Patron Warrior and Midrange Druid are two of the best midrange decks in the game. Though each one operates very different from the other, they both have solid removal, powerful combos, and very strong burst that helps them close out games. This guide will break down the matchup between both decks and look at how Patron, with its resilient minions and fine-tuned burst, is going to come out on top more likely that not.
When building Patron there are many different directions you can go in. Some versions focus soley on activators, while others have more burst and some rely on more removal. All of these different builds have their own strengths and weaknesses, and each one is viable in its own right. You typically just want to choose a list that best matches the cards or decks you are seeing at your current rank. To help you build and understand the core of patron, three decklists and a guide have been linked below.
The most important cards to keep against Druid are weapons, followed by your early minions. Druid has very limited removal, meaning that a lot of your early cards are going to stick. Your weapons are also key because they really help you set up the board and push through any quick amount of burst or minions that Druid might have. The key here is to just look low, and then build from that point on. You never want to try to keep a card that will come in handy later in the game because you might never get there.
Cards to KeepExecute Fiery War Axe Armorsmith Slam Cruel Taskmaster Frothing Berserker Acolyte of Pain Death’s Bite
Inner Rage is can be good to combo with activators like Armorsmith and Acolyte of Pain.
Battle Rage is good if you have an opening where you think you can set it up.
Frothing Berserker is a good keep if you strong cards to go along with it.
Piloted Shredder is strong keep with the coin and a powerful early curve.
Grim Patron is a strong keep if you have a solid opening or activators.
How to Win
Though Druid is very tough, this matchup falls into your favor because of just how strong Grim Patron is against them. Druid is a deck that need board presence to win the game, and you want to fight them on the board as much as possible. While they have some very strong midgame threats, you do too. As a result, you will usually be able to grind them out as the game goes on because of your extra AOE and hard removal.
Predict their plays. This is very important because, despite all of Druid’s large minions and fancy burst, they have very limited options as to what they can do on each turn. That means you usually will know what’s going to come down on each turn (such as a turn five Druid of the Claw or a turn seven Ancient of Lore) and you can adapt accordingly. You can also take advantage of this by making plays that will cause them to only do one thing. For instance, forcing them to use all of their mana on a Swipe to clear.
Early Game Strategy
Druid spends most of the opening turns trying to set up their ramp. While they are doing that, you want to get some minions onto the board. Acolyte of Pain and Armorsmith are the two most important, but anything that helps challenge their future plays is good. Whenever you play minions Druid has to answer them, and you want to begin that process as early as possible.
Fiery War Axe is extremely important in this game. While many Druid decks have cut Darnassus Aspirant for Wild Growth, the two drop is still quite popular and will beat you if you don’t have a solid answer. The axe is the best option for that. Just know that if they don’t have aspirant out, a minion is usually better than equipping the axe.
Frothing Berserker is a very fine turn three play. Not only does Druid have very limited options to remove it, but stopping the three drop is usually going to take an entire turn. This enables you to basically nullify their turn four play, which keeps up tempo. You can do the same strategy with Acolyte of Pain as well. Whenever Druid is removing rather than playing minions you are keeping priority.
Death’s Bite is one of the best removal options you have available and you want to run it out as soon as possible. Four damage takes care of most of their midrange minions from Azure Drake to Piloted Shredder to Keeper of the Grove, and the five damage is good against some of the bigger threats like Sludge Belcher, Ancient of Lore and Druid of the Claw. In addition, it also sets up a turn five Grim Patron play quite well.
You and your opponent are going to be operating in very different worlds during the middle of the game. You are going to be looking to try and combo off, while they are going to try to get their minions to stick. Removal is very important, but you really want to make good use of your board more than anything else. They are a class that loves to play their own game and build into the finishing combo, if you challenge their plays it makes it much harder for them to do that.
If you can make three or more Patrons you should absolutely go for it. Grim Patron, while always solid, is absolutely fantastic here. Druid has very little removal and none of it is AOE. That means a couple of Patrons are going to give them fits. While two is very fragile, three can is almost impossible for them to clear. In addition, getting the dwarves onto the board usually locks up control for the rest of the game.
Execute is very important during this stage of the game. A lot of the later midgame turns are going to be spent trying to keep your opponent’s board clear so they cannot build into the combo as easily as they want to. However, Innervate makes that much harder. You need to have access to hard removal at times, and Execute is as hard as they come. Try to only save this for the really big threats. If you have other means to removal smaller minions you should.
Late Game Strategy
The end of the game is going to be you and your opponent both pushing for lethal. If you have a board of Grim Patrons or big minions, you just want to push as hard as you can. If not, you want to try and set up Grommash Hellscream to give you the finishing points. On the other hand, Druid is going to be looking for Force of Nature/Savage Roar. These are the turns where the game ends, and you need to set up your ending damage while also being careful to not randomly die to fourteen damage from the hand.
Dr. Boom is very important for both sides because in almost always represents lethal (or close to it). The seven drop is incredibly strong with Druid’s combo, but it also fantastic at pushing through with damage to set up Grommash Hellscream. Unless you are under an enormous amount of pressure you want to run this out on turn seven to get yours down before Druid can answer with their own.
Always try to make use of Loatheb. The fungus-lover is one of the only ways to stop the Druid combo. Yes, it will only set them back for a turn, but that can be enough time for you to set up or push through for lethal. They do not always have turn nine combo, but it is very common. Beyond that, Druid will also tip you off to when they have combo by making plays like Swiping your face or charging a Druid of the Claw. If you see those, then try and cut them off with the 5/5.
Always look for ways to use Armorsmith. This card may seem very innocuous, but it is the only way you can reliably gain life outside of your hero power. Using this in combination with a Whirlwind effect later in the game can really push you out of Druid’s combo and buy you some valuable extra turns. It is also very strong to play before you trade your board in.