Patron Warrior is a deck that seeks to field overwhelming force onto the board via the titular Grim Patron card, using a host of other cards which activate the duplicating effect of the Patron. While it's still an extremely powerful deck for climbing the ladder with, it took quite a significant nerf just prior to the finals of last year's Hearthstone World Championships, thanks to a Warsong Commander nerf that eliminated the "charge" element of the deck.
It didn't fall out of the metagame nearly as quickly - or to as drastic a degree - as many predicted, however, and it's continued to perform pretty well ever since these changes were put into effect. Our own perspective on the deck's history is that we feel it's a positive thing that a deck can be tamed a little, without completely destroying what made it so powerful and fun to play.
That was then and this is now, so what did the Old Games expansion done to spice up this deck archetype? Quite a bit actually, and there are even more activators for Grim Patron fans to pack into their decks as we approach the second half of 2016. Blood to Ichor and Ravaging Ghoul both provide obvious benefits to this sort of deck, while Bloodhoof Brave provides a very nice mid-game wall that's capable of growing in strength in response to the sort of spells you'll be throwing out as par for the course.
In the next of today's deck guides, we're completing overhauling our existing Grim Patron guide content to reflect all of the latest changes. We'll start by outlining the deck list that's currently perceived as being the strongest, then explain the basic strategy behind playing it effectively. After that we've got some Mulligan advice to help you get off to a strong start, followed by a look at all of the card combos you have at your disposal.
Editor's note - September update: There are a few Karazhan-inspired experiments going on with Patron Warrior right now, but none of them feel particularly consistent with the core ethos of the archetype to us. For that reason, we're holding off on changes in this month's version of the guide and will review again in time for the next season.
(For the Wild version of this deck, make sure you take a look at our Wild Patron Warrior deck list and guide)
On this page:
1. Patron Warrior (Standard): Deck list and general strategy
Patron Warrior (Standard) deck list and strategy - September 2016
As we've already mentioned there are a few different versions of Patron Warrior in circulation at the moment but we prefer the classic version - for now at least. For this reason, the deck list remains the same as it was in the last season.
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|2 x Inner Rage||1 x Sir Finley Mrrgglton|
|2 x Blood To Ichor||1 x Wild Pyromancer|
|2 x Execute||2 x Acolyte of Pain|
|2 x Whirlwind||2 x Grim Patron|
|2 x Fiery War Axe|
|2 x Battle Rage|
|2 x Slam|
|2 x Armorsmith|
|2 x Frothing Berserker|
|2 x Ravaging Ghoul|
|2 x Bloodhoof Brave|
|1 x Kor'kron Elite|
|1 x Grommash Hellscream|
More great Warrior guides:
The early-game with Patron Warrior is all about building up some kind of presence on the board, while controlling the opponent's progress. Fiery Axe is great here, as is Blood to Ichor. Your damage spells are useful for activating Grim Patron, but it'll all be for nought if you've lost the board, so don't be afraid to clear the board down with your spells - especially against aggro decks.
Your mid-game is now much stronger thanks to the new arrival of Bloodhoof Brave, and good-old Frothing Berserker can also help you start snowballing a major threat. Your ideal Grim Patron play comes about from being able to field three or more Patrons onto an empty board, or at least one you feel confidently of dominating soon and without losing your multiplying minions.
In the current metagame, you'd be wise to avoid throwing all of your eggs into one basket unless you're very close to lethal damage. Keep a little something back in case your Patrons are wiped from the board entirely and you need to start the process all over again. If you're facing an aggressive opponent, simply prioritise survival and clearing the board above all else - eventually they'll run out of steam.
The bulk of the advice we can give you actually comes from breaking down the fine details of all of the many combos involved, and you'll find these further down the page. There is simply no substitute for experience when it comes to working out which of the many plays at your disposal is the correct one.