I’ve been lurking here for a good while but this is my first post. I’m Romanesque#1359 (feel free to add me), a casual control player (three times legend) who got stuck around rank 4-5 for weeks this month because of the sea of hunters and I picked up control warrior to see if that could help, and experimented a bit with different lists.
I reached legend from rank 5 going 27-8, most notably 16-3 against hunter. To my great surprise, I kept playing and ended up staying in the top 70 for a good 20 games without seeing a single Hunter, peaking at rank 33.. I guess warrior can work against pretty much everything !
2 x Execute
2 x Shield Slam
2 x Fiery War Axe
1 x Acidic Swamp Ooze
2 x Armorsmith
2 x Cruel Taskmaster
1 x Ironbeak Owl
2 x Shield Block
2 x Acolyte of Pain
1 x Big Game Hunter
2 x Death’s Bite
1 x Spellbreaker
1 x Brawl
2 x Sludge Belcher
1 x Sylvannas Windrunner
1 x The Black Knight
1 x Baron Geddon
1 x Grommash Hellscream
1 x Ragnaros the Firelord
1 x Alexstrasza
1 x Ysera
Since the list is really nothing new, I’ll go over the cards I added and cut as well as matchups. Ths is purely opinion and I’m not that good at the game so it’s really open to discussion. I’ll be answering questions in the comments if there are any.
- Unstable Ghoul: Very good against zoo, not so much against hunters since it does nothing against undertakers. You can’t even keep it in your hand because you need to mulligan everything that isn’t an axe.
- Cairne: Too slow against face decks and hunters, and not slow enough for the slot against heavy control (I removed it to fit both black knight and Ysera).
- Harrison vs Ooze: Too slow compared to ooze. The card draw, usually one or two cards, is not worth paying three more mana. You usually need to be able to do something else during your turn. I also like playing ooze early against mage or priest.
- Loatheb: It’s really good against mage so I’m considering putting it back in instead of either silence or BGH if you see more mage than handlock
- Faceless: A very good card but there’s just not enough space. It’s not THAT good in a deck with so few five drops because usually you want to play a big creature and combine it with cheap spells and Faceless by itself is usually a pretty weak turn.
- Silences: Life savers. Turn 2 HOOT HOOT MOTHERFUCKER against undertaker is the only way to not lose if you don’t get an axe. It’s really useful to have another one for the first highmane that comes out. You really want it for Sylvanas in control matchups.
- Baron Geddon: It’s basically your only way to win against snake trap hunters and shamans. It’s also a big bonus against zoo and deathrattle priest when combined with Death’s Bite.
- Both Alex and Ysera: Alexstrasza saved my butt by itself in the two thirds of my hunter wins. I think it’s essential. Ysera makes the priest matchup much much better if you can make them waste mind control. I feel like it’s your main win condition. It’s also just a generally good card in control matchups.
I won’t use percentages because I don’t feel like I have enough statistics to provide accurate numbers.
- Traditional hunter: Very favored. Just remove everything all the time. Never go face. Stabilize the board (usually not too hard, generally don’t pop traps unless you really need to or you’re only losing a small token or something) and alextrasza yourself. Throw back everything that isn’t a weapon or a taskmaster. You want to armor up often but not in the early turns where you need to commit to the board to not get overwhelmed.
- Snake Trap hunter: Exactly like the traditional one but slightly harder. You’re still favored but you most likely need to draw into death’s bite or Geddon to win. Basically, the hardest thing in that matchup is to recognize the snake trap (usually with a knife juggler or a weird play that wouldnt make sense with freezing or explosive), and not walk into it unless you have AOE in your hand.
- Warlock Zoo*: Zoo is slightly favored I guess. Whenever you face warlock ou need to mulligan for axe. If you have four cards you can keep owl even if you don’t have axe. If you already have an axe you can keep silences, taskmasters, Brawl and even BGH if you’re greedy. Zoo is pretty straightforward, remove their stuff as long as you can, brawl/Geddon when they overextend, lose if you don’t get boardclear and they don’t play around it.
- Secrets Mage: They are much harder than freeze mages because you usually can’t easily play around secrets as your deck contains mostly valuable cards. Make sure to keep owl and taskmasters to play around mirror entity and the coin to play around counterspell. If you manage to stabilize your main win condition is to simply outlast them because they don’t run a lot of late game cards. Mulligan for axe to make sure you don’t get overrun by mana wyrms and undertakers.
- Shaman: I know this is supposed to be a hard matchup but ooze and Baron Geddon make it much easier. Some shamans run a lot more burn with lava bursts and stuff and that’s good news because..well.. we have armor. Mulligan for axes. If you already have one, keep brawl or geddon. Keeping a silence is also good against flametongue/ mana tide. Just try to clear their dangerous stuff and hold your board clears as long as possible. Recognizing non-threatening boards comes with experience, and guessing if they run bloodlust or not. If they don’t, then you can take totem hits for a good while without problems. Just wait for late game when your cards will purely outvalue theirs and if they overcommit, hope you have the cards to punish them. Usually, you do, but sometimes you just can’t do anything.
- Handlock: Very complicated matchup. It’s say it’s slightly handlock-favored because you can’t really deal with jaraxxus, and you can’t mulligan correctly because fuck zoo. Basically your plan is to remove early threats with silences and executes/shield slams/whatever you draw, and get to late game. This matchup is very slow if you have removal for the first big creature, so you’re able to draw into other removals. Try to protect your armor at any cost – dont waste shield blocks. You want to have enough pressure that they can’t jaraxxus without dying to grommash, but not enough for them to be able to play multiple giants or shadowflame for huge value. If you win, it’s usually because they ran out of tauntgivers.
- Aggro and Freeze mage*: Easy matchup. Armor up every single turn. You win condition is them running out of damage. Aggro mage needs perfect draws to beat you and freeze mage just… can’t, unless you run into terrible archmage shenanigans.
- Malygos/Violet Teacher Rogue: Rogue is still a single player game. Armor up a lot, clear stuff. Hope they don’t have damage to kill you. After turn 8 make sure you’re capable of clearing malygos at any single moment. Mulligan for axe. If you already have an axe I guess you could keep brawl/geddon for the Violet Teacher rogues.
- Druid*: I have not faced a lot of druids, but it’s pretty hard. You’re forced to blow removal on midrange creatures and sometimes kind of run out. If they do NOT get wild growth/ innervate*Spectral knight though, it’s usually a tossup. You can keep executes, black knight or other good cards in that matchup since there usually aren’t any creature you need to axe. Do NOT silence anything that isn’t sylvanas/Ancient of War.