Our Control Warlock deck guide features the best deck list for Season 43, with Mulligan advice, strategy tips, card combos and more.
Control Warlock is a Hearthstone deck that packs in a whole heap of the new Frozen Throne cards to provide board clear options at just about every stage of the game, before building up to a big finish in the late-game. It's a mix of old and new here, and it features a little bit of Handlock with an awful lot of intimidating end-game options to frustrate your opponent with.
In the next of our Frozen Throne guides, we've got a powerful Control Warlock deck list for you to get started with, and some Mulligan advice for starting each match on the right foot. We'll be expanding on the strategy section a great deal if this archetype takes off, but you'll find loads of useful insight in the mean time by studying the combo tips section towards the bottom of the article.
If you have any questions about playing this archetype, let us know in the comments and we'll do our best to help you out!
UPDATE #2 - With both the Frozen Throne launch window and the post-nerf reshuffle squarely behind us, we've finally been able to give our Control Warlock deck guide the update it deserved. Although this is not one of the most competitive decks in the meta right now, we've replaced the deck list with something we think is about as good as it gets for this archetype. We've also updated the rest of the guide to reflect those changes.
Control Warlock deck list and strategy
This is a very typical Control Warlock deck list that has no known creator. If you aware of a more powerful version, please let us know of any changes you've made in the comments!
|2 x Mortal Coil||2 x Mistress of Mixtures|
|2 x Voidwalker||2 x Doomsayer|
|2 x Defile||2 x Tainted Zealot|
|2 x Hellfire||2 x Earthen Ring Farseer|
|2 x Twilight Drake||1 x Spellbreaker|
|2 x Despicable Dreadlord||1 x The Lich King|
|2 x Siphon Soul||2 x Mountain Giant|
|2 x Abyssal Enforcer|
|1 x Twisting Nether|
|1 x Bloodreaver Gul'dan|
Deck Import ID:
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You are a control deck by name and nature, and so when you're facing off against aggressive opponents you absolutely, positively, have to lock them out of the match and prevent them from gaining a foothold on the board. You have bags of removal to achieve this aim, and our Mulligan section just below has more detail on how all your removal cards can be used to great effect.
Despicable Dreadlord will keep chugging out minion damage, while Dread Infernal - not to mention Abyssal Enforcer - packs a mean Battlecry punch that can end the hopes of many aggro opponents in the mid to late-game. Between Bloodreaver Gul'dan's resummoning effect and the wall and fuel provided by The Lich King, your opponent should find themselves out of meaningful plays in pretty short order.
The advice is much the same against slower decks, although you're leaning a little more towards building up towards big plays through cards like Twilight Drake and Mountain Giant. If you get the former in your starting hand, use Life Tap liberally in the early turns in order to fatten up the Dragon's health. Likewise, a bigger hand will make your giants much cheaper.
Regardless of match-up, you obviously want to keep fielding Demons throughout the game so that Bloodreaver Gul'dan provides you with a solid late-game presence that should at least match the opponent's. Those mid to late-game Demon minions are pretty intimidating in their own right, however, and so sometimes you'll have to choose between controlling the board or pushing to the finishing line - you'll have to judge your hand on a game by game basis to learn whether to finish fast or play for the very long-game.
Here's a video of someone playing a very similar deck to the one we've highlighted. Although the precise deck list may be different, the broad principles behind playing this archetype remain the same, and we think you'll find watching the whole thing extremely useful:
More great Warlock guides:
Control Warlock Mulligan guide
Now that we've had a bit of time to play around with this deck in greater depth post-nerf, there are some tips we can share for building a better starting hand:
Mistress of Mixtures is always a fine early play, for the simple reason that you would rather trigger that healing earlier on in the game, when you're still happy to control the early game and use here as a minion trade. There's nothing worse than having this card sat in your hand in the late-game, where you daren't put her on the board because you're simply too close to the finishing line. She's also great for making early trades.
Voidwalker is another solid early keep, although he obviously provides greater protection and value against more aggressive opponents. A slower opponent such as the Warrior is liable to pack a Fiery War Axe, whack it in the face and then spit out the bones right afterwards. Still, a card to consider - and hey at least it eats a swing of the axe, right?
Defile is a lot of fun, and will crush the dreams of any aggro opponent you face. Although the meta's a long way from being firmed up, keep it against likely aggro opponents like Paladins, Warriors, Hunters, and other Warlocks. Basically this spell gets triggered over and over if a minion is killed - this'll happen a lot with aggro decks, but do keep in mind that your own minions get clobbered as well.
Mortal Coil remains a solid keep as always, but this time around you need to plan your use of it a little more clearly. It may be that you can play it first and then combo it with Defile in order to guarantee a chain reaction of minion deaths. It's a little more complex to plan out, but you are playing a control deck at the end of the day.
Drain Soul is another fine card for dealing with early aggro pushes, but again it requires anticipating an aggro deck on your opponent's part if it's to provide guaranteed early-game value.
Things are a little bit simpler here because you have more time to build up into a stronger board presence. Your Twilight Drake and Mountain Giants become much, much more important here. If you get one or more of these, allow for liberal use of Life Tap in the early turns, and don't worry too much about getting sub-optimal supporting cards.
Control Warlock tips, combos and synergies
There are lots of important combos to consider in this deck, so take a bit of time to study the list carefully!
- If Tainted Zealot is out in play, all of your spell cards will gain an extra point of damage. The following cards are affected in this way: Mortal Coil, Defile and Hellfire
- When you play Bloodreaver Gul'dan, your board will be filled up with Demon minions that died earlier on in the match! You'll also gain a new hero power which lets you target three points of damage and restore three points of health simultaneously.
- Hellfire, Defile and Abyssal Enforcer do great damage when played, but also affect your minions and hero health too!
- Twilight Drake gains an extra point of Health when played for each other card that's in your hand at the time.
- Mountain Giant has a similar synergy with your hand-size, except it becomes one Mana cheaper for each card in your hand.
- Don't forget your can leave an enemy minion at one Health when you hit End Turn, and Despicable Dreadlord will automatically deliver the final point of damage required.
- If Defile manages to kill a minion (friendly or otherwise) it will be cast a second time. It will continue to be cast each time it causes another minion to die.
- At the end of each of your turns The Lich King will add a random Death Knight card to your hand. Here are the eight cards you can potentially draw into:
|2||Death Coil||Deal 5 damage to an enemy, or restore 5 Health to a friendly character.|
|2||Death Grip||Steal a minion from your opponent's deck and add it to your hand.|
|2||Obliterate||Destroy a minion. Your hero takes damage equal to its Health.|
|3||Death and Decay||Deal 3 damage to all enemies.|
|4||Anti-Magic Shell||Give your minions +2 / +2 and “Can't be targeted by spells or Hero Powers.”|
|5||Doom Pact||Destroy all minions. Remove the top card from your deck for each minion destroyed.|
|6||Army of the Dead||Remove the top 5 cards of your deck. Summony any minions removed.|
|7||Frostmourne||Deathrattle: Summon every minion killed by this [5 / 3] weapon.|