The Comprehensive Whizbang’s Workshop Preview

Data Reaper Report - Druid

Magical Dollhouse

Dollhouse is a 1-mana location that provides us with +1 spell damage for a turn on no less than three charges. 1-mana sources of spell damage are very rare. So, to have a source for spell damage that’s better than a 1-mana minion (since we bank the cost for future turns), makes things quite appealing.

Druid’s set seems to heavily focus on spell damage, with Magical Dollhouse acting as the glue card that holds everything together. It helps OTK opponents in the late game with Owlonius, while also enabling powerful defensive plays in faster matchups, such as Swipe or Woodland Wonders. A turn 1 Magical Dollhouse into a turn 2 Woodland Wonders is a very strong stabilizer against early aggression and something that the class doesn’t normally have access to.

Considering the versatility against different kinds of opponents and its cheap cost, Magical Dollhouse looks quite good.

Score: 3

Bottomless Toy Chest

A 2-mana discover effect from the deck is comparable to Thrive in the Shadows; although the Toy Chest can discover any type of card and not just spells. The bonus is that if you have spell damage, then you get an additional copy of the discovered card.

In theory, copying a card can help us elevate the consistency of our execution. The problem is that we’re “spending” spell damage on an effect that doesn’t directly impact the board.

Ideally, we play Toy Chest at the later stages of the game when we can use other cards in tandem with it on a spell damage turn. For example, activating Magical Dollhouse and finding Swipe with Toy Chest, then using the Swipe copy to clear the board while keeping another copy in hand.

In terms of timing, Bottomless Toy Chest makes us think of Moonlit Guidance. The difference is that Toy Chest requires us to invest spell damage while Moonlit Guidance requires us to have mana to play the copy. Considering that Moonlit Guidance was a strong card in Ramp Druid decks, we’re leaning to Toy Chest becoming competitive as well.

Score: 3

Woodland Wonders

Woodland Wonders is a 5-mana spell that summons two 1/5 taunts, but costs 2-mana if you have spell damage. For 2-mana, this effect is quite powerful, offering 10-health in taunts as early as turn 2 with a Magical Dollhouse setup.

Woodland Wonders is a mini-Spreading Plague, but one that isn’t conditional on the state of the opponent’s board. It offers a lot of stalling at a small cost. Druids have historically struggled dealing with aggression, so whenever it gets a strong defensive card added to its toolkit, we pay attention.

Spell Damage Druid possesses the lethality to kill opponents in the late game, so all it needs in the faster matchups is survivability. Woodland Wonders gives it survivability, but we suspect it will only see play if the archetype opts to run Chia Drake.

Score: 2

Wind-Up Sapling

Tradeable cards in this expansion have the “wind-up” mechanic, which is perfect flavor for a toy. When you trade these cards, you upgrade their ability. Wind-Up Sapling at its baseline refreshes 1-mana crystal, but after trading it once, it will refresh 2-mana crystals. Trade it again, it refreshes 3-mana crystals and so on.

For Sapling to be remotely playable, it needs to gain mana. A free 2/1 is nowhere near good enough, so trading it once doesn’t cut it for a constructed card. This means we need to trade Sapling multiple times. We need to draw the same Sapling three times over the course of the game, while spending at least 2-mana just to trade it. This process takes forever in Hearthstone terms and the product is a poor imitation of Contaminated Lasher.

There’s no way we’re doing this.

Score: 1

Sparkling Phial

Sparkling Phial is a damage spell that reduces the cost of the next card you play this turn based on the amount of damage it deals. At its baseline, dealing 2 damage means we’re reducing the cost of the next card by 2-mana. For 3-mana, this card doesn’t seem that great, but the fact it scales with spell damage is very important.

A single spell damage buff means that Phial has a net cost of 0-mana. Add other cost reduction effects to the equation, and this card can enable a serious damage combo with Owlonius and Swipe. We can even chain multiple Phials in a single turn, should we get more copies of the card from Toy Chest.

A Spell Damage Druid will likely use Phial as its core nuke. The card is not very versatile when it comes to defensive utilizations, but it’s necessary for an OTK in slower matchups to be possible.

Score: 3

Chia Drake

First, let’s look at the main body. A 4-mana 2/4 with either Spell Damage +1 or drawing a spell, which is equivalent to a Gnomish Inventor, seems quite terrible. Neither of these options seems particularly appealing.

Miniaturize is what makes the card appealing, as the 1-mana 1/1 version of either option is quite strong. A 1-mana Spell Damage +1 minion can help us activate Woodland Wonders, Bottomless Toy Chest, or Owlonius. A 1-mana 1/1 Novice Engineer is also pretty good.

Spell Damage Druid is expected to be a combo deck with an OTK, so card draw is valuable in this deck. Chia Drake is versatile enough to offer that cycling power, while also giving us a small combo piece with multiple applications.

Another relevant angle is its Dragon tag. It’s possible that Spell Damage Druid will want to ramp, so access to a small Dragon package with Splish-Splash Whelp is feasible. Dragon Druid, or a Reno Druid running Dragons, might also be interested in the cycling power and the subtle synergy with Dragon Golem.

Multiple archetypes could be interested in this card, even though it looks quite tame on the surface.

Score: 2

Jade Display

Jade Display is a 1-mana 1/1 that shuffles two copies of itself into the deck. The next Jade Display will then be a 1-mana 2/2, continuing to buff other Jade Displays by increments of 1.

This callback to Jade Golem is nowhere near as strong as the original package. The process of scaling Jade Golems is faster, since they have a bigger package of cards in the deck that are capable of summoning Jade Golems. With Jade Display, you need to draw one of two copies just to start things off, then draw the shuffled Jade Display to continue the process. It is infinitely slower to scale up Jade Displays. We can’t see this being a viable strategy in 2024. This is slower than Pogo-Hopper and Astral Automaton.

You could argue that Jade Display offers a low hanging fruit of infinite value and immunity to fatigue, but there’s a Druid legendary in this very same set that does it better, with a greater chance of closing out the game though mana advantages (Aviana).

This just looks terrible.

Score: 1


A bulk cost reduction for cards in your deck in a similar vein to Incanter’s Flow, affecting minions instead.

This card is much more conservative than Incanter’s Flow. First, it’s important to understand that the reason why bulk mana reduction can be so powerful is because it affects card draw and burst. The reason why Stormwind was such a fast-paced format is not because of the Questlines, but because card draw was paired with mana reduction in a way that allowed decks to accelerate into their win conditions very quickly. A Questline Mage without Incanter’s Flow was not killing anyone on turn 7.

As such, minion cost reduction does not have the same kind of impact since card draw tends to come in the form of spells. Reducing the cost of minions can help you accelerate your board development, but it’s not as effective at accelerating burst damage. So Ensmallen is significantly worse than Incanter’s Flow even when both cards cost the same amount of mana, yet Ensmallen costs 3-mana, while Flow costs 2-mana.

You could argue that Ensmallen helps us enable Owlonius combos, but we have a much better way of setting up burst combos by using Lifebinder’s Gift. Again, discounting spells works better when we’re trying to burst down our opponent.

Where would Ensmallen fit better? Obviously, in a deck heavy on minions. But that means we’re talking about an initiative-focused deck that looks to dominate the board from the onset of the game, yet we’re asked to spend 3-mana, skipping a full turn in the early game, with the hope that our drawn minions from that point will get us back in the game.

Don’t think we’ll be doing that.

Score: 1

Sky Mother Aviana

Aviana may initially look like a meme card. After all, we’re shuffling 10 random legendary minions to our deck. Yes, they might cost 1-mana, but we still need to find them and there’s no guarantee that they’d be big enough to make an impact.

But the other way of looking at Aviana is by treating her as a much more powerful version of Elysiana. Not only does she extend the fatigue clock to a huge extent in a post-Renathal world, but the quality of her generation pool exceeds Elysiana by some distance. Aviana is a pseudo-Wishing Well with no condition or resource requirement.

As for drawing legendary minions to have a more immediate impact on our resources, Druid has the combo to do just that. Eonar + Cover Artist + Aviana allows you to fill your hand with a bunch of 1-mana legendary minions, which is arguably a combo that’s easier to execute than Wishing Well.

Spell Damage Druid might be getting most of the attention because of what looks like a very fleshed out and consistent game plan, but Aviana could be a powerhouse late game card by herself, one that barely needs any support to be effective. There’s a chance Druid will not bother with Aviana and focus on its newly acquired OTK tools, but don’t sleep on this one.

Score: 3


Owlonius is the cornerstone card of Spell Damage Druid, one that allows the class to execute very reliable OTK’s with Sparkling Phial, Swipe, Living Roots, and Snake Oil all available as damage spells.

The way Owlonius works is that it doubles any Spell Damage value you currently have. Since it has a Spell Damage bonus of +1, it means that your spells get boosted by +2 damage if it’s on the board. Add a Chia Drake Mini alongside Owlonius and your spells now get a +4-damage bonus.

So, once we understand how Owlonius works, we realize that a +6 damage bonus, very comparable to the average Sif, is quite easy to achieve thanks to Chia Drake and Magical Dollhouse. Magical Dollhouse can be set up earlier, while Chia Drake is played on the same turn. Drake Minis might require a mana investment, but with the help of Funnel Cake and Lifebinder’s Gift, may end up costing us nothing at all. Alternatively, we could copy Owlonius with Cover Artist, which causes a quadruple damage bonus.

Many players might be looking at Owlonius and seeing a worse version of Sif, but we think they’re missing the bigger picture. Sif might be a stronger standalone card in a deck that supports it, but Owlonius doesn’t require any incremental build up in power. It only requires the right combo pieces to be able to execute an OTK. It’s available in a class with ramp as well as a tutor that can discount it (Summer Flowerchild).

All Druid needs to do is to accumulate resources. You have the Spell Damage enablers in Dollhouse, Drake or Cover Artist. You have Sparkling Phial as the starter nuke. Swipe/Roots/Oil all serve as complementary burst options (you essentially have 4 copies of Swipe thanks to Malfurion’s Gift). Then you have Funnel Cake and Lifebinder’s Gift to discount pieces or cheat mana on the OTK turn. What else do you need?

This looks very real.

Score: 4

Final Thoughts

Whizbang’s Workshop Set Rank: 9th

Overall Power Ranking:  8th

The Druid class tends to look nervous before every rotation, but most times, it skips over any struggles and continues to compete at a good level. The Whizbang set provides it with strong foundations. Most importantly, it provides it with a win button, giving it the chance to boast its late game powers once again.

Owlonius is the standout card in the Druid set, one that could become the centerpiece for a Spell Damage Druid that looks to OTK opponents with massive over the top burst. Magical Dollhouse allows us to pre-load spell damage on the Owlonius turn, which can easily reach +6. Bottomless Toy Chest is a consistency boost for the archetype, helping us find the combo pieces we’re missing, while Woodland Wonders can offer us survivability.

Sparkling Phial is a very versatile nuke. It can be used as a normal follow up to Owlonius, but it can also be used to discount Owlonius and copy it with Cover Artist. This combo is particularly powerful when enabled by Lifebinder’s Gift and can lead to a ridiculous spell damage buff in the +16 range. A couple of Snake Oils is all it takes at that point.

The Spell Damage package is exciting, but Druid’s fate does not solely rest on it. Aviana forms a powerful combo with Eonar/Cover Artist that could serve as an alternative win condition for Ramp Druid decks. You can think of it as a “build your own Countess” combo. Aviana offers significant upsides in a post-Renathal world.

And then there’s always the option to fall back to Druid’s Badlands set. The Dragon package should not slow down in rotation, with Dragon Druid having the opportunity to slightly reinvent itself thanks to Giftwrapped Whelp and have a more explosive early game. There’s no reason why Reno Druid can’t compete either. The late game tools available to it are still strong.

We expect Druid to be firmly in the mix of things when Whizbang’s Workshop launches. The biggest concern could be meta-related. If Paladin becomes one of the strongest classes in the format, it might put Druid in an uncomfortable spot. But, if aggression isn’t wildly rampant once the format settles down, then we expect Druid’s late game lethality to shine.

1 Comment

  1. Good read overall, but the write up on Timewinder Zarimi is a bit over the top. It just screams, “Blizz, if you’re reading our article nerf this card now!”, and I think it’s way too early to jump to that conclusion. Time Warp effects are strong, but it’s no more strong than OTK card strategies; one could argue it’s actually weaker cause you need two turns in a row to win when other decks can OTK.

    A weakness with Timewinder Zarimi that shouldn’t be ignored is its reliance on dragon tribe. Can’t just put in any deck, must devote enough other cards to get to 5 dragons.

    TLDR – Let’s try not to put a target on cards to nerf before they’re actually a problem.

Comments are closed.