The Beginner's Guide to Shaman

Posts: 2,565
08/30/2013 07:15 PMPosted by tangmcgame
I thought I'd suggest an alternative basic deck if you don't mind.

Nice suggestion. I've been playing with this deck for the past couple of days, and it's working very nicely. I'm planning to update the deck post sometime within the next couple of days.
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Posts: 273

One of the best opens this deck can have is Coin, summon a totem, then turn 2 Flametongue


Coin-Totem openings are a big risk: if your opponent is able to destroy the totem with something persistent, such as a weapon or a 2/1-3/1 Charge minion, you've pretty much given away board control.

Once you lose board control as a shaman it's pretty difficult to regain, as your opponent can kill totems as fast as you can cast them. Unlike a Mage, Warlock, Druid or Paladin you don't have easy access to strong board wipes. (Lightning Storm's randomness and Overload makes it inferior to AE/Blizz, swipe/starfall, hellfire, or consecrate - plus it's an Expert card)

When I play shaman, I tend to be highly aggressive on maintaining early game board control. If you use your creatures aggressively, and support them with Earth/Frost shock (plus Stormforged Axe if you have one, otherwise lightning spells) you can maintain board control all the way up until the point where you have 6 minions out and drop Bloodlust to end the game.
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Posts: 953
It definitely is an aggressive open, but they'd need a 2/1 Charge creature to kill your totem before you dropped Flametongue. Obviously, you wouldn't coin for the totem if you didn't have Flametongue in hand, and it's possible you'd want to save it for, say, a turn 2 Grizzly. I should probably just edit that part out, though, since it is such a situational play.
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Added some advice on building a custom deck as well as information on special abilities.
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So I committed to Shaman and disenchanted a bunch of stuff (including Alexstraza, who was neat, but not very useful) and bought a bunch of rares. My thinking was that buying lots of rares was better than just a few exotics since my average card would be much better. This is what I've got, and it's doing pretty well. Built with about 15 packs opened and nothing higher than rare in it.

Lightning Bolt x2
Rockbiter Weapon x2
Flametongue Totem x2
Feral Spirit x2
Hex x2
Lava Burst x2
Lightning Storm x2
Mana Tide Totem
Shattered Sun Cleric x2
Unbound Elemental x2
Sen'jin Shieldmasta x2
Spellbreaker x2
Windspeaker x2
Bloodlust x2
Azure Drake
Fire Elemental x2

I'll probably drop the Clerics and Drake for Doomhammer and some Earth Elementals. After that, might replace a Shieldmasta with another Mana Tide Totem. And eventually, I'm ditching a Windspeaker for Al'Akir.
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Posts: 28
Wow incredible guide thanks for posting!
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Posts: 2,565
Made a few more tweaks and updates.
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Posts: 2,565
Oppa Totem Style!
Enhancement Deck
Cost: 480 dust
http://www.hearthpwn.com/decks/7444-oppa-totem-style
Totemic Might (x2)
Frost Shock (x2)
Goldshire Footman (x2)
Rockbiter Weapon (x2)
Acidic Swamp Ooze (x2)
Flametongue Totem (x2)
*Ironbeak Owl (x2)
Hex (x2)
Murloc Tidehunter (x2)
*Lightning Storm (x2)
*Mana Tide Totem (x2)
Shattered Sun Cleric (x2)
Sen'jin Shieldmasta (x2)
Bloodlust (x2)
Fire Elemental (x2)

  • Improved Enhancement deck with a strong Totem foundation.
  • Totemic Might provides greater longevity to Flametongue and Mana Tide Totems.
  • Ironbeak Owl provides Silence.
  • Lightning Storm provides AOE removal.


*Expert card (obtained from expert packs or crafting)
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Posts: 2,565
Rock 'em, shock 'em!
Elemental Deck
Cost: 560 dust
http://www.hearthpwn.com/decks/7443-rock-em-shock-em
*Earth Shock (x2)
*Forked Lightning (x2)
Frost Shock (x2)
Rockbiter Weapon (x2)
Acidic Swamp Ooze (x2)
Frostwolf Grunt (x2)
Kobold Geomancer (x2)
Dalaran Mage (x2)
Hex (x2)
*Lightning Storm (x2)
*Mana Tide Totem (x2)
Ogre Magi (x2)
Sen'jin Shieldmasta (x2)
Fire Elemental (x2)
Lord of the Arena (x2)

  • Intermediate elemental Shaman.
  • Potent control provided by strong AOE and Shock spells.
  • Spells augmented by Kobold Geomancer, Dalaran Mage, and Ogre Magi.


*Expert card (obtained from expert packs or crafting)
Edited by Khalanil on 11/6/2013 9:05 AM PST
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Posts: 286
One important bit you have wrong in this regarding the Frostwolf Warlord.

He doesn't just naturally have +1/1 for every minion on your side. He has a battle cry that grants him +1/1 for every minion on your side. This means that this bonus will only be calculated once: When you first play him. You can't strengthen him by adding more minions or weaken him by killing minions.
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Posts: 953
One important bit you have wrong in this regarding the Frostwolf Warlord.

He doesn't just naturally have +1/1 for every minion on your side. He has a battle cry that grants him +1/1 for every minion on your side. This means that this bonus will only be calculated once: When you first play him. You can't strengthen him by adding more minions or weaken him by killing minions.


Bear in mind, at the time of the guide's writing, Frostwolf Warlord worked as the guide says it does. It was only with the recent balance patch that the Warlord was adjusted to have a Battlecry effect that triggered only on deploy.
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Posts: 2,565
Thanks for the catch. I'd been meaning to update that but hadn't gotten around to it. The Frostwolf Warlord information has now been updated to match current content.
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Posts: 154
Great job. Thanks for putting the time in.
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Some things that aren't included in this thread. As someone who strictly only plays shaman except for dailies, and has been through all of beta I think I know a little bit about the class.

Bloodlust is a win more card. You should only have 1 in your deck, even in rush decks if you are going to have it in your deck at all.

Slow roll your creatures, even as rush. Good players will keep your board clear at almost all times. By slow rolling your creatures out, you force them to blow control on things they normally wouldn't want to.

Shaman weapons are mediocre at best now, since we got no form of self healing or mitigation.

Shaman is a weak class at the moment of posting this, and takes a lot of dedication and play time against actual good players to get good with it. It is the class that probably involves the most thought and math (even though it is like 6th grade math :P) cause of overload.

I personally feel at higher levels of play, windfury is a must in any deck in some form. It is going to be your win condition, force control spells out at bad times. It is the shamans only good mechanic, and getting cozy with it is a good idea.

You don't need to play taunts to be successful (as any class). I play 0 taunts, including 0 frost wolves in my deck and still got a 81% win/loss ratio. Taunts are usually thrown down to slow the tide of battle, but most shaman decks can and should be able to clear the taunt while keeping offensive assuming you got a offense down.

Fire elemental is a must. Don't fall for Earth elemental. You get overloaded, and by turn 5 every class has an answer for it. Earth elemental is one of those cards to test your ability to see if a card is actually decent or not. In arena, I'd say Earth Elemental is a good choice though.

It is unrealistic to think you are going to hold onto a double rockbiter + windfury in your hand to do some sort of lolwin. Against good players, you -will- have to use rockbiter to keep damage to a minimum.

A fairly cheap to make shaman deck that got me to 3 star masters easily twice in a row was this.

2x Earth Shock
2x Rockbiter Weapon
1x Acidic Swamp Ooze
1x Faerie Dragon
2x Flametongue Totem
2x Novice Engineer
2x Hex
2x Lightning Storm
2x Earthen Ring Farseer
1x Manatide
2x Chillwind Yeti
2x Dark Iron Dwarf
2x Spellbreaker
2x Windspeaker
1x Bloodlust (Can replace this with whatever you want.)
2x Azure Drake
2x Fire elemental

The deck is very inexpensive, and the idea is to know when to drop creatures and how to exchange them. Flametongue makes all 2 mana drops a big threat.
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Posts: 154

2x Earth Shock
2x Rockbiter Weapon
1x Acidic Swamp Ooze
1x Faerie Dragon
2x Flametongue Totem
2x Novice Engineer
2x Hex
2x Lightning Storm
2x Earthen Ring Farseer
1x Manatide
2x Chillwind Yeti
2x Dark Iron Dwarf
2x Spellbreaker
2x Windspeaker
1x Bloodlust (Can replace this with whatever you want.)
2x Azure Drake
2x Fire elemental


This has been really helpful for me. I replaced the bloodlust with a feral spirit, and I'm having no trouble climbing at 2-star diamond.

One question: I never seem to be able to get the mana tide totems out for more than one turn. When do you prefer to play them? Is the point just to get one draw out of them, and provide a high-priority target?
Edited by Aspera on 10/21/2013 9:10 AM PDT
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- Hearthstone
Posts: 13,852
Some things that aren't included in this thread. As someone who strictly only plays shaman except for dailies, and has been through all of beta I think I know a little bit about the class.

Bloodlust is a win more card. You should only have 1 in your deck, even in rush decks if you are going to have it in your deck at all.

Slow roll your creatures, even as rush. Good players will keep your board clear at almost all times. By slow rolling your creatures out, you force them to blow control on things they normally wouldn't want to.

Shaman weapons are mediocre at best now, since we got no form of self healing or mitigation.

Shaman is a weak class at the moment of posting this, and takes a lot of dedication and play time against actual good players to get good with it. It is the class that probably involves the most thought and math (even though it is like 6th grade math :P) cause of overload.

I personally feel at higher levels of play, windfury is a must in any deck in some form. It is going to be your win condition, force control spells out at bad times. It is the shamans only good mechanic, and getting cozy with it is a good idea.

You don't need to play taunts to be successful (as any class). I play 0 taunts, including 0 frost wolves in my deck and still got a 81% win/loss ratio. Taunts are usually thrown down to slow the tide of battle, but most shaman decks can and should be able to clear the taunt while keeping offensive assuming you got a offense down.

Fire elemental is a must. Don't fall for Earth elemental. You get overloaded, and by turn 5 every class has an answer for it. Earth elemental is one of those cards to test your ability to see if a card is actually decent or not. In arena, I'd say Earth Elemental is a good choice though.

It is unrealistic to think you are going to hold onto a double rockbiter + windfury in your hand to do some sort of lolwin. Against good players, you -will- have to use rockbiter to keep damage to a minimum.

A fairly cheap to make shaman deck that got me to 3 star masters easily twice in a row was this.

2x Earth Shock
2x Rockbiter Weapon
1x Acidic Swamp Ooze
1x Faerie Dragon
2x Flametongue Totem
2x Novice Engineer
2x Hex
2x Lightning Storm
2x Earthen Ring Farseer
1x Manatide
2x Chillwind Yeti
2x Dark Iron Dwarf
2x Spellbreaker
2x Windspeaker
1x Bloodlust (Can replace this with whatever you want.)
2x Azure Drake
2x Fire elemental

The deck is very inexpensive, and the idea is to know when to drop creatures and how to exchange them. Flametongue makes all 2 mana drops a big threat.


I like this deck build, but i do have a few questions about it.

1) Do you feel you have too much silence in this deck? Granted, I'd rather have too much silence than too little, but 4 feels like a bit overkill.

2) Do you run into hand-size issues? I'm noticing you have very little in the way of draw engines (I count Mana Tide and 4 Cantrips), and you're seemingly using a mid-range deck. I expect you wouldn't run into hand-size issues in a game that's 10 turns or less, but beyond that, I'd expect you'd start running out of cards. Any issues with that?

3) Ever consider running Stormwind Champion x1? Particularly since you have nothing over a 6-drop, this card can be a good backup card when the game stagnates, you can't get minions on the table, but you have several totems out.

P.S. Not that I'm objecting to the lack of taunts, but you're missing the point of them. It's true that taunt minions can be used to defend your hero from direct damage, but that's not their real strength. The main strength of taunt minions is that they restrict your opponent's options. During your opponent's turn, its supermarket sweeps, in that they can attack whatever they want, ignoring minions they can't handle and picking off your weak minions. Putting a single taunt minion on the table really constricts their options. This is actually one of the misconceptions with taunts, where people often think "Oh, cool, I have 7 gajillion taunt minions on the table, aren't I awesome?" That's good if you're trying to block some sort of charge attack on the table, but TWO taunt minions now gives the enemy options, because they can attack whichever one is better for them.
Edited by Sar on 10/21/2013 4:37 PM PDT
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Posts: 106

Slow roll your creatures, even as rush. Good players will keep your board clear at almost all times. By slow rolling your creatures out, you force them to blow control on things they normally wouldn't want to.

What is "slow roll"?
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Posts: 47
"Expert Set" You mean cards from packs right? Or is there some other unlocks I'm not aware of.
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Posts: 1
I had a good performance with Overload deck, won nine of the first ten games that I played, I would like suggestions to improve it! Thanks
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Posts: 99
@Aionion: slow roll is when you do not play all your creatures even If you could.
You keep backups in your hand. If the enemy kills one of your minions than next turn you play one or two, but not more. So even if the mage clears your board you have 2-3 minions as backup.

I rarely have more than 4 creatures out including totems. With our arsenal this army is a threat.
If the enemy uses AoE, I can quickly replace the fallen bodies (usually 2 monsters and 2 totems) takes maximum 2 turns.

I think you get the point. :)
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