With the rotation from the Year of the Raven to the Year of the Dragon, the Hearthstone meta has become truly exciting. Three enormously powerful sets – Journey to Un’Goro, Knights of the Frozen Throne, and Kobolds and Catacombs – are gone, along with their endless value machines. As a result, the Year of the Dragon meta thus far has been much slower, right down to the addition of several cards that revolve around the fatigue mechanic. One deck archetype that seems to be thriving is Bomb Warrior, a deck that revolves around shuffling Bomb cards, special cards that deal five damage to the enemy hero when drawn, into your opponent’s deck. Here’s how to play the Bomb Warrior deck and how to beat the Bomb Warrior deck in Hearthstone.
Bomb Warrior is also enhanced by the new Clockwork Goblin minion, which (along with the Legendary minion Blastmaster Boom) bridges the gap between Warrior’s considerable Mech support and the new Bomb cards added in Rise of Shadows. In this guide, we’ll show you how to make the best use of the archetype, as well as how to counter some of the deck’s bigger weaknesses.
Building a Bomb Warrior deck
Bomb Warrior, in its strongest possible incarnation, requires at least four separate Legendary cards: Zilliax; Dr. Boom, Mad Genius; Blastmaster Boom; and Archivist Elysiana. The first two are somewhat obvious – Zilliax and Dr. Boom are a must for any Mech-centric Warrior deck, with Zilliax’s versatility and Dr. Boom’s essential Rush buff for all your mechs – but the two new Legendaries are just as important.
Blastmaster Boom summons two Boom Bots, each with a Deathrattle that deals one to four damage to a random enemy, for each Bomb card in your opponent’s deck. These bots can be buffed with a Magnetic minion, or you can Rush them into a full board if you’ve already played Dr. Boom, Mad Genius earlier. They can also pressure an opponent into a heavy area of effect spell like Flamestrike, lest all the damage from the Deathrattles hit their face. It’s more of a finisher than a card you would play for tempo.
Archivist Elysiana is less about preventing fatigue, since Warrior’s large pool of armor-gaining cards will likely keep you a few steps ahead of your opponent in that regard, and more about giving the deck some additional resources to keep your opponent on the back foot. Elysiana is a Battlecry minion that replaces your deck with two copies of five different cards that you Discover, which is almost always better than drawing into fatigue.
Once you have those four cards, you need to decide which packages you want to build the deck around. No matter which particular flavor of Bomb Warrior you’re using, you’ll likely want two copies of the following cards in the deck: Omega Assembly, Brawl, Clockwork Goblin, Dyn-o-matic, Warpath, and Wrenchcalibur. Omega Assembly is an essential late-game hand refill, Brawl and Warpath are solid board clears that should keep you safe from more aggressive decks, Dyn-o-matic and Clockwork Goblin synergize with just about everything else in the archetype, and the bomb-shuffling Wrenchcalibur’s decent stats make it a great tempo play.
Augmented Elekk, which doubles the amount of bombs you shuffle into your opponent’s deck, is also worth considering – but it’s also an easy target, and one you really don’t want to play on curve if you can help it. Seaforium Bomber is decent against control matchups, where you want to play a fairly narrow board, but completely worthless against aggro or midrange.
You’ll also want to consider single-target removal. Depending on the rest of the cards in your deck, Shield Slam, Omega Devastator, or Execute are all good choices. It could be worth diversifying even if you’re not running, say, an armor-heavy deck for Shield Slam, but you’ll want two copies of whichever removal card fits the kind of deck you’re making.
Upgrade! and Captain Greenskin are good inclusions if you’re building your deck around Wrenchcalibur, but that’ll leave your win condition extremely vulnerable to weapon removal.
How to play Bomb Warrior
No matter which kind of Bomb Warrior you’re playing, you’ll want to take control of the board somewhere around turn five and hold onto it from there. In most cases, Bomb Warrior wins through forcing card draw on your opponent after you’ve shuffled a plethora of bombs into their deck.
Depending on which rank you’re at, you’ll either need a few minions on the board early to force some action from your opponent, or you can wait for your low-ranked foe to spend their entire hand only to fall prey to a well-timed Brawl. Smarter midrange and control players will hold onto their cards if they see you’re not doing anything beyond using the Hero Power, because they know you’re just waiting for a big swing turn.
So in your opening mulligan, look for a low-cost minion, one of your wider control tools, and a Shield Block if you’ve packed one. No need to worry about keeping single-target removal since most Warrior removal requires specific later-game conditions; if that Zoolock you’re up against on ladder hits you with a Sea Giant on turn four and you don’t have a Brawl in hand, you might as well just hit “concede” and move onto your next game.
Patience is really the name of the game here. The meta has slowed down considerably since you don’t have to rush down your opponent before their OTK or Death Knight hero card. Between Shield Block and Slam, Warrior has decent value draw, but you still need to keep things narrow. Play a card or two per turn if you can help it, because most of the cards you’ll draw in a weak hand require either synergy or late-game conditions to be useful. Bomb Warrior doesn’t play well in a scenario where you’re relying on your top deck to save your skin.
How to beat Bomb Warrior
With Bomb Warrior’s newfound popularity, plenty of enterprising players are looking for cracks in the deck’s armor, and a few recurring weaknesses have been found. As mentioned above, Wrenchcalibur is extremely weak to weapon removal, which most competitive decks have started packing between the prevalence of Bomb Warrior and Tempo Rogue.
However, one of the deck’s most useful cards – Archivist Elysiana – also exposes the deck’s biggest weakness. Let’s say you’re up against a deck with a strong enough draw engine, one that can get through most of the deck while you’re still setting up your bombs. Then, after you’ve thrown some bombs into their deck, they can replace their whole deck with Elysiana, nullifying the bombs you’ve already shuffled into their deck.
The Hunter card Tracking, which lets you look at the top three cards of your deck only to draw one and discard the others, was personally very effective in bomb removal, often allowing me to both draw a single card and remove two bombs all for 1 mana. There’s also the method of keeping 10 cards in hand so the bomb just harmlessly burns off when you overdraw, but that’s a risky move in the early to mid-game, where you can just as easily lose a good card.
Decks that can easily refill after a board wipe are also a problem, as proven by Token Druid’s recent dominance. The Forest’s Aid Twinspell in particular absolutely kills most Bomb Warriors, who need to constantly use their board clears lest the Druid play a series of boosts on a full board.
Now that you know more about the super popular Bomb Warrior archetype, hopefully you have even more success climbing the ranked ladder. Good luck, and watch out for those sneaky Resurrect Priests. Those are still pretty tricky.