Decklist (Text Format)
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Hey guys, Bloodyface here. Last week, I posted an article on Reddit discussing each individual matchup and what to mulligan for and how to play that matchup. This week I’m going to be going more in depth in Grim Patron Warrior, analyzing individual card choices, and how you can tech your Grim Patron decklist to best counter your meta.
In total, this makes up twenty-two cards and gives us eight flexible spots. I won’t talk too much about why these cards make up the core of the deck, since it should be obvious, but I will briefly touch upon why I consider Emperor Thaurissan to be core to the deck. If you read my guide last week, you’ll find that I often Emperor with the coin versus any midrange or control matchup. Coining out an Emperor with this deck is about the most broken thing you can do in the game because it makes your Warsong-Patron combo castable next turn as well as generating one mana for each card in your hand. To top it all off, your opponent must kill it Emperor or else you else you will earn too much mana, putting you way far ahead in the game.
Before I talk about each tech card I would like to first discuss some deckbuilding fundamentals when tweaking your deck. The first major point is that you need your deck to be resilient to Zoo/Hunter/Aggro Mage since these decks make up a decent percent of the meta no matter your rank. What this means is that you need a sufficient amount of early game to help you combat these decks. I suggest running at least five two-drop minions, coupled with two Fiery War Axe, in order to ensure your early game is strong. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether these two-drop minions are multiple Armorsmiths, Unstable Ghouls, or Loot Hoarders. Once you have a built a deck that can survive aggro decks, only then should you tweak your deck to either defeat a more aggressive, midrange, or controlling metagame.
Warsong Commander is the glue that holds the deck together.
Good Against: Mirror Match, Face Hunter, Druid, Zoo-Demonlock
Bad Against: 2 Brawl Control Warrior, Priest
The biggest reason for running Inner Rage is the ability to combo faster with Grim Patron. Against the mirror, Druid, and Zoo/Demonlock, comboing fast with Grim Patrons is extremely important because these decks do a poor job of handling a board of four Grim Patrons. I actually highly recommend Inner Rage in the current meta, since Druid/Zoolock/Patron all seem to be prominent decks. Another upside to this card is that you can cycle it on your Acolyte of Pains or draw an extra card off Battle Rage. Over all, I would say playing Battle Rage is low risk and high reward.
Good When: You have the Patron + Warsong combo and 10 mana
Mediocre When: You have to cycle for 2 mana
Bad Against: Aggro Mage, Face Hunter, Demonlock-Zoo, Rogue
Instead of looking at Commanding Shout in terms of matchups, it is better to understand the nature of this card. This card will almost always be two-mana: draw a card and will occasionally enable a Patron-Warsong board clear. So the two modes of this card are either cycling or game winning. Cards which have a high polarizing effect like this can be beneficial at low mana costs such as Shout. The payoff I think is worse playing this card, however, because this card is bad against the aggressive decks. Commanding Shout would be the first card I would cut in an aggressive meta.
Good Against: Freeze Mage, Face Hunter, Zoo-Demonlock, Mirror Match, Mage Aggro
Bad Against: Midrange-Control decks like Handlock and Control Warrior, Rogue
Armorsmith is the single most important when playing against Freeze Mage and is extremely useful when playing against any other deck. Even against Druid, this card can help keep you out of combo range. Playing a second one, however, comes at the cost of having another dead card when playing against Handlock or Control Warrior. I recommend playing a second copy if Freeze Mages regain popularity and forgo the second copy in a Handlock/Control Warrior/Druid meta.
If you are being beaten down or frozen out then a bit of extra armor never hurt. In fact it does quite the opposite
Good Against: Druid, Handlock, Control Warrior, Face Hunter, Zoo-Demonlock, Sludge Belcher
Bad Against: Aggro Mage
Slam is the opposite of Armorsmith: it is great at helping you kill tough minions such as Mountain Giant, Twilight Drake, Sludge Belcher, and Druid of the Claw. I highly recommend running two when the meta tries to counter Grim Patron Warrior with more midrange/control decks. Slam isn't even dead against Face Hunter as it kills Knife Juggler. Overall Slam is a low risk, medium reward card.
Good Against; Zoo-Demonlock, Paladin, Druid, Hunters
Horrible Against: The Mirror
Bad Against: Handlock, Control Warrior, Rogue
Unstable Ghoul is the most efficient two drop in the game when it comes to dealing with early aggression. It will trade efficiently with Knife Jugglers, Haunted Creepers, Flame Imps and protect your Grim Patron and Acolyte of Pains from attacks. Additionally, it is an extra Whirlwind effect when going for Frothing kills against the tougher matchups like Handlock. Overall I would highly recommend running at least one copy. If the meta contains harder matchups -- like Handlock, Control Warrior, and Rogue -- then cutting this card is acceptable.
Good Against: Midrange, Control
Bad Against: Zoo, Face Hunter
I recommend running a Bloodmage Thalnos over the first Loot Hoarder you play because the Spell Power can be useful for clearing Shade of Naxxaramus with Whirlwind or clearing a troublesome board against Zoo. This usefulness makes up for the extra point of Attack you would get from playing Loot Hoarder.
Loot Hoarder is useful against midrange decks since it allows you to get an early drop that can do some damage before cycling. Against aggressive decks, however, it is super slow and inefficient as your opponent will ignore it and go face.
Corsair is another card that doesn’t have any major advantage or disadvantage, rather it is a value minion that will help you have insane combo turns. As the meta has adjusted to counter Grim Patron Warrior, I would recommend only one Dread Corsair if any. Dread Corsair has high payoff, but also high risk. When the Patron deck already has so many clunky spells that sit in your hand -- Patron, Warsong, Boom, Grommash -- making your weapon-less draws even worse with a four-mana 3/3 in your hand is not going to help. Over all, I think the time for this card has past. If Grim Patron wants to stay relevant in the meta, it will have to stray from trying to have one big turn to trying to become a value oriented deck that uses Patron as an engine and Frothing as a finisher.
Gnomish Inventor is really similar to Loot Hoarder in the sense that it doesn’t strengthen any matchups but can be a placeholder if needed. I prefer running Sludge Belcher over Gnomish since Gnomish does not answer a board efficiently, has dismal stats, and only digs you deeper towards the combo. At the cost of four mana, and only yielding a card and a weak body, I do not recommend playing Gnomish Inventor. Keep in mind that as the meta becomes more hostile for Patron, you will have to forgo your card draw spells for more resilient creatures such as Sludge Belchers and Piloted Shredders.
She's upset that her role is classified as filler.
Good Against: Pretty much everything
Sludge Belcher is one of the few tech choices that I truly believe is good in every matchup. Against aggro, it gives you a mid game drop that will soak up a lot of damage and stall you closer to your big combo turns. Against midrange and control decks, Belcher is a minion which is troublesome to deal with and requires your opponent to use resources that they would have rather used to deal with your upcoming swarms of Grim Patrons. While Sludge Belcher is good against faster decks, if you are trying to keep up you can consider going from two to one copy.
Good Against: Rogue, Mirror, Handlock
Bad Against: BGH, Face Hunter, Aggressive Mage, Zoo-demonlock
Grommash is a really clunky card with which I have a couple issues. For one, it cost eight mana and can very rarely be on curve without taking some kind of risk: dying to BGH or dying to your opponents aggression. What this means is that in some matchups -- when you’re trying to play around BGH -- you hold Grom in your hand and wait until you can deliver lethal with it. The problem with this strategy is that you are not only holding Grom in your hand, but you are also holding a Whirlwind or Inner Rage that could have been used to gain you tempo in the early game. Despite all of these criticisms, I believe that as the meta shifts to become more equipped to deal with an army of Grim Patrons, playing Grom along side Boom and Belchers can give you some strong mid to lategame that can buy you some time before you set up a lethal kill with your Frothing Berserks. Unlike Boom, Grom is bad against aggressive decks since your opponent will simply ignore it and go to your face; conversely, if your opponent ignores Dr. Boom you have the Boom Bots to help you clear up the board. I recommend, therefore, either playing Boom over Grom or playing Boom and Grom, but not Grom over Boom since Grom does worse against aggressive decks than Boom and about the same versus Midrange/Control decks.
Good Against: Control Warrior, Handlock, Rogue
Still Good Against: Face Hunter and Zoo
Dr. Boom plays a very similar role in the deck as Sludge Belcher: it’s an efficient minion that requires your opponent to spend resources answering. I would rather play a Boom against decks like Mage and Hunter who usually forgo BGH for other removal such as Hunter's Mark and Fireball. They will, therefore, have to waste their precious removal on a Boom rather than dealing with our future Frothings and Patron threats. The only downside to Boom is of course the fact that he dies to BGH. This makes adding Boom to your deck tricky, since BGH is popular in a lot of the top tier decks. If you are running Boom, I also recommend running Grommash since it is beneficial to run two BGH targets in your deck, so after the first one dies, the next one will be really annoying. With that being said, if you drop Dr. Boom on turn seven, there is no guarantee your opponent has BGH. Depending on what you know about your opponent’s hand from the way they have been playing you can calculate the odds of them having BGH.
Dr. Boom is really important against Handlock and Control Warrior. Cutting the Dr. Boom for a cheap cycler, like Loot Hoarder, is better if your meta has a lot of Druids, Face Hunters, or Zoo decks. The reason is these decks have a hard time dealing with your combo and drawing into your combo is more important than having an strong mid-game threat.
Surprise! This guy is still pretty good.
Decent Against: Druid, Handlock, Control Warrior, Priest
Bad Against: Face Hunter, Aggro Mage
Piloted Shredder is just a worse version of Sludge Belcher. It’s almost as efficient as Belcher but it is missing Taunt which is a key mechanic for a deck that is trying to survive until its big combo turn. Shredder has decent value against midrange decks such as Druid and against control decks such as Priest, Control Warrior, and Handlock: these decks don’t apply very much pressure and Shredder forces them to spend resources on removing it.
Good Against: The Mirror, Handlock, Druid
Decent Against: Zoo-Demonlock
Not horrible against: Everything else
I give Brawl an honorable mention in this article because it is a tech card that I think is underrated and has some significant value in certain matchups. For one, Brawl is insane in the mirror match since it provides an efficient way to deal with an army of Patrons. Against, Handlock it can punish them for being greedy by building a board with too many high toughness minions. The only downside to Brawl is that in a lot of situations it does nothing. Patron Warrior already has a decent time keeping the board clear with weapons. As Grim Patrons shifts more towards being a deck that tries to stall until its big combo turns, I could envision Brawl being good in such circumstances.
Agressive MetaThe changes in this deck are self-explanatory. Max out on Ghoul, Armorsmith, and Taskmaster since those are the best two-drops against aggro. I also chose to run Sludge Belcher and Dr. Boom, since having a late game is important against aggro decks: if you can control the game early you'll need some finishers for the end game.
Midrange/Control MetaThis version of Patron is highly teched out. By substituting a Ghoul for Loot Hoarder and a Taskmaster for an Inner Rage. This helps speeds up the deck to combo faster while also providing more card advantage. The double Slams help a lot with dealing with sticky minions like Belchers or a Taunted giant. Finally, the Belchers, Boom, and Grommash provide a strong end game to help close out games after having a few big combo turns.
This about completes my overview of tech card choices in the Grim Patron deck. I hope that these explanations help you guys decide how to tech out your Grim Patron deck for your meta. Before I finish, I would like to give one last tip. If you’re having trouble discerning your metagame, record the last ten decks you played and slightly tweak your deck to beat those ten decks. Play another ten games, then slightly tweak your deck to be good against the last twenty decks. By doing this, you are fine-tuning your deck to beat whatever is your current metagame.
That concludes this article. If you guys have any questions, feel free to post on the forums or send me a message. Every card I went over are the cards that I believe will fit best into Patron Warrior so I did forgo mentioning some of the stranger tech choices like Revenge, Crush, and Harrison. That said, every card has their moment to shine when the metagame is right for it, so if you have any other ideas about cards that I didn’t include feel free to ask me so we can discuss them!