Note: For Part I of the druid deck guide, read it here. This, Part II, will focus on how to mulligan and the matchups.
Mulligans with this deck are fairly straightforward. The general idea is that you go for early game drops and some combos with power-of-the-wild, innervate and violet-teacher. Different mulligan strategies are needed in different matchups, but these are mostly based on the expectation of you being up against a midrange/control deck, or an aggro deck. What I consider aggro decks are mostly Zoo and Hunter.
Against these aggressive decks, you need to go for early drops. Preferably argent-squire and annoy-o-tron. These divine shield minions with low attack are great, since they normally trade up really well against the abundance of 1/1s and 2 health creatures those decks play, due to the sticky nature of divine shield minions. The only difference between this mulligan style and the mulligan vs control is that it is perfectly acceptable to keep a violet-teacher and a power-of-the-wild in your opening hand against control decks, whereas this would be way to slow against aggro decks.
Keeping an innervate in your opening hand is fine, keeping two is only acceptable when you either have an azure-drake, ancient-of-lore or violet-teacher in your hand. The reasoning behind this is that when you have two Innervates, you’re gonna run out of minions to play on the board really quickly. It may seem really tempting to be able to play dr-boom on turn 2, but if that leaves you with no other cards to play and you basically needing to top deck from there on out, it’s usually not worth it. It’s definitely a strong play, don’t get me wrong, but in my opinion it’s better to try and build a good board instead of investing your entire hand into a single card.
A big mistake a lot of players make is keeping power-of-the-wild in their opening hand. This is usually a pretty bad idea since this card doesn’t really see play until turn 4 at the very least. There is an exception, of course, where if you’re holding both innervate and violet-teacher. In this case it’s usually acceptable to keep Power of the Wild.
If you have no minions that cost 1 or 2 mana, and no innervate in your opening hand, I would suggest putting the entire hand back in the deck and hope you draw some of those cards.
In this section I will talk about how well the deck does against specific other meta decks and why. I’ve even included an example of how games usually go against Hunters.
Hunter is still seen so much on ladder that it makes a really big part of the metagame. Token Druid performs outstandingly well against Hunter. Your sticky minions trade up great against all of their minions, and if you can build up a board it’s quite easy to burst them down after a while. The only danger when playing against Hunters is explosive-trap. If you don’t pay attention you can end up with a board of minions under 2 health, and if the opponent plays Explosive Trap at that point then you’re royally screwed.
Small example of how games usually turn out against Hunters:
Rogues have a hard time keeping a board clear when all of the cheap minions played are so sticky. An early 6/6 blood-knight can also be really insane here, especially if the opponent does not have a sap in his or her hand. As long as you can keep playing minions you can usually win this matchup. If the Rogue manages to clear the board and take board control, you need to get it back as soon as possible. If you can’t then you will have lost this game most of the time.
Paladins have a really strong midgame deck nowadays. Luckily for us, this midrange deck relies a lot on silver-hand-recruits and shielded-minibots to take control of the board early on. This is lucky for us since the Shielded Minibots get countered by blood-knight and all those 1/1s are easy to deal with thanks to the abundance of sticky minions with little attack in this deck.
Zoo is pretty favoured for you. It’s a fairly straightforward matchup where both players strife to take control of the board. Keep wrath and keeper-of-the-grove for priority targets like knife-juggler or use it to silence a nerubian-egg.
Combo Druid, in this matchup it depends how much taunt cards the opponent plays, and wether or not he gets an early wild-growth. Taunts can stop this deck completely. With a board full of small minions there is not much you can do against a druid-of-the-claw in taunt mode except trade up a lot of minions. If you can either get a buff of from power-of-the-wild or use savage-roar to clear then the game turns in your favour. It’s a really winnable matchup. All in all i’d say this one is 50/50.
Tempo Mage is tricky since if they get a flamewaker on the board they can get rid of a lot of your tokens. Try to take control of the board and always make sure to play around insane Flamewaker turns, try to keep track of how many spare parts they got. For Mech Mage the same rules count, but keep goblin-blastmage in mind.
Priest is a really weird matchup. I didn’t encounter enough of them to determine whether they are a good or a bad matchup for this deck, but i had a winrate of slightly over 50%, so i would argue it fits in this part quite well. They win by getting taunts and getting value out of trading with you and healing. This way they just run you dry and you have no cards on board or in your hand in no time. You win by keeping the pressure up, make sure you have a strong board. Don’t overextend though, or you will get punished by area of effecta in the form of holy-nova or auchenai-soulpriest+circle-of-healing. your advantage is that lightbomb really doesn’t do much against this deck.
Handlock is really tough, but you can win this by keeping them above the range where they can play molten-giants, and then bursting them to zero health in a single turn. You need to keep keeper-of-the-grove to silence a taunted mountain-giant, or any other taunt if needed. Otherwise the push for lethal with burst is going to be really hard.
Ramp Druid is really tough. Luckily it’s hardly ever seen on ladder. I guess by now you have figured out that this deck does poorly against control decks that play large taunts. It’s almost impossible for this deck to get past an ancient-of-war without silencing it.
Freeze Mage is really, really hard to beat. Even if you manage to get to play a combo or get some burst damage going, they usually have health-gaining secrets up. They can keep freezing your minions and you don’t really do a lot of damage without buffing your minions or burst. Try to keep a way in hand to deal with their doomsayer.