4 August 2014 - 02:50

The Hearthstone Stratagem - Druid Deck

Adam brings us one of the most comprehensive look at the Druid class and all its latest deck variations!
Dot Esports

This is a new kind of post series that we are experimenting with at Hearthstone. This one might be lengthy, but we are trying to give you guys the general idea of what this series would entail. Please leave feed back and suggestions in the comments below.

Introduction

Welcome to the Hearthstone Stratagem, the place in which I go through all of the top Legend rank & competitively used decks.

In this post, I include the information that you need to understand how these decks work, in terms of what strategy each deck is based upon, the cards to dig for or bury when it comes time to mulligan and the matchup's to learn.

Every deck is different, even if only a few cards are changed at one time, each deck has a strategy and a way to play it, through this post, I'm going to try to explain how the decks listed work and what you should know about them.

Navigation & Structure

For each of the decks listed, I attempt to gather as much detail as possible, through the guides and information found within the Hearthstone community, through my own experience playing the decks & against them and the understanding of the Hearthstone meta game. Each deck will list the following:

  • Decklist
  • Card Reasoning
  • Potential Card Switches
  • Mulligans
  • Matchup Knowledge

Listed Decks

  • Combo
  • Ramp Up
  • Mid-Range
  • Taunt
  • Token Miracle
  • Watcher


Naxxramas Token Druid

The Token Druid received a buff in terms of Haunted Creeperand Loatheb. The basic function and concept of the deck remains the same. Read the info below for how this kind of deck works!

Combo Druid

Ek0p’s Savage Roar Token Druid - Cenarius Variant by Giordy, July 2014, Patch: Naxx Launch

Quick Summary

This deck is a versatile deck that has multiple ways of surviving a tough game and being able to combo down your opponents with a swarm of minions, whether that come from your Force & Savage combo or your Violet Teacher, you can combo opponents down in the mid to late game quite well. Get your opponents to that soft spot and then unleash your combo for the lethal! For even more information, check out Giordy’s full in-depth guide.

  • 2x Innervate
  • 2x Argent Squire
  • 2x Power of the Wild
  • 2x Wrath
  • 2x Loot Hoarder
  • 2x Savage Roar
  • 1x Big Game Hunter
  • 2x Harvest Golem
  • 2x Keeper of the Grove
  • 2x Swipe
  • 2x Violet Teacher
  • 2x Druid of the Claw
  • 2x Azure Drake
  • 2x Force of Nature
  • 2x Ancient of Lore
  • 1x Cenarius

Card Reasoning

The cards for this deck are quite straight forward, though there are a few to mention and have reasoning behind them.

2x Loot Horder - Why not Bloodmage Thalnos? The improved spell power can be very useful for Wrath’s & Swipe’s though very situational, with this in mind, Loot Horder is a stronger 2 drop with a higher attack value, which in a deck that does not need the spell power controlling options as heavily, the extra attack can be useful. [cardinsert card=big-game-hunter float=right]

1x Big Game Hunter is a very situational card, though it also allows this deck to be much more relevant against late game & control decks. Being able to take down the large creatures without having to run all of your minions into them can be quite useful.

2x Violet Teacher can be instantly wiped in many different situations, though it is not the staple for the deck. It opens up the opportunities for combo’s and board swarming, though when it dies, it does not mean it’s over. Try and create as many tokens as possible with the use of VT, possibly saving Innervates for it, though don’t rely on it completely and try not to over extend into the opponents AoE spells. [cardinsert card=violet-teacher float=right]

1x Cenarius offers a late game power spike, with the use of his 2/2 taunts, you can stall a game just long enough to reach your combo and whack the opponent for lethal. He also can act as a Savage Roar when one is not in hand by buffing all of your minions.

Potential Card Switches

Bloodmage Thalnos: Can be swapped in instead of a variety of cards, if you find that late game is not as necessary within your games, a Cenarius could be swapped with Thalnos to add the extra early pressure, card draw and potential spell damage.

The Black Knight: Can be traded in for more removal if taunts are always becoming an issue from other Druid’s or Handlocks.

Argent Commander: Great ability to play aggressive and also safe removal in the mid-late game.

Starfall: Extremely useful against aggressive decks with small minions, yet includes the versatility of being able to take down much higher health minions also. [cardinsert card=starfall float=right]

Mulligans

Standard mulligan: Keep low costing cards such as Innervate, Argent Squire, Harvest Golem and try to keep a strong curve for each turn.

Keeping a Wrath can also be useful against many matchups, though better vs. decks with early threats.

Vs. Handlock: Keeper of the Grove is great vs. Twilight Drake's, Argent Squire & Harvest Golem can allow early board control & pressure. Keeping Big Game Hunter is also very useful to take down any turn 4 Mountain Giants or other giants that emerge afterwards.

Vs. Zoo/Shockadin: Argent Squire, Wrath, Innervate, Swipe, Keeper of the Grove. Having Swipe, though a turn 4 spell can turn a game around, keeping one in a starting hand when you know or have a high chance that you are up against Zoo, even if going first can really help to rid of the minion swarm. Wrath is best used for the higher priority targets such as Knife Juggler, so keep hold of one when possible.

Vs. Control Warrior: Argent Squire, Loot Horder, Harvest Golem, Keeper of the Grove. Try to keep up the early pressure to prevent armour stacking. Use cards like Keeper & Wrath to rid of Acolyte’s of Pain to prevent as much card draw as possible. [cardinsert card=keeper-of-the-grove float=left]

Vs. Miracle Rogue: Argent Squire, Loot Horder, Harvest Golem, Keeper of the Grove. The keeper can help against Edwin VanCleef’s that get too big for their boots whilst you want to be playing aggressive with your earlier minions. Swipe against the un-concealed Gadgetzan Auctioneer's can also be a good pickup.

Vs. Druid: If you have Innervate, you can consider keeping Violet Teacher’s & Druid of the Claw’s. Otherwise, keep/dig for Argent Squire, Harvest Golem & Loot Horder. Situational wise, this is also the matchup a Black Knight can come in very useful.

Vs. Hunter: Standard + Swipe’s to clear away the low health minions. Take control of the board with minion pressure and try to keep your health high with Ancient of Lore’s.

Matchups

Vs. Control & most Druid’s, try to take as much of the board and enemy health early as possible. Set up lethal when possible and then keep yourself alive until you can combo them down. Many control decks will have Alexstrasza so beware of potential healing. Big Game Hunter can incredibly useful to keep.

Vs. Aggro (Zoo & Shockadin) try to keep out as many tokens as possible and use your Keeper’s/Wraths to take out the opponents key targets. Play out your defensive Druid of Claw’s when possible.

Vs. Handlock, same as many control decks, calculate your lethal damage and setup their health ready for it. Keeping a Handlock’s health at 20 is a good place, as their  won’t be as accessible and you can still combo easily. Take into account that most Handlock’s will run double Earthen Ring Farseer & Siphon Soulso healing is always a possibility.

Vs. Freeze Mage, burn them down to prevent them from bringing out powerful combo’s. Druid of the Claw would most likely be put into cat form to rush even more damage. Beware of the Ice Block’s & low health Molten Giants (Freeze Mage variants often include Molten Giants to combo with Ice Block’s when at low health) [cardinsert card=ice-block float=right]

Vs. Miracle Rogue, try to keep yourself at high health with Ancient of Lore’s if you take too much damage early on, otherwise draw as much as you can! You want to pull off your combo as fast as possible to prevent your opponent from pulling off their own miracle. Druid of the Claw’s can prevent the opponents charging combo and force them to use high damage spells or larger minions such as Van Cleef at your minion.


Ramp Up Druid

Gaara’s Ramp Up Druid - Dreamhack Bucharest April 2014, Patch: 5170

Quick Summary

This deck is a ‘Ramp’ druid deck which attempts to boost it’s power into late game through cards such as Wild Growth & Nourish. The deck is mainly conservative, though can be played more aggressively with high power turns with the use of Innervates to play larger creatures in the earlier turns of the game.

Your main goal is to try to control your opponent and ramp up as much as you can to achieve your late game, once there, whittle down the opponent whilst maintaining board control with such large creatures.

For even more information, check out Gaara’s Deck Tech video.

  • 2x Innervate
  • 2x Mark of the Wild
  • 2x Wild Growth
  • 2x Wrath
  • 1x Healing Touch
  • 2x Keeper of the Grove
  • 2x Swipe
  • 2x Druid of the Claw
  • 1x Nourish
  • 1x Starfall
  • 2x Ancient of Lore
  • 2x Ancient of War
  • 1x Cenarius
  • 1x Big Game Hunter
  • 1x Chillwind Yeti
  • 2x Faceless Manipulator
  • 2x Sunwalker
  • 1x Sylvanas Windrunner
  • 1x The Black Knight

Card Reasoning

2x Innervate is standard for most druid decks, it enables you to make very high power plays and be able to maintain your presence on the board in the early stages of the game. For this deck, Innervate allows you to strengthen your early game by getting out larger creatures and taunters to survive more aggressive opponents.

2x Mark of the Wild can offer different uses throughout a game of Ramp Up Druid, it can be used for board presence through the use of larger minions but also taunt to prevent your hero from taking damage. It also has great synergy with other cards in the deck including Big Game Hunter, Black Knight & Sylvanas Windrunner. With BGH, it can be used for removal to rid of opponents 5-6 attack creatures more easily, in a very similar manner, it can also be used along with Black Knight. [cardinsert card=sylvanas-windrunner float=right] With Sylvanas, Mark of the Wild can be used in the same manner as the above to be able to take control of enemy minions, with the use of BGH or BK. It can also be useful to put a taunt onto Sylvanas to force the opponents to attack into it which can set up Sylvana’s death rattle quite easily.

2x Wild Growth is very similar to Innervate in the fact that it’s standard for many Druid decks to run. The reason 2 copies are used in this deck is to attempt to gain the maximum ramp possible and also maximise the chances of being able to draw one of them early to start the mana ramp as soon as possible.

1x Healing Touch is a really strong card for this deck, as it can be used mid to late game when you are against aggressive opponents and be able to survive for much longer. It also offers great synergy with Ancient of War, as a 10 hp taunter may be hard to remove, if it ends up low and an opponent still needs to run their minions into it, it can be very useful to heal it up, to re-create the Ancient of War and cause problems for opponents.

1x Big Game Hunter may be a situational card, though is has a high amount of synergy with Mark of the Wild and it also allows much larger creatures to be dealt with easily. Druid is known for having a tough time dealing with large minions, such as Giants, which is why BGH can be very useful and even more so Vs. control matchups.

1x Chillwind Yeti can often be used with a strong play on turn 1 or 2 through the use of Innervates, Wild Growth & Coin. Yeti can be used as a stalling minion and give a stronger minion for turn 4 aside from the Keeper of the Grove which is mainly used based upon the situation.

2x Keeper of the Grove is very standard, though to mention, it can offer many different strengths Vs. Aggro & early game based matchups such as Zoo to be able to remove early threats in conjunction with Innervates. (E.g. Innervate turn 2 to remove a Knife Juggler and leaving you a 2-4 on board is very strong and gives you a chance to slow the aggression of the opponent greatly)

1x Nourish is a situational card that gives different options depending on the situation. Most of the time, on turn 5 it would be used for the additional mana, which can set up a strong following turn with 7 mana, allowing Ancients to be played. In the later stages of the game, Nourish can be used for a high amount of card draw. When taking Nourish into consideration, it is also important to take note of the ‘dead’ turn that you have when playing Nourish on turn 5, as you will most likely not be able to deal with the enemies turn 4 or 5 play and will have to wait till your next turn. [cardinsert card=nourish float=left]

1x Starfall is a strong card to allow a high amount of removal, Vs. aggressive decks, it can be used for two damage AoE to remove an enemies board or be able to instantly remove a single, yet larger minion.

2x Faceless Manipulator is used as a counterplay that many larger creatures are vulnerable to an opponent faceless copies. Larger minions such as Ragnaros have RNG involved and can often be risky to play for such as high mana cost, though with Faceless, it gives you a chance to copy opponents large minions for a lower cost than the original creature was played for. The main reason for using 2 faceless is to counter the concept of playing your own creatures for high cost and having them copied by the opponent to the point at which you may not be able to remove them as a Druid.

2x Sunwalker can be a strong replacement for Cairne Bloodhoof, though it also has a few advantages in the sense that Divine shield can often allow the Sunwalker to attack twice and possibly more, to trade well into opponent minions. Unlike Cairne, Sunwalker also has taunt which is very useful for a late game ramping Druid to protect your hero and also your larger creatures and is much less vulnerable to Faceless Manipulator.

1x Sylvanas Windrunner is a strong card Vs. high control meta games and also gives the Druid the chance to be able to make larger plays to counter the opponents larger minions. It also has great synergy with Mark of the Wild & Faceless Manipulator.

1x Black Knight has great synergy with Mark of the Wild to remove any creature at 8 mana. Many decks run some sort of taunt creature that can allow you to remove it for free and also leave a strong 4-5 presence on board.

2x Ancient of War is a large minion that gives options of aggression or passive with taunt. The card is mainly used for the large taunting creature, as it is very hard to remove with such high health without the use of hard removal cards such as Hex, Polymorph, etc. It also gives a strong counter to aggro decks, great synergy with Healing Touch and Faceless Manipulator. [cardinsert card=faceless-manipulator float=right]

1x Cenarius gives this deck even more options to play to the situation. It offers more taunting options or buffs for other minions which can help to deal with opponent minions or end the game to achieve lethal. Cenarius offers situational plays as well as giving a strong minion which is not that vulnerable to Faceless Manipulator’s of the opponent.

Potential Card Switches

Bloodmage Thalnos is often seen in Druid decks. It could be used in this deck to give some spell power opportunities for Swipes/Starfalls, etc and also gives extra card draw.  could be an option and also a replacement card. It can be used as an extra taunt if you wish to only use 1 Faceless Manipulators which is often done in other decks. It can also replace a Yeti to slow down more aggressive meta games. Harvest Golem can be used as it has a lot of board pressure due great stats and deathrattle. Though the deck relies on ramp to late game creatures, it can provide some small defensive counterplay against aggro.

Mulligans

Standard mulligan: Keep or dig for Innervate & Wild Growth’s

Vs. High Aggro: Wrath can be useful to keep for removal of early game threats

Vs. Aggro Warlock (Zoo): Keeping 1 Swipe is ideal to allow turn 4 mass board clear

Vs. Hunter: 1 Swipe can be useful to deal with Hunter’s high amount of 1hp minions

Vs. Warrior: Dig for standard, creatures in starting hand is fine

Vs. Handlock: BGH can be kept to remove early giants

Matchups

Vs. High aggressive decks, try to keep or dig for Wrath, possible Swipe when facing decks with high amounts of 1 health minions (Zoo, Shockadin, etc) Try to taunt up when possible though be careful not to use Mark of the Wild too hastily as it may be better used for removal with the use of BGH or BK.

Vs. Control, the standard Mulligan for Innervate & Wild Growth is fine, keeping minions including Yeti, Keeper & Claw work well to be able to maximise curve and have a strong mid to late game transition. The use of Sylvanas can be very important against control to be able to steal the opponent's large threats such as Ragnaros the Firelord. Faceless Manipulator can also be a key card Vs. control decks to give you more finishing potential. [cardinsert card=ragnaros-the-firelord float=left]

Vs. Rogue’s always be aware of Sap as it can greatly enhance their ability to burst you down whilst you have no taunts on field.

Vs. Warrior, attempt to keep their armour as low as possible as Shield Slam’s can easily remove your high health minions even without Execute.


Mid-Range Druid

Flood’s ‘Ladder Druid’ - July 2014, Patch: Naxx Launch

Quick Summary

This deck is considered a fast Druid deck as it uses less taunt and the double Force & Savage combo. Your goal with this deck to have a steady curve with board control before being able to take down your opponent later on with your large minions & combo’s. For more information about this deck, check out Flood’s guide.

  • 2x Innervate
  • 2x Wild Growth
  • 2x Wrath
  • 2x Savage Roar
  • 2x Keeper of the Grove
  • 2x Swipe
  • 2x Druid of the Claw
  • 2x Force of Nature
  • 2x Ancient of Lore
  • 2x Ancient of War
  • 1x Bloodmage Thalnos
  • 1x Big Game Hunter
  • 2x Harvest Golem
  • 1x Azure Drake
  • 2x Sunwalker
  • 1x The Black Knight

Card Reasoning

2x Savage Roar is part of your combo, for this deck, two copies of the combo are run for speed, as you have a higher chance of drawing the combo when needed to lethal opponents. Having the double Savage Roar also allows you to potentially use Innervates to boost your damage and get lethals even easier.

2x Force of Nature double copy can be explained easily (see Savage Roar’s explanation). [cardinsert card=savage-roar float=left] [cardinsert card=force-of-nature float=right]

2x Ancient of War is a solid minion with optional aggression. Most of the time, it will be played defensively to allow you to keep your minions alive and with its such high health stats, it can protect your other minions which can be used along with Savage Roar to combo down opponents.

1x Bloodmage Thalnos is a great minion for Druid as the extra spell power at such a cheap mana cost can allow you to boost the damage of your Wrath’s & Swipes to allow you to board clear more effectively. The additional draw is also very useful, then combined into a single creature can open a lot of play potential.

1x Big Game Hunter as many control decks can often run BGH for simple removal of large creatures, Druid can struggle to take out the biggest of minions such as Ragnaros the Firelord, BGH gives you that and a 4-2 which if left alive can be used to trade or provide support in using your combo to lethal your opponent.

1x Azure Drake is similar to Bloodmage Thalnos is the sense that if gives you spell power and draw. It’s a standard 5 drop for many decks that also provides a solid 4/4 minion for board presence.

1x Black Knight provides even more control and removal for this deck to rid of taunts, allowing you to combo down your opponents much easier. BK is a meta-based minion, though many decks can taunt up in some form so it can be a very solid minion to have in the deck.

Potential Card Switches

Big Game Hunter & Black Knight: Both of these cards are highly based upon the meta and can be switched out for cards based upon what you are facing more often. If you find that you are playing against too much aggression and swarms of minions, Starfall could be a consideration.

Black Knight could be switched out if you are not playing against too much taunt. Alternatives could be a second Azure Drake, a BGH if you find that you play against large minions or against a higher amount of Handlock players. Harrison Jones could also be considered as it can offer useful draw and great counter to Warrior decks such as control & beat down aggressive decks which often run weapons and in some cases, pirate cards. Harrison Jones is also useful against Paladins turn 4 Sword of Justice & Shaman’s Doomhammer.

This deck can also be a stagnant card against non-weapon classes, so keep it in mind. Cenarius can offer a late game power spike with the addition of more taunters to help keep up board control. Cenarius could be considered instead of a Bloodmage Thalnos if you feel Thalnos often sits as a dead card if your hand and would like more ability to control the late game. As this deck is quite fast with it’s double combo, Cenarius may not be as necessary, though could be a great stall card until you manage to get lethal.

Mulligans

Standard mulligan: dig or keep Innervates, Wild Growths, Wrath’s & Harvest Golems

Vs. Control: Innervates, Wild Growths, Harvest Golem - Wrath can also be useful against matchups that run targets such as Acolyte of Pain (Control Warrior’s often run this) to prevent them from drawing. Consider keeping hold of Keeper of the Groves for silence. [cardinsert card=harvest-golem float=right]

Vs. Aggro: Innervates & Wild Growths still work Vs. Aggro though you mainly want Harvest Golems & Wrath to try to keep as much pressure on board as possible and take out key targets with Wrath. Swipe is also a useful card to keep in hand against aggro decks that can have many low health minions to prevent being bursted down early on.

Vs. Miracle Rogue: Standard mulligan, minions in hand is fine if you predict it’s Miracle Rogue. Not too many minions will be played, though Wrath can prove useful against SI:7 Agent’s, Farseers & with added spell power, very good removal against Azure Drakes & unconcealed Auctioneers. Keeper of the Grove can be useful against Van Cleef though not too much else.

Vs. Hunter: Swipe can be kept to clear out Hunters low health creatures, aside from that aim to have Harvest Golems & Innervates to keep up board pressure to prevent aggression.

Vs. Warrior: Dig for standard mulligan cards, if you assume aggro then consider keeping Keeper of the Grove to silence and pick off remaining minions. Having minions in starting hand Vs. Warrior is fine as they Druid spells are not the most efficient removal.

Vs. Handlock: Standard mulligan looking for ramp up. If you run a BGH and suggest you are playing against Handlock, then keeping one in hand is useful. Save Keeper of the Groves for potential turn 4 Twilight Drakes.

Matchups

Vs. Aggression try to survive by keeping up board pressure and saving removal for the best possible timing. High value targets in aggressive decks often include Knife Juggler, Dire Wolf Alpha & Nerubian Eggs - The 2 damage or silence from a Keeper of the Grove can be a very useful counter against this.

Vs. Control you want to ramp as much as possible and try to overwhelm your opponent, though also being aware of AoE removals. Be aware of hard removal such as Hex or Polymorphs and keep track of what removal has been used. Some control decks will have a high amount of draw & high use of taunts or removal spells, so make sure to keep a mental note of what key cards have been played, so you can attempt to bait opponents removal into lesser of value minions.

Vs. Freeze Mage you want to try and play aggressive and combo them as fast as possible before they can get to their high mana cost spells and consistently stop you from attacking. Setup for a lethal combo and make sure you pop any Ice Blocks or Ice Barriers that are played before you release your combo. Also be aware of potential Doomsayers if you play many minions at once.

Vs. Ramp Druid you want to try to hold on to Black Knight for Ancient of War’s since they have such high health and you won’t be able to remove them easily and will most likely need to use 1 combo to burn them down.


Taunt Druid

Massan’s ‘Ladder Nourish Taunt’ - July 2014, Patch: 5506

Quick Summary

This deck uses many taunts to stall opponents and be able to survive. Your win condition can often come through withering down your opponents over time and when possible, using your single copy of Force of Nature & Savage Roar. A Ragnaros is also used in this deck to put down a high pressure minion which can help to finish off large threats in the form of minions and also ready the opponents hero for lethal.

  • 2x Innervate
  • 1x Mark of the Wild
  • 2x Wild Growth
  • 2x Wrath
  • 1x Savage Roar
  • 2x Keeper of the Grove
  • 2x Swipe
  • 2x Druid of the Claw
  • 1x Nourish
  • 1x Force of Nature
  • 2x Ancient of Lore
  • 2x Ancient of War
  • 1x Big Game Hunter
  • 2x Harvest Golem
  • 2x Sen'jin Shieldmasta
  • 1x Faceless Manipulator
  • 2x Sunwalker
  • 1x The Black Knight
  • 1x Ragnaros the Firelord

Card Reasoning

This deck uses a mixture of ramp, combo finishing potential and slow board control to be able to take control of the board by attempting to get out big minion early and taunt up.

1x Mark of the Wild is a great flexible card to be able to slow down your opponent but also setup removal combo’s for Big Game Hunter.

1x Nourish is also a flex card that can help you quickly achieve your late game when you have use 7-8 mana cards in hand, or higher if used in combo with Innervate on the same turn once Nourish has been used. Nourish can also provide draw if you have a good curve throughout the early game and the additional ramp isn’t needed.

1x Faceless Manipulator provides multiple uses. One copy is enough for this deck as two can often leave a dead card in hand, though the uses for this card can be very strong. As well as being able to make copies of your opponents large, expensive minions for such a cheaper cost it can also be used to put a much higher amount of board pressure down through copying Ancients of War, Sunwalkers or your own Ragnaros. When combined with Druid of the Claw, Faceless can also allow two chargers for 4 for 10 mana which can be used to take out big minions or hit for lethal. [cardinsert card=sunwalker float=left]

1x Black Knight gives a very strong removal ability and leaves a strong minion on board. A staple for many control decks.

1x Ragnaros the Firelord provides extra damage and removal of large minions. Ragnaros puts a high amount of pressure on your opponent and allows you to end games as long as RNG is on your side.

Potential Card Switches

As this deck relies heavily on taunts as it’s main strategy, not too many cards are interchangeable. Though, the cards that are are mostly meta based depending on what you feel should be put in based upon the decks you find issues with when facing up against them. A second copy of Big Game Hunter could be addition to consider adding in, as a second copy could be useful against other ramping Druids with large minions, Priests, Control Warrior’s and Handlocks. If you find with this deck that BGH always sits as a dead card in hand and you want more outs to deal with aggro decks & play styles, you could consider a Starfall as an addition for AoE removal with the flexibility to remove big minions or even a Bloodmage Thalnos to boost the power of Wrath & Swipes. Sylvanas Windrunner may work in this deck for a mid to late game minion that applies a high amount of board pressure. Sylvanas also works very well with Mark of the Wild to apply even more board pressure. Force of Nature is run in this deck, though to increase your ability to combo and also to be able to freely use one copy as removal, another copy could be added. This allows one copy to be used in a more lax manner and gives more chance of drawing your combo.

Mulligans

Standard Mulligan: Dig for the basic of ramping Druids; Innervates & Wild Growth. Wrath & Keeper of the Grove are also not bad draws, then Harvest Golem can provide a solid turn 3 play.

Vs. Control: Look for ramp and standard draws. Vs. Aggro: Innervates can still be very useful to get out big taunts out early on. Keeping a Wrath and/or a Swipe can be useful for clear. Harvest Golem can be kept for board pressure and a Sen’jin Shieldmaster could be kept against rushing decks to stall the game if not Innervates or Wild Growth’s are available.

Matchups

Vs. Aggro, taunt up as soon as you can, save removals for key targets and survive. Ramp as soon as you can though don’t invest too much time into it, try to play a minion on every turn and keep your curve smooth.

Vs. Control you also want to get out your taunts when possible. Survive till late game and count their removal cards. Keep track of what cards are played, you need to understand when it’s safe to play a big minion without it getting removed immediately after.

Vs. Handlock you will want to save your removal for giants and if you think you play against Handlock very often, consider sideboarding in a second copy of Big Game Hunter. Taunt up and prevent giants from hitting your face and setting you up for a lethal withLeeroy Jenkins.

Vs. Freeze Mage, play aggressive, though don’t overextend too many minions into potential AoE combo’s or a Doomsayer. Freeze mage may run the giant variant so also be aware of getting them low as they may use Molten Giants and Ice Block. [cardinsert card=doomsayer float=right]

Vs. Miracle Rogue, draw when possible and keep taunts up as much as possible, forcing them to use spells onto your minions instead of your face. Try to have early ramp to taunt up with large minions before the opponent gets a chance to lower your hero with weapons, SI7’ & Farseer swings. If you keep health high and taunt up, they will not be able to lethal combo as easily. Make sure to remove spell power minions and Auctioneers when possible and be aware of Blade Flurry!


Token / Miracle Druid

Geno’s Miracle Token Druid - May 2014, Patch: 5314

Quick Summary

This deck is based upon an idea of the ‘Miracle’ drawing through the use of Gadgetzan Auctioneer and being able to use your spells to draw more cards and swarm the board with token drops (usually small 1-2 attack/hp minions) through Violet Teacher before running them with Savage Roar’s & when needed a Force of Nature into the opponents face and bursting them down. With additional spells to what a Druid deck usually runs, such as Moonfire, this deck can draw many cards with Auctioneers and take control of the board. Here you can find more information about Geno's Miracle/Token deck.

  • 2x Innervate
  • 2x Moonfire
  • 2x Claw
  • 2x Power of the Wild
  • 2x Wild Growth
  • 2x Wrath
  • 2x Savage Roar
  • 2x Keeper of the Grove
  • 2x Swipe
  • 2x Druid of the Claw
  • 1x Force of Nature
  • 2x Ancient of Lore
  • 1x Bloodmage Thalnos
  • 2x Violet Teacher
  • 2x Azure Drake
  • 2x Gadgetzan Auctioneer

Card Reasoning

2x Moonfire provides this deck with cheap removal of small minions, damage that can be used on larger minions when spell power is available and also can be used in late game combo’s to lethal an opponent as the mana cost is so low. As the cost is so low, it also provides very easy draw with Gadgetzan Auctioneer’s & easy accessibility to tokens with Violet Teacher.

2x Claw very similar to Moonfire, this card is cheap removal and can be used to proc the draw & token spawning of your other cards. Can be used well to remove frustrating minions such as Knife Juggler’s & Dire Wolf Alpha’s when playing against aggro.

2x Power of the Wild is a very solid card that has great synergy with your other cards, especially Violet Teacher’s. When used with teachers, it can be used to buff your tokens up to 2-2’s which always has it’s advantages, though with the way that these cards interact, the teacher spawns a token BEFORE the buff of the spell is applied, meaning you get an extra token to buff up to 2-2. It can also be used to put early pressure on the board in the form of a 3-2 when necessary. [cardinsert card=power-of-the-wild float=right]

2x Wild Growth is an addition to this deck as a strong spell, even more so if drawn early that can allow you to ramp up and get out your combo’s & tokens much faster. Wild Growth allows you to survive early by being able to get out bigger minions to pressure the board which when combined with Innervates, can often mean you have enough pressure to be able to safely spawn tokens or keep your Auctioneer alive for longer. In the late game, if not already draw, Wild Growth can be used on turn 10 to draw which can get you tokens and/or draw if you have Auctioneer’s which offers even more as you are able to cast  for no cost to draw a card.

2x Savage Roar / 1x Force of Nature the reason this deck does not run two copies of the full combo is because Savage Roar can often be used with only tokens on board to end the game or clear the opponent's side of the field. Force of Nature gives that extra boost to lethal your opponent or clear the board when necessary when you do not have a swarming board full of tokens.

1x Bloodmage Thalnos in a similar fashion to Miracle Rogue, Thalnos provides two amazing things; card draw upon death & spell power. With even more draw, you can often find your game winning cards more easily and the spell power can help when necessary to combo down the board of the opponent or lash out, Swiping the enemies face for 5!

1x Violet Teacher is self-explanatory for this token deck though to add in some extra comments; this card should be used wisely to gain the maximum benefit; though also remember not to commit everything, as a simple AoE board clear could wipe out everything you have worked hard on to keep your tokens alive. [cardinsert card=violet-apprentice float=right]

2x Azure Drake is an amazing 5 drop, that provides even more draw, spell power and a solid 4/4 on board.

2x Gadgetzan Auctioneer is the staple for the Miracle Rogue deck. In this deck, it’s not the most important thing you have, though it can often provide the draws of your combo’s to end the game. Use the card wisely to benefit for it’s drawing mechanic, not just as a 4/4 face swinging creature!

Potential Card Switches

Claw could be considered to be changed out for board pressure early, this could come in the form of different minions including Haunted Creeper, Harvest Golem, Nerub’ar Weblord could be useful against aggro decks that rely on battlecry's such as Zoolook. The issue of taking out Claw is the absence of instant and safe removal without the need for trading your tokens and the absence of another spell to proc Auctioneer’s & Teachers.

[cardinsert card=nerubar-weblord float=right]

If Bloodmage Thalnos is not available, then consider crafting if possible, if not then a decision should be made upon whether you think the spell power or draw is useful for your games and what you are playing against. If you prefer the draw, a Loot Horder could replace it, if you favour spell power, a Kobold Geomancer is often seen as a fitting replacement.

Malygos is a very niché card that could fit into this deck as an alternative to combo’s using tokens. Combined with Innervates & Moonfire, the +5 spell damage could offer a high amount of burst damage if your combo is not available. Though the card is a very niché pick, it could replace one copy of Gadgetzan Auctioneer if you feel as if another win condition could be useful.

Mulligans

Standard Mulligan: Dig for standard ramp up with Innervates & Wild Growth. Keeping a Druid of the Claw or Violet Teacher is acceptable if you have Innervate in the same hand.

Vs. Control: Search for your ramp through Innervates & Wild Growth, keeping Wrath can also be useful to help draw or take out early game minions that can cause issues.

Vs. Aggro: You will want to try to have removal in hand to deal with the early game pressure, Claw, Wrath & Swipe help very well with this. Vs. Druid: Many Druids will want to ramp up as early as possible, be aware of their large minions coming out fast. Dig for your own ramp up and try to get board pressure early.

Vs. (Non-Aggro) Rogue: Having minions in hand early is not an issue vs. Rogue, though ramp also works well. Innervate will be very useful to get something bigger on the field to create pressure and force removal early.

Vs. Handlock: Ramp can work vs. Handlock, though your ideal draw is going to be Keeper of the Grove to silence . Innervates along with your larger minions to keep up board pressure also works well.

Vs. Freeze Mage: Dig for ramp and aggression, preferably in the form of Innervates + Violet Teacher to maintain board pressure and combo them down as fast as possible before they get the chance to AoE and slow you down with Ice Blocks.

Matchups

Vs. Control you want to be trying to maintain as much board pressure as possible. Be aware of many removal spells and potential burst combo's - Control Warrior's will often run Alexstrasza so be careful of their late game as they may be able to burst you down or heal themselves back up. Make sure you double-check when you may have lethal, burning your combo too soon can cause issues if they are able to regain health or protects their hero's behind taunters.

Vs. Aggro: Try to remove their board when possible, save your Wrath's for the best targets, such as Knife Juggler. If you can survive past their early aggression, use your Violet Teachers to put down your own board pressure and take control.

Vs. Rogue: Be aware of removal spells and keep track of what key cards are used. Even more important Vs. Miracle Rogue, make sure you try to control the board, use Druid of the Claw in Bear form to stall their combo and waste their removal. Track how many Saps are played, many Rogue's will run 2.

Vs. Handlock: You will want to try and stop them from putting down their giants & Twilight Drakes so get board control and try to keep it. Be careful not to overextend in to Hellfire or Shadowflame and keep them at moderate health so they can't get cheap Molten Giant's as easy, then combo them down when you can swing in for lethal.


Watcher Druid

DarkKnight's Watcher Druid - June 2014, Patch: 5834

Quick Summary

The Watcher Druid is a strong anti-aggro deck that attempts to control the board through the use of Ancient Watchers, taunts & silences as the staple to slow down your opponent and create board pressure. If you'd like even more information, check out DarkKnight's guide.

  • 2x Innervate
  • 2x Wrath
  • 2x Ancient Watcher
  • 1x Bloodmage Thalnos
  • 2x Sunfury Protector
  • 1x Savage Roar
  • 1x Big Game Hunter
  • 2x Harvest Golem
  • 2x Swipe
  • 2x Chillwind Yeti
  • 2x Defender of Argus
  • 2x Keeper of the Grove
  • 1x Azure Drake
  • 2x Druid of the Claw
  • 1x Force of Nature
  • 1x Cairne Bloodhoof
  • 1x The Black Knight
  • 2x Ancient of Lore
  • 1x Ragnaros the Firelord

Card Reasoning

As this deck is based upon the whole idea of stalling out your opponent with strong control and the early power of Ancient Watcher's, the cards focus on taunts and the versatile control that Druid often provides.

2x Ancient Watcher is the staple for this deck by being able to taunt or silence a watcher, you are able to play aggressively or prevent the aggression. Combined with Sunfury Protector, Defender of Argusor Keeper of the Grove, a simple 4/5 which can't attack can turn into a very powerful early game minion. One of the strong points to consider when thinking about Ancient Watcher is its stats in relation to mana cost, then if on turn 3 (or tun 2 if you use Coin on turn 1) you can combine it with Sunfury Protector to put down a large amount of board pressure which is very difficult for the opponent to deal with.

2x Keeper of the Grove is a very standard card for many Druid decks, however it can be used with more versatility in this deck due to the Ancient Watcher when silenced. Potential plays of being able to drop an Ancient Watcher on turn 2 or 3 and then Coin (if second) into Keeper to silence your Watcher and be able to attack for 4 damage. Keeper of the Grove also offers even more versatility as it trades well with its good amount of health and ability to silence the opponents large threats such as Yseraor Sylvanas Windrunner.

1x Cairne Bloodhoof is a Yeti that gives you another Yeti for an additional 2 mana. Cairne does have the issue of being silenced by the opponent and becoming an overpriced Yeti. Though, with Cairne, you put a high amount of pressure onto the board as the opponent has to essentially remove two minions even before the deathrattle has activated. The  deathrattle slows the opponent down as they will want to find a way to deal with Cairne though not all decks may run hard removal and have it in hand. [cardinsert card=cairne-bloodhoof float=left]

1x The Black Knight is a strong controlling minion that works well with this deck to keep up board pressure and prevent your opponent from stalling. The Black Knight has great utility and put's a strong minion on the field that is able to trade even further.

1x Ragnaros the Firelord provides a few things, including: game finishing potential, high board pressure & chance of removal. Though Ragnaros relies on RNG, the 8 damage at the end of your turn will remove most minions, put high pressure onto the opponent to remove it & also has the ability to end the game by blasting for lethal.

Potential Card Switches

[cardinsert card=mark-of-the-wild float=right] Mark of the Wild, even if only one copy is put into the deck can give synergy to Big Game Hunter, The Black Knightor even to give more options to taunt Ancient Watcher's Sylvanas Windrunnercould also be considered for this deck to top up the strong mid game with the ability to pretend you're a Priest and take control of the opponents minions. In a similar manner to Cairne Bloodhoof, Sylvanas puts a large amount of pressure onto the board, as the opponent has to fear their own minions being stolen.

Cenariuscan work well for this deck to be able to boost the power of control with the 2/2 taunts that he can summon. Cenarius is also a large minion that can trade with the opponent's 2 for 1 quite easily. If The Black Knight is not in your arsenal or if you find that not as many taunts worth using him for are being played, an Ancient of Warcan replace it to give strong late game and protection of your hero & other minions. Being able to protect yourself from burst combo's such as Leeroy Jenkinsor a Force of Nature& Savage Roarcombo. [cardinsert card=ancient-of-war float=left]

Mulligans

Standard Mulligan: Keep & dig for Innervate's, Ancient Watchers with Sunfury Protectors in hand can provide early board pressure as you have the secured taunt ready to play. Keeping an Ancient Watcher without the ability to taunt or silence is also acceptable, though digging for Harvest Golem's in place of that can be more efficient. Keeping Chillwind Yetican also work to provide a strong turn 4 or turn 3 if you have the Coin.

Vs. Aggro: You want to look for the ability to control your opponents early game through Ancient Watchers, Sunfury Protector & Wrath. Harvest Golem & Keeper of the Grove are also good pickup's to take board pressure as they can trade 2 for 1 with many of the small minions that aggro decks often play. Keeping Innervate is also standard. If no Ancient Watcher + Taunt combo is in hand, Swipe can be kept hold of to minimise the opponents aggression.

Vs. Control: Search for standard. Keep Innervates, Harvest Golem & Wrath to be able to remove the opponents high value minions such as Acolyte of Pain. If Innervate is in starting hand, keeping 4 & 5 drop minions in hand to drop early can be very useful to establish board pressure before the opponent can reach their strong point. [cardinsert card=acolyte-of-pain float=right]

Matchups

Vs. Aggro: Try to taunt up early, though if you have no other minions to taunt, dropping a Sunfury Protector on its own to trade with minions to stop the enemies aggression can be helpful. If Innervate is in your starting hand, keeping Druid of the Claw to be able to taunt in Bear form and prevent the high aggression of your opponent. Save Wrath for targets of higher value such as Knife Juggler. Keep your taunts up to prevent removal and allowing your opponent to hit face for free.

Vs. Control: Against control, you want to be able to manage the opponent's use of card draw and track the key cards that are played closely, to understand what methods of removal may be available (E.g. If a Warrior uses Executeor Shield Slam, it is quite likely they have second copies of the card in their deck). Ending the game early is advised, as late game can be difficult for your mid-range minions and low amount of removal can mean that it's difficult to deal with large minions such as Ysera. [cardinsert card=unleash-the-hounds float=right]

Vs. Hunter: When up against Hunter, it can be useful to keep a Swipe in your mulligan due to Hunter often having high amounts of low health minions and be able to take out the high value units such as or . Try to play around their secrets and make sure you don't overextend into Unleash the Hounds.

Vs. Handlock: Utilise Big Game Hunter & The Black Knight to take down their Molten Giant's & Mountain Giant's. If you face a high amount of Handlock then you could consider running two copies of BGH. [cardinsert card=the-black-knight float=left] Try to run them down with aggression to make them fear using Life Tap and other cards that damage themselves, such as Hellfire. Once you can get them low enough try to combo them down with Force of Nature& Savage Roar.


Kolento VGVN Naxxramas Mid-Range Druid

Kolento VGVN Mid-Range Druid - Early September 2014, Patch: 6284

Quick Summary

This deck was used in the 2nd VGVN tournament very early September 2014 that uses strong board pressure and the fast-style double combo Druid to burst down your opponents with aggression in the early to mid-game through the use of Force of Nature& Savage Roar. Quite different from other decks, this deck is quite aggressive in its use of Echoing Oozeand Shade of Naxxramasto establish board pressure and be able to overwhelm your opponent with the threat of being burst down.

If you would like to see how the deck played out for Kolento in the VGVN tournament #2 then check out the vod's over at their official Twitch page.

  • 2x Innervate
  • 2x Wrath
  • 2x Savage Roar
  • 2x Swipe
  • 2x Keeper of the Grove
  • 2x Druid of the Claw
  • 2x Force of Nature
  • 2x Ancient of Lore
  • 2x Echoing Ooze
  • 2x Haunted Creeper
  • 2x Harvest Golem
  • 2x Shade of Naxxramas
  • 2x Defender of Argus
  • 1x Loatheb
  • 2x Spectral Knight
  • 1x Cairne Bloodhoof

Card Reasoning

[cardinsert card=echoing-ooze float=right]

2x Echoing Ooze within the tournament, when played by Kolento was often used as a 2 drop to put down board pressure early and be able to create a withstanding board that can trade with the opponents minions and/or start putting down some face damage for your mid-game combo's. The main aim in using the Echo, is to try to combine it with a Defender of Argusto be able to have some anti-aggression and out even more pressure on the opponent to prevent you from unleashing your burst damage combo's. Though there are not many ways for this deck to buff up the Echo, it can often be a strong 2 drop on its own and can also be used to set up potential combo's in the later game as the 2 1/2's can be easily ignored though when combined with Savage Roarthey can be very powerful.

2x Haunted Creeper is another token type of minion that gives more early pressure and can set up 2 for 1 trades in your favour that can help you establish a strong board presence and maintain 'value' out of the cards you place down. The Creeper also has some useful synergy with your Argus, as it can buff the two 1/1 tokens that spawn afterwards to be able to trade with your opponents minions or create further pressure onto their hero's health total.

2x Shade of Naxxramas is a very interesting card for this deck as it is often left for quite a few turns, due to many decks not being able to deal with it, before it manages to get pumped up.

[cardinsert card=shade-of-naxxramas float=left]

The Shade has a strong combination with quite a few decks, such as Shaman being able to use Windfuryand a mixture of other buffs to swing in for a massive turn of damage, though for this Druid deck it gives you strong trading potential and the possibility of a continuously ramping creature that can swing into their hero in the mid-game alongside other minions & Savage Roar.

2x Defender of Argus combines with the token-style minions that are in this deck, by being able to buff up your small minions whether that be to prevent aggro from burning your hero into the smithereens that consist of the defeat screen or to be able to keep up board control by trading more favourably with the opponent.

2x Spectral Knight is a strong minion that puts a very high amount of pressure onto the opponent by forcing them to either Silence or have their minions run into it to remove it completely. One of the reasons the SK has such power is due its survivability, with 6 health and not being able to be removed by spells, which allows it to trade favourably, though gives it chance to stick on the board for a longer period of time so you can buff it with Savage Roar & swing in for the kill.

1x Cairne Bloodhoof is the biggest late game threat you have in the deck, aside from that you have SK & Ancient of Loreas a 5/5 which gives you some more options for the late game, whether that be to draw or heal. Cairne gives the deck something to play in the late game, that once again spawns something with a deathrattle, though much larger than the standard token! As Cairne's deathrattle puts a good amount of pressure onto the board, it can also help to trade favourably and then use the second coming, of Cairne Bloodhoofto clear the opponent's side of the field or if the board is empty, push for face damage and potential lethal.

Potential Card Switches

Mark of the Wildcan be considered for this deck to be able to counter any sort of aggro decks a little easier, as well as this, it provides good synergy with Echoing Ooze by giving the deck some more ways to buff the Ooze and get more value out of its clone and as that, Mark of the Wild is 2 mana cheaper than the Defender of Arguswhich means if you have these cards in your hand earlier on, they can be used to gain a higher amount of board control in the sense that Mark of the Wild buffs the minion by 2/2 and taunt, whereas the Argus only buffs by 1/1 & taunt and does not gain full value if you only taunt up 1 minion at a time.

[cardinsert card=sunfury-protector float=right]

Sunfury Protector could be considered as a card for the deck as another 2 drop that can be used early on its own if your starting hard is weak, though it combines with the early pressure tokens that come from Echoing Ooze, Haunted Creeper & Harvest Golem. As well as this, the Sunfury gives you additional survivability if you're being rushed down by aggro and can help to keep up board control for a longer period of time.

When playing up against many weapon-wielding decks, it could be considered to have Harrison Jonesas an additional 5 drop that can give you more board pressure and potential card draw. Though, when considering to use Harrison, he should be regarded as a situational/meta card, due to the meta shifting so often and it can be the case that the weapon-wielding decks are not as popular and Harrison becomes a dead card in hand as you try to wait to gain the value of card draw.

[cardinsert card=harrison-jones float=right]

The Black Knighthas been seen in different versions of this deck, as it can be a great counter to control decks such as other Druid's, Handlock or more or less any taunt that stands in your way of rushing in with your combo to swing for lethal. As The Black Knight relies on an opponent playing taunt to retain complete value, you should consider it in certain meta-games, though not in all. However, when taunts are being played - The Black Knight an be  a great setup for your lethal combo as you can be able to remove their taunting minion, put down more board pressure which if it survives, adds to you combo of Force of Nature& Savage Roarfor an additional 6 damage, giving you a total of a 20 damage swing.

Mulligans

Standard Mulligan: Try to dig for your Echoing Ooze, Haunted Creeper's and keep an Argus if you have these in hand, as you can setup strong turns by keeping board pressure early before buffing them for higher value. Holding on to Wrathcan be useful as it can usually find a good target, no matter the opponent's deck. Innervate is useful to keep and consider holding on to Druid of the Clawto slam onto the board early on. Shade of Naxxramascan be kept if the rest of your starting hand is acceptable and can be really useful if combined with Innervateon turn 1 for a fast-ramping Shade.

Vs. Aggro: If you know you're up against aggro, dig for your early drops to keep up pressure; Echoing Ooze & Haunted Creeperwill do the trick for that! Then, Wrath & Swipecan be kept in your starting hand to be able to remove anything that can be considered a HVT (High Value Target) such as a pesky Knife Juggleror use Wrath to draw from a meddling Young Priestesswhich could cause issues. Keeper of the Grove can also be considered, as many aggro decks such as Zoo will have cards that can be very useful to silence, such as Voidcalleror small minions which can be pinged off the board with only 2 damage!

Vs. Control: Search for those early drops and try to get your Argus or Mark of the Wild if you're running it to buff up your tokens early and keep control of the board for as long as possible. Keeping a Keeper may sound obvious, though those Groves can be useful against control to silence the strong drops that can an issue to deal with otherwise. Try to keep strong board pressure and use Innervate to slam something big down on board when possible.

Matchups

[cardinsert card=loatheb float=left]

Vs. Aggro you want to be looking to prevent them from rushing you down, even though the deck has a ton of burst damage you still need to reach your higher mana costs, so for the start against aggro - Keep up board pressure with your early minions and make sure you trade & remove their HVT's. Try to get the best value out of your Swipeand I don't make that plural for the sense that you may never get to draw your second one, so whenever you get your first chance to use it, make sure it's actually getting some good value.

Vs. Control your early board pressure can be very useful to make sure that you can set up for lethal before control decks manage to get their late game point. Be careful of running into taunts so try to be smart in how you setup for lethal; if you have Loathebin hand, it can be used to force your opponent into a weak turn and if they cannot respond with a heal, bunch of armour or taunts, you might be able to swing in with your combo for lethal. Though, with control decks, the different classes style of control will change - Druid's will usually have a high amount of taunts and large minions to burn you down slowly or use a copy of their own combo to burst you in the late game. A control Warrior will often have a high amount of removal through weapons & spells before having mass loads of big legendaries to deal with the rest if your health - Against Warrior, the main two things to be aware of is their ability to raise their effective health through Shield Blockor their hero power and many control Warrior's will run Alexstrasza.

Against Priests, when setting up for lethal, your Loatheb can be very useful to stop them from healing themselves over your damage cap through using cards like Holy Fire.

[cardinsert card=leeroy-jenkins float=left]

Also be careful of their Shadow Word spells, as your early game minions may often be in easy range of any Priest running Shadow Word: Pain.

Vs. Miracle Rogue you will want to be trying to maintain board pressure and force them to waste their precious spells when they don't have their Gadgetzan yet on board by putting so much on board, they need to remove it. Try to get your Echo's buffed up if possible, though playing it on turn 2 if nothing else in hand is completely fine. At all points, keep track of their cards, mainly Shadowstep's, Cold Blood& Eviscerateas you want to be able to figure out their potential damage with Leeroy combo's. Remember that in this matchup, many Miracle decks include Loathebwhich can shut you down and prevent you from finishing first in the race to combo down the opponent's hero - Though, in turn your own Loatheb can be just as useful to prevent their finisher!


Phew! Hope you enjoyed this overview! Be sure to check back often for the constant evolution of the Druid class and leave your feed back and suggestions in the comments below!

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