Our Token Druid deck list guide goes through the ins-and-outs of this popular Druid build for the Rise of Shadows expansion! This guide will teach you how to mulligan, pilot, and substitute cards for this archetype!
Introduction to Token Druid
It’s safe to say that, with the Standard rotation, Druid as a whole has took the biggest hits of all classes. Not only did it lose incredibly important cards that have been used across all archetypes over the last two years; cards like Wild Growth and Nourish have also been nerfed to adjust Druid’s power level at the time.
With Rise of Shadows, Druids need to re-evaluate their class identity. And what would make more sense in that regard than to rely on old and established archetypes? Team 5 has an answer to that question and added a whole lot of support to one of the most iconic Druid lists around: Token Druid.
Thanks to core cards like Soul of the Forest and Savage Roar, Druid players always tried to make Token Druid work after the dawn of a new expansion. And boy, does it work in the early Rise of Shadows meta game!
Token Druid’s core mantra goes as followed: Flood the board with cheap and sticky minions over and over again.
Token Druid Deck List
Check out alternative versions of this deck on our Token Druid archetype page!
Token Druid Mulligan Strategy & Guide
Vs Aggro Decks
It’s imperative to keep the board in your favor from turn 1, so cards like Acornbearer and Dreamway Guardians are must-keeps. Against very minion-heavy aggro opponents like Zoo Warlock and Murloc Shaman, it can be vital to keep one copy of Wrath or Swipe, but only if your other cards offer enough early game pressure.
Vs Control Decks
We want to draw into as much early game tokens as possible against control decks. If you hit your 1- and 2-mana plays, don’t hesitate to keep cards like Landscaping as well. If not, you have to mulligan extremely aggressive for Acornbearer and Dreamway Guardians. But remember, we should almost always be favored in heavy control matchups, so a suboptimal starting hand should not be the end of the world.
Cards to keep: Acornbearer, Dreamway Guardians; if you have one or more of those, keep EVIL Cable Rat, Keeper Stalladris, and Landscaping
Token Druid Play Strategy
A new minion called Acornbearer does a pretty good job of following the basic rules of Token Druid gameplay. A total of 3 stats including a powerful Token deathrattle makes this 1-cost card an incredible early game option, not only because it showcases early pressure from the get-go but also a solid turn 2 play in case it gets removed from the board.
In the past, turn 2 almost always equaled in using the hero power for Druid, but not only Acornbearer solves this problem in the Rise of Shadows: Dreamway Guardians looks like a dream come true for this list. A total of two tokens, 6 stats and Lifesteal contests aggro opponents early and serves as a great foundation for a sticky board state, all while providing a whole lot of survivability.
If you play the more popular spell-heavy iteration of Token Druid, you’ll have even more new 2-cost plays at your disposal. First off there is one of two new Druid legendaries, Keeper Stalladris. A 2-cost 2/3 minion always showcased a solid minion play on turn 2, but the effect to generate more useful cards turn Keeper Stalladris into a real early game threat; it profits off of the Token Druid class Power of the Wild as well as the new and extremely versatile Druid spell Mark of the Loa.
Based on the number of spells this list runs, another new Rise of Shadows card makes an appearance in many iterations of Token Druid: Crystalsong Portal.
First off, it has to be said that this card, unlike most other typical Token Druid inclusions, doesn’t generate instant board presence. But similar to cards like Divine Favor it can serve as a much-needed hand refiller that should offer a lot of versatility in the form of powerful Druid minions. And not only that: In the current minion pool, Token Druid will find a ton of highly synergistic cards like Dendrologist, Cenarius, Treespeaker, Tending Tauren or Mulchmuncher.
Another powerful spell added with the new expansion is Landscaping. The 3-cost spot has always posed problems for Token Druid, and while this card only features a total of 8 stats in the form of two tokens, it definitely fits the curve more than anything.
Blessing of the Ancients, the new “board buff” in Token Druid, tries to solve the 3-cost problem as well. Before release, many players compared it to Mark of the Lotus, a card that Hearthstone designer Dean “Iksar” Ayala called “one of the most powerful cards in the game”, and they thought that 3 mana would be way too much of a cost for a mere +1/+1 board buff. However, it turns out that, after a certain point in the game, Token Druid doesn’t really care about card cost at all. In addition to that, the Twinspell keyword helps Token Druid to distribute board buffs; now cards like Power of the Wild can be used more often as a turn-2 tempo play or for early buffing to keep a board advantage.
A new card that takes profit of versatile board buffs is The Forest's Aid. Again, Token Druid likes to think in numbers, and five tokens worth 20 stat points on turn 8 is one of the reasons why Token Druid is currently challenging even the toughest control lists in the meta. Similar to Blessing of the Ancients, the ability to use The Forest's Aid as a Twinspell adds tons of flexiblity in terms of board pressure and timing. Two copies of this card single-handedly pressure opponents into hard decisions when it comes to board clearing; and even if they manage to keep the board clean, Token Druid staples like Wispering Woods and Soul of the Forest can instantly refill the board.
Last but not least, Archmage Vargoth rounds out this spell-heavy iteration of Token Druid. The former leader of the Kirin Tor perfectly lines up with cards like Dreamway Guardians, Landscaping and Mark of the Loa, and – similar to Keeper Stalladris on turn 2 – even serves as a threatening turn 4 tempo play.
All in all, Token Druid looks stronger like ever before. It received a ton of spell-heavy support with Rise of Shadows, and the fact that numerous heavy board clears from other classes had to move to Wild with the Standard rotation makes Token Druid one of the top contenders to take first spot in the meta tier lists.
Vs Aggro Decks
Token Druid’s general game plan doesn’t really change when facing aggro opponents. In this case, the spell-heavy iteration with Wrath and Swipe really pays off, because keeping the upper hand on the board should be the top priority. A certain minion called EVIL Cable Rat does a particularly good job doing exactly that by giving us one of five 1-cost Lackey cards who not only have great effects but also contest the board themselves.
Plays including Acornbearer and Dreamway Guardians obviously help a lot to establish an early board lead. Aggressive value trades need to happen as often as possible, as aggro decks like Zoo Warlock and Murloc Shaman don’t have endless amounts of spell removal at their hands; that includes early and aggressive usage of board buffs to keep our tokens on the board alive and well.
Besides that, Crystalsong Portal can become the most valuable card of this list in aggro matchups. A well-timed Cenarius or even a Druid of the Claw on curve can provide enough survivability to establish enough tokens for a close Savage Roar finish.
Vs Control Decks
Token Druid wants to play all the control matchups including Bomb Warrior, Conjurer Mage or Mech Hunter. However, playing against these archetype as Token Druid still requires a lot of discipline and well-timed aggression.
The Warrior matchup in particular depends on intelligent token usage. In general, you always want to hit that certain sweet spot on the board that makes your opponent use a board-clearing spell with a bad feeling of “I wish I wouldn’t have to use that against this board state!”. That is why you want to have three to four minions on the board as often as possible. Your buff cards like Soul of the Forest and Power of the Wild will gain more than enough value on three or four minions on average, and you should still have enough fuel left in the tank to refill after multiple board swipes.
The Forest's Aid makes decisions a lot easier compared to Token Druid gameplay of the past. Having basically four copies of this spell at your disposal makes it almost impossible to lose against control opponents if you have them in your hand some time between turn 1 and 15.
In fact, it is the early game that almost always decides the game for Token Druid: Try to get in enough chip damage early, so you can finish off your opponent with some tokens on the board and Savage Roar.
Token Druid Tech Cards and Card Substitutions
- Crystalsong Portal/Wrath/Swipe/Keeper Stalladris: As already said, this list runs the popular spell package that helps us dealing with Taunt minions and early pressure by aggro decks. If you don’t have Crystalsong Portal and/or Keeper Stalladris, you can try to run a more minion-based version of Token Druid, including Argent Squire and Eccentric Scribe.
- Archmage Vargoth: This minion is a must in our spell-heavy iteration of Token Druid, and you should have received this legendary for free anyway!
- Wardruid Loti: This Rastakhan legendary adds a ton of flexibility in Token Druid. The Poisonous form in particular can bypass late game Taunt minions like Lucentbark with ease. If you want to run it, you could leave out one copy of EVIL Cable Rat or Swipe.
- Microtech Controller: This Boomsday minion looks like a great inclusion for this list; however, it’s more of a problem of having too many good cards that we need to run in Token Druid. In a minion-based line-up, Microtech Controller would be more than welcome.
- Eccentric Scribe: This card is extremely interesting for Token Druid. It adds another layer of stickiness through its Deathrattle and packs a punch thanks to its high attack value. It’s also a great Hecklebot target! Running one copy of it in a minion-based list could work wonders if the meta shifts towards more control-based archetypes.
- Acidic Swamp Ooze: Thanks to Rogue and Warrior, weapon removal is the name of the game in the current meta. But Token Druid doesn’t actually want to remove weapons! In fact, we want our opponents to invest mana into weapons so that they use them inefficiently.