Our Zoo Warlock deck list guide outlines the best deck for Kobolds and Catacombs. This Zoo Warlock guide also contains 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 phases. It's a deck that's focused on maintaining gentle early-game control, before snowballing into the kind of broad threat that the opponent will often struggle to overcome.
Although Zoolock struggled to catch up with the pack at the start of this year, it's grown in strength in the second half of 2017. 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 competitive play. Let's hope so, as it's a great deck for newcomers to use 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 Kobolds and Catacombs version of Zoolock, we've highlighted a deck list that's about as good as it gets right now, and should prove a pretty effective way of climbing the ladder. 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 to suit the latest version of the deck.
UPDATE - 14th December 2017
After a week of live competitive play it looks very much as though Zoo Warlock is stabilising fast, and those Corridor Creepers certainly look like safe crafts across the whole roster of aggro and tempo decks. We'll continue updating this guide, of course, and do let us know in the comments if you've uncovered a more powerful version of Zoo.
Zoo Warlock deck list and strategy
Here's an improved post-launch version of Zoo Warlock which we think you should be playing in the new meta. We'll continue to monitor this one and will add any updates we think are necessary.
|2 x Flame Imp||1 x Patches the Pirate|
|2 x Kobold Librarian||2 x Southsea Captain|
|2 x Malchezaar's Imp||2 x Bonemare|
|2 x Soulfire||2 x Corridor Creeper|
|2 x Voidwalker|
|2 x Demonfire|
|2 x Vulgar Homunculus|
|2 x Bloodfury Potion|
|2 x Crystalweaver|
|2 x Despicable Dreadlord|
|2 x Doomguard|
|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: AAECAf0GApG8ApfTAg4w9wSoBc4Hwgj2CLy2Ase7Asm7AvfNAqbOAvHQAvLQAvvTAgA=
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 afterwards. 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 this situation, just do what you can to control the board as best you can until cards like Despicable Dreadlord come along!
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 opponents. 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 recover from a big board clear - keep trading if you suspect there's trouble ahead.
More great guides:
- 1. Quest Warlock - Quest Warlock deck list guide
- 2. Control Warlock - Control Warlock deck list guide
- 3. Zoo Warlock - Zoo Warlock deck list guide
- 4. Demon Warlock - Demon Warlock deck list guide
- 5. Kobolds and Catacombs decks - Best Kobolds and Catacombs decks
- 6. Dungeon Run - Dungeon Run guide
- 7. Kobolds and Catacombs guide - Kobolds and Catacombs guide
Zoo Warlock Mulligan guide
Difficult though it is to give specific Mulligan advice while the meta is still barely under way, there are some general tips that always remain relevant.
Flame Imp and Kobolds Librarian both provide incredible value in their own unique ways, while Voidwalker is always a solid bet. New card Vulgar Homunculus provides similar early-game defensive help against aggro opponents in particular.
If you've got the first couple of turns taken care of, you can make room for Southsea Captain as he'll give you an instant 2 / 2 Patches the Pirate as well. Very nice.
Pretty light advice for now we know! Once we actually know the decks you're likely to be facing on the ladder we'll add back in our chart which breaks down what to keep against which opponents.
Zoo Warlock tips, combos and synergies
Zoo may be one of the oldest archetypes in the game but the Kobolds and Catacombs 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.
- 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.
- If you target Demonfire at one of your own minions and its classed as Demon, it'll give the target +2 / +2 of stats. Alternatively you can just use it to ping a small enemy minion. Bloodfury Potion has similar synergy with your Demon targets.
- Don't even begin to worry about the negative Battlecry effects of Kobold Librarian and Vulgar Homunculus. You're a Warlock after all and should be used to sacrificing Health for an advantage elsewhere.
- Having established a decent board of minions, Crystalweaver can be dropped to grant every one of them an extra +1 / +1 of stats.
- Southsea Captain buffs the Pirate minions in this deck but note that the buff is not permanent. When this minion is destroyed, any active stat boosts evaporate.
- 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 extra +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.
- New card Corridor Creeper costs one less whenever a minion dies while it's in your hand. The jury's out on whether this is good enough to hold onto during the Mulligan phase, so watch this space for an imminent update.
- 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.