Fade2Karma Deck of the Week: Midrange Shaman

by JR Cook on         follow @Eldorian

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Written by @F2K_Chalk

Every week the pros from team Fade2Karma break down the “Deck of the Week” . These decks are seeing a lot of play either in constructed ladder or tournaments. Team F2K explain the deck lists and how to play them. View past Deck Lists of the Week.

The forgotten archetype that’s making a comeback, Midrange Shaman has gotten stronger after the TGT (The Grand Tournament) release. The deck reached its peak after Hearthstone introduced the expansion Curse of Naxxramas where Shaman got a lot of great cards like Zombie Chow, Haunted Creeper, Sludge Belcher, and many others. Midrange Shaman hasn’t seen much play during GVG and Blackrock Mountain although many pro players like GOOBYSENCHOU, Hotform, and Hawkeye were making it work. TGT cards such as Totem Golem and Tuskarr Totemic have made Midrange Shaman a force to be reckoned with.chalk-legend-125

Core Cards (13)

It is advisable to experiment with different cards to build the deck since TGT is still new and no one has made a staple deck list yet. In my opinion, Midrange Shaman has only 13 cards that you can’t remove. 17 cards is a lot to fill; your play style, and expected matchups will matter most in completing your deck.

Card Draw Mechanic

Since the beginning of Hearthstone, Shaman is one of the classes that struggle with card draw. Having more cards in your hand means you have more options/better plays; that is exactly why Warlock is the one of the most powerful classes in the game. I’d say 3 cards that make you cycle is enough for the deck to work.

  • Azure Drake – as you play the deck, you will notice that there are times when you don’t have a good play on turn 5; that is why I made Azure Drake a core card (same as Rogue). The second copy will make your curve consistent.
  • Bloodmage Thalnos – if the 2nd Azure Drake is too much for you and you want to curve low. The card fits best when you play spells like Earth Shock, Lightning Storm or Crackle. You might even consider putting this in even if you have the 2nd drake, making your deck a spell power nightmare.
  • Mana Tide Totem – the card is unbelievable when unchecked. When you expect that your opponent has no good plays next turn, it’s a great turn 3 threat. Other players are adding 2 copies to synergize with Draenei Totemcarver.

Anti-Aggro

Another problem that Shamans face is the lack of health. Cards such as Sludge Belcher, Healing Totem, Antique Healbot and the new card Healing Wave might be a good fit for you.

End-Game Burst

The idea of the deck is to gain board control early, then burst them down to lethal. Midrange Shaman has no room for a handful of big scary legendaries that is why burst is important.

  • Al’akir the Windlord – the card that definitely does the job. A turn 10 Al’akir + double Rockbiters, or a Flametongue Totem will finish your opponent most of the time.
  • Doomhammer – a card you can consider to replace the windlord. It sets your opponent on a clock and the card costs less. Put it in your deck as soon as you’re sure that most people aren’t playing Harrison Jones.
  • Bloodlust – not many players add this card to their list that’s why Bloodlust surprises a lot of people. Make sure that your list plays a lot of sticky minions.

Removals

We adjust our removals as the meta changes. Earth Shocks are pretty good against aggro minions like Haunted Creepers and Mad Scientists. Lightning Storm might be an auto-include if ladder becomes a flood-the-board type of game. Hex works best against big legendaries like Tirion. Sometimes you play BGH than hex just because of the tempo gain.

Creeper Egg Situation

As meta is full of aggressive decks, Haunted Creeper is an obvious choice because it spawns 2 1/1s than can efficiently trade with the early board. Nerubian Egg has its merits too: you can play it and with the help of Rockbiter and Flametongue, get an instant 4/4 that destroys your opponent’s early board. If you have the balls to play both, I suggest playing double Defender of Argus to buff these pesky minions. But then again, 2 Zombie Chows are sweet early on.

Fantastic 4

The 4 slot in Shaman is pretty crucial. Totem Golem would be the best play on turn 2, making our 3rd turn another 2-drop. 1 Argus is core because buffing the small minions we have is just that good. Adding the 2nd copy is up to you.

  • Piloted Shredder – great minion to play on 4 and it’s as sticky as your early drops.
  • Draenei Totemcarver – new card from TGT. It gets an average of 6/6 when played.
  • Fireguard Destroyer – suits a more aggressive list. It fits the mech type better than midrange.
  • Gormok the Impaler – a lot of people consider this as the Dr. Boom of TGT. I’m not sure about that but the card gets value most of the time since Shaman makes a lot of totems and plays a lot of minions that stick to the board.

Additional 5-drops are to be considered too. Loatheb denies board clears and sets up lethal when you have full board. Harrison Jones will give you much tempo and card draw facing weapon classes. Thunder Bluff Valiant synergizes greatly with your totems; it might not have a great attack power but is powerful when you make use of your hero power.

Bombs

Probably the last batch of minions you want to fill. The archetype is Midrange for a reason. Both copies of Fire Elemental are core for it creates tempo plays and has good stats for a 6-drop.

  • Dr. Boom – most lists run Boom because the card is still OP and it floods the board well. That makes room for your buffs to get more value. I highly recommend that you put this in your deck.
  • NeptulonBGH is a card that you should be scared of if you plan on playing this. When you find that the meta has gotten slower and you feel that your deck is losing steam, go play Neptulon.
  • Emperor Thaurissan – makes your burst option flexible. You can make weird Al’akir finishes or even a quick Bloodlust to seal the game.
  • Slyvanas Windrunner – works best when you plan on taking a more grindy route. Not my favorite to be honest.
  • The Mistcaller – value card that gives you the win later on. Players won’t expect the 20-damage Al’akir burst. And why not play new cards, right?

Mulligan

The mulligan for this deck is pretty much the same every game: just keep your low-curve minions to set an early board presence. After that you control the board until you finish the game with your burst. You want to keep your Flametongue Totem when you have a small minion to buff it with. Lightning Storm might be an auto-keep against aggressive decks but you want early minions too; that might be a little tricky. You mulligan differently against Handlock though; keep your Earth Shock, Hex and BGH.

Midrange Shaman’s matchups depend on how you build them. Generally the deck is favorable against Warlock, Druid and Rogue. It’s unfavorable against Priest and Hunter.

Be creative in building your version of the deck. Be bold, be brave, and always have fun!

I appreciate the time you put in reading my deck guides. I hope these help you in understanding the deck archetype more and give you better win rates. Again, my name is Chalk from Fade 2 Karma. Support me and my team by following us on twitter @F2K_Chalk @Fade2Karma. I also offer coaching so hit me a direct message if you are interested. ☺