October 29, 2017
Table of Contents
Deck Guide: Zoo Druid Aggro
Hey guys! It’s me, Fuskee, and today I’m going to give you a deck that is perfect for grinding those last few days of ranked or for grinding the first few days of ranked next month if you’re aiming to get Legend for the first time. I was going to write up a Highlander Priest or Quest Mage guide but at the end of the month, everyone is rushing to rank up for their rewards that it’s hard to play control with all the quick aggro decks running around. So instead of trying to beat them, I joined them, and within a day or two I was able to quickly climb from Rank 3 where I was stuck at, all the way to halfway through Rank 1 and almost to Legend. If I honestly felt like grinding it out I’m sure I could, but with all the Ultimate Infestation and Spreading Plague going around, I just felt like calling it a month and enjoying the new Halloween Arena going on for the rest of the week.
The reason aggro is a great way to climb in ranked is because the games are super fast. For Control, where a game takes up to 15 minutes to play out fully, every loss you get is a huge setback on your ranked grind. This is especially true for when you hit Rank 5 and above because there are no more win streak bonus stars, it’s all about high win ratio. For every loss you get, you have to get 2 wins to keep moving forward, and that’s super hard to do. If you play 4 matches of Quest Mage and you only win 2 of them, you are back to where you started and you’ve spent an hour going nowhere.
Zoo Druid is one of the fastest decks right now because of being able to abuse small minions in combination with group pump effects like Mark of the Lotus and Power of the Wild. It’s very easy to drop an entire army within a few turns and start swinging for the win around Turn 5 or Turn 6. If your board gets wiped before then, cast Living Mana to fill your board back up and then Mark of the Lotus next turn for a fresh new army to attack with. The deck is very fast and within a few turns you can quickly decide if you won or lost, and then move on to your next game. For people who want to really grind Ranked, this is a great way to easily hit those high ranks without having too much skill. It’s a very straight forward deck and even though you will have to play around certain cards from control decks, it’s easy to learn and you will start stomping opponents in no time.
Let’s not waste anymore time and jump right into it!
Decklist: Zoo Druid Aggro
Your Beast minions are your most important because of Mark of Y'Shaarj. There isn’t much synergy besides that card but make sure you know which ones are Beasts because I have definitely used Mark of Y'Shaarj on a Crypt Lord before and it’s pretty embarrassing!
Snowflipper Penguin: This is an optional card in the deck. If you prefer the Pirates package, take this out and put in Bloodsail Corsair in its place. I, however, love this card. It provides you with an early minion to put Mark of Y'Shaarj on to get a 3/3 for 2 mana as well as a free card draw, and it also works well with Mark of the Lotus to get a 0 mana 2/2. I rarely play this without a Taunt minion in front of it like Druid of the Swarm or Crypt Lord (especially Crypt Lord because you can give it +1 health for 0 mana). My favorite tactic is just to hold it in my hand until I’m ready to use a pump spell and then drop it down with my fresh army. Also it’s super cute so I like using it.
Enchanted Raven: Best 1-drop in the game, amazing target for Mark of Y'Shaarj to get a 4/4 that Priest can’t kill and Druid can’t Wrath. Not much to say about this minion, just try to get it in your opening hand and play them quick. Prioritize this over Fire Fly since it’s bigger and is a Beast so it can get pumped by Mark of Y'Shaarj.
Dire Wolf Alpha: Awesome for aggro since it increases damage and is great when next to a Taunt minion like Druid of the Swarm or Crypt Lord. Also great when paired with two Fire Flys (well, Flame Elemental) since it makes them both 2/2s. Mostly try to keep it behind a Taunt but don’t be afraid to get aggressive with it. Also, since it’s a Beast, not a bad target for Mark of Y'Shaarj to keep it alive.
Druid of the Swarm: Probably my favorite 2-drop in the game now. Being a 1/5 makes it SO hard to kill and if you can put a Mark of Y'Shaarj on it, pretty much every deck except for Priest will have a super hard time killing it. Don’t be afraid to use Crazed Alchemist on it either to flip it over to a 5/1 and start getting some real damage in there. Crazy strong taunt minion.
Golakka Crawler: I LOVE GOLAKKA CRAWLER. Right now I hate all the Pirates being run in decks so it makes me super happy to use Golakka Crawler especially on something like Southsea Captain. Make their Patches the Pirate small again so my Beasts can eat them and make Golakka Crawler HUGE. One of the main reasons I wanted to make this deck was because of this card. I usually only keep one of these in hand even if you start off with two because you rarely ever need more than one, cause most decks will know that if you’re Druid Aggro, you will be running these, and they will get their Pirates killed fast. Only keep one in hand, and these are the decks you need to watch out for. ROGUE: Will always have Pirates because of Swashburglar and Southsea Deckhand, as well as Southsea Captain. WARLOCK: I would say 80-90% of Warlock decks are Aggro, not control, and most of them run Pirates because of Prince Keleseth making Patches the Pirate big and then pulling him out into play. Since they don’t run the same Pirates as Rogue, wait for them to play Southsea Captain and then eat it. DRUID: Most of the Aggro Druid decks run the Pirates package with Bloodsail Corsair and Patches the Pirate, only a few run Southsea Captain, because the deck is mostly just about getting those out as fast as possible and then using Mark of the Lotus or Power of the Wild to pump everything up. Just eat the first Pirate you see.
Ironbeak Owl: This is a card that no other Zoo Druid deck is playing but I decided to tech in. Because of all the Taunt minions and things like Bonemare or Cairne Bloodhoof, I really wanted a Silence card in the deck. At first I was going to go with Spellbreaker since that is what most aggro decks use as a Silence but then I remembered, there’s a Silence Beast! This card also works GREAT on Doomsayer against Control Jade Druid because it leaves them with a minion in play so when they go to Spreading Plague, they get 1 less 1/5 Taunt minion.
Vicious Fledgling: One of the strongest Beasts in the game, if you can get this out and attack with it, you pretty much win. If playing against Priest, I like to wait until I have either Mark of the Lotus or Power of the Wild to play with it so that I can make it a 4/4 immediately, making it immune to Shadow Word: Pain. Always go for Windfury, and then try to aim for the 4 Attack spot if you’re against Priest, or if you’re against anyone else just make sure it can survive and keep attacking, usually Stealth is safe but high Health is good against Druid and Can’t be Targeted is good against Warlock.
Bittertide Hydra: A risky minion to play but one that usually packs enough of a punch to be worth it. If you go up against Aggro you will take a lot of damage from minions attacking into this, so be careful around Hunter and Warlock, make sure it’s behind a big Taunt minion like a Crypt Lord. Against Control, put this out as soon as possible and ATTACK.
These are just the other minions in the deck that give you a lot of Aggro potential. Remember, these aren’t beasts, so you can’t use Mark of Y'Shaarj to get a card from them, so I prefer to prioritize these last when playing minions.
Fire Fly: If you don’t have Enchanted Raven or Coin and Druid of the Swarm this card is your next best bet. It goes well with Dire Wolf Alpha but mostly it works best with Crypt Lord to give it a lot of health or when you’re ready to pump your board, play them down at the same time you Mark of the Lotus or Power of the Wild. If you have nothing better to play, play them early, but your other early game minions are way better.
Crazed Alchemist: LOVE this card in the deck. At first I was like, why, but then I saw Crypt Lord and realized you can do some insane burst damage if you flip it at the right time. Note: It will flip the Attack/Health first so after you flip they will have 2 health, so they can survive Mage Hero Power, Rogue Hero Power, etc. Another great use for this card is to kill Taunt minions like Spreading Plague. Flip them into a 5/1, trade a small minion, then go face. Lastly, Doomsayer just DIES to this minion while also giving you another minion on the board to pump your army with. If you can use this to flip a Doomsayer you will gain HUGE momentum since your opponent will mostly never see it coming.
Crypt Lord: Didn’t realize how powerful this card was until I started using it. Fire Fly and Snowflipper Penguin will give this guy a lot of health and if you can time it perfectly with Crazed Alchemist you can do some big damage. Even without Crazed Alchemist, this Taunt survives a lot of damage and will keep your army alive while you build up your board and then pump them all, making this even bigger and deadlier. Even just one pump to make this a 2/7+ is a big wall that most aggro decks can’t climb over. I like to save my Penguins and Elementals if you have one of these in hand so you can make it big right away and then toss a Dire Wolf Alpha next to it so it can eat small minions up.
Living Mana: This is the card you rely on if your opponent can keep your early game destroyed. The best combo for this is to keep Mark of the Lotus in your hand, so you can drain all your mana into 2/2s and then the next turn, use the 1 mana you have left to make them all 3/3s and demolish your opponent. Cards to be careful for: Spreading Plague will ruin you. It ruins you already but if you use this before they Plague, you pretty much lose. Even with the pump effects, it’s not enough to pass over 1/5 walls. Potion of Madness allows Priest to get an extra mana crystal, kill one of yours, and if you can’t kill them already they will stabilize. Priests also have a LOT of good area removal like Shadow Word: Horror and Dragonfire Potion so using this against them should be a last resort.
The deck has NO removal spells at all, you will pretty much rely on just your minions to take out anything annoying like Taunt minions. The only spells the deck has are pump spells which will either make your beasts big or make your army big. It takes some practice to know when to use them properly but when you find the right opening, pumping up 3-4 minions can really mess up your opponent.
Mark of the Lotus: Best combo’d with Living Mana since it only costs 1 mana but don’t be afraid to use this on your early game minions if you feel like they will survive a board clear or if you need them to eat something big. I like to drop Beasts early and keep things like Snowflipper Penguin and Fire Fly in hand so when you’re ready to use this card, even if you only have 2 minions in play, you can easily go Fire Fly, Flame Elemental, Snowflipper Penguin and Mark of the Lotus for only 3 mana and get a huge army out of nowhere to surprise your opponent.
Mark of Y'Shaarj: LOVE THIS CARD. There are a lot of Beasts to use this on in the deck and don’t be afraid to use it early! It’s best used early so you can attack and kill something that’s in your way or just start smashing face and force your opponent to deal with a 4/4 or 3/7 Beast. You get a FREE card draw off of it as long as you use it on a Beast so there’s no loss, just free +2/+2. I love using this on Enchanted Raven or Druid of the Swarm but worst case scenario, if your hand is slow and you really need to draw into better stuff, Snowflipper Penguin with this makes a pretty big 3/3 while also helping you fix your hand.
Power of the Wild: Another great group pump spell but also not bad to play as a 3/2 Beast. You can use Mark of Y'Shaarj on it and it’s also big enough to start getting aggressive with while also becoming a 4/3 if you Mark of the Lotus. Very flexible card that can be whatever you need it to be in the deck, either another aggro minion or a pump spell, basically the embodiment of this deck.
Alternate Card Choices
There are a few alternate card choices available for this deck that are mostly just other types of minions. These are the cards that I put into my version of the deck that you can take out to make room for other things:
One option is to put in the Pirates package, since you can use a Bloodsail Corsair or Southsea Captain to call out Patches the Pirate and then Mark of the Lotus to make them all bigger and attack with your Charge Patches. This version focuses more on early aggro and is very common in Zoo Druid but the reason I took it out is because there are a LOT of Golakka Crawlers in decks and it’s better not to run Pirates at this moment.
The second option is to go for a more tempo/midrange version of the deck that uses some early game Taunt to keep your small minions alive and then using Cobalt Scalebane to make your small minions way bigger to attack with. Another option is possibly Bonemare because those two cards are ridiculous right now but for me, it was way too late of a card so I just went with faster things.
Zoo Druid Aggro Deck Code
To use this code, highlight that string of letters/numbers and then right-click and Copy or press Ctrl+C to copy it to your clipboard. Then go to create a new deck and Hearthstone will ask you if you want to create a deck using your clipboard and it will autofill the deck for you!
Conclusion: Strong and Fast
While playing Tempo Rogue I ran into a good amount of these decks and knew I had to try it out for myself. After being frustrated trying to play Control and just wanting to climb ranks, I tossed this together on stream to try it out and was surprised at how much I liked it! It feels great to punish those Priest control decks as well as eating Pirates with Golakka Crawler. And like I mentioned, I went from Rank 3 to Rank 1 in no time and without practicing with this deck at all! I’m sure if I had more time to really work out the smaller details, I could easily get to Legend with this, but I’m tired of Ranked right now with all the Jade Druids and their damn Spreading Plague so I’m settling on playing Arena on my stream until this month is over.
Another great detail about this deck is that your opponent won’t know how to mulligan against you. Jade Druid and Zoo Druid are so very different that they basically have to take a guess at which one you’re playing. If you’re Jade Druid, then their early game removal and things like Doomsayer or Golakka Crawler are useless. If you’re Zoo Druid, their draw effects that they would rather have become useless as they get pounded in the face by your Beasts. Even the mirror match is difficult, I never know when to truly keep a Golakka Crawler or not because if they’re Jade Druid, it’s just a 2/3 Beast, which is still okay sometimes since Mark of Y'Shaarj works really well on them but you’d much rather have a Druid of the Swarm in that situation.
If you want to grind ranks for your rewards, use this deck, it’s strong, it’s fast, and you will grind ranks QUICK!
Thanks for reading guys! As always follow my activity on Twitter at @whoisfuskee and find me on stream EVERY day at twitch.tv/whoisfuskee until I find myself a new job. I’ll probably be streaming Arena for the rest of the month since my last Arenas were pretty good and I seem to be doing okay in this weird Double Class format. I’m not sure when my next article will go up, I’m still deciding if I really want to do Highlander Yogg Priest or Quest Mage, but once I figure that out I’m sure you’ll see that up in the next week or two. Good luck out there and watch out for those Ultimate Infestations!