Keith Barker claimed 4-41 to help Warwickshire dismiss Durham for 267 on day one at Emirates Durham ICG.
The Bears, looking do the double over their opponents in this season's LV= County Championship following a 318-run triumph in the first meeting, reached 31-1 by the close in reply.
Left-armer Barker struck with the second ball of the Division One contest, an edge from Mark Stoneman providing a comfortable catch behind the stumps for wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose.
The same bowler also dismissed Durham's other opener, Keaton Jennings, shortly after lunch when the former South Africa Under-19 captain was caught in the deep for 33.
Scott Borthwick (36) and Will Smith, who made 45, also perished when well set, while the quick departures of Paul Collingwood and Phil Mustard left the hosts struggling at 170-6.
Ben Stokes was the only Durham batsman to reach a half-century in the innings before perishing for 61, playing on to Jeetan Patel to become one of the off-spinner's three victims.
Rikki Clarke also took a trio of wickets before Barker came back to put paid to some lower-order resistance by removing Mark Wood and Chris Rushworth with successive deliveries.
Wood had put on 43 for the ninth wicket with Graham Onions, who followed up his unbeaten 22 with the bat by claiming a late wicket before stumps.
Ian Westwood fell for five in the final over when he miscued a pull to mid-on. Varun Chopra did survive, though, and will resume on Thursday on 24.