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[Top 10 NA] Faceless Shambler Druid

  • Last updated Nov 1, 2016 (Yogg Nerf)
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Wild

  • 14 Minions
  • 16 Spells
  • Deck Type: Ranked Deck
  • Deck Archetype: Ramp Druid
  • Crafting Cost: 10820
  • Dust Needed: Loading Collection
  • Created: 10/30/2016 (Yogg Nerf)
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  • Total Deck Rating

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Edit: Ended the season top 40 legend with this deck!

Introduction

Greetings, Allow me to introduce myself. I’m SoLegit and I’ve been legend every season and hit top 10 multiple times with my own unique decks. This season, I was able to do so with my Faceless Shambler druid, which I played almost exclusively at top 500 legend ranks and peaked at rank 10, and a majority of games were between ranks 50 - 200.

Faceless Shambler is a card not typically seen in druid decks since most people run the Malygos version where there is no space for it. I originally wanted to try “taunt druid”, but when testing Faceless Shambler, I found that on average it had exceptional results. After tweaking the deck, this is the final decklist and result:

Proof:

 

Stats: (61.6%~ winrate)

Without further ado, here’s the guide.

Card Choices

Innervate x2: Present in pretty much every Druid deck ever and one of the strongest cards in the game. Having the ability to play any card in your deck 2 turns earlier or being able to play an extra minion/spell is insane and allows for crazy swing turns.

Living Roots x1: Solid removal card, or if needed, two 1/1’s. Since this deck doesn’t run Malygos, I only run one. Two can be ran if you’re facing mostly aggressive decks.

Raven Idol x2: This card is actually ridiculously strong. It allows you to pick up wild growth/innervate on turn 1, helps you find the perfect removal or life gain based on situation, or find big minions for control matchups. Combos well with Fandral Staghelm.

Bloodmage Thalnos ⋆: Pretty good card that gives you that extra damage for removal while it cycles itself. Works well with swipe since druid doesn’t have very strong AoE removal. I mostly run it because of the shaman matchup since it allows you to Bloodmage + Swipe for 6 mana, or cheaper with emperor procs/innervate.

Wild Growth x2: Card explains itself. Present in all druid decks where you want to reach your late game asap. Allows you to drop your threats earlier in the game. You want this card every time you mulligan.

Wrath x2: Good single target removal that you can combo with spell damage or Fandral. Can also be used to cycle.

Feral Rage x1: 4 damage removal, life gain, or both. You usually want to use this card with Fandral for value, but can be used earlier as removal if needed.

Mulch x1: Massive tempo gain and removal. Pretty much druid’s best way to deal with big minions. Sometimes RNG can screw you over, but on average it works well.

Faceless Shambler x2: Probably the most unusual card in the deck, but it’s ridiculously good and combos well with your other big minions. Usually combos with arcane giants for an extra 8/8 for only 4 mana but can be used with your other minions as well and doesn’t necessarily have to be played the same turn you play a big minion. Most decks don’t have the removal to deal with all of your big minions and when one is ignored for a turn, you can punish your opponent by copying it and have two minions that your opponent can’t deal with. You never want to have this card in your hand early since it’s most effective when you combo with a big minion.

Fandral Staghelm ⋆: Strong effect that allows all of your choose cards to have crazy effects. Especially insane if you can combo it with Nourish, giving you 3 cards and 2 mana crystals. Can also give you card advantage through raven idols/wraths or make your big minions even bigger.

Mire Keeper x1: Gives you even more ramp or a 5/5 worth of stats for 4 mana. I only run one since the body is only alright in the late game and running only one allows room for other cards. This may mean that having this card at 4 mana is less consistent than when you’re running two, but it doesn’t seem much of a problem for me.

Swipe x2: Druid’s only AoE removal other than Starfall, which isn’t very good except for certain situations. Combos well with spell damage and can be used for extra reach.

Azure Drake 1x: Card draw with spell damage is always solid, especially in this type of deck. I only run one because the body isn’t that great and I already run a Bloodmage for another spell damage minion.

Druid of the Claw 1x: A card that’s not usually run anymore except for in beast druid. I like the flexibility of it and having a smaller taunt before playing your bigger taunt baits removal. Could be cut for Harrison Jones if you’re facing a lot of weapons classes.

Nourish 2x: Very strong card that can either get you to late game earlier or give you card advantage depending on the cards already in your hand and the matchup. Spending 5 mana for this card can be heavy so use wisely.

Dark Arrakoa 1x: Just another taunt card but for 6 mana. Can be used with Faceless Shambler at 10 mana for big stats.

Emperor Thaurissan ⋆: Though this isn’t necessarily a combo deck, there is still a lot of merit for running Emperor Thaurissan. You usually either have a lot of cards in your hand or cards you want to play for cheaper. If it lands on Faceless Shambler, you can use it with your other big minions if Arcane Giants or Innervates aren’t available.

Moonglade Portal 1x: Life gain while giving you board? Yes please. I find myself using this mostly on my minions rather than my own health since minions is your win condition.

Ancient of War 2x: Druid’s best taunt. 5/10 is insane stats and comboing it with Faceless Shambler is even more insane. Sometimes used with Fandral for a huge 10/10 body, which is the best Faceless Shambler target in the deck.

Ragnaros the Firelord ⋆: Extra reach with a huge body that could be shambled if needed. Strong for control matchups and it can’t be ignored.

Arcane Giant 2x: With 16 spell cards in the deck (even more with raven idols), playing Arcane Giants for cheap shouldn’t be a problem. Allows for game winning swing turns and can be used with Faceless Shambler.

General Strategy

Ramp as soon as possible and survive until late game. Look for opportunities to play multiple big minions while respecting AoE. You have so many late game threats and most classes can’t deal with all of them. Think about how your opponent could punish your plays and work around them.

Matchups and Mulligans

Note: You want Wild Growth/Innervate in every matchup so I won’t be listing them below. Also it’s important to know that Raven Idol is always worth keeping and using on turn 1 if you’re looking for wild growth/innervate. Also, almost always keep Mire Keeper on the coin and Nourish if you already have Wild Growth + Mire Keeper. Always plan out your turns.

Shaman

Midrange: Slightly favored (55/45)

Mulligans – Wrath, Living roots, Bloodmage Thalnos, Swipe, Raven Idol, Feral Rage, Mire Keeper

Probably the most prominent deck on ladder right now. The matchup with this deck is a lot better than with Malygos druid since your win condition comes out faster and you’re able to contest the board earlier. Try to bait out their hexes and go off after the second one.

Aggro: Even (50/50)

Mulligans - Wrath, Living roots, Bloodmage Thalnos, Swipe, Raven Idol

Not as popular as midrange, but still a strong deck. The results of the game is highly dependent on their draws. They don’t run hex, but they might run an earth shock or two. If you’re able to drop your taunts, they’ll have a hard time getting through. You may want to use roots for two 1/1s on turn 1.

Rogue

Miracle/Malygos: Very Unfavored (35/65)

Mulligans – Mulch, Raven Idol, Mire Keeper

By far the worst matchup for this deck. Rogue is able to out tempo you with saps or preparation + removals. Also you don’t have a reliable way of removing minions that get concealed. Fight for board as best as possible and hope they don’t pull big Gadgetzan plays. Mulch is your only way to deal with a big Edwin/Questing Adventurer early, so it’s definitely worth the keep.

Paladin

N’zoth/Murlocs: Favored (60/40)

Mulligans – Nourish, Mire Keeper, Raven Idol

Not too many paladins on ladder so not much to say. Out-value your opponent and don’t play too hard into equality.

Warlock

Reno: Favored (60/40)

Mulligans – Mire Keeper, Raven Idol

Reno warlock only has a limited amount of ways to remove your big minions (pretty much just Siphon Soul, Twisted Nether, Power Overwhelming + Shadowflame). Bait out their removal and make a huge board when they’re out. Be careful of Sylvanas + Shadowflame plays.

Zoo: Very Favored (70/30)

Mulligans – Wrath, Living roots, Bloodmage Thalnos, Swipe, Raven Idol

Zoo has been notorious for being favored against druid for the longest time. With the introduction of new cards and nerfs of old cards (namely Ironbeak Owl), I actually believe that druid is now favored, especially when the druid is taunt-heavy. Zoo doesn’t have a way to deal with big taunts and playing one usually means they have to sacrifice most of their board. As long as they don’t have insane starts that involves discarding silverware golems early, then you should be favored. Keep in mind that Doomguard is pretty hard for druid to deal with, so try to anticipate it.

Mage

Tempo: Unfavored (40/60)

Mulligans – Wrath, Living roots, Bloodmage Thalnos, Raven Idol

Tempo mage is definitely a hard matchup. They’re able to remove your minions efficiently while putting on early pressure. In the late game, they have enough reach to drop your hp to zero, even when you have taunts up. Fight for board and hope you they don’t have an insane start.

Freeze: Very favored (70/30)

Mulligans – Feral Rage, Mire Keeper, Nourish, Raven Idol, Moonglade Portal, Ragnaros the Firelord

Freeze mage shouldn’t be a challenge. Raven Idol for life/armor gain. They have a limited amount of damage and hard for them not to waste some of it on your minions. Most of the time, you should be able to pop their Ice Blocks before they can find the perfect emperor turn to set up OTK. Ragnaros is incredible for this matchup and probably worth keeping in your mulligan. Especially effective if you’re able to ramp to enough mana to play it early.

Hunter

Secrets/Midrange – Favored (60/40)

Mulligans – Wrath, Living roots, Bloodmage Thalnos, Raven Idol

Hunters don’t typically run deadly shot at the moment, so playing big taunts should work most of the time. They don’t really have effective AoE, so the sooner you get out your taunts, the better. Play around traps (especially Cat Trick and Freezing Trap). Pretty much never attack with your taunts when traps are up to avoid freezing and wait until you have a big board before going face. If possible, remove their beasts. You may want to use roots for two 1/1s on turn 1.

Warrior

Control/C’thun: Unfavored (40/60)

Mulligans – Nourish, Mire Keeper

Control Warriors have the removal to deal with your big minions very easily. You can’t overextend your board because of brawl so you typically only want to have 2 big minions on board unless they’re out of brawls. Combo your Raven Idols with Fandral for card advantage. If you’re going to use Raven Idol without Fandral, then look for a big minion.

Dragon: Slightly Unfavored (45/55)

Mulligans – Wrath, Bloodmage, Feral Rage

Your removal isn’t the greatest so it’ll be a problem if they out tempo you. Ramp and play big minions early while using your removal to hopefully out-value your opponent. If possible, try to bait Executes.

Aggro: Even (50/50)

Mulligans – Wrath, Living roots, Bloodmage Thalnos, Raven Idol

Like aggro shaman, this matchup is very draw dependent. They don’t run Executes, so the sooner you play your taunts, the better. Removing their early minions is important, especially Bloodsail Raiders and Frothing Berserkers with huge attack buffs.

Druid

Malygos: Favored (60/40)

Mulligans – Fandral, Nourish, Mire Keeper, Emperor Thaurissan if you have a proper hand

You should be favored versus the Malygos version since you’re more minion based and ironically, druids have a hard time dealing with big minions. Whoever ramps up first usually has the advantage if they have the follow up. Fandral is usually fine dropping at 4 mana if you want to put your opponent on spending two removal cards to deal with it. If they don’t, using Nourish the following turn will win you the game. Don’t be afraid to overextend unless you’re afraid of Yogg/Malygos + Swipe.

Priest

Resurrect: Favored (60/40)

Mulligans – Nourish, Mire Keeper

Your minions are bigger than theirs, and you’re able to play them earlier. Try not to spend an entire turn only playing one minion to avoid Shadow Word: Death tempo plays. You should win in the late game.

Dragons: Even (50/50)

Mulligans – Wrath, Swipe, Feral Rage, Raven Idol

Harder than the resurrect version since they’re able to put out early minions, which could be very annoying and their damage could add up very quickly. They can out tempo you with their own removal while playing their own minions. Ramp asap since your late game is better.

Why this deck over the Malygos version?

The Malygos version is definitely strong. Heck, it’s even currently a tier 1 deck on Tempostorm’s Meta Snapshot. The lists share 23 of the same cards (24 if you include Ancient of War), so why bother playing this Faceless Shambler version? Simply put, it’s faster. Since there’s no Malygos, you’re not trying to save your removal to combo with it. You can play your taunts for an immediate effect through board presence. The playstyle is very different and the matchups are very different. For example, the Malygos version is very unfavored versus midrange shaman since shaman can easily flood the board without druid being able to do anything until a swingy Malygos turn. On the other hand, this Faceless Shambler version is at least able to contest the board with earlier minions and the swing turns are more impactful than that of the Malygos version (except for of course an immediate Malygos + Swipe combo, which doesn’t happen too often).

Conclusion

Thanks for reading! This is my first real guide and I value all feedback. Let me know if I missed anything or if you want me to clarify a point. Enjoy!

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