Okay, now that we’re ready for the power of my shammyness, I would like to announce that I just got my Golden Shaman! I also did it while playing in the Legendary ranks last season! I managed to get over 50 wins with Shaman while still maintaining a top 100 spot, and even that we dropped out of the top 100 in the last day because we were not playing due to new year celebrations, it was still a remarkable achievement to play almost 100 games and not drop out of the top 100~200 range.
On this article I am going to discuss my decklist with you guys, as well as explain the game plan and give you guys some insights as well as some small and some big tips about Shamanism!
Just on a side note, I believe this is the strongest Shaman list available for play currently.
The Card Choices
GvG brought a lot of new tools for us to play with, the most notable point is how Blizzard is trying to make it so people stop playing so many aggro decks and start playing more Midrange-ish decks instead. We do can say that they did a pretty good job at it, but there is still a lot more to do. Regardless of that, let us talk a little about the most recent additions to Shaman:
crackle: This card is sightly better than Lightning Bolt, and a lot better than Lava Burst, which makes it so we want to have this in our deck, the main idea of this card is not relying on its RNG, and having a backup plan in case the damage rolls low. In general this card is really good, and optimal when used for finishing damage.
big-game-hunter: I said, not some time ago, that we were going to be using this guy in every single deck we had after GvG hit, because of the number of strong 7+ Attack minions on the set, well, here it is! “BGH” became a core part of the deck, since we are most likely to need more than 2xhexes to deal with their threats.
piloted-shredder: Probably the Strongest Neutral card in GvG, I loved this card so much, its huge, and its a 4-drop! As shamans we were very lacking on the 4-drop slot, and this card is just too good to pass. I like to play this card in every deck that can fit it, and Shaman is definitely one of those decks.
antique-healbot: Shamans lack healing so badly this guy helps a great lot. It also made it possible for us to play Heavier cards such as the next ones.
dr-boom: The strongest late-game Neutral card in the game currently, which isn’t much since every other late game card in Hearthstone is bad or situational. This guy at least makes up for the cost, and fights for the board with his little bombies.
neptulon: A huge addition to the Shaman class and just what the class needed to go Control together with Antique Healbot. We can now finally fight for the late game presence with consistency. This guy is just too good, not only a 7/7 on the board, it also sprints you for 4 cards that aren’t even in your deck(meaning you are not even a single step closer to fatigue!), and did I mentioned that these cards have synergy between each other?? This card is just too good, and today I wouldn’t play Shaman without it.
Now, every other card in this deck has already been discussed multiple times, so I wont be talking about them. They are the core of the Shaman decks, I just wish I had 1 more slot to fit in a second zombie-chow so I could fight for the board early in the game. But I do believe that only running 1 Zombie Chow is enough, since we don’t want it later in the game at all. I believe this list is well-rounded up and no further adjustments are needed.
In this deck you’ll always want to mulligan for these cards:
- piloted-shredder (only if you have the Coin)
- flametongue-totem (only if you already have Haunted Creeper in your hand)
But the difference is that you’ll want a plethora of different cards, according to each matchup you play:
- Against Druids, also keep hex.
- Against Warlocks, also keep earth-shock, and if your hand is already good enough, keep a copy of Hex or the BGH in case they are handlock.
- Against Hunters, also keep earth-shock and lightning-storm.
- Against Rogues, also keep rockbiter-weapon.
- Against Mages, also keep rockbiter-weapon.
- Against Warriors, also keep rockbiter-weapon and harrison-jones.
- Against Shamans, also keep feral-spirit.
- Against Priests, also keep rockbiter-weapon and hex.
- Against Paladins, also keep lightning-storm and rockbiter-weapon.
Yap, you’ll only want early game Feral Spirit when playing against Shamans, because usually they’ll screw up your next turn and leave you play-less, thus giving your opponent a free turn to deal with it, against Shamans usually they’ll have to Storm or something, which is good for you, since this matchup is a resource war.
Yap, you probably have been mulliganing wrong all this time! But keep in mind its fine to keep Feral Spirits on any match if your hand is already good enough!!
General Gameplan and Gameplay Tips
Shaman is most likely the most punishing class to play with, your mistakes really count so try to always pay attention to your plays, it’s also really hard to spot mis-plays, so I’ll try to give you guys as much knowledge about the class as possible!
When playing Shaman, you are both playing Tempo and Control at the same time, you should always focus on plays that both gets the best possible use out of your mana and try to think on what you’ll be wanting to do next turn. Sometimes just hero-power-pass isn’t good enough, so you have to take note of that. That is mainly the reason why playing Lightning Storm or Feral Spirits early in the game is bad: you’ll be giving your opponent 2 turns to build back up instead of just 1, which means you’ll not gain tempo by doing so. Another important thing to take note is that you should always be prepared for bad RNG, which means that if you can play around having a bad RNG on Lightning Storm or Crackle, you should.
Against Control decks you’ll want to play around mass removal, remember Feral Spirits and Dr Boom are good backup plans in case of AOE, which means that against Control these cards are usually played after the AOE, and not before. Try to always have responses on your hand, sometimes trading bad minions with Flametongue is much better than spending your only hex, because if after that they wipe your board and then play a Threat you’ll have a response for it. Specifically against Handlock you should only leave them below 14~12 Health if you have a way to deal with their Molten Giants, also keep in mind Harrison Jones is a good way to deal with Lord Jaraxxus, so only play him before Jaraxxus if you desperately need the board presence. Remember Against Control Warriors that you’ll only want to play your Antique Healbot after they played Alexstrasza.
Remember you should not be afraid of using Al’akir to control the board if you have to. Shamans are more consistent now that they don’t need that explosive finisher in order to catch up with damage and win.
GvG brought a lot of new tools to Shaman, and to be honest they were exactly what we needed! We got our tools to make it so we could finally go Control, and we wont disappoint our Devs!
Shaman, the lovely Shaman! My favorite class and I hope I could bring at least part of the joy I have playing to you guys, hope y’all loved my article and I would like to see you guys on the next article!
Remember that if you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments!