The Druid class in Hearthstone is a class that is a hybrid, just as it is in World of Warcraft. While it is capable of great offensive attacks, the class also has solid defensive abilities, and can heal too. Since it is able to do a bit of everything, you would expect that each ability has compromises, but that really isn't the case. The choices and weaknesses are left for you so decide. Since you can only take so many different cards in a deck, you are forced to make you own choices on which direction you want your Druid to go.
To go along with the whole theme of choices, the Druid class has its own mechanic called Choose One. This mechanic is present in several of it cards and offers choices for the card being player. For example Keeper of the Grove allows you to Choose One - Deal 2 damage or Silence a minion when summoned. This mechanic helps emphasise the whole hybrid nature of the class.
As a Druid in Hearthstone you will be represented by Mallfurion Stormrage the first of the Night Elf Druids.
As a Druid you hero power is a hybrid ability, just like the class is, called Shape Shift. It grants 1 armor and 1 attack power for the cost of 2 mana. The armor will stick around until you suffer a hit that takes it away, but the attack power only lasts for the current turn.
While the single point of damage may not sound glamorous, when tied to the point of armor it is a completely safe way to remove those pesky 1/1 minions in the early game. It also offers a way to stack armor up for the late game, and to pick off the last point of health on damaged minions.
When you first start a Druid deck you will be granted many of the basic cards. In addition as you level up your Druid deck you will gain the remainder of the basic class cards by the time you reach level 10.
|Basic Druid Spells|
|Claw||1||Give your hero +2 Attack this turn, and 2 Armor.|
|Healing Touch||3||Restore 8 Health.|
|Innervate||0||Gain 2 Mana Crystals this turn only.|
|Mark of the Wild||2||Give a minion Taunt and +2/+2.|
|Wild Growth||2||Gain an empty Mana Crystal.|
|Starfire||6||Deal 5 Damage. Draw a card. [This card is gained at level 2]|
|Savage Roar||3||Give your characters +2 Attack this turn. [This card is gained at level 4]|
|Moonfire||0||Deal 2 damage. [This card is gained at level 6]|
|Swipe||4||Deal 4 damage to an enemy and 1 damage to all other enemies. [This card is gained at level 8]|
|Basic Druid Minions|
|Ironbark Protector||8||8||8||Taunt [This card is gained at level 10]|
There are many additional Druid cards than those listed above in the basic card section. These are the Expert cards and can be gained through the purchase or winning of expert card packs. Many of these cards are key to how the class plays and will be required to do well as a Druid.
|Expert Druid Spells|
|Force of Nature||Epic||6||Summon three 2/2 Treants with Charge that die at the end of the turn.|
|Mark of Nature||Common||0||Give a Minion +4 Health and Taunt.|
|Naturalize||Common||1||Destroy a minion. Your opponent draws 2 cards.|
|Nourish||Common||0||Draw 3 Cards.|
|Power of the Wild||Common||2||Choose One - Give your minions +1/+1; or Summon a 3/2 Panther.|
|Savagery||Rare||1||Deal damage equal to your hero's attack to a minion.|
|Starfall||Rare||5||Choose One - Deal 5 damage to an enemy; or 2 damage to all of them.|
|Soul of the Forest||Common||4||Give your minions "Deathrattle: Summon a 2/2 Treant."|
|Wrath||Common||0||Deal 1 damage to a minion. Draw a card.|
|Expert Druid Minions|
|Ancient of Lore||Epic||7||5||5||Choose One: Draw 2 cards; or Restore 5 health.|
|Ancient of War||Epic||7||5||5||Choose One: Taunt and +5 Health; or +5 Attack.|
|Cenarius||Legendary||9||5||8||Choose One: Give your other minions +2/+2; or summon two 2/2/ Treants with Taunt.|
|Keeper of the Grove||Rare||4||2||4||Choose One: Deal 2 damage; or Silence a minion.|
Combos are what can win most card games, and while there are combos for the Druid class that work well, the class as a whole is more about managing your resources carefully and playing to your ability. Keep the game to your pace and things will go far better for you. More than any combo, try to keep the game under control using these simple tips.
- Many cards can be used in multiple ways, as evidenced by your Choose One cards. It is important to make the correct choice with these cards. Do not go for the short term gain only to lose the game in 3 turns, make sure you make the long term choice.
- Druids have many attack cards, giving them the ability to boost their basic attack. Make use of these, especially since they are tied to armor in most cases, to keep the board clear. Sure 4 damage to the opponent sounds good, but if they are at 30 and have a 4/4 minion in play, that 4 to them doesn't counteract the 4 coming your way every turn until you deal with that minion.
- Card draws are critical. Make sure you make use of the Druid cards that can allow you to get a card advantage.
- Mana pools are critical as well. Druids allow you to get to the end game faster than other classes. With luck you can get to your big cards up to 4 - 6 turns earlier than your opponent. How will they deal with your huge 8/8 Ironbark Protector if you use a wild growth on turn 2 and then on turn 3 (with 4 mana) pop 2 Innervates into an Ironbark Protector! Sure the odds are against it, but even if you just have one Innervate and a coin you can have him out on turn 5, that is still impressive and imposing.
Next up let's look at a few simple combos with the Druid basic and expert cards.
- Savage Roar and Force of Nature form an obvious late game combo that can win games with the provided 12 damage all in one attack. However there are other nice combos with Force of Nature as well, such as a Force of Nature followed up with a Soul of the Forest to get those Treants right back in a permanent form.
- Ancient of Lore leads into late game wins well also since he is a decent minion to start with and then provides 2 cards or 5 health.
- Cenarius is an amazing card for the late game, letting you first setup a lot of minions one turn and then summoning him to boost all of their attack and health the next.
Once you get into more advanced play and combos, you can look at some general cards rather than just sticking with Druid only cards. Most other classes really need these other cards, however Druids do just fine when sticking in their own class set. The exception really only being to go for some extra minions for either taunt, spell power, or card draw, depending on your play style. Here are just a few examples:
- Azure Drake is an amazing minion at 5 mana. It provides a solid 4/4 minion as well as +1 Spell Power and a card. What more could you want.
- Argent Commander is a great minion to team with druids due to his aggressive nature. With good attack and health, teamed with charge and divine shield, he really solidifies your aggressive nature, clearing a minion safely on the turn he is summoned, and then sticking around for at least another until cleared off.
- Acidic Swamp Ooze is another good minion to grab to help against those pesky Warriors, Paladins, and Hunters with all their weapons.
As a Druid one of the best kinds of decks you can play is a balanced deck. One that focuses on direct damage, creatures, healing, and well everything in between. With that in mind, here is a pretty solid general druid deck that should be able to cope through pretty much everything.
Druid Generalist Deck
This is a good generic deck to start with as it does everything well. You can tune it more to your preference over time, but as a starting base for a deck it is pretty solid.
- Minions (10)
- 2x Argent Commander
- 2x Azure Drake
- 2x Ancient of War
- 2x Ancient of Lore
- 2x Keeper of the Grove
- Spells (20)
- 2x Bite
- 2x Claw
- 2x Healing Touch
- 2x Innervate
- 2x Starfall
- 2x Starfire
- 2x Swipe
- 2x Nourish
- 2x Wild Growth
- 2x Wrath
The idea with this deck is pretty simple, keep the board clear as much as possible while ramping up to your big hitters later on. You really have no little minions, so you will rely on your spells and basic attack to clear out the early game minions that your opponent puts out. Then late game clear the board and hit them hard.
Druids are a solid class overall and that carries into the Arena format as well. Early on in the game Druids have the advantage in clearing weak minions when compared to most other classes due to their class ability. They can gain a point of armor and damage and kill off weak minions while saving their cards and minions for later use.
Druids also have the option to be very aggressive early on if they get the right cards in the draft phase of the Arena process. There are cards that can grant them extra mana crystals either short term or long term. This means they can get to the end game phase faster than other classes.
Druids can and should control the board throughout the game as much as possible even into the late game. With so many removal cards available to a Druid and multiple taunt minions and cards, you should be able to control the battle of the minions throughout much of the fight. This gets even more blatant in the end game where you can summon huge a huge, and common to the class, 8/8 minion with taunt in the form of Ironbark Protector.
While the actual game play remains the same between constructed format play and arena play, the actual value and strength of specific cards can change drastically. This is due to the limited pool of cards that each player will have available to them. It is therefore important to understand which cards are of the most value in the Arena when drafting.
When playing in the Arena and drafting your deck, some of the best cards to draft for the Druid class are as outlined below along with some reasoning. They are listed in alphabetical order.
- Ancient of Lore - A good sized minion with either healing power or card drawing power. A great choice card that lets you have options in a game.
- Ancient of War - A big minion with either attack or defence depending on what you need. In Arena play almost always better played for defence, but the option is nice to have.
- Cenarius - A fair legendary for the class. Best used with several minions already active as the +2/+2 is far superior when you have 3-4 minions out, than just summoning 2 extra 2/2 minions.
- Druid of the Claw - Similar to the Ancient of War but on a smaller level. Can get charge or extra health and taunt. In the Arena format the health and taunt is almost always better, but if you just need an opposing minion dead right away it is nice to have the charge option.
- Keeper of the Grove - A solid minion at 2/4 with the added ability to either deal 2 damage and kill off a weak minion or silence a minion. A great option card that has many uses.
- Starfall - This is a great damage spell as it lets you either clear a large minion that is causing issues, or a whole lot of small minions at once.
- Swipe - A great clearing spell in any format, but in a limited format it is even more powerful. 4 damage to one enemy and 1 to everyone else is an amazing deal at 4 mana.
- Wrath - 1 damage and a card draw for no mana cost. This is an amazing early game card that helps you keep board control without losing a card advantage.
You can also find a listing of the general non-class specific cards that are the best to draft in the arena format in these two guides:
Comments on Druids in Hearthstone
As with any of the classes in Hearthstone there are many different winning strategies. The ideas and decks above are just the start. If you have alternate ideas on decks or methods to use the basic or expert cards for the Druid class in Hearthstone, please feel free to share them in our comment section below.