Hello guys, my name is Retype, and I'm a Hearthstone player playing for Team In Game.
This is my first guide, so every feedback is welcome!
Today I'm gonna share with you my Patron Warrior decklist, along with a mini-guide about cards included in this deck and gameplan in general.
PROOF OF LEGEND, TOP 100 AND DECKLIST
GENERAL GAMEPLAN - HOW TO PLAY
First of all - Why Patron? Well, Patron Warrior is by far my favorite deck in this game. It offers many solutions against aggro and control decks, includes midrange and combo archetypes in one decklist, and also has a good win/loss ratio against almost every deck currently on ladder.
While playing Patron Warrior, your gameplan in general is simple : Flood the board with Patrons early, and force your opponent to either clear the board or lose the game. Then, use your chargers like Grommash or Kor'kron Elite to win the game. Although this is the general gameplan, the truth is, this is not as simple as it seems, and you'll rarely win games so easy.
Also, something basic with Patron Warrior is playing PROACTIVE, not REACTIVE. For those who aren't familiar with these terms, proactive play is when your plays are meant to be answered, when you're the one leading the game flow. An example is when you drop your Patrons with some activator - your opponent has to answer that. Reactive, on the other hand, is when your play requires an opponents move to be made, usually when the opponent has the board control. For example, a common reactive Patron move is throwing down a Patron with just one Inner Rage and placing Unstable Ghoul. This is reactive, because enemy player can kill your Ghoul and spawn 4 Patrons, but silencing the Ghoul is also a possibility, and if he silences it, then your play is much much worse than you expected. Playing reactive will most of the times lead to you lose the game, so try to hold your cards and combos as much as you can for a good proactive play, instead of risking your whole game with a reactive play.
Now, let's move forward to analyze the card choices, where you will understand better the power of the deck, and some plays.
Inner Rage : Extremely powerful 0-manacost card, a core card in every Patron deck. Useful both for activating Patrons before a whirlwind effect as you summon 4 Patrons instead of 2, as well as for sudden lethals combined /w Grommash or even Kor'kron Elite. Also, can be used sometimes on cards like Acolyte of Pain or Armorsmith when you're desperately in need of either card draw or armor.
Execute: Excellent one-mana single-target removal, no need to say more.
Whirlwind: Great Patron activator. Can also be used against aggro for clearing 1-hp minions, against Freeze mage combined with Armorsmith + a lot of minions for great armor boost, combined with Acolyte of Pain or enough minions so as you cast Battle Rage for many cards, and, of course, can be an excellent Grommash activator.
Fiery War Axe: Often known as Win Axe - game-winning card against every aggro deck, definetely an auto-include in every warrior deck.
Battle Rage : One of the best cards in your deck, when facing control decks. Casting a Battle Rage for 3 or more cards can be game-winning for you, as you get more cards to reach your powerspikes - Patron combos and finishing chargers.
Slam : Soft removal vs aggro - excellent when casted on a Flame Imp or Knife Juggler. Also, a great card for card draw, a great execute activator, and an amazing helper when you need to kill minions like Druid of the Claw in taunt or Twilight Guardian with your weapon.
Armorsmith: Your life-savior against aggro and ESPECIALLY Freeze Mage.
Unstable Ghoul : Just by reading the stats, this card yells "I'M AN AGGRO KILLER!". Amazing card, either combined with Patron, Acolyte or Armorsmith or being used as a big NO to the opponent's early rush.
Acolyte of Pain: Great card versus aggro especially, because of it's high hp ( 3 is perfect for a 3-drop ). Also, you draw a lot of cards! Core card in every patron deck, and many control decks as well!
Frothing Berserker : Once a fear for everyone, this card lost a lot of it's value when Warsong Commander was nerfed. The truth is, this card is still good in our deck. Our many whirlwind effects combined with our soft-taunts can make this card extremely value if our enemy decides to ignore it. Especially good against Zoolocks because of their flooding-the-board style.
Death's Bite : Not much to comment here, probably the best card along with Patron in our deck. Our main Patron activator ( and the only one before turn 6 ), our aggro killer ( Dread Corsairs for 0 mana?! Sure, I'll take it! ) and a great Berserker - Armorsmith - Acolyte or Battle Rage activator!
Dread Corsair : Another peculiar, personal preference is to include two of those guys in my Patron deck. Why? Let's see. You can play it discounted either by 3 or 4 ( 1 or 0 mana cost ). That makes Dread Corsair a fairly good minion against most aggro decks, which are flooding the ladder these days ( Always a pleasure to watch Face Shamans waste their Doomhammer charges on our taunts ^_^ ). Also can combine with Death's Bite deathrattle either for armor boost or another Battle Rage target.
Kor'kron Elite : OK, this minion is weird for many of you, I get it. Also, probably most of you prefer Piloted Shredder over this one, I'm sure. But in this deck, Shredder is NOT GOOD ENOUGH. When I played Shredders in Patron Warrior, I often felt like I did nothing proactive on a turn when I played Piloted Shredder. And playing proactive is something basic when laddering with a deck like Patron Warrior. Shredder cannot trade with something the turn you play him, making him really slow compared to Kor'kron. Kor'kron can be used either as a "weapon", trading him with a minion, or can be a win-condition, if he gives you the damage you need for lethal. I personally think that Kor'kron is one of the cards you cannot replace in this deck, and I strongly reccomend every Patron Warrior player swap his Shredders with Kor'krons.
Grim Patron : HEH, PILE ON!
Loatheb: This card makes matchups like Priest, Anyfin Paladin, and Control Warrior much more viable. You can always throw Loatheb to prevent your opponent cast spells - that's what his battlecry says. And sure, a 5/5 for 5 mana is great. But the terror in Loatheb is the ability he gives us to set lethals. E.g. you're facing a Priest. You know he has Lightbomb in his hand. Your one and only win condition is LOATHEB. Loatheb can prevent Lightbomb ( 11 mana ), so if you play him on a combo turn ( e.g. Patron - Inner Rage + Death's Bite deathrattle ), he's game-winning. Strongly suggest you calculating every possible play with Loatheb, before you just throw him on the field for tempo @ turn 5 - a move that is not bad, but MAYBE you'll need him more later, so think it twice.
Sludge Belcher: Aggro flooding the ladder, and back in the beggining of this season, when I was rank 2, I had another Kor'kron Elite in his spot. Having 2 Kor'krons is quite aggressive, and I wanted a more defensive late-game solution. Could try Shredder, but he's too slow without doing something significant when throwing him on the board. Then I though - what about Belcher? It's not like a 4-drop was needed, most of the times as a Patron Warrior you play Death's Bite on turn 4, so as a follow-up play, Belcher was just perfect. The moment I tried it, I went on a 7-0 win streak and reached legend early ( February 7 ).
Dr. Boom : Dr. Balanced
Grommash Hellscream : LETHAL BOYZ!
UPDATE ( 19/2/2016 ) : Arch-Thief Rafaam for Loot Hoarder
Why Rafaam? Well, he's an extra threat to our deck. AND by threat, I surely don't mean his stats. 7/8 is great, sure, but every control deck - because that's the kind of matchups we target with this swap - has no problem to deal with him. The reason I included Rafaam is because of his Artifacts. 10 mana 3/3 bodies ( a.k.a. 7 silenced Patrons! ;) ) versus decks like Priest, Renolocks and Control/Fatigue Warriors, 10 split damage versus Paladins and Freeze Mages, and a 10/10 buff for the sudden lethal? This card is great and fits our deck perfectly. After heavy playtesting, I went from 1500+ rank back to 100 again within a day. Check this out, you won't be dissapointed!
MULLIGANS AND MATCHUPS
First of all, I'm sorry for lacking Mulligans, and I'm sorry I demanded some Upvotes for posting them. It may seemed a little strange to many of you, but think about it more. This guide took me - without mulligans, matchups etc. - more than 4 hours in general. I needed to know that my time would not be wasted for nothing, so I was in need of, you know, some kind of feedback, positive or not. All I have to say is that, your feedback was pretty much awesome. Thanks again to everyone who added me in Battle.net, the positive AND negative things everyone said, even if you're overreacting or hyper-negative or whatever, you all helped me a lote
And now, after our short break, the Mulligan Phase. First of all, let me inform you that a good mulligan phase ensures 60% of the times that you're going to win a game.
A good example is : You're playing versus druid. You can have Armorsmith, Death's Bite, Fiery War Axe and Acolyte of Pain. Usually, most of you would just press the button, blessing the Almighty for this great hand. I strongly disagree, because you already have a Death's Bite and one Acolyte, so you can control - 90% of the times - your early game, so I would throw away at least my Armorsmith, and maybe my War Axe.
Let's be more specific now :
Mage : You should try to mulligan for Fiery War Axe, Unstable Ghoul, Armorsmith and Acolyte of Pain. Keep in mind that, even if our opponent is Tempo Mage or Freeze Mage, we should mulligan for Tempo, because you'll get hard punished if you don't have an answer for Flamewaker - Sorcerer - Wyrm. On the other hand, if you're 100% sure your opponent is Freeze, I would suggest keeping Loatheb, and mulligan for Acolyte - Battle Rage.
Hunter : Same as above, Fiery WIn Axe ( oh yeah, it IS the winaxe), Ghoul, Armorsmith, Acolyte again. An extra tip : If you have in your hand Fiery War Axe and one or two Corsairs, and you're playing against aggro, KEEP them. They are really valuable when you play them for 1 or 0 mana, especially against rush decks.
Druid : Ahhhhh, Druids. Druids everywhere! So, this is one of my favorite matchups. ALWAYS MULLIGAN HARD FOR DEATH'S BITE, INNER RAGE, PATRONS. Maybe it seems strange, but this is the way to go versus a Druid. Going for a turn 5-Patron Inner Rage + Death's Bite deathrattle is 90% a win condition.
Paladin : Another favorable matchup for us. We need to have ALWAYS a whirlwind effect in our early hand. For example : A perfect hand vs Paladin is Armorsmith, Acolyte, Win Axe, Ghoul. You can also keep Death's Bite if you don't have a whirlwind effect in your hand, or even Whirlwind itself! Keep Dread Corsair ( only one preffered ) if you have an early weapon. Try to "outclass" them by killing their minions in the early, and be greedy with execute if you have the board control. For example : He throw turn 6 Mysterious Challenger. You already have your 4 Patrons in the board. Use your 5/1 Patron and one 3/2 to kill Mysterious Challenger, keep 3-4 Patrons in board, and also keep your execute in your hand - you'll need it in a threat like Tirion, which is a much bigger threat than Dr.6.
Priest : :'( :'( :'( This is one of the worst matchups for us. All I could suggest you is to either rush them fast, or combo Loatheb with Patron Activators. You could also bait some removals by flooding the board with useless minions like Armorsmith, Acolyte of Pain and Corsairs, to open the road for Patrons. Search in your mulligan for draw cards, like Acolyte Of Pain and Loot Hoarder, and also War Axe for early Clerics. Keeping an execute for a possible Deathlord-Velen's Chosen is also great, so keep that in mind.
Rogue : This is a skill matchup, for me. I think Rogue's biggest weakness is his inability to heal, and his inability - most of the times - to clear minions without facetanking them. Sure, they can use Eviscerates, Backstabs and Saps, but e.g. they will deal with a 3/3 Dread Corsair with their face 90% of the times - and this is something that favors us extremely. Try to rush them down, flood the board with minions, use your Battle Rages smart and you won't have many problems. Although, Rogues can always surprise us with 20+dmg in one turn, so be also careful about your health. Mulligan for War Axe, Dread Corsair, Loot Hoarder and Acolyte of Pain. Don't hesitate to throw an execute on Azure Drakes or Violet Teachers - 90% of the times, this is the correct play ;)
Shaman : Ohh the face-ones. HARD mulligan for Fiery War Axe, Corsairs, Armorsmiths and Loot Hoarder. If you have Execute in your opening hand AFTER mulligan, feel free to use it on Totem Golems, as it's quite possible that this minion is the enemy's biggest threat. Try to survive until Dr.Boom turns, where you can turn around the game with your bigger minions like Sludge Belcher. A well-timed Loatheb will lock the game for you, so be careful when you use it.
Warlock : I'm not gonna lie - facing a Warlock as a Patron Warrior is always weird. He may be Zoo, so you mulligan hard for War Axe, Armorsmith, Corsair, Acolyte, or even Slam ( Excellent to deal with an early Knife Juggler or Flame Imp ). Facing Zoo is always hard, because he may rush you so hard that you end up losing the game really early - like turn 5 - but it's also a match we can win easier than we thought, so be careful, not afraid :)
Versus Renolock, on the other hand, we have a huge problem. Hellfire, Twisting Nether and Shadowflame are quite a problem for our archetype. This is a really weird matchup, where Loatheb can also work miracles, but Renolock's ability to come back to full health easily makes the matchup really hard. Flooding the board with minions like Corsairs and Acolytes may bait them out to use some removals, or we can rush him down and finally beat them with a sudden Grommash or Kor'kron, but it's definetely a hard matchup and you should be extremely careful.
Warrior : Always face an enemy Warrior like a Patron Warrior. It's the safest bet you can take. Hard mulligan for Patrons, Acolyte and Death's Bite. If he gives you signs he's a Patron ( like playing Inner Rage or Unstable Ghoul ), then go aggro with Patron activators. Try to play first your Patrons, this move will not only put you in a great position in the game, but will potentially destroy his gameplan, as he won't be able to spawn Patrons for himself without making your board bigger! If you face a Control Warrior, try to rush him and play AGGRESSIVELY most of the time, with Patrons, Kor'kron and Corsairs. Try to always cast Battle Rage for 2 or 3 targets, and use your whirlwinds to achieve more Battle Rage targets if you're in need of draws. In general, Control Warrior matchup is really awful, mainly because of their 2 Brawls.
Patron Warrior is a hell of a deck. It's midrange style and combo potential is really high, and can give you many tools to outplay and win games. The best thing you can do to improve yourself as a Patron player, is to play more and more. This deck requires a lot of experience, so don't get dissapointed if you can't win at rank 15 with this deck - I went to Legend with this deck, you can also do it ;)
THANKS A LOT FOR EVERY COMMENT, POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE, GLAD TO TALK WITH EVERYONE!
Due to overwhelming questions about coaching : Yes, I'm available for some Skype coach lessons, I can help you with decks like Patron, Druid, Freeze Mage etc. on your way to Legend. If you're interested, send me a message here, add me on Battle.net ( Retype#2575 ) to discuss more, or follow me on twitter ( I always follow back! https://twitter.com/RetypeHS ).
UPDATE / 4/42016 : Swapped Rafaam for one Frothing Berserker, since I've been encountering more Druids and Aggro decks, and Rafaam is quite slower since these type of decks.
And remember - EVERYONE,GET IN HERE!
GAMEPLAY VIDEO BY Furo