Battlegrounds Compositions

When and how to build Pirates in Battlegrounds

Compositions are one of the toughest aspects of Battlegrounds. We hope our guides to Pirates & all other tribes help you learn.

A common problem that struggling players have is figuring out for what cards they should be looking. One of my tips on how to improve in Battlegrounds is knowing what minions you should be searching for so you know how to spend your gold. But before you can do that, you have to know the optimal builds that can win you the game. Here are the optimal end game builds as of Battlegrounds patch 20.0. The article you are reading now is part of our Compositions series for Battlegrounds. Find our guides to all other compositions here.

Pirates are quite a unique Tribe in Battlegrounds, as the two styles of Pirate compositions require a drastically different approach to the game. The first composition we’ll call Hoggarr Pirate focuses on buying as many Pirates as you can pull off with the discount of Cap’n Hoggarr and Salty Looters. The more combo-oriented build of the Pirate Tribe, which we’ll call Scallywag Pirates, combines Khadgar, Scallywag, and Dread Admiral Eliza to create a powerful board. 

Note: Amalgadon is the best minion in the game because it can scale high, get divine shield, and poison. But do be careful with it’s battlecry, if you fail, it can set you back really hard. It’s only consistent if Mechs and Murlocs are in the lobby.

When to pursue the Hoggarr Pirate Warband

I would go for Hoggarr Pirates build once I get a Cap’n Hoggarr and have a strong foundation of Pirates such as Southsea Captain, Ripsnarl Captain, and most importantly, Salty Looter. Then I would stay at tier four and find all the pirates I can to make Cap’n Hoggarr and my Salty Looters strong. 

The composition with Cap’n Hoggarr works because of the cost-reduction it offers when buying Pirates. If you find a second Cap’n Hoggarr or triple it later in the game, all pirates are effectively free, and the only thing limiting your scaling of Salty Looter is the timer. For a guide on getting extra time, read our article on setting up the windows firewall trick. 


The Warband shines when you have two or a golden Cap’n Hoggarr, and you are out scaling almost every opponent, gaining more power every turn. However, the near-infinite scaling comes at a cost. Since the Warband relies on Ripsnarl Captain to get through the mid-game, you are at risk of losing it too early and taking a bad hit before your scaling comes in. Because of that, a taunt is basically a must-have, which isn’t always easy to come by, and it limits your gold and board space. 

Another weakness of Hoggarr Pirates is the need to find Selfless Hero and Baron Rivendare in the later stages of the game, which become some of the most contested units. You simply can’t beat many of the final builds without them, which makes getting those 1st places a bit difficult.

Understanding the minions of Hoggarr Pirates

Besides the two obvious must-haves, Cap’n Hoggarr and Salty Looter, more units play an important role in the Hoggarr Pirate Warband. There are two Pirates, in particular, I want to highlight. These two Pirates are Southsea Strongarm and Freedealing Gambler. Both fit a unique and important role in the Hoggarr Pirate gameplan. Southsea Strongarm, for example, allows you to scale your other Pirates, such as your Cap’n Hoggarr’s, alongside your Salty Looters to reduce the risk of Poison ending your career. 

The other, Freedealing Gambler, allows you to gain additional gold as you cycle through the cost reductions of Cap’n Hoggarr. The interaction creates the theoretical infinite scaling of your Salty Looters since you can sustain your gold needed to reroll Bob’s tavern forever. 

A simple starting build for Hoggarr Pirates:

Cap’n Hoggarr | Salty Looter | Salty Looter | Southsea Captain x 2 | Ripsnarl Captain | Yo-Ho Ogre

A common late-game build ready to look for Selfless Hero’s
Seabreaker Goliath | Golden Salty Looter | Golden Cap’n Hoggarr | Golden Southsea Captain | Dread Admiral Eliza | Golden Ripsnarl Captain | Annoy-o-Module


The theoretical best build:

Golden Seabreaker | Golden Salty Looter | Amalgadon | Golden Dread Admiral Eliza x 2 | Golden Ripsnarl Captain | Amalgadon

What about the Scallywag Pirate Build? When do I build that? 

A common time for me to build the Scallywag Pirate Warband is if I find a Dread Admiral Eliza from a triple up, and I don’t already have a Cap’n Hoggarr or Salty Looter strategy going. The composition is quite simple to get going from there and creates deceptively strong boards. One of the toughest things to learn about the Scallywag Pirate build is when you level to tavern six to find additional Dread Admiral Eliza’s. While our other tools like Khadgar and Baron Rivendare are important, you can’t do without multiple Dread Admiral Eliza’s against high health scaling teams. 

The Scallywag Pirate composition’s strength comes from the ease of access and its potential to beat anything your opponent throws at you. Another advantage is that you won’t need to find a dozen buffs to get your minions to a point they can find, allowing you to focus on assembling the full puzzle. 

The weakness, however, comes from the potential for competition for this build. Since many people understand the potential of the Scallywag Pirate build its sometimes heavily contested, making it difficult to find the multiple Khadgars, Eliza’s, and Baron Rivendare required to assemble the full potential the combo has to offer. Another weakness is that it gets countered by taunt minions with a low attack value like Voidlord, Acolyte of C’thun, and Annoy-o-Module since your build isn’t guaranteed to work if you can’t trigger the deathrattles of your Scallywags. 

Understanding the units required to pull off Scallywag Pirates.

Four units work together to form the combo people fear today. Dread Admiral Eliza is obvious since, without her, there are no buffs. However, Khadgar, Scallywag, and Baron Rivendare may be a little less clear to new players at first sight. The way the trick works is that Scallywag’s Deathrattle generates a pirate that attacks immediately. Khadgar doubles the number of units entering the board, so one pirate becomes two. And then Baron Rivendare comes along and allows the deathrattle to happen twice, generating at four small pirates that attack. Additional Khadgars again double the effect, allowing you to scale it up drastically. 

One of the less talked about minions, however, is Faceless Taverngoer. What Faceless Taverngoer does is that it makes finding triples of your Khadgar, Eliza, and Baron Rivendare much easier, allowing you to create stronger boards than you otherwise would be capable of by restrictions of the available minions. Another minion of great importance is Defender of Argus, a minion that guarantees your Scallywags die before the rest of your team, which improves the consistency of you winning drastically.

NOTE: Please do not build Amalgadon on Scallywag Eliza. This is probably the only composition that really does not want it.

Starting out your Scallywag Pirate Warband:

Scallywag | Scallywag | Any pirate x 3 | Dread Admiral Eliza | Taunt minion

The common late-game build for Scallywag Pirates:
Late game build: Scallywag | Scallywag | Dread Admiral Eliza | Dread Admiral Eliza | Baron Rivendare | Khadgar


The assembled Exodia build: 

Taunted Scallywag | Scallywag | Golden Dread Admiral Eliza | Golden Baron Rivendare | Golden Khadgar | Khadgar

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