One of the older decks in Hearthstone, Zoolock focuses on developing the board and utilizing a combination of buffs, card draw, and spell damage to trade favorably with other minions and retain board control. Thanks to Whispers of the Old Gods it’s found a reliable token spawner which synergizes incredibly well with Darkshire Councilman, a new staple of the class. However, in the recent month or two Discardlock has really come to outshine it as the predominant version. Many now consider the two to be different variations on the same Zoolock archetype.

General Strategy

  • Play cheap minions, retain board control, and incrementally push for lethal.
  • Life Tap to keep your hand well equipped to deal with what is thrown your way.
  • Utilize midgame finishers to seal the deal.

Counter Strategies

  • Board clears can be troublesome for a Zoolock to deal with. Some of its minions are sticky for this exact reason and keep it from outright losing.
  • These days it’s all about removing that Darkshire Councilman. Keep that protected and your opponent will continue to spend resources on killing it.
  • Malchezaar's Imp is invaluable since it refills your hand without you having to Lifetap. Make sure to use it optimally when possible.

Wild vs. Standard

As a whole, Zoolock really needs board presence, but this is even more true in Standard where you have less sticky minions and spells like Imp-losion at hand.

Zoolock seems a bit worse in Wild where there's just so many powerful decks. Here it very much matters what cards you're choosing to run over others. Naxxramas opens up a lot of options including Haunted Creeper, Nerubian Egg, and more though so the older version with stickier minions is likely stronger than today's Discard-centric decklist.

Playstyle, Tips, and Notes

Don’t be afraid to trade into minions, especially if it helps you keep the next minion you’re playing alive.

Depending on what you’re playing, it may be favorable to flood the board as quickly as possible. Gormok the Impaler or Sea Giant can get very early value and really earn you a fast victory if all goes well.

Balance your Life Taps with board presence. When you’re ahead it’s usually okay to tap, but you should be playing at least one minion each and every turn. However, keeping your hand full helps make more optimal plays possible.

Due to the incredibly high tempo plays the Discard version brings to the table, sometimes it's best to go on an all out offensive and leave your opponent in a situation where they have to deal with the pressure. In that sense, the new Zoolock frequently resembles an Aggro deck.

Mulligans

This deck has A LOT of one drops, this is because you really can’t afford to be on the back foot. Mulligan hard for one and two drops. It’s okay to keep a 3-Cost minion if you have the proper curve.

Tech/Replacement Cards

 

Matchups

Good Neutral Bad
Tempo Mage Midrange Shaman Freeze Mage
Token Druid Miracle Rogue Control Warrior
C'Thun Druid Aggro Shaman Tempo Warrior
Beast Druid   Dragon Warrior
Dragon Shaman   C'Thun Warrior
Midrange Hunter    
Control Paladin    
Control Priest    
Renolock    

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When should I be using my hero power?

Honestly, it depends on what's in your hand and what type of deck you're against. If you have minions to play and little board, always prioritize getting minions onto the field. But if you already have a sizable presence and don't want to overextend, feel free to Life Tap to replenish your hand and stock yourself with more tools.

Recommended Deck Guides

Want to learn more? Check out these awesome deck guides from our community which go into more detail on how to pilot their specific decklist.