Posted Wed, Mar 12, 2014 by Messiah
The Warlock class in Hearthstone is a class that focuses on a few key elements. Those elements are the use of Demons as their minion of choice, direct and area damage spells, as well as many abilities that are better than their mana cost but require you to discard a card or cards at random.
The sacrificing of cards is what really sets Warlocks apart from other classes, as no other class is required to give up as many cards to use other cards. To counter the loss of several cards from their hands, Warlocks have been given ways to draw additional cards.
As a Warlock in Hearthstone you will be represented by Gul'dan, the greatest of Horde Warlocks and the person responsible for the original creation of Death Knights.
As a Warlock your power is Life Tap. This ability costs 2 mana and 2 of your own health, but in return gives you the ability to draw a card.
While 2 mana and suffering 2 damage sounds link a really horrible power, the ability to constantly get a card advantage whenever you need is really an amazing ability. The key thing to note about this ability is to use it as often as you can as early as you can, because once you have taken a lot of damage it becomes harder and harder to use it for benefit.
Get used to the self damage from the Warlock class power, as that self abuse continues throughout several other Warlock cards.
Here are just two of the multiple cards that Warlocks have access to that cause pain in one form or another to themselves as well as their opponents.
When you first start a Warlock deck you will be granted many of the basic cards. In addition as you level up your Warlock deck you will gain the remainder of the basic Warlock cards by the time you reach level 10.
|Basic Warlock Spells|
|Drain Life||3||Deal 2 damage and restore 2 health to your hero.|
Deal 3 damage to ALL characters.
|Shadow Bolt||3||Deal 4 damage to a minion.|
|Corruption||1||Choose an enemy minion. At the start of your turn, destroy it. [This card is gained at level 2]|
Deal 1 damage to a minion. If that kills it, draw a card. [This card is gained at level 4]
Deal 4 damage. Discard a random card. [This card is gained at level 6]
|Sacrificial Pact||0||Destroy a Demon. Restore 5 health to your hero. [This card is gained at level 8]|
|Basic Warlock Minions|
(Demon) Battlecry: Discard a random card.
(Demon) Battlecry: Deal 1 damage to ALL other characters. [This card is gained at level 10]
There are many more Warlock spells and minions than those listed above in the Basic Warlock Card section. These are the Expert cards and can be gained through the purchase or winning of expert card packs. Many of these cards are key to how the class plays and will be required to do well as a Warlock.
|Expert Warlock Spells|
|Bane of Doom||Epic||5||Deal 2 damage to a character. If that kills it, summon a random Demon.|
|Demonfire||Common||2||Deal 2 damage to a minion. If it's a friendly Demon, give it +2/+2 instead.|
|Power Overwhelming||Common||1||Give a friendly minion +4/+4 until end of turn. Then, it dies. Horribly.|
|Sense Demons||Common||3||Put 2 random Demons into your hand.|
Destroy a friendly minion and deal its attack damage to all enemy minions.
|Siphon Soul||Rare||6||Destroy a minion. Restore 3 health to your hero.|
|Twisting Nether||Epic||8||Destroy all minions.|
|Expert Warlock Minions|
|Blood Imp||Common||1||0||1||(Demon) Stealth. At the end of your turn give another friendly minion +1 health.|
|Doomguard||Rare||5||5||7||(Demon) Charge. Battlecry:Discard two random cards.|
(Demon) Taunt. Battlecry: Destroy one of your Mana Crystals.
|Flame Imp||Common||1||3||2||(Demon) Battlecry: Deal 2 damage to your hero.|
|Pit Lord||Epic||4||5||6||(Demon) Battlecry: Deal 5 damage to your hero.|
|Summoning Portal||Common||4||0||4||Your minions cost (2) less, but not less than (1).|
|Void Terror||Rare||3||3||3||(Demon) Battlecry: Destroy the minions on either side of this minion and gain their attack and health.|
As with almost any card based game, there are combos available that when used provide more benefit than playing the cards by themselves. This is true in Hearthstone as well, and there are several great combinations of cards available to Warlocks that can really help push the fight in your favour.
Let's start with a look at some of the things that you need to keep in mind as you play a Warlock. These are the real key tips to playing the class to the highest level.
These cards are best used with some patience and some timing.
Next up let's look at a few simple combos with the Warlock basic and expert cards.
Once you get into more advanced play and combos, you need to look at some general cards rather than just sticking with Warlock only cards. Here are just a few examples:
For Warlocks there are a two main deck types that seem to be doing well in the beta, they are high speed early aggro decks and late game control decks with big late game hitters.
Warlock Deck - Imp Aggro Deck
This is a great deck to start with if you can get the cards required for it with your first few packs when leveling your Warlock to level 10. While there are a few hard to get cards in it, you can substitute them with less powerful cards and replace them with the correct ones later on. Don't forget that you can craft cards you need as well.
The idea with this deck is pretty simple. Start out fast and use your ability to draw cards to keep that aggression going. Summon demons that are better than other minions of the same cost due to the pain they cause you early on to deal some damage, and follow it up with a few big hits later on.
Get your cards like Blood Imp out early as well as your Succubus and Felguard as quickly as possible. Then later on use Power overwhelming on them to attack and then summon a Void Terror to consume them, along with their boosted attack and health, to get an even bigger minion out for the next attack.
If your opponent is minion heavy, make sure you time your minion summoning against theirs. Keep some back in your hand until after you deal with the enemy minions with spells like Shadowflame or Hellfire.
Warlock Deck - Late Game Control Deck
This deck is all about controlling the game until you can get your late game winners out. It does however require a whole lot of hard to get cards so it will take a while to get this deck together.
The idea with this deck is again straight forward. Keep the board clear for as long as you can. Mercilessly kill everything that comes out, while drawing cards as often as possible until the late game when you can get your Molten Giants out for free and then summon Jaraxxus to restore yourself to 15 health and finish off your opponent.
The Warlock class can be a really strong one in the Arena format, but can also be easy to lose with. I know that sounds contradictory, but it is still true. The class can come on really hard and fast since it has some really good rush cards available and can keep up the pressure with its class ability to draw cards. However, while all that is good, it comes at a price, which happens to be your health. If you don't win early with a Warlock you will have likely burned through a lot of your health and be susceptible late game due to your low health.
While the Warlock can make some very strong control decks in the constructed format, they are very card specific. Therefore when drafting cards for an Arena deck it is strongly suggested that you go for an aggro deck or a mid-game heavy hitter style deck. You are far more likely to get enough cards to do either of those deck styles than being able to create a solid control deck.
The Arena is all about board control and card advantage. Your class ability provides the card advantage, so make sure you use those extra cards to keep board advantage as well. Make sure you trade effectively and keep the board clear of opponents as much as you can. However, since you are going to be sacrificing your own health throughout the match, if you have a huge minion in play, make sure you hit your opponent to bring them down to size as well. Using an 8/8 minion to keep board advantage and kill on a 3/3 or 4/4 of your opponents doesn't do as much for you since they will then likely use a second card to kill off your big minion on their turn and you will have done nothing to them directly. Make them trade their 2 cards to your 1 on their turn. However, remember to trade small minions during your turn.
Lastly, don't be scared of self pain cards. Sure they may cause you damage or to lose cards, but they are generally well worth the pain.
While the actual game play remains the same between constructed format play and arena play, the actual value and strength of specific cards can change drastically. This is due to the limited pool of cards that each player will have available to them. It is therefore important to understand which cards are of the most value in the Arena when drafting.
When playing in the Arena and drafting your deck, some of the best cards to draft for the Warlock class are as outlined below along with some reasoning. They are listed in alphabetical order.
You can also find a listing of the general non-class specific cards that are the best to draft in the arena format in these two guides:
As with almost any game there are multiple paths to victory. If you have alternate ideas on decks or methods to use the basic or expert cards for the Warlock class in Hearthstone, please feel free to share them in our comment section below.