Anyone who has grinded the ladder for any substantial amount of time knows how pesky the final few ranks before legend can be. Going on a win streak to reach rank 1/2 and then seeing it disappear just as fast can be a crushing blow. With decks being so powerful and matchups so polarized, how can one get an edge in these final few ranks to push through to legend? I hope this article offers a possible answer to that question, or at the very least sheds some light on this less popular deck: Odd Control Warrior.

With such a vast range of deck styles to queue into, TBP ladder can be very frustrating when you’re “guessing” wrong. Nothing feels worse than playing a counter-aggro control deck and facing three Druids in a row, then switching to midrange and immediately playing aggro. The bad match-ups in this meta are incredibly difficult to steal a win from, so the answer is clearly to play a deck with the fewest bad match-ups.

Well, duh a deck with the least bad match-ups and most favorable match-ups is going to do better generally, thanks captain obvious. Much easier said than done though, especially since we’ve established the degree of polarity in decks as much higher than usual metas. There is however, one deck that slides under the radar and has solid match-ups against most of the meta. If you excel at reading and have looked at the title, you know I am of course referring to Odd Control Warrior.

How Has Odd Warrior Gone? So Far Under The Radar.

Now let me address something before the skeptics start rolling in saying, “Don’t you think the pro players would have already tested this deck, there must be something wrong it to be not as played as other decks”? This would be a perfectly viable question, Odd Warrior does have an incredibly targetable inherent flaw that some people simply can’t look past. That being that Odd Warrior has no win condition against any sort of infinite or auto-win combo deck. If you’re looking for a deck that has a great matchup against Shudderwock Shaman, Togwaggle Druid, or Mecha’Thun decks, this is not the deck for you. But I’m not here to show you a deck that has a great matchup against combo decks (perhaps another day), I’m here to show you a deck that’s gonna tear it up in a ladder style format.

So why is Odd Warrior so good in ladder formats despite having almost an auto loss against any combo matchup? Because combo decks have incredibly low win rates in any ladder style format. Think about it, what decks do you tend to see from about rank 2-legend? Zoo Warlock, Even Warlock, Odd Rogue, Deathrattle Hunter, and Malygos Druid. With the exception of Malygos Druid (as that is a pseudo combo deck), all of the decks absolutely smash the auto-win combo decks that I referred to earlier. Malygos and Togwaggle Druid stand a chance against aggressive decks, but you get the idea, aggressive decks usually blow the combo decks out of the water. And because these decks are the large majority of what you’re going to be playing on ladder it tends to move the combo decks out of favor.

With Odd Warrior’s hardest matchups being unfavorable on ladder, it allows the deck an opportunity to dominate. A perfect example of this is the recent Brawlesium that was going on. From wins 1-8ish you saw mostly the decks described above; a lot of aggro with some EvenLock and MalyDruid showing up here and there. But then, if you were able to make it to 9 wins or above you saw a shift in the meta. From my personal experience, I almost entirely played Control Warlock, Control Mage, or Control Warrior in the later stages of the brawl. This pattern continued for every brawl I played, proving to me that this was no coincidence.

However, recent statistics from sites such as Vicious Syndicate and TempoStorm still show a large prevalence of the aggressive decks we’ve all come to love (or hate). That being said, anyone who has been grinding ladder since the end of the Brawlesium will tell you that control decks have been popping up much more than previous weeks. That means that now is the time to jump on the Odd Warrior train. The meta still allows Odd Warrior to have very good matchups across the board, but time may be running out. If this trend of control domination continues, there may be yet another meta shift leading to an increase of combo decks being played. So I implore you all to give Odd Warrior a shot in this ladder meta, you will not be disappointed…for now

Deck List And Guide

Omega Assembly x2
Shield Slam x2
Town Crier x2
Gluttonous Ooze x1
Ironbeak Owl x1
Rabid Worgen x2
Reckless Flurry x2
Shield Slam x2
Stonehill Defender x2
Big Game Hunter x1
Brawl x2
Darius Crowley x1
Direhorn Hatchling x1
Dyn-o-matic x2
Elise the Trailblazer x1
Giggling Inventor x2
Zilliax x1
Dr. Boom, Mad Genius x1
Gorehowl x1
Baku the Mooneater x1

I am currently working on some untraditional techs and deck strategies to better Odd Warrior, but this is the list that I have been finding success with on ladder and in Brawlesium. I ran 5 brawls with this deck, resulting in four 12-wins and one 8-win performance.

The win condition of the deck is fairly straightforward, control the game. A hero power that says gain 4 armor is pretty good, so always try to work in that button when you can. One piece of advice I would give to someone playing this deck for this first time is don’t be afraid to be greedy with your removal. The deck is so good at staying alive with the hero power that a lot of times you find you can hold a removal spell another turn and see if you can get more value out of it. Similarly, against control decks it is very important to hold removal for all of the opposing deck’s potential threats.

For example, against MalyDruid don’t blow your 2 Shield Slams against Arcane Tyrants you couldn’t answer at the time as this could result in you losing an easy matchup by not being able to remove your opponent’s Malygos. Mulligans are super important for this deck. As long as you have the proper answer to what your opponent is doing, it’s very hard to lose. Be as greedy as you can in mulligans looking for the cards that help you win in the matchup. A mulligan guide will be provided below, other than that; enjoy the deck, and I hope it brings you all success in your road to becoming Legendary!

Mulligan Guide

cards listed in order of importance: most important > less important

Vs Blind Warlock: Reckless Flurry, Brawl, Town Crier, Shield Slam, Ironbeak Owl (I like keeping owl against an unknown warlock because against control their main win condition is an unanswered Rin)

Vs Blind Rogue: Reckless Flurry, Shield Slam, Brawl, Town Crier

Vs Blind Druid: Gluttonous Ooze, Shield Slam, Big Game Hunter

Vs Blind Hunter: Ironbeak Owl, Shield Slam, Reckless Flurry, Brawl

Vs Blind Paladin: Reckless Flurry, Brawl, Town Crier, Dyn-o-Matic (I keep dyn-o-matic if I don’t have any other AOE just to make sure I have something to lighten the board before crucial turn 5)

Vs Blind Mage: Shield Slam, Reckless Flurry, Town Crier (I like Mulliganing for Tempo Mage, as Control Mage is a fairly easy matchup)

Vs Blind Priest: Shield Slam, Ironbeak Owl, Reckless Flurry (APM Priest is almost always a loss so I tend to mulligan for Inner Fire Priest which is very beatable if you remove early threats and eventually take over board)

Vs Blind Shaman: Reckless Flurry, Brawl, Town Crier, Shield Slam (Again, Shudderwock Shaman is pretty much unwinnable so I mulligan for Tempo Shudderwock, Even or Token Shaman)

Vs Blind Warrior: Hard Mulligan for Dr. Boom (The early turns mean almost nothing in a control warrior mirror so I just look to find the most important card in the matchup as soon as possible).

Bower, or bbower828 (ign), is an avid hearthstone grinder attempting to share his knowledge with the rest of the community. Bower is always looking to tackle the meta in his unique way and stay one step ahead of the rest. Check in every week to see more of his works and keep up with his experiences.

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