Deck Tech: Zoo Rogue, the ‘Hunter Wrecker’

You will be friended after beating your opponent, and they will ask "What kind of deck is that?!" or "I have no idea what to expect each turn!"

Introduction

Watch. Your. Back.

As this rogue deck might just sneak up on you while you are busy laddering. I have been playing this rogue deck at legend rank and I am having great success with it.

This deck is designed to flood the board with a bunch of efficient minions in the early game and keeping the enemy board clear with cost-effective spells such as eviscerate and sap. The goal of the deck is maintaining tempo throughout the game and making the opponent play defensively while you keep chopping down their HP.

This was a fun deck to brew and I definitely encourage experimentation and tweaks from you guys. Please do share your results if you do!

Meta viability

I am having a great time with this deck on the ladder right now,  here are my stats so far:

Midrange hunter 6-3

Tempo Priest 2-1

Control Warrior 3-3

Druid 2-0

Zoo 3-2

Card choices

backstab – A great tempo card it can kill most 2 drops for 0 mana, auto-include in any rogue deck.

deadly-poison – Convert your dagger into a fiery war axe!

undertaker – This card can snowball really hard if not dealt with immediately, people will use any sort of removal to get it off the board, such a value card.

zombie-chow – This card is insane in the early game as the opponent is at full health so the drawback isn’t even there, use this card for trading and don’t go face with it in the early game, late game just don’t play him unless to buff undertaker for lethal.

eviscerate – This card deals 4 damage for 2 mana, is a great burn spell and strong removal and can kill 5 health minions if combined with bloodmage-thalnos

sap – This is a card that I like to call as pseudo removal, it can provide huge tempo if you can sap a minion with a mana cost of 6 or higher this card is the best response to savannah-highmane and if you can play a bunch of cards or even an azure drake after sapping a big minion the tempo swing is insane.

bloodmage-thalnos – This card is a great inclusion in any rogue deck considering how well rogues benefit from spell power, also it has a deathrattle so it buffs undertaker as well. Can be replaced by loot-hoarder if you don’t have him.

haunted-creeper – This card is great in the early game and is an amazing aggro stopper, it saves you quite a bit of health as you can use the 1/1’s instead of your hero power to deal with 1 health minors.

loot-hoarder – Needed for card draw as otherwise you will run out of steam quickly.

fan-of-knives – Considering the amount f 1 health minions that hunters run this card is really good in the meta. Also combined with a bloodmage-thalnos this card becomes a devastating AOE spell against aggro decks, and it cycles itself!

shade-of-naxxramas – This card is really good against hunters because if you played it on turn 3 then you can kill their savannah-highmane with a 3 drop which is a lot of value. Also it gives you a lot of damage potential if you can save it for a long time, which you can against a control deck. If facing a lot of aggro decks you can replace this with a deathlord however deathlords are sometimes risky.

dark-iron-dwarf – This card can help you get some favourable trades and let you maintain board control without losing much, a great value card.

defender-of-argus – Sometimes you just need a taunt, sometimes you just need extra damage, defender of argus does the job.

gnomish-inventor – Provides card draw, is a decent body and can kill 3/2’s and live, sweet card.

azure-drake – This card is an amazing 5 drop, it’s a 4/4 that draws a card and provides spell damage, why would you not put this in a rogue deck.

sludge-belcher – senjin-shieldmasta + goldshire-footman in one card that will take a minimum of 2 hits to remove if not silenced. Can really help in slowing down aggressive opponents and helps protect your weenie minions.

argent-commander – One of the best cards in this meta, there are so many times when this card can deal full 4 damage to a minion while surviving and requiring another card to remove it. Best way to 2 for 1 your opponent.

stormwind-champion – My ‘Tech card’ for the meta, prevents hunters-mark from making your taunts worthless as even after a hunter’s mark the minions’ health is 2, thus requiring 2 doggies (unleash-the-hounds) to remove the taunt minion. It also has great synergy with sludge-belcher and is one of my favourite card right now.

kelthuzad – Trade your board and get everything back, any time you can land this you win. This is the only card that can negate absolutely any value to savannah-highmane and if you have a sludge-belcher down when you play Kel’Thuzad the resulting board is insane.

Strategy

This is a tempo deck that functions like zoo in the early game.

In the early game you fill the board with low cost minions such as undertaker, zombie-chow and haunted-creeper and use it to trade with the opponents minions when required and do face damage.

When you reach around turns 4-5 you refill your hand with the help of cards like gnomish-inventor and azure-drake. Once you reach the midgame cards like argent-commander and stormwind-champion can give you immense trading value as well as great burst potential.

And if the game manages to go in the late game then Kelthuzad helps you maintain a board when you have to suicide it completely to kill a huge minion. So your goal is to always secure board control first and then go for the face.

Mulligan Guide

The mulligan guide is the same for all matchups, try getting a good curve. The desirable starting hand is:

Undertaker + Zombie-chow + haunted-creeper + backstab

Use backstab and hero power freely in order to save your minions from dying.

Tips

  • In the late game don’t play Zombie-chow unless to buff undertaker for lethal.
  • If you can get even 2 minions revived with kelthuzad play him.
  • Don’t use sap on minions that cost 4 or less mana (unless to prevent enemy from having lethal or getting through a taunt) , it is not worth it.
  • Don’t reveal shade-of-naxxramas to just deal face damage unless it’s 7 or above, use it to trade with a minion that cost’s way more than 3 mana. Also keep it stealthed if you know your opponent can easily deal with it in which case wait till you can trade with it.
  • Don’t keep loot-hoarder in starting hand. You don’t need to draw cards until turns 4-5.

Conclusion

This is a really fun deck to play and it has a great match up against hunters, The deck is also fairly cheap with no mandatory legendary and epic cards (except for cards from naxxramas).

I hope you enjoyed reading this Deck tech and you can ruin a few hunters’ day with this deck. Good Luck!