What would you sacrifice for power? Your energy, your allies, your own health? Those are questions the Warlock deck will require you to answer when it comes to both spells and minions. Of course, like any good demon summoner, the answer should be ‘everything’. You would sacrifice everything for the power to crush your foes with shadow, flame and the strength of infernal minions. If that sounds good, read on!
Ahh, Imps, because not all Warlocks are rich and can afford nice things. Flame Imp and Blood Imp will not likely win you the game, but they’re reasonable minions to start your match off with. Flame Imp seems like the more solid choice, given the quick damage it can do. You’ll eat two damage yourself, but 3/2 is otherwise great for one energy and can quickly put you out ahead.
Blood Imp isn’t awful because of stealth (We haven’t touched on the mechanic in these previews yet, but the short version is that stealthed minions cannot be targetted by spells or abilities until they attack and break stealth) but it would be a lot better if it buffed damage as opposed to health. The fact is, most demons are not particularly fragile for what you pay for them, and, realistically, I see a high powered offensive benefiting this deck more.
I liked Voidwalker card until I saw Shieldbearer. There’s a case to be made that synergy with Sense Demons and Demonfire could make this card more desirable, but there are better demons to use either of those cards on. Again, just save up the tiny amount of dust required for totally overpowered Shieldbearer and enjoy a far better one drop.
There are a few girls that like to tout themselves as ‘the girl momma warned you about’, but in reality, Succubus is that girl. She’s a feisty 4/3 for two energy. She’ll also cost you one of your cards at random. That might seem steep, but in reality, it’s acceptable. Imagine a turn two Succubus after a turn one Flame Imp. That should hand you board control in most circumstances and force your opponent to play from behind. This is a great example of cost to effectiveness ratio in this deck.
It’s not quite an offensive powerhouse, but Felguard is worth running all the same. The blood price this time around is a mana crystal, so use your best judgment on whether or not playing this beefcake is in your best interests early on in the game. If it is, you’ll command a very tanky 3/5 wall with taunt to hide behind while doing other nefarious Warlock things.
And then there’s this guy. Void Terror is a 3/3 for 3, and upon coming into the game he eats the minions on either side of him, gaining their attack and health. This card will be a great counter for low amounts of AoE damage when you want to preserve an offensive. After eating a Consecration or Blizzard if you still have guys on the board, toss down a Void Terror to transform your ragtag gang of beat up minions into one Voltronesque super demon, complete with solid health and, more than likely, a high attack rating.
That said, Void Terror is, on his own, nothing to write home about. The major perk, aside from his primarily ability is that, as a minion, he will not come with additional fees in terms of mana crystals, health or card discard. That’s also why his stats are so pedestrian. He’s not quite core, but I’d feel good about running him.
Go big or go home, right? That’s Pit Lord all day. Four a mere four energy and, you know, seven damage to your hero, you can summon forth this 7/5 behemoth. There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles to this demon, just throat punching, hurt inducing terror. I love him, and he’ll be a great gut check for your opponents. If they can’t take him out fast, expect a quick end.
If you can get Summoning Portal out on turn four, it’s an awesome card. The problem here is that, as your hand size diminishes and the game progresses, it really starts to lose potency. Top decking this around turn ten just doesn’t do a whole lot. If it does get out early though, expect to be able to simply overwhelm your opponent unless they handle it quickly. Running it is purely a judgment call. Are you willing to gamble that you get it out in a reasonable amount of time, or is the risk too much?
Okay, but seriously. At some point, the cost of power might be a wee bit high. Doomguard has charge and a rating of 5/7 for 5, and I’d be willing to pay some health, maybe a mana crystal or a card. Two cards however? I’m hesitant there. Warlock has card draw mechanics, but they’re not fantastic, and turn five’s a really early spot to just drop two cards at random. Doomguard definitely hurts, but the cost is a bit too rich for my blood. He’d need to accomplish a lot to warrant a two card cost.
This is not a terribly complicated demon. I like Dread Infernal. Beefy creature, deals one damage to everyone upon coming in, good times to be had here. Even more fantastic if you get the early Summoning Portal up and can get it out before turn six. If not, 6/6 for six is still super reasonable.
YOU FACE JARAXXUS, EREDAR LORD OF THE BURNING LEGION, TRIFLING [Opponent here].
That out of the way, Jaraxxus is a unique and, frankly, amazing card. Once the Eradar Lord of the Burning Legion takes to the field, he’ll replace stuffy old Gul’dan and begin whooping butt. Your hero’s health will be brought to 15 (regardless of how high or low it was before) and you’ll gain two abilities. The first is a melee attack that deals three weapon damage for three energy, with eight durability. The second ability, Inferno, summons a 6/6 Infernal minion for two energy. Nuts, right?
Jaraxxus costs a whopping nine energy, but once he’s out, prepare to make your big push to win the game. The ability to spam out infernal minions will give you an absurd offensive potential, and if you’re holding on to Power Overwhelmings or Demonfires, you’ll likely make short work of your unworthy foe!
It’s been hinted at a lot, both in this article and the prior that an all out offensive is my vote when it comes to this deck. Warlock features a lot of high powered, high cost minions that will whittle both you and your opponent down. What it does not feature is a ton of stall. There are a couple of cards that reward you health, but that’s not the specialty of the deck, and it’d take a lot of work with generic minions to change that. Supplementing a host of damaging demons with board control spells and timely buffs will do wonders for your success rate.
That said, this deck will be subject, in my opinion, to a rock, paper, scissors quandary. It will straight up destroy a lot of other aggro decks, and probably some caster decks. However, I believe it will have some real issues against Priest, Paladin and Druid. Any deck that can stall will have a good shot at getting the Warlock to do most of the work for them before swooping in to land the killing blow. Adjust your strategy accordingly when facing these healers.
Bear in mind, beta hasn’t even started, and I fully expect to see a lot of other Warlock strategies come out of the woodwork. More cards will become available and open up new avenues for the evolution of the deck.
Next up: The shadowy Rogue deck. Watch for part one of that preview to go live on Tuesday!
Miss some of BlizzPro’s earlier previews? Take a look at those and other Hearthstone articles here. Have a question about Hearthstone or just want to talk deck ideas? Drop me a line at @RobertAWing on Twitter, or at ZenStyle@BlizzPro.com.