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February 2, 2017

Guide: Beating the Meta with Warlock

[DKMR]BorN here today to address the current meta and how to get ahead of it. Lately we’ve all been seeing a HUGE increase in the number of Hunters. Now before everyone starts rushing to play Warrior Control, this is not your ordinary Hunter Aggro deck.

There has been an increasing surge in the number of Hunter Midrange decks being played. So Warrior Control might not be the best deck choice. The deck we’ll be discussing today is just about your standard Warlock Aggro deck. You have your Knife Juggler, Voidwalker, Doomguard, etc. Before we discuss how to play against the other meta decks, let’s look at why Warlock Aggro is in a good position right now.

Guide Warlock Aggro Deck List

The Deck List

Warlock Aggro is already a very strong and formidable deck. With a good draw, it can overwhelm and win in any match up. This deck has so much consistency and is able to utilize its one and two mana minions, it’s more difficult to get a bad draw than not.

Hunters are switching to more Midrange builds. What does this mean for Warlock Aggro? It means Hunters are slowing down, allowing you to punch out a win much faster than they can. This takes a lot of pressure off you and allows you to set up a very strong board presence.

Also, not only are Midrange Hunters dropping Eaglehorn Bow from their decks, some are also dropping Explosive Trap, such as Kolento’s Beast Hunter. With no Explosive Trap, your minions only have to worry about Unleash the Hounds as a board clear; however, reckless aggression against such a deck may actually be beneficial, we’ll discuss this in detail later.

Other than Hunter Midrange variants, the only other decks being played consistently at this moment are other Warlock Aggro decks, Warrior Control, and Ramp Druid variants.

Outside of the mirror match, Warlock Aggro is favored in all of these matchups. If you are looking to gain some ranks on the ladder, we highly suggest playing such a deck.

Playing Against the Meta

Vs Midrange Hunter

Mulligan for a smooth one, two, and three drop curve. Argent Squire, Flame Imp, and Voidwalker are your preferred turn one plays; a Young Priestess can be played alongside one of these minions with the Coin.

As in all match ups, a solo Young Priestess or Abusive Sergeant is better than nothing.

Keep a Mortal Coil if you have another turn one play available, as most of Hunter’s early minions only have one health, making this card very valuable. Make efficient trades, play around any possible Explosive Traps by buffing your minions accordingly and not overextending are key points in this match up. Do this and this will be your easiest matchup.

If you are out of combo lethal range, loading your board to put your opponent in lethal range can be a strong move. Hunters can already clear your board with hounds aided by or Timber Wolf, so the only thing you have to fear is Starving Buzzard card draw. However, if you can finish your opponent off next turn, this will not be a concern.


Vs Warrior Control

Maintaining tempo is the most important thing in this matchup. You must finish the Warrior quickly before they can take the game late.

Mulligan for minions which can stick to the board easier against a possible Slam or Cruel Taskmaster. A Fiery War Axe is the biggest threat to your minions.

Clear Armorsmith quickly and efficiently before they can build armor. When building a strong board presence, be careful of a possible Brawl and make sure you can bounce back with a large hand before any possible overextending.

If the game goes late, be wary of Baron Geddon and the potential two damage AoE(Area-of-Effect) as it could destroy all of your minions, leaving you crippled and in horrible position.

Vs Ramp Druid

Feel free to spam the board in this matchup, most Druid meta decks lack a powerful AoE removal.

Mulligan the same as you would against any other control deck. It’s important to constantly clear a Druid’s board, as they struggle without board presence, also it prevents them from surprising you with a Mark of the Wild to create a stronger than anticipated minion.

An excellent card – The Black Knight is an extremely useful card in this match up as Ramp Druid plays a variety of taunts; do not risk Soulfire discard on this card.


Vs Warlock Aggro

In the mirror match, you want to mulligan for as many one drops as you can. Gaining control of the board and getting your tempo going is the utmost important thing to winning this matchup.

Using Soulfire to clear an enemy minion is better than losing a friendly minion. Although normally spamming your board with minions would guarantee you the win in this matchup, more and more Warlock Aggro decks are choosing to run a Hellfire, as it allows them to gain control of a lost board.

If you find yourself losing this matchup, adding a Hellfire in place of a second Defender of Argus can help.

Things to Note

On a final note, we’d like to note a few tips about the deck. The deck contains a three card, five mana combo that deals 14 burst damage. This combo is the Leeroy Jenkins, plus Power Overwhelming, and plus Soulfire. This is your finisher and can catch many opponents off-guard.


A Abusive Sergeant can be added to pack a little more punch. Another trick for getting past big minions such as Chillwind Yeti and is to use Mortal Coil on your own Amani Berserker, this will enrage it to five attack.

When placing minions, remember to properly position them; you’ll want minions you want to protect on the outside, such as Young Priestess. This allows you to drop a Defender of Argus on your other minions, leaving your Young Priestess safe.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s article. Feel free to reach out to me with questions or comments either below or @DKMR_BorN on Twitter. Also, if you’d like a specific topic to be covered on future articles, please let us know!

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Guide written by [DKMR]BorN
Discussions about this topic brought to you by Team [DKMR]

Decks to Watch Out For

This week’s decks to watch for consist of the ones we mentioned earlier. They are Midrange Hunter, Warrior Control, Warlock Aggro, and Ramp Druid. Midrange Hunter is terrorizing ranks Legend though four and we’re seeing a lot of Druid in lower ranks. Warrior Control and Warlock Aggro are being played in response but in not as great as force.

Ramp Druid
Warrior Control
Kolento Beast Hunter
Lifecoach Midrange Hunter
Warlock Aggro

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Leave a Reply

  1. Jack Xin says:

    You should talk a bit about playing against miracle rogues

  2. Fabio Bracht says:

    Quick question: what cheap cards can I sub in for the legendaries for now?

    Slightly longer version of the same question: I just disenchanted pretty much all cards I had for every other class (I saved just Warlock and Druid, which is currently my main class), so I could craft all the cards needed for this deck, but barring any strock of pure luck on my next packs, I think I will be without the legendaries for a while, so what can I sub in?

    The way I understand it, Leeroy shines mainly because it can change (MAINLY, I know he’s amazing for other reasons), so I though I could do with Reckless Rocketeer for now. And Black Knight seems to me like he’s a heavy body that can clear the way through a Taunt minion, so I subbed it for Spellbreaker – an almost heavy hitter that can silence.

    What do you guys think?

    • [DKMR]BorN says:

      2 Argent Commanders can replace the 2 Legendaries. Spellbreaker is also a great budget choice.

      • Fabio Bracht says:

        Argent Commander, you say? Hm… I might have to try that. No doubt it’s better than Rocketeer. (Where was my mind?)

        The biggest problem, though, is that the meta seems to have shifted too much for this deck to be good. Last season I breezed almost to rank 10 with a Priest deck I made myself (so probably far from tight). Now, with this deck, I can barely reach 18 before losing enough to go back to 19. I win 1, lose 2, win 2, lose 1…

        And I disenchanted pretty much all rares and Legendaries I had to build this deck (including Leeroy, which I now have), that I now can only play with Warlock and Druid. :(

        Anyway, sorry. Thank you so much for replying! :)

        • [DKMR]BorN says:

          With the huge increase in the amount of Rogue being played Aggro lock isn’t as favored anymore. It’s still pretty strong when you’re not running into them though.

          • Fabio Bracht says:

            I don’t know… maybe I’m playing wrong, but I seem to have the least trouble in mirror matches. At least then I feel like I’m in equal footing and the game is won by my decisions and/or strength of initial draw.

            Against other classes it’s rare that I can finish them off before losing steam and start topdecking like mad and losing. My deck is exactly the same you recommended (except for Black Knight, which I subbed for Spellbreaker), and though I sometimes still make some foolish errors, I’m not a bad player.

          • [DKMR]BorN says:

            Are you going only for face or are you controlling the board?

          • Fabio Bracht says:

            I started going straight for the face pretty much always except for high threats, because I thought “hey, it’s aggro”.

            I didn’t work so well, so I started controlling the board and only going for the face when a. the board was clear; b. lethal and sometimes c. when I had synergy on hand for a nice big combo, even if not lethal.

            That’s how I’m playing now. Is it “correct” to play this way?

          • [DKMR]BorN says:

            Yeah you got it right. Although its called aggro, it’s more of a tempo deck. You should be making trades when favorable and maintaining a strong grip on the board.

          • Fabio Bracht says:

            Yeah, but for some reason after a few turns managing this, I run out of steam and fall flat (unless I already won by that time). It’s like the only thing the opponent has to do to win is manage to defend itself until we hit the 7 or 8 drop. By that point I usually start topdecking, and what control I have on the board and opportunities to hit face are quickly lost.

            It’s like I’m sprint-running against a marathonist. Unless the finish line is close enough that I can finish first during my initial sprint, I lose breath and have a cardio arrest and die.

            …well, I guess this is the nature of aggro decks. You either win fast or lose. I just wish these wins could be a little more frequent.

          • [DKMR]BorN says:

            I’d have to watch you play to see what is going wrong. Just make sure when you’re controlling the board your trades aren’t hurting you more than helping you. Later turns do get harder as control begin to stabilize but by then you should have already won or about to punch in the win with burst damage.

          • Fabio Bracht says:

            Well, if it’s no trouble for you and you play on NA, I’d love if we could play someday. It’s FabioBracht#1916. :)

  3. MrGeemonty . says:

    I am surprised that the new aggro mage was not mentioned. I am finding that it absolutely shuts down my Zoo deck. Because of the shift to Zoo the mages have started to pop up in mass. I am rank 5 atm so maybe meta is different at the level you are talking about in article.

  4. Guss says:

    Plot twist: now the meta is this deck

  5. Paddypat says:

    I see Reynaud’s version of this deck more often on Ladder. It definitely wastes mid-range hunter, even the forms that are supposed to be prepared for it with explosive traps et. al. I guess this version might be a little more flexible with the burst finishers and the Black Knight. However, when playing Zoo Lock like this, I find that anything out of the mainstream meta gives it a miserable time. I have lost consistently to Mid-Range Paladin, to Watcher and Twilight Warlocks, to Watcher Druids, etc. Perhaps it was because I was trying too much to assert board control, but I don’t think Zoo Lock is all that great except against Hunter and Warrior Control.

  6. Laki says:

    Elvish archer>>>Mortal coil. This deck doesn’t need to draw cards, it needs minions and the Archer is just way more versatile.

    I also find the lack of Shiedlbearer interesting but considering the addition of the leeroy/power combo, the deck shifts into more explosive territory from the board control variant that’s generally the norm.

    • Guest says:

      I am surprised that the new aggro mage was not mentioned. I am finding that it absolutely shuts down my Zoo deck. Because of the shift to Zoo the mages have started to pop up in mass. I am rank 5 atm so maybe meta is different at the level you are talking about in article

    • ToveriJuri says:

      Having a lot of high value cards that you don’t want to discard(especially cards that you want to keep for combos) kinda misses the original point of zoo.

    • Fabio Bracht says:

      At least in my experience, if anything it needs MORE drawing power…