Zoo Warlock Deck List Guide (Rastakhan's Rumble March 2019)
At the beginning of the July 2018 ranked play season, a new-look Zoolock deck began to take over the ladder. Built around Lightwarden, the deck utilizes a number of aggressive minions with healing synergies to quickly build up threatening boards. Between Prince Keleseth, Fungalmancer, and early Lightwardens, this deck is capable of assembling large boards which are difficult to answer without board wipes. If your board ever does get cleared, there is always Life Tap to help you build up another!
1. Zoo Warlock Card List
This Zoo Warlock deck costs 4,800 and it is made up of the following cards.
|Warlock Cards||Neutral Cards|
2. Zoo Warlock Mana Curve
3. Aim of Zoo Warlock
If Zoo Warlock was to be rated on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the slowest deck in all of Hearthstone and 10 being the most aggressive deck possible, Zoo Warlock would earn a solid 9. Zoo Warlock looks to play aggressive minions to the board as quickly as possible by means of its healing synergies. Voodoo Doctor and Fungal Enchanter are used to power out Happy Ghouls and buff up Lightwardens in the early game, flooding the board with minions and demanding answers from the opponent. As with any aggro deck, the objective is to commit just enough resources to the board to pressure your opponent, but not so many that you overextend into a board wipe.
4. Zoo Warlock Mulligan
Prince Keleseth, Kobold Librarian, Flame Imp, and the first copies of Lightwarden, Voodoo Doctor, and Happy Ghoul are keeps in the vast majority of matchups. Kobold Librarian and Flame Imp are cost-effective minions which are strong on turn one but get weaker as the game goes on, Lightwarden, Voodoo Doctor, and Happy Ghoul are the main cards which enable our deck to "cheat" on Mana.
5. Zoo Warlock Strategy
5.1. Zoo Warlock Early Turns
There are two payoff cards for the healing theme within the deck, Lightwarden and Happy Ghoul. Without these cards, there is not much reason to play this deck over a more standard Zoo list. Consequently, your "Plan A" for the first four turns of the game is to get as much value from these cards as you can. Look for ways to get these minions down as early as possible before your opponent can clear them away with board wipes.
Your goal in the first four turns of the game is to deal as much damage as possible while simultaneously making it awkward for your opponent to clear your board. To accomplish this, it is necessary to understand which board wipes and early minions your opponent is capable of playing against you. Against decks and classes which lack board wipes (such as Rogue), your goal should be to flood the board with as many minions as possible to pressure their arsenal of removal spells. Against classes and decks which run board wipes, your goal is to apply pressure to them without over-committing to the board. An easy way to lose against control decks is to dump your hand into a turn 4 Hellfire or Duskbreaker!
There is no hard and fast rule for which 1 drop minion is the best to play first in every matchup, so you will need to learn how to adapt to new situations on the fly. As a rule of thumb, try to always play the minion which will enable you to control the board. Against some decks, a Kobold Librarian will do a better job of controlling the board than a Voidwalker will, making it the stronger turn one play. With all things being equal, Flame Imp is typically the best card to play on turn one (as it has the most stats of all the one drops), but it is weaker against Rogues due to the threat of Backstab and SI:7 Agent. Keep in mind that the fastest way to play a Happy Ghoul is to damage yourself with a 1 drop minion (Kobold Librarian or Flame Imp), then heal yourself with a Voodoo Doctor. Always look to set up this sequence when possible.
5.2. Zoo Warlock Midgame
Turn 5 is a key swing turn for Zoo Warlock. You will either be in a position where you have navigated the early game with a lead and a Fungalmancer will threaten to take over the game, or you will find yourself in a spot where you are playing from behind and must find a way to catch up on board. To catch up from behind, it will often be necessary to play multiple minions in a single turn, or to try and set up a lethal amount of burst damage with a Soulfire or Doomguard.
5.3. Zoo Warlock Later Turns
Zoo Warlock is simply not built to scale to the late game, as it does not run a single card which costs more than 5 Mana. If you got to this point of the game, tap aggressively and do anything you can to set up lethal damage with cards that are still lurking in your deck. There are very few decks in the game which do not have a more powerful late game plan than Zoo Warlock, and our best defense against these late game plans is a strong, early offense.
One way to play catch-up when you are behind on board is The Soularium, the Legendary Warlock Spell from The Boomsday Project. The Soularium gets stronger and stronger as the game goes on, as it will get easier and easier to play all 3 cards it draws when you have access to more Mana. For this reason, you need to be as patient as possible with The Soularium, waiting until you have no alternative plays before using it.
6. Zoo Warlock Single Card Strategies
For being the marquee card in the deck, there are not actually that many ways to power up a Lightwarden. You will not always be able to set up a huge Fungal Enchanter to make a 5+ Attack minion, and all you really need for Lightwarden to become an efficient threat is one healing trigger (at that point it becomes a Flame Imp which did not damage you). Try not to get too greedy with your Lightwardens, as they do not require many triggers to become a threat.
Fungalmancer is secretly one of the strongest cards in the deck. The instant stat boost it provides to the board allows you to push damage, make efficient trades, and play around board wipes. However, to get full value out of Fungalmancer, you will obviously need to have at least 2 minions on board. If you have a Fungalmancer in your hand, try to favor plays on turns 3 and 4 which will maximize your chances of being able to buff up 2 minions on turn 5.
Though you never want to keep Soulfire in your opening hand, it is one of the most important cards in the entire deck. It is one of the few tools this deck has to finish off opponents who are close to stabilizing against you, but it is also the only removal spell in the deck. When it comes to choosing whether you should play Soulfire on a minion or if you should save it to use on the opponent's face, try to calculate which play will net you more damage in the long run. Many Soulfires will generate more damage from your minion attacks if they are pointed at one of your opponent's threats. In board-oriented matchups, it is often correct to use a Soulfire in the early turns to assert control of the board.
7. Zoo Warlock Key Cards and Swaps
Prince Keleseth provides the deck with a substantial boost to its power level and is not a replaceable card.
Though The Soularium is the most powerful late game card in the deck, it is not necessary for the deck to function. You could replace it with another strong late game card, such as Leeroy Jenkins or Cobalt Scalebane.
7.2. Flex Slots
There are not as many flex slots in Zoo Warlock as you may think. Voidwalker and Lifedrinker are among the weakest cards in the deck, but are still generally considered to be stronger than a self-damage package with Crystallizer and Nethersoul Buster. Some players have opted to swap Lifedrinker for Shroom Brewer, as it provides a stronger body and gives you the option to heal one of your own minions. Some builds of the deck play Sea Giant over one of the Fungalmancers. If you are seeing many Voidlords and Sleepy Dragons on the ladder, you may want to find room for an additional Spellbreaker or The Black Knight somewhere in your list. Finally, Leeroy Jenkins is a common inclusions in this deck in place of a Doomguard.
8. Alternative Zoo Warlock Decks
This section of the guide contains some alternative Zoo Warlock variants that can be used instead of the deck used in the main guide. The variants listed are still able to compete at Legend ranks but have minor differences in the way they play.
8.1. Token Zoo Warlock Deck
|Warlock Cards||Neutral Cards|
This variant of Zoo Warlock cuts out the "heal" package in favour of a token package instead. Additional minions like Abusive Sergeant, Acherus Veteran, and Explodinator make it much easier to create wide boards. This can then be compounded with Grim Rally to turn very expendable minions into solid board-wide buffs.
9. Budget Zoo Warlock Deck
|Warlock Cards||Neutral Cards|
Prince Keleseth adds a substantial boost to the deck's overall winrate and is the first crafting priority for this deck. After cutting Prince Keleseth, Zoo Warlock becomes a very budget friendly deck with 0 Legendaries and 0 Epics:
10. Wild Zoo Warlock Deck
A healing subtheme is not necessary for wild Zoolock decks, as a much stronger Demon subtheme is available with cards like Crystalweaver, Bloodfury Potion, and Voidcaller. As is true for most Zoolock decks, this particular build of Zoolock (built by Kigo) is quite inexpensive. The only Epic or Legendary card in the deck is Loatheb, who is powerful but easily replaceable with another aggressive 5 drop.
|Warlock Cards||Neutral Cards|
11. Quick Tips and Tricks
- To get a heal trigger with Lifedrinker or Voodoo Doctor you need to actually be damaged! If you are still at 30 life, you can always use Life Tap to deal damage to yourself. This may sound trivial, but I have seen many players on the ladder make this mistake.
- More often than not, it is incorrect to coin out Prince Keleseth on turn one. However, if you are likely to draw one or more additional cards in the first couple of turns (because you have a Kobold Librarian in hand or because you have no 1 drops and will Hero Power on turn 2), playing Prince Keleseth may be the correct decision.
12. Similar Hearthstone Decks
If you enjoyed playing this deck, then you will probably enjoy playing other aggro decks. Both Odd Rogue and Odd Paladin are consistent and powerful aggro decks which can win games at any rank. Murloc Mage is another highly aggressive deck that plays to the board early with Murlocs before finishing off opponents with burn spells.
- 03 Mar. 2019: Deck has been updated for the March play season. Removed 2x Soul Infusion, 2x Doubling Imp for 2x Spellbreaker, 2x Despicable Dreadlord.
- 01 Jan. 2019: Deck has been reviewed for the January play season.
- 11 Dec. 2018: Deck has been reviewed and deemed appropriate for the Rastakhan's Rumble expansion.
- 26 Oct. 2018: Swapped the Spellbreaker and Leeroy Jenkins back for Doomguards.
- 02 Sep. 2018: Swapped the Doomguards for a Spellbreaker and a Leeroy Jenkins.
- 07 Aug. 2018: Updated for The Boomsday Project: added The Soularium, Soul Infusion, and Doubling Imp.
- 18 Jul. 2018: Deck added.
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