This Aggro Pirate Warrior deck list guide will teach you how to play this extremely fast paced Warrior deck. It uses aggressive Pirate minions with Weapons and Weapon synergy to generate a lot of early game pressure to defeat your potion. Our Aggro Pirate Warrior guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Introduction to Pirate Warrior
Pirate Warrior is very controversial because it has the ability to kill opponent’s very quickly and many view unfairly. This deck, however, can run out of steam and can be hurt with tech cards such as Golakka Crawler and Weapon removal like Acidic Swamp Ooze, Gluttonous Ooze, or Harrison Jones. One of the big weaknesses of this deck is that it contains no card draw, so if it draws a slow hand or a handful of weapons it can just lose on the spot.
Pirate Warrior is also susceptible to faster aggro decks that spread the board like Token Druid, and it is usually weak to Shaman because of cards like Maelstrom Portal. Heavy Taunt decks like Quest Warrior and decks that can clear away minions and heal themselves like Control Paladin are also good.
Update – Aggro Pirate Warrior October 2017 – Post Nerf Update
It looked like early on that Fiery War Axe would be cut, but the card has made its way back into the deck. Prince Keleseth remains a popular inclusion, and the only real tech swaps are Spellbreaker, Leeroy Jenkins, and Captain Greenskin.
Starting Out Tips
First, don’t just throw a minion down on your first turn and immediately pass the turn. I can’t tell you how often I would absentmindedly do this while Patches the Pirate would be shot out of a cannon and make me feel like a fool. This is an aggressive deck, but it doesn’t mean you have to play every card at lightning speed! Another card that tripped me up in the beginning was Bloodsail Cultist. For some reason I thought it buffed a weapon if you had a weapon equipped, unfortunately for me it requires that you have a Pirate on the board. Hopefully these couples of tips will save you some of the embarrassment I originally went through.
Why is Patches the Pirate Good?
I see this question a lot so I’d like to address it. Patches is a minion that lands on your board for free the majority of the time unless you get him in your first draw or mulligan. Think of it as starting the game off with a 1/1 minion already on the board, and a deck that has 29 cards in it. A thinner deck enables you to draw more reliably. Also, starting off with a 1/1 minion on your board for free gives you a pretty nice advantage. Patches is also a Pirate, which in a Pirate synergistic deck means you’ll be able to enable cards like Bloodsail Cultist more easily on curve.
Think about this first turn on The Coin: N'Zoth's First Mate, The Coin, Patches hits the board, you play Southsea Deckhand. You get a 1/3 Weapon, two 1/1s, and a 2/1 on turn one. That’s a pretty crazy first turn and is difficult for your opponent to deal with.
Aggro Pirate Warrior Mulligan Guide and Strategy
Without Fiery War Axe you are looking for cheap minions to populate your hand. Fire Fly, N'Zoth's First Mate, and sometimes Southsea Deckhand (with support). However, the key now is Prince Keleseth. If you start with him in your hand your winrate increases significantly! Always be mulliganing hard for the Prince and only really look to keep Fire Fly & N’Zoth’s First Mate which are very good openers.
You can potentially keep a 3-drop like Bloodsail Cultist if you have Keleseth already. Your ideal hand would be N’Zoth’s First Mate, Prince Keleseth, and Bloodsail Cultist.
Aggro Pirate Warrior Win Rates
Aggro Pirate Warrior Play Strategy
Pressure and damage to the face is the name of the game with this very aggressive deck. Now, that doesn’t mean you should send every Weapon charge to the face, in fact the Weapons are normally better used for keeping their board relatively clean while your fragile minions continue to punish your opponent. You want consistent and repetitive damage with your minions, but trading away a couple 1/1s to preserve a larger minion on your board is usually the correct play.
Using your Weapon charges also greatly depends on what you have in your hand. If your hand is clogged with Weapons then you should be more readily using up the charges. This is especially the case with N’Zoth’s First Mate’s weapon, you are going to have stronger weapons to get to in the later game so it can be best to use it up while you can.
In Aggro matchups, you want to make trades as efficiently as possible so you are dictating the terms. You’ll only go hard to the face when you make your final push for lethal. Aggro decks have a hard time coming back into the game. In the Pirate Warrior mirror, they won’t be able to draw into many cards. In these Aggro matches, you can pretty much flood the board as quickly as possible because there’s rarely any AOE issues (unless it’s Shaman with Maelstrom Portal).
Bittertide Hydra is generally better against aggressive decks because they don’t run removal. Sometimes against Control you’ll just have to play it and hope they can’t remove it. There are times when Bittertide will lose you games based on its downside, but much like Fel Reaver it will win you more games in the long run.
Control matchups are the times where you can’t really afford to make trades. You need to pressure them and force them to keep playing on the back foot. If they are able to eliminate your early threats you’ll have a hard time coming back in the game unless you find yourself able to build up a large damage combo with stuff like Leeroy Jenkins.
Aggro decks test your ability to understand how to play your hand. You’ll have to learn how to judge when it’s time to go all-in, and when you should trade. If you are against the ropes, then it’s best to just throw it all on the board and see if they can answer it. If they have the answers, well you were probably going to lose anyway. On the other hand, you’ll win some games you had no business winning because they didn’t have the cards to stop you.
Aggro Pirate Warrior Alternate/Tech Cards
These are cards that go in and out of the deck and can also be used to replace cards you might not have.
- Mortal Strike – Great finishing potential and allows you to do direct damage around taunt minions. Unfortunately if you draw this in the early game it’s really bad, and can be a completely dead draw when you are looking for a weapon or minion. One good thing about this card just existing is that a better opponent will play around it and potentially give you an extra turn to live by avoiding bringing you down to 12.
- Captain Greenskin – Obviously a strong card when you have a Weapon equipped, but can be really slow if you don’t.
- Spellbreaker – A great way to get rid of an annoying taunt while developing the board. Some versions of Pirate Warrior will run two of these.
- Naga Corsair – Still sees play in some versions of the deck, it’s a solid body with Pirate synergy that can buff your weapon. Also great for budget versions of the deck.
- Phantom Freebooter – A new card from the Frozen Throne, it isn’t a game changer but it can be very strong when played with a big Arcanite Reaper. It also will demand removal if you hit it with a buff and hopefully allow the rest of your board to survive.
Aggro Pirate Warrior Card Substitutions
- Patches the Pirate – Patches still appears in multiple decks and is definitely worth crafting. You could add Mortal Strike or even Golakka Crawler which can be used on your opponent’s Pirates and even your own.
- Bittertide Hydra – You could go with Naga Corsair for a cheaper option.
- Leeroy Jenkins – This is a very solid finisher. Leeroy is also a solid craft because he won’t rotate out of Standard (unless he’s added to the Hall of Fame, in which case you’ll get full dust back). You can try Reckless Rocketeer or Argent Commander.
Aggro Pirate Warrior Combos and Synergies
If you have Prince Keleseth in your hand, you might not want to play a Pirate immediately so you can buff your Patches and get a 2/2 charger on the board for free. This can be the case if you went second and your opponent plays a minion that will just easily kill Patches.