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Rush Warrior deck list guide - Forged in the Barrens - Hearthstone (April 2021)

Now includes the latest deck list and a huge amount of strategy advice.

Rush Warrior is well and truly back. With Forged in the Barrens, you now have access to a deck list which absolutely destroys your enemies with all manner of board-control tools, often being enough to just take the battlefield and win extremely early.

If the keyword has passed you by, Rush cards are able to attack other minions on the turn they're put into play, but not the enemy hero. That provides the Rush Warrior player with a huge amount of initiative, particularly in the early game, but without creating the kind of balance issues that have been historically associated with Charge. Basically, you’ll have a whole lot of answers to all your enemy’s plays when they make them.

In this latest update to our Rush Warrior guide, we’ve highlighted the best deck list for the archetype right now. We've also got detailed strategy advice and Mulligan tips after that, followed by a breakdown of all the big combos this deck contains. All aspects of this guide will be expanded upon further in the months ahead as well!

Rush Warrior deck list and strategy

Here’s the best, most popular version of Rush Warrior being played right now:

2 x Athletic Studies2 x Crabrider
2 x Stage Dive2 x Parade Leader
1 x E.T.C., God of Metal2 x Venomous Scorpid
2 x Bumper Car1 x Blademaster Samuro
2 x Conditioning (Rank 1)1 x Overlord Runthak
1 x Corsair Cache1 x Alexstrasza the Life-Binder
1 x Rokara
1 x Warmaul Challenger
2 x Playmaker
2 x Outrider's Axe
2 x Sword Eater
1 x Ringmaster Whatley
2 x Troublemaker

Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.

Deck Import ID: AAECAQcIu7kDwLkDwN4Dzt4D++gDle0DqooEsIoEC+LMA93NA6fOA7PeA7XeA7reA8HeA5HkA5boA47tA5jtAwA=

General strategy

Rush Warrior is a minion heavy deck that relies on high tempo plays to eke out small advantages over its opponents over the course of a game.

Early game: You’ll be looking to establish a board presence with your early game minions as soon as possible. Parade Leader is a great option for beefing up your Rush minions like Bumper Car and Rokara, and these have a huge amount of early potential value. Rokara especially has the chance to absolutely take over a game, especially when combined with double buffs from Crabrider. Just make sure you aren’t losing out on too much board control and you can start chipping away at the enemy face.

Mid game: Playmaker is fantastic for doubling up on Rush value. It’ll get you an extra Rokara to give you double the buffs post-attack, and even offer extra Deathrattles from the likes of Bumper Car. If things are getting a little hairy at this point in the game, remember you only have one real AOE damage effect: Blademaster Samuro. Getting him buffed with Overlord Runthak or Conditioning is super important when you activate that Frenzy.

Of course, your weapons are really helpful in this deck too. Remember to keep your card draw engine going with Outrider’s Axe (and make sure your weapon shot is the finishing blow for enemies), as well as going face with the weapon generated by Sword Eater. Trading is all very well, but at this point you want to be looking for ways to end the game.

Late game: Looking for a late push for damage? E.T.C., God of Metal is really strong for this, especially if your enemy has minions on board which you can trade into with your 1/1s generated by Bumper Car. Again, these can be doubled up with Playmaker which lets you get double the direct face damage from E.T.C. Remember too that Crabrider has Windfury, so if you’ve buffed it and it’s still on board a turn after you played it, go face for that sweet, sweet double damage.

Keep in mind all the extra potential damage sources when calculating for lethal - you even have Troublemaker, which can hit face every turn, and Alexstrasza the Life-Binder for eight face damage to your opponent, often enough to finish the fight then and there.

Rush Warrior Mulligan guide

With Rush Warrior you’re hunting for your efficient early game minions during the Mulligan stage.

  • 1. Stage Dive, once Corrupted, buffs your Rush minion as well as drawing it. This can be huge for tempo, letting you play a 3/5 Crabrider way before you should be able to.
  • 2. Blademaster Samuro isn’t the cheapest minion in your deck, but that board clear can be vital to you gaining mid-game control and has come in clutch multiple times for us.
  • 3. Athletic Studies: Gives you the chance to Discover a Rush minion of your choice to deal with the current board state or prepare for later.

Rush Warrior tips, combos and synergies

In order to extract all the value offered up by Rush Warrior, you need to be familiar with every combo that powers it. Here's a complete breakdown of the biggest interactions that you need to be aware of when piloting this deck.

- Corsair Cache will always draw Outrider’s Axe, unless you already got them both out of your deck already. This is a great chance for extra card draw.

- Playmaker stacks the effect of Parade Leader. For example, if you have both on board and you summon a 1/1 minion with Rush, the first will be buffed and turn into a 3/1, and the second will be buffed again and turn into a 5/1.

- Draw minions out of your deck before playing Overlord Runthak, and attack with him before playing minions out of your hand. Especially strong with his buffs are Rokara and Crabrider.

- Rokara buffs all minions when they attack and survive, not just Rush minions. Also, the effect triggers when you go face, meaning if a 1/4 Crabrider hits face, it’ll turn into a 2/5 for the second Windfury hit.

- Ringmaster Whatley draws a Mech, Dragon, and Pirate from your deck. Here, that means you’ll guarantee Bumper Car, Sword Eater, and Alexstrasza, the Life-Binder as your draws.

- Troublemaker’s 3/3s summoned every turn are able to go face, and are a guaranteed 6 direct damage if you get the rest of your enemy’s board clear with Rush.

- Overlord Runthak plus Playmaker is another stunning combo. In one game, we managed to get two Playmakers on board, meaning one Overlord Runthak buffed our entire hand by +3/+3, all the while demolishing the enemy board and leaving Runthak on there for more potential future damage.

That’s all you need to know about Rush Warrior - go rush your enemies down! You can also check out the Hearthstone Battlegrounds hero tier list, and an overall Hearthstone deck tier list for all our best deck guides.

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James Law avatar

James Law

Former Guides Writer

James was part of Rock Paper Shotgun's guides team from 2020-2021, bringing his expert knowledge about FPS games, Hearthstone, Path Of Exile and more from his time at Metabomb. He's also a dab hand at Hitman 3, and making his own jam - things which may or may not be related to one another.