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Kobold Midrange Shaman Standard Deck

Last updated on Nov 10, 2016 at 07:58 by Sottle 14 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 build includes the tech that Amnesiac brought to the Hearthstone World Championship finals: Kobold Geomancer. This unassuming cards allows you to have access to Spell Damage on demand much more often.

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. Kobold Midrange Shaman Standard Deck

Our deck costs 4,560 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Shaman Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

3.1. General Playstyle

Midrange Shaman is a deck that is focused around efficiency and board Control. Through excellent early-game tools this deck can create a strong platform in the opening turns and use that to dictate the pace of the game on their own turns throughout. It is not a particularly aggressive deck and so you should focus on trades and board control until you smell blood and sense you can push for the win.

3.2. Key Skills

3.2.1. Resource Management

Shaman has an ability that is unparalleled by the other classes in the game to commit significant amounts of pressure to the board without expending a huge amount of resources from hand. This is an ability that you will need to take advantage off to get the strongest results from the deck. Pressing your Hero Power may seem like a weak turn, but it synergises with so many cards in your deck such as Flametongue Totem and Thing from Below that it is often worth it.

You will need to understand the matchup that you are facing and have a grasp on how fast you need to commit your resources in each of them. Against very aggressive decks you will want to commit your resources quicker, while against slower Midrange decks, you can afford to hold back resources and grind them out of the game. Control decks are often the hardest to play against because you need to find a balance. You will need to pressure them enough to make them have uncomfortable turns, but cannot afford to overcommit to the board and get swept by large scale AoE effects if you do not have enough resources to refill the board afterwards. Thunder Bluff Valiant, Thing from Below, and Ragnaros the Firelord are your highest value cards and you should try to bait out your opponent's removal before committing them in Control matchups.

3.2.2. Timing your AoE

In many matchups, but primarily against Zoo Warlocks and other Shamans, the timing of your AoE is often game defining. Due to the amount of Spell Damage effects in the game you will often be able to drop one on the board on demand for a huge AoE blowout. With this in mind, you should generally try to be greedy with your AoE and wait for your opponent to overcommit to the board, or for the last possible turn that you feel comfortable that you can survive.

Against Shaman, ideally you want to wait for one of their big threats such as a Thunder Bluff Valiant, or Thing from Below to hit the board before you use your AoE. Against Zoo, you should wait until you can no longer fight for the board with minions of your own or weapons, or simply until you can get an attractive full clear. Against Zoo, any time you can clear their board and keep a minion of your own in play is an excellent turn.

If you have multiple AoEs in hand, you can afford to use them a bit more liberally. This is also true in Control matchups where your AoEs are generally very weak. In these matchups you should look for any opportunity to use your AoE for any sort of advantage since the other cards in your hand will always be good.

3.2.3. Managing Overload

Make sure you pay attention to the effects of Overload on your following turns. Certain turns will offer a significant return if they are played out on curve, such as Fire Elemental on turn 6 or Thunder Bluff Valiant plus Hero Power on turn 7. These power spikes are often worth holding back for a weaker play on the proceeding turn to make sure they can be activated.

3.2.4. Evaluating Random Effects

The Shaman class has a certain amount of inherent RNG built into the class. Understanding the risks of these effects is another important skill to develop when playing the class. There will be certain turns where you need to hit a specific Totem, or hit a specific damage value on a Lightning Storm to have a strong turn. In these situations, you need to evaluate the situation that you will be in if you succeed, and the situation you will be in if you fail. By weighing this risk/reward equation you can easily get a handle on whether it is correct to take the inherent risk involved in the play.

3.3. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

General mulligan strategy means looking for Spirit Claws, Tunnel Trogg, and Totem Golem in your opening hand. If you have Spirit Claws already, then you can look to hold onto Spell Damage minions in order to buff them immediately.

3.3.1. vs. Druid

Against Druid, Spirit Claws and Maelstrom Portal are both strong early to counteract the threat of Living Roots which is one of their best anti-aggro plays early in the game. Primarily though, you should mulligan for the most aggressive start possible to put pressure on them.

The matchup against Druid is generally about maintaining pressure while playing around Druid's key removal options. The main methods that Druid can effectively clear your board are a Spell Damage Swipe, or Baron Geddon, so make sure you keep these threats in mind while making your plays. Thunder Bluff Valiant and Ragnaros the Firelord are a nightmare for Druid to deal with, and you should aim to get them into play as soon as possible.

One other way that Druid can win the matchup is through an early Innervate play, so you can also consider keeping Hex alongside an otherwise strong hand to play around this.

3.3.2. vs. Hunter

Generally a favoured matchup. A Spell Damage Spirit Claws will usually single handedly destroy Hunter's early game, so you should keep Kobold Geomancer or Bloodmage Thalnos in your opening hand alongside Spirit Claws if you have it.

Generally your cards are far too efficient for Hunter to deal with and you should be able to dominate the board easily. The only threat is direct damage, and Unleash the Hounds, so you should avoid being too liberal with your own life total, and trade off small minions when you have the opportunity to.

3.3.3. vs. Mage

When facing a Mage you should generally assume you are playing against Tempo Mage unless you have a strong reason to believe otherwise. This means mulliganing for removal primarily as long as you are able to stem the tide of their early minions, you can dictate the pace of the game later. If you mulligan for minions as in most matchups, you give Tempo Mage the ability to execute their game plan by swinging the board early with Sorcerer's Apprentice and Cult Sorcerer in combination with removal spells.

In the later turns, Tempo Mage will usually need a good Firelands Portal or Flamestrike to win the game, so try not to give them one if at all possible.

If you do face Freeze Mage, this is a tough matchup for you and you will simply need to be as aggressive as possible and try and rush them down as fast as you can.

3.3.4. vs. Paladin

Most Paladins you face will be Control variants which are unable to deal with your early minions. Their only answer in the early-game is Doomsayer, but you have very little way to play around this, so it is best to ignore the possibility and hope they do not have it.

As with most Control matchups, the key is to pressure them enough to consistently threaten to end the game if they do not have answers while holding back enough resources to refill the board until this is no longer possible.

3.3.5. vs. Priest

Against Priest, Shadow Word: Pain and their AoE spells are your primary concern. Mulligan for the most aggressive hand possible and try and rush them down in the early-game. If you pull a Shadow Word: Pain in the early game, this is okay for you, since they are then much less likely to have it for your much more important Thunder Bluff Valiant later.

3.3.6. vs. Rogue

The Rogue matchup often comes down to their hand and play moreso than yours. If they get a strong early Tempo hand, or manage to get off a huge Preparation turn, then it can be hard for you to recover. However, your goal is simply to create annoying board states. Since Rogue does not have access to much powerful AoE, a wide board of small minions is often hard from them to deal with.

Keeping a Spell Damage Lightning Storm option in your hand is often hugely important as it can help you to counter a Conceal play from the opponent. Lastly Ragnaros the Firelord is a nightmare for Rogue to deal with and can be a single-handed win-condition.

3.3.7. vs. Shaman

As mentioned previously, the Shaman matchup often comes down to who gets the best use out of their AoE. You should look to be more patient than your opponent and get more value from your AoE. Wait for them to commit higher value minions to the board and do not use crucial AoE on boards of Totems and small minions.

Totem Golem is as always a great keep, but Tunnel Trogg is often weak in the matchup. You would much rather look for cards like Spirit Claws and Lightning Bolt to help win the board early.

3.3.8. vs. Warlock

When facing Warlock you should Mulligan as if you are playing against Zoo, as this matchup is much more common. This means looking for Spirit Claws and Totem Golem in your hand primarily. If you already have Spirit Claws, you can keep low cost Spell Damage minions alongside it.

This matchup is purely about AoE in most cases. Your goal is to look for an opportunity where your AoE clears the board while maintaining a minion in play of your own. This can often require a two turn setup, using Lightning Storm on one turn, followed by Maelstrom Portal on another.

3.3.9. vs. Warrior

Mulligans against Warrior can be difficult since there are such a wide variety of viable archetypes. Totem Golem is always good and should be your number one target. However, Spirit Claws is strong against aggressive Warriors, but very weak against Control. Furthermore Tunnel Trogg is often weak as it is easily countered by Fiery War Axe and Alexstrasza's Champion.

3.4. Card Swaps

Harrison Jones can be included in place of one Feral Spirit if you are facing a weapon heavy meta.

4. ChangeLog

  • 10 Nov. 2016: Deck added.
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