Hey guys! Thanks for the great response to my deck guides on Midrange Hunter and Zoo Warlock. As you might have read in them, I hit Legend for the first time last season using Zoo and Midrange Hunter. Once I was there, I shifted to Beast Druid and Tempo Warrior to play in the Legend ranks. I had fairly decent success with both. Beast Druid was definitely more fun deck to play with, and this guide focuses on that deck only.
Druid has always been one of my favorite classes. I was quite pissed off when they nerfed so many of the cards that made class good. So when I came across this list in the internet (I don’t know the creator. This was referred to me by a friend), I was pretty excited. It seemed like a good list and well, I badly wanted to play some Druid. It all fitted in.
Before we go any further, let me put it out there that this is not the best deck out there. This is just a good deck that has as many bad matchups as it has good ones. Nevertheless, this deck sure is a lot of fun to play with. It is not bad either and you should be able to get to rank 5 and above quite easily. Frankly, it is more suited for tournament play rather than laddering up itself. Anyway, let us look at the deck.
Innervate – Innervate is a standard card played in every Druid deck. You can cheat out a minion a couple of turns early using this. What is not to like?
Living Roots – This one mana spell is a very versatile card which can be played as a 1-drop to summon two saplings or can simply be used as two damage. This card gets even better with Fandral Staghelm in the deck. Being only one mana, it is also the easiest card to get value out of Fandral.
Raven Idol – This discover spell lets you choose a minion or spell based on the in-game situation. This card will save you in dire situations more than often. Raven Idol also has insane synergy with Fandral Staghelm. Getting a minion and a spell of your choice for just one mana is bonkers. Turn five Fandral + Raven Idol is a really great tempo play, believe me.
Druid of the Saber – You can either charge it to kill a minion/push more damage or simply play a stealthed 3/2 for two mana, which is better than most 2 drops in itself. You can combo this card with Mark of Y’Shaarj or Fandral Staghelm for even better plays.
Power of the Wild – This is another versatile card that can either be used as a simple 2-drop beast or a buff if you have a sizeable board. The buff works amazingly well with the apprentices that have been spawned by Violet teacher. Yet again, this semi-beast is another card that lets you go crazy with Fandral Staghelm.
Wrath – Wrath is another standard inclusion in most Druid decks because of its versatility. Lets you cycle when required or can be just used as a standard 3 damage spell. Another card showing synergy with Fandral Staghelm.
Mark-of-YShaarj – The one card to rule them all. The Old Gods’ gift to Druid. The card that makes this deck viable. While a 2/2 buff for a mere two mana is very good in itself, using it on a beast lets you draw a card! And with the huge number of Beasts we are running, you will almost get assured value out of this utility card.
Mounted Raptor –This card has been dubbed as the mini Piloted Shredder. Mounted Raptor is a much needed sticky 3-drop which is difficult to remove and is also a Beast. Pretty good!
Druid of the Flame – This beast is another versatile 3-drop which lets you choose its stats according the situation you are in. It is also a beast, which makes it synergize with Mark of Y’Shaarj as well. Playing it as a 2/5 and using Mark on it will give you a solid minion comparable to a Houndmastered Carrion Grub.
Savage Roar – Force of Nature might have been nerfed, but Savage Roar is still valid and actually pretty cool. Even on an empty board, you get at least two damage, which is bad, sure, but not really. Anyway, the chance that you find yourself in this scenario is very rare. Most of the times you will have at least two minions on the board and will be able to use this card to its full potential. Savage Roar also works amazingly well with the little apprentices spawned by Violet Teacher.
Violet Teacher – The teacher that spawns dudes. This card is the remnant of the Token Druid decks and brings a taste of that deck into this deck. With so many cheap spells, playing this card actually makes a lot of sense. You get a sizeable board which you can use to synergize with Savage roar for high damage count. Who said Combo Druid was dead?
Swipe – Another standard inclusion in all Druid decks. Well, most of them. Paying four mana to deal four damage and potentially wiping the board clean makes it an auto inclusion. Works insanely well against Zoo decks.
Fandral Staghelm – If there was a deck that could abuse this card to its fullest, this is the one. As you have seen above more than half of the deck benefits from this new Legendary minion. You have a wide array of choose one cards which can easily be played with this amazing guy to come out of Whispers of the Old Gods expansion. Even in itself the 3/5 stats on a 4 drop are pretty standard. If you don’t have this, this deck is not for you.
Stranglethorn Tiger – Stranglethorn Tiger is a beast with a huge body and pretty decent stats. This card is assured five damage if your opponent doesn’t taunt up. Since this wild cat will stay on the board for at least one turn, you can also buff it up with Mark of Y’Shaarj and push for more damage.
Druid of the Claw – Druid of the Claw is my favorite Druid class card. This card is easily one of the best 5-drops in the game and also one of the most versatile cards. You can charge it for four damage or simply generate a solid 4/6 taunt. This is again a beast and also synergizes with Fandral Staghelm. I don’t see any reason not to exploit this card.
Ragnaros-the-Firelord – Swagnaros the finisher. This choice needs no explanation. This guy will win you games more often than not. With Big Game Hunter gone, this is easily one of the best neutral Legendries in the game, if not the best. Innervating out this guy into play early is even more brutal. Either removing your opponent’s high health minion, or simply Smorcing, the Firelord got it.
Other Possible Inclusions
Huge Toad – Huge Toad being a beast can be used to replace any of the 2-drops if you are missing out on them or simply if you feel that the single juggle helps you win more. Or even if you just want to play a more aggressive version with multiple cheap minions.
Stampeding Kodo – This card has been working out quite nicely for me in both Hunter and Druid. This can actually be a really nice inclusion, given the current Meta scenario. This guy kills a lot of minions including the likes of most totems, Bloodhoof Brave and Doomsayer etc.
Wildwalker and Druid of the Fang seem like good inclusions, but I found them too slow for this deck. You are better off not running them.
Why Play This Deck?
The answer lies in the fact that this deck is a fairly cheap one with no epics and only two legendaries. While Fandral Staghelm is a must, you can always replace the Ragnaros with another card. This is also one of the easiest and fun decks to play! The satisfaction when you pull off cool Fandral shenanigans is immense and addicting.
This deck is a fairly easy one to play. You will want to mulligan for Living Roots and your 2-drops. Living Roots is good to have even if you don’t want to play it on turn 1 as it is a cheap way to remove most 2 drops in the game. You can also keep Mounted Raptor/Druid of the Flame if you have the coin.
Let us take a look at the class specific matchups.
Druid – In the mirror match, it is all about early board control and pushing damage as soon as possible. Early board advantage will be hard to overcome due to the lack of board clears. Against C’Thun or general ramp Druid decks, you are actually favored. The trick is again to get on the board and push for early damage before they can get their bigger taunts out. Try to prevent the game from going into late game. Even if it does, you have Ragnaros to finish the job for you.
Shaman – This is a tough matchup because of the high quality minions they can cheat out using overload and we have no answers for them. You will need a bit of luck and good innervate plays to beat them at their own game. You definitely need to curve out well in this matchup.
Warlock – Zoolock is another tough matchup because of the Zoo’s insane ability to get the board and never let it go. The match gets even tougher if you don’t draw into that Swipe. Swipe makes this matchup comparatively easier. Always keep Swipe in hand if you have a 1-drop or a 2-drop already and also if you have the coin. Swipe will win you games against Zoo.
Hunter – Midrange Hunter is a fair matchup but can go horribly wrong if you don’t play carefully. Mostly, it will just depend upon who gets the better start as both these decks rely on getting the board at an equally fast pace. One thing to keep in mind while playing against Hunters is to avoid playing/innervating out a single big minion, even it is a Stranglethorn Tiger or a stealthed Druid of the Saber. This is because of Freezing Trap and Deadly Shot. You’ll lose a lot of tempo if your opponent has one of those and it will be very difficult to come back from behind.
Rogue – You can easily grab this matchup if you can get in early and quick damage. Try to curve out well and keep pushing constant damage. In the worst case scenario, you’ll still have Ragnaros to save your skin. Ragnaros also works wonders against a stealthed minion or simply if you can innervate it out early. Letting them take the board and dictating the trades simply won’t do.
Priest/Paladin – Getting early damage is paramount because you will not have enough arsenal to survive the late game. While you need to pressure quick and hard, don’t overextend to avoid the possibility of losing to board clears. Ragnaros is the key card again which can help you push for that final damage.
Mage– Tempo Mage can be a pain if they get good Flamewaker plays. They’ll be able to remove your minions with quite ease and it will be difficult to get back into the game. Freeze Mage, on the other hand, is quite easy. With Mad Scientist gone, the deck is not that effective anymore and early pressure should do it for you. Do make sure to not overextend to avoid the possibility of losing everything to Frost Nova + Doomsayer.
Warrior – Warriors have simply too many efficient and cheap removal methods. With the inclusion of Ravaging Ghoul and Bloodhoof Brave, the deck is stronger than ever, making it another tough matchup. One good thing that does go in our favor is that Tempo Warriors don’t usually run Brawl, so we can spam the board with high health minions. The matchup becomes a lot easier if they don’t draw that Fiery War Axe early in the game. Against control or C’thun warriors, which are a rare sight nowadays, you again need to push early damage but also play around the possibility of a Brawl.
I played this deck for quite a while on the Legend ranks with fairly decent success, moving into top 500, before falling back into the 1000s playing fun decks and all. As I mentioned before, this deck while may not be the best, is surely an easy and cheap deck to ladder up. You will also fins this deck quite enjoyable if you loved to play Midrange Druid or Aggro Druid before Whispers of the Old Gods came out. And it goes without saying that this is one of the most synergistic decks to come out of the new expansion.
Do mention any questions you might have in the comments below. You can also hit me up on Twitter (ManveerS_07). Cheers and happy laddering!