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Al'Akir Midrange Shaman Standard Deck

Last updated on Oct 05, 2016 at 10:12 by Sottle 11 comments

Table of Contents

This deck is a One Night in Karazhan ready version of the popular Midrange Shaman deck. It adds in Spirit Claws from the final wing which is an incredible tool for controlling the board, as well as pushing damage aggressively. This tilts the build of the deck towards including more Spell Damage effects which also synergise excellently with Maelstrom Portal.

This particular variation includes Al'Akir the Windlord as an additional finisher. It does need to sacrifice some late-game options such as Fire Elemental to make room for the addition, but it creates some much needed burst damage from hand in the late-game.

1. About the Author

This deck is presented to you by Sottle, a professional Hearthstone player who plays for compLexity Gaming. Sottle regularly streams on Twitch and explains all of his moves. Watching him is a good opportunity to see how this and other decks play out in practice, and how decisions are made in real time.

2. Al'Akir Midrange Shaman Standard Deck

Our deck costs 4,640 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Shaman Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

Midrange Shaman is a deck that takes the aggressive shell of an Aggro Shaman build, but instead of multiple burst damage Spells chooses to add in more mid-game stability and minions to play on curve. It still plays out quite aggressively, but you are encouraged to trade more often than an outright Aggro deck due to the longer staying power and the reward from cards like Flametongue Totem and Thunder Bluff Valiant for successfully building a board.

You should mulligan extremely hard for Argent Squire and Tunnel Trogg in every matchup, since the platform they provide the deck to build on is very valuable. This deck chooses to go with 2 copies of Tunnel Trogg and one Argent Squire since it plays additional early-game Overload cards such as Lightning Bolt and Feral Spirit. Despite this, in matchups that are focused on early minion combat such as Zoo and Midrange Hunter, or other Shamans, you should look more aggressively for Argent Squire. Argent Squire is more effective in combination with cards such as Flametongue Totem, Spirit Claws or Maelstrom Portal on curve to trade up into a 2-drop minion.

Spirit Claws itself is a great addition to the deck which justifies including more Spell Damage effects in the deck. Bloodmage Thalnos can be used on curve to turn a turn 1 Spirit Claws into an amazing source of board control. On top of this, the additional Spell Damage in the deck means that Maelstrom Portal will be able to be used more often as effective AoE.

As mentioned the key with this deck is to get yourself out of the Aggro Shaman mindset and focus more on making efficient trades where possible. You should still generally be pushing damage where there is seemingly no downside as the deck does curve out and apply pressure very successfully, however you should keep an eye out for free trade situations, such as a 2/3 into a 2/2.

Another key point with this deck is that is sometimes correct to summon a Totem using your Hero Power over playing a minion, especially if your hand is running low on resources after an aggressive start. As this is not an all out aggressive deck, your Totems start to have reasonable utility. Taunt can provide protection for your important minions and Healing can allow you to make more of the favourable trades mentioned above. On top of this, every Totem you summon will discount the cost of an eventual Thing from Below and be a potential target for a Flametongue Totem buff. Lastly, the presence of a Spell Damage Totem is incredibly beneficial to this deck due to its amazing synergy with Spirit Claws and Maelstrom Portal.

With Flametongue Totem in mind your minion positioning is important. The key is to consider what your opponent is likely to play on the next turn and work out the most efficient placement in order to trade into it effectively. As a general rule though you want your most powerful minions over to the left hand side of your board so that the smaller minions on the right can share a Flametongue buff with your summoned Totems. On top of this Argent Squire should usually be placed on the edges of your board as it can interrupt a chain of attacks using a Flametongue by surviving thanks to its Divine Shield.

This deck also plays far more utility cards than a more aggressive Shaman deck would. Since you are intending to drag the game out a few turns longer than an outright Face Shaman deck, you will often require answers to your opponent's board states and late-game threats. To help with this the deck plays Hex and Lightning Storm in order to allow you to answer your opponent more efficiently. On top of this, the deck also packs in extra card draw with Mana Tide Totem in order to make sure you retain resources to keep the game going.

Your win condition with the deck is multi-faceted. You can win a lot of games just through outright board dominance because of the overall efficiency of your minions, especially if you are able to stick a Thunder Bluff Valiant to the board, but in many games you will often win the game through pure resource dominance, by grinding the opponent out of the game and gaining huge card-advantage in the late-game.

Finally, this version of the deck also includes Al'Akir the Windlord as an additional win condition. When combined with Flametongue Totem or Rockbiter Weapon, Al'Akir can represent a huge amount of damage from hand. On top of this however, Al'Akir can also be used as a board control tool in the late-game. By charging into a large minion first with the Divine Shield and then finishing off a smaller minion with the second Windfury attack you can create a big swing in the state of the board.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Thing from Below can be discounted by not only your Hero Power Totems, but also Totem Golem, Mana Tide Totem, and Flametongue Totem.

Spirit Claws and Maelstrom Portal both benefit enormously from the inclusion of additional Spell Damage cards in the deck.

Al'Akir the Windlord can be used as a burst damage finisher in combination with Rockbiter Weapon or Flametongue Totem.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

You will simply be looking to mulligan for the most powerful possible early-game curve in your opening hand. Pay attention to the effect that Overload will have on your Mana however. If you do not have The Coin, a curve of Tunnel Trogg, Totem Golem, Feral Spirit will not work and the ideal hand contains a second 2 Mana card to play on turn 3. You can go ahead and keep a hand like this however, and just trust that your deck will give you something to do on turn 3.

If you do have a play to make on 1, 2, and 3 Mana with The Coin and Totem Golem in your hand it is usually correct to use The Coin to play the Totem Golem on turn 1, and then follow up with the 1 and 3 as your curve dictates. This is true even if your 1-drop is Tunnel Trogg despite how tempting it might be to try and buff the Tunnel Trogg with the Totem Golem.

Utility cards like Flametongue Totem and Rockbiter Weapon should only be kept if you already have the minions to support them.

Against other aggressive decks that aim to flood the board you can mulligan more aggressively for cards such as Spirit Claws. Argent Squire is also generally more effective in these matchups than Tunnel Trogg.

3.3. Card Swaps

The tech cards in this deck should be closely evaluated in order to react to the meta you are facing. Lightning Storm can be cut or made a double copy, Hex can be cut down to a single copy as well. You will need to react to the matchups you are facing and decide which of the removal options are functioning well for you.

Stormcrack can be included in the deck if the meta is favourable for it. Such as if decks that play targets such as Azure Drake, Gadgetzan Auctioneer, Tomb Pillager, Fierce Monkey, and Frothing Berserker.

4. ChangeLog

  • 05 Oct. 2016: -2 Tuskarr Totemic, +1 Master of Evolution, +1 Lightning Bolt
  • 22 Sep. 2016: Deck added.
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