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hearthstone standard zoolock guide

It’s a brand new meta out there. Between the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion introducing a very popular, creeping and slow archetype, and the Standard and Wild formats changing the dynamic of the game so much, Hearthstone has gone through its biggest shake-up since launch. Despite all these changes, it doesn’t mean previous archetypes that did the job now fail to meet expectations. The Zoolock build is still going strong, with many new cards contributing to Zoolock’s strengths in a spectacular fashion.

Forbidden cards were generally seen as weaker cards in the Old Gods expansion, but slowly are finding their own way in various deck archetypes. Zoolock is one of those decks. With Forbidden Ritual, you spend all your mana in order to summon that many minions. Since the limit of minions on your board is still seven, it’s really dumb to use it first on turn seven and up. The card synergizes with minions like Knife Juggler and Sea Giant extremely well, on top of another new entry into Zoolock, Darkshire Councilman.

Darkshire Councilman gets +1 attack each time you summon a minion. Combine this with low-cost minions Zoolocks are known for on top of Forbidden Ritual, and you’ve got yourself a very strong Darkshire Councilman on curve, meaning you’re getting a lot of value from the mana you’re spending.

Zoolock staples like Flame Imp, Dark Peddler, and Imp Gang Boss aren’t going anywhere. They flood the board well and can synergize with a lot of cards in the deck. Defender of Argus is a tough choice. Though a bit more expensive than most of your deck, it buffs two minions and gives them taunt, allowing them to survive some board-wiping spells and forcing your opponent to deal with their stickier bodies.

The biggest risk you’ll run is simply running out of steam. If you aren’t able to take out your opponent in a quick, timely fashion, control-heavy archetypes can eat you alive. Always be alert of board-clears like Flamestrike and Holy Nova. You should only challenge these cards if you have the cards in hand to build your board back up. If you don’t, have some restraint.

A lot of this deck is knowing when and when not to deal damage to yourself, through your hero power and your minions. Watch out for using Flame Imps when you’re health’s starting to get low. It knocks off a good 10% of your health when summoned, so be smart about it. It’s also why I’ve tossed in Leeroy Jenkins, a great finisher should you whittle your opponent’s health down or have Power Overwhelming in hand.

Most match ups are in your favor should you play your cards right. The decks that do well against Zoolock tend to be spell-heavy Freeze Mages. With plenty of board-clearing options on top of their defensive capabilities in their secrets, it’s the hardest counter Zoolock has. A C’Thun Druid or Warrior playing on a good curve can also be bad news for Zoolock as their minions tend to be sticky and the looming dread that comes with a high-powered C’Thun can be stressful.


Zoolock’s been a powerful archetype since Hearthstone launched. It’s too early in the new meta to say for sure, but Zoolock’s power seemingly hasn’t been dwarfed, especially with Combo Druid being annihilated. As with most of these guides, play around with some smaller changes. Maybe you don’t need two Argent Squires and have a spare Gormok the Impaler lying around. Throw him in, in that case. I’d prefer Possessed Villagers to Argent Squires anyway. I’m winning more games than I’m losing with Zoolock, and I’m by no means an expert, so something about this deck is going right.

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