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Yogg Midrange Druid Karazhan Standard Deck

Last updated on Aug 19, 2016 at 19:04 by Sottle 5 comments

Table of Contents

This guide contains instruction on how to play Yogg-Saron Token Druid. It is a combo focused deck that relies on the power of a few key cards to create incredible board states that your opponent will struggle to deal with. This version of the deck shies away from some of the more all-in cards like Wisps of the Old Gods and instead focuses on a more powerful curve of minions such as Azure Drake and Ancient of War.

One Night in Karazhan introduces Arcane Giant to the format, and since Yogg Druid is the most spell-focused deck in the game, it is a natural fit for the card.

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. Yogg Midrange Druid Karazhan Standard Deck

Our deck costs 6,640 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Druid Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

Yogg Token Druid is a deck that can start slowly, but quickly explodes in the mid-game to create devastating board states and huge amounts of burst damage. If you have not been able to seal the game before the later turns, then you also carry Yogg-Saron, Hope's End to synergise with the huge number of spells that the deck plays.

As mentioned, your early game turns can quite often be somewhat passive. You should mulligan hard for Wild Growth and Innervate in order to maximise your chances of getting the fastest possible starts, but if you miss these Mana acceleration cards you still have options to be able to control your opponent's early threats using Wrath, Living Roots, and Swipe. Raven Idol can also be used in these situations and usually should be if you have the spare Mana available, however keep in mind that the longer you wait to cast a Raven Idol the more information you gain about the state of the game and which option you should select. As a general rule with this deck however, you are always looking to Discover a Spell and should prioritise the Spells that are chosen to be included in the deck over others. Having said this, you will of course encounter specific board states that require you to select a specific option like Mulch, Claw, Bite, or Starfall.

Starting at turn 4 and beyond the power level of your deck starts to spike in power significantly. Violet Teacher and Fandral Staghelm are the two cards that are the core of most of the powerful mid-game plays with this deck. Violet Teacher alongside the numerous cheap Spells in the deck, especially Innervate can start to generate huge board states, especially if you are able to finish your turn with a Power of the Wild to buff all of your tokens up to 2/2. Keep in mind that Power of the Wild itself will spawn a 1/1 token before buffing it, so even something as simple as Violet Teacher, Innervate, Power of the Wild will create a huge board state.

Fandral Staghelm requires more specific cards to become powerful, but is still capable of creating destructive turns. Although the most powerful things you can do with Fandral are Nourish and Ancient of War these usually require Fandral to live for a turn. More commonly you will be using Fandral in combination with the cheaper spells in the deck such as Living Roots, Raven Idol, and Wrath. Power of the Wild and Mire Keeper are also extremely effective when used in combination with Fandral. Much like with Violet Teacher, Power of the Wild will spawn the 3/2 Panther first before buffing your entire board.

Emperor Thaurissan is an inclusion in the deck that can allow you to create even more powerful combo turns with the aforementioned cards. Without use of Innervate, it can sometimes be difficult to activate a particularly destructive combo with Violet Teacher or Fandral Staghelm in the mid-game, where as Emperor can allow you to string together huge numbers of cheap spells in order to gain massive value.

Arcane Giant serves as an additional threat in the deck that can be used to refill a board or simply to create immense pressure if you have got a spell heavy hand early on. It is particularly powerful against Control since the theme of this deck when playing against Control is to keep refilling the board through all their removal options. Often you will make one big board state only to be answered by a Brawl or Twisting Nether, at which point you drop Onyxia and force them to answer again. Eventually your opponent runs out of answers to your board state and you are able to run away with the game. Arcane Giant fits with this theme perfectly as it is a cheap threat that you can easily develop alongside other cards to create a devastating board state.

Nourish and Mire Keeper both have options to accelerate your Mana. However, in most scenarios you will be using these cards for their alternate options. The additional token spawned by Mire Keeper synergises excellently with the Token focused nature of the deck and the card draw granted by Nourish is crucial not only to keep you high on resources but also to dig through your deck for the key cards that tie your strategy together like Violet Teacher and Fandral Staghelm. However, pay attention to the makeup of your hand, if accelerating your Mana will allow you to spike into a powerful play like Cenarius, Emperor Thaurissan or a big Violet Teacher turn more quickly, then it can be appropriate to take the Mana option. Also keep in mind that unlike most of Druid's Mana acceleration cards, Nourish grants full Mana Crystals which means that you will have access to 2 additional Mana straight away after casting it.

If your opponent has been able to deal with your mid-game threats, or has been too far in control of the board for you to activate them successfully, this deck plays Yogg-Saron, Hope's End as a final fallback to be able to retrieve lost board states or make a last grab for lethal damage. The timing of Yogg-Saron is crucial, ideally you want to play Yogg-Saron on a board where only your opponent has minions in play to maximise the chances of removal spells going to favourable targets. Despite this, if you hold on too long, then even Yogg-Saron will often be unable to catch you up unless your are lucky enough to cast Twisting Nether or DOOM!. If you are playing Yogg-Saron on a board with friendly minions it is usually correct to make the attacks with them first. However, this decision is dictated by the goal of your turn. If you are simply trying to clear the board then attacking with your minions first is usually correct, but if you are trying to kill your opponent as a last resort then having a minion in play that can be buffed for extra damage can mean that waiting to try and attack afterwards is correct.

When waiting for a Yogg-Saron turn to resolve, you can often gain some clues about what spells have been cast by looking at the UI. This is important since Yogg will often take the length of the entire turn to resolve all of its Spell casting, this means you will need to commit to certain further actions in order to get them through before the turns ends. As soon as you play Yogg-Saron any minions that have a green border are still alive and able to attack. The same applies for your Hero and will indicate if a spell such as Bite or Heroic Strike has been cast. On top of this any Spells in your hand that turn green are castable and will indicate that Preparation has been cast. Finally you can target any available attacks at enemy minions on the board to see if they are still alive and targettable, or will die by the end of the turn. Use all this information to plan your remaining actions accordingly.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

The key synergies in the deck revolve around Fandral Staghelm and Violet Teacher. Violet Teacher will spawn a 1/1 Token for each Spell cast which can all be buffed immediately by Power of the Wild or on a later turn by Savage Roar or Cenarius. A list of Fandral Staghelm's effects on various spells can be found below.

  • Living Roots will summon two 1/1 tokens and deal 2 damage.
  • Raven Idol will allow you to select both a Spell and a Minion.
  • Wrath will deal 4 damage and draw a card. It only gains +1 damage from each Spell Damage card.
  • Power of the Wild will summon a 3/2 Panther and then buff it and your other minions by +1/+1.
  • Feral Rage will gain 8 Armour and give your Hero 4 attack.
  • Mire Keeper will summon an additional 2/2 token and gain you an extra empty Mana Crystal.
  • Nourish will draw you 3 cards and gain you 2 full Mana Crystals.
  • Ancient of War will be summoned as a 10/10 Taunt minion.
  • Cenarius will summon two 2/2 Taunts and then buff them and your other minions by +2/+2.

Savage Roar, Power of the Wild, or Cenarius can be used as a finisher on a large board of minions.

3.2. Mulligans & Specific Strategies

In every matchup you will be looking for Innervate and Wild Growth in your opening hand. Alongside this, Living Roots and Wrath are both valuable cards to keep. You should not keep Raven Idol as it is more effective later in the game when you have more information about the state of the game. If you already have one of the Mana acceleration cards then you can keep a 4-drop minion such as Fandral Staghelm, Violet Teacher, or Mire Keeper in your opening hand. These minions are also a valid keep if you have The Coin.

Against aggressive decks you will need to focus on removal and damage reduction early and try and activate a swing turn in the mid-game using Violet Teacher or Fandral Staghelm. Swipe is a crucial card in these matchups and you can keep it if you already have a Wild Growth or Innervate.

Against Midrange or more controlling decks, the key part of the matchup is to play around their AoE options effectively. You should aim to test the waters by committing the minimum amount of resources to the board in order to force your opponent to use their AoE options. Since you have multiple ways to refill the board several times you should be able to outlast their removal options. As a last-gasp, Yogg-Saron can be used to try and seal the game in the later turns.

3.3. Card Swaps

Mulch and Feral Rage are fairly interchangeable. Feral Rage is a stronger card to have against Aggro decks, while Mulch is a more powerful card when dealing with late-game threats from a Control deck. Adapt the makeup of the deck to counter what you are facing for maximum results.

A Mulch or Feral Rage can also be dropped for a second Ancient of War.

Cenarius can be used instead of Onyxia. Cenarius is more powerful with an existing board in play, while Onyxia is better to refill an empty board.

4. ChangeLog

  • 19 Aug. 2016: Deck added.
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