Hearthstone players have been trying to make a competitive Beast Druid decklist for more than a year. Goblins vs Gnomes and Naxxramas were chock full of high value cards however, and this caused the archetype many, many problems when it came to actually keeping its minions alive. Now that Standard has been introduced and the meta as a whole is slightly more forgiving, Beast Druid actually stands on its own two legs.

Enjoy an excerpt below before heading on over to the full guide.

Update: A reader has pointed out that this guide was originally published by Sottle on IcyVeins. We try our best to make sure guides are legitimate before featuring them and will do better in the future.

The following guide contains instruction on how to play Beast Druid. Beast Druid was a deck that has often been on the fringes of competitive play, due to it having many powerful options, but generally being outclassed by other, more consistent Druid decks. In Standard format, most of the core Druid decks have been gutted by card nerfs, meaning that Beast Druid finally has its opportunity to shine.

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Beast Druid is a take on the aggressive form of Druid that aims to take board control and then finish the game with burst damage from Savage Roar. Previously, it offered no real benefits over the standard build of the deck, but with the release of Standard format, many of the options that made other Druid decks superior choices have been taken away, leaving this deck in a good spot.

Unlike most Druid decks, Beast Druid does not choose to include Wild Growth in their deck. The reason for this is that you play a reduced amount of late-game when compared to a regular Druid deck, and you play a more consistent curve of minions to play out on the board. With this in mind, you would prefer to play out a minion on each turn and not skip your turn 2 just to accelerate your Mana.

Even without Wild Growth, the deck still features Innervate as it is too powerful an effect not to include. Using Innervate to get out an early Fandral Staghelm or Savage Combatant can simply carry the game for you, and it also has excellent utility in the mid-game with Violet Teacher and Azure Drake in order to activate Spell combos.

Outside of the Mana acceleration cards, this deck also plays a very stable early-game, not usually found in most Druid decks. Between Druid of the Saber, Power of the Wild, and Druid of the Flame, you will almost always have a resilient minion to stick onto the board early and use as a platform for your development. Druid of the Saber should almost always be used in Stealth form in this deck, unless you are making a final push for damage in the late-game, or need to use it as a removal tool. It should also be noted that all the Transform minions in this deck are Beasts when in either of their Transformed states. This early game Beast platform is key because one of the strongest cards in your deck is Mark of Y'Shaarj which relies on having a Beast in play in order to cast it on.

Savage Combatant is another key card in the deck that can represent a lot of pressure on the board. Since Piloted Shredder has been removed from Standard format, the situation no longer arises where your 4-drop is outmatched horribly by a deck choosing to run Shredder. As mentioned earlier, if you are able to get Savage Combatant into play early with Innervate then you can easily start to make up for the loss of cards while still gaining Tempo by using your Hero power to eliminate their first few threats.

Fandral Staghelm is a key card in this deck and is one that many of the early-game spell choices are dictated by. By using any of the Choose One effects in the deck you can start to gain a huge advantage by playing essentially overpowered cards. Living Roots will deal 2 Damage and summon 2 1/1 minions, Raven Idol will Discover you a minion and a Spell, Power of the Wild will summon a 3/2 and buff your whole board by +1/+1, and Wrath will deal 4 damage while drawing a card. On top of this, your minions also gain both benefits from their Transform effects when Fandral is in play, but the interactions with Spells are more common due to how cheaply they can be activated.

Your goal with the deck is to build a board of aggressive minions, pushing damage where you can and then end the game with burst damage from Savage Roar. In order to help with this strategy, this deck has absorbed some cards from the classic Token Druid strategy in the form of Violet Teacher. Violet Teacher can be used in combination will the cheap spells in the deck to flood the board with 1/1s. This board can then be amplified further by casting a Power of the Wild which will create a huge buff on your board.