Token Druid Deck List Guide – Rise of Shadows – June 2019

Token Druid Deck List Guide – Rise of Shadows – June 2019

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

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

Deck Import

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

Vs Aggro

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.

Vs Control

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.

Card Replacements

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.

Yellorambo

Luci Kelemen is an avid strategy gamer and writer who has been following Hearthstone ever since its inception. His content has previously appeared on HearthstonePlayers and Tempo/Storm's site.

Check out Yellorambo on Twitter!

Leave a Reply

44 Comments

  1. HeheEdison
    April 26, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    I wonder how this desk against mage? I lost all the games with mage… maybe just they have good draws tho lol

  2. Stonekeep - Site Admin
    April 16, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Guide was just updated for the Rise of Shadows expansion. Comments below this one might be outdated!

    • Sepam
      April 17, 2019 at 3:27 am

      I don’t see any Cenarius in this desk, but You wrote about it at least twice

      • Stonekeep - Site Admin
        April 17, 2019 at 3:53 am

        First of all, it’s Tharid who wrote the guide, not me.

        And second of all, context is important. He’s talking about Crystalsong Portal, a card that can give you any Druid minion. Cenarius is Druid minion. Now, if we take those two facts and add them together…

        • Sepam
          April 17, 2019 at 4:51 am

          … then I apologize for my carelessness. Twice 😉

          • Stonekeep - Site Admin
            April 17, 2019 at 5:03 am

            No worries, now you know 🙂

  3. YT_BrokenTeapot
    October 23, 2018 at 4:19 am

    Could one add one or two copies of Evolving Spores to this deck? Nearly every adaption is great: +3 attack is similar to playing Savage Roar, +3 health can bolster one’s board (maybe counter an Explosive Trap or other board-clear), +1 attack + 1 health is a more expensive Power Of The Wild but can be nice if you desperately need this but don’t have Power Of The Wild in hand, Poisonous can clear entire huge boards, Taunt can function as a less powerful Spreading Plague in sticky situations, Stealth can prevent your board from being traded into and set up for a lethal combo the following turn, Divine Shield is also quite broken in a similar way to +3 health, and Summon two 1/1 Plants is ridiculous and could even be regarded as a better Soul Of The Forest. I think that’s every adaption. Thoughts? I’d love to hear of this would be a good addition to this deck, and if so; one or two copies and what would I replace?

    • YT_BrokenTeapot
      October 23, 2018 at 7:02 am

      Oops, I forgot Windfury! Full board of 2/2 tokens + double Savage Roar + windfury = 88 damage.

    • TheRealBaker
      October 25, 2018 at 9:17 am

      Actually you forgot even the non targettable one. But anyway, evolving spores is just so bad in almost all the situations. +3 attack or +3 health are the best ones, but +1/+1 is terrible for 4 mana, poisonous is sometimes okish, divine shield would be good if it did not cost 4 mana to get it. Non targettable is horrible, the deathrattle is kind of good, but not that much, (soul of the forest is better if you have a full board and agaisnt defile), taunt is soo bad. I mean, only +3 attack or +3 health are good and maybe windfury, but the others are just garbage. The problem with the card is that it’s not reliable and that it costs way too much.

  4. TheArcanist
    October 19, 2018 at 4:26 am

    Could you add a post-nerf version? I suppose the Strongshell version is no longer viable?

  5. Ferbe
    October 10, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    I wonder how adding in something like a Black Knight/Alextraza would help against control priests or mech pallys with strong single taunt minions? Black knight would obviously prevent you trading your entire board into one minion, and alexstraza would act as a catch up mechanic late in the game if your’e short on cards/playing a hero who healed the whole match (behind a big taunt minion you took a while to get down)

    • Ferbe
      October 10, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      Also Floop could used same turn or the following turn with the black knight in case your opponent dropped another big one that next turn.

    • Qwerty019283
      October 11, 2018 at 4:59 am

      you won’t really be short of cards with this deck at any point tho…

  6. DrNoOne
    September 26, 2018 at 5:19 am

    I’ve been playing this deck (EU Legend) and have found that substituting 1 Saronite Chain Gang for Cenarius really improves the consistency of the deck. The one extra board refill/board buff is a godsend both against control decks with tons of removal (Warlocks/Shudderwock) and against aggro.

    On its face it might seem like a very slow play, but this isn’t really a tempo deck. Each turn you are looking either to create a board from scratch because your opponent cleared the previous one, or you are looking to buff your existing board. Cenarius is a premium choice for both.

    • DrNoOne
      September 26, 2018 at 5:23 am

      Also, and it goes without saying, playing Cenarius with Floop in hand is absolutely broken.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      September 29, 2018 at 12:57 am

      Cenarius is a pretty interesting idea, I’ll definitely give it a try. I remember trying him out before Boomsday, and he worked… weelll, he DID work, but I didn’t feel like he’s amazing. However, Floop might be a game-changer – after the first slow turn you get a second, insane one. 4 mana for a 3/4 + a massive buff, but even 3/4 + 2x 2/2 Taunt is amazing.

  7. Vothart
    September 25, 2018 at 7:58 am

    Is strongshell scavenger a good choice of you decide not to run oaken summons? In my opinion it’s great to combo with giggling and spreading plague

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      September 25, 2018 at 8:41 am

      The deck was just updated to feature the Strongshell Scavenger. Yes, it’s a good option if you cut Oaken Summons and add Saronite Chain Gang on top of the previous list. That’s why it’s the most popular version of the deck currently 🙂

  8. C.D.
    September 24, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    plz update the guide. I’m pretty sure this is a witchwood list, and also I don’t get what floop is for in the newer list, or why no voilet

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      September 25, 2018 at 3:51 am

      This was not a Witchwood list, it was Boomsday Project list from earlier (there was no Giggling in Witchwood). But the guide was just updated for the currently most popular version.

      And Floop, as explained in the updated guide, is a flex card. It can be a 0 mana 3/4 when you play it after Arcane Tyrant, it can be an extra Giggling Inventor (but cheaper and with a 3/4 main body, making it absolutely broken). You can also use it to play two Strongshell Scavengers if you have a board with a bunch of Taunts. Or just as a better Saronite Chain Gang, but the last option is usually the worst one.

  9. Herman Byre
    September 12, 2018 at 12:27 am

    i dont have the dust to craft malfurion, is there a good replacement out there? i have been running lich king in his place

    • Myqj
      September 21, 2018 at 5:44 pm

      isn’t this deck guide out of date? most people are running the taunt variant and that uses a slightly different strategy and mulligans.

      • EpicNinja
        September 22, 2018 at 11:50 am

        Currently I run this deck as I counter a lot of Deathrattle Hunters.
        – Power of the Wild – Oaken Summons – Violet Teacher
        +Flobbidinous Floop + Saronite Chain Gang + Strongshell Scavenger
        Mulligan: Floop, Wild Growth and Spellstone

  10. TrungNguyen
    September 4, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    How good is this deck? I can craft it by disenchanting all of my useless cards!

    • Belton
      September 10, 2018 at 10:24 pm

      It is very strong right now but requires little to no thinking, however if you’re looking for a skill based deck you might want to play something like malygos druid or a control based deck.

      • TrungNguyen
        September 10, 2018 at 11:22 pm

        Ok! Thanks for the reply!

    • Ghultaan
      September 21, 2018 at 6:59 am

      It´s an autoplay…

  11. Rickerd86
    September 2, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    Is illidian stormrager a good card for this deck? in case the answer is yes, for which card will it be a good substitute?

    • Dragilion
      September 3, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      I believe it looses sunergy since its cost is at 7. You can’t “protect” the minions you get out of it with soul of the forest.

      • Dragilion
        September 3, 2018 at 1:36 pm

        Adding to my reply: unless you somehow rebuild the deck with innervates and the new Biologi project, then at 10 mana you could build a decent board.

  12. Belton
    August 26, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    What is the best counter for this deck?

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      August 28, 2018 at 4:40 am

      Slow Warlock decks such as Control or Cube Warlocks are probably the best counters.

      Big or Taunt Druid also work pretty well – especially Big Druid, since it does run Plague.

      • kalina88
        August 30, 2018 at 7:27 am

        Cube Warlock works really well against this…Unfortunately for me 😀

        • Belton
          September 2, 2018 at 4:06 pm

          You filthy meta slave you should be ashamed that you aren’t using whizz bang to climb like me 🙂

  13. Clonko
    August 25, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Would Illidan Stormrager be good in this deck? And if it is, what card should it replace?

    • Clonko
      August 25, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      Same thing for Floop’s Glorious Gloop

  14. GlosuuLang
    August 22, 2018 at 8:36 am

    The guide still mentions keeping Oaken Summons because it can pull Ironwood Golem from the deck. But the deck list doesn’t have Ironwood Golem.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      August 22, 2018 at 10:56 pm

      Yeah, sorry, I updated it throughout the guide, but forgot to do it in the mulligan.

      Oaken Summons is still a good keep – getting 6 Armor for free and thinning your deck is good in every matchup 🙂

      • GlosuuLang
        August 23, 2018 at 1:04 am

        No worries. It must be a nightmare keeping all guides up-to-date. We’re here just to help.

        Oaken Summons is a bit weaker now that you only run 2 4-drops. Many times you will draw a Violet Teacher before your Oaken Summons, and that sucks. With Ironwood Golem in it was rare that Oaken Summons was a dead card. But I totally get it, Inventor is much more powerful than Golem, so it’s replacement is justified.

  15. Nixx
    August 18, 2018 at 12:17 am

    Is Floop’s Glorious Gloop worth crafting? Is it played only in token deck?

    • Josse
      August 18, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      Yeah so far I’ve not seen it being used anywhere else, but I guess that it’s replacable.

      Looks not like the best craft for me at least.

    • Vincent Lemay
      August 18, 2018 at 6:04 pm

      If you play token druid, you should definetly craft this, as it often alllows you to get a big tempo swing, mostly against aggro decks (paladin, zoolock or rogue). Most of the time, it’ll get you 5 mana or more, which can allow you to get your board back if you traded with your tokens or get a bigger board advantage if you used your spells to clear your opponent’s minions. As a token druid player, I can say it has worked very well for me. However, I don’t know any other decks that could fit this one in.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      August 22, 2018 at 12:55 am

      I’d say that it’s not worth it yet. Even the best Token Druid builds have been cutting it for now, and it doesn’t see play anywhere else.

      The card has its moments, but it’s more of a meta call – e.g. if Odd Paladin would be more popular, the card would be much better (because it would be easier to get some massive mana gains). But right now there aren’t lots of matchups in which it’s a great card, so I’d pass on it for now.