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Dragon Warrior deck list guide - Rastakhan - Hearthstone (December 2018)

A closer look at some of the key cards in the soon to be revived archetype.

Our Dragon Warrior deck list guide features the best Rastakhan deck list for Season 57 of Hearthstone (December 2018). Our Dragon Warrior guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.

Dragon Warrior is a Hearthstone deck that fell out of the meta a long time ago. We’d have to go all the way back to the Old Gods and Gadgetzan expansions to the point where it was last truly viable. Since cards from those sets have now rotated into the Wild format (and a number of other vital cards have been nerfed), there hasn’t been a deck list that’s been able to compete in the meta.

It looks as though things might be about to change for the better now Rastakhan’s Rumble is released, however, when you look at all of the new Dragon cards being added to the Warrior class. Many of them look set to fill in for the missing parts it lost in the previous set rotation, while also providing the deck with a significant power spike that could usher in a new Control Dragon Warrior list.

It’s still early days so we’re not too sure whether this deck will take off, or if all the excitement for it will come burning down to the ground. Whatever happens, we’ll continue to update this page with tweaks to the deck list and other strategy tips as the meta evolves over the launch period of Rastakhan’s Rumble.

Dragon Warrior deck list and strategy

A lot of players are excited to try out Dragon Warrior for the launch of Rastakhan’s Rumble, including Hearthstone streamer Kripparian. His deck list can be found below:

WarriorNeutral
2 x Eternium Rover2 x Acolyte of Pain
2 x Dragon Roar2 x Stonehill Defender
2 x Warpath2 x Dragonmaw Scorcher
1 x Weapons Project1 x Zilliax
2 x Smolderthorn Lancer2 x Crowd Roaster
2 x Blood Razor2 x Primordial Drake
1 x War Master Voone1 x Ysera
1 x Brawl
2 x Dyn-o-matic
2 x Emberscale Drake
1 x Dr. Boom, Mad Genius

Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.

Deck Import ID: AAECAQcG9PUCkocDS6CAA5L4AqIJDLP8AqqLA5vzAvsMi4cDm8ICzM0C7IkDnvsCgYcD6JQDyccCAA==

More great Warrior guides:

General strategy

Much like Control Warrior of old, this Dragon variant of the deck aims to survive well into the late game with armour gain, execute effects and board clears so the Warrior can reach their most powerful high mana minions. Once here – and with the opponent starved of all resources – the Warrior can take the initiative in the match and steadily work down their opponent’s life total.

With Rastakhan’s Rumble, the Dragon Warrior has come back in style with the addition of many control-oriented cards. For example, where cards like Shieldmaiden have been lost to the Wild format, they find a replacement here in Emberscale Drake. Meanwhile, the nerf to Execute doesn’t seem so bad when you can just run Smolderthorn Lancer in its place to get the same effect, plus a 3 / 2 minion. These are the sorts of additions that can make the deck more viable.

Early game: Slow and steady is the way for Dragon Warrior, with an early game focused on armour gain and card draw. You can drop Acolyte of Pain and then trigger some additional card draws using the single damage effects from the likes of Warpath and Blood Razor. Elsewhere, you should start playing Dragon Roar in order to add more Dragon minions to your deck to be used as activators.

To protect your life total you should get Stonehill Defender down so you can have more Taunt minions in hand for the late game. Eternium Rover and Weapons Project are decent ways to generate a bit of extra armour, while the latter also gives you a weapon to use to kill off your opponent’s low health creatures.

Mid game: If your hand is full of Dragon minions, then summoning War Master Voone sooner rather than later is a good start to your mid game so your hand is full of resources. Now is also when you’ll want to see about dropping Emberscale Drake in order to maintain a healthy armour value if you sense the game is going to go late.

If you’re behind, Dragon Warrior has a number of good catch-up cards at this stage. Of course, there’s an old favourite with Brawl, while Zilliax can zoom onto the board and have an immediate impact. A lot of one damage effects are sitting in the middle of your mana curve with Dragonmaw Scorcher and Dyn-o-matic, which can be used as an activator for Smolderthorn Lancer to remove big minions.

Late game: Now you can truly assert control of the game. Any remaining minions your opponent has on the board can be swiftly dealt with by the Battlecry effect from Crowd Roaster, while Primordial Drake is better positioned to wipe out wider boards and leave you with a bulky Taunt minion.

Your late game finishers include Dr. Boom, Mad Genius, which will grant you a rotating hero power with multiple handy uses. You can also simply drop Ysera on the board and play out the rest of the game using the Dream cards she will generate for you on each turn.

Aggro opponents

Keep these tips and tricks in mind when facing aggro opponents:

  • 1. You have multiple area of effect spells that can wipe out most wide aggro boards, especially if you repeatedly cast Warpath.
  • 2. Dragon Warrior can also put up a strong wall of Taunt minions that will stall aggro decks and keep your life total safe.
  • 3. If things get seriously bad you can always play Brawl to reset the board against your opponent.
  • 4. Be cautious of playing Weapons Project against aggro. It can work in your favour and destroy one of their more useful weapons, but you could also be giving them extra damage to finish you off quicker.
  • 5. Don’t be afraid to use Smolderthorn Lancer on smaller minions if needed, as aggro will not have many big threats to target.

Control opponents

Here are some important things to consider against control decks on ladder:

  • 1. These match-ups often come down to whoever blinks first, loses. Be patient and focus on your armour gain or card draw in the early stages.
  • 2. When their big threats start to come down, use one of your many single damage effects to set them up for an execution from Smolderthorn Lancer. Use it wisely against the most dangerous targets though.
  • 3. Once you get Dr. Boom, Mad Genius down you have a lot of reach for the rest of the game thanks to the cycling hero power. Similarly, Ysera can keep you full of resources if she survives for a few turns.
  • 4. Play greedy and try for a big War Master Voone. Be careful not to overdraw, but see if you can get a good hand of extra Dragon minions from it while you have the time against other Control decks.
  • 5. Hold off on casting Weapons Project until your opponent commits to a powerful weapon themselves. It’ll function as pseudo-removal by replacing their weapon with an inferior one.

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Dragon Warrior Mulligan guide

These are some of the cards you’ll be looking to find in your opening hand when playing Dragon Warrior:

  • 1. Eternium Rover: Quaint little minion you can drop on the board early if you need to contest a fast deck or want to start generating some armour.
  • 2. Acolyte of Pain: Can get your draw engine started as early as possible with this in your opening hand.
  • 3. Dragon Roar: In your slow early game this is fine to hold onto to start getting additional Dragon minions into your hand.
  • 4. Stonehill Defender: A fine three drop Taunt on its own, but you’ll also be able to Discover another Taunt minion for future use.

Dragon Warrior tips, combos and synergies

There are more than just the synergies with Dragon cards available in this deck, so to truly master it you should be aware of all these potential combos too:

- Smolderthorn Lancer requires you to have a Dragon in hand in order to activate the bonus execute effect, which should be more than achievable considering the cards in this deck list.

- If you need them you can always get more copies of the Dragon minions already in your hand using War Master Voone. Make sure you hit some of your most impactful late game Dragon cards such as Ysera and Primordial Drake for maximum effect.

- Dragon Warrior is full of ways to deal just one damage to all minions, which is handy for enabling the execute effect on Smolderthorn Lancer. Pair it up with Warpath, Blood Razor, Dragonmaw Scorcher and Dyn-o-matic where possible.

- There aren’t many better ways to close out the game than with Dr. Boom, Mad Genius. Once played you'll gain seven points of Armor (up from the usual five), your subsequently played Mechs gain the Rush mechanic, and you'll also gain five new Hero Powers which are cycled through at random:

  • Blast Shield
  • Delivery Drone
  • KABOOM!
  • Micro-Squad
  • Zap Cannon

- For gaining armour you can use the small Eternium Rover minion, or the much larger Emberscale Drake.

Dragon Warrior card choices and substitutions

These are some of the most important cards in the Rush Warrior deck, as well as a few options for replacements if you’re missing some in your collection.

  • Dragon Roar: Adds two random Dragons to your hand, which is especially useful for providing more possibilities to activate the Dragon synergies in this deck.
  • Emberscale Drake: Back in the day, Shieldmaiden was an excellent card with an identical armour-generating effect. Emberscale Drake cuts the cost by one but requires you to have a Dragon in hand, which should be consistently achievable in this deck.
  • Smolderthorn Lancer: The nerf to Execute hurt old Dragon Warrior considerably, but this minion grants you the same effect while putting a 3/2 body on the board. Feel like an easy auto-include in any Dragon Warrior deck.
  • War Master Voone: Being able to copy all Dragons in your hand is a massive effect that will give this deck a lot of late game reach, and push it further towards a Control archetype.
  • Brawl: A staple of Control Warrior decks since the dawn of time. Very powerful against aggro and can get you right back into any game where you’ve fallen behind.
  • Zilliax: This keyword-heavy minion has found its way into another deck. Works in Dragon Warrior as a way to get you back on the board if you’ve fallen behind against aggro.
  • Crowd Roaster: You’re essentially paying seven mana to kill most minions with the Battlecry effect, but you also get a chunky seven-attack creature on the board too. The low health is a downside, but you can’t deny the power of the Battlecry.
  • Dr. Boom, Mad Genius: The Mech synergy in this deck is fairly low but Dr. Boom, Mad Genius is still a handy addition to the deck for the rotating hero power it grants you when played.
  • Primordial Drake: A big taunt Dragon that also flies onto the board with a powerful Battlecry effect? Fits perfectly in Dragon Warrior.
  • Ysera: This has been a strong minion for a very long time, and still offers some of the best late-game pressure with the Dream cards you can acquire.

Comment on this article

  • mike32143 #1 6 days ago
    why should I go for this when like 90% of the cards in this deck are odd? I can simply go for odd warrior instead, the only way I see this deck working is because of Voone and maybe a high roll for Emeriss granted from dragon roars from deck looks fine but sadly there is a better option that outmatches this archetype.
    Sign in to reply
  • swinter #2 14 days ago
    I'd consider putting a deadman's in this just for the outlast value.
    Sign in to reply
  • logansinc #3 11 months ago
    Wow, she is one of the most beautiful girls I have seen
    Sign in to reply
  • kadimo #4 2 years ago
    bad matchups for this deck?
    Sign in to reply
  • OpticalPrime #5 2 years ago
    Dont see any point to Frothing Berserker to be honest. 2/4 with damage potential but only if you already have minions out. Blood to Icor only provides +1 and is better used for tempo or Gromm activations.

    Id take out frothing and add Malch myself. +5 cards many of which could easily be dragons. Or skip that and add something else dunno what. 2nd ghoul maybe
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #6 2 years ago
    @DeathHelmet I think you should probably slot in your biggest, baddest end-game minion in there.
    Sign in to reply
  • DeathHelmet #7 2 years ago
    Can ragnaros be replaced?
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #8 2 years ago
    I think this deck was pretty well-optimised before the release of Karazhan. Any tweaks you see now are largely a case of looking at the overall deck list and see what could go - to accommodate the new cards - that would cause the least disruption to that optimisation.

    Taking out a Ravaging Ghoul may or may not turn out to be the correct choice. This deck list could look very different after a month or so of Karazhan play, especially now that all of the cards are out.
    Sign in to reply
  • SenfPenner #9 2 years ago
    Why only 1 Ghoul ?
    Sign in to reply
  • tobiasedström25 #10 2 years ago
    Is it possible to use this deck without deathwing?
    Sign in to reply
  • SenfPenner #11 2 years ago
    Is Finley really necessary ? I want to add 1x Brawl to counter Zoo or N'Zoth Decks.
    Sign in to reply

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