C’thun Druid is one of the strongest and most consistent decks in Standard. It has a lot of powerful minions, a great finisher and all of the tools to take down the meta’s top contenders. If you are planning on taking the big minion deck to the ladder you need to know how to beat the other top decks in the game. One of those is Miracle Rogue, the premier combo deck in the meta. This guide will analyze the popular list and show how Druid’s constant minions can grind it down.
While it is easy to write off C’thun Druid as one set deck, there is actually quite a bit innovation. Though you cannot touch the core cards you need to make your finisher work, all of the other cards can be tweaked to fit your style or the decks you are facing. Some versions of C’thun run more heavy minions to combat control, while some have more ramp, some favor card draw to add consistency and others have a low curve to fight aggro. Each lists has certain bonuses. To help you figure out which ones best fit you, two lists and guide have been linked below.
When facing Rogue you always want to mulligan for your early minions and ramp. This is a game where you need to apply constant pressure and force Rogue’s hand as much as possible. That begins on turn one. You can keep a higher ceiling depending on how ramp affects your curve, but you want to find two and three drops as much as you can.
Cards to KeepInnervate Living Roots Wild Growth Beckoner of Evil Wild Growth Wrath Disciple of C’thun Twilight Elder
C’thun’s Chosen and Klaxxi Amber-Weaver should both be kept with the coin and a good curve.
Swipe is a good keep with a strong curve.
How to Win
The most important rule above all others is kill everything your opponent plays. Rogue is a deck that can do gigantic amounts of damage out of nowhere, but most lists run limited out-of-hand burst. They usually depend on getting a minion to stick around so they can then buff and attack. Taking down everything they have directly cripples that line of play. While it never feels good to trade your board into an Edwin Vancleef, sometimes it is a necessary way to stay alive.
Another important part of this game is finding ways to either do damage or make your opponent worry about damage. You can never let Rogue get comfortable, and even one dead turn can allow them enough space to put together a massive combo. Though you do not have a ton of ways to do damage, you have enough where even a few minions can force Rogue into bad situations. Understand this, and do your best to bluff lethal to get them to use damage on the board rather than your face.
Early Game Strategy
While you want to get a jump during the early turns, you also need to make sure you clear as much as you can. You are not a deck with much removal. Rogue is going to know that and they will run out anything they can to try and challenge your board presence. Use your removal loosely here and always make sure that nothing sticks. Even a simple 3/3 can suddenly get Concealed with a Cold Blood to just stack up massive amounts of damage.
The most important thing here is to make Rogue react to you. That means being the first person to get minions down and making them use their removal on your board rather than the other way around. Innervate and Wild Growth both do a great job of putting yourself ahead, but even a two-three-four curve can force Rogue to play spells over minions.
Rogue has a lot of early game combos and you want to be aware of all the ways they can clear. Backstab, Eviscerate, Sap, SI:7 Agent, Fan of Knives and Shadow Strike can kill just about everything you play and will keep Rogue in control. The way you play around their removal is by trying to bait it out with a lesser minion before playing a serious threat.
The middle of this game is going to be a tale of two decks. You are trying to get huge threats down and solidify your damage while Rogue is going to be trying as hard they can to put together their combo and draw their deck. This is the part of the game where you need to get really big really quickly. Your job here is to slam minion after minion to run Rogue low on cards and lock them out of the game.
Violet Teacher and Tomb Pillager are Rogue’s two four drops and you need to be ready to clear both. While a timely Swipe can take down either threat, if you do not removal you want to have the right amount of damage on board. Pillager is much more important to kill because you cannot afford to take five damage a turn.
Druid of the Claw and Dark Arakkoa are your best minions in this game. The reason is that Rogue is going to spend most of their small removal on the early turns, which means they aren’t going to have ways to climb to six or seven damage without sacrificing their board or using Sap. This will often lead to dead turns and force them to stretch out their mana.
However, you need to watch out for Sap as best you can. The two mana card really hurts your tempo and can crush you if you are depending on a big taunt to save you from lethal damage. If you haven’t seen one by the middle game you always want to make your plays with it in mind.
The biggest card here is Gadgetzan Auctioneer. If Rogue plays one naked you need to kill it at all costs, and if they Conceal it you need to get extremely aggressive because there is almost no chance you will be able to win the longer game once they’ve drawn twenty cards.
Note: A charging Druid of the Claw is a great removal spell and can also be a good way to get rid of a 3/3.
Late Game Strategy
The end of the game is going to be where you and your opponent race towards burst. Rogue does that through things like Eviscerate and Cold Blood, while you do that with C’thun. As much as you need to clear during the early parts of the game, you absolutely need to make sure nothing lives here. Getting rid of a minion is even more important than putting together a two turn lethal because you will usually win the long game.
Just like the middle turns, you want to play as many minions as you can. However, here you want to prioritize taunts over everything else. Your deck is built in a way where each turn you are alive is one turn closer to your finisher. As a result, staying alive is much more important than anything else. You need to protect your life here and make sure you don’t succumb to quick burst.
Run out Twin Emperor Vek’lor as soon as you can. Two 4/6’s will give Rogue fits. Not only do they shut out any potential minion damage but they also require a lot of removal to get rid of. Putting up the legendary wall is always going to be good here. The only time you don’t want to play this is when you need to take care of a minion immediately.
C’thun, which is almost always going to be a clear or lethal damage, follows the same rules as the Twin Emperor. Play it as soon as you can.
When figuring out what your opponent can do you never should forget about Preparation. Prep gives Rogue a lot of options and allows them to make plays beyond normal mana constraints. When figuring out how your opponent is going to react you need to calculate their play with a free spell thrown in.