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Zoo Warlock deck list guide - Hearthstone - (Post nerf) - February 2018

Our essential guide to climbing the Kobolds and Catacombs ladder with Zoo Warlock in Season 47.

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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 Zoo Warlock deck list guide features the best post nerf deck list for Season 47 (February 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 remaining weeks of the Kobolds and Catacombs meta. 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 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 - 20th FEBRUARY 2018

Zoo Warlock has continued to experience pretty extreme experimentation since the nerf patch hit, and so you'd be well advised to brush up on the combo section of this guide before taking this one back to the ladder. We'll keep checking in on the status of Zoo as it's certain to undergoing further refinement in the coming weeks.

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:

WarlockNeutral
2 x Blood Imp2 x Saronite Chain Gang
2 x Flame Imp2 x Fungalmancer
2 x Kobold Librarian
2 x Malchezaar's Imp
1 x Mortal Coil
2 x Soulfire
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: AAECAf0GAsQIl9MCDjDVA/cEzgfCCPYIvLYCx7sCybsCm8sC980C8dAC8tAC0eECAA==

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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 Aggro Paladin, 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 aggressive opponents 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

Flame Imp is a fantastic keep in every match-up, as is Vulgar Homunculus and Voidwalker. You also won't go wrong getting a Kobold Librarian onto the board in the early game either. He's great for trading into an enemy minion and getting an extra card is well worth that two-Health penalty.

Zoo is still settling down, so we'll add in match-up specific advice when we once again have an established list for the archetype. There's just too much that's subject to change to pin things down right now.

Zoo Warlock tips, combos and synergies

Zoo may be one of the oldest archetypes in the game but the recent nerfs in the Kobolds and Catacombs meta haven shaken 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.

- At the end of each of your turns Blood Imp will choose another friendly minion and grant it an extra point of Health. It can't target itself, however, so if it's the only minion on the board then nothing will happen.

- You can use Demonfire to ping an enemy minion and kill it if you want, but you'll get so much more value by targeting it on a friendly Demon minion. Do so and the target will gain an extra + 2 / +2 of stats to play with.

- Similarly, Bloodfury Potion gives regular minions an extra 3 points of Attack strength, but if it's applied to a Demon you'll grant an extra 3 points of Health as well.

- All friendly Demons currently on the board will gain + 1 / +1 stats when Crystalweaver is put onto the board alongside them.

- 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!

- 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 Bloodreaver Gul'dan is played a flood of dead Demon minions will be spilled out onto the board. You'll also gain a new Hero Power which does three points of damage to a target of your choice.

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