Seems like everyone is making a Druid deck these days, and I'm no exception. Here's a Druid deck that I've been keeping out on the field to push me ahead in ranks whenever a viewer demands it. Ramp Druids often come up time and again, throwing big drops at you left and right while maintaining huge pressure through spells, but I don't think the term "Ramp" without Wild Growth is particularly corrent, that's just my two cents of course.
Either way this is a deck that focuses on keeping a simple board with honest minions such as Harvest and Twilight Drake alongside control spells until you can begin to hit the opponent with the big minions the second that you find an opening. Your hand will always be full and your options, once you survive the early game, are incredible. If you're looking for a deck that pushes the opponent into a complete sense of hopelessness when they make the tiniest mistake, this deck is for you.
As a foreword, I'm going to go through past iterations of this deck in the changelog because I've kept this deck in my pocket for a while, that said, time for the card list:
- Innervate is a card that Druids have come to love, they open up extra late game options and push a small advantage into an incredible one due to the extra mana. This deck isn't ramp, you won't have more mana than your opponent each turn unless you play Nourish, but you sure as hell will gain a burst of mana when you have an opening early on.
- Your front line is going to be Druid of the Claw, Ancient of Wars, and anything that Sunfury Protector can get her hands on, these are the cards you can expect to play with Innervates if you need a strong presence on the board
- If you choose not to go for the defensive option, keeping Spell Damage on the board becomes strong pressure as a Druid: Swipe, Starfall, and Wrath become devastating with the slightest amount of Spell Damage. Because of this we have Azure Drake and Thalnos, cards that offer both SD+1 and Draw to make up for the innate -1 Innervate causes.
- One Nourish, either to bump your mana up from 5 to 8 to make the big plays when given the oppurtunity, to skip straight to Sunfury + beefy minion, Ragnaros, Ysera, Azure Drake + Spells or just to refill your hand. Remember this card gives you two FILLED mana crystals to use for the turn you ramp!
- Harvest Golem and Twilight Drake are our "reliable" cards, classes with one damage hero powers more often do not carry silences unless in the form of Spellbreaker or Keeper of the Grove, both options that still trade with Twilight Drake if they don't have a follow-up to these 4 mana cards
- Ancient of Lore, having two may be too much in my experience, but definitely have atleast one. Versatility and a 5/5 body that will really push you ahead if you can get it out early.
- Our high impact cards will be Tinkermaster, who transforms problem cards alongside copying them with Faceless Manipulator for the big turn 8 hard counter, Sylvanas as an immediate board presence, Ragnaros is the quickest legendary this deck offers in terms of closing games, and finally Ysera as the antithesis of Ragnaros - a slowroll towards victory through card advantage.
Cards to Consider: Healing Touch: Many a Druid swear by atleast another form of healing alongside their strong draw power, I have little to no sustain even if there are huge taunts and this card is a favorite to run one of Sunwalker: I'm actually trying to find a place for this card again with the inevitable return of Priests to more common play and filling 6 mana Naturalize: The game-closer of old, cheapest removal in game, gives you a lot to do with your turn, Tinker does it at a little higher cost, without the innate -2 but there is room for even more cheap removal if you have the options to back it up Bite: I often used it as an offensive replacement to Healing Touch, it has won me many games through direct damage Ancient of Lore: It's a fine card even if the card is costlier because of the versatility, two might be too much, but you can disagree The Black Knight: Rode the hype-train to valuetown with Tinkermaster this past week or two, I personally don't like it because taunts are not our issue
Changelog -2 Bite / +2 Harvest Golem No real correlation between these two swaps, I had a serious lack of 3 drops in my deck and Bites were a bit slow, even if they were nice to sustain and/or close out a game, it was a difficult choice to remove the Bites and try to put myself in a position where sustain was not too necessary. Late game, 3 mana cards are important because I have no fill for my 7 mana drops - Ancient of Lore/War
-1 Naturalize / +1 Tinkermaster Overspark Out with one removal, in with another. The transform is key here and vanilla creatures are nothing to a Druid. I personally will miss Sylvanas + Naturalize plays.
-1 Nourish / +1 Bloodmage Thalnos Two Nourish weren't as important with the addition of some early game, they actually became dead cards at some point when I had too many cards in my hand at 10 mana. Druid has such nice draw power that having two can be a dead draw at times. Druid + Spell Damage is a thing of beauty.
-2 Sunwalker / +1 Ancient of War / +1 Faceless Manipulator These are one of the moves I'm a bit iffy about - the Sunwalker swapping into a FM, but the choices of early game to remove are minimal. Sunwalkers are a godsend vs Priests and can help you lower the health on the board quite a bit. Having one Sunwalker is important, and will be re-added in the near future.
-2 Sunfury Protector / +2 Claw A little extra-extra early game removal is great and it turns out I needed the armor more than I though, as such, I decided to replace these two because the taunts on the other creatures aren't going to make or break a game. With the prevalence of The Black Knight running around, best not include cards that force more taunts that there should be.
Alternatives I'm sure some of you stare at the decklist and roll your eyes at the chunks of purple and orange. I'll try my best to accommodate your budget here. Please give my changelog a second glance as well!
Looks good. Rank 4 currently running something close to this. Scrounged up another 1600 dust...between Tinkmaster and Thalnos, which would you craft first for this deck? (with perhaps a little thought to effectiveness in other general decks)
I recently took out azure drake and faceless out of my deck because between the staples of DoClaw, Sylvanas, nourish and starfall, I found there to be too many 5 mana cards. Any issues with this?
Nourish and starfall are not staples in a druid deck imo. They can easily be replaced. Between the 2 legendaries that you are considering, bloodmage thalnos is superior, he is top 3 legendaries in the game and valuable in almost any deck built.
In reguards to the main list of this thread, its seems fine. The only thing I would change would be to somehow fit 2 claw into it. The early game pressure you will get from locks and aggro mages is very easily shut down with claw, and the card is never dead in your hand because at worst the card can read, spend 1 mana, gain 2 life deal 2 damage to opponent.
Not really, this just means that you have more options to fit into a single turn at max mana. You're nothing short of 5 mana if you throw down Innervate so you can play them before turn 5 and tag them on after turn 5. That's versatile enough for me to not worry about the amount of 5 drops.
Azure Drakes feel too important to remove, I'd readily remove DoC over it, it provides draw power and SD+1 to the rest of your spells. Azure Drake and Wrath will always keep your hand alive if you're looking for board presence and removal.
I prefer Tinkmaster over Thalnos, Thalnos has an easy replacement, Tinkmaster is practically one of a kind. Starfalls have no replacement unless you choose to run more Spell Damage, or Wild Pyromancer (which isn't bad in a Druid deck) - I'd argue it's a staple for a standard deck as much as Flamestrike is to a Mage. Nourish is useful for sure, but you can skimp out on it if you tailor your deck towards better draw power. In terms of using Claw? I guess, I see no real issue including it and it can always be tagged onto at the end of the turn, but the question becomes what to replace for it.
Great deck. However there isn't much to counter the Warlock murloc rush deck everyone is playing since it takes you to turn 4 or so to get your minions out (except for novice engineer). You would have to get an innervate to make it happen. Maybe add a Bite or two?
You have wrath and your hero ability for removal on turns 1-3, then at turn 4 you have swipe, and on 5 you have Starfall. You don't have to win the early game, you just have to survive. Turn 5 and beyond you just dominate their petty creatures :)
EDIT: I am LOVING this deck! It is my best performing deck in the current meta.
I honestly just wrath things or chomp at stuff until I have an option. There's no lack of clear after 4~5 mana, you'll be pretty safe from then on. Opening cards are basically:
Harvest Wrath Sunfury Innervate + Any 4-5 card
Innervate is always ready to find a strong drop on turn 3 or 2 because of all the 5's. People have suggested to use Claws to deal with early aggression, but I have really had good experiences with it. I could definitely give it another shot some other time though. Why not test it out and see for yourself?
I had to make some changes because I don't have all the cards (luckily got Ancient of War last night though, was awesome). I am having success with this variation though. What I like is that even in losses, most losses are due to either silly mistakes that I made, or unlucky draws. I rarely feel like the deck itself is lacking...though it is with regard to some of the better legendaries/removal cards, but not painfully so. I went from rank 15 to 13 (I know that is still low) within an hour of playing.
BTW, I only lose to warlock murloc or rush if I have bad draw. This deck definitely has answers, just a matter of getting the key cards early. You just have to be prepared to take some damage while you wait to get to use your cards. But once turn 4/5 comes around (earlier if you have innervate), you mess up their momentum pretty bad and its hard for them to come back.
It's probably the double Starfalls that other Druids tend to shy away from and the consistent presence of Spell Damage +1 between Thalnos and Azure. Just get to turn 4 and you're in control. Innervates with other cards like Azure and Wrath really do make the deck shine when you're in the driver's seat.
I also picked up a Harrison Jones just recently, I often forget that he exists. Now I wonder what fun can be had with him in this deck. I can already taste the turn 3 Innervate + Jones in response to Fiery War Axe.
Update: Made more changes. More ranked matches. I was on a win streak entering entering rank 8, took it to the next rank without a loss. First, the changes:
-1 Ysera / +1 The Black Knight -2 Sunfury / +2 Claw
Three matches: Two Burn Mages + Redemption + Rush Paladin / Divine Favor.
The first Mage fell quickly, an opening with Mana Wyrm + Coin + Leper Gnome. I Wrath'd the Mana Wyrm and followed his tempo using a few more "spells" such as Keeper of the Grove and Swipes. I innervated out Ragnaros as early as possible and the freezes didn't stop him. When she switched to a full-on burn mode, I kept myself health with constant hero power armor, claw, and finally an Ancient of Lore to heal myself up. I ended the match with full board control and 20 health.
The second Mage was much more aggressive, her opening gambit was a turn 2 coin + Leper Gnome and Thalnos - I figured there was something suspicious as she would want one of these creatures alive. I opted to Wrath the Leper Gnome though and she simply responded with Magic Missiles + Hero Power. A few turns later, I wrest board control from her as she started to whittle me down more and at one point, pushed out two Mirror Images and a Fireball. I tried to armor up each turn, but the usage of Water Elemental did a number for stalling against my own minions. Two Arcane Intellects and a Coldlight Oracle later, it came down to the wire - I won with only 3 health, using Ragnaros for direct damage to proc ice block and two Claws that kept me alive.
Finally, our Paladin friend who kept an aggressive stance all game, Leper Gnomes, Knife Juggler, Argent Protector, Defender of Argus, and Sword of Justice is a sample of his deck. After throwing so many cards into the early game fights, even if he Divine Favored, I had all the cards necessary to beat him. The final blow was dealt with a Faceless + Tinkmaster on his Tirion.
That's about it, just throwing out some ranked reports in writing for those who prefer not to watch videos.
I'm surprised Rogues are a problem at all, they're often using early forms of aggression, but fall very quickly to bigger drops and board clear. Ancient of War, Sylvanas, Druid of the Claw, all dry out the Rogue's resources very quick.
At what point in the game are you having issues with them? Dying to an early game rush deck? Maybe somewhere in mid-game where they've used enough spells and strong burst to kill you? Lack of health? Taunts? Minions on the board?
Just trying to gauge where you may be falling off.
Maybe some decision making by Force Gaming will help you, he tested the deck against three Warlock rush decks and it may be of use as he did get bad hands against pretty strong openings. You can find his deck in the opening post, although he uses the older version with one change: 2x Claw for 2x Sunfury Protector. Arguably, both are great, and I do feel like I'm missing a little more taunt action.
The situations he find himself in are identical to how you should be playing it, you have to suck it up and take the damage early game (although with the new addition of Claw, not so much anymore), but if you carry Innervate, you have many more plays. The idea is that, unlike other Druid decks, a healthy amount of Spell Damage + 2x Starfall will carry you through the majority of mid-game with no possibility of coming back for the opposing rusher. If you can Keeper of the Grove out to thin their cards, that's great too, alongside Swipe as the natural counter to Blood Imp and Harvest Golem as a constant board presence to carry you through early game with Wrath. Going into turn 5~7 you seal the deal with the bigger taunts like Ancient of War and Druid of the Claw.
The biggest issue I am facing is that my opponent will simply use direct removal on my Ancient of War, or even worse silence it back to a 5-5 and take it out with spells/minions. When that happens I have lost a full turn and take even more damage to the face.
Druid of the Claw often comes too late or is also removed very quickly when he does show up, aside from the 5+ drops there aren't very many aggressive minions in the deck which kind of keeps you on the constant defensive. Twilight Drake is also very often silenced or just ignored in favor of rushing since the opponent has multiple minions up.
I will try running this deck again except I will switch out Ysera for Baron Geddon. I have been testing him and he is quite good at securing the battlefield once you have cleared most minions out, also if the opponent can't kill him he auto wins the game due to his own attack damage being added to the AoE.
I go back and forth on 2X sunfury and 2X Claw. Having a lot of trouble deciding. Both seem to work very well.
Really, really amazing deck. I'm having a lot of fun.
Try out one of both maybe? Depends on taste and luck of the draw really, a well timed sunfury or DoA can easily block out all of a rush deck's power, whereas a claw may not at the same time, and vice versa.
I like the Baron idea from above, if the stars align and a turn 2 double innervate + geddon pop out, that would be the end all be all to rush decks, and to a good extent control if they did not have the removal needed. It is also a strong card by itself in any event, perpetual hellfire as long as it lives basically.