Hello kiddos! This is a Guide on demand for the Shaman Control deck article that got so popular here on the website!
A lot of you have been requesting this guide, so I decided it would be cool to give our premium users a little heads up on how to play this deck, since it apparently is a very hard one to master.
Keep in mind a lot of the things said here will require a lot of training in order to be perfected, but fear not: we will be doing our max to make that road as smooth as possible!
In case you just bumped by this article, Shaman Control is a nearly created strategy which relies on Controlling the board with a ton of sweepers and winning the game in value, rather than card advantage. The deck plays around with Dragon Synergy and a lot of other synergy between its cards.
For reference, here is the Deck Tech’s article link, that article contains Mulligan guide as well as other information you might want to know:
I recommend you reading this before proceeding, because a lot of information regarding the gameplan of this deck and how to properly use Doomsayers is written in that article.
Mulligan: [card]Jeweled Scarab[/card], [card]hex[/card], [card]Doomsayer[/card], [card]Elemental Destruction[/card] (<- in case you have this, keep Lava Shock), [card]twilight-guardian[/card] (if you have The Coin).
I changed the mulligan a little because I noticed how much I was facing Aggro Druid.
Aggro Druid is generally a very good matchup because they don’t replenish their hand as well as have easily killable minions. The matchup might’ve got a little harder now that they have access to [card]mounted-raptor[/card], but still it is not as hard as [card]nerubian-egg[/card] decks. You have a lot of responses for their [card]fel-reaver[/card], so remember to keep those responses in hand, you have a lot of ways to deal with their other minions – [card]lightning-storm[/card] and [card]elemental-destruction[/card] – so just play around their [card]savage-roar[/card]+[card]force-of-nature[/card] combo by healing yourself and you should be fine.
Midrange Druid in the other hand is slightly unfavored. I have something around 50-50 winrate but I feel it should be somewhat lower because I faced opponents that weren’t doing so good. The matchup not being as good as the Aggro one happens because Midrange Druid is capable of constantly replenish his hand, which means the Druid is going to be constantly deploying Midrange threats for you to deal with. In this matchup you shouldn’t go for the kill, you should overextend your board presence given the opportunity and you should always deal with their minions. You are likely to stabilize the board by turn 9-10, and everything they drop from that point forward should be dealt with on sight, play around Combo at all times, and don’t you ever dare leaving that [card]shade-of-naxxramas[/card] live later in the game.
Mulligan: [card]Jeweled Scarab[/card], [card]Doomsayer[/card], [card]Lightning Storm[/card], [card]Elemental Destruction[/card] (<- in case you have this, keep Lava Shock as well as [card]volcanic-drake[/card]), [card]twilight-guardian[/card] (if you have The Coin).
Ok, I won’t talk much about the Midrange Paladin because the matchup is very favorable for this deck: they are slow, you have a lot of AOE, your minions are all 2-for-1, you won’t have much if any trouble beating Midrange Paladins here.
The problem starts with Secret Paladin, this deck is 50-50 against it because of how many persistent minions Secret Paladin has combined with the fact the deck can rush you down before you have enough time to respond everything. Despite all this, don’t panic, panicking only helps your opponents and if you are to lose, you will lose anyway, so wait to turn 5 Elemental Destruction + Lava Shock or Volcanic Drake instead of mindlessly throwing it and losing a crucial turn afterwards. Tempo is the name of this game, and you should always have that in mind when playing this deck.
Mulligan: [card]Doomsayer[/card], [card]earth-shock[/card], [card]jeweled-scarab[/card], [card]healing-wave[/card], [card]lava-shock[/card], [card]lightning-storm[/card] (<- In case you have this, also keep Volcanic Drake).
Once again, the Midrange Matchup is so easy it is not worth going very much further when talking about it. Make quick use of your Doomsayers because they’ll be able to deal with them with just their board very quickly, you have perfect responses for their best cards, so you shouldn’t worry very much, but try your best to save up those hexes. Try to kill them after stabilizing because their Hero Power makes it so there is the inevitability of you eventually dying.
The Face Hunter matchup is basically decided if you have Healing Wave or not. I won’t say it is an unwinnable matchup, but if you don’t have Healing Wave, you lost. Just like in the Midrange Matchup you should feel free to use your Doomsayer to kill a single minion on the board, because not only you’ll be getting actual value out of it, you’ll also be gaining a free turn, which is very important in this deck’s gameplan.
Mulligan:[card]doomsayer[/card], [card]jeweled-scarab[/card], [card]earth-shock[/card], [card]elemental-destruction[/card] or [card]lightning-storm[/card] (In case you have this, also keep Lava Shock and Volcanic Drake), [card]twilight-guardian[/card] (if you have The Coin), and if you have a Doomsayer or a Scarab, feel free to keep a [card]hex[/card].
The Zoo matchup is going to be decided if they end up getting a [card]nerubian-egg[/card] or not, and if you’ll be able to deal with it efficiently, meaning the matchup should be fairly favorable but not by much. The Deathrattle minions are troublesome, but I don’t think this is a matchup as Face Hunter.
The Handlock Matchup isn’t very good, because they have enough time to draw more threats than you can deal with, however you should play this matchup as any other Control one and try to outplay your opponents. Given how hard it is to play Handlock, you should be able to steal a couple of wins here and there. Try to throw your Doomsayers in the first sight of value you can have, to kill a Belcher or a Twilight Drake for example.
The Reno Warlock Matchup is even harder than the Handlock one because they have time to do a lot of things while they don’t need to worry at all about their health total – at any point in the game! Regardless of that, do what your deck is supposed to do and try to win by outplaying your opponent – Getting out of your game plan is very risky and will often lose you the game.
Mulligan: [card]doomsayer[/card], [card]jeweled-scarab[/card] and [card]twilight-guardian[/card].
This matchup is nearly unwinnable for the Warrior. As a Shaman you’ll have a very good time keeping Control of the board at all times, while Warriors have a lot of trouble dealing with your totems. This matchup is very simple: Save Hex for big threats such as Ysera, Grommash, Boom, never ever overextend until you’ve seen both [card]brawl[/card]s, but always have at least one real threat on board. Use Doomsayers wisely, and that is all about it.
Feel free to let them take advantage of their Acolyte of Pain (you can even help them with that!), don’t draw cards if you don’t have to, let them fatigue first and you’ll win.
Mulligan: [card]doomsayer[/card], [card]jeweled-scarab[/card], [card]hex[/card], [card]earth-shock[/card], Elemental Destruction (<- if you have this, feel free to keep Lava Shock and Volcanic Drake) and [card]twilight-guardian[/card] (if you have The Coin).
This is another very good Matchup. If the Priest [card]velens-chosen[/card] any of his minions, you just Hex and 2-for-1 or just Earth Shock. Between Elemental Destructions, your 4 copies of Fire Elemental (Elementals + Corruptors) and other things you’ll be able to X-for-1 a lot, getting tons of value in this matchup while the Priest can draw a lot of cards and simply die from fatigue, still not generating as much value as you do. Just try to remember to save one copy of Hex for their Ysera and you should be fine.
You shouldn’t let the Priest draw early in the game with [card]northshire-cleric[/card] because they can snowball and win by rushing you down, but if they’re above 6 mana or something, feel free to let them draw a couple of cards – you’ll most likely be playing for Fatigue so it should be fine.
Mulligan: Doomsayer, Scarab, Storm, Lava Shock, Earth Shock, Elemental Destruction (<- if you have this, feel free to keep a Volcanic Drake).
Freeze Mage is an ok matchup I guess, can’t say it is hard because I haven’t had the chance to lose a single match but I have to say I was very lucky in this department. You win here by either getting [card]healing-wave[/card]s out of Jeweled Scarab, or by winning the Jousts in your own waves, I actually had the chance of getting at least 1 of those things to work in all the 5 matches I played so maybe I was just lucky. In this matchup all you have to do is draw cards, keep applying pressure, try to make good use of [card]loatheb[/card] to make some big tempo play, and everything is very self-explanatory whenever you are already playing.
Tempo mage is somewhat good: you have perfect responses for their [card]mirror-entity[/card] with your Doomsayer, your spells bypass [card]mirror-image[/card]s protecting [card]flamewaker[/card], and you 2-for-1 him a lot. You should lose this matchup if you get out-Tempo’d, but with this deck this won’t happen very often. I like this matchup, but its not that favorable, I’ll just call “slightly favorable”. Use your Doomsayers here to kill single minions or force them into wasting resources to deal with it. It is super fine dropping a Doomsayer to kill a single [card]sorcerers-aprentice[/card], a [card]flamewaker[/card] or even a [card]mana-wyrm[/card] if you don’t have more efficient ways of dealing with it, like a Storm the following turn. Remember that Doomsayers not only buy you an extra turn, they give you the opportunity to draw cards you were in need of, and since this matchup is all about Tempo, gaining some is prime.
Mulligan: Doomsayer, Scarab, Hex, Twilight Guardian.
I have had a little problem with Rogues, they have a lot of room to do big tempo swings, and sometimes the game is going to be decided by [card]elemental-destruction[/card]s RNG on the Rogue’s [card]violet-teacher[/card].
Overall I like to think this matchup as unfavored, because of how much room we give rogues to draw cards and set up for big turns, but it is far from unwinnable, as we can heal ourselves and clear their board quite easily, the only problem here lies in the fact that they are much faster than us in digging for cards, and we are the ones who need to be responding in this game.
The Doomsayer use here follows the general guideline, and you can use this simply to gain an extra turn and kill a small or medium minion in the process.
Mulligan: Doomsayer, Scarab, Storm, Elemental Destruction (if you have this, keep Volcanic Drake), Lava Shock.
This should be ultra favored for you, because they are slower than other aggro decks and you have 4 AOEs that will completely wipe their board at any time while they are most likely to only have 2 small ones.
Play for board Control, use the Doomsayers wisely, there isn’t much else to tell here just don’t do risky plays and you should be fine, watch out for possible bursts and play not to die, as always.
And I think this cover all the Control Shaman matchups and guides, I don’t think we should go deeper on specific matchups just now because of how much gameplay samples we need to have in order to write such guides, but in the future in case we need Matchup Analysis guides i’ll gladly write them with more detail. For now I think this Matchup Guide will be enough for you to have your wonderful adventure playing Shaman Control.
I hope you guys have enjoyed this guide, my next plan is to brew some more LoE decks! :3
In case we have some more awesome decks this week, i’ll post some more Deck Techs!
I love you, my cuties, see you around!