Control Warlock: A Deck-Building Journey

A Guide to Building a Control Warlock Deck in Hearthstone

Today I wanted to share with you, my favorite deck in standard right now. Since the expansion has released the meta has been all over the place, but control warlock is shaping up to be a strong contender. Let’s get into it!

Deck Core

To start off your build of Control warlock we first have to define what control warlock wants to do. The two main strategies of Control Warlock are to survive against Aggro or to win in fatigue against control decks.

With this in mind, let’s look at what the core of Control Warlock is made of.

First up is the super versatile Kobold Librarian.

There are matchups this card isn’t one you want to play but the overall strength of this card is crazy. It’s a 1 mana life-tap that gives you a minion onto the board and works with your spellstone.

Would always include two of these in most any warlock build (besides Even warlock of course).

Next up are the good removal cards.

Defile, Hellfire, and Twisting Nether help you get through the game and allows you to the point in the game where you win. I think there might be a time to play a 2nd copy of Twisting nether from time to time but not in this meta right now.

Another removal tool is one I mentioned earlier but Lesser Amethyst Spellstone is must include right now. So much synergy with the cards in your deck and it’s just an amazing removal tool.

Skull of the Man’ari is one that I wasn’t sure whether or not to include into the core of control warlock, but I think it has a place.

The card improves your matchups against aggro so much now that most lists don’t want to play Possessed Lackey anymore that I think Skull is required to play since playing 9 mana Voidlord’s isn’t a great thing.

Lord Godfrey might be the single strongest card in this deck.

Allowing for some of the craziest board clears you’ve ever seen. Lord Godfrey is the way to win against all sorts of death rattle decks and just rarely has a matchup it underperforms in.

Voidlord; the stupid wall that your deck is based around.

Just does what it needs to do, works with the previously mentioned Skull of the Man’ari and the card coming up next Bloodreaver Gul’dan.

Bloodreaver Gul’dan can resurrect all of your demons and get the best hero power in the game. Playing this card without dying most likely means you are in a great spot to win.

Deck Tech Decisions

One of the first decisions you want to make is to decide which healing cards you want to play. There is a large variety of them so choose wisely.

The first option is Sacrificial Pact. Its good aspects are that it’s 0 mana so you can use it anytime. You can target both your own and your opponent’s minions with it. And it heals for 5 rather than 4 like most of the other warlock cards do.

The main downside of Sacrificial pact is that it can’t target non-demons, most notably Rin, the first Disciple.

In a lot of control matchups, you want to kill your rin to prevent it from getting silenced but that isn’t possible if you choose to play Sacrificial Pact over the other options.

The second option is Dark Pact.

The good is that it can target non-demons, but besides that is has a lot of downsides compared to Sacrificial Pact. It can’t target opponent demons in matchups like Even warlock or Zoo, it heals for less and it costs mana.

Despite all of this I think it has a place if the meta is slow enough for you to want to play Rin.

Third is Shroom brewer. A more midrange minion that shines in the more aggressive matchups. I love playing with this one as it just does what it does very well.

Last up is a card that is more of a removal card, but I want to add it here anyway. Siphon Soul. Siphon soul targets all of the slower decks but can be a real lifesaver in many situations.

Playing a combination of all of these healing cards will likely be the way to go unless you are trying to target something specifically for tournament play.

2-Mana

There are quite a few options in the 2-Mana slot.

The decisions you make here are a bit less important and more up to personal preference, but let’s go through them anyway.

Doomsayer, classic great two drop against aggressive decks or as a follow-up on twisting nether against control. Can’t go wrong with this one.

Gnomeferatu doesn’t have much of an impact against the aggressive matchups, but also a card that can single-handedly win you the games that go to fatigue.

Not a card I would always recommend you play but it has a place in a lot of metagames.

Plated Beetle is the pick against a full aggressive metagame.

The card shines against matchups like Hunter, Odd Paladin, and Tempo mage.

The little bit of extra healing can really make the difference.

Tainted Zealot is a rare card to see in Control Warlock, but not one that should be forgotten.

The card would basically be in the deck to help out with your Defile, Hellfire and Lord Godfrey.

The spell power option can do very surprising things and can really hurt your opponent’s board state if they try and play around your removals.

Taunt options

There are a few more options to include into the deck for more value or as defensive tools.

Stonehill Defender

A cheap taunt that is annoying to get rid of, that creates more demons. With a class rarity bonus on Rin the first Disciple, Voidlord and Lakkari Felhound. All of this makes for a great card to include.

Rotten Applebaum

Another great defensive tool. While a lot worse than some of the other ones against control matchups, a card worth considering if you are building control warlock for a tournament lineup.

Giggling Inventor

The neutral Call to Arms can be included in this deck and it’ll do great. The card is just too powerful and it shows since its played in nearly every deck in Hearthstone currently.

Rin the first Disciple

Great card for both value, as a win-condition and as defensive tool Rin does it all. The only thing is I think if you play rin you have to include at least 1 dark pact into your build.

The Lich King

The Lich King is played a bit fewer than some of the other options, but it is powerful. The resources it can give you can be game-winning and the threat of the 8/8 itself is more than good enough to see play.

Other Options Worth Considering

Skulking Geist

A great tool to improve your matchups against both Odd Warrior and the Combo Druid decks.

Spellbreaker/Owl

Both run a similar role and both have their advantages. I think very often playing a silence is a good idea and warlock can make great use of it.

Gluttonous Ooze

A weapon removal is very valuable in a lot of the matchups right now as most decks play a weapon of some kind, some building their win condition around it in both Control warlock and the previously mentioned Combo Druid.

Example Decklists

Tsukaime

The first list is one I made at the start of the expansion and it’s held up quite well. The build I used was completely made to target the extreme amount of aggro decks and combo druid that were around at the time. Reaching a decent rank myself in Legend and Coaching some students with around a 70% win rate.

Meati

The second list is made by Meati. It takes a different approach as its build more towards being good all around. Including Skulking geist to improve some of the control matchups. Note that there aren’t stonehill defenders in this deck which I was quite surprised about. But having played this list a good amount since I didn’t really miss them.

Zyrios

Last up is the list of Zyrios, a german hearthstone streamer. He is a long time control warlock player so I often look to him to learn more about the deck. He has A unique inclusion in the Omega  Agent which I wasn’t completely sure of when I tried it. Though it is the deck I have played least of all so I’ll trust his opinion on the card being good.

No matter which of the decks you try out, Control warlock is going to do very well for you. Let me know how it works out. If you got this far, I want to thank you once again for reading and ask you a question, which list do you like best? If you liked this article why not check out some of my other deck building blogs? Let me know what you think on Twitter

Until next time,

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