Warlock Zoo Deck List Guide – Witchwood – August 2018

Warlock Zoo Deck List Guide – Witchwood – August 2018

Warlock Zoo Mulligan Strategy & Guide

Higher Priority (Keep every time)

  • Fire FlyFlame ImpKobold LibrarianVoidwalker – Those are the best cards you can drop on Turn 1, depending on the matchup and the situation. Ideally you want to open with one of them and then Keleseth on Turn 2, but since you won’t always get Keleseth, it’s fine to keep multiple 1-drops, so you can fill your Turn 2 with them too. Fire Fly and Voidwalker are better against Aggro, while Kobold Librarian and Flame Imp are better vs slower decks.
  • Prince Keleseth – There is never a matchup or situation where you want to mulligan Prince Keleseth. The win rate associated with this deck skyrockets when he’s in the opener. If you have it – keep it!

Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)

  • Glacial Shard – Glacial Shard is one of those 1-drops that get better over time – if you go first on Turn 1, it’s usually just a vanilla 2/1. You can keep it when going second against Aggro, but only if you have no other good 1-drop.
  • Tar Creeper – Keep against Aggro. It can be used to protect the rest of your board or even your life total – since you’re playing a fast deck, your opponent will have to get through it quickly if he doesn’t want to lose board control, and he might need to use lots of resources to do that. However, DO NOT keep it if you don’t have any 1-drops in your hand – those are more important!
  • Vicious Fledgling – Keep in slow matchups. Aggro decks might have some kind of board to trade into it, and it might be just a vanilla 3/3 for 3, which is obviously bad. Against Control, it has a higher chance to get attack and snowball.
  • Despicable Dreadlord – Can be kept against Paladin, but only if the rest of your hand is good. It can really win you that matchup, but at the same time, keeping it with a bad hand might mean that you skip Turn 1/2 and then lose because of that.

Warlock Zoo Win Rates

Winrate stats are currently unavailable for this deck at the moment!

Warlock Zoo Play Strategy

Vs Aggro

Zoo is one of the decks that can’t do anything without board. Without a reactive game plan, and with limited ways to deal damage without a board, you simply need to maintain the board control throughout the game. The thing is – you can outlast any Aggro deck thanks to your Hero Power, but you can’t always outtempo them. That’s why during the early and mid game you want to play for the tempo.

Life Tap is a very powerful tool, but don’t use it unless you absolutely have to, or you would have floated mana otherwise. For example, if you can choose between a 3-drop and 1-drop and Tap on Turn 3, you play the 3-drop, simply because it’s a higher tempo play. Similarly, if you Life Tap too much before Turn 5, your Doomguard and Soulfire will be much worse – those cards are best when your hand is empty (then you don’t need to discard anything). That’s why it’s best to empty your hand and then start each turn with Tap (or Discard card if you draw one) – this way you maximized the early / mid game tempo, and your Discard draws are great, since your hand is empty or nearly empty.

A harder decision would be dropping a Doomguard when you have Bloodreaver Gul'dan in your hand and you’re going to discard it. Whether you should do it really depends on the situation – if you either desperately need that 5/7 with Charge, or that 5/7 with Charge is going to put you in a game-winning position, then do it. If you have no other plays, then also do it. Lots of Aggro games won’t last until Turn 10, and as much as DK Hero is a great finisher, you might not need it. However, if you’re close to Turn 10 and you can make another play, I’d still try to avoid discarding it, since dropping it is usually an instant win vs Aggro.

Prince Keleseth is obviously very useful. While you don’t hard mulligan for it (like, you don’t throw away your 1-drops hoping that you will get Keleseth), getting him is big for one reason – your minions can trade much more efficiently after they get the +1/+1 buff. Since Keleseth is initially a low tempo play, plus you need to draw some of the buffed minions for it to work, after you get Keleseth, don’t go aggressive! Just control the board and you should win the game – between your Hero Power and minions being buffed, you have a very high chance to get it. But by going aggressive, you give your opponent an opening. Just play it slowly, trade everything and at one point you’ll overwhelm the board thanks to the +1/+1 buff. That is, unless your opponent also played the Keleseth, then you might want to go aggressive depending on the matchup (generally – if you play against faster decks, you want to play defensive and when you play against slower decks, you want to play defensively).

One more thing to think about when it comes to Keleseth is – do you play him as soon as you can? Obviously, if you get him on Turn 2, then yes, you do. But if you draw him on Turn 5? Then it really depends. If you have a better, higher tempo play to make – such as dropping Descpicable Dreadlord vs 1 health minion(s), then you should wait. At worst, you will lose out buff on a single minion, which is not a big deal. Disrupting your game plan just because you draw Keleseth in the mid/late game is a quite common mistake, and it’s not something you should do. Keleseth you drew late doesn’t have that big of an impact anyway, so you can delay it even further if it means that you will gain more tempo.

Despicable Dreadlord is often your MVP of Aggro matchups. Not only it puts a solid body on the board, but it deals AoE damage repeatedly. Not once – if it’s left on the board for multiple turns it can snowball the game really hard. Going into Turn 5, you want to set it up as well as possible. Do some minion trades, leave your opponent’s stuff at 1 health and let the Dreadlord do his job. If you’re ahead, it will be incredibly hard for your opponent to clear it. He can Silence it, but you don’t mind it that much – you will be able to trade into that Ironbeak Owl or Spellbreaker easily, while Dreadlord has already did its job (+Silence turn is generally a slow play, so you will get ahead even further).

Try to use your buffs efficiently in order to trade up. Dark Iron Dwarf can be played on low health minion to trade up with it. For exampe, trading that 1/2 into opponent’s 3/3 is a big deal, because you get a nice tempo boost and a 4/4 body on the board. You can also use it to make Tar Creeper more useful on your own turn – since it only has 1 attack, but quite high health, you can also use it to e.g. trade into that 3/3 minion and it will still be alive. Fungalmancer is even better if you have at least two minions on the board, since it also buffs health. You want to use it to get efficient trades. Buff the right minions so you can trade while leaving them alive. Most of the Aggro decks don’t run AoE clears, but if they do, try to play around those too.

Vs Control

Games vs Control are less centered around controlling the board and more around trying to kill your opponent before it’s too late. While it’s true that Zoo has insane staying power among aggressive decks, even your resources are limited. At one point, later in the game, your opponent will be dropping big minions or having access to huge board clears and even when drawing two per turn, you might end up with e.g. two 1-drops. Which basically means that you ideally want to finish the match before late game. At the same time, you rarely want to go all-in, because you will just play into your opponent’s AoEs. You need to find the right balance between tempo and value.

Managing resources, including using your Hero Power, is much more important in slow matchups. Against most of the aggressive decks, going all-in on the board is not a mistake, since they rarely run AoE clears. But when you play against Control, ideally you’d want to have around 5-7 damage spread among 2-4 minions. Of course, sometimes having more is fine, depending on the context (like, if your opponent already used most of his AoEs, or when he’s dropping many Taunts you need to get through). But that number is generally enough pressure to force a board clear without you being really hurt by it. You always want to have some sort of refill in case of a board clear – you need to keep up the pressure constantly. Giving your opponent even a single turn to breathe might be too much and you might lose.

Trading vs not trading – this part is very complicated. Generally, you prefer to deal face damage and let your opponent do the trades, and that’s what you’re going to do most of the time. However, there are situations in which trading is just better. First situation is having a good way to trade up. Let’s say your opponent has a 5/4 on the board, and you have a 2/1 minion + Dark Iron Dwarf in your hand. Trading a 4/1 into a 5/4 is a great, high tempo trade, and you want to take it – otherwise that 5/4 would be able to kill one of your bigger minions. Another reason to trade is when your opponent might be able to set up an AoE.

Let’s say that you play vs a Control Priest, who can drop a Duskbreaker. If you have a Dreadlord, and he has a 2 attack minion on the board, it might be wise to clear that minion with something else. If you don’t – he might run it into your 5 health minion and then Duskbreaker your board. Trading would mean that you would be left with a 4/2 Dreadlord after Duskbreaker, which is a huge difference. And finally, you always want to trade off the high priority targets. For example, cards like Northshire ClericWild Pyromancer etc. which can punish you for leaving them alone – just kill those while you can.

Even if you’re doing some trades, you want to send as much damage face as possible every single turn. But, if you haven’t managed to kill your opponent in time, Bloodreaver Gul'dan comes into action. The card is amazing in those slow matchups (and in this case you really don’t want to discard it, unless you absolutely have to). Not only it re-floods the board with a single card (and your opponent might already be very low on board clears after so many turns of you putting pressure), but it upgrades your Hero Power. Yes, you no longer can draw multiple cards, but having the ability to deal 3 damage per turn can really put your opponent in an awkward spot. Especially if you face a deck with no natural way to restore health (like Priest or Warrior with their Hero Powers) – 3 damage per turn will stack up very quickly even if they remove the initial board full of Demons.

Warlock Zoo Card Substitutions

Prince Keleseth

There is no direct replacement for Prince Keleseth in this deck. Just removing him from the list leaves a gaping hole in your mana curve that cannot be filled by a single card. Warlock Zoo can certainly be successful without Prince Keleseth, but you need to build it differently. If you don’t have Keleseth, you need to fill your 2 mana slot in a meaningful way. The best 2 cards to do that right now are Vulgar HomunculusDire Wolf Alpha and/or Demonfire. The first one is a solid 2/4 Taunt with a Demon tag, it’s a well-rounded card and a good Turn 2 play in most of the matchups. The second one is a good 2-drop in board flood decks, since you will be able to buff your small minions / tokens and trade up. The last one, while not amazing, can be used either as a buff on one of your small Demons, or as a 2 damage removal if you need it. It’s a good follow-up to Turn 1 Demons such as Voidwalker or Flame Imp.

In order to fit those cards (you’d want at least four 2 mana cards), you want to remove some of the other cards – Glacial Shard would take the priority, you can also get rid of a single Spellbreaker, since Silence is not THAT good in the current meta, or perhaps a Saronite Chain Gang, since it’s slightly worse without Keleseth.

Other Card Replacements

Besides Prince Keleseth, Zoo Warlock is a deck that can be built on a budget quite easily. This build runs only two other Epics / Legendaries, and both of them can be replaced without hurting your win rate that much.

  • Bloodreaver Gul'dan – One fun card you can run instead is actually Glinda Crowskin, if you’ve unpacked her, but don’t have a Gul’dan. She gives the deck a nice late game staying power, and if she sticks to the board she can really do wonders. Just imagine dropping a bunch of Kobold Librarians if you have enough health, in order to draw a few cards. Or possibly flood your board with 2/1’s and freeze your opponent’s board by replaying Glacial Shard multiple times? That said, if you’re looking for a more generic replacement, there is no card that directly replaces his ability. You would rather just play a stand-alone strong card, such as Acherus VeteranDuskbatDefender of Argus or Mortal Coil.


A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over that time, he has achieved many high Legend climbs and infinite Arena runs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

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Discuss This Deck
  1. SEBO23
    July 6, 2018 at 7:05 am

    This deck list needs to be uptaded. Heal Zoolock is currently top tier.

    • Tweeg
      July 6, 2018 at 11:06 am

      It’s a fad deck that everyone is trying out right now with some early success. It currently gets decimated by odd rogue.

      • SEBO23
        July 6, 2018 at 12:38 pm

        Yes, but winrate overall is much higher than typical zoolock (technically close to odd paladin because of crazy tempo not many decks can answer). To keep site to date it should be recomended here and not standard one we see here (doesn’t matter what it looses to – overall matters). That’s why I said it should be updated. 🙂

  2. Kurac
    June 4, 2018 at 4:30 am

    The deck was good before, now it’s pure shit

  3. Tweeg
    May 31, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Zoolock is my bread and butter. I use it every season, tinker with it and always hit high legend despite the nerfs or power level of other decks. It requires some fine tuning each time, but more-or-less, the deck’s shell remains the same with the power of tech cards. This zoo list here is okay, but would recommend some substitutes. Believe it or not, zoo is actually a good deck to climb the ladder with right now.

    I find glacial shards are not necessary. I keep my zoo to 10x 1 drops, due to the meta being somewhat slower right now. The one life isn’t real benefit either and the effect, while nice, doesn’t really help zoo that much. 2x flame imp, 2x librarian, 2x voidwalker, 2x firefly and 2x soulfire.

    Of course I run keleseth, but this is where the deck changes form in slot 3. I run 2x deathspeaker and 2x amalgam. Both have 4 life, resilient and makes for higher tempo plays, especially deathspeaker. It is a valuable minion where you can save a high stat minion without sacrificing it and maintain board presence. It can also be played on 3 with other smaller tokens and preferably saving a flame imp with a valuable trade. The amalgam is just a high stat body which can be called back from guldan. Tarcreeper is okay, but doesn’t do much in the current meta for a deck like zoo. You can still outvalue paladin with the cards you have.

    I do keep 2x dark iron dwarf and 2x saronite, however, 2x spellbreaker is over kill right now in this meta. I keep 1 for utility, but you can cut both if you want. Fungal, dread and doom all warrant 2x as they are key and core cards.

    Higher slots warrant a black knight. In this meta, you run into various taunts and it is able to erase an annoying high stat taunt while giving you a body. It’s more than useful this stage of the meta. Also, 2x sea gaint are a good choice. Don’t worry about discards, they win you more games than you think when you have an opportunity to play them.

    Then you also have guldan. With the amalgams, nice to call back 2 more minions with decent stats. It can take you to the late game even if you fall behind a bit. Remember, always tap in control matches and don’t over commit too much. Make sure you have a play each turn. I have over a 60% win rate with my version and can still fine tune it some more.

    As a side zoo, I also made a more board centric one using skelemancers and devilsaur egg with argus and pterredax. it is interesting and does crush heavy AOE decks.

  4. Kyle
    May 30, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    I have 1600 dust for zoolock. Do I craft Keleseth or Guldan?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      May 31, 2018 at 3:26 am

      If you want to play Zoo specifically, Keleseth would be a better craft. However, Gul’dan can also be played in slower Warlock decks if you’re into that.

      • Tweeg
        May 31, 2018 at 8:43 am

        Agreed. I throw Guldan in my recent builds, only because of the heavier control meta and because I have him. Other than that, it isn’t a core card by any means. Keleseth defines the current zoo and makes the bodies more resilient. However, a poor man’s zoo can still be viable and take you to legend with vulgar and knife jugglers and dire wolves included.

  5. Kibblecat
    May 26, 2018 at 3:16 am

    Witchwood post nerf questions:

    Why no Leeroy? Any suggestions on replacements to include him? I was thinking of dropping one of any of the following: Chain Gang, Tar Creeper, Mortal Coil, Soul Fire, Acherus Veteran. Most likely Soul fire as the taunts are great against aggro and the deck relies on its one-drops, so the others are less advisable to cut I guess… and I very rarely play Soulfire as I’ve almost always got something in my hand that I don’t want to lose for the sake of removal.

    Also any thoughts on including Lich King? In matchups where Doomguard is sitting in the hand later turn 5 it might not be so useful I suppose but in matchups where we rely on playing Doomguard/Dreadlord on curve, LK is another card like Gul’Dan that could be good to have in hand if the game drags past turn 7. Don’t know what I’d drop but again the list is probably similar to the above in my Leeroy question.

    • Matt
      May 27, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      Doomguards are better versions of Leeroy. Lich King is always worth a look but the hero power makes it not as necessary.

      Unrelated Reaver is crap and coil isn’t bad but I think there are better options. I still like running 1 spellbreaker.

    • Matt
      May 28, 2018 at 9:44 pm

      Plus Doomguard makes every card over 5 cost in the deck worse. Guldan makes the cut because it’s the best card in the game.

  6. CD001
    May 14, 2018 at 4:46 am

    I’m not quite running this version; I packed Glinda so I decided to try and find a way to shoe-horn her into a deck… it’s probably not optimal but she often survives 1 turn which means you can follow up with some properly stupid shenanigans.

    Get some extra value out of Keleseth if you didn’t pull him earlier by dropping him 3 or 4 times.
    Sea Giants with Echo? You’ll generally be able to do it at least once.
    Flood the board with Archerus Veterans and make Ginda 9/7.
    Freeze ALL THE THINGS! (if you’re using Glacial Shard)

    • SEBO23
      May 17, 2018 at 3:44 am

      Once I saw full board of Sea Giants in 1 turn. Felt like Wild Giant deck. 🙂 She is a really fun card.

  7. Dexter St. Jock
    May 12, 2018 at 2:07 am

    At least in the lower levels, this deck is the s*@#! You cut through even and odd pallys, hunters and warriors alike

  8. OnlyMatt
    May 6, 2018 at 3:05 am

    This deck is absolutely OP, went from rank 15 to 9 in 2 days and crushed almost every deck exept cubelock,wich is 45-65.Love It.

    • OnlyMatt
      May 6, 2018 at 3:10 am

      I only subbed 2 Sea giant for 2 cobalt scalebane , 1 duskbat for 1 spellbreaker and 1 firefly for 1 epic ooze that gives you armor

      • StreetPiglet
        May 11, 2018 at 9:56 am

        Once you find the dust to be able to craft a sea giant, I would HIGHLY recommended doing so. Having a ton of small minions on board, not including you opponents board is huge when you can drop a big minion that is close to the cost of all your other lower stat minions can be game changing. It also helps for taking out medium-large taunts that you would otherwise force to trade your smaller minions.

  9. John Smith
    May 5, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    so it has a sub 50% winrate against spiteful druid, burn mage, cubelock and even palidan. the four most popular decks im finding rank 5-legend. i dont see a winrate vs quest rogue. but still this deck isnt viable at these ranks.

  10. Thrombin
    May 4, 2018 at 8:22 am

    Pretty sure this is Trump’s deck which he’s been getting crazy win rates with:


    I’m 60% with it over 43 games.

  11. Hello
    May 1, 2018 at 12:32 am

    This deck is not viable whatsoever, the game just doesn’t work for zoo decks anymore, this shouldn’t even be on great tier, since a lot of the times even close to default decks can beat this deck by simply stalling with a few of the taunts that have been introduced.

    • StreetPiglet
      May 11, 2018 at 10:02 am

      I have no idea what rank you are at, but at rank 7, I climbed to rank 3 where I currently rest with this deck. I have a solid 62% win rate with this deck. I run primarily the same list with a Spellbreaker thrown in for those pesky taunts. If you believe that this deck is not viable I would recommend you watch someone like Trump and see his play style and decision making.

  12. Expunge
    April 21, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    Hello, nice deck you have. But to counter cubelocks in the meta, will it be better to replace tar creeper with silence?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      April 22, 2018 at 8:37 am

      If anything, I’d probably replace Sea Giants, not Tar Creepers, but yes, it is a solid consideration. Why not Tar Creepers? Because then you’d be missing your Turn 3 too often. Duskbat is a bad Turn 3 play, since it’s just a 2/4 if you don’t take any damage first. That’s why Tar Creeper is usually the best T3 play you can make (other than something like 3x 1-drop if you get a very fast hand and you push for tempo).

      I have been facing less Cube Warlocks recently, since everyone is teching against them (I face maybe 1 in 10 games in Legend), that’s why I didn’t include the Silence tech. But if you face more of them, go ahead and play it!