5 June 2014 - 12:34

Nuba's Aggressive Watcher Druid Deck

Dot Esports

Hello guys, it's pretty late already to talk about this, but let us talk a little about the Unleash the Hounds nerf and the watcher druid:

Now that everything that we needed to discuss Unleash the Hounds nerf is done, BEHOLD the new and healthy post-nerf meta game of Hearthstones: Heroes of Warcraft!

Deck Breakdown

  • Innervate

- Helps accelerate your turns, thus generating tempo. Its the most valuable Druid card and should be in every Druid deck you make, no matter the type.

  • Wrath

- Again, another key Druid card that should be in every Druid deck you make. It is a strong early game removal combined with a possibility for a ping+cycle card to complete damage and make better trades.

  • Acidic Swamp Ooze

- This card is a meta choice, a lot of the decks in this meta are using weapons. The reason I chose this over Harrison Jones is that there is always the chance your opponent does not have weapons for his or her class. The Ooze becomes a fast reliable 2-drop that trades with almost all the 2-drops 1 for 1 in the game, while Jones is just a liability when your opponent does not run weapons.

  • Ancient Watcher

- The card that gives the name to this deck. By itself, it's not much. Two Mana for a 4/5 is huge, until you realize it can not attack! Well, fear not! You can use your minions to silence it, making it possible to attack and whenever you are not able to make it an attacker, you can give it taunt, protecting your more important minions from the evil minions that reside on the opposing side of the board!

  • Sunfury Protector

- A reliable 2-drop, as well as a taunt giver. It combos well with the Ancient Watcher.

  • Savage Roar

- An amazing combo card. This deck has a combo of 2 cards: Savage roar + Force of Nature, which combined by themselves do 14 damage out of nowhere! It will sum up if you have more minions on the board. There is no reason NOT to run this amazing Druid combo in this aggressive deck!

  • Big Game Hunter

- A meta card. It is good to take out those pesky Giants or to kill that problematic huge threat your opponent has on the board.

  • Harvest Golem

- The strongest neutral 3-drop in the game. Druids lack 3-drops, so this card is a must in this particular deck!

  • Swipe

- Another key Druid card that is strong on its own! There is no Druid deck without Swipe!

  • Chillwind Yeti

- Again, outside of [tooltip card="keeper-of-the-grove"], Druids lack early drops, so this card completes the list of 4-drops in the deck. It's a strong body and shouldn't be seen as a liability.

Defender of Argus

  • Defender of Argus

- An aggressive card that makes two of your minions stronger as well as gives them taunt. Use this to activate your Ancient Watchers as well as to gain tempo during the game.

  • [card]keeper-of-the-grove"]

- One of Druid key cards as well. A must have because of how useful this card is. It can ping minions for two damage or silence them. In this deck, it can also silence the Ancient Watchers to activate them.

  • Spellbreaker

- Just another way to activate Ancient watcher as well as an emergency silence!

  • Druid of the Claw

- Arguably the strongest Druid card in the entire game. Very versatile, can defend well and is capable of going aggressive. Another key Druid card.

  • Force of Nature

- Explained before, combos with Savage Roar as well as works as an emergency removal.

  • Argent Commander

- A meta choice for this deck, but is also the reason why this deck can be so aggressive. The divine shield combined with charge allows you to make quality trades without losing much or anything at all.

Ancient of Lore

  • Cairne Bloodhoof

- A strong card by itself, I chose this card because of its raw power.

  • The Black Knight

- A really strong card in the meta. Kills off opposing taunts so you can go more aggressive.

  • Ancient of Lore

- The last of the key Druid cards. Very versatile and gives you two cards as well as emergency heals whenever you feel like you need it.

Overview

This is a REALLY strong watcher druid list that I am using to climb the ladder. Currently, I went from ranks 5 (1 star) to 3 in less than 20 games!

The idea of this list is to always play aggressively, thus this list is a strong choice to play when fighting a meta game crowded with Miracle Rogues.

The difference from the old Watcher version is that you have no late game threats likeRagnaros the Firelord or Ysera because, let's face it, if you're to play those minions, you might as well just go ramp.

The idea is to play fast games. Make no mistake, this is a rush deck. You are sacrificing the late game Legendaries for a more stable and fast deck that will allow  to activate your early watcher and charge minions in the form of Argent Commanders.

Budget replacements

In case you do not own either of the Legendaries, try putting in a Boulderfist Ogre instead. Its raw power can sometimes make up for the ability lost in the Legendaries. The non-legendary cards have no real replacement.

Tips

  • Go aggressive. A charged up Druid of the Claw is used more often than it is in many other Druid lists. You want to put your opponent's back against the wall. [cardinsert card="druid-of-the-claw" float="right"]
  • The main comparison I can make about this version is that you play it almost like you play Zoo Lock. Go for board control with strong and fast minions, making trades and going for face when you feel like it is necessary.
  • Remember this is a deck list specifically made for this meta. I used it in today's NESL and went 6-0 before I got my first loss to a Ramp Druid. After that dropped from the tournament to a Zoo deck. This list might become outdated whenever a strong list shows up that shifts the meta into something different.
  • This is also a really strong first pick for BO3 tournaments such as ZOTAC and NESL, as well as a decent pick for BO1 swiss tournaments such as Managrind Friday Night Swiss and Golden Egg!
  • Remember I do not take full credit for this list. This was initially used by Realz from Managrind team only a slightly different version. I merely changed a few cards and called it "better," as well as decided to make a cool guide about it.

Match Ups

Easy Match Ups

Control Warrior: Somehow, this deck always manages to win matches by rushing down control warriors. They have strong removal for either big or small minions. This deck is composed of medium and fast minions and the game is usually decided with a FoN+Roar combo or by exhausting the warriors resources.

Force of Nature

Control Paladin: Once again, another easy match. For the same reasons of the match against Control Warriors.

Aggro Mage or Paladin: Taunted Ancient Watchers were always a strong pick to fight off these aggro decks. It still is really strong. Remember this is not Zoo Lock, so they don't have "infinite" card draws, making games a lot easier. Play this the same way you would be playing against Zoo. Remember Ancient of Lore here is used a lot for healing purposes!

Average Match Ups

Mid-Range Shaman: This game usually comes down to the right or wrong plays. Try to trade with the board but do not over commit with minions with four or less health. Remember they have both Hex and Lightning Storm, so always keep that in mind. Try to keep track of what removals they used because it will come in handy. If they used it once, most likely they won't have a second one for a few turns (unless we are talking about late game, that is why its important to keep track of the previously used removals in this match.)

Priest: Go for board control. Priests don't have many ways to interact with the board, so you will eventually overcome him. I put this on medium level because skill level here is highly important.

Miracle Rogue: This match is somewhat between medium and easy. This is one of the strongest decks to deal with that is a menace because of how many charged minions you have. Combined with the win potential of the FoN+Roar and the early aggression of angry silenced Ancient Watchers!

[cardinsert card="ancient-watcher" float="left"]

Warrior Weapon Rush: One of the most RNG based decks in the game. It can go both ways depending on the start. Taunted Ancient Watchers are a must in this match up.

Control Mage: I have not faced many Control Mages, so I can not go into a deep discussion but remember, they cannot heal themselves! Try to play around Flamestrikes.

Hunter: Usually comes down to a rush fight, but your deck is stronger and with the recent UTH nerf, it means they usually don't have enough Mana to cast everything they want in the same turn. Don't forget to use your Hero Power to try and spring traps and find out which one it is. Now, this is really important to note. In case your Hero Power attack doesn't trigger and you have minions on the board, expect it to be a Freezing Trap. If you don't, it could be either  or Freezing Trapand always try to troubleshoot which trap he is playing! I have yet to play any Hunter game since the patch came live as Druid, but even as Shaman, the match seems a lot easier than it was before. Nonetheless, I don't have much information to spare here as to whether it's easy or medium, so I'll just put it on medium difficulty (because sometimes UTH combos will still win the game.)

Hard Match Ups

Hand Lock: This is a hard match, I have to say. Your main goal here is to obtain an early lead by rushing down your opponent, making him use early Soulfires on possibly an Innervated, Charged, Druid of the Claw to try and break tempo and to also disrupt their still-not-casted giants or taunt givers.

[cardinsert card="innervate" float="right"]

But remember, sometimes it's good to keep them around 15 health before you get board advantage. Usually, get him below that if you have ways of killing his taunts, giants OR the Warlock himself the next turn. (Example: you can go for face if you either have an extra silence, The Black Knight or Big Game Hunterin your hand as a backup plan.)

Zoo Lock: The early game is everything. Usually if they come out with a great hand, there is nearly nothing you can do. Remember that they can Argus or Shattered Sun Cleric minions, so don't force bad trades just to try and play a Swipe the next turn.

The strongest play here is an early game Innervate, Keeper of the Grovekilling of either Knife Juggler or Flame Imp. Remember, the two damage portion of the KotG is very important!

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