Update May 20 2015
Thank you for all the feedback for this deck. I am going to start streaming it, and recording videos for it. (I've never done this before, so I've been doing some research setting things up, please be patient.)
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Pony's Mayweather Warrior
Hey guys, this is PrancingPony, I would like to share with you the deck I used to climb into top 100 Legend on the NA server this season. (As of May 15, 2015)
The Theme - As you can see, I have named the deck "Mayweather Warior". I'm sure most of you would know of the fight between Mayweather vs Pacquiao, and this deck very much resembles Mayweather's style of fighting. We don't have so much punch in this deck, but we have the tools to neutralize enemy threats, and to win the fight. (Usually by decision, not KO. IE, by your opponents conceding.)
The Goal - I believe this deck strongly targets the popular decks in the metagame, and is teched accordingly. We are trying to abuse the good match-ups, and more or less giving up on some some of the bad match-ups. We are attempting to be favored against all Warlocks, Grim Patron Warriors, Freeze Mages, Oil Rogues and Face Hunters. (Which is 7/10 of the top 10 decks covered in Liquid hearth's wonderful article on the current meta-game (below), http://www.liquidhearth.com/forum/constructed-strategy/484971-pr-may-2015-week-1-a-wild-matchup-chart-appears
I will get into detailed match-ups later below!
[Weapons and Removal]
- Execute X2
- Shield Slam X2
- Fiery War Axe X2
- Death's Bite X2
- Brawl X2
There are two cards here that aren't necessarily "normal" in a control warrior. The first one, is the Whirlwind which seems to have fallen out of fashion. I like to use it to enable Grommash Hellscream, draw off the Acolyte of Pain, get a lot of armor with the Armorsmith, clear Imps, etc.
The second card, is the second Brawl. A lot of Pro Players have started incorporating the second Brawl, as it is so good vs the Patron Warriors, and it is also very good against some other notable match-ups such as Zoo. A lot of players still do not play around a second Brawl.
I run this instead of the second Acolyte of Pain, as it is good at removing strong 2 health minions such as Huffer against Hunter, and Knife Juggler's vs Hunter and Pally, as well as Whirling Zap-o-matic vs Shamans etc.
- Shield Block
This is for card draw, as well as to help you enable Shield Slam. The reason for not running two will be listed below.
[Low Drop Minions]
- Armorsmith X2
- Cruel Taskmaster X2
- Ironbeak Owl
- Acolyte of Pain
- Big Game Hunter X2
There are a few differences here compared to standard control warriors. Ironbeak Owl is actually replacing Alexstrasza, as it is great in the Warlock match-ups. You can silence Twilight Drakes, silence pass taunts, silence Nerubian Eggs, Void Terrors, Voidcallers etc. Having one silence in the deck will help you in a lot of match ups. I like to call it Owlextraza.
The second is only running one Acolyte of Pain, which will be explained below.
Lastly, we are running two Big Game Hunter's in this deck. If you look at the list of popular decks in the meta-game on Liquid Hearth which I have linked above, you will be able to see that many decks have over two minions with over 7 attack, and if they don't, they run 5 attack minions, which you can turn into 7 attack minions with your Cruel Taskmaster. In theory, you can get both Big Game Hunters to use their battlecry on every match-up for the top 10 decks. They are especially good against Handlock.
[Mid and High Drop Minions]
- Sludge Belcher X2
- Shieldmaiden X2
- Sylvanas Windrunner
- Dr. Boom
- Grommash Hellscream
Most of these cards are self-explanatory, and very standard for control warrior, although Ysera is not used in every deck. I have it here because It can not be Big Game Huntered, and if your opponent can not deal with it, which a lot of decks can't, it can outright win you the game. I prefer it over Ragnaros the Firelord for this reason.
Abomination is obviously quite a unique card. I was initially running Harrison Jones in this slot, but I wanted to strengthen the Zoo match-up, and after some experimentation, I settled on the Abomination. It gives you another taunt against aggro, and usually a double board removal into a Mirror Entity against mage. It also surprises your opponent, and there has been several times where my opponent would rope on the turn I played him in surprise, making suboptimal plays the following turns. He can probably be replaced if you don't like it, or do not own the card.
- Second Shield Block
I feel as though I gain enough armor in the match-ups which I want to win already, and I do not seem to have a problem with Shield Slam becoming a dead card in my hand due to not having enough armor, so I have not included it.
- Second Acolyte of Pain
I've touched on this a little, but often times against aggro, Acolyte of Pain becomes a "deal 1 damage to opponent minion, draw one card", if you can't activate it on the turn you have played it. This is why I am running one Slam in it's place. Both cards are better in different situations, so hopefully you'll draw the right one at the right time!
- Harrison Jones
I had him in the deck instead of Abomination as mentioned, but I did not feel as though I needed him for my targeted match-ups of Rogue and Grim Patron Warrior as we are favored anyway, and it is tough to win the mirror or against Paladin even with him in the deck. He was good in situations, but he wasn't a game-winner.
- Emperor Thaurissan
I really like Emperor, and would like him in the deck if possible, but not sure what to replace. He would be the 31st card I include.
- Baron Geddon
I wanted to take some of the late-game punch out and include a better earlier game, so the Baron did not make the cut.
This is obviously the biggest omission. But if you think about it, we don't really need him for our targeted match-ups. (Warlocks, Grim Patron Warrior, Freeze Mage, Oil Rogue and Face Hunter) Almost in every case, the Owl has been more useful, especially for tempo purposes. I think you will understand once you read the match-ups and mulligan's which is coming up next!
Heavily Favored Match-ups (80%+ win rates)
Summary- This is your best match-up, and as close to a free win as they come. Most freeze mages do not have enough damage to kill you if you play it right. Remember, we are the Mayweather Warrior, we don't have to kill him, we just need to not lose.
How to win- Make sure you armor every turn, and get as much value out of your two Armorsmith's as possible. Make sure you keep cards to deal with [/card]Card Archmage Antonidas[/card], Alexstrasza and Emperor Thaurissan.
Key cards- Shield Block, Armorsmith, Shieldmaiden
Ways to lose- If you accidentally concede, or if you forget to armor up every turn. For example, if you have 10 mana, and a Ysera in hand, it's probably better to armor pass than to play it.
Summary- This is another great match-up, where rogue has limited amounts of damage within her deck which is usually not enough if you are able to remove minions efficiently.
How to win- Try and deny Tinker's Sharpsword Oil value, and use Cruel Taskmaster then Big Game Hunter their Loatheb. Use your taunts wisely considering Saps, and gain as much armor as possible. This is another match-up where we don't have to kill them, but to not die.
Key cards-Armorsmith, Shield Block, Sludge Belcher, Shieldmaiden,
Ways to lose- If they realize we aren't playing Harrison Jones, they may try and put all of their buffs on their weapon (max 13), then hit you and flurry for 26 damage. This has happened to me before, (I still won), but it is something we need to be careful of.
Summary- This is my favorite match-up, as it was one of the decks in which I was targeting the most. I had the privilege of beating one of my favorite players, Lifecoach who was playing Handlock, by silencing through a taunt with an owl and hitting with Grommash Hellscream. We are playing Big Game Hunter X2, and Ironbeak Owl for their Twilight Drake and Mountain Giants, you are severely favored.
How to win- Never attack his face until you have lethal. Even if you have an Armorsmith on the board, do not deal the 1 damage, as that is 1 damage closer to cheap or free Molten Giants. Remove minions, and don't ever let him play Molten Giants. Try and deal with the board, run him out of taunts then hit through with an enraged Grommash Hellscream before he plays Lord Jaraxxus. Most Handlocks will not play Lord Jaraxxus before they have played their Molten Giants. I even use my minions and weapons to kill Ancient Watchers that are neither taunted nor silenced.
Key cards- All of your removal, Brawl, Ironbeak Owl, Big Game Hunter, Grommash Hellscream
Ways to lose- If he plays Lord Jaraxxus before he plays Molten Giants, and just starts spamming 6/6s, things can get a little messy, but this usually doesn't happen as they are greedy and want to get their cheap giants. Also, if your Boom Bots accidently deal severe damage to his face to enable cheap giants, you're in trouble.
Favored Match-ups (60%+ win rates)[Grim Patron Warrior]
Summary- We have a lot of removal in this deck, as well as a lot of health gain, so as long as we are careful of their combos, and don't help them enable them, we should be able to take the win.
How to win- Brawl his board full of Grim Patrons, and make sure you're holding a weapon so you can finish the survivor off.
Key cards- Brawl,Shield Block, Armorsmith X2
Ways to lose- If you have too many minions on board, he can "charge foward" his Frothing Berserker's, and OTK you. Also, if you only have one Brawl in hand, and you have an efficient way to clear a board full of Grim Patrons, it might be better to take that method to save the Brawl. Just try and keep the minion count on the board down on both sides.
Summary- Mech Shaman can create some OP draws, but with our defensive deck, we are still favored, especially as we have good ways of dealing with their power cards such as Fel Reaver
How to win- Remove the highest damage dealers, even if you have to trade down. The Shaman will run out of steam eventually, when you can take over the game.
Key cards- Removal and weapons, armor gain, Slam, Big Game Hunter.
Ways to lose- If you play greedy in this match-up, you will be punished. For example,playing a Ysera on an empty board instead of Sludge Belcher and Armorsmith + armor up, may get you killed by Doomhammer with Rockbiter Weapon.
Summary-I actually only faced one or two Ramp Druids, and you a generally favored as you have so much removal, and they only play one minion at a time.
How to win- Keep removing the threats, don't let him get Kel'Thuzad value. Use your Cruel Taskmaster, Big Game Hunter combo on Ancient of Wars
Key cards- Removal
Ways to lose- If you allow him to get too much Kel'Thuzad value, then you may make it hard on yourself.
[Mid-range and regular Zoolock]
Summary- I have grouped both of the agressive Warlocks together, as I feel the games more or less play out the same. You have good Big Game Hunter targets (assuming the Zoolock is running Sea Giants, and two Brawls, as well as some AOE.
How to win- It's usually about surviving the early onslaught, then stabilizing into the part of the game where you are favored. Don't play greedy, try and play every turn to extend the game as long as possible. The longer you go, the more you are favored.
Key cards- Whirlwind, Brawl, Slam, Ironbeak Owl, Big Game Hunter, Abomination, Sludge Belcher, Shieldmaiden
Ways to lose- If you allow him to get too much value from Voidcallers and Void Terror, you may find yourself in an unfavorable situation.
Summary- Unlike for most decks, we actually prefer it when we face the face hunters rather than mid-range hunters. This has to be one of the toughest for Face Hunter, with all of our armor gain as well as taunts.
How to win- Try and deny his Eaglehorn Bow from getting extra charges off secrets, use your Grommash Hellscream to hit through his Explosive Trap if you get the chance. Set up Armorsmiths on the same turn as you proc his Explosive Traps to gain as much armor as possibe. Use the Cruel Taskmaster to remove his one health minions. Silence their Leper Gnomes or Mad Scientist.
Key cards- Slam,Armorsmith, Cruel Taskmaster, Abomination, Sludge Belcher
Ways to lose- If you use your weapons too much to remove minions instead of finding other ways to effectively deal with them, you may take too much damage. Remember, your face has taunt in this match-up.
Closer Match-ups (between 40-60%)
Summary- Traditionally a bad match-up for control warrior, however, thanks to our Ironbeak Owl, we have an additional way to deal with the very strong Savannah Highmane, making this a little more in our favor than other control warrios.
How to win- Try and play around the traps wisely, and use their Freezing Traps to your advantage by bouncing your battlecry minions. Silence a Savannah Highmane, Shield Slam Sylvanas Windrunner the other to steal it, and Big Game Hunter their Dr. Boom.
Key cards- Slam, Ironbeak Owl, Sylvanas Windrunner
Ways to lose- You have to make sure to play around their Houndmaster, as well as Unleash the Hounds. Don't let your Sludge Belcher activate a Freezing Trap.
[Flame Waker (tempo) Mage]
Summary- I like to call this mage the Pew Pew mage, and this is quite an interesting match-up.
How to win- Basically, if you are able to destroy their board once and stabilize, it is very difficult for them to get back into the game, and it usually turns into a topdeck war which you will win eventually with Ysera's endless value. Again, the Mad Scientist is a good target for your Ironbeak Owl. Drop an Abomination into a Mirror Entity if you don't have anything worse you can give them.
Key cards- Weapons, Slam, Ironbeak Owl, Brawl,Abomination, Sludge Belcher
Ways to lose- Not playing around their secrets, which are usually Mirror Entity and Counterspell. Flamewakers getting too much value.
Summary- Again, this is traditionally not the best match-up for control warriors, but the MVP Ironbeak Owl, Slam, Abomination are very useful.
How to win- Similar themes to some other decks above, but you want to slow the game down as much as possible to the point where you opponent is top decking.
Key cards- Weapons, Abomination, Sludge Belcher, Brawl
Ways to lose- If your face gets permanently frozen...
Summary- To be honest, I'm not too familar with either the standard control Priest nor Chinese Priest match-ups, as I did not run into so many. I believe it's supposed to be reasonably even.
How to win- Get as much value as possible from your weapons and Brawl, don't let him steal Ysera. It's probably best to get as much armor as possible and win in fatigue.
Key cards- Weapons, Execute, (For Deathlord),
Ways to lose- If he uses the Shrinkmeister, Cabal Shadow Priest combo on your Sludge Belcher or Ysera, you are in trouble.
Unfavored Match-ups (Less than 40%)
Summary- I think that Druid is my least favorite class to see myself get paired with, as over 90% seem to be the standard double combo variant. If you play how you would usually play this deck, you will likely lose, as eventually they will just combo you out.
How to win- I think the best way to increase your chances is to YOLO, and pretend that you are a Face Hunter. Try and make tempo plays such as Cruel Taskmaster Big Game Hunter combos on their 5 attack minions, as well as using your spells and weapons to remove creatures to keep your board presence. Using a Cruel Taskmaster on my Armorsmith is usually a good start. You can use the Ironbeak Owl to silence his taunts and hit his face. Make him trade with you. It is okay to take your weapon to his face to apply pressure and make them play on the back foot.
Key cards- Shield Slam,Armorsmith, Cruel Taskmaster, Shield Block
Ways to lose- If you try and play slowly and efficiently, I think that you usually end up not being able to keep up with them, and will eventually be combo-ed out.
Summary- We are more or less throwing the mirror match-up, which at high level play is often decided by Brawl or card draw order anyway. It's very difficult to win if they are running Alextrasza and you aren't, as you are basically missing 15 points of damage as well as an 8/8 body.
How to win- The times where I have beaten control warrior have been in either fatigue, where they had drawn too many cards (often with my help), off their Acolyte of Pain, or when I try and get lucky with a Brawl. We are using fatigue to deal the 15 points of damage which we are missing. You have to give yourself opportunities to get lucky by taking risks.
Key cards- Brawl, Big Game Hunter
Ways to lose- If you try and play like you would a normal mirror match up and not take risks, you will lose as their decks should have a higher curve which eventually will outvalue what you have.
Summary- Even with double Brawl, we just don't have enough to deal with Paladin's hero power, causing this to be unfavorable especially if they are running two quatermasters, and get a lot of value from them. Many of their minions are too sticky for our weapons, and eventually I seem to be overrun. We do have some extra AOE that other control warriors do not run, but still doesn't seem to be enough.
How to win- If you can steal a Tirion Fordring somehow, or use the Ironbeak Owl to silence him and attack through for lethal, you may have a chance. It is probably better to play faster rather than slower, as the longer the game goes, the more dudes you have to somehow kill.
These Mulligan's are assuming that we are playing on ladder, and we do not have any information on their decks apart from the class they are playing. If you do know their deck, you should be able to figure out better decisions. The assumptions I make are based on recent ladder experience, and I believe they are very accurate.
Assumption: We are playing Grim Patron Warrior.
The reason we do this, is because our match up against control warrior is so bad, it's better to be better prepared for Grim Patrons.
Cards to look for: Fiery War Axe, Brawl, Death's Bite
Assumption: We are playing Mech Shaman.
I don't see mid-range Shaman at the moment, so it's likely to be Mech.
Cards to look for: Fiery War Axe, Death's Bite, Brawl, Slam, Armorsmith, Cruel Taskmaster, Ironbeak Owl, Big Game Hunter
Assumption: We are playing against Oil Rogue.
This is the my favorite match-up to cue.
Cards to look for: Fiery War Axe, Shield Block, Death's Bite, Dr. Boom
Assumption: We are playing against Midrange (Quartermaster) Paladin.
Although recently more and more Dragondins have been appearing, so things may change here a little.
Cards to look for: Whirlwind, Fiery War Axe, Slam, Acolyte of Pain
Assumption: We aren't sure, so we prepare for both.
The cards that we want are actually reasonably similar, so it's okay that we lack information, but we want to find out as soon as possible which they are because against Face Hunter you may want to silence a Mad Scientist
Cards to look for: Whirlwind, Fiery War Axe, Slam, Armorsmith, Cruel Taskmaster, Ironbeak Owl, Sludge Belcher
Assumption: We are playing against double combo.
Again, there are probably 9 combo druids to 1 wall or other.
Cards to look for: Armorsmith, Cruel Taskmaster, Death's Bite
Assumption: We aren't sure, so we prepare for both.
Basically what I like to do, is try and keep cards in my hand that would help me for both match-ups.
Cards to look for: Whirlwind, Execute, Fiery War Axe, Death's Bite, Brawl, Slam, Ironbeak Owl, Big Game Hunter.
Assumption: We are playing against Flamewaker mage.
Basically, we want something to remove their Mana Worm and Flamewaker
Cards to look for: Fiery War Axe, Death's Bite, Slam
Assumption: We are playing against the "Chinese" Priest.
I like to look for a way to deal with a early Deathlord, or a minion that has received too many buffs.
Cards to look for: Fiery War Axe, Death's Bite, Execute, Shield Block
Will make gameplay videos if I get over 100 upvotes!
Thanks for taking your time and reading this. I'm looking forward to questions/comments below and will do my best to answer them.