Intro Hey guys! I’m Moophisto, a multi-time-but-not-all-the-time Legend player. This expansion, I made Legend with Menagerie C’thun Warrior, climbing from Diamond 5 to it with a 68 percent win rate. Control-type warrior decks have always been my favorite archetype in the gamer, but as we all know they’ve struggled recently due to often having to either sell out vs aggro or have a win condition vs control, but not both. However, with tools like Rattlegore and C’Thun available, there are a couple of anti-control options, and by including cards Claw Machine, Ringmaster Whatley, Big Ol’ Whelp, and Stage Dive, we can actually get quite the draw engine going while building or protecting our board state.
But first off, the list: AAECAQcI/KMD360DvrkD+cIDk9ADq9QDwN4Dv+ADC0uiBP8H2a0D57ADuLkD9sIDitADtd4Dwd4DuuEDAA== https://imgur.com/6nMzaFi
And second of all, the proof: https://imgur.com/a/nSLnaNj
This deck has answers for days and decent bodies to boot, but the game plan vs. various opponents will be quite different (as it often is for control decks). I’ll try to write up a short guide to each of the common match ups I saw on the way to legend. However, first, lets look at some card choices and why they are in the deck:
The Board Clear/Anti Aggro Package
This is what control warrior does best, and includes Shield Slam, Sword and Board, Blade Storm, Brawl, Coerce, EVIL Quartermaster, Bulwark of Azzinoth, Lord Barov, and Deathwing, not to mention the C’Thun card that lets you do 3 damage to everyone and the one that acts as an assassinate. Between all of these options, you can keep the board under control in almost all situations, and this is a package I’m not sure I’d touch at all.
The Draw Package
Ringmaster Whatley is the highlight here, as he will draw you three cards – you run two pirates, two mechs, and three dragons he can hit, so the odds he will have targets is pretty good. Then, on top of it, four of the cards you can draw – two Big Ol’ Whelps and two Claw Machines – draw even more! This is great for not only keeping your gas going, but also to thin out your deck when you need to get to your C’Thun win conditions.
Of course, though it doesn’t draw itself, the highlight of this package is probably Sword Eater. It’s a 1 mana 2/5 with taunt…that’s insane! How do I get that number, you ask? Well, he costs four but equips a Fiery War Axe, so uh…you do that math.
Also part of this package are the Shield Blocks, which are generally a staple for their combination of armor generating, shield slam enabling, and cycling. However, of note is another new card, Stage Dive. To be honest, Stage Dive may be the weakest card in the deck, but at the end of the day it’s a 1 mana card that often will get draw (It can hit either claw machine or either versions of Kargath), and a one mana targeted tutor with a buff upside is not bad at all.
The Win Condition/Anti-Control Package
As often as not, you’re going to win by being the classic “Concede Warrior” that exhaust your opponent of resources. However, when you are in a control mirror or other longer games, you can either beat your opponent down with a seemingly endless Rattlegore or, of course, OTK them with C’Thun. Additionally, because we draw so much and can go long enough to virtually empty our deck, we use Zephyr as a flexible card that can generate more value or offer a strong board clear.
The match against the life steal combo demon hunter is pretty miserable and seems virtually unwinnable, so I won’t spend too much time on that other than to say that the best defense is a good offense (you are going to almost never out armor their combo).
However, the other common Demon Hunter archetypes of face/aggro or soul fragment are both quite winnable and both favorable – in fact, the latter may be one of the easiest matchups you have with all of the taunts and armor gain you can get by the time they can get their huge burst turns. Bulwark of Azzinoth is also a game winner vs them once you’ve exhausted their resources and their last chance is a big burst hit.
If against the true, low-curve aggro Demon Hunter, you want to focus on getting cards like Sword and Board and Bladestorm in your mulligan. I likely would not throw EVIL Quartermaster back either, especially if you’re on the coin and can get it out early to contest and generate some armor. I wouldn’t be shy about playing a Zephyr just for the body as well if you wind up with him in your hand, though I would not keep him on the mulligan. Keep the board clear, keep your armor up, and run them out of gas.
The strategy against Soul Fragment Demon Hunter is pretty similar, with an extra focus on taunts and armor as opposed to having to worry as much about board control. Mulligan targets in this can include Shield Block, EVIL Quartermaster, and maybe most important Sword Eater. Keep your health total up and keep bodies like Sword Eater and Body of C’Thun in the way, and then finish up with a Bulwark of Azzinoth to stay out of range.
I believe I only played one Druid on my climb and I lost. It was Guardian Animals and they just ramped too quickly and go too much on the board.
However, at least for now, I’d expect to see more Clown Druid than Guardian Animals while people try out new cards. Bladestorm and Brawl are both good answers to a clown board, or dropping a Lord Barov and finishing him off with Sword and Board or a Shield Slam to trigger his deathrattle.
The main thing to be aware of is they will have multiple waves coming at you with N’Zoth, so you need to preserve your resources and, if possible, pressure them before they get there with some of your bigger bodies in the deck. There’s also a Spell Druid list floating around that runs the newer Y’sera, Cenarion Wards, and Yogg as its primary win condition (as well as an early flood by Glowfly Swarm, though this deck can clear that with ease and tank the hits anyway). In this match up, you’re going to want to pressure your opponent, especially with things like Deathwing and Rattlegore that Druid just really can’t answer well.
As always, hunter is a tough match up for a control warrior deck. And outside of the 0-1 record vs. Druid was my only sub-50 percent win rate (I went 2-3 into Hunters on my run). I face only Face Hunters, and though this deck is great at curbing aggro, the constant pressure and direct damage Hunters can put on prevent us from building an insurmountable amount of armor. However, Control Warrior vs. Hunter is a matchup as old as the game itself, so just do your best to survive until you stabilize. Mulligan targets include much of the same choices as against aggro Demon Hunter, discussed above.
I ran into zero mages. However, what I’ve seen become popular are spell mage variants. Armor is the name of the game, and keep any minions they actually generate under control. Can’t say much else given my lack of games into them.
This is about a 50/50 match up (My stats show I went 2-2). The key here is to keep the board clear and then curve into your mid game minions to be able to get control of the board and then never let go. Coerce can be a key card here against their big buffed or divine shielded minions, as well as a timely Zephyr after you’ve dragged the game out. Though they can flood the board about as fast as you can clear it, remember that outside of weapon charges and maybe two damage from consecrate, Paladins don’t really have any unexpected damage. Manage your life total and take damage when you can to save your best removal for priority targets.
I HATE priest, and recently control priests have had control warriors numbers because they could out value us. But, with the addition ofC’Thun, no more! We just have to wait long enough and then clear their board and one shot them. Though traditionally in control vs. control matchups you want to preserve resources, one of the main things here is you want to take advantage of your phenomenal draw package. Get C’Thun assembled and then 30-0 them. Period.
Oh, and no matter what, don’t play Rattlegore. A Mind Control or Soul Mirror means you’re going to have a bad time.
I went 4-1 vs. Rogue, against both the midrange-like C’Thun and the aggro version. Either way, the game plan is largely the same early on, which is preserve your life total and manage the board. Against aggro, that is your win condition in and of itself. C’Thun and/or more traditional Rogue is a bit different though. Health is still fundamentally important, but there is a good chance that if you just sit back they will kill you with C’Thun if you can’t stay above 30 Hitpoints. Get your taunts out and other bigger bodies and use them to pressure the rogue while you hide behind your wall and armor, and be aggressive into their face. I’d also strong recommend mulliganing for Coerce and/or Bladestorm to answer early Edwin Van Cleefs or Questing Adventurers.
Shamans are pretty popular and are on of the boogeymen of the meta right now. Luckily, all of the popular builds are at their core aggro, and we are equipped to handle them (I went 8-4 vs. Shaman). If its Totem Shaman or Evolve Shaman, just keep the board clear. They have refill for days, but you have tools for weeks.
Additionally, if against totem shaman, make sure you only kill their Totem Goliath If you can follow up with a board clear – otherwise, you’re likely better just tanking through the 5 damage a turn until you can so that you don’t find yourself walking into death on their turn via blood lust or other buffs.
If it’s the weapon/”Enhancement” Shaman (I only ran into one), it plays similar to Soul Fragment Demon Hunter. I lost that one game, but he had the nuts – Doom Hammer into understudy Rockbiter into understudy Rockbiter into Storm Strike, and I got smashed. However, I believe the match up to be very winnable and likely favorable.
Zoo is another clear the board type game. Not much to say there. What about the Y’Shaarj/Tickitus build though? It should destroy us right? Well, I actually went 3-0 vs. it. Our four extra cards via C’Thun help avoid some early fatigue damage, and in fact the key to this game is to draw. Getting to Rattlegore almost means you just win because they have no answer, and if you manage to get your C’thun pieces before they mill them, you can also win that way. They also don’t pressure you too hard, so there is even a world where you can beat them in fatigue. I’d mulligan for anything that has draw, even Ringmaster Whatley. He’s slow, but you’re not going to be under any pressure, and getting key cards before them Warlock mills them is key.
I didn’t play against a single Warrior. However, assuming others are on control, this is a match up where you WOULD want to preserve resources. Against ETC combo, lots of armor and board clear is likely the way, as if you can keep their board clear AND your own they have no way to kill you.
Thanks for reading, and hope you found the guide useful or at least interesting!