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Basic Warlock Deck

Last updated on Jun 18, 2016 at 20:28 by Sottle 23 comments

Table of Contents

This Warlock deck:

  • is meant for players who are new to Hearthstone, and/or who have not invested much (or any) real money into the game;
  • is comprised only of cards that are granted to you for free as a reward for completing the tutorial and leveling a Warlock to level 10;
  • does not include any Common, Rare, Epic, or Legendary cards.

While there are obvious weaknesses due to the Basic-only limitation, this deck is balanced, and quite strong. It should allow you to defeat the AI (in both Normal and Expert modes), and it can hold its own against players using Rare, Epic, and even Legendary cards in Play mode.

In addition to listing the deck, we will also explain why some cards have been included or excluded, how some of the minions in the deck are best played, and what changes you can make to the deck.

Note that to succeed with this deck (as with all decks), you need to make the correct decisions while playing. For this reason, we advise you to also read these two articles: Card Advantage and Why Am I Losing?.

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. Basic Warlock Deck

Our deck costs 0 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Warlock Cards Neutral Cards

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2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

The Warlock class suffers from having some of the weakest Basic class cards in the game. Despite this, it is still a reasonable choice for a Basic deck due to one thing; the Life Tap Hero Power. Card advantage is hugely important in Hearthstone and the Warlock Hero Power enables you to maintain a healthy hand size at all times.

The general strategy of this deck is to gain an advantage in the early turns through efficient minion trading, and then later to consolidate this advantage by playing a big Frostwolf Warlord or buffing your entire board with a Stormwind Champion. Because of this it is important to look for situations where you can remove your opponent's minions whilst keeping your own alive. For example, hitting a Bloodfen Raptor with your Gnomish Inventor will keep your Gnomish alive at 1 health, both allowing that creature to trade for further minions and increasing the potency of your later cards.

3.1. Card Choices

In this section we will discuss some of the cards that have been chosen, how to use them effectively, and why they are chosen over other possibilities. Hopefully this will both help you to succeed with this deck, as well as inform your own deck building decisions in the future.

Soulfire is one of the few powerful Warlock cards available from the start. At 1 Mana it can often create a huge tempo swing by removing a creature your opponent spent 3 or 4 Mana to play and leaving you with most of your own Mana to follow up that same turn. Try to make this the last thing you play on your turn, otherwise you risk discarding the other cards you intended to use.

Murloc Tidehunter and Razorfen Hunter are featured in this deck for their 2-in-1 minion ability. This synergises well with the later Frostwolf Warlord and Stormwind Champion. Although you should play these cards on turn 2 or 3 if they are your only option, it is also worth considering saving them for Turn 7 or 8, when you can play them in conjunction with your Frostwolf Warlord to create an immediate buff.

River Crocolisk is favoured in this deck over Bloodfen Raptor due to the extra point of health. Usually a 3/2 is preferred on turn 2 as it is capable of trading up into most 3-drops that your opponent can play. However, with the inclusion of Shattered Sun Cleric and Mortal Coil in the deck you have ways to do 1 additional damage very favourably.

Hellfire is an important card in games where you fall behind, since it serves as a reset mechanism to clear the board and let the fight for control start from scratch again. It goes without saying, but avoid using this card when you already have a strong board presence of your own.

Dread Infernal is another powerful Warlock card. The 1 damage Battlecry can be extremely useful to create some favourable trades. However, you do have some 1 health creatures of your own in the deck, so try to trade these into your opponent's minions first before dropping the Infernal.

Frostwolf Warlord and Stormwind Champion are your finishers. Getting one of these creatures down on a board that already features 2 or more other minions will create big problems for your opponent. Try to avoid playing them in situations where this is not the case, although if pressed, playing the Frostwolf Warlord as a 5/5 is fine.

3.2. Card Omissions

Here we will talk about some of the cards that are not included to help you understand and identify weaker cards, hopefully improving your deck building skills.

Voidwalker is a fine card, but simply not right for this deck. Without access to the Expert Set buff cards such as Abusive Sergeant and Dire Wolf Alpha, Voidwalker simply does not have the power to be a relevant threat on the board. Imagine the situation where you play Voidwalker on turn 1 and your opponent answers with a 3/2 on their turn 2. Your Voidwalker dies for free whilst the opponent's minion survives, giving your opponent easy card and board advantage.

Corruption is a card that on the surface appears strong, 1 Mana to kill any minion seems to be a great deal. However the huge problem is the delayed effect, which means that your opponent has the opportunity to trade the Corrupted minion off into one of your creatures, essentially making you waste a card to achieve nothing. As mentioned before, card advantage is hugely important, so you want to avoid "2-for-1" situations where your opponent's minion takes 2 cards with it before it dies.

Succubus is another card that can be deceiving. It seems that 4 attack on turn 2 is a very strong play. However, with only 3 health the Succubus will simply trade with a 3/2, the most common type of 2-drop in the game. This means you have discarded a card for no benefit.

3.3. Card Swaps

Obviously, as a Basic deck, this list has a lot of room for improvement. As you progress with the game and gain access to more cards and Arcane Dust, here are some additions that you may consider.

If you have access to the Naxxramas set and are playing Wild format, the following additions are excellent:

  • 2x Haunted Creeper for 2x Murloc Tidehunter. The Haunted Creeper is much more difficult to remove than the Tidehunter and is an upgrade in almost every situation.
  • 2x Sludge Belcher for 2x Sen'jin Shieldmasta. Since this deck features a lot of 4-drops. Upgrading the Sen'jins to Belchers and populating the poor 5 Mana slot is an excellent idea.
  • 1x Zombie Chow for 1x Razorfen Hunter. Adding a Zombie Chow helps to maintain the board advantage in the early game, while removing a Razorfen Hunter helps to avoid potential problems with Dread Infernal killing your own 1-health minions.

If you have access to the Blackrock Mountain set, we recommend the following additions:

  • 2 x Imp Gang Boss can be added in place of 2 x Razorfen Hunter. The upgrade here should be clear to see, Imp Gang Boss offers an extra point of health over the main body of Razorfen Hunter, and is almost always guaranteed to spawn at least 1 additional 1/1 minion.
  • 2 x Drakonid Crusher can be included in place of the 2 x Boulderfist Ogre. Since the focus of this deck is quite aggressive, but lacks finishers without cards like Doomguard from the Expert set, Drakonid Crusher can often function as the finisher you need.

The League of Explorers set offers the following cards for your deck which are excellent:

  • 2 x Dark Peddler for 2 x Murloc Tidehunter. Dark Peddler is one of the strongest cards in the LoE expansion and allows you to fill out an early-game curve very consistently almost entirely on its own.

Other welcome Common additions from the Expert Set are listed below. However it should be noted that these cards should be added only if you open them from a pack. Spending dust to improve a Basic only deck is not particularly efficient, and you should instead try to save dust towards one of our low, or mid-budget decks.

  • 2x Amani Berserker for 2x River Crocolisk. An excellent improvement, Amani is an upgrade over Crocolisk in every way for a Warlock.
  • 2x Harvest Golem for 2x Razorfen Hunter. Harvest Golem is the king of efficiency on Turn 3, often creating a 2-for-1 situation in your favour.
  • 1x Silver Hand Knight for 1x Gnomish Inventor. As mentioned previously, the deck is heavy on 4-drops. Replacing one with a 5-drop will create a smoother curve, while Silver Hand Knight plays nicely into the board presence strategy. Removing the card draw of Gnomish could be detrimental, but you can always refill your hand with Life Tap when necessary.

4. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 18 Jun. 2016: Edited for clarity on card swaps for Standard and Wild.
  • 29 Jun. 2015: Added options for Blackrock Mountain cards to be added to the deck.
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