The Hadronox Druid deck isn’t new– It was discovered early into The Witchwood. However, as the meta has moved towards slower decks like the Control Priest deck that is all the rage, this Druid deck has slowly climbed the tiers. The goal of it seems fairly simple but it can become incredibly complex. Your overall goal, however, is clear: build a wall. Make America- never mind.
This deck uses a ton of taunts and several massive revivals in order to decimate your opponent. Aggressive decks have a hard time pushing through taunts, and slower decks have issues with the revivals. Once this deck has started rolling, it’s near impossible to stop.
This is my personal decklist, cobbled together from a few different lists I saw floating around. The biggest thing I would consider taking out is one of the Witching Hours. Running two is amazing against control decks but, if you draw both against aggro decks, you just sort of lose. The other thing I myself have questioned is how good the Tar Creepers are. I didn’t initially have them in the deck but I saw lots of people running them. They’ve performed very well, but then they take up a slot in your revivals and they are significantly worse. It’s left up to you whether you want better early or late game. Rotten Applebaum is a great replacement if you decide to remove the Tar Creepers.
The goal of this deck is to build a wall. Your entire game plan focuses around the card Hadronox. Hadronox brings your taunt minions back into play when it dies. Therefore, playing taunts is twice as important both for getting you to late game for a huge Hadronox play, and then for making the play itself much better. The majority of your deck is taken up by effective taunt minions. The rest is made up of defensive cards to stall out the game. Draw and ramp cards are interwoven to get your important cards faster.
Your entire goal in early game is survival. You’ll also want to be drawing as many cards as possible, but first and foremost: don’t let your opponent kill you. In-depth strategy, I know. Ideally, you’re aiming to play Wild Growth and/or Greedy Sprite, curve into Oaken Summons, and go from there. Realistically, any of those cards, or Ironwood Golem and Tar Creeper, will likely be enough to get you through the early game. Your mid game is just playing big taunts and drawing cards. Primordial Drake, Lich King, and Ultimate Infestation are the big plays. Keep in mind, though, that there are a lot of Branching Path and Nourish plays which can be just as important.
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Once you get to late game and have drawn Hadronox, the fun begins. You drop Hadronox and, if you feel you need the taunts immediately, Naturalize your own Hadronox. At this point you’ll likely be bringing back 3-5 taunt minions, hopefully one of them being a Primordial Drake or Lich King. Your opponent will likely have issues with this, but clearing it won’t be the toughest. Then you follow up with Witching Hour, bringing back Hadronox as your only Beast, and play Carnivorous Cube to kill it, summing all those minions again, doubled, and holding two more Hadronox inside Carnivorous Cube. If your opponent manages to clear all that AND remove the Cube and follow up Hadronoxes… just do it again. In the span of three or four turns you can easily fill your board several times over, and there’s not a ton most decks can do about it.
There are a few match-ups where you really have to watch out. The biggest issues you’ll have are with Mage and Shaman. Not because their archetypes are particularly difficult, but because they have two particular cards that mess you up: Polymorph and Hex. These two cards are not only silences, they also remove the card from going to the graveyard. That means you can’t revive the Hadronox either. If you’re against either of these classes, you may be forced to play Hadronox and instantly Naturalize him so your opponent doesn’t have a chance to mess up your play.
If that was the only issue, the match-up would be fine. However, there’s another issue with Polymorph and Hex as well as a few other cards. They add a Beast to your deck. Suddenly your Witching Hour isn’t guaranteed to bring back Hadronox, and your entire deck is relying on a 50/50 – or worse. These match-ups are always a struggle and in them I would suggest playing your Hadronox combo as early as possible. If you can avoid having your Beast pool diluted, you should win.
The new Control Priest deck can also be a problem. It uses Mind Control, so it can choose to deny one of your large taunts. It also forces you once more to use your Naturalize combo. That being said, if you can avoid losing your Hadronox to one of Priests many steal effects you should be golden in the match-up.
Beware the Aggro
Incredibly aggressive decks can always be scary for any deck, and this is no exception. When I was playing this deck extensively, the meta was almost entirely Paladin and Face Hunter. That’s why I decided to add in the Tar Creepers and they definitely helped. You get into a tight fight for turns 5 and 6. If you can make it there and build up a wall and some armor, you’ll be in a great spot. But, since this deck only has a handful of cards that cost less than four, you can easily find yourself in a bad spot early.
The biggest key I’ve found to this match-up is to keep Oaken Summons in your opening hand and use your Naturalize freely. Using it on a 2/1 minion on turn one can potentially save you 6-10 life in the long run, depending on whether or not you can build a board. Your entire goal in this match-up is survival– Hadronox won’t even be a factor.