N’Zoth Shaman Guide: Purging the Meta
With a lot of people aboard the Mid Range Shaman train these days, VLPS from Tempo Storm decided to use an ‘off the beaten track’ approach for his legend climb this season and he hit legend with this N’zoth Shaman build. The deck really stood out from the other Control style Shaman decks I have ever played because of how streamlined the deck is and completely avoids any clunky cards like Far Sightin the deck. Instead you focus more on removal and have plenty of spell damage synergy in the deck to allow you to pressure the board early on with your weapons and mid range minions. With plenty of draw power, heal and late game tools you have no trouble dispatching off most decks in the meta right now.
The deck has a N'Zoth, the Corruptorand Youthful Brewmasterfor getting out two waves of deathrattle minions and Emperor Thaurissan allows you to combo both the cards in one turn. With only combo or OTK decks being the only real threat you can grind out most opponents quite easily thanks to the amount of value the deck has. Let’s head straight to the card choices and see what the deck is all about.
Spirit Claws: Handy removal focused inclusion and has great synergy with your spell damage minions as well as lucky Wrath of Air totem rolls. It’s a perfect tool for removing small threats.
Lava Shock: While it’s meant to help you manage your super heavy overload cards like Elemental Destruction better, you can use it as removal for clutch scenarios for high priority threats.
Maelstrom Portal: A flexible AoE card that can help you clear tokens or have better clears with your spell damage minions.
Elemental Destruction: The strongest AoE Shaman has access to and it’s a perfect combo card to work with Hallazeal the Ascendedto clear out the whole board and heal for full health almost every time.
Healing Wave: One of the few sources of healing Shaman has access to, the presence of so many big threats makes it likely for your to win the joust more often than not.
Hex: Spot removal for big threats and it’s a perfect tool to deal with sticky minions like Savannah Highmane or Cairne Bloodhoof.
Lightning Storm: The third AoE in your arsenal of tools. With 6 AoEs available to you in total, you will have no trouble dealing with early game threats and Lightning Storm is perfect for countering board heavy decks.
Hallazeal the Ascended: One of the standout cards from the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion. While Control Shaman is not as popular as Mid Range builds, Hallazeal is definitely a solid card and it has helped me win games on the spot against decks like aggro Face Hunter and Tempo Mage simply by resetting the health counter and putting me back to 30 HP.
Thing from Below: Since you tend to hero power quite often with the deck in the early turns, this card helps you setup a line up defense for cheap and take out some minions of your opponent while preserving your health pool.
Bloodmage Thalnos: The card has very good synergy with Spirit Claws and also helps you cycle through your deck or get better AoE value. Overall, a solid inclusion but it should not be played in fatigue matchups because of the extra draw being able to pop up three times due to the double N’zoth strategy the deck adopts.
Jeweled Scarab: One of the most interesting inclusions in the deck that VLPS considered over Far Sight for draw. Far Sight can be considered a good card to get nice combos off or lategame threats as early as turn 4 but Jeweled Scarab is very consistent and Shaman has a lot of good 3 mana cards and you can discover board clears or spot removals and many other solid 3 mana cards Shaman has access to.
Youthful Brewmaster: Its primary reason for inclusion is for using it with N’zoth but you can also use it with other battlecry minions to get more value out of them or find outs in clutch situations.
Azure Drake: One of your cycle tools that work well with your removal spells as well. It helps you get to your late game and curve out turn 6 onwards and close out the game quickly.
Cairne Bloodhoof: One of the stickiest minions in the game and it is very hard to deal with. The card is solid overall and offers 8/10 worth of stats for 6 mana divided across two bodies.
Emperor Thaurissan: Emperor’s primary purpose is to discount your N’zoth and Youthful Brewmaster to help you pull off a double N’zoth combo. But you can also develop him as a threat against faster decks and help
Sylvanas Windrunner: Another great control card that demands instant answers else you can dictate the trades and get a lot of value out of it. The N’zoth synergy makes her an auto include in the deck.
Chillmaw: One of the best dragons in the game, it allows you to potentially clear boards against opponents and the fact that you can bring him back twice with N’zoth ensures you have a taunt up so that your opponent can’t ignore you and go face.
Tip: If you do not have Chillmaw you can use Corrupted Seer. It works well in the deck due to The Curator synergy and you’ll be able to clear off 2 health boards or combo it with more board clear effects.
The Curator: While the card can backfire against fatigue decks and you are better off holding on to it to not die to fatigue, The Curator makes your deck extremely consistent against mid range and aggro decks allowing you to draw into your Jeweled Scarab and one of your dragons.
Ragnaros the Firelord: Yet another lategame threat that allows you to kill off your opponent’s minions or simply pressure their health pool. It is one of the instant impact legendaries that gets the job done even if it’s removed a turn later.
N'Zoth, the Corruptor: Your last lategame minion that seeks to end games on the spot. With Youthful Brewmaster and N’zoth being able to combo, it ensures that you have a Chillmaw in hand and sets up a board clear and taunt at the same time with N’zoth’s battlecry.
Mulligan and Strategy
- Bloodmage Thalnos
- Jeweled Scarab
- Lightning Storm
- Spirit Claws
- Hex (against Control decks)
- Azure Drake (against Control decks)
- Thing from Below
You want to make sure you are able to deal with your opponent’s early threats and stabilize until you get to your taunts and lategame tools. You also need to plan for healing against decks like Tempo Mage that seek to burst you down once they lose board control. The only extremely difficult matchups are Freeze Mage and MalygosDruid because they can potentially burst you down from 26 HP and since you are a slow deck you allow them all the time in the world to assemble their combo pieces. However, going on the offensive with your minions can help negate that.
Here are the favorable and unfavorable matchups based on the 183 games I’ve played and dozens of games that I’ve spectated while VLPS was climbing to legend earlier this season on stream. Being dominant against Mid Range Shaman is great since they make up about 1/4th of the ladder right now according to meta reports.
- Mid Range Shaman
- Tempo Mage
- N’zoth Warrior
- Yogg Warrior / Classic Control Warrior
- Control Priest
- Dragon Warrior
- Token Druid
- Mid Range Hunter
- Beast Druid
- Face Hunter (Secrets)
- Malygos Druid
- Malygos Rogue
- C’thun Warrior
- Anyfin Paladin
It’s a fun and competitive deck that’s legend viable. VLPS spent a lot of time fine tuning it and changed the list around until he got to this streamlined list of cards that allow you to have decent mid game and absolutely top-notch late game.