Extensive Legend Handlock Guide – Match Ups Part 2

Part 2 of Nuba's extensive Handlock deck guide - featuring match up strategies against Warriors, Mages and Shamans.


This is the follow-up of the article series I started, in here you’ll continue to learn about the Handlock matchups and how to play against them, in case you missed the first parts of this article, which includes the Deck Breakdown and the Match Ups Part 1, you’ll be able to find the links here:

Extensive Handlock Deck Breakdown – Main Guide

Part 1 – Mulligans and Matchups Part 1

Part 2 – Matchups Part 2

Part 3 – Matchups Part 3

Now, with no more delays, let’s get right into the action continuing the Warlock’s matchups!


Handlock / Mirror

The mirror is a very knowledge based fight rather than a luck-based game or a skill-based game, you actually need to know how to play this matchup in order to win, but since we are here to help, I shall make it so the handlock matchup becomes as easy as possible for you! In case you know your opponent is playing Handlock, forget about the Hellfires and Mulligan only for mountain-giants and twilight-drakes!

How to play the Handlock Matchup:

  • Remember dropping a giant is always better than dropping a drake.
  • Saving the coin for a turn 5 siphon-soul is a great play.
  • Differently from most matches, coining out Twilight Drakes is bad here.
  • Getting the best value out of shadowflame is mandatory. You will lose if you make bad use of your Shadowflame.
  • The best situation to Shadowflame is after you got him on the Molten Giant turn, you usually want to play your Loatheb the turn you get him down to the level he can cast the Moltens, doing so makes it so he can only taunt them and not Shadowflame! Which means YOU can shadowflame and win the game from that.
  • By the way, its ok to keep an ironbeak-owl if you already have a Mountain Giant in your hand.
  • Owls silences Twilight Drakes, making them vulnerable to mortal-coil!
  • Make good use Loatheb!
  • Jaraxxus is, once again, game breaking, but don’t rush him, remember: you will not be able to cast your Molten Giants!
  • Remember you can always faceless their own giants and explode them for 9 mana late game!
  • Faceless-ing a Giant is better than Casting a Giant!
  • Be patient, think slowly, this matchup is usually full of missplays on both sides given its mental difficult, almost all the plays here are going to have effect on the rest of the match, try to always think ahead!

Control Warrior

I like this matchup, most warriors tend to not run big-game-hunter which means the matchup is good for you, given the fact you can snowball from the early giants you throw. Again: This is a control matchup, which means the most valuable card here is lord-jaraxxus and getting him into play on an even board most likely means you have won. In this matchup you want to mulligan only for twilight-drakes and mountain-giants!

  • Never ever soulfire that early game armorsmith!
  • Casting ironbeak-owl on acolyte-of-pain early game is huge, but not so much late game. if you see an acolyte in play early in the game and you happen to have an Owl, silence it(but watch out not to delay your Giants, if you happen to have a Giant in hand, don’t silence it! In case you have a Giant AND a Drake, feel free to silence it since you still can play the drake)!
  • Dont be in a rush, remember you can draw cards whenever you feel like, and they don’t. But always keep a taunted minion in play!
  • Play around grommash-hellscream+enabler combo late in the game, have taunts!
  • You are able to cast both your Molten Giants but your opponent did not cast his brawl yet? Unless you are desperate, don’t cast both! Keep 1 of them in your hand just in case!
  • Play around their solo brawl and remember whenever they cast it, you can spam the board mindlessly.
  • Make him face Jaraxxus!

Shaman Midrange

An easier matchup than people say. Ok, shamans are not that easy, but they’re not as hard as many think. The main problem here, is that casting a twilight-drake on turn 4 is bad for us, they usually mulligan for those earth-shocks which means we’ll be having a 4 mana tempo loss. So, in this matchup you will want to mulligan for mountain-giants and hellfire only(no drakes, ever!). Remember having both Hellfire and Mountain Giant in your starting hand is good enough that you can also keep a soulfire, but otherwise dont!

  • The most important thing on the matchup is to not be afraid of casting those Giants because of Hexes, remember they only have 2 Hexes but you have 4 giants, also remember they can not draw as much as you, so you can win either way.
  • Be greedy with your hellfires!
  • Hold that twilight-drake for whenever your opponent Earth Shocks something else, but whenever there is no other play, the Drakes are fine.
  • Always remember Shamans can not heal themselves! Because of that setting up for lethal next turn is always a possibility, but remember to always do that as safe as possible!
  • Shamans are more and more playing bloodlust, so remember to play around it and always keep their board clear!
  • Keep in mind that the lowest the rank is, the bigger are the chances a Shaman will bloodlust you down, higher ranked shamans tend to avoid Bloodlust most of the times.
  • Whenever you get to Molten Giants range, do not overuse the Hero power, remember they have direct damages that can kill you regardless of how many taunts you have.
  • Do spam your big giants, they have only small board wipes, and 8 health is quite a lot.
  • Double molten-giant+taunt giver to both is game closing, the chances they will come back from that is very low.
  • Be calm, your deck is better.

Freeze Mage

Another incredibly hard matchup, but in this deck’s case, you have options to deal with it thru massive rush. In this matchup you will want to mulligan for Mountain Giants and Drakes only. This matchup, although gimmick, if played right is usually decided if the opponent has a second ice-block or not.

This deck started seeing more play now that Hunters are out of the picture, and these are the tips I can give you regarding the gameplan:

  • Your owls are MVP here, either silencing the doomsayers or unfreezing your giants, Owls are bosses.
  • Yap, that means you should keep that Owl in your hand if you already have a Mountain Giant.
  • Dont get below 15 health late in the game, the hero power is bad for you down there.
  • Remember to save your earthen-ring-farseer and siphon-soul for whenever they cast their alexstrasza on you or when you get below 15 Health.
  • Rush their face down, dont worry about taunting your minions.
  • Play around their secrets, remember they are starting to use more and more counterspell, so always check the Secret before casting that Siphon Soul.


We are almost done with this huge article, the next section is going to be the last, and I hope you are having a great time reading all of this, if you already read the previous parts, which can be found here:

Extensive Handlock Deck Breakdown – Main Guide

Part 1 – Mulligans and Matchups Part 1

Part 2 – Matchups Part 2

Part 3 – Matchups Part 3

See you guys on the next part!