Our Budget Token Druid deck list guide for the Descent of Dragons 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 Treant Druid
Token Druid was always one of the better and cheaper options for Druid. While slower Druid decks often use a lot of Epics / Legendaries (especially if they are build around some sort of combo, like Malygos builds) which you can’t cut, Token version – even if it runs some expensive cards – can usually switch them out quite easily.
Token strategy in Druid is nearly as old as Hearthstone itself. The class could always take advantage of wide boards thanks to Power of the Wild and Savage Roar, and most of expansions feature some ways to flood it too (or even more buffs). The goal is to produce a solid board, have some minions survive to your turn, and then buff them or just drop Savage Roar and kill your opponent.
When it comes to Descent of Dragons, we’re giving up on the regular Token Druid and going towards Treant version instead. It’s an interesting archetype, which got a lot of support over the last two Standard years, but it was never good enough to be a standalone build. Instead, Token version has adopted some Treant cards or synergies here in there. This time around, however, Treant version is the best version – amount of synergies has finally reached critical level. Sadly for budget players, one of them is Goru the Mightree, which is really good in slower matchups. It’s not necessary to play the deck, but if you happen to have it, I would consider adding it!
Budget Token Druid Mulligan Guide
Higher Priority (Keep every time)
- Acornbearer, Treenforcements – Since Treant Druid is a proactive, aggressive deck, you really want to have a fast opener, and that’s why you always keep your 1-drops. If you get both of them and can pick one, go for Aconbearer, since it’s a better one (2/1 stats are weaker, but 2x 1/1 in hand gives you more flexibility during early turns and Treenforcements is better to draw later since you can always use it as a buff).
- Dreamway Guardians, Shrubaddier – Great on-curve plays – while you won’t be able to utilize Lifesteal or Treant synergies in every match, putting multiple bodies on the board is just good.
- Landscaping – Hands down the best 3-drop you can have, it’s so good that you want to keep it. Why? It’s good by itself, but mostly because if you happen to also draw Dendrologist or especially Aeroponics then it becomes even better.
Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)
- Dendrologist – Keep if you have T1 Treenforcements. Vanilla 2 mana 2/3 is not something you want, but if you can pick a spell from it on T2, then why not – it’s not very likely that your 2/2 on T1 will just die so the chance that Dendrologist will be active is pretty high.
- Aeroponics – Probably the best card in the entire deck, it’s just so good. It’s so easy to turn it into an Arcane Intellect, but that’s not when it shines – playing it for 0 or 1 mana is just very, very powerful. Keep it with Landscaping – while reducing it to 1 is not as good as reducing to 0, it’s still good enough and gives you more options.
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. It might be important when facing other fast decks that want to rush you down (especially if you also use Hero Power to hit bigger minions and take a lot of damage that way). That’s why I like the combo of those two – you can deal 6 extra damage (even more with more minions) and heal for 6 in total.
What’s important in this build as opposed to the regular Token version are Treant synergies. Budget build doesn’t run as much as full version, but the most important one still remains – Aeroponics. The card is just insane, given how many cards you have summon Treants, it’s very easy to get it down to 1 or even 0 mana. And who wouldn’t like to draw 2 cards for 0 mana? Not only you gain card advantage, but cycle through your deck to find your strongest cards (and finishers) more quickly. Another synergy is Mulchmuncher. I used Faceless Corruptor in that slot in the first version, but since the card was nerfed, I think that Mulcher might be slightly better now. 8/8 with Rush is obviously good, and given how many Treants you summon, it’s pretty easy to get it down to just a few points of mana, or maybe even 0. While it will still be a dead draw in the early game, drawing it in the mid-late game is great. Keep in mind that you don’t need to wait until it drops down to 0 – of course, if you CAN wait because you have other good plays, then why not. But if it costs 5, you want to spend 5 mana and have no better play, then it’s very good! There’s also one copy of Dendrologist – while I’m not a huge fan of this card, since it’s a budget build we had to fill some gaps. It’s pretty bad in the early game, because unless you open with Treenforcementgs, it’s just a 2 mana 2/3 most of the time. But it has a solid mid-late game scaling, because as long as you have a Treant up, you can pick a spell. Because it’s Discover, there’s a high chance you will get one of the “good” spells – sometimes you might high roll into another copy of Savage Roar to finish the game or maybe The Forest's Aid to have another board flood in slower matchup.
Since your deck is 100% board-oriented, knowing matchups and what cards they play is important – and I’m mainly talking about AoE removals. For example, some Highlander Mage builds run Flame Ward. If you see them putting up a Secret early, you can heavily suspect that it’s that one. So you have two ways to tackle it – either sacrifice your board and just build a new one, or try to buff your minions out of range with Power of the Wild / Blessing of the Ancients (or just play Soul of the Forest to respawn a full board). Attack with a highest attack minion that will die too first, since it only triggers AFTER an attack. If Mage does not drop Flame Ward, however, the earliest they can drop an instant AoE is Turn 6 and Blizzard, so you have quite some time to try to rush them. Thanks to Descent of Dragons, some builds also run Rolling Fireball, and while it’s not a full AoE, it can clear a bunch of your board. In order to play around it, position your board in a way that no matter which side they play it on, it won’t clear many minions. Then let’s say Priest – they’ve got a new AoE now in a form of Breath of the Infinite and it’s very, very useful against your deck. So in order to play around that, try to buff your minions out of 2 AoE damage range, or do not overextend even as early as Turn 3.
Long story short, the general idea behind running this deck is to play around your opponent’s AoE by either buffing your minions out of range (if it’s AoE that deals damage) or not overextending right before your opponent’s AoE turn. Put enough minions/power on the board to threaten them (around 4-5 minions should be perfect), but not enough to not have a refil in your hand. Ideally, you want to bait their AoEs first with your mid-sized boards and once they’re out, you go all in and try to close out the game quickly. Most of the time, you run more board refills than they run AoEs, so in theory you could take it slow, but at the same time you will need to take some risks simply because you’re on a clock. Once they get to the late game and THEIR win conditions, you probably won’t have a good answer against those.
Future Card Replacements for Treant Token Druid
Treant Druid is pretty close to a full-fledged build, but there are still some changes you might want to make. Here are the cards that you want to add if you have them:
- Force of Nature – After the card was nerfed back in the day, I didn’t ever think that it will find its place in a meta deck. But as it turns out, it’s really good because of the synergies. 3x Treant is solid for 5 mana, it’s a semi-board flood, at 5 mana it has synergy with Garden Gnome and – of course – it makes your Aeroponics cost 0.
- Goru the Mightree – While it’s mostly a meta call, it should, on average, make your deck stronger. The card is great in slower matchups – if you can last long enough, getting your Treants up to 3/3 makes them much more scary. They deal more damage, but also survive a lot of AoEs they wouldn’t otherwise. And even against Aggro, in the end it’s a 5/10 Taunt.
And here are your flex cards that you can take out in order to run the ones listed above (try to sort of match them mana-wise to not mess up your curve):