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Shaman Face Aggro Standard Deck

Last updated on Apr 25, 2016 at 08:19 by Sottle 31 comments

Table of Contents

This guide contains instruction on playing Aggro Shaman. The addition of Tunnel Trogg from League of Explorers gives Shaman a great deal of early board presence and opens up a much more aggressive form of the deck.

Due to the nerf to Tuskarr Totemic, the Hybrid Shaman strategies that had more or less forced pure Aggro out of the meta are now much less powerful, and Aggro has returned to prominence.

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. Shaman Face Aggro Standard Deck

Our deck costs 3,320 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Shaman Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

Aggro Shaman is an extremely aggressive deck that aims to capitalise on the powerful early game minions that Shaman has been granted in the recent expansions. Tunnel Trogg and Totem Golem are two of the most powerful early-game minions in the game and will generally outclass the early minions from your opponent, especially if played in combination with each other.

You should mulligan extremely hard for Tunnel Trogg in every matchup, since the platform it provides the deck to build on is very valuable. If you do have access to a Tunnel Trogg on turn 1, you can then begin to use Overload cards to snowball your board position and push a huge amount of damage through to the opponent. Following a Tunnel Trogg with Totem Golem, or with Feral Spirit using The Coin will create a great deal of pressure on your opponent.

Spirit Claws is another early game card that can be a huge source of early board control, or early damage. You will need to quickly decide how to allocate the charges of the Spirit Claws weapon, as you will often want to have it cleared before a Doomhammer comes into play on turn 5. In matchups where the fight for the early board is crucial, such as against Zoo or Hunter, then using it to address minions is fine, however against Control decks you should simply use it to push damage most of the time. If you do not have a Doomhammer in hand, then there is no rush to use the Spirit Claws charges and you should wait to pair them with Spell Damage where possible.

Sir Finley Mrrgglton is included in the deck since the Shaman Hero Power is almost completely useless for this deck's strategy. You should try to mulligan for this card and use it as early as possible. Although, if it is a choice between Tunnel Trogg and Sir Finley on turn 1, you should opt for the Tunnel Trogg, since you will likely not be using your Hero Power for the first few turns anyway. When choosing a Hero Power, the Hunter power should be your first choice, but Druid can also be great since it synergises with Doomhammer. Every Hero Power bar Warrior is an improvement over your starting one for this deck however.

As this deck is a pure Aggro deck, you will want to focus on dealing damage to the opponent whenever possible. However, you need to keep in mind the concept of damage over time. Although attacking the Hero directly gets you damage immediately, it can present more favourable trades for your opponent, which will reduce the amount of damage you gain over several turns. In some situations it is better to take favourable trades on the board that keep your minions alive, since this will create more damage for you in total over the next few turns. This is a particularly strong consideration if trading protects your valuable minions like Tunnel Trogg.

The perfect scenario to solve this dilemma is to get 1 or 2 minions consolidated on the board, and then use your removal spells like Lightning Bolt and Rockbiter Weapon to remove your opponent's minions. This is particularly potent if you have a Tunnel Trogg in play, since all of your Overload removal cards will increase its damage.

Managing your Overload in this deck is crucial. Although the Overload cards are excellent for buffing your Tunnel Trogg they can also disrupt your followup turns. Generally, there are certain turns where you do not want to Overload, such as turn 4 if you have a Doomhammer in hand. Playing a Doomhammer on turn 5 is crucial for this deck as it represents 16 damage over the following turns. This turn is so powerful that you will often need to deliberately make a suboptimal turn on turn 4 in order to avoid overloading.

In the mid-game Doomhammer will enable you to create repetitive damage over the course of several turns, and create a lot of pressure on your opponent's life total. Alternatively, you can use Doomhammer as a clearing tool if your own life is high enough in order to clear the path for your minions. This is a hugely important card since it allows you to keep pace with Control classes like Priest and Warrior who are able to mitigate some of your damage with their Hero Power. Doomhammer is also particularly powerful in this deck because it will apply a buff to any Tunnel Troggs you have in play.

The addition of Flamewreathed Faceless to the deck makes the mid-game decisions a little more complicated with this deck. If you have both this card and Doomhammer in your hand, you will not want to take the hit of the Overload on turn 4, since hitting your Doomhammer on turn 5 is so important. Instead, you should try and make a different play on turn 4 in order to get your Doomhammer equipped on turn 5 and then follow up with the Flamewreathed Faceless on turn 6. The benefit of Flamewreathed Faceless however, is that it gives you another hugely powerful option to play in the mid-game if you do not draw your Doomhammer in a timely manner. To increase the potential power of Flamewreathed Faceless, this deck also includes a copy of Tuskarr Totemic to play on 3. Without this option, you don't have too many strong options to play on turn 3 that don't lock out your powerful follow ups.

When you are looking to make the final push for damage, the deck plays a large amount of options to create burst damage from the hand. Rockbiter Weapon allows you to do 10 damage with an equipped Doomhammer, while cards like Lightning Bolt and Lava Burst can be combined to create a huge amount of damage. It is not uncommon with this deck to burst your opponent down from 20+ health in a single turn if you have minions on board.

When looking to set up these final pushes over the last couple of turns, it is important to consider all your opponent's defensive options and work out the most likely method for sealing the win. If you expect your opponent to Taunt, you should look to invest damage from Weapons, Rockbiter Weapon and Minions first, then follow up with the Spells once they play their Taunt. This is particularly powerful now that Loatheb has left the format which can punish you for dealing the damage in this order. This practice of maximising damage over time against your opponent's expected options is one of the key skills in playing Aggro and will take practice to perfect.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Doomhammer + Rockbiter Weapon is 10 points of damage in a single turn, or 16 if you use both Rockbiter Weapons.

Tunnel Trogg can be buffed by the numerous Overload cards in your deck.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

Your Mulligan will involve looking for the fastest possible start. The key cards to facilitate this are Totem Golem and Tunnel Trogg. Tunnel Trogg is particularly important and should be mulliganed for as hard as possible in every matchup. Outside of this, your other strong early game cards are Argent Squire and Feral Spirit with The Coin. If you have Tunnel Trogg already, you can keep Overload cards like Lightning Bolt in order to clear the way for your Trogg to do repetitive damage.

Against Aggro you can favour keeping a Lightning Bolt alongside your early minions in order to fight back against the fast starts of your opponent. It is important however, not to keep too reactive a hand since you do still want to be playing the aggressor against every deck.

Against Control you should just push for the fastest possible start to consolidate yourself as the aggressor in the matchup.

3.3. Card Swaps

Flametongue Totem can be cut from the deck in favour of Flame Juggler or Lava Shock.

4. ChangeLog

  • 22 Oct. 2016: Complete overhaul in reaction to new strategies.
  • 25 Apr. 2016: Deck added.
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