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Crystalweaver Zoo Warlock Gadgetzan Standard Deck

Last updated on Mar 06, 2017 at 23:08 by L0rinda 20 comments

Table of Contents

This build of Zoo is a little heavier than usual, and contains four 4-drops. The addition of Crystalweaver provides both a powerful buff, and a strong board presence. This allows for the user to worry a little less about setting up powerful discards for value, and instead concentrate on fending off aggressive starts from the opponent. A more traditional version of Discard Zoo is provided at the end of the guide.

1. About the Author

L0rinda has extensive experience with Hearthstone. After starting out with Arena and becoming one of the most prominent streamers in that format, he moved over to Constructed and now primarily spends his time as a caster for Blizzard, Starladder, and Dreamhack.

2. Crystalweaver Zoo Warlock Gadgetzan Standard Deck

Our deck costs 1,300 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Warlock Cards Neutral Cards

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2.1. Mana Curve


3. Aim of the Deck

Zoo is often mistakenly considered to be an aggressive deck. In reality the deck uses its efficient minions, and cheap buffs to those minions, to control the board. After control has been gained, the minions turn their attention to the opponent's Health total, and deliver a rapid ending. Pressure is maintained through Life Tap, while value is gained through the discard synergy of Silverware Golem and Malchezaar's Imp.

4. Mulligan

The deck requires its minions to be on the board to function effectively, and so you will be always looking to find a strong opening curve. You will always want a 1-drop, but the most powerful cards in this deck are the 3-drops of Imp Gang Boss and Darkshire Councilman. The 2-drops in the deck are actually quite weak, and so when you have The Coin you will often throw away a 2-drop, unless it has good synergy with the rest of your hand. Without The Coin, you will usually keep a hand with a 1-drop and a 2-drop and hope to develop from there.

5. Main Concepts

Even having a weak minion on the board in this deck is often the difference between winning and losing, as it can often trade up thanks to the deck's many buffs. There is very little direct removal in the deck, and so your minions become your removal. Your default play will be to trade into your opponent's minions, although you should always be on the lookout for situations where you can start doing lots of damage to face and hide your army behind your Taunts.

The discard synergies are very strong, but they can also be misleading. Malchezaar's Imp is useful on the first turn for its 1/3 stats, especially against aggro, or in hands where you have Dire Wolf Alpha. This is a little different to previous versions of Discard Zoo where you would often be try to hold onto the card for additional value later. The reasons for this are twofold. Firstly, the rise of Pirates has increased the need for early Health on the board, and secondly, this deck is heavier than traditional Zoo decks. Four 4-drops means that there is not always the time to play cards that were previously held back.

Likewise, if your opponent plays an early Frothing Berserker or Totem Golem, it is usually correct to use the Soulfire to remove those powerful minions to protect your board. If something big in your hand gets discarded, it is not usually as game-breaking as if you get overrun on the board. You can, after all, use Life Tap to get more cards.

Sometimes you will be presented with a choice on turn 2 between playing a 1-drop minion, or using your Life Tap ability. In this situation, it is usually correct to play the minion. An exception to this might be if your hand is so terrible that you feel the need to draw a card to prevent the next turn also being bad.

5.1. Positioning

One of the aspects of the game that separates the great Zoo players from the good ones is their ability to position their minions for maximum effectiveness. There are many parts to this, but the two main ones revolve around Dire Wolf Alpha and Defender of Argus.

When positioning for Dire Wolf Alpha, you would ideally like your most expendable minions in the middle, and the bigger ones on the outside. This allows you to place the Wolf in the middle and trade off a buffed minion, which means the next minion along then receives a buff as well. If done effectively, you can add several points of attack to your board using this method. A follow-on from this is that you should usually consider placing your Imp Gang Boss somewhere to the left of center. The Imps that spawn from from it appear on the right hand side, and so by placing it on the left hand side, the Imps will be nearer the center of the board when they appear.

Positioning for Defender of Argus depends on the game state and how you intend to use your taunts. If you want maximum defense against an aggressive deck, then you will usually want to have your high health minions together. Sometimes you will want to buff your smaller minions in order to protect the minions behind, again you should position accordingly.

Remember, it is important to weigh up the above factors even when you do not have Dire Wolf Alpha or Defender of Argus in hand. Many games with Zoo have been lost by not being able to take advantage of a timely top-deck because of incorrect positioning.

6. Individual Cards

6.1. Crystalweaver

Crystalweaver is a very aggressively budgeted card, and as such is not a total disaster if it gets no additional value at all. Clearly, you should be aware which cards in your decks are Demons, and always be aware that the Imps generated from Imp Gang Boss are also Demons. It is a common play to play Imp Gang Boss on turn 3, and then buff it, along with any Imps it may have created, on the following turn.

6.2. Darkshire Librarian

Darkshire Librarian is needed for on-curve stats in the deck. If you have to play it on turn 2 rather than use Life Tap, then it is usually correct to do so.

6.3. Doomguard

A common theme throughout this guide is that you should not be scared to discard cards when necessary. Doomguard is the ultimate example of this. Trying to keep Doomguard back until you have negated the downside will often result in keeping a 5/7 Charge minion in your hand much longer than is needed. Getting it down on turn 5 or 6 frees up your ability to Life Tap and refill your hand, while simultaneously presenting a huge problem for your opponent.

6.4. Silverware Golem

It is usually a mistake to try too hard to manipulate your hand so that a Silverware Golem is guaranteed to be discarded. Likewise, it is worth being aware of the huge value contained in 50% chances. It is surprising how often the upside of taking such a chance far outweighs the downside. Also, never forget the minion can be played as a 3-drop. It is usually a last resort to do so, but a 3/3 body on the board is definitely better than just a Life Tap in a lot of situations.

7. Variations

The deck, as presented, is heavier than usual for a Zoo deck. The presence of four 4-drops will be uncomfortable for some people. The deck can be changed significantly by removing Demonfire and two of the 4-drops, and replacing them with two Abusive Sergeant and a second Darkshire Librarian. The statement about which 4-drops to remove is deliberately vague as it is very much a matter of personal taste, and the reasons that you wanted a variation.

Should you make the above changes, then you will need to play the deck a little differently. Your Malchezaar's Imp becomes more important to gain value from, and you will also aim to get a free Silverware Golem more often. This is because you no longer have so much natural value in your deck, and so you have to use the available synergies to compensate.

8. ChangeLog

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  • 06 Mar. 2017: Deck added. Zoo deck with Crystalweaver. Legend quality deck.
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