Strength in Numbers
We generally aren’t enthusiastic about side quests because they are useless by themselves. They require us to spend mana and other resources in order to activate, so by nature, they are inconsistent. This makes them terrible cards to draw later in the game when we want to be able to make an immediate impact on the board. Strength in Numbers is a good example. We need to spend a significant amount of mana on other cards (in this case, minions) in order to activate it. The payoff can be powerful, but also requires us to build our deck in a certain way to leverage it. It might see play in a Big/Embiggen Druid deck but is a hard pass for other archetypes.
This card is just decent. It has good stats for its cost while developing a treant, which might be important for a deck that looks to leverage treant synergy. Not an amazing card, but a solid body that may become common with Druid’s early game.
This card is overtuned. 12 stats that are distributed extremely well for a taunt is already on par with a 6-cost minion. But on top of it, it’s a dragon that discovers another dragon! That’s obscene. Emerald Explorer costs 1 mana less than it should be, if it was a fair card. A staple in every Dragon Druid deck going forward, and the best dragon explorer in this expansion.
Very powerful early game spell. 2/2 is already above vanilla stats for a 1-drop, and it’s a treant too. The added versatility of this card sells it for us. A 2-health taunt buff is very strong for just 1 mana and allows us to make critical early game value trades that can snowball games in our favor.
Breath of Dreams
One of the best cards in this set. A pre-nerf Wild Growth that draws a card is incredible. This spell is the reason why you’d want to play Dragon Druid decks. The tempo advantage gained by ramping, while not losing the resource battle since it replaces itself, is tremendous. Breath of Dreams also has synergy with Embiggen, since it offsets the drawback of the effect by accelerating our curve.
A card draw engine that will be played in every Druid deck that runs treants. Just a single treant on the board makes it as cheap as an Arcane Intellect, which is a playable constructed card. However, in a Treant Druid deck, we suspect that this card will often cost 0 mana. It’s so easy to make Aeroponics free to cast since we have several ways of generating multiple treants with one card, such as Force of Nature and The Forest’s Aid.
Prince Keleseth that costs no mana, has a stronger effect, no deck building restriction and can be run as a duplicate. In other words, Embiggen is the good version of Surrender to Madness. This card should become the cornerstone for any minion-dense, beatdown deck that Druid would want to play. A +2/+2 buff for 1 additional mana is very well worth it and allows the Druid to develop inevitably overwhelming pressure on the opponent.
Secure the Deck
Not an incredible reward, but the strongest selling point of Secure the Deck is that it doesn’t require us to spend drawn resources to activate it. It can be completed easily later in the game within two turns, with just the mana investment required to hero power twice. Of course, there is the option to complete it more efficiently with Claw or Pounce. The problem of this card is that we’re unsure which deck would want to run it. With the power level exhibited in this set, we can’t help but offer skepticism regarding the prospects of Gonk, Secure the Deck’s most likely customer, in the DoD meta.
Goru the Mightree
The card that makes us want to try Treant Druid the most, and heavily promotes a build that isn’t afraid to take matchups into the late game. Goru’s effect comes at essentially no cost: its base stats are as good as an Ancient of War, and it curves perfectly into The Forest’s Aid, which offers devastating follow-up. If Treant Druid becomes an established meta deck, this card will be a factor in its success.
When looking at the entire set, Ysera proves to be disappointing. While she offers a strong, attrition-centric win condition, it is very slow, inconsistent, and takes too many turns to ramp up the pressure. Ysera is not an immediate threat upon her entrance to the board, and she doesn’t offer any protection from the opponent’s potential aggression. Even in a Dragon Druid deck, it will be hard for her to fit in, since the archetype should be very tempo-focused and aggressive in nature. Playing a 9 mana 4/12 is unlikely to suit its playstyle.
Descent of Dragons Set Rank: 2nd
Overall Power Ranking: 3rd
Druid received one of the strongest sets, with two game-changing cards. Embiggen is a potential cornerstone for any aggressive Druid deck going forward, pushing for builds with high minion density and scaling keywords (such as Rush). Several shells will likely attempt to abuse this card.
Breath of Dreams is the 2nd notable build-around card that greatly encourages the usage of the dragon tribe. With ramping offseting an increase in mana costs, and with the availability of Frizz, it’s possible that Dragon Druid will be the one to successfully utilize Embiggen to beat down its opponents.
Treant Druid has also received further support, with its early game, card draw, and late-game longevity being addressed. The deck wasn’t too far away from viability in the current expansion, and this set has moved it several steps forward.
Finally, let’s not forget that Quest Druid is still around, and while the deck hasn’t received notable support in this expansion, it will be fighting to stick around.
Overall, Druid looks quite promising going into the next expansion with several archetypes exhibiting good potential. The class has made a comeback during Saviors of Uldum thanks to a well-rounded set focused on Untapped Potential, but now it will look to move away from being a one-deck class.