With the Wild Open running this month in Hearthstone, it is the best time for you to try out the wild format. Throughout the month we will be showcasing the Wild’s most popular decks and guides to playing them. This time we bring you a deck relatively new to the Wild format. Even Warlock has been a deck popular in the Standard format for many months but has only recently been gaining popularity in the Wild. The deck’s strength lies in its positive match-ups against all aggressive archetypes in Wild, while being able to put up a good fight against many of the remaining match-ups.
The staple cards of Even Warlock are Mountain Giant and Twilight Drake. With the improved hero power, which Genn Greymane provides for the Even-cost decks, often you will be able to play a very strong minion on turn 4. This is where the deck is stronger than nearly every other deck in Hearthstone. Another advantage Even Warlock has in the Wild format is the ability to use Molten Giant. Molten Giant’s effect synergizes perfectly with the overall strategy of Even Warlock since a lot of the tools included lower the health total of your hero.
Unlike most of the decks in the Hearthstone Wild format, Even Warlock has gained a very powerful tool that has become a key part of the deck’s strategy. Mojomaster Zihi has improved many of Even Warlocks previously tougher match-ups. In Wild, Zihi is so much stronger for Even Warlock compared to most other decks due to the strength of its minions that have a lower mana cost than other decks’ conditions.
The playstyle of Even Warlock is, generally, to use the upgraded Hero Power in the first two or three turns. The difference here is whether we have access to The Coin. If you start the game with The Coin, you gain the option to either choose to use the warlock hero power, Life Tap, three times and play a two-mana card. Alternatively, you can choose to Life Tap twice, which gives you access to a turn 3 Mountain Giant. It’s easily the earliest time this card play is possible currently for any meta deck.
The decision to go for either of these paths depends a lot on what cards you have to access, and what you believe your opponent will play in his deck. Against control style decks such as Reno Warlock, for example, playing the Mountain Gaint as early as possible will drastically increase your win rate, as Reno Warlock often has no tool to effectively deal with the Mountain Giant. It will often in a large early lead which we can leverage into a victory.
Against more aggressive decks, however, our main goal is to survive. Taking damage isn’t as bad as it would be with some of the other decks, but we should always try and consider what our opponent may use to finish us off before we stabilized the board state. The goal of surviving increases our need for a card like a Defile or Hellfire. These cards go up a lot in priority against classes which might play aggressive builds.
The first Even Warlock list we wanted to show you is the current most popular build of the deck. The interesting thing about this list, comparing it to the builds you might know from the Standard Hearthstone format, is the lack of Bloodreaver Guldan. In this specific build, we really like the decision to cut this late-game card from the deck. The entire list is made to be as strong as possible in the mid-game, and it does that successfully.
The second list of Even Warlock is a very different build than the first one. This one has an entirely different gameplan which relies on outlasting the opponent. The list is stronger against the heavy control decks such as the Reno Warlock and Priest, but give up some edge earlier in the game. The deck relies more on surviving against aggressive decks such as Even Shaman, rather than fighting back and contesting the board. Both strategies are good against the domination of aggressive decks on the Wild ladder, and we believe both decks to be strong in the current meta. Which of these decks you want to try out is up to personal preference, and which playstyle you more comfortable playing.
If you got this far, we want to thank you all for reading, and we hope you got some information helpful to you started in the Wild format. For the other Wild Basic’s we have created so far, check out our Hearthstone Wild guides to Even Shaman and Pirate Warrior next!
I’m Arend Zijdenbos, from the Netherlands. Gamer for as long as I can remember. My current focus is further improving at esports journalism. Currently, I write for Daily Esports and PCInvasion. For more of me, find me on twitter @Azijdenbos.