beginner-tech-deck-ramp-druid

Introduction

Hi guys, Sheng here with a guide on Basic Ramp Druid. This deck costs 0 Dust, is completely free to play, and only uses the Basic cards you unlock after getting the Druid class to level 10.

Because it’s constructed with only Basic cards, it’s not meant to carry you past Rank 10 on the ladder. Instead, it’s something that a new player can start with and improve with Expert cards over time.

This deck’s goal is to utilize the excellent mana acceleration provided by Druid cards like Innervate

and Wild Growth
to bring out big late-game minions like Boulderfist Ogre
and Ironbark Protector
. To survive until late game, this deck includes cheap removal spells, board clearing combos, and a slew of efficient mid-game minions.

Decklist

Minions (19)

2x Acidic Swamp Ooze

  • 2 mana for a 3/2 is good value, but it’s the weapon destroying battle cry that makes this the best 2 mana minion in the Basic set.

2x Bloodfen Raptor

  • An Ooze without the battle cry. With the dearth of good 2 mana minions in the Basic set, we choose him for his stats alone. Another option would be River Crocolisk
    , but in general a 3/2 is better than a 2/3. This is because a 3/2 has the potential to kill most 3 mana minions.

1x Kobold Geomancer

  • A situational card. The Kobold Geomancer is only a 2 mana for a 2/2, and not a minion we would choose for his stats alone. His inclusion into our deck is for his +1 Spell Power ability. The dream is to play Kobold Geomancer and Swipe
    on the same turn together to deal 5 damage to one target, and 2 damage to all other enemy targets for 6 mana.

2x Ironfur Grizzly

  • A plain 3 mana for a 3/3 with taunt. Fills our mana curve at the 3 slot.

2x Shattered Sun Cleric

  • A great card to play whenever you have a minion on the board. The dream is to buff a smaller minion to kill a larger minion, or a minion to survive what would have been an equal trade.

2x Chillwind Yeti

  • A plain 4 mana for a 4/5. He’s almost always going to be the largest minion on the board on turn 4. This is one of the best 4 mana minions in the game. With Druid you can potentially The Coin
    + Innervate
    him on turn 1, which is amazing.

2x Gnomish Inventor

  • In general, paying 1 additional mana on the cost of a card to draw another card is good value. In this light, Gnomish Inventor is really a 3 mana for a 2/4. This is good because a 2/4 will trade with two 3/2 minions.

2x Sen'jin Shieldmasta

  • A great card against aggro. 4 mana for a 3/5 is already fair, but the taunt is what makes this card good.

2x Boulderfist Ogre

  • A plain 6 mana for a 6/7. This card would actually be worse with 7 attack because of Big Game Hunter
    . 7 health means it survives 6 attack minions and Fireball
    s.
2x Ironbark Protector
  • 8 mana for a 8/8 taunt. This is a card your opponent has to deal with when it comes into play. Only truly weak to cards like The Black Knight
    , Big Game Hunter
    , and unconditional removal.

Spells (11)

2x Innervate

  • Free mana? What a bargain! This is best used to get your 4 cost minions out on turn 2 going first, and turn 1 with The Coin
    ). Alternatively, you can use this to get 6 cost minions out on turn 4. It is very difficult to deal with an early Chillwind Yeti
    or Boulderfist Ogre
    . A well timed early Innervate can snowball games.

2x Claw

  • 1 mana for 2 damage and 2 armor. Cheap removal that can be used to clear your opponent’s 2 health minions.
1x Mark of the Wild
  • A situational card. Considering that you can play a 3/2 for 2 mana, Mark of the Wild isn’t the most mana efficient card. Its value comes from buffing a minion so that it survives what would have been a 1 for 1 trade. (i.e. Your 3/2 minion being buffed to 5/4 to kill another 3/2 and surviving.) You never want to play this on a minion just to do 2 extra damage.

2x Wild Growth

  • A great card to play early from your opening hand. Playing Wild Growth on turn 1 with The Coin
    is like having an extra coin every turn. This card has the most value the earlier it is played. The weakness of this card is that during mid-game (turns 4-6), playing Wild Growth might prevent you from playing a bigger minion, making it a dead card. However, if you hold onto Wild Growth long enough, or top-deck one late in the game with 10 mana crystals, playing Wild Growth will allow you to draw another card through Excess Mana
    .
2x Swipe
  • Pretty much the best Basic Druid card, and Druid’s only board clear spell. By itself, its ability to clear your opponent’s board is fairly weak, but with a Kobold Geomancer
    in play, this is better than a Holy Nova
    or Consecration
    .

2x Starfire

  • This can be used to take out 5 health minions or finish a game. As a bonus, it draws you a card. Starfire isn’t cheap removal, but it’s reasonable for its cost, and the Basic card set doesn’t have any better options.

Mulligan Guide

The general guideline is to look for an opening hand that will let you play a card on turn 2, 3, and 4. Here are the cards you’ll want to keep:

Minions

  • 2 Mana: Acidic Swamp Ooze
    , Bloodfen Raptor
  • 3 Mana: Ironfur Grizzly
    , Shattered Sun Cleric
  • 4 Mana: Chillwind Yeti
    , Sen'jin Shieldmasta
  • Minions to Mulligan
    • Kobold Geomancer
      should be thrown away, because its value comes from being played on the same turn as Swipe
      .
    • While Gnomish Inventor
      is a 4 mana minion, it is a weak play on turn 4 due to its 2 attack, and should also be thrown away. Her value comes later in the game when you need to replenish your hand.
    • Any minions with a mana cost over 4 should be thrown away as well. You want to keep cards that are playable early.

Spells

  • Wild Growth
    • Wild Growth
      is strongest played early. When going second, being able to
      out a Wild Growth
      on turn 1 means you can play a 3 mana minion on turn 2, and a 4 mana minion on turn 3. It’s like getting a free coin every turn!
  • Innervate
    • A very strong turn 1 play going second with this deck is to
      + Innervate
      to play Chillwind Yeti
      or Sen'jin Shieldmasta
      . This will guarantee that your opponent will have to spend his second and third turns trying to eliminate your 4 mana minion, giving you a large advantage.
    • Innervate
      is strongest when coining out 4 mana minions (Chillwind Yeti
      , Sen'jin Shieldmasta
      ) or 6 mana minions (Boulderfist Ogre
      ) in this deck. This is because turn 4 and turn 6 are the turns with the greatest power spikes for minions. Being able to play these minions earlier is a huge advantage.
  • Spells to Mulligan
    • Your other spells should be thrown away because they don’t help put a minion on the board. In the beginning of the game, board presence is the most important thing.

How to Play

This deck’s strength is the ability to bring out mid and game minions out early through the mana acceleration granted by Wild Growth
and Innervate
. The idea is to force your opponent to trade two or more smaller minions (or spells) to remove your larger ones until they run out of cards, leaving your late game Boulderfist Ogre
and Ironbark Protector
finishers uncontested. Cards like Claw
, Swipe
, and Starfire
will help you clear the board if you’re behind after early game, and do double duty as spells that can attack your opponent for an unexpected lethal. An early advantage can often snowball to victory, so I’ve outlined some of the best possible plays on the first few turns.

Going First

Turn 1 Without Innervate

:

  • Skip the turn. The only potential play here is an early Claw
    to your opponents face. You should never play Claw
    to damage your opponent’s face unless you have lethal.

Turn 1 with Innervate

:

  • Skip the turn. You’ll want to save your Innervate
    for next turn when it can potentially bring out a 4 mana minion. The only 3 mana minions in this deck are Shattered Sun Cleric
    and Ironfur Grizzly
    which trade evenly with many 2 mana minions.

Turn 2 without Innervate

:

  • Play Wild Growth
    if you have a 4 mana minion in hand. You’ll be able to play it next turn.
  • Play Bloodfen Raptor
    .
  • Play Acidic Swamp Ooze
    . Note that you should play Bloodfen Raptor
    first if you have both of these cards in your hand against classes with weapons (Hunter, Paladin, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior).
  • Use your Hero Power (+1 Attack this turn. +1 Armor). This is the weakest play unless you’re using it to kill a 1 health minion your opponent played on his first turn.

Turn 2 with Innervate

:

  • Use Innervate
    to play a 4 mana minion if you have it. Otherwise your options are the same as without Innervate
    .

Going Second

Turn 1 without Innervate

:

  • If you have Wild Growth
    , its usage depends on the rest of the cards you have in hand.
  • If you have a 2 mana minion, play it first, and then Wild Growth
    on turn 2. This will get a minion out on the board early, and let you play a 4 mana minion on turn 3.
  • If you don’t have a 2 mana minion, go ahead and play Wild Growth
    .
  • If your hand has a mana curve of 2, 2, 3, 4, use The Coin
    and play a 2 mana minion.

Turn 1 with Innervate

:

  • If you have Sen'jin Shieldmasta
    or Chillwind Yeti
    , you can The Coin
    + Innervate
    to bring it out. Otherwise save your Innervate
    . In general, it’s not worth it to use both The Coin
    and Innervate
    to bring out a Gnomish Inventor
  • If you don’t have anything to Innervate
    out, and don’t have a 2, 2, 3, 4 mana curve, you’ll want to save The Coin
    and skip this turn.

Turn 2

  • Your plays will be the same as turn 2 going first. Save The Coin
    unless you need to use Claw
    to kill an enemy minion.

General Tips

  • Always check to see if the combination of your minions, hero power, and spells will add up to lethal. Don’t forget to account for Kobold Geomancer
    ‘s spell power bonus if you have him!
  • Play your cards that draw you a card first before attacking or playing other cards. If you’re going to play Gnomish Inventor
    or Starfire
    anyway on this turn, it’s always better to play them first. You might just draw into the card you need to win the game.
  • Favor clearing your opponent’s board whenever possible. This prevents your opponent from buffing smaller minions to kill your more expensive ones.
  • Be aware of possible board clears. If you are ahead, it’s often wise to hold back from playing a weaker minion or two in case your opponent can Flamestrike
    them away.
  • Keep your Kobold Geomancer
    in your hand unless you can utilize its spell power bonus on the same turn. It dies too easily.

Deck Weaknesses

This deck is primarily weak to unconditional removal cards like Hex

, Polymorph
, and Assassinate
, and tempo swinging minions with removal battle cries like Big Game Hunter
and The Black Knight
. Unfortunately, there is sometimes not much you can do if your Ironbark Protector
gets eliminated this way. The best you can do is to try to bait out the removal on your other minions before bringing out your big guys.

Combos

This deck has a lot of unexpected damage from spells that you can use to close out a game. Below are a few combos I’ve used while playing:
  • Kobold Geomancer
    + Swipe
    : 5 damage to 1 target, and 2 damage to all other enemy targets. This is a Starfire
    and Consecration
    that leaves behinds a 2/2 for 6 mana.
  • Kobold Geomancer
    + Swipe
    + Swipe
    : 10 damage to 1 target, and 4 damage to all other enemy targets. This is a Pyroblast
    and Flamestrike
    that leaves behind a 2/2 for 10 mana.
  • Mark of the Wild
    + Minion: Allows a smaller minion to trade up to kill a larger one, or allows a minion to survive what would be an even trade. You only want to play this card on a minion if you can trade on the same turn. This mitigates the risk of removal.
  • Shattered Sun Cleric
    + Minion: Like Mark of the Wild
    this is ideally used to buff a smaller minion to kill a larger minion, or a minion to survive what would have been an equal trade.
  • Claw
     + Hero Power: 3 attack and 3 armor.
  • Claw
    + Claw
    + Hero Power: 5 attack and 5 armor.
  • Starfire
    + Swipe
    : 9 damage.

Upgrade Guide

Over time you can look to upgrade this deck with cards you find from booster packs. Here’s a handy upgrade guide you can use to swap out cards. It’s organized by mana slot and function to help you maintain synergy in your deck.

1 Mana

  • Claw
    • Common: Wrath

2 Mana

  • Acidic Swamp Ooze
    • Common: Power of the Wild
    • Rare: Knife Juggler
      , Sunfury Protector
  • Bloodfen Raptor
    • Any cards that would replace Acidic Swamp Ooze
      .
    • Common: Loot Hoarder
      , Mad Bomber
      , Faerie Dragon
      , Youthful Brewmaster
  • Kobold Geomancer
    • You can consider removing Kobold Geomancer
      completely from this deck.
    • Rare: Azure Drake
    • Legendary: Bloodmage Thalnos
  • Mark of the Wild
    • You can consider removing Mark of the Wild
      completely from this deck.
    • Common: Wrath
      , Power of the Wild

3 Mana

  • Ironfur Grizzly
    • Any cards that would replace Shattered Sun Cleric
      .
    • Common: Earthen Ring Farseer
      , Raging Worgen
      , Jungle Panther
    • Rare: Mind Control Tech
      , Injured Blademaster
      , Deathlord
    • Epic: Blood Knight
  • Shattered Sun Cleric
    • Common: Harvest Golem
      , Scarlet Crusader
    • Epic: Big Game Hunter

4 Mana

  • Gnomish Inventor
    • Common: Druid of the Claw
      , Spectral Knight
    • Rare: Azure Drake
      , Keeper of the Grove
      ,  Stampeding Kodo
      , Defender of Argus
      , Violet Teacher
    • Epic: Faceless Manipulator
    • Legendary:
  • Sen'jin Shieldmasta
    • Any cards that would replace Gnomish Inventor
      .

6 Mana

  • Boulderfist Ogre
    • Rare: Argent Commander
    • Legendary: Cairne Bloodhoof
      , Sylvanas Windrunner
      , The Black Knight
  • Starfire
    • Rare: Starfall
    • Epic: Force of Nature

8 Mana

  • Ironbark Protector
    • Epic: Ancient of Lore
      , Ancient of War
    • Legendary: Ragnaros the Firelord
      , Ysera
      , Cenarius
      , Onyxia

Conclusion

Overall, this deck is very fun to play, and a great entry point if you’re just starting to learn the Druid class. Over time, as you grow your card collection, you may end up substituting most of the Basic cards in this deck with Expert ones. At that point, I’d recommend checking out the other  Druid Guides we have on this site for more in depth analysis into the many competitive Druid decks that can take you to Legend rank. As always, feel free to leave any questions you may have, and I’ll be happy to answer them.