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Warlock Flood Zoo Wild Deck

Last updated on Mar 16, 2016 at 14:44 by Sottle 26 comments

Table of Contents

The following guide outlines how to play a Flood Zoo deck. Although initially overlooked as a poor card, experimentation with Reliquary Seeker by Tempo Storm's Reynad showed that its power was strong enough to bring back an old form of Zoo that aimed to flood the board even faster than a regular deck, taking advantage of their board state with Sea Giants. This style of deck was famously used to achieve Rank 1 Legend on all three servers by Xixo, and by adding Reliquary Seeker and Gormok the Impaler to the strategy its power seems to have only increased.

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. Warlock Flood Zoo Wild Deck

Our deck costs 5,100 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. As a general rule with this deck though, you are looking to trade and create an advantage over time.

Another key to playing this deck at a high level is minion positioning. When playing minions onto the board always consider cards like Defender of Argus which rely on minion positions to apply their unique effects. For example, if you intend to apply a Defender of Argus buff to a Nerubian Egg you will want to place the Egg in the middle of your board to maximise the options of which other minion to taunt.

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 Zombie Chow, Voidwalker, and Abusive Sergeant. Using combinations of high health minions 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.

Following this you will transition to the mid-game where you will look to drop difficult to remove minions such as Nerubian Egg, Haunted Creeper, and Imp Gang Boss to consolidate your board position and make it difficult for your opponent to answer your board with AoE spells such as Lightning Storm or Consecration. It is important during this period that you do not over commit to the board if you do not have any of the above Deathrattle minions in play. Try to be aware of what your opponent can do to clear the board, and hold back sufficient cards in your hand to follow up the next turn if the worst should happen.

This strategy of consolidating your board is even more important in this deck as you play an increased number of situational cards like Sea Giant, Reliquary Seeker, and Gormok the Impaler that rely on you having certain numbers of minions on board. Making sure you trade as efficiently as possible to remove your opponent's options will help you to maintain a large board size and increase your chances of activating these power cards. Extra tools in the deck like Echoing Ooze as well as Zoo staples like Imp-losion can help you to flood the board very quickly and reduce the chances that these power cards sit dead in your hand.

The buff cards in the deck such as Abusive Sergeant and Defender of Argus are vital in order to create favourable trades for your small minions. For example, an Abusive Sergeant buff placed on an Imp can trade into the first half of a Piloted Shredder, creating a huge Mana advantage. You should try to use these cards only in these particular situations and avoid using them simply to do damage to the opponent unless you are making a push for the win. Furthermore, these cards are essential for activating your Nerubian Eggs, although you should think about whether you prefer to keep your Egg inactive to prevent potential AoE from your opponent. Power Overwhelming falls into this group of cards as well, although it is tempting to hold this card as a finisher, it is best to use it as an additional buff card to make a favourable trade, especially if you are able to use it on a Deathrattle minion.

Imp-losion is included in the deck to make up for some of the power lost by the nerf to Soulfire. The power of Soulfire was that you could play multiple minions onto the board, and then Soulfire for 0 Mana and an empty hand. Imp-losion simulates this effect by dealing damage, and also putting multiple minions into play for you.

Finally in this deck you have your power cards, Loatheb and Dr. Boom. Historically, Zoo could not afford to play multiple high Mana cost minions because they would just end up being discarded by Soulfire and Doomguard. However, now that these cards have been cut from the deck, cards like Dr. Boom and Loatheb can be included more easily, increasing the overall power level of the deck.

3.1. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

General mulligan strategy involves pushing aggressively for a Zombie Chow 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, Secret Paladin, Tempo Mage, or other Zoos, your best opening is Voidwalker as it is a key card early against aggro. Its 1/3 body can trade very favourably into opposing Leper Gnomes or other small minions, especially when targetted with an Abusive Sergeant buff.

3.1.1. Card Swaps

A second Reliquary Seeker can be used in place of Knife Juggler.

Gormok the Impaler can be cut from the deck in favour of a Knife Juggler or Piloted Shredder if you do not have access to it.

Ironbeak Owl or Big Game Hunter can be cut from the deck if you are not finding good targets for them. Possible replacements are a second Zombie Chow, Knife Juggler, or Piloted Shredder.

4. ChangeLog

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