This deck is commonly referred to as Pirate Warrior, but it could just as easily be called ‘Face Warrior’. With every card in the deck contributing to directly killing your opponent, this deck doesn’t stall at all. In fact, the goal of this deck is to win by turn six. Face Warrior has been around for a while, but with the most recent expansion it was given two new cards that make the deck work far better as the Pirate Warrior. It also benefits greatly from the disappearance of Sludge Belcher, Antique Healbot, and Zombie Chow. The Pirate Warrior is styled after Face Hunter with every attack designed to kill your opponent faster, not bothering with trading. Hence the coined name ‘Face Warrior,’ all it does is go face. However, the newest cards added, as well as most of the old creatures in the deck happen to be primarily Pirates, hence the name Pirate Warrior.
This is one of the standard Pirate Warrior decklists. The only questionable cards in it are Alexstrazsa’s Champion and Faerie Dragon. These are often replaced with Wolfriders and Argent Horseriders. Other than that, the theme of the deck is fairly obvious – send everything at your opponent’s face. The goal of this deck is to end the game by turn six, with the second swing of Arcanite Reaper. Because of this, value is a non-factor. Nearly every card in your deck is designed to deal damage the turn it is played, meaning it doesn’t matter if it dies the next turn. Hence the trend of the deck being weapons and charge minions.
The Pirate Warrior is one of the easiest decks to play, as the general rule is simply: “go face”. There are very few instances in which you will want to trade or kill your opponent’s minions. The only time you’ll want to kill minions is using your weapon in order to protect one of your minions for more damage next turn. The other possible time to trade is when you have a Frothing Berserker about to attack, and trading minions makes its attack much higher. This way you won’t lose much or any damage to your opponent, and you’ll clear their board to stop them from having possible outs.
You’ll want to be sure to play Dread Corsair when it costs 0 or if it is your only play at the time, as it simply is not worth its mana cost otherwise. You’ll also typically want to make use of Bloodsail Cultist whenever possible. Playing N’Zoth’s First Mate into Coin + Bloodsail Cultist is an incredible way to regain your pressure while going second. Leeroy Jenkins will, as usual, only be played as a finisher, or as a last resort. With Sir Finley Mrrgglton you will want to get either Hunter or Zoo hero power if possible, with Druid and Paladin being your next strongest. Make sure to use Upgrade! effectively, as it can make the difference between having an extra two damage and an extra four very easily.
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Against Aggro Shaman the matchup turns into a race to see who can kill the other faster. If you are able to easily kill their early Tunnel Trogg, do so before it spirals out of control. Otherwise, simply press face as fast as possible, you have just as much damage as they do, don’t waste it on minions if you can help it. You have an advantage against Midrange Shaman as they simply won’t be able to utilize their massive cards if you push and don’t let up pressure.
Control Warrior can be a difficult matchup. Here you’ll want to flood the board as fast as possible. Their only mass removal is Brawl. If they spend their entire turn using Brawl it allows you to get another attack in with your weapon, while continuing to apply pressure with your charge minions. This matchup is a race to see if you can kill them before they stabilize – don’t let them stabilize.
The most popular variant of Druid at the moment is the spell based Yogg Druid. This matchup favours you, as they do not have a lot of early plays, or any taunts. Simply go face and ignore their Violet Teachers. If they play Fandral and you have an easy way to kill it, do so, but otherwise simply keep going face to end the game quickly. Your minions aren’t designed to stick around more than one turn anyway, so as long as all they are doing is removing, you have the advantage.
Tempo Mage can be difficult, especially if they are able to get Flamewakers early. If they play Flamewaker you don’t have much choice, you have to either kill it or kill them. Otherwise, simply race, you have more immediate damage, especially if they use their removal taking care of your charge minions. Against Freeze, you have a distinct advantage. Freeze Mages rely heavily on their Frost Nova + Doomsayer plays, or Blizzard plays. This doesn’t affect you because your minions have charge, as well as making use of weapons. Try not to play minions into Doomsayer unless you are pressing lethal, but don’t bother killing it either, unless your board is very strong.
Rogue is one of your easiest matchups. They don’t have the ability to remove your cards easily without taking damage, which only helps you. They also don’t plan to win until after turn six, which is when we’ve already killed them. Just go face, don’t bother with their minions.
Zoo can be a difficult matchup. You have the advantage because they will be busy trading while you go face, but they can build boards very quickly. If the game is close, be sure to kill Knife Jugglers and Darkshire Councilmen, as they represent too much damage to ignore. Otherwise, ignore their small minions and keep pressing damage.