Aggro Shaman deck (currently meta-viable)


I've been following trends in the big tournaments and reading articles all over the place and seen a lot of successful decks for rogues, mages and warlocks... But no decklist for Shamans, really.

I really like Shamans (despite the Overload mechanic) and had been trying for a while to make a good deck to play in Ranked. I did try control for a while, as that is usually my preferred archetype, but it just wasn't cutting it against all those aggressive decks out there... So I looked at the pool of Shaman cards and have designed this deck that seems to be doing really well so far.

I'm sure you could tweak the numbers a bit, but I think it does fairly well already. I'm obviously open to suggestions, as I'm not a "pro" by any means. I could mention I play it in 3-stars masters, but that hardly seems like an achievement by any means, nowadays.

2x Argent Squire
1x Bloodmage Thalnos (*)
1x Flametongue Totem
2x Knife Juggler
2x Novice Engineer
2x Shattered Sun Cleric
2x Dark Iron Dwarf
1x Defender of Argus
1x Azure Drake
1x Sylvanas Windrunner (*)
2x Argent Commander
2x Fire Elemental

1x Earth Shock
1x Forked Lightning
1x Lightning Bolt
2x Feral Spirit
2x Hex
2x Lightning Storm

2x Stormforged Axe

I certainly won't take credit for coming up with the aggro archetype, and I'm also sure a lot of shamans out there are already playing very similar builds, but feedback is very appreciated. : )

The deck is heavily inspired by Kithros and curi's rogue and warlock decks, respectively. The idea is to get some very cheap minions out, then buff them so that you end up always trading up (or that you trade equally, but your minion lives, while the other dies).

Since shaman can't draw extra cards like warlock can, I went with cards that provided card advantage despite having Overload. That means that you play cards with Overload a bit like you would use the warlock's ability to draw cards, but a turn earlier (you replace the extra card draw with the cards you "save" by having used a more efficient card, at the cost of back-loaded mana costs).

Now, some explanations about card choices:

I will assume that most everyone is familiar with those other two decktypes, so I will not go into detail over the neutral card choices, and will instead focus on the class-specific ones (I could provide more info if anyone wants).

Earth Shock: it's always nice to have a silence ready for those big annoying creatures with taunt or deathrattle, but it can also be used as spot removal, especially if you have + Spell Damage out. I trades wonderfully with the popular Loot Hoarder, Bloodmage Thalnos and Argent Squire.

Forked Lightning: you want to establish board control fairly early on, and that means getting rid of their 2/3 drops. Forked Lightning does a great job at that, while still letting you play a minion on the same turn. Just make sure you will have something to play as well next turn, due to the steep Overload cost.

Lightning Bolt: cheap, solid removal. Always great.

Stormforged Axe: in the current meta, this is almost a 3-for-1. You can establish dominance over all their 1 and 2 drops, or help trade favorably with their 3 or 4 drops. Make sure you only play it if you're gonna use it on the same turn, you wouldn't want them to ooze it on their turn and waste your card.

Flametongue Totem: I'm not a huge fan of the card, but since you will always have minions around, this lets your trade very favorably. And since it has a big target painted on it, they will use removal or their bigger minions to kill it, leaving your other minions alive. A great play to follow up a Feral Spirit play if rushed on turn 3.

Feral Spirit: steep Overload cost, but since it gives you 2 minions for 1 card, you get card advantage just by playing it! An easy to pretty much garantee you will have buff targets on the next turn, and stops rushes pretty efficiently.

Hex: best single target removal in the game. 'Nuff said.

Lightning Storm: probably the best AOE in the game. 'Nuff said again :P
(if the random damage annoys you, wait until you have +spell damage, but personnally I al;ways play it assuming I will only deal 2 to everything and plan accordingly).

Fire Elemental: this is essentially like having another set of Argent Commanders (I personally think they're even a bit better). Probably the best basic fatty there is.
Edited by phaustus on 11/21/2013 3:01 PM PST
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so 90% of the minions are all neutral minions that any class can put in there deck + combine with said classes spells.

Sounds like this deck could work for Mage and Lock too.
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so 90% of the minions are all neutral minions that any class can put in there deck + combine with said classes spells.

Sounds like this deck could work for Mage and Lock too.

If you read the description, it says the deck draws heavy inspiration from the likes of Kithros and curi's Rogue and Warlock decks, respectively. Also, I never claimed to have re-invented the wheel or anything...

Currently, most if not all meta-viable decks are aggro, and they all use the *same* minion base.

It's unfortunate, but as long as it'll work as well as it currently does, there isn't much reason not to include those minions...

Also, 14 cards out of 30 in the deck are actually shaman-specific. That's almost half the deck, which I'd say isn't too bad.

Let's face it, most shaman cards are pretty hit-or-miss: they're either fantastic or so crap you wouldn't wanna put them in any deck anyway, and they cover 3 different archetypes among them, so it's impossible to fit all of them into a deck and hope it'll work).

Would you really consider putting Earth Elemental, Mana Tide Totem, Dust Devil or Wind Speaker in such a deck? I know I wouldn't... (Earth Ele and Mana Tide are both good, but made for control decks, Dust Devil and Wind Speaker are just bad). The only option left that I could have added is Unbound Elemental, but my 3-drops are already overloaded (no pun intended), so there really was no room for him (and Shattered Sun Cleric will usually be superior).
Edited by phaustus on 11/25/2013 10:54 AM PST
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