Basic Shaman Deck

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This Shaman deck:

  • is meant for players who are new to Hearthstone, and/or who have not invested much (or any) real money into the game;
  • is comprised only of cards that are granted to you for free as a reward for completing the tutorial and leveling a Shaman to level 10;
  • does not include any Common, Rare, Epic, or Legendary cards.

While there are obvious weaknesses due to the Basic-only limitation, this deck is balanced, and quite strong. It should allow you to defeat the AI (in both Normal and Expert modes), and it can hold its own against players using Rare, Epic, and even Legendary cards in Play mode.

In addition to listing the deck, we will also explain why some cards have been included or excluded, how some of the minions in the deck are best played, and what changes you can make to the deck.

Note that to succeed with this deck (as with all decks), you need to make the correct decisions while playing. For this reason, we advise you to also read these two articles: Card Advantage and Why Am I Losing?.

1. About the Author↑top

This deck is presented to you by Sottle, a professional Hearthstone player from the UK who competes for Team Infused. 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. Basic Shaman Deck↑top

Our deck costs 0 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

2.1. Mana Curve

0
2
7
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6
3
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2

3. Strategy↑top

Shaman is a great pick for a Basic only class due to some excellent cards featured in their basic set, such as Fire Elemental, Flametongue Totem and Rockbiter Weapon. All three of these cards are powerful enough to be automatic inclusions in almost every Shaman deck, regardless of budget. Playing Shaman also teaches you valuable lessons about how to trade minions effectively and compound a board advantage.

The aim of this deck is to out-value your opponent by building a board of small creatures early and trading them up into your opponent's larger minions using cards such as Flametongue Totem and Rockbiter Weapon. By doing this you will create a strong board advantage for yourself and be able to maintain a large board in order to finish your opponent with the help of Bloodlust if necessary.

Always be on the look out for 2-for-1 situations. The most common form of this idea is killing your opponent's minion with a minion of your own that survives and is then able to trade for a further card. Situations like this not only create card advantage, leaving you with more options at your disposal than your opponent, but also increases the amount of minions you keep on the board, strengthening the power of Bloodlust.

3.1. Card Choices

In this section we will discuss some of the cards that have been chosen, how to use them effectively, and why they are chosen over other possibilities. Hopefully this will both help you to succeed with this deck, as well as inform your own deck building decisions in the future.

Rockbiter Weapon is one of the most efficient removal cards in the game. It can be used as a straight 1 Mana for 3 damage removal spell, or as a buff for one of your small minions to facilitate a trade into a larger minion.

Flametongue Totem functions as a powerful buff effect for your small minions. Using the +2 attack buff you can trade one of your 3/2 2 Mana minions into a 4 Mana Chillwind Yeti, creating extremely good value. It is important when playing cards like Flametongue Totem to pay attention to the positioning of your minions. You will normally want to keep all of your Totems lined up to the right of your board so they can share the buff of a Flametongue Totem when you play it. Similarly, more powerful creatures should be placed on the left since they are the least likely to get use out of the buff.

Hex is your ultimate trump card, able to turn any minion into a 0/1 Frog, it is your best removal card and should be saved for the biggest threats in your opponents deck, or for when you have no other removal options available.

Shattered Sun Cleric is another valuable buff card in the deck. You can use your Shattered Sun Cleric to turn your Totems into an attacking force or enable a trade up into a larger minion.

Bloodlust is your primary finisher. After gaining a board advantage through your efficient trading you can unleash Bloodlust to give every minion that has survived +3 attack. Whilst you should hold this card to finish your opponent, do not be afraid to use it in a situation where you have a huge board if you fear losing some, or all, of your minions in the near future.

Frostwolf Warlord is a stronger card in Shaman than in most classes. Since you have access to endless Totems to populate the board, Frostwolf Warlord will usually come out as a 5/5 minimum, which is fine value for a 5 Mana card.

Fire Elemental is a fantastic card for creating 2-for-1 situations. Try to save the Battlecry for killing a minion and avoid the temptation to use it to damage your opponent directly.

Stormwind Champion is another card that is significantly improved in Shaman. Even an unimposing board of Totems can be turned into a powerful force with a Stormwind Champion on the board.

3.2. Card Omissions

Here we will talk about some of the cards that are not included to help you understand and identify weaker cards, hopefully improving your deck building skills.

Ancestral Healing is not included since it is extremely bad for card advantage. Spending an entire second card on healing another card makes it extremely unlikely that you will end up trading favourably.

Totemic Might is not used since the Health of your Totems is not important. Because you have access to an infinite supply with your Hero Power, and you will often be using spare Mana to summon more, using buff cards that enable your Totems to attack is much more valuable than increasing their Health.

Frost Shock is left out because it is an extremely weak effect. 1 damage is usually not enough to clear a relevant minion and the Freeze effect is fairly ineffective, requiring you to still deal with the minion on a later turn.

Windfury and Windspeaker are left out because they are too situational. As a general rule you want to avoid playing too many situational cards in a deck. This deck already plays one situational card in Bloodlust, which is deemed more powerful than the affect of either of the two Windfury effect card.

3.3. Card Swaps

Obviously, as a Basic deck, this list has a lot of room for improvement. As you progress with the game and gain access to more cards and Arcane Dust, here are some additions that you may consider.

If you have access to the Naxxramas set, the following additions are excellent:

  • 2 x Haunted Creeper for 2 x Bloodfen Raptor. Haunted Creeper is a fantastic early minion in Shaman. It fills the roll of being extremely awkward to remove and has amazing synergy with Flametongue Totem.
  • 2 x Sludge Belcher for 2 x Frostwolf Warlord. Despite Frostwolf Warlord being relatively powerful in Shaman, Sludge Belcher is just a much better fit in this deck. It is difficult to remove, strengthening Bloodlust and offers two separate bodies to be targetted by your buff cards.

Other welcome additions from the Expert Set are listed below. However it should be noted that these cards should be added only if you open them from a pack. Spending dust to improve a Basic only deck is not particularly efficient, and you should instead try to save dust towards one of our low, or mid-budget decks.

  • 2 x Feral Spirit for 2 x Razorfen Hunter. Feral Spirit is an incredible value card at 3 mana and is a direct upgrade over the Razorfen Hunter. Just remember to be careful of the Overload drawback and plan what it means for your following turn.
  • 2 x Lightning Bolt for 1 x Murloc Tidehunter, 1 x Bloodfen Raptor. Lightning Bolt is another fantastic removal spell along the same lines as Rockbiter Weapon and will enable to you control the board in the early tuns and gain an advantage.
  • 2 x Lightning Storm for 1 x Boulderfist Ogre, 1 x Shattered Sun Cleric. Lightning Storm is a powerful AoE spell that will add an additional option to your deck. Since this card does not replace anything directly, it is chosen just to cut some expendable cards.
  • 2 x Defender of Argus for 2 x Sen'jin Shieldmasta. Defender of Argus is another powerful buff effect that can fit into the deck. Placing a Defender buff on even a board of two Totems will give your opponent a problem that needs answering.