Sheng’s Budget TGT Zoo Warlock

Editor’s Note: With the new Standard Format in 2016 for Hearthstone, we highly recommend going for cards in the Classic set and Whispers of the Old Gods (Standard Format). Here are budget guides, also from Sheng, to get you started! Budget Standard Standard C’Thun Druid Budget Standard Midrange Hunter Budget Standard C’Thun Mage Budget Standard  Aggro Paladin Budget Standard C’Thun Priest Budget Standard C’Thun […]

Editor’s Note: With the new Standard Format in 2016 for Hearthstone, we highly recommend going for cards in the Classic set and Whispers of the Old Gods (Standard Format). Here are budget guides, also from Sheng, to get you started!


Greetings, I’m Sheng, a Legend rank constructed and 7.5 win-average arena player. I run where our coaches have helped many students achieve the same.

If you’re new to Hearthstone, or just have a limited collection of cards—I feel your pain. It is often difficult to find cheap but viable decks that are competitive on the Hearthstone ladder.

When I first started playing Hearthstone, I would often go online to lookup the most popular decks played at Legend rank, and find that my limited card collection would not build them. While it was sometimes possible to substitute less important cards, there would often not be cheap substitutions for a crucial Epic or Legendary that completed a deck.

Given this dilemma, I’ve set out to help those of you with a limited collection by providing budget ladder-viable decks for each class.


  1. Reach Level 10 to unlock all of the Basic cards for this class.
  2. Complete the Naxxramas and Blackrock Mountain expansions.
  3. Have 1300 dust available for crafting.

Design Principles

Many readers have requested that I update my Budget deck series to include cards from The Grand Tournament. I have to apologize for the delay in getting these written, as I wanted to spend as much time as possible play-testing and tuning these.

Unlike last time, I didn’t set a particular dust limit to any of my decks, but rather limited myself to just cards from the single player adventures (Naxxramas and Blackrock Mountain at the time this was written), and cards from the Basic, Common, and Rare cardsets. Many of these decks mirror the top decks played at the Legend level, with substitutions for some of the more expensive Epics and Legendaries. At the end of this guide, there is an additional section that provides substitutions for cards to make this deck even stronger.

Again, the overall goal is to provide a set of budget decks for newer players that can be viable to at least Rank 10, and even below.


  • Budget Zoo Warlock is an aggressive deck that relies on the synergies between its many small minions. In addition, cards like imp-losion simultaneously help build board for you while eliminating opponent’s threats.
  • In the early game you want to get onto the board early with cards like flame-imp and voidwalker.
  • In the mid game, after establishing an early board, try to setup a turn where you can trigger knife-juggler with imp-losion to eliminate your opponent’s minions while building up your own board.
  • By late game, you can bring out doomguard or a large frostwolf-warlord to kill your opponent.

Minions – 26

2x abusive-sergeant

  • Abusive Sergeant’s primary purpose to allow your smaller minions to trade up against more expensive minions on your opponent’s board. You almost never want to play him onto a board without a target to use his Battlecry on.

2x flame-imp

  • Great for tempo early game. Mana-efficient. We look to kill our opponent off quickly, so taking 3 damage early is not a big deal. Can also be spawned from a Voidcaller’s Deathrattle.

2x voidwalker

  • Generally Voidwalker’s value is from preventing face damage from large minions when we race our opponent for lethal.

2x dire-wolf-alpha

  • Synergizes really well with 1/1 tokens and Deathrattle minions.

2x haunted-creeper

  • Haunted Creeper helps us establish a board early and synergizes very well with imp-losion/card], [card]knife-juggler, and frostwolf-warlord.

1x ironbeak-owl

  • Primarly used as a way of bypassing taunts so we can deal direct damage to our opponent in the mid to late game.

2x knife-juggler

  • Knife Juggler is mana efficient and synergizes extremely well with any of our minions or spells that spawn tokens.

2x nerubian-egg

  • Oftentimes insurance against board-clear, but can also be used offensively with the many buff cards in our deck.

2x imp-gang-boss

  • This card is just nuts. The 4 health is incredibly annoying to deal with early, and each 1/1 token that spawns can trigger knife-juggler, get buffed by another minion, or serve as fuel for making a larger frostwolf-warlord.

1x void-terror

  • Another 3 drop to help fill out our curve. It’s also a good enabler for nerubian-egg and you can play him next to a minion that has been temporarily buffed by cards like abusive-sergeant or power-overwhelming to permanently gain those buffs.

2x defender-of-argus

  • In our Zoo deck it’s very likely that Defender of Argus will be able to hit two minions with its battlecry, so he’s a great include.

2x voidcaller

  • Synergizes great with all of the Demons in our deck. While not mana-efficient for its stats, we like him for his potential to bring out Voidcaller, imp-gang-boss, or doomguard when he dies.

2x doomguard

  • One of our primary win-conditions. frostwolf-warlord substitutes for malganis or sea-giant in more expensive Zoo Warlock decks. Synergizes extremely well with haunted-creeper, imp-gang-boss, imp-losion.

1x frostwolf-warlord

  • One of our primary win-conditions. frostwolf-warlord substitutes for malganis or sea-giant in more expensive Zoo Warlock decks. Synergizes extremely well with haunted-creeper, imp-gang-boss, imp-losion.

1x loatheb

  • Loatheb is mana-efficient for its stats. He’s important for protecting our lower health minions from being cleared by spells like consecration, swipe, and flamestrike.
  • Loatheb is best played on the turn before your opponent can clear your board, or on the turn before you can deal lethal damage with your minions.

Spells – 4

2x power-overwhelming

  • Provides reach to help us win games, or allows us to force a nerubian-egg to die after trading with another of our opponent’s minions.

2x imp-losion

  • An awesome card that synergizes extremely well with knife-juggler, dire-wolf-alpha, and frostwolf-warlord.

Mulligan Guide

In general, you want to mulligan to setup your first three or four turns. Please note that there is a distinction between going first and going second in Hearthstone, and this should factor into your mulligan choices.

When going first, your advantage is the ability to play first. In addition, you gain mana crystals before your opponent. To take advantage of this, you want to be aggressive in your mulligan to put minions on the board.

When going second, your advantage is mainly the-coin, which gives you tempo over your opponent for a single turn, and also an extra card. Depending on the nature of your deck, whether it’s Aggro, Midrange, or Control, you’ll be looking for different things.

  • When playing an aggro deck, you’ll be looking for the same cards going second as you would going first. The objective is to quickly populate the board and bring down your opponent’s life total.
  • When playing a midrange deck, you’ll also be looking to get onto the board early, with the caveat that you can keep a single copy of a situational minion or spell that you think may be useful to counter an opponent. This spell might be something like a kezan-mystic to counter classes with Secrets or removal like frostbolt.
  • When playing a control deck, you’re looking to save the coin until much later in the game, generally when you can bring out a large late-game threat earlier than usual.

While I won’t make an exhaustive list, these are some of the cards you should consider keeping in your opening hand when playing this deck.


  • 1 Mana: flame-imp, voidwalker
  • 2 Mana:haunted-creeper, knife-juggler, nerubian-egg
  • 3 Mana: imp-gang-boss

Gameplay Video


Here are a few simple substitutions that will make this budget deck even stronger.

  • 1x voidwalker ? 1x malganis
  • 1x frostwolf-warlord ? 1x sea-giant or 1x dr-boom


I hope you enjoyed my guide to Budget TGT Zoo Warlock. For more advanced Warlock decks that aren’t constrained by a limited dust budget, check out the Warlock meta decks on our sidebar. As always, I’d be happy to answer questions from you in the comments section.

Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out the New Players section, other Beginner and Budget Decks, and our most popular section – Monthly Top Meta Decks.

Coaching Lessons

If you’re interested in reaching Legend rank, or earning unlimited gold from arena, my team at would love to help! We’ve provided over a thousand hours of excellent coaching to students around the world. 

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