Our Galakrond Warrior deck list guide goes through the ins-and-outs of this tempo deck in Descent of Dragons meta! This guide will teach you how to mulligan, pilot, and substitute cards for this archetype!
Introduction to Galakrond Warrior
Galakrond Hero cards are one of the main themes of Descent of Dragons expansion. Every “EVIL” class has received one, and while some of them are working better and some worse, they have already made a massive impact on the expansion’s meta (so much that Galakrond Shaman was nerfed ~10 days after expansion’s launch). In case of Warrior, the card didn’t look amazing early, but after the meta has changed after the patch and players have started coming up with better builds, it turned out to be pretty powerful.
Galakrond Warrior is, in general, an Aggro/Tempo deck. While you can find slower builds leaning towards Control, they aren’t reporting very high win rates. The deck takes “enrage” cards / synergies (such as Armorsmith, Battle Rage or Bloodsworn Mercenary) from Tempo build, and the entire Galakrond package is very aggressive, because you get +3 Attack every time you Invoke him. On top of those, the deck has really powerful reach with Leeroy combos, but I’ll cover those later in the guide.
Galakrond Warrior Deck List
Check out alternative versions of this deck on our Galakrond Warrior archetype page!
Galakrond Warrior Mulligan Strategy & Guide
VS Fast Decks
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- Eternium Rover – A solid 1-drop against Aggro builds, especially against Face Hunter. 1/3 stats are solid and it gives you at least 2 Armor (but very often 4).
- Town Crier – 1 mana 1/2 that draws you a card, no reason to think about it, just keep it!
- Ritual Chopper – Early game removal that also Invokes Galakrond – against faster decks you can use it to clear a bigger minion and then to “ping” another one.
- Armorsmith – Similarly to Eternium Rover, it’s a good keep vs Aggro.
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Whirlwind / Awaken! – Keep vs Aggro decks that run 1 health minions, again good against Face Hunter.
- EVIL Quartermaster / Livewire Lance – Keep if you already have some 1-2 mana cards. They’re both solid cards vs Aggro, but you really need a faster start.
VS Slow Decks
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- Town Crier – Yep, it’s the best card you can keep – T1 play that cycles into something else.
- Ritual Chopper – In slower matchups, you play an Aggro role, and Chopper is either a 5 damage for 2 mana or some early/mid game removal. Either way, keep it.
- Acolyte of Pain – At the very least it should cycle itself for one card, but in this build you will usually get more out of it.
- EVIL Quartermaster / Livewire Lance – Solid 3-drops. While the Armor gain on Quartermaster is not very good, it puts a body and adds a Lackey. Lance is 2x Lackey + 4 damage, so also good.
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Kronx Dragonhoof / Galakrond, the Unbreakable – Keep if you already have some early game plays – you want to draw your Galakrond ASAP in those slow matchups, but you obviously don’t wan to sacrifice the early game tempo. Playing Galakrond on curve, especially if you manage to upgrade it, is often game over.
Galakrond Warrior Play Strategy
I have to say that Aggro matchups are, in general, pretty easy for the deck. You have a very high win rate against decks like Face Hunter or Aggro Shaman. Board flood decks like Zoo Warlock are harder, but still manageable, but you play them a bit differently. Pirate Warrior is also an okay matchup. The reason is that you have solid tempo, Whirlwind effects which work very well against those, but also some Taunts and Armor gain.
In general, your gameplay will be different depending on whether you face a “face” deck or a more board-oriented deck. In case of “face” decks that just want to kill you as soon as possible, you want to assume a Control role. You don’t want to race them – your goal is to clear whatever they play, gain board control and then stabilize in terms of life. While your Hero Power might be tempting, you should NOT play it until the mid/late game, after you’ve stabilized. Before that, you prefer more tempo over just 2 Armor. Focus on playing more minions and removing opponent’s stuff first. Remember that as long as you’re above 1 health, then you haven’t lost the game yet – use your health as a resource and hit their minions after you Invoke. Trying to face them is not a good idea, because they will kill you faster. Only after you’re ahead, you want to focus on gaining armor and turning the game around. Dropping Armorsmith + a Whirlwind effect is a good idea, for example, especially if you have two or at least a Rover on the board.
On the other hand, board-oriented matchups are different. In this case, you don’t really have to worry about your health so far. Those decks need to have board in order to kill you – they generally don’t run much Charge minions, weapons or burn spells, so you shouldn’t worry too much about your health (yeah, you still want to stay out of range of a random Leeroy, but that’s about it). In this case, board control is – by far – most important. You don’t have too many comeback mechanics, and neither does your opponent. Sure, if they have a lot of 1 health minions, Whirlwind effects are still good. And a bit later in the game, Scion of Ruin can save the game. But if you fall behind, don’t expect to win the game, because your opponent will most likely snowball. So what do you want to do? First, play for the tempo – don’t hold your stuff back unless you’re really ahead (remember that those decks rarely have AoE clears anyway). A good example is Bloodsworn Mercenary – if you can copy a 3/1 minion, sure, do it – don’t hold it for the Leeroy combo. Similarly, unless your hand is basically empty, if you can choose between dropping Acolyte / Battle Rage and playing something stronger, generally go for the stronger play. Once you’re ahead, you can THEN take some time to do slower plays.
Against slower decks you are basically want to kill them as fast as possible, but unlike face decks, you don’t go all in at all cost. You want to have a solid curve, you want to deal face damage, but you rarely can afford to just ignore whatever they play and go face. Yep, you DO have some insane reach, but that will come later in the game. If you start ignoring their stuff and they get ahead on the board, they can easily turn the game around. The best idea is to use Invoke triggers (since they’re “one time”, unlike minions) and Rush minions to control the board, while you use whatever else you have on the board to hit them in the face.
Most of the time, their early game will be slow or even non-existent, meaning that you will have the first few turns to develop. But keep in mind that unlike vs Aggro, you don’t need to go really fast, you can be a bit more greedy. Drawing cards is important, because you want to find your Galakrond, the Unbreakable and Leeroy Jenkins combos ASAP. Let’s start with Galakrond – the card is insane for a few reasons. First of all – the Battlecry. Ideally you want to fully upgrade it first, but it shouldn’t be very difficult with eight Invoke cards in the deck. If you do, it’s a huge refill that also adds lots of stats to your board. But even after the first upgrade, it’s good enough. Don’t hold it for too long – you might not draw those last two Invokes for a while, and you’re missing a lot of damage that way. Because we’re getting to the second point – Hero Power. Your regular Armor Up Hero Power is really bad vs Control decks. In fact, very often it’s absolutely useless. On the other hand, Galakrond gives you +3 damage per turn, which can either be used as a board control too, or – more likely – to put more pressure on your opponent. And finally, drawing & playing Galakrond activates your Kronx Dragonhoof. It’s usually used as more reach (5 damage / +2/+2 to the board if you have multiple minions), or if you are still far away and you have an empty board, you can use it to summon an 8/8 – opponent will have to kill both. From my experience, AoE damage doesn’t come up often, but if your opponent clears your board and develops something, it might still be useful.
What makes Galakrond Warrior pretty good in some slow matchups is the finisher combo, though. The idea is simple – you drop Leeroy Jenkins, play Inner Rage, then duplicate it with Bloodsworn Mercenary. That’s 16 damage, which is often more than enough to close out the game. But you can also add Ritual Chopper to increase that damage to 20 (or at least Galakrond’s Hero Power to do 19). The combo gets even more insane if you manage to draw Leeroy from your Galakrond’s Battlecry. Then, the basic combo deals 12 + 12 = 24 damage. But the thing is, you can then afford to play a second Inner Rage without Leeroy dying, then if we add Chopper… yep, you can deal 32 damage out of your hand. Of course, that’s an extreme scenario which might happen once per 100 games, and most of the time it won’t even be necessary in any way.
Now, the question is – do you always save combo pieces or can you play them earlier? The answer is – obviously – it depends. If you’re already close to killing them with the combo, I would save them. But if it’s pretty early into the game and you can do some good Inner Rage + Mercenary combo, then you should absolutely go for it. If you’re still before your opponent’s AoE turn, you can go just for the tempo (e.g. on Turn 3 – play Inner Rage + Bloodsworn on your Armorsmith), but it’s the best if you go for it on Acolyte of Pain. Not only you get a lot of tempo, but also a lot of draw, and if you get AoE’d (outside of “destroy” AoEs like Brawl) you still draw a bunch of cards.
Galakrond Warrior Card Substitutions
Galakrond Warrior’s total Dust cost is… pretty average, given that Galakrond himself is for free. Other than him, a full list costs around ~6k Dust, but there ARE some ways to make it cheaper. Here are the Epics & Legendaries present in the list with potential replacements:
- Town Crier – Town Crier is a very powerful card in this deck. You naturally run a bunch of Rush cards, because both Devoted Maniac (Invoke) and Scion of Ruin (Invoke synergy). But I honestly wouldn’t recommend crafting it, because it rotates out soon (April 2019). Sadly, there aren’t many good 1-drops you would want to put instead, so you can try either a second Battle Rage as a cycle, second Whirlwind if you face a lot of faster builds, or maybe some tech card such as Acidic Swamp Ooze. Alternatively, you can also try to go a bit slower and add Plague of Wrath to your deck instead (but you do want 2x Whirlwind first).
- Bloodsworn Mercenary – Mercenary is a vital part of your Leeroy combo, but also a good tempo play in general, since you will commonly have some damaged minions present on the board. If you don’t have her, however, replace with Frothing Berserker or Kor'kron Elite.
- Livewire Lance – Livewire Lance is absolutely replaceable. It’s a good card, but doesn’t play any important role in the deck. Play any other replacement listed here.
- Scion of Ruin – Scion of Ruin is your Invoke synergy card and it’s absolutely irreplaceable, unless you want to make the deck bad. The card is just insane – even in the base form it lets you clear board for cheap while possibly leaving some bodies behind, but it gets even crazier if you draw it from Galakrond (3x 7/6 with Rush). You really need it if you want to play
- Leeroy Jenkins – Well, without Leeroy, you can’t do Leeroy combos… but luckily, there’s a pretty simple replacement here – Kor'kron Elite. It’s worse for the combos and as a finisher, but unlike Leeroy, you can play it on curve without giving your opponent any board advantage.
- Kronx Dragonhoof – I’d say that you really, really want to have Kronx in any Galakrond deck… there’s just no reason to not put him, since it’s a good card all around – tutors your strongest card and is still useful after you’ve already played it. However, I’d say that you COULD play the deck without it. Use any of the replacements already listed, but keep in mind that your deck will suffer.