WildHearths

Wild Shaman Meta Snapshot #1

25/08/2019

Welcome to the Wildhearths Class-Based Meta Snapshot! 

We’re the Wildhearths team, a group of top Legend players in the Wild format who have decided to create our own meta snapshot. Specifically, we want to showcase tier lists for specific classes, bring a fresh new take on meta snapshots, and highlight a number of interesting and powerful off-meta decks for the format! 

Thank you in advance for your interest in our work and snapshot. Feel free to contact us with any feedback and suggestions using the email wildhearths@gmail.com, by commenting on Reddit, or reaching out to us via Twitter. 


For today, we’re featuring Shaman, a class that is in a pretty good spot at the moment. This is our first report for the class.

The strength of Shaman comes from the variety of top-tier decks the class features, with Even Shaman, Shudderwock Shaman, and Murloc Shaman being the most powerful and consistent decks, and all Legend-viable. 


By the numbers, we rate Even Shaman as the best of the bunch due to its ability to shut down aggressive decks while still being able to beat control. It still features a weak matchup against Secret Mage, but is powerful across the whole of the meta’s field. 

Sitting in Tier 2 is Shudderwock Shaman. This is another powerhouse of a deck that has been piloted to the highest ranks. The movement away from a full Lifedrinker package and towards a Doppelgangster and Corpsetaker build has massively increased the relative power level of the deck. 

Murloc Shaman is still one of the best aggressive decks in the format, being able to steamroll many control and combo decks. But the increased prevalence of anti-aggro Reno decks and the addition of the Mage secret Flame Ward makes its position in the meta less favourable than before Saviors of Uldum.

In Tier 3 sits some decks that are much more reliant on facing good matchups. These decks are worth playing if you find yourself in a specific pocket metas. Here we see several new variations on Shudderwock Shaman. Due to the early nature of this report, we have placed them in tier 3 until they can prove themselves in the long run. Here you can also find Aggro Shaman, which is a solid deck that needs refining! 

Tier 4 includes a number of decks that are rarely seen on the ladder due to an unfavourable meta or outdated deck lists. They include Odd Shaman, Jade Shaman, Big Shaman, and Malygos Shaman. 


Our Wildhearths Shaman Tier List: 

This list has been created by taking what we considered the best variants of the decks below. Please bear in mind that the tiers are within each class, therefore a Tier 1 deck for Shaman may not be as powerful as a Tier 1 deck for Hunter.

This list is not exhaustive. It might not include something you’ve seen on ladder once or twice. But it includes the most common builds seen with at least some frequency. Please do keep in mind that the tier list is decided by comparing each deck if piloted in the hands of a player who plays them optimally with minimal misplays.

What each tier means: 

Tier 0: A god-tier deck that is far and away the best choice to climb the ladder with.

Tier 1: Incredibly strong for the class at the moment. If you want to win games, these decks are a great choice. 

Tier 2: Powerful decks, but either not as consistent as Tier 1 decks or with significant bad matchups against specific decks in the meta.

Tier 3: Decks that are still able to win games, but usually perform best in specific pocket metas where certain decks are not present, or with an exceptionally skilled pilot.

Tier 4: These are decks that are either badly-placed in the meta or have an overall lower power level. These decks require a pilot who knows the deck inside and out.


Tier 0

[NONE]

Tier 1

Even Shaman

Tier 2

Murloc Shaman

Shudderwock Shaman

Tier 3

Even Highlander Shaman

Aggro Shaman

Secondary Shudderwock Builds (Quest/Reno/Reno Freeze)

Tier 4

Big Shaman

Odd Shaman

Malygos Shaman

Jade Shaman


Tier 1


— Even Shaman — 

The Saviors of Uldum Even Shaman is all about killing Reno decks and Secret Mage as fast as possible. This is why most decks don’t run Lich King or Ragnaros. The deck still has all the fundamentals to fight for early board against aggressive decks, but has also received some new and exciting tools. Totemic Surge makes the deck a lot more aggressive early on and is a great addition to any build. Sandstorm Elemental counters Odd Paladin’s Never Surrender! secret and is good value for only overloading one mana crystal. Even Shaman’s new legendary, Vessina, and her Overload snowball potential also synergizes well with that aspect of their game plan.

In tech options, Eater of Secrets is replacing Skulking Geist because Secret Mages are everywhere on ladder, and also because all the Reno decks keep down Jade Druid to the point they are less commonly seen. If you find yourself facing a lot of Jade decks, take out a Totemic Surge and replace it with a Geist. 

Another list that we would like to mention is Jonahrah’s, which has been piloted to Legend by many people. The decklist includes a larger amount of cards with the Overload mechanic like Zap! that synergise with Thunderhead and Likkim. Thunderhead is an extremely strong card against aggro, and can single handedly win you many games. 

Magma004 was able to pilot it to #37 in EU and jonahrah himself to #26 in NA

TheGreatGoku’s Even Shaman

Jonahrah’s Even Shaman


Tier 2


— Murloc Shaman — 

The king of aggro is dead, but its ghost remains to haunt the meta. 

Murloc Shaman was the strongest aggro deck in the last expansion, but in a meta of taunts and numerous board clears, board-based aggro decks struggle. As a result, Secret Mage has taken the place as the new king. Still, Murloc Shaman is able to find wins, racing down Secret Mages and overwhelming Reno decks. 

Saviors of Uldum has seen a decline in Odd Rogue, one of Murloc Shaman’s worst matchups, which also helps the deck to find a place in the meta. The game plan is straightforward for most matchups: get Murlocs on the board, buff them with Murloc Warleader, Coldlight Seer, Everyfin is Awesome, and Gentle Megasaur. Running out of steam is traditionally a problem for aggro decks, but Finja, the Flying Star and Underbelly Angler gives the deck ample refill capability.

This Snapshot’s featured deck was taken to #25 by Romulus on the EU server. It runs only one new card: Murmy, a 1/1 Murloc with reborn, giving early boards some survivability increasing the chance of landing buffs. The list is tooled to handle a greedy, Reno-filled Legend meta, where Primalfin Lookout shines to find the perfect answer. In more aggro filled metas, Primalfin should be replaced with an Eater of Secrets and a Brrrloc or Murmy should be replaced with a Maelstrom Portal.

Romulus’s Murloc Shaman:


— Shudderwock Shaman —

In the past, Shudderwock Shaman was a weak deck. Sitting towards the bottom of every meta snapshot, the deck showed little promise. All that was needed was the addition of Corpsetakers, Walking Fountains, and Jepetto Joybuzz to the list, along with further experimentation. 

The first lists relied solely on creating a board full of Shudderwocks, possibly with Taunt, Lifesteal and Divine Shield which the opponent couldn’t respond too due to Loatheb. This was very strong against a large proportion of the field, but could still be answered by some classes, namely Druid and Warrior. 

The next innovation, which takes us to where we are today, was actually somewhat of a regression. We have added back in a Lifedrinker and Grumble, Worldshaker, which enables you to create large boards of Shudderwocks, but still be able to return them to your hand, while dealing damage!

The new card that has started to make their way into lists is Earthquake, offering a flexible and powerful board clear against aggro. 

This Snapshot’s featured list was taken to Legend on two servers by XxFroBro45xX. He teched the list specifically against Mage, while including a copy of Storm Chaser to dig for clears against aggro.

XxFroBro45xX’s Double Legend Shudderwock Shaman:


Tier 3


— Even Highlander Shaman — 

A new flavour of Even Shaman had been making its way around the Wild Ladder, and it’s certainly spicy! Even Highlander Shaman merges the incredible power of Even Shaman with strong highlander cards, creating a very flexible package. 

Even Shaman as a deck is incredibly powerful, with the consistency of summoning totems to reduce the cost of Thing from Below, filling the board to cheat out cheap Sea Giants, and developing early, overstatted minions. 

This highlights the issues when compared to Even Highlander Shaman. You can only run one copy of each card, so you are less likely to draw your copies of your most powerful cards. This means your average turn will be weaker, as the average card in your deck is less powerful.

The available highlander cards, however, are very powerful, which makes up somewhat for a thinner deck, but there are only two of these. On the other hand, consistency is often critical in Hearthstone, and Even Highlander Shaman, like all Reno Decks, struggles with this. 

Even Highlander Shaman was first conceived and taken to Legend by Moke on the Asia server. The list then made its way to other regions, and was taken to Legend by HitmanTB. He was able to reach legend in just over 50 games with a 73% win rate. 

Moke’s Even Highlander Shaman:


— Aggro Shaman — 

The main benefit the wild version of Aggro Shaman is that it gets is access to cards like Tunnel Trogg, Sir Finley Mrrgglton, Totem Golem, Whirling Zap-o-matic, and Loatheb, which are all huge additions to the decks in terms of explosivity, burst, and ability to defeat spell based control decks. 

Muroc Shaman and Even Shaman both run some of these wild-exclusive cards, so why is Aggro Shaman poorly rated in comparison? It’s because it suffers from being slower than its Murloc cousin and having less explosive turns than Even Shaman. While it tries to do similar things to Even and Murloc Shaman, it really doesn’t do either nearly as well. 

Aggro Shaman is not a very popular choice on the ladder and this deck is probably the least explored of them all. We are left with an outdated list, as there has been little experimentation or innovation with this variant. 

Our recommendation? Just play Murloc Shaman or Even Shaman if you wish to play an aggressive Shaman build without throwing away your stars/legend points.

MahzMOK’s #6 Legend Aggro Shaman:

Knoepklapper’s Anti-Mage Aggro Shaman:


— Secondary Shudderwock Builds (Quest/Reno/Reno Freeze) — 

As soon as the new Shaman quest, Corrupt the Waters, got revealed, people started envisioning a battlecry-driven version of Shudderwock Shaman running the quest. The perceived power level was high and it was by many considered the best quest coming out of Saviors of Uldum. This may still be the case, but it’s too early to tell for sure. 

Even if we’re still early in the expansion, before an optimal list is developed, current experiments with Corrupt the Waters in Shudderwock Shaman have been unconvincing. In fact, the newest and best build of the deck drops some of its battlecries for a sturdier Corpsetaker package, and going back to the older version with battlecries by removing said package seems to weaken the deck’s defenses.

There is an obvious tension between having to run cheap battlecry minions in order to fulfill the quest in the first turns of the game with keeping up on board. Another weakness of depending on battlecries is value limitation. Even if the quest grants, in theory, unlimited value, expending many battlecries just in order to get the reward risks leaving your hand depleted, and as such not enough value for the quest to carry over the game thereafter.

Furthermore, the quest reward is not a “passive hero power,” as for example the Druid one. Forcing you to spend two mana to activate it means that often you won’t have enough mana to play multiple battlecries, or use the quest power in conjunction with Shudderwock itself. It is, in summary, a slow quest with a slow reward, and we are not sold on its viability in the higher levels of the game. 

Another interesting take on Shudderwock Shaman is a highlander build with the new hot wish-granter Zephrys the Great. Similar in main functionality to normal Quest Shudderwock, this deck substitutes consistency for great power spikes in Reno Jackson and the aforementioned Zephrys. The problem lies with Shaman’s control tools, which are already limited. Being forced to run only one copy of Volcano and Hagatha’s Scheme is perilous in the current meta. The deck overall suffers from the same problems already mentioned in normal Quest Shudderwock: a slow-start, an expensive quest reward, and a reliance on battlecries which were deemed inferior to other builds.


Lastly, we have Reno Freezer Shudderwock Shaman. This is a good all around control deck using both Zephrys and Reno. The usual infinite Shudderwock pack is here: Doppelgangster, Lifedrinker, and multiple cards with bounce effects. Glacial Shard and Brrloc are popular inclusions, as they usually buy you a turn against big enemies such as various giants, and the freezing synergy with Shudderwock is powerful. Sandstorm Elemental and Maelstrom Portal also help keep aggressive decks at bay. For mass removal we have a few treats: Hagatha’s Scheme can potentially grow to be a monstrous size; new friend Earthquake should clear out any board midgame, as should old friend Volcano; Plague of Murlocs can morph down scary boards to cute little Murlocs; and Devolve can unbuff boards to oblivion. 

The deck also runs Haunting Visions to support a price reduction and discover an extra spell — don’t underestimate this card. Strong all-around techs are Dirty Rat and Loatheb, and also added Eater of Secrets because Secret Mage is still very prevalent on ladder. Note that Primordial Drake is used as this deck’s big AOE battlecry and works better than the Hagatha hero card. Ideally, Shudderwock should bounce back extra Shudderwocks AND create a Zephrys card, so you have to keep a careful eye on hand size to avoid overdrawing.

Lastly, Hex is probably one of the best spells out there for 4 mana, so we added it too. For draw we use Far Sight, Ancestral Knowledge and, of course, the all-great price reducing Jepetto Joybuzz.

TheGreatGoku’s Reno Freeze Shudderwock Shaman:

Mentalistic and YataGG’s Quest Shudderwock Reno Shaman:

Ghostdog_HS’ Reno Quest Shudderwock Shaman:


Tier 4


— Big Shaman — 

Big Shaman is a deck which focuses on different minion/mana cheating options the Shaman class offers to get (copies) of big minions out in play early. This cheating is done in three different ways: by dragging a minion from hand to the field with Ancestor’s Call; by summoning a copy of a minion in hand with Eureka!; or by summoning a 4/4 copy of a minion in your deck through Muckmorpher. 

This game plan is further strengthened by cards such as Big Bad Voodoo and Ancestral Spirit. These enable you to either resurrect mana-cheated minions upon death or summon evolved minions in their place. Unlike Big Priest, however, this cheating out of minions is done on a limited basis. Once your minions die, there are far fewer options to bring them back.

This core of high power minions and cheating them out is supported by some of the strong tools Shaman has to fight for board control. With spells like Hagatha’s Scheme in later turns as well as Maelstrom Portal for the early game, you can fight for board control until you hit your power turns. Hex and Plague of Murlocs can diffuse big threats or serve as single target removal when a Polymorph-like effect is needed. This is further strengthened by tools such as Healing Rain for extra life gain, as well as Walking Fountain, which serves as removal and life gain simultaneously.

Some things to keep in mind with this deck is that you can use Ancestor’s Call as combo disruption by summoning combo pieces from your opponent’s hand. This makes it a good consideration to save this card for a turn where you can deal with a potential combo piece.

Some tech choices for the deck include a second Healing Rain against aggro matchups and Ragnaros against control decks.

A big issue with this deck is that it has a bad matchup against Secret Mage, which is very prevalent. Furthermore, it is too slow to get a foothold against the majority of Reno Decks. It is possible that the deck, once updated to the new meta, would move into Tier 3, but currently it is seeing little play or innovation. 

The featured list in this snapshot is an updated list by Knoepklapper. He has taken the list from Damnringer_HS from last expansion and tried to optimize it for the new meta. We are also including Damnringer_HS’ list itself, which is a good starting point if you wish to experiment with your own version of the deck. 

Knoepklapper’s Big Shaman Shaman:

Damnringer_HS’ Big Shaman:


— Odd Shaman — 

When you think of meme Shaman decks, one of the first things that comes to mind is likely Odd Shaman. Yet Japanese player  おてぃか (Otyka2828) was able to achieve rank 17 Legend in Asia with his innovative list! How? Read on.

Otyka2828 added a Shudderwock package with Doppelgangster, Evolve, and Loatheb, which had proven itself to be very powerful in the classic Shudderwock Shaman. The addition of Corridor Creeper adds another minion that’s great to evolve, or a good tempo play once you achieve its desired cost reduction. 

The best idea that Otyka has had though is, without a doubt, the addition of Arcane Watcher. This three mana 5/6 can only attack when you have a minion (or in this case totem) with spell damage, which Odd Shaman can conveniently produce on-demand. This overstatted minion can win games by itself. 

We can attest to the power level of this deck being much higher than expected for an Odd Shaman deck, making this a deck that’s definitely worth trying! Or at least for surprising a few people on ladder. 

おてぃか (Otyka2828) #17 Asia Odd Shaman:


— Jade Shaman — 

Jade Shaman, after stagnating as an archetype for a long period due to few new cards, has been almost totally revitalised. The deck is now significantly more powerful due to the addition of the new Shaman quest, Corrupt the Waters, enabling you to create much larger jades much earlier. 

Early in the game, Jade Shaman benefits largely from the inclusion of a lackey package. Each lackey generator creates another battlecry for the quest, meaning it is often finished by turn four or five. Weaponized Wasp is also able to be used to retain or regain board presence, or push face damage. 

The mid-game into late-game involves switching gears, aiming to create as large of Jade Golems as possible, making full use of your completed quest’s new hero power. If you haven’t run over your opponent with your big green men, you can always follow up with Shudderwock. This will fill your board with huge Jade Golems, hopefully protected by Loatheb’s powerful battlecry. 

The two featured lists in this Snapshot are from Magma004 and GUMinion. Magma004’s list includes the Corpsetaker package, which gives the deck extra survival against aggro. It also includes a copy of Coldlight Oracle and Zola the Gorgon to combat the decks main weakness (card draw). GUMinion focuses more on lackeys and includes Lifedrinkers for extra burst. 

Magma004’s Corpsetaker Jade Shaman:

GUMinion’s Jade Shaman:


— Malygos Shaman — 

Malygos Shaman plays out similarly to Mecha’thun Warlock, where if cards are drawn in the right order, your opponent can only sit and wait for death. But, as you can imagine, the perfect game rarely happens. From having all burn spells in your hand, Malygos not being drawn, Barnes summoning the wrong minion, having the combo in hand but not enough burn spells yet, having to spend burn spells on minions and not drawing a single Hagatha’s Scheme in the early game… the deck has a lot of ways it can fizzle. 

That’s all a fancy way of saying that Malygos Shaman is in an abysmal spot in the meta right now. Reno decks with Skulking Geist and Dirty Rat eat the deck alive, as does Secret Mage, which can easily out-burn Malygos Shaman. Jade Druid and Odd Warrior are also tricky matchups. We predict that the deck will see near-zero play unless a suitable pocket meta full of ultra-greedy control decks exists.

Malygos Shaman’s game plan has largely been the same since Rastakhan: cycle with Spirit of the Frog, use Emperor Thaurissan to discount combo pieces, and play Ancestor’s Call to summon Malygos before burning out your opponent. In this snapshot, we decided to feature two decks. The first is the list ksr piloted to rank 10 legend in NA, with the second that bmking69 piloted to legend in EU. 

bmk’s Legend Malygos Shaman:

Ksr’s #10 Legend Malygos Shaman:


Off-Meta Shaman Decks


Below are several off-meta Shaman decks. These are great for casual games, if you’re chilling on the rank floor, or want to surprise an opponent with an unusual deck, but don’t fall into specific tiers because they’re not commonly seen on ladder.

Big Even Dragon Shaman  

Big Even Dragon Shaman has an early game pretty similar to Even Shaman, aiming to try and not fall too far behind on board against aggro decks. Then you try and empty your hand of small/cheap minions, and pull a big boy from your hand with Ancestor’s Call / Eureka! Your game plan against combo decks is to cheat out your big minions as quickly as possible and create board states that they cannot answer. 

Yogg Reno Shudderwock Shaman 

Yogg Reno Shudderwock shaman is one of the greatest meme decks ever created in many people’s eyes. You try and stay alive until you’ve played most of your battlecries and spells. Then you play Shudderwock, ruin the entire boardstate, and laugh like a maniac while your game is decided purely by RNG. Be sure to emote before playing Yogg. 

Below are also three other options to consider by pushpin. We won’t be discussing them, but can assure you they’re worth a quick try, especially the Dragon Quest Shaman!

Big Even Dragon Shaman:

Yogg Reno Shudderwock Shaman:

Pushpin Elemental Quest Shaman:

Pushpin Dragon Quest Shaman:

Pushpin Control Shaman:


If you wish to see more off meta decks, see snapshots from additional classes, or learn more about our team, check out the latest at Wildhearths.com. 


Thank you to the following players for helping us with the report:

Magma004 – Co-ordinator, Website Manager, Writer

Bmk – Co-ordinator, Writer  

Romulus – Co-ordinator, Writer

Mørbeck – Lead Co-ordinator 

Iskari – Editor 

TheRottedZombie – Writer, Editor 

HiddenPants – Writer

Knoepklapper – Writer 

TheGreatGoku – Writer

m3s – Writer

Pure – Expert 

Spirituus – Expert