How is zoolock acceptable?

Posts: 638
Doomguard should not draw a card when played.

It is exactly 100% on budget when it discards 2 cards, i find it a joke that people can think that when you have to play proper discard costs the deck is unplayable (reference to bosskiller).

Why is it so bad to pay proper costs for cards instead of relying on gimmicky OP mechanics.

Zoo's early game is mostly managable by the majority of decks, what most decks cannot handle is doomguards and soulfire coming out for free, it is infuriating to lose to double doomguards when the opponent has maybe discarded 1 card for them and its not even turn 9 yet (because it is a 9 mana minion in stat value).
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Posts: 7,550
05/16/2014 05:54 AMPosted by AjayxD
It is exactly 100% on budget when it discards 2 cards, i find it a joke that people can think that when you have to play proper discard costs the deck is unplayable (reference to bosskiller).

Pretty much this. Also, I would love to see an estimation on how often doomguard / soulfire are used at full cost (meeting all discard requirements) vs how often they are used without meeting those requirements. Long story short, it is way too easy for a zoolock to play around these requirements, and as such, they get more value for the card than was intended. Even when they can't play around the discards, the cards they are discarding are most often of such low value that I can't imagine it fits into the original balance decisions of the card.
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Posts: 1,968
It's hunter all over again....

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Posts: 2
Well I think they should really do SOMETHING about it 'cause it's too overplayed witch makes it force people to use only decks to counter it. for example just today I have played 15 games 2 games against shaman, 2 against druid, 1 against miracle rogue and 10 against zoo. There shouldn't be a deck capable of winning nearly every time if not against a deck built only to counter that certain deck, because it breaks the game and ruins the fun for people playing casually. So my opinion is that it was alot better when the hunters were the ones op 'cause for doggies all you needed to do was play smart and play safe and you still had a chance with pretty much any deck. In other words you had a chance against them even with a deck not built for the sole purpose of countering it.
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Posts: 1,131
Which is why there were 50,000 threads in Gen chat about hunters, because they were easier to counter than Zoolock.
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Posts: 158
I kinda wanna chime in about this.

Zoolock seems too reliable and synergetic. There's no other deck out there that produces results with the same consistency as Zoo, just because of how (battlecry-buffing) low cost minions, Warlock hero power, and some "expensive" cards like Soulfire and Doomguard work together.

I'm surprised people genuinely think it's truly balanced (aside from the possibility that people are simply posting defense of the deck in their own interests, in that case, shame on you.)

I'm not sure about its presence in ranks 5+ but from 20-5 (most people) it's rampant. Clearly something is amiss when a solid 70%+ of my games are against Warlocks.

I don't have a terrible win / loss ratio against them or anything, it's just that they are so reliable that you can count on that match being difficult to win, and playing as a Shaman, it's important that I get the specific cards early on to deal with them, lest I lose all chance of winning.

I haven't come across another deck so far that puts that kind of pressure on me on such a regular basis. I'm not in favor of nerfing it so that it isn't used, but I think the synergy should be broken up, especially if that means buffing the actual Warlock deck (that'd be cool).

Isn't the perfect picture of balance in a PVP game equal distribution of usage? Obviously it'll never quite be like that, but Zoolock usage is through the roof, and the whole bit about being cheap to make isn't a good enough excuse. There are tons of cheap decks or otherwise workable substitutes.
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Posts: 3,927
06/03/2014 12:43 AMPosted by Archetype
Isn't the perfect picture of balance in a PVP game equal distribution of usage?

No. Or at least not quite. To a degree, you do want to approach that, but there are other considerations.

For one, in a CCG like this people won't have an equal distribution of cards so there won't be an equal number of people running a given deck simply because some decks will inherently require more investment (either of time, money, or both). Handlock is fairly expensive, Warrior Control is even more expensive, and Zoo is really quite cheap (though some more expensive variants exist). This and the prices of other decks help to influence distribution into a more uneven state, but is not necessarily indicative of an actual balance issue.

Secondly, it depends on what format you're referring too. For example, the frequency of deck usage changes based on rank (and to an extent, the time you play as well). Watching Trump's stream the other day, he had been playing his Token Druid deck, and I think out of the 10 or so games I watched, only 2-3 of his opponents weren't playing Druid.

Now, obviously, that sample size is WAY too small to really be significant on the larger scale, but it does show how certain deck-types might be more popular among specific sub-metas. Zoo, Aggro Warlock, Aggro Paladin, and others tend to be far more popular among lower ranks, based on testimonies I've read and some other streams I've watched. Part of this is the aforementioned "expense" issue, since lower ranks tend to have more people that have invested less into the game due to how acquired skill and experience will generally assist someone's climb in the ranks even if they didn't also improve their deck. But part of it is also that that bracket has developed its own sub-meta. It's influenced by the overall meta (and influences the overall meta to some degree) but it has it's own mutations.

If we look at tournaments, the most popular tournament format is 3 different decks with 3 different classes, or team-based games where players on the same team will often have different decks (though there are some repeats). There are decks that are specialized to take out expected other decks, to work as counters to a popular strategy that that player might otherwise have trouble with personally. It's sort of like using a Sideboard in MTG in that regard. But those Counter decks won't necessarily be evenly distributed. Perhaps the others players don't have that issue with whatever deck the counter is there for. Perhaps they simply prefer to power through using their other options, etc. That doesn't mean the game is unbalanced, but rather that the game is flexible enough to have options and variations that account for individual play-styles and strategies. Even if some specific cards/decks see more use, it is simply the current "general purpose" card/deck for the current meta. As long as that doesn't become stagnant, it's not a problem. As long as there is still room for personal variations, and to apply different strategies and play-styles, the game is very likely well balanced even without even distribution.

Of course, tournaments are by far the minority of constructed play, but in theory a game's balance is best measured on that sort of playing field, as supposedly the people playing there understand the game well, will be playing competitive (rather than casually), and so on. On the other hand, it doesn't mean that casual play balance should be completely ignored, but because there are some strategies which are inherently more difficult to counter without as great an understanding of the game, or without having put in the proper investment to get the cards/decks that counter it, there can be a theoretical imbalance. For example in League of Legends "Master Yi" has on-and-off been considered a "pub stomp" champion. He's generally considered "balanced" or (more often) even below average at higher levels of play, but his play-style and mechanics can be difficult to deal with if you're playing as an uncoordinated team, or simply lack the experience/understanding to properly deal with it.

If Yi is "balanced" for low-end play, he'll be even more out of balance for higher-end play, and effectively removing the option completely if they aren't careful. Though there is no team-play and a smoother learning curve for Hearthstone than League of Legends, many of the principles still apply. What is "balanced" at higher level play might not be at lower level play and vice verse. Since Lower-level play is more common than higher level play (particularly for a free-to-play game) that means that total distribution (and even win-rate etc.) is different compared to higher level play where (supposedly) the balance of cards/decks can be measured more objectively with fewer issues of player error or investment capability impacting the data.

Of course, for Blizzard, the health of the game, and ability to retain players is important, so they shouldn't forsake lower-end play entirely or anything like that, but it should be the goal to have players learn how to deal with given strategies if they are only problematic to inexperienced players; and of course to provide more options to those players that don't require as large an investment (for example, better access to Common/Rare cards that could compete more with late-game Legs and Epics would open up that playstyle to newer players, and introducing more common tools for certain classes to deal with a given strategy in general can also help, etc.) But large or drastic changes should likely be avoided unless there is a proven substantial balance issue at all levels of play.

Above all though, perfectly even distribution is not a sign of something being well balanced, as some play-styles are simply more popular than others. There is not an even number of Timmy, Johny, and Spike style players that play the game.
Edited by Tsenzei on 6/3/2014 1:43 AM PDT
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Posts: 1,467
Nerf the stats on doomguard and soulfire. most players can handle the early game minions unless they draw very bad. But that 5/7 charge minion is just way to much to handle.
And obvious, 4 damage for 0 mana is overpowered. Can't believe that these cards havent been nerfed yet.

Also warlock hero power is just a bad design. The easiest change is that it should give the card at the start of the next turn.
It would slow down Zoo locks but it wouldnt affect handlocks to much as they would still get the same value from their mountain giants and twilight drakes.

It is so frustrating that when you think the game has finally stabilized, and you are on low health, the warlock has 2 chances to topdeck the card they need. It's just lame.
Edited by Glennn on 6/3/2014 7:04 AM PDT
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Posts: 17
Please do not mistaken.
Blizzard will come for your little warlock asses, and when they are forcefully bend you to the ground and start abusing you in ways you never thought even possible, remember this: 'well no problem, I am skilled and i don't need to play such a cheap deck'

ended rank 2 last season by playing tempo rogue/controll war and differnent druid decks (before the L2P noob argument).
For some still unknown reason 75% of the games i had were against miracle rogues and zoo locks.
Maybe you can try to convince me by saying that every person who plays zoo is just immensly skilled. (so please do!)

And the fact that some warlocks say just put alot of small minions on the board as counter measurement makes me chuckle with lack of empathy.

And i will admit this might be full of my own ideology, but i would love to see this game played as chess, taking acount your own cards AND the opponents and statistically making the right play on what you think should happen/what the other person will do.

No, blizzard developers are not perfect, they can't predict every possible combo of decks and how its played like when they created this game as some of you also suggested.
Making mistakes is normal, but what is also normal is actually correcting those mistakes

BTW: it's common human psychology to think you are smarter then the average men, means in turn could mean that when reviewing yourself you might think that you have the idea that you deserve to win simply because you are 'better' then them' (ubermensch someone?).

Sadly those who really think this about themselves are the ones who are mistaken most often.

Now go play little children and enjoy the pure flesh made awesome-sauce that is you, and don't let all the meanies who tell you that playing chess while smacking your pieces in the other persons face (literally!!!) , is not fun on the long run for both persons.

(disclaimer: English is not my native tongue, so I bet I made more then 1 mistake)
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Posts: 244
How about if Doomguard or Soulfire are played with no cards to discard, the next card in the deck is discarded instead? Would that help balance anything? Just 'posting from the hip' here - haven't given it any serious thought.
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Posts: 1
05/15/2014 11:24 PMPosted by Sef
but it doesn't mean there should be a style of play that is based on putting as many minions on the field as possible in the shortest amount of time

Oh really? I didn't know that aggro shouldn't exist.

Also, have you ever played the deck successfully? If you did, you would realize there is a lot more than playing a bunch of guys and attacking your opponent with them. You need to trade, respond to threats, get around taunt, predict and deal with board wipes, and a lot more.
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Posts: 1,645
Wait until you play against's worse.

The game's just silly RNG... all you can do is design your deck specifically to beat certain decks, and hope that's what you run into.

Build a deck with 2 BGH's 2 hexes, 2 earth shocks and lots of counter-giants, you'll run into nothing but zoo.... build in lots of anti-zoo, nothing but giants.

It is the RNG that makes RNGstone what it is.
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Posts: 461
Zoo's pretty annoying but I wouldn't call it unacceptable. If it weren't for zoo all we'd be seeing would be control warrior, ultra late game ramps druids and hell even priests might come back from exile. Zoo helps balance the whole meta back down to more of a midgame tone.

But I do agree that the lock hero power is broken. Not sure how to fix it but it certainly needs some looking at.
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Posts: 2,732
how dare i try to play decks wiith no taunt what is this a game to have fun in? LOL
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Posts: 1,979
You need to keep in mind, that many players, myself included play decks like zoolock, aggro hunter, aggro mage, and shockadin aggro pally up to rank 5 so that we can rush those ranks.

Every season I rush up to rank 5 with such decks, then switch to a more control deck for ranks 5 to legend which are more stable and powerful in my opinion.

The reality is, many aggro decks or early control decks are not as effective as you first think, and not as stable, especially when players include a few cards specifically for the matchups and mulligan in anticipation of facing it. Of course you can win a random game against anything, but from an overall perspective they generally perform less well against more powerful control decks in the hands of good players.

That being said, players generally up to rank 5 tend to make many mistakes and play decks sub-optimally or have suboptimal decks. So realistically any okay deck can easily get you to rank 5 if you play it well.

Also keep in mind zoolock, and most aggro or early control decks in general tend to be on the cheaper side to put together, and so for players who have not yet obtained the majority of cards such decks may be much more accessible to them.
Edited by Fear on 6/20/2014 10:48 PM PDT
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Posts: 589
05/15/2014 11:24 PMPosted by Sef

The zoolock has a couple counters, but players should not be forced to play a certain class/style just to stand a chance.

^ I hate Zoolock as well, but I have to strongly disagree with this remark. CCgs are all about metagames. There's a complicated, cyclic struggle between power, popularity, and prediction.

A certain deck becomes powerful. At first, players are not prepared to beat it. At this point, that deck becomes popular. Players who do not use that deck, now expect to face it, and adjust their decks accordingly.

Take the Taunt ability, for example. Why aren't all of our decks full of creatures that inherently have Taunt? A trend started of foregoing that (objectively mediocre) idea in favor of more compelling strategies...

However, this left a weakness to be exploited by aggro decks, and Zoolock in particular.

Who's really right and who really wrong? If we all ran plenty of Taunt creatures, aggro wouldn't exist. However, we'd have to forsake some interesting stuff.
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Posts: 89
As long as face rolling zoo chuds are gonna zoo lock, I'm gonna miracle rogue your face in. Play a real deck fools.
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Posts: 1,253
Only Zoo players and other retards defend Zoo. It's a brokenly stupid concept and the stats prove it. Warlock highest win rate of any class.
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Posts: 746
Doomguard nerf to now discard one card, skip your next draw

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Posts: 105
zoo is pretty bad in current meta, isnt really a big favorite vs any of the popular decks. Now different versions of druid decks are becoming ultra popular on pretty much all levels of play and all of them counter zoo rly hard. I play control-ramp and even though it wouldnt appear so, i have a really good winrate vs zoo.

New aggro deck is shockading, i give it 2 weeks before people start crying to "remove cancer paladin".
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