Hello, my name is Jared (HS/Twitch name is Jaredpullet) and I am a new member of Swagoi Gaming.
I have really enjoyed Control Shaman and I have played about 250 games of it since Scholomance came out, but most notably 80 this season. Control Shaman is in a really good spot this season, but because it is a hyper-reactive deck, its strength is entirely dependent on what decks are thriving. I have written a couple of guides/discussions on the CompHS sub over the past year and a half, and deeply treasure the discussion that is generated. Please engage and share your thoughts.
First 50 games this season, 34-16 (Diamond 6-Legend, majority of games were in top 500 Legend)
Core (if you don?t have these cards, don?t play the deck)
2x (1) Devolving Missiles
2x (2) Diligent Notetaker
2x (2) Witch’s Brew
1x (3) Lightning Storm
3x (3) Vulpera Scoundrel or Marshspawn
2x (4) Groundskeeper
2x (4) Hex
2x (4) Torrent
2x (5) Hagatha’s Scheme
1x (7) Earthquake
2x (8) Tidal Wave
2x (8) Walking Fountain
Replaceable Core (These cards really help but you can still have success without them)
1x (4) The Fist of Ra-den
1x (3) Instructor Fireheart
2x (3) Far Sight
Spots that keep changing based off the meta:
1x (3) Lightning Storm
1x (7) Earthquake
+2 tech spots (Card pool I have been dipping into: Stickyfinger(s), Elysiana, Swampqueen Hagatha, Kelthuzad, Eye of the Storm, Hecklebot, and my most recent inclusion has been Mo’arg Artificer, which I have really been liking in the list)
### Jaredpullet’s Shaman
# Class: Shaman
# Format: Standard
# Year of the Phoenix
# 2x (1) Devolving Missiles
# 2x (2) Diligent Notetaker
# 2x (2) Mo’arg Artificer
# 2x (2) Witch’s Brew
# 2x (3) Far Sight
# 1x (3) Instructor Fireheart
# 1x (3) Lightning Storm
# 2x (3) Vulpera Scoundrel
# 2x (4) Groundskeeper
# 1x (4) Hecklebot
# 2x (4) Hex
# 1x (4) The Fist of Ra-den
# 2x (4) Torrent
# 2x (5) Hagatha’s Scheme
# 1x (5) Headmaster Kel’Thuzad
# 1x (7) Earthquake
# 2x (8) Tidal Wave
# 2x (8) Walking Fountain
# To use this deck, copy it to your clipboard and create a new deck in Hearthstone
# Find this deck on https://hsreplay.net/replay/LfLxnMpzyVKCcbXiJSjtpN
The general strategy of the deck
This deck has one primary way to win: outlast the opponent?s resources. And it does this very well. There are some games where you will need to transition to a different gameplan, but this will be dictated in-game by board- and hand-state, usually in conjunction with discovered options.
Because this deck gets its wins (most of the time) by accounting for all the resources of your opponent, it is very important that you understand the other decks in the meta and what (and when, generally) you will have to account for in the game. This informs you if you can use some removal willy0nilly or if you need your opponent to develop a bit more before you can wipe the board. It dictates whether you should or shouldn?t play Tidal Wave into a board that has just three of your own totems.
Specific popular MUs
Demon Hunter (quite favored)
Control Shaman crushes Demon Hunter for the simple reason that we can out heal the damage they can put out. (The disclaimer, though, is that we usually need Witch?s Brew in the late game to do this. If you never find Witch?s Brew during the game, you will potentially lose.) We also have more ways to clear boards and big minions than they have to populate the board, so we can play our removal generously. The Soul DH can win if we don?t get to our healing. Their squishy minions come out early so it is not uncommon to play an early Scheme to get rid of them, but also to not have much of a board to play Tidal Wave into later, so you may opt for Waving away two of your minions just because you are trying to protect your life. Fountain can be tricky to play late in the game because smart DH players won?t toss down small minions for you to ram the Fountain into. Just keep your life high, count possible damage from hand they can have, and you should win often.
Of note about this MU: I like to take Frost Shock when offered off Vulpeera/Fireheart in this MU and even pair it with Notetaker. Locking them out during even just a turn or two in the midgame can really be a game changer. (https://hsreplay.net/replay/PN9Q26LTeQqf5obhYuRY2R)
Cyclone Mage (even)
This MU is really fun and frustrating. On paper, we have an answer for everything, unless they get a miracle situation and get Chenvaala, a couple 5/5s, and a Giant down by turn 4. I always want a Scheme upgrading and a Torrent or Hex in my hand from the get-go in this MU. We lose this game to Solarian Prime (and Evocation, but there isn?t much you can do about that). Because of that, Missiles and Hex immediately go to any Astromancer. They will play more than one, so you need to make sure you can account for it. Usually one Prime hits their deck, which we can often survive, but we cannot survive three. Zero is best.
Of note about this MU: I like to take more transform effects off my discover cards, also I like cheap cards. Randomly generated secrets can really derail us because we have no idea knowing what they are, but we also will need to play a Tidal Wave to survive. Getting some spells that let you test secrets can be good in this MU, but I would say it is still secondary to getting spells to a known (eventual) threat that you don?t feel like you can answer (Obviously something like Torrent could kill two birds with one stone).
Bomb Warrior (unfavored [although favored if you are running 2 Sticky or 1 Sticky and Elysiana in the two tech spots])
This MU is really interesting. If you win (with a non-teched Control Shaman) it is because you were able to get the bombs out of your deck fast and heal back up. We can out heal the bombs if they all explode before, say, we have five cards left in our deck, and in that scenario, we can out heal gala swings until they fatigue. But some games all the bombs wait until the end to explode at once, or multiple bombs explode before we get to our 8 mana heal cards and Dr Boom pushed too much damage. Bomb Warrior does not run a lot of minions, so we can deal with their minion threats pretty easily. I treally just comes down to how efficiently we can recover from the turns we absorb a lot of damage. I have heard someone (I think it was some VS guy) that Soul DH and Bomb Warrior are kind of similar decks. The difference for us though is that we can anticipate when the damage is coming from DH, but not from Warrior?s bombs.
Of note about this MU: Healing is how we win. Notetaker into Witch?s Brew is a great play. Try to maximize Groundskeeper value. Try to play 1 mana spells with Fist up to shuffle in Reliquary Primes. I also was able to win against a Bomb Warrior by discovering Vivid Spores and pairing it with Notetaker (and a minion or two from Fist) and switching to the beatdown role. Bomb Warrior can?t deal well with layered boards like that because they don?t have very many minions to help trade.
Paladin (favored against Broom, Pure is even)
We do a really good job dealing with early big threats through Missiles, Torrent, and Hex. The problem is that these all come back after Liadrin. Additionally, Divine Shield can be problematic for us because we don?t have many minions to pop shields. For this reason we are looking to get rid of Murgle Mrgurgle with a transform effect because Prime is pretty hard for us to handle. Try to Transform minions with Libram in the early game, and try and transform them after liadrin. Pair Hex with Notetaker if you can. There will be games where you will have to waste an AOE just popping some shield and taking a lot of damage the subsequent turn. Pure is harder because of Lightforged Crusader. Liadrin is generally manageable, but Crusader can stretch us too thin.
Of note about this MU: If Paladin was more prevalent, I might consider running Kelthuzad in the tech spot. Off the discover effects I am generally looking for Hex or Plague of Murlocs (sometimes a great response to a wide board with divine shields).
Secret Rogue (not confident one way or the other)
I have only played this MU a few times, and I am not sure if we are favored or unfavored. The problem, of course, is not QA or Edwin, we are built to address those cards. Secret Rogue is so good at generating a ton of value. When I look at the MU on paper, I feel that Control Shaman is favored, but I am not confident about my assessment. Just try and always have an answer for high-value plays your opponent will try to force. Be sure to have a Devolving or Hex to deal with Edwin, QA, or Hanar. Their wide boards can be easily cleared with our resources. The Dragon?s Hoard list is harder for us because of the potential large threat that we can?t necessarily account for.
Of note about this MU: Don?t give them any extra value that would be relevant to them. Play around Plagiarize as much as you possibly can. We don?t care if they get an Earthquake, but we do care if they get Fist of Ra-Den and three Witch?s Brew.
Control Dragon Priest (favored unless they run Gala [if so, it is concede-level unfavored])
Their deck is very predictable. They have 2 Draconic Studies Dragons, a few more dragons off generated Draconic Studies, and other than that they have small board that are easily dealt with. Try and pair Notetaker with Hex to address the big dragons they generate. They ?draw? through Cleric of Scales, so you win in fatigue (because we are Shaman and are class identity is not drawing) when you are able to address their threats.
Of note about this MU: They will not have a lot of good turns to play Murozond. So know that if you play Fist late, they will play Murozond. They will likely get something like a Fountain when they decide to play it, so just be sure you can address whatever they might be able to yoink. They will likely have to play out their acolytes over the course of the match, so I would usually wait to play Fist until after I have seen Murozond and their Cabals. Don?t play Far Sight, as you win this game once you are both in Fatigue. Playing 1 cost spells are risky with Fist, as they will try and yoink your Reliquary and they can flip the fatigue situation.
Control Warrior (favored)
This is favored for the same reason the Control Dragon Priest MU is favored: we win in fatigue by default (but don?t play Far Sight unless you have way more cards in deck!). The one tricky card Control Warrior has is Gala, and if they drop that on curve a lot of damage is going to get pushed. Not impossible to win, but you?d much rather see Gala come down later.
Of note about this MU: Because they can push a lot of damage with Gala, playing 1-cost spells with Fist up is a good option. Because Control Warriors usually run 1 Stickyfinger, I try and use up most of my Fist in this MU the turn I play it. Reliquary is an automatic summon off a 1-cost spell with Fist, helps the fatigue gameplan, and provides late-game healing. It is worth it to even find some 1 cost spells off Vulpeera (/Torren reduction) and plan a turn where you play Fist into three or four 1-cost spells). Keep track of their Bladestorms, and in the late game (if the have any Bladestorms left) be sure and play Prime and hero power.
Build Options/Tech Slots and MU Advice against general archetypes:
I have written a guide for Control Shaman on Ace Game Guides and this section is covered over there! They are helping the HS community a good deal by promoting people writing guides, so please go give them a click:
I have really enjoyed almost exclusively playing this deck this season. Shaman has some really interesting tools to be successful, and I think it can be successful in this meta. The deck suffers against decks that spread out a lot of value over multiple, successive turns, such as Gala Priest, HL decks (with high curves), and GA Druid, and it also suffers against Combo OTK decks. Because these decks are sparse in the meta, there might be just a quick moment in the sun for poor old Fatigue Thrall. I hope you enjoy!