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!
Token Druid is one of the age-old Hearthstone archetypes, aimed at leveraging a wide board of small minions with aura buff spells and Savage Roar as the eventual finisher. Back in the past, the class’ ability to summon chargers from hand (with the original Force of Nature, which gave the Treants Change but killed them off at the end of the turn) made this one of the most enduring strategies in the game, even as part of different shells. Over time, the builds went back and forth across the spectrum from midrange to full combo, and one of the most important aspects of optimal play is figuring out how fast you need to take the match in every given metagame. The last time we saw Token Druid in the meta, it had Spreading Plague’s incredible stalling power to rely on, giving you a ton of time to set up your irresistible board before going in for the kill. In Rise of Shadows, Token Druid is much more brittle – and the loss of Wild Growth forces you to be much more honest in the early tuns –, and even if the underestimated The Forest's Aid can give you some breathing space in the long game, this is perhaps the most aggressive playstyle the archetype’s ever seen.
Token Druid Deck List
Mulligan Guide and Strategy
High Priority (Keep every time)
- Acornbearer and Mecharoo – Getting on the board on turn one is imperative for this version of Token Druid, and Acornbearer, doubles as a follow-up play for turn two.
- Power of the Wild – This card will always serve you well in the early turns, either as a vanilla minion or the buff which solidifies your board presence. Its flexible nature means that you should always keep it, even without enough tokens to go for the +1/+1 option.
- Dreamway Guardians – Putting two bodies on the board early on pretty much guarantees you’ll have something to buff further down the line and contest whatever your opponent’s been doing so far.
Lower Priority (keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Soul of the Forest – This is a risky keep in your opening hand, but if you have a strong curve to work with, this could be the card that caps off your crusade for board control in faster matchups.
- Microtech Controller – Again, if you have strong plays to precede it, this is your best play on turn three – however, it won’t be good enough by itself to secure you the board.
- Sea Giant – You will always find a way to play this for cheap in aggro mirrors, but it’s too much of a trap card to keep in other matchups.
General Playstyle and Strategy
Aggro matchups with Token Druid have always been about an all-out warfare for board control. You can’t finish off your opponent without having minions to buff, and since the deck is otherwise extremely low on initiative, getting pushed off the board almost always results in defeat. This iteration of Token Druid is even more susceptible to this due to the brittleness of its minions: if your opponent pushes you off the board, they’ll likely be able to follow up with a devastating spree of value-trades on the following turn, which pretty much closes off every avenue to victory for you. On contested boards, Sea Giant basically serves as a win condition of its own.
As such, you’ll have to prioritize the high-tempo plays in the early turns and be willing to use your buffs in an inefficient manner if it means that you can stick a few minions on the board. From then on, you’ll have to consistently make value-trades as long as you are ready to go for the finisher. In Zoo and Rogue matchups, your opponents will “help” you by using their life as a resource over time, which means you should be even more lenient in using up your buffs to secure a board lead. In the mirror, it’s almost impossible to come back from behind due to the aforementioned dynamics, so put an even higher priority on cheap minions in the mulligan as usual. Swipe is often a trap card in your mulligan: if you don’t have a board behind in when you use the spell to clear off your opponent’s board, you’ll just find yourself in the same tempo disadvantage in the next turn. As such, you should only keep in in your starting hand if you’re confident that you can contest the board during the first three turns otherwise.
Back in the day, Token Druids basically had inevitability over archetypes like Control Warrior or Freeze Mage, but this is no longer the case in Rise of Shadows. The much-maligned Dr. Boom, Mad Genius has given Warriors the ability to fully push you off the board in the late-game through a combination of rushing Mechs and the occasional AoE hero power while Conjurer Mage can very easily turn on the heat via a devastating combo or two featuring its signature card, Conjurer's Calling. This, coupled with the loss of Wild Growth, means that you’ll have to push much harder in the early turns. Fortunately, there’s a bit of leeway here: even the implied presence of a Savage Roar or a Blessing of the Ancients can scare your opponent into action, meaning even a few of your critters warrant an immediate answer in their eyes even if they don’t. Your goal is to put up a scary enough presence every turn to force out an inefficient response, but never as much that you can’t follow it up the next turn. Also, early chip damage matters (and you shouldn’t oblige your opponent by making the trades for them), allowing you to threaten lethal with a smaller board later down the line. Needless to say, if they miss out on the required answer just once, you’ll be able to push a ton of damage.
With it being a strong but not top-tier deck in the Rise of Mechs metagame, the Token Druid builds on ladder are still very much in flux. This guide features the one from the latest Data Reaper Report (#133), but the jury is still out on the Mech package in the deck. It certainly helps you against Warriors a bit (limiting the impact of Dyn-o-matic, but the inclusion of otherwise subpar cards like Harvest Golem and Explodinator is the price to pay for that. More traditional builds of Token Druid feature Keeper Stalladris and Crystalsong Portal for a bit of staying power in the late-game alongside Archmage Vargoth and Mark of the Loa for highroll potential. For the Treant route, Landscaping and Mulchmuncher are your options, but these versions haven’t yielded much success so far.