Gameplay

Deck of the Week 16 - Naxxramas Tempo Druid Deck

By Byron Mudry -
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Welcome again to the Messiah's series of weekly articles that takes a look at some of the most popular, powerful, or just plain interesting deck builds that are out there for the Hearthstone Constructed Deck format.

DRUID – NAXX TEMPO DECK

This week I look at a very strong and reliable Druid deck.  While it is similar to many early Druid decks from the release of the game, with the addition of a few key Naxxramas cards it becomes even better.

Most tempo decks aim to hit your opponent early and often and keep up the pressure, however Druids have the advantage of being able to put out bigger than average minions earlier than most other classes. Typical of Druid decks it can keep a constant stream of big minions with taunt on the board to deal with everything your opponent can through at you.

A word of warning though, there are many legendary cards in this deck, making it very expensive to create if you do not have them all already.

Deck List:

Druid Cards:

  • 2x Innervate
  • 2x Wild Growth
  • 2x Wrath
  • 1x Savage Roar
  • 2x Swipe
  • 2x Keeper of the Grove
  • 1x Force of Nature
  • 2x Ancient of Lore
  • 2x Ancient of War
  • 1x Cenarius

Neutral Cards

  • 1x Bloodmage Thalnos
  • 1x Big Game Hunter
  • 2x Chillwind Yeti
  • 1x Loatheb
  • 1x Sludge Belcher
  • 2x Sunwalker
  • 1x Sylvanas Windrunner
  • 1x The Black Knight
  • 1x Kel’Thuzad

KEY CARDS

Almost every card in this deck is a key card as there are no weak minions. However some of the cards that are more important than others in the deck.

Innervate and Wild Growth – Two great cards in almost any Druid deck.  They offer up the ability to get more mana earlier in a game than any other class in the game.  This really helps you start out strong.

Sludge Belcher – A really good defensive minion that is becoming a standard card in almost all decks.  While only one is in the deck, you could swap in a second instead of a Sunwalker if that is your preference.

Keeper of the Grove – A really strong minion that offers either damage or silence when cast.  Also not bad as a defensive minion at 2/4 for 4 mana.

The Black Knight and Sylvanas Windrunner – Two late game cards that provide options on dealing with your opponents late game cards.

Ancient of War and Ancient or Lore – Both of these cards give you strong late game power.  Either through card draw or stopping power.

Kel’Thuzad – This deck has multiple minions that are extremely strong, having a way to bring them back can be game breaking.

IDEAL OPENING HAND CARDS

This deck has so many strong opening card options, and a lot of what can be played depends on what you get before the mulligan.

The key cards to look for are Innervate and Wild Growth.  If you start with an Innervate in your opening hand before the mulligan phase then you can start looking for other cards.  The best cards to look for vary depending on which class you are playing against. 

Against fast decks you will want to try and get cards like Wrath, Swipe, or even Keeper of the Grove or Chillwind Yeti.  Against slower decks you can try to go even bigger and add Druid of the Claw, or Sludge Belcher as valid options while dropping Wrath and Swipe from the list.

STRATEGY

Your overall strategy is to ramp your minions power over time until you get to the late game, where you can summon bigger minions than your opponent can deal with.

To do that, once the game starts, you should be off to the races. Summon the biggest minions you can as early as you can.  Since so many of the minions in the deck have taunt, you do not need to worry about trading minions during your turn, let your opponent worry about it on their turn.

When a minion does come out that you need to worry about, you have several ways to deal with it.  Either silence it, deal direct damage to it, or just keep minions with taunt out to protect yourself.

Once the late game arrives, there are so many combinations and possibilities in the deck that you can surely find a way to win. Just a few of the awesome combinations are:

  • Savage Roar and Force of Nature
  • Cenarius with any minions out
  • Kel’Thuzad and Force of Nature
  • Kel’Thuzad once you have a number of minions on the table and want to trade them against the enemy.

OPTIONAL CARDS

There are several different cards that you can use to change this deck, either to fit in more to your style of play, or to fill in for cards that you do not have.  Just a few of the solid options are:

Mark of the Wild – This is a cheap card that can add a lot to several of your other cards.  Giving Sylvanas Windrunner taunt helps ensure that she is attacked and killed.  Giving it to any other minion helps a lot as well since the +2/+2 is really strong. Remember that with Big Game Hunter and The Black Knight in the deck you can also use it on an enemy minion to use either of those cards.

Ragnaros – A great late game minion, which can help remove minions as well as deal damage to your opponent.  Also since you have so many minions with taunt, it helps keep him alive a turn or two longer.

Spellbreaker – This is a good card for many different decks, especially now that Naxxramas has introduced so many cards with deathrattle.

Harvest Golem – One thing this deck is missing, is a lot of early game cards.  Adding in the Harvest Golem can resolve that issue, and it still works extremely well late game thanks to Kel’Thuzad.

Cairne Bloodhoof – Yet another legendary, but another really strong one, and one that works well with Kel’Thuzad.

Soul of the Forest – Adding one of these can work well in combos due to Kel’Thuzad.  You can trade off your minions, get them back, and get some addition 2/2 minions.

HOW TO PLAY AGAINST IT

Playing against this deck is all about dealing with the big taunt minions.  Silence cards and non-removal removal cards (like hex and polymorph) are strong against this deck.  Make sure you save them for the minions that you really need to remove though.

Mages are really strong against this deck, especially if they have many secrets in their deck.  The ability to either delay this decks minions or better yet copy them, is really powerful. Add in a few Faceless Manipulators and the Druid can find themselves facing off against their own minions, and they don’t have that many options for removing them.

Priests can also be strong against this deck for many of the same reasons as the Mage deck is.  The Priest can copy cards, steal minions, and generally annoy the Druid.  It can be really hard to face off against a well-played Priest.

COMMENTS

This is a strong deck, simply because it can deal with almost anything out there. While not purely combo based, and not fast, is just wears out your opponent over time.  It can take all comers and be stand at least an even chance of winning.

Give the deck a try and let me know what you think in the comment section below.

 

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About The Author

Byron "Messiah" Mudry
Byron has been writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years, and currently has a not-so-secret love affair with Hearthstone and Diablo III.