Wild Jade Druid Deck List Guide - Rastakhan's Rumble December 2018
This guide contains detailed Strategy, Mulligan, and deck-building information to help you play Wild Jade Druid in The Rastakhan's Rumble expansion.
Jade Druid is an archetype that has existed since the Mean Steets of Gadgetzan expansion. It utilises the Jade Golem mechanic that summons a Jade Golem with Attack and Health equal to the number of Jade Golems you have summoned throughout the game. It has natural synergy with many of the defensive Druid tools available that are capable of stalling the game long enough for large numbers of Jade Golems to be played.
Jade Druid has continued to be a solid deck in the Wild format after its departure from Standard. Although the latest expansion, Rastakhan's Rumble, did not provide any new cards for the archetype, it remains a very strong deck.
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The Jade Druid archetype looks to dominate the game by getting more Mana crystals than its opponent and then using the extra Mana to overwhelm the opponent. The availability of Mana means that the deck can play extra card draw, as it can easily use the additional cards. Although the deck will often get behind in the early game, Jade Druid is well suited to comebacks.
As the game goes on, not only does the archetype gain an advantage through having more Mana, but its Jade Idols give a degree of inevitability. The ever-increasing size of the Idols means that they are progressively more threatening as time goes by. There is also a significant amount of Taunt in the deck, with Spreading Plague and Jade Behemoth often providing ways of buying time against Aggro decks so that the late-game huge Idols can take over the game.
Finally, Jade Druid has access to Ultimate Infestation. This card is often cast while the opponent has significantly less Mana than you, and the huge swing it provides is often enough to single-handedly win the game.
Mulligan and Early-Game Guide
In most matchups, you will be looking to maximize your Mana ramp, while playing on curve if possible. Wild Growth and Jade Blossom are the two most important cards in this regard. If you are fortunate enough to have The Coin, Wild Growth, and Jade Blossom all in your opening hand, it is nearly always correct to coin the Wild Growth on Turn 1 and then play Jade Blossom on Turn 2.
If you have a lot of ramp, you can consider keeping Ultimate Infestation. Although this might seem ridiculous, due to Infestation being a 10-Mana spell, the card is so key to your plans that it has a positive influence when kept in your opening hand. Of course, it only has that impact if it can be cast, which is why having some ramp alongside it is essential.
If you feel that you will not be significantly threatened before you get to 5 Mana, you should also keep Nourish. This will depend on several factors, such as how much other Mana ramp you have in your hand, what your opponent is playing, whether you have The Coin, and how much removal you have.
Matchup Specific Changes Versus Aggro
Against Aggro decks, you are still trying to find ramp, but Lesser Jasper Spellstone, Jade Idol, and Oaken Summons become much more important cards. Your plan in these matchups is to remove enemy minions for a few turns, while looking to get your own board set up. With this in mind, you should be looking to create a balanced starting hand with some ramp, and some removal.
There are several themes that you need to know about in the mid-game, and you will need to learn to apply them depending on the situation and your hand. With Jade Druid, you will sometimes have a lot of ramp, sometimes a lot of Jade Idols, and sometimes a combination of the two. Learning how to improvise is a key part of mastering this archetype.
At the basic level, the idea of the archetype is to make huge Jade Idols with the efficient Jade creation options available to the deck. You should always be on the lookout for a situation where you can simply overwhelm your opponent. If you play an early Jade Blossom followed by a Jade Behemoth and then Aya Blackpaw, there are not many decks in the game that are going to be able to stop the onslaught. On the occasions that you can set up these wide, strong boards, you will be at liberty to draw more cards after the board is set up and exert exceptional amounts of pressure.
Another common situation is where you draw large quantities of Mana ramp. On these occasions, the aim is often to empty your hand and then play Ultimate Infestation. Filling your hand back up while on 10 Mana is incredibly powerful. Your opponent will often be in the region of 5-7 Mana when you do this, and you will have a variety of options available to you, as well as more Mana to spend on them. These games are often blowout victories. With this deck, you should not be too worried about emptying your hand. You have Nourish, Branching Paths, and Infestation as card draw, as well as multiple cards that make life hard for your opponent while you wait.
In games where your opponent has applied significant early pressure, you will be looking to play Spreading Plague to slow them down. When approaching the turn where you are going to play the Plague, you should pay close attention to whether you want to kill small opposing minions that can be dealt with by the 1/5 Scarabs anyway.
Individual Card Strategies
Fandral Staghelm is a threatening card, but is often better used as a threat than greedily trying to get too much value from it. This means that it is often best played on Turn 4, where it threatens to interact with Nourish on the following turn, or on Turn 6 where it threatens synergy with Malfurion the Pestilent.
Be aware that it is often incorrect to play Jade Idol with a Fandral Staghelm in play until late in the game. This is because there are a lot of situations where you do not want to draw a Jade Idol instead of other cards in your deck. If you feel that there are more important cards to draw, then you should avoid shuffling the extra Idols into your deck.
Malfurion the Pestilent
Malfurion the Pestilent has an easy-to-use Hero Power in Plague Lord, and so the key to playing it well is in understanding the Battlecry. The Taunt option is better against lots of small minions, while the Poisonous option is often good against larger minions. Try to work out if the Spiders will survive if you take Poisonous, and if they will, use them to remove your opponent's board.
Be aware that both the Battlecry and the Hero Power benefit from Fandral Staghelm being in play.
Using Ultimate Infestation is usually as simple as casting it to kill something as early as possible, and using the huge tempo swing to win the game. However, there are pitfalls that need to be avoided. You should make sure never to burn your Jade Idols because of overdrawing. You should also be aware that the best way for an opponent to make Infestation difficult for you is to go very wide on board.
The cards within Jade Druid are fairly flexible overall and can be adapted to fit the meta you are playing in.
Against slower decks, you can choose to remove some of the more defensive cards like Ferocious Howl and even the Ironwood Golem and Oaken Summons combo in favour of Jade Spirit. If the slower decks you are facing are specifically combo decks, you can also choose to add in Dirty Rats.
Quick Tips and Tricks
- Do not use the shuffle effect of Jade Idol too soon as it will greatly lower the quality of your draws. Instead, use it to play a Jade Golem early or save it to shuffle ones you have drawn most of your deck.
- Do not worry about reacting to your opponent too much. Instead focus on gaining cards and Mana Crystals so that you can swing back onto the board later in the game.
- Do not hold on to Fandral Staghelm for too long. Opponents will often not have an immediate response for it or will have to awkwardly play around it. This will yield better value than saving it for a perfect turn with Nourish or Jade Idol later in the game.
- 04 Dec. 2018: Deck has been reviewed for the Rastakhan's Rumble expansion.
- 26 Sep. 2018: Guide revitalised for the Wild format.
- 14 Dec. 2017: Deck Checked after release of Kobolds and Catacombs and is still accurate.
- 01 Nov. 2017: Deck Added. This is the variant of Jade Druid least disrupted by the nerfs in patch 9.1 It is still very powerful.
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