Basic + Naxxramas + Blackrock Mountain Starter Druid Hearthstone Deck

Editor’s Note: With the new Standard Format in 2016 for Hearthstone, we highly recommend going for cards in the Classic set and Whispers of the Old Gods (Standard Format). Here are budget guides, also from Sheng, to get you started! Budget Standard Standard C’Thun Druid Budget Standard Midrange Hunter Budget Standard C’Thun Mage Budget Standard  Aggro Paladin Budget Standard C’Thun Priest Budget Standard C’Thun […]

Editor’s Note: With the new Standard Format in 2016 for Hearthstone, we highly recommend going for cards in the Classic set and Whispers of the Old Gods (Standard Format). Here are budget guides, also from Sheng, to get you started!

Introduction

Greetings, I’m Sheng, a Legend rank constructed and 7.5 win-average arena player. I run HearthstoneCoaching.com where our coaches have helped many students achieve the same.

Whether you’re a newer player, or an experienced one who just wants to find the most efficient way to spend your cash or in-game gold, you can never go wrong by investing in Hearthstone’s single player expansions. Both The Curse of Naxxramas and Blackrock Mountain have provide unique and useful cards that cannot be unlocked anywhere else.

My Blackrock Mountain decks are a new series of guides where I try to construct the most  effective Hearthstone decks I can for each class, with only one contraint — that I only use cards from the Basic, Naxxramas, and Blackrock Mountain card sets.

These 0 dust decks are meant to help newer players kickstart their Hearthstone journey, by providing unique and viable decks that can be used against friends and foe on casual or ladder (though you may want to check out the upgrade section at the end of each guide to get further on the ladder).

Deck Playstyle

Blackrock Mountain Druid is a control deck that focuses on using the unique mana acceleration spells available to Druid (wild-growth and innervate) to bring out large minions that opponents just can’t deal with.

If you’re the type of player who likes to bring out 8/8 Legendary Dragons on turn 5 or 6 to crush your opponent, then this may just be the deck for you.

Minions – 20

2x zombie-chow

  • The Zombie Chow is strictly an early game minion used to pressure your opponent’s board early. The goal of casting a Zombie Chow onto the board early is to trade with your opponent’s more expensive minions before its deathrattle becomes a liability. There’s very little downside to killing off your own Zombie Chow when your opponent is close to full health, but playing him later in the game might just put your opponent out of reach if he has a way to deal with it.

2x acidic-swamp-ooze

  • The Ooze is a great little card that has an incredible battlecry against more than half the classes in the game (Hunter, Paladin, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior). His 3/2 body for 2 mana passes the Vanilla Test, and there’s no downside to playing him even if the battlecry doesn’t destroy a weapon.

2x druid-of-the-flame

  • The Druid of the Flame is an awesome card because of its versatility, and both the Hawk and Cougar form pass the Vanilla Test. I usually prefer to play her as a 2/5 Hawk early unless I can protect her behind a taunt, as the 5/2 Cougar form dies too easily to spells and small minions.

2x shade-of-naxxramas

  • The Shade of Naxxramas is one of those cards that seem to have taunt. Whenever the Shade reveals itself, opponents will bend over backwards to get rid of it because of its ability to grow in both health and attack each turn. A Shade can become a menacing force when played early and kept in stealth mode. Turn 1 innervate + Shade of Naxxramas anyone?

2x chillwind-yeti

  • The Yeti is the benchmark on which all other 4 mana minions are compared. Not only does he pass the Vanilla Test with flying colors, he trades favorably with most other 2, 3, and 4 mana minions. The Yeti has no downsides and is a welcome sight whether you’re behind or ahead in the game.

2x senjin-shieldmasta

  • Taz’dingo! The Sen’jin Shieldmasta trades one point of attack in exchange for taunt, but it’s generally a fair trade. While a Sen’jin won’t 1 hit kill a 4/4 or 3/4 minion, he’ll be able to protect your lower health minions from dying to favorable trades from your opponent, and can be the key to slowing down the game against aggressive rush-down decks.

1x loatheb

  • Loatheb is an amazing card… when played correctly. 5 mana for a 5/5 is fair, but it’s Loatheb’s ability to shutdown opponent’s spells that makes him so valuable. Play Loatheb on turn 6 before a mage can cast flamestrike on turn 7 and he’ll win you the game.

2x sludge-belcher

  • If you thought the senjin-shieldmasta was good, well just wait until you see his bigger brother, the Sludge Belcher. Sludge Belcher is an extremely annoying card to deal with, because when he dies, he leaves behind a smaller taunt. This effectively shuts down very aggressive decks, that are generally forced to use silence to get around him. Another benefit to the Sludge Belcher’s deathrattle is his synergy with kelthuzad. Good luck getting past that wall of taunts when both are on the board at the same time!

2x boulderfist-ogre

  • The true definition of a big dumb minion. Except actually, now that I think about it, the Boulderfist Ogre may actually be the smartest Ogre in the Hearthstone universe given that he’ll always hit the target you ask him to. For 6 mana, you get a 6/7 minion that isn’t affected by silence, the-black-knight, and big-game-hunter. He’s a workhorse in this deck and does much of the heavy lifting to help you secure games.

1x emperor-thaurissan

  • While at first glance the Emperor seems overpowered, he’s only truly valuable in decks that have relatively large hand sizes to allow him to reduce the cost of multiple cards on the same turn. When you can tuck him behind a taunt or two, he’s almost impossible to get to and can seriously snowball games for you. The weakness to the Emperor is in situations where you don’t have many cards in your hand and don’t have a board to protect him with, so play him wisely.

1x kelthuzad

  • Kel’Thuzad is probably the best win condition in our deck. If you have any semblance of a board going into turn 8, he has a good chance of winning the game for you. His value only goes up when you have deathrattle minions on the board that spawn more minions.

1x nefarian

  • Nefarian is a ridiculously expensive Legendary Dragon with a ridiculous battlecry as well. Our Druid deck is one of the only Blackrock Mountain (besides Dragon Paladin) deck that uses him because of how late he would come out in all other decks. With innervate and wild-growth it’s entirely possible bring Nefarian out on turn 6 or 7, giving you a lot of opportunities to play the spells you gain from his battlecry in following turns.

Spells – 10

2x innervate

  • Innervate combined with an early 4 mana or 6 mana minion is almost always instant board advantage. In general, you want to save innervate for larger and more expensive minions because of their ability to trade with two or more smaller ones. Remember that when you play innervate, you’re essentially losing a card from your hand, so the loss of card advantage needs to be worth it.

2x claw

  • A great utility removal to help you clear minions early in the game, or a card that can be played later for that little bit of reach to help you end games. The downside to Claw is that you’re forced to use your face to attack, which can hurt against very large minions.

2x wild-growth

  • A great card to play early from your opening hand. Playing Wild Growth on turn 1 with the-coin is like having an extra coin every turn. This card has the most value the earlier it is played. The weakness of this card is that during mid-game (turns 4-6), playing Wild Growth might prevent you from playing a bigger minion, making it a dead card. However, if you hold onto Wild Growth long enough, or top-deck one late in the game with 10 mana crystals, playing Wild Growth will allow you to draw another card through excess-mana.

2x swipe

  • One of the best Druid spells, period. It has the ability to clear your opponent’s board and can also be used as reach for lethal. I’ve never seen a legitimate contructed Druid deck played without Swipe, honestly.

2x starfire

  • Starfire is a pretty versatile card that can take out annoying 5 health minions, or can be used to finish off an opponent. The downside to Starfire is that when you play it, it’ll generally take up your entire turn due to its high casting cost, but you do gain a card for your troubles.

Blackrock Mountain Improvements

Below are the new cards from Blackrock Mountain that have been included over the previous Basic + Naxxramas version of this deck.

druid-of-the-flame
  • The Druid of the Flame is a substitution for shattered-sun-cleric in the Naxxramas version of this deck. The reason for this change is that shattered-sun-cleric now has less targets to hit early on with her battlecry as haunted-creeper has been substituted with wild-growth.
  • As a standalone minion on turn 3, Druid of the Flame is a much stronger card.
emperor-thaurissan
  • The Emperor doesn’t replace any one card in particular from the Naxxramas version of this deck, but his inclusion is due to his ability to impact the cost of cards in your hand when played very early on with a possible innervate or wild-growth.
  • Emperor Thaurissan’s value skyrockets when you have more than just a few cards in your hand, and generally the earlier you play him, the less likely your opponent has an answer to deal with him the very following turn.
nefarian
  • Along with kel-thuzad, Nefarian is one of our late-game win conditions. He’s much easier to play in our Druid deck than almost any of the other classes because of the mana acceleration we get from innervate and wild-growth. He’s a big minion whose battlecry provides a lot of versatility to our deck.

Mulligan Guide

In general, you want to mulligan so that you can put out minions on your first three turns. If you’re going second, feel free to keep a single 4 mana minion so that you can coin it out on turn 3. Coining out a minion on turn 3 is actually a significant tempo boost, as a card like chillwind-yeti can be used to trade against at least two lower cost minions.

In general, in this deck, you want to mulligan aggresively to find your innervate and wild-growth, as they’re the cards that have the most impact when played early. zombie-chow is also an excellent card to keep, as it provides you a body to put onto the board on turn 1 to counter whatever your opponent plays.

With the inclusion of innervate and wild-growth, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what to do on the first few turns. Thus, I’ve provided a few tips below on what you can do on the first few turns going first and going second.

Going First

Turn 1 Without innervate:

  • Skip the turn or play zombie-chow.

Turn 1 with innervate:

  • Skip the turn or play shade-of-naxxramas as it benefits from coming out early.
  • You may want to save your innervate for next turn when it can potentially bring out a 4 mana minion.

Turn 2 without innervate:

  • Play wild-growth. If you have a 4 mana minion in hand, you’ll be able to play it next turn.
  • Play acidic-swamp-ooze.
  • Use your Hero Power (+1 Attack this turn. +1 Armor). This is the weakest play unless you’re using it to kill a 1 health minion your opponent played on his first turn.

Turn 2 with innervate:

  • Use innervate to play a 4 mana minion if you have it. Otherwise your options are the same as without innervate.

Going Second

Turn 1 without innervate:

  • Play zombie-chow if you have it.
  • If you have wild-growth, its usage depends on the rest of the cards you have in hand.
  • If you have a 2 mana minion, play it first, and then wild-growth on turn 2. This will get a minion out on the board early, and let you play a 4 mana minion on turn 3.
  • If you don’t have a 2 mana minion, go ahead and play wild-growth.
  • If your hand has a mana curve of 2, 2, 3, 4, use the-coin and play a 2 mana minion.

Turn 1 with innervate:

  • If you have senjin-shieldmasta or chillwind-yeti, you can the-coin + innervate to bring it out. Otherwise save your innervate.
  • If you don’t have anything to innervate out, and don’t have a 2, 2, 3, 4 mana curve, you’ll want to save the-coin and skip this turn.

Turn 2

  • Your plays will be the same as turn 2 going first. Save the-coin unless you need to use claw to kill an enemy minion.

Upgrades

Here are a few cards that will improve your deck.

  • Minions: keeper-of-the-grove, druid-of-the-claw, ancient-of-lore
  • Spells: wrath

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed the guide to our Blackrock Mountain Ramp Druid deck. As always I’d be happy to answer questions from you in the comments section. 🙂

Coaching Lessons

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