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What Would DKMR Do? #1

by - 7 years ago

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This week we bring you a new feature called “What Would DKMR Do?” Each week we’ll present an in-game situation and discuss the possible lines of play. Here’s the game state for this week!


As the Druid, you have many powerful plays this turn, but which, if any, is the best play? For the sake of this scenario let’s assume your opponent has used one Hex and one Earth Shock. Our first consideration in this scenario should be to evaluate whether you believe your opponent possesses the second copy of either of these cards in their hand. While it can be difficult to ascertain this information, your opponent’s previous plays may provide evidence one way or the other. If your opponent used Hex on a non-critical minion, it could indicate they did not value it especially highly since they already have a second copy in hand. Earth Shock is not as easy to evaluate. Since Druid does not run many good targets for Earth Shock, your opponent may have used it for moderate value instead of waiting for the unlikely situation they could have used it for significant value (say on an Ancient of War).

Ancient of Lore is most immune to Hex and Earth Shock. It provides value whether it is Hexed or not and Earth Shock merely helps another card trade up. We would never heal with Ancient of Lore in this situation as we wouldn’t put our opponent on having significant burst. We do have other powerful cards to play though, so if you believe the health could be relevant, it is not entirely unreasonable. It is also noteworthy that if we play Ancient of Lore on this turn we have an Innervate to aid us in playing any of the cards we draw. This allows us to play certain removal such as Swipe or Wrath and Hero Power that can deal with the Fire Elemental if drawn. Note these plays would be Swipe the Fire Elemental, removing the Stoneclaw Totem and allowing our Damaged Golem to trade for the Fire Elemental while Wrath on the Fire Elemental would allow our Damaged Golem to trade for it as well after using the Hero Power to clear the Stoneclaw Totem. Worst case scenario, we don’t draw any follow-up plays and we use our Hero Power to remove the Stoneclaw Totem and either deal 2 damage to Thrall with the Golem or remove the Wrath of Air Totem. We are left with a 2/1 and 5/5 on board and 6 cards in hand to our opponents Fire Elemental and 5 cards in hand after they draw. This play puts us in a strong position and does not leave us especially susceptible to Hex. However, we do lose the opportunity cost of making a much stronger play such as Ragnaros or Ancient of War.

Both Ragnaros and Ancient of War progress our board position much more aggressively but leave us more open to Hex and Earth Shock. Ragnaros is likely our most powerful play in this situation as it is our most reliable means for potentially removing the Fire Elemental. Not only that, but it provides some immediate value (damage or removal) and requires our opponent to have Hex or trade his Fire Elemental (if it lives) and a second card for Ragnaros. If we play Ragnaros, our turn is almost surely to activate Shapeshift to remove the Stoneclaw Totem and using the Damaged Golem to remove the Wrath of Air Totem. This maximizes the odds that Ragnaros will remove the Fire Elemental. It’s also notable that playing Ragnaros will almost certainly let you know if your opponent has their second Hex. Unless the Fire Elemental lives and your opponent has their second Flametongue Totem, your opponent will likely Hex Ragnaros or use Lightning Bolt plus Fire Elemental. Either way, your opponent will likely spend time considering their options if they have Hex, allowing you to gauge the likelihood of your Ancient of War being Hexed later.

You could alternatively use the Ancient of War to draw out Hex. Ancient of War also notably plays around a Leeroy Jenkins, Rockbiter Weapon, and Windfury lethal if you know your opponent is playing the combo. We would be hesitant to put my opponent on the combo, however, as it requires three of their four cards and they still have a good bit of their deck left. The combo is also used less frequently than Al’Akir or Bloodlust. While you may still favor playing Ancient of War, we would not allow the threat of the Leeroy combo to factor too heavily in the decision. Even so, healing with Ancient of Lore would play around the combo more effectively since Ancient of War can be Earth Shocked while healing puts you completely out of range.

Savage Roar has few applications on this turn but is worth noting for the future burst potential it provides. It could be another reason to play Ancient or Lore as drawing Force of Nature could set up lethal on the following turn if the Ancient is not dealt with.

So what play would you make? Let us know in the comments! We’ll discuss your comments on this situation as well as a new situation next week. Keep track of your decks on www.Hearthstats.net it is the best way to compare what is working and what is not!

[DKMR]Varranis streams every Sunday from 10 AM – 4 PM EST at http://www.twitch.tv/varranis.

You can find all of DKMR’s streamers on their website with times and the days they stream!

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JR Cook

JR has been writing for fan sites since 2000 and has been doing Blizzard Exclusive fansites since 2003. He helped co-found BlizzPro in 2013. You can hear JR every week talk about Hearthstone on the Well Met Podcast published on iTunes.

0 responses to “What Would DKMR Do? #1”

  1. Guest says:

    Great analysis, but what would DKMR do?

    • I personally Shapeshifted to remove the taunt, removed the spell power totem with Golem, and played Rag. I feel this or the Ancient of Lore play are the two strongest plays. The Rag play has the best possible outcome (ie – removing the Fire Elemental) while the Lore play is the most conservative. I also valued the Ancient of War slightly more than the Rag since it would be incredibly difficult to remove without Hex/Earth Shock, so I preferred to use Rag as bait. Rag also has an immediate effect even if he does get Hexed, whereas Ancient of War does not. I ended up Raging face and winning several turns later.

  2. Chill says:

    I play old school ramp almost exclusively, and my gut reaction was to hero power the taunt, golem the spellpower, and drop war. I run a lot of taunt minions, two wars as well as Ysera, so against shaman the game plan tends to be baiting out removal and playing conservatively, knowing that I have more late game teeth when it comes down to the wire. If I lose, it tends to be because I let through a big chuck of damage at some point, and couldn’t comfortably play a slow card like Ysera. Thus, I’m always hesitant to leave face open, even if I don’t think they have lethal.

    That being said, my decision would change based on what else was in the deck. If the war and Rag are my big powerful game enders, then definitely the lore. I really like this article and it made me think about the situation more than a hearthstone turn typically allows. I feel like I learned a lot, and am really looking forward to #2. Thanks!

    • I agree with you, but I like baiting with Rag or Lore first to increase the Ancient of War’s chances of living. Rag and War are the deck’s top end, but it also runs double combo, so you’re not for want of a finisher.

      Glad you enjoyed the article! I’m looking forward to writing the next one!

  3. Selic says:

    my first though was ancient of lore to see the draws, play removal if drawn, if not hero power the 0/1 and enervate savage roar to kill the 6/5 with the damaged golem.. would that be a bad play?

    • Savage Roar only gives +2/+0, so the Golem couldn’t trade for the Fire Elemental. If it enabled you to trade, it’d be a reasonable course of action. You also wouldn’t need to use Innervate or Hero Power since Savage Roar gives your hero enough attack to remove the 0/1.

  4. Tirisfal says:

    Really good article I enjoyed it very much. My first thought was to play hero power, rag and attack spell power totem. But the longer I think about it the better I like ancient of lore since we can draw into something significant, having still 5 mana open for yeti/druid of the claw for example (not only removal is good here). And if opponent won’t deal with it we can kill fire elemental with our lore if needed.

    Keep up great work I’m waiting for the second one.

  5. Wilson Lyal Polk says:

    Lore for cards, if nothing relevant is drawn, hero power the taunt and clear the spell power totem with the golem, spell power would not affect anything the following turn, lava burst kills your lore either way, and lighting bolt still requires a second card, but this reduces the chance of a taunt totem being drawn and blocking damage from your combo. This forces the shaman into either trading their fire elemental unfavorably into your lore, resulting in one of their largest threats trading for the first half of your golem (assuming) and a lore that’s drawn two cards, or using lava burst or hex, which then isn’t available for your other large threats. This also puts you closer to your force of nature than any other play, and puts lethal on board if you draw force and the shaman doesn’t trade into your lore. Once force is drawn, ancient of war can be used to make them trade multiple units into and thin their board, which leaves a better chance for rag hitting face which drops the shaman to 14.

  6. patrissimo says:

    I like your analysis. Rag doesn’t mind earth shock and if he gets hexed the frog may block one fire elemental attack, plus that’s the last hex gone. He has a 1/3 chance of removing the elemental which would be great. I hadn’t thought of the Ancient of Lore for removal play, but it seems like a good line whose strength depends on what is left in your deck. If you don’t get removal it still trades for the Fire Elemental, and it’s not a good Hex target. Ancient of War exposes you to the most risk via Earth Shock, I think it’s fine if it eats the last Hex. It does the most reliably best if not countered (ie kills Fire Elemental without dying).

  7. James Perkins says:

    Personally I would hero power the taunt totem, savage roar then golem the fire elemental. If the shaman has rockbiter, maybe even 2 rockbiter cards plus a windfury he can do serious damage here. Depending on his next play I would follow up with a rag.

    • James Perkins says:

      Just realized savage roar is only +2, id play hero power for taunt and golem the spellpower after dropping lore for card draw and use whatever removal (if any next turn)

  8. Sam Bellman says:

    Before answering I ‘d want to know how many cards you have in your deck and how many cards that dealt with the fire elemental. Dropping the Rag after killing the 2 totems gives a 1/3 chance of dealing with the fire elemental so if I had a better chance than that of drawing a good card I’d definitely do the ancient of lore > card draw. Would there be any MOTWs or argus’s in the deck because I’d also consider them cards that deal with the situation too when you have a 5/5 on the board.

  9. Sam says:

    Here I would play the ancient of lore, probably followed by hero power + golem. Not only does it threaten to remove the fire elemental, it also opens up the options for the turn following. Although Ragnaros is no doubt a good play, I would like to draw the three cards first, since the odds with ragnaros aren’t good enough to rush him out before the card draw. Two times out of three the fire elemental and flametongue/ 3 damage removal trades with the ragnaros, and the hex isn’t even drawn out.

  10. Steel says:

    My main class is druid, I won over 1000 games with it. I play burst heavy druid decks the most since big taunt decks can be punished hard by shaman/hunter/rogue. This is part of the reason I don’t like playing the ancient of war here since it feels very risky, it happened to me many times that instead of playing safe I played an AOW and it got hexed- suddenly I was behing in a lot of tempo. Same for ragnaros- it is a good finisher or on empty board, but not safe to play here, we should prepare it first. We would have 33% chance to hit the right target, which is too much RNG for me. In this situation I’d most likely play the ancient of lore to draw before considering using the hero power, since that is the safest play. If we are lucky, we bait out a hard removal and we have a strong next turn. Also the likelyhood of drawing swipe/force of nature is pretty high (we are in mid-late game). I evaluate this position as druid being ahead since we are even in cards, but we have both our strongest threats in hand, so why not draw more to get more ahead?