This is the matchup analysis of Fatigue Warrior versus Warlock.
We’re using this decklist as a basis. Keep in mind there are decklists with slight variations, each one tweaked to the player’s own taste and the meta they’re facing.
Cards To KeepExecute Shield Slam Slam Bouncing Blade Shield Block Big Game Hunter Death’s Bite
Fiery War Axe + Bash if you think enemy is a Zoo Warlock.
Warlock Meta Decks
You generally want to Mulligan this matchup for the Handlock. Not only it’s the more common matchup, it’s also the harder one. After TGT, Zoo Warlock is a really uncommon sight. I mean, you get to play against them sometimes, but from my experience it’s like 70% Handlock, 20% Zoo and 10% other Warlock builds, at least in higher ranks.
I’m going to cover the Zoo matchup first.
The matchup once again is REALLY draw dependant. Zoo can win the game by snowballing the board in the early game. They don’t do that – you win the game.
Fiery War Axe is a very good card in this matchup, same for other early removals. You just need to kill everything they play and don’t let them snowball. If they won’t snowball hard on the early turns, they have another opportunity on turn 4.
Voidcaller is a beast – if enemy is holding one of the big demons (Doomguard or Mal’ganis) it’s going to be really big tempo swing in his favor. Tempo swings are not something you want. You generally don’t want to kill the Voidcaller if you don’t have a way to deal with their big demon. But if you do – kill it as fast as you can. The earlier it is into the game, the bigger chance is that they actually aren’t holding ANY Demon or it’s something small. Execute is probably the easiest way to kill those two and the Big Game Hunter is awesome against Mal’ganis.
Around the mid game, enemy should slowly start running out of the cards and using his Hero Power. Even though it gives him infinite source of card draw, it makes their mid game turns weaker (by having 2 less mana each turn). In the late game it actually starts hurting them a lot. It’s the matchup where you can kill your enemy without hitting them until the late game. They should get down to ~15 health by themselves at some point. After that, a few weapon hits or enraged Grommash and you can actually kill them.
The game plan is simple – kill everything they play. That’s pretty much it. Brawl is AWESOME card in this matchup. Despite them having some anti-Brawl cards like Nerubian Egg, even then you should kill like 3-4 minions with each Brawl. Your weapons are great in this matchup throughout the whole game. Weapons like Gorehowl can completely shut down enemy. Yes, you sacrifice some health, but Zoo Warlock doesn’t have burst without the board. He can’t use Power Overwhelming, Abusive Sergeant, Dire Wolf Alpha or Defender of Argus without the board, so once you take it away from him, he’s in a bad spot.
The only sort of burst a standard Zoo list runs is the Doomguard. You can sometimes face the more Aggro-oriented Zoo that runs the Soulfire, but again, he won’t likely use them on the same turn, because one might discard the other. Anyway, you shouldn’t probably play around more than 5 points of burst from the empty board. 9 if enemy is holding a lot of cards (at least 4), then they have a chance to play Doomguard without discarding the Power Overwhelming.
Handlock matchup is much harder. If you face a players that identifies the matchup and knows how to play it, you have almost no chance to win. The thing is – you have enough removals for every threat they might play, besides one: Lord Jaraxxus. It’s the winning card in the matchup and a good Handlock player should just drop it on turn 9 most of the time.
Molten Giants are mostly dead in this matchup anyway, because you won’t likely have an opportunity to attack enemy Hero with your minions. And Warlock having a 6/6 for 2 mana every turn means that you’re soon going to run out of answers. But let’s just go from the beginning.
Warlock is likely to use the Life Tap on turn 2 and 3, but you can’t really punish him for that. You have no early game threats, so it’s going to be just 2x Armor Up from your side. Warlock is going to drop his first big threat on turn 4 (or turn 3 if he goes second and decides to Coin out the Drake). Those threats are Mountain Giant or Twilight Drake
Since the Demon Handlock is the most popular build right now, you’re very likely to see the Voidcaller too, but rarely on turn 4 against the Warrior. From turn 4 onwards, prepare to answer a big threat every turn.
If Handlock misses the curve you might have some easy turns, but generally you need to use removal each turn.
Big Game Hunter is awesome in this matchup – it takes one of the Giants for free, meaning you have some space to breath and you can save your removals.
Getting Shield Block + Shield Slam or Slam + Execute or Bouncing Blade are another ways to deal with their first big threats.
What’s important to note is that you can draw in this matchup. Handlock is further into the fatigue anyway and the fatigue is NOT your main win condition in this matchup, unless Jaraxxus is one of the last cards in the Handlock’s deck.
Your main win condition in this matchup is going to be Grommash Hellscream.
First of all – you don’t care about the Moltens if you have Brawl in your hand. If you drop some minions (e.g. Shieldmaiden) and enemy won’t kill it – you can go all in if you have the Brawl. You actually WANT enemy to play 2x Molten + taunt so you can get a great board clear. This way you assure that enemy is not going to have another Molten tempo turn and you can go all in without worrying about him getting 2x 8/8 Taunt. Your burst is the way you’re most likely going to win this game.
You need to set-up the Death’s Bite and try to go for the 14 damage burst play with Grommash. Obviously, it’s not going to work a lot of the time. Taunts, heals etc. are going to work against you a lot of time. But the good thing is that once you start pushing the Handlock, he won’t be able to drop his big bombs. He has to play defensive and answer, pushing him to the wall is probably the best way to kill him. Obviously it’s very hard with your deck, but it’s possible.
Also, you might go for the 14 damage burst even if he’s at let’s say 16-17 health. Putting him at couple of health points is very risky, but if you have the Brawl it’s very rarely going to backfire. Even if the Moltens + Taunt come, you still can get rid of that board. And the last points of health can be taken out with weapon, Bash or possibly even Baron Geddon.
Another way to approach this matchup is trying to grind enemy down, but it won’t work if you play against a decent enemy. Once Jaraxxus hits the board, you’re put on 4-5 turns clock at best. If you take this path, you absolutely need to keep the Harrison Jones for the weapon. The 3/8 weapon means Warlock can push for 24 damage over all those turns. Between this and the minions, you won’t survive it. But Harrison can actually give you some more answers.
If Warlock overextends he might get punished by Brawl, if Warlock plays the Sunfury Protector and Defender of Argus too liberally, you might find a hole in their defense and punish them for it. But overall, if both of you play it perfectly, it’s about 80/20 in favor of Handlock. If not for Jaraxxus, you’d actually be the huge favorite.