Illidan Stormrage Challenge
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Today, we're recapping the four Shaman cards revealed by Gamespot. We also have some dev clarifications on how they work.
If you missed our previous Warrior recap, you will find it here.
What a way to kick things off; this card looks insane! The dream is that Drakuru takes out two of your opponent’s minions, resurrects them on your side, and survives combat somehow. You’re looking at a 5-for-1 exchange on board.
In the more likely scenario that it doesn’t survive, that’s still a complete flip of the board state. Even if it’s trading into a single big minion on the opponent’s side, that’s still a 2-for-1, with that 1 on your side being a big tough-to-kill minion. The only worry is that there will sometimes be late-game scenarios where the 6/8 stat line won’t be enough to get you any resurrections, but I’m hopeful those are few and far between.
Still, even if the Big Shaman archetype doesn’t catch on for Shaman, I expect this card, in particular, to find a home in Renathal Control Shaman lists. This card is doing much of the same work that Sylvanas and Insatiable Devourer are without having to run through the trouble of infusing first.
Once again, another big expensive card and a solid showy effect to go along with it. Obvious deathrattle/reborn synergy, as well as good with big minions in general. At 10 cost, it will take up your entire mana pool for the turn, though there are things you can do to play around that as a shaman.
We’ve gotten some clarification from the devs on the mechanics of this one:
All the copies summoned die at the end of the effect trigger after having attacked. Unfortunately, it won’t be some corruption-style aura effect that a cheeky Showstopper effect can silence off. Your copies are made from your hand from left to right until no more board spaces are available. Beware that Colossals will summon their appendages and take up potential board space from your other copies. Windfury minions will only attack. Sorry Drakuru, no double freebies for you ? Minions that enter Dormant won’t attack, but they won’t die either! The interaction of getting free dormant minion copies on board is interesting, but is there enough to build a deck around? In standard, there is Gangplank, Slimescale, and Pelican Divers, but outside of From De Other Side “synergy,” they might not be worth it. In Wild, at the very least, there is meme potential with getting Magtheridion and The Darkness out with this and getting their battlecries to awaken both copies when you play them out the turn after.
There’s obvious synergy with the other big cards revealed here, with Prescience loading up your hand with some beefy bois, getting get off reborn, lifesteal and deathrattle value, summon a minion from Overlord Drakuru.
That’s a lot of keywords for a single card, but they work together to become the stuff of nightmares for any board-based aggro deck. Taunt and lifesteal make this a nightmare to trade into, and even with enough removal to clear the main body and the reborn one, the deathrattle effect still will hit for 3 twice and heal you for 6. So while the 3 attack won’t be anything to write home about, plopping this down will buy you a good deal of time. There’s also the possibility to make use of the leftover reborn 3/1 body to evolve into a 9 or 10 drop.
This card will get you 2 Mana 2/3 Ghostly Apparitions with the Undead minion type, which can matter for cards like Unliving Champion, or Invincible, for instance. Suppose you trigger the secondary ability here both times. In that case, that’s a pretty sweet deal right there, advancing a Big Shaman win con in 2 ways: The taunt on the Ghostly Apparitions advances your gameplan of stalling the game out until you can stabilize on board enough to play the 5+ Mana minions you’ve tutored out of the deck.
We’ve theory crafted 3 potential builds that can use this package of Shaman cards.
First, consider diving head first into the Big Shaman theme, bringing in Vanndar Stormpike and forgoing all other sub-5 cost minions to get max value out of Prescience and From De Other Side. We’re also going to run with the evolve subtheme to take advantage of any leftover bodies that we might get from Stoneborn General, Overlord Drakuru, or Blighblood Berserkers. The departure of the Knights of the Frozen Throne set will make evolving 10 drops better again now that there are no more Snowfury Giants in the Evolve pool, and we get to re-roll for the generally better bodies from the 10 costs. We’re adding in some early-game removal to compensate for the lack of early drops so we can better survive the early game.
Deck code / link:
Next, let’s try to use the standard Renathal Control Shaman archetype that’s doing rather well in the meta as a starting point. One safe idea is to look at slotting Overlord Drakuru and potentially Brightblood Berskerker and From De Other Side into this standard XL Renathal Control Shaman as ways of fighting back on board while getting your infuse cards stacked up.
Deck code / link:
We could instead also try and drop all the duplicates from the list and convert it into a Reno deck, as the deck was already playing a lot of one-offs. That gives us just enough room for one of each of these bad boys, which together with Reno will up the turnaround potential of the deck at the cost of a little bit of consistency. Doing so we can end up with this list:
Deck code / link:
Why not use both and make it a Reno-thal deck? Prescience and Windchill will try to compensate for the loss of card draw from droping one copy of Gorloc Ravager and Famished fool. We are adding in Convincing Disguise to have still enough evolve effects around. The idea of including Bracing Cold and Far Sight is to hopefully discount From De Other Side or the evolve cards so we make use of any leftover bodies in the same turn. Ozumat’s in here not just to get us up to 40 cards, but because it’s a near guaranteed board clear combo with From De Other side, if you manage your hand and board space just right, that leaves you with all its appendages afterward.
Deck code / link: