Update: I finished 69 in september and I would not change much due to the nerfs, Abusive Sergeant is still good enough. 5 players played a very similar list in the Last Call Blizzard tournament, check it out!
disclaimer: stats are from september, so this was 80% vs Aggro Shaman
Total: 138-69 (67%)
Rank 16-5: 34-12 (74%)
Rank 5-Legend: 50-25 (67%)
Legend: 54-32 (63%)
This is still a Zoo deck, if you've never played one before, check out strategy articles and guides on when to trade and how to position your minions.
As for the discard package: know when to gamble, the more you are behind, the more you want to gamble :)
These are guidelines. I don't follow these myself to the letter because it's more complicated than this and I like to try things/mix it up sometimes!
- Ideally you have a lot of 1-drops in your opening hand. Best 1-drops in order: Voidwalker, Flame Imp, Possessed Villager, Argent Squire, Malchazaar's Imp.
- keep Abusive Sergeant if you have a 1-power 1-drop already in board control matchups (Warlock, Shaman, Hunter).
- only keep Soulfire if you have Malchazaar's Imp or against Shaman.
- only keep 2-drops/3-drops if you have enough 1-drops.
- only keep 3-drops on the coin and if they are good in the matchup (Druid, Warrior).
- almost never keep Darkshire Librarian or Silverware Golem.
Aggro Shaman (Favored):
as long as they don't run more than 1 AoE you should be able to get the board and keep it. The most important thing is to really think about how your early plays line up against their 1. Coin Totem Golem 2. Tunnel Trogg and 3. Argent Squire. This comes with experience, just imagine what you would do against each of those and mulligan/play to maximize your chances.
Midrange Shaman (Unfavored):
as soon as you suspect it's midrange (totem turn 2 is a big clue) hold back a bit to play around 1-3 damage AoE as much as possible. Also prepare for a turn where they drop a 1 mana 5/5 and keep the 3/6 in mind.
Prepare to reload the board right after their clear, for example by playing Doomguard + Silverware Golem.
If you run into a lot of these you can try switching a Knife Juggler for a Crazy Alchemist
Yogg Druid (Highly favored):
this is not such a skill-intensive matchup from the Zoo side. On the play you want to play a 1/3 on turn one to make Living Roots awkward. On the coin Flame Imp into 3-drop is really nice. Of course you play around swipe. You can try to play around Bloodmage Thalnos + Swipe and Azure Drake + Swipe on relevant turns. Also you can try to plan for an early Fandral Staghelm by not playing your Abusive Sergeant/Power Overwhelming. Pressure them hard and keep in mind some big heal turns.
Hunter (Even matchup)
this is a very skill-intensive matchup and the one where I make the most mistakes. Early board control is very important, so again, try to make muligans/plays that are good versus a 2/1 and a 3/2 and try to get lots of one-drops. Play around Unleash the Hounds by trading if possible, don't feel bad to hold back a bit if you're way ahaid. If you have board control, keeping a Voidwalker or Defender of Argus in hand in the midgame can be really good to play right before they can play Call of the Wild to make it a much worse play.
The secret version plays many different secrets which makes it hard. You can delay triggering Cat Trick [/card]and [card]Snake Trap a long time with this deck, so make use of that.
Control Warrior (Highly unfavored)
This is also a pretty skill-intensive matchup. I'm still finding the best way to play against it. This deck has a lot of low power minions, so if you pressure too much you lose to Brawl and if you don't pressure enough you lose to Justicar Trueheart. What works the best for me so far is to try and get them to Execute a 3-drop, then get them to Brawl around turn 5/6. And then come back with a Doomguard + Malchazaar's imp or Silverware Golem.
Don't give up too soon, you can draw lots and lots of cards, so sometimes they just run out of removal eventually. Don't be afraid to take some big risks with discard, and don't be afraid to use your Soulfire early on an Acolyte of Pain or Ravaging Ghoul.
Tempo Mage (Highly Favored)
in my experience you win this matchup unless they get a really nice (Mana Wyrm) start. Imp-Gang Boss is really good here and 1/3's are good before Flamewaker turns. Try to make their Fireball awkward by timing your Darkshire Councilman and Doomguard right. Flamestrike is mostly a one-off you can often set-up a lethal if they play it by having a 1/1 spawn after and keeping some burst in hand.