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Hearthstone: How to Tech Against Tokens in Rise of Shadows

The Rise of Shadows meta is maturing nicely, with strong archetypes beginning to dominate. Among the most powerful are Token Druid and Carpet Zoo Warlock. Both of these decks repeatedly fill the board with waves of small minions. They might not seem too scary on their own, but then a Grim Rally, Savage Roar, Soul of the Forest or Sea Giant comes down to ruin your day.

But clearing the board isn’t always easy, especially for decks that lack the efficient clears of Warrior or Shaman. And even those classes may wish to double up on clears. So what can you do to clear off those annoying tokens?

Burn Them with Baron Geddon

He’s good at burning up Treants.

Hearthstone’s most incendiary aristocrat is making a comeback. Now Primordial Drake isn’t stepping on his toes, this 7 mana 7/5 is free to find a spot in all kinds of decks. His effect is particularly brutal against Druids, often coming down right as they summon 5 2/2s with The Forest’s Aid. If they don’t have a Swipe or couple of Wraths to take it out, it’s often GG right there.

Baron Geddon is a great choice for dunking on Druids and Warlocks, but isn’t quite as versatile as some other options. When their minions are at 3 health, he’s basically useless. He also damages your own face, making you vulnerable to a burn-based comeback. Finally, he’s pretty fragile for the cost; with only 5 health, he dies to a single Dyn-o-matic or Eviscerate and dagger hit. All this makes for a card that’s weak in most situations, but incredibly strong in a few favoured matchups. While he’s great to target specific lineups, more versatile options may be better for ladder.

Bash Them with Batterhead

If at first you don’t clear the board, try again.

Rise of Shadows brought some incredibly strong new neutrals. Batterhead is a fascinating card, with massive potential in a variety of decks. With Rush and the ability to attack again whenever he kills, Batterhead can winkle out those sticky deathrattle minions to clear everything with 3 or less health. He’s especially good against Zoo’s boards. The likes of Mecharoo and Scarab Egg can’t hide from his repeated attacks.

You pay a lot for Batterhead at 8 mana, but you make up for it with versatility. However, he does come with  a hefty downside; you’re likely to trade off most of his 12 health to clear substantial boards, leaving you with little or no board presence afterwards. Against really big boards with medium-high attack minions, he won’t do as well as more traditional board clears. However, his ability to deal with all kinds of board situations while retaining a beefy 12 health body against Control makes him a great option for all kinds of decks. And if you want to cheat out or revive massive minions, Batterhead is a fantastic choice.

Smash Them with Mossy Horror

Giggling Inventor’s nemesis is back. Mossy Horror is what Stampeding Kodo always wanted to be, a terrifying smasher of Acolytes, EVIL Miscreants and other sticky low-attack minions. Mossy Horror’s non-damage based ability comes with upsides and downsides that makes him great in very specific kinds of decks. His ability to crush the boards of Druids, Warlocks and Shamans makes him incredibly strong in the right spots.

Mossy Horror is great, but his downsides can be crippling. Unlike the other damage-based AOE minions on this list, Mossy does nothing to anything with 3 or more attack. While you can combine Baron Geddon with minion damage or Batterhead with a spare weapon swing, Mossy either works or he doesn’t. But while he sometimes is limited, his ability to take out certain types of minions is fantastic. He’s great for letting midrange decks bust through Shaman’s Rain of Toads as well as clearing up those cheap tokens.

His key advantage is that he won’t hurt your high-attack minions. But watch out – canny opponents can use buffs like Power of the Wild or Magic Carpet to raise their minions attack out of Mossy range, particularly in tournaments with open decklists.

Blast Them with Missile Launcher

Surprisingly synergistic.

If these options are insufficiently mechanical for you, Missile Launcher may be up your alley. Though a relatively weak 4/4 for 6, it doesn’t match up to the likes of Dragonmaw Scorcher. However, it does come with a number of key advantages that make it particularly compelling for Mech decks.

For starters, it’s Magnetic, meaning it can effectively have Charge if you can stick a Mech to the board. What’s more, it has some extremely powerful synergies. With Ziliax or Vicious Scraphound, you can gain massive amounts of life. And with Venomizer, you can clear every minion not protected by a Divine Shield. If you wanna take advantage of mech-based tempo, Missile Launcher could be the card for you.


Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via

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