Classic Warlock

Deck Playstyle

Recipe for Classic Warlock includes cards only from Classic and Basic sets, so in current ladder it’s like everyone’s decks are on steroids and yours is not. However, winning with this deck is possible, at least on lower ranks, and enjoyment of defeating opponent ,who played all those fancy new spells and minions, and still could do nothing about that Doomguard that you top-decked, is quite something.

The original list from Blizzard included [Leeroy Jenkins] which seems out of place for this budget deck because of the dust cost of 1600. You can subsitute for [Doomguard] instead for only 100 dust and that will reduce the total dust cost for this deck to 780. But if you already have Leeroy in your collection I would use it over the Doomguard.

Lots of intro for a deck that I’m not sure you could achieve Rank 5 with (Rank 10 is definitely possible with some grind and luck in matchups). But, there are important points I will share about this deck. The playstyle, is fairly simple:

  • Empty your hand in first 4-5 turns if it is possible
  • Then play off double topdeck, using Life Tap;
  • Trade only with minions you can’t leave on board even for a single turn ([Flamewaker], [Knife Juggler], [Secretkeeper], [Mana Wyrm], [Wild Pyromancer], etc). Don’t bother to trade with creatures that can’t grow in size or do extra damage, because your deck have only limited window, before AOE spells can be used, to take opponent’s HP below 10 points.
  • Your firepower is limited, so don’t prolong games you know you’re not going to win. Concede when you lose all hope of winning even if it will take other side several tuirns to finish you off. Changing gears is the most helpful skill you can get from playing this deck.


  1. Reach Level 10 to unlock all of the Basic cards for this class.
  2. Have 780 Dust for crafting cards.

Card Explanations

Minions - 26 +

Abusive Sergeant × 2

  • Creature is highly cost-effective when battlecry value is in place. Also, 1 mana cost allows you avoid discarding it when Doomguard is played on Turn 6 and later.

Flame Imp × 2

  • Creature big enough to justify using a removal by control decks, and with battlecry that helps aggressive decks to outrace you. It is still very powerful for its cost, but not sticky enough to keep two copies in the deck.

[Elven Archer] × 2

  • Flexible 1 mana minion, you can use Elven Archer to finish off minions or direct damage to opponent's hero.

Voidwalker × 2

  • Good against early aggression, because it can trade with 1/1 and 2/1 creatures without dying and can be buffed to trade with more durable minions in your favour.

Acidic Swamp Ooze × 2

  • Destroying a weapon equals tempo advantage, so if you have the opportunity, use it. Waiting for bigger weapon most of the times meaningless, because when that weapon is played you already lost your board, which equals lost game. Against no-weapon classes it’s a solid 3/2 body to play for 2 mana if nothing else available, or to bait a removal that would’ve been used on Knife Juggler

Knife Juggler × 2

  • For this deck every juggle is precious. Some games I won because of a right knife hit at a right time. Try to keep your juggler alive for as long as possible, but don’t hesitate to sacrifice it when situation calls for it.

Murloc Tidehunter × 2

  • Inconvenient to remove with a single action for most classes, it can be used as non-threatening Turn 2 play or to re-conquer the board you just lost to AOE. Also, disposable bodies are always perfect for trading.

[Razorfen Hunter] × 2

  • Similar to Murloc Tidehunter, multiple minion makes it easier for trading and also good synergy with [Frostwolf Warlord]

Shattered Sun Cleric × 2

  • There are more preferable choices among 3 mana cost cards for ZooLock, so this one is a long forgotten relic. Which is good, because even when Defender of Argus sometimes is expected and played around, this one is always a surprise and no precautions are made against it.

Harvest Golem × 1

Dark Iron Dwarf × 2

Defender of Argus × 2

Doomguard × 1

  • This is a good cheaper subsitute of [Leeroy Jenkins]. Most of the decks don’t have an easy way to deal with such threat. If you lucky enough there won’t be both copies in your hand at the same time. Also, avoiding discards as much as possible is good, but your chances to win longer games are far smaller if opponent is above 15 HP around Turn 7 or 8

[Frostwolf Warlord] × 2

  • If you have at least 1 friendly minion on the board this card deliver even value of 5/5 for the 5 mana cost, so if you use this over 1 friendly minion on the board you're already getting excellent value.
Spells - 4 +

[Mortal Coil] × 2

  • This card provides outstanding value and tempo only IF you get a card draw out of it, so try your best to use it only to kill minions.

Soulfire × 2

Card Replacements

  • Replace [Frostwolf Warlord] with [Sea Giant] if you have it
  • Replace [Leeroy Jenkins] with [Doomguard] since it's cheaper to craft

Tech Decisions

vs Aggro

  • -1  [Dark Iron Dwarf] +1 [Argent Squire]

vs Control

  • -1  [Elven Archer] +1  [Chillwind Yeti]

Mulligan Guide

Keep any 1 mana creature in your starting hand. By not playing anything on Turn 1 you allow your opponent to establish board control and that is fatal for you. If you already have a Turn 1 play in your hand you can keep a 2 mana minion, but don’t bother with anything more expensive. You want to fill the board as fast as possible, and if your board countered on an earlier turn it would’ve been countered even easier on a later turn. That is part of the game.

vs Aggro Decks: [Elven Archer] and [Voidwalker] are still the best when you need to hold off early aggression. It is wrong to change only Turn 1 play in your starting hand to try to find them, but if you have several first turn options some of them can be exchanged for a hope of better ones. Keep [Acidic Swamp Ooze] against classes with weapons, [Knife Juggler] shouldn’t be kept by himself, only when you already have a card to play before him. Consider keeping [Soulfire] if opponent can play an early (Turn 3 or earler) 4 health threat.

vs Mid-range and Control Decks: Basically it’s the same principle, except [Flame Imp] and [Leper Gnome] are much more suitable for those matchups. If you can combine them with a [Voidwalker] on Turn 1 by using coin it’s a no-brainer. Here, you can also consider keeping 3 mana minions in your starting hand if plays for earlier turns are in place. [Soulfire] is your weapon of choice if you expecting heavy taunts to show up, rest of the mulligan should be focused on playing the mana curve perfectly.

RATING: [rating-system-posts]

Difficulty: Easy
Crafting Cost:
780 icon-dust
12 Minions - 18 Spells

Warlock Cards (8)
Mortal Coil × 2
Soulfire × 2
Flame Imp × 2
Voidwalker × 2

Neutral Cards (22)
Abusive Sergeant × 2
Elven Archer × 2
Acidic Swamp Ooze × 2
Knife Juggler × 2
Murloc Tidehunter × 2
Harvest Golem × 1
Razorfen Hunter × 2
Shattered Sun Cleric × 2
Dark Iron Dwarf × 2
Defender of Argus × 2
• [Doomguard] × 1
Frostwolf Warlord × 2

Gameplay Videos