[Wild Meta Guide] Darkest Hour Warlock

Wild Meta Guide - Darkest Hour Warlock

Project Philoshopy

Hello and welcome to the first edition of Hearthstone-Decks.net’s Wild Meta Guide. This article is classified as a “Meta Guide,” rather than the usual “Meta Report”. We feel typical Meta Reports are too simplistic and are insufficient in explaining why a deck is well-positioned in the meta.

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Darkest Hour - Decklists

Darkest Hour Warlock by MemnarchHS

Deck by MemnarchHs

He got the stock list from a chinese meta report

A short introduction​

Darkest Hour Warlock is all the rage recently! Turns out “coin flipping” is a viable strategy if you want to climb ranks, and does Darkest Hour Warlock climb ranks! A common misconception is Darkest Hour Warlock either does its combo and wins, or whiffs and loses; a 50/50 coin flip therefore a 50% win rate deck. This is simply not true. The standard Voidcaller/Voidlord/Mal’ganis package that has become commonplace amongst slower Warlock decks is run in this deck. It ensures that Aggro matchups, specifically Secret Mage, are manageable to an extent. Descent of Dragons also gave Warlock Dark Skies, which is a fantastic tool for fending off aggressive early game boards.

The Darkest Hour Combo

The wincondition of Darkest Hour Warlock involves getting imps into play with either Rafaam’s Scheme or Fiendish Circle. Then Bloodbloom is played to discount Darkest Hour to 2 mana. The result is a parade of legendaries and Nerubian Unravelers that lock up the board and create a very dominant position. The hope is that this combo happens on either turn 5 or 6 which prevents almost all clears from being played thanks to Nerubian Unravelers. This combo can happen as early as turn 3 if you have 2 Bloodblooms and the coin.

[Wild Meta Guide] Darkest Hour Warlock - the Combo

Winning without the Combo

» VS Aggro

In some games, you will not have the combo. This turns the deck from terrifying combo deck into an awkward Big Warlock deck. Against aggression this is usually fine though since the main win-condition is Voidcaller into Voidlord. An early Voidlord usually can stall and protect the imps you summon so you can set up the combo over two turns. This is far from ideal but you need to take risks with this deck sometimes. If you do not have Darkest Hour then you need to rely on Dark Skies, Plague of Flames, and Defile. These clears can hold off aggression and can stall the game out to turns 8 or 9 where you can start playing your big minions.

» VS Combo or Control

Against combo/control not having the combo makes these matchups far more difficult. Usually you combo early and win the game on the spot. Without the combo you need to try to get an early Voidlord down and then kill it off for Voidwalkers for a hardcast turn 6 Darkest Hour. If you have Darkest Hour and no Bloodbloom, it is correct to play out the token producer the turn before you have access to 6 mana. Sometimes a couple imps stick and the sooner you play the Darkest Hour the better it is. If you do not have Darkest Hour, the game plan becomes to protect the Nerubian Unraveler. Try to go get one down behind a taunt and start going face. If you are able to stick 2 Nerubian Unravelers then you all but win the game on the spot. The increased mana cost for spells protects your board and allows you to play large minions to close the game out with.

The Mulligan

» VS Combo or Control

Against Combo and Control keep the Darkest Hour, Bloodbloom, Rafaam’s Scheme and Voidcaller. The combo is how you win most of your games so mulligan for it in most matchups. Voidcaller is also a good keep because it could play a Voidlord for free. The turn 4 Voidlord can be hard to deal with. Some people keep a Fiendish Circle. The reason to keep Rafaam’s Scheme is because it is 3 mana and it’s a far worse topdeck.

» VS Aggro

If you are playing against Aggro you will prioritize other cards. You still keep Darkest Hour, Bloodbloom and Rafaam’s Scheme, however you do not hard mulligan for them. Dark skies and Defile are both kept against any aggro deck. It is more important to stay alive than it is to find another combo piece.  Plague of Flames is really good but only when paired with imps and sometimes with Sinister Deal. Voidcaller is also extremely good because an early voidlord is usually enough to win.

» VS Unkown Archetype

If you do not know what your opponent is, mulligan for the combo. The deck at its core is a combo deck and usually wins or loses based on finding the combo. So if you have a choice to make it is almost always correct to err on the side of finding the combo.

Tech Options

» Mortail Coil

Mortal Coil is a cheap cycle spell that clears Kobold Librarians, Paladin recruits, Kabal Lackeys and Patches the Pirate. Additionally, it can be utilised on your Imps in order to dig for important combo cards.

» Mortail Coil

Mortal Coil is a cheap cycle spell that clears Kobold Librarians, Paladin recruits, Kabal Lackeys and Patches the Pirate. Additionally, it can be utilised on your Imps in order to dig for important combo cards.

» Sense Demons

Sense Demons is a strange case. It can feel counterintuitive to takes demons out of a Darkest Hour deck since Darkest Hour can summon them directly. This card is mainly there for the aggro matchup to help get a voidcaller to cheat out a voidlord. When you do this, you do not even need the combo to close out the game.

» Sense Demons

Sense Demons is a strange case. It can feel counterintuitive to takes demons out of a Darkest Hour deck since Darkest Hour can summon them directly. This card is mainly there for the aggro matchup to help get a voidcaller to cheat out a voidlord. When you do this, you do not even need the combo to close out the game.

» Kel'thuzad

One would think Ragnaros would be a mainstay of Darkest Hour Warlock, however, Kel’thuzad has made it over the Firelord in some decklists. The main reason Kel’thuzad is in the stock list is because it protects Nerubian Unravler when it comes out of the combo. In rare cases you can play plague of flames and then Kel’Thuzad to bring back your board. Ragnaros however is much better without the combo because it has an immediate effect the turn it’s played and does not need other minions to be good.

» Kel'thuzad

One would think Ragnaros would be a mainstay of Darkest Hour Warlock, however, Kel’thuzad has made it over the Firelord in some decklists. The main reason Kel’thuzad is in the stock list is because it protects Nerubian Unravler when it comes out of the combo. In rare cases you can play plague of flames and then Kel’Thuzad to bring back your board. Ragnaros however is much better without the combo because it has an immediate effect the turn it’s played and does not need other minions to be good.

» Soularium

We will be frank here; we never really understand the point of Soularium and Plot Twist. It does make sense in theory. In practice however, it does not quite work that way. It is not guaranteed that Plot Twist will draw you cards that are any better than what you currently have in your hand. Soularium is as bad as Plot Twist. It is usually played alongside Plot Twist to “draw” three cards, but ideal scenarios does not mean consistency. What usually ends up happening is Soularium will sit dead in your hand for the entire game. Either your hand is too full to be able to actually play the card, or you play it and don’t get what you were looking for.

» Soularium

We will be frank here; we never really understand the point of Soularium and Plot Twist. It does make sense in theory. In practice however, it does not quite work that way. It is not guaranteed that Plot Twist will draw you cards that are any better than what you currently have in your hand. Soularium is as bad as Plot Twist. It is usually played alongside Plot Twist to “draw” three cards, but ideal scenarios does not mean consistency. What usually ends up happening is Soularium will sit dead in your hand for the entire game. Either your hand is too full to be able to actually play the card, or you play it and don’t get what you were looking for.

How to beat Darkest Hour Warlock

» Smorc is the play

Darkest Hour Warlock is probably the most extreme example of a deck that lives and dies by what it draws. Sometimes the Darkest Hour Warlock plays combo and you can’t do anything. What you can do, is get the Darkest Hour Warlock to as low a health total as possible in the first 4-5 turns, ideally getting them to six HP, preventing them from being able to cast Darkest Hour with Bloodbloom.

» Play Silence

Silence hinders the ability of the deck to defend itself with taunt minions like Zilliax, Lich King and Voidlord. Loatheb is usually GG if played in a position where the board is yours, since almost everything playable in the mid-game of Darkest Hour Warlock are spells with the rest being expensive minions.

» Mech Paladin, Secret Mage, or Even Shaman

Decks that prey on bad draws, such as Mech Paladin, Secret Mage, or Even Shaman, can steal wins from Darkest Hour. Mech Paladin can go so tall very quickly, and if the Darkest Hour Warlock player doesn’t draw Plague of Flames, a single buffed Flying Machine can spell the end of the Warlock. The mere existence of Counterspell is enough to make a Darkest Hour Warlock player think twice about his plays and take suboptimal lines. Even Shaman’s early game power has gone up significantly with the inclusion of Totemic Surge and Splitting Axe. The explosiveness combined with Devolve forces the Warlock to rely on clears because taunts are not reliable.

» Jade Druid

Jade Druid is surprisingly effective at dealing with the combo turn. Poison Seeds is only a 4 mana card, and it is rare that the Darkest Hour Warlock summons both Nerubian Unravelers, and the Jade Druid can tank the first wave of big minions hitting face thanks to Armor gain. Once the board is neutralised with Poison Seeds, the Jade Druid can stabilise and it’s usually easy pickings from there.

» You can't always win

NOTHING beats a Darkest Hour Warlock that is able to pull off its combo on turn 3-4, provided the Darkest Hour Warlock summons the required minion that relates to the matchup. For example, if a Darkest Hour Warlock summons two Nerubian Weblords alongside 2 other big minions against a Reno deck/Big Priest/Jade Druid on turn 3-4, it will win. If a Darkest Hour Warlock summons a Voidlord, Zilliax alongside 2 other big minions against an Aggro deck on turn 3-4, it will win.

» Flip the Coin

The biggest counter to Darkest Hour Warlock isn’t Jade Druid, Odd Rogue, or Secret Mage. Its itself. Don’t forget that at the end of the day, Darkest Hour Warlock is a “coin flip” deck. It sometimes has a hand full of board clears and no combo pieces against Control decks, gets out tempod, and loses. It sometimes has a hand full of Big minions and useless segments of its combo pieces against Aggro decks, gets smacked in the head, and loses. For every game where you perform the combo on turn four, there is another where you just whiff drawing combo cards, lose the board, and Life Tap yourself to death.

» Flip the Coin

The biggest counter to Darkest Hour Warlock isn’t Jade Druid, Even Shaman, or Secret Mage. Its itself. Don’t forget that at the end of the day, Darkest Hour Warlock is a “coin flip” deck. It sometimes has a hand full of board clears and no combo pieces against Control decks, gets out tempod, and loses. It sometimes has a hand full of Big minions and useless segments of its combo pieces against Aggro decks, gets smacked in the head, and loses. For every game where you perform the combo on turn four, there is another where you just whiff drawing combo cards, lose the board, and Life Tap yourself to death.

All Darkest Hour Warlock Decklists

We just featured one version of Darkest Hour Warlock, but there are a lot more ways to build. For this reason, we feature the newest lists we posted on this website below.

Our other Wild Meta Guides

This is our third Wild Meta Guide, we already made one before for Mecha’thun Warlock

This is our third Wild Meta Guide, we already made one before for Mecha’thun Warlock

This is our third Wild Meta Guide, we already made one before for Even Shaman.

This is our third Wild Meta Guide, we already made one before for Even Shaman.

Thanks for Reading!

This writeup is only a small part of our Wild Meta Guide containing almost 30 others covering all of the best Wild Decks and Strategies –

Stay tuned for more info on the release date of the Wild Meta Guide!

A Guide by hijo, memnarch, vandelay, lulnenko and neon31.

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