Our Pirate Warrior deck guide features the best deck list for Season 40, with Mulligan advice, strategy tips, card combos and synergies.
Pirate Warrior is a Hearthstone deck archetype which weaves together plenty of powerful synergies contained within the game's Pirate category of cards. As well as these aggressive minions, you also have access to the Warrior's signature weapons which help you stop the opponent developing a strong board, and leave your minions free to keep chipping away at the enemy hero.
Assuming you can get off to a solid start, you should be able to very quickly snowball a dominating presence on the board that will leave your opponent struggling to cope with the onslaught - let alone mount their own offensive in return. While this isn't a new deck by any means, it took last year's expansions to really boost its potential. The good news for those with limited funds though is that you don't need a single card from the latest Un'Goro expansion to pilot our preferred version
In our essential guide to playing Pirate Warrior, we'll give you a strategic overview to help you get started, and then highlight some of the important choices you need to think about during the Mulligan process. There's a lot of combos to take advantage of with this new take on an old experiment, and so to wrap things up we've also got a breakdown of all the most important combos you can weave together.
Editor's note - July 2017 Update: Pirate Warrior has been in a pretty stable condition since the launch of Un'Goro, and there are no changes to take into account in this month's recommended take on the archetype.
To help you squeeze even more efficiency out of your climb though, we have added a little extra information for dealing with aggro and control opponents specifically. We've also got some tips for potential card replacements if you're struggling to find the funds to craft some of the more expensive cards in in this version of the deck.
Pirate Warrior deck list and strategy - July 2017
This feels like the best Pirate Warrior deck list you can play right now, and we'd be surprised if it's refined any further between now and the next Hearthstone expansion:
|2 x N'Zoth's First Mate||1 x Patches the Pirate|
|2 x Upgrade!||2 x Southsea Deckhand|
|2 x Fiery War Axe||2 x Bloodsail Raider|
|2 x Heroic Strike||2 x Southsea Captain|
|2 x Bloodsail Cultist||2 x Dread Corsair|
|2 x Frothing Berserker||2 x Naga Corsair|
|2 x Kor'kron Elite||1 x Leeroy Jenkins|
|2 x Mortal Strike|
|2 x Arcanite Reaper|
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If you're into aggressive decks then Patches the Pirate is ubiquitous enough that you're going to get a lot of value from crafting him. If you're really struggling to afford this card though, you can consider a card like Golakka Crawler - not only is this good for dealing with opponents in the current meta, you can even feed off one of your own minor Pirate minions if you wish.
What about Leeroy Jenkins though? While he was given a pretty major nerf a couple of years back, he's still proving remarkably useful in aggro decks, so don't expect him to go anywhere. With that said, and if you can't justify the craft, consider other surprise burst damage in the form of Argent Commander or Reckless Rocketeer. The former's more commonly used in the game, but the latter is a good deal cheaper to craft.
Alternative deck lists:
From the very beginning of every match to the very end your job with this deck is to blend together the Pirate synergies sprinkled throughout the deck list, so as to put immediate pressure on your opponent from the earliest turns - and then close the match down as rapidly as possible.
The weapons in your hand - bolstered, perhaps, by some of your Pirates - will allow you to keep the board under control, while your minions begin the process of rapidly bringing down your opponent's health tally. It almost always makes more sense to use your weapons on taking out enemy minions, rather than the opponent's face. It helps them push on with the aggro work, and your health is just another resource at the end of the day.
Something to also keep in mind is that it can be easy to run out of cards quite quickly with this deck, so it's important to keep one eye on your potential damage output, and think about how close you are to closing down the match. If you're a turn or two away from lethal, it's much more important to forget the state of the board, start racing towards the finishing line, and let your opponent do the job of clearing down your minions. Spotting that precise moment when it arrives is a key part of playing any aggro deck, and can only be truly mastered by playing many matches.
As with so many other aggro decks in Hearthstone, it's extremely important that you familiarise yourself with all of the most important combos you have at your disposal. You'll find the bulk of our strategic advice towards the bottom of this article in the synergies section. You've got a lot of low-Mana options at your disposal, and so mastering these combos will leave you well-positioned to make a powerful play at just about every stage of the game.
Here are some tips for dealing with specific opponent types. Right now your main threats come from aggro and control orientated decks:
Although your focus is on bringing the opponent down to zero health as quickly as possible, it often makes sense to make favourable trades in aggro match-ups - at least during the early stages of a match when you're jossling for control of the board.
There's no time for trading in slower match-ups, as you'll find yourself blocked out of the game if you don't start racing immediately. Keep the pressure up on them relentlessly, and make them do the trading in this case. Do whatever it takes to protect your board in the early turns, as you'll struggle to mount a comeback if you lose your early push.
Pirate Warrior video guide - July 2017
We're big fans of Jeffrey 'Trump' Shih at Metabomb, and so we also wanted to highlight a video of him playing this deck in this strategy section of our guide. It's well worth watching all the way through to the end, as it covers a number of different match types:
This video was recorded in May 2016, and so the deck list will be different to the one we're highlighting in this article. The general principles of playing this kind of deck remain the same though, despite any seasonal card tweaks that are made.
More great Warrior guides:
Pirate Warrior Mulligan guide - July 2017
The golden rule of playing this kind of deck is that you always return Patches the Pirate if he shows up in your starting hand. He's better off remaining in your deck pile, from where he'll be summoned onto the board for free when you play a Pirate card.
Prime picks though are Fiery War Axe, Bloodsail Raider, N'Zoth's First Mate and Southsea Deckhand. The last three of these cards will grab Patches from the deckwhen they're played, and give you another quick body on the board. Get N'Zoth's First Mate and you might want to consider also holding onto Upgrade if you got it, but don't go digging around for it in particular.
Now that things have settled down a little in the Un'Goro metagame, we can give you a little hero-by-hero guidance on Mulliganing for this deck. We'll update this information over time to ensure it remains relevant to the current metagame.
Hero by hero Mulligans
- Druid - N'Zoth's First Mate, Fiery War Axe, Bloodsail Raider
- Hunter - N'Zoth's First Mate, Fiery War Axe, Bloodsail Raider
- Mage - N'Zoth's First Mate, Fiery War Axe, Bloodsail Raider, Bloodsail Cultist
- Paladin - N'Zoth's First Mate, Fiery War Axe, Bloodsail Raider, Bloodsail Cultist
- Priest - N'Zoth's First Mate, Fiery War Axe, Bloodsail Raider, Bloodsail Cultist, Frothing Berserker
- Rogue - N'Zoth's First Mate, Fiery War Axe, Bloodsail Raider, Bloodsail Cultist
- Shaman - N'Zoth's First Mate, Fiery War Axe, Bloodsail Raider, Bloodsail Cultist
- Warlock - N'Zoth's First Mate, Fiery War Axe, Bloodsail Raider, Bloodsail Cultist
- Warrior - N'Zoth's First Mate, Fiery War Axe, Bloodsail Raider, Bloodsail Cultist
Pirate Warrior tips, combos and synergies - July 2017
Although it's true that Pirate Warrior has existed in one form or another throughout Hearthstone's history, it's never really been particularly effective until the most modern era of the game.
Here are some of the biggest plays you should become familiar with, so you don't miss a chance to steal an extra match or two during your long climb up the ladder this month.
- Bloodsail Cultist has obvious synergy with every other Pirate class of card in this deck. There needs to be another pirate on the board and a weapon in your hand for the effect to trigger though, so check and double-check your options.
- Bloodsail Raider gains the additional Attack value of your weapon when she's put on the board, should you happen to have one in your hand at the time, of course.
- The cost of playing Dread Corsair out is reduced by the Attack value of the weapon you have in your hand.
- Plan your turns very carefully. A partial trade elsewhere, so as to boost Frothing Berserker up, may prove to be a very powerful move once you've double-checked your maths.
- It might seem a little silly to mention, but don't forget to actually use Patches the Pirate after he's summoned onto the board - it's easy to forget you can use him straight away before hitting End Turn!
- Any of your weapons will gift Southsea Deckhand the Charge mechanic. Again, the weapon needs to be in your hand, so don't accidentally use up your last charge of the sword before making this play!
- Southsea Captain will boost the strength of associated cards, but note that the effect is not permanent. When he evaporates, so do those bonus stats.