Just for Fun: Miracle Druid

It’s RaFive, bringing you a new way to play with the metagame. Let's tinker and experiment with Miracle Druid!

Introduction

Hey, guys. It’s RaFive, bringing you a new way to play with the metagame.

The competitive aspect of Hearthstone sometimes makes it easy to forget that at the end of the day we’re playing a game and looking to have a good time. That’s why I like to set aside a chunk of my Hearthstone time to put aside my ladder ranking or my latest arena draft and just build a deck that puts a smile on my face. That’s what I’m going to help you do with this series — and in the process, hopefully we’ll push outside our comfort zones, think outside the box, and learn better deckbuilding and gameplay fundamentals.

Our first Just for Fun deck ought to be something both hilarious and special, so I’ve fittingly chosen Miracle Druid. I call my version “Cheap Tricks” — kudos to those who get the reference — due to its inexpensive spells, low dust cost, and surprising nature. This deck plays fast, requires a lot of decision-making at every turn, and uses a lot of cards that you don’t typically see in constructed play, adding to the fun and surprise factor. At the same time, it’s actually a solid deck and a few players have even teched similar versions of the archetype all the way up to Legend!

Overview

The Miracle archetype works straightforwardly on a conceptual level: Gadgetzan Auctioneer plus cheap spells to draw a ton of cards (including a win condition) really quickly and win through sheer card advantage. For Miracle to work, generally speaking, you need 15-20 spell cards (mostly 0-2 mana), two copies of Gadgetzan Auctioneer, and 5-8 draw spells (i.e., cards that cycle your deck by drawing other cards as part of their effect).

Rogue traditionally does best at Miracle because of cheap spells generally (like Backstab), cheap draw spells in particular (Shiv and Fan of Knives), and Preparation as a free draw off Auctioneer that also ups your spell tempo. Druid, however, has enough effective, cheap spells to serve as another strong contender for the Miracle build, thanks mainly to Innervate which acts as a Preparation that you can also use to put a minion out.

Where Rogue has cards like Eviscerate and Cold Blood to combo for burst damage, typically on individual minions, Druid has the more flexible Power of the Wild and Savage Roar to burst via buffing multiple minions. Miracle is fun in and of itself because it’s a fast and dramatic play style, but it’s even more fun in Druid because of the surprise factor and unusual card choices. There’s nothing more fun than watching your opponent scratch his head trying to figure out what deck you’re playing, as you set up a huge blast of damage that’ll catch him flat-footed and end the game spectacularly.

Major Combos

Echoing Ooze + Mark of the Wild: 6/8 of stats plus two Taunts for four mana… it’s value town! In a pinch, you can also use Power of the Wild to achieve a similar effect, especially if you have a third/fourth minion to buff.

Kobold Geomancer / Azure Drake + Moonfire / Swipe: The spellpower makes a huge difference in this deck, turning Moonfire into a ghetto Backstab that can also hit face, and turning Swipe into a beast capable of killing Sludge Belchers in a single hit.

Violet Teacher + [spells] + Power of the Wild: This is one of your two main win conditions, summoning a heap of 2/2 tokens with a 4/6 Violet Teacher to hold the board down, Then on the next turn you just whip out Savage Roar to burst for incredible damage.

Force of Nature + Savage Roar: This is your alternate win condition, so ubiquitous in Druid that most casters will just call it “the combo” — two cards for a guaranteed 14 damage. If you have any minions on the board already, you’ll typically end the game that turn no matter what, with a huge blast of damage that you can spread around flexibly.

Gadgetzan Auctioneer + Wild Growth on turn 10: This lets you draw three cards for two mana, and is by far the best way to thin your deck in the later game as you try to draw into a finishing combo. If you don’t play Wild Growth on your second or third turn, it’s generally wise to hang onto it to combo with Gadgetzan later in the game.

Aspiring master deckbuilders should note that all of the major combos are two-card combos, which makes them much easier to draw into and much easier to budget mana for several turns ahead. The fewer cards you have to combo to get the effect you want, the more often you’ll be able to use that combo effectively.

How to Play

With mulligan, you’re looking for stuff that’s effective in the early game, especially minions — Loot Hoarder, Echoing Ooze, Kobold Geomancer, Power of the Wild’s panther form (but don’t ever play both as panther; save one for combo with minions in the later game). ALWAYS keep Claw, since it’s incredibly effective against almost everything that gets played on the first three turns. I typically avoid Wrath until I can combo it with a spellpower booster or Gadgetzan Auctioneer if possible, but it’s perfectly acceptable removal in a pinch. Mark of the Wild is generally a little underpowered unless combo’d with Ooze, but it’s not a bad pickup. Moonfire is also better combined with Teacher or Auctioneer, but can serve as a little bit of extra tempo to push earlier if necessary. Never hold Azure Drake or Force of Nature. Last but not least, this is a mana-hungry deck, so in slower matchups, a turn 2 Wild Growth is incredibly powerful in the long run.

Playing the deck is easy to learn and hard to master. Your basic gameplan is: (1) stall the board as effectively as possible until turn 4-5; (2) throw out a ton of spells in combination with Auctioneer and/or Teacher to get minions sticking on the board; and (3) crush your opponent with a tidal wave of attack boost from Savage Roar. That said, this is both a Druid and a Miracle deck, and that means lots of decisions to make on each turn to maximize the strength of your plays. Experience is key to your effectiveness here.

Typically, you’ll want to throw out your lower-cost minions and draw spells first to thin your deck and bait out your opponent’s major removal, then set your win condition up and burst your opponent down. The earlier you are in the game, the more minion-heavy you want your plays to be, so that on turns 4-8 you have a hefty pool of spells in your hand to combo off. Getting 3+ draws from Auctioneer is critically important to your success in most cases, since you don’t have Conceal to keep him around for another turn and the nature of your deck precludes much of a taunt wall to protect him, so save Innervate for Auctioneer unless you have no other option. Naturalize also deserves special mention; it’s your only hard removal and it’s horrific for your card advantage, so save it for the big stuff and only use it in combo with Auctioneer if at all possible so you offset the card disadvantage.

Because it combines cheap cards with strong late-game finishers, Miracle is a flexible archetype that can be played both aggressively and conservatively. The key to victory, a lot of the time, is knowing when to hold back and when to start emptying your hand. In my experience, it’s usually best to fight fire with fire, forcing aggressive decks to empty their hands early and playing control against control, just at a slightly higher tempo.

Matchups are similar to Miracle Rogue. Hyper-aggressive decks are problematic, as are those with massive life gain (Warrior in particular, although Control Priest can also be obnoxious). Your odds are good against everything else; your main enemy in playing Miracle is yourself, since misplays are easy and costly.

Substitutions

I’ve tried hard to craft a deck that even newer or F2P players can slap together for fun without having to craft anything new or make difficult swaps. That said, a Miracle deck is mostly only constrained by its spell pool and inclusion of Auctioneer, which makes for more flexibility than a lot of other archetypes. Here are a few tweaks to consider:

Bloodmage Thalnos, as in Rogue, helps this deck tremendously by being a single card that simultaneously buffs spellpower and also draws you another card. It’s an obvious replacement for Kobold Geomancer if you have Thalnos and don’t find his body too weak for when you’re typically playing him.

Malygos is the single card that most increases the viability of this deck, to the point where you can make Legend if you’re a good player and deckbuilder. Including Mally cants the deck toward the later game and gives you a new potential win condition, meaning -1 Violet Teacher, -1 Savage Roar, -2 Echoing Ooze, -2 Mark of the Wild, +1 Malygos, +1 Wild Growth, +1 Naturalize, +1 Savagery, +2 Keeper of the Grove. Your dream combo with your spell dragon is turn 9 Moonfire + Innervate + Claw + Savagery for 15 damage, similar to the Rogue’s turn 10 Preparation + 2x Sinister Strike for 16 damage.

If you don’t have Malygos but want more responsive burst, -1 Violet Teacher for a second Force of Nature isn’t a bad idea.

Loatheb is great against control, providing some much-needed high-end power while also jamming the opponent’s spells for a crucial turn that could buy you the time you need to combo and win. You can swap him in for one Azure Drake.

If you want an F2P version of the deck without any epics, just take out Force of Nature. What you put in its place is debatable, but I personally favor Haunted Creeper as a cheap way to put buffable tokens on the board that also improves your early game in the process. You could also consider a second Wild Growth or Naturalize, a Keeper of the Grove, or even a Druid of the Claw for a lesser burst combo (Cat Form + Savage Roar = 8 damage rather than FoN’s 14 but leaves a minion on the board and costs 1 less mana — still effective as a finisher in combination with tokens from Violet Teacher).

Last but not least, let’s not forget that this deck is primarily Just for Fun™, which means we sometimes want to increase our derdle quotient as well. Our flex spots for these shenanigans are 1x Violet Teacher, 1x Wild Growth, 1x Savage Roar, and maybe the 2x Loot Hoarders. I personally recommend you take out Teacher and Roar and put in 2x Questing Adventurer if you’re looking to troll a little — it combos well with everything else in the deck, snowballs quickly, and almost guarantees either a laugh or a scoff out of your opponent! There’s nothing quite like taking out a baffled Huntard with a 17/17 Adventurer.

Conclusion

It’s fun to draw tons of cards and have lots of options. That’s what makes Miracle enjoyable to play. It’s also fun to run lesser-used cards in unusual archetypes that surprise and confound your opponents. Miracle Druid takes the cake here, with a solid and decently viable decklist that’s a blast to play AND a blast to play against.

Keep innovating and Innervating. Post your tales and screenshots from especially great games. Most importantly, enjoy every minute of your Hearthstone experience! I look forward to hearing what all y’all do with this deck.