46.0% Win rate 0.2% Popularity Players got to experience the formation of the League of EVIL and started a storyline that has stretched across numerous expansions.
Though many of these decks received a swift smack from the nerf bat, you’ll find them here preserved in their former glory. The Invoke Mechanic was so strong in this deck prior to the nerfs that it could make the opponent feel powerless.
Luckily, the Hearthstone team recognized how OP the deck was and nerfed it shortly after the Descent of Dragons expansion released. Warrior players will likely already have cards like Captain Green skin and Leroy Jenkins from having played Pirate decks in the past.
One of the best decks in the game prior to the release of Hearthstone’s latest expansion Descent of Dragons, Quest Shaman was a force to be reckoned with. This deck makes use of two cards that are partially responsible for Shaman’s dominance throughout the year, Shudderwock and Evolve.
Since the deck is full of Battle cry minions and revolves around the Heart of VIR’naval Hero Power, once you played Shudderwock there was little an opponent could do to recover. When Blizzard decided to reintroduce 23 Wild cards into Standard in an attempt to shake up the meta, Shaman immediately started dominating the ladder.
Shaman was so dominant that people may have forgotten how powerful Highlander Hunter was during this time period. Though it didn’t receive quite the boost decks like Quest and Evolve Shaman did, Highlander Hunter was still a force to be reckoned with.
Saviors of Album introduced some of the most interesting cards Hearthstone has ever seen in the form of Reno and Gallegos. After Blizzard decided to make changes to Luna’s Pocket Galaxy and Conjurer’s Calling, this deck didn’t quite hit the way it was meant to.
Part of the reason Control Warrior was able to cling to life for so long was due to arguably the most powerful Hero card ever printed, Dr. Boom, Mad Genius. Though it may not be super powerful at the moment, for the majority of the year Marlon Paladin was a force to be reckoned with.
The deck also made use of Saviors of Album cards like Zephyrs the Great and Sir Finley of the Sands. Though Finley’s Highlander effect wasn’t useful in the deck, he still made a great additional Marlon.
Though the deck doesn’t contain control mainstays like Dr. Boom, it features a number of cards that help prolong the action until your Malakand arrives. Though Warlock was on the lower half of the win-rate bracket for the majority of the year, things are looking up for the class with Descent of Dragons.
You can also find some general strategy advice and a breakdown of the deck’s key combos, but we will continue to add more overtime. We have moved away from the popular Control Warrior deck list for this one, as the game plan encouraged by this deck is a more aggressive one.
Remember, the meta is far from settled so don’t go out crafting all the cards in this deck, but give it a go if you’ve got Hack the System in a pack. Warrior Neutral2 x Eternity Rover2 x Dread Corsair1 x Hack the System1 x Captain Greenskin2 x Improve Morale1 x Zilliax2 x Town Crier2 x Upgrade!2 x Frightened Flunky2 x Slam2 x Woodcutter's Axe2 x Liveware Lance1 x Rabid Worgen2 x Marathi Weaponsmith2 x Restless Mummy2 x Wrenchcalibur1 x Darius Crowley1 x Sub'Thrace Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.
Quest Warrior is a deck built around getting your Hero to attack with his big Orc face. More accurately, it’s about you swinging weapons around as much as possible, going through your Quest and allowing for a lot of direct damage as well as longer term value.
This deck does not run Dr. Boom, Mad Genius, as that card is better suited to grinding out a game for a long period of time, whereas the Anraphret’s Core Hero Power is designed to build a large amount of pressure quickly and consistently. Mid Game: A few turns in and given the number of weapons you’re running in this deck, you should be well on your way to Quest completion.
Your Rush minions like Restless Mummy should be serving you well, and the Frightened Flunky can generate extra value for you while you keep attacking. Spell and Captain Green skin too if you happen to have them in hand, giving a nifty boost to the Lance’s attack power too.
Hopefully, you’ve drawn enough weapon-based cards to be attacking with your Hero every turn, and Prophet's Core should become available to you around this point in the game. Swinging your weapon at every opportunity will increase the number of Golems you can summon, and it should both prove an irritant for your opponent, and a way of taking charge of the late game.
While it’s not aggressively started, the Stone hill Defender fans amongst us will remember the benefits of such efficient card generation, particularly given its simultaneous usefulness later on in the game. If drawn later on in the game, you can give a weapon +1/+1 in stats, which when combined with the likes of Wrenchcalibur or Liveware Lance can be hugely impactful.
That extra attack offers more options when trading with enemy minions, but the durability bonus gives you more value with the weapons’ powerful effects. You can press the Hero Power button a total of 5 times if you swing Sub'Thrace and overkill for all 4 of its charges.
It has been at the top of the game before during the era of Patches the Pirate, but eventually, all the main synergy cards rotated out of Standard format and the archetype ceased to exist because it did not have enough cards left to fill a deck. However, the Descent of Dragons expansion introduced several powerful aggro Pirate cards to the game and the archetype was renewed overnight with Sky Raider, Parachute Brigand, Anchor, Sky barge, and Hoard Pillager all entering the field at the same time.
1 South sea Deckhand 2 2 Blood sail Raider 2 2 Parachute Brigand 2 4 Dread Corsair 2 4 Hoard Pillager 2 5 Captain Green skin 1 5 Faceless Corrupter 2 5 Leroy Jenkins 1 Pirate Warrior is one of the most aggressive decks in the game, and it is easy to pick up, but it still remains difficult to master.
Do not be fooled into thinking that aggro decks are easy to play perfectly. They are easy to get good results with because simply hitting face is enough to win a bunch of games, but true mastery is as difficult as it is with control decks, just condensed into making just a few key decisions during a game.
Health is a resource, and in many aggro games, you are supposed to win one turn before you would lose. For every trade, ask yourself whether killing the opponent’s minion allows you to either push in more damage because you retain the board, or whether it gives you an additional turn to draw lethal.
Likewise, you can use your own Faceless Corrupter to gain the upper hand, if you have any minions alive. There are lots of weapons in the deck, and deciding when and how to use them is one of the key strategic decisions you make in a Pirate Warrior game.
Usually, you want to start your turn with the Anchor swing, because the Pirates you draw can affect your decisions, and in case of Parachute Brigand, even get on the board for free. They often turn into control-style games where both players avoid taking damage and attempt to gain board control.
Your role in aggro games can vary a lot: ideally, you can get the beat down role where you have a higher health total and can push face damage and force the opponent to trade because they cannot keep up in a face race. Much depends on the amount of reach your opponent has: if they can deal a lot of damage from hand, you cannot afford to use your weapons too much for board control, or you risk getting burned down.
Games against other Pirate Warriors or Zoo decks tend to be heavily board-focused in particular. In games against Face Hunter, I am more inclined to use my minions to trade to minimize the damage I take and to keep my board size small enough to not get punished by Unleash the Hounds.
Deal as much damage as you can, as fast as you can, and play around their removal tools when you can afford to do so. For example, try to not play too much into the three points of area-of-effect damage from Crazed Nether wing from Warlock and try to create boards that cannot be fully wiped with Mass Hysteria against Priest.
If your hand is pretty dry, going all-in can give you the best chance to win, whereas if you have more resources, you can afford to hold some back to ensure success even if your board is wiped. Sky barge is one of your best tools against control decks, because it is difficult to remove, and it provides a constant stream of damage as long as you have Pirates to play.
I still do not keep it in the mulligan because it is more important to hit the game running and get a minion on the board on the first turn, but whenever I find Sky barge, I try to make it as difficult to remove as possible. Even aggro decks do not come in cheap nowadays, with the sole exception of Face Hunter.
To get the same weapon buff effect, but you miss out on the associated body, so the deck will be somewhat weaker. A key finisher in many aggro and combo decks, and a Classic set card to boot, Leroy is well worth crafting if you enjoy anything where burst plays a role.
That said, a Reckless Racketeer can serve as a substitute: it does fairly well in Pirate Warrior, because you do not run any combo effects where one MANA makes all the difference. Replacing it is difficult because there is no other card that gives you a weapon for board control or damage and additional resources to keep going.
It draws Rush minions from your deck while providing a body for early game or for a Faceless Corrupter to take over. The best I can suggest is Frightened Flunky, but this is getting to the point where playing the deck gets hard.