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Rating  14

Contributed by


Guide Type

Dust Cost

Last Updated

February 2, 2017

Weekly Legends: Who Needs Dragons? Go Bane!


One card…one card can change everything. Last week, when covering Grim Patron Warrior I discussed how the smallest alteration can take a pretty average deck and make it spectacular. That theme continues this week with Bane of Doom, an insta-dust card that, due to Blizzard making it be able to summon any demon, quickly became one of the best warlock spells in the game. This card, combined with the timely arrival of Imp Gang Boss made Warlock comeback with a vengeance.

This week’s deck is a revisiting of Zoo, but it is a much slower version than many are used to. This list took me to legend in three days, and was originally built by VictorCD. Normally, Zoo has been an aggro deck. What I love about this week’s iteration is, not only does it give the deck some late game options, but it once again reveals the power that one card can have. All of the pieces in this deck were there, but without the five mana spell to bring them together, the once-great aggro deck just wasn’t good enough. The crux of Zoo has always been to be able to trade while leaving things on the board. Bane of Doom (in addition to Imp-losion) allows you access to removal that also does that. This way, you can remove things with your minions and keep board control, or you can use removal to also put minions on the board. While this deck is very difficult to both play and mulligan for, it is a blast to pilot, very rewarding to win with, and, in my opinion, the undisputed best deck in the game.

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Leave a Reply

  1. tobysid says:

    If meeting a lot of Priests, would Jaraxxas be good and what would I take out to accommodate him?Thanks for the guide, this deck is the Dogs Bollocks!

    • Anonymous says:

      Awesome. You could cut a bane for Jaxx. He basically is an auto-win against Priests

  2. aionlegend says:

    Sorry Joseph, this deck is no good for the current meta. Maybe it was ripe when you tried it, but unfortunately no longer…

    • thetvsurgeon says:

      It’s actually funny you say that, this is the deck I break out whenever I want to win or get tired of testing. I ran this list last night (minus one Bane for a Haunted Creeper) and went 10-1 (4 Warrior, 2 Hunter, 1 Patron, 2 Paladin, 2 Mage) from rank 5 to 3. It is still very good, but honestly it is very hard to lose with Zoo, the deck is easily the best in the game.

      • aionlegend says:

        Then it’s me. :( I can’t seem to get a winrate above 50% at rank 10.

        • thetvsurgeon says:

          Dang, sorry to hear that. Zoo is a very tricky deck to play, but you should always be thinking about minion math and the best ways to trade. If you have a solid board and can react well, it is very hard to lose with the deck.

  3. hawkeye00700 says:

    Been playing Hearthstone for two months now and I have found this deck to be the most enjoyable to play. Its flexibility is just amazing. It’s able to get a quick win with incredible burst potential. I’ve found it to be effective against face hunter. And it can go the distance against priests (who normally drive me crazy). Took me from Rank 13 to Rank 8 in an afternoon of play.

    I did take out one flame imp and added a zombie chow to sort of split the difference between the adverse side effects of each card. It works well. Someone suggested removing the Bane of Dooms which I can’t imagine doing. What other card provides efficient removal with the ability to simultaneously drop something outrageous down.

    Also, someone talked about adding Kezan Mystic (a card I like a lot). I find the deck as is to be pretty effective against Hunters and Mages. Neurbian Egg and Voidcaller can deal with explosive traps. You also have enough cheap minions that can be used to spring other traps as well.

    Also, I tried using 2 mistress of pains instead of the flame imps and it just didn’t work for me. Because the deck is all about board control there’s really nothing like getting a 3/2 out there early. Once you lose board control it’s really hard to recover. Mistress of pain is a 2 drop which is just too slow against face hunter and mech mage. That knife juggler needs to be removed now… Can’t wait two turns to do it.

    Considered trying to work in a Hellfire for AOE but if you need to play that card you’ve probably lost board control and therefore you’re going to lose the game anyway.

    I consider myself to be an average player and have started to get stuck at Rank 8 with this deck. So I re-read this article and while I was here thought I’d offer up a ‘thank you.’ Thanks again. Great deck.

  4. johnnymilz says:

    Is Bloodmage appropriate for the deck?

    • Joseph Scalise says:

      You could make a case for Bloodmage, but it only really powers three spells (which is all this deck has). This is a lot more about board presence than it is about cantrips or small minions. I think there are better options.

  5. zy69yz says:

    Best combo of this deck.. Turn 4 implosion for 4. turn 5 bane of doom something on their board summon malganis. GG lol

  6. johnnymilz says:

    Also, what about x1 sea giant since we are already running malganis and Dr. Balanced?

    • Joseph Scalise says:

      You already have enough big minions and late game. A lot of the time you don’t want to add too much to the board, and Sea Giant actually extends you further into AOE. I usually only try to have a few minions out at a time, so I’m not sure it would be worth it in the long run.

  7. johnnymilz says:

    I’ve been playing a similar deck, it is insanely good on the ladder because of the flexibility. I have a couple changes I wanted to discuss. The substitutions are as follows: 2 Chow instead of 2 Flame Imp. (Chow can trade 2-for-1 against face hunter’s turn 1 minions). 2 Healbots instead of 2 Bane of Doom. 1 Jaraxxas for 1 Juggler. x2 Haunted Creeper for x2 Voidwalker.

    I’ve found the face-hunter match-up to be not terrible. Haunter creeper (like mortal coil) trades so efficiently with the 1-health charge dorks. The x2 healbot helps a lot. One game I won because Jaraxxas dropped from a void caller and I taunted it up lol!

    I also like x2 healbot against druid and rogue.

    I love the security of having Jaraxxas in the deck. I love playing against priests and warriors with this card in the deck.

    • Joseph Scalise says:

      I actually think the chow could be fine, but you are pushing for lethal in a lot of games, so they could be wrong, not sure about that. As I said in my article, Bane of Doom is what makes the deck what it is. Cutting that card would cripple the deck. It is so insanely powerful that I can’t imagine a card to play over it. During my climb, Bane won me at least four or five games on the spot, and a couple more a few turns later. Healbots are nice, but you aren’t looking to heal in a deck like this. They are more for demonlock, which this is not.I also really hate creeper, but if they are working for you run them. They kinda fit the theme of the deck, but there are often better things to do on turn two (which includes tapping)

  8. leatrix says:

    Really cool deck! What’s a viable substitution for Mal’Ganis? Lord Jaraxxus.. Sylvanas.. or maybe Loatheb?

    • Joseph Scalise says:

      I know people hate when I say things like this, but there really isn’t a good replacement. If you have to replace him go with Jaraxxus. He’s also a large nine mana demon that gives you board control. He can also act as a heal and is a nice surprise in Zoo. However, if he gets dropped on turn four he’s not an auto win like Mally. Still, you don’t want to take out a big demon and put something else in, you want to get as much out of your voidcallers as possible, so Jaxx is the best choice.

  9. claireablani says:

    against mech mage?

    • Joseph Scalise says:

      This deck absolutely crushes Mech Mage, it’s honestly probably 90/10. If that deck is a problem for you, this is a great solution. You have so many ways to take board control and they can’t keep up with your midgame. The only card to watch out for is Blastmage, but if you keep their mechs off the board it is almost impossible for them to win. You want your one drops, abusive is a must (since it lets you trade up with mechwarper) and if you have the coin it is usually a good idea to keep implosion. Besides that, egg plus power is a fantastic keep as well.

      • claireablani says:

        Thanks! I’m actually not seeing many mech mages. I’ve having trouble against Freeze mages. Hunters however have been no trouble whatsoever. I did sub in 2 Kezan Mystics for Flame Imps, and 1 Ironbeak Owl for Direwolf Alpha. Any tips against freeze mage?

        • strickam says:

          Make sure you keep a Nerubian Egg or Voidcaller in your hand until Doomsayer is used against you. Also, make sure you don’t use your Kezan Mystic until you have lethal and are stealing the Ice Block or Alexstraza was just used against you and you don’t have Malganis in your hand. Don’t forget that Dr. Booms’ bots can win you the game as well if you can’t pop the Ice Block, so if possible don’t run them into other minions near the end of the game. I’ve won 4/7 using my own little strategy so it’s kind of working i guess.

  10. strickam says:

    The only changes I really want to make is to add a Kezan Mystic and to maybe add a mistress of pain like rawfooddude. Both changes would make hunter face decks a whole lot easier to keep up with. Also, Kezan would would add a nice counter to ice mage which seems to be stronger than ever now that ET has been released. I’ve tried taking out 1 flame imp and 1 defender or taking out both flame imps but I’m still stuck around the 50/50 winrate. I have climbed a few ranks due to streaks thanks to this deck I’m just not sure if I removed the right 2 cards. If any what would you remove in order to add a tech card or 2? And do you think Kezan is really worth it with so few decks actually playing secrets? Thanks for another fun and versatile deck guide!

    • Joseph Scalise says:

      No problem. Kezan is a great choice right now (I played a ton of mage in the last few days), and could easily be substituted in. The only problem is figuring out what to remove. Most of the four drops are essential, so removing an imp for the mystic is probably the best choice. However, I don’t like removing both as you don’t want to mess with the curve too much. If you want a mistress I would look at maybe tinkering with the two drops. There is not a lot of space in the deck, but I would try a substitute, see how it works, and then try another. That’s probably the best way to go about it.

    • rawfooddude says:

      I read somewhere that Bloodyface, the champion,maker of this deck said that Kezan is good if 30% of your meta is mage/hunter. Regardless, I would cut the imps for anything. I was so happy when Joseph said in his video that he hated them. It was total conformation to what I was experienced with them in.I had a list of things I wanted to try in flame imps place. I like the demon synergy Mistress offers and she is pretty sticky because of her health.

      • Joseph Scalise says:

        Yeah, they just do a lot of harm in this deck. I kept them in and they did get me to legend, but since this is a slower iteration of the traditional zoo, there are other fits. I really like the idea of mistress and may test it myself.

  11. rawfooddude says:

    I took out flame imp’s and subbed in 2 mistress of pain. I just got tired of losing against hunters. Surprisingly this doesn’t hurt the deck at all. Just a slightly slower start and doesn’t help vs priest. I was stuck at 5 until I made that change and now I’m rank 3. Hoping to make legend soon. Thanks for the guide Joseph

    • Joseph Scalise says:

      Thanks! Glad you liked it. Yeah, I have stated many times my distaste for Flame Imps. Mistress (or any card) is a fine replacement for the cards. Since it’s not a fast deck, the imps really aren’t all that necessary. Good luck on the climb!

    • impose says:

      Gonna try this substitution. I was literally cringing every time I played a Flame Imp against a Face Hunter or Burst Shaman, because I knew I was just helping them.

  12. quattroc says:

    Nice article. Always amuses me to read the forums and all the mouthbreathers that claim that zoo decks are “brainless”. Just reading your mulligan section made my head spin. I think this is an easy deck to play but not an easy deck to master and play really well.

    • Joseph Scalise says:

      Haha, thanks. Yeah, most decks in hearthstone take some practice. People are so quick to say “rng this” or “stupid deck” but the truth is, every play matters.

  13. copyr1ght says:

    great deck , thx :)

  14. marcelson says:

    it’s fun to play. Great Deck, thx :)

    • Joseph Scalise says:

      Haha, yeah I think it’s really fun. Thanks for the feedback.