Hearthstone: Why I Play Warrior

By Ozzie Mejia, May 17, 2014 1:15pm PDT

Hearthstone is out now on both PC and iPad. With new players joining the battle each day, Shacknews is closely examining each of the game's nine classes and learning how to play with all of them from the perspective of Chatty. Next up is Garrosh Hellscream, the Warrior.


Warriors are the physical brutes of Hearthstone, specializing in all kinds of heavy weaponry. But more than anything, Warriors are defensive-minded. Garrosh's 'Armor Up!' Hero Power focuses on adding 2 Armor to fortify his own defenses, meaning opponents are advised to either put him away early or prepare for a drawn-out fight.

Why the Warrior?

Chatty users have been lukewarm to the Warrior and his abilities. It's a bit unusual, since Warriors are considered to be among the top tier of Hearthstone classes, according to a number of top level players (via Liquid Hearth). It could be that there's nothing glamorous about the Warrior's no-nonsense approach, but a few Chatty posters do note that there's a lot of value to be found in playing with Garrosh.

Poster banks29 points out that Warrior decks do carry synergy when including weapons. And Garrosh does have weapons to choose from, with Fiery War Axe (a 2 mana weapon providing 3/2 stats) and Arcanite Reaper (a 5 mana weapon offering 5/2 stats) giving him a formidable one-two punch that can take a quick toll on an opposing Hero's HP.

"I enjoy having weapon after weapon after weapon," nwillard adds. "Usually a mix between early board control with Pirates and all those damn weapons means I can usually go for face and kill them just as they're getting control back."

Of course, Warriors will need to earn the right cards to be able to control the board. It's part of the reason that skankcore has stayed away from Garrosh, as he notes that he still needs a few cards to make a good control deck.

Notable cards/combos

The aforementioned weapon cards can make Garrosh a nightmare to face in battle. Because the Warrior can simply use Armor Up! to fortify his own defenses, players won't hesitate to use his weapons to chip away at pesky Taunt minions. Just beware of the Acidic Swamp Ooze, which destroys weapons as soon as it's summoned. Its low 2 mana cost and its 3/2 stats make it a common favorite for Hearthstone newcomers and Warriors will more than likely run into one early on in games.

Garrosh can also give his minions equal zeal, thanks to the Charge card. As its name implies, Charge will immediately give a friendly minion a +2 Attack boost and allow it to attack immediately. At 3 mana, this spell can be particularly nasty if used on a high attack/low health minion.

The Warrior also has some limited crowd control abilities, thanks to Slam, Cleave, and Whirlwind. These are good for keeping low health minions off the board, but Warriors should not overly rely on these spells, especially since Whirlwind also damages friendly minions. Garrosh doesn't have the same crowd control abilities as other classes, like the Mage. The lone exception is Brawl, which destroys all opposing minions, except for one. This can be a lifesaver against Hunters that play cards like Unleash the Hounds or even against certain Legendaries, like Onyxia. Try playing Brawl against an opponent that meticulously worked to get five or six high-powered minions onto the field. The reaction should be priceless.

Armor is your friend when playing as the Warrior. Skoal^Fyfan notes that Shield Block (a 3 mana card that adds 5 Armor) and Shield Slam is a common combo in Twitch circles. It's a tactic that can quickly clear the field, given that an Armor Up!, Shield Block, and Shield Slam combo will do 7 damage all minions for the low cost of 6 mana. That's a combination that must not be underestimated. Armorsmith (a low-cost 2 mana 1/4 minion) potentially makes this combination even more dangerous, since any friendly minions that take damage will grant Garrosh 1 Armor point. It's a card that Chatty's HockeyJohnston carries proudly.

"Armorsmith is a great early card to get out there because it forces some action," he explains via a private message. "Your opponents are going to want it off the board and it pays off in armor for you."

Deck strategies

Prepare for the long haul when playing as the Warrior, as it'll most likely pay dividends.

"I love playing Warrior because people are frequently spec'd out to win short games instead of long ones," HockeyJohnston says. "Building a Warrior deck with some weapons and a bunch of card-drawing minions means you'll probably get to the late game, and usually with a health advantage. Many players crumble when their first push doesn't bring you down to zero health."

As mentioned before, Garrosh likes to use weapons, so Warrior players may want to consider centering their decks around Pirates. Pirates play very well together with the Warrior's weaponry and it's a combination that may be too tantalizing to pass up. The Southsea Deckhand, for example, receives Charge if Garrosh is holding a weapon, while the Bloodsail Raider will gain Attack power equal to the Warrior's weapon. If Garrosh is holding onto the Arcanite Reaper or Gorehowl, he suddenly has a powerful Pirate at his disposal for only 2 mana.

"Mixing that in with the pirate cards is really fun, though the pirate class really isn't as fleshed out as some of the other ones," nwillard adds. "It's always nice to get that 0 cost, 3/3 Taunt to flesh out a turn, or an Arcanite Reaper-buffed 7/3, and if I get lucky and have the Pirate-boosting pirate (Southsea Captain) I can buff the deckhands and get some 3/2 Charge minions. Mix those in with the 4/3 Charge minion the warrior gets (Kok'kron Elite) and you've got a great early/mid rush deck. Again, by the time I'm running out of cards and losing board control I've got enough weapons in my hand where it just doesn't matter and I can finish them off before they do too much damage."

Regardless of what strategy Garrosh takes the field with, it's important to remember that board control is the key to victory.

"I think Warrior has to be able to trade his health/armor for board control, which means that you're going to want to have lots of weapons to draw from," HockeyJohnston concludes. "Gorehowl is a great finisher, but I try to set up my deck such that I know I'm getting some low mana weapons early on in the game."

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