Just as you'd imagine from the name along, Pirate Warrior is a Hearthstone deck archetype which takes advantage of the many synergies contained within the game's Pirate category of cards. Alongside these very fine fellows, you also have access to the Warrior's signature weapons, which help you seize control of a match from the very earliest turns, and leave your minions free to start bothering the opponent's health pool. Assuming you can get off to a solid start, you should be able to very quickly snowball a dominating presence on the board that will leave your opponent struggling to cope with the onslaught - let alone mount their own offensive in return.
To be clear, this isn't a new deck to stamp its authority on the game, but what have the most recent expansions done to really help Aggro Pirate Warrior become some powerful? Well, the Old Gods added N'Zoth's First Mate and Bloodsail Cultist for a start, but it was the arrival of Patches the Pirate and Small-time Buccaneer in the Gadgetzan release which really sent the deck into overdrive. The latter's getting nerfed at the end of February though, so we'll have to see just how far down the rankings Pirate Warrior tumbles as a result.
In our essential guide to play this deck, we'll give you a very brief strategic overview to help you get started, and then highlight some of the important choices you need to think about during the Mulligan process. There's a lot of combos to take advantage of with this new take on an old experiment, and so to wrap things up we've also got a breakdown of all the most important combos you can weave together. Master these and you should be well on your way to a very decent win-rate indeed with the deck.
Editor's note - February update: This is a super simple deck concept and so we're not at all surprised to see that not a single change has been made to the fundamental version of Pirate Warrior. There are some experiments being made to this list, however, and we'll consider incorporating them in a future update, should they prove to be consistently more powerful than what we're highlighting today.
(For the Wild version of this deck, make sure you take a look at our Pirate Warrior (Wild) deck list and guide)
BREAKING! - Don't miss our Lost Secrets of Un'Goro guide, which contains everything we know about the rumoured next expansion for Hearthstone!
Pirate Warrior (Standard) deck list and strategy - February 2017
Here's the best deck list for Pirate Warrior that we're aware of in the current Gadgetzan metagame. Don't forget to let us know of any solid tweaks you've made in the comments section, so we can roadtest them ourselves!
|2 x N'Zoth's First Mate||1 x Patches the Pirate|
|2 x Upgrade||1 x Sir Finley Mrrgglton|
|2 x Fiery War Axe||2 x Small-time Buccaneer|
|2 x Heroic Strike||2 x Southsea Deckhand|
|2 x Bloodsail Cultist||1 x Acidic Swamp Ooze|
|2 x Frothing Berserker||2 x Bloodsail Raider|
|2 x Kor'kron Elite||2 x Dread Corsair|
|2 x Mortal Strike||1 x Leeroy Jenkins|
|2 x Arcanite Reaper|
Alternative Pirate 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.
From the very beginning to the very end of every match, your job with this deck is to blend together the Pirate synergies sprinkled throughout the deck list, so as to put immediate pressure on your opponent from the earlies turns - and then close the match down as rapidly as possible. The weapons in your hand - bolstered, perhaps, by some of your Pirates - will allow you to keep the board under control, while your minions start the process of bringing down your opponent's health pool.
As with so many other aggro decks in Hearthstone, it's extremely important that you familiarise yourself with all of the most important combos you have at your disposal - you'll find the bulk of our strategic advice towards the bottom of this article in the synergies section. You've now got a lot of low-Mana options at your disposal, and so mastering these combos will leave you well-positioned to make a powerful play at just about every stage of the game.
Something to keep in mind is that it can be easy to run out of cards quite quickly with this deck, so it's important to keep one eye on your potential damage output, and think about how close you are to closing down the match. If you're a turn or two away from lethal, it's much more important to start racing towards the finishing line, and let your opponent do the job of clearing down your minions. Spotting that moment when it arrives is a key part of playing any aggro deck, and can only be truly mastered by playing many matches.
If you're planning to make this one of your core ladder-climbing decks, it can be very useful to take some time out to watch some of the best players running with this archetype.
Although the deck list being used will be a little different to the one we're highlight this month, we reckon this video by Amaz will give you a great grounding in getting the most out of Pirate Warrior. Make sure you watch it through to the end, as it's always worth seeing how a few different scenarios pan out.
Pirate Warrior (Standard) Mulligan guide - February 2017
There are so many early combos that are possible with this deck list that it's tough to give specific advice, although you should be looking at your first few turns - and the impact of The Coin if you have it - in terms of the synergies available to you.
Suffice to say you should always look for a Pirate in your opening hand, so as to get Patches out on the board and working hard right from the very first turn of every match.
More great guides:
Pirate Warrior (Standard) card combos and synergies - February 2017
Although it's true that Pirate Warrior has existed in one form or another throughout Hearthstone's history, it's never really been particularly effective until now. For that reason, it would probably be sensible for you to take a close look at all of the synergies that make this deck tick in 2017!
Here are some of the biggest plays you should become familiar with, so you don't miss a chance to steal an extra match or two during your long climb up the ladder this month.
- Bloodsail Cultist has obvious synergy with every other Pirate class of card in this deck. There needs to be another pirate on the board and a weapon in your hand for the effect to trigger though, so check and double-check your options.
- Small-time Buccaneer synergises very nicely with Fiery War Axe, Upgrade, Arcanite Reaper and even the rather minor weapon granted by N'Zoth's First Mate.
- Bloodsail Raider gains the additional Attack value of your weapon when she's put on the board, should you happen to have one in your hand at the time, of course.
- The cost of playing Dread Corsair out is reduced by the Attack value of the weapon you have in your hand.
- It might seem a little silly to mention, but don't forget to actually use Patches the Pirate after he's summoned onto the board - it's easy to forget you can use him straight away before hitting End Turn!
- Any of your weapons will gift Southsea Deckhand the Charge mechanic. Again, the weapon needs to be in your hand, so don't accidentally use up your last charge of it before making this play!