I greet you.. as Gul’dan would say to this crazy new deck that has stormed the meta all of a sudden. With the release of wing 2 of the League of Explorers Hearthstone adventure a new card for Warlocks was introduced into the game, the reliquary seeker. This card was as it turns out was pretty undervalued by most reviewers but turns out it has spawned a new warlock arch-type. The Flood warlock which I will be showcasing here.
About the deck
Flood warlock is a deck that has taken zoo to the next level. It focuses on getting out as many minions as possible as fast as it can. It is in fact so efficient at doing so that most decks cannot even get rid of the board faster than it develops. This allows the use of reliquary seeker. Being able to play a 5/5 minion for just 1 mana on a full board is really tough to deal with.
Here’s how the deck works:
- Cards like echoing ooze, haunted creeper, imp-losion and nerubian egg allow the board to be filled relatively easily.
- power-overwhelming, abusive sergeant and a flurry of small creatures help get efficient trades and put your opponent behind on tempo.
- This advantage is greatly snowballed with the help of high value cards like Reliquary seeker, sea giant and defender of argus
- Opponent loses due to HP being nibbled away by your constant board presence or simply burst from power-overwhelming and sea giants
Power Overwhelming – Greatly useful for getting off quick buffs to get easy trades using your small creatures or just getting burst damage. A non traditional use for this card is that if you use it on a high health minion to trade and it survives, then you can silence it to remove the death penalty.
Abusive Sergeant – Abusive sergeant synergizes really well with this deck given there are so many low attack creatures in it. Setting up good trades is one of the best parts about this deck and Abusive sergeant plays a good role in helping that cause. It is also an activator for nerubian egg.
Reliquary Seeker – The almost universally acclaimed trash tier card finally found its way into a deck and actually made it so that the deck revolves around it.
The power of getting a 5/5 for 1 mana is unbeatable by any card in the game right now, you can easily get off the effect by even turn 4 if you are lucky enough or definitely by turn 5 with this deck. But not just the fact that you played a 1 mana 5/5 is what is game winning. It’s that it comes with a board full of minions that your opponent has to deal with. Match it up with a Sea giant and you have a game winning board.
The correct use of this card is essential for the deck to shine. Cards like Echoing ooze, Haunted creeper and Dark peddler in an early hand heavily increases the chances of procing its effect. But do not limit it to only be used when the effect triggers. Sometimes it is necessary to play it on a board if you can trigger a mirror entity with it and just give them a 1/1 (Note: if you play this as a 5/5 into a Mirror entity the opponent also gets a 5/5). To have a crappier minion to proc Paladin secrets like noble sacrifice or sacred trial. You don’t necessarily have to use Reliquary Seeker in this situations but if you have to then don’t hesitate in doing so.
Voidwalker – The good old 1/3 Warlock taunt finds its way into every early game Warlock deck due to the stats and utility he brings. He is actually really good against Paladins, protecting your weak 1/1’s. It’s a good early game taunt that helps disrupt enemy trades. Also works well in combination with a follow-up Abusive sergeant.
Zombie Chow – Zombie chow let’s you get the early pressure going as soon as possible that this deck needs so that the opponent cannot clear your board as fast as they would like to. The 5 health gain is usually negligible since your opponent most likely will be at full health in the early game. In the late game you can choose not to play this guy so that your opponent doesn’t get healed but it depends on the situation.
Dark Peddler – One of the best warlock cards from this expansion along with Reliquary seeker was Dark Peddler. It can be a 2-drop or a 3-drop and be good at both mana slots. Also since discover is 4 times more likely to give you class cards as opposed to neutral ones, this card is simply awesome due the fact that Warlock has so many good 1-mana cards.
It synergizes well with the deck because of the fact that you can get a 1 mana minion out of this guy, which means more stuff for the board. If not minions you can get some great spells such as soulfire or power overwhelming which pretty much makes this card a must include in zoo type decks.
Echoing Ooze – This card is not used for its copying effect but rather for its summon 2 minions effect. It does synergize with defender of argus but that isn’t what it’s here for.
A 2 mana minion that summons two minions the turn it was played is pretty good for this deck. Though the effect is not immediate it happens at the end of your turn which is fine. The fact that it’s got 2 health means this guy will stick and you will probably have 2 spots on your board covered.
Haunted Creeper – Following the flooding theme of the deck, Haunted creeper was a no-brainer here. It can easily result in early Sea giants given opponents decks are also minion focused, paladin comes to mind. Not much else to say about this card, play it on turn 2 whenever you can. If 2-drops had a tier list for this deck, you would play this guy over all other 2 drops.
Ironbeak Owl – This card is here because of Tirion fordring, due to the popularity of midrange paladin on the ladder Owl seemed mandatory so that this deck doesn’ auto lose. The somewhat increasing popularity of Handlock also gives another reason to play this card. Can help you get through taunts or just destroy twilight drakes.
Nerubian Egg – This is a card that your opponent will not kill, this means that it is gonna stick an occupy a slot as long as you wish. Abusive sergeant and defender of argus are the activators for this card in the deck allowing you to pop its deathrattle and get a 4/4.
Big Game Hunter – Due to the popularity of dr boom and the fact that the giants are seeing some play, a Big game hunter results in you not having to sacrifice your whole board to kill a single minion. In the mirror match a Big game hunter on a giant can be game winning.
Imp Gang Boss – Imp gang boss summons 1/1’s upon taking damage and thus fits in the deck very well. Playing this guy on turn 3 is amazing, it will let you clear almost any minion on turn 3-4 with the help of a few other 1/1’s and still leave you with a minion on the board.
Imp-losion – I feel like this card is just broken. Your board got cleared and the opponent has a minion? No problem! Imp-losion and you have your board back and the minion is dead too. The tempo swing is huge. It is however bit dependent on RNG but given the number of 1/1’s you usually will have, rolling low on this card wouldn’t hurt much.
Defender of Argus – In a deck full of weak minions and no taunts Argus is the obvious card to put in. Lets you get good trades with your 1/1’s protects your other 1/1’s and can also be used to taunt up sea giants allowing you to get a huge wall of taunt. It activates your nerubian eggs too.
gormok the impaler – Gormok wasn’t being used even due to good stats and value due to the fact that his battlecry was hard to trigger. He was inconsistent. But in this deck his battlecry is almost always going to be triggerable. This guy basically is a free Soulfire paired with a 4/4. It’s an SI:7 Agent on steroids. A tempo machine. If you don’t have him a soulfire would do the same job pretty well.
Loatheb – Given the number of freeze mages on ladder, Loatheb became a good card to include to counter this strategy. But Loatheb isn’t just good against freeze mage, it can help you lock down your board against AOE spells as well allowing you an easy win condition if your board is snowballing. And if it isn’t already snowballing Loatheb will help you accomplish that.
Dr. Boom – In a deck based on filling up minions and getting value Dr. Boom is gonna do both. Some say he’s OP some say he’s just fine, I’d say he just fits in. No matter what your deck strategy is a 7/7 minions that can potentially clear a board as well can fit in any deck and the same goes for this deck. It comes with bonus of being 3 minions in 1!
Sea Giant – The card that makes it all possible along with Reliquary Seeker, The sea giant. Allowing you to get a huge minion out on an already full and snowballing board is sure to spell doom for your opponent. They will have to spend a lot of resources to just remove this guy since he has 8 health but in doing so they will not be able to kill anything else on your board. It puts them in a tempo deficit. If you get a few hit in with this guy it is an easy win in most cases.
Given the popularity of paladins and muster for battle there are bound to be a lot of minions on board making Sea giant playable as early as turn 4-5 at times. Do remember that if you kill anything on the board before playing him his cost will go up.
If you have any one drops in your hand you can play them for free if you plan on Sea giant that turn due to the fact that playing that 1 mana minion will reduce the cost of Sea giant by 1 as well.
Mulligans & Matchups
Matchup Type: Good
Zombie Chow, haunted-creeper, imp gang boss going first.
Zombie Chow, haunted-creeper, dark peddler, power overwhelming going second.
Matchup Type: Good
Mulligan: Zombie Chow, voidwalker and ironbeak owl
Matchup Type: Good
Mulligan: Zombie Chow, haunted-creeper, echoing ooze.
Keep implosion with the above if going second.
Matchup Type: Good
Mulligan: Zombie Chow, haunted-creeper, voidwalker
keep defender of argus with above if going second.
Matchup Type: Decent-Bad
Mulligan: Zombie Chow, abusive sergeant, dark peddler
Matchup Type: Decent-Bad
Mulligan: haunted creeper, echoing ooze, nerubian egg
Keep defender of argus if going second
Matchup Type: Good-Bad
Mulligan: Zombie Chow, echoing ooze, imp gang boss, dark peddler
Matchup Type: 50/50 – Decent
Mulligan: zombie chow, haunted creeper, voidwalker
Keep sea giant and big game hunter if you know it is a mirror match.
Matchup Type: Good
Mulligan: voidwalker, haunted creeper, echoing ooze, imp gang boss.
Gormok the impaler can be replaced with soulfire
ironbeak-owl[/card[ for a second [/card for a second card]zombie-chow if you feel silence isn’t doing much.
big game hunter with brann bronzebeard if you think Big game hunter isn’t doing well.
all other cards are core to the deck and cannot be replaced.
This deck is fresh and not many people know to play around it correctly giving you the edge when playing it. Even after it becomes know, the power of this deck comes from flooding the board which is hard to deal with early on unless your opponent is specifically teching against your deck. Which means this is an overall great deck to play right now and you should get those easy wins as fast as you can 😉
If you have any questions regarding the deck or my writing you can feel free to ask in the comments below. If you want some help or wanna watch me play this deck you can add me in-game DarkFrost#1991(NA). I hope you enjoy your time on ladder with this deck. Happy laddering 🙂