While the Mage class is the first that Hearthstone players unlock and is one of the easiest to build a reliable deck with, she’s not the best bet that new players have for winning games when they’re just starting out.  That honor goes to the Warlock class, which can build the highly competitive zoo deck with mostly basic and common cards.  Beyond that, the Warlock can also build powerful decks centered around giants and demons with a wider collection of cards.  While the Warlock may look intimidating to new players with his costly hero power and the drawbacks on many of his cards, Hearthstone is ultimately a game of resources and knowing how to get the most value out of your plays is the key to victory.  Sometimes, you have to make sacrifices to pull ahead.

This list will go over ten of the Warlock’s best cards overall from the Classic and Goblins vs Gnomes sets.  I’ll discuss which decks they work best in and how to utilize them.  Honestly, I was hoping to avoid discussing Warlock strategies so that I don’t have worry about running into more of them myself, but I’m doing this series for new players and Warlock is one of the most valuable classes to learn early on.

10. Soulfire

Giving up a random card from your hand just to deal 4 damage may not seem like a good trade, but this card is insanely good in a clutch.  It actually would have placed much higher if this list had been written prior to the card’s nerf.  Previously, this spell didn’t cost any mana to play.  Even with it costing 1 mana now, it’s still an incredibly fast play that can save you from a bad situation or even outright win you the game.

9. Voidwalker

Let’s talk about zoo and why it’s so powerful despite being so cheap to build.  The idea of a zoo deck is to fill it mostly with cheap minions and overwhelm your opponent early on.  The big drawback is that this tactic quickly empties your hand and can leave you without plays if your opponent can wipe the board.  The Warlock is easily the best class for this tactic as his hero power can refresh the hand and he has minions that play greatly to this tactic.  One handy card for this strategy is the Voidwalker, a cheap but durable taunt minion that can protect your building swarm.  It’s not going to do much on its own, but it gives other minions room to take the board and set you on the path to victory.

8. Imp-losion

While this spell has an element of randomness behind it, the effect it has on a game is a little crazy.  As a removal option for enemy minions, it’s actually really bad as it will only do 4 damage in the best case scenario while Shadow Bolt can guarantee that much damage for less mana.  However, the swarm of imps that it summons for you easily make up for all  of the card’s disadvantages.  Even when it performs at its weakest, Imp-losion ultimately adds up in your favor.

7. Flame Imp

There is a saying among Hearthstone players: The only health point on your hero that matters is the one right before you die.  Spending 3 health just to get a small minion out one turn faster than you’d normally be able to might not sound like a wise investment, but you’d be shocked just how much of an advantage it can give you as the ultimate zoo card.  Flame Imp is a bad play if it puts you at risk of losing on the next turn, but having a 3/2 on the board is going to be more valuable some extra health any time before that. If you can’t control the board, you’re just going to lose your health anyway.  Better to spend health on your own resources than to leave an opening for your opponent to knock you around themselves.

6. Floating Watcher

At a glance, Floating Watcher’s ability to grow bigger and stronger whenever your hero takes damage on your own turn might sound incredibly situational, but it can actually prove very reliable.  Not only do you have your hero power to consistently build it up, you can also combo it with cards like Flame Imp or Mad Bomber to quickly create a massive beast before you even know it.  In arena mode, this card is one of the Warlock’s best ways to overwhelm the enemy.  In constructed, Watcher is going to be the most consistent in a demon-themed deck.  Building a strong Watcher is less relevant against certain strategies, so having a versatility of cards that it can work with will keep ensure it stays a threat.

5. Siphon Soul

With all of the drawbacks that Warlock cards have, there is naturally a tendency to burn yourself out.  While you should be willing to use your health as a resource, the fact remains that you lose when you run out of it and you should have cards that restore it.  Mistress of Pain and Antique Healbot are fairly good in certain decks, but Siphon Soul is a card that can serve you well is almost any Warlock deck.  Being a hard removal card that can take out any minion in one shot already makes it incredibly valuable, but the added healing makes for a must-have spell.  The only concern is that its high mana cost can be too slow for most zoo decks, but any other deck can run it without worry.

4. Voidcaller

As I’ve said with Harvest Golem and Piloted Shredder, the most reliable minions are the sticky ones.  The minions that can maintain a presence on the board even after they have died.  Voidcaller instantly summons a random demon from your hand to the battlefield and bringing a free minion to the board is a huge asset.  What makes Voidcaller especially good is that most demons have really strong stat lines and you can influence which demon is likely to be summoned by playing that smaller ones.  Voidcaller also takes away the drawbacks of demons as his deathrattle doesn’t trigger their costly battlecries.  Voidcaller is the card that made demon decks a thing to begin with, so you should definitely pick it up.

3. Doomguard

This is the biggest minion you’ll ever need for a zoo deck and it works in any other deck as well.  A 5/7 with charge for only 5 mana is insanely powerful and lets you rule over the midgame.  The cost of 2 cards from your hand can be drastic, but you can actually avoid this by emptying your hand onto the board early.  If there are no cards in your hand to be discarded, the Doomguard isn’t going to look for some other toll to take.  Even if you have to discard, it’s a chance worth taking to set up your victory.  Doomguard is definately a must-have.

2. Mal’Ganis

Warlock has some of the craziest legendaries out there and Mal’Ganis is a perfect example.  Having a 9/7 stat line for 9 mana is decently scary.  Having to ability to give your other demons 2 more attack and health so long as he remains on the field makes him even more scary.  His ability to make your hero immune to all damage so long as he lives makes him insanely strong.  If you’re ever facing down a Warlock, save a hard removal card just in case this monster shows his face.  He’s too slow to work in a zoo deck, but a demon deck is absurdly strong with him.

1. Lord Jaraxxus

TRIFLING GAMER!  NOW YOU FACE JARAXXUS, EREDAR LORD OF THE BURNING LEGION AND THE BEST WARLOCK CARD IN ALL OF HEARTHSTONE!  JARAXXUS IS ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL CARDS IN GENERAL AS HE REPLACES YOUR PUNY HERO AND TAKES THE REIGNS OF BATTLE HIMSELF.  JARAXXUS ONLY HAS 15 MAX HEALTH OPPOSED TO THE USUAL 30, BUT THIS CAN ACT AS A HEAL IN THE LATE GAME.  JARAXXUS ALSO COMES WITH A FREE 3/8 WEAPON TO CRUSH THE ENEMY.  FINALLY, JARAXXUS HAS HIS OWN HERO POWER THAT SUMMONS A 6/6 DEMON FOR ONLY 2 MANA.  ONCE JAXXARUS ENTERS THE FRAY, YOUR PATHETIC ADVERSARY WILL BE LEFT SCRAMBLING TO TRY AND STRIKE HIM DOWN BEFORE HE SHOWS THEM THE TRUE MEANING OF OBLIVION!  JUST TO ADD INSULT TO INJURY, JARAXXUS EVEN HAS HIS OWN EMOTES TO MOCK YOUR FOE WITH AND SCREAM YOUR DOMINANCE AT THE TOP OF YOUR MORTAL LUNGS!  IT’S JUST THE JARAXXUS WAY OF DOING THINGS!  HA HA HA HA HA!  JARAXXUS WINS HEARTHSTONE!  THANK YOU FOR READING!

(Man, that was fun.)

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