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Midrange N'Zoth Control Warrior Karazhan Standard Deck

Last updated on Nov 22, 2016 at 16:25 by Sottle 3 comments

Table of Contents

The following guide outlines how to play a more Midrange focused version of N'Zoth Control Warrior. It provides excellent results against aggressive strategies but can be found lacking in late-game attrition battles against other Control deck.

This build was pioneered by my compLexity team mate Casie.

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. Midrange N'Zoth Control Warrior Karazhan Standard Deck

Our deck costs 10,780 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Warrior Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

3.1. General Playstyle

This build of N'Zoth Warrior is one of the fastest possible builds you can make. Although it generally defaults to a Control Warrior strategy of exhausting the opponent's resources and dominating the late-game, it does have the ability to play out games quickly by curving out with Midrange minions into an eventual N'Zoth.

3.2. Key Skills

3.2.1. Resource Management

Playing Control Warrior is all about evaluating what the correct reaction to any given situation is. The key point that many newer players miss is that the correct reaction is often to do nothing. Instead of asking yourself what the best way to react to a board state is, ask yourself instead first and foremost whether you even need to react to the board at all. Only after the answer to that question is yes do you need to start considering which removal to use. Your life total is a resource in this deck as much as your cards are, and you can afford to do nothing if your opponent is only pushing 2-3 damage more than you can gain with your Hero Power.

Your premium removals, Shield Slam and Execute should be mentally reserved for the biggest threats in your opponent's deck. So if you are familiar with the deck your opponent is playing and they play only 2-3 huge threats, you know that you have at least one premium removal to spare and can use it accordingly on a smaller threat.

3.2.2. Brawl & Revenge

Brawl and Revenge are your two most powerful board sweeps in the deck and so much of your playstyle is built around them. Despite their huge power level they can be difficult to use and require a lot more thought and attention then most players give them credit for.

Timing a Brawl is one of the hardest skills in the deck, you want to try and bait out as much value as you can from a Brawl in this deck in most matchups but at the same time, to get additional value you need to convince your opponent you do not have it. If you simply Armour Up and pass on a turn where they already have significant power in play, any good player will be able to identify the situation and will simply attack your face and pass the next turn and you will be forced to Brawl anyway. To convince your opponent to extend into your Brawl you will need to at least make some cursory effort to Control your board and bluff the fact that you do not have it. Once you have Justicar Trueheart active, it becomes much easier because your opponent will be forced to play into Brawl just to have enough power in play to make you react.

Revenge goes hand in hand with this strategy as by holding back and being greedy with your Brawl, you can often get yourself below 12 to then make your Revenge active as well, giving you a huge amount of AoE options. Pay attention to your usage of cards like Shield Block and Justicar Trueheart, as your goal should be to reach a low life total and then use these cards to bounce yourself back up once your Revenge is active. As a final note, do not be afraid to use Revenge to cycle a card from Acolyte of Pain if your hand is bad, or if it presents a nice board clear in its 1 damage form.

3.2.3. Minion or Removal?

One of the unique factors of this particular build of Control Warrior is that you will often be faced with the decision of developing a minion instead of making a removal play. This is often a tough decision to make since the minions in the deck are generally quite slow and will cause you to fall behind the play after the turn you play it. Because of this, timing these minions is important. Often the right time to develop a minion like Twilight Summoner or Cairne Bloodhoof is the turn before you plan to AoE with a Brawl or Revenge. Commonly, your opponent will decide to ignore the minion completely, since it costs too many resources to trade into, which then gives you a much better setup to leverage removal on the following turn while maintaining a minion on board.

3.3. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

General Mulligan strategy involves looking for Fiery War Axe, Slam, Bash, and Acolyte of Pain, while a 4-drop minion can be kept with The Coin.

Matchup specific mulligans can be found below, "Always Keep" denotes a card that you should never throw away, while "Sometimes Keep" means that you can keep the card with an otherwise strong hand, or in combination with a specific card denoted in parentheses.

3.3.1. vs. Druid

Always Keep: Fiery War Axe, Slam, Bash, Acolyte of Pain

Sometimes Keep: Shield Slam (Shield Block), Execute, 4 Mana minions (The Coin)

Play for removal, but develop minions wherever possible, since Druid has no real way to counter a N'Zoth push when you draw it. The Shield Slam and Execute keeps are to counter an early Fandral Staghelm or similar minion that is played with Mana acceleration tools. Gorehowl is a great card to tech in if you are facing this matchup a lot.

3.3.2. vs. Hunter

Always Keep: Fiery War Axe, Slam

Sometimes Keep: Revenge, Bash, Blood To Ichor (The Coin), Acolyte of Pain, 4 Mana minions (The Coin)

Potentially the hardest matchup, Hunter are capable of being aggressive with sticky minions and pushing through damage despite all your removal. Fiery War Axe is absolutely huge in this matchup and you should mulligan your whole hand if you do not have it. Keeping only Slam to be able to answer an early minion if you do not draw it.

3.3.3. vs. Mage

Always Keep: Fiery War Axe, Slam, Bash, Acolyte of Pain

Sometimes Keep: Justicar Trueheart, Blood To Ichor (Fiery War Axe)

Against Freeze Mage you are massively favoured, so your primary concern should always be Tempo Mage. Fiery War Axe is huge as in most matchups, but your armour gain cards like Justicar are also important since Tempo Mage will often have to resort to an all-out burn plan eventually. Keep an Execute stocked for Ragnaros the Firelord and potentially Archmage Antonidas and you should be fine. Focus on removal over playing minions much more heavily in this matchup because Tempo Mage has a huge amount of tools to punish you for trying to contest the board.

3.3.4. vs. Paladin

Always Keep: Fiery War Axe, Acolyte of Pain, 4 Mana minions

Sometimes Keep: Justicar Trueheart

Most Paladins will be playing a Control style, and can be a tough matchup for you. You will need to identify quickly whether they are playing Murlocs, or N'Zoth as a win condition. Against the former, your goal is to get out of range of their second Anyfin Can Happen finisher, which deals either 30 or 32 damage. Against N'Zoth, you will simply need to remove their threats accordingly and hold on to your Brawl for their N'Zoth. Pairing the Brawl with Sylvanas Windrunner and The Coin can be hugely beneficial, as can stealing their Tirion Fordring with Sylvanas and Shield Slam. Due to this, Sylvanas is a huge card in the matchup and should be held in your hand until you can get immediate value.

Try not to draw too many cards in this matchup, staying at most, only one card deeper in your deck than the opponent since games will often reach fatigue.

3.3.5. vs. Priest

Always Keep: Fiery War Axe, Bash, 4 Mana minions

Sometimes Keep: Justicar Trueheart, Acolyte of Pain

The Priest matchup varies significantly depending on how their deck is built. Cards like Thoughtsteal and Shifting Shade can be incredibly powerful against you, but builds that are more tilted towards Aggro can fall flat.

Against Control builds, you should set out for fatigue from turn 1 and try not to draw cards where possible. However, if you start to see cards like Thoughsteal, it is likely you will lose the resource battle and should switch to a more proactive strategy ending in a N'Zoth push instead.

Against more Tempo focused Priest decks like Dragon Priest, you should be comfortably favoured as long as you are able to keep their early board clear.

3.3.6. vs. Rogue

Always Keep: Fiery War Axe, Bash, Slam, Acolyte of Pain

Sometimes Keep: Blood To Ichor, Justicar Trueheart, 4 Mana minions (The Coin), Execute

Most builds of Rogue aim to end the game with a combo finisher and have a finite amount of damage in the deck. Due to this, your goal is often just to remove the threats that they do have and get yourself out of range with your armour gain. Keeping Execute can be useful to answer the threat of a huge Edwin Van Cleef or Questing Adventurer. In the late-game, try to keep a cheap minion and a Brawl in your hand in case they Conceal a single minion.

3.3.7. vs. Shaman

Always Keep: Fiery War Axe, Bash, Slam, Blood To Ichor

Sometimes Keep: Acolyte of Pain, Brawl, 4 Mana minions (Fiery War Axe, The Coin)

The Shaman matchup is all about the timing of your AoE. They have so many powerful resources to refill the board that they are often able to outlast your board clears if you are not smart with them. The highest value threats in their deck are often Thing from Below, Thunder Bluff Valiant, and Ragnaros the Firelord and you should aim to catch at least one of these minions in your Brawl when it is cast. You also need to be extremely brave with your life total in order to get into Revenge range and have more access to AoE.

3.3.8. vs. Warlock

Always Keep: Fiery War Axe, Blood To Ichor, Slam, Bash.

Sometimes Keep: Brawl, Acolyte of Pain, Barnes, Twilight Summoner

Against aggressive Warlocks, you are heavily favoured as you can often simply outlast them. The key minions to be able to answer are Darkshire Councilman and Doomguard, as these are the only minions of significant power that threaten to kill you quickly.

If you are facing a Control Warlock strategy, then you will need to try and make an aggressive push and curve out into N'Zoth, since if the game reaches the later stages, you will inevitably lose the game to the value generated by Lord Jaraxxus.

3.3.9. vs. Warrior

Always Keep: Fiery War Axe, Justicar Trueheart, 4 Mana minions

Sometimes Keep: Bash

Other Control Warriors are the worst matchup for this deck, since most other builds you will encounter are better equipped to go to the late-game with cards like Elise Starseeker or C'Thun.

Against more aggressive Warrior strategies, your life gain and removal options should generally be powerful enough to overcome their pressure. Against pure Face or Pirate Warriors, use your removal as liberally as you like to reduce damage. Against Dragon Warrior however, you will need to reserve some premium removal for their late-game threats.

3.4. Card Swaps

Blood To Ichor or Infested Tauren can be swapped for Gorehowl to provide you with some more power against Midrange decks.

The same cards can be exchanged for Elise Starseeker or Ragnaros the Firelord to provide more firepower against Control decks.

4. ChangeLog

  • 22 Nov. 2016: Deck added.
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