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[DKMR]Faramir here, bringing you this weeks Deck of the Week. Today we will take a look at the deck that Kolento played at the EU Regionals. We are going to break down the cards and take a look at the gameplan that this deck follows. Druid has always been one of the most consistent classes throughout the meta game and this version is just one of its many variations.
The Deck :
2 x Innervate :
Innervate is one of those cards that can totally break an opponent’s back and destroy their gameplan. Most of the time it gets out a big threat early but it can also be used to play 2 big threats in the late game. Normally you want to have it early though to play something like a Chillwind Yeti or Spectral Knight to immediately seize board control and threaten the life total of your enemy. Past Turn 10 it is a poor draw most of the time unless you can combine it with Ancient of Lore or your finishing combos.
2 x Wild Growth :
Another card that the Druid uses to get ahead. This card makes this variation of the Druid a rather aggressive version although it doesn’t run any 1-drops or something like that. If drawn early it enables you to push out big threats like 4- and 5-drops before your opponent has the mana to answer them efficiently. You always want to play 1 on Turn 2 or together with the Coin if possible. If you coin it out, you should have a 3-drop ready though. If you draw it past Turn 10 you can draw a card with it for 2 mana which isn’t the worst thing in the world.
2 x Wrath :
One of the mechanics that makes the Druid so versatile is the “Choose One”-mechanic. With Wrath you can either take out mid game minions or cycle for a card and set the board up for something like a swipe or a better clear with your minions. It is the main removal for the Druid in the early game to deal with threats like a Flame Imp or Knife Jugglers.
2 x Sunfury Protector :
In a meta game where we see a resurgence of Aggro decks, this card helps to make taunts out of minions that are hard to clear. In combination with Spectral Knight, Chillwind Yeti or Ancient of Lore it can setup a wall of taunts that your opponent won’t be able to deal with.
It can also just be used as a 2-drop to apply some early pressure and clear some early threats your opponent might put out.
2 x Savage Roar :
One of the parts of “The Combo”. Together with Force of Nature it is one of the strongest combinations you can pull from your hand to finish off your opponent. It represents the threat of 14 damage on Turn 9, not counting minions you might have on the board already. Prior to Turn 9 it often sits in your hand and doesn’t do anything. Since you have 2 copies you can always use one to clear the board more efficiently but you should keep the 2nd copy of it to always have the threat of that 14 damage burst.
2 x Shade of Naxxramas :
One thing this Druid specializes in are “sticky” minions. It means you play minions that stick to the board very easily. Shade is one of those cards since it has Stealth when played. In most control matchups you just leave it stealthed up for a couple of turns and let it grow until it can make a great trade or push in for a lot of damage. It is generally a better 3-drop than Harvest Golem for this kind of Druid.
2 x Swipe :
The main removal of every Druid deck. It combines single target removal with Area of Effect removal which is unique in Hearthstone. Combined with Spellpower it is even more powerful, so try to use it with your Azure Drake. Other than that, it almost always finds a good use and you can use your minions and spells to set it up perfectly. A good use of Swipe can often swing the board in your favor and give you an advantage.
2 x Chillwind Yeti :
Speaking of sticky minions, this guy is the definition of sticky. 5 health for 4 mana together with 4 attack make Chillwind Yeti one of the strongest 4-drops in the game. It trades well with every card that can be put out by Turn 4 and is generally always solid even if you draw it in the late game. Combined with Innervate it can make your opponent despair since it is hard to remove due to its high health.
2 x Keeper of the Grove :
Druid’s own silence mechanic. Keeper of the Grove is another one of those “Choose One” cards. It is a great answer to early threats if combined with Innervate cause you can just take them out with the 2 damage part of your battlecry. If you get it later in the game, you can shut down high value targets like Sylvanas Windrunner or Cairne Bloodhoof with their silencing ability. It can also be used to set up a Swipe to clear the opponent’s board and put out a 2/4 body.
1 x Azure Drake :
Azure Drake is a decent 5-drop but there are better ones if you want to put pressure on the board. That is the reason why this deck only runs 1 copy of it. Nevertheless it still is a great draw mechanic and it works well together with Swipe and Wrath. If you run out of cards in the late game or just want to cycle rather than put out something like a Spectral Knight then Azure Drake is the way to go.
2 x Druid of the Claw :
The Druid of the Claw is a “Choose One”-card aswell, making it very versatile. You can either charge in for 4 guaranteed damage or put up a 4/6 bear with Taunt that protects your board and your lifetotal. In this version of the Druid you can get use out of both forms, it really depends on the matchup, the state of the board and the life total you or your opponent are at. Be aware of The Black Knight, sometimes it might be better to just charge in!
2 x Spectral Knight :
This 4/6 Faerie Dragon is one of the hardest cards to remove in the whole game. While it doesn’t see a lot of play in other decks, it fits great into the Druid deck since cards like Innervate and Wild Growth allow the Druid to throw it onto the board earlier than expected and make it near impossible for your opponent to deal with. It can often deal up to 12 damage before being dealt with and combined with “The Combo” and things like Sunfury Protector it is a big threat in this deck.
2 x Force of Nature :
The second part of the notorious “Combo”, Force of Nature is your opponent’s worst nightmare if he sits at below 14 health at Turn 9 or later. Since you run 2 copies of it in your deck it can also be used to clear the board earlier and put you back into control or just to fight off a big minion. Same as with Savage Roar though, you should keep one copy of each to maintain the ever-looming threat of 14 damage.
1 x Cairne Bloodhoof :
Another one of those sticky minions, Cairne is a great choice to play on Turn 6 or to Innervate out early. It trades well and is really hard to deal with since it essentially has 10 health. Even if your opponent silences it, it still basically is a Chillwind Yeti.
1 x Black Knight :
Black Knight is undoubtedly the card that can bring you the biggest tempo swing in the game, not only does it completely remove your opponents taunt but also gets you a 4-5 minion in play. It is a situational card but after Naxxramas was released it seems like every deck is running atleast a taunt like Sludge Belcher so there is always a place for Black Knight and this deck is no exception. The potential swing this card can bring almost makes it a staple in any deck especially those that focuses on board control and being able to kill your opponent quite quickly like this Druid version.
2 x Ancient of Lore :
It might be argued that this is the strongest Druid Class card, a 5/5 minion which allows you to draw 2 cards. This means that Ancient of Lore will always pay for itself quite well seeing as it is quite a large threat that needs to be dealt with. It will often trade 3 for 1 or in worst case 2 for 1. This card is especially important in this deck because it allows you to cycle closer to the Force of Nature + Savage Roar combo which often is needed to finish the game.
1 x Cenarius :
The Druid class legendary card is another one of those cards that has two different uses, it can either refill the board with two 2/2 taunt minions as well as Cenarius himself or it can make your board stronger by giving all your existing minions +2 health and attack. This makes it a very versatile card which is always great to have.
The Mulligan :
When you play this deck you generally look for your ramp, that means Wild Growth and Innervate. It’s fine to keep things like Chillwind Yeti if you already have that in hand or when you are on The Coin. Shade of Naxxramas is also a card that you will want to play as early as possible. In Aggro matchups you actually don’t necessarily look for Wild Growth since it is often too slow. You look for cards like Innervate, Swipe , Wrath and Keeper of the Grove in games against Warlock Zoo and Hunter.
The Coin :
The Coin actually changes your mulligan quite a lot. If you are on The Coin you generally keep things like Chillwind Yeti in your opening hand even if you don’t have Wild Growth already. It is even acceptable to keep a 5-drop such as Spectral Knight if you are playing a slower matchup.
The Gameplan :
The plan of this version of the Druid is basically to overwhelm your opponent with strong minions and deal as much damage as possible before you lose board control. Because this deck plays minions that trade really well, you should be able to make good trades most of the time. Don’t be afraid to go for his face and let him do the trades from time to time. You want to push for damage with this deck to finish him off with “The Combo”. If the point comes where you lose board control , you rely on your Force of Nature + Savage Roar combo to finish the game. That’s 14 damage just from your hand plus the additional damage you might have from pre-existing minions.
Final Thoughts :
We hope you guys have a lot of fun with this deck; I certainly always have. It can be kind of hard to play on the ladder at the moment since there are quite a lot of Hunters running around.
It is always a great deck for tournament play though.
We hope that this deck can gain you some ranks as well as be one of your staple tournament decks in the future.
[DKMR]Faramir streams weekdays http://www.twitch.tv/FaramirHS. You can find all of DKMR’s streamers on their website with the days that they stream!
Written by [DKMR]Faramir
Discussions about this topic brought to you by Team [DKMR]