Ramp Druid is a deck archetype in Hearthstone that uses Druid-specific cards like Innervate and Wild Growth to accelerate the size of the Hero's available Mana pool. By doing so, you're able to dig much deeper into your pool of minions, in order to play much more powerful creatures than your opponent will be able to field at any given stage of the match. From here, it's a question of building an impenetrable defense, while simultaneously snowballing an overwhelming threat.
It's a deck that's been popular in one form or another since the very earliest days of Hearthstone's existence, but the last couple of card sets has provided fans of the Ramp Druid with quite a few new toys to play with. Mire Keeper added a little extra flavour, but for the most part it was the arrival of Fandral Staghelm that really shook up this ancient archetype in the Old Gods - and now Gadgetzan - metagame. In addition, the new Legendary Kun the Forgotten King takes this deck to even greater heights.
In the next of our Gadgetzan deck guides, we'll highlight the most popular and powerful version of the deck list that's currently in circulation, and also explain the fundamentals of playing this sort of deck. After that we've got a few tips for getting off to a good start with a strong Mulligan, and a section explaining all of the combos and synergies available to the Ramp Druid in 2017.
Editor's note: March update - As we approach the end of the Gadgetzan era, we're choosing to carry our old Ramp Druid deck list forwards. If this is your weapon of choice for the ladder, simply carry on as you were!
(For the Wild version of this deck, make sure you take a look at our Wild Ramp Druid deck list and guide)
BREAKING NEWS! - Don't miss our Journey to Un'Goro guide, which contains everything we know about the next expansion for Hearthstone!
Ramp Druid (Standard) deck list and strategy - March 2017
Our preferred deck list for Ramp Druid in the month of December was dreamt up by Sjow. It's still quite early on in the Gadgetzan metagame, so this deck may well see more revisions in the coming months.
|2 x Innervate||1 x Emperor Thaurissan|
|2 x Moonfire||1 x Gadgetzan Auctioneer|
|2 x Living Roots||1 x Alexstrasza|
|1 x Raven Idol||1 x Aviana|
|2 x Wild Growth||1 x Malygos|
|2 x Wrath||1 x Kun the Forgotten King|
|2 x Feral Rage|
|1 x Fandral Staghelm|
|2 x Mire Keeper|
|2 x Swipe|
|2 x Druid of the Claw|
|2 x Nourish|
|2 x Ancient of War|
We reckon holding your nerve through the early-game is probably the toughest part of playing Ramp Druid. Factor in the likes of Wild Growth and Innervate and it becomes tricky to explain how exactly you should achieve that in any given situation.
Your strength lies in the late-game - and getting early access to it through your Mana-boosting cards - but against aggressive opponents, you should be using cards like Living Roots and Wrath to either establish the board or hold back the tide until you have better plays available. If you can keep them at bay until the mid-game, they should have little hope of building an equal threat.
While it's nice to get an early Fandral Staghelm out and have him live long enough for you to follow up with Mire Keeper, it won't happen all the time. If you need to make a choice with the Keeper, go for the extra Mana against slower opponents, and the extra body on the board against aggro.
The power of the late-game cards at your disposal is pretty self-evident, but note the crucial combo at play here. Even without the benefit of an Emperor Thaurissan cost reduction, a Turn 10 Aviana will allow you to drop Kun the Forgotten King onto the board immediately afterwards, which in turn allows you to throw out a feast of extra minions in his wake.
You also have the potential to cause further chaos through the use of Malygos' extra spellpower, and Alexstrasza's drastic health-reduction Battlecry effect.
More great guides:
Ramp Druid (Standard) Mulligan guide - March 2017
Innervate and Wild Growth are your two most crucial cards to keep if they show up in your starting hand. The latter should always be popped on Turn 2 as you'll gain the benefit of the extra Mana crystal all the way through the remainder of the match.
Innervate obviously affects other cards that you might want to keep as you try to build a decent way of curving out in the early turns. Cards like Living Roots and Wrath are also good options to control or develop the board with, and you might consider holding onto Swipe against likely aggro opponents too - certainly if you have The Coin at your disposal
Ramp Druid (Standard) combos and synergies - March 2017
As there a few new faces in this Gadgetzan version of Ramp Druid, you'd probably be wise to do a little reading up on some of the most important combos that can be found in this particular deck list:
- Any of your cards that feature the "Choose One" text will see both effects put into play if Fandral Staghelm is out on the board.
- Casting Innervate will provide you with two extra, entirely free Mana crystals to spend on the same turn. Multiple Innervates can be cast on the same turn if you want to reach even further into your minion pool! Just think carefully about any one-shot removal options your opponent might have in their hand.
- Malygos will significantly increase the value of all your damage-dealing spells. You'll be looking to get a big Emperor Thaurissan play to get the most out of this mighty minion.
- If Gadgetzan Auctioneer is out on the board, you will receive an extra card for each spell you play. Cards like Innervate can have a huge impact here for obvious, snowballing reasons!
- The big one. When Aviana is played onto the board, all minions in your hand have their cost reduced to one Mana Crystal. If you select the refill option, Kun the Forgotten King can then help you play a massive threat out onto the board.