Added Guide for every matchup
I gained a lot of experiences playing tournaments in last months so I decided to prepare a budget competetive line-up which you can use if you guys want to try out more competetive waters. Just follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/Kasai_HS to be updated. In a few days I will release 4 decklists which will be affordable and their purpose will be to target down Warlocks on tournaments. They will be available for both BO3 (if you remove one) and BO5 format and I will also recommend you tournaments based on your skill level so you just can participate straight away.
Howdy fellow Hearthstone player!
As in oppose to my last decklist, this one was made on a very beginning of a new season. Well, it is best to try your hardest, especially when you are not in floor/legend rank, but I really wanted to bring something again. So I've had only one choice. To make a deck, that actually works good enough to climb between 4-1 ranks. Challange accepted!
As always. Tempo Mage decks have found their way into the meta. It's in not a big surprise as Mana Wyrm is the strongest 1-drop in entire standard and it is also a classic card. However current tempo mage decks only feature Aluneth builds and a lot of players think it is unplayable without it. Aaand it's not true. Not even close. Core cards are Mana Wyrm, Frostbolt and Fireball and guess what? Those are all evergreen mage cards.
Elemetns will destroy you!
So what do we have here different? Elementals. Quite bunch of them.
Fire Fly - Decent stats, 1-drop if we don't have Mana Wyrm, a bit of value generator. Great card overall.
Glacial Shard - Tool to prevent opponents' guys to kill our guys. Emergency turn 1 play
Fire Plume Phoenix - Burn
Steam Surger - More burn
Bonfire Elemental - Novice Engineer on steroids. On really huge steroids.
Spiteful Druid - Even Matchup
Spiteful Druid is known for strong board presence which would certainly kill us if we don't contest it. So strategy is to take minions over spells. Don't be afraid of using spells to burn their minions, otherwise they can buff them with Fungalmancer and you will be in real troubles. Ping Greedy Sprite only if you need to protect something valuable like buffed Mana Wyrm or Sorcerer's Apprentice. Never waste mana on Counterspell, they don't play them. You have enough time untill turn 10 where your mana will not be so valuable or you can play Kirin Tor Mage and have it for free. Best way to win this matchup is to value trade. You shouldn't ignore even the smallest threat on board. Keep Frostbolt and Glacial Shard for Spiteful turns so you can protect your board/face from whatever it pulls.
Taunt Druid / Quest Druid / Token Druid - Unfavored Matchup
They have tons of armor and can easily heal for 12 with Branching Paths and negate our 3-4 burn cards. Counterspell is your best friend here. If possible play it before turns 4/5 when they usualy go ramp. Always track their coin if they have one and don't waste Counterspell untill they use it. Go face with everything you've got and ignore the board. If there is a taunt in your way use burn to remove it.
Addition to Mulligan - You keep any 3 or less mana body if you have Mana Wyrm. If you don't, you drop everything.
Spell Hunter - Favored Matchup
This matchup is really unique. You need to know their secrets and play around them. Opponent plays secret? Okay let's test it. First, don't play any minion in case it is Explosive Trap. Then go face with the minion you don't mind getting back to your hand to try Freezing Trap. Best minion to test out secrets is Kirin Tor Mage - it survives Explosive Trap, it has good chance of dealing with Wandering Monster and surviving and if you get it back you still have good tempo with free secret and 3 mana body for 5. If you attacked face and nothing happens it is a secret which activates on attacking a minion, so just don't do it. This is very essential! Always be prepared for Greater Emerald Spellstone. ALWAYS! You have good board presence available so use it to deal with it. If you do, you almost won that game. Don't mind playing around Unleash the Hounds, it is not worth, they can't deal with you very well.
Odd Hunter / Midrange Hunter / Quest Hunter - Favored Matchup
Always remove everything they put on board. Do it with spells, if you can't value trade. If you keep them off board, they run out of a steam and the game is yours. Play around Unleash the Hounds, but not too much, having 3-5 bodies on board is just fine. Use Counterspell as soon as they use their coin. All of their spells are usually pretty powerful and essential for them. Mirror Entity on turn 5 will guarantee you Savannah Highmane if they've got it, because they will use it to counter Explosive Runes, so save it for this play, i can assure you they are gonna concede after this. If it is Odd Hunter don't spend mana on Mirror Entity, their minions are usually garbage SMOrc stuff. Use burn mostly to deal with their board.
Recruit Hunter - Favored Matchup
This one might be a little tricky. I have not enough data on this, but my intuition tells me you want to burn them as fast as possible. Ignore board if you can. Saving Mirror Entity for mid-late turns might win you a game. PlayCounterspell right before their turn 5 to negate Spellstone or force them to not use it. Fun fact - You get a bit of value out of mirrored Kathrena Winterwisp with your Lifedrinker, just dont kill their babe, they will have something better for sure.
Tempo Mage - Favored Matchup
Older brother of this deck. Don't go easy on them, they can't contest board nearly as effectively as you which is a huge advantage of yours. Force them to use burn on your minions and play around Counterspell with coin. Use your burn to clear their board. Test Explosive Runes with less valuable minions idealy Lifedrinker which basically negates them. If they have played Aluneth just go face with everything you've got and try to burn them before they get enough resources to wipe you out.
Big Spell Mage - Even Matchup
This one is mostly not decided on your plays but rather on what they do or do not draw. Go face with everything, burn, minions, hero power. Don't do value trades after turn 3-4, they will burn your board eitherway. Only thing you should ever kill on their board is Arcane Artificier. "Should" was a bad word to use. You HAVE to kill it or you are done for good. If they go turn 9 Frost Lich Jaina and they have over 15 lifetotal, just concede. Saving minions in hand because they might have Dragon's Furry is a bad thing to do. You just need to put as much pressure as possible in order to have a chance in this matchup.
Even Paladin / Murloc Paladin - Unfavored Matchup
Slightly better than Odd Paladin but you are still unfavored. Save Counterspell for turn 4 to deny Call to Arms. Try to value trade as much as possible to have board dominance, but at the same time try to play around Consecration with keeping at least few minions over 2 health. If they play Murlocs always target them first. Ignore even Knife Juggler, as you can deal with it later. But you can't deal with buffed fishfrogs later. If they play Even Paladin, you can use some mind games and save Mirror Entity for turn 8. They will definitely play something huge to prevent face damage of Explosive Runes. Don't gamble with Cinderstorm if they have Amani Berserker, unless you are forced to. Turn 6 is a Sunkeeper Tarim turn. Be prepared. Always.
Odd Paladin - Unfavored Matchup
Swarm after swarm. But you can't afford to ignore it. Always prioritize killing recruits over anything else. Keep your Cinderstorm for later when it can deals with multiple small stuff at once. You need to keep them of the board at all costs. Even if it means you have to suicide your Mana Wyrm into their recruit. If they start buffing stuff you are finished. Counterspell before turn 5 to deny Level Up!. Mirror Entity and/or Explosive Runes before turn 7 for Stormwind Champion. If you can keep them off a board untill turn 7 you have decent chance to win that game.
Addition to Mulligan - Kirin Tor Mage
Mind Blast Priest - Favored Matchup
Board over burn at the beginning. If you can, prioritize something that survives Duskbreaker. Try to push as much damage as possible in early game, but only with minions. Don't use your burn spells. If you go Frostbolt it is 2 mana + card for 3 damage, then they will heal for 2 for same mana amount without a card. It's a huge waste. Save your burn for huge single turn bursts. Turn 8 is a Primordial Drake turn. Play around it with keeping most of your stuff over 2 health. Play Explosives Runes as soon as possible to avoid their Wild Pyromancer shenanigans. Turn 9 is Alexstrasza. If you can't kill them don't waste your burn as they will immediately heal back to 15, just set up a lethal for your next turn. Turn 7 is Psychic Scream turn. Don't play around it, it is not worth.
Spiteful Priest - Even Matchup
Similar early game strategy as with Control Priest, but try to value trade as much as you can. Play around turn 4 Duskbreaker with not overextending over 3 minions on board. Save your freeze for Spiteful turns. Don't pay for Counterspell at all. If possible save Explosive Runes for turn 5 Cobalt Scalebane and Mirror Entity for turn 7 Wyrmguard. Save your burn for huge burst turns to avoid negating their effect with Priest's Hero Power, but don't save it for face for the all costs, use it also on minions if you can't value trade them properly.
Odd Rogue - Favored Matchup
Always keep them off-board. They will often go for Hero Power so there's not enough mana left for minions, it shouldn't be problem. Remove even slightest threat as Cold Blood can easily wipe your strong minion just for 1 mana. They also run Fungalmancer so it is just good to deny it hitting the board with full power. Don't pay for Mirror Entity as they play garbage minions, but play Explosive Runes as soon as possible to deal with Hench-Clan Thug or Vicious Fledling. ALWAYS deal with these two the very next turn they hit the board, otherwise they stick it. Counterspell after turn 5 for possible Leeroy Jenkins + Cold Blood Shenanigans. Freeze their face as often as possible to disable their only advantage.
Quest Rogue - Favored Matchup
Burn this plague out of meta :) Seriously, you can't lose this matchup if you do not lowroll extremely and your opponent has a huge highroll at the same time. Face is the place. With everything.
Shudderwock Shaman - Favored Matchup
They have very slow early game, you need to abuse it. Go on board as soon as possible and ignore value trades. Counterspell before turn 5 to deny Volcano. Don't pay for Mirror Entity. You may play Explosive Runes whenever you can, some extra damage is good everytime. You should have both board and burst damage advantage to slay them before Shudderwock turn. I don't think I've ever seen him hitting the board playing Tempo Mage.
Even Shaman - Favored Matchup
Keep them off board. Value trade as often as possible, kill every single totem. Just don't let them get board dominance and you are fine. Be prepared for Sea Giant with some freeze and/or burn. Play around Hagatha the Witch on turn 8. Counterspell as soon as you have something better on board to deny Hex. Play Mirror Entity if board is huge to have a chance for Sea Giant, or just play it before turn 8 for Lich King. Play Explosive Runes as soon as possible, it will help you to maintain board state.
Control Warlock / Cubelock - Favored Matchup
You can't really tell them apart, because they are usually dead before you can find out :) Go to board with everything you've got, but play around Defile early on. Counterspell before turn 4 to deny Hellfire. Now this one is interesting. I see a huge amount of Tempo Mage players to not play Explosive Runes before turn 5 to avoid killing Possessed Lackey. WRONG. They will most probably play it because they would like to get Voidlord, but you know what? You don't care. 4 damage to face is another nail to their coffin and you have enough reach to just ignore board from this state. So basic strategy is go board and everything that is on board goes face untill Voidlord hits the ground. After that you go face with your spells and battlecries. Trade possible Mountain Giant with your minions if you can. Burn is more valuable for you after turn 4 eitherway. But if you can't do that kill it with spells. You cannot afford to have it cubed and decubed.
Zoo Warlock - Favored Matchup
Very similar strategy as with other boardcentric decks, but they will just burn themselves for you, so you can use your spells to maintain board dominance. Be prepared for Sea Giants as they are pretty popular in these decks. Don't pay for Counterspell. Save Mirror Entity for turn 5+. Play Explosive Runes as soon as possible to keep them off the board. Check their lifetotal and be prepared for 7/7 Hooked Reaver if they are 17 or less, you can actually pretty consistently target it for your Mirror Entity and see them concede. This matchup is the easiest of those which brawl for board dominance, you really shouldn't have problem with it.
Odd Warrior / Taunt Warrior - Even Matchup
They can deny you from hitting their face with taunts and get out of burn reach with their Hero Power. You need to burn them down as fast as possible. Go on board with everything. Play Counterspell before turn 5 to deny Brawl. Play Explosive Runes as soon as possible to stop rush minions killing your guys. Other than that just go face with everything you've got. These two archetypes still have no refined standard versions so you can't played around everything they could have.
Rush Warrior - Favored Matchup
Same as upper matchup. Not really refined version but easier to predict and easier to play against. Value trade every time, if needed use spells to kill their guys. Always get rid of a Frothing Berserker. Play around Darius Crowley on turn 5 with not keeping good targets for him, or you can bait him if you got Explosive Runes up. If possible save Mirror Entity for later turns. I didn't meet a lot of them on ladder so I can't really give you more advices but if you keep up with these, it shouldn't be any hard to maintain possitive winrate in this matchup.
If you have troubles in certain matchups or you have something to ask please let me know in comments below and I may update this guide accordingly.
Lot of you asks me about Aluneth and Frost Lich Jaina. I personally don't like Aluneth in this build. Yes it is one of the best legendary weapons, but a) in current meta it is destroyed in 2 seconds after being played b) this deck curves out well, we don't need excesive amount of value. Frost Lich Jaina is a bit different. You can replace her for Lifedrinker instead of Pyroblast. It won't make deck better nor she makes it worse. It will be just a bit different
I just recently decided to make a Twitter account, guys, so feel free to be my first followers and make me happy ^^ @Kasai_HS. I will post decklists there over time. Mostly those I will use for tournaments, but you will find there some F2P or meme ones now and then. YouTube channel and hopefully Twitch stream will follow up so stay tuned!