An introductory guide to Wild Big Warrior by LaboreSangre

Too long to read? Why not watch Laboresangre’s guide to Wild Big Warrior on his Youtube instead!

Wild Big Recruit Warrior is an archetype that has existed since the introduction of the Recruit mechanic in the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion. Warrior’s recruit options mostly revolve around recruiting massive threats (8 mana+), boasting some of the most powerful and big-threat generating recruit options in the game. This month, I had the pleasure of piloting the deck to legend with a 62% WR going 38 Wins and 23 losses From Diamond 5 to Legend.

Core cards for Wild Big Warrior

With Recruit Warrior, you must have certain cards, no matter what. These must-have cards include Gather Your Party, Commencement, and while you can win and play the deck without it, you need a Woecleaver to have enough recruit effects to get enough minions into play to win. 

Wild Big Warrior Core

There are also more types of cards to consider: 

  • Defensive tools
  • Armor generation
  • Recruit effects & minions to recruit

I like the Blood Razor, Warpath, Bash, and Bladestorm options when it comes to defense. The goal is to have the board clear by turn six or seven to set up for us to start recruiting minions from our deck. Once we make it to this point of the match, it becomes our time to shine. The meta is still stabilizing. Because of this, we will have a better sense of building the deck towards in the weeks to come, whether it be cheaper defense cards or more armor gain.

Armor Gain: Historically, people have tried to bring it on (two mana gain ten armor), and Iron Hide (one mana gain five armor) when it comes to cheap armor gain for Big Warrior. Shield Block is just a fine, universal card that helps life total a little bit, gives a good turn three option while looking for Archmage Vargoth or Blood Razor. When exactly the deck needs to gain armor would probably be the turn before the initial recruit effect, each turn after (ideally) would be a continuous chain of recruit effects or playing big minions till victory.

The minions to recruit for battle

I like to include several types of minions: The first type is the resilient and often sticky minions that aren’t easy to remove. The best examples of this are cards such as the new Scholomance Academy legendary card, Rattlegore. Or older tools such as Colossus of the Moon and Scrapyard Colossus. 

The second type is the minions with a more utilitarian role within the deck. These minions have some additional effects besides their raw stats. The best examples include cards such as Y’Shaarj, Rage Unbound, Archmage Vargoth, and the Lich King. 

The final minion type is the cards we use to close out the game. The Scholomance Academy introduced a powerful new tool in Troublemaker for the deck. With the effect repeating every turn, it is a must-remove that easily leads to victory if the opponent can’t remove it right away. The other example is a Warrior classic, Grommash Hellscream. Grommash Hellscream is one of the strongest conditional charge options in the game. The conditional ten damage from hand makes playing it strong to include in the deck with many ways to enable it. 

More flexibility for Wild Big Warrior

Other minions/minion based cards to consider: Ragnaros, Deranged Doctor (a worse comparison to Big Shaman’s walking fountain), Deathwing Mad Aspect, Dimensional Ripper (You Should be winning or have won already by that point), Hakkar is a nice meme inclusion that can best Mecha’thun warlock or sometimes reno decks if lucky. You can also try Ysera, Gruul, Big Bad Archmage, Charge Devilsaur, and The Boomship. The deck mostly focused on pulling off the first few recruits/minions, leading to victory.

When it comes to budget: Evasive Drakonid is okay, Gruul is okay, the new common minion Plagued Protodrake is resilient, Burly Shovelfist is okay, again Deranged Doctor (a worse comparison to Big Shaman’s walking fountain, Living Monument.

Build options & tech cards

The meta is still shaping, in my opinion. Because of this, the deck performs best if you just try and survive.  The cards I have added over time in the list are Archmage Vargoth and two copies of Bash, which aid in this goal. At this point, I don’t think the list needs another brawl. However, but the meta is still finalizing, so we will have a better sense of what to build the deck towards in the coming weeks.  

Beforehand I had tried Kargath prime, another Forge of souls, and a Sleep with the Fishes at some point. Sleep with the Fishes is high on the list to include again if the meta is right for it. Other cards you can try are Slam and Sword and Board.

Another notable option is Dead Man’s Hand, but I have only played a single game where I ran out of minions and hadn’t won or lost yet. Because of this, I don’t think it’s worth including at this time.

However, if I had the option to play 31 cards in the deck, my choice would currently go to a second Forge of Souls. The consistency of drawing towards your weapons just improves so many match ups for the deck, but it’s incredibly difficult to cut something else from the deck for it.

Example decklists 

Wild Big Warrior Decks

Main list Laboresangre 1: AAEBAQcMS9ICogSoqwLCzgL2zwL95wLWmQPfqQP2wgP5wgOr1AMJ/wepFczNAurnApvzAri5A/O7A6fOA9LRAwA=

Alternative deck 1: AAEBAaPLAwb2Av3nArj2ApaUA/aWA765Awz/B8bDAszNAvbPAurnApvzAri5A/O7A/bCA6fOA4rQA9LRAwA=

Anti-aggressive Wild Big Warrior: AAEBAQcIqKsCzM0Cws4C9s8Cj84Dp84Dq9QDrNQDC0uiBP8HsgipFernAvO7A/bCA+LMA4rQA9LRAwA=

Mulligan for Wild Big Warrior

The mulligan for Wild Big Warrior is quite simple to understand. However, some decisions depend a lot on which deck your opponent is playing. There are several cards I always keep in almost any matchup. These cards are Forge of Souls and Gather Your Party. 

Against traditionally aggressive decks/classes such as Rogue (Odd or Kingsbane Rogue), Demon Hunter, and Mage. Against Mage, these cards are most effective against Secret Mage. However, they are also beneficial against Quest Mage’s early minions. In these matchups, it is good to have consistent defensive tools such as Blood Razor, Bladestorm, Bash, Warpath, and the card Sword and Board.

The biggest concern with this deck is surviving till you recruit, if a deck doesn’t aim to kill you quickly, and isn’t a deck such as Raza Priest or Combo Druid, you can choose to be a little more greedy in your mulligan like against Jade or Spell Druid.

The general strategy of the deck

The deck’s general strategy is to survive until the recruit turns, starting with turn six for Gather your Party and turn seven for Commencement. And take as little damage along the way so you can focus on generating your big threats turn after turn by then. Ideally, depending on the matchup, you can kill your opponent by the first 2-4 minions you recruit sooner if you pull Y’Shaarj, Rage Unbound, or if your opponent is out of cards. 

Matchups & Meta

The most common question people ask me about matchups with the decks is – How does this deck do against Raza Priest? And the answer is it depends how quickly they find Raza the Chained, Shadowreaper Anduin, and Zephrys, the Great. The goal is to play/recruit a resilient minion and one more minion to force Psychic Scream and or Mass Hysteria and repeat if they have the other card.

Beware of playing Woecleaver if behind on board since ooze is a prevalent tech option. The dream is to demolish them with resilient minions and pressure them into playing out their hand, and overall, the match is quite favored for Warrior. In my climb, I went a total of 12-3 in W/L, however, this is not entirely accurate long term if Priests start to understand more of how the deck plays.

Another common deck – Malygos Druid: I’ve been seeing many druids on the ladder, primarily Kaelthas Miracle Druid, and Malygos Druid. The matchup against Malygos Druid is not a favored Matchup, but every bit of armor helps, and a well-timed Bulwark of Azzinoth means the difference between life or death. The only two slower druid decks I have seen are those two, and so you can debate looking for Bulwark of Azzinoth to avoid their burst turn and buy you time.

Other Important Interactions of Wild Big Warrior

One of the main highlights with Vargoth is it with Commencement, if pulled off, Archmage Vargoth also gets Divine Shield and taunt and pulls an additional minion that gets Divine Shield and Taunt. 

Another interaction worth knowing is If you have one durability with Bulwark of Azzinoth, you can swing into a minion and not take damage going to negative one durability. And finally, the Lich King card Obliterate can be played with Bulwark of Azzinoth to kill minions and not take damage with it. 

Conclusion

Wild Big “Recruit” Warrior is an entertaining deck to pilot and can be played to legend with some practice, and can be built in a budget fashion when it comes to big minions ran. Focus on defending against possible aggression and maximizing health and then recruit constantly like a madman to win about every match. One of the most fun decks I have tried this expansion for sure.

For more of Laboresangre’s content, be sure to check him out on Youtube and Twitch, or join his discord. Interested in more Hearthstone strategy? Be sure to read all about Demon Zoo Warlock in the Scholomance Academy.