30 Decks to Try Out on Day 1 of Forged in the Barrens

A curated list of 30 decks to try out on day 1 of Forged in the Barrens

After completing the comprehensive Forged in the Barrens preview article, it’s time for theory-crafting! We encourage you to read the card preview as it is likely to shed light on many of our decisions regarding deck building.

Our first Data Reaper Report for Forged in the Barrens is scheduled for Thursday, April 8th! We will note that should there be balance changes within the first few days of the expansion, the Data Reaper Report could be delayed. We will provide an update in such a case on our Twitter.

Once again, we remind you that you can help us perform our analysis by contributing your Hearthstone game data. This can be done using Firestone, which provides us with all its user data (with an option to opt out). Alternatively, you can contribute data through our Hearthstone Deck Tracker plugin. Installing the plugin is very easy and will only take a couple of minutes of your time. We appreciate and thank all our contributors for keeping this project going. We remind our existing plug-in contributors to check on their plugin and make sure that it is still active. Sometimes, with big patches, the plug-in deactivates inadvertently.

Remember that while we have extensively worked to produce the featured decks, they are still untested, and nothing can replace the post-launch refinement that is backed up by real-time game experience and data. These decks aren’t based off whatever’s been done in the early access streams either, since we don’t watch them!

If you have a limited collection, we highly recommend that you DO NOT make big crafting investments on any theory-crafted deck. Wait at least a few days to see what strategies end up being strong and fun before making a significant commitment.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to look at some gargantuan decks.


Kazakus Aggro Demon Hunter

We may not have much faith in Deathrattle Demon Hunter, but other Demon Hunter decks look fine. Aggro Demon Hunter is getting a few new cards from both the Barrens set and its Core set that could make an impact. Oasis Thrasher is a great aggressive 2-drop that could encourage the return of the Brawler/Augmerchant package. Fury replaces Twin Slice for damage. Kor’vas is a solid 2-drop that can scale later in the game. Gan’arg Glaivesmith works well with Illidari Studies and offers more reach alongside Stiltstepper.

Then we have Kazakus, which could be very common in aggressive decks since their mana curve tends to be low and they are less likely to be heavily reliant on 4-drops to function. Kazakus has multiple options to further an aggressive strategy in dramatic fashion.

Sigil Lifesteal Demon Hunter

Lifesteal Demon Hunter sees nearly its entire shell stay intact for the next year, and decks that go into rotation without losing any of their key cards while seeing the rest of format grow weaker usually have better chance of success. The deck also got two potentially interesting additions to consider.

Sigil of Flame is the perfect stalling card for the deck. Not only does it remove an opponent’s early board, but it also prevents them from developing for an entire turn, which could cripple their chances of killing the Demon Hunter in time. You can preemptively play this in the mid-game to prevent an expected turn from the opponent (such as a Glowfly Swarm) and to set up Skull of Gul’dan. When Lifesteal Demon Hunter gets to cast Skull on an empty board, it’s doing very well.

Talented Arcanist might also be a good fit. It can boost the deck’s defensive capabilities and provide redundancy for Artificers when you’re looking to clear the board with Immolation Aura or use combo pieces for survival, but it also increases the OTK potential of a Felscream Blast.

Sigil Soul Demon Hunter

This Soul DH build attempts to take advantage of new cards to reduce fragment production. The upside of cutting into the fragment package is making our Skull of Gul’dan stronger, and their only purpose in the deck is to activate Lapidary. The nerf to Mystic has also significantly weakened the card, and it might be better to run a package of Sigil of Flame and Immolation Aura for AOE. Fury replaces Twin Slice for reach and Bladed Lady activation.

There is one flex spot we’re wondering about, which is filled by either Sigil of Silence or Kayn. With Consume Magic gone from the format, Soul DH may have more difficulties dealing with heavy taunt decks. In that situation, they could end up being useful in setting up a finishing play. We’re leaning towards Sigil since it allows us to spend our mana on more efficient damage cards the next turn, and it’s easier to dump from hand if we need to Skull.

Data Reaper Report - Druid

Guff Gibberling Druid

Gibberling may have lost Savage Roar, but it did get one of the most busted cards in the set in Guff Runetotem. This legendary furthers both the deck’s finishing potential as well as its early blowout potential. It makes for a very worthwhile inclusion as the 3rd minion in the deck alongside the two Gibberlings, and we expect it to be a consistent game winner.

Other adjustments to the deck are about replacing rotating cards with new ones that fulfill a similar role. Thorngrowth Sentries are going to be stronger than Dreamway Guardians in most matchups. Pride’s Fury is a pseudo-replacement for Savage Roar in helping the deck snowball a lead. Guess the Weight was already a card we recommended running alongside Rising Winds but becomes essential with RW now gone.

Primordial Clown Druid

We think Clown Druid got a few of meaningful additions that could shore up the consistency of its game plan. Primordial Protector should be very powerful in this deck since it develops lots of stats on the board while also tutoring the strongest card in our deck. Then we have Taelan finding us Clowns. So, the deck has a way to specifically draw our late game combo.

The loss of Anubisath Defender will hurt, but there is a new card that could help Druid’s survivability: Druid of the Plains. It gives us the perfect follow-up to Overgrowth, removing a threat and protecting our face, while bridging into our GA turn. The loss of Overflow is slightly offset by the inclusion of Guess the Weight.

Swarming Taunt Druid

Forged in the Barrens could introduce a different swarming Druid deck to the format in Taunt Druid. In this list, we try to maximize Razormane Battleguard’s early game blowout potential through the inclusion of multiple 2-mana taunts that can protect it on turn 2.

At the top end, we have Greybough and Taelan finding us Greybough. This should be the “perfect” Greybough deck since it can be cheated out via Battleguard and the deck looks to have multiple bodies on the board, making Greybough very awkward to remove. We also run Mark of the Spikeshell to potentially copy Greybough, though it should be a reasonable buff on any of our cheap taunts.

Then we have Kazakus providing the deck with another finisher. We’re a bit concerned with this deck’s reload potential. Guess the Weight is our only source of card draw, while Voracious Reader seems like a horrible fit, so having Kazakus should help our late game.

Watcher Taunt Druid

We had to break symmetry for this article, since this 4th Druid deck is so cool. Look at it and tell us it’s not the epitome of perfection.

Watch Posts have a lot of synergy with the Druid class. We can cheat them out with Innervate or Lightning Bloom, taking advantage of their early game power. The class has both Mark of the Wild and Ironbark as taunt buffs to put on towers and turn them into even more powerful defensive structures. We can copy towers with Mark of the Spikeshell and Germination to summon even MORE towers, which makes our opponents want to cry and boosts the consistency of Kargal as a late game finisher. Remember that Kargal works with every tower you summon, not just ones you play from hand, so Germination counts.

Beyond Kargal, we’re adding more ways to win the game through Greybough. Greybough works great with all our towers, since once you place it on the board alongside them, you can completely lock out the board and then use your copy cards to make more Greyboughs. We also run Ogremancer since it should be extremely powerful with our buffs, and it’s basically the original watch post, except it can attack.

Data Reaper Report - Hunter

Disclaimer: Wait until the hotfix to Makrik’s Wife mana cost is applied before playing these builds, since they assume Barak can draw it and summon Mankrik. It should happen shortly after the launch of the expansion. (Source)

Trampling Beast Hunter

Hunter got one of the best sets in Forged in the Barrens, and this build tries to capture all the synergies the class has available to it. We’ve got the early game additions of Sunscale Raptor and Oasis Thrasher, making up a mana cost chain of beasts for Tavish while offering solid targets to various buffs. Kolkar Pack Runner is a solid 2-drop with early game swing potential through our 1-mana spells.

Our mid-game is stacked with powerful cards. Tavish can be a solid 3-drop on curve if Thrasher’s on the board, or a very powerful 3-drop on turn 5 with Tame Beast. The 4/4 rush from Tame Beast costs 4-mana, so it can attack and summon a 3-drop, and if Zixor is pulled over Pack Kodo, it can keep the chain going to Thrasher. That’s a crazy good turn.

Dire Frenzy and Warsong Wrangler work well together. Dire Frenzy has a lot of good targets, including the 1/1 rush hyena that can be summoned by either Wound Prey or Kolkar Pack Runner. Remember that Wrangler’s buff also works on minions on the board!

At the top end, Trampling Rhino offers us a finisher that scales with any of our buffs and makes for a strong follow up to Wrangler. Barak Kodobane draws us a 1-mana spell, Tame Beast and Mankrik’s Wife (which draws us another card). It has potential to be an extremely powerful tempo play, that sets up another strong tempo play the following turn.

At least on paper, this deck looks delicious.

Piercing Face Hunter

But Hunter doesn’t have to play for value. Maybe it can just keep going face, and there are plenty of new cards that support a more aggressive variant. Much like in Aggro DH, we really like the Augmerchant package here with both Thrasher and Brawler.

Piercing Shot is the best new card for a Face Hunter deck, and we think it’s being slept on. It offers flexible removal to a deck that never wants to waste a single point of damage, so you always get full value from it, similar to Explosive Runes.

Knife Vendor is a proven performer in current iterations of Face Hunter, and we top the curve with the high roll potential of Barak Kodobane and Mankrik.

Tavish Secret Hunter

The concept of Secret Hunter is also possible. We essentially swap the value package in Beast Hunter for the frontloaded power of Petting Zoo and run Piercing Shot to finish games earlier. We run secrets that are harder to trigger on turn 2 for an on-curve Petting Zoo. We have Rider to pull them from the deck, and we have both Pack Kodo and Mystery Winner to discover more of them.

Tavish isn’t as powerful in this build as it is in Beast Hunter, but it’s still a strong card even if it cheats out a single 2-drop or a 1-drop. In Secret Hunter, Barak Kodobane’s power peaks, as it can find us a secret and Petting Zoo to play the following turn.

Thirsty Spell-Damage Mage

Building Mage decks was challenging as we’ve ran into several glaring limitations that may expose the class this expansion. For example, can we construct a viable Spell-Damage Mage deck with only 4 spells that hit face? This is our attempt at turning SD Mage into more of a combo deck that’s increasingly reliant on setting up a Phoenix blowout turn.

It does help that we can draw a lot of cards, which is where Refreshing Spring Water comes in. Talented Arcanist boosts our removal options (Shooting Star) and offers a strong enabler to Cram Sessions, which allows us to save Phoenix for the end game. Aegwynn might be a bit questionable, but we’re looking for ways to boost our late game burst, and if a small minion inherits the +2 SD buff, it could be impactful.

Our max burst without any Aegwynn shenanigans involves two copies of Phoenix, two Fireballs and a Runed Orb for 26 damage. We can deal 22 with Talented Arcanist replacing Runed Orb.

C’Thun Spell Mage

Spell Mage has always performed poorly on ladder but does get to draw 2 cards for 0 mana this expansion. Refreshing Spring Water is probably the strongest card that Mage has received, and Spell Mage can utilize it best. In this build, we run C’Thun and complement it with maximized card draw including a Cram Session package with Primordial Studies.

Since we’ve lost Arcane Mysteries, we don’t think it’s worth running secrets in the deck anymore. Instead, we include a bunch of cheap removal to fend off aggression. Deck of Lunacy is our early Keleseth and provides us with a way to blow out the opponent in faster matchups where C’Thun is irrelevant anyway.

Watcher Button Mage

What about those hero power cards? Can we construct a consistent strategy that utilizes them? The main issue that we see with Wildfire is our ability to draw it, so we’ve opted to run it in a Watcher Post deck with Starscryer and no other spells.

There is some logic to a Watcher Button Mage. We stall the game and annoy our opponents while repeatedly shooting them in the face for 3 damage. Watcher decks need a way to end the game beyond Kargal, and Mordresh as well as boosted hero powers could offer that to us.

The rest of the deck is built defensively to complement the natural stalling effects of watch posts. Armor Vendor and Death’s Head Cultist provide us with some healing and armor gain in a class that doesn’t possess much of it. Observer and Apprentice offer board clears while Varden is a strong Frost Nova. Ogremancer is a watch post that can attack. Venomous Scorpid and Wand Thief can help us find more Wildfires. That’s quite important for our scaling in slower matchups since the more Wildfires we play, the more oppressive our hero power becomes.

Can you picture Jaina hiding behind towers and shooting fireballs at the opponent? That’s the deck.

Data Reaper Report - Paladin

Secret Libram Paladin

The secret package in Paladin looks very powerful and whenever we wanted to build a Paladin deck, we gravitated to it. It helps address the class’ lack of draw and just seems too strong to give up on.

This new build of Libram Paladin is crafted under the mindset that losing Salhet’s Pride is likely going to hurt builds running Flinger and Broomstick. Instead, we focus on improving our early-to-mid game board development. Sword of the Fallen thins our deck so we’re more likely to find our high impact cards. Northwatch Commander is a valuable source of draw, alongside Knight of Anointment. Cariel is our 5th cost reduction card for librams and Smythe offers us a power spike. Libram of Judgement acts as our finisher in slower matchups, while Yrel has an opportunity to slot in since who wants to play neutral cards anyway?

Secret Aggro Paladin

A more aggressive Secret Paladin deck is also on the menu. This build attempts to frontload as much power as possible in the early game, while backing it up with a mid-game consisting of Kazakus and Smythe. Taelan can either pull for us Smythe, Kazakus or even Murgurgle Prime to increase the consistency in which we can find the last big threats in the deck.

There are a couple of aggressive neutrals that work well in this shell. The 1-mana cost of secrets means that Sunreaver Spy can activate on curve, while Crossroad Gossiper can potentially be quite dangerous next to Noble Sacrifice and Avenge. Aggressive Paladins also have the luxury of running Conviction, which offers a ton of damage to finish games.

Secret Dude Paladin

Alternatively, we add a Dude package to increase our threat density while making us more resilient to removal at the cost of early game explosiveness. Remember that Kazakus can create a “Quartermaster” golem, so we can leverage a wide board into damage. Conviction is also easier to connect since we have a ton of reload capabilities, and our boards can be very sticky and difficult to remove thanks to Carnival Barker and Lothraxion.

Data Reaper Report - Priest

C’Thun Control Priest

Priest’s removal kit heading into the Barrens looks very strong. Beyond its excellent core removal cards in Holy Smite and Shadow Word: Death, it still has Hysteria and Soul Mirror and it’s now receiving a stacked 4-mana slot with more removal options that can also help the class take initiative. Void Flayer is going to shine in the current spell-heavy Control Priest and should be flexible enough to offer an answer to multiple forms of threats. Xyrella can be strong as early as turn 5 but could scale hard on turns 7/8 to a Twisting Nether level wipe. Samuro isn’t as reliable of a board clear since he needs to be paired with Apotheosis. But when he is, faster matchups are just going to be over on turn 7 (or sometimes 6).

Priest can also still generate cards seemingly forever. Wandmaker and Venomous Scorpid fuel your Void Flayer while potentially producing more removal to frustrate your opponent, alongside the godly Palm Reading. But here’s one thing to remember: Priest is good at generating spells, not minions, since Galakrond is gone.

Indeed, Control Priest looks extremely powerful when it comes to dealing with opponent threats of every kind, but there is one serious flaw in the shell, which is a way to win the game. Should Control Priest meet a control deck with late game prowess that doesn’t care about your Illucia, how exactly is Priest going to win if it’s ever forced to act as a beatdown?

This isn’t a theoretical issue. It’s a real issue that is currently plaguing Control Priest in Darkmoon Faire and a big reason why it has failed, while Highlander Priest was established as the superior deck.

Therefore, C’Thun is added. It’s possible that Priest finds a way to manufacture an alternative win condition that is faster than the old god, but Priest’s removal kit carries so much redundancy and consistency that it’s possible that we can play through a few inefficient cards in our deck.

Watcher Grief Priest

We apologize to Priest players for only featuring two Priest decks, but we will say that this Priest carries the grief potential of three other Priest decks. Your opponents better pray that this deck ends up being bad, because holy moly, everything about it is so beautifully obnoxious.

Watch Posts carry natural synergy with Priest since they are incredibly annoying and fit a stalling game plan that doesn’t allow the opponent to do anything it wants to do. Priest can also resurrect Watch Posts and replay them through either Raise Dead or Rally, further fueling Kargal as your late game finisher. We realize that the 2-drop pool can be contaminated by Mor’shan Watch Post and Ogremancer, but Rally should still be worthwhile, especially if we’ve already played Reliquary of Souls.

Another copy effect Priest has in its disposal is Psyche Split, and the card can turn the Priest into the beatdown deck in combination with Focused Will. Much like a Silence Priest, we can decide at some point to stop playing tower defense and go on the attack!

Since Watch Posts normally don’t get to attack, Apotheosis is an awkward source of healing and it makes more sense to run Lightshower Elemental as a stabilizer.

Build towers. Resurrect towers. Play Illucia. Emote. Watch the opponent concede.

Data Reaper Report - Rogue

Kazakus Miracle Rogue

Rogue got a polarizing set of cards. Some of them are unlikely to ever see play, while a few others could be some of the strongest in the format. Field Contact looks ridiculous and far stronger than Whirlkick Master, turning Miracle Rogue back into a deck that can draw into fatigue with ease (a tribute to its Classic iteration), alongside a plethora of activators which includes Pen Flinger, a likely addition to the deck.

Efficient Octo-bot is also a card that works well with Pen Flinger but will mostly be a strong 2-drop you play on-curve and watch the opponent squirm. Its ability to accelerate your entire hand can be devastating. Rogue already barely pays mana for its cards, and this trait should be reinforced with Octo-bot.

Some players are high on Scabbs, but what Rogue needs is a win condition after losing both Questing Adventurer and Edwin. Kazakus should be a disgusting card for Rogue considering its synergy with Shadowstep. Between Jandice, Kazakus and Pen Flinger, as well as Rogue’s ability to completely outpace opponents with its card draw, enough damage can be done to end games with a Wicked Stab or two.

Updated list post-launch and testing—> Version 2.0—>Explanation

Watcher Miracle Rogue

Speaking of win conditions in Rogue, how about them watch posts? Can you tell we really love watch posts? But this Watcher deck is unlike the ones you’ve previously seen, since Watcher Miracle Rogue could be far more proactive in its game plan due to its drawing power with Field Contact as well as its ability to abuse Kargal through Shadowsteps. The idea is to utilize Kargal similarly to Chef Nomi, but have it come down as early as turn 7 and without the need to find a single card in order to activate it (as was the case with Myra’s Unstable Element). We can also Shadowstep a tower if we just want the biggest possible early Kargal and don’t need more than 1 to end the game. Crazy things can happen when your drawing power is this good.

Kazakus Secret Rogue

Secret Rogue is a more straight-forward alternative if you’re not that big of a draw maniac. Sparkjoy Cheat can produce a lot of pressure on the opponent alongside Jandice and Kazakus, while Hanar remains a card that is difficult to deal with for any opponent.

Regardless of what archetype you choose to play, Rogue looks very clean. If you’re wondering what to do with Aggro Rogue, there’s not much to change in the deck other than cutting Nitroboost Poison and… probably running Kazakus.

Data Reaper Report - Shaman

Reader Murloc Shaman

Could Murloc Shaman make its return? The deck has received some strong cards. Forager is a very sticky 1-drop that helps activate murloc synergies. Lushwater Mercenary can be a big threat early. Lushwater Scout and South Coast Chieftain provide board control. Nofin Can Stop Us is a very powerful and efficient buff. Firemancer Flurgl is one of the craziest cards in the set.

This deck can certainly get on the board and snowball out of control. The problem is sticking a board and having enough reload potential to be able to keep going after removal is used. We had to include Voracious Reader for this purpose, which fits the “all-in” plan of the deck to vomit threats quickly and outpace the opponent. We also run Whack-a-Gnoll Hammer to squeeze more value of our minions and make them more difficult to clear.

This deck’s success is all about whether it can hold on to the board. If it can’t, everything about it falls apart.

Doomhammer Burn Shaman

Here’s a Shaman deck that can kill the opponent without sticking the board, which is part of the reason why we give it a greater chance for success. There are only two new cards in it, but those cards are massive. Novice Zapper is one of the best 1-drops in the game and enables everything that this deck wants to do. From extending your reach, contesting the board in the early game, and forming one of the best board clear combos alongside Landslide.

This allows the Shaman to equip Doomhammer and go straight upstairs with less worry, since it’s able to answer the opponent’s board development more consistently when it’s trying to punish the Shaman for spending 7 mana on a weapon.

The other new card is Bru’kan, which turns your Lightning Bolts into Fireballs and must be removed on the turn it’s played or there will be hell to pay. We’re not sure we need to explain why.

Kazakus Good Stuff Shaman

Other than the burst option for Doomhammer or Nofin Can Stop Us, Shaman may find it hard to finish games with alternative strategies. We don’t like the look of Control Shaman, and in our search of a win condition, we’ve once again landed on Kazakus in this Jambre-inspired iteration.

This deck is all about playing good Shaman cards, controlling the board, and leveraging it with buffs. Wandmaker should be very strong in Shaman, helping us generate resources alongside Marshspawn. Marshspawn is a good turn 4 play following Feral Spirit or Portal. We have a weapon package with Custodian and a top end that exerts pressure. Connecting a buff with Mistrunner could also help us close games, with Kazakus providing us with another way to force the issue.

Data Reaper Report - Warlock

Nerubian Zoo Warlock

Zoo still possesses the Matron/Hand combo, though it’s an interesting question whether the loss of Expired Merchant weakens this package substantially. We already know from Darkmoon Faire that Soulfires are unnecessary and shouldn’t be a big loss, so our expectation is that we don’t need to drop the package for an alternative draw engine such as Backfire.

What’s most interesting about Zoo in Forged in the Barrens is whether it can utilize its old favorite in Nerubian Egg. We think there is serious merit in exploring eggs with Teron Gorefiend. Kabal Outfitter is a strong 3-drop that can buff our eggs in addition to Wicked Whispers and Wriggling Horror. We don’t think there is a need to force things further and run Bonewebb Eggs, though it is an option.

Unholy Trinity Control Warlock

We have weird faith in Control Warlock. Even though the deck has been terrible throughout Darkmoon Faire, it’s getting a big buff entering the Barrens, and it’s not coming just from Barren cards, but the class’ new core set. The new iteration of Jaraxxus could become one of the best late game win conditions in the format, easing the deck’s reliance on Tickatus to win games. Playing Jaraxxus with a Tour Guide setup and a Strongman follow-up sounds like a solid tempo play.

Furthermore, Drain Soul is a huge boon to Warlock’s survivability and may prompt a return of Mo’arg Artificers and their life gain potential, as previously seen in Galakrond Warlocks of the past. Tamsin Roame should also be heavily involved in enabling big defensive swing turns, and she can also act as a Jaraxxus enabler, helping us store a 0-mana removal spell for when we summon the lord.

Add Kazakus to Tickatus and Jaraxxus, and you have a triumvirate of finishers that allows the Warlock deck to lean harder into survivability. With this build, Warlock has Priest-levels of removal and tons of life gain options, allowing it to comfortably life tap and gain card advantage without any sacrifice to its late game prowess.

Meta Tyrant Mill Warlock

Most of the Warlock’s Barrens set is meme-tastic and it has to do with the promotion of a self-milling Warlock archetype. We have nearly zero faith that this deck can work, but our attempts to make it work have been fun.

In this build, we try to minimize the chances that we burn our win condition. Taelan helps find Neeru, while Jaraxxus offers us an alternative way to close out the game. The deck focuses on survival, with a package of life gain and removal including the Grimoire of Sacrifice/Explosive Sheep combo. Sheep can also be activated by Unstable Felbolt and Mortal Coil. When you add Soul Rend to the mix, our ability to clear boards is impressive.

Since value is low and we want to get to the end of our deck, we run Backfire. There’s enough life gain to go around thanks to Artificer/Drain Soul as well as Blood Shard Bristleback. The question is whether Neeru can be an effective win condition.

Data Reaper Report - Warrior

C’Thun Control Warrior

We think Warrior got the strongest Barrens’ set, and the class’ success in the meta will depend on whether it will be enough to offset the major losses it incurs in rotation. We think it has a good chance of finding success at Barrens, simply because it just seems to have strong plays at every turn.

Control Warrior’s shell looks very fleshed out and complete. We’re particularly impressed with Warrior’s mid-game, as an Outrider’s Axe/Sword Eater curving into Mor’shan Elite is going to put the deck is such a strong position in any tempo-focused matchup. If it ever falls behind, it still has great removal cards, with Rancor helping it stabilize in many scenarios and working particularly well with Barov.

Another package that strikes us as absurdly powerful is the rush package with Stage Dive and Athletic Studies. Between Rokara, Samuro and Kargath, this is a disgusting set of cards to draw, buff or discount.

The only question mark left is Warrior’s win condition. The loss of Bloodsworn Mercenary marks the end of the ETC combo and makes Rattlegore less of a threat, while the Silas OTK becomes highly questionable without the ability to stack armor through Skipper/Smith/Merc. Once again, C’Thun is creeping up as an option, and we will say that it hasn’t been completely terrible in Warrior, just largely inferior to the two win conditions that are going away. It’s possible that with Warrior’s abundant card draw, it can make it work. Unless of course, Warrior players once again devise a cleverer way of ending control matchups.

Frenzy Patron Warrior

If you like to Whirlwind, you’re going to like this deck. The introduction of Gruntled Patron has prompted us to theorycraft a Patron Warrior deck, taking advantage of new self-damage mechanics as well as the new Warrior legendary, Overlord Saurfang.

This deck possesses the same mid-game shell as Control Warrior but runs more proactive cards that look to pressure the opponent, while cutting some of the more passive removal tools. Warsong Commander comes back with its rework, and besides her utilization with Patron, she can enable Whirlwind Combatant, Mor’shan Elite or Lord Barov, providing redundancy with Animated Broomstick.

There are plenty of ways to trigger Gruntled Patron, and if you summon at least two to the board, Saurfang becomes a huge play on turn 7. If it resurrects two Patrons, you’re looking at a board of 4 of them on top of a 5/4 body, and that could be more on turn 8 if it’s followed up by a Broomstick or a Whirlwind. Summoning one Patron and one Combatant produces a result of three Patrons on the board. Still very intimidating, and any big board can be further buffed by Rokara.

At the top end, we have Grom, and the consistency of drawing it as well as Saurfang is further boosted by Taelan (yeah, we love that card). Grom/Whirlwind is an old-style finisher that should provide enough reach considering the number of threats we can pump out.

Frenzy Rush Warrior

The aggressive Rush Warrior deck that emerged following Darkmoon Races showed quite a bit of promise but lacked longevity. Forged in the Barrens is providing this deck with a far stronger and more promising late game. Anchorman is huge for this deck and prompted us to run Overlord Saurfang to resurrect it alongside Sunwell Initiate, which fills a hole at the 3-mana slot. The new Aggro Rush Warrior now draws more cards, carries more threats, and packs a bigger punch. Can it punch its way through the meta?

All will be revealed in just a little over a week.

Special thanks to America’s Grandmaster, Impact, for helping through the production of the card preview as well as the creation of these decks.

Enjoy your time at the Barrens,

The Vicious Syndicate Team


  1. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Warlock Warlock Warlock. It feels a bit awkaward for the first few turns, but once it starts droppin cards it feels so dominant i just adore it.

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