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Even Warlock deck list guide - Boomsday - Hearthstone (August 2018)

Handlock - with a twist - is back and our essential guide will help you play it to perfection.

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About John Bedford

John is Metabomb's Editor in Chief, and is responsible for all of the Hearthstone news, features and guides content on the site.

Our Even Warlock (Handlock) deck list guide features the best deck list for Season 53 of Boomsday (August 2018). Our Even Warlock (Handlock) guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.

New card Genn Greymane is a very special kind of card from The Witchwood set, and this Neutral Legendary has a powerful synergy with your hero power. If you pack your deck with nothing but even-Mana cards then Genn will reduce its cost to one Mana, and do so right from the very first turn of a match.

This has some pretty major implications for the Warlock cards you're able to include in such a deck, and we wanted to put together a Genn Warlock guide which highlights the latest deck list being used in competitive play. This effectively marks the return of the Handlock archetype, where you're encouraged to Life Tap, build a fat hand, and empower cards like Twilight Drake and Mountain Giant.

After the deck list itself we've also got detailed strategy advice and a look through the Mulligan process too. Card combos can be found even further down the page, and we've also got a look at all the Warlock cards Genn excludes - handy if you want to think about your own version of the deck.

UPDATE - BOOMSDAY #3

We've got another Even Warlock update for you on Metabomb this morning. We've taken the most competitive version of the deck being played right now and combined it completely into our existing guide. We've also added in loads of detailed strategy and Mulligan advice to help you play it effectively as well.

This article contains additional reporting by James Pickard.

Even Warlock deck list and strategy

Here's the strongest deck list that's seeing play at this current stage of the Boomsday meta. We'll be updating it over time so check back regularly for updates if you plan to pilot this one long-term.

WarlockNeutral
1 x Sacrificial Pact1 x Doomsayer
2 x Defile1 x Sunfury Protector
2 x Demonic Project2 x Shroom Brewer
2 x Vulgar Homunculus1 x Spellbreaker
2 x Hellfire2 x Twilight Drake
2 x Hooked Reaver1 x Genn Greymane
2 x Lesser Amethyst Spellstone1 x Mossy Horror
1 x Shadowflame1 x Skulking Geist
1 x Dread Infernal1 x The Black Knight
1 x Bloodreaver Gul'dan1 x The Lich King
2 x Mountain Giant

Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.

Deck Import ID: AAECAf0GDIoBkwGjAfIF+wb7B/gMoM4Cws4Cl9MCy+wCzfQCCbYH4QeNCOfLAvHQAv3QAojSAtjlAoCKAwA=

General strategy

If there’s a sense of familiarity to the way Even Warlock is constructed then you might’ve been a fan of Handlock back in the day. This new version is played similarly in principle as you Life-Tap to fill your hand with cards, drop big minions on the board and then overwhelm your opponent with them.

The deck archetype has been given a new lease on life after nerfs to previously stronger Warlock decks in The Witchwood meta and continues to be strong in the early days of The Boomsday Project. Where it had fallen off due to a significant lack of available healing, new cards and combos in recent sets have gone some way to fix that. Now, the addition of Genn Greymane, which discounts Life-Tap to one mana, has been the final piece to bring it all together again.

Early game: Life-Tap. Life-Tap. And Life-Tap. That’s most likely going to be your play on turns one, two and three. Genn Greymane reducing your hero power to one mana does mean you should be able to throw in a two drop on turn three as well. A Doomsayer is worth playing into an empty or average board to stop it growing, whereas you might want to consider Defile or Vulgar Homunculus if your opponent has a fast opener.

Mid game: Always slam down a Mountain Giant or a Twilight Drake on turn four if you have one as they’ll be the most impactful plays at this stage of the game. There’s not too much aggro on ladder at the minute so many of the taunt enabler cards have been removed from this new list, though pairing either of those big drops with a Sunfury Protector will give you some excellent early game protection. Hellfire and Shadowflame are your big AoE cards should you need them.

If you’ve taken a bit of a beating in the early game you can look to heal up with Lesser Amethyst Spellstone and Shroom Brewer. The former is best played when upgraded at least once, so hold off unless there’s a minion you desperately need to remove. You also have a new heal pairing with Demonic Project and Sacrificial Pact – the former spell is also excellent at disrupting your opponent’s combo decks in a similar way to Dirty Rat, by potentially eliminating one of their important combo pieces.

Late game: Continue planting big minions on the board and taunting them up where possible to overload your opponent with giant threats. The Lich King can pile on the pressure even more and if your own health is 15 or below, Hooked Reaver is now worth playing. Bloodreaver Gul’dan will give you a full board most of the time, and a lot of stamina in the late game too thanks to the improved hero power. Eventually, they’ll run out of ways to remove all these ginormous cards efficiently and you can start sending all that damage directly to their life total.

More great guides:

Aggro opponents

Here are some thoughts on dealing with aggro decks:

  • 1. Control the early game with your cheap removal cards such as Defile and Drain Soul.
  • 2. If you’re not holding any removal try to save your Sunfury Protector to set up the strongest wall of taunt minions you can.
  • 3. Using Life-Tap frequently in the early game may seem dangerous against aggro but you have taunts and healing to keep you safe going into the mid-to-late game.
  • 4. As soon as your opponent extends too far on the board you can go for a Hellfire or Shadowflame play to wipe out all of their minions. Mossy Horror is also an excellent anti-aggro card.
  • 5. As soon as you’ve dropped you giant minions on the board you can start ignoring their weak little minions and go straight for their life total.

Control opponents

Here are some tips on handling more control-orientated players on the ladder:

  • 1. You have even more freedom to Life-Tap in the early game against control as they’ll have a slow start too.
  • 2. Doomsayer on an empty board can be even better against control opponents if it disrupts their plans next turn.
  • 3. If you pick up on your opponent playing a combo deck then try to disrupt it as early as you can with Demonic Project to completely ruin their plans.
  • 4. Similarly, you can use The Black Knight to negate taunt minions or use Spellbreaker to quash cards with powerful effects and continue the onslaught of giants.
  • 5. Be prepared to lose your first couple of big minions to their removal effects, but make sure you have another larger play follow up with on later turns.

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Even Warlock Mulligan guide

Different matchups will require different priorities in the Mulligan but there are a few you should definitely look out for:

  • 1. Mountain Giant: As you’ll be spending many of your early turns using Life-Tap you should be able to get a Mountain Giant out very early.
  • 2. Twilight Drake: You’ll want to hold this for the same reason you’ll grab Mountain Giant – with such a full hand you’ll be able to give the dragon a big health boost.
  • 3. Doomsayer: A vitally important card against aggro so you won’t get overwhelmed by them in the early game.
  • 4. Vulgar Homunculus: Not the most exciting early game taunt, but one that can nevertheless be helpful when it comes to slowing down aggro players.
  • 5. Defile: An excellent option to remove a lot of the low health, early game minions played by aggro decks.

Even Warlock tips and card combos

Keep all of these potential card combos in mind when playing Even Warlock.

- Defile deals one damage to all minions on both sides of the board. If any minions dies, it gets cast again. The process repeats until no minions are removed.

- Once you're down to beneath 15 Health, Hooked Reaver becomes a 7 / 7 minion with Taunt.

- Demonic Project can sometimes kill a crucial part of the opponent's game plan. Even if they get a very powerful Demon in exchange, you can nuke it with Sacrificial Pact straight away.

- Twilight Drake gains an extra point of Health for each card you have in your hand when you play the Dragon onto the board.

- Mountain Giant costs one Mana less for each other card you have in your hand.

- Always keep in mind that Hellfire will damage both heroes and all minions on the board. Make sure you get the most work you can from your minions if they're likely to die in the fire anyway!

- When played, Mossy Horror will obliterate all other minions on the board that have two or less Attack. This can often be a killer play against aggro opponents.

- In its most primitive form Lesser Amethyst Spellstone deals three damage to a minion and gives back the same amount in health. Take self-inflicted damage from a card like Hellfire though and that value increases to five. Damage yourself one more time and that increases to seven. Note that Life Tap does not affect this upgrade process.

- There's potential synergy between Dread Infernal and Defile, allowing you to trigger a chain of the spell that might not otherwise have been available to you.

- When Bloodreaver Gul'dan is played all friendly Demons that had perished earlier on in the match will be re-summoned onto the board. You also gain a new hero power which does three points of damage to a target while also restoring three points of health to your hero.

- The Lich King grants you one randomly chosen card from the Death Knight pool when you hit End Turn. Here's what's on offer:

CostNameDescription
2Death CoilDeal 5 damage to an enemy, or restore 5 Health to a friendly character.
2Death GripSteal a minion from your opponent's deck and add it to your hand.
2ObliterateDestroy a minion. Your hero takes damage equal to its Health.
3Death and DecayDeal 3 damage to all enemies.
4Anti-Magic ShellGive your minions +2 / +2 and “Can't be targeted by spells or Hero Powers.”
5Doom PactDestroy all minions. Remove the top card from your deck for each minion destroyed.
6Army of the DeadRemove the top 5 cards of your deck. Summony any minions removed.
7FrostmourneDeathrattle: Summon every minion killed by this [5 / 3] weapon.

Even Warlock card choices and substitutions

A handful of key cards make up the Even Warlock deck list and there isn’t much room for alternatives. This is still a relatively cheap list to craft though.

A handful of key cards make up the Even Warlock deck list and there isn’t much room for alternatives, though this is still a relatively cheap list to craft:

Demonic Project: An excellent way to mess with the intentions behind your opponent’s deck. If they choose to play the demon you give them, Sacrificial Pact makes for a quick kill and some small healing.

Doomsayer: Necessary for slowing down aggro decks and forcing opponents to rethink their turns. Worth crafting if you can.

Sunfury Protector: The only way in this new list to give the deck’s big minions taunt. You’ll want to try to save it so it hits two minions, ideally the big targets such as Mountain Giant or Twilight Drake.

Lesser Amethyst Spellstone: Wait until you’ve upgraded it twice if you can to get more back from the lifesteal, though it can also be used at its base level in a pinch.

Shadowflame: Use this to wipe out a particularly troublesome board. Works well when you sacrifice less important cards such as Shroom Brewer or Spellbreaker, but using it on a Mountain Giant is sometimes necessary.

Twilight Drake: Will skyrocket in health if you spend the first few turns using Life-Tap and it only gets better when you bulk it up to a taunt minion.

Genn Greymane: A perfectly acceptable six mana play, but all you really need it for is the cost reduction on your hero power.

Mossy Horror: Good to counter aggro and especially effective at dealing with an otherwise troublesome Giggling Inventor.

Black Knight: Strong hard removal for taking out some of the game’s more difficult to deal with taunt minions.

The Lich King: Just another big late game minion that can also provide some useful cards with unique effects.

Bloodreaver Gul’dan: Considering how stacked the deck is with demons you can make a big swing turn with this hero card, plus the new hero power is extremely powerful to survive into the late game.

Mountain Giant: Synergises so well with your hero power that it’s mandatory to run two. As soon as you give them taunt they become significant obstacles for your opponent.

.

Genn Greymane and Warlock cards in the Classic / Basic sets

Genn Warlock decks loses access to some signature cards for the hero. Here's what you won't be able to include in this kind of deck from the Classic and Basic Warlock sets:

Classic

  • Blood Imp (1 Mana)
  • Flame Imp (1 Mana)
  • Felguard (3 Mana)
  • Sense Demons (3 Mana)
  • Void Terror (3 Mana)
  • Bane of Doom (5 Mana)
  • Doomguard (5 Mana)
  • Lord Jaraxxus (9 Mana)

Basic

  • Corruption (1 Mana)
  • Mortal Coil (1 Mana)
  • Soulfire (1 Mana)
  • Voidwalker (1 Mana)
  • Drain Life (3 Mana)
  • Shadow Bolt (3 Mana)

Genn Greymane and Warlock cards in the Standard format

When the Year of the Raven begins, all of 2016's card sets will be rotated out of the Standard format. That means starting from April 12th you'll only be able to make use of The Witchwood, Un'Goro, Kobolds and Frozen Throne cards in Standard.

The following cards from those sets can't be used in a Genn Greymane deck.

The Witchwood

  • Dark Possession (1 Mana)
  • Witchwood Imp (3 Mana)
  • Duskbat (3 Mana)
  • Ratcatche (3 Mana)
  • Deathweb Spider (5 Mana)
  • Lord Godfrey (7 Mana)

Un'Goro

  • Lakkari Sacrifice (1 Mana)
  • Chittering Tunneler (3 Mana)
  • Feeding Time (5 Mana)
  • Tar Lurker (5 Mana)

Frozen Throne

  • Sanguine Reveler (1 Mana)
  • Howlfiend (3 Mana)
  • Treachery (3 Mana)
  • Unwilling Sacrifice (3 Mana)
  • Blood-Queen Lana'thel (5 Mana)
  • Despicable Dreadlord (5 Mana)

Kobolds and Catacombs

  • Dark Pact (1 Mana)
  • Kobold Librarian (1 Mana)
  • Possessed Lackey (5 Mana)
  • Skull of the Man'ari (5 Mana)
  • Voidlord (9 Mana)

Other Baku / Genn deck guides:

Baku the MooneaterGenn Greymane
Odd DruidEven Druid
Odd HunterEven Hunter
Odd MageEven Mage
Odd PaladinEven Paladin
Odd PriestEven Priest
Odd RogueEven Rogue
Odd ShamanEven Shaman
Odd WarlockEven Warlock
Odd WarriorEven Warrior

Genn Greymane and Warlock cards in the Wild format

As hard as it is to predict how the Warlock's Wild prospects look right now, we can take a view of the current top-tier decks. Here's the impact that Genn Greymane will have on this side of the Warlock's game in The Witchwood:

Wild Giants Warlock

  • Kobold Librarian (1 Mana)
  • Loatheb (5 Mana)
  • Naga Sea Witch (5 Mana)
  • Mal'Ganis (9 Mana)
  • Voidlord (9 Mana)
  • Molten Giant (25 Mana)

Wild Cubelock

  • Dark Pact (1 Mana)
  • Kobold Librarian (1 Mana)
  • Mortal Coil (1 Mana)
  • Prince Taldaram (3 Mana)
  • Carnivorous Cube (5 Mana)
  • Doomguard (5 Mana)
  • Loatheb (5 Mana)
  • Possessed Lackey (5 Mana)
  • Mal'Ganis (9 Mana)
  • Voidlord (9 Mana)

Wild Renolock

  • Dark Pact (1 Mana)
  • Mistress of Mixtures (1 Mana)
  • Power Overwhelming (1 Mana)
  • Brann Bronzebeard (3 Mana)
  • Zola the Gorgon (3 Mana)
  • Faceless Manipulator (5 Mana)
  • Leeroy Jenkins (5 Mana)
  • Loatheb (5 Mana)
  • Possessed Lackey (5 Mana)
  • Mal'Ganis (9 Mana)
  • Voidlord (9 Mana)

Wild Zoo Warlock

  • Flame Imp (1 Mana)
  • Kobold Librarian (1 Mana)
  • Malchezaar's Imp (1 Mana)
  • Power Overwhelming (1 Mana)
  • Voidwalker (1 Mana)
  • Imp Gang Boss (3 Mana)
  • Arcane Tyrant (5 Mana)
  • Bane of Doom (5 Mana)
  • Demonheart (5 Mana)
  • Doomguard (5 Mana)

If you're just getting caught up on all the latest information on Hearthstone's eighth new card set, have a look at our essential Witchwood guide. Our Monster Hunt guide will get you up to speed on the new single-player content too.

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