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Zoo Warlock deck list guide - Saviors of Uldum - Hearthstone (September 2019)

Our guide to playing Zoo in the Saviors of Uldum era.

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About James Law

James can usually be found wearing dungarees, playing Hearthstone, drinking coffee, or all of the above. For his sins, he has been cursed to forever main heavies in Smash.

Our Zoo Warlock deck list guide features the best Saviors of Uldum deck list for Season 66 of Hearthstone (September 2019). Our Zoo Warlock guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.

Zoo Warlock is a Hearthstone deck that’s existed since the very early stages of the game. Its power has fluctuated up and down many times over the years but it always seems to make an appearance in the game. Usually a go-to choice for players at the start of a new expansion cycle, it appears to be sticking around a bit longer for Rise of Shadows as it is finding some success on ladder and in tournaments.

We always like to keep our Zoo Warlock guide up to date as well because it is such as great deck to play for beginners. Not only is it often relatively cheap to put together in terms of dust, but it also goes a long way to teach you many of the fundamentals of playing Hearthstone well. Things like minion trading and placement, when to go for life total damage and how to most effectively play around your opponent’s deck.

With all that in mind, scroll on down to find the top Zoo Warlock deck list in Hearthstone at this very moment. You’ll also find a wealth strategy advice to help you get the most from the deck, plus we have the best cards to pick during the Mulligan phase and all of the important card combos too.

Zoo Warlock deck list and strategy

This is a solid Day 1 deck for you to try out in Saviors of Uldum, created by CzechCloud and utilising a whole lot of new cards. Check back for updates once the meta has calmed down!

2 x Flame Imp2 x Abusive Sergeant
2 x Grim Rally2 x Crystallizer
1 x The Soularium2 x Mecharoo
2 x Voidwalker2 x Knife Juggler
2 x EVIL Genius2 x Serpent Egg
2 x Neferset Thrasher2 x Magic Carpet
2 x Diseased Vulture1 x SN1P-SN4P
2 x Defender of Argus
2 x Sea 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: AAECAf0GAo+CA5+3Aw4w0wHyAfsFsQjCCPb9Avr+AtyGA4idA7WfA/ukA4GlA72mAwA=

More great Warlock guides:

General strategy

Saviors of Uldum has added some frightening new tools for Zoo Warlock, based both on Lackey synergy, as well as self-damage.

Taking control of the board is easy with this deck, as you have a huge number of early minions that can trade easily and a Hero Power that directly draws you more cards to play.

You’ll want to storm out into a lead with the deck’s powerful early game drops and stretch your advantage so far that your opponent is unable to respond. If they can’t get a foothold in the game you can deny them at every turn before they can even establish their game plan.

Play out your minions, and when you get the chance, send out a Lackey with EVIL Recruiter for a ludicrous tempo swing. Towards the end of the game, just keep drawing cards and playing them. You should have enough to get through.

Early game:

Contest the board with your powerful early drops and make sensible trades where possible. Remember, Zoo Warlock is a board control deck and not one for blindly rushing face damage. Look for high-health minions that stick to the board, and generate Lackeys with EVIL Genius to ensure a swift early push whilst creating value in hand too. You never want to be floating mana, so try to get as many minions onto the board as you can.

Mid game:

Continue applying pressure with your minions. Pairing them up with the effect from Magic Carpet is an excellent way to get more value out of those cheap drops immediately for trades. Alternatively, you can use the Diseased Vulture mixed with self-damage from cards like Neferset Thrasher and Flame Imp to generate random 3-cost minions each time: a huge amount of benefit for a relatively small sacrifice.

At this stage, you should consider weaving in a Life Tap every turn where possible to ensure you don’t run out of resources or cast The Soularium to dig deeper into your deck. Just remember that cards pulled from the latter are discarded if you don’t play them on the same turn so watch your mana costs!

Late game:

If you’ve stormed out into a lead then the game may already be over at this point, or you’ll at least be looking for that last extra chunk of damage. Build up that board and buff them up with Grim Rally, slamming down Sea Giants if the opportunity arises. Soon enough, you should be overwhelming your foe with value.

Aggro opponents

We’ve put together a few tips to deal with other aggro decks you may face on ladder:

  • 1. It’s even more important to trade cleverly against aggro decks, as Zoo Warlock has very few comeback mechanisms if you fall behind on the board.
  • 2. Magic Carpet allows you to give your cheap minions Rush, which means they can trade immediately with early boards.
  • 3. Voidwalker is a great early play, often grinding early aggression to a halt while you look to stabilise.
  • 4. Don’t Life Tap when you don’t need to. Aggressive enemies will take advantage and could kill you swiftly.
  • 5. You're trying to be aggressive too - a bunch of small minions paired with a cheap Sea Giant can really mess up your enemy's plans if they've set up a wide board.

Control opponents

Keep these tips in mind when you come up against control decks:

  • 1. Definitely play more aggressively against control, as you want to finish them off before they get a chance to stabilise.
  • 2. At the same time, be cautious of over-extending into a board clear if you know one could be coming on the next turn. Make sure you have some resources saved in reserve, just in case.
  • 3. Be careful with your high-value cards. You may want to save a strong board, like a couple SN1P-SN4Ps, for after you’ve baited out a board clear from the enemy.

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Zoo Warlock Mulligan guide

As you might expect from the fast-playing Zoo deck, you’ll want to get your one-drops into your hand in the Mulligan phase. Here are the specific ones you want to see:

  • 1. Flame Imp: Still one of the best one-drops in the game based on the stats alone and well worth the hit to your Health.
  • 2. Serpent Egg: A great target for Grim Rally or EVIL Genius, you're getting a 3/4 minion for just 2 mana, albeit a delayed one.
  • 3. Magic Carpet: Allows you to regain control of the board if you fall behind by Rushing your small buddies in.
  • 4. Crystallizer: 1 mana for 1/3 worth of stats remains worth it, despite the extra upside this card holds later in the game with Diseased Vulture.

Zoo Warlock tips, combos and synergies

It’s one of the game’s oldest archetypes but the Zoo Warlock formula does change a little with each set release. Make sure you know all of the following combos available in the deck before you jump into your first match:

- Use Spirit Bomb to keep the enemy side of the board clear, but be careful not to finish yourself off in the process!

- The Soularium is a great way to refill your hand if you don’t want to risk a Life Tap, but remember you need to use all three cards on the same turn or you’ll Discard them.

- Neferset Thrasher is a seriously strong turn 3 play, especially when followed up with Diseased Vulture.

- If Magic Carpet can survive for a turn after it’s played you can get some excellent value out of it, as it’ll buff all your one-drop minions with one extra Attack and grant them Rush when they're played.

- When you play EVIL Genius you’ll get two random 1/1 Lackeys for 1 mana with powerful Battlecry effects added to your hand. These include:

  • Ethereal Lackey - Discover a Spell
  • Faceless Lackey - Summon a random 2-cost minion
  • Goblin Lackey - Give a friendly minion +1 Attack and Rush
  • Kobold Lackey - Deal 2 damage
  • Witchy Lackey - Transform a friendly minion into one that costs (1) more
  • Titanic Lackey - Give a friendly minion +2 Health and Taunt

Card choices and substitutions

These are some of the key cards in the current version of Zoo Warlock, as well as some potential substitutions. As most are so cheap in terms of dust you shouldn’t need to look for replacements.

  • Flame Imp: Strong stats for a one drop that you’ll happily take three damage for in order to assert yourself on the board early.
  • Diseased Vulture: Offers board presence and value for something you’re probably doing a lot already: damaging your own Hero.
  • Abusive Sergeant: Offers a powerful Attack buff on one of your minions to help with a trade or extra face damage. You can choose to run only one copy of this in favour of Cult Master for the extra card draw, or Leeroy Jenkins to offer more burst in a control heavy meta.
  • Crystallizer: The negative isn’t too bad to get this solid drop on the board as it’s just a straight Health for Armor replacement. You can run Soulfire in its place if you don’t own this epic or want more burst damage.
  • Grim Rally: Zoo Warlock often goes very wide on the board, so you can remove a weaker minion from the field to give everything else a significant buff for a minimal cost.
  • The Soularium: Vital card draw to keep the pressure up as Zoo Warlock. As many of the deck’s cards are super-cheap you shouldn't be too worried about not having the mana to play everything you draw.
  • EVIL Genius: It would be a nasty downside but there are cards like Scarab Egg that are great to target it with, plus it’ll give you two one-drop minions with powerful effects that work well in Zoo Warlock.
  • Knife Juggler: With all the cheap minions in Zoo Warlock you can get a lot of dagger throws off that can be hugely helpful as extra Health or minion damage.
  • Neferset Thrasher: Although it damages your Hero, it damages the enemy more. Health is just a resource after all, so only avoid playing this if you’re absolutely inches from certain death.
  • Magic Carpet: Offers a very nice buff to your one-drops that can ensure they have a more substantial impact on the board more quickly.
  • Sea Giant: You should have a wide board very often, so you’ll see substantial discounts on Sea Giant that mean you can drop it much earlier than intended. It demands an immediate answer from your opponent.

Comment on this article

  • Truncle #1 10 months ago
    @Stem argh!Argh! Reading comprehension fail on my part! Thank you for helping!
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  • Stem #2 10 months ago
    @Truncle "If your deck has not 2-cost cards" means that Keleseth's battlecry will not trigger if there is a 2 cost card like "Defile", so Keleseth would work with this deck if there are 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10-cost cards.
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  • Truncle #3 10 months ago
    @Stem then does that mean the Prince battlecry would not work with this deck? As out lined in this article? Or am being dense and missing something?
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  • Stem #4 10 months ago
    @Truncle If your deck has not 2-cost cards, fungalmancer is 5-cost
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  • Truncle #5 10 months ago
    I apologize, but I am not tracking this deck. It says to use The Prince, but that card text says that it only works if your deck has no cards that cost more than 2. But fungal mancer and doom guard and Spellbreaker are more than 2? So how does Prince work?
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  • Grunyarth #6 A year ago
    Go to the hsreplay page here, and sort the decks by winrate. You'll notice 0 of the top 10 have soulfire infusion/doubling imp. The first popular list with those two cards is at 58% winrate and is playing sea giants and such. The more conventional soulfire infusion/doubling imp builds aren't until 56-57%.
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  • Grunyarth #7 A year ago
    If you look at the statistics on, the version of this deck with soulfire infusion and doubling imp is doing worse by a surprising amount (3-4% it seems). This is considering the winrate of the best zoolock lists on the site with over a few thousand games. I think you should update this guide to reflect that, as it really is an amazingly large difference considering how much more synergistic this list can feel.
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  • Bedders #8 A year ago

    Here's the pre-expansion deck list which was updated on the 1st August. Use this in the days we have left before Boomdsay lands. Thanks for your patience as we get the site updated!


    2 x Flame Imp
    2 x Kobold Librarian
    2 x Soulfire
    2 x Voidwalker
    2 x Despicable Dreadlord


    2 x Lightwarden
    2 x Voodoo Doctor
    1 x Prince Keleseth
    2 x Fungal Enchanter
    2 x Happy Ghoul
    2 x Tar Creeper
    1 x Void Ripper
    2 x Lifedrinker
    2 x Saronite Chain Gang
    1 x Spellbreaker
    2 x Fungalmancer
    1 x Leeroy Jenkins

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  • Bedders #9 2 years ago
    @arjensmit75 Sorry I missed this - it had gone off the front page! (Do an@Bedders if you ever want to grab me personally).

    It's a bit of a shame that Zoo isn't really delivering right now. I'd hoped for a bit of a comeback in Un'Goro but it's probably not to be.
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  • arjensmit75 #10 2 years ago
    Entirely useless to try and play this and hope for a win.
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  • nicn #11 2 years ago
    -1 abusive / +1 forb.ritual seems kinda better for councilman
    (i d personally go for 2 rituals/no abusive since early minions in this smorc meta have less than 3health)
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  • Bedders #12 2 years ago
    @kirksteele90 Yeah it's an old favourite of ours. Shame it's not quite as competitive as it once was, as it's such a nice way of people to learn the ins and outs of the game.
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  • kirksteele90 #13 2 years ago
    Thanks, built this deck with a few minor changes for cards i didn't have and won 2 games in a row already. Very easy to pick up and learn and as someone that hated warlock to begin with, this was a fund deck to play.
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  • saschascheer22 #14 2 years ago
    rdu says not to always keep peddler, especially against other aggro. just think of it as a 3 drop.and the only 3 drop u might want is gang-boss
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  • roberthaynes80 #15 2 years ago
    @Klck I think you misunderstand how Leeroy is used in Zoo. You look at it as he's not an equal board presence to Doomguard, and that's true, but that's now why he's being selected. You can hoard Power Overwhelming and cast them on Leeroy for a huge end-game burst. You can't do that with Doomguard because they get discarded. Also, most of the 'locks I've seen on the ladder this past season have been running the discard version of zoo, with the imp and Silverware Golem. They DO run Doomguard because the imps return the lost cards.
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  • Klck #16 3 years ago
    @koolcat1101 You r wrong mate, i was also. There are no downsides playing doomguard as you play it as last card in hand. Also leeeeeeeeroy hits once then hes dead, while doomguard hits and need to be answered or he hits again.

    Leeroy is good replacement while you have no doomguards.
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  • koolcat1101 #17 3 years ago
    I prefer the version with leeroy Jenkins.
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  • Klck #18 3 years ago
    IS BRANN OUT SMOKING CIGG? Seriously, - knife juggler, + Brann
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  • josb983 #19 3 years ago
    Is Moroes a good replacement for imp gang boss?
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  • joãosilva24 #20 3 years ago
    @Dimitriy I dont have it soo I normally replace it with imp master
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  • Klck #21 3 years ago
    @Dimitriy at last but not least, 2/3 dude which spawn 1\1 boar is valid, harvest golem even better i guess.
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  • Dimitriy #22 3 years ago
    Who can i replace with imp gang boss?
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  • Klck #23 3 years ago
    @harrisongrafanakis70 didnt notice no imps here, i would play 10 of them if able. No offence but If t5 giant is slow then we must be playing other games.
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  • @Klck i agree with what ur saying but keep argent squire and flame imp kara kazam isnt needed sea giant is a bit slow leeroy is a valid replacement for doomguard
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  • Bedders #25 3 years ago
    @Klck Definitely valid. I think we're going to see a lot of changes in the first full month of Karazhan, now that every card has been released. It's quite hard to definitively call these deck lists right now.

    I'd encourage everyone to experiment with every variation right now, and if you find one that works in your corner of the ladder, stick with it! We'll have a better sense of what works within the broader metagame for the next update I think.
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  • Klck #26 3 years ago
    -1 argent squire
    - 1 flame juggler
    - 2 doomguard (there is no reason to play him, its zoo, not discardlock)

    + 1 kara kazham (great synergies with knife juggler, councilman and sea giants)
    + leeeeeeeeroy (cant even compare doomguard to him, its hard to power overwhelm doomguard, isnt it?)
    + 2 sea giant
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  • Klck #27 3 years ago
    Almost everyone playing zoo is using Kara kazham! over forbiden ritual or as addition beacuse of popularity of warrior decks.
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  • joshzullo92 #28 3 years ago
    This is not tier 1 anymore. Too much removal, and yes, I will always draw it against this deck.
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  • joshzullo92 #29 3 years ago
    This is not tier 1 anymore. Too much removal, and yes, I will always draw it against this deck.
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  • Klck #30 3 years ago
    I main zoo atm. My version is a bit faster than Yours and a bit slower than Trumps one.

    Changes according to Yours list:

    - Brann Bronzebeard (hes 50% times great especially when followed up by defender of argus, and 50% just fine. Since i cut dark iron dwarf its not 50% anymore.)

    - Dark iron dwarf (just worst guy in party.)

    + 2x mortal coil (so many aggro in meta nowadays, and its simle 2 for 1.

    Also tested Moroes. Too slow, maybe he finds home in some token themed deck.
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  • Bedders #31 3 years ago
    @Klck Oh, missed that sorry and thanks for the spot!
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  • Klck #32 3 years ago
    Just wondering why your list contains 29 cards.
    @Sonic1337 You can always consider 2nd Dark Iron Dwarf in a place of Sea Giant. Leeroy is hard to be replaced beacuse its a finnisher. You should look arround for something that cost 5-6 and make immediate effect on board. No idea if You can actualy find something.
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  • Bedders #33 3 years ago
    @Sonic1337 It depends very much on what you have in your collection. Leeroy gives you burst/surprise finish so I guess you want anything that charges. Reckless Rocketeer as a budget possibility?

    Do you have Gormok the Impaler? That used to be a common component of Zoo (in recent months at least), and gives you the same sort of minion-fuelled bonus effect of Se Giant albeit without the meaty stats on the board.
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  • Sonic1337 #34 3 years ago
    replacements for Leeroy and Sea Giant ?
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  • Nasharan #35 3 years ago
    I replaced the two legendaries with Mortal Coil and one Dire Wolf Wlpha + the Sea Giant with two Raid Leaders. It's working well and the deck's total cost is at about 1200 dust.
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  • berylliumgold17 #36 3 years ago
    In particular - Mortal Coil seems too important to replace it with something else.
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  • berylliumgold17 #37 3 years ago
    why does trump have a video featuring different cards than the list of cards for the zoo deck?
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  • vaidab #38 3 years ago
    I have a few positioning questions:

    Why did he put that many minions, wasn't he in risk of a Brawl? This deck is usually running 1 brawl though at 9:18 he says these decks aren't usually running one :/
    I would have played Tap + Defender here.
    Also, shouldn't have he put the Darkshire Councilman between the Knife Juggler and Imp Gang Boss as he doesn't usually need a wolf as an activator.

    At 8:36 he explains that Argent Squires and Possessed Villages go on the edges, with priority to the right edge.
    Considering Forbidden Ritual (which puts the 1/1s to the right), shouldn't the left edge have priority so that these 2 minions don't stop the wolf+sliding combo?
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  • brianthompson15 #39 3 years ago
    Suitable replacement for gormok?
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  • aggroman123 #40 3 years ago
    tbh this deck is awesome im running it without dark peddler as i dont have league of explorers in their places i put two of the murlocs with charge and so far im 7-0
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  • vaidab #41 3 years ago
    I'm running a deck similar to this one and I have a few questions on mulliganing.
    My modifications:
    -2 mortal coils
    -1 argent squire
    +1 bilefin tidehunter
    +1 flame juggler
    +1 dark iron dwarf

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  • Bedders #42 3 years ago

    RE: Giants - Yep, totally viable. My preference is to have two of them though to play into the "many minions" flavour of the particular deck list. It's a fair swap if you want/need a fast finisher.

    RE: Dark Peddler - Oversight on my part, apologies! I've added the card to the Mulligan guide.
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  • inposition #43 3 years ago
    You don't keep dark peddler in the mulligan? Why not?
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  • inposition #44 3 years ago
    I've seen some folks putting in a Leeroy for one of the Giants. What are your thoughts on this choice?
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  • Gr81derer #45 3 years ago
    Video Tutorial here:
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  • Bedders #46 3 years ago
    @traianniţu01 Ah, my mistake. There was one mention of Voidcaller left in here from when this was more Demon-orientated. I've tidied it up now - thanks for spotting!
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  • Bedders #47 3 years ago
    @traianniţu01 Ah, my mistake. There was one mention of Voidcaller left in here from when this was more Demon-orientated. I've tidied it up now - thanks for spotting!
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  • traianniţu01 #48 3 years ago
    I am sorry, you keep mentioning Voidcaller in the guide, but the card is not present in the actual deck you present. Please explain.
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  • Bedders #49 3 years ago
    @jasonsnodgrass44 Sooner or later, I always come crawling back to Zoo!
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  • jasonsnodgrass44 #50 3 years ago
    I absolutely love this deck, its fluid it can be aggressive it can defensive. I switched out an imp-losion for a Shadowflame just to clear the board when I need to.
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  • NinjaFred #51 3 years ago
    is dark peddler an ok replacement for imp gang boss?
    and if i don't have mal'ganis yet is there another replacement demon until i get him?
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  • thomasnash95 #52 3 years ago
    Going face on Nerubian Egg + Power Overwhelming in round 4 then playing Void Terror to buff it to at least 7/9 then having the 4/4 Nerubian has made my last 3 opponents forfeit.
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  • warnerve #53 4 years ago
    Trump thinks he is some kind of card genius when it comes to throwing decks together. Hearthstone is such a noob game to begin with and has so few cards it's pretty easy to toss variants of themed decks around its not funny. This deck is nothing more than an Afro lock with a few gvg catds tossed in and a win condition. Hearthstone is in a state of static play until the new adventure is released and then it will cycle again. Making counter decks to the current flavor of the week and being lucky on draws will net you a 55% win rate and a 250-300 game legend climb for your card back. Blizzard has successfully done what they always do best.......designing a game that puts luck and a time sink together to make you so pissed off you spend money to bypass the time aspect to only find that the luck you need puts you back to time sink mode. Congrats to trump and all the others who claim glory on having more time to waste on a game than other people. Trump couldn't save his ass in a game of Texas hold'em because he wouldn't know how to counter a full house with his ace high hahahaha......
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  • Bedders #54 4 years ago
    Nice run! Reading through your comment, you might actually like to have a play around with the Demon Control Warlock that's doing the rounds at the moment. That's got a lot of the cards you want to play with, but you'll need Sylvanas, Dr. Boom, Ragnaros and Lord Jaraxxus to get the most out of it.

    Links aren't working at the moment (tech are on it), but if you look under the Deck Guide section of the site, you should find our guide a few rows down.
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  • morley83 #55 4 years ago
    Well, I played this deck without a loss from 18-14 , so it seems pretty strong! (I haven't played much this or last season, hence the low start). In the end I ran afoul of a hunter that busrt me down. Imp-losion is dangerous there! Pre-GvG i took a zoo-lock to rank 4, and I miss the power overwhelming/nerubian egg/void terror combo from that. I might look to modify this deck a little, drop one or both imposions for void terrors and get a darkbomb in there somewhere, see how that fares.
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  • GealachNua #56 4 years ago
    @Bedders Below 10 is great! I've only ever got to 14.
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  • Bedders #57 4 years ago
    Let me know how you get on. I've been Arena-ing and getting the site ready for most of this month. I've played a little of this deck for the guide, and I think I'll give it a whirl for my last-minute sprint to, er, sub-Rank 10 glory. Hopefully anyway...
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  • morley83 #58 4 years ago
    Good stuff, haven't developed my decks much since GVG launched, I might take this for a spin and see how it fares
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