Dragon Warrior Deck List Guide - Rise of Shadows July 2019
This guide contains detailed Strategy, Mulligan, and deck-building information to help you play Dragon Warrior in the Rise of Shadows expansion.
The release of Dragon-based expansions have caused Dragon decks for various classes to rise and fall in popularity as powerful Dragon cards are rotated in and out of the Standard format. Warrior has historically been one of the most flexible classes for Dragon decks. By using weapons to synergise with their powerful Battlecries and removal tools to work alongside their huge stats, Warrior Dragon decks can freely range from aggressive Tempo decks to oppressive Control decks.
Dragon Warrior did not gain any new tools from the Rise of Shadows expansion. However, unlike most other decks, it was also not hurt by the Standard rotation at the start of the Year of the Dragon, allowing the deck to rise in strength relative to other meta decks.
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Dragon Warrior Mulligan Guide
This iteration of Dragon Warrior falls somewhere between Midrange and Control. It aims to maintain a full hand of cards while slowly playing threats to pressure opponents. As Warrior does not have the privilege of consistent card draw, you should Mulligan for ways to assemble a large hand of cards going into the mid game.
In your opening hand, you should look for Firetree Witchdoctor and Dragon Roar as your key tools to fill up your hand. In addition to these, you should also look for Twilight Drake to begin fighting back in the mid game.
Against Aggro, you can additionally look for a copy of Weapons Project to deal with early aggression.
Dragon Warrior Strategy
In the early game, your primary goal is to fill up your hand with cards. To do this, you should use Dragon Roar and Firetree Witchdoctor. The cards you get from these minions will greatly influence how you play the game and in the case of Firetree Witchdoctor, you should decide what spell you Discover based on the matchup. Against Aggro, you should look for spells that will help you deal with wide boards, such as Brawl or Warpath. Against Midrange and Combo decks, you should look for tempo cards that will help you pressure your opponent. Against Control decks, if you have a strong aggressive curve, you can choose the same tempo tools as you would against Midrange decks, or, if you anticipate a long game, look for value tools like Dragon Roar.
Before reaching the mid game, you should avoid playing cards that will decrease your hand size unless absolutely necessary, such as cheap Dragons from Dragon Roar. Instead, simply Armor Up! or play cards that maintain your hand size, like Shield Block and Brightwing.
Going into the mid game, you can start fighting back onto the board. Twilight Drake should be your first priority, which greatly benefits from the large hand size of the deck. Unless you are in imminent danger, it is more important to develop a Twilight Drake than to clear the board. Your followup minions, Dragonmaw Scorcher and Emberscale Drake will help you stabilise after playing a Twilight Drake.
Unlike in a Control Warrior deck, you can use your removal spells much more liberally with Dragon Warrior. You should use Smolderthorn Lancer whenever there is a target available and you have the free Mana to do so. The requirement of needing a damaged enemy minion and a Dragon in hand makes it very situational and you will often miss your window to use it if you get too greedy with its usage. When it comes to using Shield Slam, you should look for opportunities where you can protect one of your own bulky minions to continue putting pressure on your opponent. However, you should avoid using it if your minions can take favourable trades anyway, unless you are very close to finishing off your opponent.
Going into the late game, you should be able to continually put pressure onto your opponent. The Battlecry of Crowd Roaster and Dragonmaw Scorcher will allow you to handle most big minions and wide-boards respectively, allowing any minions you do have on board to attack your opponent directly.
For most games, your continuous supply of Dragons should be enough to allow you to force your way to victory, but for games that go longer, the deck has a few more options available. As a Dragon deck, you should naturally acquire late-game dragons from Dragon Roar. Even if it results in powerful Dragons like Deathwing being stuck in your hand for most of the game, the Dragon tag will allow it to be an activator for your Battlecries throughout the game. Additionally, as there are so many strong Dragons in the deck, it is very unlikely that your opponent will have any removal left when you finally get around to playing late-game Dragons. Additionally, the deck also runs Dr. Boom, Mad Genius. Although the choice may seem unusual in a deck without Mechs, the sheer value that comes from the Big Red Button is enough to allow any Warrior deck to keep up with the greediest of opponents.
Dragon Warrior Card Swaps
Dragon Warrior has recently returned to the Standard meta and a result, the cards choices in the deck are very flexible. Some of the possible swaps available are listed below.
Quick Tips and Tricks
- Try to avoid playing cards until you can make use of Battlecries like Twilight Drake.
- Always try to keep at least 1 Dragon in hand so that you can make full use of the powerful Battlecries in the deck.
- Use your removal tools to keep your stronger minions alive and keep as much pressre as possible onto your opponent.
- Try to plan ahead. If you feel like you are not going to have enough tempo to close out the game, adjust by using removal more conservatively and falling back onto Dr. Boom, Mad Genius
- 02 Jul. 2019: Deck has been updated for the July card rotation. Removed 1x Acolyte of Pain for 1x Brightwing.
- 05 Jun. 2019: Deck has been reviewed for the June balance patch.
- 01 May 2019: Deck has been updated for the May play season. Removed 2x Wrench Calibur, 2x Execute for 2x Weapons Project, 1x Harrison Jones, 1x Archivist Elysiana.
- 08 Apr. 2019: Deck updated for the Rise of Shadows expansion. Removed 2x Stonehill Defender, 2x Blood Razor, 1x Primordial Drake for 2x Wrenchcalibur, 1x Warpath, 1x Acolyte of Pain, 1x Shield Slam.
- 05 Dec. 2018: Deck added.
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