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Sintolol's World Championship Control Warlock Deck

Last updated on Feb 09, 2018 at 14:53 by L0rinda 32 comments

Table of Contents

Sintolol played this version of Control Warlock at the 2017 World Championships. After the nerfs to several powerful cards in other decks in February 2018, this deck remained unchanged, and as such became stronger relative to the field. The deck combines early removal to combat Aggro decks, with plenty of value in the form of Rin, the First Disciple, Bloodreaver Gul'dan, and N'Zoth, the Corruptor, with which to gain an advantage over Control decks.

1. Card List

This deck costs 10,280 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Warlock Cards Neutral Cards

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2. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

Control Warlock aims to survive the first few turns, and then out-values its opponent with several strong late-game cards. The early survival is facilitated by cards such as Defile, Hellfire, and Stonehill Defender. The later value is generated by Rin, the First Disciple, N'Zoth, the Corruptor, and Bloodreaver Gul'dan.

3.1. Mulligan

The mulligan with this deck is complicated, and you should hone your skills with it over time, and with experience. The following should be regarded as general rules from which to start your evaluation, but you should remain very open-minded.

Against most decks, you will be looking to keep your early removal and defensive cards. Defile is the most versatile of these, and against an unknown opponent you will nearly always keep it. Hellfire is also very good against Aggro decks, as it will clear the board around the time that you start to play Possessed Lackey. Mistress of Mixtures and Kobold Librarian are good at occupying the board early, and can often be kept in your opening hand.

Against very slow decks, it can be correct to keep Bloodreaver Gul'dan. In the mirror match, you should keep this card, as the first person to cast it has a very big advantage. Beware though, you can only consider keeping Gul'dan if you are sure that your opponent will not be able to do significant damage to you in the early turns.

3.2. Early Game

In the first few turns, you should be looking to minimise the damage taken from your opponent. However, do not fall into the trap of thinking that this means you should avoid all damage entirely. For instance, although it damages you, Kobold Librarian can potentially kill an opposing 3/2 minion and actually net a gain of 1 Health.

It is also important to not be scared to use Life Tap in these turns. Your deck revolves around being consistent in the mid-game, and Life Tap is a big part of that.

You should also try to manage your tools for healing as efficiently as possible. Mistress of Mixtures is often good for challenging the board on Turn 1, but be aware that if it dies before you have lost any Health (which means you have not used Life Tap yet), then it is not always doing its job correctly. If the card saves you taking damage from an opposing board, you should factor that in accordingly. In an ideal world, you will be able to trade the Mistress 1 for 1 after you have managed to use Life Tap, and use the Deathrattle to heal yourself back up.

3.3. Mid Game

The mid-game is defined by Possessed Lackey fetching Voidlord whenever possible, but if you do not manage to do this, do not think that the game is lost. If you have both Voidlords in hand, or do not have a Lackey, then you should concentrate on dragging the game to Turn 9. This deck can come back from extremely low Health totals and still win, and to get the most from it, you will need to sometimes win games like these.

If you do have Possessed Lackey, then you will have to decide whether it is safe to put it on the board without having Dark Pact in hand, or whether there is a realistic chance that it will be Silenced. If you are worried about the threat of not being able to trade in the Lackey next turn, you can wait until you can play it and sacrifice it all at once. Be aware that although this is often tempting, delaying too long can cost you the game, and so learning when to take the risk of simply playing the Lackey onto the board is essential to boost your win rate.

3.4. Late Game

The late-game begins as soon as you have a Voidlord in play. After this occurs, you will be looking to stop Aggro decks from ever hitting you again. Bloodreaver Gul'dan and N'Zoth, the Corruptor should enable this to happen.

Against Control decks, the strategy can sometimes be a little weird. As you have very few aggressive options, you will have to work out if the game is likely to go to fatigue. If it is, then you should often stop using Life Tap, and concentrate on using each of your cards as efficiently as possible. One example of this would be saving Hellfire in the mirror match until you can wipe out a whole battlefield of opposing 1/3s.

In Control matchups, you can use Rin, the First Disciple to put pressure on your opponent to draw cards. They will have the choice between losing to Azari, the Devourer eating their deck, or from fatigue as they draw too many cards. These matchups can become very drawn out, and it is important to be patient while playing them.

3.5. Individual Card Strategies

3.5.1. Kobold Librarian

It is often tempting, and correct, to challenge the early board with Kobold Librarian on Turn one. However, it is worth noting that as you move up the ranks, people will play around Defile by not having a 1-Health minion on their board. It can sometimes be correct to hold back the Librarian, and then play it on the same time as Defile, so as to clear an entire board of opposing threats.

3.5.2. Dirty Rat

Dirty Rat will often be used to try to catch a specific target. Against Control Mage decks for instance, you will be trying to hit their Dragoncaller Alanna. The opponent will usually save this card as long as possible, and so you should save your Rat until you think they are about to play it. This gives the maximum chance that it is in their hand when you play the Dirty Rat.

3.6. Card Substitution

Bloodmage Thalnos and a second Lesser Amethyst Spellstone are interchangeable. If you are facing a lot of burn-centric decks, then you should probably switch out the Thalnos for the Spellstone. Likewise, if you do not own Bloodmage Thalnos, you will do no harm at all making this swap.

4. 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.

5. ChangeLog

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  • 09 Feb. 2018: Deck Added. This deck was used by Sintolol at the 2017 World Championships and has been made stronger by the nerfs to other decks in Patch 10.2
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