As everybody would have heard by now, Unleash the Hounds is having its mana cost changed from 2 to 3; this is going to set back many Hunter combos.
With the incoming weakening of Hunter (I highly doubt this is going to completely destroy Hunters in the meta; they still possess a strong kit for rush), we can naturally expect an increase in Warlocks and Shamans on the ladder.
With that in mind, we bring you a relatively new Warlock deck type. Introducing… the Oddlock!
- Soulfire x2
- Power Overwhelming x1
- Flame Imp x2
- Voidwalker x2
- Hellfire x2
- Shadowflame x1
- Doomguard x2
- Ancient Watcher x2
- Bloodmage Thalnos
- Ironbeak Owl x2
- Sunfury Protector x2
- Earthern Ring Farseer x2
- Defender of Argus x2
- Leeroy Jenkins
- Sen’jin Shieldmasta x2
- Faceless Manipulator x2
- Molten Giant x2
The Oddlock aims to combine the best of both Handlock and Zoolock elements into one single deck. Seeing as how a majority of the minions in the deck are relatively low costing, you would expect to play it more like a Zoolock in the beginning.
However, unlike your typical Zoolock, Oddlock doesn’t fizzle out as fast in the mid/late-game. With the addition of Faceless Manipulators, you have the potential to go into the mid-game strong by copying an existing Doomguard on the board, or strong creatures that your opponents play. Sen’jin Shieldmastas act as a stop-guard against opposing Aggro decks, which this deck desperately needs as it kicks off a lot slower than standard Zoolock. It does however, still have the potential to put out insane burst via Leeroy Jenkins + Power Overwhelming + Faceless Manipulator + Soulfire(s).
The addition of Hellfires and a single copy of Shadowflame gives this deck Area of Effect potential to even out matchups against opposing Zoolocks and Token Druids. It also helps quite a bit against the elusive Shaman (which we will expect to see more often as Hunters die out in the meta), instantly killing off many key shaman threats such as Feral Spirits, Flametongue Totem and Mana Tide Totem.
With the ability to ‘deceive’ the opponent that you are either Handlock or Zoolock, this deck has the potential to force opponents into terrible misplays. Players normally do not hold back any removal against Zoolocks; it is usually the right play to keep the board as clear as possible in that matchup. However, wasting removal could be devastating against this deck, where you have bigger bodies coming into the mid-game which might be hard to remove if your opponent has already wasted his removal.
One of Zoolock’s biggest weakest is the inability to come back from behind: Oddlock combats this with Molten Giants and Shadowflame. Handlocks often lose from having an opponent save direct damage spells to bypass late-game Taunts. Oddlock can bait out these spells to decrease their burst damage, leaving the opponent with no recourse as they stare down 2 Taunted Molten Giants.
Perhaps, the biggest issue with Zoolock and Handlock is that they are very polarizing archetypes: each of them is strong against one deck and yet massively weak against another. Oddlock reduces this disparity in match-ups and aims for an all-rounded approach, making it a much more consistent deck to ladder with.
- Better neutral match-ups
- More reliant on drawing into a nice curve than either Zoolock or Handlock
- It should be noted that this is heavily mitigated by Warlock’s draw power, making it less of an issue
What do you think of the Oddlock? Will it prevail in the post-Unleash the Hounds nerf meta? Let us know in the comments below!
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xNVx is a legend player in Hearthstone, and always think of ways to keep Hearthstone fresh by breaking the meta.
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