Hearthstone Face Shaman Guide
Hearthstone Face Shaman Guide by mowmail
I want to preface this “Guide” by saying I am not amazing by hearthstone by any means. Although I have been playing since closed beta I believe I can only play aggro well, and even then I still catch myself making mistakes after the game. With that out of the way, lets dive in.
Before anybody says this is a ripoff of Reynads aggro mech shaman, its not. I built this deck the same day he did, but a few hours before Proof. Luffy did it first, I just didn’t know. (btw Krups is a great streamer). The deck focuses on killing your opponent as quickly as possible. First by playing multiple low cost minions, then following up with insane amounts of burst.
I am going to go into every card that I have tried in this deck, and what my thoughts are on it. I am not sure what the ideal list is, and am quite open to recommendations.
Earth Shock: This decks Ironbeak Owl. Its main use is to silence taunts, but also can benefit from spell damage and be used to kill a shreader or the like. Initially I did not have one in my list, but have come to the conclusion that one might be necessary.
Lightning Bolt: Quick efficient damage that procs Tunnel Trogg. I can see this card as a potential one of, but haven’t tested it out as the card has been consistently good.
Rockbiter Weapon: Easily one of the strongest cards in the deck. It turns a Doomhammer or Whirling Zap-o-matic into 10 damage or can be used as removal.
Abusive Sargent: Initially I had two of this card in my deck, but quickly realized that Flametongue Totem was stronger in almost any situation. The one thing I miss about Abusive is that it practically guaranteed a turn one play when going first. (Although 6 one drops is excessive)
Leper Gnome: No face deck is complete without Leper Gnome. It demands to be dealt with and almost always deals more than two damage.
Tunnel Trogg: Although a bit overhyped, this card has preformed amazingly in this deck. Gaining 1 damage for every overloaded mana crystal turns Lighting Bolt into 4 damage or Lava Burst into 7. Turn one Tunnel Trogg into turn two Totem Golem can seal you the game in certain situations (Druid/Pally).
Ancestral Knowledge: This card is really hard to fit into this decks curve. Early on it is a dead draw, since two overload is just too much of a momentum loss the first few turns of the game. Late game the card is great, as two cards quite frequently means at least 5 damage of burst.
Crackle: Honestly I hate this card, but it is too good to cut. I have won games by rolling two sixes when my opponent is at 12 and lost games by rolling two threes when my opponent is at 7. Unfortunately the card fits in as strong late game burst, therefore must be put in the deck.
Lava Shock: Initially I did not have the card in my deck, but have recently put one copy in. Unlocking your mana crystals has yet to be a game winning effect, but can be helpful the turn after Doomhammer. The two damage is useful in most situations, but it can feel as if you are overpaying for two damage.
Flametongue Totem: I experimented with cutting this card, but it is far too good. Playing this with two minions is exceptionally strong and helps maintain an early aggressive stance.
Stormforged Axe: Although I like the idea of dealing 6 damage over 3 turns, the card is just doesn’t fit. Early game I would rather develop board with minions, and late game I would rather have strong burst.
Totem Golem: The stats justify the overload cost. And now that Shaman can benefit from overload, the card is significantly better.
Whirling Zap-o-Matic: Essentially a two mana 6/2 with no overload! This card is an amazing drop on turn two as it demands removal (which mean you keep board initiative). Overall the card is pretty self explanatory.
Bloodmage Thalnos: Spell damage and draw! Whats not to like?? Well the 1/1 body is a good place to start. I might be too harsh on this card, but I felt as if it under preformed.
Flame Juggler: Tried cutting Knife Juggler for Flame Juggler, it didn’t work. 2/3 body isn’t great (You want to be going face, not trading) and the effect is essentially the same as Knife Juggler.
Knife Juggler: I am not sure if this card fits in this deck. The 3/2 body is certainly aggressive, but the effect is somewhat minimal. Most times he deals an average of one damage, often to a minion which the damage doesn’t matter.
Feral Spirit: This card has been the biggest surprise out of this list. Playing two 2/3 taunts is amazing in most situations. It can protect your two drop, give your Tunnel Trogg +2 attack, or even give you one more turn to draw that last piece of burn you need. I feel like the 2 overload is negligible most times, as following up with any two drop the next turn (especially Flametongue Totem) is extremely strong.
Lava Burst: A five damage spell for three mana is pretty great. A must include for this deck.
Powermace: For some reason (I have no clue whatsoever), I initially had this card over Doomhammer. The card is strong, but the buff is almost always non**existent. I could see this card being played in this deck, but alongside, not over Doomhammer. Six damage over 2 turns is quite nice.
Tuskarr Totemic: Currently there are eight totems. Two of them are bad in almost every situation (1/1 and healing). Two of them are bad in most situations (taunt and vitality). The other four are situationally good. Early game I am going to want the Flametongue and Totem Golem. Late game I am going to want Spell power and Mana Tide. Essentially, early game you will only get a good totem 25% of the time (assuming you want Flametongue and Totem Golem), and same with late game. (Spell power and Mana Tide). This inconsistency makes this card pretty much unplayable (also I roll healing every time).
Arcane Golem: One of my favorite cards in the game! Four damage for 3 mana is really good in a deck this fast.
Argent Horserider: I was not convinced how powerful this card was until I played it in Face Hunter when TGT came out. The card is not easy to remove like Wolfrider, and often sticks around for more than one turn.
Jeeves: I believe I overestimate card draw in a deck like this. Jeeves was okay, but it always felt bad to use my spells I had been saving for when I had a spell power totem. I don’t recommend using this card.
Doomhammer: As I stated above, I didn’t put this card in the first iteration of the deck. I am crazy to not have. The card represents 16 damage over 4 turns, and can do 10 in one turn with Rockbiter Weapon. It is the only Epic in the deck and is a must have.
Cards I haven’t tried, or don’t think will be good enough (but have thought about)
Windfury: I like the idea, but don’t think it would be worth a card
Acidic Swamp Ooze: Would work in a meta where Rogue and Warrior rule supreme
Annoy-o-Tron: I like the idea of protecting threats for cheap, but the 1/2 body is a deal breaker
Dire Wolf Alpha: I believe it is just too weak compared to Flametongue Totem. Most times Flametongue doesn’t live for more than your turn anyway, therefore the two attack next turn is not as useful as the two attack on another minion on the turn you play it.
Huge Toad: Maybe when the card comes out???
Lance Carrier: I feel this card won’t be consistently strong enough to play.
Ironbeak Owl: I think its just a Earth Shock that costs one mana more in almost every situation. (One mana might be the game with this deck, as overload is important to keep in mind)
Coldlight Oracle: This could actually work, I just haven’t tried it yet
Unbound Elemental: I think it is going to be way too slow to even try
Wolfrider: I think it will die to easily compared to Argent Horserider
Piloted Shredder: Yes, one of the most broken cards in the game is too slow for this deck.
Ancient Shade/Fel Reaver: I don’t like giving this deck a BGH target. In addition both of these cards do not do anything the turn they are played. Keep in mind that their drawbacks are negligible.
Bloodlust: Most of the time if its turn 5 and minions are not on the board, you’ve already won the game. Therefore it would only act as a “win more” card in this deck.
Without the coin: I hard mulligan almost every time for a one drop. I am not sure if this is correct, but losing board initiative to your opponent coining out a two drop seems to be the reason for most of my losses.
With the coin: Aim for a two drop into a two drop (or Totem Golem into a one drop). This often secures board for a few turns, and even can secure your victory. I keep Doomhammer against Rogue/Warrior if I have a good curve.
I feel that keeping Rockbiter Weapon or Lightning Bolt is required vs. Druid (Darnassus Aspirant) and Mech Mage (Mechwarper). Ideally you want to use Lightning Bolt if you can still curve out strongly, as Rockbiter Weapon is much stronger late game.
I don’t keep any stats, so I can’t give any accurate percentages.
Since there is three viable variations I added a tells section for those who might get them mixed up.
Face Hunter (Favored): This matchup is a race from the start. You have a few advantages such Whirling Zap-o-Matic and the immediate removal that it demands, Feral Spirit, and taunt totem. If the opportunity arises, use Earth Shock on Mad Scientist, even if it doesn’t kill it. Being able to stop Explosive Trap helps your early game greatly. (Also drawing Explosive Trap sucks as Face Hunter)
Tells: Leper Gnome, Worgen Infiltrator, Glaivezooka, Wolfrider, Arcane Golem
Hybrid Hunter (Favored): This matchup is easier than Face Hunter, as you want cards like Highmane to be dead draws. Don’t throw away Earth Shock as liberally though, as Hybrid can sometimes run one copy of Houndmaster.
Tells: It can be really hard to tell Hybrid and Face hunter apart, the main way to tell if a Highmane is coming is if the deck runs Freezing or Snake along with Explosive trap.
Midrange (Favored): Even easier than the two stated above. Hunter has a hard time dealing with somebody who takes board initiative first. If you know its Midrange saving Earth Shock for Houndmaster/Sludge Belcher is most likely the right move.
Tells: Hunters Mark, Webspinner, Bear Trap, Sludge Belcher, Dr. Boom
General Hunter Tips: – Although hunter has no “true” board clear. Avoid Unleash as much as possible. – If you are low on HP, it might be correct to clear all beasts if it is a viable line of play. – Never try and efficiently trade with Haunted Creeper, let him kill it himself.
Secret (Favored): Secret Pally has a hard time taking board initiative back. If you start to play a flood of minions, Secret Pally struggles to keep up. In addition the only response they have to Whirling Zap-o-Matic is Noble Sacrifice or coin into Coghammer (often the shield/taunt doesn’t land on anything). As a result Whirling hits for 6 most of the time. Remember to watch to see what your opponent keeps or discards. If they ever keep a secret and play it turn 1 assume it is noble sacrifice. If they got the secret from their mulligan, it could be anything. Two last things. 1) Avoid Knife Juggler into Muster if possible (This means using Lightning Bolt/Rockbiter Weapon/Lava Shock). 2) Don’t forget about Sacred Trial! (Feral Spirits does not proc Sacred Trial).
Midrange/Reno (50/50): Although Pally was not initially stated to be a strong Reno class, it turns out that the large amount of viable cards for the class made this deck somewhat successful. Again, Pally has no great way of answering Whirling, so throw it out! Be weary of Reno Jackson. You can still win after he heals, you just can’t waste burn. Your Earth Shock targets are Sludge Belcher or Tirion.
Oil (Favored): This is one of your best matchups. Early game it can be extremely hard for Rogue to deal with your minions, which allows for a good amount of damage. In addition most Oil Rogues don’t run healbot anymore, so the only way they can stop burn is through Loatheb.
Raptor/Tempo (Favored): Right now there is no solidified list for this concept. Sure dropping an egg into a raptor is good, but it won’t hold you back from hitting them in the face. Im not sold on the deck yet.
Mill (Favored): I don’t believe I faced a mill rogue, but the deck has a really hard time dealing with aggro. Giving an aggro deck cards is basically a death sentence. Remember, Mill can really do anything until turn 6 or 7 anyway. Also kill Brann on sight with whatever means necessary.
Aggro (Unfavored): This is not a fun matchup. Druid plays cards like Darnassus, Savage Combatant, and Fel Reaver which demand removal. If they mana cheat out Fel Reaver on turn 3, it is practically a loss without Feral Spirit. Turn 1 Shredder also destroys any chance you have of getting board initiative. Okay, so what can you do? Well, you can start off by killing Darnassus on sight, cross your fingers they don’t have Keeper/Shredder/Swipe/Fel Reaver/Combo, and then getting as much damage with your minions in as possible. Putting them on the defensive is the only way you can win, as you can’t race them because of Savage Roar.
Midrange (Unfavored): Essentially the same as above. Kill Darnassus immediately. Try and get minion damage in and put them on the defensive. Although Midrange has no turn 1 play (Leper Gnome/Living Roots), they have heal and can run Sludge Belcher or Ancient of War.
Control (50/50): If they don’t have Fiery War Axe early on, it can be really hard for Control to keep up with your minions. Don’t worry about acolyte drawing cards, but killing Armorsmith is necessary most of the time. Once they play Justicar you need to race them as fast as possible, as four armor a turn is insurmountable after a few turns.
Patron (50/50?): I only recall playing this matchup once. I lost to Armorsmith and multiple Whrilwind effects giving him a bunch of Armor. I don’t believe that you should kill Patron in most situations, but killing Frothing Berserker appears to be a must. Don’t forget about Grom + Inner Rage/Cruel Taskmaster is 12 damage.
Tempo (50/50): This matchup really relies on the mage’s draws. When they play Mana Wyrm into Flamecannon into Flamewaker Coin Mirror Image or Arcane Missles, they game is practically unwinnable. I might be playing the matchup wrong, but I only believe in trading into Flamewaker (Aside from Earth Shock on Mad Scientist). Mirror Entity is not that big of a deal in most situations, but if you can, try and downplay its effect on the game by playing a Tunnel Trogg or Leper Gnome into it. Although when Tempo Mage doesn’t draw arcane intellect, they can quite quickly run out of steam.
Freeze (Unfavored): Luckily right now there are not too many Freeze Mages on the ladder. Once you figure out its Freeze Mage send everything face in hopes of killing him. Don’t ever trade into Acolyte or Loot Hoarder. Keep Ice Barrier in mind. Don’t proc it if you do not have to.
Mirror/Mech (50/50): I believe this is the matchup where you need to trade them most. If you read this guide in full you know practically all the cards they could possibly have. Neither deck will run lightning storm, so it is justified to clear the board with spells. Getting Doomhammer out on turn 5 is especially important in this matchup, but by no means mulligan for it.
Dragon (Unfavored): Until museum curator comes out, this class will be the weakest in Hearthstone, so luckily you won’t see much of it. The large amounts of taunts and defensive cards Dragon Priest runs can make this matchup really hard. Sometimes the deck can even go full out zoo on you with defensive cards and it can be practically impossible to win. On the other hand, mulliganing as Dragon Priest can be really awkward, and sometimes you don’t have a solid play until turn 3 or 4. These games are easily won.
Zoo (Favored): Zoo has a hard time dealing with your early minions. Totem Golem and Feral Spirit is practically impossible to deal with as zoo on curve. Imp Gang Boss, Haunted Creeper, and Egg don’t really kill anything of yours. You can lose to Defender of Argus though, so keep Earth Shock to remove the taunts. Most of the time you can ignore Sea Giant.
Handlock/Reno (50/50): Try not to use your burst as removal in this match up. Warlock’s Hero power is the best in the game, but the worst against aggro. Definitely do not give up hope when they Reno, as they can quickly bring themselves down to 20 with just their hero power. Unfortunately they have Jaraxxus as well, so try and burst him down in one turn, instead of over two. In addition, do not use Earth Shock to kill non-taunted Twilight Drakes. You are going to need it later, and the tempo play is almost never worth using the decks only silence.
- WATCH YOUR MANA, losing because you can’t count overload is the worst feeling in the world.
- Take your time! Every turn consider what they could play that would ruin your move. In addition try and set up your next few turns.
- Try and get Doomhammer out on turn 5. This may mean not using all of your mana crystals on turn 4.
- Play Arcane Golem conservatively. Giving Druid 7 (Innervate Combo/Ancient of Lore/War) or 9 mana (Combo) or Pally 8 mana (Lay on Hands/Tirion) could easily lose you the game.
- You can rarely race druid successfully.
- If you lose two or three games in a row, take a break. Tilting is bad for your rank, and makes the game way less enjoyable.
I am open to any criticism or thoughts. Just because I am writing this guide, doesn’t mean I can proficiently and accurately play this deck.