Though there are many decks around, C’thun Druid is one of the most powerful. It is fast, consistent, and comes with one of the best finishers in the current format. For those reasons, it is a great deck to take to ladder. However, if you are planning on using the minion-based deck to climb, you want to be able to take down other popular decks. One such deck is Aggro Shaman, the fastest and most popular deck in today’s game. In this guide we will break down that deck and show the different ways C’thun Druid can beat it.
Though C’thun Druid has a ton of cards you must play in order to make the entire C’thun package work, there is also a surprising amount of variety between lists. Some decks want to run more card draw, some run big taunts in the vein of Ancient of War, and others are much more focused on ramp with cards like Mire Keeper and Nourish. Each style works well depending on the decks you are seeing. If you want to fight aggro play more low-cost cards, but if you want to beat control play more threats. To help you figure out which one is best for you, two decklists and a guide have been linked below.
When mulliganing against Shaman you need to look low cards and pitch everything else. Thrall has the fastest deck in the game, and if you fall behind early you will never recover. You need to try and push out as many early minions as possible, while also looking for any early removal you might find. The only exception to that rule is Innervate or a turn one Coin/Wild Growth, which allow you to keep your bigger threats.
Cards to KeepInnervate Beckoner of Evil Wild Growth Wrath Disciple of C’thun Twilight Elder
Swipe should be kept with a good curve.
Mire Keeper, if you run it, should be kept with early ramp or a good curve and the coin.
C’thun’s Chosen and Klaxxi Amber-Weaver should both be kept with the coin and a good curve.
How to Win
The most important thing you need to do to win this match is survive. That may sound obvious, but it is extremely important that you limit your damage as much as possible. Shaman is a deck that runs a lot of strong ways to take over a board, which they then back up with a lot of quick burst. The only way to interact with that gameplan is to spend your time clearing and making sure you take the fewest hits possible. Never let them have a minion if you can, and never push unless you are sprinting towards lethal.
While Shaman has a lot of big threats, never forget that yours are bigger. It can be easy to get caught up in the fear of dying early, which causes you to play removal rather than add to the board, but you always need to try to get as much presence as you can. Shaman will likely never answer your threats if they don’t have to, but your removal is limited and can be stretched thin very easily. The minion battle is where most of this game is going to take place, so play to it as much as you can.
Early Game Strategy
The opening turns of the game are going to be some of the most important because of how well Shaman builds off of its own board. Aggro Shaman is not a deck that is designed to fall behind. They come out running on turn one and keep adding more and more pressure until you succumb to damage. However, if you can clear efficiently and slow down their roll you can take over as you shift to the middle turns.
Get as many minions down as you can. While battlecries and other abilities matter, having something to fight with on board is much more important than anything else. Both Beckoner of Evil and Twilight Elder trade well, but even playing a Disciple of C’thun to kill a totem and put a 2/1 down can be the right play.
Disciple of C’thun and Wrath are your two best early game removal options. Each of these cards can take down almost all of Shaman’s early threats, clearing the board and allowing you to climb higher in your curve. Don’t hold them for later threats, just use them early and often.
Turn four is going to be very important because that is when Flamewreathed Faceless comes to town. Though the card has dipped in popularity over the past few weeks, you still always need to think about ways to do seven damage (either with the board or your removal) around this point in the game.
Set up Klaxxi Amber-Weaver as best you can. A 4/10 is not something that Shaman will be able to deal with easily. As such, it will trade, trade and trade again throughout the game. This is your beast early threat and you need to use all of your necessary tools to make sure it gets its buff. However, you also should run it out on turn four, no matter what its health will be.
The middle turns of the game are going to be spent much like the early turns, where you do your best to play big minions that simply dwarf your opponents. This will allow you control trades and keep a hold of the game. Shaman has very few threats during these turns that can match yours. If you set up a strong board you can fully take over.
The two cards you want to look out for here are Thing from Below and Hex. Both of these cards may seem slow for Aggro Shaman, but they each see play and will blow you out if you aren’t careful. Hex is a very versatile removal option that will destroy your tempo, especially if you’re hoping a big taunt will save you from death. Always try to bait it out if you can.
In addition, always have Thing from Below in mind. There is no real way to play around the taunt minion, but it always helps you plan your turns if you think about what your opponent’s board will look like with a an extra 5/5 staring you down.
This is the part of the game where you need to get down as many taunts as you can. Doomhammer is a card that you have very little ways to interact with, and the same goes with burst damage and charge minions. To counter such plays you need to constantly put up walls. Any minion with taunt, from Druid of the Claw to Dark Arakkoa to Ancient of War, should be your priority, even on an empty board.
Late Game Strategy
During the end game you only have one goal, which is to stay alive. Each turn you aren’t dead is one more turn towards your finisher, and thus a victory. However, not dying is never going to be an easy task. Most games you are going to be at low levels of life moving into the later turns. You need to contest everything Shaman plays and do your best to stick taunts until they can no longer break through your wall.
Your best tool, and one of your trump cards, is Twin Emperor Vek’lor. If you make it to turn seven chances are you are going to be racing to stabilize as best you can. Two 4/6’s with taunt do that amazingly well. Though C’thun is the card that will most often seal a victory, Twin Emperor is going to lead to a lot of wins. Play to this card and do whatever you can to proc it before turn seven. Even if you don’t have the buff, getting a 4/6 with taunt is often much better than doing nothing.
Do not be afraid to use C’thun to wipe the board. It can be very tempting to hold back on the Old God to try and eek out value or go big with his battlecry, but that is not his function here. As mentioned, you need to keep Shaman minion free to prevent value from things like Flametongue Totem and Abusive Sergeant. C’thun does that quite well and will most often be a board clear that then presents a gigantic threat.
Never forget about your hero power. Though it is easy to dismiss, it does gain you one life a turn. That one life is important, and becomes even more key when you have taunts but are weak to burn. Minions are going to be key through a lot of the game, but never be afraid to hold off playing a minion late (especially if you have a board) to squeeze in an extra health.