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Basic Warrior Deck

Last updated on Jun 18, 2016 at 20:28 by Sottle 25 comments

Table of Contents

This Warrior deck:

  • is meant for players who are new to Hearthstone, and/or who have not invested much (or any) real money into the game;
  • is comprised only of cards that are granted to you for free as a reward for completing the tutorial and leveling a Warrior to level 10;
  • does not include any Common, Rare, Epic, or Legendary cards.

While there are obvious weaknesses due to the Basic-only limitation, this deck is balanced, and quite strong. It should allow you to defeat the AI (in both Normal and Expert modes), and it can hold its own against players using Rare, Epic, and even Legendary cards in Play mode.

In addition to listing the deck, we will also explain why some cards have been included or excluded, how some of the minions in the deck are best played, and what changes you can make to the deck.

Note that to succeed with this deck (as with all decks), you need to make the correct decisions while playing. For this reason, we advise you to also read these two articles: Card Advantage and Why Am I Losing?.

1. About the Author

This deck is presented to you by Sottle, a professional Hearthstone player who plays for compLexity Gaming. Sottle regularly streams on Twitch and explains all of his moves. Watching him is a good opportunity to see how this and other decks play out in practice, and how decisions are made in real time.

2. Basic Warrior Deck

Our deck costs 0 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Warrior Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

Warrior is a reasonable choice for a Basic only deck due to how powerful in nature weapons are. A common mistake of newer players is to use Weapons to attack the opponent's Hero directly, instead of using them as board control tools. Using them to kill your opponent's minions will create significant card advantage and help you to build a board your opponent will not be able to answer.

Although aggressive Warrior decks are relatively cheap to make, there are not enough cards in the Basic set to maintain consistent aggression. Instead, this deck should be played on a controlling fashion, using your minions and weapons to create favourable trades with the opponent's minions. Once you do gain an advantage, the deck is capable of making the switch to aggression with cards like Kor'kron Elite and Arcanite Reaper. Making the judgement on when to make the switch to aggression will be one of the most difficult things to learn with this deck.

You should always Mulligan for Fiery War Axe in your opening hand. Fiery War Axe is one of the most powerful early game cards in the game, and can easily sway the game in your favour single handedly. You always want to use the Fiery War Axe to clear 2 of your opponent's minions and not to attack your opponent's face.

The weakness of Warrior as a class is the Hero Power. Since life totals are actually a lot less important than many newer players think, having a Hero Power that only affects your life and does not impact the board in any way can be detrimental. With access to more of the Expert set cards, you can include cards like Shield Slam to gain some utility out of your armor, but in a Basic only deck, the Hero Power is fairly weak.

3.1. Card Choices

In this section we will discuss some of the cards that have been chosen, how to use them effectively, and why they are chosen over other possibilities. Hopefully this will both help you to succeed with this deck, as well as inform your own deck building decisions in the future.

Execute is a powerful removal card, but is not quite as strong as some newer players may believe. Although it is 1 Mana to kill a minion, which sounds incredibly strong, that minion must be damaged, which means often you will have to throw one of your minions into a larger minion to damage it, creating a 2-for-1 in your opponent's favour. To help avoid this, you should try and use your weapons to damage bigger minions, or the Battlecry effects in the deck discussed later.

Elven Archer is a card included in the deck mainly for its synergy with Execute. Shooting a minion for 1 damage with the Elven Archer Battlecry and then using Execute is a very efficient, low cost hard removal solution that does not expend extra cards to achieve the effect.

Fiery War Axe is one of the best cards is the Basic set, and arguably in the game in general. If you have this card in your opening hand, the initiative you gain from being able to remove the first two minions your opponent plays, while being able to play your own, will be difficult for them to recover from.

Cleave is a useful spell that can be used to clear two opposing minions simultaneously, or to activate your Executes. However, due to only being able to cast this spell if there are at least two minions on your opponent's side, as well as the effect being random if they have three or more, this card is deemed too situational to include twice.

Shield Block is a card that can help you cycle through your deck and gain some life simultaneously. However, since without access to Expert Set cards like Shield Slam, your armor does not actually have too much of an effect on the game, 1 copy of this card is deemed to be enough in the deck.

Kor'kron Elite is a versatile card that can be used as a removal spell to deal 4 damage to a minion you want to kill, or to take the fight to your opponent in the later turns when you have decided it is time to be aggressive. On an empty board, it is usually better to play a Chillwind Yeti or Sen'jin Shieldmasta if you are not close to killing your opponent, since those minions are harder to remove and will create more damage over time than playing the Kor'kron immediately.

Arcanite Reaper functions both as a mid-game removal tool, to kill opposing Chillwind Yetis and Sen'jin Shieldmastas, as well as one of your best finishers. Although the damage is split over two turns, Arcanite Reaper deals 10 damage for 5 Mana, which compares extremely favourably to even an Epic card like Pyroblast, which does 10 damage for 10 Mana.

Stormpike Commando is included partially because of the relative weakness of the 5 Mana cards in the Basic set, but also as an additional way to activate your Executes.

3.2. Card Omissions

Here we will talk about some of the cards that are not included to help you understand and identify weaker cards, hopefully improving your deck building skills.

Whirlwind is not included because although the damage to Mana ratio is acceptable, the effect is not strong enough to justify it as 1 card out of 30 in your deck. Spots in your deck are limited, so you want to make sure each card you use has an impact. Whirlwind tends to do very little a lot of the time.

Heroic Strike is not used in the deck simply because the Weapons do its job a lot better. Heroic Strike will create a 1 for 1 situation where you use a card to clear a minion, where as equipping a weapon to clear the same minion still leaves you with a Weapon in play the next turn.

Charge and Warsong Commander are not used since they fit better into an aggressive deck that is looking to overwhelm your opponent with damage before they can stabilise. Since this deck plays a more controlling style, the opportunities to use these two cards would be limited.

3.3. Card Swaps

Obviously, as a Basic deck, this list has a lot of room for improvement. As you progress with the game and gain access to more cards and Arcane Dust, here are some additions that you may consider.

If you have access to the Naxxramas set and are playing Wild format, the following additions are excellent:

  • 2 x Haunted Creeper for 2 x Bloodfen Raptor. Haunted Creeper is a very difficult to remove minion, and the three 1 attack bodies it summons are all excellent ways to activate your Execute.
  • 2 x Sludge Belcher for 1 x Stormpike Commando, 1 x Sen'jin Shieldmasta. The 5-drop slot in the Basic set is fairly weak overall, and this deck is fairly heavy on 4-drops. Introducing two Sludge Belchers for the cards suggested addresses both of these issues.
  • 2 x Death's Bite for 2 x Kor'kron Elite. Death's Bite fills much the same role as Korkron in that it is 4 immediate damage. However, being a weapon, it is much more likely to stick around for another turn and allow you to attack again. On top of this, the Whirlwind effect on the 2nd attack is a great activator for your Executes.

If you have access to the Blackrock Mountain set, we recommend the following additions.

The League of Explorers set offers the following cards for your deck which are excellent:

  • 2 x Obsidian Destroyer for 1 x Stormwind Champion, 1 x Boulderfist Ogre. Obsidian Destroyer is an excellent late-game threat that automatically protects itself from trades on the board and can quickly grow out of control if not answered immediately.
  • 2 x Fierce Monkey for 2 x Razorfen Hunter. Fierce Monkey is a card that has premium stats for a 3-drop minion as well as offering the benefit of Taunt on top of that.

Other welcome additions from the Expert Set are listed below. However it should be noted that these cards should be added only if you open them from a pack. Spending dust to improve a Basic only deck is not particularly efficient, and you should instead try to save dust towards one of our low, or mid-budget decks.

  • 2 x Arathi Weaponsmith for 2 x Kor'kron Elite. Arathi Weaponsmith is a fantastic value card that is often capable of creating a 3-for-1 in your favour and fits the style of the deck perfectly.
  • 2 x Cruel Taskmaster for 2 x Bloodfen Raptor. Cruel Taskmaster is a strong utility minion that can function as a 2/2 body on the board, a buff for one of your own minions, or as an activator for your Executes.

4. ChangeLog

  • 18 Jun. 2016: Edited for clarity on card swaps for Standard and Wild.
  • 29 Jun. 2015: Added options for Blackrock Mountain cards to be added to the deck.
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