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Zoo Warlock deck list guide - Darkmoon Faire - Hearthstone (December 2020)

Our guide to playing Zoo in the Darkmoon Faire era.

Zoo Warlock is a Hearthstone deck that’s existed since the very early stages of the game. Its power has fluctuated up and down many times over the years but it always seems to make an appearance in the game. Usually a go-to choice for players at the start of a new expansion cycle, we'll see whether it has any longevity in Darkmoon Faire.

We always like to keep our Zoo Warlock guide up to date as well because it is such a great deck to play for beginners. Not only is it often relatively cheap to put together in terms of dust (the Legendaries are optional), but it also goes a long way to teach you many of the fundamentals of playing Hearthstone well. Things like minion trading and placement, when to go for life total damage and how to most effectively play around your opponent’s deck.

Zoo Warlock deck list and strategy

This is a solid deck to try out in Darkmoon Faire, especially if you want to combat Rogue and Warrior decks out there. We'll see if it makes a splash in the meta in the long run and update our guide accordingly.

2 x Raise Dead2 x Animated Broomstick
2 x Wicked Whispers2 x Tour Guide
2 x Voidwalker2 x Wriggling Horror
2 x Soulfire
2 x Flame Imp
2 x Spirit Jailer
1 x Kanrethad Ebonlocke
1 x Expired Merchant
2 x Darkglare
2 x Revenant Rascal
2 x Nightshade Matron
2 x Hand of Gul'dan
2 x Flesh Giant

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

Deck Import ID: AAECAf0GAv2kA9a5Aw4wzgfCCLW5A7a5A8u5A5XNA5vNA9fOA8HRA8zSA5feA9DhA8rjAwA=

More great Warlock guides:

General strategy

Taking control of the board is easy with this deck, as you have a huge number of early minions that can trade easily and a Hero Power that directly draws you more cards to play.

You’ll want to storm out into a lead with the deck’s powerful early game drops and stretch your advantage so far that your opponent is unable to respond. If they can’t get a foothold in the game you can deny them at every turn before they can even establish their game plan.

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 blindly rushing face damage. Look for high-health minions that stick to the board, like Voidwalker and Spirit Jailer. You never want to be floating mana, so try to get as many bodies onto the board as you can.

Mid game:

Continue applying pressure with your minions. Wicked Whispers is a great buff for a wide board of minions. Alternatively, Wriggling Horror is a mini Fungalmancer, and you can use the +1/+1 on two minions on the same turn if the minion is ready to attack. Darkglare will even let you Life Tap for 1 mana, since you refresh a mana crystal whenever your Hero takes damage.

At this stage, you should consider weaving in a Life Tap every turn where possible to ensure you don’t run out of resources or use Nightshade Matron to dig deeper into your deck by discarding Hand of Gul'dan. Just remember, Hand of Gul'dan has to be the highest cost card in your hand or the effect won't work!

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. Flesh Giant is a solid shout here, as it’ll be nice and cheap, and Raise Dead can give you more fuel in the form of minions who’ve died so far. Late on, you want to be finishing things off.

Aggro opponents

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. Animated Broomstick can give your minions Rush to take out enemy minions before they can go face.
  • 3. Voidwalker is a great early play, often grinding early aggression to a halt while you look to stabilise.
  • 4. Don’t Life Tap when you don’t need to. Aggressive enemies will take advantage and could kill you swiftly.

Control opponents

Keep these tips in mind when you come up against control decks:

  • 1. Definitely play more aggressively against control, as you want to finish them off before they get a chance to stabilise.
  • 2. At the same time, be cautious of over-extending into a board clear if you know one could be coming on the next turn. Make sure you have some resources saved in reserve, just in case.
  • 3. Be careful with your high-value cards. You may want to save a strong board, like a bunch of minions followed by a Wicked Whispers, for after you’ve baited out a board clear from the enemy.

Zoo Warlock Mulligan guide

As you might expect from the fast-playing Zoo deck, you’ll want to get your one-drops into your hand in the Mulligan phase. Here are the specific ones you want to see:

  • 1. Flame Imp is still one of the best one-drops in the game based on the stats alone and well worth the hit to your Health.
  • 2. Spirit Jailer allows you to shuffle Soul Fragments into your deck which heal you when drawn.
  • 3. Expired Merchant is fantastic alongside Hand of Gul'dan. You can discard it and draw cards, before getting more copies of it to discard later with the likes of Nightshade Matron.
  • 4. Kanrethad Ebonlocke is a decent keep, as you can discount your 1-cost Demons and play them all at a time.

Zoo Warlock tips, combos and synergies

It’s one of the game’s oldest archetypes but the Zoo Warlock formula does change a little with each set release. Make sure you know all of the following combos available in the deck before you jump into your first match:

- Use your Hero Power as much as possible to discount Flesh Giant - soon you’ll be getting an 8/8 for barely any mana!

- Kanrethad Ebonlocke discounts your Demons, including Fiendish Servant, Flame Imp, and Imprisoned Scrap Imp. He'll also put Kanrethad Prime into your deck, which will resummon 3 friendly Demons who previously died, acting as a quick board refresh.

- Nightshade Matron will discard your highest cost card, so try to target this at Hand of Gul’dan as this’ll draw you three cards for free.

- Tour Guide doesn’t refresh your Hero Power, but the effect does carry over to future turns if you want it to.

- Keep an eye on which card you’re ready to discard with Wicked Whispers. It’ll usually be Raise Dead if that’s in your hand, but if you have a bunch of 1-drops it’ll discard a random one of them.

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James Law avatar

James Law

Former Guides Writer

James was part of Rock Paper Shotgun's guides team from 2020-2021, bringing his expert knowledge about FPS games, Hearthstone, Path Of Exile and more from his time at Metabomb. He's also a dab hand at Hitman 3, and making his own jam - things which may or may not be related to one another.