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Fatigue Control Warrior Karazhan Standard Deck

Last updated on Oct 05, 2016 at 10:17 by Sottle 63 comments

Table of Contents

The following deck is a variation of Control Warrior that omits many late-game threats in favour of more removal options. It is very consistent at shutting down aggressive decks and uses Elise Starseeker as a win condition against other Control decks.

The Karazhan Adventure introduces Ironforge Portal to the deck, which goes a long way to replace the departed Shieldmaiden and makes running your opponent out of threats and damage a viable strategy again.

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. Fatigue Control Warrior Karazhan Standard Deck

Our deck costs 8,920 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Warrior Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

This removal based version of Control Warrior is built around the concept of constantly controlling the board until your opponent is out of resources to continue to pressure you. From this point Justicar Trueheart can become a win condition on its own, as you will start to net total life on every turn as your opponent's initiative disappears.

Previously, even the slowest Control Warrior builds still played various high curve threats to help finish out the game and to compete against other heavy Control Decks. Since the release of League of Explorers however, Elise Starseeker has entered the format and allowed Warriors to move away from this strategy completely. This deck plays a much lower curve overall, and omits many of the late-game threats for more removal options. Elise is then used as your win condition against Control decks as it can transform any unused removal cards into huge threats in the super late-game turns.

This opens up a lot of benefits to the consistency of your deck as previously drawing expensive cards like Ysera or Deathwing would get in the way of your early-game turns. Without those options in the deck, this build draws important removal with much higher consistency, and allows you to more efficiently answer the early threats of aggressive decks.

In the early game turns, Fiery War Axe is key as it always is with Warrior decks, the efficiency of this card can easily help you navigate the early-game turns and start to build yourself a platform for success. With this deck however, you still have multiple effective options to cover yourself if you do not hit a War Axe. Slam and Bash can both be used to address must-kill minions such as Knife Juggler.

On top of this additional early-game control cards like Blood To Ichor and Ravaging Ghoul are also featured in the deck. Blood Ro Ichor is the perfect card on turn 1 to answer an Argent Squire or 1/3 minion as it contests them both perfectly on curve. It also ties in fantastically with Fiery War Axe as the Axe can take care of a 2-drop minion and then combine with the Blood To Ichor to remove a 4 Health 3-drop while gaining some Tempo. Ravaging Ghoul on the other hand is one of the most flexible and powerful cards in the deck as it can single-handedly counter Token decks but also be used in similar ways as Blood To Ichor and to activate Execute.

The important skill with this deck is to recognise when it is appropraite to use each of your cards. It is important to accept that not only your removal spells are resources, your life total is as well. If you are in a comfortable position, you can choose to hold on to a Slam, Bash, or Execute for a more appropriate target, or hold back to try and set up a better Brawl. If you immediately use each of your removal spells at the first opportunity presented, you will quickly find yourself running out of resources.

Justicar Trueheart is another key minion that it is important to time correctly. It can be temping to drop Justicar as early as possible to start gaining advantage from the buffed Hero Power. However, come turn 7 or 8 you will still find yourself using all of your Mana to develop the board or answer your opponent's threats, meaning that you will usually not have the spare Mana to use Tank Up. Because of this, it is often better to develop a stronger minion on this turn and save the Justicar for a turn where you intend to Hero Power immediately afterwards. Once Justicar has been played, you enter a period of the game where the opponent is forced to over commit into the board and the advice in the previous paragraph really comes into play. Once you are gaining 4 armour a turn, you can happily sit back and allow your opponent to hit you for anything up to 6 damage a turn and wait to draw the perfect answers instead of using premium removal on subpar targets. Eventually your opponent will be forced to over commit and you can punish them with Brawl, Revenge or Yogg-Saron, Hope's End.

Ironforge Portal is an inclusion in the deck that goes some way to replace the departed Shieldmaiden in the deck. Although it is not quite as powerful as Shieldmaiden, it serves the same effect and the reintroduction of additional armour gain to the deck makes running your opponent out of threats completely a viable strategy again. Although the stats of an average 4-drop are fairly weak, only around 3.2/4.2, the ability to gain life and place a body in play to occupy your opponent is exactly what the deck wants to do. It also serves as an immediate activator for Shield Slam around a period of the game where key minions such as Emperor Thaurissan often need to be answered.

Elise Starseeker is a fantastic tool to help this deck outlast other Control decks. Without access to Elise, this deck would find itself lacking in power against other slow decks in the extreme late-game turns. In many super slow Control matchups, the game often progresses all the way to fatigue, with each player having a few useless cards left in their hand that have never found an appropriate use. The Golden Monkey is an excellent tool to turn those useless cards into impactful threats that can finally overwhelm your opponent. It is important to wait on playing the Golden Monkey until you have used all cards in your deck that have important roles to play in Control matchups. Against faster decks, Elise will primarily function as a 3/5 minion that can help you to fight for the board, as the game will rarely progress to the point where you draw all the way through to the Golden Monkey.

Finally, Grommash Hellscream is another card that is often used somewhat counter-intuitively in this deck. Classicly Grommash will be used as finishing burst damage to end the game in combination with Slam or Revenge. Although that usage still comes up in this version, Grommash is also very commonly used as a board control tool to remove a minion from play and stick a large intimidating body to the board.

Finally Yogg-Saron, Hope's End is included in the deck as a final potential win-condition. Against aggressive decks this card can function as a third Brawl to clear your opponent's board, or as a way to generate value for yourself once they have run out of threats. However, against other extreme Control decks it is often best not to play Yogg at all if the game progresses to a certain point. Since Yogg will quite often draw you at least a few cards late in the game it can cause you to lose a fatigue battle in these matchups.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Grommash Hellscream can be combined with Revenge, Slam, or in some cases Shield Slam in order to create burst damage to the opponent.

Justicar Trueheart, Ironforge Portal, and Shield Block can be used to increase the effectiveness of your Shield Slams.

Sylvanas Windrunner is an excellent setup for Brawl on a following turn, as if your opponent ignores it, you have a Brawl with a guaranteed favourable outcome.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

Fiery War Axe is a must-keep card in almost every matchup, but outside of this, your Mulligan strategy will vary enormously on what kind of matchup you are expecting to face.

Against early minion focused decks like Zoo, Secret Paladin and Aggro Shaman, alongside the essential Fiery War Axe, Blood To Ichor and Ravaging Ghoul are also fantastic tools to help slow down the face in the early turns. Slam and Bash are also strong tools to keep in your opening hand.

Against decks that need to keep Control of the board throughout the game to maintain pressure on you such as Zoo and Secret Paladin, you can consider keeping a Brawl in your opening hand, since it is the best card in your deck for coming back against these matchups. Against more outright damage based decks like Face Hunter and Face Shaman however, keeping Brawl will be too slow and can cause you to miss key removal options to limit damage in the early-game. Brawl is also an excellent keep if you are playing against a Warrior and expect it to be a Grim Patron variant.

Against more Midrange focused matchups, Bash and Execute will be your key cards, perhaps even more important that Fiery War Axe as in some matchups they will not have early threats very consistently and you will instead need to plan immediately for the mid-game turns with your mulligan.

In Control matchups, such as against other Warriors and Priests, Justicar Trueheart is a core card, and is perhaps good enough even to keep in your opening hand alongside at least one other solid option. Getting Justicar down early is key to helping you outlast your opponent in the extremely long games that two Control decks commonly play out. Early game cards like Blood To Ichor are nowhere near as effective in these matchups as they are against aggressive decks. These are the matchups where Elise Starseeker is key to turn any leftover useless removal cards at the end of the game into high value threats to finish your opponent.

3.3. Card Swaps

As a reactive Control deck, you can choose to play tech cards to react to your specific meta such as Harrison Jones, Big Game Hunter, or The Black Knight.

In an extremely heavy Control meta, and only then, Prince Malchezaar can be added to the deck.

4. ChangeLog

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