What’s up people, JakdRipr here with a deck I’ve found a lot of success on ladder with. As a long time shaman player, I was excited for GvG because I had more or less been playing the same deck for close to 9 months, so my first order of business was to build a brand new deck. The idea behind this mech shaman is to take full advantage of the buff Powermace gives to your mechs to get insane value off your early game minions, forcing your opponent to use their high value removal on 2-3 drops before you drop a Fire elemental or Neptulon. One unintended benefit of running the Powermace is it occasionally makes opponents use their Harrison Jones on it, clearing the way for your Doomhammer to get full value.
Now despite my attempts to build something brand new, the core idea behind this deck is the same as most shaman decks. You use your creatures, weapons, and spells to fight for board control, but you also need to recognize(especially against aggro) when it’s time to ignore their creatures and go for face as this deck can set-up some very quick kills. Try to use Defender of Argus for efficient trades, rebuilding your board after a board clear, or taking your creatures out of range of opponents spells(Explosive trap, Shadow madness). Finally, because of Flametongue Totem, you need to mind your creature placement and avoid putting sticky minions like Harvest Golem in between totems as it makes trading more difficult.
I found this deck was at it’s best when played with a smooth curve, and as such I tried to cut back on the overload cards to ensure I could hit all my drops on curve. The old shaman had a bad habit of sitting with a hand full of answers and no actual plays, and while this can certainly happen here, the introduction of more proactive cards makes it easier to develop a resilient board.
Now without further ado, ill move on to the individual cards.
Core Shaman Cards
These are the cards that are synonymous with shaman, and as such I won’t be spending too much time with them:
In a meta full of buffs and deathrattles earth shock should be an automatic 2 off in every shaman deck. This paired with spell power can 1 shot a lot of pesky minions in the game.
I originally had whirling zap-o-matic in this slot but I realized having a turn one answer to undertakers and mechwarpers was more important than a 3/2 with windfury.
Any card that allows a bunch of 0/2 totems to kill Ragnaros is a must have in my books. It also ensures you can save your Hexes for really difficult to remove minions.
Speaking of Hex, this card is the reason I never understood what the fuss was about Savannah highmane. Quite simply the best hard removal in the game.
While Hex is the control killer, this guy right here ends games vs. aggro decks. Nothing better than literally raining on the parade of an aggro player who just emptied his hand with a good old fashioned lightning storm.
I literally forgot this wasn’t a shaman class card because of how perfect it is for the class. Draw + spell power attached to a decent body? What more could you ask for?
The tempo this card generates is insane. A lightning bolt attached to a 6/5 body for 6 mana is just too good. Paired with any kind of board presence this card allows you to remove most midgame creatures while establishing one yourself.
Now on to the new additions
I put this in this section because a lot of shamans have begun cutting this for Crackle. I found that the extra mana cost can really hurt you sometimes with overloads, plus I just prefer consistency in my cards. But this slot can easily be given to Crackle if you prefer that card.
The most aptly named card in the hearthstone, this card is simply annoying. It helps soften up aggro decks for lightning storms, protects flametongues, and is one of the best targets for a powermace buff. It also has great synergy with the aforementioned flametongue and your rockbiter weapons, allowing you to trade it’s divine shield for some high cost minions. Similar to harvest golem though, you want to avoid placing this card in between two totems.
Another card that shamans have begun to drop and I can’t for the life of me understand why. Every time I consider dropping this guy, I one shot a haunted creeper with an earth shock and realize how valuable that guaranteed spell damage can be. And this isn’t even brining the cycle into the discussion; I often sack him at the first chance to ensure I get the cycle.
For some reason, blizzard decided to give a class with as much removal as shaman a fiery war axe. Sure, it comes down one turn later, but this card is absolutely amazing. It kills just about every early drop in the game, while upgrading a lot of your mechs from mere annoyances, to full-blown problems. And in games where you realize you have to race your opponent, the 6 damage to the face isn’t half bad either.
One of the hardest minions to efficiently remove in the game; The 2/3 body won’t win a lot of trades on it’s own, but paired with all the other cards in the deck it can very efficiently trade up, while still leaving a 2/1 mech on the board. A case can be made for spidertank in this position (it would definitely help the priest match-up) but for now I’m happy with the Golem.
Arcane Nullifier X-21:
This was originally the most controversial inclusion in my deck because it meant the removal of feral spirit. I love feral spirit, but like I said earlier, I tried to cut down on the overload in this deck. This comes down a turn later, but doesn’t mess up your curve, and can’t be hunters marked (although many a hunter have tried). Getting the powermace buff on this is often followed by a concede by your opponent.
Defender of Argus:
In hindsight, this should have been in the core cards section. He actually turns your totems into an intimidating board, interacts well with all the sticky minions in this deck, and ensures the murlocs you get off Neptulon don’t just die to mortal coils. I tried running two, but I found that they can sometimes just get stuck in your hand if you can’t build up a big enough board to play them.
Card draw attached to a solid body, not much else to say here.
The most recent addition to this deck, it was originally added simply because between rank 16 and rank 6 I had not beaten a single face hunter. I won the very next game I played vs. a face hunter because of this card. Also, I noticed that I would be dominating a game, would look down at my health and realize I was at 15 simply because I had been clearing their creatures with my powermaces, so the extra health really helps you in these situations, especially vs aggro. I underestimated how helpful 8 health can be, even in the control match-up, and it’s not a bad target for a powermace buff either.
I realized the deck needed more firepower, and with the inclusion of rockbiter weapons it was a choice between this and al’akir the windlord. After a little testing, this seemed to work better, although it’s literally a coin toss between the two since they both have their pros and cons. One benefit this has however is it helps the hunter match-up, because it realistically allows you to race them.
I, like most people, thought this card was trash when it was first revealed. I underestimated the value of playing with 34 cards in your deck. Even though the murlocs individually aren’t intimidating, when played properly they can very easily swing a game, even if you don’t get the double murk-eye double war chief dream. If nothing else, this card deals with two issues that plagued shaman prior to GvG, card draw and Priest.
Always keep: Annoy-o-tron, Powermace
Against aggro also keep: Earth shock, Rockbiter weapon, Lightning storm
Against control also keep: Harvest golem
I would also recommend keeping Hex vs Handlocks, and Druids, and Antique Healbot vs Hunters. In the case of the latter, you only keep it if the rest of your hand is looking good.
This deck has a relatively low crafting cost, but Thalnos can be replaced by a plethora of cards. You could drop him and one other card(an argus perhaps) for 2 zap-o-matics, you can also go with Al’Akir if you have him. Neptulon on the other hand is much more difficult to replace, when I didn’t have him I played Loatheb in that slot, and I can see Dr. Boom fitting in that spot nicely, but in terms of budget replacements I can’t think of anything unfortunately. He’s just too valuable in the control match-up.
So that’s my shaman deck, it isn’t incredibly innovative but I’m quite proud of it. It’s taken me from rank 16 to rank 4 in four days and I hope to finally hit legend with it. I hope you liked it, if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and good luck on the ladder.