Hearthstone: A look at the Warlock metagame

Matt Low
M. Low|01.12.14

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Matt Low
January 12th, 2014
Hearthstone: A look at the Warlock metagame

Welcome to Hearthstone's test Season 2! If you're looking to climb the ranked ladder, your best class would be that of a warlock. Their hero power (Life Tap) provides card advantage at the cost of your life and their minions are often cheap, strong, and downright annoying to deal with. Blood Imps help bolster minion health. The fire spells (Hellfire, Demonfire, Soulfire, etc) often help in controlling the board even if it's at a cost.

Now then, let's take a look at the four most popular Warlock deck types you'll often run into ranked play.

Chargers Warlock

Neutral (16)

Warlock (14)

This build does not run double Shattered Sun Clerics. Instead, it utilizes a pair of Hellfires to help control the board. Hellfire is a bit of a double edged sword here as it'll also knock your minions out. Use your spells to help control the early game while you develop your side of the board with cheaper minions. Leper Gnome combines well with Power Overwhelming into a possible 8 damage on turn 2. Voidwalkers and Defenders will help you stay alive and draw threats towards the taunted minions. What you want to end up doing is whittle your opponent's health down low enough to get in there with your Arcane Golems or Leeroy Jenkins and burst them down.


Neutral (18)

Warlock (12)

This is the first Warlock deck I put together and also my most fondest. It relies heavily on Murlocs and their mutual buffs to overrun opponents while Life Tapping to maintain card advantage. The murloc Warlock deck is simple to understand and actually fairly affordable to put together. Murk-Eye doesn't have to be purchased as he'll be unlocked the moment you purchase all murloc cards in the game. Personally, I hate murlocs in World of Warcraft. But they're not a bad team to have on your side. Lord Jaraxxus is optional. I find that he adds a nice health buffer towards the late game and provides you with a little more longevity (and finishing power). Sense Demons will help you "thin" out your deck so you can draw into murlocs quicker. This deck has the potential to finish games by turn 4! Try to mulligan into as murlocs or Imps. Pitch away Lord Jaraxxus. But almost any opening hand you receive will be one you want to keep. You'll have to fine tune it a bit based on what the opposing player class is.

Control Warlock

Neutral (18)

Warlock (12)

This is my personal favorite variation. I used this one to help me get up to rank 5 (not legendary). You will have to play a bit of mental chess and think several moves ahead here. Your goal is to slowly establish board dominance with your jugglers, clerics, and other minions. Make smart trades. Buff your minions accordingly. Maximize each and every point of damage possible. Ragnaros will be your finisher and controller at the end. You'll want to see your Imps in your opening hand. Mulligan anything that isn't 4 mana or less. Even Soulfire I'll sometimes pitch away depending on my opponent's class. However, I will keep Soulfire in hand against another Warlock just in case they're rocking the murlock deck above. Keep the Power Overwhelming + Sylvanas combination in mind to remove any major or significant threats on the board. You can get in for some serious damage with Sylvanas while stealing their minion by sacrificing her after the fact with Power Overwhelming.

Warlock Giants

Warlock (17)

Neutral (13)

The last deck is called Warlock giants and is a little partially inspired by the Mage giants deck found just before mages were nerfed last season. Use Life Tap every turn until you hit about 4 mana crystals. That'll help you fuel your Twilight Drake and Mountain Giant (based on your hand size) while starting to get you a little within range of dropping your Molten Giants. Use your spells to remove any major threats. Sunfury Protectors and Defenders of Argus are in there to help run interference long enough for you. The Faceless Manipulators can double offensively by allowing you to clone your giants or play a little defense (by cloning already taunting minions). Of course, Lord Jaraxxus will give you a little extra breathing room (or speed your life total down that much faster so you can deploy the giants). Of the three warlock decks, I feel that this one's the weakest in the current meta game. Players will encounter mostly aggressive decks and this one might not be able to last long enough to actually get to the end game stage.

You'll notice that there are some common cards around these decks. Each can be configured for a different style of play based on the card pool that you have. Chargers will allow you win quick and often unexpectedly. Murlocks is probably the easiest to put together. The board control warlock offers high consistency. Giants is the most priciest.

If you don't plan on playing warlocks during this test season, then your deck better be capable of handling them. If it isn't able to pull off wins against warlocks, you're better off going back to the drawing board. I'm not sure if a nerf is going to be inbound anytime soon or not, but warlocks are definitely the top deck to beat at the moment.
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