- Control Warrior
On May 8th, starting from Platinum Rank 5 - 2 stars (I ranked up with a win streak), I went 47-33 (58.75%) to achieve Legend Rank on May 14th. The deck is viable.
This is my own modification I've been playing since before Kibler popularized the archetype. After getting defeated by the deck on ladder, I went searching for a decklist. The original version I found was the same decklist except instead of Execute and Plague of Wrath it ran Maiev Shadowsong and a Bladestorm. I found Bladestorm to be a maddening card, rarely useful because of all my 1/1 lackeys. Defile or Warpath it is not. I kept fishing for an Execute or Plague of Wrath every time I got an Ethereal Lackey. So, why not just put them in the deck. After Kibler released his version I was encouraged at his exclusion of Maiev, but didn't think Grand Lackey Erkh was necessary. I was having success in Platinum Ranks 10-6 so I stuck with it.
Core Strategy, Mechanics, and Mulligans
Control the early game with your weapon. It's critical to have a Corsair Cahce or one of the weapons in the first few turns. Upgrade! doesn't count, and I'd even mulligan Imprisoned Gan'arg unless I had the coin. The reason is that Turn 4 is actually a little slow, and you want to generate hand value from your re-equips through Hoard Pillager. I would always mulligan hard for Corsair Cahce and weapons, with Questing Explorer being the only card I would keep in my opening hand (and the Quest of course - don't mulligan that ever). Demon Hunter was the big exception, and I'll get into that below.
Generate a ton of hand value with Ancharrr and Livewire Lance in the meantime. You often have to be careful not to have too many cards in your hand. Saving up lackeys and pirates is important to both maximize their value and to trigger Risky Skipper.
There's a lot to keep track of in the mid-game. Keep track of what minions you have in hand to trigger Risky Skipper, and the order you want to play them. Figure out the ideal time to play Risky Skipper. This is a meta where you need to maximize your board clears and armor, and you only have two Risky Skippers unless you get lucky with Sky Raider. It can be extremely difficult to figure out the ideal play order, but MOST of the time it's as simple as Risky Skipper into Armorsmith. Very rarely do I want to play Armorsmith first (you would need an established board to be attacking before triggering), and there's never a better second minion to play unless 2 vs. 1 mana is a serious consideration (and it can be!).
Keep track of which weapons you've broken, and what Hoard Pillager will give you. You should always resist the temptation to use Upgrade! without a weapon equipped. The two games where I was forced into it I lost anyway. Keep track of Grommash Hellscream, your opponents life total, and if you have a trigger for him. Risky Skipper, Sword and Board, Kobold Lackey, and Explosive Trap are all triggers. Keep track of Armored Goons in relation to your weapon's durability. Maybe you can afford to drop a vanilla 6/7, but that 5 armor can be game making/breaking.
Finally, keep track of your quest and hero powers. Oh, how I've misplayed this deck. Even on the day I reached Legend Rank. It's so easy to swing your weapons, fishing for a pirate or lackey, and realize that you missed a free 2-mana 4/3. Be crystal clear on if you're attacking before your minions, what card you're hoping to draw from your weapon, if you should summon your 4/3s before or after trades, and on and on. The easiest mistake to make is missing out on 2-armor from your hero power when your quest is at 4/5 complete. Get that armor and 4/3 on the same turn (if you don't have a better play from hand). You don't have to make two 4/3s every turn. You don't have to attack every turn. But make sure you consider it every turn, and know exactly why you are or aren't attacking.
You WILL make mistakes. Some will cost you the game. You WILL misplay Risky Skipper. You WILL misplay your attacks and hero power. You WILL misplay your lackeys. You WILL have fun. With so many low-cost cards and powers I'm thinking incredibly hard about my choices and order of play on every single turn.
Demon Hunter - Well, this is why we're all reading this guide, isn't it. This guide is a work in progress.
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- 1 Execute x 1
- 1 Hack the System x 1
- 1 Imprisoned Gan'arg x 1
- 1 Risky Skipper x 2
- 1 Sky Raider x 2
- 1 Sword and Board x 2
- 1 Upgrade! x 1
- 2 Armorsmith x 2
- 2 Corsair Cache x 2
- 3 Ancharrr x 1
- 3 EVIL Quartermaster x 2
- 3 Livewire Lance x 2
- 4 Kargath Bladefist x 1
- 5 Brawl x 1
- 5 Plague of Wrath x 1
- 6 Armored Goon x 2
- 8 Grommash Hellscream x 1