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LOKShadow F2P Deathknight Warlock

  • Last updated Aug 20, 2017 (Frozen Throne)
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  • 21 Minions
  • 8 Spells
  • Deck Type: Ranked Deck
  • Deck Archetype: Control Warlock
  • Crafting Cost: 3240
  • Dust Needed: Loading Collection
  • Created: 8/14/2017 (Frozen Throne)
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Hi all,

It's been a long time since I contributed to Hearthpwn, but I'm back with the new expansion now with another F2P challenge for myself. With the sad nerf to OTK warrior a while back, it seems that Blizzard is slowly dismantling cheap, powerful win conditions. With the past couple expansions, however, it seems that they are not against the concept of an OTK deck. In my opinion, they just want to make sure these are expensive and inaccessible to new players. I suppose it makes sense from a business perspective but sadly we have to admit that it is becoming more and more expensive to play Hearthstone.

This is especially true with the introduction of Deathknight heroes because they usually require some synergy deck-building and some supporting epics/legendaries. Most of these are control-style decks which have been historically some of the most expensive to craft. How do we make these decks accessible to new players then? That's what brings me to this F2P challenge of making the expansion accessible even for new players. Here are the rules:

*Use the 1 free Deathknight hero

*Only common/rare cards allowed (NO ADVENTURE CARDS - these are extremely expensive to acquire)

Luckily for us, there is a way to "cheat" more expensive cards into your deck by using the Discover mechanic, which is extremely powerful and flexible in its own right. With cards like Stonehill Defender and Kabal Courier, we can even discover some legendary cards to play with! It also adds a lot of richness to the deck by making the list dynamic and different with each game. Another powerful and interesting card is Defile which takes some thinking to set up and utilize to its full potential. This list is just something I started experimenting with a couple days ago. It is by no means in its final form, and I have already been considering other cards to include like Bonemare to give the deck a bit more late game (*EDIT* updated the list to include Bonemare which is a very powerful F2P late game card!). If you feel that you are facing more control decks, I would also tech in 2 Twilight Drake instead of Loot Hoarder and Acolyte of Pain.

This deck has plenty of board clear potential and card draw to maintain pressure. The idea is to maintain tempo and board presence to pressure your opponent. You have the end game swing with Bloodreaver Gul'dan to revive your fallen demons and deal the finishing blow if necessary. Even though there is not a heavy amount of burst potential, there are "direct" damage cards like Hellfire and Abyssal Enforcer that deal damage to face.

I would say the best way to learn is to watch some example gameplay and practice the deck yourself!

YouTube Playlist

General Tips

Although this deck is F2P in terms of cost, it is by no means a beginner deck (which is intentional - same with F2P OTK warrior). The goal is to introduce new players to a deeper-thinking deck which has a high skill cap. Your results with the deck will really depend on your skill level and understanding of the game. Ideally the majority of games will be won or lost based on decision-making that occurs during the game. Most turns there will be a few viable options to consider and the discover mechanic adds even more possibilities to a turn. It is important to be familiar with the options that you're able to discover (what are the taunt minions that can be discovered by Stonehill Defender and what options can be discovered by Kabal Courier ). That means there is a lot of room for mistakes but also a lot of room to make great plays that win you the game.

In terms of discover, you'll usually decide between 2 paths of playing for tempo or for value (control). Tempo plays will be to try to discover cards to play on curve such that you utilize your mana most efficiently (generally means you make the most powerful play you could that turn). This doesn't necessarily mean minions since board clears on curve can also be a big tempo swing to help you regain board control. This is generally the case against aggro/midrange decks (you may even look for heal cards). Against control decks then you may want to consider being greedier and taking the big value cards. Keep in mind you can discover cards like The Lich King and Kazakus or even another Bloodreaver Gul'dan!

For the gameplay aspect, there is also a balance of tempo and value. Generally you want to develop board on curve when possible against aggro/midrange and save board clears for maximum value (while balancing the risk of dying). Against control decks you can value the card advantage from life tap more and mulligan away those early game minions. You also need to play around board clears yourself and not over-commit resources while still pressuring your opponent and putting them on a clock to force out removal cards.

The best way to learn is to analyze the games you lost afterwards and really think critically about the turns where you had multiple viable lines of play. Did you make a wrong read about your opponent's hand? Did you forget to play around a card that you should have expected? Did you trade incorrectly? Especially for beginners, most of the time you can identify some turns that you could have played better. It does not mean that you would have won if you had made a different decision, but you definitely could have improved your chances to win. This is the key to improving your gameplay. It's easy to attribute losses to bad RNG but it doesn't help at all if there are still holes in your understanding of the game.

Card Substitutions

This question gets asked a lot so I'll try to cover the general ideas here. Instead of answering specific cards like "what about card X instead of card Y," I prefer to help new players understand the deck-building and testing process as well. This is an important skill to develop because you'll also be able to understand why every card is in the deck and also how to tailor a list to your own preferences too. Everyone has a different style they like to play and also may face a different meta, so there is no one-size-fits-all list. One common question is how to "upgrade" the list if you have some epics/legendaries. Here are some cards to consider, but I would not say that they necessarily improve the deck overall (usually just means teching for certain match-ups). Also, this is not a complete list but just some suggestions to consider:

Doomsayer - good vs aggro

Gluttonous Ooze - tech against weapon classes

Mountain Giant - good vs control/druid

Faceless Shambler - gets value if you run both drakes/giants

The Lich King - fun P2W card

These are flexible cards to consider substituting

Kabal Courier

Acolyte of Pain

Stonehill Defender



Yes, you can substitute out the discover cards if you already own the more powerful ones, but you will lose out on some flexibility of your curve. I would definitely not include every single one of those suggestions. I would say just try a couple card substitutions yourself first to see if you like the changes. Customize it based on what you enjoy playing also (if you own The Lich King and want to play with him, by all means have fun!). The rest you should tailor to improve your performance against the meta you are facing. Facing lots of pirate warrior? Toss in the Doomsayer and Gluttonous Ooze. Facing lots of control decks? Toss in the Mountain Giant and Faceless Shambler. Deck-building is part of the fun in Hearthstone, so my hope is that I encourage experimentation and customization as well.


I will write a more in-depth guide if there is demand. If you enjoy this kind of content and want to follow on further updates, my social media links are below:




Have fun~ ^^