New Shaman with a question.

Posts: 4,490
I'm trying out Shaman this season. I've made Legend all but one season, first 2 with Paladin control and last season with Druid Contol.

I'm currently rank 5 with my Druid but wanted to try out Shamwow because I love lightning and I love the thematics of the class as well as the Shaman class lore.

Problem I'm having is versus mainly Warlock aggro and Zoo variants....I'm having some trouble with Hunter but from what I understand Shamans just kinda gotta bend over and take it from Hunters...which is fine since at my rank I'm mainly seeing Zoo, Handlock and Control Warrior.

Anyways, my troubles with Warlock is that even with Pyromancer and Lightning Storm I am at such a low health by the time I stabilize that it is easypeasy for the Warlock to either pick me off with a Doomguard or just repopulate their board very rapidly.

Even when I draw into my second Lightning Storm it just seems like I can't hold off the continual onslaught of weenies.

I'm having such a tough time I've actually deranked back to 7(from almost 4)...and while I expect some losses while I'm growing into the class, I just feel like I'm missing something fundamental here...

By the time Defender of Argus is ready to come out, my board is normally cleared(I've rarely had even one target for Defender against Zoo) and as I said above, even when I luck sack most of the removal in my deck and Pyromancer it still only slows them down for a turn..

Any advice, tips etc appreciated.

I'm running a pretty standard control deck, nothing funky, just what you typically see in Shaman except I run one Auctioneer and one Pyromancer...

Edited by Intoshadows on 4/13/2014 6:24 PM PDT
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Posts: 1,515
I had to switch to 2x Pyromancers to up my consistency versus the warlock aggro. It was either that or add Forked Lightning, and I don't like the 2 overload on Forked in my standard shaman deck, plus Pyro = 3/2 minion if nothing else (although I run 2x Forked in a spell power shaman deck, but that deck tends to eat warlock aggro like candy - remarkable win rate versus it).

Some things that you may not think of are minor order of plays. There are lots of examples of the minor ways this influences the way a shaman has to play, but they add up over the course of a game, and most have to do with managing Overload and planning ahead. Let's say for one example your opening hand going second is Lightning Bolt, Rockbiter, Feral Spirit, and anything else + Coin. Turn 1 the warlock plays Flame Imp. Lightning Bolt has the potential to be buffed by spell damage, which could be important to save since you have the alternative of Rockbiter! If you respond with Rockbiter instead though, my opinion is that you just misplayed based on your hand at the time. Lightning Bolt on turn one leaves you one mana to respond on turn 2, which you have a card to do so with (Rockbiter) and then your mana curves into turn three with no overload to play Feral Spirits, thus not having to "waste" the Coin at any point so far. What you play and when may change based on draws, but you had an opening setup for a solid 2 minion removal into two 2/3 taunt minions, usually trading for 4+ cards using only three yourself (results vary, of course - you can't win EVERY game!).

The value trades of Feral Spirit, Pyromancers, and Lightning Storm are the only chance we have at beating mass minions because we can't match warlock card draw and need to do more with less cards. If you can get to the point you are playing a totem every turn, that can be an indication that you have stabilized and will win (only applicable to decks running Flametongues, else you can't get "Free" trades out of said totems).

Other times are simply not Storming early. It's better to take, for example, 9 damage from his three minions and let the warlock flood the board some more for you to pyro/bloodmage + storm on the next turn instead for better value. That could be anything from one to three more minions you remove with the one storm, or at least weaken for something else. It's a tough balancing act of letting some damage come through now and knowing when you need to stop all of it. Just because you COULD remove something does not mean it might not be wiser to save the single target removal if you already have a storm in hand that kills it too, so just let it hit you if you need to. If a warlock empties their hand and you aren't topdecking, you will generally win.

Side note: I'm not currently running Argus, because it doesn't help in the majority of matches I am in. Handlock, Aggro lock, and hunter, it's too slow against because you don't have anything to taunt or just a totem. Warrior control is played different, where Feral Spirits are a late-game card to absorb durability off Gorehowl or if in fear of Grommash, not early game - spamming totems and removing their minions is usually the key to beating them, and then they can't deal with the eventual fact that you get Stoneclaw Totem back every single turn they kill it.
Edited by Ranilin on 4/13/2014 8:25 PM PDT
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Posts: 4,490
Awesome! Thanks for the kindly and quick responces!

I can definitely say that playing Sham control is a completely different beast than either Paldin or Druid as it requires much more thought, planning and skillful play.

What would you suggest cutting for Defender?

As stands, I've already cut one and am currently running 1 Senjin, 1 Defender and 1 Inventor.

As I said Defender rarely feels like a solid play unless I manage to have a Spiriet Wolf left over, as taunting up a couple of totems doesn't feel like much value...

I've been contemplating cutting the seconds Defender for the second Senjin or possibly even and Earth Ele.

I understand Earth Ele can be dangerous against in the Tard matchup with Freezing Trap, Misdirect, Hunters Mark, and so many other ways to trivialize this giant of a taunt but I have been having some success with EE versus Zoo(which is where my troubles have been.

Anyways thanks for the feedback, I really am loving Shaman and unlike with my Druid deck, I feel like I have a great matchup versus Hand and Control Warrior.

Any other advice comment, etc is greatly appreciated!
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Posts: 13
Earth elemental is great vs zoo, but it sucks against control decks.
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