I've tried numerous avenues to try and make Handlock viable in the ladder post RoS release. But it seems to not have the tools to maintain a +50% winrate.
Too much AoE was lost with the card set change. I've tried what's available for current AoE, tried more healing, tried more taunts. And the only thing that seems to semi-work is a hybrid of all 3. But decent Murloc/Token/Zoo draw murders it. Other control decks outlast my win conditions. Am I trying to win with this deck in an unwinnable environment?
I've honestly tried various versions of the deck and there are just a lot of matchups where if you don't open the Hellfire or Shuffle into the Hellfire within the first 4 turns you end up being overwhelmed by Swarms from Druid and Murloc (and sometimes Lackey Zoolock).
If you you want to beat control matchups, Warrior, Hand Mage, and Priest, you'll also want to run Achivist Elysiana to avoid the deck out (that or build into the Meca'thun combo version of the deck) The Augmented Elekk can be a bit more situational in the control matchups mainly because it being used with Plot Twist still doesn't remove the threat of Bombs from Bomb Warrior. Archvillain Refaam just doesn't give you any consistency for late game the way Elysiana does.
And yeah you really should be running the Plot Twist to shuffle out dead cards into deck and to dig for more useful cards in any given situation. The interaction with Broodmother is too strong. But yeah in general Plot Twist corrects a lot of the weaknesses of the deck's running situational or top heavy cards.
As for my personal build I've gone through several iterations of builds but Earthen Ring Farseers seem to do well throughout any matchup. Their Bodies actually help deal with all the free 3 Health Beatsticks of Rogue Decks.
But Yeah I just keep tinkering away to try and adjust. But obviously fixing your deck one way to address aggressive decks obviously pulls you away from more controlling matchups.
Sadly, handlock at the moment cannot compete in damage race with aggresive decks (like murloc shaman, tokken druid or face hunter) and also cannot compete in value race with control decks (like control / bomb warrior or even hand mage). Zoolock is doing much better, but still, there are many hard matchups for him, mostly based on RNG (like: "will warrior brawl my board or not?").
Achivist Elysiana and Plot Twist would be easy subs. Take out Rafaam and the Sense Demon.
Rafaam was basically there for bomb warrior, and an "oh shit" card when all my other win conditions were gone. Easy swap for Elysiana. Sense Demons might be harder to remove, but the Plot Twist gives more overall consistency vs an emergency heal. Plus, it sucks when you draw both Broodmothers before you need them.
And I have found exactly that, tweaking to address aggression has resulted in more losses against control.
I'll keep tinkering. Worst case I will have the deck fine tuned ahead of the next expansion where hopefully 1 more cheap AoE removal is given back to Warlock.