Our Token Druid deck list guide for the Rastakhan’s Rumble expansion features the top list for this archetype. This guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Introduction to Token Druid
Midrange Druid was the one of the most popular decks on the ladder all the way from Naxxramas to the first Standard rotation (in Whispers of the Old Gods), when multiple of the class’ cards were nerfed (Force of Nature change in particular made the “Combo” part of the deck no longer viable). Some Token Druid builds were played later, but nothing came close to the power and popularity levels of the old school Midrange Combo Druid.
Year of the Mammoth was great for the Druid fans, as the class got multiple new, powerful tools. At one point, a Midrange Taunt/Token Druid was a solid ladder deck – before the Spreading Plague & Innervate nerfs back in the Knights of the Frozen Throne. However, it’s The Witchwood that brought back something that is closest to the old “Midrange Token Druid” builds we’ve seen in a while.
In Boomsday Project, despite not being very popular early, it has quickly climbed its way through the tier lists, landing near the top. While the deck didn’t get a lot of new cards, the Boomsday’s powerhouse Giggling Inventor is an amazing fit into Token Druid lists, and Flobbidinous Floop has proven to be an incredibly flexible card choice.
Edit – Boomsday Post-Nerf
While Giggling Inventor nerf has affected multiple meta decks, Token Druid got the biggest hit. Giggling was an important part of the deck, a way to create more bodies on the board, as well as two Taunts with Divine Shield for the sake of Strongshell Scavenger. The deck is still playable, but significantly weaker than it was before.
Token Druid Deck List
We’ll be updating all of our guides for Rastakhan’s Rumble in the near future!
Check out alternative versions of this deck on our Token Druid archetype page!
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 4/6 damage, which makes it an insane single target removal.
- Wild Growth – Ramp is very important – the faster you get to the mid game, the easier it will be to perform your combos or play certain anti-Aggro cads (such as Spreading Plague).
- Oaken Summons – Playing 4-drop + gaining 6 Armor for 4 mana is well worth it. Especially if you roll Ironwood Golem, it often stops Aggro decks in their tracks. Against Aggro, you might even keep Ironwood Golem by itself.
- Nourish – It might seem that Nourish is too slow vs Aggro, but you will really need it. If you have a fast early game hand, then you will really want that refill, and if your early hand is quite slow, or you already have UI in your hand, ramping up by 2 mana will be very useful.
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Swipe – Against Paladin. Dealing with their 1 health minions before mid game is very important, so they can’t capitalize in cards such as Level Up!. You can also keep it vs Rogue to deal with Hench-Clan Thug / Vicious Fledgling on T3.
- Spreading Plague – Against a board flood decks such as Odd Paladin. It can destroy boards full of small minions. Can also keep in other Aggro matchups like Zoo, but only with some ramp.
VS Slow Decks
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- Wild Growth – Ramp is by far the most important thing in slow matchups.
- Oaken Summons – Gives you a solid T4 play while thinning your deck. While Violet Teacher on T4 isn’t incredibly hard to answer, if it survives, it can also get a lot of extra value next turn.
- Nourish – You want to get a lot of mana as soon as possible. Most of your combos are expensive, and the longer you wait, the higher the chance is that your opponent will have a way to answer them. Nourish can seem slow, but you still want it.
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- 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.
- Ultimate Infestation – I know, keeping a 10 cost card might seem silly, but it’s a good keep IF you have lots of Ramp in your starting hand. E.g. if your hand is Wild Growth + Nourish + UI, then that’s a keep in a slow matchup. Your opponent won’t put much pressure on you anyway and you’re all about cycling to get to your Soul of the Forest combos.
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 the actual minions – it has only 5 of them in the entire deck, but only 3 of them can be dropped proactively at any time – that’s REALLY low. The only “proactive” minions you have are Violet Teacher and Ironwood Golem, although Violet Teacher is also not the best when dropped on curve. Luckily for you, you can pull both of those from your deck with Oaken Summons – it increases the consistency at which you get your 4-drops by a fair bit. You also have two minions that are usually played only when a certain conditions happens. You drop Arcane Tyrants after you play you first 5+ mana spell. You rarely wait for it against Aggro, because there isn’t much you will be playing around. The tempo swing of a free 4/4 is very important in faster matchups.
If you face a deck that doesn’t run any AoE cards, you can actually try playing an early Wispering Woods. Getting five or more 1/1’s for 4 mana is generally worth it. And then, depending on how your opponent’s board looks like, you can go for a few plays. You might use the 1/1’s to trade, just like that. You might buff them first if it’s necessary – Soul of the Forest is generally the best one, because it lets you trade AND turns the 1/1’s into 2/2’s. But Savage Roar / Branching Paths is also a good way to clear the board.
But the real game vs Aggro starts past Turn 6. Now instead of desperately trying to clear everything, you can swing the board with Spreading Plague. Against a board full of small minions, the card is nuts and often wins you the game on the spot. But even with a few bigger minions (like 3/3’s etc.) it’s still great. Given that it’s unlikely that your opponent will clear all of the 1/5 Taunts right away (assuming no anti-Spreading tech), 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 with Savage Roar. You can definitely 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 usually 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, but there are situations in which 1/2’s with Poisonous are correct. For example, if you play them onto the empty board (assuming your life total is high enough), you can stop your opponent from playing strongest minions and get some good trades. You can also play them when your opponent already has only bigger minions on the board, especially 5 attack ones that would clear 1/5 Taunt in one hit, but he has no smaller minions to get rid of 1/2’s. It might be a risky play, but sometimes you need to take those. 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. I’d say that as long as your health is at a reasonable level, +3 Attack part is better – you want to remove your opponent’s board and run them out of resources. However, if you’re getting lower, try to gain +3 Armor every single turn. That’s why you want to turn into Malfurion as soon as possible – Hero Power gets really strong, but only if you actually play it. So unless it disrupts your turn, try to weave in one 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. Between your current hand, and the cards you draw, there is a very high chance to get Arcane Tyrant (a free 4/4), and more removals or life gain. Or even a way to kill your opponent next turn.
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 Jasper Spellstone. 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 clear 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, 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. Armor gain is especially good against “burn” or “face” decks such as Tempo Mage or Face (Odd) Hunter.
When playing against slower decks, all of the defensive tools you have are pretty 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 a 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 and Nourish 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 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. Another way to create big boards is Violet Teacher – if you combo her with a few spells, then you get a bunch of 1/1’s. The ideal scenario is dropping Violet Teacher when you already have a minion or two in play, then playing a cheap spell or two and following it up with Soul of the Forest. Additionally, you can get some extra tokens from Spreading Plague. However, the last one is hard to set-up against slower decks, because you will have the board advantage most of the time. Use your Plague whenever you can get some value. You will rarely get more than 2-3 minions, so don’t wait for a better opportunity, because it will often not come.
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, despite the deck having a few ways to fill the board with minions, it’s still vulnerable to decks with multiple ways to AoE. For example, Control Warlock is generally not a good matchup. Not only they run multiple board clears (including Lord Godfrey which clears the Wisps + Soul board by itself), but Voidlord can really stand in your way. Similarly, Control Priest can be a bad matchup if they draw their removals – between Wild Pyromancer, Duskbreaker and Primordial Drake it’s hard to stick anything, and Psychic Scream just destroys you. Even a more classic Control Warrior (non-Odd) destroys you thanks to the Warpath, Blood Razor, Brawl and such. 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 despite them having lots and lots of board clears – the only way for them to clear that board is 2x Dragon's Fury (or Dragon’s Fury + Blizzard if they save Coin), because of how expensive the deck’s AoE spells are. Odd Warrior is also a good matchup, believe it or not. While they gain obscene amounts of Armor, you can put a constant pressure and they have a very hard time clearing Wisps + Soul board, since they need to use two AoEs (Brawl + Reckless Flurry). They will run out of their AoEs eventually, and then you can stack a big board and pressure their Armor more than they can handle.
Alternatively, Malfurion the Pestilent is actually an extra 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. If you don’t have him, you can try Wrath, Tar Creeper or Naturalize.
- 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.
- Arcane Tyrant – Another good way to get some extra tempo, but not absolutely necessary. Use the same replacements I’ve listed above.
- 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. I could see playing with only one UI (it would still be bad, but playable), but dropping both of them would be a very bad idea. If you’re missing one and don’t want to craft it, then try one of the replacements above.