Joseph’s Brew – The Grand Tournament Midrange Shaman (Totems)

Hello, once again. Joseph Scalise here, jumping over from Weekly Legends to deliver you another article relating to the constructed side of The Grand Tournament (which I am absolutely crazy excited for). While my first pass was aimed at analyzing the most powerful constructed cards in the set, this time around I will be focused […]

Introduction

Hello, once again. Joseph Scalise here, jumping over from Weekly Legends to deliver you another article relating to the constructed side of The Grand Tournament (which I am absolutely crazy excited for). While my first pass was aimed at analyzing the most powerful constructed cards in the set, this time around I will be focused on decks and deck construction. Anyone who has seen my series or watched me play knows that I am a brewer at heart. Hitting legend is fine, but I always strive to find the most interesting or creative ways to reach the orange diamond. Brewing is my favorite part of card games, and despite what some certain rope-loving streamers think, this set is certainly going to shake up the meta. Not only was this desperately needed, but it also means that many new decks will rise from the chaos that will surely come in the next few weeks. New cards have two purposes in cards games: to either strengthen existing decks or create entirely new ones.

One thing I should make clear before we begin is that the lists are first takes. They are by no means refined, which would be impossible due to the cards not being in the game yet, but they are shells that will serve as a great place to start brewing. When I (or anyone) builds a deck you just start with a shell, play test that shell and see what needs to be tweaked or improved. Not every card in the set is going to give birth to a new deck, and not every deck you theorycraft is going to end up being good. However, this article is not just for the decks laid out below, it is also to show exactly how you want to think when you begin brewing. There is no way to know exactly what will come from the Grand Tournament, but the decks below are ones that I am excited to try, and I will most likely be playing all of them at some point next week.

Midrange Shaman (Totem)

Despite the name, this deck does not run Totemic Might. However, it does run some very powerful totem cards that should bring Shaman to the forefront of the meta. While some people will want to go ahead and try to go “full totem”, I think this deck is much better served as just taking the classic midrange shell and beefing it up with a few powerful cards. The power level of the deck has risen considerably without changing the core of the deck at all. That is very important, because Shaman does have some of the strongest support cards in the game, in cards like Hex and Lightning Storm. The problem has been that there were no real minions to use them on, but now there are. Totem Golem and Tuskarr Totemic both extremely strong early game tools, and Thunder Bluff Valiant adds two very strong “must kill” minions to the middle game. Shaman is a deck that rarely loses when you have board control, and the new tools all give you more ways to make sure that happens.

As with Tempo Mage, I think there are a lot of flex spots in this list. Due to the inclusion of Zombie Chow and Nerubian Egg, I really like Rockbiter Weapon for the early game removal. As such, some of you may want to play Al’akir the Windlord or Doomhammer as your finishers, which is perfectly reasonable. Midrange Shaman needs some way to close out the game, and now that Blizzard has given the class more ways to keep minions on board, I prefer a single copy of Bloodlust. The core of this deck is the same as it has always been, but the new tools provide some really strong starts. In addition, Valiant is also a perfect midrange threat; a card with solid stats that does not need extra help to be good. Defender of Argus is your only out to aggro here, but your early board presence should do a lot to keep you alive.

Conclusion

Well, there you have it. Speculation, speculation and speculation. I am so ready for Monday it isn’t even the least bit funny, and I am going to crack my packs ASAP and get crafting. Be sure to check out my other brews:

All of these builds excite me, and I’m not sure which one I am going to bring to the ladder first. I am most intrigued by Demon Aggro, Token Druid and Tempo Mage, but Dragon Priest and Maly-Shaman also look so fun. I will return to Weekly Legends next week, where I will start to actually play the new decks, and I cannot wait for that as well. Hope you guys enjoyed this and my “top ten” article, and I hope you are as ready as I am. Remember, you never know what to expect on the new ladder, so have fun, get testing, and play what you love. Until next time, may all of your Legendaries be golden!