This is quite a bit of gas for a Zoo Warlock deck at no cost of tempo, so while it isn’t an obvious inclusion, there’s a chance it will find a way to a list provided it doesn’t run useless tokens we don’t want to get back from this. The self-damage also carries some synergy with Diseased Vulture and Brittlebone Destroyer if that’s ever relevant.
Too many demons are useless and expensive. There’s no deck out there that would be desperate for a 1 mana discount on a demon either. Unlikely to see play.
Great body for a 1-drop, with upside that Warlock can never get enough of (healing). A no brainer inclusion for any deck that wants to utilize Soul Fragements.
Volcanic Potion with the Soul synergy upside. Another card you don’t think too much about before putting it in your deck. Very good with Mo’arg Artificer too, a card that Warlock often pairs with removal.
We don’t even think the discard effect will be too relevant here. This is a decent egg, which makes it an immediate option in Zoo Warlock thanks to EVIL Genius. Comparable to Scarab Egg, which saw a bit of play in the archetype in the past.
Warlock is more likely to boast a defensive Soul Fragement deck than Demon Hunter, so a card like Soul Shear is right up its alley. Removal and healing are pretty much all you want in this class if you’re life tapping into a win condition.
Strong payoff card that helps Warlock establish board control against aggressive decks and provides burn in slower matchups where Warlock could end up being the aggressor. Soul Fragment decks are somewhat pre-built since the cards are so clearly good as a package.
This is an easier card to activate in Warlock than in Priest. Between Life Tap, the numerous ways in which the Warlock can damage itself, and the class’ healing potential thanks to Soul Fragments and cards such as Nether Breath, Brittlebone Destroyer will often become a strong tempo swing. Warlock is also lacking single target removal beyond Keli’dan the Breaker, which is a bit of a specialist card for Quest Warlock. The class should welcome this addition.
This card has fringe possible use in both Zoo Warlock and a Soul Fragment Warlock. With Flame Imp and Voidwalker, Warlock can potentially land a powerful opening that’s hard to respond to. The issue is obviously the consistency with which the effect can happen considering Outcast’s limitations. Another possible use is to copy an impactful demon in a slower deck. We can copy Spirit Jailer for more Soul Fragments, or we can copy other key demons that defensive decks should use, such as Mo’arg Artificer and Void Drinker.
This might be the most important direct payoff for a Soul Fragment deck in Warlock. Earth Elemental without overload is no joke. It serves both as a defensive wall against aggressive decks and provide a significant amount of pressure in slower matchups. It’s a consistent threat against every kind of opponent, so it should see play.
This is THE most important payoff for a Soul Fragment deck in Warlock, a class that should be capable of discounting it very quickly. Just a few life taps and a fragment or two drawn puts us in Mountain Giant territory in the mid-game. In the late game, Flesh Giant could easily cost 0 mana and create a big tempo swing once it’s drawn. We think there’s a good chance that Handlock will make a return to the meta thanks to this card, and Quest Warlock will also be heavily interested. Meta defining.
If Flesh Giant is the card that puts Handlock on the map, Gandling is the card that lifts Zoo Warlock up another level. An absolute powerhouse in the mid-game that can be fed by the various 1-drops, eggs, and lackeys that Warlock utilizes to snowball games out of control. An absolute must-kill target in a 3/6 body for 4 mana is difficult to argue against. Meta defining.
Warlock is already heavily incentivized to run every Soul Fragment card available, so including Malicia shouldn’t be a difficult decision. While 7 mana is expensive, the swing potential of this legendary cannot be underestimated, and it’s strong even when just two souls are summoned.
We struggle to see this card being played for a couple of reasons. A turn 9 play is very slow and even if it puts a lot of stats on the board (Enhanced Dreadlord and Aranasi Broodmother, for example), it might be too late to be relevant in most matchups. Skull of the Man’ari costs 5. Master Oakheart had ramp. Willow doesn’t cost 5 nor does she have access to the ramping potential to make up for it. She could be discounted in theory, with something like a Dark Portal, but that doesn’t seem to be a very reliable method.
Another problem is that slow Warlock decks really want to run Mo’arg Artificer these days, and it’s not a good demon to put in your deck when you want to play this legendary. Not running Artificer is a big price to pay. We’ll pass.
Scholomance Academy Set Rank: 1st
Overall Power Ranking: 3rd
Warlock’s stock has risen since the last balance changes of Ashes of Outland, with both Quest Warlock and Zoo Warlock showing promising results. Now, it’s entering Scholomance Academy in the perfect way: with a hell of a set that carries insane potential.
The Soul Fragment package couldn’t be a more perfect mechanic for the class, providing it with both removal and healing. When these two elements are very accessible and powerful in Warlock, it usually does very well. The reason is simple: Life Tap gives us card advantage, allowing us to trade 1-for-1 and get ahead in the resource battle, while healing offsets the damage of Life Tap.
But there’s more to what Warlock has received. Outside of the Soul Fragement package, the class has received cards that are unofficially a part of it. Flesh Giant is the new Mountain Giant, giving Handlock a massive threat to throw at opponents on top of Void Drinker and the already available Abyssal Summoner. Brittlebone Destroyer provides Warlock with powerful, tempo-positive, single target removal alongside its already incredible plethora of AOE effects.
We believe that Handlock could make a serious return to the meta. On paper, it has everything it needs to be successful. In addition, Quest Warlock can also make fantastic use of these cards and get a nice boost in its power level. Disciplinarian Gandling looks like a powerhouse of a card in Zoo Warlock, turning its early game trash into mid-game treasure.
No matter how you look at it, Warlock probably got the most well-rounded set of this expansion. The only question is, what is it going to do with it? Are we going to see multiple viable Warlock strategies becoming serious meta contenders? What, Gul’dan, must we give in return to see this happening?
Just agreeing with a lot of the comments already posted. Lots of time and effort into analyzing each and every card. Great work.
The more I read/hear from Vicious Syndicate, the deeper my respect. 10/10.
Paladin have a zero cost spell. Time is money friend!
The gold standard of HS articles
most important hearthstone content second to the game itself! love vS
Great job! Thanks Guys!
Fantastic work, super helpful! Thanks
Awesome review guys! I can’t believe how much effort went into this. Keep up the great work!