Dragon Warrior is a pretty aggressive tempo deck that gets off to a fast start and doesn't ever really look back from there. As you'd expect just from the name, it's a deck that's absolutely stuffed full of Dragon-class cards at each stage of the Mana curve, and these allow you to very quickly snowball an intimidating threat against pretty much any deck you'll face on the ladder.
We've seen experiments with Dragon Warrior in the past, but the arrival of the Old Gods expansion made it more viable than ever before. Gadgetzan has taken the archetype even further, thanks to the arrival of cards such as Patches the Pirate and Small-time Buccaneer, both of which provide a thematically odd, yet lightning-fast start for the deck.
In our Dragon Warrior guide, we'll outline one of the most consistently strong deck lists currently available, and walk you through the strategy basics of winning with it on the ladder. We've also got some Mulligan advice to help you choose your starting cards wisely, followed up by loads of tips and card combos to help you understand how the various synergies at play actually come together.
Got any questions? Let us know in the comments and we'll do our best to answer them for you.
Editor's note - February Update: A few gentle tweaks have been made to the format here and there, but there's very little that's new about our Dragon Warrior guide for this month. Do make sure your deck list is up to date, otherwise just keep playing as you were with this archetype.
BREAKING! - Don't miss our Lost Secrets of Un'Goro guide, which contains everything we know about the rumoured next expansion for Hearthstone!
Dragon Warrior (Standard) deck list and strategy - February 2017
This is a fairly conservative new take on Dragon Warrior, reflecting early changes introduced by Gadgetzan. We'll update this deck if necessary, and in time for the next competitive season.
|2 x N'Zoth's First Mate||1 x Patches the Pirate|
|2 x Alexstrasza's Champion||1 x Sir Finley Mrrgglton|
|2 x Fiery War Axe||2 x Small-Time Buccaneer|
|1 x Slam||2 x Faerie Dragon|
|2 x Fierce Monkey||2 x Twilight Guardian|
|2 x Frothing Berserker||2 x Azure Drake|
|1 x Ravaging Ghoul||2 x Blackwing Corruptor|
|2 x Kor'kron Elite||2 x Drakonid Crusher|
|1 x The Curator|
|1 x Ragnaros the Firelord|
Alternative Dragon 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.
In the early game you're looking to use the likes of Fiery War Axe to shut the opponent down from the very off, while having minions like Faerie Dragon and Alexstrasza's Champion in your hand can give you a very strong start on the board. Just keep in mind that the classification of Faerie Dragon means you might want to delay playing it if it's needed to activate more expensive cards that require you to have a dragon in hand.
Frothing Berserker, Ravaging Ghoul, Twilight Guardian and your spells will help you transition neatly into the mid-game where you have some very beefy cards in the form of Azure Drake and Blackwing Corruptor. At this stage you should be pressuring your opponent's health pool in order to trigger the extra effect of Drakonid Crusher. The Curator is a great source of card-draw which will help you push over the finishing line too.
Gadgetzan introduces a little light pirate synergy for the deck, with combo potential between Patches the Pirate and Small-time Buccaneer. You can gain the extra damage for the latter on a separate turn, so it's still a good Turn 1 play if you can follow up with your trusty axe.
More great Warrior guides:
Dragon Warrior (Standard) Mulligan guide - February 2017
The following cards make for fantastic keeps: Fiery War Axe (as always...!), Alexstrasza's Champion, Faerie Dragon and Frothing Berserker. If you are certain you're up against an aggro deck, then Ravaging Ghoul has obvious clearing power.
There's one further consideration to be had in the Gadgetzan metagame, and that ivnolves Small-time Buccaneer or N'Zoth's First Mate. You can play either card on Turn 1, get a free Patches and then continue snowballing your threat from there.
Dragon Warrior (Standard) tips, combos and synergies - February 2017
Here's a quick run through all of the combos in Dragon Warrior, and a few handy tips to get you going with the deck.
- Any card in your hand that's classified as a Dragon will trigger the damage ping of Blackwing Corruptor. You should always seek to exploit this bonus damage as it can really push the progression of the game in your favour.
- Likewise, Twilight Guardian and Alexstrasza's Champion are both empowered in different ways if you have a Dragon in your hand.
- Remember to keep in mind the direct - and indirect - applications of all sources of damage when it comes to a creature like Frothing Berserker. Plan your moves carefully to ensure this character becomes as powerful as it can be.
- On the subject of planning out your turns, think carefully about when you should field Drakonid Crusher if you're close to getting your opponent down towards fifteen points of health or lower.
- You are guaranteed to receive Fierce Monkey from The Curator as it's the only Beast in the deck! This can really lock the game down for you, so keep it in mind when planning the late stages of a match.
- Your weapons have obvious synergy with Small-time Buccaneer, and this character also teams up neatly with Patches the Pirate. See also N'Zoth's First Mate for a similar synergistic effect.
Regular readers of Metabomb will know that we're big fans of Trump, and we think he does an amazing job of teaching players the ins and outs of Hearthstone's decks.
We wanted to highlight the Dragon Warrior edition of his Trump Teachings video series in our guide, and you'll certainly learn a lot from watching it.
Keep in mind that the precise deck list that Trump is using here will likely be different from the one we're highlighting for the current metagame. The Hearthstone metagame subltey shifts all the time, after all, and compared to text it's trickier to update video content over time.
We don't think that's a huge problem though, as it's more important to learn how the general strategy of the deck plays out. On that basis, there are few better ways of gaining a deeper understanding into what makes Dragon Warrior tick!