Skip to main content

Discard Warlock deck list guide - Rastakhan - Hearthstone (December 2018)

Our in-depth guide to playing Discard Warlock in the new expansion.

Discard Warlock is a Hearthstone deck that has been experimented with many times over the last few expansions, but always seems to end up being absorbed into some kind of Zoo deck as the weeks become months, and then yet another new meta appears on the horizon. Maybe next time?

For Rastakhan's Rumble, however, it looks as though Blizzard is slightly altering their approach, and players have responded with a completely new look Discard Warlock deck that is much slower and plays more of a Control game. The option to better target specific cards for Discard effects also offers the deck more consistency, while there are now also chances to bring back mistakenly discarded cards as a safety net.

Overall, it looks like the new set is going to have a hugely positive impact on Discard Warlock. With that in mind, we’ve put together the following guide containing a deck list we expect to see play in the opening weeks of Rastakhan’s Rumble, plus some handy advice on how to play Discard Warlock, and a breakdown of the important cards in the deck.

As the meta evolves over the coming weeks, we’ll be sure to keep this page updated with the latest deck list as well as any other important changes that come to the archetype as players experiment with the new Rastakhan’s Rumble set.


The jury's still out on whether Lakkari Sacrifice deserves a spot in Discard Warlock. It seems like an auto-pick but there's no consensus seemingly. The original version of this deck - found further down the page - contains our original list, but here's a version built around the Quest if you'd like to try an alternative take on Discard Warlock:

2 x Kobold Librarian
1 x Lakkari Sacrifice
1 x Mortal Coil
2 x Shriek
2 x Soulfire
1 x The Soularium
1 x Clutchmother Zavas
2 x Defile
2 x Succubus
2 x Vulgar Homunculus
1 x Howlfiend
2 x Reckless Diretroll
2 x Cataclysm
1 x High Priestess Jeklik
2 x Lakkari Felhound
1 x Blood-Queen Lana'thel
2 x Doomguard
2 x Soulwarden
1 x Bloodreaver Gul'dan

Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.


Discard Warlock deck list and strategy

Here’s a version of Discard Warlock that’s been theorycrafted for play at the release of Rastakhan’s Rumble. Expect to see a number of changes over the next few days as players discover what is and isn’t working. This take on the archetype was created by Vicious Syndicate.

2 x Shriek1 x Tainted Zealot
2 x Soulfire2 x Corpsetaker
1 x The Soularium1 x Zilliax
1 x Clutchmother Zavas1 x Countess Ashmore
2 x Defile
2 x Reckless Diretroll
1 x High Priestess Jeklik
2 x Lakkari Felhound
1 x Blood-Queen Lana'thel
2 x Despicable Dreadlord
2 x Doomguard
1 x Skull of the Man'ari
2 x Soulwarden
1 x Lord Godfrey
2 x Voidlord
1 x Bloodreaver Gul'dan

Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.

Deck Import ID: AAECAf0GCo+CA5THApfoAvCGA7jQAtvpAqCAA5vwApz4ApfTAgrShgPOB+fLAq+NA5boApHHAvfNAvcE1oYD6OcCAA==

More great Warlock guides:

General strategy

Discard Warlock is all about strategically throwing away cards in order to power up other minions that gain huge bonuses from Discard effects. You’ll have to expertly manage the resources in your hand and deck in order to fully exploit the multitude of Discard synergies available to you by targeting specific cards for the trash pile, which can then turn that negative effect into some huge advantages over your opponent.

No longer seen as just a poor inclusion to Zoo decks, a handful of the new Discard cards in Rastakhan’s Rumble are far more suited to a control-oriented approach. This means you’ll be looking to keep your opponent’s side of the board in check, while slowly working on your own Discard combos that you can unleash later in the game. Plus, there is a Dark Portal’s worth of late-game Demon cards in the deck that Warlock is known for, should you need some solid minions to finish the match.

Early game: Don’t be afraid to allow your opponent to build up a bit of a board in the early game. This deck runs very few small minions but a lot of cheap board clears, so when it looks like you’re starting to get into some trouble you can drop a Shriek or a Defile to clear everything at once. The former will also Discard your lowest cost card, which should usually be Clutchmother Zavas, so you can start building up that minion’s stats very early.

Similarly, if you need to slow down early aggression there’s Reckless Diretroll. This also will Discard your cheapest card when played, so again aim for it to hit the likes of Clutchmother Zavas or High Priestess Jeklik if possible.

Mid game: Moving into the mid game you’ll want to continue ensuring your Discard effects hit the cards that actually gain from them as much as possible. It isn’t too much of a disaster if you lose something else in the process, as Soulwarden has a good chance of bringing them back when played.

Other more impactful cards start coming into play at this stage if you’ve built them up over the early game. Blood-Queen Lana’thel might’ve hit a pretty significant attack value if you’ve managed to Discard a lot already, while Skull of the Man’ari can be equipped to start pulling your high-value Demon minions onto the board without paying their expensive mana costs.

Late game: Discard Warlock has some serious power hiding in its late game, which anyone who’s played Hearthstone over the last year will be very familiar with indeed. Voidlord, also known as the world’s most frustrating Taunt minion, comes into play now to stall your opponents further. Depending on how well you’ve done with Discard effects you could have a huge hand full of multiple copies of High Priestess Jeklik to play too, while you can draw more resources using The Soularium.

If your opponent thinks they’ve kept everything under control they’ll be extremely disappointed when Bloodreaver Gul’dan is dropped to re-summon all those previously deceased Demon minions. Essentially, at this stage of the game, you have so many huge threats that your opponent will eventually run out of answers, or concede to the Demon army that’s pummelling them down.

Aggro opponents

Remember these tips and tricks when up against aggro decks on the ranked ladder:

  • 1. You have so many early game board clears that you can let aggro go wide at the start of the match before clearing everything once they’ve over-committed.
  • 2. You can also just repeatedly drop giant Taunt minions in their way which they’ll have to fight through. Even the ones that force you to Discard cards still work in your deck’s favour!
  • 3. If you do find yourself falling behind, you can catch up on the board quickly with Rush and Charge minions such as Zilliax and Doomguard.
  • 4. This deck also has a lot of Lifesteal that can be used to restore your life total as the game reaches its later stages, negating all the damage the aggro deck has done so far.
  • 5. If you can drop an early Voidlord using Skull of the Man’ari, that minion is usually more than enough on its own to completely shut down aggro.

Control opponents

Here are a few tips for dealing with any Control opponents you face:

  • 1. You’ll have more time in these matchups to organise your Discard effects to hit the most important targets, so don’t rush into anything unnecessarily.
  • 2. Although you have no hard removal, you have lots of large or bothersome minions that can chunk through the biggest threats in control decks.
  • 3. You can hold onto a card like Soulfire to offer some surprise bonus damage against control that could be enough to finish off an unsuspecting opponent.
  • 4. Be aware of weapon removal effects that may destroy Skull of the Man’ari before it can have any impact on the game.
  • 5. Don’t be too afraid if they're capable of removing all your threats throughout the early stage of the game. Once you hit Bloodreaver Gul’dan, all the Demon minions that have perished will be coming right back!

Discard Warlock Mulligan guide

These are the important cards you’ll want to look out for during the Mulligan phase for Discard Warlock

  • 1. Clutchmother Zavas: If you can start discarding this from early on in the match it can come onto the board with a significant stat boost at minimal cost.
  • 2. Shriek: A perfect hold against aggro decks that will likely wipe out most of their early game minions, while synergising with the Discard cards in your deck.
  • 3. Reckless Diretroll: A big and annoying Taunt minion to drop in the early game that also works with your Discard game plan again.
  • 4. Defile: More early game removal against cheap, low-health minions.
  • 5. High Priestess Jeklik: If you can start to Discard copies of this early you’ll have lots to play with as you head into the latter half of the game.

Discard Warlock tips, combos and synergies

There are a lot of potential Discard synergies to wrap your head around in this deck so we’ve put together a list of some of the most important ones to consider when playing this deck:

- Clutchmother Zavas will gain +2 / + 2 whenever she is discarded. Try to ensure she is hit by Discard effects when you play them, if possible.

- Many cards in this deck will Discard the lowest cost card when played, such as Shriek and Reckless Diretroll. Perfect targets to get hit with this include Clutchmother Zavas and High Priestess Jeklik.

- The Soularium will draw you three cards from your deck and then Discard them at the end of the turn. Try to use them if you can, but don’t worry if cards that gain benefits from being discarded are drawn, as you can allow them to be thrown away.

- When Corpsetaker enters the battlefield it’ll gain the Taunt, Divine Shield and Lifesteal keywords based on the other minions in this deck. That’s exceptional value for a four-drop.

- Blood-Queen Lana'thel gains one Attack for each card you’ve discarded this game, whether it’s in your hand, your deck or already on the board. You can play a significantly buffed version or continue increasing its power after it has been played

- When equipped, Skull of the Man'ari will summon a Demon from your hand at the start of your turn. This is especially strong when hitting Voidlord, but you’ll also be happy if it hits Lakkari Felhound, Despicable Dreadlord or Doomguard.

- Sometimes a Discard effect will hit something you really wish it hadn’t. The good news is that Soulwarden is able to bring back three cards you’ve discarded during a game back into your hand, negating a lot of the potential drawback from randomly-targeted Discard effects.

- Countess Ashmore draws a Rush, Lifesteal and Deathrattle card from your deck when played. This means she can draw: High Priestess Jeklik, Blood-Queen Lana’thel, Zilliax and Voidlord.

- When played, Bloodreaver Gul'dan will resummon all friendly Demon minions that have died this game, so make sure you wait until far into the late game to use him to bring back all those powerful deceased creatures. You also gain a new Siphon Life hero power that deals three damage with a Lifesteal effect.

Discard Warlock card choices and substitutions

Discard Warlock has a lot of important cards, many of which are difficult to swap out with worthy replacements. We’ve highlighted some for you below:

  • Shriek: Strong early game area of effect removal that can also start your Discard effects off quickly.
  • The Soularium: Powerful card draw effect. The negative isn’t so bad in Discard Warlock when some of the cards you could lose actually gain benefits from being tossed away.
  • Clutchmother Zavas: Has ideal synergy with all the Discard effects in this deck, so she can become a considerably more powerful creature over time.
  • Corpsetaker: Draws from the Taunt, Lifesteal and Divine Shield effects on other minions to become its own powerful four-drop.
  • High Priestess Jeklik: You can Discard this to add two copies to your hand – an effect that can be repeated multiple times to get you a lot of additional copies.
  • Blood-Queen Lana'thel: Over the course of the game this should gain a serious boost to Attack with all the cards you’re discarding.
  • Skull of the Man'ari: Vital for pulling the expensive Demon minions in your hand onto the board early or without their drawback effects.
  • Zilliax: A strong card because of all the keywords that are written onto it, though it’s not really a vital part of the deck if you don’t have the dust spare for it.
  • Soulwarden: How many times have you seen the one card you wanted to keep fly away from your hand thanks to a Discard effect? Fret no more, Soulwarden can bring it back!
  • Countess Ashmore: Offers a lot of card draw potential alongside a decent body for the board for just seven mana.
  • Lord Godfrey: A much bigger Defile effect that offers some late game catch up potential should you have fallen behind to a wide board.
  • Voidlord: One of the most difficult Taunt minions to deal with in the game if you don’t have a Silence effect. Will stop many decks in their tracks.
  • Bloodreaver Gul’dan: Did your opponent think they were clear now they’ve killed off both Voidlord minions? Nope, they’re back again, as are all the other Demon creatures that have died this game. And you now have a extremely strong hero power too!

Read this next