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Hearthstone: An In Depth Deck Guide On Aggro Shaman

Szerro

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Every since League Of Explorers came out Aggro Shaman has been on a bit of a terror. Months have passed and still Aggro Shaman reins supreme in standard. As an Aggro deck it gets alot of flack for being mindless but the deck has alot of play to it and an inexperienced player can find themselfs making alot of mistakes. I will be going over many of the decklist, tips and tricks of aggro shaman as well as an in depth mulligan guide. 


Aggro Shaman aims to get on to the board fast and beat down with powerful and aggresive overload minions early and close the game out with burn spells and Doomhammer in the late game. The deck can get very powerful starts using Tunnel Trogg and Totem Golem to get on the board early and keep the enemy board clear with efficient removal spells like Rockbiter Weapon and Lightning Bolt. In the mid game you will start to shift from controlling the board so you can start hitting your enemy. This is when Lava Shock and Eternal Sentinal will shine, they will let you develop a minion or remove an enemy minion for "free" while also letting you play out the rest of your turn. The late game for aggro shaman starts at around turn 5 or 6 and this is when you want to look to win. Often times you will nolonger be able to hit your enemy with minions by this stage in the game and this is when all your damage will come from the Doomhammer Rockbiter combo and other various burn spells. 

Earth Shock x1: Earth Shock is usually used to bypass a taunt. Sometimes you can use it to finish off a low heath minion or silence a minion with a powerful effect like Flamewaker or Water Elemental. I would never play 2 Earth Shocks but the first one is often very powerful.

Lightning Bolt x2 Rockbiter Weapon x2: Removal in the early game and burn in the late. If you have a Doomhammer in your hand early on consider saving it for burn in the late if possible but dont be afraid to use it early if it allows you to keep a minion alive for another attack. If you are close to winning and think you can win without Doomhammer its usually worth using the rockbitter early so you dont miss damage because your oponent played a taunt. If you really need that extra point of damage to go face save your lightning bolts until you get a spell power totem.

Abusive Sergeant x2 Worgen Infiltrator x2: These two act as "guarenteed" 2 damage because the Wargen under most circumstances wont be able to be dealt with early on and the Abusive have psudo charge. Abusive is an amazing tool for board control too because it allows you to trade up very efficiently. Try to get these out of your hand by the late game.

Sir Finley Mrrgglton x1: A decent body for early game board control, it kills X/1's and with an Abusive it can kill things with 3 health. Its main use is getting rid of your bad Shaman hero power to get a premium hero power, the best being Steady Shot, Life Tap and Shapeshift. If you have alot of spare mana dont forget that you can Hero Power > Finley > New Hero Power.

Tunnel Trogg x2: The card that single handedly made Aggro Shaman a deck. Tunnel Trogg is a rediculously powerful 1 drop that can easily start beating down with 3 attack or more while also having enough health to make an early trade and still fight. You will have games where a trogg is able to get out 10 damage or more while also eating a removal spell that costs far more mana than the Trogg costed you. This is one of the decks MVP's.

Lava Shock x2 Eternal Sentinel x2: Your "Free" cards in the deck. These two are pretty low impact cards but they are still very neccisary for the deck because they let you cheat mana. Lava Shock is a great removal tool in the mid game while Eternal Sentinel will make a moderetly sized body that will be able to beat down. Learning to manage your Overload will be really important and if you only have one overload unlock tool in your hand your going to have to learn the timing on it to get the most out of them.

Flame Juggler X2: Flame Juggler is a decent body at 2 mana with a battlecry that can swing games. While this isnt the most powerful card in the deck is usually will be good enough, aspecially in a format without many good 2 drops. The one damage is also nice because sometimes it can be all you needed to win a game.

Ancestral Knowledge X2: Powerful and cheap card draw for the mid to late game. Occasionally you will use it to pump Tunnel Troggs. Often times this will help you close out a game by drawing you into burn spells. Ancestral is very important to have in a control matchup.

Totem Golem X2:  Another one of the decks MVP's. Curving out Trogg into Totem Golem is often very hard to beat and thats how this deck gets its great early game. Often times it will be better on turn 1 to coin out a Totem Golem and then on turn 2 play a different 1 drop, this way you come out of the gates faster and have a cleaner turn 3. 

Feral Spirit X2: Feral Spirits is an incredible card, It puts up two good taunts to protect your more valuable minions while also creating two minions that can also trade efficiently and beat down. Feral Spirit is often times going to be the card you hope you will draw because its that good. Turn 1 trogg into turn 2 Spirit will put alot of pressure on your opponent and can lead to a very early lead.

Lava Burst x2: This cards main use is to go face for 5 damage (or 6 with a spell power totem). Lava Burst is also really good at protecting your minions by killing a mid sized threat. If you plan on using Lava Burst as removal evaluate if its worth it, Sometimes your better off just saving it for face damage if your minions are no longer of use to you. Remember that with a Trogg Lava burst will pump your Trogg turning it into a "7" damage burn spell.

Flamewreathed Faceless x2:  The Faceless does one job and he does it very well. HE. HITS. HARD. For a modest 4 mana the Faceless can threaten to end a game quickly and is also a hard to deal with threat. If the Faceless gets removed often times you will get a 2 for one or better. This guy will carry games on his own.

Doomhammer x2: Over 4 turns Doomhammer represents 16 damage Split as you choose for 7 mana. Thats an insane clock it puts your opponent on. It will allow you to get a few value trades on small minions that could otherwise be a problem or just hit face hard. On top of the 16 damage it can be a supprise 10 damage burst with a Rockbiter weapon and also makes the Druid Hero Power deal extra damage because of the Windfury. Doomhammer is the best card in your deck and will be the reason you win many of your games. 
 
How it feels to Doomhammer Rockbiter
                                         How it feels to Doomhammer Rockbiter someone

                                             Matchups And General Mulligan Guide                                                   
Aggro Shaman is a very powerful deck and has alot of game against alot of the different decks you will find on ladder. There are no matchups that are unwinnable but there are some decks that you just run over. In genneral your hardest matchups will be Taunt Druid, Midrange Shaman and Warlock Zoo. 

Against every deck you will always want to keep Tunnel Trogg, Totem Golem and Finley. You Will want to mulligan for a powerful early curve, and if you have a one and two drop or are on the coin feral spirits can also be kept. you usually dont want to keep Eternal Sentinel even though its a 2 drop because of how weak it is. 

Warrior: Control warrior may look like a bad matchup but its actually pretty favored for the Shaman. If you know your opponent is a control warrior you can keep an Ancesstral Knowledge or Doomhammer as you will almolst always need one of the two in this matchup. Tempo Warrior is one of Aggro Shamans harder matchups because they can fight for the board early and lock you out with a Bloodhoof Brave or massive armor gain turn with Armorsmiths and Whirlwind effects. Mullagin aggresivly for Totem Golems and try to bait Execute on a smaller minion so your Faceless can win a game fast. You win this matchup by Coming out the gate fast and removing their threats. If its a Pirate warrior face damage isnt as important as getting value trades are. The person in this matchup who has more 1 health minions left in this matchup is the one who will win. 

Shaman: In the shaman match up you will want to keep a Lightning Bolt or Rockbiter Weapon to kill a Tunnel Trogg or an Tuskar Totemic. Against Aggro Shaman the player who gets better value trades early will run away with the game. Its going to be a balancing act of tradding life for tempo but not letting yourself go low enough that you will get burned out. Midrange Shaman is a much harder matchup. Their early game is almolst the same as yours except they just go bigger than you do. To win this matchup you need to get under the midrange fast and push alot of face damage quick so you can burn them out. The Midrange Shaman will most likely not have any healing so your damage will stick. Pray they dont have a combonation of thing from below and lightning storm.

Rogue: This deck eats rogues for breakfast. Rogue dosent have much of any healing other than sometimes a Farseer and has to face tank alot of damage to get board control. If you ever see alot of Rogue on ladder just play Aggro Shaman. 

Paladin: If you know its a N'Zoth Paladin you can keep a Doomhammer or Ancestral Knowledge. Get on the board fast and hit their face hard and fast. Keep them off balance and put them into a position where they cannot heal and clear the board at the same time. This matchup is debated on who is favored but i believe the Shaman is favored if they play around removal correctly. Dont go all in on a Faceless as they have Aldor and Humility. If its an Aggro Paladin get value Rockbiters and lightning bolts. If you know its an Aggro Paladin you can keep Flame juggler. Take alot of value trades until you have enough damage to kill him quickly.

Hunter: This matchup is close. Dont overextend too hard early unless you have a way to kill an early Doomsayer. Hunters have very few taunts in their deck and dont have any healing so your damage means alot here. This matchup is a race, take the obvious trades and keep your damage going.

Druid: Most Druids will be a taunt ramp style deck. Thats really hard for you to beat, You will need to draw your Earth Shock at some point get really fast early pressure going and draw alot of burn. Good luck soldier.

Warlock: Mullagin for Faceless, Warlocks have trouble dealing with them. If its a Zoo hope he has a bad turn early keep his important minions off the board and go face fast. They have alot of trouble dealing with a Faceless. Zoo is able to bully you off the board fast and early with more efficient cards. Bait them into life tapping and hope you get on the board faster or can cheese out a game with Doomhammer and burn. If its a Renolock go face and fast. Dont play around anything if it means your giving up too much potential damage and hope they dont have Hellfire or Reno.

Mage: Implying you see mage on ladder anymore. This class is practically nonexistent now but you usually beat them unless they get crazy flamewaker shenanagins foing or a Water Elemental that locks out a Doomhammer.

Priest: You can always keep a Doomhammer against a Priest. If its dragon priest hope they dont curve out on you because if they do you will not win. Take the really obvious trades against either type of Priest and hit them as much as you can. You will often need a Doomhammer Rockbiter or a whole lot of lava bursts to win, with that said you are favored against control priest and unfavored against dragon though both play similarly.

Aggro Shaman is a very well rounded deck and has alot of game against the field. Though it gets looked down as an easy deck because its a face deck it has alot of play and decisions to it that may not be easy to see on the surface. Aggro Shaman rewards good play and punishes people who dont know how to correctly deal with the early pressure. Good luck and have fun with one of my favorite decks to climb the ladder fast. If you have any questions feel free to ask me in the comments or on twitter @SzerroGames.
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