Rush Tempo Warrior Mulligan Strategy & Guide
VS Fast Decks
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- Town Crier – The best card in your deck by a huge margin. 1 mana 1/2 that draws you a card is insane, especially in fast matchups, where putting a body down on Turn 1 is big – for example, you can contest the Paladin’s early board while still drawing a card.
- Fire Fly – While not as good as the Town Crier, still a good card to drop on T1 – it’s important to have some early drops.
- Redband Wasp – The stats might not seem that good, but it’s often a nice tempo play against Aggro. If you run it into a 2/1, for example, you still have a 4/1 your opponent needs to deal with.
- Frothing Berserker – This card could as well have Taunt, because your opponent will have to deal with it. It often comes down as a 4/4 (if you trade after dropping it) and it will grow out of control very quickly.
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Acidic Swamp Ooze – Against weapon decks, but never keep two copies.
- Woodcutter's Axe – Against decks that run 2 health early game minions – good keep vs Even Paladin, but not great against let’s say Tempo Mage. Can be also kept with Redband Wasp, especially when you’re on the Coin.
- Blood Razor – Against decks that flood the board with small minions, such as Odd/Even Paladin. Not a great keep vs decks running 3+ health early game minions, e.g. Tempo Mage or Murloc Paladin.
VS Slow Decks
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- Town Crier – Still the best card in your deck, nothing has changed.
- Fire Fly – Early game plays are also very important vs slower decks.
- Frothing Berserker – Your best way to snowball the game – if they have no answer, it can get out of control very quickly.
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Acidic Swamp Ooze – Against weapon decks, such as Cube Warlock. Them dropping Skull of the Man'ari is basically game over if you have no answer.
- Execute – Against Cube Warlock, without Execute those Mountain Giants or Voidlords will be a nightmare to deal with.
Rush Tempo Warrior Play Strategy
In faster matchups, you need to take the Control role – trying to race them is not a great idea, at least not until the late game if the situation is right (more about that later). Rush minions give you a tempo advantage – thanks to them, you can dictate how most of the trades are going to look like. If you don’t trade correctly, Rush minions are as good as vanilla minions.
Early game is all about staying on the board. Try to drop minions / play weapons every turn if possible – don’t float the mana and try to not waste it on Hero Power in the early game. While getting some Armor might be useful later, it does absolutely nothing during the early turns. For example, if it’s Turn 2 and your only play is Acidic Swamp Ooze (you didn’t drew Redband Wasp or the Axe), you still want to play it. It might feel bad to not hit any weapon, but just Hero Powering means that you will already fall behind.
Weapons are quite useful in the faster matchups. The first one is Woodcutter's Axe – 2/2 for 2 is not great, but the extra effect makes it more interesting. The strategy is to play it on Turn 2 (or T1 with Coin), swing once, then play a Rush minion next turn (Redband Wasp or Rabid Worgen most likely, but it works great with Militia Commander later in the game) and swing second time. This way you can clear up to three minions – two with the weapon and one with the Rush minion, while leaving a significant body behind. Let’s say that you run a Wasp into a 2/3 minion after buffing it – it means that you end up with a 6/2 minion on the board, which is very threatening.
Your other weapon, however, might be even more important. Blood Razor is your only way to somewhat catch up against decks that flood the board. Two Whirlwinds in one weapon means that you can either clear the board of 1 health minions twice, or clear the board of 2 health minions over 2 turns. Might not seem like much, but it makes matchups like Odd or Even Paladin much easier.
And that’s basically your game plan until mid/late game. Trade, trade, trade. You can get some really good trades your opponent doesn’t expect thanks to the Rush minions – e.g. if you have a 3/3 on the board and he drops a Tar Creeper, thinking that you won’t be able to get past it, you can play Militia Commander, clear it, and still have a 2/2 on the board.
Once you get ahead in the mid/late game, you can start going face. Generally, you want to trade until you can put your opponent on a very fast clock. For example – drop a Frothing Berserker before a big trading turn, then it might grow up to ~10 Attack. Next turn trade with everything else and hit face with Frothing. You can do a quite similar thing, but even easier, with Grommash Hellscream if you have a way to activate it. If you get ahead, just drop Grommash + Activator, hit face for 10 immediately, repeat the same thing next turn most likely to win the game.
One thing worth mentioning is that while your DK Hero works really great in most of the Aggro matchups, there are decks against which you value your Basic Hero Power a lot. For example, against any kind of burn deck such as Tempo Mage or Odd Face Hunter. Unless you need the instant burst of 5 Armor, or you anticipate that the game will be over very quickly, you might leave your normal Hero Power and use it instead.
In slow matchups, instead of taking the Control role, you’re the beatdown. However, since Rush minions aren’t optimized to well, rush your opponent’s face, the deck has a much higher win rate against Aggro than against Control.
When playing vs a slow deck, you want to go all in and try to finish the game as quickly as possible. Realistically, you will run out of steam quite quickly and it will be hard to close out the game. Often you will need to rely on the early game snowballing to win the game. Generally, Control decks don’t start playing their AoEs until Turn 4-5, so you have a few turns to develop without worrying that your whole board will get destroyed. And even then, Frothing Berserker is out of range of most of the early AoEs, so he can carry the game.
Minion curve is very important. Since you won’t be taking advantage of the Rush mechanic that much, you wan to drop the Rush minions on the curve too, even with no target. For example, Militia Commander on T4 with no target to hit is basically a vanilla 2/5 minion, but it’s still better than doing nothing.
In order to not run out of cards very quickly, you might want to set up a 3-4 cards Battle Rage in the mid game. Keep in mind that Battle Rage draws a card for every damaged CHARACTER, which includes your Hero, which means that you might want to get at least some damage (e.g. clear a minion with a weapon). If you aren’t damaged, you won’t even be able to cycle it on the empty board.
Scourgelord Garrosh is pretty important in slower matchups, but mostly for his weapon – 4/3 weapon can be quite threatening already, and the fact that it can protect your board while you go face with minions is even better. However, realistically, you will often want to hit your opponent with the weapon, especially if you got him quite low already – 12 damage is A LOT.
Try to set up a Grommash Hellscream too, the earlier the better. If you drop it as soon as you can and immediately hit your opponent for 10, he might not have a good way to remove it yet. Alternatively, he might need to spend entire turn dealing with it (e.g. Siphon Soul – it’s so expensive that Warlock often can’t do anything more), which means that you will have the initiative again.
If you have some minions on the board already and your opponent drops something that you need to kill, try to use Rush minions from your hand instead of the ones you have on the board, even if the trade won’t be optimal. Minions on the board can already swing face – Rush minions can only attack minions, so you can gain tempo that way.
In the end, a lot of time you will need to rely on your opponent simply not having the right answers and hope that you can rush face before he can stabilize.
Rush Tempo Warrior Card Substitutions
Rush Tempo Warrior is a quite expensive deck, and requires a lot of Legendaries that don’t see common play in the meta. Most of them can be replaced, but the deck will get much weaker. Here is a quick look at the more expensive cards from the deck with potential replacements:
- Darius Crowley – I’d say that the card is important, but not absolutely necessary. It’s a good mid game Rush minion that can snowball quite hard, but you might play the deck without it.
- Countess Ashmore – Late game hand refill. Good, but not important.
- Grommash Hellscream – Your best late game finisher vs slower decks, I’d say that it’s almost mandatory, but you CAN try the deck without it, especially if you’re playing it as an anti-Aggro option.
- Scourgelord Garrosh – Another card that is almost necessary. Hero Power can really wreck the Paladins, while the weapon is great in just about any matchup (either to control the board or just to deal more damage).
- The Lich King – It’s just a solid value option. Not necessary in the deck, but you just need some “big guns” to win the slower matchups.
- Town Crier – I’d say that this is the one card that you absolutely NEED in your deck – there is simply no reason to run Rush Warrior if you don’t have it.
And here are some of the cards that you can use instead:
- Whirlwind / Warpath – Good cards that will help you against Aggro decks even more.
- Slam – Flexible removal – you can use it as 2 damage for 2 mana to clear a minion, or as a way to initially damage the minion and cycle a card. The second option should come handy, since you have so many ways to finish the minions off, like Rush cards, Execute and such.
- Forge of Souls – Weapons are a quite important part of your deck, so having the ability to draw them is not bad.
- Armorsmith – Another good anti-Aggro option, it synergizes with Whirlwind effects, Rush minions, and lets you gain some extra Armor for free.
- Leeroy Jenkins – While not a budget option, you might need some way to close out those Control games, and this is a good option.