Budget Zoo Warlock (LoE Edition)

Editor’s Note: With the new Standard Format in 2016 for Hearthstone, we highly recommend going for cards in the Classic set and Whispers of the Old Gods (Standard Format). Here are budget guides, also from Sheng, to get you started! Budget Standard Standard C’Thun Druid Budget Standard Midrange Hunter Budget Standard C’Thun Mage Budget Standard  Aggro Paladin Budget Standard C’Thun Priest Budget Standard C’Thun […]

Editor’s Note: With the new Standard Format in 2016 for Hearthstone, we highly recommend going for cards in the Classic set and Whispers of the Old Gods (Standard Format). Here are budget guides, also from Sheng, to get you started!

Introduction

Greetings, I’m Sheng, a Legend rank constructed and 7.5 win-average arena player. I run HearthstoneCoaching.com where our coaches have helped students around the world reach many of these same achievements.

If you’re new to Hearthstone, or just have a limited collection of cards—I feel your pain. It is often difficult to find cheap but viable decks to play on the Hearthstone ladder. Given this dilemma, I’ve set out to help those of you with a limited collection by creating budget decks for each class.

Requirements

  1. Reach Level 10 to unlock all of the Basic cards for this class.
  2. Complete the Naxxramas, Blackrock Mountain, and League of Explorers expansions.
  3. Have 1180 Dust for crafting cards.

Deck Playstyle

  • Zoo Warlock is an aggressive deck that relies on the synergies between its many small minions. In addition, cards like imp-losion simultaneously help build board for you while eliminating opponent’s threats.
  • In the early game you want to get onto the board early with cards like flame-imp and voidwalker.
  • In the mid game, after establishing an early board, try to setup a turn where you can trigger knife-juggler with imp-losion to eliminate your opponent’s minions while building up your own board.
  • By late game, you can bring out doomguard or a large frostwolf-warlord to kill your opponent.

Minions – 26

2x abusive-sergeant

  • Abusive Sergeant’s primary purpose to allow your smaller minions to trade up against more expensive minions on your opponent’s board. You almost never want to play him onto a board without a target to use his Battlecry on.

2x flame-imp

  • Great for tempo early game. Mana-efficient. We look to kill our opponent off quickly, so taking 3 damage early is not a big deal. Can also be spawned from a Voidcaller’s Deathrattle.

2x voidwalker

  • Generally Voidwalker’s value is from preventing face damage from large minions when we race our opponent for lethal.

2x dark-peddlerNew!

  • Dark Peddler is great on turn 2 or turn 3, as on turn 3, you’ll often be able to discover a minion to play on the same turn. Because Dark Peddler only discovers 1 mana cards, there’s a great chance of discovering useful spells like mortal-coil or power-overwhelming, which can often be played on the turn Dark Peddler is played.

2x haunted-creeper

  • Haunted Creeper helps us establish a board early and synergizes very well with imp-losion/card], [card]knife-juggler, and frostwolf-warlord.

1x ironbeak-owl

  • Primarly used as a way of bypassing taunts so we can deal direct damage to our opponent in the mid to late game.

2x knife-juggler

  • Knife Juggler is mana efficient and synergizes extremely well with any of our minions or spells that spawn tokens.

2x nerubian-egg

  • Oftentimes insurance against board-clear, but can also be used offensively with the many buff cards in our deck.

2x imp-gang-boss

  • This card is just nuts. The 4 health is incredibly annoying to deal with early, and each 1/1 token that spawns can trigger knife-juggler, get buffed by another minion, or serve as fuel for making a larger frostwolf-warlord.

1x void-terror

  • Another 3 drop to help fill out our curve. It’s also a good enabler for nerubian-egg and you can play him next to a minion that has been temporarily buffed by cards like abusive-sergeant or power-overwhelming to permanently gain those buffs.

2x defender-of-argus

  • In our Zoo deck it’s very likely that Defender of Argus will be able to hit two minions with its battlecry, so he’s a great include.

2x voidcaller

  • Synergizes great with all of the Demons in our deck. While not mana-efficient for its stats, we like him for his potential to bring out Voidcaller, imp-gang-boss, or doomguard when he dies.

2x doomguard

  • One of our primary win-conditions. frostwolf-warlord substitutes for malganis or sea-giant in more expensive Zoo Warlock decks. Synergizes extremely well with haunted-creeper, imp-gang-boss, imp-losion.

1x frostwolf-warlord

  • One of our primary win-conditions. frostwolf-warlord substitutes for malganis or sea-giant in more expensive Zoo Warlock decks. Synergizes extremely well with haunted-creeper, imp-gang-boss, imp-losion.

1x kelthuzad

  • Kel’Thuzad is probably the best win condition in our deck. If you have any semblance of a board going into turn 8, he has a good chance of winning the game for you. His value only goes up when you have deathrattle minions on the board that spawn more minions.

Spells – 4

2x power-overwhelming

  • Provides reach to help us win games, or allows us to force a nerubian-egg to die after trading with another of our opponent’s minions.

2x imp-losion

  • An awesome card that synergizes extremely well with knife-juggler and frostwolf-warlord.

Mulligan Guide

In general, you want to mulligan to setup your first three or four turns. Please note that there is a distinction between going first and going second in Hearthstone, and this should factor into your mulligan choices.

When going first, your advantage is the ability to play first. In addition, you gain mana crystals before your opponent. To take advantage of this, you want to be aggressive in your mulligan to put minions on the board.

When going second, your advantage is mainly the-coin, which gives you tempo over your opponent for a single turn, and also an extra card. Depending on the nature of your deck, whether it’s Aggro, Midrange, or Control, you’ll be looking for different things.

  • When playing an aggro deck, you’ll be looking for the same cards going second as you would going first. The objective is to quickly populate the board and bring down your opponent’s life total.
  • When playing a midrange deck, you’ll also be looking to get onto the board early, with the caveat that you can keep a single copy of a situational minion or spell that you think may be useful to counter an opponent. This spell might be something like a kezan-mystic to counter classes with Secrets or removal like frostbolt.
  • When playing a control deck, you’re looking to save the coin until much later in the game, generally when you can bring out a large late-game threat earlier than usual.

While I won’t make an exhaustive list, these are some of the cards you should consider keeping in your opening hand when playing this deck. In general, your goal with this deck is to get onto the board as soon as possible. It’s important to dig for an early 1 or 2 mana minion to play so you can begin to pressure your opponent’s life total.

Minions

  • 1 Mana: flame-imp, voidwalker, abusive-sergeant with nerubian-egg.
  • 2 Mana: dark-peddler, haunted-creeper, nerubian-egg, knife-juggler
  • 3 Mana: imp-gang-boss, void-terror

Gameplay Video

Upgrades

Here are some substitutions that will improve this budget deck. If you’re looking to craft cards to play this class, it’s best to start with the “Key Substitutions” first before working your way to the “Nice-to-Have” Substitutions. Unless stated otherwise, you can substitute a single copy of an upgrade card instead of two if you don’t have both.

Nice-to-Have Substitutions

1x void-terror ? 1x dr-boom

1x frostwolf-warlord ? 1x sea-giant

1x kelthuzad ? 1x malganis

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this guide! If you have questions, feel free to use the comment sections below. Our team at HearthstonePlayers would be happy to answer them.

Coaching Lessons

If you’re interested in reaching Legend rank, or earning unlimited gold from arena, my team at HearthstoneCoaching.com would love to help! We’ve provided over a thousand hours of excellent coaching to students around the world. 

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