Hi everyone! Today, I’d like to give you a guide on how to play an archetype that has proven to be incredibly strong in the current metagame. I started out with the idea of building a GvG-modified Token Druid, but I soon realised that mechs were a much more efficient way of flooding the board than the traditional [card]violet-teacher[/card]. [card]mechwarper[/card] has a great ability in the context of a druid deck, since it perfectly fits the theme of mana manipulation and constantly cheating out larger drops. The deck variant I’ll be going through is one that I saw Dog make #6 in the EU server with, so its power has certainly been proven. With that being said, let’s get to the deck itself!
[cardinsert card=”wild-growth” float=”left”][card]wild-growth[/card] might seem odd at first glance, but the theme of this deck is to manipulate mana in order to play threats earlier than you otherwise could, and this card is excellent for that. It gives you an extra mana during every single turn in the game, making it extremely strong. I’d only recomment coining this out if you have a 3-drop in your hand that you know you can follow up with, otherwise pass turn 1 and play this on turn 2. If you have both this and [card]mechwarper[/card], I generally prefer playing this first, since the [card]mechwarper[/card] can give you instantaneous value by playing it on the same turn as another mech minion, whereas this card cannot.
[card]mechwarper[/card] is a crucial part of your deck, since it can help you get your mid-game drops out on the board earlier than usual. Combined with [card]wild-growth[/card], this makes up the “unfair” part of your deck that you should always be looking to abuse. Don’t play him if you know he’s going to get dealt with quickly, and if possible, try to get immediate value out of his ability. It’s amazing how such a small creature can be so scary, but this guy can make your opponent make some seriously inefficient plays in order to deny you its effect, so make sure you take advantage of this.
[card]spider-tank[/card] is more of a meta choice in my opinion. I tested running [card]harvest-golem[/card] in its place and it seemed to help my aggro match-ups, but weaken control ones. This ultimately comes down to what you’re facing more often, but I prefer [card]spider-tank[/card] even though it’s slightly less sticky.
[card]tinkertown-technician[/card] will function as a 3 cost 4/4 because of the amount of mechs in your deck, which is excellent, with the added bonus of getting a spare part. If you don’t have a mech out and you have no other 3-drop, don’t hesitate to play him, since a 3/3 for 3 isn’t bad at all, and wasting his effect isn’t as bad as not playing a minion on curve.
[cardinsert card=”piloted-shredder” float=”right”][card]piloted-shredder[/card] is a perfect fit for the deck, since you’re looking for mechs as well as efficient, sticky minions. This guy fits the bill in all aspects and is an overall great 4-drop.
[card]mechanical-yeti[/card] is also a great choice since you need more 4-drops and the 4/5 stats are excellent for the cost. Playing this earlier than turn 4 is usually an incredibly strong play.
[card]azure-drake[/card] is here mostly for the card draw, although the spell-power swipes that you can occasionally pull off are nothing to scoff at. He also provides a solid body when you consider his upsides, so it ends up being a great fit.
[card]druid-of-the-claw[/card] is amazing in combo decks, since you can taunt him up when you’re facing aggro or charge him when you need that extra damage out of a [card]savage-roar[/card]. In a vacuum, try to play him last out of your 5-drops so you retain that versatility in your hand to deal with future situations more efficiently.
[card]force-of-nature[/card] is a logical addition, after all, this deck is based on it. However, the fact that we only run 1 copy is due to the reliance on our early and mid-game plays. Having a dead card in hand isn’t a cost you can afford, so we include only one to make sure that it won’t clutter your hand. You have plenty of card draw from your drakes and ancients so as to go looking for this in your deck if you haven’t drawn it by the time you want to finish up the game.
[cardinsert card=”dr-boom” float=”left”][card]dr-boom[/card] is excellent to top off your curve, he’s widely considered the strongest 7-drop in the game, and at 9/9 worth of stats as well as the difficult to deal with boom-bots, I can’t disagree. In this deck, he’s even stronger since the boom-bots can act as tokens to enhance your [card]force-of-nature[/card]+[card]savage-roar[/card] combo. What happens really often is your opponent will deal with [card]dr-boom[/card] and ignore at least one of your boombots, giving you an extra 3 damage on your combo.
The rest of the cards are druid staples, so there’s really not much to say about their inclusion. Now that you have a better understanding of the reasoning behind the inclusion of certain cards in this deck, we can delve into mulligan strategies.
[cardinsert card=”mechwarper” float=”left”]This deck’s mulligans depend less on the match-up, since it enters the game with a plan in mind, and it’s very effective at carrying out said plan. That being said, your general strategy should be to always keep [card]innervate[/card], [card]wild-growth[/card] and [card]mechwarper[/card], if you don’t get any of those, you should chuck everything out and search for at least one of them. If you do have one, then think about your first few turns, and mulligan for a good curve during your first 3 turns. I like to keep [card]wrath[/card] against aggro, but never against control (you want to cycle them later on in the game against control). If you have the coin and/or [card]innervate[/card], I also like keeping swipe against aggro, although a case can be made against it (you reduce your chances of getting the strong opening this deck is really looking for).
Now let’s get to your game plan.
[cardinsert card=”spider-tank” float=”right”]I mentioned a strong opening during the mulligan phase, but don’t imagine something quite like zoo. This deck aims to ramp during the first few turns, and then go for some strong mid-game plays. For example, getting out a [card]mechwarper[/card] on turn 1 with the coin and then a [card]spider-tank[/card] and [card]mechanical-yeti[/card] on turns 2 and 3 is a great example of what you should be looking to do. If you don’t get [card]mechwarper[/card], there’s always [card]wild-growth[/card] and [card]innervate[/card] to help you get your threats out early. The mindset you should have during the mid-game is to always control the board, that way you’ll have more minions on board which will translate into more damage when you combo. Remember that you don’t always need your combo to win, many times asserting board control during the first 4-5 turns will be more than enough, and you can seal the deal by playing [card]dr-boom[/card]. Also never forget to check for lethal whenever you have a [card]savage-roar[/card] in hand: I’ve won games at 1 health because my opponent was foolish enough to ignore my board presence and set up lethal for himself. During the late-game, you want to make efficient trades and maintain your board control while you dig for your combo to finish your opponent off. Your ideal late-game only lasts until turn 9, where you cast [card]force-of-nature[/card]+[card]savage-roar[/card] and close out the game. If that ideal scenario doesn’t happen, you can always try to establish control with your minions and try to set up lethal for when you draw into your missing combo pieces.
This is most likely your worst match-up, but it can be won if you draw well or they don’t get a solid [card]undertaker[/card] start. You’ll want to keep [card]swipe[/card] if you have the coin or [card]innervate[/card], and try to play around their traps as best you can. If you get ahead, you’ll most likely stay ahead. Play around a single [card]kill-command[/card] since you most likely won’t be able to do anything against two of them.
This match-up is extremely easy, especially if you get a [card]mechwarper[/card] start. Remember to save a [card]swipe[/card] for their [card]muster-for-battle[/card] and a [card]keeper-of-the-grove[/card] for their [card]tirion-fordring[/card] and you should be fine. Try to close the game out as soon as possible, since you’ll be in trouble if you see a [card]lay-on-hands[/card].
[cardinsert card=”fiery-war-axe” float=”left”]Warrior
This is a great match-up for this deck, warriors simply don’t have the tools to deal with so much mid-game aggression, and eventually your combo will net you a win in this match-up. If possible, hold off on [card]mechwarper[/card] until you can get instant value out of it, since their [card]fiery-war-axe[/card] is a big threat. I like to be greedy in this match-up and pretty much ignore [card]brawl[/card] since they only run 1 copy and are unlikely to draw into it.
Most other druids you’ll see are probably running this deck as well (or something similar), so the way it goes will depend on who gets the best start. Remember to think about your curve during mulligans, and focus on controlling the board more so than anything else.
[cardinsert card=”flame-imp” float=”right”]Warlock
Most warlocks these days are handlock, although there are also plenty of zoo players going around. If it’s handlock, play around their [card]molten-giant[/card]+[card]sunfury-protector[/card] stabilization by using your combo to bring them down quickly. Always keep [card]keeper-of-the-grove[/card] in this match-up since it can take out a 3/2 vs zoo and it can deal with a twilight drake vs handlock. If it’s zoo, if you manage to get a good [card]swipe[/card] off, you’ll have won half the battle. The other half will be establishing a board presence while you have tempo, and then comboing them or snowballing your control if you don’t have combo in hand.
I haven’t seen too many priests on the ladder lately, but this match-up should be mostly in your favor. they don’t have enough tools to deal with your board early on, so if you can take control by the first few turns, you’ll most likely come out ahead. As always, try to play around their [card]auchenai-soulpriest[/card]
[cardinsert card=”alakir-the-windlord” float=”left”]Shaman
Another underused class at the moment, they’ll most likely have answers to a few of your threats, but if you keep them coming for long enough, you should come out ahead. I expect this to be a pretty even match-up though it’s difficult to say with the little data I have (only faced two, and I’m 1-1 against them). Be wary of their [card]lightning-storm[/card] and remember at all times that they also have lots of burst potential with [card]alakir-the-windlord[/card].
This is a tempo-based match-up which depends largely on who draws better, It’s a quite difficult to play match-up since most rogues are a bit different from each other. If you draw your ramp and are able to summon a few creatures unfairly, you’ll have a chance at winning. Otherwise, they have more removal and stronger tempo plays which will allow them to come out victorious.
[cardinsert card=”fireball” float=”right”]Mage
Whoever draws mechwarper wins, be wary of their strong tempo plays with [card]goblin-blastmage[/card], don’t be too greedy with your [card]swipe[/card] and keep their board clear. The main thing you should be looking to accomplish is gaining card advantage, since they can run out of steam quickly if they draw into [card]azure-drake[/card]. Even then, you can outdraw them with [card]ancient-of-lore[/card] and come out ahead.
I’ve had quite a bit of success with this deck so far, and it’s fairly easy to play: most of the thought goes into how to play your minions most efficiently and how to trade most efficiently in order to maintain board control and set up for lethal damage. I’ve been enjoying this deck so far on the ladder, boasting a pretty high winrate (close to 80%) and have seen Dog ride it all the way to #6 legend in EU, so you can definitely use it to get to legend if you enjoy the play style. Druid has always been one of my favorite classes, and this deck definitely makes use of all of its strength. As always, thank you for taking the time to read, and please leave your questions and suggestions in the comments below.