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Legendary Malygos Dragon Warlock Wild Deck

Last updated on Mar 16, 2016 at 14:28 by Sottle 8 comments

Table of Contents

The following guide contains instruction on how to play Malygos Warlock, a combo based Warlock deck that combines elements from many popular Warlock archetypes and adds in some Dragon synergy introduced in Blackrock Mountain. It is quite a complex deck to play, but offers great rewards to players who invest the time to master it.

This League of Explorers version of the deck adds Brann Bronzebeard to the deck to increase the power of cards like Twilight Guardian, Antique Healbot, and Blackwing Corruptor.

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. Legendary Malygos Dragon Warlock Wild Deck

Our deck costs 4,020 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Warlock Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

Malygos Warlock is a combo deck that is based around the shell of the popular Handlock archetype. It aims to stall and control the game through the early game while gathering combo pieces, and then unleash discounted combos in the late-game using the effect of Emperor Thaurissan.

Your early-game turns will be quite passive, very similar to Handlock. You will either use Life Tap for the first few turns to gather important resources in your hand. Or, if faced with particularly aggressive decks, use answers like Mortal Coil and Darkbomb to halt your opponent's aggression. Soulfire should only be used as a removal spell in these turns in dire emergencies, as the combination of discarding an important card, and using up one of your main win conditions with Malygos is a serious disadvantage to the deck.

Imp Gang Boss is preferred in this deck to the Blackwing Technician that may seem appropriate, since Imp Gang Boss already represents 3/5 worth of stats, without the condition of needing a Dragon in your hand to activate it. This sort of unconditional, proactive play in the deck is important, since although this a Combo focused deck, you will find yourself able to win many matchups purely through the quality of your minions.

Unlike Handlock decks, which usually feature Mountain Giant, this deck does not feature any mechanics that limit your play based on the size of your hand, because of this, you are more able to play out a curve of minions if you have one available. It is however important to continue to Life Tap as often as you can in order to continue to draw towards pieces of your burst combo, as well as Emperor Thaurissan.

The Grand Tournament version of this deck introduces a lot more stability in the 4 Mana slot, with Twilight Guardians being added to make sure you consistently hit a powerful card on your turn 4. These extra large taunt minions also introduce an additional answer to early aggression from your opponent.

During the mid-game, your strong mid-range removal cards will come into effect. Imp-losion and Blackwing Corruptor are both strong Tempo removal options that Control Warlock decks have previously not had access to. Previously, Handlocks and other similar decks have had to rely on more passive removal like Shadowflame and Siphon Soul in order to fight for the board. Now, with more aggressive removal spells at your disposal, you should be aiming to play a more aggressive Tempo game, trying to fight to be ahead on the board instead of playing from behind. This is important since without the classic Molten Giants in your deck, you do not have the huge swing turns available to you in the late-game, making it especially important that you stabilise throughout the game. It is worth noting though, that sometimes your opponent may give you credit for having Molten Giants in your deck if you have not yet played any cards that identify you as a Dragon Warlock. While these situations are rare, you should keep track of whether you have played any Dragon cards, and take advantage of your opponent's fear if you feel they may have it.

One key aspect of this deck that can be counter-intuitive at first, is the idea of holding back on an on curve play, if it is a Dragon that you need for activation later. For example, it is usually incorrect to play out an Azure Drake if it is the only Dragon in your hand and you are holding one or more Blackwing Corruptors. This aspect of the deck makes it even more important that you draw into Malygos, since holding Malygos will activate all your Dragon effects for you for the whole game, and allow you to play your other Dragons freely.

The addition of Brann Bronzebeard to the deck greatly increase the utility of many of your Battlecry cards. Antique Healbot can be used to heal for 16 damage, completely locking aggressive decks out of the game. Abusive Sergeant can be used to buff your own own by 4 damage, or allow you to target an opposing minion with as little as 3 attack with Big Game Hunter, Blackwing Corruptor can be used to deal 6 damage to a minion, and Twilight Drake can be played with huge amounts of health.

Once it becomes time to make a push for victory, a key decision is when to play Emperor Thaurissan. In most decks, simply playing Thaurissan onto the board as soon as you can is the strongest strategy, but in this deck, it is very important to hit key cards with the Mana discount. These cards include Malygos, Soulfire, Darkbomb and Antique Healbot. The former three cards make up the bulk of your primary win condition, namely burst combos directly to the opponent's Hero. For example, after only one turn of Emperor Thaurissan's effect, you are able to unleash Malygos, Darkbomb, Darkbomb, Soulfire, Soulfire, for a total of 34 damage. Although this dream scenario is highly unlikely, it goes some way to illustrate the potential burst in the deck. Since you are playing an aggressive Tempo style for the majority of the game, usually one or two spells will be enough to deal the remaining damage needed to your opponent.

Antique Healbot is also a key card to discount, and a key card in the deck in general. Since this deck is not capable of hiding behind huge taunts as often as Handlock is, you are reliant on life gain to stabilise the game in many scenarios. Since Antique Healbot is such a slow and clunky card, getting a discount on it can often be the difference between victory and defeat.

It is important, although this is a combo based deck, not to be overly greedy with your combo cards. Against other Aggro or Midrange decks that are trying to push back at you with aggression of their own, it is fine, and usually correct to use your Darkbombs and Soulfires to control the board. Usually, against these decks, you can simply dominate the late-game with your superior minions if you are able to halt their aggression. The key to this is recognising when you are the more aggressive of the two decks in a game. When this is the case, you should be more inclined to save up your spells for burst kills, while when it is not, you should feel free to use them to control the board.

Keep in mind also, that against some classes like Druid, it is often beneficial to simply drop Malygos as a minion if you have time to do so. Since some classes struggle with hard removal of big minions, you can often simply activate your burst combos over two turns, skipping the Emperor Thaurissan activation altogether, by playing Malygos on one turn, then following up with a full volley of spells the next.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Your various Spell Damage cards such as Azure Drake and Malygos can provide boosts to various cards like Mortal Coil, Darkbomb, Soulfire, Imp-losion, and Hellfire.

Brann Bronzebeard can be used to double the effects of various Battlecry minions in the deck.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

Your Mulligan strategy should be to look for cards such as Dark Peddler, Imp Gang Boss, and Twilight Drake. In slower matchups, and if the rest of your hand is strong, you can also consider keeping Malygos. Although keeping a 9-drop may seem like insanity at first, it will consistently activate every Dragon effect in your deck for the entire game, and guarantee you access to it when you need to activate the combo. Against aggressive decks, this keep can be suicide however, and should not be considered.

Against Aggro decks, you should favour more cards such as Mortal Coil and Darkbomb in your opening hand. Twilight Guardian is preferred as a 4-drop to Twilight Drake. As mentioned previously in the guide, against Aggro decks you must switch to playing a Control game, and simply use your cards to outlast your opponent and stabilise in the late-game with superior minions.

Against Control you should simply push hard for your 3 and 4-drop minions, as well as considering the Malygos keep discussed above. Contrary to many decks however, you should usually not keep Emperor Thaurissan, even with The Coin, since you are aiming to hit specific cards with the discount effect, not simply get it into play as early as possible.

3.3. Card Swaps

Chromaggus or Nefarian can be included in the deck as an additional late-game Dragon and activator for your Dragon synergy cards. This will skew your matchups towards beating Control, and away from dealing with Aggro, so adapt to your meta accordingly. One of your numerous removal spells is the best bet to make room for one of these inclusions.

Kezan Mystic can be included in place of Imp-losion if you are facing a secret heavy meta.

Rend Blackhand can be included in place of, or alongside Big Game Hunter to offer an alternate answer to various high value minions.

4. ChangeLog

  • 16 Mar. 2016: This deck has been reviewed and deemed appropriate for the Season 24 meta.
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