Hello all and welcome to the first of edition of, “The Top 10 Mistakes” players make when playing a certain deck. I came up with the idea for this article because well Hearthstone can tend to be a repetitive game, and with that repetition I noticed players commonly making the same mistake time in and time out. In our first week I decided to go over one of the oldest decks in Hearthstone. While the deck has transformed since the early days it is still the same aggressive based minion strategy we all love to hate. So without further ado, I present, “The Top 10 Mistakes Demon Zoo Players Make.”
Note: The examples given in this article are just that, examples. Hearthstone is a complex and multi-dimensional game where every little piece of information given in a game matters. These examples are not concrete but merely here to serve the purpose of showing players common mistakes. Saying, “no your wrong doing this one thing could be right if” isn’t going to help anyone. Take the examples for what they are, examples. Thanks.
[toc]10. Understanding Your Opponents AOE/Mass Removal[/toc]
When playing an aggressive based minion deck it is more important than ever to understand what type of mass removal your opponents deck is likely to have. For instance, when playing against Druid you should know that their removal package consist of [card]Swipe[/card] and [card]Wrath[/card]. Swipe is the only removal spell in their deck that affects more than 1 minion. What does this mean? It means that the more minions you have down with 1 health is going to add to the value of their incoming Swipe.
Look at all these options, my opponent is Druid and hasn’t cast Swipe yet.
I decide to [card]imp-losion[/card].
And now I say bye-bye to all my minions.
[toc]9. Tapping After Making Plays[/toc]
This one is fairly simple. People often decide to make a decision, play a card, attack somewhere, and then use hero power to draw a card. Obviously this is wrong. The card you draw can affect your decision when attacking and playing minions or spells in multiple ways. Before you ever decide to make a move with this deck you should look at your available mana and if you have 2 mana left over from what you think you’re going to do tap first. Simple.
[toc]8. Yolo Implosion Vs. Guaranteed Implosion[/toc]
Let’s say your opponent has a 3/2 and a 3/3 in play. Obviously the 3/3 is the technical better minion on your opponent’s side of the board. Implosion while on average is going to roll a 3 there is no certainty that it will. If you decide to Implosion the 3/3 and you roll a 2 your opponent now has a 3/1 and 3/3 in play compared to your two 1/1 Imp’s. This is obviously not good. If you Implosion the 3/2 the worst case scenario is you end up with two 1/1 Imp’s and your opponent still has there 3/3 in play. Of course many factors come into play when you make the decision on what target to Implosion but too often do I see people needlessly target the wrong minion and risk losing complete board control. I mean which of the 2 scenarios would you rather see happen when you roll low on Implosion?
[toc]7. Implosion Before AOE/Mass Removal[/toc]
Implosion in my opinion is one of the best and most tempo gaining removal spells in the game. However, it obviously has a weakness especially in this deck of creating Imp’s that only have 1 toughness in a deck with already a lot of low health minions. So what is the best way to use Implosion in Zoo? You want to aggressively seize control of the board with your low-cost minions, continue to use your tempo and cheap pump spells to keep board control while putting pressure on your opponent’s life total. Eventually your opponent will be forced to use an AOE like; Swipe, [card]Holy Nova[/card], [card]Whirlwind[/card], [card]Lightning Storm[/card], etc to clear your board. It’s only after your opponents AOE do you want to cast Implosion on one of their minions. Of course this is not always true but if you already have board control with good solid minions why add more minions to their board clear. And again, you can of course Implosion if you have solid Deathrattle minions down to refill the board after mass removal.
[toc]6. Tapping Before Triggering Voidcaller[/toc]
Now this is a less well-known problem I see a ton of players foolishly making. Lets assume you played [card]Voidcaller[/card] on turn 4. Your opponent then plays the most played 4 drop in the game [card]Piloted Shredder[/card]. In your hand you have a [card]Power Overwhelming[/card], [card]Doomguard[/card], [card]Nerubian Egg[/card], and an [card]Abusive Sergeant[/card]. You decide because you’re not going to use all over your mana this turn anyways you might as well Tap. While normally this is right, you have a Voidcaller in play and one of the best Demons in the game in your hand. You Tap into Void terror, trade your Voidcaller into Shredder, and Voidterror comes into play. We goofed. If you don’t tap and trade first your guaranteed to put a free charging Doomguard onto the battlefield. Instead we risked putting something much less game swinging into play which can easily cost you the game. Trade first tap later when it comes to Voidcaller.
[toc]5. Not Playing Doomguard When You Have Cards In Hand[/toc]
Doomguard is a great card at almost any point of the game, of course the 5/7 charging body does come with a downside. Discarding 2 cards can obviously be a big deal but that doesn’t mean it always is. You rarely see players slamming turn 5 Doomguard, why is that. People often don’t want to lose the 2 cards they have in hand but they rarely ever consider the value in those 2 cards Vs. the appeal of Doomguard. Lets take a game where we’re playing against Control Warrior, our opponent has just played [card]Sludge Belcher[/card] on turn 5, we already have some threats down such as [card]Flame Imp[/card]/[card]Imp Gang Boss[/card]/[card]Knife Juggler[/card]. As we go into our turn 5 we have Doomguard, Nerubian Egg, and Voidwalker in hand. Does the appeal of tap, Egg, Voidwalker, lucky Juggles sound appealing to anyone here? Yeah me neither, I would much rather slam my Doomguard, trade with Belcher, finish off the Slime, and continue to press face for damage. When deciding not to play Doomguard because of the cards you lose you need to weigh that Vs. the tempo you’ll lose when not playing your Doomguard, and if the tempo loss is greater than the card less it means Doomguard is the answer.
[toc]4. Misposition of Minions[/toc]
This is another simple and often times heavily discussed misplay. You should always consider where you’re positioning the minions you place on the battlefield. [card]Defender of Argus[/card] and [card]Dire Wolf Alpha[/card] are cards that win and lose games for a Zoo player and they require you to place your minions correctly. Generally this means, think about what 2 minions you wanted taunted up and pumped even if you don’t have Defender in hand. Also, place Deathrattle minions like Nerubian Egg and [card]Haunted Creeper[/card] on the far left and right so as to maximize your Dire Wolf Alpha damage. This positioning will also be important when you decide where to place your Void Terror, you don’t want to have to make a sub par Void Terror because of improper positioning. Remember to spend the extra time considering minion placement and you’ll be sure to have a higher win rate.
Look how stupid my board looks and how awkward this clear is going to be because of misplaced minions.
[toc]3. Overflowing Your Board[/toc]
Something you need to consider when playing the Demon Zoo deck is the amount of minions you have in play. If you have 4 minions in play and you cast Implosion on a Healthy Druid of the Claw and roll 4 you lose a 1/1 Imp. Solution, attack the [card]Druid of the Claw[/card] first, easy. The same is true for Imp Gang Boss, if you have a full board your Imp Gang Boss can no longer generate Imp’s and well that kind of can suck. If you have a full board you can’t cast Doomguard for charge lethal, you can’t cast Abusive Sargeant for a better trade, you can’t Silence a [card]Doomsayer[/card] about to kill your frozen board. These are all scenarios you need to think of before completely filling your board stopping you from casting another minion.
[toc]2. Taunting Your Deathrattles[/toc]
Guys, I understand the appeal of a taunted up Nerubian Egg, trust me I’ve been there. However, this is not always the right play for a number of reasons. If you decide to taunt up a card like Nerubian Egg or Haunted Creeper if gives your opponent another incentive to silence it. Not only did they just turn off your +1+1 and Taunt, but they also turned off the insane Deathrattle intended to protect you from removal.
Secondly, lets say your playing against Paladin and you’ve decided to taunt up Nerubian Egg. Now your board is susceptible to the opponent equipping a weapon, attacking the Egg, then using [card]Equality[/card] and [card]Consecration[/card] combo to completely remove your board. If you had taunted another minion you’d still have a 4/4 in play. Remember, your deathrattles minions are your insurance Vs. board clears. If you already have board control let these deathrattle minions protect you by being that insurance.
So we have a sweet board and we’re playing against Control Warrior. We know their deck has [card]Brawl[/card].
We decide we’re going to get him and make him kill out Voidcaller triggering a free demon.
He uses his weapon to kill our Voidcaller and we get our free [card]malgannis[/card] OH BOY!!!
Oh crap he cast Brawl.
At least Juggler won.
Don’t do this, insurance ladies and gentlemen, Obama made us get it for a reason.
[toc]1. Giving Up Board Control[/toc]
This is by far and away the most important thing for any Zoo player to learn not to do. Zoo is not a burn or come from no where lethal winner, this deck isn’t Hunter. You can’t deal a bunch of early damage just to burn and hero power your opponent to death. Zoo needs to be able to maintain board control in able to grind your opponent’s life total down piece by piece. If you give up board control and your opponent is able to clear every turn you won’t be able to win. The only burst damage this deck contains is Doomguard, that’s only 5 damage. Sure you can add Abusive and maybe a yolo Power Overwhelming but you’re still only looking at 7 maybe 9 damage. So what does this mean? Stop ignoring the board and going YOLO face. The only way for you to win as a Zoo player is to maintain a constant board state and grind them down. Warlock has one of the best hero powers in the game, you need to trade and tap as much as possible until your opponent runs out of resources and you overwhelm them with value. “Lose the Board, Lose the Game” Remember these words!!
That’s it, these are the “Top 10 Mistakes Demon Zoo Players Make”. I hope you enjoyed the read while gaining some insight and possible knowledge into the complex world of Zoo. Until next time, this is RamPage wishing you the best of luck on ladder!