Aggro Druid with Fel Reaver Deck Tech

Greetings fellow Hearthstoners, today I will be showcasing a deck that I hit Legend with in just 3 days. That’s right 3 days. I consider this deck one of the strongest in the current Meta due to the now extinct Patron Warrior and the rise of Secret Paladin, Aggro Druid’s tough matchup (Warrior) got out of […]

Introduction

Greetings fellow Hearthstoners, today I will be showcasing a deck that I hit Legend with in just 3 days. That’s right 3 days. I consider this deck one of the strongest in the current Meta due to the now extinct Patron Warrior and the rise of Secret Paladin, Aggro Druid’s tough matchup (Warrior) got out of the Meta and the favourable one got in (Secret Paladin). So without further ado, let’s get to it.

Aggro Druid in this Meta

The Meta is currently infested with Secret Paladins, a deck that wins by getting easy board control with the help of cheap and effective secrets. While Mysterious challenger gives it consistency. The biggest problem facing this deck is going for board control (killing paladin’s minions) results in them getting a stronger board due to the secrets. But this is where aggro druid comes in, you don’t need to trigger them, the paladin will always be forced to trade on his turn and thus his secrets won’t trigger. This puts his deck on a considerable handicap and gives you a great advantage.

Now you might ask that any aggro deck would create the same effect, then why not just play something like Hunter? And my answer to that would be this aggro deck can also be good against other aggro decks due to the flexibility of Druid cards. Swipe can be a great anti aggro card, Druid of the Claw is a really sizeable taunt. So depending on the matchup you can always get an upper hand.

Card Analysis

innervate: Innervate has been one of the key components of every druid deck since the dawn of druid decks. Cheating off mana is a really strong mechanic, it lets you put your opponent in a mana debt. Quick board control and tempo for the low low cost of one card and zero mana. A must include in every druid deck.

In Aggro druid it helps you flood the board easily. Being able to do Knife Juggler into double Leper Gnome all on turn 2 can be a start that the opponent might never stabilize from. You might also get a great tempo lead if you can get out an early shredder. Overall it is a great flexible card with a minor drawback.

living roots: This new TGT card has been performing excellently in numerous situations, be it killing that Juggler for tempo or flooding the board for a good Savage Roar. I’ve been loving this card more than wrath which is why I decided to cut Wrath from this deck. Wrath does provide extra draw but it is loses you tempo. Also on the bonus side Living roots can go face! (Malf literally hits your face with a root, a root!)

leper gnome: The ickiest gnome of em all, the Leper Gnome. This little guy has been a Holy Smite to a Pyroblast I tell ya. It is guaranteed 2 damage to the face along with some extra. Very easy to combo with a Knife Juggler or just get a turn 1 presence. Leper gnomes are like the face of aggro decks and not putting one in an aggro deck just doesn’t feel right.

Darnassus Aspirant: The Dr. Boom of druids, Darnassus Aspirant is the only druid card to have made it to every competitive Druid list post-TGT. This card is simply nuts in terms of sheer value. It is a standard 2 mana 2/3 that trades favourably on turn 3 with the ever popular Shielded-minibots. It lets you hero power and play a 2 drop on turn 3 or simply let you slam a shredder. It is basically a wild growth for free that your opponent has to react to.

Timing this card is crucial in the mid game, say you are at 6 mana and have the combo and Darnassus in your hand. You can play the Darnassus right now and it might live another turn too but will most likely die in the following turn, after that and you now only have 8 mana and cant combo and you Darnassus did nothing but serve as a 2/3 body for a turn. So the optimal play would be to just wait an extra turn and play it on turn 7 so that you can gain at least something from the battlecry.

Druid of the Saber: This a unique addition to the aggro druid list. This card is a bluegill-warrior with the option of having to be a 3/2 stealth. It is really versatile. While you will mostly use this card as a charging 2/1 for some sweet face damage, you can also use it to set up an important trade next turn. It makes it so that it isn’t exactly a dead card versus control heavy opponents.

Note: It is generally advised to save the charge minions for later on. And play normal minions first to that you have a better board state in the early game. This would be because charge minions can be easily removed at any time. But non charge minions are tougher to remove in the early game. So playing the non-charge minions early is a good idea since they are more likely to stick and deal their damage while the charge minions already have guaranteed damage.

Knife Juggler: Another aggro staple, it lets you get board control and free damage for simply playing minions, I couldn’t ask for a better two drop if I wanted to. Knife juggler is always going to be your opponent’s prime target. You either play him on turn two or wait till you can get some good juggles out of him in most cases. Going for value isn’t the best strategy for an aggro deck but a knife juggler should definitely be considered important. Combo him with Living Roots for some great tempo plays.

Savage Roar: The roar in the Force-Roar combo, allowing you to deal up to 14 damage in one turn from an empty board. Some call it the overpowered mechanic that is needed in every competitive deck. But do not limit this card to combo with Force of Nature. It can provide great deals of damage in the mid game if you have a decent enough board to go with it. Setting up for lethals or getting an important taunt out of the way without losing much, Savage roar is the way to go.

Shade of Naxxramas: A really good early game threat and potentially lethal in the mid game. Best effective when played early. The biggest question in the mind of every shade player is, when to reveal it. To help you answer this I will give you a small checklist:

  1. Is there a bigger threat on board?
  2. Is it a favourable trade resulting in tempo?
  3. It isn’t my current win condition?
  4. Will my opponent have removal for it?
  5. Can I setup for lethal?

If you can tick any one of these it is the right move to reveal your Shade of Naxxramas.

Swipe: Although not the best AOE spell in the game, it is still one of the strongest against flood decks, it is your answer to opposing aggro. It can be valuable face damage at times but mostly will be used to control the board. Even an aggro deck cannot do away without a little bit of AOE spells after all. Even hunters play explosive traps.

Keeper of the Grove: Not only does he have the strongest mechanic in the game (silence), he can also be used as a tempo card if you chose to deal 2 damage. Aggro druid walks a fine line between Full face and Board control. While face is the optimal play at most times, going for board is also Important for maintaining tempo so that you can deal more sustained face damage. Keeper is usually used on turn 4 to kill an important two drop or saved to silence a key taunt later on. If your opponent however doesn’t have a key silence target it is ok to use it prematurely for damage and removal.

Piloted Shredder: Shredder is the best 4-drop in this game, hands down. Although the outcome of the shredder is wild RNG it is generally of decent value. Shredder is a sticky minion and is most likely to survive an extra turn, which translates to more face damage. Shredder can challenge almost all 5 drops and likely kill them if you use your hero power and still you end up with another minion on the board. What can I say this card is simply nuts. It is especially good when it comes to having that one extra minion before turn 9 to push for lethal with Force-Roar combo.

Savage Combatant: This card is a bit of a filler, but it does have some benefits, at first sight playing it on turn 4 simply sucks as it does so horribly against the likes of piloted shredder. But If paired with an Innervate it can actually help you take out the shredder with your hero power. Also since you will be ahead in mana at times due to your ramp cards, you will probably play this card before the shredder, making it a good piece of removal if your opponent does happen to have a shredder because most 3-drops can’t kill this guy and if it lives to give you one inspire it did pretty well.

Druid of the claw: A 4/4 charge to satiate your face going needs or a 4/6 to save your own. A highly versatile druid card that fills in the scarcely populated 5-mana slot in this deck. It is important to realize in which situations this card can be played as a 4/4 with charge. Even though this is an aggro deck it doesn’t mean everything HAS to charge and go face. DotC is a great tool to help protect your other small creatures so that they can deal more damage over the course of the game. But if you’re already are ahead on board and not scared of removal you play this guy in charge mode to push for damage. Especially if you can set up for lethal in the upcoming turns.

Fel Reaver: The star of this deck. Fel Reaver is the best aggro tool available to you. Innvervate him out and easily get 16 damage to the face, or play him on curve and still go face. This card is MEANT to go face, don’t go around trading with him, eventually after a hit or two your opponents the one who will do the trading. When you draw this card, your chances of winning have just gotten a significant boost.

Now you’ll be thinking, “Hey darkfrost, isn’t losing cards bad? Especially if you lose the combo?” But my naïve friend, it isn’t. As long as those cards aren’t in your hand, they might as well were at the bottom of your deck. In many cases the discards have actually bought me closer to my combo. If you think fatigue is a problem. Then let me tell you that if Fel Reaver lives long enough for fatigue to be an issue, your opponent is most likely dead. Here’s an article that sums it up perfectly.

Force of Nature: The second part of the Force-Roar combo. Without Savage roar a fairly weak card on its own, it is still a good way to kill off some of your opponent’s board. The fact that this card simply exists in the deck has led to a number of comebacks from lost games. You save it to combo your opponent for 14 damage out of nowhere. Only use it to clear the board when the opponent is actually threatening lethal.

Dr Boom: Last but not the least, literally, it is the one and only, Dr. Balanced. I just can’t find a reason to not have him in the deck. It not only is a 7/7 body for 7 mana that can provide huge board swings and is difficult to remove but also possesses great synergy with Savage Roar as does every flood minion in the game. Having Dr. Boom in your deck makes it an easy way to get some good damage in during the mid-game. Which might even lead to an easy lethal combo in the upcoming turns.

Deck strategy

The deck’s an aggro/tempo deck by nature. You focus on getting large bits of damage early on with high tempo cards like Knife Juggler and Living Roots. Deal imminent charge minion damage in the mid game and finish off your opponent by the start of turn 9-11 with your Force-Roar combo. Fel reaver is really helpful in getting on the early damage and can singlehandedly win you games at times.

Early on play your normal minions and establish a decent board. Use Keeper of the Grove and spells for removal or flooding the board. If you are getting a good savage roar turn, take it to deal that free face damage. Always remember your goal is to widdle down your opponent quickly so that you can burst him down from 14 health.

Around the mid game you play your DotC’s and Fel Reaver’s that can deal tons of damage.

By the time you get to the mid-late game you should’ve done enough damage to combo your opponent down and win the game.

Combos

Knife Juggler + Living Roots

Force of Nature + Savage Roar

Mulligans & Matchups

Secret Paladin

Matchup Type: Good

Mulligan: Innervate, Living Roots, Leper Gnome, Knife Juggler, Swipe, and Darnassus Aspirant.

Midrange Druid

Matchup Type: Good

Mulligan: Innervate, Living Roots, Leper Gnome, Knife Juggler, Druid of the Saber, Darnassus Aspirant.

Hybrid Hunter

Matchup Type: Good

Mulligan: Innervate, Living Roots, Leper Gnome, Knife Juggler, Druid of the Saber, Darnassus Aspirant.

Demon Handlock

Matchup Type: Good

Mulligan: Innervate, Living Roots, Leper Gnome, and Keeper of the Grove, Swipe, and Darnassus Aspirant.

Tempo Mage

Matchup Type: 50/50

Mulligan: Innervate, Living Roots, Leper Gnome, Knife Juggler, Druid of the Saber, Darnassus Aspirant.

Midrange Paladin

Matchup Type: 50/50

Mulligan: Innervate, Living Roots, Leper Gnome, Knife Juggler, Swipe, and Darnassus Aspirant.

Dragon Priest

Matchup Type: Bad

Mulligan: Knife Juggler, Shade of Naxxramas, Darnassus Aspirant, Druid of the Saber.

Patron Warrior

Matchup Type: Bad

Mulligan: Innervate, Living Roots, Leper Gnome, Knife Juggler, Swipe, and Darnassus Aspirant.

Control Warrior

Matchup Type: Bad

Mulligan: Innervate, Living Roots, Shade of Naxxramas, Knife Juggler, Piloted Shredder, and Darnassus Aspirant.

Conclusion

Overall Aggro Druid is in a great place in this Meta and it is a deck that definitely deserves a try.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article on Aggro Druid. I’d like to credit the deck creation to Cursed. I have taken this deck to Legend and I hope that you will to. For any feedback, comments or question, please feel free to post it below. Happy Laddering 🙂