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Legendary Pirate Warrior Aggro/Rush Standard Deck

Last updated on May 27, 2016 at 14:00 by Sottle 16 comments

Table of Contents

Pirate Warrior is an Aggro deck that relies on synergy between Pirates and Weapons to aggressively rush the opponent down. Pirates have always been on the fringe of competitive play, but ToG has introduced enough power to potentially make it a powerful deck in the meta.

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. Legendary Pirate Warrior Aggro/Rush Standard Deck

Our deck costs 4,440 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Warrior Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

Pirate Warrior is a deck that has always been in the shadows in Hearthstone, but has usually been eclipsed by other Warrior decks and other more efficient Aggro decks. Due to some of the excellent additions to the deck from The Old Gods set alongside some of the nerfs to other decks however, Pirate Warrior is now well positioned to be a force in the meta.

Your early game is extremely robust which is something that has always been lacking in Pirate Warrior. The addition of N'Zoth's First Mate to the deck means that you are extremely well positioned to be able to fight for board in the early game. As shown by the excellent Muster for Battle in previous sets, the ability to summon a small weapon essentially for free is extremely powerful. On top of this, the efficiency that cards such as Flame Juggler, Bloodsail Cultist, and Frothing Berserker bring to your early game means that you will rarely be falling behind early, which is death for any Aggro deck.

The goal is this deck is to have a weapon equipped on every turn possible, which makes N'Zoth's First Mate even more crucial. The reason for this is that so many cards in your deck increase in power significantly when you have a Weapon in play. Dread Corsair becomes cheaper, Bloodsail Cultist buffs your weapon, Southsea Deckhand gains Charge, Bloodsail Raider gains attack, and so on. Because of this you will need to ration out your weapon charges efficiently and make sure that no charges are wasted needlessly.

The style of the deck is very aggressive and as such your first priority should be damage to the opponent's hero. Having said that, that does not give you complete freedom to simply attack directly on every turn. The right mentality to get into is to consider how your opponent punishes you for attacking them in the face. They might be able to pick up a more favourable trade, they may be able to sweep your board with an AoE spell and keep a minion in play themselves, they may be able to buff their existing minion, and so on. Once you have established these potential punishes in your mind, you need to evaluate how often you win the game in the scenario where they have the cards you considered and weigh that against how likely they are to have them. In the scenarios where you cannot think of a strong punish, or in the scenarios where you think you still win the game if they have it, then you are free to push damage as you see fit. This is a skill that will develop with time, and you will find yourself encountering punishes you had not thought of for the first few games, but over time you will gain a feel for how aggressive to be with this deck.

Against other aggressive decks such as Zoo Warlock, aggressive Shamans and Hunters, you can afford to play for board control during the initial turns. Aggro mirrors such as these are often decided by a fight for board control in the early-game and as such you can often rely on the efficiency of your weapons to create you an advantage.

Bloodsail Cultist, Captain Greenskin, and Upgrade! are key cards in the deck as they have a huge impact on how much burst damage or board control your weapons can bring to the game. A temptation for some players may be to save these cards for the huge power they bring to an Arcanite Reaper, but this is not always the correct decision. Since this deck plays the game with fairly few cards in hand, you will rarely want to be holding onto cards for situational combos and should generally try to get value from them at the earliest opportunity. Even hitting a small Rusty Hook with one of your Upgrade effects is extremely beneficial and playing Upgrade to get a 1/3 weapon itself is also not terrible especially if you have one of the other Weapon effects to back it up.

In the later turns you will often find yourself in a race situation where your opponent has resorted to trying to push back against you as a way to deal with your aggression. In these situations cards like Dread Corsair are extremely strong to be able to change the clock on your opponent and allow you to race more effectively. If you have not played Sir Finley Mrrgglton and still have access to the Warrior hero power, this can have the same effect. This situation will come up quite often as opposing players will usually realise they will not be able to engineer a win by playing purely defensively and you will need to learn how to make the play that is the right balance between defensive and offensive in order to give you the maximum number of turns that you might need to kill the opponent.

The other way that games can end is by decks that are built to be extremely defensive putting up a huge wall against you and trying to starve you out of the game. Since the deck does not play Execute or The Black Knight huge Taunts such as Tirion Fordring or Twin Emperor Vek'lor can wreak havoc on your gameplan. The way you deal with this is twofold, firstly you can punch through them using a buffed Weapon or Heroic Strike, or alternatively you can aim to finish the game with direct damage like Mortal Strike.

Between Arcanite Reaper, Heroic Strike, Mortal Strike, Leeroy Jenkins, and Kor'kron Elite your damage output in the late-game is enormous and you should find yourself drawing enough damage to finish out the game in most situations.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

The key synergies in your deck all come from the interactions between Pirates with each other, as well as with the various Weapons in your deck.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

In every matchup you are looking to have some combination of N'Zoth's First Mate, Sir Finley Mrrgglton, Flame Juggler, Bloodsail Raider, and Fiery War Axe. If you have one or two of these in your opening hand already then you can keep additional cards to support them such as Bloodsail Cultist, Frothing Berserker, and Dread Corsair.

Flame Juggler and Fiery War Axe are key against other Aggro decks as they are the most effective cards in your deck to be able to make early Tempo plays and get yourself ahead on the board.

Against Control, your goal is simply to get the most aggressive curve in your hand that you possibly can. The key is to always consider the implications of an early Doomsayer against these decks as this card is extremely common in the meta and is one of the most common ways to lose a game to Control deck if you do not plan around it and make sure that you have enough damage to deal with it.

3.3. Card Swaps

A King's Defender can be added to the deck in place an Arcanite Reaper to sure up your chances to draw an early weapon which is so crucial to the deck.

Captain Greenskin can be swapped for an Abusive Sergeant, Arathi Weaponsmith, or King's Defender if you do not have access to it.

If you are not encountering a lot of Aggro then Flame Juggler can be cut from the deck and replaced with Loot Hoarder to try and ensure you draw enough resources to push through the Control decks defensive options.

4. ChangeLog

  • 27 May 2016: Deck added.
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