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Basic Druid Deck

Last updated on Jun 18, 2016 at 20:28 by Sottle 37 comments

Table of Contents

This Druid deck:

  • is meant for players who are new to Hearthstone, and/or who have not invested much (or any) real money into the game;
  • is comprised only of cards that are granted to you for free as a reward for completing the tutorial and leveling a Druid to level 10;
  • does not include any Common, Rare, Epic, or Legendary cards.

While there are obvious weaknesses due to the Basic-only limitation, this deck is balanced, and quite strong. It should allow you to defeat the AI (in both Normal and Expert modes), and it can hold its own against players using Rare, Epic, and even Legendary cards in Play mode.

In addition to listing the deck, we will also explain why some cards have been included or excluded, how some of the minions in the deck are best played, and what changes you can make to the deck.

Note that to succeed with this deck (as with all decks), you need to make the correct decisions while playing. For this reason, we advise you to also read these two articles: Card Advantage and Why Am I Losing?.

1. About the Author

This deck is presented to you by Sottle, a professional Hearthstone player who plays for compLexity Gaming. Sottle regularly streams on Twitch and explains all of his moves. Watching him is a good opportunity to see how this and other decks play out in practice, and how decisions are made in real time.

2. Basic Druid Deck

Our deck costs 0 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Druid Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve

2
2
7
2
8
1
4
4

3. Strategy

Druid is a fine choice for a Basic only deck due to the power of cards in their Basic set, such as Innervate, Swipe, and Wild Growth. The idea of this deck is to take advantage of Innervate and Wild Growth by playing a larger than normal amount of late game minions and spells. Playing Druid can also teach you important lessons about Mana management and how to play on curve.

You will look to mulligan for Wild Growth and Innervate in almost every game, as these cards are key to get ahead of your opponent on Mana and press your advantage. However, if you do not get one of these cards, the deck still plays a fairly stable curve of minions for you to play out on each turn.

Learning to use Innervate and Wild Growth correctly is key to playing the deck. As a general rule, you want to use Innervate as early as possible, since its value diminishes over time. For example, playing a 4-drop on turn 2 is usually more powerful than playing a 7-drop on turn 5. If you have multiple Innervates and Wild Growths in your hand early then you should stop and plan out what your next 3-4 turns will be to decide how to best use them.

3.1. Card Choices

In this section we will discuss some of the cards that have been chosen, how to use them effectively, and why they are chosen over other possibilities. Hopefully this will both help you to succeed with this deck, as well as inform your own deck building decisions in the future.

Innervate is a key card in the deck. Pushing out a large minion early can often set you up to win single handedly. A Chillwind Yeti played on turn 2, or turn 1 utilising The Coin, can dominate the board for many turns to come.

Claw is a useful card for controlling the board early. If you do not get off to a fast start with Innervate or Wild Growth this will help to slow your opponent down and let your larger minions take over in the late-game. You should almost never use this card to attack your opponent directly.

Mark of the Wild is a fine buff card. At an extra 4 points of stats, plus Taunt, for 2 Mana, it represents good value. Plays like turn 1 River Crocolisk into turn 2 Mark of the Wild create similar situations to Innervating a Chillwind Yeti.

River Crocolisk is preferred in the deck over the other viable option, Bloodfen Raptor, due to the better synergy with Mark of the Wild.

Swipe is one of the best cards in the basic set and functions as your AoE clear in the deck. Always be on the look out for situations where you can create good value for Swipe by hitting minions and leaving them at 1 Health.

Starfire is another strong value card in the deck. 5 Health is a very common number amongst strong cards in the Basic set, so being able to kill a 5 Health minion and draw a card is usually a favourable exchange for you.

Ironbark Protector is your trump card and finisher in the deck. You will look to exhaust your opponent's removal options like Hex or Polymorph before playing this card. Try to force your opponent to waste such removal cards on your Chillwind Yeti or Boulderfist Ogre, before punishing them by dropping the larger minion. If you can get Ironbark Protector out early enough using Innervate and Wild Growth and it goes unanswered, it can be often be enough to win the game.

3.2. Card Omissions

Here we will talk about some of the cards that are not included to help you understand and identify weaker cards, hopefully improving your deck building skills.

Moonfire is not included since it is simply not worth a card. This can be a confusing concept for new players, since spending 0 Mana to achieve at least something seems like a good deal. However, you have to consider that you can only include 30 cards in your deck, so spots are limited. Using up one of those card slots on a card that has very little effect is usually a bad idea.

Healing Touch is not included because it does not affect the game enough. Another common mistake of newer players is to assume that life totals are the most important thing. In fact, many factors like card advantage, board advantage, and tempo are all more important. Spending 3 Mana and a card to do nothing except heal will usually cause you to fall further behind in the game.

Savage Roar is left out of the deck because without access to the combo synergy with Force of Nature it often does not do enough. Savage Roar is more powerful in a deck that plays multiple small minions. Since with this deck you will often just have 1 or 2 large minions in play, the effect of Savage Roar is diminished.

3.3. Card Swaps

Obviously, as a Basic deck, this list has a lot of room for improvement. As you progress with the game and gain access to more cards and Arcane Dust, here are some additions that you may consider.

If you have access to the Naxxramas set and are playing Wild format, the following additions are excellent:

  • 2 x Zombie Chow for 2 x Claw. Zombie Chow will often do more work than Claw by having a chance to 2-for-1 your opponent. However, it does fulfill a slightly different role to Claw, so you can even try 1 of each if you prefer.
  • 2 x Sludge Belcher for 1 x Darkscale Healer, 1 x Stormwind Champion. Sludge Belcher is one of the best cards in the Naxxramas set, and since the 5 Mana cards in the Basic set are all fairly weak, including 2 of them in a Basic deck will almost always improve it. Stormwind Champion is selected as an additional cut here since the deck often does not have enough minions on board to fully take advantage of it.

If you have access to the Blackrock Mountain set, we recommend the following changes:

The League of Explorers set offers the following cards which are strong for this deck:

Other welcome additions from the Expert Set are listed below. However it should be noted that these cards should be added only if you open them from a pack. Spending dust to improve a Basic only deck is not particularly efficient, and you should instead try to save dust towards one of our low, or mid-budget decks.

  • 2 x Druid of the Claw for 2 x Sen'jin Shieldmasta. Druid of the Claw is an excellent value 5 drop. As such, using them instead of Sen'jins will smooth out your curve a little and help you to progress through your turns more naturally.
  • 2 x Harvest Golem for 2 x Shattered Sun Cleric. Harvest Golem is one of the best value cards in the Expert Set and a staple in many decks. Shattered Sun Cleric is not at its most powerful in this deck since you will often skip early drops to use Innervate or Wild Growth.

4. ChangeLog

  • 18 Jun. 2016: Edited for clarity on card swaps for Standard and Wild.
  • 29 Jun. 2015: Added options for Blackrock Mountain cards to be added to the deck.
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