Handlock in 2017 is real boyz!
Since the begining of hearthstone i've always loved heavy, control-style meta decks. Control warriors and handlocks were my main weapons to play on ladder. For some time it was a blast but ever since Molten Giant got hit pretty hard, the warlock train stopped. Since the introduction of Old Gods, handlock somehow managed to sit in tier 2-3 because of the Faceless Shambler but without a proper healing factor the deck became extinct. The handlock deck became even more viable when MSoG came out, it gave warlock Abyssal Enforcers. Now, after the new expansion hit the servers i'm proud to say that handlock, or in this case, demonlock is top tier viable deck to play on ladder. This is the version i came up with:
I've been laddering from rank 14 to 5 with great success, made couple of tech choices to fight through aggro and midrange decks. However, it is important to know that the main weakness of this deck is currently murloc paladin with god-hand start. Other meta decks including jade druids or aggro warriors are rekt by the early removal of Defile and Hellfire. Priests don't stand a chance if you play early Lord Jaraxxus and jade druid is countered if you mulligan for early Skulking Geist.
I'll update the deck soon.
#SS to rank 4:
i feel like it is a must on ranks 4-3 because there is a lot of control and tempo game and literally everyone is playing druid so it is helpful against jades spawning from other minions
on rank 3*** i had to cut down shadowflame due to loads of mages on ladder so i've put an eater of secrets instead
VS FAST DECKS
keep each time you see this in your starting hand
- Mistress of Mixtures – good trading minion and heal for lifetap
- Defile – clearing early aggressive boards.
- Tainted Zealot – enhances your defile or hellfire in order to get rid of sticky 1-cost minions.
- Sunfury Protector - sturdy body keeps pressure on the board, hard to remove and if it places a taunt on other minion it is just superb value for the cost
Keep with coin
- Hellfire – good way for clearing early minions.
- Earthen Ring Farseer – early sticky minion provides healing and decent early power.
- Twilight Drake – excellent trading minion to have when you are facing slow but stable pressure from your opponent, priests nightmare.
VS SLOW DECKS
- Twilight Drake – enormous minion on turn 4 with lots of health points, keep as a priority against priests
- Mountain Giant – playing 8/8 on turn 4 is key either way a good target for hard removal
- Lord Jaraxxus - instant game changer, this card can win games on its own when played in the right time. The moment you play this, start spaming infernals and bait out more removals, eventually opponents will be overwhelmed by the 6/6's and they autoconcede + great source of board building with Gul'dan later on.
- Despicable Dreadlord - sticky minion, annoying for priests and good for flooding the board early on. End of turn effect is strong enough to boost the abbyssal enforcers battlecry.
keep at certain conditions
- Hellfire/Abyssal Enforcer – in mid to late game this cards are especially great at controling the board, great against hunter and priest as most of their early minions have on average from 2-3 health.
- Defile – If you are good at maths, defile can clear boards at every stage of the game, so it’s good to have it early.
- The Lich King - good lategame minion, you tend to look for either board clear or burst damage, the popularity of this card is just insane, i've encountered some TBK's on my way to rank 4 but nonetheless a great card because it gives you options right away after you play it, it is god-like when you play against aggro druid and you manage to survive till turn 8
- Skulking Geist – While Jade Druid is very strong right now, this card can grant you a win in the matchup against druid, you can still win the game without the card if they draw poorly and you are ahead on board. Keep only against Druid.
- Bloodreaver Gul'dan - comparable to Lord Jaraxxus it gives you survivability and board control at the same time, after you play this your goal is to use it's hero power as frequently as you can, keep in heavy-control matchups and if you feel it is the right time to play it.
reached rank 2 and still climbing!
It's happening! rank 1 achieved :) thx Lord Jaraxxus
There are several tech options depending strictly on the current ladder situation here are the options you could tech into which i used on my way to rank 1:
- The Black Knight with the popularity of taunt druid the black knight rises, keep in mind you also have lots of paladins on ladder so strucking down tirion with one swing is just tempo
- Doomsayer there are 5 classes you use this against; mage, paladin, hunter, shaman, druid and all are aggro/tempo, so to keep them at bay you need something extra than just one defile, keeping a doomsayer against them is great board advantage later on
- Shadowflame imo this card is mvp in midrange/control matchups helped me so many times to clear the board full of taunts or other sticky minions, great synergy with infernals or giants
- Twisting Nether the only reason why i used this is because of the pressure of midrange decks and hard to remove minions from the board, full board swipe is great in lategame, especially when you enter topdeck mode and respect lifetap
- Eater of Secrets instant win against quest mages and their stupid iceblock, slam that on the board and enjoy the emote "You win this one"
- Skulking Geist MVP in every jade druid or evolve shaman match, you will win fatigue games if you play this right and it is a 4 attack minion, so sorry priests.
- Gluttonous Ooze on ranks 10-5 pirate warrior is still a thing even sometimes below that and it is good to have answers for the arcanite reaper, other than that druid plays sometimes medivh the guardian and with ultimate infestation it is a game winner so you could just deny the combo right after medivh is played
- Harrison Jones same as ooze but with a twist, its awesome when you play mirror matches, or you spend all your cards on an aggresive weapon class, then you enter topdeck mode, this grant you the ability to draw 1 or 2 more cards
- Spellbreaker i find this tech really interesting because there are more and more minions to silence, it reminds me a lot of owl back in the days, so paladin's spikeridged steed is no more
- Second-Rate Bruiser anti-aggro tool for early game, great for board control against swarming decks like murloc paladin or token druid
- Defender of Argus a substitute for sunfury protector with the potential for +2 dmg burst
- Dirty Rat this is huge against quest mages when they are near completion of the quest, if you manage to pull out one piece of the combo the game is over and you are victorious
- Big Game Hunter ahhhh.. my old friend, glad i didn't DE you when they struck you with the 5 mana nerf, who plays big minions on ladder? everyone. Lich king, giants, bonemare combo, lightlord, big jades... it does not matter, he has got them in his sights ;)
- Blastcrystal Potion early hard removal, very flexible card, good to use it on later turns or after turn 6 because the 1 mana crystal destruction can be huge sometimes, play it safe
There are some options of card replacement, for those of you that do not have some cards here are some alternatives:
- The Lich King -> Ysera/Ravenholdt Assassin/Bog Creeper/Tar Lurker/Arfus
- Lord Jaraxxus -> Alexstrasza/Kabal Trafficker
- Twisting Nether -> Doomsayer+Treachery/Corrupting Mist/DOOM!
- Big Game Hunter -> Blastcrystal Potion
- Skulking Geist -> Faceless Manipulator/Faceless Shambler/Cult Apothecary/Harrison Jones
Thank you for the support of the deck #frontpage
vs aggro hunter
vs evolve shaman
vs jade druid
vs highlander priest
Apart from the deck update that i needed in my meta, i have to clarify some things, first of all i thank you all for voting and trying out my deck, i hope you get good ranks with it and maybe you go to legend who knows. I'm still hovering on ranks 1-2 but i think i can reach rank 1 by the end of the season if not legend. Now, let me say this, not so many people could be familiar with the handlock style gameplay and the whole mechanic, i see in the comments that people state the deck is not good for ladder, its bad, losses to aggro and so on, please guys, bear in mind that this is not the handlock from 2014, we do not have healbot anymore and Molten Giants to taunt up. Sadly. You have to always control the lifetap mechanic and most importantly your life total think turns ahead, like for instance, what if i play jaraxus first and then clear the board or what if i make this decision instead of that one. This minor decissions are key to success, if you play against aggro don't lifetap too much, if you play against control or midrange, it is the same don't lifetap too much, play the cards that are available in your hand, so you can stabilize and tap later. As far as jade druids go, they are beatable. I will post a video of my game against jade druid. Also please note this; your deck changes are defined by your metagame. When you are facing lots of aggro switch into other tech choices, if the meta is stale and you only play priests and druids, switch to something more control-like. Don't be affraid to experiment with the deck i'm sure it can help you, i experimented and still make a lots of changes in my main decklist and it works for me so it will surely work for you. That is all i wanted to say, thank you once again as well for the front page @hearthpwn.