Yogg Druid is one of the strongest decks in the current meta. It has a lot of early game, strong ramp, powerful finishers, and multiple paths to victory. If you want to take it to ladder, you need to know how to beat some of the other big decks in the game. One such deck is Midrange Hunter, an extremely reliable deck that has some of the best minions and burst in the game. This guide will look at both decks and show how Yogg Druid can use its quick ramp and big turn to beat Rexxar.
Though you have to use the token core, there are several directions you can go in with Yogg Druid. You will notice that it is a deck with a lot of one-ofs and various tech cards. All of those can be tweaked to fit your style as well as the decks you face most on ladder. Some versions run more late game finishers to trump Warrior, some lower the curve to attack aggro and some run more draw or tempo to help out their consistency. All versions work, you just want to pick which is best for you. To help you with this, the standard list has been linked on the side.
The most popular Hunter deck in the game is Midrange with a beast sub-theme. They are a deck that wants to get rolling and play a strong on-curve minion each turn. While early removal is strong for upsetting that path or play, you really want to prioritize getting ramp. Hunter starts early but they win the game in the mid-to-late game. Your goal is to beat them there as best as you can.
Cards to KeepInnervate Living Roots Raven Idol Power of the Wild Wrath Wild Growth Mulch Feral Rage
Mire Keeper can be kept with early ramp.
Nourish is a strong keep if you have the ramp to play it early.
How to Win
This whole game is about controlling he tempo as best as you can. Hunter has the best six drop (Savannah Highmane) and the best eight drop (Call of the Wild) in the game. What that means is, if they ever have board going into those turns (especially with your lack of hard removal and AOE options) you are not going to be able to comeback. You have to get control of the board as much as you can to make sure you can push for damage and force them off of their plays.
The other part of this matchup is anticipation. Hunter has a strong curve, which means they are also very predictable. You know what they’re going to play and you know when they’re going to play it. That is important because it makes it so you can set up each of your turns. While you cannot accurately know what your opponent is going to have in each situation, you can plan for Stanglethorn Tiger on five, Savannah Highmane on six or King’s Elekk on two. Knowing that will help you set up how much damage or board presence you need each turn.
Early Game Strategy
The opening turns of the game are going to be where you either play early removal or try to ramp as fast as you can. Hunter likes to start out playing their 3/2’s and 2/1’s. Sometimes they are going to start extremely fast. When that happens you want to try and mitigate their early push as much as you can to make sure you don’t lose the board entirely. However, if they start out slower then you need to take the opportunity to ramp as fast as possible.
Try your best to get out an early Violet Teacher. The 3/5 is a must kill threat that needs to be dealt with immediately, but she is hard to deal with. Deadly Shot is the only card that deals with her on an empty board, and most of the time your opponent just isn’t going to have an answer. From there you can really start to take over the game.
Always play turn one Living Roots if possible. Two 1/1’s on turn one may not seem like it makes a big difference, but it allows you to kill your opponent’s early minions while giving you the flexibility to do something else on turn two. Even if your opponent doesn’t have a minion you can just go face.
Make sure to clear as many beasts as you can. Houndmaster is a very hard card to deal with and you never want to allow Hunter to neatly curve into it. Rather, you want to force them to use it in combination with a cheap beast later in the game for a weak turn.
Note: You want to play your early Raven Idol in spell for to try and find either ramp or removal.
The middle of the game is Hunter’s strongest point, which means if you don’t have board you are rarely ever going to be able to comeback. You should be up mana here, and you want to use that to your advantage in any way that you can. These are the turns where you need to get as much board presence as you can and see what answer your opponent has. Always go in on Violet Teacher if you can.
The golden rule here is that you need have a strong board by turn six. Savannah Highmane is an absolute monster card that will crush most of your minions and pour on the pressure. Though it can be a good Mulch target, you need to try and completely clear the lion whenever possible. Build your whole attack based on a full clear on turn six. If that doesn’t look possible, then try and be aggressive as you can to make Hunter use removal rather than their token six drop.
Another hard to deal with card is Infested Wolf. Houndmaster and Kill Command are always going to be lurking in the shadows of your opponent’s hand. You need to try and focus on clearing the board and steadily building up more and more damage with each passing turn. While letting the 1/1’s live may seem fine, it is almost always better to kill them.
Try your best to either get some value (one spell is fine) out of Fandral Staghelm or put him onto an empty board. Like Violet Teacher, the 3/5 legendary is a very strong card that your opponent is going to have trouble clearing on their own. Playing him onto a clear board will usually force your opponent to let him live or burn premium removal to set up your late game.
Late Game Strategy
You want to play the late game completely based on your health. If you have a good amount of health then you can really push for damage and take the chance that your opponent is going to answer your board rather than the other way around. However, if you are at lower health you need to be completely defensive and do what you can to make sure you aren’t going to succumb to damage.
The golden rule here is to protect yourself. There are several ways to do this, but the best is with taunts. Most Yogg Druids run one or two Ancient of War. You want to do what you can to get the 5/10 down as soon as possible. Though there are circumstances where Hunter can clear it, if the tree sticks you should lock your opponent out. This also goes for Cenarius.
Another way to beat Steady Shot is to kill your opponent before they kill you. Hunter will use most of their removal during the early game and then rely on their minions to clear during the later stages. That means any huge board is instantly going to put you in control of the game. If you ever have the health to slam a big minion, do so. It only takes one threat to win the damage race.
Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End is a great card when you are going to die or when your opponent has a full board. While it is a great way to clear, you should also recognize when you need a hail mary because you simply won’t be able to race. Though you may not be technically dead at seven or nine life, if you do not have the damage to outrace Steady Shot it is a good idea to Yogg.