Welcome everybody. In this guide I will explain how to build Fatigue Warrior correctly (spoiler: there are multiple ways) and give you pointers on how to pilot this glorious deck. Be warned that Fatigue Warrior takes a lot of experience to play optimally. It is a very satisfying deck to play, however.
A little bit about me…
As a self-proclaimed Warrior expert, I’ve played Control Warrior,
and now Fatigue Warrior
to Legend almost every season. I estimate I have around 1000 wins with the Warrior class alone, and last season I managed to become top 150 Legend.
of my 62% WR over 148 (!) recorded matches and 67% WR in this season. So far the credentials.
Fatigue Warrior is my favorite deck. As one the of pioneers of the deck, I’ve been using it since TGT came out and fell in love with it right away. By now I must’ve played over 200 matches, which means a lot considering it is literally the slowest deck in the game. I’ve always loved the attrition playstyle in every game I played. Several years ago, I mained Warlock in World of Warcraft for the same reason. I loved the feeling that the longer the battle goes on, the stronger I get. As you can imagine, a card with ‘infinite’ value such a Justicar is exactly what made me excited about TGT. I immediately crafted a golden Justicar on day one without any regrets so far. One of Justicar’s greatest benefits is that there is no RNG involved in your Hero Power. The only thing random about Fatigue Warrior’s win condition is WHEN you draw Justicar.
An introduction to Fatigue Warrior
The deck revolves around trying to control the board as much as you can whilst using your removal as efficiently as possible. In some matchups it’s incredibly important to use your health as the resource that it really is. This is obvious when it comes to weapons, but holding back on Brawl for one more turn to develop your Sylvanas is just one example of the more advanced plays. You’ll have to be able to assess a board situation and determine how dangerous it really is. A Priest with 3 minions is generally not that scary, but a Druid with 3 minions likely means he could have lethal on the next turn.
Like any other deck, your goal is to bring your opponent to 0 life. The means to achieving this goal are:
- Sufficient Fatigue damage. This essentially means you have neutralized their every threat.
- Lethal damage. In some cases, this deck is forced to resort to a plan B. It isn’t very likely, but you will find yourself swinging for lethal with a big, angry Grommash from time to time.
Why play Fatigue?
Honestly, the deck is absolutely not made for everybody. It’s a very unique playstyle that you either love or hate. To be fair, if you can read through this entire essay of a post, the deck might just fit you ;).
Play Fatigue if: * You like having to think about your every decision.
- You like playing a powerful deck that needs to be piloted well.
- You like long, LONG, matches.
- Above all: you are looking for a deck with an unconventional playstyle.
Don’t play Fatigue if:
- You like turning off your brain when playing Hearthstone (the reason Secret Paladin and Druid are so popular). Not meant as an insult; I resort to this myself from time to time.
- You prefer playing quick matches.
- You are meeting a disproportionate amount of Paladins.
As for the decklist
Now, I could just link my decklist and call it a day. (Un)fortunately, the Fatigue Warrior decklist is perhaps the most flexible list in Hearthstone, as it is definitely the most reactive deck in the game. This is another thing I love about the deck: deckbuilding is a very valued skill if you intend to play Fatigue. You need to be able to assess the meta and make changes accordingly. An excellent example is 2x Brawl: Brawl is a very binary card, match-up wise. It’s awful versus, say, Control Warrior and weak versus midrange Druids, but versus Paladins and Tempo mages I love the card. If you are meeting many Druids, for example, you could change a Brawl to a Bouncing Blade and significantly increase your win chance.
The core of the deck
- 2x Execute
- 2x Shield Slam
- 2x Fiery War Axe
- 2x Death’s Bite
- 1x Brawl
- Justicar Trueheart
- Baron Geddon
Every other card is situational and can be changed to your personal taste. For example, I run double Bash and double Shield Block AND double Slam. The reason I run these cards is that they help versus weak matchups such as Paladin and Druid. Bash is an amazing card vs Druid, it is perhaps the biggest reason the matchup shifted from an auto win for Midrange Druid to merely a slightly favored one.
Notable card choices and omissions
You will notice most of my card choices are based on the Paladin matchup. Here’s why. When you are tweaking a deck, you have two options. Either you pretend that your hardest matchup doesn’t exist à la Freeze Mage vs Control Warrior, because the amount of tech cards would make your overall winrate suffer too much. Or, you try as hard as possible to make the matchup better whilst retaining the core of the deck. I chose option B. Paladin is too prevalent on ladder to ignore, and even though my winrate versus them is still poor, simply calling it a total loss and ignoring Paladins would be practically impossible.
- Grommash Hellscream is an interesting card. When I end up with Grom in my opening hand I curse him and wish he was something cheaper like a Bomb Lobber, but honestly the the card’s flexibility and strength is so high you cannot pass him up. Some match-ups can simply not reliably be won on fatigue, such as Handlock or Midrange Paladin. You need a plan B, and Grom offers a 12 damage burst out of nowhere. Other than that, he often is a solid two for one where he kills a midrange minion and eats some removal.
- Double Deathlord: A card I was never sure about, until I realized it is good versus both aggro and control. You really have to know how to use it, though. Just throwing it out when you have 3 mana to spare is certainly not the right way to play this card. Assess the situation and decide if you have enough removal to deal with the average threat the Deathlord might spawn. Amazing T3 play vs aggro.
- Double Shieldblock: Important to preserve your health total in a pinch. Absolutely love the card and wouldn’t consider cutting it. You have to be mindful of the draw effect in some matchups.
- Double Big Game Hunter: this might be the most surprising aspect about my list, but I honestly swear by it. I’m almost always happy to have a BGH in my hand, especially since I run two Taskmasters which lets me BGH 5 and 6 damage minions. Every conventional deck except Priest runs two BGH-able minions, and versus a Priest a 4-2 for 3 is by no means a bad deal. It is just so incredibly important to have a BGH for the Fel Reavers, Dr 7s and Dr 6s that come flying at you in the current meta, that I’d rather run the risk of having two, than run the risk of having none. I cannot see myself cutting these 2 cards any time soon.
- Gorehowl is a card I don’t use. The card doesn’t help you in harder matchups, notably Paladin. It only makes easy matchups easier. People who use Gorehowl are generally new to Fatigue.
- I do not use Bomb Lobber for the same reason I provided above. It’s a worthless card versus Paladin. I have to admit, Bomb Lobber can be great versus Druid, so if you meet significantly more Druids than Paladins, by all means go for it.
- Finally, there’s Bouncing Blade. When people started playing Fatigue, they all thought: ‘hey, I’ll just throw ALL the removal in here and call it a day!’. Turns out, it’s really not that effective. The card is punished by small creatures, and punishes you for having board control. On top of that, it is straight up bad versus Paladin.