Our Zoo Warlock deck list guide features the best deck list for Season 46 (January 2018). Our Zoo Warlock guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.
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 2017, it grew in strength considerably throughout the second half of the year. 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 - 3RD JANUARY 2018
With a month of play behind us in the Kobolds meta, we now have a much better idea of how Zoo Warlock is going to shape up between now and the next expansion. There's nothing radically different about the latest version, but do be sure to update your in-game deck list using the deck code we've included.
Zoo Warlock deck list and strategy
The following deck list is seeing the most competitive play right now, and we've updated the rest of our guide to reflect its make-up:
|2 x Flame Imp||2 x Fire Fly|
|2 x Kobold Librarian||1 x Glacial Shard|
|2 x Malchezaar's Imp||1 x Patches the Pirate|
|2 x Soulfire||1 x Prince Keleseth|
|2 x Voidwalker||2 x Southsea Captain|
|2 x Darkshire Councilman||2 x Saronite Chain Gang|
|2 x Despicable Dreadlord||2 x Bonemare|
|2 x Doomguard||2 x Corridor Creeper|
|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: AAECAf0GBJG8ApfBApfTApziAg0w9wSoBc4Hwgi0rAK8tgLrwgKbywL3zQKmzgLy0AL70wIA
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:
Zoo Warlock Mulligan guide
Difficult though it is to give specific Mulligan advice while the meta is still settling down, there are some general tips that always remain relevant.
You should never throw Prince Keleseth back as this character provides such a huge boost for the remainder of the match. Play it right away and your odds of winning rise dramatically.
Flame Imp and Kobold Librarian both provide incredible value in their own unique ways, while Voidwalker is always a solid bet as well.
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 synergy with this creature.
- Don't even begin to worry about the negative Battlecry effects of Kobold Librarian. You're a Warlock after all, and so you should be well used to sacrificing a little bit of Health for an advantage elsewhere!
- Once Prince Keleseth has been placed onto the board, every minion sitting in your deck pile gains an extra +1 / +1 of stats. Remember though that the minions in your hand do not receive these extra stats.
- Patches the Pirate is pulled into play immediately and given the buff of Southsea Captain, so remember to make good use of that bonus damage. Just remember that when the Captain is destroyed, the buff he grants vanishes as well.
- 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.
- Once Darkshire Councilman is out on the board, any minions that are summoned subsequently grant him an extra +1 of Attack. This is about minions summoned, not played as cards, which means the likes of Saronite Chain Gang will cause the Councilman to gain +2 Attack.
- 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.