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Disguised Toast Analyses the Tuskarr Totemic Nerf

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Disguised Toast has released a YouTube video talking about the Tuskarr Totemic nerf.

In the video he looks at 50,000 games from HSReplay, to see what impact each different result from Tuskarr Totemic had on the outcome of games. The statistics were all taken from games played in the last two weeks, and appear to show that the nerf is very strong within current Shaman builds.

Of course Shaman can adjust to make more use of basic totems, cards like Bloodlust or Totemic Might can still take advantage of these wide boards. It was also notable that Wrath of Air Totem is bottom of the pile of the basic totems. With Spirit Claws as a staple in recent Shaman decks , I would have thought it would be the best basic totem. Any theories welcomed!

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I agree the data looks paradoxal, but I came up with an explaination to it. Warning : it may be an inaccurate one.

The thing is, in the Shaman decks, what you'd want to do with your Spell Damage totems is to instantly capitalize on them via many of your spells - Lightning Bolt, and them more importantly - Maelstrom Portal and Lightning Storm. And usually it makes sense to do so via Hero Power - because it's less expensive and simply put, has a higher chance rolling the spell damage. Strategical output of getting your sweeper down buffed sometimes can overcome the need to spend your mana efficiently, by playing Tuskarr.

Spirit Claws follow the same pattern as spells do, but a weapon has some advantage as it can be set up and actually benefit when you jam Tuskarr and get Wrath of Air. That being said, most of the things you'd really want to kill with claws are coming down before Tuskarr, and even then, the same strategical output can make you press the button instead.

As for when Tuskarr rolls Spell Damage and you have no follow-up, against high-pressure decks totem probably dies and against low pressure decks the spell damage probably doesn't matter.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to imply that Wrath of Air is somehow not the best totem to get off the Hero Power or Tuskarr Totemic was a balanced card. It's just that this specific outcome came in handy less often than it could.

Tuskarr was a filler card. But a really powerful filler card in a class that had serious problems around mana curve and resource development, a class that was constricted by Overload mechanic pretty hard. Not only it was pretty cool to cast, it opened up deck building space for other things and made them work, like playing Feral Spirit in Midrange, or Azure Drake and Thing from Below in Aggro builds. I won't do the guessing game much, but it is necessary for Shamans now to find a replacement that can solve them, again. Perhaps, even a nerfed Tuskarr can still pay his bills. (I'm definetly not regretting cashing in my golden copy, though. Turns out I love a good bargain more than swag.)

 

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2 hours ago, Paracel said:

Tuskarr was a filler card. But a really powerful filler card in a class that had serious problems around mana curve and resource development, a class that was constricted by Overload mechanic pretty hard.

I'd say it was far more than a filler card, unless you count cards like sorcerer apprentice or possessed villager as filler in their classes too. It was an auto-include in any deck. If you pulled either mana tide for draw or totem golem you could have ended the game on turn 4 just by the early value (especially dropping a 7/7 on curve because of no overload). I really think this was the most important subtle change they made to the balance. It will still be really useful in certain decks, but no longer a 100% include.

I would argue healing stream is the most critical totem for him to drop of his 4 now, nothing stalls aggro/zoo like some stable healing for trades.

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1 hour ago, Laragon said:

I'd say it was far more than a filler card, unless you count cards like sorcerer apprentice or possessed villager as filler in their classes too. It was an auto-include in any deck.

I apologize for a misunderstanding caused.

What I wanted to say is that there is no incredible strategic value in slotting Tuskarr Totemic in your Shaman deck. You just happen to have a real lack of good 3-drop, and he is the best guy in the market. And yay, he buffs Thing from Below, too!

If you compare it to Sorcerer's Apprentice you're mentioning, then Apprentice I would call a "core" card. It has numerous synergies within the deck and contributes to an overall "get ahead on tempo via mana" strategy of Mage. And then, protecting your, let's say, Mana Wyrm with Mirror Image or Arcane Missiles/Arcane Blast is a pretty strategic thing to do in that context, as opposed to "just" dropping bodies to the board.

Possessed Villager in this context is also "core", it is surely replaceable, but it contributes to the strategy of the deck, fueled by creature critical mass that Villager creates together with its peers.

I may use terms that are not clear, and maybe that what can cause some problems. It's a shame TCGs are not a real science. We have theories but we keep arguing about terminology. Tempo was changed, like 6 or 8 times in the past 10 years. Have we changed anything about gravity?

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9 hours ago, Paracel said:

Have we changed anything about gravity?

Spoiler

Still- tentative confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson at the CERN in Switzerland, which has some impact on our understanding of what precisely gravity is.

I'll let myself out now.

 

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Tuskarr was a card which could be 3 mana 6/6 in two bodies, or 3 mana 3/5 plus draw a card (at least one) in two bodies again and these options made Tuskarr really powerful and also hated.

Now, it is either 3 mana 3/4 or 4/3, which is still pretty good (not overpowered though) and it is the best 3-drop for shaman (except Feral Spirit maybe, but it also has overload, and a heavy one for turn 3 actually), and if you are playing aggro shaman, you cannot really come up with a deck that lacks a 3-drop, especially something like Tuskarr (it is still powerful and has good synergy with Thing from Below and time to time Spirit Claws and Maelstrom Portal too) I can't believe people really try to make aggro shaman and midrange shaman without Tuskarr already. In midrange shaman decks, Tuskarr has a good synergy with the cards above and also mighty Thunder Bluff Valiant

Only thing I can see in general is spoiled shaman players saying 'Why do you nerf an overpowered card and make it normal, we can't take it, now Tuskarr feels so normal and balanced, I can't play it anymore'.

 

 

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1 hour ago, FanOfValeera said:

Tuskarr feels so normal and balanced, I can't play it anymore

Maybe it should have been made 4-mana instead of 3-mana, then they could have buffed the stats to 7/7. 

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1 hour ago, FanOfValeera said:

Now, it is either 3 mana 3/4 or 4/3, which is still pretty good (not overpowered though) and it is the best 3-drop for shaman (except Feral Spirit maybe, but it also has overload, and a heavy one for turn 3 actually),

You're not evaluating this right. It is not a 3/4 and neither it is a 4/3. What Tuskarr Totemic right now is a 3 mana Bloodfen Raptor - that's not a good ratio - and then a totem that alone is not even worth a card. You have to get lucky to even be on terms with Razorfen Hunter, and that card is Constructed unplayable, even though it's also "a 3/4".

Shaman has numerous mediocre 3-mana options, and Tuskarr is the worst among them. Feral Spirit wins because it has a bunch of relevant text on it and scales into mid/late game better.

1 hour ago, FanOfValeera said:

if you are playing aggro shaman, you cannot really come up with a deck that lacks a 3-drop, especially something like Tuskarr (it is still powerful and has good synergy with Thing from Below and time to time Spirit Claws and Maelstrom Portal too) 

Old Aggro Shaman decks ever since XiXo's innovation to include Tuskarr and Thing were existing in a deck building space, created by what old Tuskarr was - an ability to give you board, cards, no overload and totem count at the same time; a chance to play a ton of damage cards while still having muscle on your bones. Because the parts were good alone it was viable. Now you have to Totem Up! harder, and that does not make a good offense.

There is an excellent Argent Horserider for your needs. Also, if you have any information about a viable Aggro Shaman deck with proven results, let me know, because AFAIK, there is simply none such thing.

1 hour ago, FanOfValeera said:

I can't believe people really try to make aggro shaman and midrange shaman without Tuskarr already. In midrange shaman decks, Tuskarr has a good synergy with the cards above and also mighty Thunder Bluff Valiant

Well, we already made the decks, and so far HCT Last Call EU Qualifiers had 100% Shaman representation. Note the amount of Tuskarr Totemic (spoiler : zero copies, even in the Totem Shaman deck). Still waiting for the ladder data to gather up, but I'm sure Shaman's 25% will be something like reasonable popular 10-12%.

1 hour ago, FanOfValeera said:

Only thing I can see in general is spoiled shaman players saying 'Why do you nerf an overpowered card and make it normal, we can't take it, now Tuskarr feels so normal and balanced, I can't play it anymore'.

You are overreacting as well as people who make such claims do. Yes, card is dead. No, deck is not dead. You can still ride it for some relatively easy ranks.

Meta is adjusting. There are decks that can combat Shaman now pretty effectively - Warrior, Mage, even Druid and Rogue now stand a chance. Format does not mess around, a lot of other powerful things are going on - even just the 3 drops, for the sake of discussion about Tuskarr, are spitting fire, making pew-pew with fire, give you free manatoast people or it's a straight up Feral Rage. We are still in a pretty powerful environment.

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46 minutes ago, Paracel said:

 

You're not evaluating this right. It is not a 3/4 and neither it is a 4/3. What Tuskarr Totemic right now is a 3 mana Bloodfen Raptor - that's not a good ratio - and then a totem that alone is not even worth a card. You have to get lucky to even be on terms with Razorfen Hunter, and that card is Constructed unplayable, even though it's also "a 3/4".

Shaman has numerous mediocre 3-mana options, and Tuskarr is the worst among them. Feral Spirit wins because it has a bunch of relevant text on it and scales into mid/late game better.

Old Aggro Shaman decks ever since XiXo's innovation to include Tuskarr and Thing were existing in a deck building space, created by what old Tuskarr was - an ability to give you board, cards, no overload and totem count at the same time; a chance to play a ton of damage cards while still having muscle on your bones. Because the parts were good alone it was viable. Now you have to Totem Up! harder, and that does not make a good offense.

There is an excellent Argent Horserider for your needs. Also, if you have any information about a viable Aggro Shaman deck with proven results, let me know, because AFAIK, there is simply none such thing.

Well, we already made the decks, and so far HCT Last Call EU Qualifiers had 100% Shaman representation. Note the amount of Tuskarr Totemic (spoiler : zero copies, even in the Totem Shaman deck). Still waiting for the ladder data to gather up, but I'm sure Shaman's 25% will be something like reasonable popular 10-12%.

You are overreacting as well as people who make such claims do. Yes, card is dead. No, deck is not dead. You can still ride it for some relatively easy ranks.

Meta is adjusting. There are decks that can combat Shaman now pretty effectively - Warrior, Mage, even Druid and Rogue now stand a chance. Format does not mess around, a lot of other powerful things are going on - even just the 3 drops, for the sake of discussion about Tuskarr, are spitting fire, making pew-pew with fire, give you free manatoast people or it's a straight up Feral Rage. We are still in a pretty powerful environment.

Isn't it great we have such different opinions on... well, everything

Only thing I can see in general is spoiled shaman players saying 'Why do you nerf an overpowered card and make it normal, we can't take it, now Tuskarr feels so normal and balanced, I can't play it anymore'.

This part was a joke, no one says that, I am not overreacting, so calm down a little.

And then;

I can't believe people really try to make aggro shaman and midrange shaman without Tuskarr already. In midrange shaman decks, Tuskarr has a good synergy with the cards above and also mighty Thunder Bluff Valiant

Ok, maybe I am overreacting a bit here. 

For Razorfen Hunter, you are evaluating things a little bit wrong here. Bringing a random 1/1 is different than bringing a totem, I am not really gonna write about synergies, including all cards with links is just exhausting, also how do you write different things once you added the card link?

I know there are decks who can fight shaman, and Tuskarr nerf is big deal, and the card is weaker, but definitely not dead.

Also, all these 3-drops you mentioned here are simply irrelevant with what I am trying to say , unless you are talking about how 3-drop of shaman can be answered by other classes with their own 3-drops. Then, yes, you're right.

 

 

Edited by FanOfValeera

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34 minutes ago, FanOfValeera said:

For Razorfen Hunter, you are evaluating things a little bit wrong here. Bringing a random 1/1 is different than bringing a totem, I am not really gonna write about synergies, including all cards with links is just exhausting, also how do you write different things once you added the card link?

I know there are decks who can fight shaman, and Tuskarr nerf is big deal, and the card is weaker, but definitely not dead.

Also, all these 3-drops you mentioned here are simply irrelevant with what I am trying to say , unless you are talking about how 3-drop of shaman can be answered by other classes with their own 3-drops. Then, yes, you're right.

I write things under card links by pressing "Add Link for Hearthstone Card" button, writing down the name so UI gets me the card ID and color, then I delete the card name and write a bad joke there. That's how a 4 mana 7/7 becomes a 4 mana 7/7.

My point about other 3-drop was, to paraphrase The Incredibles(2004) memefamous movie, is that when every card is busted, there are no busted cards. Tuskarr is not the only bad guy on the block.

About the evaluation of Tuskarr and Razorfen comparison, I don't think we can find a middle ground here that fast. I have experience with different contemporary Shamans and I've found the lack of Tuskarr power disturbing. The Hivemind seems to agree with me. The power of totems comes from the fact you don't use actual cards via Hero Power. For all the slower builds and even more Totem-reliant synergies, just pressing the button is better a lot of the time. I mentioned how it looks like first-person in my first post here.

Maybe I've just switched from "idk we can try Tuskarr" to "no Tuskarr is terribad" without telling everyone and now I think everyone knows that latter is true. Sorry. I don't have a Twitter account.

Yeah, and sorry about the joke part. But I've seen people actually saying that on the Internets!

Edited by Paracel

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