This card is not as powerful in Shaman as it is in Druid, since the former doesn’t have the explosive turns that the latter is famous for. But let’s not pretend this card is suddenly not good. Every Shaman deck will likely play Lightning Bloom because tempo is important in the game of Hearthstone. Lightning Bloom’s overload cost is much better than other notoriously weak Shaman cards, so Thrall can handle it.
Studies feels redundant in Shaman because we have better ways of enabling spell damage synergy in this class, unlike Mage, which is much more reliant on certain minions to stick to the board. This is a pass.
Speaking of better ways of enabling spell damage, this is it. Rune Dagger allows us to have three turns of spell power without requiring any minions to stick to the board. It’s just a fantastic enabler for this synergy. We don’t have too much faith in this archetype, so we’ll give Rune Dagger a tentative score.
We’re not sure why we would play this over Walking Fountain. This is a highly situational spell that’s only specifically strong against a swarm of minions, but most matchups in which we must deal with a swarm of minions will be decided earlier than turn 8. This card is highly questionable.
Very versatile card that can have different applications in different decks. The ability to duplicate a cheap spell can be game-changing in both the early and late game. It allows Shaman to get more mileage out of its cards, whether they are value- or tempo-oriented. Shaman needs that extra mileage, since its cards are generally not very good!
We’re assuming that Trick Totem’s random outcomes will be positive on average, so it shouldn’t be a complete liability as a 2 mana 0/3. Most importantly, this is a 2-mana totem, which means it allows us to play Totemic Reflection on curve. This already means we’re playing Trick Totem in Totem Shaman without a second thought. Embrace the Clown Fiesta.
Implosion is back, but this time it’s not a random effect, but a spell that scales with spell damage. The immediate and obvious synergy here is a turn 2 set-up with Rune Dagger. The best thing about Molten Blast is that it goes FACE. We love going face, so this is playable in a deck that can consistently scale its output.
This is a reasonable card in a Control Shaman deck that runs cards such as Hagatha’s Scheme and Earthquake, but will this kind of deck exist in Scholomance Academy? We have serious doubts considering that this archetype did not see much support in this set. Most of the promise in Shaman (if you want to call it promise) comes from faster strategies that get on the board early. So, while this card is “okay”, we’re going to press the (x) button to doubt.
This is an excellent card, but one that may struggle to find a home in Shaman. We don’t have Sorcerer’s Apprentice or Firebrand here, which means that Devolving Missiles isn’t as powerful. In addition, we don’t have too much faith in a Control Shaman deck, which has the highest chances of utilizing it. One day, Control Shaman will get a win condition, and then this card will be a nice side piece.
This is a pretty good threat to drop on the board if you’re playing Totem Shaman. Your opponent will not want to ignore this since you can follow it up with Splitting Axe or Totemic Reflection and snowball out of control. On the other hand, it’s very awkward to kill Totem Goliath without also dealing with all the totems that spawn when it dies, since you’re very capable of leveraging them into a significant lead as well. The problem with this card is that it costs 7 mana in total, which is a huge investment that’s difficult to comfortably make when you’re not ahead. Totem Shaman already struggles a lot when it falls behind, and our big totem boy doesn’t alleviate this issue.
This is what Totem Shaman has been missing for a long time: comeback potential. With one card, we can immediately create a threatening board that our opponent must remove, stretching their resources further. With one card, we can clear out threats that our opponent has developed, giving us a way to seize back initiative after it was lost. Add the combo potential with Totemic Surge and Totemic Might, and Totem Shaman may not look like a completely one-dimensional deck anymore.
Fireheart is a late-game value engine that offers some sort of power play to slower Shaman strategies. We can see it being used in faster decks, so it has a better chance of seeing play than something like Tidal Wave, but it really shines when you have a lot of mana to perform shenanigans. On turn 3, it’s a slightly stronger Vulpera Scoundrel. Considering its scaling, that might be good enough to include in some decks even though it doesn’t have any specific synergy.
As we’ve said in the Druid section, you don’t need to do too much to make Gidra a good play, but a synergy-driven deck might not find a place for it. Any deck that runs a reasonable number of spells will strongly consider this card, and there’s a decent chance that some of them will opt for it.
We think Ras has a better chance to shine in Shaman compared to Mage since this class’ spell damage synergy is a bit easier to utilize thanks to Rune Dagger, Lightning Bloom, and Wrath of Air Totem. But once again, we don’t need to be forced into playing this archetype to make Ras useful, as it’s a strong card at its baseline. Has a good chance of seeing play, eventually.
Scholomance Academy Set Rank: 8th
Overall Power Ranking: 9th
Shaman didn’t get the kind of set that makes us think it will go far in Scholomance Academy. There are some positives to take into the equation, but also some serious issues that haven’t been addressed.
On the positive side, Totem Shaman is looking far cleaner now. Bloom, Notetaker, Goliath, and Carvings are great additions to the deck, and we’ll be hoping that it makes the deck capable of fighting for the board in faster matchups. Right now, it only excels at snowballing against a passive opponent, leading to its very polarizing matchup spread.
We’re not sure what to make of Spell Damage Shaman. We do like Runic Dagger the most, as it allows Shaman to activate these synergies without having a board. But, none of the cards that this potential deck has received look as intimidating as other cards in this crazy set. Ras might be the closest thing to that, but unlike Mage, we don’t have a Mozaki.
Our biggest concern is with slower Shaman decks. This is another set that leaves us wondering how Control Shaman is supposed to win Hearthstone games. Removing everything is still unlikely to be a viable game plan, so Shaman’s lack of lethality could prove to be just as punishing as it did before.
For Shaman, it’s mostly about putting faith in totems and seeing how far they can carry Thrall. The stronger Druid ends up being, the more likely it is that Totem Shaman finds success.
Just agreeing with a lot of the comments already posted. Lots of time and effort into analyzing each and every card. Great work.
The more I read/hear from Vicious Syndicate, the deeper my respect. 10/10.
Paladin have a zero cost spell. Time is money friend!
The gold standard of HS articles
most important hearthstone content second to the game itself! love vS
Great job! Thanks Guys!
Fantastic work, super helpful! Thanks
Awesome review guys! I can’t believe how much effort went into this. Keep up the great work!