte of Pain or any armor gain card like Bash or Shield Slam is usually a good sign you are facing control. In addition, a turn two and turn three armor up is a good sign because most other Warrior’s run some early game presence.
Warrior will do very little during the early turns, which gives you all of the priority here. Your whole goal is to play to your ramp and try to get to the middle game as fast as possible. Though Warrior has many removal options, they do not do well if you can get to your late game three or four turns before them.
It is always important to use your early Raven Idols as a spell. Minions will not be useful to you during the early turns and you need to try to get as much ramp as you can. The one mana card can be great at giving you a clutch Innervate or Wild Growth to smooth out your opening.
You want to spend the middle turns of the game testing your opponent and seeing what you can get away with. This is often going to be a balance between committing enough to the board where your opponent feels pressure, but not so much they blow you out with Revenge or Brawl.
The trickiest card to play in this matchup is Violet Teacher. In most matches you just play here and fill up the board with as many tokens as you possibly can. Period. However, here you need to be careful about things like Ravaging Ghoul, Revenge and Brawl. To overcome that (and to see what your opponent might have in their hand) you want to usually play the teacher and then just make a token or two. This will then force Warrior to commit to a small board or give you a chance to push while saving cards.
Try and get value out of Frandral Staghelm where you can. This really helps you stretch out the cards in your hand and allows you to make strong turns without having to commit too many cards. Things like Nourish and Mire Keeper are your best options, but even removing an opponent’s minion with Living Roots and getting two 1/1’s is a good way to force your opponent’s hand.
Another important card is Nourish. If you have a fast start and early ramp, then it is usually right to use Nourish to draw and refill your hand since you are already ahead in turn count. However, if you are even with your opponent you should take the chance to rapidly jump ahead in mana.
Late Game Strategy
The end of the game is going to be very important because it is where you can really hit Warrior hard. Your goal is to win this game with one huge burst, so you need to grind your opponent’s removal down until they can’t answer a board. Once that happens you need to rely on Savage Roar to end the game in one push. Just slowly work them down until they don’t have a good answer.
Know when and how to play Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End. This card is harder to use in this match because it is rare you are going to be so far behind that it is your only out. As a result, you typically want to play Yogg when you are low on cards and your opponent has a threat or two on the board. This will help you maximize the random Old God to give you as many benefits as possible. At the very least, refill your hand and give you some extra action.
Whatever finisher you choose, Cenarius or Onyxia, you want to use it either when your opponent is out of removal or to bait out removal. Both uses work really well, you just need to be aware of what mode you want. If you haven’t seen that second Brawl then you want to run the finisher out. On the flip side, if you have a strong board, wait until they bite before refilling.
Note: Watch out for Grommash Hellscream. You spend a lot of time focusing on building a board and it can be easy to forget about falling down to around twelve life.