Our Zoo Warlock deck guide features the best deck list for Season 43, 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 fortunes are finally improving in the Frozen Throne meta. Right now it's not quite in the top tier of competitive decks, but it may well rise higher during the next month or so of competitve play Let's hope so, as it's a great deck for newcomers to learn the ins and outs of Hearthstone's various mechanics and make ladder progress at the same time.
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 this stage of the meta. We've also got some strategy advice about how the deck functions, a bit of advice on the Mulligan process and we've also updated our combo tips for the new expansion.
FROZEN THRONE UPDATE
UPDATE #3: With the recent card nerfs Zoo Warlock has finally risen back up the rankigns and is currently an extremely competitive deck on the Standard ladder. We've completely overhauled our guide to reflect the latest changes to the archetype, and will continue updating it as the deck list adapts to the changing meta.
Zoo Warlock deck list and strategy
Zoo's enjoying a huge resurgence in popularity following the recent nerf that saw five key cards adjusted in the game. As a result it's still subject to change as the community determines the best possible version of the deck.
With that said, we feel this is an immensely powerful deck list that's about as good as it gets for Zoo in this stage of the Frozen Throne meta. We will of course continue refining our recommendation over time.
|2 x Flame Imp||2 x Acherus Veteran|
|2 x Malchezaar's Imp||2 x Bloodsail Corsair|
|1 x Mortal Coil||2 x Fire Fly|
|2 x Soulfire||1 x Patches the Pirate|
|2 x Voidwalker||1 x Prince Keleseth|
|2 x Darkshire Councilman||2 x Vicious Fledgling|
|2 x Despicable Dreadlord||2 x Saronite Chain Gang|
|2 x Doomguard||2 x Bonemare|
|1 x Bloodreaver Gul'dan|
Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.
Deck Import ID: AAECAf0GBMQIkbwCl9MCnOICDTD3BM4H5QfCCLSsAry2Ap/CAuvCApvLAvfNApXOAqbOAgA=
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.
More great guides:
Zoo Warlock Mulligan guide
Difficult though it is to give specific Mulligan advice while the post-nerf meta is still being determined, there are still some general tips that always remain relevant.
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 - particularly Flame Imp - 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 you're up to speed with all of the following combos before taking this deck to the ladder.
- Bloodsail Corsair will not only chip a point of Durability off your opponent's weapon, he'll also drag Patches the Pirate onto the board for free, but only if this latter card is in your deck pile and not your hand.
- Unlike the popular Abusive Sergeant cards of old, Acherus Veteran provides a permanent Attack power increase, albeit for a slightly higher Mana cost.
- Be mindful of the Discard synergies with Malchezaar's Imp. Every time you lose a card while this guy's active, you'll draw another card into your deck. Soulfire and Doomguard have important synergies with this creature.
- Once you've put Prince Keleseth onto the board, any subsequent minions you draw from your deck into your hand will gain an incredible +1 / +1 of bonus stats.
- Put Darkshire Councilman onto the board, and each minion you play afterwards will add one extra point apiece to his Health total.
- Plan the maths carefully when Despicable Dreadlord is out on the board. Remember he'll do an extra point of damage to the enemy minions as soon as you hit End Turn, so don't sacrifice any minions you don't have to!
- When Bonemare is played you can grant an exta +4 / +4 of stats to a friendly minion. It also grants them the Taunt effect, which helps establish a very handy late-game defensive wall.
- Bloodreaver Gul'dan summons a board full of friendly Demons that had perished earlier on in the match. You also gain a new hero ability which allows you to target three points of damage anywhere, and receive that damage back as health to your hero.
- When Vicious Fledgling lands a blow on the opponent's face, you'll be able to put it through the Adapt process. This allows you to choose one of three buff randomly selected from the following pool of ten (always take Windfury first so you can get another buff!):
|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|