Building your own Zoo to grind the ladder

Hello everyone I'm Spark, Legend player from Hearthstone and today I'm sharing with you some of my deckbuilding process on the popular Zoolock. Read on!

Hello everyone I’m Spark, Legend player from Hearthstone and today I’m sharing with you some of my deckbuilding process on the popular Zoolock.

This archetype is omnipresent since a long time now and it’s for a good reason : it’s very consistent and you’ll have the ability to play many games to climb the ladder quickly.

As the Deck is pretty common, this article won’t focus on match ups and playstyle but rather help you constructing your own Zoo adapted to the metagame you’re facing and to your personal preferences.

Since Zoolock is a cheap build, many budget players will choose to dive into constructed play by crafting a Zoo that can hopefully carry them to Legend Ranks. In fact, you’ll have to acquire a good experience and knowledge of the game before that but Zoolock is an excellent starting point as it will learn you the science of trading efficiently.

Core Cards

Remember that Zoolock is an Aggro Tempo Deck which means that you’re not rushing your opponent but rather go for efficient trades and apply pressure on the opponent’s face with what’s left while trying to play around board wipes.

Beside you can see the 22 core cards to start with, they are what make the consistency of Zoo. I won’t go in depth about those cards as you can pretty much stop reading the guide from here if you disagree with this solid basis.

The nice curve ensure you to have early drops to play so you should mulligan aggressively for them, the aim of the Deck is to build up an army of aggressive and/or sticky minions and buff the attack of the weaker ones to trade into your opponent’s board.

Many synergies are based around knife-juggler and undertaker with cards like haunted-creeper as a main example, which also benefits greatly from dire-wolf-alpha and dark-iron-dwarf.

soulfire will help you dealing with the opponent’s board early on or find lethal later in the game while doomguard is your key mid game play, needless to say that the discard effects are supposed to not occur or not hurt you too much thanks to life-tap 😉

Considerations

You’re looking to complete the Deck while respecting the curve, ideally filling the the 1 to 4 mana slots with 2 cards for each.

1 Mana

mortal-coil

This card is seeing little to no play in Zoo but can definitely help a lot in an agressive metagame to kill off those 2/1 bodies without having to tradre your minions.

abusive-sergeant

Almost a stapple for Zoo as it works like dark-iron-dwarf but comes earlier.

power-overwhelming

It’s a bit more cheesy but can work pretty well especially when looking to play something more combo oriented.

2 Mana

ironbeak-owl

A fast silence which is very valuable in the current meta, I highly recommand including one in your Deck.

nerubian-egg

This card benefits greatly from the buff engine but is really suceptible to silence so going all in on them is not necessarly a good idea.

3 Mana

shattered-sun-cleric

A solid card to add to your buff engine, its weaker body makes it less appealing though.

felguard

This card is completely underrated as nobody plays it whereas it’s a great body and Zoo doesn’t really care about the drawback.

void-terror

A combo card that can create some devastating shenanigans with power-overwhelming and nerubian-egg.

4 Mana

defender-of-argus

The last piece of your buff engine which is the common choice for this slot in Zoo.

voidcaller

Another cheesy card that can work pretty well to summon a Doomguard for free but tends to be situational.

Tech Cards

acidic-swamp-ooze

This 2-drop can be very useful in the Hunter/Warrior meta but people tend to ignore it.

hellfire

A card that is seeing some play to activate nerubian-egg while regaining board control in the mirror match up.

loatheb

I don’t like playing mana cost equal or superior to doomguard but this one can prevent board wipes and set up good wins when timed correctly.

Examples

Basic Zoo

This is my personal go to for Zoolock this season because it’s just pure consistency. I just like how well it curves out and doesn’t need anything gimmicky to win decisively.

abusive-sergeant and defender-of-argus are completing the set of buffers to make the Deck even more consistent.

I chose to split a spot for 2 cards that I find somewhat useful and situational : nerubian-egg benefits from the buff engine and can make your opponent think twice before he goes for an AoE spell and ironbeak-owl brings a silence option which is really important in the current meta.

I prefered felguard to shattered-sun-cleric as I find this card amazing against Aggro Decks to prevent aggression and protect your major threats, just like voidwalker is doing it very early in the game. I also found it better against Control Decks because you’re more worried about board wipes and Shattered Sun Cleric is too vulnerable to it.

The drawback is really irelevant to Zoo but you’ll generally avoid using it before turn 5 to not set you back in term of tempo, timing it well obviously depends on the nature of your hand and the state of your board just like for the Doomguard.

Demonic Zoo

This is the one I was running when Naxxramas was released. It can create some amazing combos and is really enjoyable to play but this is at the cost of consistency because you won’t always have the perfect combos and they can be shut down by silences. I would say that this one is more gimmicky but can definitely snowball games disgustingly even against unfavorable match ups.

The combo master is void-terror here because of its amazing synergie with power-overwhelming to create a huge early threat while controlling the opponent’s board and because of the awesome targets that nerubian-egg and voidcaller are even without empowerement.

The Deck makes use of these demon synergies to create some huge tempo plays like summoning a Doomguard with voidcaller through trading or by suicing it with void-terror. Sometimes you will also be fine with using voidcaller for its simple but solid body and get another one or a flame-imp for free.

I run both copies of nerubian-egg for the obvious synergies stated above, which can snowball a game from turn 3 or 4 if your opponent can’t answer it.

Closing

That’s it for the guide guys, I hope this little insight into my deckbuilding process helped you out and that you’ll be able to create your perfect Zoo to climb the ladder efficiently.

Don’t hesitate to discuss about it in the comment section below, be sure to check out more of my work on Hearthpwn or here on HSP and follow me on Twitter to keep track of my updates 😉

If you want to discover some other builds on Zoolock, I definitely recommand you to check RaFive article called Evolutions of Zoo: Fundamentals.