Budget Zoo Warlock Deck List Guide (Rastakhan’s Rumble)

Class: Warlock - Format: raven - Type: aggro - Style: budget - Meta Deck: Zoo Warlock
Learn how to play this archetype with our Zoo Warlock Deck List Guide.

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Deck Import

Our Budget Zoo Warlock deck list guide for the Rastakhan’s Rumble expansion will teach you how to play this board-centric Warlock list. This Budget Zoo Warlock guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!

Introduction to Budget Zoo Warlock

Zoolock may be the best deck for new players to learn. The low crafting cost has made it accessible to nearly all players since the early days of Hearthstone. More importantly, the deck teaches efficient trading and proper minion placement; two factors critical to success in the game.

The speed of past metagames has kept Zoo Warlock under control for a while, but there was a time when it was a powerhouse in Hearthstone. Even at its lowest points, Zoo Warlock has had some degree of success. More recently, a metagame centered around minion-based combat, a facet of Hearthstone that few decks do better than Zoo, has come back into vogue, giving the once forgotten deck an opening.

At the end of The Witchwood metagame, Zoo Warlock returned to fame as one of the strongest decks in Standard. The resurgence was, in large part, thanks to the discovery of the healing package that allowed Zoo to buff Lightwarden and play Happy Ghoul for free.

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The Boomsday Project

With the release of The Boomsday Project, Zoo gained powerful new tools, many of which are budget-friendly. Doubling Imp joins the usual assortment of Demons in Zoo Warlock. Doubling Imp not only pairs well with the Analyst but also with the new inclusion Soul Infusion, if you can manipulate your hand to guarantee the buff. Even without a buff, this new Imp spreads wide and drops eight stats on board, perfect for setting up a Fungalmancer in the midgame.

Rastakhan’s Rumble

In Rastakhan’s Rumble, Zoo Warlock again received new toys to bolster this already powerful budget deck. Grim Rally allows you to buff up your entire board so long as you’re willing to part with one of your minions. Fortunately, Scarab Egg complements this card perfectly. Not only does the egg provide an optimal sacrifice target, but it also summons several token minions to accept the buff from the new Spell.

Budget Zoo Warlock Mulligan Guide

High Priority Keeps

  • Flame Imp – Flame Imp is a very strong turn one play for a deck that needs to get on the board early. It has consistently been a big part of Zoo Warlock’s best openers.
  • Lightwarden – Paired with self-damage and healing, Lightwarden can quickly match Flame Imp in the pressure it applies from turn one.
  • Kobold Librarian – Always a solid turn one play, Kobold Librarian cycles a card and puts a minion on board, two things Zoo Warlock loves to do.
  • Voodoo Doctor – Often, Zoo Warlock takes damage from its early-game minions. In doing so, Voodoo Doctor can be used to cheat a Happy Ghoul into play for free.
  • Happy Ghoul – Happy Ghoul is one of the big payoffs from the Healing package and, with the right tools in hand, is worth hanging onto.

Low Priority Keeps

  • Voidwalker – Voidwalker’s high health makes it a good early road block against aggressive decks.
  • Grim Rally – Remember Mark of the Lotus? With the right opener, Grim Rally can really push Zoo Warlock over the top.
  • Fungal Enchanter – Not only does Fungal Enchanter heal minions to maintain a board presence, but it heals face to enable a free Happy Ghoul. If you have Ghoul and a way to damage yourself early, it may be worth keeping this card, even at 3 mana.

Budget Zoo Warlock Play Strategy

As any Hearthstone veteran will tell you, piloting Zoo Warlock is about one thing: board control. With a favorable position on board, Zoo Warlock can quickly snowball into an easy victory. Should it get behind, however, it struggles to regain its footing.

This new version of Zoo Warlock, potent healing synergies, offers the potential for ridiculous openers that make the deck more aggressive than some past iterations of Zoo. In certain matchups, these explosive starts can score a quick kill against unsuspecting opponents. Other times, dumping minions into play will give you a board lead that few opponents can recover from.

Early turns are typically spent making value trades to preserve a board lead. Fortunately, Zoo Warlock has numerous overstatted minions that can be difficult to remove and frequently trade two-for-one. Going into the mid-game, potent buffs can be utilized to solidify your board state and continue applying pressure.

Grim Rally can really help cement an early advantage by adding stats to a wide board. Even if you don’t have a Scarab Egg to sacrifice, you can make attacks (including value trades) with a minion before destroying it to buff up the rest of your board. Several minions in this deck go wide on the board, creating the perfect targets for your Grim Rally turns.

In the late game, Doomguard can provide some of the deck’s limited swing potential or close out the game with a lethal burst, especially when Soul Infusion is used at the right time. Likewise, Fungalmancer can leverage your board position into favorable trades or extra burst damage.

Budget Zoo Warlock Future Card Replacements

A longtime favorite for budget-minded players, few sacrifices are necessary to build a solid Zoo Warlock list. Zoo has historically made good use of Commons, Rares, and Basic cards. Aside from the two Legendary cards mentioned below (both of which are optional), the deck is complete as is.

Prince Keleseth

Should you opt for a Keleseth build, look to replace your Scarab Eggs with minions that spread wide, receive the buff well, or have healing effects. Along with Prince Keleseth, a single Tar Creeper or Lifedrinker fit this deck nicely in place of the 2-mana minions.

Leeroy Jenkins

Similarly, some Zoo enthusiasts have been adding Leeroy Jenkins over Doomguards lately, but the verdict is still out on which is superior. If you’re lacking this Classic Legendary minion, you needn’t be in a rush to craft him for this deck. If you already have a copy of this iconic Charger, he’s worth considering.

Budget Zoo Warlock General Replacements

Here’s a list of cards you can add to this deck if you happen to have them or are missing anything in the decklist.

  • Vulgar Homunculus – A 2/4 body for 2-mana is exactly the type of card this deck wants but misses the cut to make room for synergistic minions.
  • Sea Giant – This flood Zoo Warlock spreads wide on the board and could benefit from Sea Giant.
  • Void Ripper – Void Ripper’s Battlecry gives you a means of dealing with Doomsayer and high-health Taunts or just offers additional burst damage.
  • Devilsaur Egg – Bringing another egg into the mix may help Grim Rally get better value and/or warrant a shift towards a more token-based deck with additional sacrifice synergies.
  • Demonfire – With so many early-game Demons, this card can help lock down a favorable board position and snowball a single minion into a legitimate threat.
  • Dire Wolf Alpha – A longtime staple in Zoo Warlock, there isn’t quite enough room to fit Dire Wolf in this list, but the card certainly fits with the deck’s gameplan.
  • Dark Iron Dwarf – Dwarf can fill the spot of any of the cards at the higher end of your curve. If you opt out of the healing package, Dark Iron Dwarf is certainly a card to consider.
  • Vicious Fledgling – Flappy Bird appears in some lists, but can be slow at times and difficult to get value from. It is, however, a minion your opponent will have to remove quickly or they could just outright lose to a couple of fortunate Adapts.


A card game veteran, Roffle has been infatuated with Hearthstone since closed beta. These days, he spends most of his time tinkering with decks on ladder or earning gold in Arena (f2p btw). In particular, Roffle has a wealth of experience in competitive Wild Hearthstone, including a top 16 finish in the inaugural Wild Open Tournament and numerous high end of season finishes since the format’s inception.

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Discuss This Deck
  1. Zappchance
    December 8, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Why Scarab Egg over Lost Spirit?

    • Simen
      December 10, 2018 at 12:21 pm

      “Scarab Egg … summons several token minions to accept the buff from the new Spell.”

      • Premutos
        December 16, 2018 at 1:02 pm

        “Scarab Egg … summons several token minions to accept the buff from the new Spell.” …which isnt true

  2. Bathtub
    August 14, 2018 at 2:28 am

    I’m a new player and I have lord jaraxxus. Can I used it in this deck as a late game value card? Also if I can, which card should I replace it with?

  3. Guilherme da Costa
    August 13, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    So, i want to keep my duskbats
    what should i do?

    Also, wich card i have to remove to fit my sea giant?

    what about the mortal coil?

    What happened with despicable dreadlord?


    • Guilherme da Costa
      August 13, 2018 at 9:28 pm

      What happened to* despicable dreadlord?


  4. kalina88
    August 9, 2018 at 7:00 am

    I strongly recommend playing Soul Infusion instead of Witchwood Imp right now

  5. izydor123
    May 25, 2018 at 8:03 am

    is this worth to craft 1 sea giant without linda?

    • izydor123
      May 25, 2018 at 8:04 am

      is this worth to craft 1 sea giant without glinda?

      • dayo
        May 25, 2018 at 5:47 pm

        yes, i run zoo without glinda, sea giant is very solid in it.

        • izydor123
          May 26, 2018 at 4:20 am

          I crafted it and i made few changes and it work very well

  6. Thralljr
    April 24, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    Hello, currently I do not have Bloodreaver or Prince K. However, I am running Sea Giant and Glinda. I want to craft either one of the two, but which one? Also, If I pick Bloodreaver what other cards should I add for him?
    Thank you, Have a nice day.

  7. Joni98
    April 23, 2018 at 4:41 pm


    This really looks like a great deck, But I’m wondering why you aren’t running knife juggler

  8. OptikRise
    April 19, 2018 at 7:24 am

    Thanks for the guide. I’m currently using this deck and it’s fun. I will agree that if you’re unable to put a lot of pressure on your opponent early, it’s unlikely you can win. Once you’re down or behind, it’s over. I will say that most of my wins have come early from the opponent conceding because I have 4-5 minions out in turn 3-4.


    – Mad Hatter is strong but it’s rare to play it in a situation that doesn’t benefit your opponent. It’s unlikely that the opponent will have no minions on the board at turn 4-5.
    – I replaced a Duskbat with the Skull of the Man’ari but I haven’t had the chance to play it much to know if it’s a good fit.
    – I also replaced a Soulfire for a Hellfire to see if that would help me recover after being down.

  9. Franklin M
    April 18, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Hi, I’ve gotten all of the cards recommended in the budget list, and I have some dust left over. I see your suggestions for what I might want to look at crafting next, but what cards would you take out/which would you craft first?

  10. Chris
    April 17, 2018 at 9:20 am

    Can i substitute Sea Giants for the Mad Hatters (which I don’t have) or what else?

    • Roffle - Author
      April 17, 2018 at 10:36 am

      That seems like a reasonable substitution. Saroinite Chain Gang would also be a good replacement.

  11. XiAnnie
    April 2, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    I crafted this deck today and i am very happy with it.
    I have 1600 dust and dont know what legendary mentioned above i should craft.
    Can you tell me wich one is the most important one?
    An answer would highly be appreciated.
    Thanks for posting this deck.

    • Roffle - Author
      April 2, 2018 at 4:33 pm

      Bloodreaver Gul’dan is one of the strongest and most popular Legendaries in the game right now, but does need a bit additional support in potent Demons. He’s certainly a safe craft.

      That said, a new expansion is coming out soon so, if you’re able to wait, it may be a good idea to see if there is anything you want to craft more out of The Witchwood.

      • XiAnnie
        April 3, 2018 at 12:19 am

        Thanks for replying that fast!
        I think i will just go ahead and craft Gul dan because you can use him in alot of other warlock decks too.

  12. battlephase
    March 10, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    can i add hooked reaver

  13. Josse
    February 15, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Cool deck, my 8-year old brother (!) crafted it earlier and he actually learned the ‘art of trading’, like you mentioned!

    Because my collection is a bit bigger, I took out the two blood imps for a Spellbreaker, to give myself a chance against Control- and Cubelocks, and a Skulking Geist against Jade Druid.

    Opinions about these replacements? It plays really good… (Would Bittertide Hydra also make a chance? I don’t think so, but my brother was lucky enough to get it out of a pack and wants to play with it…)

  14. Keaton
    January 29, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    So I just invested in one of the two corridor creepers I wanted to put in this deck and then nerf haha of well.

    Do you think it is still viable to run the bonemare at 8 cost?

    I haven’t used the pirate cards as they were rotating out, so not too worried on the patches nerf.


    • Roffle - Author
      January 30, 2018 at 7:25 am

      It’s hard to predict whether Bonemare will still be good after the nerf. Coming out a turn later is pretty significant. We’ll keep an eye on things once the patch goes live and adjust accordingly.

      • Keaton
        February 6, 2018 at 4:24 pm

        Well I have had the patch go live today so have dusted the creeper and bonemare.

        I am seeing a lot of Voidlords on the ladder at the moment so have put in 2x spellbreaker as a temporary fix to see how that goes and upped the direwolf count to 2.

        no Crawler as I see no pirates and patches just got killed also.

      • Killsko
        March 13, 2018 at 7:24 am

        I love playing this deck but could you please update it for the current patch? A lot of the card replacements don’t make sense anymore either…

  15. John
    January 23, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Is Blood Imp worth to keep or should I replace him with something better? Like Acherus Veteran? Same question for Tar Creeper.
    Is there any place for Darkshire Councilman?

    • Roffle - Author
      January 23, 2018 at 5:31 pm

      Acherus Veteran and Darkshire Councilman are both good additions to the deck. Veteran > Blood Imp and Councilman > Tar Creeper are both reasonable changes, depending on the matchups you’re running into.

  16. suede
    January 19, 2018 at 3:53 am

    Hey guys, what you mean about 2x Cobalt Scalebane for 2x Golakka Crawler ? I play against no pirates deck every time…

    • plyzd
      January 22, 2018 at 3:18 am

      Corridor Creeper is the better replacement in zoo decks like this one. If you don’t have them and can’t craft them then go with Cobalt Scalebane.

  17. Keaton
    January 15, 2018 at 6:14 pm


    Firstly, awesome deck and fun to play. I have been crushing it in wild.

    What would be some easy changes to make it standard legal.

    So far I have made the following changes:
    Golakka Crawler -> Dire Wolf Alpha

    I still need to change out:
    Tar Creeper.



    • Roffle - Author
      January 15, 2018 at 6:52 pm

      All of the cards in this list are Standard legal. Dire Wolf Alpha is a good card in this deck if you’re missing anything though.

      • Keaton
        January 15, 2018 at 7:18 pm

        Thanks Roffle, must be an issue with my software then that is not letting me play in standard with it.

  18. ShinyHero
    January 15, 2018 at 5:36 am

    Cheap replacement for Golakka Crawler?

    • Roffle - Author
      January 15, 2018 at 8:05 am

      Dire Wolf Alpha or any other similar-cost minion in the General Replacements section would be a good choice.

  19. Ab00000
    January 13, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    Just hit rank 10 from rank 16 in just 2 days with this deck + Guldan and Ironbeak Owl

    • Roffle - Author
      January 15, 2018 at 8:20 am

      Congrats! Great progress in a short amount of time!

  20. plyzd
    January 11, 2018 at 10:09 am

    This deck is a joke. Flame Imp always gets destroyed after putting it on deck and the Vulgar on turn two leaves you with – 5 health and only one minion after turn two…

    • frank
      February 6, 2018 at 5:37 pm

      What’s been working for me is usually not throwing out the flame imp unless that’s my only turn 1 play.

      Ideally, I’ve got a Kobold, Voidwalker or vulgar+coin to throw down turn 1, then I can throw down the flame imp with a little protection and have him ready for a demon fire or bloodfury buff on turn 2 or 3.

      Now you’ve got a taunt protected 5/4 or 6/5 on turn 2 or 3 that can do some face pounding and cause some frustration for whoever you’re against.

      Adding a hooked reaver to the deck helped me not worry as much about all the damage I do to myself with the cards+hero power, cause then if you get down to 15 or below you’ve got a juicy 4 mana 7/7 to throw on the board which can really throw a wrench in the works for some opposing agro decks, or can give you the firepower you need to finish.

      I’ve managed to climb from 20 to 15 in just a few hours with this, so it’s no joke.

  21. Albatrauz
    January 9, 2018 at 3:38 am

    Do we mulligan malchezaar’s imp and corridor creeper if we substitute them into the deck?

  22. Bruh
    January 1, 2018 at 3:55 am

    Do not use blood imp, replace with argent squire

  23. Cwojtek
    December 23, 2017 at 8:34 am

    How can I replace gadzetan cards, I don’t want to openthese packs, and I’m not going to craft tchem. is there a way out?

    • Evident
      December 23, 2017 at 10:22 am

      You could run stuff like Darkshire Councilman and Saronite Chain Gang.

  24. izydor123
    December 23, 2017 at 6:41 am

    will rin be good in this deck?

  25. Narrow$ight
    December 18, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Currently Legend rank 1400th, it seems very decent deck considering it costs 1500 dusts. Nice job, Roffle!

    • Roffle - Author
      December 18, 2017 at 10:53 am

      Thanks and congrats to you on Legend! Very well done!

  26. Fix3d
    December 12, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Is Skull of the Man’ari any good here? In that case, what should I cut in its place?

    • Roffle - Author
      December 18, 2017 at 10:52 am

      Skull of the Man’ari is a bit slow in this deck. Typically, you want to add it to a list that has some higher cost demons (such as Voidlords). Cubelock and Control Warlock are both better fits for the card, but neither is at all close to a budget deck.

  27. Toraac
    December 8, 2017 at 12:49 am

    This is one of the best guides I have ever read. Lot’s of information and pretty straightforward. Keep up the good work. I will keep an eye after kobolds xpac. I can’t wait to see what’s coming up for this deck.

    • Roffle - Author
      December 8, 2017 at 7:09 am

      Updates should be coming soon and I think this deck, which is already pretty strong, gains a lot with the new expansion compared to some of the other budget options.

  28. ThatGuyLarry
    November 29, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    This deck is expensive but worth the dust! Got from rank 25 to 10! Thanks for the help!

    • Roffle - Author
      November 29, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      Congrats! With some of the new cards announced for Warlock, this deck may only get better come next week! Keep posted for updates!

  29. Wordsmith
    November 11, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    It’s pretty good, but too bad that I already disenchanted Gul’dan before I saw this deck! I literally only needed him, since I already have Patches and Keleseth.

  30. Dumbledork
    November 1, 2017 at 8:04 am

    The deck is pretty good i have a decent winrate with it ( 65% ish), however the worst part about this deck is that it sucks vs highlander priest/ razakus/ big priest. Cause you can’t rush them down fast enough, plus you can’t outvalue them. i have a 0 % winrate vs priest, i don’t know if its because its a budget deck missing kalaseth and guldan but its pretty dreadful. The deck is pretty fun provided you don’t face priest, if you do you can concede straight away.

    • Roffle - Author
      November 1, 2017 at 11:59 am

      Both Keleseth and Gul’dan dramatically improve the Highlander Priest matchup because it gives you better longevity. With this budget version, your best chance is probably an aggressive start and rushing down the opponent before Anduin comes out.

  31. A Random Person
    October 8, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Is this recommended as a beginner deck? I’m not sure what deck to craft first, but this seems like a good deck to me, then again, I don’t know a lot.

  32. Elastichedgehog
    October 1, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    I swapped Argent Squire for Vicious Fledgling, been working pretty well!

  33. LamaCraft
    September 23, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Wow nice deck i played it for maybe 3-4 hours and got from rank 10 to rank 5 😀

    • LamaCraft
      September 23, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      I also had a winrate of 65% 33/18

      • Roffle - Author
        September 23, 2017 at 3:46 pm

        Congrats! Glad to hear it’s still effective!

  34. Thomas
    September 20, 2017 at 1:19 am

    Any place for Jarraxus? I got him with my starter pack. 🙂

    • Roffle - Author
      September 20, 2017 at 11:22 am

      Unfortunately, Jaraxxus doesn’t quite fit with the goal of this particular deck. He is, however, a powerful card that has seen a lot of play in other archetypes.

  35. Carlos
    August 25, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Hello. What would you replace for the Sea Giant? Would you put 2 or just 1 Sea Giant?

    • Roffle - Author
      August 25, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      Sea Giants fit well in this deck. You can try 2 and pull one out if you can’t get them in play consistently. I’d sub out Sanguine Reveler for them.

  36. Tygrest
    August 19, 2017 at 12:29 am

    I found this deck while looking for some zoo to play (don’t wanna craft stuff for the handlock or control warlock versions that are popular yet), but all of the competitive ones run Keleseth currently (which i don’t wanna craft either).

    So i’m guessing Abusive Sergeant and Dark Iron Dwarf are replacements you should use if you are missing something for the deck, but Sea Giant could actually be good in this deck, right?

    What do i replace it for, though?

    • Tygrest
      August 19, 2017 at 12:30 am

      Forgot to mention – considering i’ve already done the other replacements suggested, or is it not worth it if you’ve got all the Future Card replacements?

  37. d
    August 15, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    you list Argent Squire x2 twice for upgrades — was this a mispaste? ty for the deck!

    • Roffle - Author
      August 16, 2017 at 8:16 am

      This has been corrected. Sorry for the confusion.

  38. shit deck
    August 15, 2017 at 7:41 am

    shit deck bruh thank you for wasting my dust

    • Arexor
      August 15, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      Zoo is, believe it or not, one of the harder decks to perform well with. It may well be that the work “deck” in your sentence should be replaced with “plays”. I’ve played this for 31 games now and I’m 22-9 (rank 3 to 2). Great deck, if you have the skills to pilot it properly 🙂

  39. talo
    August 14, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    why do you mention Forbidden RItual in card replacements when it’s not in the deck list?

    • Roffle - Author
      August 14, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      Forbidden Ritual was in an older version of the deck I was testing. This has been corrected, thank you.

  40. xD
    August 14, 2017 at 12:55 pm


    • Roffle - Author
      August 14, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      Bonemare is an amazing card and may have a place in Zoo Warlock. This particular list favors an earlier curve and did well in testing. That said, I could see a more midrange approach doing just as well, depending on match ups.

  41. Carlos
    August 13, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Hello. Do you think Arfus is good on this deck? If so, how would you implement it on the deck?

    Thank you.

    • Roffle - Author
      August 13, 2017 at 8:05 am

      Arfus is a good boy but might be a little slow for this deck. He could still work. I’d start with replacing one of the Devilsaur Eggs for him and see how it goes.

      • Carlos
        August 13, 2017 at 11:34 am

        Ok. I’ll try it out and see if I like it.
        Just one more question: Do you think Druid’s death knight would be good in your budget beast token druid deck?

        Thanks for the good work and keep at it, cuz it’s pretty good.