Why doesn't anyone play naturalize?

Posts: 6,250
I am fully aware of the penalty (opponent draws 2 cards), but for example:

Say your opponent plays a taunted mountain giant and your only alternative is to suicide 2 minions into it (2 cards) or suicide 1 minion into it and play swipe (2 cards) - isn't it sometimes better to be able to naturalize the 8/8 giant, hit their face with your minion and maintain board presence?

I've often invested 3 cards into my Druid of the Claw (Innervate + Coin + Card), so it sucks to lose it whenever a giant (or other heavy minion) comes out.

Any experiences with this? I am playing ramp druid this season.
Edited by FarqTheOrc on 7/2/2014 7:31 AM PDT
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Posts: 3,338
You're specifically talking about Giants, so it's going to be Handlock. Quite a few Ramp Druids sub in one Naturalize if they're facing a lot of Handlock on the ladder.

This is the only time I'm okay even considering Naturalize. If you're running into a lot of Handlock, your deck won't suffer from including one.

I'm really not a fan, and never have been, but it does have its uses occasionally (meta dependent).
Edited by SirDigby on 7/2/2014 7:48 AM PDT
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Posts: 308
Two words: Card Advantage

By playing this you are are down a card and your opponent is up a card.
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Posts: 6,250
True, but you also might be able to maintain board control with a crucial minion and then push for lethal.

I'm going to play with 1 for a while.
Edited by FarqTheOrc on 7/2/2014 9:54 AM PDT
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Posts: 73
wouldn't big game hunter be the better answer there?
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Posts: 21
I use it in my agro druid.

It trades card advantage for tempo.
I can destroy any size minion for 1 and still slap down a dude.

Plus if I kill my opponent and he still has 3 cards left in his hand, then that card advantage didn't really help him out did it?

Also the 1 mana cost makes it more flexible and easy to spend all my mana each turn.

But yeah in the case of Giants, I think Big Game Hunter would be way better.
Edited by JuanDaba on 7/2/2014 1:02 PM PDT
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Posts: 578
It is a guaranteed 3 for 1. (you exchange Naturalize for the minion and give opponent 2 cards)
It is good in 3 situations:
1. You will trade 3 for 1 (or worse) anyway.
2. You are FaceDruid and you don't care about card advantage as long as your opponent is dead.
3. You run a Mill Deck.
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Posts: 3,215
because even if you play 2 cards to kill it its still better than naturalizing since thats 3 cards to kill it.

then again, against handlocks its viable(or if you play some really fast aggro druid, especially since it can overdraw them quite a lot.
Edited by shaunika on 7/2/2014 3:19 PM PDT
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Posts: 13
I changed BGH for naturalize in my deck. Its meant to destroy this one irritating taunt that can stop me to rush and make miracle and handlock QQ. I had already few situations when i naturalized 9/9 giant and these 2 cards were burned as oponent had full hand. Pure advantage :)
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07/02/2014 01:01 PMPosted by JuanDaba
It trades card advantage for tempo.
I can destroy any size minion for 1 and still slap down a dude.

This is the real answer. You can bust a taunt in an Aggro deck, and they are still scrambling to leverage answers.

This doesn't make it a great card though, for a couple of reasons:
1. It's poor in some matchups. Vs. Aggro, unless you're killing an aberrantly strong minion like Doomguard, it's probably not worth giving them more gas to fight you with.

2. Two cards is too many. Reasoning? Well, Sap gives them one card (basically) and it doesn't help them find a critical answer, it just stalls them a little. Letting them draw 2 may let them draw into an AoE (that critical answer), and increases their chances of finding that critical answer every turn afterwards, as their total decksize is diminshed. I wonder if it would be broken at draw 1, though.

3. Hearthstone is still often about card advantage. There is a reason Warlock is one of the strongest classes all around. Good card advantage is hard to come by in this game, so much so that people resort to playing Gnomish Inventor, and that a huge percentage of competitive decks play Azure Drake. Giving it away with Naturalize is not always a great move.

4. The tempo loss is not necessarily that great. When you naturalize a minion, you are essentially purchasing freedom from that minion for one or more turns. So, if your opponent plays a Shieldmasta, and you Naturalize it, and then they play a Yeti, you have essentially bought two turns of free swings from your minions on the table (as the Yeti then starts smashing your guys). This is a good scenario for the Naturalize player, in the reverse order (where a Yeti gets Naturalized and they followup with a Shieldmasta), the gains are non-existent. Unfortunately, this isn't what tends to make or break aggro games in my experience; it is if and how much AoE gets drawn. Naturalize actively works against you for the critical problems (see number 2.).

It deserves testing. It could be great if druid rush was more of a thing (it isn't, IMO, because we aren't talking about Flame Imps, Void Walkers, and the Warlock hero power). I just think the outlook is not so great, because the raw tempo it provides is ill suited to the kind of game Hearthstone is.

Take all this with a lot of salt. I've played a singleton Naturalize in a few of my decks, but haven't gotten to get it to really work. I haven't tested it extensively, as I'm not a hardcore druid player. It's also got potential in (or is the backbone of?) the mill deck, with Coldlight Oracle and Mukla, and all that jazz. I just don't imagine it's good in regular play, but by all means, experience and testing trump the best theory craft a forum visit can buy.
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I always run one, nothing worse than having a lethal with a pesky taunt minion in the way. I would never run 2, but one (for me) has been a benefit numerous times. TBK can do this, but lacks the ability to remove, say, Ragnaros without MotW which BGH can do but he can't remove most taunts.

Most will argue its a dead card a lot, but BGH and TBK have stricter requirements, sure they might give a body, but they are tuned around removal which if not used is just as much of a waste imo.

2 card draw can also push fatigue/mill if used at the right times, again both those scenarios have worked for me quite a few times.

btw I run BGH and Naturalize, could fit TBK in but I dont want 2 situational removals in my deck, would prefer one which is unrestricted, especially for 1 mana.
Edited by Winstiford on 7/2/2014 8:39 PM PDT
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Posts: 119
Would be interesting if they changed the text to say:

Destroy a minion. The owner of that minion draws two cards.

I think that would make it more useful and add some interesting strategy to it.
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Posts: 6,250
I have all of TBK, BGH and naturalize in my deck (1 of each).

Working ok, so far. Need to test more.
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Posts: 23
I am currently running a coldlight, Mukkla, Naturlize Charger Deck (similar to the Rogue variant). It is working quite ok so far. It is all about tempo and naturlize + innervate are great tempo cards :-)
For any other druid, I would not recomment it though.
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Posts: 266
I run 2, i also run 2 violet teacher and 2 auctioneers. It is never really a 3 for 1 for me. Also won quite a few games with fon + roar + naturalize.

Against rush decks its often a dead card, otherwise its the best removal there is.
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Posts: 6
Depending on your meta, it's exceptional. The more control there is in your meta, the stronger it gets.

As mentioned before, versus heavy control decks, the tempo swing this card creates is so back breaking for some decks that it often completely negates any card advantage the opponent gets. The most notable example would be a deck like Ramp Taunt druid, where having 2 large minions to their 1 is generally enough to decide who has the initiative, and hence who wins the game.

Even against midrange decks, Naturalize can act as a comeback card. Those decks tend to run you over with cards like Argent Commander that would normally put you into mana debt or life debt, thereby sealing their board control and running you over. Naturalize solves this by reversing that mana deficit on them and stabilizing with your own minion, at which point you can proceed to overwhelm them with superior minion quality and Ancient of Lores.

Versus aggro... It's generally terrible because there's next to no tempo damage being dealt and they can use their new cards immediately. Exceptions are cases like a turn 3 Mukla vs a Shockadin or a Doomguard in Zoo.

All-in-all, unless you're seeing absolutely nothing but aggro, you should almost always run 1 naturalize while laddering, and sometimes even 2, like when the ladder was dominated by Control Warrior / Handlock for a while in season 2.
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Posts: 140
Its good to kill a taunt so you can burst or a turn 4 giant as they will burn a card or two depending. That's about it.
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Posts: 623
07/02/2014 11:08 PMPosted by Asalizarr
Would be interesting if they changed the text to say:

Destroy a minion. The owner of that minion draws two cards.

I think that would make it more useful and add some interesting strategy to it.

It would be horribly overpowered.
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Posts: 1,210
07/02/2014 11:08 AMPosted by nat
wouldn't big game hunter be the better answer there?

That's what I'm thinking and a Black Knight to boot.
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Posts: 790
the only team naturalize it at it's most effective is when your opponent in out of cards, and so they take damage from fatigue, or if they have a full hand. that is it. other than that it is just a bad card.
make them play your game, don't play theirs.
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