I have played over 300 games with this list and held a 68% win rate with across those games. This deck is definitely legend viable and great to climb ladder with do to the fast games. It is capable of winning by turn 4 on occasion and very often steals wins by turn 5 and 6.
Although considered to be out of flavor for some time, I have been able to find a ton of success with my MurLock (murloc warlock) deck. I created it a while ago and had a ton of fun with it, more recently I got some streamers to showcase it on stream to help spread awareness of the validity of the deck. You may have seen the deck highlighted recently by TidesOfTime in the Nvidia and HTC tournaments, winning games with this exact deck card for card. Also Tempostorm’s Gaara made a deck tech video on this list. And in the earliest stages you may have even seen streamers Gaara, Tides, Dog, Sjow, and Puffin use this deck with 76% win rate over 60 games in legend last day of season 13.
Links to all VODS for proof can be found HERE
Enough about credibility of this deck, if you read the rest of this guide, and play the deck for yourself, you will experience the power of MurLocks!
[toc]General Game-play Strategy[/toc]
First things first, this deck is NOT a “STRICTLY GO FACE” style of deck, like face hunter, and it is also not a board control fighting deck like Zoo. This deck is somewhere in the middle of the two, leaning slightly more towards a face deck, but it is truly a combo/synergy deck that has a bit of a learning curve for decision-making to allow you to maximize damage output, while also paying attention to the durability of your board, making it as tough to remove as possible.
This deck looks to gain early control of board with multiple one drops (8 of which are “playable” turn 1) and also has an abundance of solid two drops that work very well with the deck structure. You want to apply a lot of early pressure with the large amount of murloc synergy you have at your disposal. Try to build up a large number of murlocs before dropping cards like [card]murloc-warleader[/card] or [card]coldlight-seer[/card] to make your board very difficult to remove.
Although like every deck, playing mana efficiently can be very good at times, with this deck, sometimes you want to hold onto certain cards (like [card]soulfire[/card], [card]grimscale-oracle[/card], [card]power-overwhelming[/card], [card]darkbomb[/card] or any charger) even if you have unspent mana crystals and possible board states where you can use such cards as a means of removal of your enemies minions. This deck has an INSANE amount of burst that is capable of coming from hand, so depending on the match-up often times you want to save burst and chip away their hero’s health pool with general flood of murlocs and other early minion damage before going for big damage finishes with direct damage, and charging minion combos.
A note on how this is more of a “combo” and “species synergy” (for example beasts/mech/dragon) type deck. Turn 7 this deck has 14 damage available from hand potentially in a few ways, which is equal to the famous druid combo ([card]force-of-nature[/card]+[card]savage-roar[/card]) for 9 mana. Using [card]leeroy-jenkins[/card], double [card]power-overwhelming[/card], or [card]leeroy-jenkins[/card], [card]power-overwhelming[/card] and [card]soulfire[/card] (use [card]soulfire[/card] last of course!). It can also just drop a giant bomb turn 4 or 5 dropping [card]old-murk-eye[/card] with a robust board of murlocs. These combos, like most, are best kept to finish the game, so always be looking for lethal, even as early as turn 4!
It is important to know when playing this deck you must value murlocs being on board over pretty much everything. So this means you might need to trade flame imp for horrible value into a smaller minion if it means keeping even a 2/1 murloc alive on board. Even if you don’t have much to aid the murloc in hand, it is likely you will draw into a buff for murlocs, like [card]murloc-warleader[/card] or [card]coldlight-seer[/card] . Having multiple murlocs on board also allows for the most [card]grimscale-oracle[/card] value.
[toc]General Mulligan Guide[/toc]
This is one of the most important stages of the game. Myself as well as most other players realize with decks like this, games can be won and lost in the mulligan step. Understanding which cards you always want, never want and everything in between is very important! This section is a bit long, but it will provide insight on what you want to keep, and why. The aim is to help you understand fundamentally how to play the deck from the first and arguably most important part of the game with a deck that depends heavily on having strong starts.
To start off we will highlight cards you absolutely NEVER KEEP under any circumstances in mulligan.
[card]old-murk-eye[/card], [card]leeroy-jenkins[/card], [card]defender-of-argus[/card], [card]soulfire[/card] and [card]mortal-coil[/card].
The reason behind not keeping the late Charger cards is you want to draw into them as finishers, and they slow down your hand too much in turns 1-3 to justify having them on turn 4 or 5. [card]old-murk-eye[/card] may be very good or even game winning on turn 4, but it is even better to have a ton of other murlocs on board first, which isn’t as likely to happen if you keep it in opening hand. [card]leeroy-jenkins[/card] is fairly simple why we don’t keep, he is finisher, and has no use in the early game, 95% of the time he will be used to finish game the turn he is played. [card]old-murk-eye[/card] on the other hand, is much more versatile due to having no drawback (whelps) when played, and in the worst case scenario of only having 2 attack, also has 4 health, and isn’t automatically answered by opponent, so it can be used a bit more liberally in the early game for damage or board control, and doesn’t have as much of an emphasis on finishing the game like [card]leeroy-jenkins[/card] does.
[cardinsert card=”defender-of-argus” float=”right”]
The reason behind not keeping [card]defender-of-argus[/card] is much more simple. He is garbage on turn 4 with no board, even if you have turn 1, 2 and 3 plays, it is possible to get hit by cards like [card]lightning-storm[/card] or [card]consecration[/card] or even [card]hellfire[/card]. You want to draw argus ideally after you’ve already played a [card]coldlight-seer[/card] to avoid the less durable murlocs from getting +1/+1 and Taunt, and then just still dying to small damage.
The reason behind not keeping [card]soulfire[/card] and [card]mortal-coil[/card] are also fairly simple. [card]soulfire[/card] is good in combo with burst finishes to lethal your opponent… It does not need to be used on face, it is a great tempo play for removing minions as well, but most the good targets, like [card]azure-drake[/card] don’t come up until mid game, so just don’t keep [card]soulfire[/card] ever in mulligan phase.
[card]mortal-coil[/card] is the most debatable for me to call a NEVER keep, but I think it is very poor in most match-ups. On turn one it’d be better as a 1-drop minion, and even if you already have one, it is ideal to play two 1-drop minions on turn 2, or a 2-drop and 1-drop on turn 3, so this could just always be a better minion in hand during the early stages of the game. The only match-ups that really benefit you keeping it are face hunter, and mech mage, for removing 1 health minions, but those match-ups are both heavily favoring MurLock even if you don’t draw [card]mortal-coil[/card]. They are good later when trading small minions up and finishing off the final health of an opponents minion to cycle for cards for you in the mid to late game, but I strongly recommend not keeping it in mulligan.
[card]grimscale-oracle[/card], [card]darkbomb[/card], [card]bluegill-warrior[/card], [card]coldlight-seer[/card] and [card]murloc-warleader[/card].
[cardinsert card=”grimscale-oracle” float=”right”]
[card]grimscale-oracle[/card]: The only time you want to keep this is when you also have [card]young-priestess[/card] in hand as well as coin. Even this is not really ideal unless you have something like a [card]murloc-tidehunter[/card] and [card]coldlight-seer[/card] to follow-up turn 2 and 3. You should not keep it in any other circumstance, it is too good late game to lose to pings or early AOE. The value of this card comes from buffing boards of a lot of murlocs, so it isn’t worth having or using early for 1 or 2 damage when often later it will give 4 or 5 points of damage the turn it comes out.
[card]darkbomb[/card]: Against any deck that has a good 3 health minion early, like priest, mage, shaman, and sometimes warlock this can be okay to keep. Using darkbomb turn 2 sort of feels bad as a MurLock, it is kind of the equivalent of using hero power turn 2 when playing mech mage. You want to get board going with your synergistic murloc cards, and delaying that as early as turn two can hold you up, but it is worth it to remove high impact minions before they get out of control like [card]northshire-cleric[/card] and [card]mechwarper[/card].
[card]bluegill-warrior[/card]: I’d only keep him this if you are worried you won’t draw a 1 or 2 drop play (for example you draw all your 3+ mana cost cards and this). Keeping it is usually bad, as it just dies easily on board to some hero powers, often turn 2 you just Dennis them and go face, with little impact. But this deck does look to chip away at the opponent and every damage counts, although it is not usually ideal on turn 2, the damage can be fine. As anyone who plays combo finish/aggressive decks knows the pain of being “1 damage off lethal” and how frustrating it can be, you realize 2 face damage early in the game can make all the difference in getting exact lethal.
[card]coldlight-seer[/card]: I like keeping this against hunter. Face hunter cycles in and out fairly often but always seems to be around in some respect on ladder, this allows you to trump their explosive trap. Face hunters in my experience will always disrespect the power of murlocs, and just go for a race. Murlocs are strictly faster than face hunter, and if they don’t trade (and who are we kidding it’s face hunter, never trade SMOrc right?) and you have this you will win the race. The reason I list this as a rarely keep, is outside facehunter (and maybe paladin) you don’t want to keep this just to avoid AOE. It is good other times when you have a bunch of murlocs, so if you know you will have a good chance at having 3 murloc bodies on the board by turn 3 when you play this it can be worth keeping. If you don’t feel very confident you won’t have at least two murlocs on board by turn 3, don’t keep this.
[card]murloc-warleader[/card]: Better when you have coin, and can play a lot of murlocs on turns 1 and 2, then coin a 1 drop murloc and drop this turn 3. It is good for the health buff, but most murlocs have 1 health, and there is a lot of 2 area of effect (A.O.E. or damage to multiple minions) damage available early, so [card]coldlight-seer[/card] is usually the better of the two as a rarely keep. But you keep it in similar circumstance of having a ton of murloc bodies that you are confident will be alive on board by turn 3 to receive the buff. You run 2 so it is pretty likely you will draw one by the time it is good, and even stand alone, a 3/3 for 3 isn’t a terrible body in worst case. Really funny to have it get hit by [card]mirror-entity[/card] against mage and have it double buff your own board while you smack them for way too much damage. I don’t love keeping it, but on occasion it can be strong. Much better against slower decks (priest, druid, warrior).
[card]flame-imp[/card], [card]voidwalker[/card], [card]knife-juggler[/card] and [card]puddlestomper[/card]
[cardinsert card=”puddlestomper” float=”right”]
[card]flame-imp[/card]: In most match-ups it is good to keep. You can have the standard sort of “zoo bluff” openers with this and [card]voidwalker[/card] to add surprise element when murlocs start rolling out. It is very bad verses hunter, it is like quickshotting, or even kill commanding your own face when you consider their hero power. This card is one of the only ways you’ll lose the race to face hunter. I’ve considered cutting it when hunter is over populated for more aggressive cards like [card]abusive-sergeant[/card], [card]leper-gnome[/card], [card]worgen-infiltrator[/card], and even [card]clockwork-gnome[/card] (for spare parts, [card]reversing-switch[/card] and [card]emergency-coolant[/card] that can swing games). Also considered [card]murloc-raider[/card] just for additional murloc synergy, another cheap 1 drop and way to buff up [card]murloc-tidecaller[/card]. But after trying a ton of options, [card]flame-imp[/card] is just so good in so many other match-ups, the stats are great. Often you play it turn 1 and hit them in the face, counteracting the 3 damage you took to the face, plus you are less concerned about your health pool, because you are going to race them down before they draw resources to kill you. If it gets hit by [card]backstab[/card] you are sad, but outside this case and hunter match up this card is too good to cut from the list, and is mostly kept in mulligan step.
[card]voidwalker[/card]: This card can also bluff zoo. it is good for protecting murlocs before buffs come out, it combos really well with the Beta meta OP opening of this plus [card]young-priestess[/card] making it a 1/4 turn 2, safe to warriors [card]fiery-war-axe[/card] and it is not really a good [card]frostbolt[/card] target either, so it is a very strong start. Cards like this and [card]flame-imp[/card] are very good openers always, and they would be in the always keep section, if murloc synergy wasn’t so important. These provide a solid start, but what you really want to do is be greedy with murloc synergy and gamble if they don’t have proper removal of very fast start you just win the game. This card doesn’t offer that same threat, thus it is a sometimes keep, it is solid card, but not game winning in most cases.
[card]knife-juggler[/card]: This is okay against same things [card]darkbomb[/card] is strong against in the early game, clearing 1/3 bodies off. I don’t really love the card, especially on turn 2 because you risk getting no juggles, but against priest, mage, warlock, and shaman it is okay to keep. This is on the boarder of rarely keep, because it is a little better later on, with tapping and so many 1 and 2 drop minions, it will always be good in mid to late game, but is never really bad to just play as a 3/2 on turn 2, it forces them to try to remove it or get punished. It is one of the only minions most face hunters will actually trade with which is usually going to work in your favor. Again you are a little sad if it is hit by backstab, and it really gets punished by coin [card]si7-agent[/card].
[card]puddlestomper[/card]: This guy is a solid 2 drop. I think this is one of the best additions to murloc arsenal, it is to murloc what [card]bloodfen-raptor[/card] is to beast, but MUCH better. Unlike beasts, murlocs synergy is much more well-rounded. You have four ways to buff health, and several more ways to buff attack, plus you get hidden benefit of buffing up [card]old-murk-eye[/card] that beasts don’t have any thing to compare that is playable unless you consider [card]king-of-beasts[/card]. It is a one of, because it is a better alternative than cards like [card]bluegill-warrior[/card] on turn 2, but is less powerful coming off the top in late game. Fairly strong midgame as a body that can be played with buffs due to low mana cost. This is also one of the best targets to give taunt with [card]defender-of-argus[/card] because it is just a body with out effects to help the rest of the board.
[card]murloc-tidecaller[/card], [card]young-priestess[/card] and [card]murloc-tidehunter[/card].
[cardinsert card=”murloc-tidecaller” float=”right”]
[card]murloc-tidecaller[/card]: This is the real star of the show. This card is simply amazing. 2 Health makes it durable, and it has enormous growth potential. This is usually what leads to turn 4 wins, with two of these and coin, you can follow-up with any variety of murloc combinations and this just gets gigantic so fast. This card can win the game if not removed early. If on turn 3 you have it out, and have to choose between [card]murloc-warleader[/card] and [card]coldlight-seer[/card] I go with the [card]coldlight-seer[/card] 9 out of 10 times. Making this card as difficult to remove as possible is an easy way to win games, because a lot of decks can not deal with it without taking insane amounts of damage.
[card]young-priestess[/card]: If [card]murloc-tidecaller[/card] is the star of the show, this is sort of the knight in shining armor. This card allows 1 health minions to tank hero powers, which is insanely important because the goal is to flood the board and make non-sticky minions as sticky as possible. whatever the buff hits is great, but if you play it right you can have it target important minions to give them a little bit of protection from removal. The longer this stays on the board the more likely you are to win the game. Everyone always asks, why this over [card]blood-imp[/card]? Well in a deck this aggressive you want the damage per turn this provides over the turns it is on board. Sure it is easier to remove, but this is a minor minion health buff, your major buffs come from [card]coldlight-seer[/card], [card]defender-of-argus[/card] and [card]murloc-warleader[/card]. This is nice, and can win games with its health buff hitting small guys making them live, but the damage is more important. It’s effect is best at very start of game as well, that is why we always keep this in mulligan.
last, but certainly not least [card]murloc-tidehunter[/card]. This card really represents the fundamental idea of the deck. You want to flood the board with potentially underpowered minions and build them up with buffs, and snowball giant boards. When you play two of these, and a [card]grimscale-oracle[/card] for example, you get 10 damage. That is 1/3 the opponents health pool, it is really insane. If this gets hit by [card]coldlight-seer[/card] you have a hard to remove board that sets up very nicely for [card]murloc-warleader[/card] and [card]old-murk-eye[/card]. This is even fine when the 2/1 body gets removed and you just have a 1/1 left behind. In a sense a 1/1 murloc token is still dangerous the same way a silverhand recruit can be just due to threat of things like [card]quartermaster[/card]. This card is great to ensure that [card]defender-of-argus[/card] has targets to hit that do not have important buffs on them like [card]murloc-warleader[/card] and [card]grimscale-oracle[/card]. All in all this is a very solid, core murloc card that you should always keep in mulligan.
[toc]Mulligan Changes Based On Opponent Class[/toc]
So, the only thing we know when making a mulligan is the class of the opponent. I feel like the best bet regardless of current meta is to plan for the fastest possible deck from that class, and if it is the slower version you have more forgiveness with draws. That being said, this deck largely dictates the pace of the game, and sort of “plays its own way” almost regardless of what it is matched up against. So other than mentions below- you can follow the general mulligan guide above.
Druid: Against druid you can assume it is combo, ramp has come back into popularity, and is actually the worse of the two match-ups. No changes on mulligan here, you gain early board control and swarm them down.
Hunter: Assume it is face hunter. Do not keep [card]flame-imp[/card] ever against Hunter, it is probably a good idea to keep [card]coldlight-seer[/card] against any type of hunter, as explosive trap without it is one of the ways you can lose this match-up.
[cardinsert card=”mana-wyrm” float=”right”]
Mage: Mech mage comes in and out of flavor now and then, it is a really good match-up for us as murloc players, all normal keeps. [card]darkbomb[/card] is okay to hang onto to stop [card]mana-wyrm[/card] in tempo mage and [card]mechwarper[/card] in mech mage.
Paladin: Their draw matters more than anything you could keep or get rid of. If they open [card]zombie-chow[/card], into [card]shielded-minibot[/card], into [card]muster-for-battle[/card], and you don’t have a perfect start they are likely to win. You have to hope they miss any 1 of these 3 and just stick with normal mulligan.
Priest: All versions of priest that are viable are too slow to stop this deck. Even if they get a [card]deathlord[/card] out, it pulls something good from your deck. So standard keeps when facing priest, you should be favored against any Priest archetype really regardless of your draw. You can choose to play greedy and keep the 3 drops, assuming they will be slow, but standard keeps are good in the case they do have some decent opener.
[cardinsert card=”backstab” float=”left”]
Rogue: I don’t keep juggler or puddlestomper in this match-up because they are too perfect of a target for [card]backstab[/card] Everything else is same. The [card]murloc-tidecaller[/card] is especially good because they usually have to face tank it with their weapon.
Shaman: Mech Shaman and Midrange Shaman are both viable at the moment. You can potentially keep [card]darkbomb[/card] to stop [card]mechwarper[/card] or [card]feral-spirit[/card] from ruining your day with overly explosive starts and early taunts. Also darkbomb is nice just to prevent getting outrushed by [card]whirling-zap-o-matic[/card].
Warlock: I always assume zoo, but both this and Handlock are popular in current meta. Against both you have all the same keeps, I’d recommend dropping [card]flame imp[/card] and [card]voidwalker[/card] try to focus on murlocs in this match-up because these cards work better for Zoo than they do for you, so in a trade-off they are favored.
Warrior: Don’t keep juggler, it doesn’t get any real value, can’t really kill any warrior early minions, and can only really backfire, giving them card draws on [card]acolyte-of-pain[/card], or armor from [card]armorsmith[/card]. Expect control warrior or patron warrior, even hybrid between two has become popular. That probably didn’t help much. Dragon warrior (aka few dragons and fairly standard control warrior) is also a thing, but they are all too slow so you really just overwhelm them, even if they brawl you.
[cardinsert card=”wild-growth” float=”right”]
Ramp Druid: Can be the hardest match-up. It really requires them to get early [card]wild-growth[/card], and hit value targets with [card]wrath[/card]. It has become more popular lately on ladder. You just have to play the face game most of the game, and build up your board so that when they do inevitably drop big taunts you can remove them with your board.
Combo Druid: Their combo comes too late, you should have a huge advantage, play anything and have it stick on board and you can play zooish removing their minions or go face, tough to get a feel for when to do what, but in my experience 90% of the time you should be focusing on going face, it has shown to have much for success for me when I play this match-up more aggressively, then board control focused and trading too often.
Face Hunter: You ignore their minions, they ignore your minions. Keeping or drawing [card]coldlight-seer[/card] wins the game 95% of the time as it allows your murlocs to supersede [card]explosive-trap[/card] and keep pressuring them. You can also drop [card]defender-of-argus[/card] to really give them fits. I feel personally this is a heavily favored match-up for murlocs.
[cardinsert card=”sludge-belcher” float=”left”]
Hybrid Hunter: Tough to discriminate difference from face hunter, but [card]piloted-shredder[/card] and [card]houndmaster[/card] are giveaways it is either midrange or hybrid. Know they typically run double [card]freezing-trap[/card]. If you keep [card]coldlight-seer[/card] it is a good target to get frozen on purpose to rebuff your board, and even [card]defender-of-argus[/card] is a good target to be frozen. This is also a fairly good match-up as they are trying to race but you are faster. If you are faster than face hunter (which counters hybrid) you are faster than hybrid and a great match-up for murlocs.
Midrange Hunter: Probably the hardest match-up of the hunters, as they actually attempt to remove your board. If they run [card]sludge-belcher[/card], or get good [card]houndmaster[/card] value it can be rough for you. But typically their slower starts and things like [card]webspinner[/card] can’t deal well with early murloc pressure. Just be weary of playing your [card]flame-imp[/card] because they can stall you out a bit with traps and hero power, and eventually burst you down with [card]kill command[/card].
Mech Mage: One of the more board control focused match ups, you want to remove their mechs, but really nothing else. We are trying to avoid being punished by [card]goblin-blastmage[/card] and if they don’t have board control they can’t win. Even if you win slower, this is a very favorable match-up for murlocs, because you can swarm better with your hero power constantly refilling the board, and minions that drop multiple bodies early you usually just get the lead and maintain it before crushing them with the big combo finishes.
Freeze Mage: since BRM this is better than ever, a few versions exist, standard and Malygos. Both suffer from being a bit too slow for murlocs, they really allow you to set-up a bit too much, and you have huge burst potential to pop block early. Only way you can really lose is if they have both [card]ice-barrier[/card], and both [card]ice-block[/card], along with perfect burn draw and [card]emperor-thaurissan[/card] discounts on burn spells.
[cardinsert card=”flamewaker” float=”right”]
Tempo Mage: Hardest match-up by a long shot, they have [card]mirror-image[/card] which can really stall you out from dealing early damage to face, as well as new addition of [card]flamewaker[/card] that in combination with [card]sorcerers-apprentice[/card] can supply a lot of burn removing your board lightning fast. Make sure to not leave apprentice, or waker up ever, these cards are the way you can lose. Other stuff is okay to ignore, but try to play around what they might have and be sure you have an out, otherwise things like their [card]mana-wyrm[/card] can get out of control. This match-up is favored for them if they draw well. But much like oil rogue, they typically lose to their own bad draws more than they lose to opponents deck, draw, or play choices.
Midrange Paladin: You want to race, they have so many good options for removal of big boards, you sort of want to force them to have IT… and in many cases IT is [card]equality[/card] AND [card]consecration[/card]. If they only have one or the other they can’t deal with all your threats fast enough. The goal is to win before the [card]tirion-fordring[/card] can come down, but even if they slam it, you can usually win the next turn. Really depends on how defensive their build is and how well they draw early game.
Control Paladin: They are too slow, even if they get [card]zombie-chow[/card] opener, you can usually just steam roll them. Their good answers come to late with things like [card]lay-on-hands[/card] coming turn 8 they are usually dead before they get a chance to play it.
Priest: There are some Shadowform versions, and dragon versions, but really in my opinion, the control and [card]lightbomb[/card] versions are the most common. Against both the match up is really the same. You swarm the board, they lack early answers and you win. Even if they hit a light bomb, it is so easy to build a second wave of murlocs, and then burst finish them.
[cardinsert card=”blade-flurry” float=”left”]
Oil Rogue: They really need to have perfect answers or else they get run over by the flood of murlocs. They need to have two [card]blade-flurry[/card] and double [card]deadly-poison[/card] or else they can’t really keep your board clear. It requires them to hit your stuff taking too much damage early to avoid being bursted later on, this feels very heavily murloc favored. Even if they deadly+flurry early on and wipe your whole board, don’t give up. This murloc list has ability for about 2 big murloc wave pushes, plus one big combo burst finisher. So if they wipe your first wave don’t fret, tap and build a new swarm and then keep your burst to finish them later on.
Mech Shaman: Try to remove their big threats like [card]mechwarper[/card] and [card]whirling-zap-o-matic[/card] that would allow them to outrace you except for [card]fel-reaver[/card]. Fel reaver can beat you in a race occasionally, especially with all their spell burst, but it requires too much of your resources to remove, unless you have really solid board and a good minion to [card]power-overwhelming[/card] and cleanly remove it, I’d just ignore it and go for the face race. Do not try to mill them by making bad plays like just playing as many cards as you can to try to deck them. You are best off still going for most murloc buffs and playing smart, the mill them strategy makes you waste your resources as well, and won’t let you optimally race them. Ignore trying to mill them! Pay close attention to what they discard though to know what threats no longer exist, and you should be able to smartly out race them.
[cardinsert card=”feral-spirit” float=”right”]
Midrange Shaman: This is another tough match-up. The [card]feral-spirit[/card] is hard to deal with if you don’t have [card]darkbomb[/card]. Like oil rogue, don’t get discouraged if they wipe your board with an early [card]lightning-storm[/card] know you have at least one more wave of murlocs to push with and a burst combo somewhere left in your deck. So relax, rebuild your board, they will be overloaded next turn, so their follow-up won’t be as strong and you have all your mana to rebuild your murloc army.
Zoo: There are a few versions, some more “Standard midrange zoo” with stuff like [card]sea-giant[/card] or they go the demon focus with [card]malganis[/card] and [card]voidcaller[/card]. Against both you can have a hard time. It is one of the strongest standard decks in the meta, and if they get a really strong start you will have a tough time. I think like most match-ups you should primarily go face, if you draw decent you have enough damage in deck to kill them and it forces them to trade, before you go for the big combo kill. Probably the most consistently good deck for stopping you with murlocs are the new midrange zoo variants.
Handlock: You want to set them to no lower than 16 health, to avoid [card]molten-giant[/card] as you don’t have great answers for big minions with taunt, other than just going through the hard way. The [card]mountain-giant[/card]s can hurt your chances if dropped early, but you usually have enough damage to run one or two over. [card]twilight-drake[/card] is less problematic, because you can get your murlocs above 4 health with the time they give you to set up. You can just go all in and YOLO hoping they don’t have taunts, but I feel it is best to set them around 16, and wait until you draw a burst combo. Match up seems worse on paper, they have big clears like [card]shadowflame[/card] and [card]hellfire[/card] but with direct damage and chargers, if you time things right and avoid taunts from stuffing you, this is a little better than 50/50 for murlocs.
[cardinsert card=”armorsmith” float=”left”]
Control Warrior: Really easy match-up, I’d suggest removing their [card]armorsmith[/card]s and nothing else, they need to use weapons to remove your minions outside two [card]execute[/card], so they take too much damage early and get bursted down.
Patron Warrior: Also pretty easy match-up, same deal with removal and weapon use as control warrior. Their combo really only comes down turn 8, or turn 7 at worst, and they are usually dead by then. Very favored match-up for murlocs.
When Dog played the deck, he notably cut [card]leeroy-jenkins[/card] for [card]arcane-golem[/card]. I have no problem with this change, sometimes leeroy is actually too slow as silly as that sounds. sure leeroy is 6 damage for 5, but for 5 mana you can golem and [card]power-overwhelming[/card] for 8 damage. So there is definitely some merit to this in certain scenarios, however, the joy of playing leeroy, and consistency of his 6 damage for the big combo finishes seems consistent enough to keep it over golem, but it is an option for sure to swap these card for card. Plus, we all know golem plays around the mighty [card]rend-blackhand[/card]
The next (and final change) Dog made when playing the deck was removing one [card]young-priestess[/card] for one [card]ironbeak-owl[/card]. Again, this swap card for card is fine. I like priestess a lot for all the reasons I listed in mulligan step/card explanation section of this post, so having two increases the chance you draw it. At the same time, some of the games that you lose do come from cards like [card]sludge-belcher[/card] or [card]ancient-of-war[/card] having to go through them with brute force, usually forcing you to dump some of your burst to punch through these taunts, and put you out of reach of finding lethal, and owl fixes this problem. It is definitely a solid consideration, and could potentially replace something like [card]mortal-coil[/card] as well.
[card]blood-imp[/card]: This card is outright bad in the deck. It has a big downfall, which is that it does not deal damage. The deck relies to heavily on pressure and dealing damage to enemy hero, the passive ability from the imp isn’t as good as the same ability on [card]young-priestess[/card] even if the stealth does allow it to trigger a few more times, due to the lack of damage… DO NOT play this card, it is a waste of your time!
[cardinsert card=”faceless-manipulator” float=”right”]
[card]faceless-manipulator[/card]: This is a card I really enjoy. I wish it was a little better, but you can have it be amazing as a one copy in the deck. It really shines when it hits [card]murloc-warleader[/card] when you have a big board of murlocs, or when you can copy a [card]old-murk-eye[/card] with [card]power-overwhelming[/card] for turn 10 kills. But this deck is usually way too fast for the second suggestion, so it really only has 2 good targets in the warleaders. If you are feeling feisty, it isn’t horrible, and when it does hit, it is basically a 3rd warleader which can be great.
Tech choices: you can try any range of the tech cards depending on meta and what you see most from the following [card]big-game-hunter[/card] if you see a ton of handlock. [card]kezan-mystic[/card] if you see a lot of mage and hunter. [card]the-black-knight[/card] if there was an extreme amount of ramp druid and handlock, but I don’t actually suggest you ever play this card in this deck. [card]mind-control-tech[/card] may be okay if you play an abundance of zoo. For all of these tech cards, you are probably just making the deck weaker. I’d lean on the side of extreme caution if choosing to add any, I just mention the options that are out there because who knows what will happen with the meta, and there is always room to adapt.
If you have any suggestions on possible inclusions for the deck let us know in the comments. If you think I am crazy for not including X card, let me know! I’d love to hear everyone’s feedback and suggestions are always welcome.
In conclusion, if you’ve read this far you probably have a very solid foundation of what the deck is all about. I strongly encourage you to try the deck out, and use this as a comprehensive guide when you are going through some of the decision-making as it will help you out a lot. It may win if you just play it with your own instincts, but the deck can be unintuitive at times and have plays that appear to be the “obvious play” which just end up being very bad and losing you games you should be clearly winning.
If you are like me and have been playing since the early beta, you will probably really enjoy the nostalgia this deck can bring, along with the effectiveness of the new additions. It will remind you of times when murlocs really did dominate back in Beta. And even if you are a new player just starting out I highly suggest you try out murlocs! This deck is something worth working towards. It is incredibly powerful and consistent once you understand how to play the deck. There will be streaks of games you think to yourself “how does blizzard let this exist in the game, it is clearly not balanced” but you will be having fun as you are smashing your opponents face to zero health by turn four.
[cardinsert card=”old-murk-eye” float=”right”]
This deck is just an absolute blast to play, I have had a ton of fun with it and think you will too! It is one of the only decks I can play so often and really not get tired of playing with it, which is very important for avoiding fatigue on ladder. It is highly refined, so even if you are an experienced player and think you know you need to cut some of the cards deemed as “garbage” by most of the community, I strongly urge you to try this list as is, and just give it a couple plays. You will see how fast the deck can win, how fun it is to play, and how quickly you will climb. Happy murglgrgls everyone! Have fun and enjoy becoming legendary with this take on the Murloc Warlock!