Wild Taunt Druid Deck List Guide - Rise of Shadows April 2019
This guide contains detailed Strategy, Mulligan, and deck-building information to help you play Taunt Druid in The Rastakhan's Rumble expansion.
Taunt Druid is an archetype that has existed since the Knight of the Frozen Throne expansion, but was not popular until the Witchwood expansion. It focuses on playing a range of big Taunt minions to stall the game before utilising Hadronox to resurrect them all for powerful late-game swing turns.
The December balance patch affecting Wild Growth and Nourish greatly hindered the ability of Wild Taunt Druid. The deck has decreased in strength, but with no suitable replacements available, the deck list remains the same.
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Taunt Druid aims to aggressively Ramp as quickly as possible in order to begin playing the many high-Cost Taunt minions in the deck. You Mulligan will always be directed towards this goal, with some slight deviation against Aggro decks.
The primary three cards you are always looking for in your opening hand are Biology Project, Wild Growth and Nourish. Additionally, if you have at least one of these cards, you can also keep a copy of Oaken Summons.
Against decks that are not hyper-aggressive, you can also keep Master Oakheart in your opening hand. This is especially powerful if you already have a copy of Biology Project, Wild Growth, or Nourish.
In your early-game turns, you should always be looking to play Biology Project, Wild Growth, Oaken Summons, and Nourish for Mana Crystals on curve. If you do not have any of these cards readily available, you can use Wrath to cycle through your deck and help you draw into the aforementioned cards. Due to the deck playing a large number of late-game threats, you should avoid deviating away from this Ramp strategy too much. However, if your opponent does play a particularly threatening minion, such as Hench-Clan Thug or Vicious Fledgling, you should not hesitate to use a Wrath, Swipe, or Lesser Jasper Spellstone to deal with it.
If your hand is especially terrible, you may also opt to use Branching Paths to draw cards to help improve your hand. However, it has multiple other uses throughout the game. Against Aggro, you will often want to use the Armor option to help you to survive until you can secure the board with your Taunt minions. Against slower decks, it is useful to have the Attack option available, which can be used following Hadronox later in the game as a source of burst damage to catch your opponent off guard.
Until you reach 8 Mana, the deck does not do too much other than gain Mana, draw cards, and occasionally remove minions. However, you can still plan ahead in how you use your removal. For example, if you have a Primordial Drake in hand, it is a good idea to try and line up the Health of your opponent's minions so that they are all at 2 or less. This is often be achieved using a mix of Swipe, Wrath, and Shapeshift. If this is not possible, you should instead focus on removing single minions from your opponent's board so that it is less threatening when you do begin to start playing your Taunt minions.
When you finally hit the 8-9 Mana range, your priority should be to try and play out the minions from your hand as the Taunt effect of all your minions should protect you in most cases. However, depending on the situation, there is still a priority of which minions to play first. With 8 Mana available, you should play Primordial Drake first due to the AoE damage it can do to the board, whereas if the board is empty, you should prioritise the better overall stats of The Lich King. The exception to this is if your opponent plays transform spells like Hex or Polymorph as you want to try and bait out these spells first, otherwise your Lich King will not be resummoned by Hadronox later in the game. With 9 Mana available, you should prioritise playing Master Oakheart first. The way the deck is built, Master Oakheart will Recruit Dragonhatcher and Trogg Gloomeater, and either Hadronox or Ironwood Golem. However, you should avoid this play if either you have drawn Dragonhatcher already or your opponent can transform your Hadronox. In these situations, you should simply play a Dragonhatcher or Sleepy Dragon instead.
Though the many large Taunt minions in the deck will keep you relatively safe and even potentially win the game, the true strength of the deck is the use of Hadronox. If your opponent manages to clear your initial wave of Taunt minions, using Hadronox in combination with Naturalize can instantly refill your board and will often be enough to overwhelm opponents. If your opponent does manage to clear your board again, Witching Hour can be used to summon yet another copy of Hadronox, which can be killed again with either Carnivorous Cube or Naturalize. This process can be continued until your opponent is unable to answer your board. While Hadronox is the only Beast in the deck that can be resurrected by Witching Hour, opponents that either Hex or Polymorph can disrupt this as they will put another Beast on your board to die. In these situations, you should try and get the maximum value from your first Hadronox and try to win from it, as you will not be able to guarantee yourself a second copy.
In slower matchups, you will often have enough time to manipulate your board in such a way to maximise the value gained from Hadronox. This is especially useful against other Taunt Druids and games where you reach fatigue damage. When trying to maximise the value of Hadronox this way, you should aim to play The Lich King as soon as possible while avoiding playing Ironwood Golems, which will clog up your board when you reach fatigue damage and cannot maintain any Armor.
Quick Tips and Tricks
- Focus on gaining Mana as quickly as possible.
- Play Master Oakheart as early as possible. It will frequently win the game on the spot.
- Use Hadronox and Naturalize for an easy way to refill the board.
- The board can subsequently be refilled many more times by using Carnivorous Cube and Witching Hour.
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- 08 Apr. 2019: Deck has been moved to Wild for the year of the Dragon.
- 03 Mar. 2019: Deck has been reviewed for the March play season.
- 07 Feb. 2019: Deck has been reviewed following the February balance patch.
- 01 Jan. 2019: Deck has been reviewed for the January play season.
- 23 Dec. 2018: Deck has been reviewed following the December balance patch.
- 04 Dec. 2018: Deck has been reviewed for the Rastakhan's Rumble expansion.
- 01 Oct. 2018: Deck has been reviewed for the October play season.
- 01 Sep. 2018: Deck reviewed for the September play season.
- 07 Aug. 2018: Guide updated for The Boomsday Project Expansion. Removed 1x Ferocious Howl for 1x Biology Project.
- 09 Jul. 2018: Deck added.
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