Warlock Guide: The MiraLock burst (featuring Kolento's version)

Hearthstone Radoslav “Nydra” Kolev

warlock guide kolento
 

 

Table of contents

 

The combos
The cards

Mulligan cheat sheet
Kolento's MiraLock
Match-ups

Full guides list on GosuWiki 
 

Introduction


This week, we feature another article submitted by a guest writer. John "Eversiction" Lorenzo does a Warlock guide on a completely new way to play Gul'Dan - the bursting, explosive MiraLock.

Below, you will read about deck's evolution, from its first iteration to its final form, proposed by none other than Managrind's Kolento. You will learn how to mulligan for it properly to get the best possible starting hand, understand the lethal mathematics behind the combos and how does the deck survive until it can go off.

Finally, make sure to follow Eversiction on his twitter and visit his stream on Twitch.tv.

Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev, Editor-in-Chief and Hearthstone section leader
 

Written by: Eversiction

 

The combos

 

You may be raising questions such as "Who the heck runs [card]Corruption[/card]? Why is there an [card]Arcane Golem[/card], [card]Loot Hoarder[/card] and [card]Azure Drake[/card] in the same deck? What's the point of this deck?" and make statements like, "It looks like an arena deck!" which is perfectly understandable at first glance.

So before I begin explaining the two versions of this deck card for card, you must understand the concept behind MiraLock. MiraLock runs several cards that allow you to stall until the late game (i.e. [card]Sen'jin Shieldmasta[/card] and [card]Hellfire[/card]) while also running several cycle cards to draw into the deck's win condition.

Said win conditions consist of three to four card combos that can do 16-24 damage, not counting [card]Soulfire[/card].  These are as follows:
 

Basic combos

 
+ + 10 MANA
20 DAMAGE
+ 2x + 10 MANA
24 DAMAGE
With coin

 
+2x + 11 MANA
28 DAMAGE
           

Both of these combos can deal additional damage if you throw in a [card]Soulfire[/card] on top of them, meaning if you have all the right cards in hand, you can deal upwards of 30 damage in one blow. This is the very essence of the deck that makes it very similar to the miracle Rogue decks - survive, abuse Life Tap for card draw, collect all the pieces and trigger the OTK with 20+ damage combos.

 

 

The cards and mulligan tips

 

 

miracle warlock guide decklist
The removal
 
 
2x [card]Soulfire[/card]: This card should be a two-of in every single Warlock deck. The fact that it can do 4 damage for no mana cost (thus not ruining your tempo) is completely absurd. However, in this deck the drawback needs to be heavily considered. If your hand consists mostly of combo pieces, it's better to not use it (unless you can win with less damage). It might also be important to save this until your combo turn for an extra 4 damage (especially against control Warrior).
 
1x [card]Corruption[/card]: This very controversial card is thrown in here for several reasons. One would be killing that pesky turn one Argent Squire before it gets buffed by [card]Flametongue Totem[/card], [card]Dire Wolf Alpha[/card], etc. Corruption is also very strong against ramp Druid because it's ability to deal with [card]Sunwalker[/card] and [card]Ancient of War[/card] for a low mana cost. This card can be silenced off creatures and is strong when you have a taunt  creature to protect your important minion from dying (many times your opponent will misplay to try and get value out of their minion before they die to corruption). Another notable reason for this card is the ability to cycle with Gadgetzan Auctioneer to create power plays, swing the game into your favor and snowball your current board position.
 
2x [card]Mortal Coil[/card]: Another strong Warlock card. With spell power this card can be deadly against Zoo and other aggro decks. In this deck it's important to try and use this to kill a minion to get the cycle out of it unless you have a Gadgetzan Auctioneer on the board. Then it is okay to use this card just as one damage. Only keep against aggro decks, but never keep two.
 
1x [card]Demonfire[/card]: This card is used against Zoo many times to kill their 3/2 creatures and against control is combo'd with Gadgetzan Auctioneer to cycle or with other spells to kill a larger creature. It's good to keep in the mulligan phase against aggro or if you have Voidwalker in your hand.
 
1x [card]Drain Life[/card]: In this current meta where everything revolves around large amounts of burst damage, it's important to gain life in crucial moments (i.e. when your opponent makes a play doing a specific amount of damage instead of dealing with a board situation to set up for lethal). This card is also very strong against aggro decks as it heals for 2 two plus the attack of the minion, so if you Drain Life a Flame Imp, you've essentially healed for 5 health. In some rare situations you may even use this for lethal damage. Do not keep this card in the mulligan phase, it's too slow.
 
2x [card]Shadow Bolt[/card]: Strong spell that buys you time and kills mid game minions such as Azure Drake, [card]Frothing Berserker[/card], and Earthen Ring Farseer. Only keep against mid-range Hunters to kill animal companion and control warrior to kill Frothing or [card]Kor'kron Elite[/card]. Never keep two.
 
2x [card]Hellfire[/card]: Very strong AoE spell. On turn 4 this will set zoo very far behind and is key to winning the shaman matchup. The three damage to the opponent is also very important as it allows you to get closer to lethal damage for your combo. Always keep against Shaman and Warlock. Never keep two.
 
1x [card]Shadowflame[/card]: Can be one of the strongest or weakest AoE spells in the entire game, especially in this deck. This deck only runs one because it doesn't run many low cost/high stat minions like Ancient Watcher that you would want to Shadowflame, so it's usually used with Power Overwhelming. This card is mainly in here for the Druid matchup because of their ability to create a strong board. This card is almost a last resort against Handlocks because of their extremely healthy creatures. Never keep in your opening hand unless you have 2-3 minions and are facing an aggro deck or Shaman.
 
1x [card]Siphon Soul[/card]: This card is necessary for the heal and hard removal. There are many decks that run large creatures you need to remove immediately, regardless of your tempo. The heal is also strong as it may bring you out of an opponent's lethal range. Only keep against ramp Druid and control Warrior if running one. Otherwise, never keep.
 
Staying alive
 
 
2x [card]Voidwalker[/card]: Very strong early game card that buys you A LOT of time.This card protects your Loot Hoarder from getting hero powered by rogues and druids, is a strong counter to argent squire, gets plenty of damage off since it will more than likely survive for 2 turns or more due to its health, and the best part (in this version) is the potential Demonfire to begin to control the board. NEVER get rid of this card in the mulligan phase. 
 
2x [card]Earthen Ring Farseer[/card]: This card is extremely important to this deck. A turn three 3/3 is actually not bad. Throw in a battlecry that will undo the health lost from your hero power and you have a very strong minion. This card is great against miracle rogue since many times they will try to set up lethal and any point of healing makes their job difficult. This card has saved me many times from losing the game by avoiding lethal while allowing me to lethal my opponent the following turn. Keep against aggro if your turn one or two are strong and keep against control for the 3/3 body.
 
2x [card]Sen'jin Shieldmasta[/card]: Very strong 4-drop. It has taunt (which we like for stalling the game), five health (which we like because it usually means it takes more than one card to kill), and it has three attack (which we like because it can trade well against many cards and classes). This card is especially strong against shaman because of it's ability to kill almost anything they play and survive for another attack and can not be ignored. Always keep.
 
The card draw
 
 
[card]Bloodmage Thalnos[/card]: This card is considered by many to be one of the best Legendary cards in the game and for good reason. This card cycles itself while giving one spell power for, in many situations, one turn. This card give your Shadowflame one extra damage, makes Hellfire able to kill a concealed Gadgetzan Auctioneer, and creates two damage Mortal Coils to devastate aggro decks. Only keep in your hand if facing zoo and already have a mortal coil.
 
 
2x [card]Loot Hoarder[/card]: This card basically presents everything this deck would lack without it - extra cycle, a turn 2 play other than tapping, and early board presence. This card is very powerful behind a Voidwalker. It's good to keep when you have Voidwalker in hand but not always good to play on turn two if the opponent can kill it with their hero power.
 
2x [card]Azure Drake[/card]: Very strong card in this meta as there are a lack of strong 5 drops in this game. This card cycles so you draw closer to your combo, it creates strong board presence, and fits very well in the mana curve. Only keep against Ramp Druid and Control Warrior.
 
1x [card]Gadgetzan Auctioneer[/card]: Used to cycle your spells late game, especially powerful with the coin. The only time you don't cycle your spells with this card is if you want your opponent to deal with your board so you prevent them from putting down taunts or healing so you can have lethal damage. This is also a win condition against Zoo with the right cards. Never keep in the mulligan phase.

 
The finishers
 
 
2x [card]Power Overwhelming[/card]: This card is a combo piece so it is completely necessary in this deck. Against druid it's okay to use a Power Overwhelming in conjunction with Shadowflame to stabilize from a dire situation. Only keep in the hand when you KNOW you are facing a Handlock.
 
1x [card]Arcane Golem[/card]: Alternative to the Leeroy Finisher. Can rarely be used to clear minions and set up lethal for Leeroy Jenkins. Only keep if you know you are facing Handlock.
 
[card]Leeroy Jenkins[/card]: One of the win conditions of the deck. This card is used for 20 damage and only for two more cards. Leeroy can also be used in conjunction with shadow flame to clear the board as long as you have the required damage to finish off your opponent in the following turns. Only keep if you know you are facing Handlock.
 
1x [card]Faceless Manipulator[/card]: The most important card in your combos. Without these all of your combos will deal half the damage so this card is a must. The only matchups where you can use this card outside of comboing are Handlock and aggro decks such as Zoo. Never keep this card in the mulligan phase.
 
 
Mulligan cheat sheet
 
Keep
[card]Voidwalker[/card] Always
[card]Earthen Ring Farseer[/card] Yes
[card]Hellfire[/card] Yes, but never two
[card]Sen'jin Shieldmasta[/card] Always
Discard
[card]Drain Life[/card] Too slow
[card]Shadowflame[/card] Too dependent on minions
[card]Faceless Manipulator[/card] End-game combo piece
[card]Gadgetzan Auctioneer[/card] End-game combo piece
[card]Siphon Soul[/card] Late-game card
Situational
[card]Mortal Coil[/card] Only against aggro, never 2
[card]Power Overwhelming[/card] Only against Handlock
[card]Bloodmage Thalnos[/card] Only against Zoo and if you have Mortal Coil
[card]Loot Hoarder[/card] Only if you have Voidwalker or can't be pinged
[card]Shadow Bolt[/card] Only against Hunter and control Warrior. Never 2
[card]Arcane Golem[/card] Only against Handlock
[card]Leeroy Jenkins[/card] Only against Handlock
[card]Azure Drake[/card] Only against Ramp or Control Warrior

 

 
 

 

The evolution into Kolento's MiraLock


kolento miracle warlock guide decklistI sent this list to another high ranking legend player (Kolento) who suggested some changes that I now agree with. This version pinpoints the main weakness of the original version namely its inability to deal enough damage before using your combo against heavy control decks such as control Warrior and ramp Druid.

 This version is stronger against Shaman, Handlock, and especially control Warrior. The changes mean that there is less cycle potential late game with Gadgetzan Auctioneer but has more consistency in terms of damage. The Wolfrider and Bluegill Warrior allow you to pressure your opponent while simultaneously getting out the last bits of damage you burst your opponent. Let's go over some of the card changes.

-1 [card]Corruption[/card], +1 [card]Siphon Soul[/card]: Since there is no more Gadgetzan Auctioneer and more low drop minions, Corruption is unecessary. Corruption drew its strength through the cycle potential and the low cost removal since the other version was a bit more tight on mana considering the extra 5 drop and Demonfire. 

-1 [card]Demonfire[/card], +1 [card]Bluegill Warrior[/card]: This change was a very interesting idea as it took out a two damage removal and replaced it with another possible two damage removal. The idea behind Demonfire originally was to combo with Voidwalker and deal with an opponent's 2 drop such as River Crocolisk (I initially had two demonfires and when the hunter's Unleash the Hounds was nerfed, I took one out since there was less mid-range hunter).

Bluegill is weak to taunts but it can bring a possible 20 damage win condition on turn 8, or even turn 7 if it lives for a turn. Otherwise it is used to pressure control decks that have to burn inefficient removal to kill it such as shaman.

-1 [card]Gadgetzan Auctioneer[/card], +1 [card]Wolfrider[/card]: Again, the goal of this version is to pressure and deal damage while your hero power and cycle cards draw you into your burst combo. This means there is no need for the Gadgetzan Auctioneer (especially considering there are less spells in this version). Wolfrider is used in the same way as Bluegill since you can drop him to apply pressure instead of just save him for a win condition such as Arcane Golem.
 

 

Match-ups

 

 I will be covering the more popular matchups because many of the unpopular matches play similarly to other matchups. For example against control Paladin you would play almost exactly the same as you would against a control warrior, and the same situation occurs with aggro Mage and Zoo.

 Ramp Druid: Similar to Miracle Rogue (see below) except a bit more reliant on Voidwalker to protect Loot Hoarder and your chargers. If you are sure you are facing an actual ramp Druid with the large taunts similar to the list Gaara used at Dreamhack then you must save Siphon Soul for Ancient of Wars and Sunwalkers. This matchup is reliant on a big Power Overwhelming/Shadowflame play if your opponent gets a strong board developed so be careful and plan ahead. There is a lot of planning that you have to do to beat Ramp Druid (i.e. coin out Azure drake if you have Bloodmage Thalnos and Shadow Bolt in hand to kill the turn 5 Druid of the Claw in taunt form. This matchup is 55/45 in favor of MiraLock.

 

 Mid-range/Watcher Druid: I would say it is the deck's worst matchup. They have many ways to apply large amounts of pressure and your spells are all inefficient in killing their minions. This matchup is very dependent on a big Power Overwhelming/Shadowflame play because they will have very healthy minions that deal large amounts of damage (i.e. Chillwind Yeti). Voidwalker, Earthen Ring Farseer, and Sen'jin Shieldmasta are all great cards for delaying your opponent, so keep them all in your mulligan phase. This matchup is 30/70 in favor of the Druid.

 

 Miracle Rogue: As annoying this matchup may be for every single deck in the game, this deck may have one of the best matchups against it. The concept is simple: Pressure your opponent by mulliganing extremely aggressively for early game minions. Keep any minion 4 mana or less. Voidwalker into Loot Hoarder will usually guarantee 3 damage, especially if going second to prevent the Rogue's Coin into SI:7 Agent play.

If you draw Hellfire, save it for for the potential Bloodmage Thalnos -> Hellfire to kill a concealed Gadgetzan Auctioneer. It is okay to use Hellfire if you feel pressures enough by the miracle rogue but it is important to never use Bloodmage without hellfire. If you draw taunts past turn 6, try to save them for your opponent's kill turn which usually happens around turn 8. This matchup is 65/35 in favor of MiraLock.

 Shaman: This matchup is all about good Hellfires and Sen'jin Shieldmastas. If you find these two cards, the match should naturally flow into your favor. Hellfire is strong against Shaman due to it's ability to clear all totems and Spirit Wolves. Sen'jin Shieldmasta is also very strong due to it's ability to PREVENT Spirit Wolves assuming your opponent has them or to force an answer. Earthen Ring Farseer is also another strong card because it can kill any totem and Feral Spirits the Shaman summons. Keep in mind that you do eventually need to draw your burst so don't forget to keep tapping if you can afford to, meaning you should try and use your mana efficiently with your removal/creatures to ensure you draw lethal. Mulligan away any card that isn't Hellfire, Voidwalker, Earthen Ring Farseer, Sen'jin Shieldmasta, and Hellfire. Only keep Loot Hoarder if you already have a Voidwalker. This is 60/40 in favor of MiraLock.

 Zoo: Mulligan aggressively for Hellfire, Sen'jin Shieldmasta and Voidwalker. Soulfire is okay to keep and sometimes Mortal Coil is fine as long as the rest of your hand is can deal with early minions has a Hellfire in it. This matchup is all about survival so Earthen Ring Farseer, Drain Life, and other removal spells should make this matchups easy assuming you draw them. It's okay to faceless Sen'jin Shielmastas, Doomguards, and large taunts your opponent may have since your minions will eventually be able to constantly clear the board. This matchup is 55/45 in favor of MiraLock.

 Handlock: The mulligan phase should be done assuming the opponent is playing Zoo. If you come across the rare occurence where you know your opponent is handlock, then mulligan aggressively for combo pieces. Power Overwhelming, Bluegill Warrior, Wolfrider, Leeroy Jenkins, Arcane Golem, and Soulfire are all fine to keep. Power Overwhelming should only be thrown away if you have no chargers in hand. I find this is the best way to beat your opponent since you will lethal them before they can drop their taunts. If this does not happen then and you mulliganed for zoo, then Shadowflame with Power Overwhelming is the key to winning this matchup to clear giants. You are also allowed to use Faceless Manipulator on an opponent's powerful taunter to survive a few turns since they will be low enough to lethal without Faceless Manipulator. This matchup is 50/50, very draw dependent on both sides.

Control Warrior: This matchup is all about pressuring your opponent with your minions. A simple way to look at the mulligan phase in this matchup: Is this card a minion? Yes -> Keep; No -> mulligan it away and hope you get one. As long as you don't get pressured yourself, you will be able to draw your entire deck by tapping as frequently as possible (without sacrificing dropping a large minion such as Azure Drake and Sen'jin Shieldmasta). Your win condition in this matchup is usually the double Power Overwhelming -> Arcane Golem -> Faceless Manipulator combo. This is 80/20 in favor of MiraLock.

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Thank you for reading my Warlock guide! I'm sure you'll enjoy this deck as much as I have. If you have any questions please feel free to ask them on twitter (@Eversiction) or even if you come and stop by my stream!

 

 

 
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