Why Shaman needs to be nerfed in Hearthstone’s upcoming expansion

These win rates are too high.
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

If you’ve played Hearthstone over the past two months, odds are you’ve encountered countless Shaman players. And if you enjoy winning, you’re probably playing as a Shaman yourself.

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But Shaman’s dominance has caused the game to stagnate in a way that Hearthstone players don’t often see. It can be rage-inducing to face the same three Shaman decks continuously while trying to climb the ranked ladder. And it’s even more frustrating when every meta deck for the class has over a 55 percent win rate, according to the game’s top deck tracking website, HS Replay.

Image via HS Replay

Murloc Shaman, Quest Shaman, and Evolve Shaman all have various lists with insane win rates that are dominating the ladder. When the Dr. Boom nerfs occurred, it looked like the game was in a decent spot. Some classes like Mage were noticeably underpowered, but it didn’t feel like one class in particular was supremely dominant.

Part of what skyrocketed Shaman as a whole into meta dominance was Evolve’s return to Standard. Evolve is a very powerful Shaman spell that Blizzard reintroduced to Standard play as part of a special event where two cards from wild returned to every class. Evolve costs one mana and transforms your minions into random minions that cost one more.

Because of cards like Desert Hare, Voltaic Burst, and EVIL Totem, Evolve Shaman has more than enough ways to produce minions for evolution. The reintroduction of Evolve was so powerful and significant for Shaman that you’ll even find the card in the class’ Quest deck. Although the card isn’t included in the top-rated Murloc list, some players feature it in their version to act as a late-game beef up for their fish army.

Players on Reddit are concerned about how Shaman’s dominance has affected the state of the game. When one class consistently dominates the others, it can make Hearthstone feel pointless for those who aren’t playing the overpowered class.

There are a number of things a new expansion could do to affect Shaman’s power. But a new set probably won’t be released for at least a couple more months.

If Blizzard wants a short-term fix to Shaman’s power, doing something with the card Evolve could be the place to start. Evolve provides current Shaman decks with incredible tempo and value all for just one mana. Increasing Evolve’s mana cost could help, but Blizzard may need to remove the card from Standard entirely once again.

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