6/1 Edit: Welp, you guys showed the love. Detailed guide following.
6/2: Edit: Yup, changing title so less people are offended.
6/3 Edit: Thank you for all the love, more edits and added matchup guide
This is the deck that I used to climb to legend. Went from rank 3 to legend in about a week. I know, I know, it's not a fancy taunt warrior but it is performing very well in this meta as the number of quest rogues and jade druid declines due to the increasing presence of aggro decks.
I personally went 25-6 (81%) from rank 3 to legend and was able to climb tob 1000 legend thereafter before the reset.
Please follow me on Twitch! https://www.twitch.tv/mixxoh
Proof of legend:
Taunt warrior started as a very promising deck, even staying as a T1 tier deck for quite some time. However boys, the tides have turned and games are not as easy as simply pressing the button anymore. There is still hope! This deck helped me climb the ladder relatively efficiently and up top 1000 legend but it depends on the meta you are seeing at the hour. Maybe a new deck surfaced on Hearthpwn and you'll see them coming and coming. So pay close attention to the meta!
Note: Everything on here is just my humble opinion and i would be glad to explain anything. Just leave a comment, all feedbacks are greatly appreciated.
2. About taunt warrior
Taunt warrior has relatively been easier to play then say a puzzle solving miracle rogue. For most of your turns, you would have the choice of 1-2 cards that you can play. It doesn't mean this deck is a nobrainer but you would have to know when to press the button. I play it during lunch time, during breaks and never come back tilted (well, most of the time).
Personally, I think there is a key aspect of this deck that you should always have in mind while playing: limited resource generation. There isn't much card draw in this deck with the lack of battle cry/shield/slam and that is why your options will be always limited. You will probably never see yourself with more that 7-8 cards in your hand. Maximize the value of each card you play (for instance a turn 4 aco + whirl on empty board is not that great). You really can't afford to not draw at least two cards from acolyte or curator. Most of the time you won't have the perfect answer but remember, don't leave yourself answerless.
Some useful tips and thoughts to keep in mind in no particular order:
- Alley Armorsmith is a high value target for you opponent. Use it wisely when they most likely don't have a great answer to it. Use taskmaster to generate more shield too.
- In the end game, Brawl guarantees you a 50/50 to hit face. Use it whenever you need that last face hit. Because after a brawl, your opponent will most likely commit to the board and it will be harder to seal the game thereafter.
- Try finishing your quest, equipping Sulfuras and hero power in the same turn. Such a strong turn. Use a 3 mana taunt on turn 8, 4 cost taunt on turn 9 and 5 on turn 10.
- Choosing with Stonehill Defender: Usually go with the one that best fits your curve. No need to rush for that early one turn quest completion as you may lose the board.
- Try hitting that button first if there is no obvious trades to make. The outcomes may surprise you.
- Prioritize the sequence of your taunt as to not give your opponent an easy trade/answer.
- Be patient, maybe if you brawled next turn, you would get much more value.
- Plan ahead. It should be pretty easy to lay out your first 5 turns if there is no immediate threats.
3. Card choices
Aside from the core cards that a taunt warrior must have, such as Fire Plume's Heart Stonehill Defender The Curator and Primordial Drake. Missing on those cards will greatly impact the strength of the deck. The following cards are more of a personal choice type and can be replaced or crafted later.
Dirty Rat: I personally really like this card but I haven't included in it as this card mainly generates salt and tilt. More than once I had to take a deep breath after seeing what got ratted out... And if you use it comboing with brawl, well, it's a dead card most of the time in your hand. Maybe i'm just using it wrong, but use at your own risk.
Cruel Taskmaster: This choice may not be a common one but it is a key synergy card of the deck. Use it to draw cards with Acolyte of Pain, combo with Execute, trade in other minions with that added 2 attack. It is a very versatile card that creates plays in a very stiff taunt warrior.
Armorsmith: Great against any deck. They face the choice of either dealing with it, allowing you an extra turn to deal with the board, or not, hiding behind your endless waves of taunts and generating tons of armor. Just try it. A turn 2 Armorsmith followed by a Stonehill Defender often just wins games for me.
Shield Block Shield Slam Slam: As mentioned in one of the comments, these traditional key cards to any control-ish warrior deck seems to be a must have. However, in an aggro focused meta, it doesn't help you much. You already don't have board advantage, thus you'll have a hard time keeping up your armor, not to mention that after you completed your quest, shield slam becomes useless. Board presence is key in this meta.
Always assume it's aggro, in this order, try to mulligans for these:
- Stonehill Defender: THE card to have in hand.
- Fiery War Axe: Don't waste it as it could be your only answer against target such as Vicious Fledgling, Murloc Warleader, Radiant Elemental etc. If you have it equipped, your opponent will wait for you to waste that hit on other minions before dropping it.
- Acolyte of Pain/Tar Creeper: Control / Aggro
- Armorsmith: Keep it against aggro deck
- Keep Sleep with the Fishes only if your going second and have Whirlwind also in hand and facing Hunter/Shaman
- Keep Cruel Taskmaster if you have Acolyte of Pain in hand facing a slower deck such as priest.
Never keep anything that costs more than 4.
Your deck is made of a majority of taunts. Thus the key to winning is to be able to stabilize the board long enough to draw into them and finish your quest. Having in hand your board presence cards is much better than finishing the quest one turn early.
I only mulligan quest against hunters.
Here you go guys, correct me anytime. Will come back and add more details for each matchup.
5.1.1 Aggro Living mana
Very aggressive deck. I would say it's basically a coin toss depending on your opener. If you have a turn 3 and 4 taunt with an Fiery War Axe then you are in pretty good shape to win the game. Maximize the value Alley Armorsmith, have a whirlwind effect in hand and try to only use Brawl against Living Mana.
One of the only deck that this deck struggle against most of the time. Basically your op button press becomes useless after his jade becomes monstrous 10/10+. Good news is that we are seeing less of this deck in this aggressive meta. I try to be proactive in this kind of matchup, using Cruel Taskmaster to activate Bloodhoof Brave and push for face damage instead of trying to trade. Beware of gadgetzan auctionneer and Fandral Staghelm. Be sure to have an answer for them w/e they get dropped on board. Try to save Execute and Brawl for late game (jade bigger than 8/8).
5.2. Hunter: Flare / Midrange
This is the only matchup where i would recommend to mulligan your quest. Flare hunter are easily to deal with as they are hunting down thos pesty secret mage and paladins. Midrange hunter are easy to deal with if you have a good curve of taunts. However that may not happen most of the time and you'll need minions such as cruel taskmater, Acolyte of Pain, Armorsmith and your reliable Fiery War Axe to stop their early game. Beware of their scavenging hyena can leave you buthurt if you used your axe to hit cats and birds.
5.3.1 Secret Mage
Looks like i am seeing these more than pirates on ladder right now. Hopefully it's not a hard matchup for us as we dominate late game. Make sure you don't face check too much as it will make you fall below their random lethal line. Their secrets are rather harmless to us as you can use Cruel Taskmaster Stonehill Defender to counter Mirror Entity. Make sure you don't get your Brawl Counterspell 'ed... The key to this matchup is to make em commit more damage to your minions than your face. Equip Sulfuras only when you think you have sealed the game. As a meteor can quickly turn the tides against you and your healthline only goes lower with the lack of shield generation.
5.3.2 Quest / Freeze
Well if you see Frost Nova or no quest and no minions dropped after turn 4, make sure to smile :) Can we have more of them in the meta please? They rely on Alexstrazsa to lower your health, but we have armor! Maximize armor generation with Alley Armorsmith andArmorsmith.
If it's a quest mage, make sure to apply early board pressure to that it doesn't draw too comfortably into their key cards. Activate Bloodhoof Brave with Cruel Taskmaster, go for face with Fiery War Axe if no better target. Once he has only 5 cards or lower in his deck, be prepared for their exodia turn
5.4. Paladin: Murlocadin / Midrange
There is two variations of this deck. The aggressive one is more murloc focused and you basically need to deal with it like a hunter. Don't waste your Fiery War Axe hit albeit it might be tempting. As letting Murloc Warleader survive more than one turn is basically losing the game. Try to activate their Getaway Kodo on lower value targets. Be on curve with your taunt and have Sleep with the Fishes ready for a turn 4 or 5 board clear with whirlwind or ravaging ghoul. Use Brawl whenever needed, especially to clear Finja, the Flying Star.
The midrange version of the paladin which i think is one of the strongest ones of the meta right now. Their multiple legendary taunts such as Tirion Fordring or Sunkeeper Tarim also discovered through Stonehill Defender is a pain to deal with. And once you get into the late game, in which you would probably get into, there is still Ragnaros, Lightlord. Their game plan is to outvalue us and fill the board with dudes for our hero power to hit. Don't panic, can you deal with the current board without execute or brawling? Try maximizing the value of each card.
5.5.1 Silence / Miracle Lyra
They seem to have come out of nowhere and now most of them are gone. The key to this matchup is to not have them have any healthy minions on board. Start trading even if they didn't silence their Ancient Watcher or Humongous Razorleaf. Choose cheaper taunts with Stonehill Defender to prevent them silencing your taunts and hitting face.
This is a value driven deck and matchup. Good news is that they kind of lose their tempo and answer late game. They still have a very terrifying Lyra turn if you can't remove it immediately. Remove Radiant Elemental asap, don't give them a good Dragonfire Potion or Potion of Madness turn. Make them use Shadow word: pain on lower value target, allowing your Alley Armorsmith to survive longer. Combo your Acolyte of Pain with some sort of aoe before using it, as if you run out of cards, you will be punished. It's okay if he draws a lot of cards with his Northshire Cleric. Try saving Execute for the big dragons such as Ysera that he discovered using Netherspite Historian.
5.6.1 Miracle / Tempo
Best described with the card Sherazin, Corpse Flower. Not a difficult matchup as they have to deal with your taunts. Try to stay on curve with your taunts and let him do his thing.
One of the harder matchup for us. There are two possible ways of dealing with this matchup depending on your draw. First is to eliminate as much of his minions before they grow to 5/5. You would choose this path if you don't have much taunt going on for you. Thus board control of the early game is very important. The second option is to push for face damage so that he will have to trade the board inefficiently. I opt for this game plan when i have a very good taunt curve in hand such as Stonehill Defender, Bloodhoof Brave, Tar Creeper and The Curator. This guarantees me a quest complete around turn 8 which is on average 1-2 turn after he finished his. Once he has traded with all your board minions, just Brawl and go face to finish the game. A very good board clear that will save you is Primordial Drake and Sleep with the Fishes. Try to set this up after your Brawl as most likely he will commit to the board.
5.7. Shaman: Token Evolve
Plays similarly to murloc paladin as they have a lot of cheap minions on board. Control the board early game. Don't need to rush for the quest completion as shaman will always have a bunch of free totems for you to hit. Make sure you save a Fiery War Axe hit for manatide totem. Use Primordial Drake to clean the board for a clean face hit of your hero power.
What do warlock play anyway? You finished quest? I got two drakes waiting to clear your board.
This deck performs actually very well against pirate warrior as we have a very strong board presence with our 2 and 3 drops. I would still not mulligan our quest away as this taunt warrior is becoming more present in the meta :) Make sure to have your axe ready to take down shouthsea captain and Ship's Cannon. Leave execute for frothing berserker and chose taunts with better stats with Stonehill Defender, sometimes an Ancient of Blossoms may be the solution.
5.9.2 Mirror taunt warrior
At last, the mirror matchup. Personally I don't think it's a race to quest complete. I have won many games where i was 2-3 turn behind and I am sure you will win games even if you completed the quest after them. Key of this matchup is resource generation and board presence. Don't rush for that quest when you can draw more cards or easily clear their board. As in the late game, you will have more minions to drop whereas they will only rely on topdecking.
6. Featuring some players using this deck
Watch this deck in action and show some love by supporting them :)