Our Zoo Warlock deck guide features the best deck list for Season 42, with Mulligan advice, strategy tips, card combos and synergies.
Zoo Warlock is one of the oldest decks in Hearthstone, and has been helping new players learn the ins and outs of the game since the very earliest beta tests. It's a deck that's focused on gentle early game control, before snowballing into a threat that the opponent will often struggle to overcome.
Although Zoolock struggled in the previous meta, it's hoped that things will improve a great deal for the archetype during the lifetime of the Frozen Throne. Right now it's at the bottom of the pile of competitive decks, but it may well rise higher in the early weeks of the new expansion. Let's hope so, as it's a great deck for newcomers to learn the ins and outs of Hearthstone's various mechanics.
In our guide to playing the Frozen Throne version of Zoolock, we've highlighted a deck list that's far from refined, but should represent a pretty good starting point for the launch window. We've also got some strategy advice about how the deck functions, a bit of advice on the Mulligan stage, and we've also updated our combo tips for the new expansion.
FROZEN THRONE UPDATE
UPDATE #2: We've revised our recommended deck list and are now highlighting Kripparian's absolutely showstopping version of Zoo Warlock. It's eating everything alive in the early stages of the Frozen Throne meta, and it's one we're looking forward to playing a lot more of ourselves. Fingers crossed, Zoo Warlock is back for good...
Our Frozen Throne: Best Decks and Guides hub contains everything you need to get stuck into the new meta!
Zoo Warlock deck list and strategy
This is the version of Zoo Warlock that Kripparian has had a huge amount of success with in the early days of the Frozen Throne meta. As with all decks it's subject to change in the coming days, but now is definitely the time to pilot this particular version.
|2 x Flame Imp||2 x Abusive Sergeant|
|2 x Possessed Villager||2 x Acherus Veteran|
|2 x Voidwalker||2 x Argent Squire|
|2 x Darkshire Councilman||1 x Prince Keleseth|
|2 x Ravenous Pterrordax||1 x Blood Knight|
|2 x Deathspeaker|
|2 x Devilsaur Egg|
|2 x Defender of Argus|
|2 x Saronite Chain Gang|
|2 x Skelemancer|
|2 x Bonemare|
Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.
Deck Import ID: AAECAf0GAvMFnOICDjDyAfUF+wXCCLSsAvauAufBAqvCAtjKAprLApvLApXOAqbOAgA=
While there's an undeniably aggressive side to the Zoo style of deck, your win-rate will be much higher if you use your early board presence to take a controlling position, and then slowly snowball your threat on the board. Certainly if you compare it to the likes of Pirate Warrior, for example, Zoo seems almost serene in its cautious contemplation of the board.
In the early game, you should make use of your one and two-Mana drops to get a fast start on the board, and then use buffs as required to make efficient trades that leave your minions standing afterwards. From here it's a case of strength-in-numbers, and building an overwhelming force for your opponent to try and deal with. Check the combo section at the bottom of the page for some important tips on blending your cards together.
Beating aggro opponents with Zoo
While you're not exactly a control deck, you're better positioned to make favourable trades in the early game that will leave your own minions standing afterwaads. The small gains you make in this early stage will quickly snowball into a more meaningful threat later on, but be wary of any AOE options your opponent may gain access to in an upcoming turn.
Bear in mind that some opponents like Pirate Warrior have a near-endless array of cheap minions to throw onto the board, and will simply demolish your face while ignoring your own efforts to take charge of proceedings. In matches like these, hope that you draw into a Defender of Argus or two.
Beating control opponents with Zoo
Against slow opponents it becomes a lot more important to play on curve and keep snowballing a threat that will finish the game much more quickly than you'd otherwise aim for against aggro. Try to spend all of your Mana on minions at every stage of the early-game, but be mindful of the fact you will struggle to recove from a big board clear - keep trading if you suspect there's trouble ahead.
Here's a video of Kripparian playing the deck over the launch weekend:
New Frozen Throne Zoo Warlock cards
Let's take a moment to run through the new Frozen Throne cards that are featured in this deck list, and what they bring to the table in this latest version of Zoolock.
- Acherus Veteran serves two purposes here. It can either help a minor minion push through a stubborn obstacle, or just give you a teeny-tiny bit of extra reach for getting over the finishing line. More likely the former!
- Prince Keleseth grants every minion in your deck an extra + 1 / +1 of stats when played, as there are no 2-Mana minions to worry about in this particular version of the deck.
- Saronite Chain Gang provides you with more board presence, and a very handy defensive wall for your minor minions to hide behind.
- Deathspeaker not only provides a decent body on the board, it also grants a friendly minion immunity on the current turn - handy for taking out a problematic presence on the board.
- Skelemancer represents an enormous problem for your opponent, and does much to stave off AOE issues.
- Bonemare again provides you with more fast damage on the board, while at the same time providing additional defenses.
More great guides:
- 1. Zoo Warlock - Zoo Warlock deck list guide
- 2. Control Warlock - Control Warlock deck list guide
- 3. Demon Warlock - Demon Warlock deck list guide
- 4. Handlock - Handlock deck list guide
- 5. Top Hearthstone decks - Top Hearthstone decks - August 2017
- 6. Best Wild decks - The best Wild Hearthstone decks
- 7. Tier List - Deck Tier List
Zoo Warlock Mulligan guide
Difficult though it is to give specific Mulligan advice before we know what the Frozen Throne meta looks like, there are some obvious pointers to keep in mind.
The earlier you bring Prince Keleseth out into play, the more you benefit across the entirety of the match, so always hang onto this key card. Otherwise you should be focusing on 1-Mana drops, and don't forget that you can always hero power on Turn 2 for an extra card in your hand.
We've taken out our hero-specific Mulligan chart from this article and will put it back in once the meta has been established. Once that's back, we'll also reinstate our card-by-card overview of what you're keeping and why!
Zoo Warlock tips, combos and synergies
Zoo may be one of the oldest archetypes in the game but the Frozen Throne release shakes the formula up a little. Make sure your up to speed with all of the following combos before taking this deck to the ladder.
- For each minion you subsequently summon, Darkshire Councilman will gain an extra point of Attack power. This can come from actively played cards, or Deathrattle spawns.
- You can use Abusive Sergeant to temporarily increase the Attack value of a friendly minion by two extra points.
- Acherus Veteran provides a similar advantage, but permanently adds one extra point of Attack to the target.
- Prince Keleseth is the only two Mana minion in this deck, and so he will gift every minion in your deck one extra points of Attack and Health when played. It goes without saying that the sooner you can play this card the better!
- When Blood Knight is played, all minions - friendly or otherwise - lose their Divine Shield and gift this minion +3 / +3 stats. This has obvious synergy with Argent Squire, but there are also a lot of Divine Shield Paladins out there right now - good times!
- Defender of Argus will permanently increase the stats of the adjacent minions when he's played onto the board. You can use this to empower Devilsaur Egg, or turn Skelemancer into a real problem for the opponent.
- The prime target for Ravenous Pterrordax is Devilsaur Egg. After popping the egg, the minion will go through the Adapt process twice. This means you'll have to choose from three buffs randomly drawn from the following pool of ten:
|Crackling Shield||Divine Shield|
|Flaming Claws||+3 Attack|
|Liquid Membrane||Can't be targeted by spells or Hero Powers|
|Living Spores||Deathrattle: Summon two 1/1 Plants|
|Rocky Carapace||+3 Health|
|Shrouding Mist||Stealth until your next turn|
|Volcanic Might||+1 / +1 stats|