Our Budget Token Druid deck list guide for the Rise of Shadows expansion will teach you how to play this budget list. This guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Introduction to Budget Token Druid
Thanks to Savage Roar, a top tier Token Druid deck is always lurking nearby, and The Rise of Shadows meta is no exception. Token Druid decks try to get a bunch of cheap, unimpressive minions on the board that can then have their attack buffed to inflict large amounts of damage in a single turn. There was a time when Druid had access to tokens with Charge, but since then players have had to make the tokens stay on the board for a turn. This can be accomplished by using cards like Soul of the Forest, or just by including so many token generators that your opponent will eventually run out of ways to remove them.
Rise of Shadows Update
Token druid lost a lot of it’s tools to the Year of the Dragon Standard rotation, but it also gained a lot, much of which are commons and rares! Notable budget friendly additions are Acornbearer, Dreamway Guardians, Blessing of the Ancients, The Forest's Aid, and Eccentric Scribe.
Budget Token Druid Mulligan Guide
As the only 1-cost minion in the entire deck, Acornbearer is the highest priority card to keep in your hand. It’s an excellent turn-1 play because if it doesn’t survive it also provides you with a turn-2 play. Dreamway Guardians provides the most value on turn 2, and should also be kept.
Dendrologist and Power of the Wild are better played with minions already on the board (Treants specifically for Dendrologist), but if you have nothing else to keep for the early turns they’re better than nothing. Similarly Knife Juggler can be kept just to have something early, and if it sticks you’ll get extra value out of your turn-3 play. Landscaping and Microtech Controller can be kept if you have something to play on turn 1 or 2, or if you have The Coin.
Budget Token Druid Play Strategy
The core strategy is to play waves of tokens until they stick, and then buff their attack enough to win the game in one turn. You’re expecting your opponent to waste their resources clearing your tokens, which is why the deck includes so many ways to produce them.
Against aggressive strategies you want to focus on not letting your opponent get too far ahead on board. Chip damage is less important for you than for your opponent, and now that Spreading Plague is gone it’s a lot harder for decks like this one to take the board back when the opponent has a firm grip on it.
Ideally you would save Savage Roar to win the game, but don’t be afraid to use it to clear the opposing board if you have to, even if you’re not quite desperate yet. This is not to say that you should play it liberally, but use your judgement. If it’s the only thing that will keep your opponent from running away with the board, then it’s time to play it.
Remember that Dreamway Guardians have Lifesteal, and buffing their attack will also buff your health. Similarly, remember that Mark of the Loa, primarily included to produce raptors, can also give stats and Taunt to a minion if your opponent is starting to threaten lethal.
Hunter can be a troublesome matchup. In addition to traditional options like Unleash the Hounds and Explosive Trap, the Mech versions of Hunter have started to play Missile Launcher to deal with the meta versions of Token Druid. Missile Launcher is especially powerful against this deck because it keeps clearing the board turn after turn, and if you only have 1-health token producers in your hand it’s going to be hard to remove it. If you’re up against the Mech version of Hunter prepare for Missile Launcher on turn 6 by keeping minions on the board with 2-health, and remove opposing Mechs if you can. Missile Launcher has Magnetic, meaning they can attach it to an existing Mech to put it out of range of your Swipe and Wrath.
Against control decks you want to force them to use their removal every turn if you can. This deck has more ways to produce tokens than your opponent has spells to wipe the board, so each time your opponent uses one of their board wipes you’re that much closer to having a board stick.
When playing against Warrior decks, trying to play around Warpath is tricky, as trying to make a board that will survive Warpath is almost impossible. Instead, you want to invest enough into your board that your opponent will feel the need to waste it, but not so much that when they use it you’ve run yourself out of resources.
Future Card Replacements for Token Druid
Token Druid is a good budget deck because a lot of its strength lies in its commons and rares, but there is a lot that can be upgraded. The following are some staple inclusions that you should definitely craft as dust becomes available to you if you want Token Druid to be your competitive deck:
Archmage Vargoth – If you’re reading this soon after the release of Rise of Shadows then you probably have this card already, in which case you can cut Cult Master and put it in without hesitation. Archmage Vargoth is great in this deck, allowing you to get extra tokens from your token producing spells, or extra stats from your buffing spells. It also does factor in Twinspell, so you’ll get the additional copy to your hand when you use Blessing of the Ancients or The Forest’s Aid.
Wispering Woods – This is the card that brought Token Druid back, and should be your first craft when looking to upgrade the deck. Wispering Woods will fill or almost fill your board with tokens most of the time, and with the relatively low cost of 4-mana it can be played on the same turn as Soul of the Forest in the late-game for a large and sticky board.
Keeper Stalladris – Reminiscent of Fandral Staghelm, Keeper Stalladris gives you extra value out of your Choose One cards. A lot of lists don’t include Wrath or Mark of the Loa and still include Stalladris with only Power of the Wild to benefit from it, which should tell you something about how strong his effect is (or how desperate the deck is for turn 2 minions).
Wardruid Loti – This card is versatile, taking one of four forms depending on what you need in the moment. While there isn’t a lot of obvious synergy with this deck, versatility is strong in general and without Oaken Summons there isn’t a good reason not to include it if you have the dust to craft it.
Force of Nature – Knowing what it once was, it hurts to recommend crafting Force of Nature, but in this deck it is worth it. There really isn’t a better 5-cost card for the deck in standard right now, and the Treants have synergy with Dendrologist.
EVIL Cable Rat – This one isn’t a strict upgrade, but I mention it because I’ve seen some people use it. It makes sense, the Lackeys are pretty good and this is one card that produces two minions, not to mention the 2-mana slot in Druid is pretty weak right now. I prefer Dendrologist because as a 2-drop it’s a lot more sturdy and later on it can give you cards like Wispering Woods and Savage Roar.