Mastering the Malygos Warlock Deck: Advanced Guide

Part 2 of Camzeee's series on Malygos Warlock: Card Alternatives and Advanced Tips

This is part 2 of this extensive deck guide series. Be sure to check out the other sections:

Introduction

Welcome to part two of this Malygos Warlock in-depth guide! This section is about advanced tips for Malygos Warlock and potential card alternatives you could use to replace a few cards as the meta sees fit or if your collection is lacking.

Lets begin with our win condition.

Understanding your Win Conditions

Understanding your win condition is one of the more difficult parts of playing a deck well but is often the most rewarding. Too often in Hearthstone, I see players dropping minions on curve, trading fairly well and doing all the basic mechanical things well but who lack the understanding of a deck’s win condition and thus throw away winning positions or leave opportunities for opponents to mount a comeback.

This is exacerbated in a deck that has multiple win conditions such as this one and can leave players befuddled and unknowingly playing into dead lines of play with no chance of victory later down the line.

So with that said, let’s delve into the win conditions of this deck.

Board Control

This one is the most obvious type of win condition and exists in the majority of Hearthstone decks. The basic concept of this is that you take an overwhelming board position and push the damage from your minions to victory. The difficult part of understanding this win condition, is when to go all in for it or discard it completely.

The biggest mistake I see people make with this deck is over control the board. While this deck has some strong minions and elements to secure the board, it is NOT the deck’s strong suit at least compared to some other decks. You will lose the board quite often and that’s tough to stomach for some players with arena mindsets or with natural control tendencies.

So when is it a good time to stick with the board control win condition?

  • When you have at least 2 minions on board on your turn with an empty opponent board after trades
  • When you can setup for lethal damage by attacking face with minions
  • When you have minions or spells in hand that are limited to on-board interactions

Winning with board control is the plan A so to speak for this deck. Let’s look at plan B.

Spell Burst

This secondary win condition is what makes Malygos Warlock unique. Unlike other combo decks like Oil Rogue or Freeze Mage, this deck is not hard coded to win through its spell combos. It has plenty of on-board ways to apply pressure and win through minions the classic Hearthstone way.

However, the option for it gives this deck some dimension and also ups the difficulty of playing it. Knowing when to change gears is the sign of a great player and you will have to learn it to play this deck well.

Naturally, this deck is geared towards drawing a lot which facilitates this win condition. As a result, life tapping as often as possible is a good habit to get into when playing this deck.

Here’s where you should change gears and go for spell burst:

  • When you have lost the board and don’t have a good way of resecuring it
  • When your hand is starting to empty of minions leaving you with just spells for burst
  • When you have a combo assembled or about to be assembled

Some of these situations are much harder to gauge than others. The toughest one is the second one. It doesn’t look like you’ve lost the board just yet, but your hand is starting to look rather uninteractive, and you have Darkbombs in hand. Your opponent is getting low on health through trading but that’s what his deck is built to do while yours is not.

What I see happen is players will overcontrol the board, use both Darkbombs on minions while defending a small board. Two turns later, they’ve lost the board and now they’ve also lost their win condition. It’s important to always think about how you’re going to win the game, so don’t forget it!

Spell Combos

At the heart of every combo deck are the lethal spell combos. Being able to look at your hand and know how much damage you have at any given time can help your decision making a ton. I’m going to list some of the more common ones so that when you see these cards in hand, you’ll know how much damage you have quickly.

8 Mana

Azure Drake + Darkbomb + Soulfire = 9 damage.

It looks rather tame but this is just the start of our burst. 9 damage is pretty respectable and you’ll be surprised how many players overlook simple combos like this. Spell power is the reason a lot of these combos hit as hard as they do so always take that into account.

9 Mana

Bloodmage Thalnos + Darkbomb + Soulfire + Hellfire = 13 damage

Now we’re talking! This combo does more damage than a double Fireball ping from Mage and costs just 9 mana. You’ll be surprised how often you can string this one together. 4 cards looks like a lot, but Warlock’s ability to draw at will means larger spell combos are more often available.

The magic of this deck is that these spells can be comboed together a large number of ways and if you are constantly on the look for spell burst, you’ll be surprised at how much you find.

However, this deck’s true spell burst is unleashed after Emperor Thaurissan gets played and discounts our spells and/or Malygos. Look at some of these terrifying burst combos that utilize the power of Ragnaros after just one proc!

9 Mana

Malygos + Darkbomb + Soulfire = 17 damage.

This is your classic finisher combo and probably the easiest one to pull off on a fairly consistent basis. It’s fairly easy to assemble and is still possible to do on 10 mana if just two of these cards get discounted.

10 Mana

Malygos + Darkbombx2 + Soulfire = 25 damage.

This one is more difficult to pull off but look at that damage! 25 damage is all but 5 of an opponents’ full life bar. That’s a staggering amount and if you get lucky and can get Emperor Thaurissan to survive a turn, this combo can be a reality as early as 7 mana with coin!

It’s likely you won’t need to hit with the full combo, but having it in your back pocket is a luxury no other deck has. It’s what makes this deck so unique!

Card Alternatives

Let’s take a look at how this deck fares in the metagame and consequently how you might want to tweak your deck as you progress up the ladder.

One thing that all good Hearthstone players understand is that being able to adapt to the meta and change your deck accordingly makes a big difference. This deck is currently built to withstand a fairly aggressive metagame.

Here is the aggro countering core of the deck:

Notice that these cards while very useful against aggro opponents are difficult to get value out of against control opponents. I’d say one copy of Hellfire is mandatory in the deck but the second one is definitely a little more flexible depending on the meta. If you feel a bit stifled by two or that they’re not doing quite enough damage to clear, I’d suggest putting in a Shadowflame as an alternative board clear.

Antique Healbots likewise are good cards but can be fairly useless against super slow decks like Control Warrior or Priest. If you find yourself running into a number of those types of decks, I would recommend dropping one Healbot for a proactive threat like Dr. Boom or Sylvanas Windrunner.

Zombie Chows are tougher to replace. I’d say at least one is mandatory, but the second one can be replaced with an additional Big Game Hunter or a Mind Control Tech for better metagame countering.

Let’s take a look now at tech cards and which ones are good for this deck:

Acidic Swamp Ooze – This one is actually a very good tech in a deck like this. It removes a threatening weapon, drops a decent sized body and can also be used to counter aggro. I’ve been running into a few too many Warlocks and Mages lately to justify putting it in, but it does splendid work if you’re running into a lot of Hunters and Warriors.

Ironbeak Owl – Silence is such a rare commodity and can get you out of some jams you otherwise wouldn’t be able to. I think one copy is adequate though especially since it has no additional synergy with our cards with the absence of Ancient Watcher.

Mind Control Tech – If you’re facing a bunch of Tempo/Mech Mages or Paladin, this card is a god sent. It also does good work against Zoo. I like having one copy in the deck when I see a bunch of board swarm decks. I usually replace a later game card for it since it is an aggro tech.

Big Game Hunter – This card is so useful and will almost always find a target. I’ve come very close to putting two copies in the deck to go along with two copies of Abusive Sergeant, but the lackluster body against the likes of Hunter can be a liability in fast games so I’ve held off. If you’re running into a bunch of Warlocks (Hand or Zoo both seem to play multiple 7+ threats these days) tech another one in.

Kezan Mystic – This card is really powerful when its effect lands. However, it’s only effective against two classes in the metagame currently (secrets Paladin is just not a thing) so I’ve found it a bit dead more often than not. I will tech one in if I’m facing overwhelming numbers of Hunters or Mages though.

Harrison Jones – I prefer Ooze in a Warlock deck to Harrison Jones. Warlock, especially a combo or hand variant, has no issue with card draw. Its weakness is in its lack of board interaction through its hero power. Playing Ooze with a follow up Life Tap leaves a Warlock more mana to play with while essentially doing the same thing as Harrison Jones. Play Ooze instead.

The Black Knight – The last of the pure tech cards, and also the least seen. Sadly, I feel the metagame has sort of passed The Black Knight by, and its prohibitively high cost has made it a little too expensive to play. I’d play Siphon Soul instead if you need late game hard removal.

Here are some other cards you can consider putting in to help in certain situations:

Sludge Belcher – These cards are NEVER a bad idea to put in a deck. They form a solid defensive core and give you some much needed Taunt. If you’re a new player with this deck, I’d suggest putting two copies of this card in instead of the Blackwing Corruptors since they are more forgiving.

Nerubian Egg – A deck with two Abusive Sergeants and a Defender of Argus can be enhanced by including a few Eggs. I feel these are very good against Warrior since Warrior struggles to deal with them efficiently. I’d take out a Zombie Chow and maybe the Ironbeak Owl to accommodate them.

Power Overwhelming – These cards play very nicely with the aforementioned Eggs and the immense number of tokens we generate. Since this deck is a Malygos Lock, I’d stick with just one if you’re looking to put a copy in your deck. Including two is too much of a strain, and if you’re going that route, you might as well play Zoo where the large number of cheap minions maximizes the value of this card.


Because of our deck’s nature to play a fairly board centric style until 5 mana or so, it noticeably drops off in power at this point. You’ll notice that only 2 cards in the deck cost more than 5 mana. If that doesn’t make you reevaluate your win condition with this deck, I’m not sure what will!

However, it is possible in slower metagames to tech in a little more beef. There are only three main legendaries that I feel really suit this deck and they are:

Sylvanas Windrunner – The jack-of-all-trades Banshee queen. She’s an amazing card for dealing with a board when you’re behind and can result in some huge board swings. I would remove one copy of Hellfire and put a copy of Shadowflame in the deck if you intend to run Sylvanas since blowing her up is one of the most comprehensive board clears in the game.

Dr. Boom – The good doctor is ALWAYS a strong pick. He works in aggro decks, in control decks and just about anything in between. Combo decks are where he may be omitted but if you’re having difficulty staying on board and are having difficulty with the secondary win condition, Boom can sure up your mid-game like no other card.

Ragnaros the Firelord – Good ole’ Rag can be pretty amazing if you’re looking for some more late game burst. His effect is sadly a little random but he does help out a lot against control decks that are trying to stall you out and can also swing boards back in your favor.

Conclusion

I hope this second part of the Malygos Warlock guide was informative and helped you understand the deck and its inner workings a little better! Feel free to leave feedback and questions in the comments section below. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have!

Have fun raining hellfire on your opponents!

This is part 2 of this extensive deck guide series. Be sure to check out the other sections:


About Camzeee

I am a multi legend-ranked player with Level 60 heroes for every class. My favorite card in Hearthstone is Lord Jaraxxus (gold of course!) and I’m also an arena infinite player with over 1000 arenas completed.

If you’re interested in Arena, here’s my Arena Mastery link and my own personal 12-Win Arena Log where I record every card/deck I’ve made it to 12 wins with (80+). 

I offer Ranked Ladder and Arena coaching through HearthstoneCoaching.com (founded by Sheng). Visit the site if you’re interested in having me coach you!