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Zoo Warlock Archetype Guide

Last updated on Apr 20, 2018 at 15:04 by L0rinda 52 comments

Table of Contents

Zoo Warlock, (usually referred to simply as Zoo), has been around since 2014. Alongside Midrange Hunter, it is usually cited as one of the best decks for beginners to pick up. Learning to play Zoo will teach you to trade effectively, correctly position minions, draw cards at the correct time using Life Tap, and understand when to push for victory. The combination of understanding both value and tempo will stand any player in good stead for their Hearthstone future.

Although Zoo is often thought of as an aggressive deck, it prefers to spend time controlling the board before applying the aggression. It is important to understand this distinction, as blindly attacking your opponent is usually not making the most of the purpose of many of the cards in the deck.

Below, you will find link to our deck lists for Zoo Warlock, starting with our featured deck, which we consider the most common variant.

Glinda Zoo Deck is a balanced version of Zoo. It has the potential for strong starts with many early-game minions, as well as Prince Keleseth, but has plenty of mid-game sustain and buffs. It can also offer a reasonably early huge threat with the inclusion of Sea Giant.

✶ Featured Deck

Budget Zoo Warlock Deck

  • Guide written by L0rinda and last updated on Apr 20, 2018 (WW meta)
  • Costs 1.5k (4 basic, 18 common, and 8 rare)
  • Mana curve:
  • Card breakdown: 4 Spells • 26 Minions
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Budget decks are designed for players who are not able to make a big investment in building a new deck. Our Budget Zoo Warlock Deck has no cards more expensive than Rare. It is therefore an ideal deck for newer and improving players, and the guide is written with that in mind. This particular budget deck is one of the stronger ones, and is playable up to Rank 5 when you advance to a suitable skill level.

✶ Featured Deck

Howlfiend Discard Zoo Warlock Deck

  • Guide written by L0rinda and last updated on Feb 13, 2018 (K&C meta)
  • Costs 2.8k (4 basic, 17 common, 8 rare, and 1 legendary)
  • Mana curve:
  • Card breakdown: 4 Spells • 26 Minions
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As the name suggests, Howlfiend Discard Zoo Warlock Deck includes a decent amount of discard synergy. The deck utilises the high stats of the minions relative to their casting cost, and works hard to minimise the associated downsides of those cards. Glacial Shard and Bloodfury Potion ensure that the deck has enough tricks available to be able to outplay opponents.

✶ Featured Deck

Fungalmancer Zoo

  • Guide written by L0rinda and last updated on Feb 11, 2018 (K&C meta)
  • Costs 3.0k (5 basic, 16 common, 8 rare, and 1 legendary)
  • Mana curve:
  • Card breakdown: 7 Spells • 22 Minions
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Fungalmancer Zoo is a very aggressive version of Zoo. It has the potential for very explosive starts by taking advantage of early-game Demon synergy, but has plenty of mid-game sustain and can make a final push against Control decks through the use of Bloodreaver Gul'dan.

✶ Featured Deck

Fledgling Zoo Warlock Deck

  • Guide written by L0rinda and last updated on Nov 13, 2017 (KFT meta)
  • Costs 6.2k (4 basic, 13 common, 10 rare, and 3 legendaries)
  • Mana curve:
  • Card breakdown: 2 Spells • 27 Minions
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Fledgling Zoo Warlock Deck tries to overload the opponent with must-kill threats by adding Vicious Fledgling into the list. As the card can take over the game, it demands immediate attention.

✶ Featured Deck

Bloodfury Zoo Warlock Deck

  • Guide written by L0rinda and last updated on Nov 12, 2017 (KFT meta)
  • Costs 6.7k (6 basic, 12 common, 7 rare, 2 epic, and 3 legendaries)
  • Mana curve:
  • Card breakdown: 6 Spells • 23 Minions
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Bloodfury Zoo Warlock Deck uses more demon synergy than most other Zoo decks, and as such includes Bloodfury Potion and Crystalweaver. These buffs enable the deck to have some explosive starts, and dominate the early board.

✶ Featured Deck

Xixo Zoo Warlock Deck

  • Guide written by L0rinda and last updated on Aug 14, 2017 (KFT meta)
  • Costs 4.3k (4 basic, 17 common, 7 rare, and 2 legendaries)
  • Mana curve:
  • Card breakdown: 2 Spells • 28 Minions
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Xixo Zoo Warlock Deck is designed to get the most out of Prince Keleseth. As such, it contains no other 2-drops, which leads to the deck being a very aggressive build for a Zoo deck. As you would expect from Xixo, who has always liked Zoo as an archetype, it has a good balance of discard and buffs.

✶ Featured Deck

Kazakus Zoo Warlock Deck

  • Guide written by L0rinda and last updated on Aug 01, 2017 (Un'Goro meta)
  • Costs 6.5k (5 basic, 13 common, 8 rare, 1 epic, and 3 legendaries)
  • Mana curve:
  • Card breakdown: 3 Spells • 27 Minions
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Kazakus Zoo Warlock Deck is designed for players who enjoy theme decks. The deck revolves around the strength of Kazakus, and can get away with the required 1-of everything requirement due to the fact that many cards of the same cost have similar power levels. Although this is not the strongest of the Zoo decks, it is enjoyable to play, and individual games often play out very differently due to the way it is built.

✶ Featured Deck

Finja Murloc Discard Zoo Warlock Deck

  • Guide written by Pesty and last updated on Jul 31, 2017 (Un'Goro meta)
  • Costs 5.4k (6 basic, 10 common, 9 rare, 3 epic, and 2 legendaries)
  • Mana curve:
  • Card breakdown: 2 Spells • 28 Minions
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Finja Murloc Discard Zoo Warlock Deck takes a Discard Zoo shell and combines it with the power of Finja, the Flying Star. The addition of Finja weakens the early-game strength of the deck, but creates the potential for powerful mid-game turns that are capable of winning the game on their own.

✶ Featured Deck

Wild Leeroy Zoo Warlock Deck

  • Guide written by Pesty and last updated on Aug 10, 2017 (KFT meta)
  • Costs 5.4k (2 basic, 16 common, 8 rare, 2 epic, and 2 legendaries)
  • Mana curve:
  • Card breakdown: 5 Spells • 25 Minions
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Wild Leeroy Zoo Warlock Deck is a Zoo variant that focuses heavily on flooding the board. Powerful minions like Sea Giant and Gormok the Impaler are used to take advantage of the additional minions on board. This variant avoids all Discard mechanics and favours the use of Leeroy Jenkins are a finisher of the more traditional choice of Doomguard.

1. Aim of the Archetype

Zoo decks aim to occupy the board with very efficient early minions, and then keep control of the board by buffing those minions to make good trades. Over time, this can overwhelm an opponent. While the opponent is spending time and resources trying to remove the board, the Zoo player can use Life Tap to refill their hand, as well as continuing to apply pressure through ever larger minions.

In some variants, minion positioning is an important part of Zoo play. As your minions will often die in trades, in variations that include Dire Wolf Alpha, positioning them so that the wolf buffs the next one in line after the first one dies is an important consideration. This is complicated by cards like Argent Squire due to the Divine Shield protecting the minion. It is also important to think ahead and position cards in such a manner that Fungalmancer will buff the two that you want to buff.

2. Strengths and Weaknesses

Zoo is at its best against minion-based decks. It is usually able to put more minions onto the board than the opponent, and from there takes over the game with buffs. It also fares well in wars of attrition due to the Life Tap ability, although such matchups will often require very precise play and knowing exactly how much board presence you can get away with without overextending.

Many of the minions in Zoo have low health and are exposed to spells in general, particularly AoE spells. Decks which combine early removal spells and late-game big minions can be a real problem to deal with. Cubelock is an incredibly tough matchup as there is little way for the Zoo deck to make progress if it cannot attack with its minions.

3. Key Cards and Crafting

Prince Keleseth is essential in versions of the deck which include it.

Glinda Crowskin is not an essential card, but if there are cards such as Snowflipper Penguin alongside it, you should change these for stronger cards as the synergy is the main reason for including the penguins.

Bloodreaver Gul'dan is a regularly seen card in Zoo. However, you will not lose a huge amount if you replace it with an efficient mid-game minion. Your win rate against Control decks in particular will go down, but as Gul'dan often gets discarded anyway, it can be regarded as non-essential.

4. ChangeLog

  • 13 Apr. 2018: Updated for The Witchwood expansion.
  • 11 Feb. 2018: Page updated for Patch 10.2
  • 31 Jul. 2017: Added new guide format for the Zoo Warlock Archetype.
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