This is the first part of the in-depth Fatigue Warrior guide. Check out other parts here:
- Part 1: Overview, Card Choices, Tips & Tricks
- Part 2: Alternate & Tech Cards
- For mulligans and matchups, visit the Fatigue Warrior meta section and check out the MUA (Matchup Analysis posts)
Hello everyone! Today I want to show you a certain, pretty interesting list. It’s not particularly popular on the ladder, even though some pro players have tried it recently. I’m talking about the Fatigue Warrior. And more exactly about the Zalae’s list that he was playing last season, finishing in top 100. Right now I’m at about 65% win rate with the exactly same list, grinded it from the start of the season until Legend.
Just a quick warning – as the name suggests, the main win condition of this deck is fatigue. You run almost no threats, most of your deck are stall cards and removals. It runs more answers than enemy threats. Combined with the fact that you have a lot of Armor gain and almost no card draw, you should be winning fatigue war. It all means that unless you get rushed down by some perfect Aggro draws, your average game is going to last much longer than with other decks. I’m a really fast player myself, I almost never rope and still my average game was like 10-15 minutes. My two longest games, against Control Warrior and Handlock, lasted 29 and 26 minutes respectively (it was mostly because opponents have roped a lot, but I don’t blame them, the games were really hard).
The deck runs 5 weapons, 14 removal spells and 4 “removal minions”. Meaning over 2/3 of the deck is removal. The rest of the deck is mostly stall. The deck runs NO threats. Even though the biggest minions might serve as your finishers, their main purpose here is removal. I’ll talk more about the cards in the next section.
This means that you are not playing the proactive game. The only proactive thing you can do is drop the [card]Sludge Belcher[/card] or [card]Shieldmaiden[/card] or finish enemy off with [card]Grommash Hellscream[/card]. Your game plan is to answer. You have answers to pretty much everything – small minions, big minions, flooding the board with small minions, flooding the board with big minions. Enemy plays something – you answer it. Until enemy runs out of things to play.
The only matchups where you can play proactive are Aggro matchups – when enemy runs out of cards, you should start punching him in the face. You rarely fatigue the Hunter for example. It happens, yes, but the games usually end way before fatigue – either he rushes you down or you stabilize, he runs out of cards and you start punching him with the Shieldmaiden/Justicar/Geddon/Grommash.
The decks strong matchups are the ones that get into the late game easily. It’s good against a lot of the Control decks – like in Control Warrior “mirror” or against Control Priest. The decks that try to play slow tempo, high value game. You can answer every threat they play efficiently and if you plan your game well and keep gaining the Armor, you can get those matches to fatigue. Once you get them to fatigue, you win them by simply not doing anything. You also have Grom as a finisher – you probably shouldn’t use him as removal in those matchups, unless you’re in desperate need. [card]Justicar Trueheart[/card] is MVP of those matchups – the earlier you draw her, the bigger your chance to win is.
Another very easy matchup for Fatigue Warrior is Ramp Druid. It’s not popular right now, but you generally have more answers than they have threats, so you can just outgrind them in a long game and then win the fatigue war. Midrange Druid is harder, but still managable. If they don’t get perfect ramp into combo, you should be able to remove everything they play and just get out of combo range with Armor gain.
Obviously Freeze Mage is a great matchup too. Freeze Mage has almost no way to win against you, you just get to 50 Armor, keep removals for [card]Emperor Thaurissan[/card], [card]Alexstrasza[/card], [card]Archmage Antonidas[/card] and you just don’t care about anything.
Patron Warrior is a little more tricky, but you should also have pretty easy game against it. [card]Grim Patron[/card] combos are not scary at all – you have 2x [card]Brawl[/card] and a lot of single target removals/weapons. The only thing that is really scary is 2x [card]Frothing Berserker[/card]. But if you draw into Justicar in time, you can actually play the game really passively. You just gain Armor, remove their stuff and that’s it. Once you get to 60-70 health and you have NO minions on the board, enemy won’t one-shot you. If they use two [card]Warsong Commander[/card]s or even one [card]Frothing Berserker[/card] before the OTK combo, they have no way to win. It’s probably one of the only matchups where you can just let the Patron to their thing and you don’t care about it most of time. You have no way to push the Patron Warrior anyway, so you just don’t do that and play the most passive game of your life.
On the other hand, deck is really weak against two things in particular – Handlock and Paladins. You have limited number of removals and you can’t compete if enemy has infintie number of threats. If you play against good players that identify your game plan, they can play accordingly. Since you can’t really rush them down and your few minions aren’t usually enough to kill them before fatigue, you eventually might run out of removals. Handlock is that strong because of [card]Lord Jaraxxus[/card]. A good Handlock player playing against Fatigue Warrior could just Jaraxxus on the curve. If he has some Taunt givers or Healbots, Warrior just can’t kill him. And the Hero Power means infinite number of 6/6’s. Fatigue Warrior can outlast Jaraxxus for longer than most of other decks – once I’ve played 6 turns against Jaraxxus until I’ve finally ran out of removals. But if he’s played way before Fatigue, it’s still not enough. Paladin’s case is even more simple – Hero Power. While you have a lot of Whirlwind effects and [card]Baron Geddon[/card], Paladin can play 1/1 every turn. It’s great way to chop off your Armor. His Hero Power just wins against yours in a long run. Especially if you play against Midrange version with Justicar. Another thing is that both [card]Bomb Lobber[/card] and [card]Bouncing Blade[/card] sucks against Paladin.
Deck also sometimes struggles in high tempo matchups. Against stuff like Mech Mage or Dragon Priest you might simply not draw enough early removals and they flood the board. [card]Brawl[/card] sometimes saves the day, but you might be already low enough that enemy just rushes you down. [card]Revenge[/card] is a saving grace in a lot of those matchups – the 3 damage AoE for 2 mana is a huge tempo swing and can be enough to get you back into the game if enemy has no burn in his hand. The problem here is that you’re at low health so it means that enemies in certain matchups might just finish you with the burn.
I can’t really talk about the thought process behind putting some of those cards into the deck, because it’s the Zalae’s list. After some analysis and over hundred of games played with the deck I can however tell you what’s the point of each card and how does it work in the deck. Let’s divide cards into two categories – removal and stall.
Most of your deck consists of removals. You have things that fit almost any situation and counter any threat. The deck is really flexible when it comes to removals, there is rarely a situation where you can’t do anything and simply have no answer. Let’s start with the removal spells:
[cardinsert card=”execute” float=”right”]
[card]Execute[/card] and [card]Shield Slam[/card] are your most standard single target removals. Both are conditional, but when those conditions are met they are incredibly strong – both cost only 1 mana and can get rid of pretty much any minion. While Control Warrior wants to hold those for the biggest threats, you can actually use them more liberally. Executing a 2-drop is not bad if that’s the only way you can deal with it, especially in the Aggro matchups. Execute has nice synergy with Whirlwind effects – you might remove something else with the Whirlwind and Execute the big guy after it’s damaged. Shield Slam gets great value in the late game – in slower matchups you usually have enough Armor to one-shot anything and in faster matchups you can actually combo it with Armor gain on the same turn.
[cardinsert card=”slam” float=”right”]
[card]Slam[/card] is mainly an early game removal and an activator for Execute. It can get rid of a lot of small drops. Don’t worry about not getting the “draw” value out of it – using it to remove a small drop is perfectly fine. In the mid and late game it serves as a way to deal 2 more damage to a minion you couldn’t kill otherwise or just, like I’ve already said, activate the Execute. For example enemy plays a 5 health minion and you have a [card]Fiery War Axe[/card] equipped. Normally you’d have a hard time killing it, but thanks to the Slam you can do that and you don’t even lose a card advantage. But actually, often you don’t even want to draw. If you play the slow matchup and you know it’s going to fatigue, instead of opening with the Slam, you can use it last to finish the minion off. On turn 10 you can use it to activate [card]Grommash Hellscream[/card].
[cardinsert card=”revenge” float=”right”]
[card]Revenge[/card] – The first AoE removal in this deck. At the base level, it’s a 2 mana [card]Whirlwind[/card]. In a lot of cases, Whirlwind would actually be better. But the fact that Revenge gets so much stronger at low health is why you run it. Faster decks often outtempo you – your removals are mostly single target and slow until the mid game. But once you get low enough, Revenge gets really awesome. 3 AoE damage for 2 mana means you catch up on the tempo. Against faster decks 3 AoE often clears the whole board. And since you run almost no minions, you don’t care that much about 3 AoE on your side of the board. It’s like 2 mana Hellfire that doesn’t damage Heroes. And the thing is, you can afford to be at low health with this deck. With so much Armor gain you have, you’re often going to be at low health, high Armor amounts. In slower matchups, Revenge rarely gets the value. It might be used to finish off some 1 health minions or to activate the Execute. It’s also another way to activate the Grom on turn 10.
[cardinsert card=”bash” float=”right”]
[card]Bash[/card] combines the removal and defensive option. It’s really average card, but it just fits the deck. It’s especially good against faster decks, making a nice swings. Not only you get rid of enemy small drop, but you also gain some health. It might serve as a way to activate your Shield Slam if you’re low on the Armor. In slower matchup it usually helps you killing mid game stuff. It combos nicely with weapons and Slam, putting enemy minions into the range (e.g. if enemy plays a 5 health minion you might Slam + Bash it or Bash + swing with Fiery War Axe). It can also target enemy Hero, so in certain, rare scenarios you might use it to push for lethal. It might be your secret weapon against Handlock that doesn’t expect additional damage from your hand after he stabilizes with Taunts. In Control Warrior matchup you just often use it on enemy face to get rid of a card from your hand.
[cardinsert card=”bouncing-blade” float=”right”]
[card]Bouncing Blade[/card] – this one is really interesting. Against single enemy minion it’s like a [card]Deadly Shot[/card]. Meaning it’s awesome when enemy plays a single, big threat. It’s awesome against Druid for example – a great counter to [card]Ancient of War[/card]. Another deck it’s awesome against is Handlock – it counters their turn 4 plays ([card]Twilight Drake[/card] or [card]Mountain Giant[/card]). It’s actually good against any slower deck – it deals with stuff like [card]Ysera[/card]. What’s cool about it is that it can target minions in Stealth. Enemy Mage played [card]Archmage Antonidas[/card] + Stealth Spare Part? No problem. It might also kill the Druid’s [card]Shade of Naxxramas[/card] if it grows out of control. If enemy has couple of bigger threats on the board, you can use it too. It eventually kills one (probably the one with lowest health), but also should at least damage the others, activating Execute or making them vulnerable to other removals. The only bad things about it is that it also targets your own minions (but that’s not a big deal since the deck is low on minions) and that if enemy has some small minions it’s nearly useless. I was often pulling my hair out when Druid had [card]Ancient of War[/card] (or some other big minion) and a 1/1 from the [card]Living Roots[/card] on the board and I couldn’t use it, because it would just kill the 1/1.
[cardinsert card=”brawl” float=”right”]
[card]Brawl[/card] – I actually don’t like this card, but that’s probably because I’m never lucky. 2x Brawl really fits a deck like that. There are matchups where the Brawl is great, or actually the only way for you to win. And the thing is that running two often catches up enemies off-guard. If you play against Aggro decks, they rarely can afford to play around it anyway. But in slower matchups, people actually do that a lot. Your first Brawl rarely gets a lot of value. But after it’s gone, opponents often start overextending, making your 2nd Brawl really valuable. Against stuff like Handlock even if it gets rid of 2 big minions it’s already good. In high tempo matchup when enemies flood the board since the start, Brawl is often your saving grace. It’s also awesome against Secret Paladin – if enemy floods the board and plays [card]Mysterious Challenger[/card] you often NEED Brawl to survive. Not to mention that it completely ruins the Patron Warrior’s day – he can’t really win with the [card]Grim Patron[/card] combos, because once he spawns the full board, you just Brawl and kill the last one. It’s decent against Midrange Druids – thanks to [card]Shade of Naxxramas[/card] sitting in the Stealth and waiting, if they play just two more minions you can get a great Brawl. There are, however, some matchups where Brawl is nearly useless. Control Warrior is one of them. If enemy knows how to play the matchup, he might never really play into the Brawl. But you actually don’t even need the Brawl, since you have enough removals for their minions anyway.
Another category of removals are weapons. Fatigue Warrior runs three different ones:
[cardinsert card=”fiery-war-axe” float=”right”]
[card]Fiery War Axe[/card] – The most standard early game Warrior weapon. It serves as a removal in faster matchups. In slower matchups it’s much less useful, because a lot of decks don’t play the early drops that you can kill with the Axe. Against some decks having an Axe on turn 2 is a matter of life and death. In the mid game you can combo it with things like Slam or Bash to kill the 5-6 health threats. Not that useful in the late game – you’re often going to just attack enemy Hero two times, because it’s hard to find good targets and you have a lot of different weapons, so you don’t really have a reason to sit on your Fiery War Axe. But it’s actually not that bad – getting 6 damage for 2 mana is a great value and can matter in a fatigue game or just when you’re pushing for lethal.
[cardinsert card=”deaths-bite” float=”right”]
[card]Death’s Bite[/card] – One of the best Warrior cards. Not only it’s a very nice removal, usually getting 2 for 1, but a free Whirlwind effect is really awesome. While it’s not as good as in Patron Warrior, it’s still a great way to deal with decks that flood the board. For example, against Paladin (and Hunter in a lot of cases) the 1 damage AoE is a must have. 4 damage from the first hit and “5” damage from the second means it can deal with most of the early/mid game threat. The second hit is a great way to activate the Execute or Enrage the [card]Grommash Hellscream[/card]. It’s actually a source of nice burst – second Death’s Bite hit + Grommash is 14 damage. You’re often going to sit on the 1 charge of Death’s Bite for a long time and wait for a good opportunity to use it. The free Whirlwind effect is really valuable so don’t waste it!
[cardinsert card=”gorehowl” float=”right”]
[card]Gorehowl[/card] – Gorehowl is great if you can afford to use your life as a resource. It’s a weapon that potentially gets A LOT of value. In a long run, it usually gets at least 3 or 4 for 1, sometimes even more. But you need to sacrifice a lot of health, especially if you intend to kill the big minions with the first hits. Luckily, this deck can afford to do that. As long as you gain enough Armor, you can outvalue most of the enemies thanks to this. You generally want to use other weapons in your hand first, because once you equip Gorehowl, you usually sit on it for 5+ turns. Another way to utilize Gorehowl is actually the 7 damage into enemy Hero. In case you start pushing the enemy, especially in faster matchups, you’re sometimes going to finish the game with the Gorehowl into face. Pre-equipping Gorehowl and following with Grommash + activator means 17 damage into enemy face. Since you run no threats enemy is usually way over that, but in some games you might get enemy just low enough and then surprise him with the combo.
The third category of removal are minions. The minion’s strength is that besides the initial effect, it leaves a body on the board that can be used to push for damage or make another trade. Since most of the minions are played for their effects, the bodies aren’t really strong, but it’s still something enemy can’t ignore. Here they are:
[cardinsert card=”big-game-hunter” float=”right”]
[card]Big Game Hunter[/card] – Standard big minion removal. Almost any slower deck runs some 7+ attack minions. The most popular one is [card]Dr. Boom[/card]. Even though you already have a lot of removals for the big minions, Big Game Hunter gains you a nice tempo. For example, if enemy plays an 8/8 and you [card]Bouncing Blade[/card] it down, you’ve used 3 mana to remove a minion. Nice! But if you play Big Game Hunter instead, you’ve used 3 mana to remove the minion AND develop a 4/2 at the same time. The 4/2 rarely gets a lot of value, but even eating a removal or trading into some small drop means it got it’s job done. Generally you want to use it on the first target you can in case enemy doesn’t have more. You don’t have to save it, because you have a lot of removals anyway. In faster matchups you might play it for tempo on turn 3 if you have nothing else to do.
[cardinsert card=”bomb-lobber” float=”right”]
[card]Bomb Lobber[/card] – Another single target removal. It can kill a lot of early and mid game drops, especially if you combine it with some other stuff. The 3/3 body is small, but even if it just deals 3 damage, it’s a total of 7 damage for 5 mana, which is pretty nice. It often eats a small removal, meaning you slow enemy down. Gaining any sort of tempo is good when playing a slow deck like that. It’s a decent play against turn 4 [card]Piloted Shredder[/card]. It gets rid of the first part and the 3/3 can kill the second one (most of the time), often even without dying. Another card it’s great against is [card]Shade of Naxxramas[/card] – unless it grows out of range, Bomb Lobber can snipe it while it’s still in Stealth. The obvious downside of this minion is that the damage is random. Often it doesn’t matter, if enemy plays one minion you’re guaranteed to hit it. But against Paladin or Shaman for example, it’s a big thing. You’re often going to hit the tokens made by Hero Power instead of actual minions. It’s also not great against stuff like [card]Haunted Creeper[/card], [card]Nerubian Egg[/card] or Divine Shields. That’s why it’s only one-of, in certain matchups it’s a nice tempo swing, but in others it’s a dead card.
[cardinsert card=”baron-geddon” float=”right”]
[card]Baron Geddon[/card] – Warrior really lacks the AoE. Yes, he has a lot of Whirlwind effects and [card]Brawl[/card], but really nothing in-between. [card]Revenge[/card] is nice when it deals 3 damage, but it’s conditional. That’s where Baron Geddon makes the appearance. The 2 damage AoE may not seem like a lot, but is often a saving grace. Clearing enemy board and developing a 7/5 minion is great. Even though it damages you/your board, it’s rarely a problem. If you combine it with second [card]Death’s Bite[/card] hit or Revenge, it can potentially deal even more AoE damage. 5 health is not much for a 7-drop and 7 attack means it’s in the range of Big Game Hunter. But you don’t really expect it to survive – you play him mainly for the initial AoE. If he eats a [card]Fireball[/card] or [card]Kill Command[/card] too, that’s fine with you. And if he survives, it’s even better. It’s one of the ways you can actually push the enemy – 9 damage per turn is a lot and after two turns you can usually put enemy into lethal range with Grommash.
[cardinsert card=”grommash-hellscream” float=”right”]
[card]Grommash Hellscream[/card] – Talking about Grommash. Why did I put him into removal category? Because he is one. Being a finisher is only a nice addition for the slower matchups. In a lot of matchups you don’t really need a finisher, so Grom is played for 4 instant damage and some board presence. He’s a great way to deal with 3-4 health minions. Then, after the trade, he sticks to the board and NEEDS to be answered. Enemy can’t let the 10 attack minion just stay on the board. Meaning you often not only kill something, but also bait a burn spell. And if enemy doesn’t have a removal? Well, that’s even better. Either you get even more trades or you just start pushing. The second purpose is obviously a finisher. If enemy gets low enough, you might play Grom + activator and kill him. But you rarely keep him for this purpose, unless enemy is pretty low or you have some more damage in your hand (weapons, Bash) and can get him into the range. If you’re really desperate you might play Grom + activator as a big removal. For example, if enemy threatens lethal, you have no removals left in your hand and you need to kill a 8/8 minion, you can play Grom + Revenge/Slam and run him into that minion. It’s a desperate move, but sometimes you need to do that.
The second category is “stall”. Stalling the game means slowing it down, making it longer. Since you play a hyper-slow deck, you want the games to last as long as they can. Actually, if you could just get every game to fatigue, you’d do that. That’s the game plan of your deck. There are a lot of ways to stall in this game. Removals listed above are actually one of them. Here I want to list non-removal cards that are meant to prolong the game:
[cardinsert card=”shield-block” float=”right”]
[card]Shield Block[/card] – One copy of Shield Block. It doesn’t really do anything, but it gets you +5 Armor and cycles. Besides being one of the main activators for [card]Shield Slam[/card], gaining Armor means working with higher life total means making the game longer. Why only one copy, then? Because it draws you a card. And you generally don’t want to cycle too much, you don’t want to get too deep into your deck. In case of getting deep into fatigue, Shield Block actually LOSES you the health instead of gaining it. Imagine you’re at 6th “draw” into fatigue. You cast Shield Block, you gain 5 Armor, but you draw a card and lose 6 health. Meaning you actually didn’t get anything and you sped up the fatigue process by one draw. Not really worth it. It means that in certain matchups, like in Control Warrior mirror, unless you really need the cycle or Armor, you might actually hold onto the Shield Block and never use it.
[cardinsert card=”harrison-jones” float=”right”]
[card]Harrison Jones[/card] – Weapon destruction. In a lot of matchups it’s just a 5/4 for 5, which isn’t that great. But against certain classes like Warrior or Paladin, Harrison can win you the game. By destroying enemy’s weapon you deny the value while drawing the card yourself. Like I’ve said before, card draw is not always desirable, but in certain matchups like Patron Warrior or Secret Paladin there is no way you’re going to fatigue before your enemy anyway. Getting rid of [card]Death’s Bite[/card] against Patron Warrior usually means you’ve denied their combos. Against Paladin it’s very easy to find the weapon. If you need to draw cards you might hit the [card]Light’s Justice[/card] or [card]Coghammer[/card], as those two will give you most of the cards in the mid game. If you want to protect your minions or life total you can destroy the [card]Truesilver Champion[/card]. It’s a nice swing on turn 5. But if Paladin doesn’t put pressure on you, you should keep the Harrison for enemy [card]Tirion Fordring[/card]. While getting rid of the first body is managable (not that easy, but you can do that), the 5/3 weapon ([card]Ashbringer[/card]) is much more tricky. Against Hunter Harrison usually gains you some health when you destroy [card]Eaglehorn Bow[/card]. Hunter is often sitting at one Durability with Secret in play waiting to get more charges. What you might want to do is to proc the Secret and then play Harrison. This way you get one more draw. Overall a solid minion in a lot of matchups, and if you play against a non-weapon class, you just drop him in the mid game to trade into something. You don’t care about the body that much.
[cardinsert card=”sludge-belcher” float=”right”]
[card]Sludge Belcher[/card] – A Taunt. Taunt obviously slows down the game, because enemy has to get through it first before attacking you. In slower matchups, Belchers aren’t that great. They might stop some big minion hits or help with removing enemy stuff, but that’s it. It’s one of the proactive plays you can make, you might drop it on empty board without caring too much what’s going to happen next. Against Aggro decks, however, the 7 effective health means that you save a lot of your own. Not only that, but 3 attack is enough to contest pretty much any minion they might play until now and even the 1/2 Slime sometimes trades with a 1-drop. Sludge Belcher helps you preserve the Armor. Shield Slam can be really hard to use in Aggro matchups, because you rarely have Armor to play with. Thanks to Sludge Belcher, they can’t reach your health total and your Armor is more safe. Unless it gets Silenced. Then he’s just a 3/5, which isn’t terrible, but the lack of Taunt really hurts.
[cardinsert card=”justicar-trueheart” float=”right”]
[card]Justicar Trueheart[/card] – Even though the similar decks were around way before TGT, I think that Justicar is one of the best cards this archetype could get. The earlier you draw it, the better it is for you. In some matchups you even want to keep it in your starting hand. 2 Armor per turn already made Warrior a defensive class that could get into high health amounts. 4 Armor means it’s even easier. Justicar’s Hero Power means few things. In Aggro matchups you can escape out of opponent’s burn range easily. In Combo matchups you can get so much health that you stay way out of combo ranges. In Control matchups you get into fatigue with so much Armor that enemy can’t really beat it. And what’s most important thing – enemy needs to have AT LEAST 5 power on the board to even do anything to you. But if you’re at let’s say 30 health, the 1 damage per turn still means nothing. Enemy usually needs at least 7-8 power to threaten you. It means that enemy often has to commit into the board, put couple of minions to kill you in timely manner. And that means that your [card]Brawl[/card] suddenly gets much more value. The upgraded Hero Power can just win some of the matchups. Enemy doesn’t commit into the board – he loses fatigue game. Enemy commits – he loses to Brawl. Obviously it doesn’t always work like that, but I’ve learned that Justicar is one of the most important minions in this deck. While you can still win some games even if she’s on the bottom of your deck, it’s going to be much harder.
[cardinsert card=”shieldmaiden” float=”right”]
[card]Shieldmaiden[/card] – Similar to Justicar, because you gain some Armor. The difference is that the Armor gain is instant, so it’s much better if you need to make an impact right now. Shieldmaiden is better than Justicar in situations where you’re under pressure or you need something to activate the Shield Slam instantly. 5 Armor isn’t much, but you’re also getting a 5/5 minion. The minion can get pretty good trades or actually threaten opponent’s life total. It’s another proactive play you can make – dropping her on turn 6 on empty board is really good. But if you have Shield Slam in your hand you sometimes want to wait until turn 7 to combo her with it instantly.
[toc]Tips & Tricks[/toc]
- If you find yourself in a situation where you can choose between multiple removals, pick the one which is least flexible. For example, against Paladin, if you decide between [card]Bash[/card] and [card]Bouncing Blade[/card], use the Bouncing Blade. It’s hard to get the value once enemy start playing a lot of 1/1’s. Another example is [card]Execute[/card] vs [card]Shield Slam[/card]. If you have a lot of Armor and enemy won’t likely get rid of it, keep the Shield Slams, as they’re the most flexible removals. If you play in faster matchup and you might get your Armor removed, play the Shield Slam first and keep the Execute, because the second one doesn’t require Armor to get rid of big stuff.
- In matchups where [card]Brawl[/card] sucks, especially in Warrior mirror, you can take 50/50 Brawls. For example, enemy has [card]Ysera[/card] and [card]Armorsmith[/card] on the board. You have 50% chance to kill Ysera. If you do – good job, your Brawl got value! If you don’t, you should still have a backup plan like Bouncing Blade or Execute. If enemy Warrior is good, he won’t even play into Brawl in this matchup, so take whatever you can.
- [card]Justicar Trueheart[/card] is absolutely a beast. Play her whenever you get the first opportunity to. In high tempo matchups it might not come on turn 6, because you often have to do other stuff. But in Control matchups, even at the expense of some initial tempo, just do it. You can catch up in tempo later with Brawl if they overextend. The earlier you start getting 4 Armor per turn, the bigger your chance to win is. After that, try to Tank Up! every turn if possible.
- If you know that the matchup is going into fatigue (for both players), you don’t draw cards. That’s usually the case if you play against other slow Warrior build, but sometimes against Control Priest too. It means that you don’t use your [card]Shield Block[/card] and use your [card]Slam[/card] first only if that’s your only way to activate the [card]Execute[/card] or if you need to dig for something in particular (rare case when you don’t draw your big single target removals). If enemy plays a 5 health minion and you want to kill it with Slam + Bash, you use the Bash first and then finish it off with the Slam. [card]Harrison Jones[/card] is another interesting case. In Control Warrior mirror, you don’t care that much about opponent’s weapons. He is going to have more than enough removal for every of your minions anyway, so Death’s Bite is just 4 damage to the face. No reason to destroy it, because in the long run it’s going to cost you far more than 4 damage. It might seem counter-intuitive, but you play Harrison when enemy has no weapon equipped. The only scenario where you can destroy your opponent’s weapon against Control Warrior is where he’s for some reason much more deep into his deck than you. In this case you can get a little closer to him to be sure that you have answers for anything he plays. Staying 2-3 cards behind enemy is a safe distance and if possible you shouldn’t get closer.
- If you play a matchup that’s going into fatigue, you might punish opponent for playing card draw. For example, if Control Warrior drops an [card]Acolyte of Pain[/card], you might use [card]Bouncing Blade[/card] to force 3 card draws. Against Control Priest, you can leave the [card]Northshire Cleric[/card] alive in he drops one in the late game. 1 damage per turn doesn’t matter and he can’t heal his minions without drawing the cards now. If you have a match against slow Shaman build and he drops the [card]Mana Tide Totem[/card] later in the game, you can leave it running for a few turns. Enough that he gets closer to fatigue than you, no reason to leave it forever (unless he’s already going into fatigue). I wouldn’t recommend forcing enemy to draw cards in matchups that are faster – those won’t likely go to fatigue and you’re just giving enemy more fuel to kill you.
- In certain faster matchups you actually WANT to be at low health for the sake of 3 damage [card]Revenge[/card]. It means that if enemy floods the board with small minions (e.g. Mech Mage or Secret Paladin), not removing them one by one and letting enemy take you down to around 12 health is a solid tactic if you have a way to gain health afterwards. While this way you sacrifice a lot of health, you often can’t afford to remove enemy minions one by one. For example, if you use all your premium removals (Shield Slam, Execute etc.) against small stuff, you’re left with nothing if enemy plays the [card]Mysterious Challenger[/card], [card]Dr. Boom[/card] or [card]Tirion Fordring[/card]. This is a risky tactic and can often backfire, but that’s often your only way to win in some matchups.
- If you intend to play [card]Justicar Trueheart[/card] on turn 10 and not do anything else, remember that replacing your Hero Power refreshes it. You can use the standard Hero Power, play the Justicar and then use the upgraded Hero Power for 6 Armor in total.
So, that’s it for the Fatigue Warrior guide! I hope you’ve enjoyed it and that you might test the deck on the ladder too. I have grinded the Legend with the deck already this season, so it’s definitely possible. The only problem is that the games are really slow, so if you want to make a fast grind, it’s probably better to play something else. During a 4 hours play session I’ve only managed to play like 20 matches, which is definitely below average. My whole grind from low ranks to Legend took about a week, while it usually takes 3-4 days with faster decks.
But if you enjoy long, grindy games like I do, I think that Fatigue Warrior is going to be a great choice! If you want to learn more about Alternate & Tech Cards, Mulligans and Matchups, check out the other parts of the guide. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, leave them in the section below!