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Rank 1 Legend (EU) Control Demon Lock

  • Last updated Dec 10, 2015 (Explorers)
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  • 24 Minions
  • 6 Spells
  • Deck Type: Ranked Deck
  • Deck Archetype: Unknown
  • Crafting Cost: 6700
  • Dust Needed: Loading Collection
  • Created: 7/3/2015 (Blackrock Launch)
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You can follow me at twitch.tv/eyecelance to watch me stream the list.


HeyGuys, I'm Eyecelance and I  just wanted to share the deck I hit #1 EU with today.

I made this deck during the last two days of season 15 and climbed with it from elo hell to #~50 (would've probably made it into the top 20 with it but unfortunately I started tryharding too late (as in every other season basically :D). My score was 36:15 (~70% win rate) and I kept it up during this season's climb, entering legend directly at #1. This deck pries on Warriors of any kind (especially Patrons) and Hunters, which account for approximately 50% of my games at the moment.

If there is enough interest, I'll be writing a full guide (including card choices and mulligans) later on; for now if you have any questions, ask away, I'll try to answer them all. For those of you who'd like to watch me stream this follow me at twitch.tv/eyecelance  I'd happily oblige if I wasn't playing on a potato.

4 hrs of top 10-50 gameplay  (click me)


Update 08/16/15

Decklist updated to what I'm currently running. It's essentially the exact same list I played last season with -1 Sludge Belcher and +1 Imp-losion as a response to the very aggressive meta shift. Played it in the top 20 for more than 4 hours today, peaking at #10; it's certainly still a very viable archetype.

The main difference to the original list are the two Molten Giants. You never keep them in hand except for Paladin (expect ebola) and Mage (never keep two and only keep one if you have a play for t2-3 such as Darkbomb or Imp Gang Boss.

Update 12/10/15

 - 2nd Chow for consistent early game presence in this rather aggressive meta.

- The Brann package: Double Healbot (instead of Belcher) and Dark Preddlers (also more versatile early game board presence)

Ooze is still amazing in this meta with all the face shamans and Paladin + Warrior variants as well as the occasional Oil Rogue/Hunter.

A few words on card choices and mulligan decisions for the most common match ups:

This is basically a 'grinder warlock'. It wins by out-valuing the opponents, not by playing aggressively or bursting them down as Dragon Warlock (Malygos) would. Unless you manage to get a huge Voidcaller swing turn in the early game that your opponent cannot answer, games usually go beyond t10 and occasionally to fatigue.


Abusive Sergeant and double Big Game Hunter: A huge part of the meta is composed of Patron Warriors and their respective counters (mostly Handlock). BGH is obviously great vs Giants, the omnipresent Dr. Boom and beefed up Frothing Berserkers but it can also be used as a combo with Abusive Sergeant to kill 5 or 6 attack creatures such as Emperor Thaurissan, Ancient of War or Tirion (even better when played with Ironbeak Owl).

Acidic Swamp Ooze: One copy is run in basically any deck these days due to the popularity of Patron Warriors and Hunters. Try to save it for Death's Bite and Eaglehorn Bow.

Mind Control Tech: MCT fulfills two purposes in this deck. Firstly, this type of Warlock can struggle with keeping up in the early game; MCT can help you make a comeback. Secondly, it acts as a soft removal of a board with 4 or more Patrons, killing 2 (if they were played with Warsong Commander) and providing a 3/3 body.

Defender of Argus: A great card versus aggressive decks and a means of protecting your (probably low) life total in the late game versus combo decks, such as Druid. A taunted Lord Jaraxxus is a wall that few aggressive decks can breach without Ironbeak Owl. Also allows you to make favorable trades in slow match ups.

Twilight Drake: This isn't Dragon Warlock but Twilight Drake is a great card in any Warlock deck that frequently uses its hero power. Even though there's quite a lot of silence being played at the moment, Drakes still get a lot of value in most games; also another great Defender of Argus target. You can play Voidcaller first to bait out the silence.

Voidcaller: One of the deck's win conditions; makes for huge swing turns, even if just summons the 2nd Voidcaller or an Imp Gang Boss. An early Lord Jaraxxus or Mal'Ganis can win the game on the spot, especially versus aggressive decks. It's debatable whether you want to keep Voidcaller and one of the 9-mana legendaries in the opening hand. I would only recommend doing so if you have tools to protect yourself from losing to silence such as Imp Gang Boss, Darkbomb or Imp-losion.

Antique Healbot: An integral part of any defensive deck in this aggressive meta. Allows you to live through direct damage after you managed to stabilize the board.

Emperor Thaurissan: This isn't a combo deck but your hand will usually contain 6-10 cards. Such a discount provides for great tempo plays, especially with cards like Shadowflame and Antique Healbot.

Dr. Boom: Too good not to run. Frequently dies to BGH but the Boom Bots still have the potential to wreak havoc and more importantly it protects Mal'Ganis from BGH. (Vice versa, an early Mal'Ganis from Voidcaller can protect Dr. Boom from the angry Dwarf with the big gun).

Lord Jaraxxus: As previously mentioned, a great body vs aggressive decks when summoned for free and taunted up by Defender of Argus; however, there are also certain matchups (especially Priest) in which I refrain from getting him on the board via Voidcaller. They don't have the burst kill you and 2 mana Infernals will wear them out eventually. Also serves as another 'heal' versus face Hunter in case the match goes until t9 or later. Absolutely amazing when combo'd with Emperor Thaurissan. Allows you play Jaraxxus and summon an Infernal on the same turn.


Match ups & Mulligans:

Patron Warrior: Literally THE most common deck at high ranks these days and one of the reasons why this deck performs so well. You win this match up by starving them of their draws; I cannot stress enough how important this is. I even Darkbomb 1hp creatures in order to prevent Battle Rage value. Mulligan for Ironbeak Owl (t3 Acolyte of Pain); keep Darkbomb if you don't have an Owl, Twilight Drake, Voidcaller and Acidic Swamp Ooze. There's no point in keeping either Hellfire or Shadowflame, you'll draw them eventually and they'll just be dead cards for a while. Try to bait out Execute and win by taunting up Twilight Drakes or other high-hp creatures. Only use Acidic Swamp Ooze on Death's Bite, never on Fiery War Axe. Always remove every single creature from their board, even if it's at the cost of 5 face damage. Keep in mind that Imp Gang Boss and Imp-losion are a liability from t8 forward since they can combo Patrons off the imps and provide targets for Frothing Berserker + Whirlwind.

Control Warrior: Same mulligan strategy. You also play for board control and are highly favored with double BGH. The only way you can lose this is by playing into Brawl (beware: many Warriors run two copies now). Try to prevent your Voidcaller from summoning Jaraxxus as a 3/15; he's one of your major win conditions in this match up. Harrison isn't anything you should be afraid of, the Warrior will just end up milling himself. Keep an Argus/Healbot so that you don't die to the 14 dmg from Death's Bite + Grommash or the 12 dmg from Grommash + Taskmaster.

Face Hunter: play this extremely defensively. Mulligan for Mortal Coil (better when going 2nd), Abusive Sergeant (just a body on t1), Ironbeak Owl, Darkbomb, Imp Gang Boss and Acidic Swamp Ooze. You can keep Imp-losion if you have at least on of the afore-mentioned cards. Don't keep Twilight Drake or Voidcaller, they are too slow. Play around Knife Juggler + Unleash the Hounds if possible and stop tapping if you're at a comfortable life total and have all the tools to end the game in 2-3 turns (a decent board, Defender of Argus, Healbot). Don't hold on to your cards for their full value potential unless you have something else to play. For instance tempo BGH, MCT and sometimes even Tempo Ooze are plays that are necessary to keep you in the game long enough to stabilize. Also if you're at a comfortable life total, play an actual threat (i.e Voidcaller when you have a 9 mana demon in hand, Twilight Drake or Belcher) over a Healbot. The stronger minion can trade for a few turns or start reducing the opponent's life total, whereas a Healbot can be played at a later point when your life total is actually threatened.

Warlock (of any kind): You always play the board control game, no matter whether it's Handlock or Zoo you're facing. Mulligan for Owl, Imp Gang Boss, Twilight Drake, Imp-losion, Darkbomb. You can keep Big Game Hunter if your opponent mulligans most of his cards or your other cards allow for a greedy keep (Zoo usually runs Dr. Boom and Mal'Ganis and occasionally Sea Giant. Voidterror + Power Overwhelming also provides a target).

Druid: One of the more difficult match ups. There's little you can do about a perfect curve (Wild Growth into Shredder into Keeper of the Growth on Twilight Drake). Play for the long game, make favorable trades and keep the board clean. Beware of the combo (stay above 14 hp or have a taunt up t9 forward). Once the Druid has used one or both Swipes, you can fill the board with Imps and taunt them up with Defender of Argus. There's little they can do about these creatures and you can trade favorably. Big Game Hunter + Abusive Sergeant kills Ancient of Lore / Ancient of War, don't waste them unless you need the tempo. Mulligan for Imp Gang Boss, Twilight Drake, Voidcaller.

Tempo Mage: Can also be rather difficult. Try everything you can to prevent them from snowballing in the early game. Mulligan for Ironbeak Owl (Mad Scientist), Imp Gang Boss, Darkbomb, and Imp-losion. You can keep Voidcaller if you have Jaraxxus or Mal'Ganis (they don't run silence) and Twilight Drake if you have one of the other aforementioned cards.


Win conditions vs Ctrl:

Vs Druid: Difficult MU since they run removal for both your 7+ attack creatures and silence for Drakes/Voidcallers. Win conditions - Twilight Drake, Voidcaller (consequently the summoned demons, esp. taunted Jaraxxus on the board), Emperor behind a taunt, Boom & Mal'Ganis (one will probably die to BGH), Imp-losion (once Swipes are gone, they can't handle the imps), and Shadowflame. BGH + Abusive and MCT can also make for insane swing turns.

VS Paladin: can easily be ginded out. Imp Gang Boss & Imp-losion in the early game, Hellfire & Shadowflame, Twilight Drake, Voidcaller, Owls & Ooze (Tirion), BGH...you name it. You have all the answers in the world, a superior hero power and a higher average card quality.

VS Priest: Twilight Drakes, Voidcallers, Shadowflame and most importantly Jaraxxus. Make sure you prevent them from drawing a lot with Northshire. Keep a Darkbomb for a naked Blademaster t3.

Vs Rogue: Twilight Drakes, Voidcallers, Ooze, Defender of Argus on big minions, Dr. Boom. Just keep their side of the board clear and make them deal with your big creatures.

VS Shaman: Basically extinct. Imp-losion, Voidcaller, Imp Gang Boss, Hellfire, Dark Bomb...basically early game removal since you can count on Mech Shaman with almost 100% certainty. Played in a similar fashion to face hunter.

Vs Warlock: I mulligan for Zoo but keep BGH if the other cards are good enough to stabilize in the early game. Vs Handlock you have all the answers in the world in the form of double Owl, double BGH and Shadowflame, vs Malygos just make sure you stay above 17 hp (Malygos + Darkbomb + Soulfire).

Vs Warrior: Owl for Acolytes, Twiight Drakes & Voidcallers, Jaraxxus, Imp-losion (vs non-Patrons), Ooze, BGH. It's almost impossible to lose vs Ctrl Warrior if you play around Brawl.


Why would I run this over Handlock or Malylock?

It has an advantage over Handlock by having the same great match ups (Patron Warrior for instance) and fewer bad ones; most notably, it's favored vs Hunter, which is traditionally one of the worst MUs for a handlock. It's also less prone to being overrun in the early game, which occasionally happens to a handlock player who doesn't draw clear or Molten Giants.

I played a lot of Malylock but I encountered two problems: Firstly, it runs a TON of situational cards (Soulfire, Blackwing Corruptor, Zombie Chow, Malygos himself,  etc.) and secondly it's rather weak to aggro decks (Azure Drake for instance is just a 4/4 that draws a card since the spellpower is irrelevant facing 1 or 2 hp creatures). Many lists run a single Belcher or Argus as the only taunter and tend to get overrun within a few turns. The win rate vs face hunter, aggro Paladin and Patrons is rather low. This deck on the other hand runs more removal since it doesn't need to hold on to Darkbomb as a win condition but can rather use it whenever it seems necessary. Vs aggro Malylock wins by staying alive and grinding them out; burst isn't the win condition. The same is the case with my deck, only that it wins more since it can stay alive. Vs ctrl, Malylock usually wins by either grinding them out or bursting the opponent down with a Malygos combo (set up via Emperor). Grinding the opponent out with this deck works just as fine (or even better), burst isn't needed.


Always tap first and the exception to the rule

Generally speaking, you always want to plan your turn ahead and not just slam your minions even though it's an obvious play (e.g. BGH on Giant). If you have enough mana left for hero power after playing the optimal cards in a given situation, do so first; there might be a card that you haven't considered that might improve your play.

The exception to the rule is if you plan on playing Mortal Coil. Say it's t3 and you have 3 mana, the opponent has a Mad Scientist and a Leper Gnome on the board. You could tap and Mortal Coil the Gnome, using your mana optimally and drawing a two cards. On the other hand, if you Mortal Coil first, you draw a card and have two mana left to play it. You could for instance draw an Ironbeak Owl or  Darkbomb to effectively deal with the Mad Scientist.


Meta calls

If the meta shifts from Patrons/Ctrl/Aggro to Combo/Ctrl/Aggro as it did during the last couple of days on EU (tons of Druids & Freeze/Giants Mage), replace Mind Control Tech by Earthen Ring Farseer and Shadowflame by Loatheb.


Budget replacements:

Lord Jaraxxus / Mal'Ganis: You want to ensure consistent Voidcaller value, I'd suggest Dread Infernal.

2nd Big Game HunterEarthen Ring Farseer is the best choice here. Siphon Soul is another option but you'll get punished by aggressive decks. If you only run 1 BGH, you might as well replace Abusive Sergeant by Zombie Chow.