Over the past two days, I’ve gone from rank 5 to legend with control warrior on the NA servers with a winrate of ~85% (25-4). The change that I made to go on this tear was replacing Feugen and Stalagg with two Sludge Belchers, but now that I’m legend and don’t necessarily care about my rank, those bad boys are going back in the deck (Thaddius combo too fun).
This is sort of an old school warrior deck, as a lot of control warriors are dropping cards like alextrasza, gorehowl, and even whirlwind to include the new naxx cards like unstable ghoul, death’s bite, and Loatheb.
Above all though, this is an anti-hunter deck. With 6 effective whirlwinds, 5 weapons, Baron geddon, ragnaros, brawl, and alextrasza, this deck is well-equipped for hunter, whatever kind they may be.
Proof and decklist
2x Execute – Best removal in the deck, and with the 6 effective whirlwinds in the deck, you’ll always have a way to damage a scary minion so that you can finish it off with excecute.
2x Shield Slam – The staple of the control warrior. These make sure that if you have a lot of armor, you have a practically free removal in your hand.
2x Whirlwind – With Death’s Bite and Unstable ghoul both having a whirlwind deathrattle, some would argue that spending a whole card on that effect shouldn’t deserve a deck slot. I would argue against that, as whirlwind synergizes with everything in the deck, though swapping one whirlwind with a Harrison Jones can really help with destroying that pesky Eaglehorn Bow.
2x Fiery War Axe – Axe is just as good as it always was. Use it to kill creatures or smack your opponent’s face if he’s low on life.
1x Armorsmith – Armorsmith is a great card, synergizes with the whirlwinds and can hide behind the 4 taunts in this deck. Two armorsmiths are a bit overkill imo, because youi’re rarely short on armor. Tbh the real reason armorsmith is in the deck is to win those brawls (Kitkatz didn’t lie).
2x Cruel Taskmaster – taskmaster can be used as 1 dmg removal, on an armorsmith or acolyte, or as activation for grom. All around solid card for the cost.
2x Unstable Ghoul – My favorite card of all the new naxx cards. works great at nipping aggressive hunter starts in the bud, and you can hide an armorsmith or acolyte behind it and pose a real threat.
2x Shield Block – Best used with a shield slam or when you have nothing better to play. Great when you’re ahead, not so great when you’re behind. Shield block on turn 3 is usually a bad play.
2x Acolyte of pain – Barring shield block, these guys are the only real card draw in the deck. You should try to draw 2 cards from each at the least, and that shouldn’t be hard with 6 effective whirlwinds and taunts to hide them behind.
2x Death’s Bite – Ok, I lied. This is my favorite naxx card. The value is UNREAL! Get rid of those pesky 4 and 5 health minions that have troubled warrior in the past, and a whirlwind to top it all off? This card is the backbone of this deck. Don’t be afraid to destroy this weapon by equipping a fiery war axe if the deathrattle is very beneficial to the boardstate.
1x Brawl – This is the last-ditch effort removal. When all else fails, yolobrawl. And with armorsmith in the mix, you can never lose! /s
1x Loatheb – Assume board control and retain it for a turn with a strong 5 drop. Great against every class.
2x Sludge Belcher – Very annoying for a hunter or any other aggressive deck to deal with, and gives the deck some much-needed midgame. Hide acolytes behind it for maximum value.
1x Cairne Bloodhoof – Very sticky 6-drop, just what we need and great in the mirror.
1x Sylvanas Windrunner – Was not running this card for a while, but after learning that sylvanas now doesn’t care about simultaneous deathrattles (did that change at one point?) found that she can get you out of some sticky situations. Keep the coin for the sylv –> coin –> brawl the dream.
1x Gorehowl – Late-game sustainability is the mantra for gorehowl, as getting 4 or 5 creatures for 1 weapon can win you games.
1x Baron Geddon – The forgotten 7th whirlwind of the deck. Great against shamans and the hyenas left by the savannah highmane.
1x Grommash Hellscream – Usually a finisher card with one of the 10 possible activators in the deck, but can be used as a desperate removal. The best synergy is with death’s bite, as you can sometimes clear the board with the weapon and an execute and go face with Grom.
1x Ragnaros the Firelord – Senor del Fuego, YOLORag, whatever you may call him, is a force to be reckoned with. A good benchmark to see if you’re ahead in a control versus control matchup is if you play your Rag after your opponent has, you’re probably ahead. Definite win condition against Reynad’s trap hunter, as you can just plop rag down, remove everything he ever plays, and armor up while sipping lemonade.
1x Alextrasza – Shunned by many adept control warriors, the queen of dragons should not be trifled with. Alextrasza helps in every matchup, including the mirror and hunter especially. With more and more warriors dropping her, people are less and less expecting Alex, and this allows for a more potent effect.
Overall record from rank 5-legend – 25-4
General Mulligan advice: Low-cost minions and weapons, e.g. Fiery War Axe, Armorsmith, Cruel Taskmaster, Unstable Ghoul, Acolyte, and Death’s Bite.
Matchups (from most seen to least):
Reynad Trap Hunter (record: 4-1) – Annoying to play against, but if you mulligan for weapons and early drops, and then get carried by ragnaros, you’ll come out on top. Alextrasza yourself if he tries to push for damage, and save your big removals for animal companions and savannah highmanes. As a general rule, don’t give him charges on his bow. If you’re running into this deck constantly, as I did from rank 3-2, swap out a whirlwind for harrison jones to get rid of that weapon. Remember to be aggressive with board control.
Midrange Hunter (record: 4-0) – This is much the same story as the trap hunter, just without the reliance on ragnaros to finish him off through the traps. Brawl is more necessary is this matchup than in the trap hunter matchup. Still save your shield slams / executes for the highmanes, and getting down those unstable ghouls and sludge belchers as early as you can is key. It shouldn’t be hard to play around unleash.
Warrior Mirror (Record: 3-1) With Sylvanas and Alextrasza, this deck is slightly favored in the mirror. As many warrior decks will be faster than this, try to slow down the pace of the game and run him out of removal and cards before throwing the big guns down. If all you’re running into is warriors, then I recommend dropping both a belcher and a whirlwind for harrison jones and ysera.
Priest (record: 3-0) – Easiest matchup by far. Mulligan for an execute to get rid of the inevitable blademaster. Weapons pick apart his minions and your sticky midgame will bring you to victory. Watch out for his thoughtsteals, because with a little luck, the game could turn into a warrior mirror!
Secrets Mage (record: 2-0) – Usually the mages just don’t have enough damage to kill you. This is the most important matchup for brawl, make sure you mullgigan for it and it doesn’t get counterspelled. Play around secrets methodically, and let Ragnaros do the rest.
Zoolock (record: 2-0) – Contrary to popular belief, this is actually the most fun deck to play against. You might think I’ve gone insane, but with all the whirlwinds and sticky minions, this is actually a favorable matchup. Brawl is again VERY key here, mulligan for it and weapons. The more weapons you have in your starting hand, the more likely you are to win. Save an execute for a doomguard.
Miracle Rogue (record: 1-1) This matchup is somewhat favorable if you can apply early pressure with weapons and minions, but can be difficult if the rogue applies constant damage and conceals his auctioneer and you don’t have brawl to respond. Be wary of Leeroy damage thresholds. This is usually a very close match, could really go either way.
Control Paladin (record: 1-1) – This is the only highly unfavorable matchup that you have because the control paladin deck has so many cheap answers and is so much slower than you and has like 30 points of heals. Try to be aggressive in this matchup, don’t play into equality, and save brawl for tirion. It will usually go to fatigue.
Slow ramp druid (record: 1-0) – Run your opponent out of cards and save your removal for his ancient of wars. Be sure to keep a healthy board in case of spectral knights, which you can weapon down with the aid of your board. Don’t be hesitant to drop ragnaros as druids don’t have any answers to it. Weapons are great in this matchup, and remember to keep out of force combo range.
Mill Druid (record: 1-0) – I played against puffin (www.twitch.tv/puffinplays) and his mill druid and it was an absolute thrashing. I almost feel bad for the guy. Weapons make this matchup a joke and it’s very hard to overdraw a warrior. Mulligan for Fiery War Axe and Death’s Bite to deal with an early Dancing Swords.
Backspace Face Rogue (record: 1-0) – Another favorable matchup. Whirlwind effects make his board a joke, and if you armor up every turn, the rogue will just run out of steam. Brawl could be key in this matchup. As always with rogue, watch for leeroy (and arcane golem) damage thresholds.
That weird voidcaller warlock deck (1-0) – I don’t really understand this deck, but play against it much like a slower zoo deck. Brawl, execute, Death’s Bite, and sylvanas were all key cards in the one game I played against it.
Shaman (Record: 1-0) – From my time playing shaman from rank 15-5, I can attest that if the shaman doesn’t overextend, he usually wins by systematically killing every single one of the warrior’s minions. Therefore, this is a bit of an unfavorable matchup, but Baron Geddon and all your whirlwinds will help a lot. Healing totem is your nemesis and try to make him overextend for your brawl.
Thanks for dropping by and hearing what I have to say about control warrior, the cards in it, matchups, and playstyle. I hope I helped at least somebody achieve the rank you’ve been striving for, whether it’s top 16 legend or rank 16. Feel free to ask any questions as a comment or as a PM and I’ll try to get around to them all. If you’d like to add me on NA, I’m always available to test some decks or play a Bo5 or whatever.
TL;DR play the warrior, kill the hunters, get the legends, drown in pink