Token Druid Mulligan Strategy & Guide
VS Fast Decks
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- Lesser Jasper Spellstone – Early game removal, 2 damage for 1 mana is already a solid way to deal with some of the 1-drops or 2-drops, but if you won’t need it early, you might even be able to upgrade it to 4 damage.
- Wild Growth – Ramp is very important – the faster you get to the mid game, the easier it will be to perform your combos.
- Wrath – Great card vs Aggro. If you need 3 damage removal – you have it. And if you don’t need it, or your hand is weak, you can always cycle it instead of Hero Powering.
- Greedy Sprite – Another Ramp card – even though it’s a bit more expensive than Wild Growth and it’s delayed, it comes with a 3/1 body, which can sometimes get 1 for 1 trade against a 2-drop on top of ramping you up.
- Oaken Summons – While it’s obviously better with Wild Growth, you want to keep it by itself too. For 4 mana, you get 6 Armor + either Greedy Sprite (ramp) or Violet Teacher (solid body that your opponent needs to deal with).
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Swipe – Against Paladin. Dealing with their 1 health minions before mid game is very important, because it prevents them from playing Sunkeeper Tarim and basically winning the game on Turn 6.
- Spreading Plague – Against a board flood deck such as different Paladin builds, but ONLY if you have ramp already. Don’t keep it without any ramp cards.
VS Slow Decks
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- Wild Growth – Ramp is by far the most important thing in slow matchups.
- Greedy Sprite – More ramp. Mulligan for it if you can.
- Oaken Summons – It can give you more ramp + if it rolls Violet Teacher, it’s still good.
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Nourish – With Wild Growth and/or Greedy Sprite. It’s too slow without other ramp cards.
- Malfurion the Pestilent – With ramp. Trust me, getting that upgraded Hero Power out early is a great way to win in some matchups. Since you’ll be pushing most of the time, 3 damage per turn is massive.
Token Druid Play Strategy
Your game plan against Aggro isn’t different than with any other Midrange/Control deck. You basically need to survive and either stabilize board with Taunts / your health with Armor gain OR run them out of resources, whatever happens first. Sometimes you might get a surprise lethal, but I’ll talk about that later.
In faster matchups, you will play reactively throughout most of the match. You want to control the board as well as you can. You basically try to clear whatever they play and not take too much damage. Taking SOME damage is really fine – the deck has a few ways to regain health. Removing minions is important. Later in the game you might be able to punish your opponent for flooding the board with small stuff (Spreading Plague), but not early – if you don’t clear then you might just die very quickly.
The deck is very low on minions. Actually, the only minion with meaningful body you can put on the board before the late game is Violet Teacher. However, Violet Teacher has a huge advantage of having a “soft Taunt” – while your opponent MIGHT ignore it, if he does, he will usually get punished.
The real game vs Aggro starts past Turn 6. Now instead of desperately trying to clear everything, you can make some proactive plays. For example, Wispering Woods + Power of the Wild, depending on how many cards you have in your hand, can be a nice board fill and a way to get some great trades. Spreading Plague is even better – against a board full of small minions, the card is nuts and often wins you the game on the spot. Given that it’s unlikely that your opponent will clear more than one or maybe two 1/5’s right away, next turn you can buff them with Power of the Wild or Branching Paths to get some great trades, or even set up a reverse lethal. It’s not very common, but you can win some games vs Aggro deck like that. For example, 4x 1/5 with Savage Roar and Branching Paths (+2 Attack) is 22 damage – and that’s A LOT.
Malfurion the Pestilent also helps greatly in those faster matchups. You nearly always want to go for the two 1/5 Taunts, because that’s 15 health gain in total, assuming your opponent has to get through them with minions. On top of that, depending on how much health you have, you can use your Hero Power as the 3 damage removal or 3 health gain every turn.
Ultimate Infestation is often a way to close out the game. Not only you get 5 Armor (so you might escape lethal), a 5/5 minion, but you also clear something and draw a bunch of cards. In those cards, there is a very high chance to get more removals and life gain, or even a way to kill your opponent.
Armor gain is a very important part of the deck in those fast matchups. Just remember to prioritize removal over Armor gain. Unless you’re desperately low and you absolutely need to get Armor that turn, you want to remove the board first, because it saves you more life in the long run. For example, let’s say that your opponent has a Kirin Tor Mage on the board and you can clear it with Wrath. If you decide to go for the Armor this turn (let’s say Branching Paths) – you get 12 and then the 4/3 hits you for 4, resulting in 8 net gain. On the other hand, if you Wrath that minion first and then gain Armor next turn, you didn’t take the extra 4 damage. So Armor gain should come LAST after you’ve stabilized (or, like I’ve said, if you need to play it in order to survive). Between 2x Branching Paths, 2x Oaken Summons, Malfurion the Pestilent and 2x Ultimate Infestation, the deck runs enough Armor to outlast any aggressive deck, as long as they don’t overwhelm you on the board, that is. It makes this deck especially good against “burn” or “face” decks such as Face Hunter / Tempo Mage.
When playing against slower decks, all of the defensive tools you have are slightly pointless. Or rather, they might come handy sometimes, but you won’t win a game thanks to them. Against a fast deck, you win if you don’t die – games vs Control aren’t that easy. This time around, you’re the beatdown and you want to kill them before they run YOU out of resources. But how do you exactly kill a slower deck with almost no minions? Well, the deck is called “Token” Druid for no reason – it can generate a lot of small tokens that you can then buff.
The most important part of your game plan is actually ramp. Your combos are quite costly and if you needed to wait until Turn 8+ to play them normally, it would be way too slow and an average slow deck would just outtempo you. That’s why Wild Growth, Greedy Sprite, and Nourish to a certain extent are so good – ramping up means that you can perform the combos quicker and there is a lower chance that your opponent has found something to pressure you with, a big Taunt or a board clear.
The general idea behind this deck is to stack a big board of tokens, and then kill your opponent with a mix of different buffs – Power of the Wild, Savage Roar and Branching Paths. You have a few ways to generate those tokens in the first place. The most basic and simplest one is Wispering Woods. If you’re holding at least seven cards, it creates a board with seven 1/1’s, although even 5-6 is usually good enough. Alternative ways include Violet Teacher + cheap spells and Spreading Plague. However, it’s hard to pull off multiple Violet Teacher procs in a single turn because of the mana limitations, and Spreading Plague is hard to set up vs slow decks.
But just playing a bunch of Tokens basically means that your whole game plan crumbles upon a single board clear. Well, you don’t want to make it THAT easy for your opponent. Whenever you can, you want to combine a big board of tokens with Soul of the Forest. The card means that if your opponent plays a single board clear, he will just buff your board. Given how much damage you can pull off with Savage Roar and such, playing Wispering Woods + Soul of the Forest is like putting your opponent in check – if he doesn’t clear both the 1/1 tokens and then the 2/2’s, he loses the game.
Of course, since the deck has only a few ways to fill the board with minions, it means that it’s really vulnerable to decks with multiple ways to clear the board. For example, Cube/Control Warlock are terrible matchups, because whenever you try to get a bigger board, you get Defile‘d, Hellfire‘d etc. Even the Soul of the Forest board is not good enough, because they can just play two cheap removals or a single Lord Godfrey. Similarly, Control Priest is a terrible matchup – between Wild Pyromancer, Duskbreaker and Primordial Drake it’s hard to stick anything, and Psychic Scream just destroys you. The deck works much better against builds with a lower amount of board clears, or with board clears expensive enough that it’s hard to combine two on the same turn. For example, it works surprisingly well against Big Spell Mage – the only way for them to clear that board is 2x Dragon's Fury, because of how expensive the deck’s AoE spells are.
Alternatively, Malfurion the Pestilent is actually another way to close out the game if you can get some chip damage here and there. If you turn into the DK Hero early, you might be able to deal 3 damage per turn, every turn. Between that and constantly putting pressure by flooding the board, some of the slower decks might crumble. After you get them low enough, just finish the game with a mix of Hero Power and Swipe or even Ultimate Infestation after they Taunt up.
Token Druid Card Substitutions
Midrange Token Druid deck is a relatively inexpensive deck, but nearly every card it runs is important. Here’s a quick rundown of the Epic & Legendary cards with their role and whether they can be replaced or not:
- Malfurion the Pestilent – Technically, he’s not an important part of the deck’s game plan, but it’s just a very good card in general, which fits into this build. Against Aggro, it’s a very good defensive card, and against slower decks, it’s a way to create some tokens + way to push damage every turn. You can replace it, but your win rate will drop down. You can use a second Wrath or some tech card, such as Acidic Swamp Ooze (another weapon removal is also fine), or Spellbreaker.
- Branching Paths – Can’t be replaced. Against Aggro, it’s a way to gain armor after you’ve stabilized, and against Control you can use it to draw your combo pieces quicker or as a supplementary Savage Roar.
- Wispering Woods – Basically one of the most important cards in your deck in slow matchups, setting up the Wispering Woods + Soul of the Forest for 8 mana is often your best way to win some matchups.
- Ultimate Infestation – You want to play it in every single slower Druid deck – there is no point to not run it. In case of this build, you run out of cards quite quickly + you want to get deeper into your deck to find the right pieces. You COULD try some other card draw if you don’t have it, but you should really just craft it if you want to play Druid.