Post Nerf Control Warrior

Lorenzo give us his thoughts and discusses the latest variation to the Control Warrior post Leeroy and Buzzard nerf!


Hey everyone, so with the nerf to starving-buzzard and leeroy-jenkins we saw another big shift in the meta away from Hunters and towards Handlock. I have mainly used Control Warrior during the season from rank 10 to 2 since it generally was one of the better match-ups against Hunter  and now am bringing you a guide for my Warrior deck I have updated to work in this new meta.

First off although this deck is very expensive it is very good control warrior has very few match-ups that are highly favored against it since the new nerfs have weakened Hunter and Rouges. I will also be including budget replacements for some legendary cards in the deck.

Card Explanations

shield-slam Also great removal when in combination with shield-block since it allows you to build health and kill 5 health minions which are often difficult to trade with.

fiery-war-axe This is one of the main reasons warriors can maintain board for the late game if coined out you can prevent you opponent from playing anything or building up their cards such as undertaker.

slam Although some people prefer cleave to slam as an extra card for removal I believe slam is the better card since it isn’t dependent on the opponents board and it allows you to draw a card. It also has synergy with execute and grommash-hellscream.

cruel-taskmaster another early drop minion it’s battlecry works great with Armorsmith and acolyte-of-pain. It can also be removal for early minions or in combination with execute.

shield-block This is a great card if used correctly, don’t just play it because you can always just use hero power unless you are using shield slam or desperately need the card draw.

acolyte-of-pain one of your main draw mechanics you want to try to great as much value as possible try to use in combination with cruel-taskmaster and slam.

big-game-hunter great removal for the new Handlock meta, against aggro decks feel free to drop him without the battlecry since they often don’t run any minions with 7 attack or higher.

deaths-bite New Naxxramas weapon that synergizes great with acolyte-of-pain, armorsmith and can be used for a  14 damage combo with grommash-hellscream.

senjin-shieldmasta a great buffer taunt to play in between your early and late game can also be played turn 10 or after in combination with one of the 6 cost minions.

brawl your only board clear so use efficiently when you know you are going to be able to take control after. Brawl works great when you have a weapon to clean up or if you brawl when your sylvanas-windrunner is on the board.

the-black-knight also an answer for the new Handlock meta, battle cry can turn into kill a free giant. Also just general a good card against other control decks.

baron-geddon with all the new Handlocks running around I’m sure you have noticed the increase in shamans to counter them as well which is why i have included the totem killer himself. With no forms of healing shamans have difficulty dealing with baron geddon and having him hexed isn’t a huge loss in this deck.

ysera is a game winner when it comes to the mirror match or other control decks. Ysera is one of the most difficult minions to deal with and ysera-awakens and nightmare can easily be game winners when in combination with grommash-hellscream.


Juts like any control deck you want to maintain board control until you can scale into the late game and control warrior has the arguably the best late game out of any other deck. Generally you want to mulligan for armorsmith, cruel-taskmaster, acolyte-of-pain and fiery-war-axe. You should avoid going straight for face and focus on trading with your minions and weapons for the first few turn of the game since this deck has plenty of finishers. One of the main reasons Control Warrior is so hard to beat is because your hero power allows you to get above 30 health so make sure to overextend the board and tap often.


VS Shamans

This is a Great Match-up your fiery-war-axe will allow you to clean up their early minions and if you have no other minions cruel-taskmaster is a fine card to put on totem duty. Your main objective is to not let them build a big board to use Brawl when you see them over commit to the board. Baron Geddon is also a very effective in clearing the board.


This is a good match-up to beat priest what you need to worry about is having removal for Ysera and whatever gets mind-control. Most of the priest early game minions die to Fiery War Axe and also try to save spell-breaker for Sylvanas-windrunner.


This as a good match-up I have seen some freeze mages start to come back and Warrior is one of the most difficult match-ups for the mage. Prioritize your health and always make sure your not in range of any combos and the Mage will run out of steam.


This specific deck list does very well in the mirror match from what I’ve seen some players are beginning to cut Ysera and Alextrasza from their warrior decks which in mirror matches are game winners. Without execute Ysera is extremely difficult to deal with giving you the edge. Dropping Ysera and keeping it alive for a few turn will easily win you the game.


Handlock is a difficult deck to play if you have not played it much before, on ladder I’ve noticed if you can rush them down to around 15 most players on ladder won’t feel so comfortable life tapping and might even start to use their heals instead of dropping giants. This will give you time to establish board keep his around this point until you can kill him in one burst. Death’s Bite and Gromm are a great Handlock Finisher.


Against zoo mulligan hard for your Axe. Use any of your removals just to make sure the board does not get out of control since the largest minion they have is doomguard which if you can get to turn 5 comfortable won’t be too difficult to deal with.


With the nerf there are less Hunters but different variations have started coming up. Warrior was slightly favored against mid-range hunters and what would cause Warriors to lose is the Hunter being able to rush them down. Since mid-range hunters are dead the new Hunter is aggro/face hunter making the match-up more difficult. This is a difficult match up and if you run into alot in your climb i would suggest adding unstable-ghoul back into this deck.


This is Warriors worst match-up since Paladins have so much removal and heals that can cause Warriors to fatigue and out last them. In this match-up you want to be the aggressor. Try to go face and ignore the hero power since they are no threat. The good thing is that there are very few control Paladins on ladder at the moment which is another reason Warrior is good in this meta.

Budget Replacements

For the-black-knight I would use another Big Game Hunter or senjin-shieldmasta depending on what you are facing more often control/aggro.

For cairne-bloodhoof I would suggest sunwalker and which should give you very similar results.

sylvanas-windrunner and ysera are almost impossible to replace and get similar results. So you may want to add faceless-manipulator, azure-drake or spectral-knight to help in the mid-late game.

If you have other Legendary cards such as harrison-jones, loatheb or ragnaros-the-firelord  this can also be substituted into the deck. I would suggest disenchanting leeroy-jenkins since you can get the equal trade of 1600 dust. I would also disenchant second-tier legendaries such as nat-pagle,hogger and nozdormu to craft these legendaries.


Although this is one of the most expensive decks to craft Control Warrior is one of the strongest decks in the current meta. Even with just grommash-hellscream and alexstrasza this deck can be a huge powerhouse. I would recommend this be a deck you try very hard to craft because not only can you use it to Legend rank many of the legendaries used in this deck can be used in any control decks you play in the future. Feel free to comment below if you have any comments or questions about the deck or any other suggestions for cards you feel deserve a spot.