“Stan Cifka must be a Druid, 'coz he's featured in 90% of the decks that are promoted on the front page.” – DudeVonDudestein
When I saw this comment I immediately thought, “hey, I know what will these guys enjoy, a deck guide from me about the one and only, Jade Druid!” I know, I know, sorry everyone, but my main mission is to present to you good decks so you can crush ladder, and I would be lying to you if I wrote an article about some wacky combo deck that had a 30 % winrate.
However, instead of going through the basics of what you probably already know, I will go deep into what you can or cannot cut from the deck, and what are possible additions to increase your chances in mirror or against aggro.
RAMP – RAMP – ULTIMATUM – MILION JADES – GG WP
While everybody knows that Ultimatum is just too strong and something needs to be done about it, don’t forget that it doesn’t help you in the worst situations, where you opponent managed to go too wide uncontested. Oh boy, if only Druid had Twisting Nether available, it would go from extremely hard to beat to unbeatable. While you need to ramp as hard as possible you also need to manage the board at least a little bit, but luckily for you there are plenty of ways in the deck how to contest the board before you just slam that Infestation.
As you would expect, all the ramp spells are at their strongest when the game starts, so you want to keep all the cards from your ramping package as mentioned below. Especially Wild Growth and Jade Blossom are ones that you really want to see, and Innervate is also great against every class except Mage.
And then there are some matchups where Ultimate Infestation is just too important, so I would recommend keeping in Druid mirror for example, but only if you already have some ramp spells ready to go.
There is a deck core that you shouldn’t touch no matter what, I would always recommend running it.
Innvervate + Wild Growth + Jade Blossom + Nourish are a part of your ramping package, because the only thing better than doing broken stuff is doing the broken stuff much sooner than you should be allowed to. I honestly believe that Innervate shouldn’t exist at all (and it will be radically solved soon), just compare it to Counterfeit Coin, which is happily being played by most of the Rogue decks. I didn’t add Mire Keeper to this package as I can imagine only playing one copy.
Wrath + Spreading Plague + Ultimate Infestation are too good to be cut from Jade Druid. Spreading Plague is ridiculous, it allows you to ignore the board while ramping and then slam it as a huge brick wall. Wrath has always been pretty sweet, but now you appreciate a card that can cycle even more, because getting the Ultimatum as soon as possible is very important. Speaking of which, there were people who thought that Ultimate Infestation won’t see much play or that Druid will only run one copy.
These guys were wrong.
I am pretty sure that if you have played any ladder game in the last few weeks, you have been on a receiving end of a good old TURN 5 Ultimate Infestation. This is as close as you can get to cheating in Hearthstone without actually cheating (Nice Innvervate in Mage by DisguisedToast). If you put Infestation to any class it would immediately make that class tier1, and making it a Druid card which is ramping 24/7 was just crazy.
Fandral Staghelm + Aya Blackpaw + Malfurion the Pestilent are also very hard to cut. Aya is good enough on its own if you already have Jade Blossom in the deck, which you want to play no matter what. Fandral works amazingly with up to 10 cards in the deck and represents a must kill target for your opponent. It is especially strong with Malfurion, which will then summon all 4 minions and turns your hero power into an insane one if Fandral Staghelm manages to stay on board.
Jade Idol deserves a paragraph on it’s own, because this 1 mana spells represents your main win condition and provides an infinite loop to the deck. You can play your first copy anytime you want as a Jade, but with your second one you need to be extremely considerate if you want to slam it as another minion. Huge percentage of the time you should just shuffle it back, and always make sure that there is at least one copy left in your deck, ideally with Fandral in play so you don’t miss out. This way you don’t go into fatigue ever and you make sure your draw spells are always great.
Alright, so let’s just say that if you are playing Jade Druid, you are running these 20 cards (counting that 1 Mire Keeper). So now let’s go over the remaining 10 slots and figure out which cards help you in what matchups.
Doomsayer (Running 2) gives you initiave in many matchups, and combos well with Spreading Plague which allows you to hide him and make the board clear, so you basically have a classic Doomsayer + Frost Nova in your deck, even though it’s a bit more expensive. Very solid against other Druids who have a hard time clearing it any other way than with minions.
Jade Spirit (Running 1) appeared in the deck in different numbers back and forth, and frankly it is my go to card when I need to cut something and try something new. Not really flashy, but reliable, this should be the first card you add to the deck when you want to ask “How do I replace XY” .
Mire Keeper (Running 2) became a staple when Ultimate Infestation appeared, and I have to say I really like this guy as an extra ramp. That being said, I can imagine playing just one copy of this minion if you really need to make a space for something else.
Jade Behemoth (Running 2) is also a card you can cut when you need to try something else, but overall he is very solid and you really appreciate a taunt in this deck.
Swipe (Running 1) is great against aggro, but quite bad in Druid mirrors. You can run any number you want depending on what are you targeting, and I am currently considering not playing any of them at all.
Spellberaker (Running 1) is extremely good against Doomsayer, and is your only card which deals with him on its own. If you are doing your best to beat a well tuned mirror, then you really need this guy. He is also very solid against everything else, so I would even consider moving him to your "mandatory" category.
Mind Control Tech (Running 1) looks better and better in current metagame, and I wouldn't even disagree with playing two of them. The problem is that this guy is at its best when no one plays around him, but in the last few weeks more and more people put him into their deck, so everybody keeps MC in mind and he might soon become useless again.
Elise the Trailblazer is your way to battle Skulking Geist, without it your deck wouldn't have enough power to finish the game, even after you drew every card with all your Infestations. I recommend running her if there is a Geist waiting for you around every other corner.
Kun the Forgotten King (Running 1) is an extremely solid addition, and I would fully recommend running no matter what if you have it. He makes your Ultimatum turns even more insane than before
Earthen Scales is a card I don’t really like at the moment. I played with just one copy for a long time and now decided to cut it from the deck entirely. It somewhat helps you against aggro, but it just looks better than It actually is and does basically nothing against control, and I don’t think you really want it in current metagame
Yogg Saron is your counter to Quest Mage, and to be honest, it is extremely hard to win without it. However with this bad boy for 30 you can hit Flare, Ice Block or Eye for an Eye to completely turn the match around, while also giving you the “safety net” in all the other matchups. You'd need to switch it for Kun as it would be just crazy to play four 10drops.
As you can see, there is plenty of space for innovation and tech cards even while the metagame is being dominated by this deck. If you have any other suggestions for tech cards that I might have missed, then let me know in the comments!
Upcoming balance changes:
There will be some changes in this deck when the new patch arrives, so I guess we have last 2 weeks or even less to play this deck in its full glory. So what's gonna happen after that with this well balanced brew?
First option is that we will just continue playing as it is, pretending like nothing happened. Sure, deck will be a bit weaker and will most likely stop dominating or even become tier2, but it will still be fine.
Second option is rebuilding the deck, mainly by replacing all the nerfed cards. This one is more likely, in my opinion. Innervate is just coin now, and while it is still nice to be able to play Ultimate Infestation one turn sooner, it would probably have an insufficient impact on the game overall, and hence will be removed. Increased cost of Spreading Plague also makes Doomsayer much weaker, so you will need to find different ways to fight for your board position now.
That's it for today, if you have any questions then check out the Youtube guide as well! If you enjoyed the deck and want to say thanks, then make sure to subscribe after watching the video :) I am running a little bit different version in the guide, which shows you how flexible the deck is, as I change it quite often depending on the evolution of the ladder.