Our Control Warlock deck list guide features the best deck list for Season 53 of Boomsday (August 2018). Our Control Warlock guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.
Control Warlock is a Hearthstone deck that packs in a whole heap of cards from the most recent expansions 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 packs an awful lot of intimidating end-game options to ensure your opponent's always under pressure.
In the next of our Boomsday deck 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've also expanded on our strategy advice significantly with tips for dealing with both aggro and control opponents, and also added some thoughts on card substitutions.
If you have any questions about playing this deck, let us know in the comments and we'll do our best to help you out!
UPDATE - BOOMSDAY #3
Now that a clearer picture of Control Warlock has started to emerge, we've decided to completely integrate the latest version of the deck into our comprehensive guide. We've also significantly expanded on all of the strategy advice contained within it, and re-worked the Mulligan section.
This article contains additional reporting by James Pickard.
Control Warlock deck list and strategy
This is the Control Warlock deck that's seeing the most play at this stage of the Boomsday meta. We'll keep updating this one throughout the expansion era and will have another update for you soon.
|2 x Sacrificial Pact||1 x Gluttonous Ooze|
|2 x Kobold Librarian||1 x Ironbeak Owl|
|2 x Defile||2 x Stonehill Defender|
|2 x Demonic Project||2 x Shroom Brewer|
|2 x Gnomeferatu||2 x Giggling Inventor|
|2 x Hellfire|
|2 x Lesser Amethyst Spellstone|
|1 x Skull of the Man'ari|
|1 x Rin, the First Disciple|
|1 x Lord Godfrey|
|2 x Twisting Nether|
|2 x Voidlord|
|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: AAECAf0GBqIC08UCl9MC2OcC2+kCnPgCDKMB2wa2B5vCAufLAq7NAvLQAojSAtjlAujnAuL4AoCKAwA=
- 1. Control Warlock - Control Warlock deck list guide (Boomsday)
- 2. Zoo Warlock - Zoo Warlock deck list guide (Boomsday)
- 3. Even Warlock - Even Warlock deck list guide (Boomsday)
- 4. Cubelock - Cubelock deck list guide (Boomsday)
- 5. Puzzle Lab - Puzzle Lab guide
- 6. Best Decks - Best Boomsday Decks
- 7. Tier List - Hearthstone deck tier list
Control Warlock does exactly what its name suggests: take a defensive approach to the game by answering all your opponent’s threats, starve them of resources and then dominate the late game with overwhelming force through big minions, Rin, the First Disciple or Bloodreaver Gul’dan.
The new Boomsday Project set has given the deck a couple of useful new additions, although the main game plan remains near identical to before. Nerfs to cards such as Possessed Lackey certainly reduced the overall power level of the deck, but it still remains a threat – especially in the early aggro days of the new expansion.
Early game: As with almost any late game skewed Warlock deck, you’ll want to spend the early game using Life-Tap to gain extra resources and card advantage over your opponent. Don’t be too worried about your steadily descending life total. The deck has more than enough healing to bring you back up again. Cheap minions such as Kobold Librarian and Gnomeferatu are also excellent plays to contest the board, cycle through your deck and cause issues for your opponent.
Mid game: Keep the board under control as you enter the mid game with whichever removal options are most suitable for the situation. Has your opponent gone wide? Hellfire. Playing big single minions? Lesser Amethyst Spellstone. You can also slow everything down with the new Giggling Inventor card, which brings a pair of Annoy-o-Tron mechs with him.
Skull of the Man’ari will get the most value if you can play it on Mana curve – and it’s even better if a Voidlord is already in your hand to drop down on Turn 6. This single minion can completely kill off aggro decks and is a problem for many other lineups, allowing you to take full control heading into the late game.
Late game: Now it’s all about finding your win condition. If you’ve starved an aggro deck of their resources then you can simple whittle them down if they don’t concede first. Rin, the First Disciple is your other main path to victory, so try to get that card chain underway with The First Seal so you can summon Azari, the Devourer and destroy your opponent’s deck. Bloodreaver Gul’dan is another option as it refills your side of the board with Demons and grants you a powerful new hero power.
Here’s what you should keep in mind when going up against aggro decks:
- 1. Even though they may be playing fast, using Life-Tap in the early turns is still the best play. You have Defile, Hellfire and even Twisting Nether in the late game as board clears to catch up.
- 2. You’re also flush with healing in the deck, so all that chip damage from little minions can be restored in no time.
- 3. Stonehill Defender and Giggling Inventor are two important Taunt minions that can shut down aggro decks.
- 4. Pay less attention to Rin, the Disciple in these matchups. Chances are you’ll be able to win the game without going through the arduous task of playing each Seal.
- 5. The sooner you can get a Voidlord out the better your chances of winning, but be careful of running into a Silence effect that will completely negate the minion.
Some tips for beating other control decks on ladder:
- 1. As it’ll be a slow start for both of you, Life-Tap your way to as big a card advantage as possible.
- 2. Gnomeferatu and Demonic Project can be a disaster for your opponent if they hit particularly important elements of their deck.
- 3. As you’re both taking a control approach, chances are Rin, the First Disciple will be your most likely win condition so get started on that process as quickly as possible.
- 4. Time your Gluttonous Ooze to devour their most effective weapon if you can, and take that advantage away from them.
- 5. You have multiple ways to deal with their biggest threats too: from Stonebeak Owl, to Lesser Amethyst Spellstone, to a Twisting Nether if you’re desperate.
Control Warlock Mulligan guide
These are the cards you’ll want to dig for in your opening hand when playing Control Warlock.
- 1. Kobold Librarian: A ridiculous one drop that can contest some two drops while also drawing you a card.
- 2. Gnomeferatu: Solid stats and also has the chance of disrupting your opponent’s game plan if it discards something vital.
- 3. Stonehill Defender: A fine Taunt for three mana that’ll slow fast decks. The Discover effect is very handy too for getting you an extra Voidlord (maybe).
- 4. Skull of the Man’ari: Such a strong card for bringing your late game demons onto the board early on that it’s worth keeping in the opening hand - even at five Mana.
- 5. Defile: A powerful board clear against aggro and oh so satisfying to watch in action.
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 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.
- Don't worry about the negative side of Kobold Librarian as it provides incredible value, particularly in the early game. As a Warlock you should be well used to sacrificing your Health for the greater good by now.
- New card Demonic Project transforms a random minion in both player's hands into a Demon. If the opponent chooses to play theirs, you can kill it on the next turn with Sacrificial Pact.
- Don't forget that the damage impact on Hellfire not only hits your own minions as well as your opponent's, but both heroes take three points of damage to the face as well.
- Lesser Amethyst Spellstone costs four Mana, does three points of damage to a target, and restores three points of your Health in its vanilla state. Take damage from one of your cards and the value increases to five. Take more damage and it tops out at seven damage/restoration.
- Once Skull of the Man'ari has been equipped a randomly selected Demon minion will be pulled from your hand and added to the board at the start of your turn.
- Do your maths carefully before playing Lord Godfrey and make any trades (partial or otherwise) that will cause him to have the greatest effect. He works a bit like Defile - see the top of this section - but the damage value is increased to two in this case.
- When you play Rin, the First Disciple you'll gain a “Seal” card that costs five Mana and summons a 2 / 2 Demon onto the board. You'll also get the next Seal card that costs the same amount but summons a Demon with an extra 1 / 1 of stats next time. This process repeats until you summon a 6 / 6 Demon, at which point you gain Azari, the Devourer. Play this mighty card and your opponent's remaining deck pile will be obliterated!
- 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.
Card choices and substitutes
The Control Warlock list has been well refined over The Witchwood and some small tweaks in the early days of The Boomsday Project have given it a little boost. Here are some of the key cards in hte deck:
- Gnomeferatu: A perfectly OK two drop so it fits into the deck easily, but that added bonus of discarding one of your opponent’s cards is a nice touch that can sometimes turn a game on its head.
- Gluttonous Ooze: Good if you keep running into weapon heavy decks, but you can get away with Acidic Swamp Ooze if you want a cheaper option. Perhaps worth swapping for a Shadowflame if aggro is more prevalent, however.
- Skull of the Man’ari: As the deck only runs one demon, this will get a Voidlord out three turns early, which is usually far too difficult for many decks to deal with efficiently.
- Rin, the First Disciple: An important part of your win condition against other control decks.
- Lord Godfrey: A Defile on steroids. Also, it leaves a 4 / 4 body on the board once the effect ends, which is nice.
- Twisting Nether: Straight up hard removal. It’s expensive but you run two so you can use them a little more freely, rather than waiting for a massive board to clear. Shadowflame or even a Doomsayer are both OK replacements if you just want to run a single copy.
- Voidlord: A very annoying Taunt minion. Just stalls and delays anything it stands in front of, especially with the three Voidwalkers that spawn upon its death.
- Bloodreaver Gul’dan: Fills your board with a wall of Taunt minions. It also gives you impressive late game reach with a hero power that both damages and heals.