SenX Mech/Board Control Shaman

This is SenX, a Top 50 Legend Player. Today I want to reveal one of my recent Shaman decks. This deck was played as part of my grind to Legend this season!

Introduction

Hey this is SenX. I’m a Top 50 Legend Player and deckbuilder. Today I want to reveal one of my recent Shaman decks. This deck was played as part of my grind to Legend this season but it has also proven itself in a tournament setting. Just recently I used it as part of my lineup in the Hearthstone Heaven Cup to get to the finals.

Play Style

The main goal of this deck is to establish board control and finish the game once it’s secured. Shaman as a class already has a lot of tools to get board control without using too many resources. Cards like feral-spirit and the Hero power constantly refill the board, while your minions prove to be very sticky. Once a board is established, enhance-o-mechano and alakir-the-windlord can quickly secure the game.

With this deck you mainly focus on value, so try to make efficient trades. Your strong midgame will almost always enable you to take over the board at some point. As you spend cards, your hand will be refilled by azure-drake and neptulon so don’t be afraid to use too many cards. In fact Neptulon overdraws you if you have more than 5 cards in your hand. Be careful not to overextend though, as it is easy to play a lot of minions with this deck.

Card Choices

Shaman cards

earth-shock is a staple card because it gives a lot of utility and silence is important right now.

rockbiter-weapon is more of a removal card in this deck. Sometimes you do want to save it for Al’Akir though.

flametongue-totem gives your minions a ton of extra damage. Since this deck is mainly about establishing a strong board presence, expect this card to get a lot of value.

Powermace is extremely strong and maybe underrated right now. Even just as a 3 mana 3/2 it wouldn’t be bad but the buff makes it super strong. This card synergyses with most of your minions and can make them ridculously hard to remove. Especially if it buffs an arcane-nullifier-x-21 to become a 4/7 untargettable taunt or annoy-o-tron to become a 3/4 divine shielded taunt. Also Coin – Powermace becomes another answer to Undertaker.

feral-spirit is a staple card that helps this deck in establishing board control without spending many cards.

hex is your best removal card.

lightning-storm is your answer to aggro/tempo decks.

Fire Elemental can never be cut from any Shaman list for now. It’s just too much impact.

Neptulon has proven to be good in any Shaman deck because it gives you 4 cards that synergize with each other, while also being a big guy on the board. This cards gives you that extra bit of steam you sometimes need in the endgame to push through.

Neutral cards

annoy-o-tron used to be haunted-creeper but was then subbed in because it synergizes with Powermace. Seems like a solid card so far.

harvest-golem is your best early game minion. It’s not only very sticky, but both parts can also be buffed. Often ends up being the best play after Coin – Powermace.

arcane-nullifier-x-21 is the card that surprised me the most in how hard it is for my opponents to deal with. This is the card you usually want to buff as it can completely lock down the board. It is often played right after Powermace on turn 3.

defender-of-argus never disappoints in Shaman. Even if you just buff totems, Argus can improve your board position at any stage of the game. It also enables trades and plays around removal – amazing card.

enhance-o-mechano seems fairly situational but you don’t have to hit a full board to get decent value out of this card. You can often use it the same turn you repopulate the board to make it more sticky. Every now and then it can also receive the buff from Powermace.

antique-healbot is another mech and helps you in all those situations, where you secured your board but your lifetotal is not high enough to survive.

azure-drake together with Neptulon ensures that you always have enough cards in hand. The spell damage helps with earth-shock and lightning-storm. Mainly used for value though.

Matchups

In this section we’ll be looking at the matchups and mulligan strategy. Apart from the specific cards I list for each class, you generally want to look for a good early curve in the mulligan phase. If a minion fits your curve, you should still keep it even if I didn’t list it.

Warrior

Keep earth-shock, flametongue-totem

We want Earth Shock so we can deny value from acolyte-of-pain. flametongue-totem helps enable your totems and small minions early to efficiently trade off cards like armorsmith.

This is probably your best matchup. Your deck will reliably outvalue the Warrior and your board will be hard to deal with at any stage of the game. Try to play it rather slow and go for value. Totem as much as you can to create card advantage. Hope to get the taunt totem a lot as it makes it hard for the Warrior’s weapons to hit the right targets.

Try to run the warrior out of cards and hold your hex until you can hit a big legendary. Apart from hitting acolyte-of-pain early, your earth-shock can also deal with a few minor threats like sylvanas-windrunner or sludge-belcher.

Always be wary of brawl and whirlwind effects.

65% Winrate

Shaman

Keep earth-shock, rockbiter-weapon, Powermace, (lightning-storm)

Here we are looking for some efficient early game removal. You want to fight hard for board control right away. Lightning storm is one of the best cards in this matchup because it clears their whole board and punishes overextension. Having it in your hand right away is usually correct but a good early curve is often more important. If you already have a good curve though, keep it.

This specific Shaman build is slightly favored in the mirror due to powermace and minions like                      arcane-nullifier-x-21. Powermace deals precisely 3 damage, which is the perfect number to kill all the early minions like feral-spirit or harvest-golem.

Because Shaman removal is primarily based on spells, a buffed arcane-nullifier-x-21 is almost impossible to deal with.

Always fight for board control and make tempo plays when you feel the need to.

55% Winrate

Rogue

Keep rockbiter-weapon, powermace, feral-spirit

Most rogue decks run minions with 3 hp like si7-agent, so Powermace gets a few good targets. Feral Spirits are very hard to deal with for rogues, so they prove to be especially good in this matchup.

Most rogues variants right now seem very aggressive, so try to taunt up as fast as possible. Don’t be afraid to be aggressive yourself though, as they rarely have defensive capabilities. Try to clear their board as much as possible while building your own and don’t overextend into blade-flurry

With your high amount of taunts and ways to survive, you should be slightly favored

55% Winrate

Paladin

Keep earth-shock, lightning-storm

Assuming it’s one of the new paladin builds, you want to disrupt them early. Lightning storm can be key in denying quartermaster to get a ton of value.

Identify what version you’re playing against. If your opponent is playing an aggressive variant, heavily fight for board control. If he’s playing control, you can sit back and focus on value.

Always clear the 1/1 dudes as there are more synergies for them now.

From my experience, this is a fairly tough matchup.

45% Winrate

Hunter

Keep rockbiter-weapon, earth-shock, powermace on coin,

With these mulligans, we try to survive the early aggression and get to the midgame as safe as possible. Rockbiter and Earth Shock can deal with cards like undertaker and haunted-creeper. Powermace should be kept on coin because you can coin it to kill undertaker in a normal 1drop-2drop hunter curve.

This matchup isn’t as hard as it seems. If you successfully disrupt them early, all you need to do is taunt up and keep board control. Often times you have to hit face and rely on your taunts to tank damage because you are on a clock. If you ever fall low on hp, antique-healbot is there to help you out.

hex is the best possible answer for savannah-highmane, which can give you a very strong turn 6/7.

All in all you should be slightly favored.

60% Winrate

Druid

Keep flametongue-totem, hex

A solid curve is more important than ever in this matchup. Flametongue helps you efficiently trade off minions, while hex is your answer for innervate plays.

You’ll both be fighting heavily for board control, so putting strong minions early can give you the edge you need.

Druid has trouble dealing with your high HP minions, so try to play fire-elemental and neptulon when he has no minions to trade it off with.

In this matchup Shaman gets a slight edge due to its strong removal and early board control.

55% Winrate

Warlock

Assuming Zoo, Keep earth-shock, rockbiter-weapon, lightning-storm

For Zoo, the board state is the single most important thing. If you keep board control for one turn, you’ve basically won the game. Lightning storm is really important in this matchup, so try not to waste it on a small board. This is not really a great matchup, because even if you disrupt them early, you tend to still get overwhelmed by their sticky minions.

Winrate: 40%

Assuming Handlock, Keep earth-shock, hex, flametongue-totem

Against Handlock you often have to do a full mulligan for your removal cards. This deck in particular has less burst but more resilient minions. Try to win on the board first and if you get enough burst, go for the kill.

Winrate 50%

Mage

Keep rockbiter-weapon, powermace, earth-shock

Assuming Mechmage, you can treat it like zoo or hunter.

Against Freezemage, play as aggressive as possible. Rarely trade and keep antique-healbot for after they alexstrasza you.

You are slightly unfavored in both matchups

Winrate 45%

Priest

Keep flametongue-totem, rockbiter-weapon

In your mulligan, you’re looking for cards that impact the board early.

This deck is the one Shaman deck with the best priest matchup of them all. You can reliably outvalue them because they’re having a hard time dealing with your minions.

Make sure to play around all the obvious on-curve plays (holy-nova, cabal-shadow-priest etc.)

Deny their draw and drag the game out until you have card advantage. Then go for the kill.

60% Winrate

Conclusion

With the improved matchups against Priest and Warrior, it becomes very clear that this deck does well in control metas. With this deck, you basically sacrifice some burst for stickier minions and a really strong midgame weapon. Giving up some burst does mean that your matchup against Handlock and Freezemage takes a hit though, so if you find yourself queuing into decks like that, consider the normal shaman list.

Apart from these up and downsides, it’s a lot of fun to buff an arcane-nullifier-x-21 up to a 4/7 immune taunt and watch your opponent struggle for 3 turns to kill it. In the end, it’s a variant of Shaman, that is better in some matchups and worse in others compared to the standard Shaman list. So track what you’re playing against the most and use this list accordingly.

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