Aviana Malygos Druid by Socratez
Aviana Malygos Druid
Hello, and welcome to my first guide. My name is Socratez, I’m an experienced hearthstone player competing for the high ranks in both ladder and open cups. I came across this deck while watching show's stream. Since I never blindly copy any deck, I gave it a little twist to be more effective against aggressive decks, while maintaining its late game finishing power. Initially, I was using moonfires because I felt that it was a must in any druid deck that runs Malygos, but it often ended up being a low-value card. Because this deck doesn’t just burn your opponent with empowered spells, but also creates a huge board of your own, the otk combo wasn’t as important anyway. On top of that, you’re often able to use swipe with Malygos which more than makes up for the lack of moonfires, not only doing a lot of face damage but also clearing your opponent’s board. So let’s get on with it!
Why should I play this deck?
You play this deck if you enjoy druid and love crazy combos. This deck develops faster than Jade druid, has much better swing turns with Aviana and Kun into Malygos Swipe, and is not as linear and boring as Jade druid. On the contrary, this deck is a lot of fun and exciting to play, but does require strategic thinking and planning ahead, more so than the average deck. The reward for succeeding with this deck, however, is an amazing sense of awesomeness. Unfortunately, Aviana will rotate out in the next standard year, so this deck will only be playable until that time comes, probably early 2017. So unless you have plenty of dust to craft this card in case you don’t have it, you’re probably better off spending dust on cards that will stay in play for a while. Or you just want to have fun and don’t mind crafting a card that’s finally become viable with the arrival of Kun. Either way, you’ll always be able to play this in Wild format!
In principle the strategy is simple: Ramp up, draw cards, deal with the board, play your own threats and stall for your combo of Aviana and Kun, followed ideally by Malygos or Auctioneer to draw into Malygos. At the same time, you can play your Ancients for 1 mana each to build a wall of taunts to lock down the board if you can’t otk. However, in practice, the deck doesn’t always pan out that way, especially in tempo matchups like against aggressive decks. In those games, you may just want to play Kun for 10 armor since your biggest challenge will be surviving rather than out-valuing. For that matter, you always want to look for innervate in those games to establish early tempo and board lead. Having double Ancients and Druids of the Claw allows you to stall games, with two Feral Rages and Raven Idols on top of that. Against aggro, you’ll want to also keep living roots and I’d even argue for keeping swipe because it’s so strong against aggressive boards. Against control decks, you’ll want to just ramp and draw as much as possible to gain a big tempo lead or swing turn later on.
As I’ve mentioned before you’ll always want to ramp your mana. So you look for Innervate, Wild Growth, Mire Keeper in almost any game. An exception could be if you already have Innervate and Mire Keeper in your opening hand against aggro where a Wild Growth would probably be a dead card in your hand during the early stages of the game. That being said, Wild Growth is your most valuable card in any other kind of matchup. Against aggro, you keep living roots and arguably swipe too if you have coin or ramp already in hand. Wrath can also be a good keep depending on the matchup, like versus shaman where it deals very well with Flametongue or Tunnel Trogg. Feral rage is also a keep versus shaman because it deals well with an early Totem Golem.
In value matchups, I also like to keep Drake or Nourish if I have ramp and coin. Without coin, your best opening is Wild Growth into Mire Keeper. Raven Idol is often also good to keep because it gives you a card to play on turn one while giving you additional options over the next few turns. You can even get another Wild Growth or Innervate if you don’t have it in your opening hand. With the Auctioneer Wild Growth is quite valuable late game so it’s not a bad card to draw as long as you ramped early. What makes druid a strong class is its ability to make high-value tempo plays with the extra mana advantage. Any game where you fail to establish this advantage is going to be considerably harder to win.
Develop, draw, or clear?
A lot of the choices you make will revolve around these three things. What is best differs quite a lot given any situation, but there are a few rules of thumb that you can apply. Against aggressive decks, you’ll always want to clear as much of the board as you can. What loses you games is taking too much chip damage from minions after which your opponent can finish you with burn or weapons. Next to that, aggressive decks often run out of steam quickly if you just deal with their threats turn after turn. Even if you get on low health, you’ll have taunts and Feral Rages to stabilize a game.
Against other decks, it’s often good to develop your threats quickly to force your opponents to make inefficient plays or lose tempo. This gives you more than enough room to draw for your win condition, so always aim to pressure your opponent first and then draw for more threats. Sometimes you’ll be so far behind on board that Malygos Swipe is your only win condition. Use your taunts and gain armor from Feral Rages to stall the game, and draw into your win. I’ve won many games that seemed lost because druid draws and ramps so well into crazy combos.
Nourish: Ramp or draw?
Usually, you draw unless you have two in hand with no other ramp. Drawing is very important for this deck to get to its win condition. Even without another ramp I tend to Innervate Nourish for the draw on turn 3, often drawing into a Mire Keeper for turn 4. But if you have a very clunky hand with Ancients and other big threats then ramping with Nourish is definitely advised if that’s your only ramp. Since you ideally Nourish for cards, it’s even more important to get a ramp in your opening hand.
I hope you enjoyed this guide. The best way to get a hang of this deck is just to practice it and analyze your plays, especially when you lose. Think ahead, calculate your plays and set up for swing turns like Drake + Swipe or Fandral into Nourish or Wrath. In some games, you may even want to hold on to an Innervate to get a better Auctioneer turn in order to draw your combo cards. That being said, in this aggressive meta, it pays to not be too greedy and choose the tempo play over the value to play most of the time. Once you put your opponent in an uncomfortable position you buy yourself time to draw and set up for your combo. On top of that, the deck has a surprising amount of burst with the double Druid of the Claw. With a decent opening hand, you can often tempo your opponent out of the game without ever having to rely on your combo.