Dragon Warrior is a Hearthstone deck that is now soaring back up to the heights of its past glories during the days of the Old Gods and Gadgetzan expansions. We were a little concerned with how poorly it was performing in Rise of Shadows at first, but smart players have begun refining the list to a point that it’s hitting a very respectable win rate along with other top Warrior decks.
This deck borrows a lot from its Control Warrior counterpart, but sprinkles in a fair few powerful Dragon minions to give it a little extra oomph. These cards give the deck some more useful removal and survivability tools that can help ensure you outlast many other of the top tier choices currently seeing play.
If you want to try out the latest version, then we have just updated our Dragon Warrior guide to ensure you get the most out of the archetype. We have some detailed strategy tips, Mulligan advice and all the important card combos you’ll need to know to make the deck work.
UPDATE - MAY 2019 #1
Dragon Warrior's been shaken up a great deal since our last update towards the end of last month. This one's still finding its feet in the new meta, so be careful with your crafting dust. We've got a new deck list for you, and we've updated the rest of the guide to take all the latest changes into account.
This article contains additional reporting by James Pickard.
Dragon Warrior deck list and strategy
This is generally considered to be one of the best versions of Dragon Warrior currently in Hearthstone. It has built up a solid win rate, although we could well see more tweaks over the coming days.
|1 x Devastate||2 x Firetree Witchdoctor|
|2 x Shield Slam||1 x Acolyte of Pain|
|2 x Dragon Roar||1 x Nightmare Amalgam|
|2 x Warpath||2 x Proud Defender|
|2 x Weapons Project||2 x Scaleworm|
|1 x Shield Block||1 x Barista Lynchen|
|2 x Smolderthorn Lancer||2 x Dragonmaw Scorcher|
|1 x War Master Voone||1 x Harrison Jones|
|2 x Emberscale Drake||2 x Crowd Roaster|
|1 x Ysera|
Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.
Deck Import ID: AAECAQcIkAf/B6IJ+wzeggP4hgOShwO9mQMLogSJ8QKb8wL09QKBhwOLhwPoiQPsiQOqiwPolAPCmQMA
More great Warrior guides:
- 1. Best Budget Decks - Hearthstone: Best Budget Decks for Ashes of Outland
- 2. Tier List - Hearthstone deck tier list (Ashes of Outland)
- 3. Bomb Warrior - Bomb Warrior deck list guide (Ashes of Outland)
- 4. Galakrond Tempo Warrior - Galakrond Tempo Warrior deck list guide (Ashes of Outland)
- 5. Face Highlander Warrior - Face Highlander Warrior deck list guide (Ashes of Outland)
- 6. Pirate Galakrond Warrior - Pirate Galakrond Warrior deck list guide (Ashes of Outland)
- 7. Highlander Dragon Warrior - Highlander Dragon Warrior deck list guide (Ashes of Outland)
Playing in a similar style to Control Warrior, this version of Dragon Warrior 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.
Where in the past the cards like Shieldmaiden would have been used for Armor gain, it finds a replacement here in the form of 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. Meanwhile, the deck's late-game options are borrowed from the current Control Warrior to give it a powerful finish.
Early game: Slow and steady is the way for Dragon Warrior, with an early game focused on armour gain and card draw. You should start playing by Dragon Roar in order to add more Dragon minions to your deck which can be used as activators for useful upcoming cards such as Smolderthorn Lancer and Emberscale Drake.
Meanwhile, Weapons Project is a decent way to generate a bit of extra armour, while also giving 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 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. You can also use Warpath as an activator for Smolderthorn Lancer to destroy some of your opponent’s bigger minions that might start coming down now.
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. Ysera's another source of late-game fuel, while War Master Voone can be used to bulk out your hand, and perhaps in combination with Barista Lynchen.
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. 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 faster.
- 3. Don’t be afraid to use Smolderthorn Lancer on smaller minions if needed, as aggro will not have many big threats to target in the game.
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. 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. Or just go for Harrison Jones!
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. Firetree Witchdoctor: You would hope to have a Dragon in hand when playing this so you can gain even more early-game value.
- 2. Acolyte of Pain: Card draw is always welcome in this deck, and the Acolyte can contest well against aggro while keeping the fuel rolling.
- 3. Dragon Roar: In your slow early game this is fine to hold onto to start getting additional Dragon minions into your hand.
- 4. Nightmare Amalgam: As well as being a solid board presence this card acts as a handy Dragon synergy activator too.
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.
- You can pair up cards like Shield Slam and Warpath with Smolderthorn Lancer.
- For gaining armour you can use Emberscale Drake, but make sure you have a Dragon in hand before playing it or you’ll miss out on the effect.
- You can use Harrison Jones as your standard weapon removal, but don’t forget that Weapons Project can serve the same function too. That 2/3 weapon is usually much worse than whatever your opponent has chosen to equip! You can also follow up with Harrison to get more cards in your hand.
- When played, War Master Voone will duplicate all Dragons that are currently sitting in your hand.
Dragon Warrior card choices and substitutions
These are some of the most important cards in the Dragon Warrior deck, as well as a few options for replacements if you’re missing some in your collection.
- Shield Slam: With the multitude of ways to generate Armor in the deck, this spell serves as a powerful removal tool.
- 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.
- Omega Devastator: More removal for the deck, but this one you’ll need to hold off until Turn 10 for it to be useful.
- 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.
- Supercollider: A unique weapon that can help you deal with creatures that are otherwise out of reach to remove with direct attacks.
- 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.
- Archivist Elysiana: Can help bulk out your deck some more once your draw pile is starting to look a bit thin so you survive much longer in games heading towards Fatigue.