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Aggro Shaman Guide: It’s Back (Again)

Dec 27, 2016

My greatest fears have come to fruition. During the reveal of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, I wondered about this. And now it has happened. The new cards were cool and strong, but unfortunately, all they did was make Shaman even stronger. Sure, other classes may be good too, but Shaman is still the strongest class in the game. Even worse? The new overpowered list is no longer midrange, but aggro. Again. Did you miss dying on turn five? No? Too bad.


Aggro Shaman DecklistAs you can see, this takes the old Aggro Shaman deck and adds in Pirates and Jade. This has been found to not only be more aggressive because of the Pirates, but more consistent because of Jades. You have reliable one drops and your removal spells create minions. With the power of Flametongue, those 1/1 and 2/2 Jades are huge. I wouldn’t suggest changing this list too much, it’s pretty solid and well tested.


Basically, this is a typical Aggro Shaman package, but with Mean Streets cards added in. The Pirate package makes their early game far stronger. The Jade package is simply more creatures built into effective spells. You’ll want to mulligan hard for one and two drops, they are the only things you should keep. Tunnel Trogg and Small-Time Buccaneer are both incredibly broken and are the core of this deck. Forcing your opponent to respond behind, and continue responding behind, is key. As with all Aggro decks, controlling board and pushing damage early is important.

The real decision making in Aggro decks comes from knowing when to push face versus clearing board. Typically with this type of deck, take any value trade you can, but otherwise clear with your face. You have a plethora of weapons, in most cases they will be enough to clear. If they aren’t, make use of Totem Golem’s big health to clear. Otherwise, just push face hard, while attempting to play around AoE. For example, don’t play into a turn four Hellfire, trade if you have to before that. But if their class doesn’t have easy clear, just push face.

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Good Matchups

Unfortunately, the era of Shaman has returned. This deck is good against nearly all other decks. According to the vS Data Report, Aggro Shaman is currently just under 20% of ladder. They have a positive win rate against every variant of Druid, Hunter, Paladin, and Rogue. The Rogue and Druid stats there are particularly relevant, as they are both very common on ladder. Aggro Shaman also goes fairly even with Reno Warlock, highly reliant on whether they draw Reno. This is very important as well, as Renolock may be the most popular deck on ladder. This deck also crushes Pirate Warrior, which speaks for itself.

Bad Matchups

The worst matchups for this deck are Control decks in general. All variants of Priest give this deck trouble, as well as Control Warrior. Reno Mage is apparently also quite strong against it, although it’s not a common deck at all. It is nice that this deck isn’t as efficient at killing Control as the old Midrange decks. Unfortunately, if you get a crazy start with Buccaneer, even these matchups are easily winnable. Being able to push seven damage by turn two will never be weak!

If you do plan to play this deck, you’re in luck, because Control is very uncommon on ladder. Priest is about 10% of ladder, while Control Warrior is a mere 3%. Your hardest common matchup will be Renolock, which, as stated, is fairly even on the basis of whether they draw Reno. Shaman is back boys.

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Stephen Draper
Stephen has a degree in English from Brock University. He grew up playing video games and card games, always having an affection for strategy. He picked up League of Legends in early Season One and has since achieved Diamond rank multiple times. He also picked up Hearthstone in Beta and has since achieved Legend consistently. When he isn’t reading, writing, or gaming, he’s probably watching other people game.
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