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Low Budget Shaman Midrange Wild Deck

Last updated on Dec 29, 2015 at 21:16 by Sottle 42 comments

Table of Contents

Midrange Shaman is a deck that is much stronger than the sum of its component parts. Although it plays very few huge power level cards, and no spectacular win conditions or combos, it is a very solid and consistent deck that simply relies on gaining more value over the course of the game than your opponent. It is a difficult deck to master, but an excellent point for new players to jump into serious play from as it teaches many important lessons about the 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. Low Budget Shaman Midrange Wild Deck

Our deck costs 1,360 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Shaman Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve

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3. Strategy

Midrange Shaman is a classic Hearthstone build that has been around as long as the game itself. It is based around using small efficient minions, alongside Totems, in combination with buff cards in order to trade up into opponent's bigger minions, creating both card advantage and Tempo for yourself. It has fluctuated wildly in power level throughout various expansions and meta shifts, but has found itself at a strong point again with the introduction of The Grand Tournament.

Your early game minions, Tunnel Trogg, Haunted Creeper, and Totem Golem, are extremely key to the deck's strategy. The former 2 cards are more efficient in combination with buffs like Flametongue Totem, while Totem Golem is more self-sufficient, but comes with the Overload drawback. Hitting at least one of these early game minions is very important, since Midrange Shaman is all about laying a platform to build on, getting onto the board early will allow you to start to generate Totems on the board, and use your minions to protect them, which will become very valuable as the game progresses. Tunnel Trogg has the added benefit of being able to snowball using Overload cards. The opening curves of Tunnel Trogg into Totem Golem or Tunnel Trogg into Feral Spirit using The Coin are very powerful.

Shaman also has access to some of the best cheap removal spells in the game. Lightning Bolt and Earth Shock are both included in this deck in order to fight back against other opponents who try to have fast starts. Between using Flametongue Totem to increase the efficiency of your early minions, and the above removal spells, your goal is to be in a comfortable and advantageous board position after the initial exchanges.

With Flametongue Totem in mind, positioning your minions in Shaman is much more important in Shaman than in many decks. As a general rule, you want your largest minions on the far left of your board with the power decreasing as you move towards the right. The reason for this is it allows your small minions to share a Flametongue Totem with your Hero Power generated Totems, which always spawn at the far right of your board. Deathrattle minions should also always be placed at the extreme edges of your board, since when a Deathrattle minion dies, the minion next to it does not slide over to receive the Flametongue buff. Defender of Argus is also a positional concern, as if there is a minion you intend to target with Defender, you should place it centrally, to maximise the options of which other minions to buff. These positional concerns may seem confusing at first, but you will perfect the skill with practice, as a general rule, keeping power descending from left to right with Deathrattle minions at the edge is a fine rule of thumb to stick to.

After the early game exchanges, you can start to consolidate your board position with resilient minions such as Tuskarr Totemic and Piloted Shredder. These minions both split up their power into multiple different bodies, which increases the potential of Flametongue Totem. Tuskarr Totemic also generates a Totem for you, which is important for Thunder Bluff Valiant later, but can also just be individually very powerful if you roll a Totem Golem, or Mana Tide Totem.

Thunder Bluff Valiant is a crucial new card, that can help to turn the board advantage you often gain with Totems into an actual attacking force. Thunder Bluff Valiant is resilient enough to simply play on curve on turn 5, as it will often resist removal to allow you to develop Totems on a future turn. However, the best usage for it, if you can find enough time, is to play it on turn 7 and Hero Power immediately, to create a buffed Totem, and buff any further Totems you have managed to keep on the board. If this card is left unanswered for even a single turn, it can easily create too much of an advantage for your opponent to recover from.

Should your gameplan not operate perfectly, as it often does not, this deck is fully equipped to come back from behind if need be. Lightning Storm is an excellent AoE tool, especially if paired with a Wrath of Air Totem or Azure Drake, and Hex is the best single target removal spell in the entire game. These tools, combined with the efficiency of your minions should allow you to handle most of what your opponents can throw at you, and allow you to compete through the late-game with even heavy Control decks. You should endeavor to be greedy with these cards though, and use other options where possible, preserving these cards for emergencies where no other alternative presents itsef.

Entering into the late-game, if you have not yet gained a strong advantage on the board, further efficient cards such as Fire Elemental can continue to to maximise your board presence. Fire Elemental is one of the strongest Tempo cards in the game, able to enter play, remove a minion and leave behind a huge body of your own.

Finally, you have two very polarised win conditions in the deck. Against Control, the deck features Bloodlust as a low budget alternative to the Legendary minion finishers like Al'Akir the Windlord, although it is much more situational, it can still be very effective due to the extra Totem generation you now have in the deck. Secondly, against Aggro decks, Healing Wave is an outright win condition by itself. Since you are likely to win a Joust against an all-out Aggro deck, 14 healing is just too much for them to overcome.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Flametongue Totem can be used to greatly increase the efficiency of your early minions and Totems. For example, if all three parts of a Haunted Creeper are able to attack with a Flametongue buff, they deal a total of 9 points of damage.

Thunder Bluff Valiant synergises with your Hero Power, as well as cards like Totem Golem to create powerful board states out of seemingly innocuous minions.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

It is very important to secure a 1- or 2-drop minion in your opening hand, as this is the platform that your entire deck is built from. If you do not get one, you can recover, or use removal spells like Lightning Bolt and Earth Shock to buy time, but the game will be much harder for you.

Against Aggro, Tunnel Trogg and Haunted Creeper are key, these cards are enormously efficient against early Aggro minions and can easily gain you an advantage. If you are able to grab the board early against an Aggro deck, they will usually not have much hope of coming back. Your early removals like Lightning Bolt and Earth Shock are also great, even more so if you do not have an early minion, and Flametongue Totem can also be fantastic, especially with Haunted Creeper. The ideal hand against Aggro contains combinations of cards such as Tunnel Trogg, Haunted Creeper, Flametongue Totem, and Earth Shock.

Against Control, Totem Golem is often more powerful early than Tunnel Trogg or Haunted Creeper, although you certainly should not throw the latter two cards away. The goal against Control is simply to curve out through your deck with minions and then secure a lead with Defender of Argus or Thunder Bluff Valiant in the mid-game. The perfect hand against Control usually contains cards such as Totem Golem, Tuskarr Totemic, Piloted Shredder (with The Coin), and Defender of Argus. You should also always keep Flametongue Totem if you are keeping one of the smaller early game minions as well.

3.3. Card Swaps

Bloodlust can be removed from the deck, as you are in less need of an outright win condition due to the presence of Thunder Bluff Valiant. You can use this space to make room for Zombie Chow for added early game, or for another removal spell such as Crackle or Earth Shock.

Mana Tide Totem can be replaced with Ancestral Knowledge. Both cards have their strengths and weaknesses, Mana Tide Totem is a better card to fit into your curve, and can spiral out of control if unanswered, while Ancestral Knowledge is a better card to draw late in the game when you are low on resources, since it grants the cards immediately.

4. ChangeLog

  • 29 Dec. 2015: Removed 2 x Rockbiter Weapon, 1 x Defender of Argus, 1 x Thunder Bluff Valiant, 1 x Zombie Chow, 1 x Earth Shock for 2 x Tunnel Trogg, 2 x Lightning Bolt, 2 x Feral Spirit.
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