About Me and the Deck
Brief intro about myself to start. I go by Status in game and I am a three time Legend Druid Main, going as high as rank 24 at one point, without ever dropping below 200. I’ve made a point of playing a different type of deck each season I’ve played, but I’ve stuck with Druid through thick and thin as I love its versatility. While I used to mainly play Control style decks, hitting Legend with Ramp Midrange and early Watcher variants in the beta, coming back from a break I decided I wanted to do something completely different than my usual style in this season. The deck originally started out as a fast Midrange deck that slowly evolved into a very aggressive Token style. I love the deck and it is probably the most solid deck I’ve built to date, so I decided I would share it with the internets in hopes that you will all enjoy it as well!
So without further ado, here is the decklist: Decklist
Proof of Legend: Ranking
Why You Should Play It
For starters, it’s cheap!: It wasn’t made that way intentionally, but it sort of just ended up that way in the end. Quick comparisons with examples of other common decks:
- Control Warrior: 12400 dust
- Ramp Druid: 8480 dust
- Miracle: 6780 dust
- Handlock: 8220 dust
- Midrange Shaman: 4820 dust
- Zoo Lock: 2020 dust
This deck? 2880 dust. Nearly as cheap as Zoo, and all the cards should be common in your decks already, perhaps with the exception of two Force of Natures.
It’s different: Most Token decks will attempt to fill the board when they can, most of their effort is put into comboing Violet Teacher with spells and Power of the Wild to set up for lethal with Savage Roar. And while you will be doing this was well, it isn’t the end all be all to the deck. The inclusion of extra charge minions and sticky early drops allow you to get more aggressive damage in on your opponent early. This makes drawing for combo pieces less stressful, as you will already have strong board presence that must be dealt with. Also, you will have the same benefit that Warlock has with this deck; many opponents will Mulligan for a match against Ramp or Watcher only to find themselves facing an aggressive deck.
It’s consistent: The deck features duplicates of every card, so no fishing for that single answer in your deck. The curve is also very strong, with sticky early game minions leading into Teacher Combo into Chargers/Draw into burst combos. The deck feels good to play, and it is fairly straightforward to play as well. Due to the nature of Token decks, your opponent needs to fear each and every minion that you drop as well, increasing the chance that you can punish misplays.
Core Token Druid Cards
As with all archtypes, there will be shared cards amongst all decks. It’s the extra sprinkles on top that separate the good decks from the great ones. For example, Druids will basically run these 12 cards
in every single deck, no matter what type of deck they are running. In addition, Token Druids will basically always include these 10 cards.
As such, I won’t be going over these 22 cards, as by now people should be accustomed to seeing what they are and how they work together. Instead, I’ll talk about the flavor cards of the deck, and which cards didn’t make the cut.
Before going over what cards I did decide to fill the gaps with, I thought it would be a better idea to go over the rejects. Many of these you will see in other token decks, so I hope my explanations for not including them will be helpful.
- Loot Hoarder: Let’s start off by a card that constantly baffles me when I see it pop up in Token decks. And by pop up, I mean it’s in pretty much every one. The concept makes sense to a certain extent; “I want a low cost minion to put on the board, and the cycle helps me draw into my threats and combo pieces.” Sounds good on paper. The problem occurs when you break it down by match-ups; Loot Hoarder gets taken care of extremely easily by nearly every common deck. Earth Shock, Mortal Coil/Elven Archer, Backstab/Hero Power, Wrath/Hero Power, Fiery War Axe/Armorsmith/Acolyte, Arcane Missiles/Hero Power, Northshire Cleric. There isn’t a single match-up where he gives you a worthwhile turn 2 play that couldn’t better be used on a different drop.
- Blood Knight: This was one of of the last cards I dropped, for 2 reasons. One, there aren’t that many Divine Shields to steal from opposing decks. Druids run Sunwalkers sure. But for the most part any Argent Commanders you face won’t have the shield to steal when your turn comes, and you beat aggro decks running Squires already. Two, your own shields generally don’t stick around long enough to steal them anyways, and using Power of the Wild to get a 2/2 with shield is generally a stronger play and sticks more in line with the theme of the deck.
- Yeti: My original take on the deck involved Yetis as another 4 drop to solidify board position in the early mid-game to allow for strong minions to be dropped after removal was used. While he accomplished this to an extent, it led to an odd curve as I would often struggle to get a consistent flow of minions on board. It also didn’t fit well with the Token combos, as it took away time that could be used for chargers or flooding the board.
- Cenarius: Too slow. That’s about it. By turn 9 I want to have multiple minions on board already to begin slamming face with combo or charges. Cenarius just eats your whole turn. And yes, while it can buff existing cards or drop minions for combos, it simply doesn’t fit right.
- Black Knight: Only really useful in the Handlock and Druid match-ups, and I found I had better success without the card. Since I am aggressively trying to get low drops in my Mulligan for board pressure, it basically meant I was having to topdeck it to deal with the Taunts. Removing it gave better consistency.
- BGH: With more and more Handlocks appearing, I tried out BGH, but decided that it wasn’t worth the slot for a single match-up. Not much more to say about this one.
- Leeroy: This was an interesting card to run, what with the ability to Swipe away the Whelps and do surprising burst. However, most of the time it just sat in hand waiting for the “perfect moment,” and would have been better as a sturdier charger or Teacher. Like Blood Knight, it didn’t really mesh with the deck in the way I wanted it to.
- Thalnos: Your combo is physical damage, and the spellpower is covered in other cards. The body is too weak to be consistently useful as a token, and suffers in the same areas that Loot Hoarder does. In addition, it takes up a 2 drop slot that would be better used for a more aggressive minion.
- Claw: Didn’t feel that meaningful in the deck, and wasn’t as useful as other options. In a Miracle style deck it would be more useful, but you shouldn’t be having enough trouble to warrant it.
- Naturalize: Naturalize? I can understand the confusion. But it actually, kinda, somewhat works. In certain situations. The main thought behind it was the ability to Force + Savage Roar + Naturalize a big Taunt minion all on the same turn (10 mana). But it generally wasn’t drawn on time, or sat in hand doing nothing instead, and didn’t succeed often enough to warrant usage. 3 card combos are much harder to draw than 2 card combos.
Now that I’ve bored you to tears with the rejects, let’s go over the gold stars that make the deck mesh. A couple aren’t new to Token, but a couple choices really helped solidify the strength of the deck.
- Faerie Dragon: While Loot Hoarder is my go-to “why are you in Token decks?” card, Faerie Dragon is the exact opposite. In my grind this season from Rank 25 to Legend, I saw one other player running this card. ONE PLAYER. This card should be a staple in every single aggressive deck at the moment. It is immune to Backstab/Evis, Frostbolt, SW:Pain/Holy Smith, Soul Fire, Lightning Bolt, Slam, Wrath, and more. With the majority of decks relying on spells to get them through the first couple turns, Faerie Dragon slams on the board and whips out a “facetank me or die” sign. Use this card, why are you not using this card? You should use this card.
- Argent Commander: After playing with earlier versions of the deck, I realized that I didn’t have enough strong, aggressive mid-game plays. After playing with Commanders for a couple of games, it almost feels like people forgot that it was an option in aggressive decks. Which is odd considering Doomguards are everywhere presenting a strong Charging threat. It couples as removal and is an extremely sticky minion if its shield isn’t broken. You can also combo it with Savage Roar or Swipe for 8 damage if the situation arises. It partners great with Druid of the Claw as well, giving consistent burst damage to the face over multiple turns.
- Azure Drake x 2: I shouldn’t have to go over why Azure Drakes are so strong, especially in Druid decks (hint: Swipe). But I’ve noticed that most decks, even Ramp variants, don’t tend to run 2. But adding the second just felt right. The draw is very strong, it represents a strong potential threat with the spellpower, and it fits into the curve just right. Similar to the way Commander pairs with Druid as chargers, Drake pairs with Lore for draw. This was one of the last changes I made, and I haven’t regretted it.
- Savage Roar/Force of Nature x 2: While most Token decks will run two Savage Roars, I almost never see two Force of Natures. Which is a shame, as it really makes a difference. I feel like people tend to forget that individually the cards are solid, and don’t always need to be comboed together. On top of that, most people won’t expect the second copy if you use one piece to clear board, leading to some greedy plays that you can exploit. Also, without the second copy I found myself occasionally running out of steam against Control decks; doubling the chance to topdeck the cards needed to finish the game made a noticeable impact on win rates.
Your Mulligans will be dependent on the opponent you are facing, just like all decks, but you should be looking for similar cards in most match-ups. Argent Squire, Faerie Dragons, Harvest Golems, and Power of the Wild are all solid cards to hold on to. In Aggressive match-ups, a single Wrath/Swipe and Keepers are great as well. In Control match-ups, Violet Teacher can be held. Always look for an Innervate if possible as well, people hate playing against it for a reason.
Specific Cards for each match-up to look out for in addition to the aforementioned choices:
- Miracle: Teacher
- Zoo: Swipe
- Handlock: Druid of the Claw
- Shaman: Wrath
- Warrior: Teacher
- Druid: Keeper
- Mage: Keeper and Wrath
- Hunter: Teacher
- Paladin: Keeper
- Priest: Druid of the Claw
Like all Token Druid decks, your goal should be board presence until you can burst lethal with Savage Roar + Minions/Force of Nature. Your early minions stick to the board, and your mid-game minions either produce minions, charge face, or draw cards. Your spells help you hold/regain board control from other aggressive decks. Be mindful of when your opponent is approaching turns where they can board control, and keep an eye on the Coin in these situations as well (Flamestrike, Consecration, etc). Never underestimate the power of single small minions on your side of the board. A SR + FoN combo with just a 1/1 on the board will do an extra 3 damage more than if you didn’t have the 1/1, and even at top ranks your opponents may miss your lethal. As I mentioned earlier, you will generally have the advantage of surprise when running the deck, so do your darnedest capitalize.
Match-ups will be posted in comments as this has gotten a bit long.
I hope you all enjoyed the walkthrough of my deck, and hopefully I’ve convinced you to try the deck out for yourself. If you have any questions about it feel free to ask, vague or specific.
Now onto each of the match-ups. While I don’t use any tracking software, experience with the deck has given me a good read on how each opposing deck matches up. While it’s possible that I am being optimistic with what I’m giving for percentages in each match-up, I do believe that this deck had no real “counter” or “bad” match-ups.Even against Shaman and Handlock, the two banes of Druid and basically the only decks I faced from Ranks 3-1, I had a winning record and climbed through them for Legend.
- Rogue: As Miracle was the top deck at the time I built my own, it was obvious that to succeed on ladder I would need to be able to beat the top dog. And beat it it does. I’d give it a solid 80-90% win rate against rogue; the only losses coming from a combination of bad starting hands and solid Gadgetzan draws. Faerie Dragon really shows its mettle in this matchup, as its immunity to Backstabs and Evis allow for strong early damage. Coin Toast can delay kill it, but if you started with coin try holding onto other minions for a turn so they cannot combo into the 2 dmg with Backstab. Squire and Golem can be removed by spells, but they stick to the board well and can chip damage away, leading directly into your Chargers. You will benefit from the prevalence of Ramp/Watcher Decks in this matchup, as many opponents will use FoK simply as card draw before you set up a Violet Teacher Combo. Occasionally Rogues will force the match-up into a race, which you generally shouldn’t have trouble winning. There have been numerous instances where I’ve used an Ancient to heal myself from 26-27 HP to full if I know I can FoN/SR combo them next turn for lethal. It is very difficult for them to simultaneously set up a OTK while keeping up with your board presence.
- Warlock: Against Zoo variants I give the deck a solid 80% win rate. Faerie Dragon is a star once again; it murders Voidwalkers, stops Soul Fire from gaining tempo, and can’t be Mortal Coiled if a 1 attack minion wants to trade. Golem and Keeper have always been all-stars for Druid in this match-up, generally getting 2-for-1s. Early on, concentrate on filling the board when you can and transition into keeping their board clear to ensure victory. This is one of the few matchups where you might use Druid in Bear form as well. On the other side, Handlock is basically a coin-flip. Handlock has always been the bane of Druids, but going full Dennis on their face with this deck has actually given good results. Keep in mind how much Molten + Taunt will cost while you slam damage though. 1 damage too early can be the difference between a win and a loss against this deck. Speaking of 1 damage, Squire + Keeper is a very strong start against opposing Drakes, though you might get Mortal Coiled after you pop shield. Against Giants and Watchers it is generally better to just ignore them and hope they don’t have Taunt. Finally, Swipes are your best friends here, try to save them for burst on the face if at all possible. Handlock will get greedy with multiple Taunted minions more often that you’d suspect, and 8 damage to the face feels oh so good. This will be your hardest match-up, but going 50% is pretty solid against a historic counter. And hey, at least the matches are quick. Quick tip that got shared on a post a few days ago; wait and see how a Warlock mulligans. If more than 1 card gets pitched, assume it is Handlock and prepare accordingly.
- Shaman: Shamans have been rising in popularity recently, much to my dismay. This is a difficult match-up as well, around 50-60% in your favor, but I personally don’t enjoy playing them. Shamans have the interesting ability of simultaneously doing well against both Token and Ramp decks, what with their assortment of cheap removals. However, this gives the deck a bit of a boost, as many Shamans will pitch cards like Lightning Storm in favor of Hex, allowing for early drops to get some solid damage/clear totems while they wait for the Taunts that won’t be appearing. Speaking of clearing totems, you should always assume that your opponent has Flametongue in hand. The majority of the time you won’t get much value out of Teachers in this match-up, so use your charges wisely to gain board control. Speaking of board control, you probably won’t start getting it until mid-game. Closing this match-up generally depends on how often they drop Stoneclaw, which can lead to some very frustrating games. Comboing Azure + Swipe can be a game winner to clear board for your burst.
- Warrior: We are back to strong match-ups with this class. I can only recall one game against Control that I lost from ranks 10-1. It simply isn’t able to withstand the damage while putting out enough threats to challenge your own life totals. Teacher combos can do absolute work against this deck, as their only true board clears against it are Brawl and Double Whirlwind + Execute. Argent Commanders are also fantastic; they require multiple cards to deal with with shield up. Slam can draw a card off the shield, but then he still requires further damage + Execute, face tanking, or Shield Slam, all of which cost a fair bit of their turn. Aggro decks are rare, but are not much harder to deal with. Treat them similar to Zoo, clear early to flood/burst in the midgame. Think 75%, a bit lower than Zoo due to their ability to occasionally put out too much damage through multiple weapons/timely chargers.
- Druid: Druid is an interesting beast, with more and more Token variations popping up inthe downfall of Hunter. But the majority of decks you will be facing against will be Ramp or Watcher varieties. You’ll have a solid match-up against the latter two decks; I’d give it a 65-70% in your favor. Keepers are your best friend with their ability to neuter Sunwalkers and Ancients of War. Conversely, watch out for opposing Keepers sniping your Faeries, as they are probably the strongest answer to them in the game. This is one of the few decks that can tend to run Black Knight, so keep that in mind for your Druids. Most decks won’t run Starfall, so flooding the board and buffing with Power of the Wild can be extremely devastating. On a side note, this was the match-up that finalized my decision to run 2 copies of both Savage Roar and Force; fishing for single copies when trying to set up lethal was giving my opponents too much time to draw into more Taunters. Like with all Druid mirrors, whoever can drop Lore first will generally wrest away the advantage, so forcing them to deal with your board first before they can spend the mana to draw can only help you in the long run. These will be your longest games on average. You’ll fare well against other Token decks too, though the match-up is largely decided by Innervates.
- Mage: Pretty much all Mages run the same style of deck with early game minions and late game burn spells. Faerie Dragon is a hero, allowing your you too keep up tempo wise early. Be aware of turns 4 and 7, as these are a Mage’s strongest turns against you with potential Fireballs/Poly/Water Elementals on 4 and Flamestrike on 7. Blizzard on 6 can be annoying, but if they are clearing your Tokens then they are most likely leaving up your Teachers or Chargers to punch in more damage. Even with Arcane Intellect you will most likely have card advantage towards the mid-game, so I will often use Lore as a heal to prevent any crazy Frostbolt + Lance + Fireball surprise burst shenanigans. You shouldn’t have much trouble racing this deck, unless they pull off a timely Mirror Image while they have lethal on board. Looking at a solid 70-75% here.
- Hunter: So sad to see this class fall out of favor. Truly. A real shame. Being serious for a minute, now that Unleash combo has been delayed a turn you should be able to win races basically every time. This should be one of your easiest match-ups, along with Miracle and Control Warrior, at around an 80-85% win rate. Explosive traps aren’t very effective against your early game minions. Often I will use Power of the Wild early on only 2 minions to ensure they are out of range, allowing for enough early damage to get through for the finisher later. Playing Argent Commander and going face is extremely strong if you can afford it, as dealing with the minion without facetanking takes some effort. Still be mindful of Buzzard Unleash; just because it was nerfed doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be accounted for. Your only losses should be from bad openers or misplaying against traps.
- Paladin: Control Paladins aren’t seen very often, but I didn’t have much trouble when we did meet. Control has always had trouble with aggressive decks, just be mindful of Equality. Blitz-style Paladin decks are a bit more challenging, as they have the potential to refill their hand with Divine Favor after losing control. Usually this comes a bit too late, however, and you can usually set up a burst with Savage Roar before they can regain board presence. This is one of the few match-ups that I will use Druids in Bear form. Keep Blood Knights as a threat in the back of your mind; if “should I pop this bubble?” enters your mind, your answer should usually be yes. Getting a strong early curve against this deck is probably more important than any other match-up, simply due to the value of Divine Favor if you are holding too many high cost cards. Both are around 70%ish for different reasons.
- Priest: It takes a certain amount of bravery to play Priest in this climate. But fortunately for them, they don’t do that bad against this deck. 75% feels about right for us. Keep in mind that Violet Teacher can be disposed of with SW:Pain, so use Golems to try and bait them out. Faerie Dragon makes his triumphant return here, as a Priest can really only trade a minion to get rid of it. Practically all your mid-game threats have 4 attack to protect them from Shadow Words, but alternatively are also weak to Circle of Healing clears, which is the biggest threat to the deck. You might be able to sneak a couple lethals through by leaving a Soulpriest on the board, however. Assume that your Lores will get Death’d as soon as you drop them, so always have a backup plan to get back board pressure after spending the 7 mana.