Trump’s Tree of Life Druid and the Importance of Metagaming

Today, I am going to take a look at Trump's Tree of Life Druid, and with it, the importance of metagaming at high levels of play. Read on for more!

Well hello good sirs! Today, I am going to take a look at Trump’s Tree of Life Druid, and with it, the importance of metagaming at high levels of play.

Back at the beginning of this season, there was a HUGE influx of control players. Druid, Warrior, and Paladin were everywhere, along with some Priest and Handlock as well. This was especially true at the top of the ladder, which at this point consisted of many professionals and former legends, who were all fighting not just to hit legend, but to make it to the top areas of the ladder. There were even a good number of fatigue decks running around, which are a huge threat to traditional control decks. Because of this, your standard control deck was not enough to beat the other decks running around.

Successful players had to do something to counter the metagame they were seeing: enter Trump’s deck. It is a control deck designed to beat other control decks. Today, I am not going to give a long analysis of how to play and mulligan for a Druid deck, I leave that to others, but instead, I’m going to look at how this deck worked against the early-season control meta.

the Key to the Tree: Introduction

The “general” strategy of control decks, is to protect your early game so that you can win in the late game by playing strong end-game legendaries to finish off your opponent, such as ragnaros-the-firelord. Now there are definitely variations to this, for example, Druid usually has a bit more board presence, and Handlock has the giants, but as a general rule of thumb this is how a control deck works. Now there are two ways then to beat a control deck: outspeed them, or outlive them. Prior to Goblins Vs. Gnomes, the former was the more common and effective way, but GVG has brought us ways to force the game into an even longer state than the slowest of decks could do in the past. For example, fatigue mage, as mentioned above, can use echo-of-medivh to copy its antique-healbot and deathlord and coldlight-oracle to force the game into fatigue and survive for a long time. And warriors have added, in addition to their already huge supply of legendaries, the mighty dr-boom. Even some Handlock players have begun running malganis in order to give themselves an even higher level of survivability. Trump saw this more late-game oriented metagame and decided to create a Druid deck that could take on this meta.

The general ramp/combo druid uses innervate and wild-growth to get out big cards fast in order to take control of the board, and then finishes the game with a force-of-nature + savage-roar combo for 14 damage plus more if you have an established board. But this version of Druid just didn’t cut it given the early-season meta. Warriors could gain 5 billion armor per turn, Priests could heal out of combo range, mages had ice-block, and Paladin had way too much board control for druid players to be able to easily get them into combo range. And as mentioned above, these decks were also teching themselves out to be able to have an even greater level of longevity than before. All of these things made the traditional druid combo somewhat ineffective, so in response to this, Trump dropped it. In exchange, Trump added a slew of cards that could compete in a very late-game situation, namely about 200 dollars worth of legendaries =O. In the past, Warrior decks have done similar things to this, adding alexstrasza and ysera to their arsenal, which shifts their focus more into the late game. Kibler also did something like this with his version of Deathrattle Priest, where he dropped his copies of thoughtsteal in favor of one copy each of ysera and mind-control, but with the release of GVG, there are more valuable legendaries than ever before since we have all the old staples such as sylvanas-windrunner and ragnaros-the-firelord and new late-game cards such as dr-boom and sneeds-old-shredder, and Trump uses these cards to push his deck into the late game, giving him a huge level of longevity and late-game power. Let’s look at the cards that set Trump’s Druid apart from your standard druid build.

Nature Will Rise Against You:Card Analysis

Though many of the cards in the deck are standard in a Druid deck, there are a few cards I want to look at that set this list apart from other Druid decks.

zombie-chow

We begin with a more humble addition to Trump’s deck, but a very important one. Though this deck is designed to be a hyper-control deck, a big part of the control meta is the mighty Uther, the Paladin, who combines his control powers with a very reasonable board presence through shielded-minibot and muster-for-battle, and the Chow gives an answer to this board presence. Even more importantly, however, is the fact that this card HEALS HANDLOCK PLAYERS! This makes it harder for them to drop their molten-giant.

mind-control-tech

Another card that may appear confusing for an anti-control deck, but dr-boom placing three bodies on the field at once makes this card very helpful even in the control matchup. Also, the surprise factor can really swing matchups.

keeper-of-the-grove

Though this is a staple card for druids, I did want to point out the importance of the silence effect on this guy in a control meta, since silencing a sneeds-old-shredder or other legendary with a strong effect is key in any Druid deck that focuses on the late game, including this one.

antique-healbot

Even though this isn’t a particularly interesting inclusion, I wanted to point out that this card can be just as helpful in the control matchup as in the aggro matchup. You can use it to heal out of range of a force-of-nature+savage-roar combo; heal up after your opponent plays alexstrasza; etc.

harrison-jones

This card is almost an auto-include nowadays with all the weapons flying around. Go craft it if you play anything other than Hunter or Zoo!

the-black-knight

This card is often included in control decks, and is becoming more and more important as Druids are more often running ancient-of-war than they were in the past. And of course there’s the ever present sludge-belcher that the Black Knight helps to deal with.

Malorne

Here’s where things become interesting. Malorne is not commonly included in Druid decks because he is very slow and easy to remove but it single-handedly wrecks mill decks. Unless the enemy silences Malorne, the player will never be able to get milled ever. This is because Malorne keeps going back into your deck even if its your last card! Also, even against other control decks, Malorne can overwhelm your opponent’s removal, since, again, it never goes away.

dr-boom

He booms. He’s OP. At worst, he forces your opponent to make an inefficient play with big-game-hunter since even after BGH removes him, the boom bots remain. And at best, he becomes a terrifying 9/9 worth of stats (in separate bodies). It’s not surprising that Trump would include this man.

sneeds-old-shredder

A legendary in a legendary. Sneed’s is a strong body with another strong body potentially within it. Though people always think of Sneed’s deathrattle in terms of the dichotomy of lorewalker-cho and ragnaros-the-firelord, it is just as likely that the deathrattle will pull out a more mid-end legendary such as toshley, which is still a solid body, and that is the point of including this card. In a deck that already has an almost impossible to remove army of legendary cards, Sneed provides two more bodies that need to be dealt with.

ysera

Besides being my favorite legendary, this card is the ultimate key to any late game deck. The reason for this is simple: card advantage. In a long game, players can be forced into topdecking, and an unanswered Ysera  guarantees that you will win the topdecking war. Similar to how Jaraxxus’ inferno gives you longevity through the summoning of tokens, Ysera’s dream cards give you amazing longevity in the late game, making her an absolute necessity in any sort of hyper-control deck.

tree-of-life

Here it is, the mighty Tree itself. This card functionally resets the game for its user, which makes it almost impossible to lose in the late game assuming that you have control over the board. Imagine playing this card after clearing your opponent’s field and you have only a ysera in play. Simply because of the card advantage you will have at this point, you are guaranteed to win, and that is how this deck works! After playing your nearly impossible to remove army of legendaries, you simply drop the Tree and then it’s over: very few decks can win in the late game given the sheer number of strong cards and the Tree preventing any attempts at a quick game closing.

Hmmm. Well Played: Conclusion

So as you can see, Trump’s Druid build is very interested, and was very strong against the meta he was facing. The longevity along with board presence that his deck could muster is quite incredible and his list should be remembered when facing a control-based meta. Thank you all for reading! Add me: Chinchillord#1811