Our Zoo Warlock deck list guide features the best deck list for Season 55 of Hearthstone (October 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. An injection of healing flavour during The Witchwood meta saw it rise back to its historical peak, and it looks like nothing's going to stand in its way during the Boomsday era.
In our guide to playing the Boomsday 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 when the expansion lands. 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 - OCTOBER #1
We updated our Zoo Warlock deck list last week and so there are no changes for the very start of the October competitive season. If the format does change at all in the coming weeks we'll make sure those changes are reflected in our guide.
This article contains additional content created by James Pickard.
Zoo Warlock deck list and strategy
This is the most competitive version of Zoo Warlock that's being played at this stage of the Boomsday meta. We'll keep updating it over time so you always have the best version of the deck to play with.
|2 x Flame Imp||2 x Lightwarden|
|2 x Kobold Librarian||2 x Voodoo Doctor|
|2 x Soul Infusion||1 x Prince Keleseth|
|2 x Soulfire||2 x Fungal Enchanter|
|1 x The Soularium||2 x Happy Ghoul|
|2 x Voidwalker||2 x Lifedrinker|
|2 x Doubling Imp||2 x Saronite Chain Gang|
|2 x Doomguard|
|2 x Fungalmancer|
Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.
Deck Import ID: AAECAf0GApziAo+CAw4whAH3BM4Hwgj3DJvLAp/OAvLQAtHhAofoAu/xAvT3AtP4AgA=
Zoo Warlock is a minion heavy deck that aims to take control of the board in the early game by efficiently trading with your opponent’s creatures and using the Life-Tap hero power to keep your hand full of resources. With a lot of powerful early game drops you can storm out into a lead early and either overwhelm your opponent before they have a chance to respond, or close out the game with some final burst damage in the late game.
Zoo Warlock always seems to do well during the first few days of a new expansion launch and things are no different with The Boomday Project. A couple of notable additions have given the deck an extra boost, including a cheap buff from Soul Infusion and the new late game draw engine The Soularium. With the latter, Zoo Warlock’s cards are so cheap that you should able to play everything you draw before they are discarded at the end of the turn.
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 rushing face damage. If you have Prince Keleseth, you’ll obviously want to play that immediately on Turn 2, or coin it out if you’re going second. Meanwhile, Fungal Enchanter and Voodoo Doctor can help set up decent tempo plays when combined with Happy Ghoul to press your early advantage further.
Mid game: Continue applying pressure through the likes of Saronite Chain Gang and buffing the minions you have on the board already with Fungalmancer. At this stage you should consider weaving in a Life-Tap every turn where possible to ensure you don’t run out of resources. Soul Infusion also works as good way to spend leftover mana while buffing minions in your hand.
Late game: If you’ve stormed out into a lead then the game may already be over at this point, or you’ll be looking for that last extra chunk of damage. Doomguard is perfect for that job, though it can be used for trading if you’re in dire need of it. Sometimes it may be better to ignore your opponent’s minions or nullify them with Spellbreaker and just push for damage if you think you can close out the game in time.
Now is also the time to start looking at casting The Soularium to give yourself an injection of new options. You might happen upon the buff or direct damage with Soulfire that you need to wrap up the match.
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 mechanics if you fall behind on the board.
- 2. Look to get ahead by out-tempoing your opponent with heal minions and a Happy Ghoul on the same turn.
- 3. Saronite Chain Gain can be excellent at slowing down aggressive decks while keeping your early game minions safe.
- 4. Soulfire can be used to kill a minion in a pinch but it’s usually best saved for burn damage versus aggro.
- 5. Still Life-Tap when you can, but be careful of doing so too aggressively and putting yourself on a dangerously low amount of Health that a fast aggro deck can reduce to nothing out of nowhere.
Keep these tips in mind when you come up against control decks:
- 1. Definitely think about playing more aggressively against control, as you may be able to finish them off before they get a chance to stabalise.
- 2. At the same time be cautious of over-extending into board clear if you know one could be coming next turn. Make sure you have some resources saved in reserve, just in case.
- 3. Many control decks will try to block your damage with Taunt minions, but Spellbreaker can negate their effect. Consider saving it, though, for your final burst of damage.
- 4. It’s also less of a problem in these matchups if you need to use Soulfire to clear a minion.
- 5. If you do need some more late game reach, then some variations of Zoo Warlock like to run Bloodreaver Gul’dan to refill the board and offer an upgraded Hero Power.
Zoo Warlock Mulligan guide
Prince Keleseth and your most impactful one drops are the cards you’ll want to be searching for in the Mulligan phase.
- 1. Prince Keleseth: Can give you a huge advantage right from the off by buffing all the remaining minions in your deck.
- 2. Flame Imp: Quite simply a very powerful early game minion.
- 3. Kobold Librarian: Can trade up into some two drop minions and draws a new card into your hand.
- 4. Voidwalker: The least important minion to get in your opening hand but can offer some early pressure and security nevertheless.
Zoo Warlock tips, combos and synergies
Zoo may be one of the oldest archetypes in the game but the new expansion has 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.
- 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!
- Lightwarden gains two Attack every time a minion or hero is healed. Cards like Voodoo Doctor and Fungal Enchanter and Lifedrinker have core synergy in this regard.
- New card Soul Infusion causes the left-most minion in your hand to gain an extra +2 +2 stats when played.
- It makes sense to play The Soularium as late in the game as you can, as it means you'll likely have enough Mana left over to play the minions you draw into, prevent them from being discarded at the end of your turn.
- Once Prince Keleseth has been fielded, all of the minions remaining in your deck pile gain +1 / +1 of stats. This is a huge tempo advantage, and so you should aim to get this character out in play as early as possible in every match.
- Happy Ghoul won't cost a single point of Mana to play if your hero was healed on the turn in question. See the healing synergies outlined elsewhere in this section for options here.
- If you can find a way of landing the bonus effect of Soul Infusion on Doubling Imp it'll be a very strong play. Even better if Prince Keleseth has boosted those creatures even further.
- Slap Fungalmancer between two other friendly minions and they'll both gain an extra two points of Attack and Health.
Card choices and subsitutions
These are some of the key cards in the current version of Zoo Warlock, plus a few ideas for substitutes if you need them.
- 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.
- Lightwarden: Current Zoo Warlock runs a number of minor healing effects which can pump this minion up considerably if your opponent has no answer for it.
- Soul Infusion: Getting a +2/+2 buff on any of your cheap minions is pretty huge – and the spell costs very little itself too!
- The Soularium: Another new addition with The Boomsday Project. It fits perfectly in Zoo Warlock as a late game draw engine and the discard downside shouldn’t be too much of an issue considering the majority of cards in the deck are so cheap.
- Prince Keleseth: Can offer a huge advantage if you cast it as early as possible by buffing all the remaining minions in your deck.
- Happy Ghoul: Another card that synergises well with the healing options in the deck. This can set up some big tempo plays and help establish an even stronger board.
- Lifedrinker: More healing synergy, though not a vital inclusion in the list. If you find yourself running into a lot of aggro you might consider a Tar Creeper in its place.
- Saronite Chain Gang: A good anti-aggro card that also drops two bodies onto the board. Follow it up with a Fungalmancer next turn and you’ll be in for a great time.
- Spellbreaker: Useful for getting through any annoying Taunt minions that could be in your way and preventing that final chunk of damage.
- Doomguard: A strong finisher that can also trade with your opponent’s minions very effectively if necessary.