Mastery of Heartstone's Druid class requires a certain amount of patience, and it's generally not a class suited to the most aggressive sort of player who prefers to swarm the early board and push through their opponent's health. Rather, the most powerful Druid decks favour a control-orientated strategy, where you deal with the enemy's threats one by one, while preparing to lay down an impenetrable defensive wall in the latter half of the game.
Thankfully, the Druid has a very useful Hero Power to aid you in battle. By spending two Mana, you can gift the Druid the ability to deal a single point of damage to a minion - or to the opposing Hero - while also applying a point of armour to your health pool. This allows you to carefully control the board, while minimising the impact on your health by doing so.
Significant Druid cards
As with all the other Heroes in the game, there are lots of important Druid-specific cards to get your head around, but we've picked out five of the most common that you'll often wield in battle, and find yourself facing when playing against this defensive class.
Swipe is the most popular area-of-effect removal card in the Druid's arsenal, and it does a great job of eliminating a relatively tough minion, while also whittling down weaker bodies at the same time. Just think carefully before choosing your primary four-damage target, and think about how you're going to finish the job off with your other spells and minions.
Many players are accustomed to playing around Swipe by now, but very few factor in the potential extra damage if the card's played in conjunction with a spelllpower card. As always, try to get as much value as possible from every play.
These mighty minions can represent an insurmountable obstacle for your cocky opponent if they've already wasted their hard removal spells on something far less intimidating. If you can make it to the late game as a Druid, it's cards like Ironbark Protector that will ensure you catch up fast, develop your own units behind these mighty trees, then send your opponent straight towards oblivion. You should always plan ahead to deal with these minions if you're up against the Druid
Keeper of the Grove
The versatility of Keeper of the Grove is what makes it such a potent component of a Druid's early game strategy, and it's no surprise to see the card make an appearance in just about every one of the class's popular deck archetypes.
That silence can be used to bust through an irritating taunt or a defensive spell, while the two-damage option can be used to help make light work of early enemy minions. If you find yourself facing a Druid, always assume that your opponent has this very useful trick card stuffed up their sleeve.
Druid of the Claw
Another card that provides a couple of options when played onto the board is Druid of the Claw. In truth, you'll most likely find yourself putting this beast into taunt mode when you plop it down on the table, although if you have another source of defense in play, you may well give in to the temptation to simply charge a 4/4 creature into a bothersome minion - or the opponent's face.
If you find yourself staring down the barrel of this particular meatshield, try to find a more efficient way of removing it than using your hard removal options - you may well need them for an even bigger late-game barrier.
Wild Growth / Innvervate
Both of these spells are an essential component of the popular Ramp Druid deck, and allow you to escalate your Mana curve and get at your juicier minions much earlier on in the match. Note the important difference between the two cards, however. Wild Growth provides a permanent extra Mana crystal to play with, while Innvervate's effects only apply on the turn the card's played.
If you're playing against a Druid who plays Wild Growth on turn two, think very carefully before throwing away your best removal spells - something bigger is sure to be on its way.