Throughout Hearthstones short, but rich history we have seen decks fluctuate in strength and viability. For instance, we’ve seen the Hunter class go from the best to the worst, back to the best, and then back to the worst! A class that has needed some love is the Shamans; they have been much maligned for what seems like an eternity and many consider the class the weakest in the game. Traditionally, its largest weaknesses has been its schizophrenic hero power and the overload mechanic. Not knowing what you’ll consistently get for 2-mana sucks for a hero power and overload stinks because it doesn’t provide enough value for its negative effect. Fortunately, this all looks to be changing as Team-5 has assiduously made an effort to ameliorate the class with the release of The League of Explorers. Cards like Sir Finley Mrrgglton directly address the inutile hero power while cards like the Tunnel Trogg will help change the culture around overload. In this article, I’ll be dealing with the latter, as I will break down one of the most powerful and meta-relevant Shaman decks to date.
How to Play
Like most aggressive decks, the main ideology is to push as much damage as early as possible to the opponents face. Each aggro deck has its own flavor and win condition: Zoolock controls the board early through minion trades to then slowly overwhelm the opponent with high-value mid-tier minions; Face Hunter pushes damage directly to the opponent, early and often with an onslaught of cheap minions until the opponent either loses early or the Face Hunter has to finish them off with either a Kill Command or their hero power; Aggro Druid tries to do a little damage early and then sustain until it can pull off its devastating combination of Force of Nature and Savage Roar. Aggro Shaman also has its niche playstyle and win condition in the realm of aggressive decks. Much like most aggro decks, the Aggro Shaman starts off by trying to push as much early game damage to the opponents face as possible. Thanks to the Tunnel Trogg, having a ridiculously strong opening has never been easier for the Shaman class. Cards like Totem Golem and Lava Shock are finally viable cards, allowing them to take full advantage of the overload synergy. Unlike other aggressive decks, the Aggro Shamans primary win condition is through spells and weapons. Spells like Lava Burst and Crackle are great damage spells and the Doomhammer/Rockbiter Weapon is an insane combination, netting ten damage for only 6-mana!
Obviously, the Tunnel Trogg should be priority number 1, as it provides the strongest possible opener in the Aggro Shaman’s cache. If you’ve already got the Trogg then you should be looking for additional overload cards like the Totem Golem and Ancestral Knowledge to combo off of its fantastic early game effects. Essentially, all you’ll want to be looking for is an opening that can initiate some burst damage. That means you should also be looking for the Leper Gnome, Abusive Sergeant, and Knife Juggler. Getting some early game damage in is crucial because you only have a finite amount of damage to finish off the opponent with. Additionally, try not to burn your spells too early, as you’ll want to use as many as possible all at once to finish off the opponent!
- Tunnel Trogg + Overload: This one is obvious as it is the crux of this deck. Combining overload cards with the Tunnel Trogg has become one of the best early game combinations in Hearthstone. Essentially, it has turned one of the Shaman class’s largest weaknesses into a strength by allowing you to roll off a devastating opener. The days of using Zombie Chow are long gone, no longer do you have to feel bad about your early game, the Tunnel Trogg has come to help ameliorate Shamans and it looks like it’s here to stay.
- Rockbiter Weapon + Charge Minion: Combining the Rockbiter with either the Wolfrider or Argent Horserider is a great mid-game combination that will help you get through walls or finish off the opponent. The Argent Horserider is especially good for getting through walls because of its Divine Shield, often times providing two for one value.
- Rockbiter Weapon + Doomhammer: This has always been one of the best combinations available to the Shaman Class. Ten damage for only six mana is insane, especially when you factor in that you’ll still have additional charges in the weapon to do even more damage later on!
Aggro Shaman is one of the best decks right now to climb the ladder with. It absolutely feasts on midrange decks, and with the ladder being inundated with Secret Paladins and Dragon Priests this is the perfect archetype to combat those decks. Personally, I have to admit, that this is not my favorite way to play the game. I’m more of a fan of consistently using minions and with this deck it’s more like minions in the first half, spells in the second. Either way, it’s an effective deck and if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, make sure to leave them below!