Shaman vs. Hunter Matchup Dilemma

Posts: 56
You have no idea how frustrating this matchup is.

Every game I attempt to mulligan for most of the following:

Argent Squire
Earth Shock
Feral Spirit
Stormforged Axe
Rockbiter Weapon
Lightning Bolt
Unbound elemental
Harvest Golem

The plan I have in mind is to trade efficiently with my cheap removal spells and weapons, while also ensuring favorable 2:1 trades with Squire and Golem.
To further strengthen my defenses, I use taunt-related cards such as Feral Spirit and Defender of Argus.
I thought the Feral Spirits were beefy enough to withstand Unleash the Hounds, but....
Turns out I was wrong.
Timber Wolf + Hounds + Hyena/or Buzzard = easily destroy my taunt lineup while gaining insane card draw for little cost or an insanely buffed minion.
With Hex as my only removal option (at the time), I find myself forced to waste the Hex to get rid of the Hound-buffed Hyena (before the Hyena can shave off 10+ health from me), or, I'm forced to use Lightning Storm to overkill the leftover hounds and their weaker companions before they dogpile me.
Only for next turn, he either plays a Savannah Highmane or a (insert-hard-to-kill Legendary card).

I know, you're probably thinking, "LOL, noob... Should've saved your spot removal."
Well for your information, a shaman only has two Hexes, and post-nerf Tinkmaster no longer works as a reliable hard removal.

And if I try to stick to only two minions on the board to minimize UTH's impact, the Hunter opponent gets to out-swarm my board with his beasts, beating me in the control game.
Or, he easily wipes my few minions with Multishot, Deadly Shot, or Arcane Shot (early game).

I'm not Paladin, so I don't have Guardian of Kings to buff my hero's health.
I'm not Warlock, so I don't have Jaraxxus to restore my nearly depleted health.
Voodoo Doctor and Earthen Ring Farseer would take up far more space than desired, eliminating four other cards I could be using.
And in exchange for the lack of such health, Shaman's supposed strength is board control and being able to swarm the field while emptying your opponent's field.

How am I supposed to that when Hunter can quickly destroy me regardless of the number of minions on my board?
Edited by SilentStorm on 4/7/2014 5:49 PM PDT
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Posts: 848
If they UTH and Timberwolf Alpha that's 2/1 with charge. Feral Spirit is 2/3. You shouldn't run Argent Squire in a Shaman deck. It's not good against hunter. Or pretty much anyone. AS a shaman, that is. If you can argent argent argus or sun fury, sure. But that's hardly ever gonna happen. Harvest Golem is solid. Against Hunters a Tazdingo is solid if you're just worried about Hunters.

http://imgur.com/hIfhukQ works for everything, for me. Even the hunters. I built it this way in mind for the Zoo and Miracle Rogue. Those are the ones I have trouble with.
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Posts: 433
04/07/2014 05:47 PMPosted by SilentStorm
And in exchange for the lack of such health, Shaman's supposed strength is board control and being able to swarm the field while emptying your opponent's field.


that's completely true and the main reason why hunter vs shaman is an unfair matchup.From my experience the way how i usually win against them is by doing 15-20 in one turn with Rockbitter,lava burst or lightning bolt but usually that only happen against bad and unexperienced hunters.
Edited by Yseros on 4/7/2014 5:57 PM PDT
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Posts: 433
04/07/2014 05:53 PMPosted by SylvaCoin
You shouldn't run Argent Squire in a Shaman deck


Why?
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Posts: 848
Well, it's good. But only versus certain decks. And really, a lot of divine shielded minions around. A smart player with at least one Blood Knight will easily counter that. Secondly, it's a 1/1 with shield. When that's gone the only way to utilize the healing totem is with argus. Sure it trades with a hunter 1 health minion well. But it doesn't deal enough counter damage to be useful later and it provides another token with UTH.
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Posts: 713
The goal, and how I stay 50/50 vs hunter UTH is to make them use UTH with no more than 2 minions out. You only keep 2 minions out at a time. When the hunter kills one or both, you upgrade. That way it keeps the hunter somewhat under control. More than 2 minions when UTH pops you will most likely lose. Unless of course those minions are vey big creature and the hunter did not get all of his combo off.
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Posts: 56
Hmmm.... Got an idea.

What about a Shaman token deck?
Like, playing my totems in conjunction with Imp Master and Violet Teacher?
If I let them survive long enough, I can swarm the field with 7+ monsters with only 2-3 cards, forcing them to play UTH earlier than planned?
And with Defender of Argus, Rockbiter, and Shattered Sun Cleric, I could dominate the minion trade game, right?
And, what about when I get enough dust to craft Hogger?
He generates a taunt/token each turn, so could that prove consistent with my strategy?
It could work against every deck in general with any decent AOE; once they kill off my tokens with AOE, my barely alive token-generating minion lives on for another turn to generate 1+ tokens.

And then, the late game...
Having spent all their removal, my opponent can only watch in terror as I now swarm the field with my fatties (e.g. Fire Elemental and Argent Commander).

Meanwhile, my hard removal and AOE is prepped and ready, having been saved throughout the early game as I (theoretically) dominated the early game with buffed up tokens.

Any constructive criticism or budget alternatives for my suggested cards?
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Posts: 848
The issue versus hunter is you do need some good RNG because if you stall they will just use their hero power and pass. So you need to have board presence, but not too much. It's really stupid and imbalanced that the only card you worry about of the Hunter. That's why I like Defender of Argus or sun fury. I keep a good chunk of minions out. But it's a 6/5 with taunt and a 4/5 with taunt. Or something like that.
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Posts: 848
The thing about these cards are they are ONLY good versus that one class. Hogger gets face rolled versus a Mage. And Hunters run that card that costs 0 that makes your card 1 health. Warlocks just use soul fire. Warriors have so much removal. And the Imp master is decent, but only if you play him on an empty board. Low budget would be Harvest Golem, Yeti Sunfury (cheap)
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Posts: 715
You shouldn't run Argent Squire in a Shaman deck. It's not good against hunter.


Quite frankly this guy just doesn't know what he's talking about. Tides was running shaman while ranked 3rd in legend and he was running argent squire, as well as knife juggler. He faced a few hunters, and didn't play around unleash. Shamans have a 40.54% win loss agaisnt hunters, not much you can do right now. It's our worst matchup, just play smart and hope RNG is really really on your side
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Posts: 56
Any crafting order for Legendaries in general when it comes to Shaman?

I don't know which one will do adequately against both aggro and control. Any suggestions?
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Posts: 715
04/07/2014 06:47 PMPosted by SilentStorm
Any crafting order for Legendaries in general when it comes to Shaman?

I don't know which one will do adequately against both aggro and control. Any suggestions?


If you're doing free to play I'd honestly wait a week or so and see. It's still pretty early in the season, so the "meta" is still changing a lot. I crafted Al'Akir a few days ago, and it's a dead card vs our hardest matchup (hunter), so it kinda sucks. Bloodmage thalnos and Al'Akir are the only two legendaries being run right now for most shamans. You could also think about crafting a Doomhammer if you don't have it already.
Edited by Darkdk on 4/7/2014 7:00 PM PDT
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Posts: 40
04/07/2014 06:47 PMPosted by SilentStorm
Any crafting order for Legendaries in general when it comes to Shaman?

I don't know which one will do adequately against both aggro and control. Any suggestions?

Take my advice with a grain of salt and maybe wait for other more experienced player to make a suggestion but in my opinion you can't really go wrong with Thalnos. Extra spellpower in a pinch for the same cost as the totem but with 100% guaranteed effect and card draw will always do well. Might not do to hot against hunters, but then again what does in our decks?
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Posts: 56
Got 2 Doomhammer's through packs already; disenchanted the second one. :D

Also got a Faceless Manipulator through a pack, lucky me.

So, I'm down to my last few choices: Cairne, Sylvanas, Ragnaros, Ysera, and Alexstrasza. Which one should I craft first against this aggro-infested meta?
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Posts: 848
04/07/2014 06:41 PMPosted by Darkdk
You shouldn't run Argent Squire in a Shaman deck. It's not good against hunter.


Quite frankly this guy just doesn't know what he's talking about. Tides was running shaman while ranked 3rd in legend and he was running argent squire, as well as knife juggler. He faced a few hunters, and didn't play around unleash. Shamans have a 40.54% win loss agaisnt hunters, not much you can do right now. It's our worst matchup, just play smart and hope RNG is really really on your side


I said don't run a Argent Squire in a Shaman deck. Because this post was about playing against Hunter. Sure it's a tough match up. There are different kind of decks out there. And yeah, playing with something different can throw other players for a loop. But still, in the mid-low range Argent Squire Shaman is still not a good idea. I'd use it with other decks, but not Shaman. My opinion obviously.
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Posts: 848
It depends on what kind of cards you already have. I have been playing since closed beta so I have practically all of them already. But for newer players. You want to get the most bang so you can climb in the ranks. I'd take a lot of good rares over one legendary. As that increases the quality of your deck by that much more with many good cards. Azure Drake is very good. As is a sun fury. Then there's the Shaman class cards like Feral, Storm, and Earth Elemental. But if you're set on making a legendary, I think Cairne is the best for a control deck because he will likely trade with two cards and against silence he's still a yeti. Ragnaros is turn 8 and Ysera is turn 9. If you get past to that high of a turn you've already beaten down the Hunter. RNG is a factor which is why I prefer to have more solid cards than one good one. I only run 2 legendaries in my deck. Cairne and Thalnos.
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Posts: 56
Okay, good suggestions thus far.

Now, how about a way to reliably increase the HP of my minions (to get outside the range of "killable by AOE")?

Rogue is the class specializing in the stealth mechanic; whereas, Blood Imp is exclusive to Warlock. Sword of Justice is exclusive to Paladin; and since Shaman is not Priest, I can't heal myself or my minions.

Young Priestess is easily sniped by the Mage's Fireball or easily wiped out by light AOE such as Wild Pyromancer, Abomination, Consecration, or Arcane Explosion.

Healing Totem makes minion trading much more efficient, but lacks the overheal that can be achieved by Young Priestess and Blood Imp.

In my opinon, Stormwind Champion is decently tough, but a lightning rod for hard removal, so I consider his buffs to be often short-lived.

Rockbiter and Bloodbust do count as buffs, but only in regards to attack, not survivability.

So, in essence, looking for a:
1) global
2) long-term
3) minion HP buff
4) viable for Shaman's control strategy
5) and to survive AOE
Edited by SilentStorm on 4/7/2014 7:38 PM PDT
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Posts: 40
Not really sure what you are looking for, but if you mean neutral cards that do some of those things there is the Raidleader I think as a cheaper Stormwind Champion as well as defenders of Argus which gives +1/+1 as well as taunt. Raidleader isn't that good I think but defenders are plenty viable.
Then there is also Shattered Sun Cleric which also provides a one time +1/+1 to a single minion.
That's from the top of my head, there might be some others but I can't think of any now. If you want to be out of AoE range consider including Yeti's and Shieldmasta if you haven't done so already.
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Posts: 155
The key to beat a hunter is to rush them down before they rush you down.

Beat one today by using bolt in his face + rockbitter + windfury on my unbound in the forth turn or so, he was 28 hp, after that he got with 14, i was with 22. After this he had to use his UTH without comboing with buzzard or anything else just to destroy my unbound.

Beat another using the same combo turn, just with flametongue + feral spirit + rockbitter + windfury as early as i could.

If you are able to put enough pression on him early game you will most probably win. Dont be afraid to use your removals on his face, or even comboing him when you have the chance even without having lethal (you probably wont have another chance to combo him anyways), remember they cant heal too and when he sees that he is almost 10 hp and you still with 20+ he will start to ignore your face and try to clean your field, and when it comes to field control, hunters dont have a chance against shamans.
Edited by Guedes on 4/7/2014 8:12 PM PDT
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Posts: 56
04/07/2014 07:54 PMPosted by Castozer
Not really sure what you are looking for


I'm just looking for a way to do 1 of 2 things I believe are necessary for victory at Hearthstone:

1) Assume board control with cheap minions that maintain presence for a REALLY long time, trading efficiently, and eventually transitioning to the late game smoothly.

or

2) Forget about long-term presence; focus on ways to replenish the board and your hand faster than your opponent can.

Therefore, I looked for the class which best supported a minion-centered strategy.
That narrowed down my choices to Paladin and Shaman.

Paladin had tons of Divine Shield buffs and a couple interesting combos with Pyromancer+Equality and Equality+Consecrate, but it lacked hard removal and direct damage for the most part if I didn't draw the two exact cards at the right moment.

Shaman on the other hand, felt more well-rounded, maintaining the theme of minion buffs and swarming while having the single-target hard removal and direct damage I desired. Shaman, in my opinion, is the Jack-of-all-Trades.

Anyway, does this change any of the advice you guys you just gave me? I feel that the hunter class pretty much invalidates all of the shaman class strengths, forcing me to hold back minions in my hand and thus becoming mana inefficient with my plays.

I appreciate the above mentioned burst damage combos as valued advice, but what if I don't draw that exact combo? I'm looking for consistency against hunters, not just flashy tactics.

I hope the above self-analysis was informative enough.
Edited by SilentStorm on 4/7/2014 10:30 PM PDT
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