28 July 2014 - 03:38

Naxxramas Zoo Guide

Lorenzo offers his thoughts and his updated Zoo deck list with the new Naxxramas cards, which he has been using in this season's ladder.
Dot Esports

Hi everyone, with the opening of the first wing of Naxx we received two new cards that I feel deserve a spot in the popular Zoo deck. Haunted Creeperand Nerubian Eggfit well in the Zoo’s major game plan of board control. As you will see with these two additions I felt the need to tweak other parts of the deck to create more synergy.

Card Explanations

Power Overwhelmingworks well with this deck and the new Naxx cards. It can be used in many ways - first to buff your Nerubian Egg to a 4/6 to trade with other minions or simple for face damage and activation. This tactic works well with Void Terrorallowing the buffs to be passed on and still receiving your 4/4 Nerubian. Lastly it can be used as combo with Leeroy for a fast 10 damage for only 5 mana allowing you to end the game quickly.

Haunted Creeperis a great card for board control and can be great at picking off low health minions or breaking through divine shields . Although I would prefer to save the power overwhelming they can also be used to destroy difficult 5 health minions. After the death rattle they can be used with Dire Wolf Alphaand Defender of Argusand can be great minions to use to trade.

Nerubian Egghas the most potential in Zoo decks and especially in this deck where it has plenty of activators. The egg can be buffed by Dire Wolf Alpha, Defender of Argus, power overwhelming and Void Terror. Getting this card out early is key to maintain board control and putting pressure on the opponent to trade and answer your plays not allowing them to stick to their game plan.

Void Terroris my personal favorite activator for the Nerubian egg. Turn two Nerubian egg and turn three Void Terror is a great play. By turn four you will have a 4/4 and a 3/5 putting you in a very strong position and allow you set up your other minions. Also if you need more minions to trade with you can Void Terror your Creepers for a small buff.

Blood Knight, although I have removed a Scarlet CrusaderBlood knight is still a great card to combo with Argent Squireor to remove enemy divine shields that cause problems for these small minions.

Leeroy Jenkinsafter the addition of Power Overwhelming I felt Leeroy would be a good fit as a late game finisher or just a wallbreaker destroying bigger taunts that would normally take multiple minions to destroy. However Leeroy has to be played carefully since although you can play him he may not be worth the two minions given to the enemy

Cards to Consider

Mortal Coil, although not a great card I would consider running it to help pick off minions with the help of the Haunted Creepers.

Crazed Alchemist, I have seen some people use this card as an activator for the Nerubian egg however I feel that it may be to situational and the card has little value other than that.

Shieldbearercan also be placed in this deck since the pace of Zoo seems to be getting slower, with the new cards being released it can be a nice addition and I would consider adding it.

Amani Berserkerthis card synergies well with elven archer and can also help you get some value if you decide to play Mortal Coil.

Tips

The most important thing to consider when playing this deck is card value. Almost each card in the deck has some sort of effect as they enter the board. Make sure that you get the most value out of cards like Abusive Sergeant and Dark Iron Dwarf that should not be played when you have no minions down.

Along the same lines minion placement is also very important always plays Dire Wolf Alpha towards the center of the board so that the minions around it die and the next ones slide over for the boost. Also play the Nerubian Egg at the far edge so that you do not sacrifice another minion when using Void Terror.

Lastly do not focus all buffs on one minion although most decks do not run a lot of silence spreading the buffs across the entire board is the most effective. Having one giant minion may look nice but all it takes is one silence to remove all your progress, while having all your minions slightly stronger with help with maintain board control.

Laddering

I was able to use this deck to move from rank 5 to 3 until I started to face mainly decks that countered Zoo. Being that it is a variation of the classic zoo it has similar strengths and weaknesses.

Key Match-Ups

Mirror Match

This deck does good in the mirror since you can generally get some good value out of the new cards. Always keep Blood Knight in your hand to steal and early divine shield. Keeping board control is key and having Void Terror activate the Nerubian egg is a great way to gain momentum.

Aggro Mage/Rogue

Both these decks play similarly and I feel this deck has the advantage over them, being able to hero power for more minions definitely helps in this match-up. However be cautious of using your hero power late game so you do not put yourself in burst range. I suggest using it early game to get control then be careful with your trades to hold it.

Paladin/Warrior

These control decks can cause some serious problems for this deck. Both have many ways to kill minions without having to trade their own whether it be spells or weapons. These are not easy wins and since they can armor up or heal throughout the match these  matches will drag on.

Shamans

In this match-up save your soulfires for unbound elemental and flametongue totem since they will cause the most trouble forcing you to trade unfavourably. Also you can ignore the searing and healing totem since they are really no threat to you. If you can withstand the shamans spells they generally can't keep up with your board control.

Druid

This match-up is the toughest for this deck. If the druid can wild growth early the match can become very difficult. You should try to play this match as fast as possible focusing on face damage before the druid can get his taunts out. Once he does try to take advantage of Dark Iron Dwarf and Abusive Sergeant to help remove them.

Obviously this deck is in its early stages and will only get better as more deathrattle cards get released allowing minions to survive the enemy board clears. I feel that this deck has the potential to make it to legend rank even at its present state.

Conclusion

With Naxx only being out less than a week I feel this deck helps utilize the cards we have been given and will continue to evolve in the coming weeks. I look forward to comments about the deck and ways to improve it.

More Articles From The OP