Control Warlock has established itself as a popular deck archetype since the release of balance Patch 10.2. We are going to take a deeper look into 6 different variants of the archetype and see how they fare against the top meta decks in the Hearthstone Standard competitive ladder.

Similar Attitudes

### Control Warlock
# Class: Warlock
# Format: Standard
# Year of the Mammoth
#
# 2x (1) Kobold Librarian
# 2x (1) Mistress of Mixtures
# 1x (1) Mortal Coil
# 2x (1) Dark Pact
# 2x (2) Defile
# 2x (2) Plated Beetle
# 2x (3) Stonehill Defender
# 2x (4) Hellfire
# 2x (4) Lesser Amethyst Spellstone
# 1x (4) Spellbreaker
# 2x (5) Possessed Lackey
# 1x (6) Rin, the First Disciple
# 1x (6) Siphon Soul
# 2x (8) Twisting Nether
# 2x (9) Voidlord
# 1x (10) Bloodreaver Gul'dan
# 1x (10) N'Zoth, the Corruptor
# 2x (12) Mountain Giant
#
AAECAf0GBvIFxAjMCOCsApfTAtjnAgzbBrYH4QebwgLexALnywLy0AL40AKI0gL85QLq5gLo5wIA
#
# To use this deck, copy it to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone
# Find the deck on https://hsreplay.net/decks/mHRpoAn6WwjI0rAdthXmzf/
### Control Warlock
# Class: Warlock
# Format: Standard
# Year of the Mammoth
#
# 1x (1) Mortal Coil
# 2x (1) Dark Pact
# 2x (1) Kobold Librarian
# 2x (1) Mistress of Mixtures
# 2x (2) Defile
# 2x (2) Doomsayer
# 2x (2) Gnomeferatu
# 2x (3) Stonehill Defender
# 2x (4) Lesser Amethyst Spellstone
# 2x (4) Hellfire
# 2x (5) Possessed Lackey
# 1x (6) Rin, the First Disciple
# 1x (6) Siphon Soul
# 1x (6) Skulking Geist
# 2x (8) Twisting Nether
# 2x (9) Voidlord
# 1x (10) N'Zoth, the Corruptor
# 1x (10) Bloodreaver Gul'dan
#
AAECAf0GBsQIzAjgrAKgzgKX0wLY5wIMigHbBrYHm8IC3sQC58sCrs0C8tAC+NACiNIC/OUC6OcCAA==
#
# To use this deck, copy it to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone
# Find the deck on https://hsreplay.net/decks/Lzf8K6WvMOb3Z0vBt8P9Ke/
### Control Warlock
# Class: Warlock
# Format: Standard
# Year of the Mammoth
#
# 1x (1) Dark Pact
# 2x (1) Kobold Librarian
# 2x (1) Mortal Coil
# 2x (1) Mistress of Mixtures
# 2x (2) Dirty Rat
# 2x (2) Defile
# 2x (3) Stonehill Defender
# 2x (4) Lesser Amethyst Spellstone
# 2x (4) Hellfire
# 1x (4) Spellbreaker
# 2x (5) Possessed Lackey
# 1x (6) Rin, the First Disciple
# 2x (6) Siphon Soul
# 1x (6) Skulking Geist
# 2x (8) Twisting Nether
# 2x (9) Voidlord
# 1x (10) Bloodreaver Gul'dan
# 1x (10) N'Zoth, the Corruptor
#
AAECAf0GBvIF4KwCoM4C+NACl9MC2OcCDNsGtgfECMwIm8IC3sQC38QC58sC8tACiNIC/OUC6OcCAA==
#
# To use this deck, copy it to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone
# Find the deck on https://hsreplay.net/decks/2Tjd5NUhvSc2g8Wt6uuadg/
### Control Warlock
# Class: Warlock
# Format: Standard
# Year of the Mammoth
#
# 2x (1) Mortal Coil
# 1x (1) Dark Pact
# 2x (1) Kobold Librarian
# 2x (1) Mistress of Mixtures
# 2x (2) Defile
# 2x (2) Plated Beetle
# 2x (3) Stonehill Defender
# 2x (4) Hellfire
# 2x (4) Lesser Amethyst Spellstone
# 1x (4) Barnes
# 2x (5) Possessed Lackey
# 1x (5) Despicable Dreadlord
# 1x (6) Rin, the First Disciple
# 1x (6) Siphon Soul
# 1x (6) Skulking Geist
# 2x (8) Twisting Nether
# 2x (9) Voidlord
# 1x (10) N'Zoth, the Corruptor
# 1x (10) Bloodreaver Gul'dan
#
AAECAf0GCMwI4KwChbgC980CoM4C+NACl9MC2OcCC9sGtgfECJvCAt7EAufLAvLQAojSAvzlAurmAujnAgA=
#
# To use this deck, copy it to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone
# Find the deck on https://hsreplay.net/decks/o5ScodCibDYiO1vCkUXa5e/
### Control Warlock
# Class: Warlock
# Format: Standard
# Year of the Mammoth
#
# 1x (1) Dark Pact
# 2x (1) Mistress of Mixtures
# 2x (1) Kobold Librarian
# 1x (2) Acidic Swamp Ooze
# 2x (2) Defile
# 2x (2) Plated Beetle
# 2x (3) Tar Creeper
# 2x (3) Stonehill Defender
# 2x (4) Lesser Amethyst Spellstone
# 2x (4) Hellfire
# 2x (4) Spellbreaker
# 2x (5) Possessed Lackey
# 1x (6) Rin, the First Disciple
# 1x (6) Skulking Geist
# 2x (8) Twisting Nether
# 2x (9) Voidlord
# 1x (10) Bloodreaver Gul'dan
# 1x (10) N'Zoth, the Corruptor
#
AAECAf0GBooH4KwCoM4C+NACl9MC2OcCDPIF2wa2B5vCAsrDAt7EAufLAvLQAojSAvzlAurmAujnAgA=
#
# To use this deck, copy it to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone
# Find the deck on https://hsreplay.net/decks/bi4xFYTEiN2Ze0OJWfH8Be/
### Control Warlock
# Class: Warlock
# Format: Standard
# Year of the Mammoth
#
# 2x (0) Sacrificial Pact
# 2x (1) Dark Pact
# 2x (1) Mistress of Mixtures
# 2x (2) Gnomeferatu
# 2x (2) Defile
# 2x (3) Stonehill Defender
# 2x (3) Coldlight Oracle
# 2x (3) Tar Creeper
# 1x (4) Lakkari Felhound
# 2x (4) Hellfire
# 1x (4) Spellbreaker
# 2x (5) Possessed Lackey
# 1x (5) Skull of the Man'ari
# 1x (5) Elise the Trailblazer
# 1x (6) Siphon Soul
# 1x (8) Twisting Nether
# 2x (9) Voidlord
# 1x (10) Bloodreaver Gul'dan
# 1x (10) N'Zoth, the Corruptor
#
AAECAf0GCPIF2wbMCOCsApHHAs/HApfTAtvpAgujAbYH+AebwgLKwwLexALnywKuzQL40AL85QLo5wIA
#
# To use this deck, copy it to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone
# Find the deck on https://hsreplay.net/decks/SSxmirPUtG9y1B5PZ8oPKd/

Above and below are links and codes to variants we will be discussing (named for their notable tech choices):

All statistics are taken after release of Patch 10.2 and from games played at Rank 5 to Legend. Decks also were only counted if the variant has at least 600 games played.

A recurring theme in the majority of these lists is the use of Skulking Geist as a tech choice. This is due to the popularity of Dragon Priest lists that run the Divine Spirit and Inner Fire package. It also has considerable value in removing Dark Pact in the mirror matchup particularly against Cube Lock where it can limit some of the strong combo plays and healing options.

Some other tech choices that stick out are Barnes and Despicable Dreadlord in one of the lists and Coldlight Oracle and Elise the Trailblazer in another. The former looking to gain more advantage versus the aggressive lists, and the latter going with a value oriented approach, potentially giving it the long game advantage.

To make room for tech choices, the most common card cut in all variants when compared to the most popular list is the Mountain Giants. Mountain Giant was a popular card in the pre-Patch 10.2 meta when facing the Highlander Priests to create a large early threat. With that archetype fading away due the Raza the Chained nerf, Mountain Giants are fading with it.

Stacking Them Up

NewOverallWinrate

These deck variants have an overall 51% win rate average with the Base Deck clocking in at at 54% win rate against all other classes, archetypes, and decks.

As you can see above, I have included the Legend Rank Only win rate percentage of the Coldlight/Elise variant. It is interesting to note that this deck comes in at a 50% win rate from Rank 5 through Legend, but at Legend Rank Only, the win rate increases to 56%, beating out all other variants shown. This variant, originating from Purple, has gained some traction with professional and legend players which is reflected in the win rate increase at the high ranks.

Against the Field

PopularMatchUpRates-1

The Control Warlock variants overall perform very well against the newly popular Silver Hand Paladin archetype with an average win rate of 73% and also another very popular Paladin variant, Murloc Paladin, with an average win rate of 58%. With the popularity of these aggressive paladin lists on the ladder, picking up any of these lists should result in success. But if you really want to squash them, the Ooze/Tar Creeper list posts an 80% win rate against the Silver Hand variant and a 68% win rate versus the Murloc lists. These are the highest win percentages of all variants. The addition of Tar Creepers to slow down the early game and the Acidic Swamp Ooze to take away that extra weapon swing makes it extremely difficult for the paladins to win.

The worst match-up for this archetype is Kingsbane Rogue. Against these Rogue lists, the average win rate is a sickening 29%. This is due to those lists running Saps, Vanishes, and surprisingly Blade Flurry . Breaking down your wall of minions and hitting you in the face with a huge Kingsbane is brutal. The good news though is Kingsbane Rogue is not extremely popular right now on the ladder so you shouldn't have to worry too much about it.

You will notice there are some win rate outliers with a few of the decks above.

Dragon Priest looks to be an unfavorable matchup for almost all of the variants, but the Geist/Dirty Rat list checks in with a 56% win rate, 12% above the next highest win rate deck! The addition of Geist destroying Inner Fire and Dirty Rat pulling out their minions at inopportune times seems to have tilted this matchup in its favor.

Additionally, this list also posts the lowest win rate versus Spell Hunter decks at 29%. All other variants post a 50% or higher win rate against this archetype. Dirty Rat does nothing against these spell-based decks and pulling out a Y'Shaarj against the Barnes/Y'Shaarj lists will have you instantly clicking bottom-right for the concede button.

As I previously mentioned, these variants do very well against Murloc Paladin lists. All variants examined post a 59% or above win rate against Murloc Paladin with the exception of the Coldlight/Elise list. It checks in at a paltry 38% win rate, 21% below the next lowest win rate list!

With that, lets look a little deeper into this list featuring our friends Coldlight Oracle and Elise the Trailblazer.

A Unique Approach

CombinedColdLightElise

I want to highlight the Coldlight/Elise list. This list has some polarizing win rate stats, but its tech choices give it a huge leg up in the mirror matchup while still faring well against the very popular Silver Hand Paladin decks.

When compared to the Base Deck, the Coldlight/Elise list cuts the Plated Beetles, the Spellstones, the Giants, the Librarians, and the Mortal Coil. In their place it adds 2x Sacrifical Pacts, 2x Gnomeferatus, 2x Coldlight Oracles, 1x Lakkari Felhound, Skull of the Man'ari, and Elise the Trailblazer.

The deck replaces the draw engine of Kobold Librarians with the Coldlight Oracles. Because having no Librarians decreases the healing value of the Amethyst Spellstones, it makes them replaceable. These choices open up space for more options in the mid-game with the additions of Skull of the Man'ari and Lakkari Felhound, as well as for a more value orientated late game with Elise the Trailblazer and the Un'Goro Pack.

Below we will take a look at the played win rates of these additions:

Tech-Card-Win-Rates-1

The big winner here is Elise the Trailblazer, a card that hasn't been popular since the Journey to Un'Goro. Elise provides ultimate value with the Un'Goro Pack it puts in your deck. When this card is played, the deck has a 64% win rate and a staggering 70% win rate at legend-only. The addition of the Coldlight Oracles in conjunction with the Warlock hero power, finding the pack and getting its rewards becomes a more frequent occurrence.

You will also notice that the win rates of all the cards increase 5-7% when played at the legend-only ranks, with Lakkari Felhound getting a 12% played win rate increase.

Knowing when to play your cards plays a huge role in gaining those extra win percentage points and the higher ranked players maximize this.

In The End

While having some poor results in certain matchups, the Control Warlock archetype has some impressive numbers against the more aggressive lists. Receiving some quality cards in Kobolds & Catacombs has opened up the class to all kinds of viable control archetypes. So if jammin' Warlock is your thing and you want to pound on some Paladins, give one of these control lists a try. Feeling a bit nostalgic? Dust off Elise, toss down some Coldlight’s, open that pack, and take a journey hopefully back to Legend.