Even Warlock is the premier mid-range deck post-Witchwood. The ability to tap for one mana allows for constant resource renewal and ensures that you will never run out of resources. You have threats on turns 5 through 10, and often finish games before turn 10.

Typically midrange decks have issues when facing aggro decks, but with the Sunfury Protector, Defile, Hellfire, Shroom Brewer, and Amethyst Spellstone, you tend to fare better than most versus aggro. Against control you have more threats than control decks have single target removal which allows Even Lock to maintain its mostly even matchups against the field. Many people have drawn parallels between Even Lock and the Hand Lock decks of old.

Deck Code

AAECAf0GBooBoM4Cws4Cl9MCzfQCw/0CDPIF+waKB7YH4Qf7B40I58sC8dAC/dACiNIC2OUCAA==

Even Lock Card Choices

Core Cards:

  • (x2) Defile
  • (x2) Sunfury Protector
  • (x2) Vulgar Homunculus
  • (x2) Hellfire
  • (x2) Hooked Reaver
  • (x2) Amethyst Spellstone
  • (x2) Twilight Drake
  • (x1) Dread Infernal
  • (x1) Genn Greymane
  • (x2) Mountain Giant

These are the core cards for the deck. They can not be removed from the deck without changing the identity of the deck. I also run the second copy of Dread Infernal as it has synergy with Gul’dan and Spellstone, alongside being another big threat for control matchups.

Near Core:

  • (x1) Acidic Swamp Ooze
  • (x1) Doomsayer
  • (x2) Shroom Brewer
  • (x2) Spellbreaker
  • (x1) Dread Infernal
  • (x1) Lich King
  • (x1) Bloodreaver Gul’dan

These cards I wouldn’t consider Core Cards, as they have potential to be replaced while the meta develops. These cards are very important to the deck, however, and should not be changed under normal conditions.

Tech Choices:

  • (x1) Acidic Swamp Ooze
  • (x1) Void Analyst
  • (x1) Skulking Geist

These cards are the cards that may be replaced depending on the meta. Due to the prevalence of weapons in the meta, a second Acidic Swamp Ooze can bring high value. It also adds value by being an aggressive body that can contest most 2 or 3 drops in the game today. Void Analyst is another consideration, as it helps push your demon’s stat-lines above delicate thresholds (5 health vs. 4 on Vulgar Homunculus,  8 attack vs. 7 attack on Hooked Reaver).

Mulligans & Strategy

The general mulligan for Even Lock is to toss nearly everything to look for Giants and Drakes. These are the most powerful cards in the deck and are played early. You can be very aggressive with the mulligans in Even Lock, as you draw two cards per turn. Ideally, your game will play out as tap, tap, Giant, Drake, Giant + Sunfury, Dread Infernal. The first few questions you should answer each turn before you consider your play is:

  1. Do I have lethal?
  2. Can I tap for lethal?
  3. Can I tap?
  4. Can I win the game with what’s in my hand?

The answer to these questions will help you shape your play. It is fine to tap below ten health, and sometimes beyond that depending on if you have the cards in your hand to win the game. In general, you can stop using your hero power after turn 9 if you can win the game with what’s in your hand. If you do not have the victory in your hand DO NOT STOP using your hero power.

Vs. Aggro Decks

Against aggressive classes, or at least against classes with primarily aggressive meta decks (Rogue, Paladin, Hunter) it is imperative to mulligan away your giant if you don’t have the coin. It is nearly always best to play a 2 drop on 2 against aggressive decks if possible. Void Analyst, Acidic Swamp Ooze, and Sunfury Protector help on turn two (without the coin) and on turn 3 you can play any of these as well as Doomsayer and Vulgar Homunculus to maximum effect.

Do not get afraid against aggro, as you will lose once you start playing on the back foot. In addition, do NOT clear the board before you have a threat on the board. Giving an aggro deck initiative after a clear allows them to drop 3 minions again, and you are already committed to the clear the board line of play, which will run you out of resources.

As far as the board is concerned, you can beat them on the board, or to the board. You can either run them out of resources with good trades, or you can play a Drake/Reaver they can’t deal with.

High Priority Keep:

  • Twilight Drake – Often this card is coined on 3 after playing a 2 drop and this becomes a 4/7 which on turn 3 contests anything that an aggressive deck can play
  • Hooked Reaver – Against aggro this is often active on turn 5. A 7/7 taunt on 5 vs Aggro? SeemsGood

Medium Priority Keep:

  • Doomsayer – Playing an early Doomsayer gives you turn 4 initiative, which is the greatest gift anyone can give an Even Lock

Low Priority Keep:

  • Sunfury Protector – Keeping Sunfury with a Drake can usually allow you enough time to setup a board and begin to make the value trades that win you the board
  • Vulgar Homunculus – Only keep if you DO NOT have the coin

Vs. Slow Decks

Against slower classes you have the option to either beat them in the head early with Mountain Giants, before they have removal, or to play one threat at a time and force them to 1 for 1, preventing them from getting value from their mass removal cards. The card that hurts Even Lock the most is Super Collider. Playing against slower decks, you must identify your path to victory early on and play to it. This path must be re-evaluated each turn, as fatigue becomes a real option versus some decks. At some point you will be forced to choose between not tapping at all, or tapping more aggressively. For example, you generally don’t want to get more than 4 cards ahead vs. Odd Warrior because they likely can take you to fatigue.

High Priority Keep:

  • Mountain Giant – Early Mountain Giants win games by applying constant pressure each turn
  • Twilight Drake – Probably the most consistently good card in this deck. There is nearly never a downside to playing a Drake

Medium Priority Keep:

  • Spellbreaker – Spellbreaker allows you to silence away the freeze on your giants, get through a taunt, deal with an egg…. There are so many reasons to have one on turn 3, 4, or 5

Low Priority Keep:

  • Vulgar Homunculus – Great for the mirror, good on turn 3 against other mid-range decks
  • Doomsayer – Great without the coin in the mirror. Tap and Doomsayer on turn 3 is the best play in the mirror to make-up for the fact that you don’t have the coin

These guidelines will help you navigate ladder as successfully as possible. If you have any questions, you can find me over at twitch.tv/ExilesRhythm. I’m always more than happy to help out and provide insight on how to become a better Hearthstone player.

Author,

ExilesRhythm (TwitchTwitter)

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