Deck and Guide By Jeanno
Hey guys this is Jeanno, a Competitive Hearthstone player, caster and streamer.
This is the deck I made and played to Legend in January 2015.
This deck falls into the Ramp Taunt Druid archetype, where you ramp up using Wild Growth and Innervate, then protect yourself with taunt minions. Finally, you finish the game with high cost minions such as Ysera and Kel'Thuzad. However, there's a few differences which make my version special.
- Use Sunwalker instead of Ancient of War
- No Dr. Boom, actually No BGH targets
- Use Piloted Shredder instead of Zombie Chow
Use Sunwalkers instead of Ancient of Wars
There is a few rationales behind this change. First, this deck has 6 four-drops. With 10 mana, you can play Sunwalker with one of the four-drops. Against aggro, you also want to play Taunts at 4, 5 and 6 mana.
In most common lists, taunt druids often have no options against aggro on turn 6. They only have Sylvanas Windrunner or The Black Knight, which allow opponents go face directly and develop a stronger board. And if they have a silence, Sunwalker forces them to use it earlier instead of using it on turn 7, which by then they'll have a much stronger board.
Credit to Arson for inspiring me this change.
No Dr. Boom, actually No BGH targets
This change dodges BGH completely, which is very popular in the meta right now.
Use Piloted Shredder instead of Zombie Chow
While Zombie Chow is very strong against aggro, I feel that playing low cost minions in Ramp Druid is wasteful when you have so much mana. Especially after you ramped with Wild Growth, having so little cards on your hand often forces you to play Zombie Chow at mid game, which is really weak.
You always wants to keep Innervate and Wild Growth. Other mulligan decisions fall into 2 categories: Aggro, Slower decks.
Always keep Wrath.
In case of no Ramp cards, mulligan everything away (Keep Wrath though) to look for Innervate and Wild Growth.
In case of having Ramp cards, you can keep Shade of Naxxramas, Keeper of the Grove, Piloted Shredder and Sen'jin Shieldmasta. Innervating out a Keeper of the Grove to kill your opponent's minion is a very strong play. You also want to curve out if you already have a good starting hand.
Throw away the second Wild Growth because you need to react to your opponent's board before it is too big.
Examples of perfect starting hands,
- Innervate, Shade of Naxxramas, Wrath
- Wild Growth, Sen'jin Shieldmasta, Druid of the Claw
- The Coin, Wild Growth, Shade of Naxxramas, Keeper of the Grove, Sludge Belcher
Against Slower Decks
In case of having Ramp cards, You wants to play your cards on curve. Innervating out Shade of Naxxramas is a strong play.
VS Hunter, Zoo and Mech Mage
7-3: This deck was originally built for countering the excessive aggro meta on ladder. You should be able to win this matchup easily if you have a reasonable draw. One important strategy playing against Hunter and Mech Mage is that if they use burn cards (Kill Command, Fireball) on your taunts, you will have less worries about their burst later on. But try to observe if they are keeping any cards, and play around the burst with Ancient of Lore healing. Don't blindly use draw with Ancient of Lore.
4-6: Without a good removal against big bodies, this deck loses to gaints easily. That's why we are including a BGH. The Black Knight also helps a lot if your opponent is not expecting it and mindlessly taunt up his giants. Without these tech cards, this matchup can go down to 3-7.
VS Taunt Druid
6-4: Mirror Match! But why 6-4 instead of 5-5? This is because we have The Black Knight, which is essential against Druids. Also we don't include any target for BGH. We also don't have Zombie Chow, which simply waste 2 card slots in control match up.
VS Combo Druid
5-5: Early game against a combo druid is like a Taunt Druid, you two will ramp and trade with similar minions. The Black Knight is a key card in this match up, which you can keep it if you have perfect cards in your starting hand already.
Usually Combo Druid goes faster and tries to set up lethal for next turn. Observes his play to see if he already has combo.
VS Freeze Mage
4-6: One of the key strategy playing against Mage is to keep your heal after your opponent has used his Alextrasza. Ancient of Lore serves this purpose very well. However, unlike Combo Druid, Taunt Druid often finds himself frozen with a huge board, and doesn't have a way to proc the Ice Block. To make the matter worse, your taunts don't protect you from burn spells!
VS Control Warrior
Force him to use removals on your taunts, then play Ysera on a safer situation.
6-4: I rarely met Priest on the ladder recently, but I will try to predict what the matchup will look like. Again, controlling opponent's card draw is essential in control matchups. Prevent him from using the power of Northshire Cleric. You may keep one Wrath in your starting hand.
This version of taunt druid is very strong against priest because of your 4 attack minions. You don't have Ancient of War which will basically get killed by Shadow Word: Death. The best minion he can steal using Cabal Shadow Priest is Keeper of the Grove, unless he runs Shrink Meister. The only card you have to watch out is Mind Control. Try to pressure him so that he has no choice but to play it on your less valuable minions.
5-5: Paladin becomes much more faster after GvG release. Clear his dudes as much as possible to avoid value Quatermaster. Keep pressure but don't play too many minions on the board to avoid Equality + Consecration combo. Keep a silence for Tilrion. Other than that, this matchup is quite straight forward.
Cenarius, Sneed's Old Shredder
Ysera is serving as a late game finisher in this deck. If you're facing a lot of aggro, Cenarius is a better choice since it gives you 2 taunts. Cenarius is also less situational than Ysera, where you can simply slam it on the board when you have enough mana.
A lot of comments are complaining the choice of Shade of Naxxramas but I still think it is essential in control matchups and not as bad as you think in aggro matchups. However, if you don't have it, or want to improve the aggro matchups, you may want to consider substitute it with Spider Tank.
Force of Nature, Savage Roar
If you want combo to be one of your winning conditions, then you will have to consider what to sacrifice in this deck. Ysera and Kel'Thuzad can pretty much win the game on their own if your opponent used removals on other stuff. While Combo is good for surprising your opponent, you must consider the downsides that you might draw into combo too early and it ends up being a dead card.