Beast Druid deck list guide - Rastakhan - Hearthstone (December 2018)
How to play the latest take on Beast Druid on the Standard ladder.
Beast Druid is a Hearthstone archetype that has enjoyed a fair amount of popularity over the life of the game, but has essentially disappeared with the rise of other more powerful Druid archetypes. We’re looking back at the deck now, though, as we expect that some of the new cards added in Rastakhan’s Rumble will breath new life into the format going forwards.
As a way to get back up to speed with the archetype in the latest expansion, we’ve tracked down the strongest deck list that's playable right now. As the meta shifts and shakes over the next few days, it’s difficult to say quite how successful Beast Druid will become on the ranked ladder, so don’t rush to craft cards unless you have it to spare, or are a true Beast enthusiast!
Later on in the guide we've got some detailed strategy advice for you, as well as tips on the best way to navigate the Mulligan phase. Finally, and as always, we've stripped down all of the combos and key cards that power this deck. Combine all this and you should find yourself in pretty good shape to get going with any new versions of the deck that arise over the coming weeks.
If you have any questions, do speak up in the comments and we'll be happy to help you out with whatever's troubling you!
UPDATE - RASTAKHAN'S RUMBLE LAUNCH
Beast Druid is making a return in Rasatakhan's Rumble, and we wanted to bring you an early version of the deck that makes use of the new cards!
Beast Druid deck list - Rastakhan’s Rumble launch
|2 x Lesser Jasper Spellstone||2 x Witchwood Grizzly|
|1 x Naturalize||2 x Amani War Bear|
|2 x Wild Growth||1 x Oondasta|
|2 x Witching Hour|
|1 x Branching Paths|
|2 x Ironwood Golem|
|2 x Oaken Summons|
|2 x Swipe|
|2 x Nourish|
|2 x Stampeding Roar|
|2 x Ironhide Direhorn|
|1 x Malfurion the Pestilent|
|1 x Hadronox|
|1 x Tyrantus|
|2 x Ultimate Infestation|
Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.
Deck Import ID: AAECAZICBukB4scCntICmdMCr9MCm4oDDEBf5AiHzgKU0gKY0gKE5gKN8ALy8QK1hgP8hgPYjAMA
Note that the rest of this article refers to an earlier version of the deck. It’ll take us a while to get the whole site up to speed with all the changes, but you should still find the general advice useful!
More great Druid guides:
- 1. Best Budget Decks - Hearthstone: Best Budget Decks for Ashes of Outland
- 2. Tier List - Hearthstone deck tier list (Ashes of Outland)
- 3. Embiggen Druid - Embiggen Druid deck list guide (Ashes of Outland)
- 4. Token Druid - Token Druid deck list guide (Ashes of Outland)
- 5. Treant Druid - Treant Druid deck list guide (Ashes of Outland)
- 6. Quest Druid - Quest Druid deck list guide (Ashes of Outland)
The general strategy overview of playing this deck is quite simple. You want to take control of the board from the very start of the match, then snowball your presence with even bigger Taunt Beast minions that slow down your opponent and completely prevent them from doing damage to your life total. Although many of these minions are quite expensive and are heavy investments, the deck has ways to cheat them out earlier, or bring them back from the dead when killed for extra value.
Essentially, the plan is to run your opponent out of all their resources by forcing them to trade into or remove multiple large Taunt creatures. If you keep piling on the pressure with even larger Beasts, then they will eventually be overwhelmed, and with no answers left remaining.
Early game: Beast Druid is a late game heavy deck and has quite a slow start, so spend your early turns ramping for extra mana using Wild Growth to get to your more powerful cards as soon as possible. You’re not in a massive rush to get minions on the board at this stage, but if you do find an Ironwood Golem in your hand it’s worth a play just to give you a bit of defense. Or you can Recruit one from your deck using Oaken Summons. Using your hero power to clear minions is also fine in the early stages.
Mid game: Here the deck starts to pick up some speed. You can ramp for even more mana using Nourish to get you to those big late game Beast minions as fast as possible. One of the deck’s new cards, Stampeding Roar, comes into play at this stage of the game too. You can use it to cheat out a much more expensive Beast from your hand and give it Rush to really surprise your opponent.
If it hits a minion such as Ironhide Direhorn or Tyrantus you’ll be extremely pleased. The former is especially excellent as you should be able to trigger the Overkill effect by trading into your opponent’s creatures at that mana cost to gain a 5/5 Ironhide Runt. Meanwhile, any of your opponent’s particularly troublesome minions can be removed using Naturalise.
Late game: The late game is all about piling on the pressure with more huge Beast minions. You can create crazy combo plays using Oondasta to summon additional Beasts from your hand when it Overkills other creatures. Meanwhile, you can drop big Taunt minions such as Witchwood Grizzly and Amani War Bear to stall your opponent.
If you think your resources are going to run low then you can rapidly draw through more of your deck using Ultimate Infestation. Or, simply bring back the Beast and Taunt minions that have already died in the game using Witching Hour and Hadronox. That’s usually too many threats for your opponent to deal with, and should secure you the win.
The deck list may have changed depending on when you're reading this article, but here's some video we highly recommend viewing if you want to understand how a deck like this works:
Here are some tips when facing aggro opponents on the ranked ladder:
- 1. Be cautious of focusing too much on ramp in the early game as you might not be able to reach your late game due to being rushed down quickly.
- 2. Swipe is an excellent board clear against aggro, so consider holding it in your opening hand if you draw it and think your opponent is playing a faster deck.
- 3. As another way to slow down aggro, you have a good chunk of armour generation in the deck thanks to Branching Paths and Oaken Summons.
- 4. The second of those two cards will also bring a Ironwood Golem on the board, which is a good early game Taunt minion versus aggro.
- 5. Beast Druid also has some other larger Taunt minions waiting in the late game. Get a couple of these down and they will chew through the aggro deck's smaller creatures.
Some words of wisdom to keep in mind during matches against control decks:
- 1. Feel free to take a little extra time to ramp against slower control decks, so you can reach your late game faster.
- 2. Expect some of your first big plays to be wiped out by their removal, but remember you have Witching Hour and Hadronox to bring deceased minions back to life.
- 3. With just one copy of Naturalise in the deck, you should save it for your opponent’s most bothersome minion. Be aware you will be giving them extra cards when you clear it too.
- 4. Ultimate Infestation is the perfect card for when a match looks like it’s going to go the distance, as it can refill your hand with resources while giving you some bonus armour, along with other helpful effects.
- 5. Malfurion the Pestilent is another strong late game card versus control. You can choose to summon two Spiders with Poisonous in order to have ways to kill off their largest minions, for example.
Beast Druid Mulligan guide - December 2018
As a general rule of thumb it's worth prioritising the following cards when working on your opening hand for Beast Druid:
- 1. Wild Growth - Early game mana ramp that gets you closer to your big Beast and Taunt minions faster. You always want to keep this.
- 2. Lesser Jasper Spellstone - Decent removal in the early stages of the match that can also be buffed to be more powerful over time through armour generation.
- 3. Nourish - Similar to Wild Growth, this is more mana ramp so you can reach your late game faster.
- 4. Oaken Summons - Will give you a bit of bonus armour and pull a copy of Ironwood Golem onto the board for free for some terrific value.
Beast Druid tips, combos and synergies - Decemeber 2018
These are the most powerful combos available in Beast Druid, and committing them to memory will really pay off if you're serious about climbing the ladder with this deck:
- There are a couple of particularly good targets to be aiming for with the resurrection effect from Witching Hour. If you can hit a Oondasta or Tyrantus you’ll be bringing a huge minion back onto the board, and your opponent may no longer have the resources to deal with it again.
- When you play Oaken Summons you’ll gain six armour and also Recruit a minion that costs four or less from your deck. As the only one you run is Ironwood Golem you can guarantee that creature enters the board every time.
- Branching Paths has a number of good options to choose between depending on your current situation. The card draw or armour gain is always nice, but you can also go for the extra minion damage if you’re just short of lethal.
- There are a lot of potential Beast minions for you to hit with Stampeding Roar, the majority of which will be a discount to their usual mana cost. You can hit Witchwood Grizzly, Ironhide Direhorn, Amani War Bear, Hadronox, Oodasta and Tyrantus.
- When choosing between the two potential options from Malfurion the Pestilent, decide whether you need the powerful removal provided by the Poisonous spiders or if you need the life total protection offered by the two Taunt minions.
- Hadronox will revive all the friendly Taunt minions that have died throughout the game, so ensure you play it as late as possible to bring back as much as possible.
- If Oondasta deals more damage to a minion than the target has health, it’ll trigger the Overkill effect, which brings another Beast minion onto the board. Time this play when you have other Beasts in your hand to make huge tempo plays that can flood the board with creatures and overwhelm your opponent.
Beast Druid card choices and substitutions
Beast Druid is quite an expensive deck with many key Legendary cards. Here are the most important ones to the deck with some suggestions for substitutes where possible:
- Witching Hour: With all the Beast minions you run in the deck this represents some terrific value if you can bring back one of the more expensive ones.
- Branching Paths: An extremely versatile card that can serve many purposes depending on your needs at the time.
- Stampeding Roar: With all the expensive Beast minions in your hand, this should usually hit something powerful while also giving it Rush for an impactful turn six play.
- Malfurion the Pestilent: Gives you some extra defense or kill potential in the late game, depending on the minions you choose to summon with it. Plus, the new hero power is very useful.
- Hadronox: With all the Taunt minions in the deck this can bring any that have died throughout the game back to life for a huge swing turn that your opponent may struggle to deal with easily.
- Oondasta: You can take advantage of the Rush and Overkill keywords to bring more of your Beast minions onto the board, on the same turn, for a big tempo play.
- Tyrantus: A giant Beast that also comes with the added bonus of not being targetable by spells and hero powers, making it a lot more problematic for your opponent to remove.
- Ultimate Infestation: A massively impactful late game spell that will keep you going in a game that’s running on for a long time.