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Since Warrior’s shift from a control to an aggro centered playstyle, Pirate warrior has always been relevant in just about every Meta, and this one is no exception. Pirate Warrior currently stands as a Tier 1 deck, an impressive feat given that it’s beating out Token and Ramp Druid, but this is understandable. As we discussed in the last article, when Jade or Control style decks run the Meta, Aggro will inevitably rise up to stop them.
This expansion made a heavy push for a more control oriented Meta, and the fact that Highlander Priest and Ramp Druid are still considered Tier 1 means that it worked to an extent. Warrior got some interesting cards like Dead Man’s Hand, which allows it to contend Druid in the late game fatigue phase. If played right, neither player will ever take fatigue damage – or, so it would have been. Skulking Geist came about and, suddenly, Jade Druid isn’t such a bad matchup when playing Control Warrior. The ability to remove all one-cost cards in your opponent’s hand and deck means you can deal with all Jade Idols in one swipe. Best case scenario, if this card is played on turn 6, or even coined out turn 5, it can halt the Jade ramp in its tracks. Suddenly, the options for summoning Jade Golems is limited, and will eventually come to a halt the later the game goes.
As I mentioned earlier, Pirate Warrior is still very much relevant. The ability to push out so much damage in the early game, and even have a good enough turn 1 to outright destroy a turn 2 Doomsayer is terrifying. Making it through the early game, while easier said than done, is just about the only key to victory, which makes playing control difficult. Including all the cards necessary to deal with Pirate rushes can leave you limited for late game options, meaning that the inevitable match against another control centered deck can leave you at a disadvantage. Cards like Sleep with the Fishes and Blood Razor are good examples of this.
When it comes down to it, aggro still seems to be the way to go. Control Warrior is viable, but will get rolled in the early game by fast decks, and can’t keep up with Ramp Druid if they get a good start.