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Taunt Druid deck list guide - Rastakhan - Hearthstone (January 2019)

Our essential guide to mastering Taunt Druid in the Rastakhan era.

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About John Bedford

John is a freelance writer based in West Sussex.

Our Taunt Druid deck list guide features the best Rastakhan deck list for Season 58 of Hearthstone (January 2019). Our Taunt Druid guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.

Taunt Druid is a Hearthstone deck that's been built to exploit the Recruit mechanic that was introduced with Kobolds and Catacombs. As a result, you have a handful of powerful cards that can pluck equally deadly minions from your deck and bring them straight into play, and at no extra charge - very nice!

The launch of the Witchwood expansion introduced some fantastic new tools too and now the deck still remains strong as we enter the Rastakhan meta – even if the list hasn’t changed all that much. Alternatively, if you are looking for something similar that does draw from cards in the new expansion, then you might want to check out our Undatakah Druid guide instead.

If not, in the sixth edition of our guide to playing this archetype, we've got what we believe is the strongest version of the deck seeing play in the Rastakhan meta. We will, of course, be tracking developments closely. Read on below for even more strategy and combo advice to master piloting the deck.

Taunt Druid deck list and strategy

Here's the best version of Taunt Druid that's seeing play in the live Rastakhan meta. We'll be monitoring this one closely to see if any new cards manage to find a way into the list.

2 x Lesser Jasper Spellstone2 x Carnivorous Cube
2 x Naturalize1 x Trogg Gloomeater
2 x Wild Growth2 x Primordial Drake
1 x Wrath1 x The Lich King
1 x Ferocious Howl1 x Dragonhatcher
2 x Witching Hour1 x Sleepy Dragon
2 x Branching Paths1 x Master Oakheart
2 x Ironwood Golem
2 x Oaken Summons
2 x Swipe
2 x Nourish
1 x Hadronox

Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.

Deck Import ID: AAECAZICBsQGws4Cr9MCjeYC8eoCjfACDEBf6QHkCMnHApTSApjSAp7SAubTAovhAoTmAt3rAgA=

More great Druid guides:

VIDEO GUIDE - Trump's video guide to playing Taunt Druid is a little out of date, but the deck list hasn't changed all that much. This will give you a solid grounding in how to actually play Taunt Druid in a live environment, and we highly recommend that you watch the whole thing.

General strategy

This is a deck that's built around the concept of giving your opponent an endless succession of stubborn Taunt minions to deal with, and then once they've dealt with those problems, throwing all that stuff back onto the board. That's the broad strategy overview for playing Taunt Druid, then, but the combo section towards the bottom of the page will give you more insight into how the cards in this deck can be strategically weaved together.

Early game: Start ramping up your Mana curve via Wild Growth so you can start fielding problems that your opponent should struggle to overcome at their own current power level. You have some decent removal options in the deck, but you can also exploit the synergy that exists between Oaken Summons and cards like Ironwood Golem to start presenting the opponent with a defensive wall.

Mid game: Survivability and control should be your priorities in the mid game. You have cards such as Ferocious Howl that can give you a significant Armor boost if you’re holding a lot of cards, while Branching Paths can be used for any of its uses depending on your needs at the time. Against an opponent that has gone wide on the board, you can use Swipe to clear away all their minions, or target specific threats using an upgraded Lesser Jasper Spellstone.

Late game: Once you reach the end-game you have a large number of threats to throw at the opponent. Master Oakheart summons a seriously impressive collection of creatures (detailed in the combo section at the bottom of this page), while Hadronox brings all of your Taunt minions back to life. If that wasn't enough stickiness, you can use Carnivorous Cube to double down on your Taunt wall - get one of these guys on Hadronox in particular and it'll be almost impossible for your opponent to get back in the game.

Aggro opponents

These are some important things to consider when playing against aggro decks:

  • 1. If you can start getting some Taunt minions on the board early then aggro will have a lot of trouble racing you down.
  • 2. Swipe is a very important card against fast aggro decks with lots of weak minions.
  • 3. You can Naturalise something if desperate, but be aware the additional cards you draw your opponent can be a huge help to them.
  • 4. You can also generate a lot of additional Armor to prevent aggro from racing you down before you’ve had a chance to establish your game plan.

Control opponents

We’ve put together a few tips to best control decks on the ranked ladder:

  • 1. You have a lot of lasting power against control. Even if they clear off one of your big plays you should be capable of resurrecting everything again with Hadronox or Witching Hour.
  • 2. Even if your opponent runs a Silence effect to eliminate Hadronox, you can resummon the spider with Witching Hour and get the Taunt minion resurrection train rolling once again.
  • 3. Save your copies of Naturalise for the biggest threats your opponents can play against you.
  • 4. If you race ahead of your opponent with Mana ramp you might be able to beat them before they restore control over the game, so don’t be afraid to take an aggressive approach if you see an opportunity.

Taunt Druid Mulligan guide

Here's a run-down of some of the most potent cards you should be looking for in your opening hand, and why they're so valuable to get hold of. We've listed them in approximate order of importance.

  • 1. Wild Growth: Hands-down your most important card in the early game and something that should always be played at the first opportunity. The earlier you get this triggered, the more benefit you gain throughout the remainder of the match.
  • 2. Oaken Summons: Guaranteed to bring Ironwood Golem into play, and buy yourself some breathing space.
  • 3. Nourish: More Mana ramp or extra cards if you've got off to a particularly problematic start.
  • 4. Master Oakheart: An expensive card but such a powerful part of your late-game that it often justifies a spot in your opening hand - after the first three in this list though.
  • 5. Wrath: Good early-game removal, and against aggro decks you'll often get that bonus card-draw to trigger as well.

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Taunt Druid tips, combos and synergies

Although this new deck owes a lot to the Taunt Druid of old, there's a lot that's new about this powerful archetype in the Rastakhan meta.

For that reason we recommend familiarising yourself with all of these crucial combos before taking this list to the early ladder. A little bit of preparation will pay off huge dividends here.

- Wild Growth provides a permanent Mana advantage once played, and so you want to cast this off as early as possible in every match-up.

- Lesser Jasper Spellstone only does two damage in its vanilla form, but gain three points of Armor to upgrade the card to four damage. Another three-Armor gain maxes the card out at six damage.

- Wrath can be used to either ping a near-death minion off the board and gain a card in the process, or hit something meatier for three points of damage.

- Witching Hour has its potency in the late-game, reviving your Hadronox as the only Beast class of minion in this deck.

- Remember that Ironwood Golem can only attack if you currently have three or more points of Armor, so see if there's a way of topping that up so you can make use of the minion.

- As we've mentioned elsewhere in our Taunt Druid guide, Oaken Summons will always drag Ironwood Golem into play for free - that's assuming a copy of one of those minions is still in your deck somewhere.

- Carnivorous Cube destroys the target you point it at, so make sure it does some work first. It goes without saying that Hadronox is a sublime target for the Cube, so try to make that play happen if it's at all possible.

- You are playing a lot of Taunt minions in this deck. Hadronox summons all of the dead ones back onto the board when you play the card. This is a very good thing...

- Dragonhatcher always brings either Sleepy Dragon or Primordial Drake into play. Note that the Battlecry effect of that latter card does not go off in this scenario.

- Master Oakheart pulls a one, two and three Attack minion from your remaining deck and puts them in play. The following cards are candidates in this context: Ironwood Golem, Trogg Gloomeater, Dragonhatcher and the mighty Hadronox herself.

- Don't forget that the Battlecry effect of Primordial Drake - if actively played rather than summoned via Dragonhatcher - also affects your own minions. If they will die to this inferno, make sure they do something useful first!

- The Lich King has a collection of special cards, and he'll add one at random at the end of each of your turns. These are the cards you can draw into:

2Death CoilDeal 5 damage to an enemy, or restore 5 Health to a friendly character.
2Death GripSteal a minion from your opponent's deck and add it to your hand.
2ObliterateDestroy a minion. Your hero takes damage equal to its Health.
3Death and DecayDeal 3 damage to all enemies.
4Anti-Magic ShellGive your minions +2 / +2 and “Can't be targeted by spells or Hero Powers.”
5Doom PactDestroy all minions. Remove the top card from your deck for each minion destroyed.
6Army of the DeadRemove the top 5 cards of your deck. Summony any minions removed.
7FrostmourneDeathrattle: Summon every minion killed by this [5 / 3] weapon.

Card choices and substitutes

Here is a selection of the key cards in the current version of Taunt Druid:

  • Wild Growth: This is the Mana ramp you need to get to your more expensive end game cards quicker.
  • Witching Hour: As Hadronox is the only Beast in your deck this will always resurrect the legendary spider if it’s dead thus allowing you to summon all your Taunt minions again.
  • Branching Paths: A very flexible card that can adapt to whatever your needs are at the time.
  • Carnivorous Cube: You can use this card to spawn multiple copies of frustrating Taunt minions. You’ll feel especially good if you can hit Hadronox with it!
  • Nourish: Similar to Wild Growth, this has a powerful Mana ramp effect. You can also use it to draw cards if needed as well.
  • Primordial Drake: A big Taunt minion that also has the bonus effect of a rather useful area of effect Battlecry that obliterates wide boards of small creatures.
  • The Lich King: Quite simply a big late game Taunt body that fits the goals of the deck. You could get a useful spell or two off of it as well.
  • Hadronox: The main card the deck is built around. Look for ways to kill this off when you’ve got a lot of deceased Taunt minions to bring back.
  • Master Oakheart: You can have a massive tempo play with this card as it has the chance of bringing three minions onto the board with it, including Hadronox.
  • Comment on this article

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    • psenior1621 #1 3 years ago
      Oakheart is in the druid column, he's neutral
    • brianlmerritt #2 4 years ago
      The new Boomsday deck has side effects. Both Malfurion and Spreading Plague leave lovely little 1/5 scarabs with taunt. They might be helpful short term but they are also beasts, so Witching Hour is more likely to resurrect them than Hadronox. Not sure the trade off of extra scarabs is worth it...
    • Bedders #3 4 years ago
      @Calth Hey sorry about that, looks like an old note hadn't been chopped out from the previous edition and I've also made that Dragonhatcher interaction clearer. Thanks for dropping by to leave a note about this.
    • Calth #4 4 years ago
      Came across this while testing out (and trying to learn how to use...) a Taunt Druid and had to comment on a couple things:
      There's no Tar Creeper (I assume there used to be) so Oaken Summons will only bring out the Ironwood Golems.
      You now have Primordial Drakes as well, making Dragonhatcher all the more useful, and/but doesn't trigger the 2 damage to your own minions.
    • Diojr #5 4 years ago
      @Bedders And a merry Christmas to you too. ;-)
    • Bedders #6 4 years ago
      @Diojr Believe it or not I'm actually supposed to be on holiday now instead of arguing about the viability of website revenue streams. Rather than going deeper on a subject we're clearly not in agreement on, I'm simply going to extend to you a very genuine wish of a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
    • Diojr #7 4 years ago
      @Bedders Except, i'm not taking anything now, am i?

      Listening to you arguing against adblock sounds and awful lot like those old guys in the music business fighting against napster, digital music and streaming before they figured out how to make it their main source of income.

      There's nothing unique about your issue, you just have to decide between being the innovator, figuring out how to make money WITH your audience, or the old angry guy sitting in the corner yelling at your customers because they don't behave well.

      I guess your verbal assault on me, even after i told you i would pay for an ad-free version of Metabomb, shows who you are.

      Or maybe its just an acceptance of the fact that clickbait sites usually don't do too well behind payment gateways? *wink*
    • Bedders #8 4 years ago
      @Diojr We've covered all 30 or so decks that exist at any given time in the meta since this site was founded at the end of 2014. An article on how to play a deck is not an endorsement that you do so - that's what articles like our tier list are for. People are playing this deck though, and perhaps because these are the cards that they have. I make no apologies for running a site that tries to be comprehensive.

      As for your adblock analogy I don't think it could be more wide of the mark. A better example would be that you consistently walk into the shop that we've set up, take a product that you claim to find useful, and then march out the door past the tills day after day, while giving us the finger. The message is more like the shop manager pointing out that you are in fact being harmful to the thing you claim to like and support. That we let you carry on stealing regardless seems pretty generous to me.
    • Diojr #9 4 years ago
      @Bedders In all honesty, how you want to sustain your site is completely up to you. If you think ads is the way to go, then you figure out how to serve them to us in a way where ad-block is not an issue. Plenty of sites have figured it out - i bet you can too.

      But putting up annoying pop-ups telling me how bad a person i am because i don't want every site i go to, to be a poster for whatever google search i did last, is definitely not the way to go. Imagine if the people handing out commercial flyers on the street came up to you and started blaming you for being a bad person because you don't want to accept their ads. I know, right?

      I appreciate Metabomb and the work you do. Heck, i would even pay a fee to sustain the site if you decide to go that route. I still think that pushing out decks just for the heck of it is bad practice, which downgrades an otherwise cool site to just another SEO-optimized blog whose sole purpose is to generate clicks - not quality.

      I stand by my last post completely. This deck - even at a theorycrafting level - has no place in a meta, which heavily supports aggro decks - and decktracker stats show that quite obviously as well now if you don't believe my claim. Other variations have been made revolving around the same principle - which works better but not good.
    • Bedders #10 4 years ago
      @Diojr We've covered about 20 archetypes already on the site (of which Taunt Druid is just one) and it's provided as is ie you have the cards, here's a deck, much will change. Having said that a few pros have produced deck lists for the format so I'm not sure you or I can really call this either way on Day 1 of the meta.

      RE: Adblock. Understand people feel strongly about this but advertising is the model this site is built on and more than half of the people who regularly benefit from this site don't keep their end up. That's not sustainable, so you should not be surprised to see strong messaging to turn it off. If half of the people who adblocked turned it off, I could hire someone tomorrow to work full time on producing more content. Perhaps that would be content more to your liking.

      You sound more angry about the state of the game to be honest and that's not really something I can say much about. Maybe take a break or stick to Dungeon Run and see how you feel in a week or so?
    • Diojr #11 4 years ago
      The fact that this deck ever made it onto your site smells a lot like just publishing anything in order to get quick "reads" - and you even dare begging for ad-block removal while you do it.

      This deck has absolutely no place in any type of ranked ladder play unless you're just having fun at rank 20 or worse. Creating a which has absolutely nothing to do for the first 3 rounds of the game in such an aggro heavy meta is just redicilous and the fact that "kobolds" is going to favor aggro decks even more should be blatantly obvious to anyone with even the slightest insight in HS mechanics.

      Word of advice: Do not waste your time here - move on to the new dagger rogue or even the tempo mage which seems absurd at the moment.