Mastering the Malygos Warlock Deck: Beginner Guide

Introducing Malygos Warlock: the spell binding combo deck born from Blackrock Mountain!

This is part 1 of this extensive deck guide series. Be sure to check out the other sections:

Introduction

Hey all,

Camzeee here with the start of an in-depth guide to Malygos Warlock – the new Dragon Warlock archetype from Blackrock Mountain.

This deck is unique and harnesses the power of Warlock’s Life Tap to assemble some impressive burst damage courtesy of Emperor Thaurissan and Malygos.

This is the start of a series of articles on the deck beginning with card choices and core gameplay and ending with an advanced guide on matchups and mulligans.

Let’s dive right into a matchup overview!

Match-up Overview

Malygos Warlock is a very well rounded deck that doesn’t have any unwinnable match-ups. While it may have a few stronger and a few weaker ones, it boasts some great numbers across the board.

At a glance, this is how I rate Malygos Warlock against the metagame. I go into this in greater depth in the matchup section of this guide (part 3).

Favorable

  • Handlock
  • Control/Midrange Paladin
  • Patron Warrior
  • Echo/Control Mage
  • Control Priest

Even

  • Zoo
  • Tempo Mage
  • Midrange Hunter
  • Mech Shaman
  • Oil Rogue
  • Aggro Paladin
  • Control Warrior

Unfavorable

  • Face Hunter
  • Midrange Druid
  • Freeze Mage

Malygos Warlock has some great match-ups overall and none that are unwinnable. If you’re looking for a fun combo deck with some nice metagame countering potential, Malygos Warlock is for you!

I would bring it if you’re seeing a lot of Patron Warrior, Handlock and Control Mages. Basically, the slower the deck, the more effective Malygos Warlock is.

Let’s take a quick look at your game strategy for playing the deck!

Game Strategy

Malygos Warlock plays different to your typical Warlock deck. It is a combo deck not the aggro style of Zoo nor the control style of Handlock. It has a rather distinct playstyle that takes some getting used to. As a start, you’ll need to start thinking a little more critically about when and how to play your cards, particularly your spells.

A lot of players rush when they play Hearthstone and play the most on-curve option at every turn. While this may be a valid strategy for decks that are focused on minion swarming like Zoo Warlock, it often will not work for this deck.

Often times, your optimal play will be to tap and pass or to play slightly off curve and that’s okay. Getting a feel for this is one of the most difficult parts of learning this deck but you’ll be glad you did when you can unleash a big burst of spell damage from Malygos. Check out the next advanced Malygos Warlock guide to learn how to play this deck like a pro.

I will however leave you with a basic game overview and how a game with this deck will often look like.

Early Game (turns 1-4): Your goal here is to control the board. Use your early-game minions and a few spells to ensure that the board doesn’t run away from you. If there are no threats, and you have a reactive hand, use Life Tap. As long as you don’t lose the board beyond repair in the early game you’ve succeeded. Your key cards in this stage are Zombie Chow, Mortal Coil and Imp Gang Boss.

Mid Game (turns 4-7): Your goal here is to start building up some threats. This means your Twilight Drakes, your Imp-losions, and keeping the enemy board under control. Try to Life Tap as often as the mana allows because you’ll want a fairly large hand for the end-game. Emperor Thaurissan is the key card to look for. If you can play him on a fairly empty board and hit a hand of at least 7 cards (preferably cheap spells and/or Malygos) you’ll be looking pretty good.

End Game (turns 7-gg): If you’ve survived this long and are still in the game, you’re pretty favored to win because of the immense power of Warlock’s hero power. Life Tap to put the card advantage game out of reach and setup for a burst finish from Malygos. Sometimes you won’t even need Malygos to win and can instead snowball a strong board to pressure your opponents out of the game.

Malygos Warlock is at its heart a combo deck so use what you can to setup your opponent for a burst finish. It can come from a number of different angles, but the deck is capable of a lot of surprise burst. Don’t be afraid to

Now let’s take a look at the deck breakdown!

Deck Breakdown

x2 Mortal Coil – This card is one of the best anti-aggro cards in the game. It removes Leper Gnome right away, gives you a card draw, and provides that one damage ping that Warlock often needs. With the additional spell power from Thalnos and Azure Drake, this card has even more potential value. A must-run double copy in a spell power Warlock deck like this one.

x1 Soulfire – This card is there for the late-game burst with Malygos. You shouldn’t feel like you have to keep it at all costs, but saving it for lethal damage is its best use. Only use this on minions if you can comprehensively lock down the board with it and are confident your board will be able to net you a win without spell burst. Because it’s so situational, a single copy I find is best.

x2 Abusive Sergeant – I’ve always thought that Abusive Sergeant is one of the most underrated cards in the game. If you can get the Battlecry value, it essentially acts as a Holy Smite or Arcane Shot with an additional 2/1 body. In a deck with as many tokens as ours and a Big Game Hunter, running two is a no-brainer, and it even serves as early game cannon fodder against the likes of Face Hunter or other fast decks.

x2 Zombie Chow – Having a minion to play on turn 1 is incredibly useful for a control deck, and this one has the best stats. Considering how aggressive the current metagame is, having two Zombie Chows gives us a better chance of holding off the aggro decks and that’s all that it needs to do since our late-game burst is so good.

x2 Darkbomb – Classic 2 mana deal 3 damage spell. Great when boosted by spell power and if you can get a good Thaurissan off, can be fired off in tandem with Malygos for huge damage. It also acts as 2 mana removal for large threats like Knife Juggler as well.

x1 Bloodmage Thalnos – This card is great in a spell deck since it both cycles and gives additional damage. I like the utility of Thalnos and play him where needed. Don’t hesitate to play him on 2 mana against aggro decks when you lack board clear because getting through your deck and staying alive is the most important thing.

x1 Ironbeak Owl – There are very few decks where this card should be omitted. Having at least one copy is very valuable at all stages in the game and can help out with crazy spell buffed minions, shutting down large threats and even to bypass taunt for lethal.

x1 Big Game Hunter – The prevalence of Dr. Boom in both aggro and control decks necessitate this pick. It does one job, but it does its very well and you can also combo it with Abusive Sergeant to remove minions with as low as 5 attack.

x2 Imp Gang Boss – Warlock got a big boost with the introduction of this card in Blackrock Mountain. This card represents tremendous value, is sticky and trades well. The additional imps that spawn also have added value with the double copy of Abusive Sergeant in our deck.

x2 Hellfire – Two hellfires is an aggro lockdown choice. It gives you instantaneous board clear and can also be used for lethal damage. The second part of this spell is what I feel warrants a second copy rather than a Shadowflame since this deck actually plays a little faster than some other control Warlock variants.

x2 Imp-losion – What an amazing and frustrating card this can be. Its power is undisputed, but thankfully, we can try to control the RNG a little bit with our spell power minions that give this a boost. Once the imps are on board, the Sergeants can whip any of them into shape along with the next card…

x1 Defender of Argus – Argus has always been a pretty strong card for its Battlecry. The Taunt giving element gives us a little more durability and can also facilitate smart trade ups. Running two copies is a little excessive though in my opinion as drawing both with no targets can be very crippling.

x2 Twilight Drake – Our dragon core starts here with this card. Twilight Drake is extra potent in Warlock because of the class’s ability to control its hand size. This deck also is focused on draws early game in the control match-up which has the added benefit of upsizing these drakes. Win-win.

x2 Antique Healbot – You’ll want to be tapping often and getting ahead on cards with this deck. What this usually costs you is life and this card goes a long way to giving you the added sustain you need to assemble a big spell burst or hold off a charging Hunter deck.

x2 Azure Drake – This card is one of the best pure value cards in the game. A 4/4 body that cycles itself is more than reasonable, and the additional spell power is the cherry on top. You can use that spell power well in this deck so don’t forget to take full advantage of it. Just be wary that it also buffs the spell power of Hellfire which wipes out the Drake and does 4 damage to everything.

x2 Blackwing Corruptor – This card does great work when its Battlecry is active. We have a total of 5 dragons in this deck which doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you’re tapping often and keeping your hand size up, by turn 5 activating its Battlecry is achievable more often than not.

x1 Loatheb – As far as I know, Loatheb still holds its title as the most versatile legendary minion. Its Battlecry effect is amazing for locking down a winning board or for delaying an opponents’ burst. Those two things are exactly what we’re looking for in this deck since it facilitates both our win conditions (board swarm and spell burst).

x1 Emperor Thaurissan – This deck would not exist without this card. Thaurissan’s effect is incredibly powerful and you’ll want to hit as many cards as you can with it. I’d recommend seven as the minimum you should look to discount with it – prioritizing cheap spells. If you can hit it on Malygos and a bunch of your cheap spells, your opponent is looking at some devastating burst damage that they likely won’t be able to prepare for.

x1 Malygos – Emperor Thaurissan revived this sleeping giant. Often basically unplayable for 9 mana since you can’t use it in tandem with many spells the turn it’s played, the new discounts Thaurissan offers opens up some terrifying spell combo possibilities that gives this deck a win condition that is independent of board state. One of Hearthstone’s biggest weaknesses is that there is so little counter-play on your opponents’ turn, and this exploits that weakness to put together some game winning combos.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading this part one and overview of Malygos Warlock. I’ve found this deck to be extremely fun and have had great success with it on ladder. It isn’t the easiest deck to wrap your head around, but it’s definitely rewarding and has some fantastic moments like dealing 17 damage to your opponent in one turn with Malygos.

Until next time!

This is part 1 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!