This Aggro Pirate Warrior deck list guide for the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion 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.
The deck took a pretty big hit with the nerf to Fiery War Axe, but Prince Keleseth seemed to soften the blow. Pirate Warrior isn’t as strong as it once was, but with the addition of some new tools in Kobolds and Catacombs it might be in a better spot than it was in the Frozen Throne meta.
Kobolds and Catacombs Update
Warrior didn’t get anything too great for Pirate Warrior in the Kobolds expansion. However, it did get Lesser Mithril Spellstone which looks kind of like an odd addition, but when paired with Spiteful Summoner makes for a pretty big mid-to-late game board swing. As most aggressive decks have done, it also includes Corridor Creeper which rewards aggressive lists for trading early and allowing them to accelerate a higher stat minion to the board.
Update: Aggro Pirate Warrior – January 2018
The Spiteful Summoner and Lesser Mithril Spellstone package has stuck with the deck. Pirate Warrior is solid and worth playing if it is your style of deck, but there are better aggressive options for laddering currently.
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. If you have a 1-drop and especially if it’s a Pirate, then you keep Corridor Creeper! I know it sounds crazy to keep a 7-cost minion, but just trading a few minions brings it down to a 4-cost card, and by turn 3 it could be even lower. You will often be able to get Corridor Creeper down to 0-mana by turn 4 which gives you a huge tempo swing.
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).
This deck gets a whole lot better against aggressive matchups if you are able to play Prince Keleseth. The +1/+1 stats give you a big advantage and this alone can often determine the game.
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.
Corridor Creeper is the new kid on the block, and a lot has already been said about it in the community. It’s an insane card, and it’s even better when used in a deck that has Patches the Pirate in it. You are often trading your minions back and forth in the early game, so Corridor Creeper’s cost is reduced immediately. On turn 2 if you and your opponent both played a card and have Patches on the board then Creeper is already going to be down to 3-mana with those trades. So you could see a scenario where the costs 1 or 0-mana on turn 3!
The kind of odd addition to Pirate Warrior is the Spiteful Summoner & Lesser Mithril Spellstone combination. You basically don’t ever want to draw the spellstone and instead are hoping to get a good outcome from Spiteful Summoner, but you don’t really want to draw her until late in the game. These two cards do help give you some late game firepower, but if you draw them early they are going to be pretty dead in your hand.
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.
- Upgrade! – You have a lot of weapons so this card makes sense, unfortunately it’s a bit weak if you don’t have a weapon and you will rarely want to equip the 1/3.
- Bloodsail Corsair – Early game pirate with an upside, unfortunately it’s pretty much outclassed by Fire Fly and the synergy Fire Fly has with Creeper.
- 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.
- Arathi Weaponsmith – Weak stats and an okay effect, but you are looking for impact out of a 4-mana minion and you are largely hoping to be leading into turn-5 with an Arcanite Reaper.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bittertide Hydra – Largely being phased out by Corridor Creeper at the moment, but if you don’t have the Creeper then play the Hydra instead.
Aggro Pirate Warrior Card Substitutions
- Patches the Pirate – I wouldn’t run this deck without him. Before you ask, yes I would craft him still even though he’s going to be rotated out of Standard when the first new expansion releases in 2018.
- Captain Greenskin – Solid card but not necessary if you don’t have it. Corsair or Bitter Tide Hydra can work in its spot, but you might even want Spellbreaker to deal with annoying taunts.
- 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 run Bittertide Hydra instead, or try any of the alternate cards listed above.
- Spiteful Summoner – If you don’t have her then don’t run the Mithril Spellstones either. Bittertide and Naga Corsair are your best options if you haven’t used them as replacements yet.
- Corridor Creeper – This card fits in just about every deck right now, but if you don’t want to craft them you can run Bittertide Hydra instead or as a really cheap option go with Naga Corsair.
Aggro Pirate Warrior Combos and Synergies
All of these cheap minions synergize well with Corridor Creeper. Try to get it to 0-mana so you can play it on the same turn as another minion for maximum tempo swing.
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.