Taunt Warrior Theorycraft Deck List – Saviors of Uldum – August 2019

Taunt Warrior Theorycraft Deck List – Saviors of Uldum – August 2019

Saviors of Uldum is attempting to promote a new archetype for Warrior: Into the Fray and Armagedillo provide powerful +2/+2 handbuffs for Taunt minions, so the fantasy is that one could build a Warrior deck heavy with Taunt minions and take over the game with big taunts.

However, the road to Taunt Warrior success is long and winding. First, there is the small matter of competition from Bomb Warrior and Control Warrior. Saviors of Uldum is not a rotation expansion, so all the old powerhouses are still there, and Warrior has been one of the top classes. It is not easy to displace the most powerful decks in the game. Second, it can be difficult to see how Taunt minions win games. They defend, sure, but their statlines are typically heavy on health and low on attack, so even when buffed, they are not the fastest of threats. The entire concept of winning with Taunt minions is conflicted.

In the early theorycrafting streams, we saw no believers in pure Taunt Warrior. A couple of people put Armagedillo and Tomb Warden into Control Warrior and that’s it. Perhaps that is the best approach, although I’m not sure Control Warrior even cares that much for a couple of Taunt minions.

So, let’s take the idea of Taunt Warrior seriously. We have handbuffs with a wide effect. We want to leverage them in order to play overstatted Taunt minions and take over the game. That naturally forces us into a midrange archetype, because there is not enough room for control tools with all the minions, and there is no way we are fast enough to be pure aggro. Here is what that kind of deck could look like:

Taunt minions form the core of the deck. Ideally, we open up with Into the Fray followed up by a 4/4 Frightened Flunky or a 3/6 Belligerent Gnome on turn two and roll on from there.

Frightened Flunky is a powerful card. Because class cards are more likely to be discovered than neutral cards, Flunky has a slightly over 20% chance to offer us a specific Warrior class taunt, such as an additional Armagedillo or another copy of itself.

We can make good use of Rush synergies. Town Crier is a great one-drop that tutors for Rush minions, and three of our five Rush minions – Zilliax and the Amani War Bears – also have Taunt and can benefit from handbuffs.

Another power play is Faceless Lurker. Without buffs, it is a five-mana 3/6, but a single handbuff turns it into a five-mana 5/10, because it doubles any health buffs it gains while in hand.

With all these high-health minions, we can try to take advantage of them surviving on the board for a while and use Battle Rage for card draw. Battle Rage also synergizes with Reborn minions, because they are resummoned in a damaged state, ready to be used for card draw. Warpath can be used to ensure that we have some damaged minions on the board in order to draw cards, or in order to make some copies with Bloodsworn Mercenary.

Our hard removal of choice is Execute, which goes well together with Warpath and with some of our early minions, such as Town Crier, as well as with the Hero Power of Dr. Boom, Mad Genius. Finally, Grommash Hellscream is a finisher that also likes to be damaged. Playing around with damage synergies and high health is central to the deck.

This type of Midrange Taunt Warrior got a lot of support in Saviors of Uldum. For this build, I chose to not use Tomb Warden, because while it can be a big pile of stats when handbuffed, it comes in very late, and I want results faster. I also skipped Phalanx Commander and opted for more Taunt minions instead to maximize the effects of handbuffs. Therefore, there are still more cards on the bench to tweak the deck with.

The hardest slot on the deck was three-drops. There are no truly impressive three-mana Taunt minions right now. I’m not a huge fan of Infested Goblin, but I want to give it a chance, because, well, there is nothing better at three mana anyway. The Taunt tokens it gives you when it dies might be fine with some handbuffs, even though I don’t expect great things from them. Bloodsworn Mercenary, on the other hand, is an interesting card with a lot of potential, but it requires a damaged minion on the board to copy. This can either be part of some combo play, or something needs to stick on the board for a turn. Given that Taunt Warrior has lots of high-health minions, this deck has a decent chance to enable some copies.

This Taunt Warrior is very different from the old Quest Taunt Warrior from Journey to Un’Goro. That Taunt Warrior used Taunt minions to defend and relied on its upgraded Hero Power to win the game. The new Taunt Warrior attempts to win the game with buffed Taunt minions. Time will tell if it’s just a pipe dream, or if it can be reality.

Old Guardian

Ville "Old Guardian" Kilkku is a writer and video creator focused on analytic, educational Hearthstone, and building innovative Standard format decks. Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/OldGuardian Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/old_guardian

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Leave a Reply


  1. JuicyJP
    August 13, 2019 at 12:33 am

    Met someone who uses Taunt warrior, he got 12 win streak in the recent Tavern Brawl. I actually crafted Armagedillo after I saw his win streak.

  2. Superband
    August 5, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    i think they need to add a card that draw taunt minions. this is the main problem of the deck but that kind of card could get out of hand. either way, if a taunt warrior deck works in the meta or not, this is the face of warrior when rotation hits.

  3. August 5, 2019 at 4:22 am

    I like the idea, but sadly no win condition. The Control Warrior deck still beats this deck.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      August 5, 2019 at 4:36 am

      This is a common misconception. Many decks don’t need a flashy “win condition”. Like, when you build an Aggro deck, you don’t have a “win condition” – your win condition is to rush the opponent down and kill them. Similarly, Midrange decks rarely have a specific, single “win condition”, most of the time they just want to perform their game plan efficiently and be able to adapt to the matchup they face (by going faster vs Control/Combo and slower vs Aggro). And by all accounts, this is a Midrange deck. Pumping up a full hand of Taunts and then overwhelming your opponents with overstatted minions is the win condition. Drawing lots of cards with Battle Rage and copying a big, damaged minion with Mercenary is the win condition. Dealing 10 with Grom is also a win condition. And of course, you run, Dr. Boom, Mad Genius, which is definitely a “win condition”.

      • August 5, 2019 at 8:27 am

        Boom is definitely a “win” condition. I agree. Also, nowadays it has been midrange decks which are owning the show, maybe this does stand a chance. We will have to see what the future holds in the coming days.

  4. TardisGreen
    August 4, 2019 at 9:51 am

    “A couple of people put Armagedillo and Tomb Warden into Control Warrior and that’s it.”

    Untrue! BoarControl played a deck with two copies of Into the Frey and *** 28 *** taunt minions. Now that is a man who takes his taunt warrior seriously. He played Goldshire Footman. Who has been “Ready for Action” since Beta. This is his big chance.

  5. Stonekeep - Site Admin
    August 4, 2019 at 8:19 am

    By the way, OG, have you considered Injured Tol’vir instead of Gnome? It’s 2/3, but synergizes with Bloodsworn Mercenary and Battle Rage instead. T2 Tol’vir into T3 Mercenary could be a really nice curve, even better if you land Handbuff on T1 (might be worth to drop it so early for the tempo push). And later you can drop it and immediately draw an extra card from Battle Rage.

    • Old Guardian - Author
      August 4, 2019 at 8:26 am

      I don’t think you want to waste Bloodsworn Mercenary on an Injured Tol’vir. You can’t be that aggro with Taunt minions, you need to play a more midrange game, and Mercenary can be huge value in the midgame.

      Battle Rage synergy might be something, but I still prefer the higher natural health.

      • Stonekeep - Site Admin
        August 4, 2019 at 8:29 am

        Depends on the matchup I’d say. If you face Aggro/Tempo, then getting more on the board early can be very important, and 2x 2/3 Taunt with a 3/3 on T3 can be big (even better if you hit +2/+2 and make it 2x 4/5 – but that’s like the best case scenario). Once you get ahead, you can dictate your trades etc. and stay ahead because of it. In slower matchups I’d definitely save Mercenary for a bigger play, though.

        You might be right, but it’s something I’ll definitely want to test out 🙂

  6. Nikpan19
    August 4, 2019 at 7:57 am

    I wonder if quest with a weapon package could fit in this deck instead of dr boom. I feel that dr boom has not that much value in such a midrange build. It’s no rexxar that could outvalue any control deck with a single card and is too slow against aggro. I don’t know, kaybe i am completely wrong about it

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      August 4, 2019 at 8:16 am

      I don’t think that those two would go well together. If you’re going on Taunts, you want to go all in on Taunts. The more you play, the better your handbuff cards become. The difference between buffing let’s say 4 and 6 Taunts on average with those is huge.

      In order to fit the Quest package, you would need to remove quite a lot of cards. You can’t just put in Quest and 1-2 weapons – you need at least 5+ weapons to finish it consistently (maybe even 6+ or 7+ if there will be more weapon removal in the meta). While Boom is just a single card, and I’d say that it fits into a Midrange deck very well. It’s not such a big value generator as Rexxar, but the Hero Powers are still amazing in the mid/late game, mostly for the extra tempo (like 3x 1/1 with Rush, or 3 damage for 2 mana).

    • Old Guardian - Author
      August 4, 2019 at 8:28 am

      No, weapons and Taunts are not a good synergy. As for Dr. Boom, it can actually outvalue control decks almost single-handedly, it is a really big deal.

      • Skilgannon
        August 4, 2019 at 1:18 pm

        but what about weapons, taunts and bombs?
        AAECAQcGoIADiIcDm5QDqKQD9qgD96gDDO4G24kDl5 QDmpQDnKQDn6QDpKQDu6UD8qUD+acDgqgD9agDAA==
        oh yeah!

    • Nikpan19
      August 4, 2019 at 1:06 pm

      Thank you for your really helpful answers! Looking forward to play this deck

  7. NirvanaX
    August 4, 2019 at 7:39 am

    Add Asalina in case of mirror match up.