Greetings minions, servants, soldiers of Kel’Thuzad!
My name is Jaron “Demigod” Nolasco; I play for Vicious Syndicate Gaming and a local organization here in Hawaii, Team Brult. You may have seen my matches against Trump, Koyuki, Domdus, and Phonetap last month at the ESL Legendary Series Finals #2. The meta has been getting stale lately, so I said “screw it, I’m going to bring Midrange Shaman back!” Little did I know I was taking it to Rank 1 Legend!
With my list, I was able to push for Rank 1 four days into the July season. I wanted to share my love for Shaman with all of you, so we can bring it back to the meta!
To be honest, I was a little skeptical about playing Midrange Shaman with all these combo/aggressive decks running around the ladder. Surprisingly, it’s been able to up hold well against the current meta.
My Tech Choices w/ Explanation
1 Zombie Chow – Usually you would put (2) Zombie Chows but I find (1) is just enough to hold against aggressive type decks. Just be skillful and draw it turn 1, duh. You don’t want to be drawing Zombie Chows in mid-late game. Besides we have Creepers to kill those troll Leper Gnomes.
Bloodmage Thalnos – Staple in all Shaman decks. Creates more spell damage consistency at a low cost & adds another form of card cycle.
2x Feral Spirit – Although some argue that this “old school Shaman card” isn’t viable anymore, I have to disagree. Feral Spirit is a great spell card to defend yourself against aggressive decks. It also is useful to protect important cards such as Flametongue Totems & Thralls face 🙂
Big Game Hunter – Every deck that isn’t troll-face-garbage needs a BGH. It fits well with Shaman because it just adds yet another tool to deal with your enemies threats.
Defender of Argus – Argus used to be a buff compliment to totems, but now its just a great value card to buff your death rattle minions and help stabilize against aggressive decks.
FOR DOOM HAMMER! – Doom hammer is one of the best weapons in the game. It’s incredible at dealing with a board while protecting your minions or set up a sick ass lethal-combo with Rockbiter. However, due to the rise of Patron, weapon removal is everywhere. Harrison Jones on Doom hammer can be devastating, but the risk is worth the reward.
Antique Healbot – Used to stabilize against SMorc that is all.
Loatheb or Harrison ? – Even though I ran Loatheb, right now I believe Harrison Jones is a better choice against the current meta that has a lot of hunter, warrior, and even paladin is everywhere, thus rogue is slowly returning. Harrison is a great card right now.
Al’Akir the Windlord – My favorite card after the great ‘ol Kel’ Thuzad! Al’Akir is primary win-condition. All game you’re trading board and minimizing threats so you can Swat Insects for lethal. With Rockbiter or even Flametongue Totem, You can do an insane amount of burst damage to clear minions or destroy your opponent.
Remember Midrange Shaman is about board presence. Many totems will die for the greater cause. If you feel you need to hex a minion and you have other options like trading minions instead think about those opportunities. Maintain board while you sneak in bits of damage setting up lethal for the late game.
Don’t be greedy with Lightning Storm – it is an RNG card and can leave you in a tough spot. Always try to have spell power via totem or Thalnos before playing Lightning Storm. With shaman, your Minion placement is very important! usually you set it up to where your Flametongue Totem can be most effective on board.
Usually keeping your early game drops (1-3) in a mulligan is your best bet. You want to secure the early game leading into a powerful mid game to dominate your opponent.
Match ups –
Patron Warrior 40/60 – Midrange Shaman does have a hard time against patron warrior because it relies on board presence. A simple totem with 2 attack on your side of the board can destroy your board completely . Your best defense against this insane combo deck would be Lightning Storm. If you manage to stabilize after the patron onslaught you might have a chance at securing the game.
Handlock 60/40 – I believe this match up is in our favor. Although Handlocks have huge board clears with cards such as Hellfire. We also have great removal to deal with their big minions such as Hex and BGH.
Midrange Hunter 55/45 – Giving the edge to Shaman is no mistake. Shaman contains more value in cards such as Earth Shock, Hex , and Lightning Storm to help eliminate enemy threats while keeping minions on your side of the field to win the game.
Tempo Mage 60/40 – Surviving through the very aggressive early game is the first step to securing victory over Tempo Mages. Keeping Rockbiter to kill off Mana Wyrms or even crackle to get past those 0/2 taunts is one way to win the match up. Mirror entity is not that effective towards us because usually we have small minions to play around big tempo moves that Mirror Entity grants your enemy.