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[Legend S53] from rank 4 in 1 day; Handcontrol

  • Last updated Aug 17, 2018 (Boomsday)
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  • 18 Minions
  • 11 Spells
  • Deck Type: Ranked Deck
  • Deck Archetype: Control Warlock
  • Crafting Cost: 8580
  • Dust Needed: Loading Collection
  • Created: 8/8/2018 (Boomsday)
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Hello, after realizing the new zoolock was powerful enough to drive egghunter and aggrorogue out, i re-teched my anti shudderlock to be more consistent against zoo and have a fighting chance against the combogods that are druids. The result was a deck that was mostly winning, even through t1-2 Prince Keleseths or the dreaded Wild Growth into coin Nourish start. The deck is vulnerable to sticky tempo and aggro, but in a zoo meta it thrives.

Proof: https://gyazo.com/79171758561f846df8497b14aa565251

For the discard combo see spoiler.

Give the opponent a Howlfiend with Treachery, and then tickle it with small minions, Despicable Dreadlord and Defile to let her rip. Mind that this completely wrecks any built up tempo, so only do this if you can afford it.

 Spoiler on how to use Sense Demons

If you search with it, then use it after 2 demons have been drawn for the guaranteed Howlfiend, or if you have howlfiend and don't need a Voidlord badly, it can be a good idea to wait until you have 3 demons to obtain a Worthless Imp as a starter for the handrip combo. In other matchups, you use it once you have the tempo to (e.g against zoo, even board turn 8 sense into Despicable Dreadlord)


Mulligans and matchups:

First rule: Always keep Kobold Librarian as he deckthins compared to if you were to mulligan him, and you would be doing nothing t1 otherwise.

Warlock: Assume zoo, they are insanely agressive, so mulligan for early aoe, such as Defile, Hellfire and Doomsayer. If you already have a piece of early aoe, you can consider keeping Stonehill Defender, Unwilling Sacrifice to hedge against the occasional evenlock, or Despicable Dreadlord for when you need to get onto the board yourself.

Zoolock (85-15): The reason i got legend. The deck is powerful, but very bad if they need to play from behind. So usually 1 swingturn is all you need to shut them down. If they start with Librarian, consider holding yours for a defile starter or a swingturn. Keep your Doomsayer for a Treachery boardwipe unless you have a followup for t3, the risk of a Void Ripper is not worth the reward of getting a tap in. Set up hard Defiles establish a Despicable Dreadlord or Giggling Inventor while they are busy reloading, then close it out with Voidlord, Mindbreaker or Bloodreaver Gul'dan. The reason mindbreaker is so devastating is that they rely on tapping to get enough resources to present threatening boards. If they have no minions and can't tap, they don't do very much.

Evenlock 35-65: Well, he has too many powerplays for you to handle usually, so the only way you win this if a)  they draw badly and you can establish a powerful guldan fast    b)  you happen to have the right answers for the threats he is presenting, and you can get Howlfiend burn in or c) you establish a Mindbreaker to block his refill, he plays his demons suboptimally, and you can get your plays done in the meantime.   So basically, if the opponent draws well and knows what they are doing, you won't win this. Your best bet is trying to set up a swingturn and riding the tempo from there, but that is hard to do against their efficient threats. Luckily, they don't win against zoo very much, so you won't see them very often.

Control(only 1 game which i won): 50-50 Depending on who burns what with Howlfiend and/or Rin, the First Disciple i suppose.

Druid: Unless you play against the 1 aggro treant druid on ladder (i did), they always ramp in the early turns into either big recruiters or some combo to finish you off. So what you want is your hand disruption, namely Howlfiend, Treachery,Defile and Demonic Project.

Wisp-roar Druid 75-25: Once you see a Violet Teacher, you can breath a sigh of relief since their combo is actually completely interacteable. They want to set up 7 Wisps from Wispering Woods and buff them up with Soul of the Forest to kill you with Branching Paths or Savage Roar. In the meantime, they threaten damage with Violet Teacher. You want to silence or remove the teacher, and tap when you can to draw into your answers to their combo. These are Defile if you can kill a wisp or have The First Seal, Hellfire or Despicable Dreadlord, as well as Lord Godfrey. If you cannot answer it directly, killing a wisp and the treant it spawns and then Doomsayer + Treachery is enough, since the treants spawn on his turn and have summoning sickness, so you can dispose of them before they can harm you.

Malygos Druid 50-50: If they start and draw perfectly, you will not be able to recover from the early tempo in order to handrip him before he kills you. However if he does not, you have plenty of opportunity to set up a giant handrip, since the main way druids defend themselves are 1/5 scarabs from Spreading Plague and Malfurion the Pestilent. An excellent way to bait a Spreading Plague is Giggling Inventor, or just some throwaway taunts from Stonehill Defender or Voidlord On the way there, keep tapping when you can, but keep your handsize in mind since they play bullshi... i mean Naturalize.

Togwaggle Druid 65-35: See malygos druid, but they need to draw their deck so you have more time.

Big Druid 65- 35: TreacheryDoomsayer is the reason this matchup goes well. Be patient with it, silencing a Dragonhatcher is usually enough, 4 attack taunts don't kill you fast. Play your own taunts, Mindbreaker if he goes Malfurion the Pestilent early, and get a Voidlord up to set up for Lord Godfrey. He is a recruit deck with a last finisher in Hadronox, so you can exhaust him.

No idea how the taunt druid matchup would go since i have yet to play one since the expansion launched, but i presume it depends on how many Carnivorous Cubes you can burn with howlfiend.

Paladin 90-10: Always odd, always a worse zoo(aka look for mulligan there. Only difference is that you can afford to keep Despicable Dreadlord and Stonehill Defender since they are weaker). Keep Level Up! in mind, no need to overspam your clears before turn 5 (4 with coin). Mindbreaker and Despicable Dreadlord break them, and they struggle to ever get through a Voidlord.       

Hunter: Assume Eggs, so hardmulligan for Ironbeak Owl and Defile.

Egghunter 35-65: You can survive him if you ruin his early turns, then get a huge Lord Godfrey in or reach Bloodreaver Gul'dan behind a Voidlord. However, it does not always line up, and they can kill you very quickly.

Spellhunter 60-40: He has to have a specific line of cards to threaten you, and most of his pressure is from his hero power, so Mindbreaker and Bloodreaver Gul'dan do the trick pretty nicely. Don't trigger secrets unless you have to, keep a clear for Greater Emerald Spellstone, and rin to win or summon a giant board and overwhelm him. Either way works.

Bombhunter 20-80: An absolute nightmare, but thankfully zoo keeps these kinds of "interesting" decks out.

Rogue: Assume odd. Keep Doomsayer, Lesser Amethyst Spellstone, Hellfire, Stonehill Defender

Oddrogue 35-65: You have to fight. Deny early Hench-Clan Thugs with Doomsayer play as tempo efficient as possible and try to reach Voidlord. You can't beat all draws.

Miracle 60-40: Deny early thugs, keep a Hellfire + Defile for spiders if you can afford to, don't use your owl until you see Edwin VanCleef or you have to and count their damage. Sometimes Sap kills you, you can't beat all draws, but guldan is very efficient in dealing with them. 

Pogohopper rogue 70-30: As funny as that sounds, i actually encountered this deck more often than priest, so it actually is a deck in the eu rank 1-4 area. Deny Bounce effects if you can, set up a handrip and ruin them once they realize their refill is all but gone. Bonus points if you transform Lab Recruiter after Myra's Unstable Element was used and let them fatigue to death.

Shaman: What Shaman? If you ever encounter one, assume Shudderwock and look into druid for mulligan. Should be 65-35, but i have yet to play it or evenshaman so they might be stronger with the new cards.

Priest: All their decks usually involve combos so you can mulligan for your disruption (see druid) additionally keep Lesser Amethyst Spellstone since you want them as upgraded as possible     

Alex Face 65-35: Tap agressively, look for your combo, save your heal until you go below 19 health, or he played alex. Deal with his few early minions if you can. He has a limited amount of burn, and you can either outheal it, threaten with 4 attack minions to force him to Psychic Scream when he does not want to, or just handrip. No need to save the big combo, just turn 6 Howlfiend + Treachery into a Despicable Dreadlord´for 2 with a threat of a 3rd is usually enough, since any amount of burn he lacks will cost him.

Wombo-Combo 75-25: Only played 2 games, won 2 games. Basically slow malygos druid without ramp. You should ruin him more often than not.

Inner Fire: Have only played a weird list, but i assume its pretty tough since every minion is potentially game-ending. Zoo should keep them out though.

Mage: Assume some form of face (either spellpower or secret package) Hardmulligan for Doomsayer.

Secret-Face 30-70: Try to spunge Explosive Runes with Doomsayer, play for tempo and try to kill them. You won't beat Aluneth so just concede when it is played (unless you have lethal in max 2 turns).

Spellpower-face 40-60: You won't beat all draws; keep spellpower off the field, count his damage, either he has enough or he does not, then he dies to your board or Life Siphon.

Big spell Control 65-35: Rin to win, he plays very linearly. Kill your own rin and his deck and win. Save a big clear for Dragoncaller Alanna.

Warrior: Quest is the more dangerous one, so mulligan for him. Keep Mindbreaker, anything for the howlfiend combo and Rin, the First Disciple.

Quest 40-60: You win in 2 ways: Either by rining him after you played enough Voidlord/ Guldan to spunge the heropower (always have 3 minions, keep voidlord alive if possible), or you fake trying to kill him with tempo so he greeds into summoning multiple taunts after completing the quest, then surprise howlfiend him for a chance to rip Sulfuras. This matchup is tricky, and discribing every single nuance would take too long, so as a general tip: deny draw, try to keep his most likely next turns in mind, and what your outs are, take your chances, you can't win every scenario.

Big Boomship 65-35: Very vulnerable to disruption, essentially a worse big druid, so look for a guide there.

Card Choices:

As far as tech choices go, i think these work best for the current zoo-druid format, but Mindbreaker is just really good all around if you know how to use him.

Unwilling Sacrifice over Voodoo Doll/Siphon Soul: Without Dark Pact, the doll is simply too hard to activate, and siphon is too slow and can't kill your rin in the few matchups you need to.

Ironbeak Owl over Spellbreaker: You are a defending deck ~ 75% of the time, so a cheaper silence that can occasionally start Defile is crucial.

Stonehill Defender over Tar Creeper: In this deck, taunts are not supposed to trade for stuff, they should just buy time until you can aoe or reach lategame, so more taunts overall is better.

Giggling Inventor over Twisting Nether: The card is just nuts, it would be a good card at 6 mana.  She blocks 4 attacks by herself, and provides the 1 and 3 for Defile. I would play 2 if i did not value tech higher.

Skulking Geist over Acidic Swamp Ooze: Metacall, both zoolock and druids hate getting geisted, and those were most of my matchups.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or reasonable criticism i'd be happy to read it. Thanks for reading through that essay, and have a good night (or day if thats the time you read this i suppose).

Edit, 16th of august: Swapped one of my Ironbeak Owls for an Acidic Swamp Ooze and Skulking Geist for Big Game Hunter.

I was struggling with single big guys a lot, and druids seem to run twig again (at least some of them). This and the increased appearance of odd-rogue sparked these changes.

Works in the brawliseum so far first run 12-2, lost in the mirror and against a zoo due to poor gamestate judgment, beat everything else (3 zoo 1 oddrogue 2 druids, 1 hunter) . https://gyazo.com/60e50919d4990bf0ce87d2b7d130f627

Edit, 17th of august: Adjusted the title since according to the forum august season is 53 not 52... oh well.