Following the new changes to the Countering the Flavor of the Week Series, we now move on to Midrange Druid.
These changes are being applied in order to update the series and make them more “universal” as well as simpler, and easier to read.
Explaining the Deck
Midrange Druid is the most common Druid strategy played in the ladder. Whenever you face a Druid deck, you should always expect that player to be playing Midrange unless some drastic change happens to the metagame.
The deck focus on playing spells to accelerate mana, playing ahead on the curve, to then drop strong Midrange minions faster than the opponent, winning the game by generating tempo through the interaction of these minions with the board as well as the damage. The card-disadvantage generated by these mana-accelerating cards is usually nullified by ancient-of-lore’s Draw-2 effect.
In order to obtain reach, and because of the strong tempo-generating tools the deck already has, it also runs the combo: savage-roar+force-of-nature, which usually results in a immense amount of damage in a single turn.
The Deck’s Strengths
Now that we understand how the deck works, let’s take a look at its strengths. In order to be able to tame a beast, one must learn how the beast moves (operates). Moreover, it is just good practice in general to break down a deck in detail.
- Versatility – There are rarely any bad situations for most of Druid’s cards. Since Druid players often have the option to choose one of two completely different abilities, each individual card is generally useful regardless of the situation (fewer dead cards overall).
- Consistency – Having lots of mana available allows the Druid player to throw down high mana-costing cards with more reliability/consistency. Moreover, Ancient of Lore allows the Druid player to refuel / dig for whatever Tech card he needs.
- Lethalness – It is very important to remember just how lethal the Druid combo can be. Coupling the consistency of the Druid class (due to its draw power) with the fact they run a 2-card combo means they will very likely have the combo in their hand by turn 9. As most players unfortunately know, the 14-damage instant kill combo requires 9 mana to pull off (6 mana for Force of Nature, 3 mana for Savage Roar; 6+3=9).
The Deck’s Weaknesses
Let’s take a look at some of Druid’s weaknesses below:
- Extreme Vulnerability to Aggro Decks – Their aggro matchup is generally even to bad. This vulnerability is nothing new and has been plaguing Druid players for awhile now. This is a byproduct of all of the ramping that goes on in Druid decks. Playing Wild Growth means the Druid player passed the turn without establishing board presence. Meanwhile, the aggro opponent develops his board uninhibited, leading us to Druid’s next weakness…
- Inability to Clear the Board – Druids are terrible at dealing with a full board. Swipe can only deal with a single minion with greater than 1 health. Therefore, some Druid players use mind-control-tech as a pseudo-response to minion floods. However, this usually only helps against mid-range opponents not running a lot of tokens. Otherwise, you may only end up stealing a 1/1 from Violet Teacher or Muster for Battle.
- Weak Healing – This is another point that makes Druids so weak to aggro deck. Druids generally over-rely on Ancient of Lore’s healing power in order to keep them out of lethal range. As a result, they’ll often have to abandon the nice card draw they otherwise would have got.
How to Fight Against It!
Now that we understand the weaknesses of the Fast Druid deck, it’s fairly straight-forward to guess what decks we’ll use to counter it: Shaman, Hunter, and aggro decks in general!
As mentioned above, aggro decks usually have a good time playing against Druids. Mech Mage, Tempo Mage, Mech Shaman, and Zoo are all very good against Druid. This happens because these decks are capable of generating Tempo faster than the Druid can, and by the time the Druid starts dropping Midrange minions the Aggro player will generally be able to do favorable trades.
In event you want to play a midrange deck instead, you can also try Midrange Hunter or Midrange Shaman. This happens because both decks are capable of easily disrupting Druid’s tempo generating abilities by dealing with their Midrange Minions with cheap spells such as hex and freezing-trap while dropping Midrange minions of their own.
Listed below are some additional tips for playing against Midrange Druid:
- As an aggro player, don’t be afraid to flood the board. Of course, this is provided you aren’t doing so with a lot of 1-health minions. So yeah, flood the board while making sure to play around swipe!
- As a control player, don’t be afraid to 2-for-1 yourself early in the game to establish board position. Druids generally have a difficult time regaining board, meaning it’ll be an uphill climb for them the rest of the game. However, don’t forget that Ancient of Lore replenishes their hand. Therefore, make sure you have access to some card draw later in the game to keep up with their ancient-of-lores. Most importantly, you should never ever let them snowball their early lead.
- Remember their combo does 14 damage on an empty board. Thus, try to play around that by keeping your life total above 14 at all times. With enemy minions on the board, remember to adjust for the extra damage by adding the minions’ damage + 14 + 2X, where X is the number of enemy minions on the board.
Midrange Druid is one of the most consistent decks in the game, and should remain so for a very long time period. Therefore, this is one of the most important reads of all the “How to Beat X” Series.
I hope you all had a good time reading this
Love you guys,