27 June 2014 - 21:16

Kolento's Legend Shaman Deck Guide (Part 2)

Dot Esports

Introduction

Hello, my nickname is Kolento, I am a professional Hearthstone player and streamer. In this guide you can see my thoughts about the match analysis for my Shaman deck! It is one of my favourite classes, due to its wide variation of decision-making. Amount of options you have is huge, and one decision leads to victory, when another represents loss.

Hope this guide will deepen your understanding of moves and help you to become better!

This is Part 2 of the Legend Shaman Guide, where we will explore match up analysis against popular deck types. View Part I here.

Against Druid

Druid tends to be a stable class. It is decent against most classes in Hearthstone. Druid decks can be unpredictable due to Innervate - ramping out minions unexpectedly. Here are the core cards you are looking for against Druid opponents.

Keepers

  • Hex: Must have against druid, the only card which is a good counter to Innervateplay.
  • Earth Shock: This spell is decent against midrange and ramp Druid, and a must have against Token Druid, since Argent Squire turn one is really hard to remove. Can be used on Harvest Golem as well.
  • Argent Squire: This card is awesome for Shaman in any matchup.
  • Flametongue Totem: Keep it in starting hand if you have Squire, but do not play it over regular totem unless you need 2 damage boost on Squire to remove opponents minion, since they can just charge Druid of the Claw into your Flametongue.
  • For 3 mana cost drops: Keep Feral Spirit. Prioritize Harvest Golemover Unbound Elementalif you are deciding between those 2 - but Feral Spirit is above them.
  • Rockbiter Weapon: Most of Druid minions have more than 3 health, but with the help of 3 mana cost drops, Argent Squire or another removal spell, this is a very cheap mana cost option.

Situational

  • Violet Teacher: Keep it if you already have 3 mana cost drop and you are going first.
  • Azure Drake: Keep it if your hand has at least one 3 mana cost drop and 1 removal.
  • Flametongue Totem: Can be kept if you have Squire.
  • Fire Elemental: Keep it if your hand is cheap and you risk starving your hand by doing bad mulligan.

Throw it Back

  • Lightning Bolt: Almost every druid minion is more than on 3 toughness, so not worth to keep a spell with overload in early game.
  • Lightning Storm: Druid doesn't have a lot of cheap minions early on, you don't need AOE with overload in early game without spell power.
  • Defender of Argus: Never a good idea to keep Argus in starting hand, expensive and has questionable efficiency due its dependency on board presence.
  • Bloodmage Thalnos: Spell power is situational against druid, even with Lightning Bolt there are only few Druid minions you can kill during early to mid game. Find better options.
  • Doomhammer: Most of Druid minions have high toughness, and usually board control decides who will win the game. You can't take too much damage against druid or you risk dying from Force of Natureand Savage Roarcombination.
  • Argent Commander: Argent commander should never be kept in starting hand.
  • Al'Akir the Windlord: Al'Akir the Windlord should never be kept in your opening hand.

Class Oriented Tricks

  • It is important to recognize early what kind of deck your opponent is running. Against Ramp, Hex should be kept for big taunters or Legend threats. When against token or watcher druid feel free to use it at any moment you see fit.
  • Keep in mind that The Black Knightand Big Game Hunterare common choices in Druid decks, so it is not recommended to use Argus on Fire Elemental or place a Flametongue Totem next to a Fire Elemental.

Deadly Poison

Against Rogue

Rogue has three different type of decks - Tempo minion-heavy Rogue, Burn Rogue with Charging minions and Leper Gnomes, and, the most popular deck, Miracle Rogue. Here's the general mulligan strategy when going up against a Rogue opponent:

Keepers

  • Argent Squire: This card is awesome for Shaman in any matchup in early game, but Rogue has no problem taking it out with their dagger hero power. Nevertheless, it is worth to keep Squire, because usually he represents at least 3 damage to opponent and leads to dagger loss, which is important as well, especially useful against Burn Rogues.
  • For 3 manacost drops: Keep Feral Spirit. Prioritize Harvest Golemover Unbound Elementalif you are deciding between those 2 - but Feral Spirit is above them.
  • Lightning Bolt: Removes SI:7 Agent and Earthen Ring Farseer. With spell power, it removes Azure Drakeand Gadgetzan Auctioneer.
  • Rockbiter Weapon: Serves the same role as lightning bolt. If you have lightning bolt already, keep Rockbiter Weapon instead (unless your mana curve is cheap and overload will not affect your game plan).

Doomhammer

Situational

  • Fire Elemental: Keep it if you already have Lightning Bolt or Rockbiter Weapon and a 3 mana cost minion.
  • Azure Drake: Same as Fire Elemental. Choose Drake over Elemental if you have both in hand.
  • Flametongue Totem: Keep it only when you have Argent Squire and you are going first. Or when you have Feral Spirit as well when you are going second.
  • Violet Teacher: Keep it only when you already have Harvest Golem or Unbound Elemental and no overload cards in hand.
  • Doomhammer: Keep it if you are facing a Miracle Rogue (maybe you know the player plays Miracle). 16 damage from one card and double damage from Rockbiter Weapon, perfect for what you need against non-taunt deck.

Throw it Back

  • Earth Shock: Useless against Miracle Rogue most of the time. Sometimes might find usage against Tempo or Burn Rogue, but not worth keeping unless the meta changes.
  • Lightning Storm: Expensive and questionable spell, usually the Rogue has few minions, so mulligan it without hesitation.
  • Defender of Argus: Never a good idea to keep Argus in starting hand. It's expensive and has questionable efficiency since it relies on minions in play.
  • Bloodmage Thalnos: Spell power is situational against Rogue. Even with lightning bolt there is few minions you can kill in early and midgame. Look for better options.
  • Hex: Usually there are no minions worth Hexing into early game.
  • Argent Commander: Argent commander should never be kept in starting hand.
  • Al'Akir the Windlord: Al'akir the windlord should never be kept in your opening hand.

Class Oriented Tricks

  • When the Rogue has poisoned weapon in hand try not to play feral spirit or defender of argus because of the possibility of Blade Flurry, unless you are facing a possible lethal.
  • Try to have at least 2 taunts against Miracle Rogue in late game, it is easy to remove one with Sap.
  • Spell power Lightning Storm might be used to remove Concealed minions.
  • Flametongue Totem is almost always a good play even if you only have one minion on the board, since there is no charging minions in a Miracle deck besides Leeroy Jenkins.

Soulfire

Against Warlock

This match up is balanced overall. But the mulligan depends on kind of deck the warlock is running, control (handlock) or aggro (zoo/murloc). Game strategy is also depends on decktype. Against aggro warlock, the totems almost have no value, it is almost always better to invest mana into removal than totem, even if it is not mana efficient. The game is usually decided at the early game stages, when shaman tries to hold back aggro warlock aggression without taking too much damage.

Against control warlock, board presence doesn't mean much. Rarely can the Shaman end the game at mid game stage, because any kind of rush usually ends with big Hellfireor Shadowflame. Use your cards cautiously, be aware of AOE, keep Hex for Giants or Twilight Drake (if no available). Try to hold all damage spells in your hand, and finish the warlock in one burst.

Keepers

  • Earth Shock: Always finds his target against aggro and kills Drake against control.
  • Rockbiter Weapon: Kills almost any minion aggro warlock can play at turn 1, mulligan it if you know that you're facing control deck.
  • Argent Squire: Always keep Argent Squire in opening hand in any matchup.
  • Harvest Golem: A solid minion, who can't be removed with Soulfire.
  • Feral Spirit: Good tempo play against aggro warlock. But be careful about using it against control - better to do it after the Hellfire or Shadowflame because the overload will affect your next turn.

Lightning Bolt

Situational

  • Flametongue Totem: Really helps against control warlock. Against aggro, only keep it only if you already have other answers in hand.
  • Lightning Storm: Key spell against aggro, but keep it only if you already have a Hex or Earthshock or if you are sure that opponent is playing aggro.
  • Hex: Key spell against control warlock. Keep it if you already have Lightning Storm or a 1 mana cost removal and a Harvest Golem/Feral Spirit.

Throw it Back

  • Lightning Bolt: This spell is decent against aggro, but doesn't do much against control, so not worth it.
  • Bloodmage Thalnos: Slow and situational.
  • Unbound Elemental: Dies to Soulfire.
  • Violet Teacher: Too slow and doesn't do much against aggro warlock.
  • Defender of Argus: Never a good idea to keep Argus in your starting hand.
  • Azure Drake: Too slow for both match ups.
  • Argent Commander: Argent commander should never be kept in starting hand.
  • Doomhammer: Too slow, but helps against control warlock later in the game.
  • Fire Elemental: Too slow for both match ups.
  • Al'Akir the Windlord: Al'akir the windlord should never be kept in your opening hand.

Class oriented tricks

  • Try to always have 2-3 minions (considering totems) on a board against control warlock. Trade your board for opponents minions rather than using spells. Always consider Earthshock as a taunt removing spell when you are trying to setup for lethal against control.

Lightning Storm

Against Shaman (Mirror Match)

Shaman deck is built around having a lot of low life minions, so AOE spells and board control are vital to this matchup. Spend you Lightning Storms cautiously, try to play around it when you have strong board.

Keepers

  • Argent Squire: Argent Squire should be kept in every matchup, especially in Shaman mirror, where board presence is even more important.
  • Earth Shock: Can mostly be used to deal with Squires. Keep it when you are going second and when you have no Squire in hand.
  • Rockbiter Weapon: Kills Feral Spirit, triggers Harvest Golem's deathrattle. Can be synergized with 1-1 totem and argent squire to remove Unbound Elemental.
  • Lightning Bolt: Keep it when you have Unbound Elemental in hand, or your hand already contain a 3 mana cost minion. Keep it with Bloodmage Thalnos.
  • Feral Spirit: A huge tempo boost. Keep in mind of the overload drawback, sometimes it is better to play Golem over this spell.
  • Harvest Golem: Solid mid game minion, hard to remove unless opponent has Squire on a board or their 1/1 Totem.
  • Unbound Elemental: Since Shaman usually can only deal 3 damage with his spells, Unbound Elemental usually is a good choice to play on turn 3. Keep in mind, that in case of spell power or searing totem on opponents side of a board it is better to play harvest golem or Feral Spirit if you have those.
  • Lightning Storm: Key card of this matchup. Becomes stronger as the game progresses, because the higher chance of drawing and comboing it with spell power. Newertheless, doesn't help much in early game. Keep it when you already have some minions to play in opening hand.
  • Bloodmage Thalnos: Keep it only if you have Lightning Bolt in starting hand.
  • Doomhammer: Really strong tool in mirror matchup, gives access to strong board removing ability. Also sometimes it is acceptable to trade your life for board advantage. Nevertheless, Doomhammer is pretty slow and only be kept it if your hand has excellent early plays.

Azure Drake

Situational

  • Azure Drake: Keep it if your hand is cheap and good.
  • Fire Elemental: Keep it if your hand is cheap and good. Choose Drake over Elemental when deciding between the two.

Throw it Back

  • Hex: Shaman doesn't run big minions usually, so no Hex target until turn 6 Fire Elementals.
  • Flametongue Totem: Flametongue totem should never be kept. Even when you have Squire in starting hand since it doesn't meant that Squire will live until next turn due to of Earthshock possibility.
  • Violet Teacher: Too slow and can be easily be Hexed.
  • Defender of Argus: Never a good idea to keep argus in starting hand.
  • Argent Commander: Argent commander should never be kept in starting hand.
  • Al'Akir the Windlord: Al'akir the windlord should never be kept in your opening hand.

Class oriented tricks

  • Sometimes it is worth keeping your opponent's Flametongue Totem alive in order to remove something more threatening.
  • When playing around Lightning Storm, try to keep each minion at 1 life while the tougher minions undamaged - so you don't risk losing your entire board to a RNG storm.

Closing

The above are the major match ups of the current meta and how to mulligan for each of them. I may add more match ups analysis down the road if there's a demand and/or the meta shifts!

More Articles From The OP