Well hello good sirs! Today, I am going to take a look at Trump’s Tree of Life Druid, and with it, the importance of metagaming at high levels of play.
Back at the beginning of this season, there was a HUGE influx of control players. Druid, Warrior, and Paladin were everywhere, along with some Priest and Handlock as well. This was especially true at the top of the ladder, which at this point consisted of many professionals and former legends, who were all fighting not just to hit legend, but to make it to the top areas of the ladder. There were even a good number of fatigue decks running around, which are a huge threat to traditional control decks. Because of this, your standard control deck was not enough to beat the other decks running around.
[cardinsert card=”muster-for-battle” float=”right”]
Successful players had to do something to counter the metagame they were seeing: enter Trump’s deck. It is a control deck designed to beat other control decks. Today, I am not going to give a long analysis of how to play and mulligan for a Druid deck, I leave that to others, but instead, I’m going to look at how this deck worked against the early-season control meta.
[toc]the Key to the Tree: Introduction[/toc]
The “general” strategy of control decks, is to protect your early game so that you can win in the late game by playing strong end-game legendaries to finish off your opponent, such as [card]ragnaros-the-firelord[/card]. Now there are definitely variations to this, for example, Druid usually has a bit more board presence, and Handlock has the giants, but as a general rule of thumb this is how a control deck works. Now there are two ways then to beat a control deck: outspeed them, or outlive them. Prior to Goblins Vs. Gnomes, the former was the more common and effective way, but GVG has brought us ways to force the game into an even longer state than the slowest of decks could do in the past. For example, fatigue mage, as mentioned above, can use [card]echo-of-medivh[/card] to copy its [card]antique-healbot[/card] and [card]deathlord[/card] and [card]coldlight-oracle[/card] to force the game into fatigue and survive for a long time. And warriors have added, in addition to their already huge supply of legendaries, the mighty [card]dr-boom[/card]. Even some Handlock players have begun running [card]malganis[/card] in order to give themselves an even higher level of survivability. Trump saw this more late-game oriented metagame and decided to create a Druid deck that could take on this meta.
The general ramp/combo druid uses [card]innervate[/card] and [card]wild-growth[/card] to get out big cards fast in order to take control of the board, and then finishes the game with a [card]force-of-nature[/card] + [card]savage-roar[/card] combo for 14 damage plus more if you have an established board. But this version of Druid just didn’t cut it given the early-season meta. Warriors could gain 5 billion armor per turn, Priests could heal out of combo range, mages had [card]ice-block[/card], and Paladin had way too much board control for druid players to be able to easily get them into combo range. And as mentioned above, these decks were also teching themselves out to be able to have an even greater level of longevity than before. All of these things made the traditional druid combo somewhat ineffective, so in response to this, Trump dropped it. In exchange, Trump added a slew of cards that could compete in a very late-game situation, namely about 200 dollars worth of legendaries =O. In the past, Warrior decks have done similar things to this, adding [card]alexstrasza[/card] and [card]ysera[/card] to their arsenal, which shifts their focus more into the late game. Kibler also did something like this with his version of Deathrattle Priest, where he dropped his copies of [card]thoughtsteal[/card] in favor of one copy each of [card]ysera[/card] and [card]mind-control[/card], but with the release of GVG, there are more valuable legendaries than ever before since we have all the old staples such as [card]sylvanas-windrunner[/card] and [card]ragnaros-the-firelord[/card] and new late-game cards such as [card]dr-boom[/card] and [card]sneeds-old-shredder[/card], and Trump uses these cards to push his deck into the late game, giving him a huge level of longevity and late-game power. Let’s look at the cards that set Trump’s Druid apart from your standard druid build. [cardinsert card=”mind-control” float=”right”]
[toc]Nature Will Rise Against You:Card Analysis[/toc]
Though many of the cards in the deck are standard in a Druid deck, there are a few cards I want to look at that set this list apart from other Druid decks.
We begin with a more humble addition to Trump’s deck, but a very important one. Though this deck is designed to be a hyper-control deck, a big part of the control meta is the mighty Uther, the Paladin, who combines his control powers with a very reasonable board presence through [card]shielded-minibot[/card] and [card]muster-for-battle[/card], and the Chow gives an answer to this board presence. Even more importantly, however, is the fact that this card HEALS HANDLOCK PLAYERS! This makes it harder for them to drop their [card]molten-giant[/card].
Another card that may appear confusing for an anti-control deck, but [card]dr-boom[/card] placing three bodies on the field at once makes this card very helpful even in the control matchup. Also, the surprise factor can really swing matchups.
Though this is a staple card for druids, I did want to point out the importance of the silence effect on this guy in a control meta, since silencing a [card]sneeds-old-shredder[/card] or other legendary with a strong effect is key in any Druid deck that focuses on the late game, including this one.
Even though this isn’t a particularly interesting inclusion, I wanted to point out that this card can be just as helpful in the control matchup as in the aggro matchup. You can use it to heal out of range of a [card]force-of-nature[/card]+[card]savage-roar[/card] combo; heal up after your opponent plays [card]alexstrasza[/card]; etc.
This card is almost an auto-include nowadays with all the weapons flying around. Go craft it if you play anything other than Hunter or Zoo!
This card is often included in control decks, and is becoming more and more important as Druids are more often running [card]ancient-of-war[/card] than they were in the past. And of course there’s the ever present [card]sludge-belcher[/card] that the Black Knight helps to deal with.
Here’s where things become interesting. Malorne is not commonly included in Druid decks because he is very slow and easy to remove but it single-handedly wrecks mill decks. Unless the enemy silences Malorne, the player will never be able to get milled ever. This is because Malorne keeps going back into your deck even if its your last card! Also, even against other control decks, Malorne can overwhelm your opponent’s removal, since, again, it never goes away. [cardinsert card=”malorne” float=”right”]
He booms. He’s OP. At worst, he forces your opponent to make an inefficient play with [card]big-game-hunter[/card] since even after BGH removes him, the boom bots remain. And at best, he becomes a terrifying 9/9 worth of stats (in separate bodies). It’s not surprising that Trump would include this man.
A legendary in a legendary. Sneed’s is a strong body with another strong body potentially within it. Though people always think of Sneed’s deathrattle in terms of the dichotomy of [card]lorewalker-cho[/card] and [card]ragnaros-the-firelord[/card], it is just as likely that the deathrattle will pull out a more mid-end legendary such as [card]toshley[/card], which is still a solid body, and that is the point of including this card. In a deck that already has an almost impossible to remove army of legendary cards, Sneed provides two more bodies that need to be dealt with. [cardinsert card=”sneeds-old-shredder” float=”right”]
Besides being my favorite legendary, this card is the ultimate key to any late game deck. The reason for this is simple: card advantage. In a long game, players can be forced into topdecking, and an unanswered Ysera guarantees that you will win the topdecking war. Similar to how Jaraxxus’ [card]inferno[/card] gives you longevity through the summoning of tokens, Ysera’s dream cards give you amazing longevity in the late game, making her an absolute necessity in any sort of hyper-control deck.
Here it is, the mighty Tree itself. This card functionally resets the game for its user, which makes it almost impossible to lose in the late game assuming that you have control over the board. Imagine playing this card after clearing your opponent’s field and you have only a [card]ysera[/card] in play. Simply because of the card advantage you will have at this point, you are guaranteed to win, and that is how this deck works! After playing your nearly impossible to remove army of legendaries, you simply drop the Tree and then it’s over: very few decks can win in the late game given the sheer number of strong cards and the Tree preventing any attempts at a quick game closing. [cardinsert card=”tree-of-life” float=”right”]
[toc]Hmmm. Well Played: Conclusion[/toc]
So as you can see, Trump’s Druid build is very interested, and was very strong against the meta he was facing. The longevity along with board presence that his deck could muster is quite incredible and his list should be remembered when facing a control-based meta. Thank you all for reading! Add me: Chinchillord#1811