Our budget Pirate Warrior deck list & guide for the Scholomance Academy expansion will teach you how to play this budget list. This guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Introduction to Budget Pirate Warrior
Warrior has been really popular for a while now and in Scholomance Academy players have a lot of choices when it comes to the class. There’s – of course – Bomb Warrior and Big Warrior, but also the (now less popular) Enrage Warrior or even – that’s right – Pirate Warrior. The last one isn’t very common on the ladder, but it doesn’t mean that it’s bad. In fact, it’s a pretty solid deck, definitely capable of hitting Legend. However, people don’t really play it because there are better Aggro options – Rogue in particular, which can even play a very similar, weapon-oriented style, but more efficiently.
As for the budget version – sadly, some important cards needed to be cut. Good news is that they’re solid crafts anyway, so you should be able to use them in other builds as well. But the question is – do you want to go for a full deck? Pirate Warrior is not a popular meta deck, for the reason I’ve already mentioned. I would actually recommend going for Aggro Weapon Rogue instead, or if you want to play Warrior, Bomb or Big would probably be better (albeit expensive) choices. However, if you’re set on Pirate Warrior, then we’ll cover the full build in the last section!
Budget Pirate Warrior Mulligan Guide
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- Imprisoned Gan'arg – The deck is weapon-based, you really need them to deal damage and synergize with some of your cards. And Gan’arg guarantees a Fiery War Axe on T3, with a 2/2 body on top of that. It’s quite slow initially, but makes up for it when it wakes up.
- Sky Raider – A great 1-drop – it’s 1/2, it adds another card to your hand, and it has a Pirate tag for the sake of synergies. The best tempo move on T1 (but Gan’arg is still better long-term).
- Parachute Brigand – It’s a 0 mana 2/2, which you obviously love as an Aggro deck. You just need to drop a Pirate and it will come down for free – in particular, it’s amazing with T1 Sky Raider.
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Bloodsail Raider / Corsair Cache – When you already have a good T1 play. Corsair Cache is good, but slow, so if you skip Turn 1 and then “skip” Turn 2, your chances to win aren’t really going up. And Bloodsail Raider is just a 2 mana 2/3, not really something you want to drop on T2 (it gets better after you have a weapon equipped, of course).
Budget Pirate Warrior Play Strategy
Your gameplan is about as straightforward as it can be. You want to hit face. A lot. Yeah, that’s what you do most of the time. Sadly, your minions aren’t particularly powerful – most of the slower decks will have quite easy time getting rid of them and faster decks might win the board control. Skybarge is a card that can snowball your board – if you drop it, it sticks, and you follow up with a bunch of Pirates, then you will either clear your opponent’s board or at least deal a lot of face damage. Sadly, most of the time you have to expect that your board will be taken care of quite easily. That’s why you rely heavily on another type of cards – weapons.
You technically run only 3 weapon cards (Fiery War Axe + 2x Reaper's Scythe), but in reality Imprisoned Gan'arg adds two more, and Corsair Cache can be counted as a weapon, since it tutors you one. Between all of that, you should easily be able to find one every game, and that’s when you really start rolling. Not only the weapons will help you tremendously with board control, but they will also make your other cards stronger. With a weapon equipped, Southsea Deckhand gains Charge, Bloodsail Raider is at least a 5/3 for 2, Dread Corsair costs 0-1 mana and – of course – you get super cheap draws with Cutting Class. Your Upgrade! cards are also no longer dead.
Talking about board control – ideally, if possible, you want to keep board control with weapons and use weapons to push face damage. Weapons have limited durability, minions can stick for much longer and your opponents will be busy removing them, making their turn much weaker. Especially protect your key minions such as Skybarge or Southsea Captain. Reaper's Scythe is particularly good at board control thanks to the Spellburst effect. It’s one of the reasons why it’s played over Arcanite Reaper (which is 2 more damage, but for 1 more mana). If you combo it with a cheap spell (and you run a few of those) you can cleave your opponent’s board quite nicely. Comes really handy against decks like Aggro Rogue or Pure Paladin. The situation is a bit different against control, where you ideally want to throw as much damage face as you can. Yes, you can still swing your weapons into minions if that will net you more damage in the long run (e.g. “wasting” 3 weapon damage to protect a minion is not worth it immediately, but can be over a few turns).
You also run a bunch of cycle – Cutting Class is already solid with a 3 damage weapon, great with 4 and insane with 5 – drawing cards for 0 mana is something every deck loves, but aggro in particular. Then, you run 2x Voracious Reader – while the card sucks in the early game, Pirate Warrior runs out of cards quite quickly, making it a solid refill, even if it draws “just” 2. This should be enough to stay in the game for extended periods of time.
Future Card Replacements for Pirate Warrior
Here’s an example full Pirate Warrior build you can work towards:
Like I’ve mentioned earlier, can’t say that I fully recommend going for a “meta” build, but if you decide to do it, it’s not that bad. There are a few major differences. For one, you run Ancharrr, which is obviously an auto-include in Warrior decks playing Pirates. 3 to draw 2 cards is already a baseline solid, but you’re also getting a 2/2 weapon AND you’re tutoring specific cards (which is often quite useful). There’s also an even bigger weapon synergy package. Both Captain Greenskin and Doctor Krastinov extend your weapons for longer – they’re an amazing follow-up to Turn 4 Reaper's Scythe. They also make your Cutting Class better, because higher Attack weapon = cheaper card draw.
And then we’ve got Steeldancer, which is just a solid pile of stats – in the worst case scenario you will summon a random 2-drop, and 4/4 + a random 2-drop for 4 mana is okay-ish. But realistically, you will usually get a 3-drop or a 4-drop, which are way better and make the card quite scary. There are also some high rolls, like a 6-drop (after buffing Reaper’s Scythe twice), and that’s amazing, but will rarely happen.