Countering the Flavor of the Week #6

Interested in learning what makes Demonlock tick? Why does it appear to have no weaknesses? Check out Nuba's latest CFWS article to find out!

Introduction

So I have this deck, and it’s wonderful! Demonlock is today’s deck to be exploited so I will talk a little about this deck before we begin this week’s CFWS.

Demonlock was completely underrated until SilentStorm won ESL Legendary Series with a particularly powerful list. Everyone then started looking at the deck to see if there was potential. Some time later, the beginning of this season to be more exact, Xixo hit the top legend spot by playing Demonlock exclusively.

Following these events, Demonlock started to grow a lot in popularity. Because it is this week’s safest deck to play on ladder, we are going to learn how to counter it!

Shall we begin?

Explaining the Deck

We just covered the origins of how the deck became popular, but why is it so strong?

Demonlock is a deck that abuses the power of voidcaller, a card that would be even more popular if it weren’t limited by the fact that there are few good Demons in the game. Given Warlock’s nature of drawing a lot of cards, Voidcaller should consistently be summoning a 9/7, 3/15, or 5/7 Charge minion. However, it is not only this that makes Demonlock a good deck; it has an incredible anti-aggro arsenal that curves well into the late-game. This makes the deck a powerhouse that can literally compete with any deck in the game.

With that said, Demonlock has roughly a 50% win-rate against every single deck in the meta-game (with no exceptions). Moreover, only a few of these match-ups hover around 55-45 and 45-55. The deck’s power level also increases with how proficient/skilled the pilot is with the deck. As a result, good/experienced players will often achieve a higher win-rate against most decks.

The deck’s name is a slight misnomer as the deck isn’t made of Demons alone. As said before, the number of good Demons in Hearthstone is very thin. Additional non-Demons were added in order to provide the deck with a more “consistent” feel. Good cards like power-overwhelming and mistress-of-pain add very obvious and unique utility to this deck. Meanwhile, nerubian-egg and abusive-sergeant add some needed consistent punching power to the early-game and provide incredible value when used in conjunction.

This redundancy (having 4 cards with early-game utility) makes the deck extremely consistent. Meanwhile, the deck also has a very strong late-game, rivaling powerful control decks such as Warrior, Paladin, and even Handlock.

But exactly what is this powerful late-game you speak of?

We have the obvious big Demons. lord-jaraxxus adds inevitability to the deck, meaning if the opponent doesn’t kill Lord Jaraxxus very quickly, he will lose the game. malganis has similar impact potential to Lord Jaraxxus but is much better when summoned for free from voidcaller‘s ability. However, it is significantly worse in the late-game. Then there are the Legendary goodies: sylvanas-windrunner and dr-boom. This pair of Legendary cards are good on their own and are thus played in virtually every control and mid-range deck. They add to the very powerful late-game arsenal of Demonlock.

Combining that late-game potential with the standard Warlock/Neutral mid-game, this deck is capable of both taking over the game and disrupting the opposing board. Demonlock is definitely a force to reckon with.

In this week’s spotlight list, we have the basic Demonlock build that was created by Silentstorm with no changes.

The Deck’s Strengths

In the above paragraphs, I already spoiled some of the deck’s strengths. It’s a very consistent deck with good late-game potential… TL;DR. However, here are some other important things you might want to know about the deck and how it’s supposed to win. Understanding how a deck performs well helps you prevent them from achieving their goal.

  1. Massive Healing – Considering the fact that we’re playing a non-aggro Warlock deck, it’s expected that Demonlock needs a lot of healing (to make use of the Life Tap hero power. This includes Mistress of Pain shenanigans and the raw healing of antique-healbot. Unlike other decks however, Demonlock actually wants to mulligan for its healing mechanisms. This alone already makes the Face Hunter match-up so good.
  2. Card Advantage – It’s Warlock!

  3. Consistency – With both good early and late-game potential, this deck can literally fight toe-to-toe with anything currently residing on the meta-game ladder.

The Deck’s Weaknesses

Since we’re dealing with a deck that is 50/50 against everything, there’s little need to tech our deck against it. However, the number of Demonlocks being played has risen a lot lately, making me want to employ specific tools against it. There are some weaknesses with the deck, however, and recognizing how to exploit them will greatly improve your percentages against the deck.

  1. Vulnerable to Silence – This is the main idea behind countering the deck. The great majority of the minions in this deck are vulnerable to Silence effects. Therefore, running a couple of Silence cards will slightly increase your chances of winning. The main idea is to Silence those goddamn nerubian-eggs. But make sure to remember that they play Sylvanas. It may be occasionally correct to give them a 4/4 later in the game if you’re able to prevent them from stealing your bombs with Sylvanas.

Nothing else! Yap.

Basically, the deck having a 50-50 chance against most opposing decks makes the match-up very dependent on play-skill and sometimes even luck. But as I said before, having Silence increases your chances of winning slightly.

The nice thing about the Demonlock match-up is the skill level is usually high, which makes it fun (at least for the Demonlock player).

This Week’s Meta Suggestions

Well, now that we are totally disappointed by the last section, let’s move on to the most anticipated section of this article: The Deck Lists!!

This week is a lot more calm than the previous weeks. Therefore, we can actually start experimenting with new stuff. =D

Here are my suggested lists for this week.

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The first deck is my personal Mid-range Mech Mage. The deck is very consistent as there just aren’t as many bad hands and turns compared to the Secrets version. Moreover, you also are not vulnerable to kezan-mystic. This list also has a stronger late-game and relies less on explosive starts.

The second list is simply an updated Mid-range Shaman. The list doesn’t run Neptulon, but has a better early-game. This makes the deck stronger in the Mid-range mirror match-up and against Aggro decks. There isn’t much to say about this list. It’s just more consistent as it’s been worked out more than previous versions. If you’re looking to play Shaman, this is the list for you!

In case you want some additional nice lists, there are also the ones featured in the Mid-range Mech Paladin Deck Tech article (written by me) and Lightbomb to the top! premium article (written by Camzee).

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Both articles pretty much cover everything you need to know regarding both decks. They are also fun and different to play. If you ask me, my personal preference still points to the first two decks since they were both made by me ahahahahah!!

Conclusion

I know, I know!! This article was more of a “You should play Demonlock” than a “How do you can counter it” article. The overall the match-up relies heavily on outplaying your opponent. Playing better than your opponent increases your odds of defeating the Demonlock player. Then again, this is usually the case with any skill-intensive match. Regardless of that, writing this article was a pretty fun run. I played over 200 games and got a lot of wins with Warlock. I also was able to get close to Legendary rank early in the season with this amazing deck.

This series has helped me get a bunch of Golden Heroes and learn how to play / play against everything better. The more you play with a class, the more you know how to properly counter it. This was nice for a guy like me who likes to play the game competitively.

Oh yeah, did I mention I just won a qualifier for the next Kinguin event? =D YEAAAH!!! I am going to compete in the next Kinguin Main Event, hosted here in Brazil!

Closing this article, I really hope you guys were able to understand more about Demonlock and how it’s played. Knowing that helps improve your match-up with and against the deck. Remember that is the main concept of this series.

For next week, however, we are going to feature a deck that both swarms the ladder and has a lot of weaknesses (as well as strengths): The Face Hunter!

Stay tuned next week, because the next article is going to matter much more!

Love you guys,

Nuba

 /BudaBudie

 @TheNubaHS

 /TheNubaHS

 /TheNubaHS

Unrelated Gif: