The full set of cards dropping into the game with United in Stormwind has been revealed! As we always do here, it is time to review these new cards, this article focusing on how Druid is likely to perform in the new meta.

Keep in mind that this is an early look at the class before we've been able to play with the new cards, so while we try to be as accurate as possible in our predictions of what is to come, no one can perfectly predict the Hearthstone meta.


Druid Deck Themes in United in Stormwind

As with all the other classes, Druid gets one theme handed to it for free with its Questline; in this case, the return of Feral Druid. Lost in the Park isn't just relying on old cards, however - they've made sure to give it some very reasonable support in Wickerclaw and Park Panther which could easily be enough to help carry it from dream to reality.

There are a couple of other themes present, however. One is the continued support of token-style strategies, though there's a good mix of ideas for it between all the cards that mean you won't just be auto-including them all in existing lists. Sow the Soil and Composting seem like good all-round inclusions for any deck that wants to go wide, for example, but Best in Shell might offer some heftier bodies later at little loss to the early game thanks to being Tradeable, and Oracle of Elune and Vibrant Squirrel suggest a potential shift from spell heavy decks towards more low-cost minions.

The final minor theme is a strange one - Cast When Drawn. It's not really a theme in-and-of itself, because the two cards that use it - the aforementioned Vibrant Squirrel and Sheldras Moontree - really don't work together at all, but it's just an interesting little mechanical note that they have going on. Something to be expanded on in the future?


Sow the Soil

Sow the Soil Card Image

"Wait, where's the pigs?"

A very solid option for existing token-based decks, I would think. I actually don't know if this is strong enough to make the cut - there are a lot of good options already in Standard - but with Gibberling recently nerfed I think now is the best time for a little experimentation with how you build the deck. It being 1 mana could be the deciding factor, as it is the lowest cost board-wide buff available to Druids in Standard.

There's not much more to say - we've seen a million variations on this theme before, and I'm sure we'll see them again. From Power of the Wild to Blessing of the Ancients and Living Roots to Treenforcements, they've always been good and I don't expect this one to be any different.


Wickerclaw

Wickerclaw Card Image

A real basket case.

The beginnings of another push for Feral Druid, and one that seems like a solidly positioned minion to me. It comes down early with a big enough body to stick around for a turn, and then one Hero Power sets it ahead of the curve on stats with potential for more down the line.

The thing about this card is that it's pretty solid even if you don't go all in on trying to make the Questline (more on that later) work. It's a great target for buffs and will just naturally grow whenever you can weave in a Hero Power, so I wouldn't be surprised to see it tried out just as a solid 2-drop. Whether it will end up being more than that is out of its control - its not the linchpin to the Questline, after all, just an obvious addition.


Best in Shell

Best in Shell Card Image Goldshell Turtle Card Image

The best card in the expansion, obviously.

Two turtles in one card? 5 stars. Next!

In all seriousness, 4/14 Taunt across two bodies isn't the worst thing you could be doing for 6 mana. It isn't exactly the best either, but thankfully we're able to Trade this one away if you end up not needing it. I'm not confident that any Druid really wants to run this - even with their ramping ability it's a little slow to really matter against aggro, and against other decks it'd just be Traded away for the most part.

Ugh. I really want to like this card, and I will be running it. I'm just not looking forward to how often I won't actually be playing it.


Vibrant Squirrel

Vibrant Squirrel Card Image Acorn Card Image Satisfied Squirrel Card Image

I already made an Emrakul joke in my last review, so here's a lampshade instead.

What a weird little card. This looks like something that could easily replace Gibberling in those token lists - a decent enough 1-drop that can spawn more value over the course of the game, with the bonus that you don't need to worry about having some perfect combo turn to make sure you don't just get Consecrated.

I especially like how this interacts with Fungal Fortunes - since the Acorns shuffled into your deck are spells, you can freely use it to draw three cards and potentially get some bonus minions out of it at the same time. Of course, you run the risk of discarding the initial Vibrant Squirrel, but that didn't stop decks running Gibberling.


Kodo Mount

Kodo Mount Card Image Guff's Kodo Card Image

Incredibly fast, but the turning circle leaves a bit to be desired.

This is a very interesting buff for Druid, mainly because of the Rush attached to it. Druid actually has a decent spread of Rush minions, which surprised me when I stopped to think about it - I guess I was so used to Warrior being the 'Rush class' that I kind of glossed over it. They even have things like Guardian Animals to grant Rush!

What this card means is that any minion you put in your Druid deck that costs 6 or less now has the potential to attack immediately, and with a bit of extra oomph, too. This probably won't be what the buff is primarily used for, but make sure you remember it for the future - you never know what kind of synergy might spawn from it one day.

In reality, I expect this will be used to essentially give a nearly dead minion a way of turning the tides, bumping it up to make better trades and then essentially having "Deathrattle: Deal 4 damage to an enemy minion." attached to it. I could even see it in some new token builds, simply because it lets a minion leave another body behind when it drops.


Park Panther

Park Panther Card Image

"Why am I attacking with it? Well I'm not going to attack against it!"

Ignore the Questline for the moment - a 4/4 Rush that lets you deal 3 damage as well? That's really strong. Like, this is just a solid card that you'll want to include in many Druid decks, even aggressive ones, because it lets you get more damage out each turn it stays alive.

Now, obviously if you're trying to complete the Questline you include this, that's the most obvious of decisions. Not even because it's especially powerful - although it very much is - but because there really aren't that many cards in Standard that allow you to increase your Attack (again, more on that later).


Composting

Composting Card Image

Life is a beautiful, neverending cycle. This part in particular kind of stinks, though.

If Fungal Fortunes isn't your jam - maybe your token deck is swinging a little more minion-heavy nowadays - then look no further, we've go your brand new card draw right here. All natural, full of nutrients, definitely don't question what's in it.

Token decks are already happy to run cards like Soul of the Forest just to be able to protect their board a little. Composting gives you another avenue of insurance, letting you play your hand out without fear of a couple boardwipes leaving you stuck topdecking. Even with just two minions out it's a delayed Arcane Intellect, which... is bad, sure, but it also has the potential to be much better than that.


Oracle of Elune

Oracle of Elune Card Image

"Elune, grant me more Squirrels!"

Remember that more minion-heavy token deck I was hinting at? Yeah, here's one of the pieces you'll be throwing at that to try and make it work. You'll really need to take a look at all the available minions in Standard to try and pick apart what you want to do with this, but I'll leave a few suggestions here.

Far Watch Post is still a card despite its nerf, so if you really want to annoy your opponents look no further. Loot Hoarder, Nerubian Egg and the new Vibrant Squirrel are all options if you want to take advantage of getting multiple Deathrattles out. You could even try for some crazy combo set-ups using things like Razormane Battleguard or Wickerclaw.


Lost in the Park

Lost in the Park Card Image Defend the Squirrels Card Image Feral Friendsy Card Image

"Is that dot where we are now, or where we started? Oh dear..."

The much awaited Questline. Take note of those cut-off points - 4 Attack, 5 Attack and 6 Attack, for 15 total Attack gained. Also worth noting is that you don't actually need to have attacked to progress the Questline; all that matters is that you gain the Attack, not that you've done anything with it yet.

I feel like that's an important distinction to make, because there's potential to complete multiple steps of the Questline in one turn. Apart from your Hero Power, Standard Druids don't have many options for gaining Attack, but what they do have offers large chunks at a time - Feral Rage and Moontouched Amulet both give you +4 Attack, Park Panther gives you +3 Attack (potentially multiple times), and Pounce offers +2 Attack.

Assuming you run two copies of each, that's minimum 26 Attack across just those few cards (22 if you want to cut the Pounces for literally anything else). This is not a hard Questline to complete at all, and I don't expect much struggle to get it done.

So what's your reward for that investment?

Guff the Tough Card Image

Well, at first blush that's a fairly large Taunt that deals 8 damage when it comes in, which isn't bad by any means but does feel a little underwhelming. However, the important thing to remember is that if you play this right, you can combine that 8 Attack with the rest of the Attack you gained completing the Questline, which could make for a potentially game-ending swing. The Armor you gain over the course of the Quest will also keep you alive to see this through, which is great.

I think this can look deceptively dull with how hyper-focused the rewards are, especially on something that Druid hasn't typically managed to make work. I have high hopes though - maybe this time we'll be attacking face for maximum damage!


Sheldras Moontree

Sheldras Moontree Card Image

"Ah, a Nourish! You'll be wanting the mana option, of course?"

Huh. Alright then.

Clearly this is meant to go in your big rampy Druid decks that play cards like Survival of the Fittest and Cenarion Ward. It's a little clumsy, because to get there you also want to be running several low mana spells that help you combo off, ramp up and control the board, but the payoff for this is so potentially great that I could definitely see some lists that put a greater focus on minions in the early game just for the big swing later on.

I don't know. This is such a novel idea, and I love it, but it makes it much harder to try and conceptualise the deck you play it in. Definitely one that needs testing to refine the exact right combination of spells and minions to take advantage of it the most.


Theorycrafting Druid in United in Stormwind

Ha! You expected Token Druid or Feral Druid, but you forgot who was reviewing this class!

Elwynn Boar is my favourite minion from the expansion, and of course I had to try and come up with a decklist for it. This is so far from refined it's not even funny - there was a lot of straight searching the words 'copy' and 'Taunt' and just adding what came up - but I can at least tell you what your game plan is.

Obviously, you need to get as many Elwynn Boar out as possible. The easiest way to achieve this is to drop Oracle of Elune and follow it up with a Boar for twice the fun, but you're not going to be able to rely on just that. Northshire Farmer is your next best friend, because he ensures you have a steady supply of Boars in your deck should your opponent cruelly try and Silence the ones you have out, or heavens forbid kill them all before you've summoned enough of them.

Germination and Ironbark allow you to utilise Mark of the Spikeshell and Plaguemaw the Rotting for even more Boars.

Now you might be looking at all of this and thinking that it sounds like it'll cost an awful lot of mana - and you'd be right, it does! That's where the rest of the deck comes in, protecting you until you can combo off. Park Panther is an amazing new card for controlling the board, and Encumbered Pack Mule, Thickhide Kodo and Best in Shell provide protection at all stages of the game that also works with Plaguemaw.

Finally, Guidance and Nature Studies can help you adapt to the game as needed, while Living Seed and Loot Hoarder provide a little extra draw to try and make sure those shuffled Boars get back to you ASAP.

I'll end with my final disclaimer - please, for the love of Yogg, don't craft any cards for this deck. I'm sure there are many adequate substitutions you could make instead of throwing your dust at my terrible meme. Just swap Shan'do Wildclaw for another Loot Hoarder or something if you have to, I beg of you.


Closing Thoughts on Druid in United in Stormwind

Druid got some really solid pieces for its strong existing token archetype this expansion, and I don't expect to see that deck going anywhere without a different class rising up and pushing it out. As many interesting cards as Druid got, I don't see the other options taking over.

The other options are neat though. There's suggestions of an interesting Big Druid deck with a few key large spells thanks to Sheldras Moontree, and their Questline seems really solidly strong, especially since you don't have to sacrifice too many deck slots to supporting it. It could easily slot into a midrange or control shell with only a few tweaks to add in Moontouched Amulet and Feral Rage (since Park Panther would be included even without the Questline, I think).

And of course, my memes will likely remain dreams, but what exciting dreams they are.

Did we get it right? Did we get it wrong? Share your thoughts on Druid in the comments!


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