In Warcraft, the Warrior is a powerful toon that can be spec’d for DPS, but is often used as a tank, due to its ability to taunt and stack armor. Crafting a Warrior deck in Hearthstone requires a mixture of minions, spells, and weapons
0 Inner Rage – Warrior effects tend to either deal damage, deal massive damage, or stack armor (which I can’t say without laughing, thanks to South Park).
Inner Rage is a great card to keep in any Hearthstone Warrior deck, due to its ability to change the power structure on the table at a moment’s notice, throwing your opponent off-guard.
Dealing 1 damage to a minion, and giving it +2 attack, Inner Rage pairs well with Grim Patron and other minions.
1 Execute – Sometimes a minion just has to be told twice. From the get-go, you Execute allows a warrior to destroy any minion. This card is best saved for later rounds and stronger enemies, however, so don’t be tempted by Blizzard’s attempts to draw this spell on the table early.
Costing 1 mana, Execute is a warrior’s answer to the Rogue’s bag of tricks. While many of the best uses for Inner Rage and the Cruel Taskmaster are best saved for your own cards, pairing them with Execute makes for a deadly, low-cost combo in any Hearthstone round.
1 Shield Slam – An Epic Warrior card that’s worth having is Shield Slam. Two of these cards is ideal, but it can get expensive quick, so save up if you don’t already have at least one.
Warriors stack armor in a variety of ways, even with the base hero spell, so it’s very easy to stack high numbers on armor, which can then be used to destroy high-powered minions before they become too much of a problem.
Shield Slam costs 1 mana and deals damage equal to the Warrior’s armor count to one minion.
1 Upgrade! – Warriors don’t just deal damage to minions. Every so often, they give the little guys an upgrade, though it’s not required. With no cards on the table, the Upgrade! card will equip a 1/3 weapon for the Warrior.
This card is another great way to damage an opponent’s minion in order to execute it. When paired with Captain Greenskin and other weapon boosts, Upgrade! quickly becomes the start of a deadly Warrior combo. Beware of spells that raise your spell costs, though.
1 Whirlwind – Sometimes, the opponent can build up quite the army of glass soldiers. Paladin and Shaman hero powers can build 1- and 2-health enemies for days, so Whirlwind helps even the odds a little.
This card is especially useful when paired with a Kobold Geomancer or other minions that raise spell-power. Though still a great way to get a mobile Warcraft fix, one of the huge differences between Hearthstone and World of Warcraft is that spell damage and physical damage differentiation is a lot more of a gray area in Hearthstone.
1 Shieldbearer – A very cheap shield, the Shieldbearer costs 1 mana and has 4 health and no attack. This is unacceptable for a Warrior, however, so (if the Shieldbearer isn’t granted charge and/or survives a round), the Warrior can quickly rearrange a Shieldbearer’s stats.
The Shieldbearer card is great for gaming Hearthstone‘s infamous “random” selection when using cards like Brawl. If your opponent has a large table advantage, this combo can quickly regain card control.
1 Warbot – A low-cost Warrior minion, Warbot is a 1/3 Mech that gains +1 attack when enraged. Warbot is a great early-game minion to wreak havoc on an opponent from the start.
Warbot can also become a quick glass cannon with a few Warrior spells like Upgrade! and Inner Rage. The key to winning matches at the Hearthstone table is to anticipate your enemy’s next move while concealing your own.
Warbot can attract aggro, but not as much as late-game minions. Use this card wisely…
2 Fiery War Axe – A warrior isn’t a warrior without a few weapons, and Hearthstone provides some very powerful Epic and Legendary weapons for Warriors, regardless of spec. The Fiery War Axe isn’t any of those – it’s a starter wep to get quick DPS on the board.
Costing 2 mana, the Fiery War Axe is a 3/2 Warrior weapon that can quickly take out early-game minion pests or deal a warning jab or two to an opposing hero. Don’t worry too much about boosting this wep, as it’ll help stronger ones more.
2 Cleave – Warriors have a variety of mass DPS spells for minions, and any combination of them can quickly clear a board. Cleave is a 2-mana spell that deals 2 damage to two enemy minions.
Cleave can only be used when the opponent has at least two minions on the table, and is a great way to destroy a few Mage Mirror Images or Shaman totems, if used at the right time.
Late game, it may be necessary to boost with a Kobolt Geomancer or other minion that increases Spell Damage.
2 Commanding Shout – Sometimes minions have to be pushed beyond their capabilities. Fortunately the Hearthstone Warrior deck has a Commanding Shout spell for that.
With Commanding Shout, your minions on the board prior to playing Commanding Shout can’t be reduced below 1 health during your turn. You also draw a card. This is an easy way to activate Enrage on minions without killing them.
2 Heroic Strike – Regardless of whether or not a Warrior has a weapon equipped, he’s not powerless. Heroic Strike costs 2 mana and gives your hero +4 Attack this turn.
This is card is obviously great for adding to a weapon’s power for a moment.
Heroic Strike can be used to deal massive DPS to an opponent or clear a particularly annoying minion. Always be sure to stack armor prior to attacking (unless not doing so for a particular late-game strategy).
2 Rampage – When you really want to draw aggro onto a minion, start raising stats with Rampage. Giving a damaged minion +3/+3 can turn any insignificant near-death minion into a force to be reckoned with for at least another round.
Never waste rampage on a minion that’s not able to attack, as it will likely just be destroyed before you have a chance to use it. Instead, save this spell for minions that can quickly deal heavy damage to the opposing hero.
2 Slam – Another fun way for Warriors to deal damage at the Hearthstone table is Slam, a 2-mana spell that deals 2 damage to a minion. If the minion survives, you draw a card.
When used with execute on an end-game minion, Slam is a great way to start a powerful combo that can devastate your opponent in a variety of ways, sometimes flat-out causing a rage quit or defeat.
Though a common spell, Slam is too powerful to be ignored.
2 Amani Berzerker – A 2-cost minion, Amani Berserker is a 2/3 minion that gains +3 Attack when enraged, making it a great minion to have on the table when dealing damage to all minions.
Rage minions draw high aggro in Hearthstone, as players will aim to destroy it, rather than Enrage it. Don’t buff these minions unless you’re ready to use them.
Amani Berserker is among the Enrage minions that can make a Hearthstone Warrior deck brutal against even the most skilled players.
2 Revenge – Revenge is a rare card that costs 2 mana, and is much more fun to have later in the game. Revenge deals either 1 or 3 damage to all minions, depending on whether your Warrior has 13 or less health.
Revenge is a dish Warriors serve cold at the Hearthstone table. A combo of AOE attacks can quickly clear the field of even the most powerful Legendary and Epic minions. Be sure to save Revenge for the most optimal time.
2 Annoy-o-Tron – A low-cost, uncommon tank, Annoy-o-Tron does exactly what it’s designed to do. With Taunt and Divine shield, this Mech draws major aggro. If it survives the initial round, boost Annoy-o-Tron to become an even bigger hindrance to the enemy.
Be sure not to waste any boosts that will destroy Divine Shield without damaging him to provide the maximum boosts, some of which can only be applied to a damaged minion.
Annoy-o-Tron is the most annoying bot this side of Robocop, Josh Hartnett, and Chappie…
2 Armorsmith – Whenever a friendly minion takes damage, gain 1 Armor. If you already have a couple minions down to draw aggro, the Armorsmith is a great Rare Warrior card to play.
Costing 2 mana, this 1/4 minion will draw the ire of the opponent, but not as quickly as others.
Armorsmith is a great way to stack a little armor to intimidate opponents and provide the balls a Warrior needs to jump into the Hearthstone fray and weather an attack.
2 Cruel Taskmaster – A 2/2, 2-cost minion, Cruel Taskmaster’s battlecry deals 1 damage to a minion, giving it +2 attack, basically Inner Rage, but with a minion.
Like most Warrior cards, a Cruel Taskmaster can damage a minion on either side of the table, helping destroy or amp up minions, depending on the situation.
Strategy is everything in Hearthstone, and the fine line you ride as a Warrior is deciding who to damage.
3 Charge – Charge costs 3 mana and gives a friendly unit +2 attack and Charge. This is a powerful Warrior card, as any unit costing 7 or less can be instantly boosted and attack.
Charge has two abilities, and only one of which is to Charge…how paradoxical…
Use charge to either mount a surprise attack or empower a seemingly docile minion, like the Shieldbearer. When stacked with other Warrior spells, charge can quickly create an end-game minion.
3 Shield Block (x2) – Gain 5 Armor and draw a card for a cost of 3 mana. Shield Block is among my personal favorite Hearthstone Warrior cards. It’s like playing any scene where Tony Stark transforms into Iron Man.
When a Warrior plays Shield Block, it instantly induces fear in the opponent, who’s tempted to strike after seeing you gain so much from one low-cost card.
Like I said…Warriors know how to stack armor, and Shield Block can be used in combination with a variety of minions and spells to amplify effects based on Armor gain.
3 Warsong Commander – The Warsong Commander is a Warrior minion card that costs 3 mana and summons a 2/3 minion. As long as the Warsong Commander minion is alive, any minion with 3 or less attack has Charge.
Playing a Warsong Commander before any of the minions above makes for a deadly combo, especially with Warrior spells in your hand to amp the minion’s DPS.
Warsong Commander draws high aggro, so beware of one-turn kills and figure out ways to avoid them.
4 Mortal Strike – You’re singing the Mortal Kombat theme song in your head now. It’s my friendship move, but the Warrior only has fatalities.
Costing 4 mana, this Rare card deals 4 base damage, or 6 if your Warrior has 12 or less health. Boosting spell damage increases these base numbers. Mortal Strike can cause major damage if used correctly.
Be patient, but don’t hesitate to use this card when necessary to escape a truly dire situation.
4 Kor’kron Elite – A great utility minion, Kor’kron Elite is a 4-cost 4/3 minion card with Charge. Warriors can use this card to launch an attack that can easily regain table advantage.
Opponents are used to dueling Warriors throughout Blizzard and Warcraft’s history, but mighty sneak attacks can still be launched off the back of a Kor’kron Elite, which can afford to sacrifice a few hit points to boost damage.
Use this card to either destroy an end-game minion or deal a massive blow to your opponent,.
5 Arcanite Reaper – Packing a medium-sized punch, the Arcanite Reaper costs 5 mana, and arms the Warrior with a 5/2 weapon.
Use the Arcanite Reaper to quickly clear annoying minions from the opponent’s side of the table. It can also be boosted with several spells and minions to increase DPS, so long as you’re not disarmed.
5 Brawl – Brawl is an Epic Warrior spell card that can be used to troll players through Blizzard’s “random” number generators to completely change the course of a match.
When an opponent’s side of the board is overwhelming you, place any minion on the board and play Brawl, which will destroy all minions except one, which is chosen “randomly.”
Blizzard has a great sense of humor that can really be seen when using Brawl, so make sure it’s part of your Hearthstone Warrior deck build.
5 Captain Greenskin – A Legendary Pirate card, Captain Greenskin is that goblin you’ve probably not heard about, because he provides no quarter to his enemies.
A 5-cost, 5/4 minion, Captain Greenskin also adds +1/+1 to your weapon, making him a useful companion in a Hearthstone Warrior deck.
When played at the end of a weapon’s life span, the boost tends to have the greatest affect in battle, and Captain Greenskin will attract aggro, though not as much as the weapon-wielding Warrior.
5 Grim Patron – The Grim Patron is among my favorite neutral minions in certain decks. Warriors, Rogues, and Priests can quickly build an army from this card and clear an entire table.
A 3/3 minion that costs 5 mana to play, Grim Patron will summon another Grim Patron each time it takes damage and survives.
For Warriors, this means hitting a Grim Patron with Cruel Taskmaster and Inner Rage, followed by any AOE attack.
5 Siege Engine – As a Warrior stacks armor, a Siege Engine gains attack. This Rare 5/5 Warrior mech costs 5 mana and gains +1 attack every time you gain armor.
When followed by a Shield Block and hero power, this minion very quickly becomes a dangerous enemy.
Siege Engine isn’t a glass cannon, but will quickly gain aggro as damage rises, so tank damage with the Warrior to protect the Siege Engine.
Its boost isn’t based on how much Armor you have – it’s how much armor you gain.
7 Gorehowl – Gorehowl is an Epic 7/1 Warrior weapon card with a cool effect. Attacking a minion costs 1 Attack instead of 1 Durability, so this weapon can be kept in the game to annoy and frustrate for a long time.
Whenever possible, stick to using Gorehowl on minions, even allowing low-health/low-DPS minions live an extra round to conserve power. Of course, after playing Captain Greenskin, feel free to take a free whack at your opponent.
There are many powerful weapons in the Warrior’s arsenal, but this is my favorite I’ve come across so far…
1 Brian Penny – Costing 1 mana and providing very little utility to the game, Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer.
Dr. Penny still manages to get his work published in some far-reaching publications, including Huff Post, The Street, Fast Company, Intuit, Hardcore Droid, and more.