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Dragon Tempo Warrior Karazhan Standard Deck

Last updated on Oct 05, 2016 at 10:15 by Sottle 21 comments

Table of Contents

The following guide outlines how to play Dragon Tempo Warrior. This Dragon deck is a severe departure from most previous builds that included Dragons since it relies much less on Control and uses more aggressive cards to play out a more Tempo focused strategy.

The introduction of One Night in Karazhan has created a better card draw engine for the deck in the form of The Curator, which means making some deck building concessions to create more consistent card draws.

Since the patch on October 3rd, this deck has been reviewed and is deemed fit to see play unchanged. Execute being increased to 2 Mana does have an impact on the deck, but it is still Warrior's best removal option regardless and should still be used.

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. Dragon Tempo Warrior Karazhan Standard Deck

Our deck costs 4,860 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Warrior Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

Dragon Warrior is an aggressive Tempo deck that tries to take advantage of Dragon synergy in order to gain advantages over the opponent. When played in their activated forms, Dragon cards are above the power curve for cards in their Mana slot and can allow you to put a lot of pressure on the opponent.

Prior to the release of Whispers of the Old Gods most Dragon decks were heavy Control decks that packed in numerous late-game Dragons to dominate the later turns. However, due primarily to the lack of Big Game Hunter in the new format after its nerf, Drakonid Crusher has become a valid card that can reward you for playing Dragons in a more aggressive fashion.

Your early game is potentially very powerful with both Alexstrasza's Champion and Fiery War Axe allowing you to create very favourable trades on the board early. Faerie Dragon is another potential early-game play, but you should pay close attention to whether playing it is correct. Since having a Dragon in hand is so important for activating various powerful effects on your other cards you should pay close attention to whether Faerie Dragon is more valuable in your hand than on the board. For example if your hand contains cards like Blackwing Corruptor, Alexstrasza's Champion and Twilight Guardian with no other Dragons then it is usually better to hold on to Faerie Dragon in order to activate them.

Sir Finley Mrrgglton is included in the deck since the Warrior Hero Power does very little to synergise with the style of this deck. Since you are playing for Tempo and aggression and do not have cards such as Shield Slam in your deck, gaining armour does very little for you in the long run. Any Hero Power will be an improvement over the Warrior one with this deck but you are primarily looking for Warlock, Mage, and Hunter.

Although the deck is aggressive you should focus on board dominance first and foremost. This means picking up favourable trades where they become available in order to play around your opponents removal options most effectively. The ideal scenario is that you are able to use your Weapons and cards like Blood To Ichor, and Execute to remove your opponents minions while your exisitng minions push damage directly to the opponent. This aggression is rewarded later in the game as lowering your opponent below 15 turns your Drakonid Crusher into a huge threat on turn 6 or beyond.

Azure Drake is a great tool in the mid-game both to keep your hand well stocked if you have not gained access to the Warlock Hero Power and to increase the power of your high Tempo removal options like Blood To Ichor. The power of these mid-game Tempo turns is one of the big reasons why this deck is effective as on top of Azure Drake you also have the superb Blackwing Corruptor and Book Wyrm that can both be a devastating swing on the board as long as you have a Dragon to activate them.

The Curator is added to the deck to create some much needed card draw in the late-game. Prior to this card's inclusion, most players favoured playing one extra late-game threat in the deck such as Onyxia or Deathwing to ensure that you had enough late-game resources to win. However, with The Curator in the deck alongside extra tools like Fierce Monkey to take advantage of it, this is no longer a concern. Between Azure Drake, The Curator and the ability of Sir Finley Mrrgglton to grant you a higher value Hero Power like Warlock or Hunter, you now will consistently have enough resources to win the game.

Moving in to the late-game turns your goal is to set up a win-condition with either Drakonid Crusher or Grommash Hellscream. If you have a Drakonid in hand, then you can more freely switch your strategy to all out aggression, especially if it is backed up by the Hunter Hero Power. As long as it does not look like you will lose the board drastically by making the aggressive play then starting to switch all your damage towards the opponent's Hero is usually correct in order to activate the 9/9 Drakonid. The same holds true for Grommash if you have him in hand. Starting at turn 7 or 8 you should start to act more aggressively to set up the final burst damage that can be achieved through Grommash when activated with Blood To Ichor. However, because of the low number of activators for Grommash in the deck, it can also be used as a trading tool quite often to dominate the board in the late game and still leave behind a huge threatening presence.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

The various Dragon synergy cards in your deck all rely on having a Dragon card in hand to activate them. Because of this you should aim to always hold on to at least one Dragon in your hand, especially if you have powerful options like Blackwing Corruptor available to you.

Azure Drake can increase the power of removal options such as Blood To Ichor.

Blood To Ichor can be used to activate Grommash Hellscream for 10 points of burst damage.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

In every matchup you will look to have Fiery War Axe in your opening hand. On top of this Alexstrasza's Champion, Faerie Dragon, and Frothing Berserker are also strong cards. Blood To Ichor can be kept but is more powerful going second than going first. Finally a mid-game Dragon such as Azure Drake or Twilight Guardian can be kept in order to activate an early Alexstrasza's Champion.

Against Aggro decks, Ravaging Ghoul is also a fantastic keep as it can help you to deal effectively with their early board development. Against Shaman in general Ravaging Ghoul is also a strong keep as it allows you to shut down their most powerful opening of Tunnel Trogg into Totem Golem if you are going first.

3.3. Card Swaps

Ravaging Ghoul is a flexible card and can be removed in favour of N'Zoth's First Mate or Blackwing Technician if you are not encountering much Aggro.

One Faerie Dragon can be removed from the deck in favour of Deathwing in order to win late-game battles and recover lost boards more often.

Grommash Hellscream can also be cut from the deck in favour of any of the above suggestions since without Slam in the deck he can be hard to activate consistently.

4. ChangeLog

  • 05 Oct. 2016: This been has been reviewed and is deemed appropriate for the meta after the Oct. 3rd patch.
  • 02 Sep. 2016: Deck added.
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