This is my guide to playing combo Druid, my absolute favorite class that I have used to rank from 18 to Legend.
My main deck. Decklist (to the right) is what I’m currently using and have used to ladder from rank 5 –> Legend.
Blizzard has bestowed upon us an incredibly good card in Blackrock Mountain, giving us [card]Emperor-Thaurissan[/card]. Making Midrange/Combo/Fast Druid a contender for tier one again.
This deck is all about establishing board control and then quickly bursting the opponent down with the loved and hated combo [card]force-of-nature[/card] + [card]savage-roar[/card] that deals 14 damage plus your already established board. This combo has become infamous for stealing many games that have been otherwise unwinnable and is sometimes considered worse than old miracle rogue’s [card]leeroy-jenkins[/card] combo.
So, why play Druid you ask? Well, except for it being a very effective decks with almost no auto-lose match-up (looking at you Freeze Mage) it is a very effective way of climbing the ladder in a very quick way and still not feeling dirty for playing Hunter or Zoo! It’s very easy to learn and can still be very tricky to master, today I’m here to do exactly that.
[card]innervate[/card] x2: Gives you 2 mana this turn only. Amazing card in the early game and midgame, bad during late. Probably the last card you want to topdeck. Innervate allows for an early [card]shade-of-naxxramas[/card], Double combo ([card]force-of-nature[/card] + [card]savage-roar[/card] + [card]savage-roar[/card]) and getting huge tempo swings by i.e. using [card]Keeper-Of-The-Grove[/card] to clear a Turn 2 [card]Knife-Juggler[/card]. Can be used to get out early [card]ancient-of-lore[/card] for draws, Turn 1 [card]Piloted-Shredder[/card] etc.
[card]Zombie-Chow[/card] x1: 2/3 for 1, amazing stats for 1 drop, can contest board control early against minions like [card]flame-imp[/card], [card]knife-juggler[/card], [card]leper-gnome[/card] and more. The heal is not relevant in the early game as you want to get board control anyways.
[card]Wild-Growth[/card] x2: Now this is one of the biggest keycards in the deck since it allows for early [card]Piloted-Shredder[/card], [card]azure-drake[/card] and other high drops. WARNING: DO NOT COIN THIS IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A [card]SHADE-OF-NAXXRAMAS[/card] OR ANOTHER TURN 3 PLAY!
Wrath x2: Deal 3 damage or 1 damage and draw a card, the versatility is amazing, can be used to enable trades that would otherwise not be possible. Scenario not to use it: Let’s say a Zoo player plays [card]Flame-Imp[/card] turn 1 and you have [card]The-Coin[/card] + [card]Wrath[/card], I personally always save it against higher value targets like i.e. [card]Knife-juggler[/card] or [card]Dire-Wolf-Alpha[/card]. The [card]Flame-Imp[/card] is usually lower priority.
[cardinsert card=”savage-roar” float=”right”]
[card]Savage-Roar[/card] x2: Amazing card, +2 to all characters on your board, can be used for trades or finishing the opponent with the combo, 2 is used for the possible 22 damage combo ([card]Force-of-nature[/card] + [card]Savage-Roar[/card] + [card]innervate[/card] + [card]Savage-Roar[/card]). 2 of this card is a must, it has become even better after the release of [card]Emperor-Thaurissan[/card] since it allows for a 9 mana super combo.
[card]Big-Game-Hunter[/card] x1: I love this card, maybe it’s because it was my first golden epic or just because of the sheer amount of possible value you can get from the card. This card is really good since [card]Dr-Boom[/card] is prevalent in the meta and because of that it’s just a must in a deck like this, where you hardly have any hard removal against big creature.
[card]Shade-of-Naxxramas[/card] x2: Good early card AND late, this allows a higher combo damage since the stealthed target is usually harder to remove and can allow a 19 damage combo if it’s only been stealthed 1 turn, 1 turn equals 1 damage more to the combo. This is also used to control early, you can also keep it stealthed for several turns to get incredible value and sometimes killing i.e. a [card]Ragnaros-The-Firelord[/card] from a Turn 1 [card]Shade-Of-Naxxramas[/card].
[card]Swipe[/card] x2: This card is bloody amazing, used to clear boards, finish the game and used with [card]Azure-Drake[/card] to make an incredible [card]Swipe[/card], dealing 5 damage to one target and 2 to the rest. This card can NOT be substituted for [card]Starfall[/card], even though some may think it will be able to. [card]Starfall[/card] is just not good enough and the 5 slot is quite contested.
[card]Keeper-of-the-grove[/card]x2: Oh shit, this is ONE of the best druid card, if not the best. Can be used to i.e. silence [card]Sylvanas-Windrunner[/card], [card]Sludge-Belcher[/card] and other high value effects. The 2 damage can be used to kill [card]Knife-Juggler[/card], allow for better trades and swing board control in your favor.
[card]Piloted-Shredder[/card] x2: Replaced [card]Chillwind-Yeti[/card] a while back, sticky creature that trades well, can be played on T1/T2/T3 for amazing trades, trade wells with ([card]imp-gang-boss[/card] and other 4 health creatures).
[card]Azure-Drake[/card] x1: Draw, [card]Wrath[/card] trades better and [card]Swipe[/card] is amazing, most people run 2 and 1 [card]Sludge-Belcher[/card], I do reverse just to improve the hunter match-up and it’s currently working out very well.
[card]Druid-of-the-claw[/card] x2: V E R S A T I L I T Y. Charge to combo well with [card]Savage-Roar[/card] to deal 8 damage. The taunt is amazing to trade with Zoo fields, Hunter Fields or just a nice Turn 5 drop. A big decision to make when playing Druid, I charge against i.e. [card]Acolyte-of-pain[/card] and when I can 100% set up for lethal.
[card]Sludge-Belcher[/card] x2: My baby, I love this card. It stops lethals, it sometimes forces silences to allow for more value Sylvanas etc. Amazing against Hunter since it absorbs 7 damage or a silence.
[cardinsert card=”force-of-nature” float=”left”]
[card]Force-Of-Nature[/card] x1: I used to run 2, but I cut one since you never really needed to use 2 combos in the same game and if you did, one of them were usually for clears and then it would usually be better with an early game creature. You can of course still run 2, I just ahve never found the need of 2. Very important for the combo, of course.
[card]Emperor-Thaurissan[/card] x1: Thanks Blackrock Mountain for this incredibly amazing card in this amazing deck. This allows for a MUCH cheaper combo, a smooth curve and can be innervated and can be brought out as around turn 3-4, also. 22 damage combo for 9.
[card]Sylvanas-Windrunner[/card] x1: Forces silences, forces an immediate answer and if not answered it will allow some amazing steals and it has sometimes won me entire games.
[card]ancient-of-lore[/card] x2: Best druid card, maybe tied with Keeper of the Grove. Again, VERSATILITY is KEY in this deck, it allows this deck to protect HP to stall until late game or be fast enough to rush down very slow decks. [card]Ancient-of-lore[/card] is the best card, it can heal you against i.e. hunters, it can add to the card advantage that you might not have. I USE THE DRAW OPTION 90% OF THE TIME, THINK ABOUT THAT IF YOU ARE NEW. 5/5 for 7 + Draw 2 cards is good. It’s basically a 5/5 for 4, since [card]Arcane-Intellect[/card] is draw 2 for 2.
[card]Dr-Boom[/card] x1: Been thinking about removing him, but he is just so good. Unfortunately he is the only [card]Big-Game-Hunter[/card] target in the deck and can therefore be sometimes bad to play. Though, he’s just too good to pass. You can even get him out as early as turn 3, and unless they have an answer ([card]Big-Game-Hunter[/card], [card]Hex[/card], [card]Polymorph[/card] etc.) the game is usually won. Playing this on turn 6 (with [card]Wild-Growth[/card]) can often win you the game.
[card]Cenarius[/card] x1: I. Love. This. Card. He summones 2 2/2s, he’s the almost best card you can topdeck in a topdecking scenario. One of my favorite cards just because of the, again, VERSATILITY IS KEY. This can be used to buff a board up to immense strength and best of all, it dodges [card]Big-Game-Hunter[/card].
So there’s my explanations of my cards.
There are of course couple of budget replacements that has its own sections down below
[cardinsert card=”force-tank-max” float=”left”]
“But, I don’t have all these fancy legendaries! What should I do?” Well worry not Jimmy! There are replacements that can be inserted in the deck to still be able to have lots of fun! Unfortunately some of the cards are replaceable, such as [card]Force-of-nature[/card] and [card]ancient-of-lore[/card] since they fill a very unique and irreplaceable role. Stuff like [card]Cenarius[/card] can easily be replaced for stuff like [card]force-tank-max[/card] or for an even cheaper version, [card]boulderfist-ogre[/card]. Most commons in the deck should be fairly easy to gather and most rares are very important anyways. Do you not own Curse of Naxxramas? Don’t worry! You can switch out [card]shade-of-naxxramas[/card] for stuff like [card]Harvest-Golem[/card] or other solid 3-drops, do you not have Blackrock Mountain? No problem that either, just get yourself something like a [card]sunwalker[/card] in the 6-slot instead of that Thaurissan! Most late game legendaries can be switched out for any late game creature of your choice, such as [card]cenarius[/card] for [card]boulderfist-ogre[/card].
So, we’ve all been in this scenario. You’re playing Hearthstone and you’re laddering up, trying to hit legend with your hearthstone account. But suddenly you’re only against aggro decks, “How do I counter them?” Well worry not! I have an entire section on how to counter what you hate the most.
Warrior, Rogue and Paladin:
Don’t you hate those pesky weapon classes? I do too! That is why I sometimes add [card]harrison-jones[/card] to be able to keep up with their board controlling weapons. If you want to put [card]harrison-jones[/card] in your deck as a way to counter weapons and to give yourself the card draw and that extra little edge against weapon classes you can remove cards like [card]azure-drake[/card] since they both fill the purpose of drawing cards and establishing some kind of board ([card]azure-drake[/card] through spell power [card]Swipe[/card] and [card]Harrison-jones[/card] to counter [card]fiery-war-axe[/card], [card]truesilver-champion[/card], Rogue’s hero power and [card]deaths-bite[/card] to stop them from getting favorable trades).
[cardinsert card=”harrison-jones” float=”right”]
So the Hunter match-up is usually in your favor, but are you against more than 50% hunters it can be wise to add in an [card]antique-healbot[/card] to get yourself out of hero power range. Other than that my deck is optimized for aggro, running 2 Sludge Belchers to stop the opponent from going all face. If you really want the extra edge you can substitute [card]piloted-shredder[/card] for a healbot (this isn’t 100% recommended though, this is mostly in extreme cases when you REALLY want to win the game against Hunter).
Zoo is gaining popularity, not fun for us Druids. In the druid matchup [card]Swipe[/card] isn’t very good, since it’s often dead and because of the high health of Zoo cards. To counter that you can remove 1 [card]sludge-belcher[/card] for another [card]azure-drake[/card] to gain more value from [card]wrath[/card] and [card]swipe[/card]. Other than that you can just pray to RNGesus that the opponent does not draw good cards, because if he gets a better curve than you it is VERY hard to make a comeback.
Grim Patron Warrior:
Well, what can you do here? The solution is basically the same thing here and for the Zoo match-up. In this match-up [card]swipe[/card] is almost always dead when he puts down the [card]grim-patron[/card] since it can not be used as an effective clear. With [card]azure-drake[/card] you can actually remove most of the Patrons and come out on top. In this match-up you just need to try to finish him and don’t keep cards with less than 3 attack on the board as they will snowball out of control.
[toc]Matchups and Mulligan[/toc]
Mulligan is key in this deck, you need to keep the right card to have a chance to outpace your opponent.
General “must-keeps” are [card]Innervate[/card], for those early creatures and often [card]Wrath[/card] to keep the board clear of threats.
[cardinsert card=”zombie-chow” float=”right”]
Hunter is the most common match-up, according to my Track-O-Bot stats to play against, and most people usually play decks that straight out only counter the deck because people find it so annoying to play against. Against Hunter [card]Zombie-Chow[/card] is a godsend, you will learn to cherish this card and to pray to draw it in every hand. [card]Zombie-Chow[/card] allows to trade against stuff like [card]Leper-Gnome[/card] and effectively make it an easy 2 for 1. It also discourages Hunters to put down that early [card]Knife-Juggler[/card] as [card]Zombie-Chow[/card] wrecks it. Other cards you want to keep include: [card]Wrath[/card] to keep the threats away from your face. If you can innervate out an early [card]Druid-Of-The-Claw[/card]you can absolutely keep the combo in your hand. Be careful to not dump too many resources in a taunt, because you might get [card]Ironbeak-owl[/card]’d and immediately regret your decision.
The Hunter match-up is generally OK. You have taunts to negate damage and you have heals to survive that pesky hero power. Stuff like [card]Savannah-Highmane[/card] is incredibely annoying and I can almost only recommend trying to get [card]Sylvanas-Windrunner[/card] to steal it. Saving your [card]Keeper-of-the-grove[/card] to at least have one silence in your hand is often good. As [card]Savannah-Highmane[/card] can easily 3 for 1 you need to have tools to keep it from getting high value.
Zoo is annoying, it’s solely based around getting good trades off and establishing board control. If you lose board control you can struggle to get it back, as your only board clear is Swipe and since it only deals 1 damage it can struggle to clear cards like [card]Knife-Juggler[/card], [card]Flame-Imp[/card], [card]Dire-Wolf-Alpha[/card] and even though it’s incredibly efficient at clearing [card]Imp[/card] and [card]Imp-Gang-Boss[/card] it’s not something you want to keep in your opening hand.
So what do you actually want to keep in your hand? Well, there’s always the obvious ones. [card]Innervate[/card] and [card]Wrath[/card] should be kept to clear early. If you have something like [card]Piloted-Shredder[/card] in your hand you can keep it and get it on what’s effectively turn 3.
[cardinsert card=”imp-gang-boss” float=”right”]
The match-up is hard as [card]Doomguard[/card] is a gigantic threat that is very hard to deal with. Your best bet is try to set up some Combo lethal without him noticing or try to get board control which is incredibly hard against an efficient deck like Zoo. Save the [card]Big-Game-Hunter[/card] against [card]Mal’Ganis[/card] or [card]Dr-Boom[/card]. You can use it on turn 3 for a bit of a smooth curve and it’s definitely not the worst play, but it instantly dies to [card]Implosion[/card]and is because of that not optimal.
You want that [card]Wild-Growth[/card] and [card]Innervate[/card] to set up a board before they can, one VERY important thing is to NOT put them down into [card]Molten-Giant[/card]range until you can either kill them or you feel like you can remove 8/8s or you don’t have a board that can be [card + card]Molten-Giant[/card + [/card + card]Shadowflame[/card]’d. Save the [card]Keeper-of-the-grove[/card]s for [card]Twilight-Drake[/card]s since you have no good removal for them otherwise.
In mulligan stuff like [card]Zombie-Chow[/card], [card]Piloted-Shredder[/card], [card]Shade-Of-Naxxramas[/card]is good since it allows to control the board early and get some sticky minions for Handlock to cry about.
? º??º ?º??º ?º??º ? ???????????? ?? ???? ? º??º? º??º? º??º ? Warrior:
This deck is interesting, your match-up against Control Warrior is usually VERY good and you should often have a 70% winrate against Control Warrior. Your winrate against [card]grim-patron[/card] warrior is way lower. Why you ask? Because [card]swipe[/card] is effectively useless as a board clear when they have gotten their board to be full of 3/2s or 3/1s.
[cardinsert card=”grim-patron” float=”left”]
Your mulligan should be the same against [card]Grim-Patron[/card] and Control Warrior. Keep the [card]innervate[/card], keep the 3 drops and 4 drops. Keep [card]Wild-Growth[/card] and [card]Wrath[/card]. Use [card]Wrath[/card] to keep clear of [card]Acolyte-of-pain[/card]. Using [card]Keeper-of-the-grove[/card] to silence Acolytes is ok, deny them as MUCH card draw as you possibly can to not get outpaces. Use [card]Shade-of-naxxramas[/card] to trade with Acolytes and to deny them more draws is often a good idea since it’s often what snowballs the warrior deck out of control.
[toc]Climbing the Ladder[/toc]
I’ve used this deck everywhere, started at rank 20 in season 4 and have not stopped playing it ever since. It has gotten me through the Hunter-infested early ranks and has kept a very high winrate. Even after, from climbing rank 5 to Legend it kept a high winrate against almost every class and does not have any auto-lose match-ups, which makes the deck absolutely wonderful to play since you often do not feel hopeless in match-ups! It’s by far one of the most effective decks to rank with, as you can often cheese wins you would not be able to get with any other deck. Also it’s incredibly fun and rewarding to burst someone down because they left up a single minion!
And that’s it for my Combo Druid deck guide, I hope it has given you a bit of insight on how to play the best class in the game! Please leave a comment and since this is my first game I’d love constructive criticism, did I screw up one part of the guide? Is there more I should add? Feel free to tell me! Anyways, have a very good time and good luck climbing the ladder! Do you want to follow what I do and keep track when I’m going to release new guides? No problem! My Twitter is @winduprabbit_hs and my (soon set up) Twitch account is WindUpRabbitHS. I’ll be starting to stream when I get my internet finished so it can be a great resource if you want to learn more what I would do in specific situations.
Now go out there and infest the meta game with a bunch of Combo Druids! Do you want to add me on Hearthstone? Sure! Just send me a PM with your name and I’ll try to add you asap. If you want to check out my Youtube channel where I try to explain the moves I make in a couple of Druid games? Sure!