Hey Guys, Curemew again to welcome you to NEL Deck and Guide #4. This time I’m going to be bringing you the Taunt Shaman Midrange Deck. Why Shaman? With the recent nerf to Shaman’s biggest enemy, Aggro Hunter and all the decks that run Leeroy, this is the perfect time to bring out a new Shaman brew. This deck is originally made by MagicWind. He is the best Hearthstone player in China and is currently ranked 7th in World on Gosugamers. He already has some success with this deck as his Shaman went 5-0 in NEL so far. He told me although his deck has an unfavorable match against Hunter, he could still win, even in a tournament. I guess that’s why he called himself “Magic”. Most importantly, this deck has nothing to do with Leeroy, so the balance changes would only bring positive influence. Let’s take a look at this Deck!
- This deck plays a grindy-midrange style looking to extract maximum value from its cards.
- Vs. Control, key card: Reincarnate. Control’s playstyle is focused on the late game and Reincarnate + Sylvanas/Kel’Thuzad is an exceptional late game synergy.
- Vs. Aggro, key card(s): Taunt. Try to get Reincarnate + Nerubian Egg for early game aggression and Feral Spirit and Lightning Storm for board control. Close out the game with endless taunts for the win.
- No Lightning Bolt. Isn’t that crazy? Most Shaman decks run double Lightning Bolt but I don’t like it. In the early game, I could use creatures combo with buff and spells to slow down my opponent’s attack. In late game, I would try to win the game by a well timed Reincarnate. I don’t need many removal spells. Taunt can force my opponent to trade while also protecting my totems.
- This deck run seven Taunt-cards, and six of them can take attacks at least twice: Feral Spirit, Defender of Argus, Al’Akir with Divine Shield, and Sludge Belcher for example. Kel’Thuzad behind Taunts is the most scary thing in Hearthstone.
- Reincarnate: Against control, I would almost always play Sylvanas and Kel’Thuzad with Reincarnate on the same turn, unless I’m 100% sure my opponent has no way to deal with them this turn. Against aggro, I would use Reincarnate on Nerubian Egg as an aggressive move.
- Hex: I don’t think Hexing a Harvest Golem is always a bad move. Sometimes I do it for an early aggression. In late game, I don’t always have to count on Hex to deal with enemy’s big creatures since I have Reincarnate + Sylvanas. I can also send my entire board to them then play Kel’Thuzad to bring it all back. Timing your Hexes is one of the hardest parts about this deck, but your late game strength helps cover a mistake if you make it.
- Kel’Thuzad: This is the best card with Reincarnate. Sure eight Health isn’t that hard to remove, but how about killing two eight Health guys in one turn? Let alone double Kel’Thuzad behind Taunts!
- Al'Akir the Windlord: Another key card in this deck. This is the only burst damage we have and it can combo with Flametongue Totem, or Rockbiter Weapon, or Reincarnate. Keep an eye out for Overload before you play Al’Akir as it may cost you the entire game.
Combos and Synergies
- Reincarnate + Sylvanas = 2 mana Mind Control(randomly though)
- Reincarnate + Kel’Thuzad = because Naxxrasmas needs two bosses!
- Reincarnate on other minions + Kel’Thuzad = make it double!
- Kel’Thuzad + Flametongue Totem = Army of the Dead 2.0
Feral Spirit, Loot Hoarder, Flametongue Totem
vs Hunter: Feral Spirit(very important), Earth Shock, Rockbiter Weapon, Nerubian Egg (I would also keep Reincarnate, Flametongue Totem if you already have a Nerubian Egg)
vs Miracle Rogue: Leotheb (very important)
vs Zoolock: Lightning Storm (very important), Feral Spirit, Earth Shock, Rockbiter Weapon, Nerubian Egg (Reincarnate, Flametongue Totem if already have a Nerubian Egg)
vs Priest: Feral Spirit, Loot Hoarder, Earth Shock, Rockbiter Weapon, Nerubian Egg (Reincarnate, Flametongue Totem if you already have a Nerubian Egg)
vs Secret Mage: Hex, Feral Spirit, Loot Hoarder, Earth Shock, Rockbiter Weapon, Nerubian Egg (Reincarnate, Flametongue Totem if you already have a Nerubian Egg)
vs Control Paladin: Feral Spirit, Loot Hoarder, Earth Shock, Rockbiter Weapon, Nerubian Egg (Reincarnate, Flametongue Totem if you already have a Nerubian Egg)
Matchupsvs Control Warrior: 85/15
- I would try to use my Hero Power on every possible turn. I wouldn’t play too many minions on board, just make sure that my opponent has none.
- I would save some of my Taunts for Alexstrasza. I usually hold at least 2 Taunt-cards before Alex is out.
- Warrior would very likely use Brawl after my Sylvanas + Reincarnate combo. Then next time, Reincarnate on Kel’Thuzad with endless Taunts could be the game.
- Alex + Weapon + Grommash is the only burst damage from Warrior. This is why I need Taunts after Alex is out. If Warrior still has Brawl, I would try to keep one Taunt totem plus another Taunt minion on board.
vs Midrange Hunter: 50/50 vs Aggro Hunter: 30/70
- I would try to play out my Taunts as soon as possible so that I can survive the early game. Feral Spirits help a lot.
- Playing one high value minion is much better than a full board of low mana creatures. I would say no more Hero Power after turn five, unless both Unleash are used up.
- Shaman has the best answer to Highmane: Hex or Earth Shock.
- How to deal with Traps?
vs Miracle Rogue: 45/55
- Here is your ideal curve for the matchup: Sen’jin, into Sludge Belcher, into Fire Elemental, into Hero power + Defender of Argus or another Sludge Belcher, into Kel’Thuzad.
- Without an ideal curve, it is very hard to beat Rogue’s optimal draws. The only thing can be done from my side is to time Leotheb correctly. I would mulligan everything that is not a Leotheb.
- I would not play Feral Spirit when my opponent has dagger with Deadly Poison unless it’s the only way to save me from next turn lethal.
vs Zoolock: 55/45
- If there is any other option, I would save my Lightning Storm for maximum value. It would be great if I can use it after turn five with Bloodmage and/or a Spellpower totem.
- The perfect early-game, is a Nerubian Egg with Flametongue Totem and Rockbiter Weapon.
- Earth Shock always targets enemy’s Nerubian Egg: or sometimes Haunted Creeper if I have Spellpower.
vs Deathrattle Priest: 60/40 vs Amaz Priest: 70/30
- I would not use Reincarnate on my Nerubian Egg unless I fear getting rushed down.
- Priest has double Shadow Word: Death or Auchenai Soulpriest plus double Circle of Healing to deal with my Reincarnate + Kel’Thuzad combo. I would try to bait one SW: Death and one Circle before my combo.
- Keep an eye out for Cabal Shadow Priest on turn five or six to steal Bloodmage, Nerubian Egg, Flametongue Totem, Feral Spirit, etc.
vs Secret Mage: 65/35
- How to deal with Secrets?
- I would use Hex on Water Elemental, if it gets played out on turn four and I cannot trade for it efficiently with the help of Flametongue Totem.
- I would not use Fire Elemental’s battlecry to kill a Mad Scientist because there’s possibility that Mirror Entity gets put into battlefield by its Deathrattle and triggers.
vs Control Paladin: 55/45
- Paladin has double Equality to counter my Reincarnate + Sylvanas/Kel’Thuzad play. So I need to bait them out as soon as possible. Fire Elemental might just do the trick.
- If Paladin uses Aldor Peacekeeper or Humility on my Fire Elemental, I can always Earth Shock it. This play works better with Healing Totem on board.
- I would never play Kel’Thuzad before both Equalitys are used up.
- How to deal with Tirion? Reincarnate + Sylvanas.
I wanted to Earth Shock the Acolyte of Pain so that Warrior cannot draw any cards from it. Since this was late in the game, and I had a huge card advantage, I had to stop him drawing cards. I had also assumed that the Warrior here had a Brawl which I wanted to bait it out. With five minions on board, he would very likely use Brawl. If he didn’t, he would need to deal with the double Flametongue Totem with cards like Execute or Shield Slam: this outcome would be fine with me as well.
Bait the Brawl
Now the question is, Feral Spirit, Defender of Argus, Sen’jin Shieldmasta, which one of these should I play? I thought that Feral Spirit plus Defender of Argus combo is slightly better than Sen’jin, especially after Brawl, so I chose to play Sen’jin. At the end of this turn, I would have five minions on board and it did bait out the Brawl.
Here I could’ve used Lightning Storm plus Fire Elemental for a guaranteed board clear. But I heard Kel’Thuzad’s whisper. He tempted me with a better plan: be greedy he said. I chose Fire Elemental to kill the Houndmaster, my 4/4 killed the 3/2, and then I cast Feral Spirit so that the 1/1 dog cannot kill my 4/1 Nerubian. Next turn I would play Kel’Thuzad and send as many minions as possible to die. They would come back to board because of Kel’Thuzad. A typical Kel’Thuzad play.
Kel'Thuzad Made Me Greedy
I had two options here. The first one was that I could kill both Spectral Spider with 4/3 and 2/3 leaving Leotheb alone. Alternatively, I could trade Leotheb with the 4/3 and 1/1 totem. I chose option one because next turn, if Leotheb killed my 2/2 wolf and left a body 5/3, I could maximize my Fire Elemental’s battlecry by finishing Leotheb off.
Calculate the Next Move
People may wonder why I used my 4/3 to kill a Spectral Spider instead of sending the 1/1 totem, here’s my rationale: against Warlock, there’s usually no difference between a 4/2 and 4/3 body because Soulfire would be the only way to deal damage past Taunts.
Al'Akir plus Rockbiter Weapon to kill a 3/5 and a 4/4 leaving me with a body 3/1. Next turn I would have less than 16 Health with no Taunts after Warlock trades my Al’Akir with Leper Gnome. This could be very dangerous. Second option, I could play Kel’Thuzad, Rockbiter Weapon on Egg to trade Abusive Sergeant, get another Nerubian Egg and a 4/4. Next turn, the Warlock could not kill me. If my opponent chose to ignore Kel’Thuzad, the game would be over after playing Al’Akir. If he would trade for Kel’Thuzad, I could play Al’Akir with Flametongue Totem or Reincarnate to take the board control back.
Deck in action
vs Warrior, Hunter, Warlock
vs Priest, Warlock, Hunter