- Control Warrior
I'm a control player, and Control Warrior has been my favorite archetype ever since The Boomsday Project and the good old days of 50-minute mirrors. As such, every expansion, I tinker with it (as well as try to figure out a control/control-ish midrange deck for every other class too) to see if it can work.
I've been underwhelmed by the performance of decks posted by streamers and pros (and my own Big Control Warrior list that I posted previously), though part of the problem might be that I play at meme-MMR Diamond 5 because of all the tinkering). The main problem in the current meta is Spell Mage; you can usually deal with either their burn or their generated minions, but not both. However, I think I've finally figured out a way to make the Mage matchup closer to 40-60 (or who knows, maybe even 45-55!).
The secret sauce is, as Vicious Syndicate calls them... Flex Tape Neutrals (TM)! A big part of the problem with most Control Warrior lists is you don't have any way to proactively take the board until turn 4 at the very earliest (via Kargath Bladefist). Sometimes you have enough removal to take care of the problem, but I've been finding that due to Control Warrior's lack of card draw, more often than not, either the board spirals out of control or the early chip damage does you in if you can't prevent small minions from connecting face for several turns.
How do we prevent this from happening? Enter the Flex Tape neutrals: Wandmaker and Venomous Scorpid (Mankrik doesn't make the cut, since we don't really have any good way to find his wife, meaning more often than not he's just a tribeless Spider Tank)! Sir Stingsalot either trades one-for-one with anything or soaks up some valuable removal, meaning he's basically a one-turn speed bump (and occasionally even more!), and on top of all that, he generates you a spell! And with the current card pool, out of 23 spells, there are really only five that feel bad to pull: Feat of Strength (too slow), In Formation! (could wreck your Bulk Up), Nitroboost Poison (very situational), Shield of Honor (even more situational), and War Cache (paint-dryingly slow), meaning that unless you're a singularly unlucky person, you're almost guaranteed to pull something good on top of the scorpid's 1:1 trade/removal soakage.
Wandmaker is surprisingly good as well--Warrior currently has six one-mana spells, four of which you'd be happy to see (Athletic Studies, Shield Slam, Stage Dive, and Sword and Board, all of which either help you deal with the board or tutor a bunny to corrupt your clowns), and two which are situationally good (Shield of Honor and Whirlwind). The upshot of this is that running Wandmaker is strictly superior to simply running Execute, Slam, or one of the 1-mana cards, since Wandmaker also gives you board presence on top of (hopefully) generating a board-control spell.
There are a couple other tricks to winning vs. a Mage (the main ones being a) play Bulwark of Azzinoth on 4, or 3 if the Mage is on coin, to deny their Apexis Blast until turn 7 or 8, after they use Mask of C'Thun, and b) try to wait to play your clowns until they're at least 6/6 to play around Flamestrike--7/7 is even better because at 7 health, there's almost no way for a Mage to remove them all in a single turn), and it's still not a favored matchup. I'm hopeful this deck can bring the percentages close enough to be ladder-worthy, though, especially since it's got a coin flip matchup vs. Paladin (anecdotally, anyway) and smashes most Druids, Hunters, and Priests. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have!
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