HSrewind: Token Shaman Part 1: Deck Guide

HSrewind will now be split into two parts:

  • 1st part (which you are about to read) will be an In-depth Guide going over match ups, mulligan phase, core build and tech spots.
  • 2nd part will be the Replays which will focus on various intricacies of the deck such as minion placement and other deck specific information best learned from examples.

 

This week’s HSrewind deck spotlight is on Token Shaman, a deck that can have an aggro build or a midrange build with the more recent inclusion of Dopplegangster + Evolve as well as Thing From Below allowing the deck to have more late game potency. The deck utilizes cheap minions paired with Flametongue Totem to control the board and Bloodlust to clear out big threats or end the game.  The midrange deck seems to be the more optimal build going forward so this guide will focus on that build. Minion placement in this deck is crucial and oftentimes can be the reason for missing those few points of extra damage into a minion or face that would have won the game. The scary part about this deck is it has strong early game and can flood the board after a board clear very effectively. It also has pseudo-board clear tool in devolve. What deck does that remind you of? Midrange Shaman should still be fresh in everyone’s head from a few months ago I am sure.

Core:

 

  • 2x Firefly: One of the most played cards from the new expansion. Cheap body that provides another cheap body.
  • 2x Primalfin Totem: The MVP of the deck! It does everything the deck wants; makes Thing From Below cheaper, provides free 1/1 minions each turn that are great paired with Flametongue Totem or Bloodlust.
  • 2x Flametongue Totem: A staple in any board centric Shaman deck; should not need to explain why this is included.
  • 2x Maelstrom Portal: Helps clean up the board and provides a body as well.
  • 2x Thing From Below: The core contains at least 5 totems, and you should be hero powering fairly often to build up your board. Every hero power totem represents 3-4 burst damage after turn 5 when Bloodlust is a potential play.
  • 1x Manatide Totem: Totem for Thing From Below, draw engine and requires immediate answers or it snowballs the game. If your opponent has to waste mana to kill this your board your building up will be safer.
  • 5x Jade Package (Aya Blackpaw, Jade Claws, Jade Lightning): Pretty standard Claw and Lightning help you fight for the board and build your board as well. Aya is just an auto include when you play jade cards she is too much value.
  • 2x Bloodlust: Helps clear out boards or provides a significant amount of damage to face when your board is allowed to grow.

Tech Choices:

 

  • Pirate Package (Patches, Southsea Deckhand, Bloodsail Corsair): Provides 2 cheap minions the first time you play a pirate. The package contains 3 charge minions for burst damage from hand. Lastly the package provides weapon destruction in a meta where weapons are fairly common.
  • Evolve: Pseudo buff for your whole board. Combos really well with Thing From Below and Dopplegangster. When timed correctly takes a damaged board out of AOE range or simply turns an average board into a much more threatening one.
  • Bloodmage Thalnos: Cheap body, spell damage sometimes relevant, draws a card.  Really a fringe card, not sure if it fits the deck though even though I have been using it.
  • Dopplegangster: This card is Evolve’s best friend. Provides huge value turn 6 and beyond. Even without the dream combo it provides 3 minions that increase the value of any minion buffs on board or from hand.
  • Dire wolf: Provides board buffs for aggressive style builds
  • Murloc Package (Warleader, Bluegill, Finja): This package just provides burst damage potential and is utilized in various midrange/aggro builds.
  • Cult Master: Card draw engine for a board-centric deck preventing it from running out of resources.
  • Stonehill Defender: Helps slow down aggro decks and protects your board while providing a valuable discovered taunt minion.
  • Tar Creeper: Another anti-aggro card has more attack during your opponent’s turn than Stonehill Defender and may cause opponent to slow down more or lose minions trading in.
  • Defender of Argus: Board centric decks always have this as a viable option to strengthen the board and supply taunts to protect more valuable minions.
  • Sea Giant: Could work since you are always flooding the board. Certainly helps out if you are running into mirror matches or other decks that are board centric.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Finisher / more aggressive builds.
  • Vicious Fledgling: This card seems to be popping up in various lists. I could see this as a option to include another immediate threat for your opponent to have to deal with.
  • Pantry Spider: Provides 2 bodies and are strong against pings. Some Aggro Druids use them, but they also have Mark of Y’Sharaaj synergy.
  • Argent Squire: Solid 1 sticky 1 drop, board centric decks always need good 1-drops.
  • Devolve: Provides a good utility card to counter Silence Priest, helps after Aggro druid buffs their board or plays Living Mana, good response to Spikeridged Steed and can help get past large taunts.
  • Hex: Always a solid option for hard removal.
  • Glacial Shard: Strong 1 drop can be a very useful tool.
  • Hungry Crab/Golakka Crawler: Self explanatory tech in for murloc/pirate heavy metas respectively.

If you have other tech card ideas feel free to discuss on the CompetitiveHS reddit post for this article.

My current decklist:

Mulligan: In general you are looking for early game cards: Flametongue Totem, Primalfin Totem, Bloodsail Corsair, Firefly, Southsea Deckhand, Jade Claws.  It is important to note that Maelstrom Portal in faster matchups is correct to keep in the mulligan depending on other cards in hand.

Matchups:

Aggro Druid: (Favored) Get on the board early and stay on it. You beat Aggro Druid by depleting their resources. You win the top deck game if it comes to that, but you have tools to eliminate their boards while maintaining some of yours. Evolve at the end of a turn with 3+ minions could also be enough to secure this matchup. Note that Stonehill Defender can find a key big taunt that wins the game on the spot; might be worth a keep in the mulligan if you found 1-2 early game cards or are on the coin.

Token Shaman: (Mirror) This is a battle of the board, whoever can get on and stay on will win this matchup. The game will boil down to who can keep a board and get a nice Bloodlust off. Evolve can also be a game changer in this matchup. First person to Evolve a big board could run away with it.

Quest Rogue:  (Favored) Pretty straight forward be the best aggro deck you can. Make value trades when it helps keep more damage per turn on board.

Pirate Warrior: (Favored) Just like Aggro Druid get on board and hold it. The more the pirate warrior has to trade and not go face the better your chances. If you get out ahead it is hard from them to regain the board back and they need the board to win. We also have taunts, a pirate warrior’s worst enemy.

Quest Warrior: (Slightly Unfavored) Build up a board and try not to play out your whole hand.  Use your hero power whenever possible to draw and force the brawls to be used without losing too many resources from hand. You need to either kill them fast, hope to have a good turn to Bloodlust, or get off a nice Evolve. Getting through all the taunts can be a hassle. Devolve can be another key card to help push lethal by getting rid of taunts.

Murloc Paladin:  (Favored) Battle for the board. You have better tools so as long as you can get on early.  Don’t  leave enemy minions up past turn 5 due to Spikeridged Steed being a thing.

Secret Mage:  (Favored) Leave them with awkward turns (Ex. They need to ping on turn 3) and continue to flood the board. They do not run any board clears and can only get them from Primordial Glyphs. They can win if they have enough tempo plays and can stabilize so the more threats you can get out there and prevent them from playing on curve the better.

Burn mage: (Slightly Unfavored) Unlike Secret Mage they do run board clears. This one comes down to if they have the board clears or not, if you draw Bloodlust fairly early or if you can reestablish your board after a board clears with something like Dopplegangster or even just tempo out Thing From Below. Similar to warrior if you can fill the board with hero powers and grind them down using Flametongue Totem, then refilling the board should not be too big an issue.

Midrange Hunter: (Favored) Clear their board, don’t let them take advantage of their beast synergy/adapt. Be careful about going too wide on board as that can allow for a Scavenging Hyena + Unleash the Hounds which could cause you to go from winning to losing.

 

If you are wondering about another match-up not listed feel free to comment on the CompetitiveHS reddit post. A match-up not listed is due to lack of appearance currently on ladder. I will provide my win rates for each match-up in Part 2 with the replays.

In an effort to get ahead of the game here is a poll to select which class will come after Silence Priest (https://strawpoll.com/5brw2a8). Most popular 1-2 classes will be selected and a poll for archetype in Part 2 of this guide.

 

 

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