Save up to 40%

When Buying Hearthstone Packs!

Limited Time Offer from Amazon!

SAVE NOW!
Rating  14

Contributed by

Stonekeep

Guide Type

Last Updated

January 10, 2017

Table of Contents

Combo Druid Double Guide (C’Thun & Malygos)

Introduction


Gadgetzan will probably always be remembered for the Pirates (Small-time Buccaneer and Patches the Pirate) that are clearly responsible for speeding up the meta. However, what is often already forgotten (no pun intended) is that it also made some cool combos and decks possible. One of the cards it introduces was Kun the Forgotten King – Druid Legendary that lets Malfurion players make some interesting shenanigans.

The deck was quite popular last month, even in Legend, where multiple players hit higher ranks with it. I need to say, though, biggest part of the deck’s success was surprise factor. Right now after most of the players know that such a deck exists and its game plan, the deck is significantly worse “meta” deck. However, it’s still one of the most fun decks that’s semi-viable at the same time. I want to present two different versions of the deck and talk about each one of them a bit.

Overview


The two versions I’ll be discussing is C’Thun and Malygos. The lists look really different, but in the end they share a very similar “combo” core of Aviana + Kun the Forgotten King, so I’ve figured that it would be appropriate to write about both of them.

When it comes to the differences. C’Thun version is more of a Midrange deck. It focuses on turns 4-6 when it comes to the minions and can actually win some games even without the combo. I won the games off of a good C’Thun minions curve into Twin Emperor into C’Thun himself – without any combo pieces at all. Just like the old C’Thun Druid did win the games. It’s possible. However, to make it feel more like a combo deck, it also runs Doomsayers and A LOT of cycle. With Bloodmage Thalnos, 2x Azure Drake, 2x Nourish AND 2x Lunar Visions, that’s really a lot. While all that cycle might be too slow vs Pirate decks, it’s insane how fast it can get all the combo pieces in slower matchup. When your opponent gives you some room to breathe, you can usually cycle through the most of your deck every game. Those are the matchups in which this deck is most powerful – it’s good against other Reno decks for example. It can first put some pressure with the mid game minions and then cycle peacefully to get to the combo.

Malygos deck, on the other hand, is very similar to the old Maly Druid we had pre-Gadgetzan. The only big changes is the addition of combo in form of Aviana + Kun and 2x Druid of the Claw. The latter is most likely to handle all those Aggro decks – Druid of the Claw is amazing in the Aggro matchups, it can be a real lifesaver. The deck, just like the old Maly Druid, doesn’t put too much pressure early and focuses on ramping and cycling. In slow matchup, it tries to save the combo pieces + damage spells for the Maly, while in fast matchup it just tries to survive. Once again, it’s mostly optimized to fight against Reno decks – it can quite easily OTK them in the late game, so the Reno is not a big factor (expect against Reno Mage, because of Ice Block).

Both deck are good slow deck counters, while both struggle in Aggro matchups. And both are very fun to play, so let me talk about them a bit more.

C’Thun Combo Version


C'Thun Combo Druid
Class Cards (18)10880
2
Innervate 0
2
Wild Growth 2
2
Wrath 2
Feral Rage 3
Mulch 3
2
Swipe 4
2
Lunar Visions 5
2
Nourish 5
2
Dark Arakkoa 6
Aviana 9
Kun the Forgotten King 10
Neutral Cards (12)
Bloodmage Thalnos 2
2
Doomsayer 2
Brann Bronzebeard 3
2
Disciple of C’Thun 3
2
C’Thun’s Chosen 4
2
Azure Drake 5
Twin Emperor Vek’lor 7
C’Thun 10

The deck was used by Senfglas in pretty high Legend, but I think that Feno was the one who invented the build first. I’m not 100% sure, so if someone knows better, please do tell me.

The combo in this deck is Aviana + Kun the Forgotten King (refill 10 mana crystals) + Brann Bronzebeard + any C’Thun minions left (to buff it) + C'Thun. In the long game, you should be able to deal up to ~40 damage with the combo. However, board state affects how much face damage you can deal. Since C’Thun shots can hit the minions, if your opponent has a lot of big minions, the face damage will very likely be pretty low, even down to <10.

Mulligan

I’ll divide mulligan section into two categories: always keep and situationally keep. I’ll try to explain why each card belongs to given category and when you should keep it.

Always keep:

  • Innervate – Great early game tempo tool, allows you to get some threat out earlier, play 2 minions in a single turn, perform some Brann Bronzebeard combos earlier (against Aggro), allows you to Innervate out Nourish for mana crystals if necessary etc.
  • Wild Growth – You want to open with a turn 2 Wild Growth as often as possible, your main ramp card, keep it in every matchup and mulligan HARD for it if you don’t have it.

And that’s it. Those are two cards you always keep, no matter what, no matter which matchup you play in. Rest of the cards are situational keeps:

  • Wrath – Against Aggro, to have an early removal, don’t keep it against Control, because you want more proactive plays if possible.
  • Doomsayer – Once again, keep against Aggro, don’t keep against Control. Maybe even more important than Wild Growth against Aggro.
  • Feral Rage – Will you have a 4 health target that you have to kill in the early game? Yes – keep it. Will you need the health gain, because you play against a hyper Aggro deck? Yes – keep it (you run only one so it’s better to have it than to not have it). Otherwise throw it away.
  • Swipe – Against decks that flood the board with small minions – e.g. Pirate Warrior, Zoo Warlock (if that thing still exists).
  • Disciple of C'Thun – Vs Aggro, another early removal, the 2/1 body is pretty irrelevant most of the time, but if your opponent has no way to kill it, it can tank a bit of damage or maybe even trade into some 1-drop. It also brings you closer to the activated Twin Emperor, which is very relevant against Aggro.
  • C'Thun's Chosen – With Wild Growth or Innervate (It’s better with WG against Control and with Innervate against Aggro).
  • Azure Drake/Nourish – With Wild Growth vs Control. If you know that you face a slower deck, you can keep some card draw to start the cycling chain as soon as possible.

Gameplay Tips

  • Aggro matchups are really straightforward. First few turns usually decide the game’s outcome – if you don’t get ramp, removal or Doomsayers, you’re going to lose and you can’t help that. However, if you survive the initial onslaught, you should be in a good spot. With some reactive removal, Taunts and some life gain, if you get through the early game you should have enough things to block Aggro deck from winning. So surviving is your #1 priority – try to take as little face damage as possible, remove whatever Aggro plays all the time etc. 
  • In fast matchups, you don’t rely on the combo win condition at all. It means that you can use your Brann Bronzebeard however you can. Even dropping it on the curve just to have a body on the board is fine. They will most likely have to deal with it, because no one wants to leave Brann alone. Another way to use Brann vs Aggro is turn 4 Brann + Innervate + Disciple of C’Thun. It’s pretty powerful swing, as you put 2 bodies on the board and deal 4 damage, meaning that you can deal with Aggro’s 2/3-drops like Totem Golem or Frothing Berserker quite easily this way. Same goes for Kun the Forgotten King – if you ever manage to survive until you can play it (let’s say you can Innervate it out earlier), you probably want to take the Armor anyway.
  • In Aggro matchups, focus on the tempo over the card advantage. If you have a choice between a mediocre play and a card draw, you should still choose the mediocre play if it gives you the tempo. E.g. it’s turn 5 and you can either play C'Thun's Chosen or Lunar Visions, you probably want to play C’Thun’s Chosen if you aren’t ahead on the board already (and you probably aren’t). Spending a turn to draw when you aren’t ahead means that your opponent will outtempo you heavily and you just lose the game. 
  • Slow matchups are more complicated. One of the most important skills is the right balance between playing for the board and cycling. The problem with this deck is that, unlike most of the other control decks, it has no reliable big board clear. It can’t Twisting Nether or Brawl in case things get out of control. Swipe is rarely enough, even with Spell Damage. So you need to consistently keep the board clear or else you fall behind, and when you fall behind by a lot, your combo is bad. It means that you can’t just sit and cycle to get to your combo – you need to play things too, fight for the board, and cycle when you’re not under pressure. However, luckily for this deck, the Druid can put a lot of board pressure with the good curve and some ramp.
  • Forcing your opponent to play from behind by getting some early/mid game tempo with your minions is probably the best idea. When he deals with your minions, you have time to draw some cards. Possibly even do both with let’s say Azure Drake, which draws cards AND puts board pressure.
  • Don’t use Brann Bronzebeard before the combo in slow matchups. He’s really crucial, basically doubles your total damage. 
  • Save Mulch against big minions that you can’t kill. You should know what minions each deck can put and generally save Mulch for the ones that are hardest to deal with. For example, when playing against another Druid, you can save Mulch for the Ancient of War. When playing against Pirate Warrior, though, you can easily use it on their Frothing Berserker, because that’s one of the biggest minions they run. If necessary, you can also use Mulch as a tempo play. For example, to come back on the board – 3 mana removal is quite cheap, so you can let’s say play Dark Arakkoa and mulch some 4-5 drop to get ahead. However, now you’re nearly defenseless against a big drop, so you have to keep that in mind.
  • Set up a Doomsayer before the combo turn. Even if you have the board lead. Sure, it’s obvious, but their either have to expend a lot of resources or just let it proc and you win the game next turn. It’s a win win situation for you. You can also try to make it look like a mistake – you have 2 minions, you play Doomsayer, awkwardly wait for a few seconds and go for “Oops” emote – sure, better players will probably tell that you’re bluffing, but a lot might just let it go off.
  • Disciple of C'Thun is a great keep for the combo turn. Since you have Brann on the board, each Disciple will deal 4 extra face damage AND give C’Thun +4/+4. So one Disciple of C’Thun with Brann is extra 12 damage to the combo, 4 of which is guaranteed to hit what you want (probably face).

Malygos Combo Version


Malygos Combo Druid
Class Cards (25)8300
2
Innervate 0
2
Moonfire 0
2
Living Roots 1
2
Wild Growth 2
2
Wrath 2
2
Feral Rage 3
Mulch 3
Fandral Staghelm 4
2
Swipe 4
2
Mire Keeper 4
2
Druid of the Claw 5
2
Nourish 5
Ancient of War 7
Aviana 9
Kun the Forgotten King 10
Neutral Cards (5)
2
Azure Drake 5
Gadgetzan Auctioneer 6
Emperor Thaurissan 6
Malygos 9

It’s probably the most popular Malygos Druid build right now, popularized by TicTac in Legend. Some other players have played it with a decent success, and between C’Thun version and Malygos version, the latter seems to be more competitive.

The combo here is even more simple – you play Aviana + Kun the Forgotten King + Malygos + a bunch of spells. But you always could do that with just an Emperor Thaurissan proc, so what’s the big deal about it? Yes, you could, but first of all – it allows you to do it without extra Innervates or Emperor procs and second, it lets you do a full OTK since you have much more mana available. The basic combo pieces are 2x Moonfire (6 damage each) and 2x Living Roots (7 damage each) = 26 damage in total. But since you might need to use something earlier (for example, if your opponent has an 8/2 minion on the board, you can’t just save your Living Roots if that’s your only efficient way to deal with it) and sometimes you need more damage than that, if you play Malygos with 9 mana still available, you can now add Swipe to the combo much more easily, you can cycle if you’re missing some damage (Auctioneer is only 1 mana, so if you play him with Maly and start performing your combo, you’re guaranteed to draw at least few more cards), you might play Azure Drake or Bloodmage Thalnos for even more burst damage etc.

Mulligan

I’ll divide mulligan section into two categories: always keep and situationally keep. I’ll try to explain why each card belongs to given category and when you should keep it.

Always keep:

  • Innervate – Great early game tempo tool, allows you to get some threat out earlier, play 2 minions in a single turn, perform some Brann Bronzebeard combos earlier (against Aggro), allows you to Innervate out Nourish for mana crystals if necessary etc.
  • Wild Growth – You want to open with a turn 2 Wild Growth as often as possible, your main ramp card, keep it in every matchup and mulligan HARD for it if you don’t have it.

Just like the last time, those are the only 2 cards that you always want to keep, no matter which matchup you play. Then, you can also keep/mulligan for some other situational cards:

  • Moonfire – If you know that you face a hyper-Aggro deck like Pirate Warrior. Moonfire is actually a great card against that deck – especially against the Southsea Deckhand, but even killing a 1/1 is fair in terms of tempo. And since all you need to do is survive, it’s a good keep. If you keep Moonfire, you can also consider keeping Bloodmage Thalnos – turn 2 Thalnos into Moonfire is actually a quite nice tempo move + it cycles you a card.
  • Wrath – Against Aggro, to have an early removal, don’t keep it against Control, because you want more proactive plays if possible.
  • Feral Rage – Will you have a 4 health target that you have to kill in the early game? Yes – keep it. Will you need the health gain, because you play against a hyper Aggro deck? Yes – keep it (you run only one so it’s better to have it than to not have it). Otherwise throw it away.
  • Swipe – Against decks that flood the board with small minions – e.g. Pirate Warrior, Zoo Warlock (if that thing still exists).
  • Fandral Staghelm – With Wild Growth. Fandral is an insane card in any matchup, if it sticks to the board it can snowball you the whole game. Against Control you can try to drop him on turn 3 after t2 Wild Growth, when they’re not likely to answer it, if you have a Nourish follow-up it can win you the whole game. Against Aggro just dropping it is alright – they will want to kill it, so it’s almost like a 3/5 Taunt. If they can’t kill it or ignore it, punish them with cards like Wrath, Living Roots etc.
  • Mire Keeper – In slow matchups you can always keep it, but in Aggro you want to keep it only with Innervate or Wild Growth – it works best with Innervate, as it’s much faster than Wild Growth – instead of passing t2, you get the same effect with a 3/3 body (but you expend one more card).
  • Azure Drake/Nourish – With Wild Growth vs Control. If you know that you face a slower deck, you can keep some card draw to start the cycling chain as soon as possible.
  • Druid of the Claw – With ramp, mostly against Aggro. If you have WG already you can keep Druid of the Claw, as you will be able to drop it on turn 4, which is a pretty powerful play (or on turn 3 with Innervate, which is even more powerful). Against Control I prefer the Azure Drake, because it cycles and you don’t really need a Taunt.

Gameplay Tips

  • Just like last time, Aggro matchups are your biggest concern. However, this version fares a little bit better against Aggro. Your damage combo pieces aren’t dead in fast matchup – they’re strong in the early game. It’s much easier to defend yourself against the Pirate onslaught with 2x Moonfire and 2x Living Roots in your deck. You still want to survive as best as possible, then overwhelm the Aggro deck with bigger minions. With 2x Druid of the Claw, 1x Ancient of War, 2x Feral Rage and Kun the Forgotten King you have enough ways to gain the health after you stabilize (Taunt is not strictly a health gain, but often works like one). 
  • Instant removals > Taunts vs Aggro. If you can choose between taking out some power from the board and playing a Taunt, generally go for the first option. The thing is, Taunts are very valuable if your opponent has no good way to kill them. With minions on the board + possibly weapons/spells in their hand, they have a lot of possible options to distribute damage, so the Taunt will almost always be killed cleanly (e.g. 6 damage into Druid of the Claw). If you play Taunt after they don’t have many minions, or maybe after you’ve completely stabilized the board, now it’s much more awkward. For example, a Shaman might need to use Lava Burst and a 3 attack minion hit to kill your Druid of the Claw, overkilling it by 2 and wasting precious burn spell.
  • Just like with C’Thun version, you prefer the highest tempo plays against Aggro. The more tempo you have, the easier it is to stabilize and the less damage you take. You can start drawing once you run Aggro deck out of cards (or close to) or you have no other plays at all. Not to mention that let’s say Nourish gets much better on turn 7-8 than it is on turn 5, because you might actually be able to play some of the cards you draw immediately. 
  • Mire Keeper – Do you always go for the mana? I’d have to say no. It really depends on the rest of your hand and on the matchup. If you Innervate it out on t2, you always take mana. But if you play it on curve, against fast decks you might actually need to summon a 2/2. Extra minion to trade with means that you can stabilize on the board more easily. But like I’ve said – it also depends on your hand. If you have a 5-drop to follow-up, or your hand is pretty cheap, you can go for the 2/2 and not for the mana. But if your hand is really expensive, or you have Emperor Thaurissan/Ancient of War in your hand and you want to get to those quicker, you can go for the mana. In slow matchups, it’s slightly different – you go for the mana until like turn 7-8, when the extra mana won’t be that helpful. The more mana you have, the easier it is to cycle through your deck etc. Mire Keeper (or WG for that matter) is like a slow Innervate, because over time it gives you more and more mana. Even Mire Keeper played on turn 6 for mana means that you get 3 extra mana in total.
  • Wrath – In fast matchups, try to go for the 3 damage, because you need tempo. Of course, if you will have a good 1 damage target (e.g. some 3/1 minion), then cycle is great. But killing 1/1’s can usually be done with Hero Power just as well. In slower matchups, cycle is the basic mode – you usually go for the cycle, especially combined with Spell Damage, but if you need, you can also play it for the damage. In slow matchups you can also save it for the Fandral Staghelm combo – 4 damage + cycle for 2 mana is insane. 
  • Nourish for mana crystals – do or don’t? It’s a hard question and I have to say that you generally prefer the card draw, but mana crystals come handy sometimes. Getting mana crystals is great, because being 2 mana ahead is a lot, but do it only if you have more cycle in your hand. I can see going for the mana crystals if you have another Nourish or at least something like an Azure Drake + Wrath in your hand. This deck has a lot of dead draws and if you break the cycle chain, you can draw dead for the next 2-3 turns and just lose. You have 10 mana, but you draw Moonfire and you can’t do anything with it. Nourish for mana is also better if you can immediately use the 2 extra mana (playing it for mana works like an Innervate too). For example, turn 5 Nourish for +2 mana AND Wrath is a pretty powerful play, but if you just Hero Power and hit face for the extra 2 mana, it’s pretty poor. If you can utilize the mana – it’s like you played a 3 mana super-Wild Growth. If you can’t, it pretty much costed you whole 5 mana points.
  • If you don’t get your Wild Growths early, you can keep them in your hand for the Gadgetzan Auctioneer turn. Auctioneer + Wild Growth on 10 mana means that you draw 3 cards in total, which is insane (3 cards for 2 mana). It lets you cycle through your deck so easily. Innervate is another great spell to cycle with Auctioneer, as it both draws a card for 0 mana and gives you 2 more mana to work with. And unlike in the older version, you don’t need Innervate for your combo here – thanks to the Aviana + Kun, you have 9 mana anyway and you don’t need to go for something like Maly + 2x Innervate + Swipe. 
  • Malygos is an interesting case. Even though it’s a part of your combo, you don’t actually need that combo in a lot of the matchups. Against Aggro decks or against decks that have no real way to kill it, you can just drop it on the board, on curve. Aggro decks can’t help it – they have to leave it alone. If some Aggro player is stupid and decides to spend 12 damage to kill it, you’re very, very happy, as you don’t need it to win the game at all. If he leaves it – you can punish him next turn with a Swipe or something. I also like dropping it on the board just like that against Miracle Rogue, after they’ve used a Sap already. Sap is their only real answer for it – they MIGHT have something like a Spell Damage Backstab + 2x Eviscerate, but that’s pretty rate. But you still can get some immediate value out of it thanks to the Moonfire or Living Roots. He’s a great tempo swing mechanic – you put a 4/12 on the board and you kill 2-3 minions with your 0-1 mana spells.
  • On the other hand, never drop Malygos “just like that” against Reno decks or let’s say Control Warrior, as he is crucial to your game plan.
  • The combo can also be used as a board clear with Swipe. If you’re overwhelmed on the board, you can try going for it even if you don’t have enough damage. Swipe with Malygos is 9 single target + 6 AoE damage, which is usually more than enough to clear the whole board. You also put multiple big bodies, which might win you the game if they don’t get AoE’d.
  • Since you have 9 mana left after you play Malygos, you can do A LOT of stuff. Azure Drake is amazing follow-up, as it draws you another card and gives +1 spell Damage. Same with the Gadgetzan Auctioneer – even with ~10 cards left in your deck, you might still be able to cycle through your whole deck thanks to the 1 mana Auctioneer and a bunch of cheap spells. I won some games with the combo when I had only 1-2 pieces in my hand (and 10+ cards in my deck), but I had Auctioneer to keep the draws going. You constantly play all the cheap spells and the stuff you draw. It’s really like a Miracle Rogue turn, but 10 times better, because you have +5 Spell Damage.

Closing


That’s all folks. I know that I haven’t talked about everything, but I’ve tried to cover both lists at the same time instead of making 2 separate guides. I’ve been playing both of those decks last season, but my knowledge should still be relevant, because they haven’t really changed much. The decks are very fun to play, but sadly they aren’t best in the current meta. The main issue is that they struggle pretty hard against heavy Aggro decks and Aggro representation in the current meta is really high. However, if you care about having fun more than about having great win rate, those decks should be good for you.

Out of the 2, I’d say that Malygos version is most likely stronger. I’d even go as far as saying that the deck is almost competitively viable, hitting Legend with it should be quite possible. C’Thun version fares much worse, because combo can be almost completely negated in the matchups where you need it most – slow decks can just play multiple semi-high health minions and your combo is now useless. Since Malygos combo is direct damage instead of random damage, it’s better in those matchups. And at the same time, it works a little better vs Aggro too. I know that I’ve simplified it, because C’Thun version has its strengths, but if you wonder which one to pick out of the 2 – I recommend Malygos version.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below. And if you want to be up to date with my articles, you can follow me on Twitter.

Good luck on the ladder and until next time!

Enjoyed this article?



Playing Hearthstone since September 2013. Infinite Arena player. Hitting Legend rank on EU each season, with multiple high Legend climbs during the season and top 200-300 finishes.

Learn and Improve Your Game
Join Premium and Become Legend!

Over 400,000 people each month use Hearthstone Players to improve their Hearthstone skills.

FROM JUST $2.95 / MONTH

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

  1. kruul27 says:

    Great article! Thanks! I got my golden druid last month but sadly haven’t played it very much on ladder just because I got a little bored with Jade Druid. I tried the C’Thun one in the past and it was okay, but I’m liking this Maly one I’ll have to try it out.

    Question for you: A few months ago you did a great Path to Legend Article. Any chance you’ll write another soon based on the new meta? I think everyone would love to read it!

    As always, thanks for your hard work and another great article!

  2. brmarley says:

    An important note regarding the Maly-Kun deck: When you have done the Aviana-Kun combo, don’t forget that Druid of the Claw becomes a 1 mana, 4 damage spell.

    Another note for both decks, sometimes your alternate win condition is just “make a board that is too big for them to kill.” In fact, that is often good enough.