Wild Elemental Shaman Deck List Guide - Rise of Shadows April 2019
This guide contains detailed Strategy, Mulligan, and deck-building information to help you play Elemental Shaman in The Rastakhan's Rumble expansion.
Elemental Shaman is an archetype that lurked on the fringe of competitive viability ever since the vast majority of key Elemental minions were released in the Journey to Un'Goro expansion. By relying on Elementals with powerful Battlecry effects, most of which deal damage to influence the board, the deck is capable of strong tempo plays to control the board and snowball out of control.
Elemental Shaman has seen a huge surge in popularity late into the Rastakhan's Rumble expansion. While the deck received no direct benefits, many rival decks being hurt by balance patches allowed Elemental Shaman to become a viable deck in competitive play.
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As a Midrange deck, Elemental Shaman aims to play 1 card per turn. This makes it very important to look for a smooth curve in your Mulligan to have the maximum tempo to wrestle early control of the board away from opponents.
You should look for a 1-drop, 2-drop, and 3-drop in your opening hand.
- For a 1-drop, you should ideally look for Fire Fly, but Glacial Shard can suffice.
- For a 2-drop, Earthen Might and Menacing Nimbus are your primary choices.
- For a 3-drop, Tar Creeper is your only real option as Bog Slosher is a niche situational card that is not always useful on curve.
If you are going second and have the The Coin, you can adjust your curve accordingly. The best way to do this is to look for 4-drops like Tol'vir Stoneshaper and Fire Plume Phoenix in place of 3-drops.
Fire Plume Harbinger can also be kept in your opening hand as a 2 drop. This card gets a special mention as you need to adjust your curve accordingly due to its Battlecry, by keeping a 4-drop Elemental for Turn 3 and a 5-drop Elemental for Turn 4 and so on.
During the early turns, your aim is to play out your cards as smoothly as possible to secure the strongest possible board position. Fire Fly is the primary turn 1 play of the deck, but using Glacial Shard in its absence is also fine just to have a body on the board. As a followup, Fire Plume Harbinger is the best choice to set up future turns. However, if your turn 1 play is directly contested, Earthen Might can be a stronger choice if it will allow your 1-drop to make a value trade.
You should continue into the mid game by playing your strongest possible minion, remembering to take into account any Mana adjustments if you played Fire Plume Harbinger prior. During this time, your aim is to secure yourself the strongest board position possible. To do this, you should regularly take any value trades offered to you to help protect your other minions as well as using Battlecries like Fire Plume Phoenix to help take out threats.
In the early-mid game you will have access to the very niche Battlecry of Bog Slosher. The multifaceted effect can be used in a variety of ways and can take some practice to fully utilise. Against aggressive decks where board control is key, using Bog Slosher on a cheap minion like Fire Fly, Fire Plume Harbinger, or Flame Elemental will allow you take advantage of the solid +2/+2 buff gained once the card is replayed. However, in more value-oriented matchups, it can be great to save it to repeat the effect of high-value Battlecries like Grumble, Worldshaker, Kalimos, Primal Lord, or Blazecaller.
While using a deck so heavily based on the Elemental tribal synergy, it is important to plan turns in advance to ensure you are able to trigger relevant Battlecries when needed, especially cards like Blazecaller and Servant of Kalimos. While the natural curve of the deck makes this quite easy to do, it is important to note that Tol'vir Stoneshaper is, in fact, not a Elemental. This can be a common trap to fall into on turn 4, especially when planning on following it up with Servant of Kalimos.
Going into the late game, the overall strategy of the deck remains the same, except the Elementals get bigger and the Battlecries get even stronger, with cards like Blazecaller, Fire Elemental, and Kalimos, Primal Lord being able to have a huge impact on the board when played.
The sheer tempo gained through a consistent board presence will be more than enough to close out the game in some matchups, however, when this is not the case, there are a variety of paths you can take to continue throughout the game:
- For matchups where you just need that little bit more, Grumble, Worldshaker can be used for that little extra late-game push. Using it while in control of the board will allow you to bounce powerful minions like Blazecaller and Kalimos, Primal Lord to your hand so that you can use their Battlecries again for just 1 Mana to burn down your opponent.
- If things have slipped out of your control, Shudderwock can be used to swing back onto the board, however, this is not without risk. As most of the Battlecry effects of Elementals deal damage to any target, there is a large chance of collateral damage. For this reason, Shudderwock is best when you do not have board control but you Hero still has a respectable amount of Health remaining. As Shudderwock will repeat the Battlecries of cards like Blazecaller and Servant of Kalimos, it is also important to make sure you have played an Elemental the turn before Shudderwock to receive the full effect.
- If you begin to run out of tempo, Hagatha the Witch can be used to transition to a long, value-oriented, strategy to provide a consistent supply of resources to compete against Control decks like Odd Warrior.
Elemental Shaman is a fairly flexible archetype that can easily swap cards around. However, it is important not to forget that is a Midrange Tempo deck at heart and you should avoid fixating on Control cards like Volcano and Healing Rain.
Elementary Reaction can be considered in the deck to provide strong card draw for sustained pressure.
Quick Tips and Tricks
- Remember to plan your Elemental Battlecries ahead of time to ensure you meet the conditions for their activation.
- Holding onto a Flame Elemental is an easy way to ensure you can trigger future Elemental Battlecries
- Purposefully not triggering the Elemental effect for Shudderwock's Battlecry can avoid collateral damage from Blazecaller's Battlecry.
- Using Grumble, Worldshaker on a Bog Slosher will allow you to immediately bounce Shudderwock back to your hand.
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