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Shaman Midrange No BrM/Kara Standard Deck

Last updated on Jul 11, 2016 at 16:08 by Sottle 36 comments

Table of Contents

The following guide outlines how to play a Standard build of Midrange Shaman. It is tilted further towards aggression than a classic Midrange Shaman build due to the inclusion of more excellent board presence cards like Flamewreathed Faceless and Master of Evolution.

This deck is adapted from a build first pioneered by VLPS.

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 Midrange No BrM/Kara Standard Deck

Our deck costs 2,360 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Shaman Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


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 your 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 Standard format.

Your early game minions, Tunnel Trogg, Tuskarr Totemic, 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.

This version of the deck is much more aggressive than previous iterations of the deck. This new aggressive strategy is primarily dictacted by the powerful new cards that Shaman have been granted in Whispers of the Old Gods. Flamewreathed Faceless and Thing from Below in particular allow you to ramp up the aggression on your opponent significantly earlier than they should be prepared to deal with it. Due to the loss of cards like Haunted Creeper from the format, Midrange Shaman is now slightly less focused on gaining incremental advantages through buffs and efficient removal and more about gaining an advantage by playing powerful minions on curve.

This deck features two incredibly powerful cards to play on Turn 4 in the form of Flamewreathed Faceless and Master of Evolution, because of this, Feral Spirit is often not a card that you want to play on turn 3 as you are usually better off waiting to activate your powerful turn 4. Master of Evolution is a card that can allow you to get a ton of value out of a minion already on the board by taking a value trade into an enemy minion and then not only transforming it into a better minion, but also healing it back to full. Flamewreathed Faceless is much more individually powerful and there is almost never a bad time to play it, especially if you can play it on curve on turn 4.

Because of the increased Overload of cards like Flamewreathed Faceless and other mid-game plays like Feral Spirit the deck also chooses to include Eternal Sentinel in order to unlock Mana Crystals. Previously Lava Shock was an option to be able to do this but the ability to simply drop a reasonable value 2 Mana card at any point is a much more flexible option than Lava Shock which is an inefficient Spell that might not have a good target on the turn that you want to cast it.

Eventually with this deck you will want to try and build up a board of Totems, but the need to do this comes much later than it did previously with Midrange Shaman since you have so many more powerful minions in Standard format. Generating Totems in the late-game is still beneficial for you however as they can turn cards like Thunder Bluff Valiant and Evolve into genuine win conditions. These cards will eventually help to outvalue Control decks as they will be forced to spend resources to deal with your Totems if you are able to maintain board control.

Evolve is a potentially powerful card, but also risky on a large board of Totems. Since Totems are treated as 1 Mana minions, Evolving a board of 4 Totems gives you 4 potential chances of hitting Doomsayer which can be potentially devastating for your board development. Although this risk is negligible in most situations, you should pay close attention to whether casting Evolve in a game where you are significantly far ahead could end up costing you the game.

Your late-game package with this deck is very powerful as you have access to the best hard removal tool in the game in the form of Hex. Hex is extremely important for dealing with the potential Old Gods win conditions that opposing Control decks may be running. On top of this it has a very favourable interaction with C'Thun. Since C'Thun is never killed and is instead transformed, a Doomcaller your opponent may be running will not be able to revive C'Thun, potentially destroying your opponent's game plan.

On top of this you have the excellent Fire Elemental to create Tempo swings on the board in the later turns as well as Azure Drake and Ancestral Knowledge to keep you high on resources. One of the classic problems with Midrange Shaman is running out of resources which is what previously caused them to use their Totem Hero Power as much as possible. This deck forces in the additional card draw of Ancestral Knowledge in order to allow you to be more aggressive in committing your resources to the board.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Tunnel Trogg synergises with your various Overload cards to snowball the state of the board early.

Flametongue Totem can be used to greatly increase the efficiency of your early minions and Totems.

Evolve and Master of Evolution both reward you for building a board presence.

Azure Drake can increase the efficacy of your removal spells like Lightning Bolt and Lightning Storm.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

Your Mulligan strategy is fairly consistent across all matchups. You should generally be looking for the strongest curve of minions possible through combinations of Tunnel Trogg, Totem Golem, and Tuskarr Totemic. On top of this you can keep Flamewreathed Faceless if you have The Coin simply due to its overall power when played early.

Against Aggro decks keeping Lightning Bolt can be a strong option since it is more likely to present clean removal for their minions due to the absence of cheap and efficient Deathrattles from Standard format.

3.3. Card Swaps

The Evolve can be cut from the deck in favour of a second Flametongue Totem.

Mana Tide Totem can be included in place of Ancestral Knowledge

Bloodlust can be used as an alternate win condition in place of Thunder Bluff Valiant.

4. ChangeLog

  • 11 Jul. 2016: Name updated, approved for current meta.
  • 27 Apr. 2016: Deck added.
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