Control Warrior is a Hearthstone deck archetype that requires the wielder of it to - rather unsurprisingly - maintain control of the board right throughout every stage of a match. This is achieved through the use of efficient removal cards in the early game, and a slowly snowballing threat in the mid to late-game that should overwhelm the opponent altogether.
It's a deck archetype that's never really gone out of fashion, although it does require you to have rather deep pockets - hence its nickname: Wallet Warrior. If you've got a solid collection of Hearthstone cards though, you should find this deck to be one of the most dependable during your climb up the ladder. It certainly does a fantastic job of dealing with the swarm of Aggro decks that are so prevalent at the start of each season. If you're in no rush to climb, then it's a steady way to hold back the competition, even if matches can drag on a bit.
The release of the Karazhan card set introduced a number of experimental cards to the format such as Fool's Bane, Ironforge Portal and Violet Illusionist, although none of these survived into the Gadgetzan metagame. As for the latest cards, Alley Armorsmith seems to be the most powerful addition at this stage.
In our Control Warrior guide We'll start with a breakdown of one of the most common, consistent deck lists being used right now, before outlining the basic strategy involved in playing this arcehtype. After that we've got some Mulligan suggestions for you, along with a teardown of all the most important combos and synergies in the deck.
Editor's note - March 2017 update: Control Warrior makes it to the final stages of the Gadgetzan metagame without any further changes. If aggro decks are still driving you bananas, try this slow and heavy deck on for size - note that matches are usually much longer though!
(For the Wild version of this deck, make sure you take a look at our Control Warrior (Wild) deck list and guide)
BREAKING NEWS! - Don't miss our Journey to Un'Goro guide, which contains everything we know about the next expansion for Hearthstone!
Control Warrior (Standard) deck list and strategy - March 2017
While there are quite a few experimental Control Warrior decks in circulation right now, this one ticks most of the common boxes and should prove pretty consistent. We'll see what the future holds for Control Warrior in the months ahead and make any changes that are necessary.
|2 x Shield Slam||2 x Dirty Rat|
|1 x Cruel Taskmaster||2 x Acolyte of Pain|
|2 x Execute||1 x Elise Starseeker|
|2 x Fiery War Axe||1 x Justicar Trueheart|
|2 x Revenge||1 x Sylvanas Windrunner|
|2 x Slam|
|2 x Bash|
|2 x Ravaging Ghoul|
|2 x Shield Block|
|2 x Alley Armorsmith|
|2 x Brawl|
|1 x Gorehowl|
|1 x Grommash Hellscream|
Alternative Control Warrior lists
While the deck list outlined above is our recommended one for climbing the ladder this month, you might like to check out some of the other options that are available.
No prizes for guessing that the objective with this deck is to use your removal options to frustrate the opponent's development of the board at every stage of the game, leaving you free to unleash all end-game hell against them.
In the early-game you'll be looking to build a commanding position through the likes of Fiery War Axe and Ravaging Ghoul, along with smart use of your cheap removal spells. Acolyte of Pain isn't a disastrous early game play against aggro, but you would rather proactively ping him to ensure you get a couple of bonus cards for your hand.
That late-game strategy is - we feel - pretty self-evident. An activated Grommash Hellscream provides some extreme burst damage, while Justicar Trueheart will help you stay in those long, drawn-out games for longer. Elise Starseeker is your secondary - albeit rather random - path to glory.
More great Warrior guides:
Control Warrior (Standard) Mulligan guide - March 2017
While we wait for the Gadgetzan metagame to settle down into some kind of normality it's very hard to make Hero-specific picks. We'll flesh this section of our Control Warrior guide out once the dust has settled from the release of the card set.
There are some keeps, however, that are universally sensible, and you should always hang onto the likes of Fiery War Axe. Ravaging Ghoul and Acolyte of Pain are great against likely aggro match-ups as well.
Control Warrior (Standard) combos and synergies - March 2017
There are some important combos to juggle when you're playing Control Warrior, and this Gadgetzan version of the classic archetype adds a new twist or two. Here's a breakdown of all the most important synergies you have at your disposal.
- Keep in mind that casting Brawl while Sylvanas Windrunner is out on the board will guarantee you a positive outcome. Either she survives and everything dies, or the enemy wins and you steal their surviving minion! If you can pick off a dreadful minion with Sylvanas Windrunner first, then do so to ensure you get a high quality steal.
- Alley Armorsmith, Bash and Shield Block all have natural synergies with Shield Slam.
- The following cards can be used to bring any enemy minion within range of Execute: Slam, Bash, Ravaging Ghoul, Shield Slam and Cruel Taskmaster. Your weapons can also do the same, of course.
- Don't forget that you can proactively draw cards off Acolyte of Pain by tapping it with the Battlecry effect of any of these minor damage effects.
- Those same ping effects can and should be used to ensure Grommash Hellscream gets off to a very big start...
- Most of the time you should be using Gorehowl to chip off bothersome enemy minions but it also serves a purpose as a sourdce of game-ending damage.