Stonekeep goes over some of the stronger lists that have cropped up and writes some quick guides to get you started with them.
Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion was just released. After the initial pack openings, most of the pro players and streamers have started their own deck brewing and testing. There is no meta, there are no cookie cutter lists, everyone on the ladder is experimenting with whatever cards they’ve opened. For many players that’s the most fun period of time.
However, if you have no ideas for the decks or not enough time to test things yourself, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Below I will list a few most successful (so far) lists from pro players with short guides for each one of them.
If you want to check out the full, constantly updated list of new deck lists, click here!
First deck I want to talk about is the Kolento’s Jade Druid. Come to think about it, the deck is actually almost identical as the one I’ve theorycrafted a few days ago (the only difference is Brann Bronzebeard instead of Ancient of War in my list). Kolento has played it for over two hours with a solid win rate (he went from rank 16 to rank 9 very quickly).
Right now, there are two most popular Jade Druid versions – more heavy on Golem synergies like this one and more heavy on cycle/spell synergies like Dog’s one. It’s still too early to tell which one is stronger, but both are doing really nice job so far.
Ramp takes the highest priority when it comes to the mulligan. You keep Wild Growth, Innervate or Jade Blossom every time. If you have your ramp already, in a slower matchup you can keep some of the mid game plays – especially Azure Drake or Nourish. In the faster matchups, on the other hand, you also want your early removal. Cards like Living Roots and Wrath will let you deal with their early threats and not take too much damage. It might seem counter-intuitive, but you throw both Raven Idol and Jade Idol. On turn 1, both of those cards are pretty weak. When it comes to Raven Idol, while it might give you a ramp, picking other cards is difficult – you simply don’t know what you will need later in the game. It’s best to play it alter when you’re sure about the matchup you’re in and the cards you want. And when it comes to Jade Idol, while it might help you with starting the Jade Golem train rolling early, Ramp takes much higher priority. Jade Idol is much better later when combined with Fandral or Auctioneer.
The deck plays like a slower Midrange deck with a lot of late game snowball potential. Your main game plan is to ramp up early, remove whatever your opponent plays, start playing your Jade Golem cards in the mid game and the start performing the Gadgetzan Auctioneer/Fandral Staghelm + Jade Idol combos in the late game.
The most important thing when playing this deck is to try to keep up on the tempo with your opponent as well as you can. The first few Jade Golem cards you play are very weak, but you will be able to outvalue any deck in the long run. So don’t worry about having to 2 for 1 a minion for example.
In faster matchups, your main goal is to survive. Try to remove all the threats they play while not taking too much face damage (prioritize using removals over your Hero Power to kill stuff, every life point counts). You should start having the advantage in mid game once you ramp up a bit and possibly drop your Taunts. Prioritize healing (e.g. Healing Touch and Taunt gain (e.g. Mark of the Wild when picking a card from Raven Idol. If necessary, you can also pick high tempo small removal like Wrath or Living Roots. Once you get the board control, try to finish the game as quickly as possible. Don’t give them more turns to draw burn damage – especially if you’re at relatively safe life total or have a Taunt on the board, you prefer to deal 3-4 face damage than trade into a 1/1. I’d say that fast, Aggro decks are probably one of the better counters to Jade Druid.
In slow matchups, you can ALWAYS win the long term value war, so your only issue is the tempo. Try to ramp as quickly as possible and then start cycling while removing whatever early/mid game minions they might have. Don’t play your Jade Idols until you have a lot of cycle in your hand. Once you do, play Jade Idols (shuffle 3 more copies into your deck). After you draw a few more, it’s time for the Fandral or Auctioneer synergies. Once you have a few Idols in your hand, play one of those + start spawning Golem/shuffling Idols into your deck (Fandral does both at the same time, with Auctioneer you have to alter between the options). That should pretty much set the game. Now you try to draw as much as you can and play one or two Jade Golems per turn. Your opponent will be so busy trying to deal with them that he should give you free reign over the game. As long as you get to that point without losing hard on the life or board, you have the game in your pocket.