Nuba’s Corner – Breaking Down C’Thun Druid

C’Thun Druid is somehow a new deck. Despite existing since Whispers of the Old Gods was released, only lately the deck was proven to be strong enough for competitive play. Early this week we saw Cydonia claim one of the Blizzcon spots by playing a very different version from the one list that was made […]

Introduction

C’Thun Druid is somehow a new deck. Despite existing since Whispers of the Old Gods was released, only lately the deck was proven to be strong enough for competitive play.

Early this week we saw Cydonia claim one of the Blizzcon spots by playing a very different version from the one list that was made popular by AKAWonder. I started to wonder about how open the deck building for C’Thun decks was, and decided it was a good time to make a C’Thun deck building breakdown.

Here in this article you’ll learn the uses, advantages and disadvantages of every C’Thun Druid option you have available so you can tech your deck accordingly to each metagame you’re facing until we are able to tell which build (if there is any) is the perfect one.

The Deck’s Playstyle and Win rate

C’Thun Druid is a midrange type of deck specialized, much like every other Druid deck before it, in generating tempo through the abuse of innervate and stronger Midrange cards than the opponent. Druid strategies overall are usually moved around playing better minions and staying ahead on curve, out-tempo-ing the opponent and snowballing from there.

However cthun decks usually stumble upon the fact that Cultists are, generally, much worse than other alternative in the same curve, making it so you’re usually playing cards behind the curve in order to feed your C’Thun. This often leads to some major deck building issues we have on today’s Hearthstone and is the reason why we haven’t been able to find the perfect C’Thun Druid build this far.

Given its Midrange playstyle and strong minion count, C’Thun Druid is often a strong counter to Warrior decks, regardless of them being Dragon, Tempo or Control, and is the reason of the deck’s recent popularity in both tournaments and ladder, the deck has even odds of beating other non-Warrior Midrange decks such as Hunter and Shaman while being weak against Aggro decks such as Zoo, Mage and Shaman.

The Main Builds

Currently there are two major lines you can follow as C’Thun Druid to build you deck: A standard wild-growth list made to exploit the deck’s strengths the most, and a Growth-less list made to have a more spread win rate across the charts, heightening the odds of winning against Aggro (but still having them below 50%) and lowering the odds of winning against Control (but still leaving them above 50%).

The standard build for these lists are the ones you see featured in this article, which were popularized during the European and American Spring Prelims.

Card Choices and How They Affect the Game

Now this is the definitive section of how the card choices affect the deck and the game. Keep in mind that, given the Midrange nature of the deck, the number of cards on each slot is limited which makes it so you shouldn’t overpopulate a slot in favor of another, and doing so will only lower your win rate across the board with no real upside. Note that I will not be talking about meta-oriented techs such as harrison-jones, mulch and the-black-knight and also will not be talking about Deck staples such as twin-emperor-veklor, azure-drake, brann-bronzebeard, etc…

  • wild-growth vs beckoner-of-evil – There is much to think regarding these two cards and the choice in having either of them. While the Beckoner is a card to help you develop board presence earlier in the game, Wild Growth will allow you to get to the late game faster while not feeding the C’Thun. This means that if you choose to go Wild Growth over Beckoner, you’ll be needing to add extra Cultists to your deck in the upper slots, diminishing your early game potential while lowering the odds of Midrange snowball. However, by choosing Wild Growth over Beckoner you’ll be making sure your odds of always staying ahead on Tempo against Control and Warrior decks in general are higher.
  • raven-idol – This card was made popular after the addition of fandral-staghelm to the game. Staghelm quickly became a Druid staple, and Raven Idol, despite being an anti-tempo card, is a decent way to look for ramps early in the game, spells later in the game and to get double-discover value out of Staghelm. You usually want cards like these on Wild Growth decks, which are value-oriented decks rather than early game tempo.
  • living-roots – A very flexible and powerful early game defense tool that is rather mediocre/weak during the later stages of the game. This card should usually be put as a two-of in Beckoner decks as ways to guarantee an early game lead, facilitating the snowball, but can also be used in Wild Growth decks, usually as a 1-of, to lower the odds of getting destroyed by early game snowballs.
  • klaxxi-amber-weaver vs cthuns-chosen – So here is another big point where the choices between Beckoner and Growth will affect the deck building. Not running Beckoner will make it so you’ll be needing extra cultists, which usually means you’ll be running C’Thun’s Chosen, lowering the number of free slots in the 4-drop curve, often making it so you can’t run the Amber Weaver. The thing about the Amber Weaver vs the Chosen is that while the Chosen is better against Warrior (which will usually 2-for-1 Warrior cards, given its Divine Shield), the Klaxxi is destructive against Decks like Zoo, as a 4/10 played on turn 4 is often something that will usually trade, alone, for 4 or even 5 of the Zoos cards, generating enough tempo that it could be winning games by itself.
  • Late game options are usually related to deck’s choices: ragnaros-the-firelord is often a staple in Druid decks. cenarius is a much better card in Beckoner lists because you can make use of the massive +2/+2 ability a lot more often, while ancient-of-war is often a Growth’s card of choice for late game as it helps you make up for the lost time ramping. soggoth-the-slitherer could be an interesting tech as well.
  • The rest of the cards such as twilight-elder and mire-keeper are usually curve-fillers – you’ll want to put them in your deck if you feel a certain curve is lacking cards. I like Twilight Elder as a 2-of in C’Thun decks because of how unique the ability is and how good this card is with innervate for both feeding C’Thun as well as generating value early in the game against Aggro decks, but that is just personal taste.

Closing

This pretty much covers all the differences between both builds and gives you a understanding of how they operate and how they were built.

Building your own C’Thun Druid list is often something recommended, as the meta changes a lot from rank to rank, even in Legend ranks the deck you’ll be facing at top 500 are different from the ones you face at top 3000, so taking your pick on which cards you should be choosing is indeed very important.

I hope you guys enjoyed this read, it sure was awesome writing about it 😀

Love you all!

Cuddles,

Nuba