Managed to hit top 100 legend (in EU) with this free to play shaman deck.
I’ve been maining shammy since the beginning of last season, but I’m a poor uni student so I don’t have any of the usual legendaries such as Thalnos and Al’Akir. However, this version performs more than OK in the current meta.
The deck is really nothing innovational, just solid cards able to trade really efficiently put together in a bundle that is strong in the current meta. The main idea is to use shammy’s strong removal as well as the efficient minions to dominate the board until the time comes to finish off your opponent with your late game offensive power – Commanders, Fire Ellys and Doomhammer. It is very strong against most control, and does fairly decent against aggro.
Earth Shock × 2
Lightning Bolt × 2
Rockbiter Weapon × 2
Flametongue Totem × 2
Feral Spirit × 2
Hex × 2
Lightning Storm × 2
Mana Tide Totem × 1
Unbound Elemental × 2
Doomhammer × 1
Fire Elemental × 2
Argent Squire × 2
Chillwind Yeti × 2
Defender of Argus × 2
Azure Drake × 2 Minion
Argent Commander × 2
Explanation of some of the card choices:
- Squires – really strong early game presence. Combo really well with Defenders of Argus as well as Flametongue Totems. Always keep them in your starting hand. Sometimes I remove one from the deck in favor of a situational tech card such as Ooze or Wild Pyro;
- Flametongues – these go great with your totems as well as your minions and Feral Spirits, help with pressuring as well as efficient clearing.
- Mana Tide – great for slower games, if you use it after the opponent has used most of his early removal and manage to keep it alive for more than a turn you will be miles ahead. And even if it dies after the first turn you still draw a card and it usually forces removal so it still breaks even;
- Yetis – strong and durable, really good midgame board presence. Really good in the current meta where everyone is playing Azure Drakes and Auctioneers. Trades 2 for 1 in most cases;
- Defenders of Argus – as a shammy you will always have something to argus, so there is no reason not to run 2 of them;
- Doomhammer – strong for maintaining midgame board control as well as a finisher coupled with Rockbiters;
- Argent Commanders – Usually pretty hard to deal with, in most cases trade 2 for 1. Combo greatly with Flametongues;
Strategies for the different matchups:
- Druid – I mulligan for removal and Unbounds/Yetis. A Hex is also great to keep early in case he innervates something tough to deal with. As long as you don’t get caught by a super valueable swipe I believe you are overall favored in the matchup. Against token druids keep a Lightning Storm handy in case they get massive Violet Teacher value. It is usually a good idea to keep an Earthshock for late game when you’re preparing to finish him off incase of a taunt.
- Hunter – haven’t seen too many since the nerf, but aggro hunter can still be really rough. Mulligan for Feral Spirits and removal. Don’t overextend with too many minions, sometimes it is better to not play a totem even if you have the extra mana. If he plays a trap, think about what it most likely is according to the situation and try your best to play around it. Sometimes it is best to wait before popping it if he has a weapon up until you are able to taunt up.
- Mage – Aggro mage has been seeing some play lately. Mulligan for removal and Feral Spirits. Don’t overextend with minions too much around turn 6-7 in case he’s running a Flamestrike. Against control mages, try to burst them down as fast as possible again without overextending around these turns. Overall you should be fine against both.
- Paladin – Aggro paladin also pretty popular currently. As per usual against aggro, mulligan for removal and Feral Spirits, Lightning Storm is also pretty good. You can afford to be pretty reckless with your resources because of Divine Favor, so don’t hold back them Lightning Storms for too long. Once you establish board control you’re pretty much good to go, just be careful of valueable Equality-Consecration combos. If you’re absolutely getting destroyed by aggro pallys, add in a Wild Pyro.
- Priest – mulligan for early board presence – Unbounds/Ferals/Yetis. A bit of removal is OK as well, so you can get rid of Northshire Clerics. Also Manatide is amazing here, a lot of the times they won’t be able to remove it on time, if it sticks around for too long it single handedly wins you the game. 4 attack minions are great, so whenever you have the opportunity to play them or buff any of your existing ones to 4 attack, do it. Careful with using your Doomhammer too early since a lot of priests are running Oozes.
- Rogue – since currently 90% of rogues are miracle, again mulligan for early board presence, a tiny bit of removal is OK as well. Pressure him as much as possible early. Around turn 4-5 start thinking of possible ways to deal with their auctioneer and keep them handy. Also, be careful of strong Blade Flurries. Yetis really improve this matchup, adding them made me rarely lose.
- Shaman – the mirror can be pretty hectic, mulligan for removal, especially Lightning Bolts and Lightning Storms. Under no circumstances should you play an unbound elemental on turn 2-3 if the opponent has spellpower or 1/1 totem on the board, otherwise he will more often than not remove it really efficiently, which usually snowballs the game in his favor (in fact, it is naturally always much safer if you can play the Unbound coupled with some sort of overload on the same turn). Be sure to clear his totems as much as possible and don’t overextend against his own Lightning Storm.
- Warlock – this matchup is tricky, since at the start you can’t be sure whether he’s Handlock or Zoo. Overall mulligan for removal, Earthshocks and Hexes are great against Handlock; Lightning Bolts, Rockbiters, Lightning Storms and Feral Spirits – against Zoo. A combination of some of these cards is usually fine, unless you know exactly what you’re facing. Zoo is probably the hardest matchup for this deck, good thing it’s not too common lately. Always aim to clear his board as efficiently as possible, squeeze as much value as you can out of your Lightning Storms without letting him get too big of a health advantage. If you start meeting too much Zoo, substitute Yetis for Sen’jins. Against Handlock you’re favored, Earthshock his drakes and Hex his giants. Pressure him early so that you’re the one dictating the pace of the game, be careful when leaving him low on health if you don’t have a way of dealing with his Molten Giants efficiently. Doomhammer with Rockbiters helps immensely as a finisher here. Add in a Big Game Hunter or Black Knight if you’re still having trouble with them.
- Warrior – mulligan for a bit of removal and a bit of board presence. Don’t let him stack too much armor. After turn 5 be wary of overextending against Brawl, and keep your Hexes for late game against their big threats. You should be favored in the matchup.
That’s pretty much it, hope it’s not too long. If you have further questions hit me up. It’s possible that I keep updating this if I make any changes and whenever I have time. In any case, good luck with the grind to all my Shammy brethren.