A Look at Top Tier: Zoolock

A Look at Top Tier: Zoolock

                Zoolock is considered top tier right now for a good reason. The sheer amount of sustain and aggressive board flood that it can put out is at a dominating stage in the Meta, especially with the recent nerfs to a lot of class-specific board clear. Through this article, you should be able to, if you don’t already, gain a better understanding of the deck and its so-called ‘brainless’ mechanics, as well as what makes it tick.

                For starters, this deck’s early game is crushingly difficult to deal with. Through a combination of 1-drops like Flame Imp and Voidwalker, they can not only flood the board, but also have a means of preserving it. After they establish their early game dominance, the dreaded Darkshire Councilman starts to snowball fast, especially after things like Imp Gang Boss, Possessed Villager, and Forbidden Ritual. Later in the game, a Cult Master can be used to draw a nice amount of cards while dealing with your larger threats in the process, if the game even goes that long. Assuming everything works out well for a Zoolock player, they should be seeing wins before turn 10 rolls around for a C’Thun or Yogg-Saron push.

                This deck’s weakness is in the shutdown potential. If either the early game cards are (somehow) not drawn, or the opponent simply has the answer to the aggressive pushes, some late game power spikes can be their downfall. Also, aside from Life Tap and Cult Masters, Zoolock lacks a solid amount of card draw. A common mistake I often see is Zoo players simply dumping their hand onto the board without a second thought. While this can certainly be effective, an all-in can be shut down and a game lost because of it. Mixing in Life Taps and maybe holding cards instead of playing them to have something to fall back on is essential for performing consistently well with this deck.

                The beauty of Zoolock is it has a LOT of potential combos. I personally like the Spawn of N’Zoth and Forbidden Ritual combo. It forces your opponent to either push for tempo and accept that the Spawn will buff your minions, or attempt to remove the 1/1 Tentacles and whatever else you may have on board, which would also mean that he has probably used a lot of removal and therefore has fallen behind in card advantage, both of which feel pretty worth it. Also, just about anything involving Darkshire Councilman is very powerful. You can proc the +1 attack from just about anything, including Imp Gang Boss spawns, Possessed Villager Shadowbeast summons, and even use a Defender of Argus to give it +2/+1 instead. The possibilities are endless, which is where this deck draws a lot of its strength from.

                Finally, playing against a Zoolock is difficult in this Meta. Being primarily aggro dominated, like seems to dissolve like here, meaning that aggro decks can not only push for a lot of damage, but also have the pressure to deal with another aggro player’s board pressure, which is primarily found in Zoolock and Aggro/Midrange Shaman. Typically aggro cards like Dark Iron Dwarf (which may be a bit too slow in this meta) and Abusive Sergeant can be used as a cheap method of removal, against certain bigger threats in the Zoolock deck, like Reliquary Seekers and Sea Giants.