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ESL DemonStorm Warlock by SilentStorm

Artem Uarabei

In the history of Warlock, Handlocks and Zoo decks have always ruled the day. But SilentStorm's recent appearance in the ESL Tournament with a totally different take on Warlock might just be changing the way Warlock looks in the future. The DemonStorm Warlock rocked many players' worlds at ESL and has all the tools to be a fantastic ladder deck too.

This is an unusual form of Warlock that toes the line between midrange and control archetypes, but surpasses all expectations with its effectiveness.

It has the potential for loads of burst damage, early board control, and huge powerhouse minions to finish things off, meaning there's usually a tool for every occasion.

General Strategy

The goal with this deck is to manage the early game and midgame with a selection of cheap minions and efficient spells. That means Voidwalkers, Mistress of Pain, Imp-losion, Hellfire, Shadowflame, and Antique Healbot are going to keep you in the game long enough to set up big swing turns and power plays on turns 5 and beyond. 

Those swings will primarily come in the form of tempo gains from Voidcaller deathrattles. You get a solid midgame body with Voidcaller, and the potential to summon something like Doomguard, Mal'Ganis, or Lord Jaraxxus for free.

That's usually enough tempo to pull you ahead and seal the deal with on-curve threats like Loatheb, Sylvanas Windrunner, and Dr. Boom in following turns.   

If you're unable to pull ahead in the midgame, Lord Jaraxxus and Mal'Ganis are your huge trump cards that give you absurd amounts of late-game value and force your opponents to respond in major ways. 

What Stands Out

Voidcaller is the deck's most interesting card because of the potential it has to completely seal games. if it drops a Doomguard or Mal'Ganis onto the board for free, you usually have a full turn to exploit both cards' powerful bodies and ridiculous damage potential.

Doomguard is more difficult to use on its own, but even on its own gives you the potential for lots of burst with Darkbombs and Power Overwhelming combos.

Mal'Ganis is awfully susceptible to Big Game Hunter when played on its own, so if you can lure one out with a Dr. Boom first, that's usually advisable. He's also a fantastic late-game stall that can often buy you another turn to draw into Jaraxxus, Healbot, or lethal damage.

How Do You Win?

Most wins will come from a combination of on-board minion damage and burst spells from your hand. You should always be looking for opportunities to add up your damage and see if it's lethal, because it'll surprise you how often you're able to burst people down from 15 or more.

There's also the potential to out-last aggressive decks and win the battle of value and attrition.

Tips and Tricks

Don't forget that Mal'Ganis buffs your fellow demons! Too many people focus on his immunity effect and forget to calculate extra damage he can provide for on-board minions.

Nerubian Eggs have tons of potential in this deck because they can trade up with Power Overwhelming and make great bodies for Defender of Argus buffs.

Don't undervalue the healing of Mistress of Pain, because they can be pains to remove for opponents, and the 1 health boost every turn can add up to significant amounts. Don't forget that Power Overwhelming and Abusive Sergeant synergize with Shadowflame nicely.


Druid: This deck tends to perform well against Druid (at least when played by SilentStorm) because it has too many small annoyances and its minions line up nicely against Druid. Druids can also have difficulty dealing with your late-game threats. Just be mindful of the combo and don't Life Tap below certain thresholds that'll put you at risk.

Hunter: Hyper aggressive Hunters don't line up well against this deck's Voidwalker, Darkbomb, and Mistress of Pain early game. If you use Mistress of Pain in combination with Power Overwhelming and Abusive Sergeant, you can heals for huge amounts. You also have reset buttons like Hellfire, and Defender of Argus can totally close out games as well.

Rogue: Rogues have the potential to burst through almost anything, but all the various heals and cheap taunts are really challenging for them here. Loatheb will do lots of work in the midgame, and the fact that they only have two saps means you're going to get something big to stick eventually, then finish off the game.

Mech Mage: Hellfire has huge potential in this matchup, as do Darkbombs thanks to all the 3-health minions Mages have. Just look for early game and play for the swing turns, then keep an eye out for healing opportunities to secure the win here.