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Deck of the Week #30: Xixo’s Shaman

by - 7 years ago

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[DKMR] Faramir here, bringing you this weeks Deck of the Week.  As many of you know ROOT’s Xixo teared through 2 Liquid Hearth Opens to consecutively qualify for both VGVN events. He followed a unique strategy : leaving the enemy’s Hunter deck unbanned and countering it with his Shaman deck. With great success! Lets take a look at his Shaman deck and how it holds up so well against Hunters and other Control match-ups.

The Deck

DKMR Deck 302 x Earth Shocks:
This card is essential in beating Hunters as well as other aggressive decks like Zoo Warlock for example. It gets rid of annoying Deathrattle effects from Haunted Creepers, Webspinners, Leper Gnomes, Nerubian Eggs etc.
In Control Matchups its very effective against cards like Sylvanas Windrunner or Caine Bloodhoof if you want to save your Hex for bigger threats.

2 x Lightning Bolt:

Not much to say about this card , it is one of the most efficient early removals in the game, it also synergies very well with Azure Drakes and Wrath of Air Totems to get in more Damage / Mana than you would normally get from other cards. Experienced Shaman players play around the Overload effect of this card and include it in their considerations for their next turns.

2 x Rockbiter Weapon:

Rockbiter is one of the most efficient early removal spells in the game as well as an important part in the finishing combos of the Shaman. It gets rid of annoying early minions like Flame Imp or Knife Jugglers and synergies perfectly with cards like Doomhammer and Al-Akir, the Windlord to finish your opponent off with unexpected burst.

1 x Undertaker:

Although it is unlikely to get this one copy of Undertaker early in the game, it is fantastic if you can drop it on Turn 1. The threat of it growing is most often bigger than the threat of the minion itself, making your opponent use inefficient removal on it. Even drawn in the later stages of the game is it paired with some Deathrattle minions a damage threat that can not be ignored. How many 1 drops can say that?

2 x Haunted Creeper:

The Naxxramas Spider is a great 2-drop to play for Shaman since its likely to stay on the board and is great in combination with cards like Flametongue Totem and Defender of Argus. It does really well against early threats like Webspinners or Flame Imps and help Shaman start off strong and seize early board control which Shaman ultimately is all about.

2 x Flametongue Totem:

This cards synergy with Shamans hero power and cards like Haunted Creeper, Harvest Golem or Al-Akir, the Windlord make it too strong not to play. In the best cases its basically a 4/3 minion for 2 mana, in the worst case it makes your opponent use removal on it since the threat and potential of it are too high to leave it on the board. Flametongue is one of Shaman’s strongest tools to trade efficiently.

2 x Feral Spirit:

This card is one of our favorite cards in the game, simply because it is so strong. Summon 2 2/3 Taunts for 3 mana? Sign me up! Technically it costs 5 mana because of the Overload of 2 but good Shaman players already have their next turn planned out with either a hero power or things like a Flametongue Totem. This card is great in nearly every stage of the game. Be it to apply early pressure or just to protect your Health Points in the late game.

2 x Harvest Golem:

This card is basically the Haunted Creeper for 3 mana. It replaced the Unbound Elemental in the deck since it practically has the same stats when it is played and it is significantly harder to remove.
It is very mana efficient and almost always guarantees a great trade with your opponents minions especially when buffed by a Flametongue Totem or a Defender of Argus.

2 x Hex:

What can we say about this card other that I want to play it in every class? It is Shaman’s best form of strong removal, totally negating the enemy minion’s card effects and Deathrattles. But be careful! It leaves behind a dangerous Frog that can become a killing machine when buffed by a Houndmaster.

2 x Lightning Storm:

Since Wild Pyromancers fell out of favor a while ago, the Lightning Storm is Shaman’s main source of AoE removal. It synergizes very well with Wrath of Air Totems as well as with Azure Drakes to follow the theme of Shaman’s very efficient removal spells.

1 x Mana Tide Totem:

This is the fishermen that never goes home empty-handed. Mana Tide Totem is one of Shaman’s primary sources of card draw and although you cant always protect it for longer than one turn, it always draws enemy removal and gets you at least one card. But if protected with cards like Feral Spirit it can single-handedly win you the game since there is nothing more terrifying than a Shaman with options.

2 x Defender of Argus:
Although nerfed a while ago , the Defender of Argus is still one of the strongest buff minions in the game, helping the smaller minions like Haunted Creeper and Harvest Golem to achieve great trades while protecting Thrall’s life total. It also synergies very well with the hero power of the Shaman, building a wall of annoying little taunts for your enemy to push through.

1 x Gnomish Inventor:

With all its efficient removal, the Shaman class lacks one thing in particular and that is carddraw. Since this deck also doesn’t run a 4-drop like Violet Teacher or Chillwind Yeti, it is a great place to sneak in the cycle while playing a minion that also can achieve good trades when paired with things like a Flametongue Totem or Defender of Argus.

1 x Azure Drake:

This sparkling fellow is one of the cards that greatly with everything that Shaman wants to achieve, efficient card draw, a decent minion on the board and spell damage that helps trading with cards like Lightning Bolt and Lightning Storm. Normally every standard Shaman plays 2 copies of this card since its just too good in Shaman not to play. But this deck replaced one of the Drakes with a different source of card draw.

1 x Doomhammer:

One of the finishers of the Shaman is the Doomhammer, the item that Thrall apparently fights for day and night. It can be used for removal just as good as it can be used to push for lethal damage especially in combination with a Rockbiter Weapon. Not a really great 5- drop though.

1 x Harrison Jones:

You belong in a museum! If you are playing a class with weapons and you hear this shout, you know you are entering a world of pain. Harrison Jones replaces 1 Azure Drake in this deck which is totally reasonable seeing that in the current meta there are a lot of Hunters that play Eaglehorn Bow as well as the Control Warrior with Death’s Bite or Fiery War Axe. You might even meet the occasional Paladin and destroy one of his Truesilver Champions. Dr. Jones also has a decent presence on the board, wielding his whip he is a terrifying opponent.

1 x Loatheb:

Loatheb is one of these cards that is just too good not to play it. It shuts down your enemys ability to play spells and big AoE removals for one turn what synergies very well with Shaman’s habit of building a big board normally. Loatheb helps the Shaman to get in the final points of damage with the minions on the board before you can finish your opponent off with Doomhammer or Al-Akir, the Windlord combinations from your hand.

2 x Fire Elementals:

This card is overpowered as hell and you never want to face it in Arena since that probably means you will lose because it just gets so much value from his Battlecry. It is a great late game minion, not targettable by something like Big Game Hunter while still resistant to a removal like Swipe. Because his Battlecry helps to achieve great trades, you never really want to play it on an empty board although you shouldn’t be afraid of it if you want to push for lethal damage.

1 x Al-Akir, the Windlord:

The Windlord that is constantly mobbed by his fellow Windlords for being the weakest one is the final blow in the Shaman deck together with the Doomhammer. Its synergy with Rockbiter Weapon and Flametongue Totem along with his ability to achieve great trades with his Divine Shield – Windfury – Charge – Combination make him a foe that should never be underestimated.

The Mulligans

With Shaman the Mulligan- Process is fairly easy since you always end up looking for the same cards. Cards you want to see early in every matchup are Undertaker, Haunted Creeper, Harvest Golem and Feral Spirit. In Matches against Hunter you would also keep an Earth Shock in your hand since that can easily win you the early game. Against a deck like Zoo you generally want to keep Lightning Storm on your hand or mulligan aggressively for it unless you already have a great curve. Usually you don’t want to keep your removal spells on your opening hand since you want to gain Tempo and seize early board control with your resistant minions and Heropower.

The Coin

With Shaman you don’t really care if you get the coin or not although it smooths out your curve if you do. Coin Harvest Golem into Feral Spirit is a great way to apply early pressure and if you can follow that play up with a Flametongue Totem, you usually are in great shape. If you lose the coin flip with Shaman, you are generally not too sad since a start with Undertaker into Haunted Creeper into Harvest Golem is still insanely strong and hard for your opponent to immediately deal with.


Shaman wants to aggressively seize board control early, maintain it with their great efficient removal and drive their advantage home with a combination of Doomhammer/Al-Akir + Rockbiter Weapon. Make sure you always have board control cause if you lose it, there is no way you can win the game unless you already brought him into lethal range. Protect your card draw engines or big damage threats with small taunts. Be as efficient as possible! Since Shaman has limited options of card draw, it also has a limited amount of cards you draw. Make the most efficient trades you can and maintain a board that is resistant to common removals like Starving Buzzard + Unleash the Hounds or Holy Nova etc. Shaman isn’t an easy class to play, one thing people struggle with is the positioning of certain minions. Be sure to place your Deathrattle minions on the outside so that it is the last in the row for a Flametongue Totem trade. Try to always place minions on the left side of a Flametongue Totem to achieve maximum efficiency with your hero power.

May the Elements guide you!

[DKMR]Faramir streams weekdays http://www.twitch.tv/faramirHS. You can find all of DKMR’s streamers on their website with the days that they stream!

Written by [DKMR]Faramir

Discussions about this topic brought to you by Team [DKMR]

JR Cook

JR has been writing for fan sites since 2000 and has been doing Blizzard Exclusive fansites since 2003. He helped co-found BlizzPro in 2013. You can hear JR every week talk about Hearthstone on the Well Met Podcast published on iTunes.

0 responses to “Deck of the Week #30: Xixo’s Shaman”

  1. RCAMP says:

    “…there is nothing more terrifying than a Shaman with options.”

    Made me laugh. XD

  2. Carsten Bonomo says:

    I’m strugling with the mirror match-up so was thinking of adding another Undertaker and one Stormforged Axe but I really can’t decide on what to take out, any ideas ? (Currently rank 6)

    • DKMR Faramir says:

      hey carsten, in the mirror its really important that you dont overextend into lightning storm. this deck actually makes that fairly easy since you have a lot of deathrattle minions. harrison also can win you the game if you get it on a doomhammer.
      but you cant spend your whole hand and disrespect the other guys boardclear. its a very hard mirror to play. adding the 2nd undertaker doesnt help much i think cause generally speaking the slower shaman wins in the mirror cause they have a lot of answers and if you run out of cards, its going to be tough to win.
      stormforged axe is really an underwhelming card, it really doesnt do much since most minions have 3 health or above nowadays if you dont count totems.
      since you dont play unbound in this deck, the synergy with this card is really low and as shaman you generally dont want to take that much damage to your face anyway since you have no way of healing yourself

  3. Tirisfal says:

    I assume that if I don’t have Harrison I could use second drake? BTW since there is hunter nerf incoming (which I believe will cause Hunter disappear from ladder for a while) Harrison may be not that good.

    Also what do you think about reincarnate shaman? Is it any good?

    Thanks for guide I’m certainly going to test it. Cheers

    • DKMR Faramir says:

      of course you can replace harrison with a 2nd drake. with hunter disappearing there will be a resurgence of warrior and paladin, so i think harrison will be even stronger after the hunter nerf. reincarnate shaman could get a lot better since the meta will become a lot slower (with the exception of zoo) after the hunter nerf. a greedy shaman deck definitely has the potential to become the dominating deck after aggro falls out of favor since it has the best removals in the game. the only issue that you need to adress though is how to make it consistent, which basically means you need to solve the carddraw problem that shaman has.
      good luck with the deck 🙂

      • Tirisfal says:

        If you believe that there will be resurgerence of warriors and paladins which results in harrison being even stronger isn’t that a reason to consider dropping doomhammer? Is it that important and necessary? As you mentioned in reply to Carsten there are not that many 2 health minions anyway.

        And on that note – I don’t have either harrison and Al’Akir but have dust for crafting one of these – I feel that Al’Akir is more important in deck but what would you prefer to have?

        Thanks for your response and clarifications.

        • DKMR Faramir says:

          i think you could drop the doomhammer, you should consider putting in another finisher then though, maybe bloodlust, al-akir is probably more important to craft

  4. Cress says:

    Al’Akir replacement? the only card i’m missing sadly.