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N'Zoth Control Shaman Gadgetzan Standard Deck

Last updated on Dec 03, 2016 at 21:06 by Sottle 13 comments

Table of Contents

N'Zoth Control Shaman is one of the most resilient decks in the game and a great choice for dealing with aggressive decks like Pirate Warrior and Zoo if they are flooding the ladder. Between the large Taunts and incredible amount of healing available to you, you can easily stabilise against these aggressive strategies. Through high quality win conditions like Ancestral Spirit and N'Zoth, the Corruptor however, you are also able to outvalue Control.

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. N'Zoth Control Shaman Gadgetzan Standard Deck

Our deck costs 11,520 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Shaman Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve

0
2
9
9
3
3
3
1

3. Strategy

3.1. General Playstyle

Control Shaman is a deck that plays out in a slow fashion and tries to beat decks through attrition. Against Aggro it is able to set up a massive wall of Taunts using Ancestral Spirit while healing out of range of their direct damage. Against Control, Ancestral Spirit transforms into a tool that can be used to revive high value threats like Cairne Bloodhoof and Sylvanas Windrunner.

3.2. Key Skills

3.2.1. Knowing your matchup

Perhaps more than any other deck in the game, this deck really requires you to adapt your play to the matchup that you are facing. As outlined above, this means dramatically changing how you play against Aggro from how you play against Control. Against Aggro you will want to try and Control their early onslaught as much as possible with small removal options and weapons, and then try to set up for a huge turn where you can swing the board with an AoE effect. Once you are able to reduce their board presence, the massive amount of healing in the deck will allow you to pull yourself out of range. However, against decks where it is not simply a matter of surivival, the deck becomes a lot more complex to play.

Many decks will have clean answers to your huge threats, especially if you invest Ancestral Spirit too hastily. Hex, Polymorph, and Sap are all options that you have to consider and you should try to bait out these removal spells on individual minions of middling value before making the huge investment of an Ancestral Spirit. This can differ if you pull a huge value threat from Barnes, as this is a much smaller investment to lose overall if you do drop Ancestral Spirit onto a 1/1 and it gets dealt with. Overall though this is still a play best used against decks that do not have the above options available to them.

Which minion you want to hit with your Ancestral Spirit can also vary hugely by matchup. Against Aggro you will want to build a huge Taunt wall, where as against decks like Control Warrior Cairne Bloodhoof is the biggest problem for them to deal with overall and can single handedly win you the game if you are able to spawn multiple copies. Be wary of Sylvanas Windrunner before making a play like this though, ideally waiting until you have already seen it used before committing too heavily against a deck that you expect to play it.

3.2.2. Managing AoE

In many games, you will need to be comfortable taking very passive turns with this deck. Unless you are able to line up the perfect opening hand of answers, it is likely that you will be under some significant pressure in the early-game. This is fine however, as the ability for the deck to bounce back with Hallazeal the Ascended, Healing Wave and the numerous AoE spells means that you are often in no hurry to answer your opponent's threats. Many players will be tempted to use cards like Lightning Storm for very poor value, leaving them short of crucial board answers when they need them. These kinds of decisions are usually dictated by the contents of your hand, as if you have a lot of rebound mechanics like Elemental Destruction and Hallazeal in your hand already, you can afford to be greedy and allow the opponent to develop their board and maintain pressure on you. However, if your hand does not have any healing or stability options available, but has multiple copies of small AoE effects like Lightning Storm and Maelstrom Portal, you can afford to use these more liberally to buy time until you can draw the crucial cards that you need.

Against Control decks, your AoE spells are often the weakest cards in your deck and you should aim to use them wherever possible as long as the Overload mechanic does not impact your future turn too significantly. Since these cards are the hardest to use in the matchup, you will be happy to have them out of your hand, and since the rest of your deck is good in more situations, it will create more flexibility for you in later turns. The exception to this is when playing against a Control deck that has a board flooding ability like N'Zoth, in which case an Elemental Destruction at least should always be reserved for this purpose.

3.2.3. 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

You should look for Spirit Claws, Lightning Bolt, and Maelstrom Portal in your opening hand. If you have Spirit Claws already, you can also keep Bloodmage Thalnos for the guaranteed value that it brings. Against slower decks, or if you have The Coin, you can also keep Barnes, Infested Tauren, or Jinyu Waterspeaker.

Since we are at the start of a new expansion, class by class mulligans are not yet available since it is unclear exactly what each class will be playing. Check back as the meta evolves for a more in depth mulligan guide!

3.4. Card Swaps

N'Zoth, the Corruptor can be cut from the deck in favour of a second Healing Wave or Jinyu Waterspeaker if you are facing purely aggressive decks as the additional win condition is not required.

The number of copies of Healing Wave, Infested Tauren, Thing from Below, and Jinyu Waterspeaker is flexible and you can mix and match to find your preferred number. Always consider Barnes when choosing the minions that go in your deck however.

Mana Tide Totem can be swapped for Far Sight if you are consistently getting poor value from them.

4. ChangeLog

  • 03 Dec. 2016: Deck added.
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