Face warrior has existed in some form or another for as long as Hearthstone has been around, though generally relegated to the lower tiers because of a lack of consistency compared to other aggro decks. This is partly due to a reliance on weapons for a large portion of the deck's damage, but some of the deck's inconsistency can be traced back to the class's hero power (Armor Up!) which is quite possibly the worst hero power available for an aggressive deck. Still, on a good draw, few decks can match the raw damage output of face warrior, making it an ideal deck for those who want to race the opponent down.
2x Leper Gnome
1x Sir Finley Mrrgglton
2x Fiery War Axe
2x Heroic Strike
2x Death's Bite
1-2x Kor'kron Elite
1-2x Mortal Strike
1-2x Arcanite Reaper
These aggressive damage cards and weapons form the basis of face warrior. From here, you can pick a package of early game minions. Popular choices are pirates and mechs.
2x Southsea Deckhand
2x Bloodsail Raider
1x Ironbeak Owl
2x Loot Hoarder
2x Dread Corsair
1-2x Arcane Golem
1-2x Wolfrider or Argent Horserider
Playstyle, Tips and NotesFace warriors are, at their core, very aggressive. They try to burn down the opponent as fast as possible, hopefully killing them before they can stabilize with taunts and healing. In general, the deck ignores card value in favor of maximizing damage per card. Even against other aggressive decks, aggro warrior tends to be the aggressor, almost never directly trading minions, and only rarely using weapons charges to kill opposing minions. As a rule, you should only use weapon charges to kill minions if it allows minions on your board to deal more damage over the next turns, or if an opposing aggressive minion is likely to do a good deal of damage to you if left unopposed.
The general order of play is to develop minions before weapons, and weapons before direct damage spells. The exceptions to this rule are when you can get a significant advantage from weapon synergy (as with Bloodsail Raider), or when your hand has more than more than 2 weapons that can be played on subsequent turns. In these situations, it's often advantageous to prioritize playing weapons, so as not to waste their impressive damage-to-mana ratios.
The default warrior hero power is largely useless in this deck, so you should avoid using it when possible. Sir Finley Mrrgglton will sometimes allow you to Discover another hero power. If given the choice, Steady Shot is usually the best option, with Life Tap a close second. Shapeshift and Fire Blast can also be situationally useful. Dagger Mastery is generally a poor choice because it is useless with another weapon equipped. The remaining hero powers are fairly weak, because they require a certain amount of board presence that face warrior is unlikely to have.
Face warrior decks are notoriously draw dependent. On a good hand, a face warrior can win a race against pretty much any deck in the meta, and burn down most control decks long before they can stabilize. On a bad hand, aggro warriors can either run out of steam before dealing enough damage or find their early game bogged down with a large number of expensive spells that would be better saved as finishers. A good opening hand will generally contain early minions (including a 1-drop), and either Fiery War Axe or Death's Bite, with later draws including direct damage for finishing the opponent through a taunt. A poor opening hand might lack early game, or it may simply lack good weapons. Very rarely you will get a poor hand that has so many weapons that it's impossible to use them all over the course of the game.
The mech variant tends to play more like a traditional tempo deck. Early game should include cards like Mechwarper, which can quickly run away with games if not put in check. Fel Reaver is very powerful when dropped immediately on turn 5, and the downside is negligible because games rarely last more than 3 turns after Fel Reaver is played.
MulligansBecause face warrior is so aggressive, mulligans are generally similar across all matchups. The ultimate goal is to have a powerful 1-2-3 opener.
For the pirate variant, you will generally want to mulligan for 1-drops and Fiery War Axe. The deck's reliance on early weapons means you should also keep Death's Bite when on the coin, as the card can be played on turn 3. Dread Corsair is worth keeping if you already have a weapon for the sheer tempo advantage you can get from it. Against mage, specifically, 1 health 1-drops are generally less valuable in the opening hand, and only Leper Gnome and Sir Finley Mrrgglton are really good turn 1 plays. Against Hunter and Paladin, Upgrade! can be worth keeping, in the absence of a better 1-drop, to kill off opposing 1-health minions and deal efficiently with divine shields.
For the mech variant, Fiery War Axe is still worth keeping, but it now much more important to search for Mechwarper to get a very strong mech opening. 1-drops are still desirable, though Clockwork Gnome may not be worth keeping without a Mechwarper in hand.
CombosWeapon + Upgrade! - A huge amount of damage for a low cost, and it can give your weapon the extra oomph needed to overcome taunts.
Death's Bite + Dread Corsair - A very strong tempo play, especially when coupled with The Coin. Remember that Dread Corsair's main job is to protect your minions so they can deal damage, so don't play him just to protect your own health!
Death's Bite + Leeroy Jenkins - The whirlwind effect allows your to play out Leeroy on curve, and immediately deal with the whelps. The opponent then has to dedicate resources to killing Leeroy before he hits them for another 6 damage!
Face warrior matches up well against other aggressive decks, because few decks can keep up with its raw damage output. The key exception to this rule is Aggro Druid, which can either drop a Fel Reaver early enough to win the game, or can get enough board presence for an early combo win. Against aggressive decks, it is often a good idea to remove early minions with Fiery War Axe charges. Good targets include Mana Wyrm, Knife Juggler, and Tunnel Trogg. Otherwise, just put your faith in face warrior's sustained damage output, and try to race the opponent down as fast as possible.
Against non-aggressive decks, like midrange and control, the general goal is to play on curve and do as much damage as possible. You will rarely want to trade, and instead just keep pushing damage to the face.
Priest - Dragon priest is a very difficult matchup, but it can be overcome with some luck. Upgrade! is especially useful, as it allows your Fiery War Axe to overcome their Wyrmrest Agent, and Arcanite Reaper to kill Twilight Guardian. You generally want to reserve any silences for dealing with Sludge Belcher, as silencing the earlier game taunts still leaves them to clear minions off of your board. Against priest in general, it is often a good idea to leave any Auchenai Soulpriest alive, as it prevents the priest from healing through your damage to prevent lethal.
Warlock - Handlock is not an impossible matchup, but it requires a very specific strategy. More than any other deck, it is a good idea to hold on to direct damage spells for as long as possible. Near the end of the match, the handlock will taunt up their very large minions, walling off your damage. At this point, you will want to have enough direct damage left in hand to deal the killing blow.
Warrior - Control warrior is nearly impossible, because of the enormous amount of healing the deck can bring. This is a matchup where you really can't afford to play around anything. Force the opponent to have the answers for your aggression, and sometimes (very rarely) you will come out victorious. If playing in a tournament setting where bans are allowed, consider banning any warriors just to avoid this very bad matchup!
Mage - Freeze mage is another class that warrants special attention. As the game approaches turn 9, it is a good idea to stack some armor with your hero power and Bash. This will allow you to have additional life if the opponent plays Alexstrasza. Finishing the game can be very difficult in this matchup, because the opponent can freeze your face with Frostbolt, preventing you from using your weapons. Holding onto direct damage can help to overcome this. Ultimately, this matchup will generally come down to both players carefully counting out their damage in the final rounds.
With the release of the League of Explorers, Reno Jackson decks have become a major feature of the meta. The only recommendation I can give if you believe that you are facing such a deck, just hope the opponent doesn't have Reno. Face warrior lacks the repetitive damage to win through the amount of healing that card can bring, and burst is also somewhat limited by what cards you have on hand.