When blizzard going do something about shaman

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Shaman is like automatic concede because so much way can destroy anything you throw at them. No matter if there aggro , midrang and so on. The only thing that god against a shaman is another shaman.
We are keeping an eye on Shaman decks and we’ll see how they develop. We say that a lot. Here is what it means:

Okay, so: there are a few different kinds of Shaman decks:

- There are aggressive Shaman decks that play a Pirate package and no Jade cards
- There are slightly slower Shaman decks that play Pirates and Jade cards
- And there are even slower Shaman decks that play the Jade cards but no Pirates

All of those decks are strong, but they are all weak against Dragon decks (like Priest and Warrior) and Reno decks. If you’re tired of losing to Shamans, play Reno Warlock. In some ways, that is fine: Shamans are popular, but there are strategies that are good against them.

In other ways, it is less fine. Collectively, Shamans are popular; you play against a Shaman about one game in four. Now, the reason that a ‘balanced’ metagame is desirable isn’t because ‘balanced’ metagames don’t have dominant strategies. They are desirable because you play against different classes more frequently, which means you have a wider variety in the types of Hearthstone games that you play. Playing Shaman isn’t a dominant strategy – again, they lose to plenty of decks – but it is still boring to play against the same class over and over again.

And even though the Shaman decks have distinct differences, those differences are small. If you played against Warlocks one game in four, but half of your Warlock opponents were playing slow Reno control decks and the other half were playing aggressive minion decks, those games would feel very different from one another. On the other hand, when you lose to Tunnel Trogg, Totem Golem, Feral Spirit three times in a row, it doesn’t matter if some of those Shamans had a Pirate package or if one of them had Jade cards. Your games still felt very homogenous and weren’t that fun especially the third time around.

The point I am trying to make is ‘classes can be problematic even though they do not win too often.’ Shamans don’t win too often. Right now, they are more popular than we’d like. If they are too popular for too long, we will do something about it, as we did when we nerfed them a couple of months ago. However, it takes time to assess whether or not a class will cause the game to feel too homogenous for too long. On release, Mech Mage and recently Pirate Warrior were more popular than Shamans have ever been – but only for a few weeks, then people discovered alternative strategies and the decks became less popular. Because we know that Shamans have weaknesses, we hope that those strategies will become more popular and drive down Shaman popularity a bit so that you play against more classes more often.

We are going to keep evaluating Shaman popularity in the near future, and if we don’t like what we see, we will change something about the metagame. Perhaps we will change a card. Perhaps we will see Shaman popularity fall and not have to step in at all. Perhaps we will wait to introduce a new set and see if that creates the metagame change we want. Either way, it is a thing we are actively concerned about and paying attention to.
Thanks, Max, for a more substantive peek at some of the thinking going on right now. Nice to know that the dev team is aware of the "different but similar" nature of the Meta as it stands and are not overreacting to it.
Wow.
The disparity between the quality of the OP and the reply is unprecedented as far as I know. This is the most encouraging sight I've ever seen on this forum.
I just lost turn 4 vs rank 4 legend shaman even though I played a card every turn.

Amazing!
We are keeping an eye on Shaman decks and we’ll see how they develop. We say that a lot. Here is what it means:

And even though the Shaman decks have distinct differences, those differences are small. If you played against Warlocks one game in four, but half of your Warlock opponents were playing slow Reno control decks and the other half were playing aggressive minion decks, those games would feel very different from one another. On the other hand, when you lose to Tunnel Trogg, Totem Golem, Feral Spirit three times in a row, it doesn’t matter if some of those Shamans had a Pirate package or if one of them had Jade cards. Your games still felt very homogenous and weren’t that fun especially the third time around.

[/quote]

I think this here is really the heart of the issue. With that said, I'm not 100% sure Shaman needs a nerf if Totem Golem and Tunnel Trogg will be rotating out soon anyways. Maybe just ride out the pain and learn from past mistakes and not let a class get such overstatted early game minions that can effectively end games turn 2 or 3.
01/13/2017 03:27 PMPosted by Theman
Why can't we downvote blue posts? His post was awful.

Basically they are hoping people will just magically stop playing shaman in hopes of other decks, AN only if people don't will they start to consider a card nerf. Just terrible.

At this point in time they not nerf Shaman.

Trogg and TG rotate out in March/April and with it will go the strong opener all but the Control decks use (and they lose tools as well).

Shaman was so strong due to the catch-up Blizzard played with them in TGT/LOE but will be significantly different, and probably weaker, once those sets rotate
01/13/2017 03:38 PMPosted by Lykotic
Trogg and TG rotate out in March/April


pirate warrior is real cancer AND IT WONT ROTATE out IN TWO YEARS. I think its time to nerf pirate.
01/13/2017 03:44 PMPosted by Josser
01/13/2017 03:38 PMPosted by Lykotic
Trogg and TG rotate out in March/April


pirate warrior is real cancer AND IT WONT ROTATE out IN TWO YEARS. I think its time to nerf pirate.

Shaman still benefits more from Trogg and TG than Pirates overall. Aggro probably benefits equally from the two
01/13/2017 01:59 PMPosted by Max McCall

We are going to keep evaluating Shaman popularity in the near future, and if we don’t like what we see, we will change something about the metagame. Perhaps we will change a card. Perhaps we will see Shaman popularity fall and not have to step in at all. Perhaps we will wait to introduce a new set and see if that creates the metagame change we want. Either way, it is a thing we are actively concerned about and paying attention to.


It is all well and nice to say that playing warlock is a good way to beat shaman but what if I don't want to play the warlock deck you propose as a natural counter to it? I envision a game where all classes have a variety of deck options available to them. It's obvious that what I want from the game is different than what you offer but I still enjoy playing it.

For example, the jade rogue deck is kind of dead on arrival based on the card designs you went ahead with. You gave one less jade type card to rogue and two of the three types of cards are deathrattle based, one of them overall a very weak card that is usually only useful if you can play raptor on it in turn three otherwise the deck stalls.

For a class that has a lot of bouncing mechanics you intentionally hamstrung it so how can it compete against the quality of shaman cards. It's erroneous to claim that miracle rogue is the classes saving grace because it's a deck that lives or dies by the perfect storm situation by turn 6.

It's remarkable how useless the miracle rogue deck when your opponent plays a lot of taunts and shaman has lots of taunts to spare. Rogue is in a situation where it is designed to not be able to keep up.

Other class weaknesses exist but cards don't reflect the whole game environment as whole very well.

Mind you I thought volcanic potion was a brilliant card that mage needed.

Keep on gaming have fun.
I do feel that with some of their powerful cards rotating out soon that shamans don't necessarily need a hard nerf applied but I do hope the devs learn from their mistakes with the class moving forward so we don't have another class rise to the power of shaman in the future.

Simply put, they gave shaman too many strengths and not enough weaknesses. The same deck could have a strong early game, strong mid game, great board clears, great single target clears, quick board repopulation, and terrific burst potential.

Overload needs to be a real hindrance again, which I hope it will be in future cards. That coupled with the rotation of certain cards, should be enough.
01/14/2017 12:14 AMPosted by GlowingEmber
It is all well and nice to say that playing warlock is a good way to beat shaman but what if I don't want to play the warlock deck you propose as a natural counter to it? I envision a game where all classes have a variety of deck options available to them. It's obvious that what I want from the game is different than what you offer but I still enjoy playing it.


But from this statement that's not what you want. What you want is for all strategies with all classes to be equally viable, which isn't just feasible it's bad game design. Game design for games like Hearthstone take a more asymmetric system into play, where there is a rotating meta of decks and archtypes changing to beat the competition. Strengths and weaknesses of the decks is what creates this type of game, and it's a known good design philosophy when done right that has its own merits and shortcomings. It sounds to me like symmetric game design is what you are after, something more akin to chess.

As for the variation in decks, most classes have at least two distinct styles of play. Warriors have control, dragon, and pirate. Priests have Reno and Dragon, Rogue has Jade and Miracle, Mage has Reno and tempo, Warlock has zoo and Reno.

The issue though is that other classes are lacking appropriate tools and a rotation isn't really forming. Jade rogue doesn't have to beat the aggro shaman if reno warlock and dragon priest do, as long as jade rogue has viable decks it can be as well. But dead weight classes like paladin and hunter drag this rotation down, and classes like shaman where it's basically one deck in three flavors create a negative feeling on the ladder. The design philosophy is stellar when it's delivered upon.

My suggestion is that if you have more of a problem with the different deck archtypes not having an even win chance against each other, that Hearthstone is likely no going to change that way, it's just not the design goal.

If your problem is more that some classes are restrictive and not every style is valid enough to cause proper rotation and play, then I could certainly agree with that.
01/13/2017 01:59 PMPosted by Max McCall
All of those decks are strong, but they are all weak against Dragon decks (like Priest and Warrior) and Reno decks. If you’re tired of losing to Shamans, play Reno Warlock. In some ways, that is fine: Shamans are popular, but there are strategies that are good against them.


Is this really true though?

Looking at the VS data reaper stats aggro shaman is slightly unfavoured vs Reno mage+ptiest, control warrior and control shaman (lol!) , against everything else it is even or favoured, so i think saying something like dragon priest is strong against it is stretching it a bit.

And that's the issue, it SHOULD lose to dragon priest, that's how you envisioned it to work, but in reality shaman is so freaking strong that it can and does run straight over an archetype that should be its nemesis.

I know shaman will lose Trogg and golem on rotation, but cards like spirit claws, maelstrom portal, jade claws and jade lightning are extremely good and unless shaman gets absolutely nothing next set they will continue to dominate , and it's getting boring!

I was listening to Zalae on valuetown (episode 103) and he was bemoaning the fact that shaman was getting boring, but he felt compelled to play it as it was obviously the strongest deck, no class should have such an oppressive grip on the meta, and this has been going on for quite a while now.

TL:DR Shaman is too strong and has been dominating the meta for too long, time for some nerfs.
Remember when Shaman was it's own bottom-tier deck? I say let them have their place in the sun for bit more.

Like Max said, the class' win rate is not extreme at all. Problem is the scrubs and tryhards who all flock to play Shaman aggro/mid like it WAS extreme.
tunnel trogg should have been nerfed to work as mana wyrm effect but they will never nerf it I guess.
Shaman have few early game cards which are broken, and what mr. Max McCall said doesn't clarify why they print those cards at all.

Read following arguments and realize the mistakes in Totem Golem design:

1) A drop with premium 3 mana stats for 2 mana. The 4 health is what makes him impossible to remove on turn 3 for most classes except rogue or mage. And that needs a combination of 2 cards like something + Eviscerate, Shadowstrike, Backstab + Agent, or Spell Power + Arcane Blast in mage etc.

I get it it was designed to grant an early game presence for shamans in times where they were actual underdogs amongst all classes, but you should realy make it either 3/3 or, if you go with sticky minion -2/4 stat distribution, because it kills for free 1/3 1 mana drops, and goes 2x1 with most of 2 drops which make it impossible to come back on board against shaman

2) Overload is irrelevant, because most of shaman cards are undercosted for effects offered.

Look this example: Shaman coins out Totem Golem (which always gives me cancer btw). Next turn despite he has 1 mana to spent HE STILL IS ABLE TO USE UNDERCOSTED 2 mana damage removal such as Lightning Bolt, so the downside of being overloaded doesn't realy matters because another overload card is UNDERCOSTED, since most classes have access to 3 damage removal only for 2 mana.

Same story with Lighting Storm and Spirit Wolves and, ofcourse 4 mana 7/7.

This make it so SHAMANS ACTUALY STARTING GAME WITH AN INNERVATE but the better version of innervate, which doesn't cost you a card.

3) The amount of weapons in shaman is absurd, Some classes have removals but not weapons, other have weapons but not removals, while shaman GOT EVERYTHING. This makes it impossible to come back on board just by throwing minions, just because:

- your on-curve minions cannot compete with shaman OFF- CURVE minions with overload.

- shaman can secure this OP minions either with Weapons or Spells.

4) The devs realy should realise the ABYSS between defending player and player that is ahead on board and threatens your life total.

Defensive player not only loose face damage just because he is forced to trade into minions but also, when he just throw spells to get rid of single minion he still remains behind on tempo. In order to catch up he needs to remove and put a minion at same turn wich is pretty much impossible.

The only thing that can swing a game against shaman is ultimate board clears like Brawl. Basicaly, just Brawl, because Damage Based AOE which able to clear 3-4 health minions comes too late (like flamestrike). By that point shaman just finishing game by throwing few direct damage spells in your face.

5) Max McCall mentioned that dragon priest is good against shaman. Yeah thats right man! GUESS WHY?

Because Dragon synergistic cards ALLOW YOU TO PLAY OFF-CURVE (overpowered) STATS in the same fashion AS SHAMAN DO. You play 3/5 Blackwing Technician on turn 3 which is a 4 mana worth of stats right? And so on. With bunch of health buffs it allows you to compete on board, no surprise there.
01/13/2017 01:59 PMPosted by Max McCall
We are keeping an eye on Shaman decks and we’ll see how they develop. We say that a lot. Here is what it means:

Okay, so: there are a few different kinds of Shaman decks:

- There are aggressive Shaman decks that play a Pirate package and no Jade cards
- There are slightly slower Shaman decks that play Pirates and Jade cards
- And there are even slower Shaman decks that play the Jade cards but no Pirates

All of those decks are strong, but they are all weak against Dragon decks (like Priest and Warrior) and Reno decks. If you’re tired of losing to Shamans, play Reno Warlock. In some ways, that is fine: Shamans are popular, but there are strategies that are good against them.

In other ways, it is less fine. Collectively, Shamans are popular; you play against a Shaman about one game in four. Now, the reason that a ‘balanced’ metagame is desirable isn’t because ‘balanced’ metagames don’t have dominant strategies. They are desirable because you play against different classes more frequently, which means you have a wider variety in the types of Hearthstone games that you play. Playing Shaman isn’t a dominant strategy – again, they lose to plenty of decks – but it is still boring to play against the same class over and over again.

And even though the Shaman decks have distinct differences, those differences are small. If you played against Warlocks one game in four, but half of your Warlock opponents were playing slow Reno control decks and the other half were playing aggressive minion decks, those games would feel very different from one another. On the other hand, when you lose to Tunnel Trogg, Totem Golem, Feral Spirit three times in a row, it doesn’t matter if some of those Shamans had a Pirate package or if one of them had Jade cards. Your games still felt very homogenous and weren’t that fun especially the third time around.

The point I am trying to make is ‘classes can be problematic even though they do not win too often.’ Shamans don’t win too often. Right now, they are more popular than we’d like. If they are too popular for too long, we will do something about it, as we did when we nerfed them a couple of months ago. However, it takes time to assess whether or not a class will cause the game to feel too homogenous for too long. On release, Mech Mage and recently Pirate Warrior were more popular than Shamans have ever been – but only for a few weeks, then people discovered alternative strategies and the decks became less popular. Because we know that Shamans have weaknesses, we hope that those strategies will become more popular and drive down Shaman popularity a bit so that you play against more classes more often.

We are going to keep evaluating Shaman popularity in the near future, and if we don’t like what we see, we will change something about the metagame. Perhaps we will change a card. Perhaps we will see Shaman popularity fall and not have to step in at all. Perhaps we will wait to introduce a new set and see if that creates the metagame change we want. Either way, it is a thing we are actively concerned about and paying attention to.


Thanks so much for the insight, it's really good to have this sort of post and see, for example, that you appreciate that it isn't just about power level.
Saying that, you didn't act on Secret Paladin and Midrange Shaman, and I really do hope that you aren't going to make us wade through the Pirate/Shaman meta until the next expansion is released, again. I know people who stopped playing because of Midrange Shaman and Pirates seem to be having the same effect. It's a real shame because, from where I'm sitting in the middle ranks anyway, there are so many good things about this expansion.
I understand that you want the meta to sort itself out and that you want to make sure Aggro is viable (important, I agree), but please do something quickly if these frequency rates do carry on.
The biggest problem probably is that blizz never properly replaced some classes' early game losses when standard hit, while others gained a ton of early game power through strong cards and synergy or at least stayed on the same level.

Hunter is dead, paladin ... maybe wallet dragon paladin is a thing, but aggro and mid range aren't doing it at the moment. The fact that he suggests to play reno decks (usually rather expensive dust wise) as a counter to hyper efficient and rather cheap decks begs the question whether it is not a better idea to add some early game minions for classes that are currently not seeing much competitive play and give hunter some much needed card draw.

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