It's not the new expansion cards that have made it work, though. It's simply that the meta has changed to accommodate it.
Be sure to check out other great decks for the current meta in our comprehensive Hearthstone guide.
As a deck, it lacks decent early-game minions which has always been a serious weakness. With many cards rotating out, though, a lot of other decks have the same problem. As a result, Spiteful Druid has become a top-tier option.
The basic approach is the same as Spiteful Priest: use the Summoner to cheat out a big minion early. Druid does it a bit better than Priest, because it can afford to run a single big spell. Also, it has access to a slew of Taunt minions and alternative win conditions.
- 2 x Crypt Lord
- 2 x Druid of the Scythe
- 2 x Greedy Sprite
- 1 x Malfurion the Pestilent
- 2 x Ultimate Infestation
- 2 x Fire Fly
- 2 x Glacial Shard
- 1 x Prince Keleseth
- 2 x Mind Control Tech
- 1 x Mindbreaker
- 1 x Tar Creeper
- 2 x Saronite Chain Gang
- 2 x Spellbreaker
- 2 x Cobalt Scalebane
- 2 x Fungalmancer
- 1 x Leeroy Jenkins
- 2 x Spiteful Summoner
- 1 x Grand Archivist
The deck doesn't need any of its legendary cards, although all increase its power. Keleseth in particular is replaceable. Nor does it strictly need that Grand Archivist, especially since his effect will sometimes target your own cards.
However, you can't do without the other Epic cards, Spiteful Summoner and Ultimate Infestation. It's their combination that powers the whole deck.
In terms of cheaper replacements, it can be worth adding some low-mana cards to this deck to help it past its early curve. Dire Mole and Argent Squire are good picks for this and offer some more staying power against aggressive opponents.
Ironbeak Owl and Acidic Swamp Ooze can also work, especially if you find you're up against a lot of Warlock decks or weapons respectively.
The Lich King and Primordial Drake are effective in this mix too, although they're hardly budget cards. If you've got them and want to throw them in, though, feel free.
As with all decks that run Prince Keleseth, he's your number one always keep option. Boosting the stats of all your minions from the first turn also boosts your win rate. Also consider keeping one Spiteful Summoner since it's the key threat in your deck.
Greedy Spite and Firefly are also solid choices to hold on to in most situations. The former forces your opponent into a nasty choice of leaving a mid-range minion on the board or gifting you a mana crystal. Firefly is the best early-game minion right now, helping you establish some board presence.
If you feel you may be up against a fast deck, keep Crypt Lord and Tar Creeper, too. Crypt Lord in particular is a nightmare for aggro decks as its ever-increasing health make it very difficult to shift.
Mindbreaker can be a keeper, but it's very situation dependent. It's purpose is disabling decks that run upgraded hero powers and it's incredibly effective against them. Right now, the prime candidates for that are Paladin, Warrior, and Hunter.
Long term, the deck has three win conditions. The earliest and most common is to play a Summoner round about on curve. It will always summon a 10-mana minion and often that will be enough to close out the game, especially against aggressive decks.
Failing that, it has two ways to out-value opposing decks. First, by stats via Keleseth. And second by cards and board presence with Ultimate Infestation.
The early game, then, is mostly about staying alive. Get out some cheap minions if you've drawn them. If not, you should be able to start putting down minions on turn 3.
If you're playing against Paladin, do whatever you can to kill Silver Hand Recruits. You have no area of effect damage, so letting them proliferate for latter buffing will quickly turn into a nightmare.
Mid-game, Spiteful Druid has the potential to suddenly turn into an aggressive deck itself. The key card here is Fungalmancer, which offers an impressive stat boost for the cost. It's especially useful played between two Taunt minions.
This is your game plan against control-oriented opponents. Chain Gang on turn 4, followed by Fungalmancer the following turn is hard to come back from. Leeroy and Cobalt Scalebane boost the deck's attacking credentials.
Because this is quite a defensive deck, Mind Control Tech can be amazingly powerful. It's almost never worth playing this card until your opponent has four minions, triggering its Battlecry. But since you're often sat behind a Taunt wall, you'll often find the enemy has the chance to accumulate that many. If not, you can always use Leeroy to boost his minion count before stealing one.
Taunt, Taunt and Taunt again. All that Taunt is there for a reason: to keep you alive until you can get out your high-cost, high-value cards.
If you're not under any immediate threat, it can be worth saving Crypt Lord to play alongside one or two cheap minions to boost its health. Once it starts escalating, it can be very difficult for your opponent to get rid of. Following it up with Summoner, Chain Gang or even Malthurion for a double health increase is very powerful.
This will work well against aggressive and mid-range decks, and Spiteful Druid does well against them. However, don't mistake it for a control deck itself. It's essentially a mid-range deck that cheats out powerful cards early and it can struggle in longer matches against full control decks.
Spellbreaker is your friend in these longer games. Do not waste them. If you're playing against Taunt Druid, be sure to save one for Hadronox. Otherwise, choosing when to assign this precious resource is tough to judge.
Silencing Possessed Lackey is important, but only if it's going to buy you enough time to close out the game. Otherwise it might be more sensible to save them to silence the inevitable Cubes and Voidlords.