With the right combination, Shamans can rival the burst damage of Miracle Rogues and even compete with the board clears of Mages. Of course, finding the right deck for Shaman can be a bit tricky, thanks to the wide range of roles that Shamans can play, from healing and taunts to direct damage and AoE spells. In terms of versatility, the Shaman class is up there with Druid, although Overload can make it difficult for even the most experienced players to play around.
But it’s not just about strategy: sometimes it is about the cards you use. But you don’t need a deck full of Legendaries (impractical, if not impossible) to hit Legend; all it takes is the right mix of Epics and rares that can synergize with your commons. Balance in all things, as it were.
To help you out, we’ve come up with a list of some essential Shaman cards you’ll need to climb the ladder. We’ve also tried to provide you with a few tips on spending your gold and dust. This guide will hopefully show you that crafting a few epics or rares and pairing them with the right common can be of more value than spending all that dust on a single Legendary.
Not all the cards you’ll see here will be from the current Meta; most of these cards are what we think will work best in Wild or any kind of evergreen deck. However, some of these cards are being used in the current Meta and would be great additions to any deck.
A word about Shaman: some people tend to ignore their Totem hero power, which is a huge mistake. Shaman totems can turn the tide of battle in the most random times; in my experience, Wrath of Air totem (Spell Damage +1) has gotten me out of trouble more times than I can count, and Stoneclaw Totem has saved me from lethal 9 times out of 10. Yes, they can be random, but try to cast it as much as possible: it’s still board presence, and with the right cards, can even deal damage while you wait for your higher damage spells/minions.
Shaman Class Cards
In this section, we list the class-specific cards that are important for you as a Shaman. We’ve listed them down in order of priority, from high to low, so that you craft the cards that are most important on the get-go.
Common Shaman Cards
Walking Fountain (High Priority): Introduced in the Rise of Shadows expansion, Walking Fountain is an 8-cost 4/8 minion with Rush, Lifesteal, and Winfury. It’s now an essential part of any Shaman deck, thanks to it being a great combination of removal and healing. Primarily a defensive card, if your Walking Fountain survives to your next turn, it can be buffed and turned into a powerful damage dealing minion with lifesteal, possibly turning tables and winning you the match.
Lightning Bolt (Medium Priority): Usually used as a burst finisher or even as a cheap removal spell, the humble Lightning Bolt is a 1-cost spell that deals 3 damage for 1 Overload. It’s basic, classic, but can be deadly if utilized properly, especially if you have a spell damage minion or totem on board.
Rain of Toads (Medium Priority): Another card introduced in the Rise of Shadows expansion, Rain of Toads has become the choice card for defensive players, thanks to its ability to create multiple taunt minions in a single go. Rain of Toads is a 6-cost spell that summons three 2/4 Toads with taunt. Already you can see how much value they offer beyond their stats: they can be cast with Ancestral Spirit to give them a second chance at life, or used with Bloodlust to create a potentially lethal turn.
Soul of the Murloc (Low Priority): A must-have for Shamans running a Murloc deck, Soul of the Murloc is a 2-cost spell that gives your minions the Deathrattle: Summon a 1/1 Murloc. It’s low priority because not everyone will be using a Murloc deck, but it’s on this list because it still provides you with a 1/1 minion after your opponent’s initial attack. If these murlocs survive, you’ll most likely have some spells that can synergize with murlocs, or simply have buff cards that can provide them extra damage.
Rare Shaman Cards
Sludge Slurper (Highest Priority): Sludge Slurper is a 1-cost 2/1 murloc that adds a random Lackey to your hand. It does overload you by 1, but it’s high priority simply because of how much value it creates for you. First, as a turn 1 minion, 2/1 is more than decent, with few other neutral or class-specific minions with that high attack damage. Second, yes it does Overload you, but it’s a small step back for generating a Lackey, which can then be played, again for value, by turn 2. It’s one of the most flexible and useful cards you can have in your deck.
Lightning Storm (High Priority): In terms of reach and damage, Lightning Storm is probably one of the most valuable cards for Shamans, and probably one of the closest cards that come close to Mage’s Flamestrike. It’s 3 cost for 2/3 damage across the enemy board for 2 Overload, making it one of the most useful board clears in your arsenal, especially for early game (or even mid game).
Hagatha’s Scheme (High Priority): Introduced in Rise of Shadows, Hagatha’s Scheme is a 5-cost spell that deals 1 damage to ALL minions on the board. This damage goes up by 1 every turn it’s in your hand, giving you an extremely powerful board clear for your late game. Held long enough and there are really very few minions that can withstand the damage.
Likkim (Low Priority): Cheap and deals ok damage, Likkim is a 2-cost weapon introduced in Rastakhan’s Rumble. It has +2 attack while you have Overloaded crystals. This damage can stack up to 9, giving you a 2-cost 9 attack weapon. It’s low-priority because it will only add value if you play consecutive Overloads, but it’s still on the list because it’s an essential weapon for Aggro Shaman.
Epic Shaman Cards
Far Sight (High Priority): Far Sight can add extreme amounts of value to your deck, particularly if it pulls a Big minion or an expensive spell. Essential for Big Shaman decks because it can theoretically pull out late-game minions during early game, increasing your tempo and keeping you ahead of the curve.
Haunting Visions (High Priority): Similar to Far Sight, Haunting Visions lessens the cost of your next spell by 3 and Discovers a spell. This can be very valuable in a pinch by providing you with board clear or a hard removal spell.
Thunderhead (Medium Priority): A 4-cost 3/6 minion that summons two 1/1 Sparks with Rush every time you play a card with Overload, Thunderhead can be used to easily clear your enemy board, or set up your side for Bloodlust. It’s Medium priority, however, because it does offer fairly weak minions for you to buff. Nonetheless, it’s on the list because of the value it adds by reinforcing your board presence, even if it is with 1/1 minions.
Legendary Shaman Cards
Hagatha the Witch (Highest Priority): Hagatha The Witch is Shaman’s alternate hero, similar to the Death Knight cards introduced in Knights of the Frozen Throne. Her hero power is the passive Bewitch, which adds a random Shaman card to your hand every time you drop a minion on board. Playing this card also deals 3 damage to ALL minions, which can be an effective board control in late-game.
Shudderwock (High Priority): A key card and finisher in Battlecry decks, Shudderwock still offers immense value to players, even if they don’t play as many Battlecry minions as a deck that’s dedicated to it. Despite its fairly specific battlecry, Shudderwock is still high-priority because of the value he provides players in the late game.
Swampqueen Hagatha – Priority = LOW: Swampqueen Hagatha is a high-value card that can be used in slower decks. However, it is considered an optional addition rather than an essential card.
Al’Akir the Windlord (Low Priority): Flexible, useful, and pretty powerful, Al’Akir the Windlord is an 8-cost 3/5 card with Charge, Divine Shield, Windfury, and Taunt. His keywords alone add immense value to your board and Al’Akir is usually used as a game finisher by some players. However, because of his high cost and fairly weak attack for late game, he goes down on the list of priority cards.
Your deck doesn’t have to be all Shaman; these neutral cards synergize well with most Shaman decks and can augment the value your Shaman cards provide. Note, however, that these cards will usually synergize with many other classes, so crafting them would be a boon not just for Shaman players, but for other class specialists as well.
Rare Neutral Cards
Murloc Tastyfin (Medium Priority): Draws 2 Murlocs from your deck and provides a decent 3/2 minion to boot, Murloc Tastyfin is essential for Murloc Shaman, but can also synergize with other Shaman decks to get you minions on hand.
Epic Neutral Cards
Magic Carpet (High Priority) = Used in Aggro Shaman decks and Murloc Shaman decks, Magic Carpet is a 3-cost 1/6 minion that gives your other 1/1 minions +1 attack and Rush when they’re summoned. Pair this with Soul of the Murloc, and you’ll have a dangerous board that your opponent will have to scramble to clear.
Sea Giant (High Priority): Great with Aggro Shaman, Sea Giant costs 1 less for each minion on the battlefield, meaning this is the best minion to use either as a damage dealer or as a soft taunt against other Aggro players.
Legendary Neutral Cards
Zilliax (High Priority): Extremely versatile and pretty powerful, Zilliax is now becoming standard across all decks and classes, thanks to its defensive and healing properties. Zilliax can be buffed either by magnetizing it with another mech or with Bloodlust to provide Shaman players with a high-damage life-stealing minion.