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Tuskarr Totemic Nerf Aftermath: Why He Is Dead

by - 3 years ago


I saw DisguisedToast’s video yesterday which inspired me to write a short article why the formerly vastly overpowered card is not competitively viable any more. The full video will be linked at the bottom of the article for your convenience.


The Nerf

Before the Nerf, Tuskarr could roll for either the four basic totems




or 3 special totems.

Now, only the basic totems will be summed alongside Tuskarr Totemic. Stat-wise this leads to 3/2 + 0/2 or 1/1 resulting in 4/3 or 3/5 stats with the benefit of an additional effect from the 0/2 totems in 75% of the cases. This does not sound too bad on paper, but the numbers tell a different story. Let’s head to the actual data in the next section…

The Anaylsis

The Outcome and win rates of over 50.000 played Tuskarrs before the nerf were analyzed according to overall win rate for each of the 7 outcomes possible. This analysis was further broken down to either Tuskarr was played on curve (Turn 2/3) or later in the game. The results were as follows:

  • Basic totem roll resulted in a negative win rate
    • Overall: 46% (45-46%)
    • On curve: 46% (45-47%)
  • Special totem roll resulted in a positive win rate
    • Overall: 58% (55-61%); best Mana Tide Totem
    • On curve: 65% (60-69%); best Totem Golem
  • Difference in win rates, dependent on basic vs. special totem roll
    • Overall: 12% difference; max. 16%
    • On curve: 19% difference; max. 24%

All these numbers show, that even before the nerf, if you rolled a basic totem, your chance of losing was higher than winning. This result will happen constantly after the nerf. The argument, that a Wrath of Air Totem synergizes with Spirit Claws and all totems also synergize with Thing from Below are true. Yet, they were already true before the nerf and DID, despite these facts, result in the negative win rate in the case of basic totem rolls. I hope you get my argument there.


Ok, now that we have the numbers what do we play instead of our old friend? In the first days of the nerf we already saw some possibilities. Which of them is best has still to be figured out. Anyway I will give you some examples in- and outside of the 3-mana slot.

Inside the 3-mana slot, if you are not already running two copies, you can add another copy of Feral Spirit, Mana Tide Totem or Lightning Storm. In the neutral section, there is no card I can see that fits the deck good enough to be worth considering.

In the other slots, there are some cards to consider. You can lower your curve to adress an aggressive meta by adding (another copy of) Argent Squire(s) which possibly trade up alongside Flametongue Totem. Anti-weapon tech i the form of Acidic Swamp Ooze is another option. Also, you could invest more cards in the spellpower synergy departement either by Kobold Geomancer, Frigid Kobold or Evolved Kobold. Also Barnes and Flamewreath Faceless are options to consider.


That’s it for today. Please leave comments below or directly via Twitter @OtakuMZ1978

The Video


Martin "OtakuMZ" Z.

Real life physician and afterhour card battler. Martin "OtakuMZ" contributes to the Hearthstone team of BlizzPro since late 2015. Additionally, he contributes analytic articles for Hearthstone and Gwent as a member of Fade2Karma and in his collumn on the Gwentlemen site. He is best known for his infographics which can be accessed at a glance at https://www.facebook.com/hsinfographics and https://www.facebook.com/gwentinfographics

2 responses to “Tuskarr Totemic Nerf Aftermath: Why He Is Dead”

  1. stephenlorimor says:

    I find this analysis flawed. The win rate of a shaman is based upon the player’s ranking. A higher rank means they’re (presumably) up against tougher opponents.

    However, the nerf means that the shaman’s ranking will suffer slightly*. Meaning once the meta settles based on the new post-nerf deck shamans may return to a similar win rate to what they had previously, but one that occurs at a lower average ranking.

    Put another way, the 3 best totem results were inflating shaman rankings. Now that the nerf is in place shamans may settle into a slightly lower ranking meaning their win rate with a basic totem may be better than it was before.

    * There’s also the issue that the nerfs affected far more cards than just Tukarr Totematic. It’s entirely possible that the win rate of shamans may increase because their rival classes were nerfed more heavily.

    • TheZmASTER says:

      The point is not that shaman will drop to a 46/47% winrate, but that there will be replacements for mr TT that will result in overall better performance.
      The 50.000 played tuskars can are played by a wide spread of players who use this deck tracker (usually the better ones or at least the more serious part of the spectrum).
      So the nerf to TT is really impactful for the card, in that it will be mostly out of the meta.

      I’m not sure if kobolds are the alternatives though 🙂

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