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Aggro Discard Zoo Warlock Standard Deck

Last updated on Sep 07, 2016 at 12:01 by Sottle 10 comments

Table of Contents

This build of Zoo takes advantage of the new Discard mechanics added in the One Night in Karazhan Adventure. It is perhaps a little less consistent overall than a regular Zoo deck, but offers the potential for huge blowouts if your cards line up correctly.

1. About the Author

This deck is presented to you by Sottle, a professional Hearthstone player who plays for compLexity Gaming. Sottle regularly streams on Twitch and explains all of his moves. Watching him is a good opportunity to see how this and other decks play out in practice, and how decisions are made in real time.

2. Aggro Discard Zoo Warlock Standard Deck

Our deck costs 1,400 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Warlock Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

The general strategy of Zoo is to aggressively build a board with small efficient minions and use your numerous buff cards to create favourable trades into higher cost minions. Combining this with the Warlock's Life Tap Hero Power, you can quickly overwhelm your opponent with card draw and create an imposing board state that they will not be able to answer.

A common mistake for newer players with this deck is to prioritise attacking the opponent’s life total directly. Instead you should focus on making favourable trades to maintain minions on the board and create more damage over time. Choosing the right moment to attack your opponent directly and push for the win is a skill you can develop over time, not just with this deck, but with Hearthstone in general. This deck allows you to be a lot more aggressive, a lot earlier in the game because you can often take an explosive turn caused by the Discard mechanics to be your trigger to push all-in against your opponent since you can quickly overwhelm them with the right synergies.

Unlike most Zoo decks, this particular build is not too heavy on minions with positional concerns. The only minion that demands you pay attention to positioning in this build is Defender of Argus so keep that card in mind at all times when placing your minions. For example, say you are playing a Zoo Mirror match and you expect your opponent to play Imp Gang Boss on the next turn, It is likely then that you will want to buff your Tiny Knight of Evil to a 4/3 in order to trade into the Imp Gang Boss effectively, therefore make sure that you place the other best Argus target next to the Tiny Knight in order to maximise your efficiency. Always consider your opponents next likely play when you are considering when you will use your buffs.

The early game is extremely important with this deck, so in the early turns you want to quickly establish a board advantage. The key cards to facilitate this are Flame Imp, Possessed Villager, Malchezaar's Imp, and Abusive Sergeant. Using combinations of high health minions or Deathrattles alongside the buff from Abusive Sergeant you can begin to remove your opponent's early minions whilst keeping your own alive, creating a board advantage that you can compound on in the later turns.

Dark Peddler is a card that introduces a ton of flexibility to your early-game turns. If you have a Peddler in hand, you have the option of using it directly on turn 2, or playing an alternate 2-drop on turn 2, and following up with the Peddler on turn 3, safe in the knowledge that you will get a 1 Mana card to fill out your curve. This level of flexibility brings a lot of security to your mulligan process. As long as you have a Peddler in your opening hand, you are almost guaranteed to get a smooth opening. The power of Dark Peddler in the deck is amplified even further by the fact that so many of the Warlock 1 Mana cards are valuable for this deck. Power Overwhelming, Soulfire, Mortal Coil, Voidwalker, Malchezaar's Imp, and Flame Imp are all valuable.

The unique twist on this particular Zoo deck is that it plays almost the maximum amount of Discard effect cards in the deck. This, in combination with Fist of Jaraxxus, Silverware Golem, and Malchezaar's Imp can create some outrageously powerful turns. At the extreme end of the scale is playing a Doomguard and discarding 2 Silverware Golems while you have a Malchezaars Imp in play. Essentially this gets you 2 3/3s, a 5/7 and draws 2 cards for 5 Mana. Although this is a dream scenario and will happen extremely rarely, even smaller effects with individual combinations of these cards are immensely powerful and can be game winning.

Always pay close attention to your hand when you have a Discard card like Soulfire and a Discard trigger card like Silverware Golem in your hand. Although the temptation may be there to just try and get lucky with the discarded card, since your hand is always so cheap, you can usually engineer a situation where you play out all your Standard cards first and leave yourself with a guaranteed power turn with a Discard, or at worst, a 50/50. Malchezaar's Imp also falls into this category of consideration, unless you are playing it on turn 1, you should often hold onto it until you get immediate value since it is such a powerful engine for digging through your deck to find power cards like Doomguard. This is also true in the late-game where Malchezaar's Imp can be used to cycle useless late-game cards like Flame Imp by discarding them and looking for something more powerful.

The minions in this deck are less resilient that a regular Zoo deck, but much more aggressive, which lends the deck to trying to push for damage as quickly as it can and ending games early. Having said that however, if you start to get a strong engine going with your Discard mechanics and Malchezaar's Imp, you can still compete with Control decks in the late-game.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

The core synergies of this deck all revolve around the cards that discard cards from your hand, and the cards that gain benefits from being discarded. Evaluating and playing out your hand in the way that makes these effects line up most often is key to success with the deck.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

General mulligan strategy involves pushing aggressively for a Flame Imp and other 1-drops. With The Coin, a hand of multiple 2-drops is excellent, as you can use The Coin to play a 2-drop on each of the first two turns. Without the coin a more standard curve of creatures costing 1-3 Mana is preferable. Dark Peddler is another excellent card to look for in your opening hand as it creates a huge amount of flexibility with how you can choose to play your opening turns.

Against other aggressive decks that look to have a fast start such as Hunter, Shaman, or other Zoos, your best opening is Malchezaar's Imp or Possessed Villager, as they are both key cards early against aggro. These minions can trade very favourably into opposing small minions, especially when targetted with an Abusive Sergeant buff.

3.3. Card Swaps

Fist of Jaraxxus can be replaced with Succubus which can create some incredible openings if you draw the right hand.

Possessed Villager can be replaced with Argent Squire.

4. ChangeLog

  • 03 Sep. 2016: Deck added.
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