Demon Control Warlock Deck List Guide – Kobolds and Catacombs (KAC) – December 2017

Learn how to play this archetype with our Control Demon Warlock Deck List Guide.

Our Demon Control Warlock guide for the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion features the best deck list for this archetype. This Warlock guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!

Introduction to Demon Control Warlock

Demon Control Warlock is a new deck from Kobolds and Catacombs that abuses Possessed Lackey to accelerate Voidlord onto the board. While controlling Warlock decks (even those using Demon synergy) have existed since the beginning of Hearthstone, this one is very different, as it only runs one Demon and doesn’t run any Giants. Against decks where hard to answer Taunt minions matter less, Demon Control Warlock relies on Rin, the First Disciple to destroy the opponent’s deck.

Check out our List of the Best Standard Decks for Hearthstone Ladder

Demon Control Warlock Mulligan Strategy & Guide

Vs Everything

Higher Priority (Keep every time)

  • Kobold Librarian – This card is a Life Tap at half the cost that also gives you a 2/1 body, which is pretty high value. One of the most important aspects of this card is that it activates Lesser Amethyst Spellstone, but it also gives Controlling Warlock decks a 1-health minion to activate Defile.
  • Lesser Amethyst Spellstone – After just one activation, this card essentially becomes Holy Fire for two less mana, a very efficient spell. This is especially significant considering Cobalt Scalebane and Corridor Creeper are very commonly played 5-health minions. The second upgrade is less important, but it is able to hit Doomguard and Kun the Forgotten King at that point. You always keep this card because you want it to upgrade when you play cards that damage yourself. Life Tap does not activate your spellstone.
  • Possessed Lackey – Voidlord is the star of this deck, but he wouldn’t be without his favorite lackey. Since Voidlord is the only Demon in the deck, Possessed Lackey will search him out every time. A turn 5 or 6 Voidlord is probably enough to win you the game against most aggro decks right there, and accelerates your Bloodreaver Gul'dan/N'Zoth, The Corruptor plan against midrange.
  • Corridor Creeper – Possibly the strongest card in the set, Corridor Creeper is often a 0-mana 5/5 minion if drawn early enough. Creeper is a strong keep for any deck running it, but is especially good in this deck with all of its early game board clear tools.

VS Fast Decks

Higher Priority (Keep every time)

  • Mortal Coil – This card lets you remove a small minion and draw a card, which is pretty valuable early game. It’s also a versatile way to make your Defiles more effective.
  • Defile – One of the best board clear tools in the game, its low cost makes it an extremely safe keep against aggro decks.
  • Mistress of Mixtures – Warlocks love healing and Mistress does that pretty well for an early game card. Playing her on your first turn will often mean your first one or two Life Taps won’t cause lasting damage. She also makes Defile easier, as most early game minions right now have 1 or 3 health.

Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)

  • Stonehill Defender – As far as early game Taunts go, Stonehill Defender is actually pretty weak. He’s good in this deck because he can grab Vulgar HomunculusRin, the First Disciple or more Voidlords, but he doesn’t stop early game minions like a Tar Creeper would. If you already have better early game cards he’s an alright keep, but definitely not if you don’t like the rest of your hand.
  • Hellfire – Against aggro decks you don’t really want to play your first card on turn 4, but if you make it that far Hellfire is a great way to reset the board. Only keep if you have earlier things to play.

VS Slow Decks

Higher Priority (Keep every time)

  • Rin, the First Disciple – That this card is not only playable, but even competitive is shocking to me. I thought for certain this was a meme card, but it turns out in control mirrors you often have the time to waste your turn playing seals. The key factor there is that control decks in general are filled with many reactive cards, so often in the mid to late game both players will Hero Power/pass with nothing on the board to respond to. When facing other controlling Warlock decks, the first player to pull this off is the winner in most cases. It also gives you a fighting chance against Raza Priest as long as they don’t play their combo on curve.

Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)

  • Skulking Geist – Jade decks as we knew them have largely fallen out of favor, but there is a Miracle Druid deck floating around that relies on Jade Idol for its end game. There’s even a Miracle Priest deck based around Dragon Soul which is filled with 1-cost spells. Keep against Priest and Druid.
  • Dirty Rat – This is your answer to Exodia Mage and Raza Priest. If you can successfully pull out Archmage AntonidasRaza the Chained or Prophet Velen the matches are a lot more winnable for you. Dirty Rat is not as important in other matchups and is an extremely risky early game play, so only keep against Mage or Priest. Also, know which Priest you’re facing before you play the card. Dirty Rat can pull out terrifying things if played against Big Priest.

Demon Control Warlock Win Rates

Winrates provided by Metastats

Demon Control Warlock Play Strategy

This deck aims to do one of three different things, depending on the matchup: set up an unbreakable Taunt wall, destroy your opponent’s deck, or sabotage your opponent’s combos.

Vs Aggro

The goal is to get out a Voidlord as soon as possible, and survive until you can. If you can play Possessed Lackey on turn 5, accelerating a Voidlord that early in the game is very hard for any aggro deck to overcome. Then you only have to worry about keeping your life total high enough to avoid things like Fireball and Kill Command. If you can stay alive long enough to play Bloodreaver Gul'dan or N'Zoth, The Corruptor, either of which fills your board with taunt minions, in all likelihood the the game is yours.

Vs Control

Against most Control decks Rin, the First Disciple is very important. Destroying your opponent’s deck removes their combo pieces and gives them a fast-pass to fatigue. In matches against Big Priest/Druid or other Control Warlock decks this is your primary strategy, but against some Combo decks you might not get there in time. These decks are primarily Razakus Priest, Exodia Mage, and Miracle Druid. In these cases, Dirty Rat and Skulking Geist become your primary win conditions.

Pulling Raza the Chained or Archmage Antonidas out with Dirty Rat probably wins the game on the spot, but even if you whiff these cards, Raza Priest and Exodia Mage are filled with other minions that if targeted with Dirty Rat would slow down their game plan significantly.

Miracle Druid cannot afford to be hit with Skulking Geist. They don’t just lose their win condition, they lose everything. If you play Skulking Geist against them, they’re left with 2 Arcane Tyrant and 2 Arcane Giant to finish you off with, and almost none of their removal. In most cases this is not nearly enough to close out the game.

Card Interactions

Kobold LibrarianMistress of Mixtures and Mortal Coil are all excellent ways to make your Defile clear the whole board. Also, consider opposing Deathrattles before you play Defile, you can often clear them too if you get the math right.

Lesser Amethyst Spellstone is meh before being upgraded, but fantastic at the first or second upgrade. HellfireKobold Librarian and Chittering Tunneler all upgrade it.

Shadowflame seems like an odd inclusion in a deck that doesn’t have many high attack minions, especially considering that the deck is only running 1 Hellfire, despite the synergy with Lesser Amethyst Spellstone. This card is good for two reasons. First, Corridor Creeper often costs 0, allowing you to clear the board of all 5 or less health minions without sacrificing your life total as early as turn 4. Second, Priest is running all the silence spells lately, and you really want your Rin, the First Disciple to give you the seals. In these cases, it is totally acceptable to Shadowflame your Rin only to deny silence.

N'Zoth, The Corruptor brings back Possessed Lackey, so if you still have a Voidlord in your deck you can get another activation. This is especially relevant against Priest after a Psychic Scream.

Demon Control Warlock Card Substitutions

This deck is only running one Demon, Voidlord, to make sure that Possessed Lackey always finds it. So, even though Vulgar Homunculus is a great card and synergizes well with the rest of the deck, you can’t add it without making your deck worse, or any other Demon for that matter.

There is a lot of room for experimentation in this deck. If you’re having trouble with Aggro maybe you want a second Hellfire. If you’re not activating your spellstone often enough maybe you want a second Chittering Tunneler. If you have cool ideas to add to the deck and can’t decide what to remove, I’d recommend starting with Stonehill Defender. It can be really good, but I’m not super impressed with it.

  • Bloodmage Thalnos and Tainted Zealot– Spell Damage and low health minions are great improvements to Defile. Both these card fill those roles but each has its own advantage over the other. Thalnos draws you a card, while Zealot also applies its Spell Damage to the second tick of Defile and activates the third tick. Adding these cards can be tricky, as they probably take Dirty Rat‘s spots. Defile is an amazing enough card on its own, so only replace your Dirty Rats with them if you rarely encounter the combo matchups you need them for.
  • Bloodbloom – I experimented with a list that ran Bloodbloom and it was pretty good. The reason I included them was because I felt I would often need to clear the board and play Possessed Lackey in the same turn against aggro, which is hard when most of your removal costs 4 or more. Bloodbloom was definitely effective at solving these issues, but I stopped running it because I thought it would also activate spellstone. It doesn’t. Another benefit of the card is that it makes playing Rin’s seals a lot easier, so if you’re running into Control decks a lot it’s a consideration.
  • Drain Soul – If you find yourself losing a bit too much life, Drain soul is something to consider. Removal with life gain is great in general, but cheap damaging spells really shine in deck that also run Defile. If you added any Spell Damage minions, Drain Soul also benefits from them.

About the Author

Martian has been playing Hearthstone regularly since early 2014, and consistently makes it to Legend in both Standard and Wild.

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18 Comments

Discuss This Deck
  1. mislavi
    December 16, 2017 at 11:16 am

    nobody plays dudu so why put skull geist? and for priest his main list is dragon priest for now so dirty rat have no sense too

    Reply
    • Oliver
      December 28, 2017 at 7:19 am

      On 15 i ran into 80% Dudus…

      Reply
  2. Adrinalin
    December 15, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    http://www.hearthstonetopdecks.com/decks/rin-fatigue-warlock-kc/

    My current deck build for control lock. Very similar to this deck but with some significant variations. So far 18-3 on the ladder.

    Reply
  3. Joe
    December 14, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    How is this at all weak to Spell Hunter? Every single time I’ve played against it, I get wrecked by Voidlord.

    Reply
    • Martian - Author
      December 14, 2017 at 10:02 pm

      Yeah I’d be surprised to lose that matchup. Maybe people are Tapping too long? Gotta play around Steady Shot/Kill Command.

      Reply
  4. YasinK
    December 14, 2017 at 4:48 am

    Thanks for this guide since I only play control warlock this season and stuck at rank 15-11. But I got a few questions:

    1. Voidlord (especially pulled from Lackey) into Carnivorous Cube combo? Yay or nay? Or too slow for this deck?
    2. Why Bonemare?

    Reply
    • YasinK
      December 14, 2017 at 8:12 am

      Voidlord > Cube > Dark Pact = 2 voidlord + 8 health

      Reply
    • Martian - Author
      December 14, 2017 at 10:04 pm

      Bonemare synergizes with Corridor Creeper in a way that’s too strong to pass up. I think Carnivorous Cube is better in decks that have Doomguard and Skull. It might not be awful, but I doubt it would be optimal.

      Reply
  5. Arey0u
    December 14, 2017 at 3:25 am

    Why not 1 Dark Pact as a way to get Rin going against decks that probably run silence. Against Priest you can drop the combo turn 7 and start the Chain at turn 8 (hopefully). They don’t really pressure you with board presence and you are free to just cast 1 or even 2 Seals per turn. If you are fast enough and burn a key part of their combo it might be faster and more reliable then the rat.

    Reply
  6. Arthur
    December 13, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Any substitution to Nzoth?

    Reply
    • Martian - Author
      December 13, 2017 at 10:19 pm

      Bloodmage Thalnos or Tainted Zealot

      Reply
      • leiss
        December 14, 2017 at 6:41 am

        And what is better one’s? Also, second Twisting Nether isn’t that bad in this deck, maybe.

        Reply
  7. NPCFish
    December 13, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    I once played this deck against a dragon raza priest, and it turned out Rin backfired on me as my opponent stole it and played it before I did ;-(

    Reply
    • Martian - Author
      December 13, 2017 at 8:23 pm

      Feelsbadman 🙁

      Reply
    • Elzein
      January 5, 2018 at 11:39 am

      Happened once for me too. I could feel my opponent laughing at my disappointment.

      Reply
  8. AgentMango
    December 13, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    This deck is very good. I don’t know how else to say it.

    Reply
  9. Martian - Author
    December 13, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Have you played with Rin against a control deck or against Rin with a control deck?

    Reply

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