Our Aggro Token Druid guide for the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion will cover the ins-and-outs of this aggressive deck. This guide includes Card Choices, Mulligan Strategies, Winrates, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Tech Cards!
Aggro Token Druid is one of the most aggressive decks in the current meta. The deck wins the game by snowballing the board in the early game and finishing the game with huge burst from Savage Roar. It runs several small minions, and different means of generating tokens and potent AoE buffs. Some games end as soon as turn 2 or 3 after Druid overwhelms the whole board with 2-3 attack minions.
Kobolds and Catacombs Update
In Kobolds and Catacombs, Aggro Token Druid gained two critical new tools further increasing the power level of the deck. Corridor Creeper has taken the competitive scene by storm and was welcomed with open arms by Aggro Token Druid. While not quite as flashy, Dire Mole offers another efficient early game minion that is right at home in this archetype.
Aggro Token Druid Card Choices
- Enchanted Raven – For an Aggro deck, a one-mana 2/2 is about as good as it gets. The Beast tag makes Raven even better thanks to its synergy with Mark of Y’Shaarj.
- Mark of the Lotus – Arguably the best card in the deck, Mark of the Lotus can turn a board full of tokens into an overwhelming threat.
- Druid of the Swarm – Another efficiently statted Beast, Druid of the Swarm sets up a roadblock against aggro decks and provides a sturdy body against control.
- Mark of Y'Shaarj – With so many efficient Beasts in the deck, Mark of Y’Shaarj can pick up a lot of value.
- Power of the Wild – While not quite as powerful as Mark of the Lotus (thanks to its additional mana cost), the flexibility of Power of the Wild is worth a spot in this deck.
- Crypt Lord – In any matchup, sticking minions is crucial. Crypt Lord can protect damaged minions and frustrate control decks with its staying power.
- Savage Roar – Savage Roar offers the payoff for sticking a wide board in the form of significant burst damage. Even the threat of Savage Roar forces an opponent to react.
- Living Mana – As a deck reliant on minion damage, Aggro Token Druid frequently needs some board refill. Few cards provide this as well as Living Mana.
- Bloodsail Corsair – A staple in Aggro Token Druid since the release of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, Bloodsail Corsair can help pull an early Patches from your deck.
- Dire Mole – It may be hard to believe, but in certain matchups, Dire Mole provides an even better turn one play than Enchanted Raven.
- Fire Fly – Frequently, Aggro Token Druid risks running out of gas quickly. Fire Fly offers the ability to replace itself in hand and continue pumping out minions on board.
- Patches the Pirate – Hearthstone’s greatest villain may be Patches the Pirate. His frequent presence may feel tiresome, but he definitely deserves a spot in this deck.
- Dire Wolf Alpha – Dire Wolf Alpha can turn a wide board into an efficient trading machine or provide the extra bit of damage needed to close out the game.
- Southsea Captain – Southsea Captain offers another Pirate to pull Patches essentially summoning a 5/5 for 3 mana.
- Bittertide Hydra – One means of combating board clears is a single large minion. Bittertide Hydra can leave your opponent with the difficult choice between single-target and mass removal.
- Corridor Creeper – Let’s face it, a lot of your minions are going to die over the course of a game. Fortunately, Corridor Creeper (everyone’s favorite pre-release sleeper) can come into play at a discount when this inevitably happens.
Aggro Token Druid Mulligan Strategy & Guide
VS Aggro Decks
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- Enchanted Raven – A turn one play is critical against other aggressive decks. Enchanted Raven can often trade up and give you an early lead on the board.
- Mark of the Lotus – Timing of the Mark of the Lotus is always critical. Against other board-centric decks, you want to ensure a favorable board state early in the game and Mark of the Lotus helps do exactly that.
- Bloodsail Corsair – Against weapon classes, Corsair can obviously get value. His true purpose, however, is to pull an early Patches out of your deck to receive buffs and/or clean up damaged minions.
- Dire Mole – In aggro mirrors, the extra health on Dire Mole actually makes it preferable to Enchanted Raven in many openers.
- Fire Fly – Fire Fly is probably Aggro Token Druid’s worst one-drop minion, but the necessity of an early minion curve still warrants holding it if you don’t have other options.
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Druid of the Swarm – Druid of the Swarm can put an immediate halt to your opponents aggression by assembling a frustrating wall, especially paired with Mark of Y’Shaarj.
- Mark of Y'Shaarj – On the play with a turn one Beast, there are few better turn twos than Mark of Y’Shaarj.
- Dire Wolf Alpha – While Dire Wolf Alpha doesn’t necessarily want to come down on turn two, having the option to buff minions and trade efficiently is nice to have, assuming there is already a turn one play in your hand.
- Southsea Captain – With turns one and two plays already accounted for (or when you’re on the coin) the swing turn Southsea Captain provides makes him worth considering in your opener.
- Crypt Lord – If you’re absolutely certain the opponent is piloting an aggro deck, Crypt Lord can stop them in their tracks. That said, maintaining board control on turns one and two is still all but a requirement for victory.
- Corridor Creeper – In a deck with a slew of one and two cost minions, it may seem strange to hold a seven drop, but the earlier Corridor Creeper is in your hand, the sooner it can be reduced to zero mana.
VS Control Decks
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- Enchanted Raven – Against slow decks, the extra bit of aggression Enchanted Raven provides makes it the favored one drop in slower matchups.
- Mark of the Lotus – While you may hold Mark of the Lotus a bit longer in these matchups, it’s still an important part of Aggro Token Druid’s game plan.
- Bloodsail Corsair – Early Patches pulls are always beneficial. With a buff spell in hand, especially, it makes sense to hang on to Bloodsail Corsair.
- Dire Mole – Even though Enchanted Raven may be a bit better in these matchups, Dire Mole is still a reasonable turn one play (especially with a Mark of Y’Shaarj to follow).
- Fire Fly – Again, not the ideal turn one play but better than passing. Likewise, Fire Fly can help fill out your curve over the course of a couple turns and is worth keeping.
- Corridor Creeper – Against decks with significant amounts of removal, minions are going to die. If you have Creeper in hand when this happens, at least you’ll get a free 5/5 out of that inevitable board wipe.
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Druid of the Swarm – Druid of the Swarm is not nearly as potent against slower decks. Still, the resilient body and Beast tag makes it a reasonable early-game play.
- Mark of Y'Shaarj – If you can stick an early-turn Beast, Mark of Y’Shaarj can either force removal from your opponent or leave soaking up additional damage.
- Power of the Wild – Against slower decks, you have a little more time in the early game to establish a board. Once you have that, Power of the Wild can reward your spread with an AoE buff. At worst, its a two mana 3/2.
- Dire Wolf Alpha – Early aggression can help drop your opponent in range of Savage Roar. Dire Wolf helps get some extra chip damage in to set up this game plan.
- Southsea Captain – A three mana 5/5 is certainly welcome in aggro decks. If you’re on the coin or have a one and two lined up, Southsea Captain is a good keep.
Aggro Token Druid Win Rates
Aggro Token Druid Play Strategy
While Aggro Token Druid may have the appearance of simplicity, your strategy varies depending on the matchup. In general, against Aggro decks you want to prioritize control of the board while whittling away at the opponent’s life total. When facing Control decks, toeing the line between applying pressure and overextending into removal is critical to success.
As mentioned, against other aggressive decks (especially those that are board-centric) maintaining control of the board state is of utmost importance. While this is an aggro deck, it cannot apply pressure without minions in play. With this in mind, spending early turns making favorable trades into your opponents minions is very common. Here, Dire Mole and Enchanted Raven can put in a lot of work from the first turn in the game.
Because minion presence is the primary goal, going in on a buff spell earlier than usual (whether Mark of the Lotus or Power of the Wild) may be the correct play in order to lock down control of the board.
If you are able to lock down the board state, the game is often won as there aren’t many aggro decks that will be able to recover from a lost board. Even a free Corridor Creeper is often too late to make a difference if you have managed to spread the board. The burst from Savage Roar punishes opponents who get behind early.
In situations where you do fall behind, Living Mana does offer a uniquely aggressive comeback mechanic, so don’t reach for that Concede button too early.
Against control decks, early turns are frequently more about sneaking as much damage in as possible than trading efficiently. Chip damage in the first few turns can make the difference in the outcome of the game. Early minions are still important, but face is more commonly the place in these games.
Again, timing AoE buff spells are important in these matchups. Here, you want to eek out as much value from them as possible. Frequently, this means holding your buffs a bit longer than in the aggressive mirrors but not so long that you miss out on ever-important damage.
Perhaps the most important consideration in these games is the mass removal the opponent has available. Often, buff spells are best used to pull minions out of range of would-be board clears. Dodging a devastating Shadow Word: Horror or Defile turn, for example, can leave your opponent without any answers.
Typically, these games end with a big burst turn thanks to Savage Roar, so always be aware of how much damage the card represents, whether or not it is currently in your hand.
General Play Strategy
- After the first few turns, try to count your potential damage every turn, especially with Savage Roar in your hand. It’s easy to burst the opponent down from 15+ with this deck and it’s very easy to miss lethal if you tunnel too hard on the board.
- If you miss a two-drop, you can use Power of the Wild to summon a 3/2. It’s not the best play, but it’s easy to forget that this card has two options and miss out on developing the board.
- Obviously, you aim to play Mark of Y'Shaarj on a Beast (Enchanted Raven and Dire Mole, especially), but you don’t want to fall into a value trap with this card. If the situation presents itself, buffing up any minion can lead to a victory.
Aggro Token Druid Card Substitutions
Despite its relatively consistent success over the past few expansions, Aggro Token Druid has remained a relatively inexpensive option for players looking to make their way up the Standard ladder. The deck does run four Epics but two of the four are easily parted with. Likewise, a single Legendary keeps the Arcane Dust fairly reasonable.
- Southsea Captain – Captain is not strictly required for the deck to function, but certainly helps with the deck’s game plan. Tar Creeper or Vicious Fledgling are both suitable replacements for those lacking faith in the Pirate’s code.
- Bittertide Hydra – Another replaceable Epic, Bittertide Hydra provides a big beater on turn five but doesn’t offer that much more than Cobalt Scalebane.
- Living Mana – Living Mana is a little more difficult to replace than the two above. If you’re in a pinch, Soul of the Forest can fill the gap, but Living Mana is one of the cards that pushed this archetype over the top.
- Corridor Creeper – It’s no longer a secret that Corridor Creeper is a dominant card in the Kobolds metagame. If you’re lacking this worm, any aggro stable can fill in, but you’ll be a bit disadvantaged. Tar Creeper, Golakka Crawler, Spellbreaker, or Vicious Fledgling all just miss the cut in this list and would be welcome in place of Creeper.
- Patches the Pirate – The lone Legendary in this deck, Patches the Pirate essentially takes up five spots in this list. If you’re still lacking him, Southsea Captain and Bloodsail Corsair will need to come out as well. Some combination of Tar Creeper, Argent Squire, and Golakka Crawler could fill in for these five card slots.
Aggro Token Druid Card Tech Cards
Aggro Token Druid has the benefit of being able to squeeze in just about any minion with an efficient mana cost. As a result, there are several tech cards that can easily rotate in should you find yourself needing an edge against certain matchups. The section below offers a recommendation for a few such cards, as well as the card they replace and the matchup they are targeting.
- Spellbreaker – With the rising popularity of Cubelock, having a means of getting past Voidlord is all but a requirement. Spellbreaker is the best Neutral Silence and can be considered as a one-of in this deck. Spellbreaker can sub in for the lone copy of Crypt Lord in this list.
- Golakka Crawler – The Pirate package isn’t going anywhere for some time. If anything, Corridor Creeper has made it more common among aggressive decks. To account for this, two Golakka Crawlers can rotate in for the Dire Wolf Alphas. Why bother trading up into Pirates when you can just eat them?
- Hungry Crab – While Murlocs are less common after the Murloc Warleader nerf, Murloc Paladin is a still one of the more popular decks in the format. Hungry Crab can sub in for Fire Fly and offer massive swing turns (with limited downside) against decks full of angry humanoid fish.
About the Author
A card game veteran, Roffle has been infatuated with Hearthstone since closed beta. These days, he spends most of his time tinkering with decks on ladder or earning gold in Arena (f2p btw). In particular, Roffle has a wealth of experience in competitive Wild Hearthstone, including a top 16 finish in the inaugural Wild Open Tournament and numerous high end of season finishes since the format’s inception. Follow him on Twitter or check out some of his articles on Roffle.net.