In last week’s Hearthstone preview, we discussed the Rogue Shadowstep ability and listed a few different uses for it. We stressed that, on the whole, the Rogue deck would require some finesse in order to make work. This week, we’ll be looking at a far less subtle deck, the Warrior deck. If a Warrior spends energy in Hearthstone, a minion is getting tougher, a weapon’s being equipped or something’s getting their butt handed to them. In that respect, it’s only fitting that the hero representing the plate clad ruffians is none other than despised tyrant Garrosh Hellscream. Today we’ll be looking at the myriad of spells available to the Warrior.
There are a number of neat hero abilities in Hearthstone. While Garrosh Hellscream’s Armor Up! ability might not be the flashiest, it is undoubtedly one of the most useful. A player can choose to spend two energy per turn to give Garrosh Hellscream an extra two armor. Armor functions similarly to health, but is considered damage mitigation. What’s more, this armor persists, at least as of this moment. If a duel goes on for long enough, you could be looking at a formidable bonus health pool advantage in the long term. Don’t expect to see this hero ability used much between turns one through four, but after that, as energy becomes a bit easier to come by, don’t be surprised if most turns end with Garrosh Hellscream becoming two armor stronger.
Given just how quick Garrosh Hellscream is to murder individuals that do not see things from his point of view, the myriad of Warrior abilities mesh quite nicely with the hero behind the wheel. All lore references aside, expect to see a lot of board clearing from this deck, along with a bit of buffing, and the warrior staple, Mortal Strike.
Execute is a crazy ability for one energy, outright destroying a damaged minion. This card is a game changer. Just knowing that there’s a chance that a powerful minion can be destroyed on the cheap will force most players to adjust their strategy into being a lot more cautious. There’s nothing worse than spending seven or eight energy just to have your secret weapon destroyed because you assaulted a low tier minion and took two damage. Running two of this easy to come by card in your Warrior deck is a must.
Battle Rage is an interesting card in a deck that doesn’t deal with chance much at all. Playing Battle Rage allows the Warrior to draw a card for each damaged minion. The text does not specify that the minions have to be under your control, or you opponent’s control. That means that, in a game where there are more than two or three damaged minions on the board, this card is a fantastic method of generating more spells, minions and equipment for your hand. It can also be effectively comboed with the one energy Whirlwind spell. Whirlwind deals one damage to all of your opponent’s minions. It doesn’t help your minions serve as card generators, but it’s worth noting all the same.
It’s risky to run this card for a couple of reasons. Warrior is absurdly good at murdering minions. That’s just what the deck does. If it’s doing that, don’t expect to see a lot of damaged minions on the board. It can also be problematic if your opponent is not running a minion heavy deck. If it does pan out though, Battle Rage can be a godsend. It’s also worth noting that this is one of only three spells that generates cards for the Warrior, the others being Shield Block, which is solid and Shield Slam, and Shield Slam flat out sucks. There’s no need to run this card 24/7, but it’s definitely worth having around to switch in on the fly.
Ahhh, back to simplicity. Cleave costs two energy and does two damage to two random enemy minions. This one writes itself. Turn two or three, see some annoying minions on the board you’d rather have dead, there. Dead.
If you’re looking for a Warrior spell that can do direct damage to an enemy hero, stop right here. This is it. The four energy spell deals four damage to your opponent, or six if your health is under 12. The card is listed as being rare, but try and get two of Mortal Strike. It’s an absolute necessity in a deck that has no other manner of conveniently wading through minions with Taunt in order to get to that sweet, sweet enemy hero.
This brings us to the ‘epic’ card in the Warrior spell arsenal, Brawl. For a whopping five energy, (the most expensive of all the Warrior spell cards) Brawl destroys all but one minion on the board. There’s a term in competitive trading card gaming called ‘Top Decking’ where in a player with their back against the wall draws a card that single-handedly wins them the game. Brawl could be that card for Warriors. Battered, bloodied, and facing a horde of enemies? For Garrosh Hellscream, this will probably be the case in 5.4. Unfortunately, in World of Warcraft he cannot pay five energy to remove all but one of his foes. In Hearthstone though, totally doable. You’ll want to use this card intelligently. It’s not smart to drop this when you have three minions out and your opponent has one, unless that one is threatening to win the match and you have no other options available to you, as you’ll end up losing far more minions than your opponent will.
Thanks for checking out BlizzPro’s preview of Warrior Spells and Abilities in Hearthstone. Be sure to check back later this week as we take a look at the equipment and minions that Garrosh Hellscream can command on behalf of the Warrior class. Miss the most recent updates to the Hearthstone card base? Check out our article for information on cards such as Shield Slam, Far Sight and Savannah Highmane.