After the Great Nerf of Warsong Commander, the only really viable type of Warrior on the Hearthstone ladder was Control Warrior. Yep. Get ready for the most boring 20 minutes of your life, as Justicar Snoreheart comes in to liven up the armoring party. Soon enough, there’s a 50 armor Garrosh doing nothing exciting, and cheaply removing everything.
The arrival of Standard Play, with the injection of Whispers of the Old Gods cards seemed to push Warrior out of its monolithic control mold, and opened up a variety of new decks. A lot of the newer Warrior decks are more proactive, tempo-type decks, and some combo decks. Soon enough, Warrior became the model class in Hearthstone, the only class having multiple types of competitive decks. The image below, taken from the Vicious Syndicate Weekly Data Reaper, shows the main types of Standard Hearthstone decks in the past month. Warrior stands out with 6 distinct decks, while all other classes have 1-3.
With the different types of decks comes a Warrior subterfuge that gives an edge to any Warrior deck. A big part of Ranked play is knowing what you’re going up against, and when you’re running any of 6 possible decks, it can cause enough confusion to slip up.
The much-anticipated Barnes came out last week in The Opera wing of One Night in Karazhan. While Barnes has some flashy deckbuilding appeal, a somewhat unsung card, Arcane Giant, became the talk of the Hearthstone community. And with Arcane Giant, came another toy for Garrosh’s variegated toolbox.
Arcane Giant Warrior is a combo deck that functions a lot like Worgen Warrior, using cards Charge! and Faceless Manipulator for a big damage combo. Unlike Worgen Warrior, Arcane Giant Warrior will focus on playing a lot of spells to make the giant dirt cheap. As such, the Arcane Giant Warrior needs to draw cards and play spells. This makes it a virtual Control Warrior until it draws the combo.
A game against Arcane Giant Warrior
I never realized I was facing Arcane Giant Warrior up until a game yesterday, as I was using my own Arcane Giant Rogue deck. The first tip that something different is when I saw a Novice Engineer on Turn 4.
Then came Commanding Shout on Turn 7, a card last seen when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Another Commanding Shout played for the sake of drawing a card showed the Warrior was just going all-out cycling the deck.
Thinking it was a Worgen Warrior trying to draw into a combo of cards, I realized the gravity of the situation, and tried to do some damage with my own Arcane Giant.
Blood Warriors, a card from the dusty cellar of Old Gods, is seemingly core in duplicating cheap Arcane Giants.
I tried to forestall my impending doom with a couple Saps, but this is a useless strategy, as the Arcane Giants just got cheaper each turn.
The deck above was solely focused on card cycling, and had an interesting thing going on with Commanding Shout and Wild Pyromancer. I realized I had faced the deck earlier, but slightly less focused on card draw, and with some handlocky cards in Twilight Drake and Sunfury Protector.
How to beat Arcane Giant Warrior
Not that I have had any success, but the clear way to beat the deck is just to full out aggro. Since the win condition involves drawing a lot of cards, just beat them before they can do so.
While Arcane Giant has a lot of potential (before the inevitable nerf) in a variety of classes, the ability to duplicate and charge automatically makes it seemingly most dangerous in Warriors. Yet another viable Standard Warrior deck to deal with.