Both Cube and Control Warlock decks have been ruling the current meta. Despite Blizzard spokespersons stating that Cube Warlock pre-nerf patch meta, was only the twelfth strongest deck and its winrate was nothing to be concerned about. But after the nerf patch hit, the meta has slowed down considerably with slow Warlock decks ruling the meta.
Cubelock’s Deck Defining Cards
Cubelock is known for its swingy mechanics and can pull out big minions or duplicate them very early through use of carnivorous-cube, skull-of-the-manari and dark-pact. Some of the cards that make Cubelock what it is are as follows.
Doomguard: A minion that is extremely powerful in the mirror matchup if you manage to duplicate it repeatedly, allowing you to apply a lot of pressure and also burst down your opponent with Gul’dan. In one of the earliest iterations of Cubelock, it tried to be an OTK deck with focus on mostly Doomguard + Cube to get a big burst combo off with your Death Knight.
Carnivorous Cube: Cubelock gets its name from this minion and for good reason. Even though it is a neutral card, it is very hard to get value out of the card the way Warlock does it. Thanks to Dark Pact being in the class, you can get some crazy value off this card for the 6 mana combo.
skull-of-the-manari: Skull of Man’ari was deemed to be too slow but eventually broke into the meta with weapon removal not being too prevalent. Mostly because even if the weapon is dealt with, the opponent also loses some tempo while Warlocks are still able to pull out big minions without any trouble.
Spiritsinger Umbra: Spiritsinger Umbra is a decent 4 drop that demands removal immediately or it can snowball out of control. It allows you to get value out of your deathrattles instantly and combo-ing it with Cube can get you some insane value off.
Control Warlock’s Defining Cards
Rin-the-first-disciple: Rin is one of the cards that was expected to not see much play but eventually made it into decks since the meta has slowed down considerably since the last patch. The card is particularly effective against combo decks as well as slow decks. Even if you get the full value off very late in the game and delete only a couple cards, it still gives you an advantage in matches that go into fatigue.
Twisting Nether: Twisting Nether is not run in any Cubelock list but sees two copies played in Control lists because it helps you deal with big boards quite easily and can grind your opponent out of threats to play with. The deck is very slow and seeks to exhaust all of your opponent’s resources, which is helped by Twisting Nether greatly.
Skulking Geist: Even though we run two copies of Dark Pact ourselves, it counters a bunch of decks in the current meta. It is very impactful against Inner Fire Dragon Priest, Miracle Rogue, other Warlock decks and more. It is a solid tech choice right now and worth running in your Warlock deck.
2 Drops – Gnomferatu / Doomsayer / Dirty Rat: Different Control Warlock lists run one or more of these two drops in the deck. Dirty Rat backfires badly against slower decks but is particularly good against combo decks, while Gnomferatu is good at both disrupting good combo decks if you get lucky, as well as hurts slow decks as you get fatigue advantage in the long run in long games.
Comparison of Decks
Both decks have been performing consistently on ladder and have positive winrate according to data collection websites like HS Replay and Vicious Syndicate. However, Cubelock can be a bit less consistent because of Skull of Man’ari as you have no control of what it pulls out. Control Warlock is a lot more consistent but its win condition is reliant on you exhausting all of your opponent’s resources and messing up their combos through disruptive cards.
Both of these decks have their strengths and weaknesses but overall Control Warlock is the better choice right now. There have also been some hybrid lists like the one we have listed here that brings together the best of both worlds. What have you been playing lately and which variant of Warlock do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below