Blizzard has released the full core set and we're in for a very different new year of Hearthstone! Today we're going to be taking a look at the Warrior class in the Year of the Gryphon by looking at their new set of core cards and giving the new ones a full review.
- If you want to see the full core set, you can check out our Core 2021 Guide.
- Want to see only the new cards? We have a dedicated article for that.
- You can build decks with all these cards in our deckbuilder - just select Year of the Gryphon as the format!
Let's get to it!
This card is very reminiscent of a spell released in Saviors of Uldum for Hunter: I'm talking about Hunter's Pack. Getting random cards has rarely been good, even when you could discover them (Boom Squad). In the end, you'd just include what you want, limiting the RNG factor and giving more consistency to your game plan. On the other hand, getting this off of some Discover and RNG effects might be good, as it is more fuel for Control Warrior's long run.
Definitely not the best card in Warrior's Core set, but something you'll be fine with most of the time.
I was personally advocating for Militia Commander to be part of the Core set, and seeing that this is what the devs landed on makes me think that I nailed at least the idea.
A solid 4-drop with immediate impact on the board that will be able to value trade any 3-4 drops and potentially kill some 5-6 drops. While it's not something flashy like Restless Mummy, it covers its exact same role and easily delivers the idea of what Warrior is about and what it should be good at. I definitely see this card as more than a pack filler, as I expect Warsong Outrider to pop up here and there in case Garrosh will get even more Rush support or the meta will ask to have a strong turn 4 play (in that case Warrior would be golden, considering that Sword Eater will stick in Standard for another 12 months).
Yeah, technically it's not a new card, but since its effect got completely changed the only thing that still has in common with its older self is just the name, so we think it can be defined "new" by all means. Warsong Commander is back and it looks playable!
Its effect is pretty much an aura-like Animated Broomstick, which means that it will provide great support to Rush Warrior and E.T.C., God of Metal. Moreover, the card text states "summon" and not "play": therefore, even tokens spawned by Deathrattles or effects like Bomb Wrangler's one will gain Rush.
However, my personal opinion is that as long as Animated Broomstick will stick (no pun intended) in Standard, it will sweep (ok, maybe pun intended) all the attention away from Warsong Commander - we're talking about a one-time effect versus an aura-like, but we're also talking about a card that costs just 1 mana and on the costs 3 times that much.
I wish this version of Warsong Commander were around back then when Overkill was a thing - minions like Ticket Scalper would've probably seen a tad more of play, or maybe not because Overkill was really underwhelming.
Pirate 1-drop with a Weapon discount that is not limited for that same turn? Now that's a spicy opener for an aggro build like Pirate Warrior. Since Garrosh will lose Sky Raider and Southsea Deckhand, this will automatically become the unit you mulligan for at the beginning of the game.
Sure, now Warrior needs some good weapons, since Ancharrr, Livewire Lance and Wrenchcalibur will rotate and the class will be left with Fiery War Axe and Reaper's Scythe. To be honest, there's a fourth alternative that looks quite appetizing at a second look: Ringmaster's Baton is a cheap Weapon and synergizes well with Bloodsail Deckhand and already has some support in Standard. In the end, Menagerie Aggro Warrior is, as things are right now, the archetype with the highest chances of including this new 1-drop.
On a side note, in Wild you'll be able to go turn 1 Bloodsail Deckhand into Patches the Pirate (if you're skilled enough to not draw it) into turn 2 Ancharrr into turn 3 Bloodsail Cultist. Wild Pirate Warrior does not crave additional strong opening units, but the more the merrier!
Warrior in Year of the Gryphon
With the rotation, Garrosh will probably be the class that will lose the most: Risky Skipper, Ancharrr and Bloodsworn Mercenary will all rotate, making so that all the currently top-tier Warrior decks will lack the mid-game survivability as well as the end-game potential that these cards granted, but that's not all! We'll also see lots of good cards like Bomb Wrangler, Wrenchcalibur (good riddance), Deathwing, Mad Aspect and EVIL Quartermaster becoming Wild exclusive.
While Warrior will lose a lot, there's no reason to despair as the Year of the Phoenix gave the class a lot of good Midrange and Control tools, so that Garrosh won't have to completely rely on the upcoming expansions. Here's a breakdown of what archetypes might await us in the Year of the Phoenix.
Although Nitroboost Poison may receive balance changes before the next expansion due to Rogue shenanigans, Warrior has some solid aggressive class cards, which will be able to let you hit hard and fast.
Of course, the rotation is gonna hit pretty hard with the loss of Sky Raider, Skybarge, Upgrade! and the Neutrals Southsea Deckhand, Parachute Brigand, Southsea Captain and, of course, Ancharrr.
It appears that Aggro Warrior won't be that bad, but that you'd want to play many more things over it as things are now. However, the next expansion(s) may change things in a second.
This is where Garrosh has the most alternatives. The class currently has good Rush support (E.T.C., God of Metal, Warsong Commander, Warsong Outrider and so on), good Enrage self-damage synergy (Bloodboil Brute, Bonechewer Raider), good Menagerie tools (Ringmaster's Baton, Ringmaster Whatley, Tent Trasher) as well as a niche Armor archetype (Spiked Wheel and Ironclad).
We definitely see Warrior showing at the top of the meta in the next few months due to the release of a view cornerstone piece that will be able to push some of these archetypes over the top due to consistency, resilience or both.
Despite the rotation of many good tools, Control Warrior will still be a thing. The Year of the Phoenix gave Garrosh many good board clears (and Brawl and Shield Slam will remain in Standard thanks to the new core set) and comeback mechanics, so we don't see the class struggling if the meta will require something to keep aggro decks in check.
Rattlegore and C'Thun, the Shattered are probably the main reasons to go to the distance with Control Warrior, but we're curious to see if Team 5 will print more win conditions for Control decks, as they stated during Blizzcon one week ago. All in all, Garrosh seems to be in a good position under this point of view.
While the Silas Darkmoon OTK is still doable on paper, since both Soulbound Ashtongue and Shield Slam will still be in Standard, Warrior lacks that remarkable Armor gain engine that will be able to get your opponent "in range". Forged in the Barrens might bring some goodies under this aspect, but we don't know yet.
E.T.C. OTK depends on the new set too - while E.T.C., God of Metal and Animated Broomstick/Warsong Commander will still be in Standard, Bloodsworn Mercenary will rotate, thus leaving the combo with a way smaller reach. Faceless Manipulator is way too expensive and we don't have many token spawners right now, so this is a topic we'll have to discuss again in a month.
What do you think about Warrior coming in the Year of the Gryphon? Let us know in the comments below!
View More Out of Cards Core Set Reviews
We're putting together reviews for all the classes and their core set cards. Here's everything up so far!