Our Frozen Throne Aggro Token Druid deck list guide will teach you how to pilot this popular deck! Our guide features mulligan, play, and card replacement strategies!
Introduction to Aggro Token Druid
Aggro/Token Druid is one of the most aggressive decks in the current meta. It wins the game by snowballing the board in the early game and finishing the game with high burst from Savage Roar. It runs multiple small minions, ways to generate tokens and AoE buffs. Some games end as soon as turn 2 or 3 after Druid overwhelms the whole board with 2-3 attack minions.
Knights of the Frozen throne has done nothing but increase the power of this deck with the new additions of Druid of the Swarm and Crypt Lord. However, now that the nerf to Innervate has gone live the deck has taken a backseat to other popular aggro decks.
Update – Aggro Token Druid – October 2017
Aggro Token Druid took the biggest hit when the nerf to Innervate was released. That doesn’t mean the deck is dead, but it is less powerful and popular than it once was.
Aggro Token Druid Mulligan Strategy & Guide
While I normally divide the mulligan into two sections (one vs Aggro and other vs Control), there is no need to do that this time, because mulligan is exactly the same no matter what deck you’re playing against. The deck proceeds with a very similar first turns game plan no matter who is the opponent.
Higher Priority (keep every time):
- Bloodsail Corsair – Highest priority 1-drop. You keep it no matter if you face a weapon matchup or not. The card’s power comes from Patches the Pirate – you put 1/2 and 1/1 on the board with a single 1-drop, the 1/1 has Charge and since the buffs in your deck are AoE, you put 2 targets instead of one. Absolutely the best card to play on turn 1.
- Fire Fly – Second best 1-drop. While it doesn’t put 2 bodies immediately, you get a second 1/2 in your hand, which basically makes your curve much better and gives you another cheap buff target. After Bloodsail Corsair, the card is MVP of the deck.
- Enchanted Raven – 1 mana 2/2. Pretty simple. It’s a good aggressive drop, but it’s also a great buff target for Mark of the Y’Shaarj.
- Druid of the Swarm – Great flexible card that can be used to protect your weaker minions or take out pesky taunts.
- Mark of the Lotus – Your basic snowball tool. It’s already worth it after having only 2 minions on the board – it’s a +2/+2 for 1 mana. After you get out 3 minions, it’s great value. 4 and above, it’s amazing. The fact that you spread the stats makes it even better in the early game, because you’re not vulnerable to single target removals and it puts you out of range of the early game AoEs.
Lower Priority (keep only if certain conditions are met):
- Mark of Y'Shaarj – With Enchanted Raven or the Crabs if you’re keeping them.
- Golakka Crawler – Have a 1-drop and are against a deck that likely has Pirates? Keep the Crab!
Aggro Token Druid Win Rates
Aggro Token Druid Play Strategy
Like I’ve mentioned in the introduction, it’s one of the most aggressive decks in the current meta. It’s also one of the most draw-dependent decks of the meta. Getting a slow start more often than not means that you’ve lost the game. But some opening hands are so explosive that you pretty much win the game on turn 2-3 – basically there is no way some decks can deal with 3x 2/3 and 2/2 with Charge on turn 2 and it’s very possible with this deck (not to mention that this already huge board snowballs even further with more buffs).
Aggro Druid gameplay isn’t too complicated, but there is still some decision making, especially in the aggressive matchups. There are two words that describe those: board control. The deck which gains board control most likely wins. If you have no board, all your buffs, Mark of Y'Shaarj, Mark of the Lotus, and Savage Roar are pretty useless. Half of your deck automatically becomes bad with no minions on the board. So don’t leave anything to your opponent – remember that face damage is NOT important. If there is a trade on the board that’s even remotely good for you then you should take it. Of course, you don’t trade 3/1 into 1/1, but even trades that are even and your opponent might want to make, you make them. Otherwise you can always get punished with some sort of buff, weapon etc. and start losing the board control – that’s something you don’t want.
You know that spell, Savage Roar, which you normally use to push for lethal damage? You don’t do that here. If you’re holding onto the Savage Roar, you don’t keep it until you’re close to lethal. You use it as a board control too, to trade up. Let’s say you have 4 small minions on the board and your opponent has 2 mid-sized minions. With Savage Roar you can trade up and still be ahead on the board, while normally you would have to trade everything in.
You rarely can do more than 6-7 damage from your hand. That’s the reason why dealing early damage is pointless; even if you get really close to killing your opponent, but they wrestle board control from you, then you simply lose, because you have no way to finish them.
Since Aggro decks generally don’t run AoE, you should still prioritize developing new minions over buffing the old ones, unless there is a good trade on the board after you buff. If you can choose between developing 2 minions and buffing 3 minions that are currently on the board, I’d say that most of the time you should develop and buff next turn (while probably playing yet another minion). The thing is, there is usually no punishment for doing that, so if you can, you do it. You buff it only when a) you have nothing else to do b) when a trade is going to happen very soon.
Even if you face a weapon matchup, like Pirate Warrior, sometimes playing a turn 1 Bloodsail Corsair without hitting a weapon is a good idea. This is especially the case if the rest of your hand lines up with a wide board, e.g. you have more 1-drops and something like Mark of the Lotus the next turn. This place is less risky against Pirate Warrior due to the nerf to Fiery War Axe.
Control matchups are vastly different from the Aggro ones. Here, you WILL have early board control unless you have an absolutely hideous starting hand. There is no way any slower deck will be able to answer your early game tempo. You will dominate the first few turns, but then they will start coming back after few more turns. That’s why the best idea is to try to finish them as quickly as possible. Instead of a board control plan, you launch a face rush plan – tempo out and try to deal as much damage as possible while constantly refilling and buffing the board. The only card that can even remotely threaten you is Doomsayer, but 7 health might not be a problem.
When it comes to making trades – you do of course make them, but only in certain cases. For example, if your opponent plays a 1/3 minion and you have a 3/1 minion and a 3/3 minion. Then you want to clear the 1/3 with 3/3 and ultimately save both of them. Now, of course, sometimes you will lose damage that way, but most of the time you will gain it in the long run (if the 3/1 survives for 2 more turns, you’ve basically gained extra 3 damage, because otherwise it would be killed next turn).
Living Mana is a great card against Control. Unless you play against Shaman that Devolves your board (don’t play that card against Shaman unless you REALLY need to), you usually get 5-6 2/2’s for one card. You see, the thing is that by the time you play it, you have no other plays anyway. You’re in a topdeck mode. And there are two options. If your 2/2’s don’t get removed, you have no mana next turn, but realistically – you’d probably draw a 1-drop or a buff anyway, and have a nearly dead turn. So the fact that you have no mana to play with actually doesn’t matter that much. And if your 2/2’s get removed, then it’s 1 for 1, you get your mana back and it’s like nothing has happened. It’s a GREAT board refill in slow matchups. AoEs are really strong against your deck. But most of the opponents will use one around turn 4-6 to destroy your previous board. Then you can refill it with Living Mana. Not to mention that since you start with 1 mana after the Living Mana turn, you can still play Mark of the Lotus to get a huge AoE buff on all the 2/2’s.
Unlike vs the Aggro, in slower matchups you usually want to use Savage Roar as the finisher. But it’s also good for getting through the Taunt. E.g. your opponent plays a huge Taunt that contests your whole board – Savage Roar to kill it with 2-3 small minions (and possibly your Hero) is a good play, because otherwise it stops the damage.
- After the first few turns, try to count your potential damage every turn, especially with Savage Roar in your hand. It’s so easy to burst the opponent down from 15+ out of nowhere with this deck and it’s very easy to miss lethal if you tunnel vision on the board.
- If you miss a 2-drop, you can use Power of the Wild to summon a 3/2. It’s not great, but some people forget that this card has two options.
- You aim to play Mark of Y'Shaarj on a Beast (Enchanted Raven or Crabs), but realistically if you don’t have any Beasts you can play it on anything, especially if you can trade up thanks to that, but even playing it on turn 2 is better than skipping it.
Aggro Token Druid Card Substitutions
The deck is actually quite cheap. It runs a few expensive cards, but you should be able to make a budget version of the deck without hurting its power that much (it should still be enough for the rank 5 climb). Here are the expensive cards from the deck with potential replacements:
- Patches the Pirate – It’s a really good card, but you can play without it. However, if you remove Patches, you also want to get rid of Bloodsail Corsairs – those are there mainly as a way to pull Patches from the deck. You can replace them with e.g. Golakka Crawler or Hungry Crab (depending on your meta). Or you can go more all-in on the Murloc synergies and play Murloc Tidecaller and Rockpool Hunter, but this version is probably a bit weaker.
- Living Mana – It’s an Epic, and one that’s useless outside of this one deck, so a lot of people might not have it. To be fair, there is no other card with a similar effect, it’s really unique and it’s the only way to refill the board in the mid game so well. Druid of the Claw is a possible addition as well as Shellshifter.
- Bittertide Hydra – A great card to have, but the core of this deck is so powerful that you can win games without it. You can replace it with some of the replacements mentioned above, but you can also try Bonemare or Spellbreaker as other options.