3 Star Masters Control Deck

Hi guys,

I wanted to post the deck I've been using to reach 3 star masters. It doesn't have all the cards I'm hoping for, but it seems unreasonably powerful. It took around 20 games to reach 3 star masters, picking up a star every game.

The basic principle is that you want to trade 1 for 1 or better with every card your opponent plays until end game at which point all your cards are good and some of his are bad (because they're early drops). To that end, the deck plays very few cards that aren't either cheap removal or resilient creatures.

First, the deck:
2 Claw
1 Naturalize
2 Wrath
2 Acidic Swamp Ooze
2 Faerie Dragon
2 Scarlet Crusader
2 Bite
2 Swipe
2 Chillwind Yeti
2 Keeper of the Grove
2 Twilight Drake
1 Nourish
2 Starfall
2 Druid of the Claw
2 Starfire
1 Cenarius
1 Ysera

Why these cards?

The removal suite:

There are 15 removal spells in the deck. This is key to the philosophy of preventing any of your opponent's synergistic cards from working and also to not dying.

2 Claw, 2 Wrath, 2 Scarlet Crusader, 2 Faerie Dragons - these are your early game removal spells. If I could play 6 wraths and two claws, I would in a heartbeat, but I can't. Scarlet Crusader is pretty resilient and can usually trade 1 for 1 with a legitimate threat. Claw combines with the hero power to remove 3-toughness threats. And faerie dragon, while it gets AoE'd late, can often trade with something early.

2 Keeper of the Grove, 2 Bite, 2 Starfire - these are your mid-game 2-for-1's. Don't save them - just burn them as fast as you can get something reasonable. You have a lot more coming.

2 Swipe, 2 Starfall - These are fantastic cards. They kill swarms. They kill big things. I think Starfall may be the single best card in the game right now and it's certainly the best card in the deck.

1 Naturalize - Don't cast this. Ever. Except when you absolutely have to. Your fundamental strategy is to fight through every card your opponent plays and this hurts. But since this is the slowest deck in the format, you have to fight literally everything your opponent has. And that might include Ragnaros or Ysera. Naturalize is for them. I wish it weren't necessary, but it's an important hedge against things that could be devestating.

2 Acidic Swamp Ooze- Equipment is really, really, really good. There's one card in the game that destroys them. I guess that means we're playing it.

The creatures:

If we're going to play a creature, we want it to be resilient. Generally speaking, sweepers do about 2 damage (except flamestrike) and targeted removal or creature attacks do about 4. We'd like our creatures to dodge that. We can't dodge Shadow Word: Pain since the Keepers of the Grove are too valuable, but we can dodge Shadow Word: Death. So we'd like to have no minions with more than 4 attack if we can help it.

2 Chillwind Yeti, 2 Twilight Drake, 2 Druid of the Claw - These are the meat. They're sometimes 1-for-1, sometimes 2-for-1, and sometimes they win the game. The druid's of the claw are almost always 4/6 Taunts (because >4 toughness is important)

1 Cenarius, 1 Ysera - The Ysera is for the very, very late game. It's usually the last card you play once everything else is exhausted on both sides. She's been great. The Cenarius is pretty mediocre - something horrible usually happens to the treants and then he dies messily as well. If I had an Ancient of Lore, I'd play it over him, but I don't. It also dies to Shadow Word: Death, but the life gain and the cards are pretty nice

1 Nourish - This is another hedge. You need some way to keep yourself up on cards if something's started to go wrong. I think I'd play a second Ancient of Lore in this slot, since you never ever use the mana crystals and I often want some way to gain a little life

Substitutions:

If I had the cards, I'd play -2 Faerie Dragon, -1 Nourish, -1 Cenarius and instead play +2 Ancient of Lore, +1 Bloodmage Thalnos, +1 Ragnaros. It shifts the deck slightly more top-heavy, but Thalnos is a fantastic card, and Ragnaros helps close out games quickly. It's possible that he's wrong since I haven't liked my other really expensive things and it should be something like a Healing Touch or something strange. I think I'd like to try out a King Mukla at some point in place of one of the early drops, but I'm not sure where yet and a Cairne Bloodhoof might be better than Ragnaros for that slot.

Matchups:

VS Mage: The controlling mage decks are easy. You have more removal and your creatures are designed to beat their removal. Be a little careful, count polymorphs before you stick Ysera, and keep your health above 15. Use Bite mostly as a healing spell and just work through their cards slowly. Don't let them keep spell power minions out and it should be easy.

Tempo mage decks are somewhat harder. Get rid of the Mana Wyrm and then they tend to play like controlling mage decks without the polymorphs.

VS Hunter: I've only ever seen rush hunter decks. They tend to play one spell a turn for a while and sometimes even 1 health things. Kill everything, then kill them. Don't rely on creatures since they tend to have removal and their creatures are often way bigger than they look since they have a bunch of buffs. If you can keep their creatures off the board, you'll win pretty handily.

VS Warlock: I've also only seen warlock rush decks. Same deal as with hunters, except their creatures tend to be even smaller and there are more of them. Your creatures are fantastic against their removal, so just keep your health up and you should be fine.

VS Warrior: Save your Oozes! Other than that, again, keep every creature off the board, prioritizing the Warsong Commanders. They have Charge creatures but very little removal, so you can lean somewhat on your druids of the claw. Try not to use bite and claw as removal if you can help it so you can stack your armor.

VS Paladin: There are two paladin decks that I've seen. The rush version tends to play like the hunter, but with less card advantage and way slower. Save your Keeper of the Grove for the silence in case something goes wrong and remember that they have basically no removal, so your druids of the claw can tank for you.

The controlling paladin deck plays the same game as you, but I haven't really seen any that go as all-in on the control. They have some dead cards (consecration, whatever they use early), but they're also one of the most likely decks to have huge legendary monsters. Save your naturalize and be ready with starfire. You can cast Ysera as soon as you have an opening and ride her to victory. Failing that, some mixture of the 4/5 brigade usually does the trick.

VS Priest: I've played against a lot of priests and haven't lost yet. The first trick is in deck construction: play 4 power creatures that you're not scared to face. The second trick is to count. They have 2 mind controls, 2 shadow word: pain, 2 holy nova. The mind controls are the ones you're worried about, but it's worth keeping the others in mind. Don't play twilight drakes with too much health (4/4 is about perfect or 4/5 if you have a starfire in hand) and be prepared to eat the 2-for-1 against the mind controls. Between the Nourish and the fact that they have dead cards, your late game is generally much better than theirs, so just be patient. Use the 2/3 drops to put pressure on them if the game stalls out - they have a tough time removing them other than the two Shadow Word: Pains

VS Rogue: I've played against 1 rogue. It was a kind of rush deck with lots of direct damage and not particularly scary. I imagine there's some brutal rogue deck out there, but I haven't played against it, so I can't really give advice.

VS Shaman: Kill everything they play. Try not to use spells to kill totems, instead use your creatures. They have some limited removal, but they tend to play lots of bad creatures, so swipe and starfall are your friends. This is one of the matchups where I most wish I had Bloodmage Thalnos.

VS Druid: DURIDS IS MUST ALWAYZ HALP EECH OTHER: sumtimes a new durid is need sum halp and advise frum a good durid so u shuld alway halp unother

Budget Substitions:

There are 9 rares. You need them. So that's 900 dust or a little luck. The two legendaries are not at all necessary. Ysera is very nice, but you'll be fine with another 4/5ish creature in their place. Try Azure Drakes (which I don't have, so haven't tried) , Gadgetzan Auctioneer, or Argent Commanders.

Choice Cards:

The druid special mechanic is cards that have a choice. This is awesome! Most of them have a normal mode and then an unusual mode, but that versatility is great.

Claw/Bite: Normally these are removal spells. Against rush decks or mages, though, think of them more as armor spells - try to attack the enemy hero rather than minions to better preserve your life total

Wrath: This is almost always a 3 damage spell. Only play the 1 damage side if you're desperately looking for a particular card or you can't attack with your hero for some reason.

Keeper of the Grove: Both sides are nice. I generally use the 2 damage side, but it should be clear which is best. The choice aspect on this card is very strange sometimes - it works on Faerie Dragons, but the Spellbender mage secret will redirect it. There's probably some bug at work here, but I'm not sure exactly what's intended, so be a little careful.

Starfall: This is your best spell. Both modes are awesome. You have a ton of removal, so don't hesitate to use this to kill 2 2-health minions or just to take down a yeti

Nourish: I've never used the mana crystals. I can't imagine using the mana crystals. Do you really want to play Ysera that early? She'll just get polymorphed, assassinated, or, even worse, mind controlled. Just draw the cards

Cenarius: Should be obvious - use the +2/+2 if it wins you the game and generally make the treants otherwise

Final Thoughts:

The main takeaway from this is that in building a control deck, your main job is to invalidate some of your opponents cards (as many as you can). Pick your creatures and your spells to be as versatile as possible and as resilient to the commonly played cards as possible. This is why we don't play Innervate, Wild Growth, Moonfire, or lots of the other popular cards: they're often not worth a full card. We want every card in our deck to be useful and our hope is to strand the opponent with cards that don't do anything in their hand.
Edited by LegendaryFox on 10/20/2013 2:47 PM PDT
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Seems interesting I might give it a shot.. Don't really enjoy playing games till the very bitter end where both people run out of cards so I might put a little aggression in the form of a Leeroy jenkins and a malygos instead of the 2 legendaries you posted since I dont have them.
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Solid deck my friend, I just made a deck very similar to this right before you posted.

A few suggestions: Don't take out the faerie dragons, they're the priest and mage killers for early game, and they're the most played classes lately in ranked.

Drop Cenarius and add Rag, rag does a guaranteed 8 damage the turn you drop him and if they silence him he's still a powerhouse at 8/8. Bait out their hard removal earlier, drop Rag and win the game.

Drop 1-2 starfire and add Ancients of War or Lore. If a 5-10 Ancient or war survives even 1 turn (or baits hard removal) it will allow you to drop ysera and rag with out much worry. I prefer Ancients of War over lore because I run 2x nourish for card draw. Running 1 of each is also a good idea.

Since you already have 2 faerie dragons and scarlet crusader's, Drop one of your oozes, Warriors and Paladins usually don't give me much trouble, and taking out 1 truesilver or fiery war axe is enough.

Find a way to get bloodmage Thalnos in there, his combo with swipe on the same turn for only 6 mana is just ridiculously good, you won't regret having him in there, maybe drop a crusader.

The biggest problem I have with scarlet Crusader is that mages and priests just laugh at them, and they're not good at all against mirror matches and rogues imo.

I've never played with a lot of claw or bite, so I can't comment on those 2 cards, I will however be putting them in my deck and seeing how they do, I just hate how you can't bypass taunt with these cards, and how weak they are compared to other classes weapons.

I love the 2x chillwind yeti's and twilight drakes, I almost always run these in Druid because they dominate the mid game, they force removal and more than likely hard removal. Drakes almost always go at least 2 for 1 unless they use hard removal, freeing up your ysera, rag, and ancients.

I find that Druid's late game is just incredible, Ancients of war into Rag or Ysera (after your drakes forced hard removal/mind control) is almost unstoppable. And of course your naturalize is your ace in the hole for their legendaries.

P.S. I think people seriously undervalue Nourish, 3 cards for 5 mana on ONE card is just great value, Ignore the 2 mana choice as it's merely a win more play. Having a clear board on both sides doesn't force you to drop minions with such a heavy control deck, so it's the perfect time to cast nourish. Card draw is paramount in this game, and the fact that nourish instantly gives 3 health to your future drakes is just icing on the cake.
Edited by Icarium on 10/21/2013 4:02 PM PDT
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I'd also suggest testing out azure drakes instead of twilight drakes with this deck, especially with only 1 nourish.

Azure drake's +spellpower is just perfect for your deck, and they replace themselves.
Edited by Icarium on 10/21/2013 4:10 PM PDT
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Dude awesome post, thanks for this!
I can't make this deck exactly, but your discussion of why you included the cards is more than enough for me to have a better understanding of this deck's purpose.
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This is awesome, thanks for posting this. I've been playing this deck since I read it with minor adjustments (missing a couple of cards), and done very well (considering I got to a point in ranked games where I just couldn't win as druid).

However, twice now I've come across hunter decks that I'm finding quite hard. Lost both times, in the end due to creature buffs. With no swipes coming forth, and nourish nowhere to be found, was quick decimation :(
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I would say no - a smart player would aim to counter him pretty quickly. The lack of taunts in the deck make it very hard to protect any minion from any real focus.
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Just had two amazing late-game comebacks.. fark me I am loving this build!!!
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I have a lot of legendaries, but neither of the two you have listed. Of the following legendary cards, which would you recommend to take the place of Cenarius and Ysera?

Deathwing
Gruul
Onyxia
Alexstraza
Hogger

I also have 2x Azure Drakes, but I'm thinking of switching those out with the twilight drakes for the draw power.

Edit: Also, what do you think about switching Nourish for Nat Pagle? Does this deck have enough early game board control to protect him while he draws 2-3 cards over 5-6 turns?


Ysera is much better than any of those legendaries, but Hogger would be the best choice if you're dead set on it. In fact I would take Hogger over cenarius any day; Ancients, Rag, and Ysera are easily your best options for late game.

As for Nat Pagle, he's completely overrated, I'd rather put in an acolyte of pain than Nat. And never ever get rid of Nourish, you want at least 1 in your deck.
Edited by Icarium on 10/22/2013 1:55 PM PDT
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Agree about nourish. It has saved my !@# a number of times in the late-game. Fantastic card, especially if your opponent is rushing and not playing conservatively.
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Do you think its possible to replace scarlet crusaders with sun cleric? Crusaders just too easy for mages to remove. At least with cleric you either get a 3/3 for 3 or a you get a buff on a minon and a 3/3.

I have a very similiar deck i'll try putting in nourish and see how it works never used it much before.

What are your thoughts on wild growth or innervate. Beeing able to get a yeti on turn two or even coin turn 1 with innervate seems a bit niche but maybe worth it?
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Mmmm, I don't think I would. They're not -that- easy to remove. If a mage poly's them, waste of a poly. Damage them first then use something like cone of cold or what-have you, it's taking at least 2 actions in all cases to remove them.

Crusaders have amazing survivability in the early game. Try the swap though and see how it works out for you :)
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Mmmm, I don't think I would. They're not -that- easy to remove. If a mage poly's them, waste of a poly. Damage them first then use something like cone of cold or what-have you, it's taking at least 2 actions in all cases to remove them.

Crusaders have amazing survivability in the early game. Try the swap though and see how it works out for you :)


I've used crusaders in the past and just didn't like them overall. Not a fan of any minion with 1 health generally. Not saying they're bad just not my cup of tea.

Also, I have ancient of lore. But for a 7 cost card, do you think its worth running two of them?

Heres a copy of what i'm currently running.

1x Naturailze 1
2x Wrath 2
1x Acidic Swamp Ooze 2
1x Bloodmage Thanos 2
2x Faerie Dragon 2
1x Big game hunter 3
2x Sun-Shattered Cleric 3
2x Swipe 4
2x Iron Dwarf 4
2x Keeper of the Grove 4
2x Starfall 5
2x Azure Drake 5
2x Druid of the Claw 5
2x Starfire 6
1x Argent Commander 6
1x Black Knight 6
2x Ancient of Lore 7
1x Ragnaros 8
1x Ysera 9
Edited by LuckyLurch on 10/23/2013 1:21 PM PDT
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[quote]
Heres a copy of what i'm currently running.

1x Naturailze 1
2x Wrath 2
1x Acidic Swamp Ooze 2
1x Bloodmage Thanos 2
2x Faerie Dragon 2
1x Big game hunter 3
2x Sun-Shattered Cleric 3
2x Swipe 4
2x Iron Dwarf 4
2x Keeper of the Grove 4
2x Starfall 5
2x Azure Drake 5
2x Druid of the Claw 5
2x Starfire 6
1x Argent Commander 6
1x Black Knight 6
2x Ancient of Lore 7
1x Ragnaros 8
1x Ysera 9


Your deck is EXTREMELY close to mine, you have a well thought out deck.

Suggestions:

I also run 1x naturalize and 1x big game hunter, BGH has won me countless games. One of each is the sweet spot, and it's nice to see others have come to the same conclusion.

Not running at least 1 Nourish just baffles me though, ignore the 2 mana crystals and always use it for card draw. Simply having card advantage will win you more games than you'll ever know.

This deck relies on mid-game pressure, getting a faerie dragon/ooze in your opening hand, and controlling the game so that it goes to turn 10+ at least. At this point, with nourish, you will dominate late game (naturalize, BGH, the black knight are PERFECT cards for setting up your rag and ysera).

I understand the 2x clerics, giving faerie dragon 3 health is just nasty for the opponent, but I'm not sure about running 2x dwarfs. Your early game with this deck is extremely weak, and without a faerie dragon it's non-existent, but with so much control you can survive the early game unless you're up against a Warlock murloc deck (pray for swipe+bloodmage). Dwarfs lose all their value if you don't have a minion ready to attack when you play them, and you will find yourself in this situation often in the early game. I've had a lot of success running yeti's, but I think tazzdingo would also be a fine choice.

Running 2x Cleric and Dwarfs is the staple of all Aggro decks, but this isn't an aggro deck.

As for Azure Drake vs Twilight Drake, it's personal choice. But If I have the coin and a twilight drake in hand...hello turn three 4/7 creature; not even fireball can stop this thing. You will get at least a 2 for 1 with this play, or they are forced to poly/sheep early.

I'm not sure about argent commander in this deck but then again, when has argent commander ever not been good?

I prefer to run one ancient of Lore and one ancient of War, but with nourish you almost always use the Lore for the health. Both are great cards for baiting out removal, but War baits out hard removal every time I play him because of 10 health+taunt. If they don't have hard removal (sheep, hex, naturalize, etc.) then you've most likely won the game, your opponent will have to run 3+ minions/cards into him.

In summary, test yeti's/tazzdingo instead of dwarfs and let me know what you think. With 1-2 Nourish in your deck you can turn those azure drake's into twilight drakes to gain control of the game earlier (something this deck struggles with). I know just how good Azure drakes are with swipe and starfall, but I guarantee you that your opponent will crap his pants if he see's a twilight drake early.

Great deck sir, it's nice to see other players playing mid/late game Druid.
Edited by Icarium on 10/23/2013 3:20 PM PDT
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I'm thinking about taking out the dwarves and one ancient of lore to fit in the Yetis and 1 nourish. I'll let you know how it goes.

I really prefer azure drake because of the card draw plus a silenced azure is still a 4/4 a silenced twilight becomes a 4/1.
Edited by LuckyLurch on 10/23/2013 3:33 PM PDT
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I'm thinking about taking out the dwarves and one ancient of lore to fit in the Yetis and 1 nourish. I'll let you know how it goes.

I really prefer azure drake because of the card draw plus a silenced azure is still a 4/4 a silenced twilight becomes a 4/1.


Yea it's a tough call with the drakes, you could put 4 drakes in but that would turn the deck into a pure mid-range monster.

I've been noticing less and less owls and spellbreakers in 3-star masters, with most decks using faster/aggro early game minions. This is the only reason I'm running twilight over azure right now.
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If i can get through 5 games and only two i see silences i'll replace the drakes, but overall i think that extra card draw for 1 mana more is worth it. I feel as a card azure is superiour for its cost.

On a better note, I really love nourish. Dunno what i ever did without it. It literallly saved my !@# in a few games. Yetis were nice for having the extra health in trades too.

Overall changes seem to have improved it. Just not sold on twlight drakes yet after their nerf.
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If i can get through 5 games and only two i see silences i'll replace the drakes, but overall i think that extra card draw for 1 mana more is worth it. I feel as a card azure is superiour for its cost.

On a better note, I really love nourish. Dunno what i ever did without it. It literallly saved my !@# in a few games. Yetis were nice for having the extra health in trades too.

Overall changes seem to have improved it. Just not sold on twlight drakes yet after their nerf.


Yea twilight drakes are definatley high risk/ high reward, just the way I like it!

Don't get me wrong, I probably exchange the drakes in my deck every 10 games I play, I still have no clue which of the two ends up better in the long run.

And gratz on the Improvements, If you find a better fit than the yeti's let me know, i'm not 100% sold on them.
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Can someone explain to me what is so great about Bloodmage Thanos? I mean sure he is low cost and give a draw but as a 1/1 he goes down next turn pretty much. Seems other +1 spell cards with more a/d for another mana or two would be better.

I ask because I am working on building this deck and I have BT but dusting him could craft me like seven of the cards I need for this deck. I am playing a very gimped version of it and winning about 60% . I have only been playing four days so I don't have a lot of cards yet and buying packs is currently not an option. So if I dusted BT I could craft

2x Scarlet
1x Fairie (I have 1 already
2x Bite or keeper
2x Druid of the Claw

I have everything except those and Cen And Yse. So is BT really worth keeping and just playing on with what I have for now or would all those be better than him alone? He doesn't seem that great to me but if I am really missing something please let me know.
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