The full Fractured in Alterac Valley set has been revealed and it's time to look at all the new cards and look at how Druid will be doing this expansion. We'll be breaking each of the Druid cards down, judging their potential power levels and giving our thoughts on their place in the upcoming 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 Fractured in Alterac Valley

Druid's main focus in this expansion is expanding upon its Beast synergies with some powerful new tools and early game enablers. One interesting aspect of it is the focus on Stealth Beasts via a couple of cards that generate the new Frostwolf Cubs, along with Dire Frostwolf itself. This means that you should be able to more reliably have a Beast on board for synergistic cards and buffs.

Other than that, there's a sprinkling of Choose One support cards and the usual combo enabling cards just waiting for someone to figure out how best to break them. Their Hero Card is especially interesting in this regard - it's fairly out of place with the rest of the set, but so very Druid at the same time.

Clawfury Adept

Clawfury Adept Card Image

Aggression is nine tenths of the claw.

This is a somewhat deceptively powerful little card. Decks that go wide will be interested in trying this out, as even a temporary board-wide buff can still be a powerful finishing tool. The fact that you need to have a spot clear on the board for it does somewhat diminish the upper level of power on it, but as a 2 mana 2/3 I'm honestly happy with what it offers.

Even in the absolute worst case scenario of needing to play it early it still gives you +1 Attack until the end of the turn, letting you ping away a 1-drop while beginning to develop a board.

Heart of the Wild

Heart of the Wild Card Image

We won't tell them Guff smuggled it into Standard if you don't.

Obviously we'll only consider this in terms of its utility in a purely Beast focused deck - a simple +2/+2 is not worth considering for 2 mana, let alone 3, so don't waste your time.

Now, a Blessing of the Ancients that trades a second shot at buffing for an immediate extra bonus to one of your minions? That's kind of interesting. The strength of Druid's board-wide buffs is entirely dependent on its ability to create that board, however, and many of its existing options aren't Beasts.

Notably, Glowfly Swarm does help us out here. There's a couple distinct options here, either tweaking existing Spell Druid lists to beef up the number of Beasts they can summon, or focusing more on actual minions and looking at the new Beasts they have and potentially having to cut things like the Glowflies. I think the buff is good enough when it works fully to seriously consider both these options.

Dire Frostwolf

Dire Frostwolf Card Image Frostwolf Cub Card Image

He's just a little chilly from spending so long at the Wall.

A 4/4 Beast with Stealth is already a really good looking card at 4 mana. That it then replaces itself with another Stealth Beast when it gets taken out pushes this into properly interesting territory, and makes me excited for the future of Beast Druid in general. The Stealth is so important when you need Beasts to stick to the board for more than one turn to truly take advantage of all the buffs and synergies.

Pride Seeker

Pride Seeker Card Image

She could just wait six months, but she's not one for lion around.

If you're running a decent number of Choose One cards this is well worth considering, especially since there's no timing restriction on it - unless you're planning a particular combo with it you can just slap it down and reap the rewards on a future turn at your leisure.

The combo potential is of course worth noting, just because selective mana cheating like this always has something exciting you can look forward to. I'm not personally the kind of person that can see into the matrix and put together the next Exodia, but it wouldn't surprise me if this was involved in something down the line.

Frostwolf Kennels

Frostwolf Kennels Card Image Frostwolf Cub Card Image

I'll let the Baha Men know it was you.

In total you're going to get 6/6 worth of Stealthed stats from this, which is a great deal. In a Beast deck I'd definitely recommend this, because it provides great individual buff targets and also helps set you up for a good Heart of the Wild play. Outside that however it's far, far too slow a card to bother with; Token decks have much better minion generation options, so if they aren't leaning into the Beast angle then there's no point including this.

It is a little bit of a shame you don't get a minion straight away, as it means you can't buff one on the same turn if that would've managed your mana better. Having Stealth means it'll likely survive to the next turn anyway, but it would've been a nice bonus.


Pathmaker Card Image

Her Animal Crossing island is incredible.

Another completely timing unrestricted card here - you'd best remember what Choose One spell you played three turns ago! Don't get me wrong, I love that you don't need to combo this in the same turn because it makes the card much more potentially viable, but I can already anticipate myself misplaying very frequently because I just wasn't paying enough attention.

Of course, the card could indicate while in the hand what Choose One spell it's going to be looking at and which option it'll cast... but I don't have my hopes up based on how stingy they tend to be with actually showing stuff in the game.

Capture Coldtooth Mine

Capture Coldtooth Mine Card Image

"Oh was this yours? Sorry, Coldtooth Mine now."

A really interesting draw option disguised as a combo piece. Or a combo piece disguised as a draw option, I suppose, depending on how your mind processes cards. I see Druid and immediately think mana cheating and combos myself.

Ignoring the combo aspect of it - which essentially boils down to 'build your deck right, draw combo pieces' - it's actually super interesting to have a draw in your deck that can support your early game or your late game as needed. In the first few turns you can pull something playable from your deck to make sure you don't fall behind, and later in the game you can conjure up a guaranteed power play for your next turn (or that turn, if your deck trends lower in mana costs). It being a single draw does sting a little for 2 mana, but the choices are really versatile ones.

Frostsaber Matriarch

Frostsaber Matriarch Card Image

Sometimes a family is a Mole, a Penguin, two Turtles and a really scary Cat.

More Beast support! This can easily drop down to 0 mana quite quickly in the right deck, and I can easily see it dropping down as a 4 mana 4/5 Taunt on curve sometimes too if that's what you need it to be. A natural inclusion in Beast decks, and something not to be dismissed in less focused decks - note that it's summoned Beasts, not played, so there's a lot of options that just happen to be Beasts that might make this worth looking at.

I don't know if I'd dilute a pure Spell deck with it just because of Glowfly Swarm... but I'd think about it.

Wing Commander Mulverick

Wing Commander Mulverick Card Image Strike Wyvern Card Image

"Wyverns? Why not verns?"

Really interesting use of the new Keyword. All the Wyverns he summons will also themselves be able to summon more Wyverns if they can find an appropriately honorable kill to make, which could mean clearing out a board and leaving yourself with a decent chunk of minions going forward.

It's a lot of math to do to make sure you're getting the best use out of him, and it'll certainly feel quite bad when you can't get things to line up and he just ends up as a 2/5 with Rush. This one definitely feels like it'll depend on the meta, because you need your opponents to have boards that you can take advantage of by trading into them - if we're seeing too many single big minion boards instead of multiple little minion boards, Mulverick will struggle.

Wildheart Guff

Wildheart Guff Card Image Nurture Card Image

Maybe the real friend was the mana we cheated on the way.

Oh, the headache this card gives me. I love the effect, it's so unique and yet feels like such an obvious thing that Druids should have had ages ago. Having said that I have no clue how to properly take advantage of having an extra 10 mana to play with (eventually).

Sure, something like Twig of the World Tree will let you power up insanely and start popping off with multiple big plays in a single turn, but in Standard I don't know what kind of deck you build for this to best make use of it. Finding the right balance of mana acceleration, card draw and threats will be an interesting challenge, though the Hero Power does mitigate that somewhat by helping to cover 2/3 of those options.

I'm really excited by this card, and I definitely want to build some terrible Big Druid and slowly refine it as I get used to how the tension of the card plays out in practice.

Theorycrafting Druid in Fractured in Alterac Valley

As always with my pre-expansion theorycrafts, I'm all about going in on an idea perhaps a little too much just to see how far it can be pushed. This time, my lens is on trying to make Beast Druid happen.

Druid has a lot of options for Beasts now, but to truly call a deck a Beast deck I figure it should be making use of Beast synergy cards where possible. As such, I've done my best to shape the deck around working with Guardian Animals, Menagerie Warden and Shan'do Wildclaw. In practice this actually works out quite well, because all three of them want you to be playing fairly large Beasts where possible and cutting smaller, less interesting Beasts.

To replace the lost lower cost Beasts we have spells that summon Beasts instead like Thorngrowth Sentries and Frostwolf Kennels, because that helps power out Frostsaber Matriarchs as an additional defensive option.

In addition to a suite of good 4/5-Cost Beasts for our Guardian Animals to summon, Sheldras Moontree rounds out the top end to potentially blow out the opponent with Guardian Animals, Cenarion Ward and Survival of the Fittest. This is easily the shakiest part of the deck thanks to the amount of low-cost spells that also warranted inclusion, but I just think it'll be really fun if you pull it off so why not, right?

Oh, and Humongous Owl. Because it's a Humongous Owl.

Closing Thoughts on Druid in Fractured in Alterac Valley

I'm excited by the Beast Druid support in this expansion, mostly because they're trying something different with it by focusing a little on Stealth and that really plays into what Druid wants to be doing with Beasts. There's never really been what I would describe as a successful Beast Druid deck before, and I think with this expansion it really has a shot of happening, at the very least as something playable. It might not end up being the best Druid deck, but it should at least be a fairly fun one.

The other cards that Druid has feel in many ways like support pieces rather than things that will truly define an archetype, with the obvious exception of Wildheart Guff - if that sees play then you know it will be because it's intended as a centerpiece of a deck. I don't mind seeing more support for older archetypes or even just general support cards, though, as sometimes too much obvious direction can feel quite forced. A lot of Druid's cards this expansion feel like you could find places for them in a variety of decks instead of one linear line of play, which is exciting because it means you're more likely to get to play with them in a competitive deck.

What do you think about Druid in Fractured in Alterac Valley? Let us know in the comments below!

More From Fractured in Alterac Valley

We've got more class reviews that you won't want to miss! Don't forget that you can see all the cards coming in the expansion in our Alterac Valley Expansion Guide and if you want to test your luck, you can head on over to our pack opener to crack some packs.