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Deck Guide - *TGT* Aviana Druid by RegisKillbin

Corey_T

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Most Druid decks these days are all about the big combo finisher with Force of Nature and Savage Roar, but if you're looking for a potent Druid that doesn't rely on two cards to win every game, this deck will interest you. The Aviana Druid is a ramp-style deck that's full of huge minions, has tons of potential for crazy plays, and might just be one of the most fun decks I've ever played. 
 
If you were lucky enough to pull Aviana from a pack, this deck is perfect for you. There really aren't any popular lists that include her, despite the raw power she offers. The Aviana Druid I lay out here is going to give your shiny new legendary a proper place to call home, and it'll give you countless opponents to call losers. 
  
General Strategy

As with all ramp-style Druid decks, this one is all about ramping your mana up as rapidly as possible, then dropping giant minion after giant minion. Thankfully The Grand Tournament provided Druids with one amazing new card to achieve that goal more safely in Darnassus Aspirant. It will give you an extra mana crystal for a turn or two, while also serving as a defensive body. In combination with Innervate, Wild Growth, and Grove Tender, you'll be able to rapidly accelerate your mana total skywards. 

The reason you need to get 8+ mana so quickly is for big swing turns on the back of cards like Kel'Thuzad, Ancient of War, Ysera, and especially Aviana. Your goal in the early game is to mitigate damage, control the board, and get mana. In the mid-game you should ideally have 7 or 8 mana, even though it's only the fifth turn of the game. That's when your monstrous minions will start to recover the board and overwhelm your opponent, especially behind your four taunts and pseudo taunts like Emperor Thaurissan and Sylvanas Windrunner. If you make it to the mid-game in decent shape, that's where the fireworks really start.  
 
If you're able to draw Aviana, the potential for insane plays jumps through the roof. At her very worst Aviana's effect allows her to be combined with any other minion for a 10-mana play that grants you two big bodies. If you save up a Coin or Innervates, you could easily fill the board with 4 or 5 legendary minions in a single turn. That's the kind of game-winning turn you'll be looking for. Imagine Dropping Aviana, then Kel'Thuzad for 1 mana, then casting Innervate to play a Faceless Manipulator copy of Kel'Thuzad and an Ancient of War. That can and will happen with this deck. 

What Stands Out

This deck was designed to support Aviana, so of course she's one of its most notable cards. If you're able to get her out early enough, or with a combo to support her, she can dominate any kind of deck out there. Her effect is insanely powerful, and god forbid they don't immediately kill her, you'll be able to go totally insane and do unimaginably cool things.
Many players will question the inclusion of Grove Tender. It's generally considered a below average card, but I like it for a number of reasons with this deck. Mana ramping is all-important, and this is yet another way to do it if you draw dead on Wild Growth. It can also draw you a card, which is also vital to filling your hand with big threats. It can also be a basic 3-drop that counters aggressive decks with a solid body. Finally there's Faceless Manipulator, which is essentially a free legendary or taunt of your choosing. Since it can be played for 1 mana in many cases, it sort of allows you to run multiple copies of the an overpowered legendary like Kel'Thuzad in your deck. 

How Do You Win? 

You'll win most games on the back of a gigantic board of powerful minions that simply push for lethal damage. You can also piece together a fair amount of burst damage to finish people off thanks to cards like Swipe, Druid of the Claw, and even Ragnaros. 

Tips and Tricks

Silencing your Darnassus Aspirant isn't a crazy play if it will preserve the potential for a monster play in the next turn or two. For instance, if you have 5 mana with Innervate and Kel'Thuzad in hand, you might want to set up a huge turn 6 Kel'Thuzad by saving your mana crystal for the following turn. Don't feel bad giving your opponent a card or mana crystal with Grove Tender, because you're going to be able to do more with your card and mana on average. Saving Emperor Thaurissan until Aviana is in-hand can open up ridiculous combos.  

Matchups
  • Control: This deck is supremely good against the control archetype, because they play right into your strategy. You'll have all the time in the world to set up your combos, draw your cards, and ramp into giant minions before them. Just focus on mana, save your resources, and look for plays that swing the game in major ways. 
  • Aggro: Aggressive decks can definitely punish you if you're not smart and a little lucky. You'll need to mulligan for your early drops and removal spells. That means Darnassus Aspirant, Wrath, and Grove Tender, and even Keeper of the Grove are going to take priority. You need to make sure things don't get totally out of hand, then you can recover behind a wall of taunts and even heal with Ancient of Lore if you need to in order to survive. 
  • Combo: It's hard to predict exactly how and when you'll die to combo-based decks, but having huge taunts is one of the best answers. Ancient of War, Druid of the Claw, and even Faceless Manipulator will be your all-star cards here. Don't be shy to hero power for a little extra maximum health.
What to Replace

Most of the cards in this deck were selected to support Aviana's effect and take full advantage of rapid mana inclines. But there are a few different ways to tech this deck out to do different things. For instance, you could add a Savage Roar to give you extra finishing capability. You won't need Force of Nature for the full combo, because you'll typically have a few minions on board, and this allows you to finish the game more quickly if combo decks worry you. 
Chillmaw could do a lot of work if aggro decks are getting you down, or you just need an answer to Patron Warrior combo turns. It doesn't synergize well with your general board presence, so you'd need to use it carefully in targeted situations. Justicar Trueheart is the ultimate value card that heavily favors you in long games. You'll be able to get 2 armor and 2 free damage most turns, which can really add up over a long control-style battle. 

Why You Should Care

Nobody wants to open a cool class legendary and have no deck that it fits. The Aviana Druid solves that problem by building a brand new ramp-style deck from the ground up and including Aviana as its centerpiece. This is also a very competitive deck that can be played successfully on the ranked ladder, almost no matter the meta. 
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