Our Zoo Warlock deck list guide features the best Rastakhan deck list for Season 59 of Hearthstone (February 2019). 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.
In the early days of the new Rastakhan’s Rumble expansion, Zoo Warlock has fallen down the rankings somewhat. Although early experiments included a few new cards from the latest set, it's since reverted to the healing-powered version of the archetype that sprang into life towards the middle of 2018.
In our guide to playing the Rastakhan version of Zoolock, we've highlighted a deck list that's about as good as it gets right now, and should prove to be a pretty effective way of climbing the ladder over the next week or so. 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 - FEBRUARY #1
Very little has changed for Zoo Warlock since our last update in January, and the recent balance patch has likewise failed to have an impact on the archetype. Although a Tier 2 deck in the current meta, Zoo remains a very viable way of making progress on the ladder in February.
Zoo Warlock deck list and strategy
This is the most competitive version of Zoo Warlock that's being played at this stage of the Rastakhan 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 Soulfire||1 x Prince Keleseth|
|2 x Voidwalker||2 x Fungal Enchanter|
|2 x Despicable Dreadlord||2 x Happy Ghoul|
|2 x Tar Creeper|
|2 x Lifedrinker|
|2 x Saronite Chain Gang|
|2 x Spellbreaker|
|2 x Fungalmancer|
|1 x Leeroy Jenkins|
Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.
Deck Import ID: AAECAf0GAq8EnOICDjCEAfIFzgfCCPcMysMCm8sC980Cn84C8tAC0eECh+gC7/ECAA==
VIDEO GUIDE - Trump's guide to playing Zoo Warlock uses a slightly differently deck list but is essential viewing if you want to truly master this archetype. Give it a watch and consider liking and subscribing if you find it useful:
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 on 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, but it's slipped down the ranking a little in recent weeks. We're also back to the healing-focused version of the deck, so expect plenty of synergies along those lines.
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 to buff all the remaining minions in your deck.
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. You should also be able to start exploiting the many healing synergies that exist in the deck at this point.
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. Leeroy Jenkins is perfect for that job, though it can be used for trading if you’re in dire need of its help. 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 use Soulfire as direct damage 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 mechanisms if you fall behind on the board.
- 2. Saronite Chain Gain can be excellent at slowing down aggressive decks, while keeping your early game minions safe.
- 3. Soulfire can be used to kill a minion in a pinch, but it’s usually best saved for burn damage versus aggro.
- 4. Ensure you 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 stabilise.
- 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.
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. Kobold Librarian: Can trade up into some two drop minions and draws a new card into your hand.
- 3. Flame Imp: Quite simply a very powerful early game minion.
- 4. Happy Ghoul: Get a source of healing in and you can make a big tempo play by getting this card into play for free on the same turn.
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!
- Any time a character is healed, whether that's your hero or your minions, Lightwarden will gain an extra two points of Attack.
- 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 can be played for free on the same turn you find a way to heal your hero.
- Hit End Turn and your Despicable Dreadlord will inflict a point of damage against all enemy minions. It's something to think about when planning out your trading maths.
- 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. 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.
- Saronite Taskmaster: Another minion with excellent stats for a one drop. Handing your opponent a 0 / 3 after it dies isn’t too big of an issue either, when you see it as just giving them an additional three health - be cautious if they can buff it though.
- 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 very minimal cost.
- Soul Infusion: Getting a +2/+2 buff on any of your cheap minions is pretty huge – and the spell costs very little itself too!
- Prince Keleseth: Can offer a huge advantage if you cast it as early as possible by buffing all the remaining minions in your deck.
- 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.
- Doubling Imp: If you can buff this is your hand with Soul Infusion or Prince Keleseth before playing it then you can but two surprisingly tough minions on the board for relatively cheap.
- 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.
- Fungalmancer: To get the most value out of the buff this card provides make sure it can hit two minions to give them both a healthy stat boost in the mid game.