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[Top 500 Legend] Pirates! (Full Guide)

  • Last updated Nov 30, 2016 (Yogg Nerf)
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  • 18 Minions
  • 9 Spells
  • 3 Weapons
  • Deck Type: Ranked Deck
  • Deck Archetype: Unknown
  • Crafting Cost: 4600
  • Dust Needed: Loading Collection
  • Created: 6/24/2016 (Old Gods)
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Alright, so you're new to hearthstone, (or maybe you're not), but you want a fun, cheap deck to play. WELL HAVE I GOT THE DECK FOR YOU.

Top 500 legend proof:

This deck uses pirate synergy to make your opponent wish they had never installed hearthstone. Turn 1 N'Zoth's First Mate into turn 2 Bloodsail Raider into turn 3 Bloodsail Cultist is enough to make the best of players feel inferior to your mad skills.


Mulligans aren't actually as straightforward as you might think. Look at it like this:


In practically every situation keep: N'Zoth's First Mate, Sir Finley Mrrgglton, Fiery War Axe and Argent Horserider.


If you're going first also keep: Coldlight Oracle.


If you have a N'Zoth's First Mate or Fiery War Axe keep: Upgrade!, Southsea DeckhandBloodsail Raider, and Dread Corsair if you have Fiery War Axe particularly.


If you queue into a class with good early-game, such as hunter, warlock, or mage (if tempo mage), you could consider keepingBlood To Ichor in order to develop an early minion and/or remove a high value threat that your opponent has.

 "What makes this deck unique to other pirate warrior lists?"

To be honest, very little (isn't that exciting!). Some unique features of this deck include Coldlight Oracle, Mortal Strike and Leeroy Jenkins. Many lists run some of these cards, but I believe that they all are crucial to this deck's success.

 "Help! How do I use Sir Finley Mrrgglton!?"

Easy! there are three hero powers in particular that you are looking for: Life Tap, Steady Shot and Shapeshift.[deck] Life Tap[/deck] is AMAZING, not only because it gives you an extra card every turn, but it also has amazing synergy with Mortal Strike (I'll go into this card later). Life Tap isn't as valuable if you have one or two Coldlight Oraclesin hand, in that scenario Steady Shot would be preferable.


Steady Shot is good because, well removing 2 health every turn is quite devastating (especially against zoo and it's annoying hand refill, it limits their ability to tap safely). Now this part is important: let's say you have 2 cards in hand, one is 3 mana, the other is 2, and you're on turn 5 with Steady Shot. Most players will play the 3 mana card, and the 2 mana card, but what you should do (in most cases) is play the 3 mana card and Steady Shot. The reason is becaause you can steady shot an infinite number of times, but you can only use each card once. Therefore, in order to get as much value of that infinite potential, you want to cram in as many Steady Shot uses as you can.


Shapeshift has amazing synergy with the plethora of weapons in the deck. Let's say your opponent has a Knife Juggler of the board, and all you have is a Rusty Hook (from N'Zoth's First Mate). You can't kill the juggler unless if you have 1 more attack, and OH LOOK! Shapeshift is there to let you efficiently remove the threat Knife Juggler poses.


TL;DR: Life Tap > Steady Shot > Shapeshift > Fireblast > Reinforce > Lesser Heal > Totemic Call > Dagger Mastery.

 "Why on Azeroth are all THESE cards here?!"

1 mana 2/2: battlecry deal 1 damage. Take that Elven Archer! Alright, this card is often NOT that, but when you use it on that 3/4 minion and finish it off with your Fiery War Axe, the value is through the roof.

What do face decks hate? Taunts! What do taunt cards hate? Execute! There is  only 1 copy to make room for the aggressive cards, but using it to remove a beast buffed by Houndmaster, or a Dark Arakkoa, or even a Lord of the Arena if your opponent has no idea what they're doing!

You can make a 3 mana 4/3 weapon by using this with Fiery War Axe! In other words, 3 mana, deal 12 damage. THE VALUE IS INCREDIBLE! Normally you want to upgrade a weapon with a large durability in order to maximize the efficiency, but it's perfectly fine with a weapon with only 1 durability left. (See the "Upgrading the Weapons" section below)

Hmm.... a 1 mana 1/1 doesn't seem too good... oh wait, it has pirate synergy! Oh wait, it gives you 3 damage dividable amongst different targets! OH WAIT, the weapon can be buffed by Upgrade! and Bloodsail Cultist! Often the value of this card is equal to an average 2 or 3 drop. Good stuff.

Oh, please just read the section dedicated to this little guy above. Also a 1 mana 1/3 is amazing as far as stats go, it often trades for two 1 drops, or a 2 drop.

Just look at it like this: if you have 2 it's a 2 mana 4/2 with charge. Believe me, it should be no issue getting a weapon equipped to use him quickly.

Ah yes, one of the best cards in the warrior class. 2 mana deal 6 damage. I don't know why anyone would play mage for Fireball when this joker's around.

Hey look! Eviscerate without needing a combo! This card in particular is one that you almost always want going straight for the face place, but it is definitely valuable for killing minions as well.

Even if you just combo it with Rusty Hook, it's incredible value, but think about Arcanite Reaper! A 2 mana 7/3 can and will make you opponent physically cry.

Alright, one of the first things that may come to your head is: why not play Wolfrider? It's the same mana, but more damage! WRONG. (well, kinda wrong.) Yes, it's less damage on the turn you play it, but it's really annoying for your opponent to try to remove it. A Wolfrider dies to Ravaging Ghoul, Fireblast, Shapeshift (etc) along with any AOE, whereas with any of those, there is still a 2/1 on the board with the horserider. And guess what that means? 2 More damage to the face, netting you 4 damage where the Wolfrider was only 3.

Spider Tank, Twilight Elder, Fierce Monkey, Bloodsail Cultist. What do they all have in common? Well, they are 3/4's which allow very efficient trades with smaller minions, such as that nasty Tunnel Trogg. Oh, and if you have a pirate you get incredible value, let's not forget that. Plus, it's also a pirate itself, meaning it synergizes with half the freak'n deck, that's pretty good too. (See the "Upgrading the Weapons" section below).

Ok, now this is interesting, what is a card from mill rogue doing in this deck? It's refilling your hand! New players often look at this card and think "well, what's the point of that! I don't want to help my opponent!" Look at it like this: because your deck uses up cards so much quicker than most decks out there, the cards are more valuable for you than they are for your opponent. Also you can use them straight away, whereas with something like Acolyte of Painyou usually have to wait a turn.

Oh, please just look at the section dedicated to this card, i don't wanna type it twice.

One word to describe this card: VALUE. If you look at the weapon like a minion, this is suddenly Mire Keeper, and everyone knows that card is good. But why is this card better? Because of Upgrade! and Bloodsail Cultist, that's why! The reason there's only one is simply because we don't want too many weapons, you can only attack once a turn, after all.

A 4 mana 3/3 with taunt sucks, especialy in an aggro deck. You wanna know what doesn't suck? a 3, 2, or even 0 mana 3/3 with taunt. Also, it protects your other minions from your opponent, meaning they can keep hammering their face while this guy takes the brunt of the force. There is only the 1 copy because we don't want to turn into a control decks, we only need the 1 taunt.

Statistically speaking, this is the best charge card in the game (other than Doomguard). It is amazing at removing 2/3's to protect your other minions, but you wanna know when it's the best? WHEN FACE IS THE PLACE! Again, be smart about when you trade, but generally just go face with him.

5 mana deal 10 damage. If you use Upgrade!, 6 mana deal 18 damage. Say no more.

Look! Neutral Fireball! When combo-ed with other cards, Leeroy can destroy you opponent from even 18 health. You generally don't want to play him unless its' to close out the game, but sometiems you just need to get past that Druid of the Claw.


That's right, lots of 'em! You wanna know what the last thing this deck is? Conservative. Not politically, but in it's play-style. Let's say it's turn one and you have N'Zoth's First Mate and Upgrade! in hand. You play the N'Zoth's First Mate, but you may want to save the attacks for the Upgrade! value. Don't. The reason is because there are so many weapons in the deck, you want to attack every turn you can, so you can use all of the that you can. If you're saving hits while there are two more in your hand, you'll often not get to use them all at all. Now, if you can N'Zoth's First Mate + The Coin + Upgrade! turn one, go for it! But after you equip it, you almost always wanna start swinging.


TL;DR: Hit almost every turn, even if you don't think you should.

Upgrading the Weapons with Bloodsail Cultist andUpgrade!

If you're REALLY into getting competitive with this deck, you may find this equation useful:

x + y + 1 = z

x = the current attack of the weapon

y = the current durability of the weapon

z = the net damage gained.

(Credit to kctech for helping me with this!)

"Face is the Place!..... Right?"

If there has ever been a place before, it has been face. HOWEVER, it is worth noting that you often will have to trade. There are enough weapons to protect your minions, if you kill their stuff with your weapons. Also, trading is necessary to remove a high value minion, for example: Knife Juggler, Sorcerer's Apprentice, Mana Wyrm, Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Fandral Staghelm, etc. If their minions don't do anything significant, just go face! Now, obviously if you're very low on health you want to trade to protect yourself, but even in a situation like that you could just try to kill them first by SMOrcing, but you often just have to use your better judgement.


TL;DR: Trade away HVT minions.

 "Help! How does one Mortal Strike?"

Ok, this is a very interesting card. Often, if you still have Armor Up! you want to intentionally not  gain armor. When do you do this? When you're opponent is low, and you are at about-middle health area (15-23ish). Do not use this strategy if you're against a deck that OKT's you, such as freeze mage, miracle rogue and zoolock. Example: Let's say your opponent has 8 damage on board, you have no minions, Mortal Strike is in hand, and you have no minions while at 18 life. In this case, chances are you opponent won't play around Mortal Strike, I've found that people rarely do, meaning they would attack with all of their minions. You can gain armor in this scenario, becuase after he attacks you will be at exactely 12 life, if he can't find lethal.


TL;DR: Get as close to 12 health w/out going too low.

Card subs. and packages

In 70% of cases that you don't have a card, just craft it. Most cards are basic, common or rare, so a large majority of this deck should be easy to obtain. But, let's talk about replacements regardless.

 If you don't have the legendaries:

- 1 Sir Finley Mrrgglton / + 1 Ravaging Ghoul

-1 Leeroy Jenkins / +1 Dread Corsair (If lot's of aggro)             -OR-

-1 Leeroy Jenkins / +1 Frothing Berserker (if lots of control)  -OR-

-1 Leeroy Jenkins / +1 Grommash Hellscream (If you see exclusively control decks)


The anti-control "package":

- 1 Argent Horserider / + 1 Execute

(This is such a small switch because the deck is already built with control decks in mind)


The anti-aggro package:

-2 Coldlight Oracles, -2 Blood To Ichors, -1 Execute /


+2 Acolyte of Pains, +2 Ravaging Ghouls, +1 Frothing Berserker

"Alright, so now I know the what and they why, but now HOW do I win?"

Tip: you maaay be aware already, but this deck has a few weapons in it. Now, what you'll want to do, is often go face with the minions, trade with the weapons. Think if this: if you have Bloodsail Cultist in hand, and a Bloodsail Raider on board, you'll want to use a weapon to remove your opponent's minions to keep your minions safe. It's true, your opponent may have spells to remove your minions anyways, but it's often best to remove their threats regardless. Something else to think of: your weapons have a set durability, usually 2-3. Your minions have a theoretical durability of infinite, but the health dictates how much of that infinite durability you can access before it dies. That's why you want to keep your minions alive as much as possible.


You will need to play differently in different matchups.


Against aggro: Hey look, another face deck (what a surprise in this meta)! The above section about trading applies most directly to this matchup. You want to keep your minions alive as much as possible, but still keep the pressure up on their face with them. One way you could look at aggro matchups: You want to keep their threats out of the way, and yours in the way.  You generally want to stall for a mini-OTK (one-turn-kill) turn, using a combination of Arcanite Reaper, Mortal Strike, Leeroy Jenkins and Heroic Strike. Until then, you want to stall the game, and keep yourself far from death. The strategy regarding Mortal Strike and getting to 12 health applies the least to these matchups. If you are queuing into many aggro decks, you may want to consider looking at the Card subs. and packages section.


Against midrange/tempo: As you might expect, the strategy is a hybrid between the strategies of anti-aggro and anti-control. This means you will still want to remove their valuable minions, but ignore a majority of their minions. If you get them low enough, you can often kill them through a taunt using Mortal Strike, or simply killing it with the high burst potential the deck provides.


Against control: Compared to aggro decks, control deck have few minions, and many removal spells. Therefore, attempting to keep your minions alive using the above strategy rarely works, meaning you almost always just want to go face, with both minions and weapons. Obviously if they have a minion with a dangerous effect (such as Fandral Staghelm, or Brann Bronzebeard), you want to remove it ASAP, but really, with this matchup you to go face 90% of the time (using this strategy I have killed a renolock on turn 5, meaning even if he had Reno Jackson in hand, he couldn't even use it).

 Community Stuff

If you want me to put a screenshot of you hitting legend, or a video you made on it, OR SOMETHING, I DON'T CARE, if you want to share it, put it in the comments, and I'll add it here (what a run-on)!

 Oh, on the topic of community, we made it to the fist deck on Hearthpwn's main page! Even if you just looked at the deck, made a comment or gave the deck a +1 upvote, every bit matters to me, so thank you! None of this probably matters to you, and this is just a cliche ramble you see on every popular deck, but really, thanks for the support!


Kiwiibacon has some gameplay, if you want to see the deck in action, check it out!

Barlender's Pirate Warrior (Deck Showcase)


Furo also decided this deck required some gameplay footage, so if you want some more, check it out!

Hearthstone | Barlender's Pirate Warrior AGGRO Deck & Decklist | STANDARD | Top500 Legend


I will say, this deck isn't for everyone. Many people have struggled with it, but like most things, it just takes practice to get it down. So if you're frustrated, I can understand that, don't keep making yourself play it to work if you don't enjoy it, it's always good to have a diversity of decks, after all.

And there you have it! If you have any other question PLEASE, feel free to post it, I guarantee I will reply to everybody I can get to, so don't be shy, and happy plundering!