Hearthstone’s Journey to Un’Goro expansion card reveal season is underway, and the Druid legendary minion, Tyrantus, has just been revealed.
It is big, it is tough, but is it any good?
Tyrantus is a 10-mana 12/12 Beast that cannot be targeted by spells or Hero Powers. Well, that’s a big boy for sure. It has also already gathered a solid crowd yelling 400 dust! Is it really that bad or can there be some use for it?
The ability to be untargetable by spells and Hero Powers is actually quite effective. Soggoth the Slitherer has shown us that it can be a tough nut to crack, and that is at a considerably weaker statline, coming in at 5/9 for 9 – but with taunt.
Sure, such minions can still be destroyed by area-of-effect spells and abilities (such as Twisting Nether), random effects (such as Deadly Shot and Brawl), and even battlecries (such as Big Game Hunter), but they are not that easy to deal with in real in-game situations. In fact, the most popular answer to Soggoth from a Control Warrior or Renolock used to be Sylvanas Windrunner, which is now rotating out of Standard! Even at the moment, Soggoth is an occasional tech choice in Reno decks.
Alas, Tyrantus fails the big minion test. It does not have an immediate effect on the game. Soggoth, even with the weaker statline, has taunt, which makes it impossible to ignore. You simply have to kill it to get through to the opponent. Tyrantus, hard to destroy but easy to ignore, lacks the same presence.
Tyrantus and Jade Druid
Jade Druid, the most common form of Druid right now, has no interest to run Tyrantus. Jade Druid’s game plan is to cycle through those cheap Jade cards and create an army of monsters. It does not want to spend 10 mana to play a single minion.
Tyrantus and Ramp Druid
Could Tyrantus herald the return of Ramp Druid? It would see play in an Astral Communion Druid, but Astral Communion is rotating out of Standard. Regular Ramp Druid is hard-pressed to get Tyrantus out early enough to contest Jades, and even if Tyrantus kills two or three Jades, their numbers are unending. It is also hard to see Tyrantus creating so much offensive pressure on the Jade Druid that it would bring home the victory by just going face.
Tyrantus also does not help the Druid defend against aggression, as it lacks taunt.
It is hard to see how regular Ramp Druid can compete with Jade Druid, who ramps up both mana and minions at the same time. This is while Ramp Druid shares the same potential weakness against aggressive decks.
Tyrantus and Beast Druid
Beast Druid at the moment is a fairly aggressive variant, but it is going to lose a lot in the rotation. Savage Combatant, Druid of the Saber, Mounted Raptor, and Druid of the Flame (sometimes ran for Fandral synergy) are all rotating out.
So Beast Druid is left with Menagerie Warden – admittedly a hugely powerful combo with Tyrantus – and Mark of Y’Shaarj – which you cannot even cast on Tyrantus – to carry it through.
Right now Beast Druid does not have the tools to remain aggressive, but neither does it have the tools to become a form of Ramp Druid. If such tools were found, the Tyrantus + Menagerie Warden combo could be strong enough to contest Jades.
There is a historical precedent to Ramp Druid taking on various forms, as Dragon Ramp Druid was a successful variant of Ramp Druid once upon a time. While it was more rare, I would rate the two close in overall power in the final days before the previous rotation. The best hope for Tyrantus to see play is for Beast Druid to find its inner Ramp and become a successful variant of Ramp Druid.