Welcome fellow Shamans...to our fun and competitive Highlander Shaman. Some will say that Shaman is in a bad spot due to the oppressiveness of such Priest, Paladin or Rogue. However, to me, Shaman is in a good state as it offers insane synergy of battlecry cards with other AOEs and single target removal. Here is the content that I will deliver to help you reaching Legend (18W-6L):
* Devolving Missile:
This card rocks. It solves early game problem such as Spymistress [/card]of Rogue, [card]Battlefiend of DH or Blazing Battlemage because reducing chip damage is essential and 1 HP matters. Moreover, in late game phase, we can counter Paladin gameplan of buffing minions as we devolve them into useless ones. The missile can turn Twilight Runner, Teacher's Pet or Lake Thresher of Druid into less threatening 2-cost minions.
* Lightning Bloom:
The cheating mana can be used on turn 10 after we finish the quest and combine with DQA for 4 juicy Dragons. We can also cheat an Escape Manasaber for more ramp.
* Acidic Swamp Ooze:
He is a must in this meta. Destroying Wrenchcalibur, Scimitar, Marrow Slicer or Truesilver Champion protect us from being smashed into the ground. When facing non-weapon classes, you can tempo him to deal with tempo issue.
* Battlecry package:
The battlecry minions are the reason this deck exists. Manafeeder Panthara and Novice Engineer are for draws. Wandmaker, Vulpera Scoundrel, Sludge Slurper, Instructor Fireheart and Cobalt Spellkin are used to generate spell power as 1-cost spell in Shaman are mostly useful. Dragonqueen Alexstrasza falls into a different category as she provides extra dragons for tempo or instant effect such as the good ol' Alextrasza, Big Ol' Whelp, Evasive Wyrm...
Meanwhile, The Lurker Below and Siamat are mid-game powerhouse since they regain board presence or assert dominance. Most importantly, Zephrys the Great varies from AOE to single removal and you don't need to use him with the Quest unless you have early game minions to deal with opponent board. Just don't be too greedy on the value!
* AOE and single target removal package:
Sandstorm Elemental perform as a mini AOE with body attached. Earthquake destroys minions with 7 or less health. Tidal Wave heals you from near lethal to full health. Serpentshrine Portal deals excellently with Bonechewer Brawler, Sethekk Veilweaver or just simply reduce health of opponent to pursue a faster game plan. Hex is included since I face too many Libram Paladins because I want to remove their Libram of Wisdom.
***Mulligan*** (Always keep the Quest, Questing Explorer in mulligan)
* Demon Hunter:
Tempo DH and Soul Fragment Demon Hunter are the most popular decks on ladder. Tempo DH tends to build the board early and snowball, while SF Demon Hunter prefers slow board building and rushing the face with 5 damage from the Soulshard Lapidary and 4 from Marrowslicer. Try to mulligan for Questing Explorer and Sandstorm Elemental.
We mostly face Guardian Druid and Maly Druid. Try to remove their beast by single target removal or minions before using Plague of Murloc to deal with Dragons from the Ysera Portal. If you suspect they are playing Maly Druid, faster the game plan by playing more minions and finding spell burst from Instructor Fireheart. Mulligan for Questing Explorer, Sludge Slurper Far Sight.
Face Hunter are rising as they are astounding at bringing opponent health to 0 in 5 turns or less. Removing their board to refrain from being (S)KILL COMMAND into da face. Keeping Sandstorm Elemental, Questing Explorer, Sludge Slurper or Wandmaker is acceptable.
Tortollan Mage and Tempo Mage are Mage core decks in this expansion. To deal with Tortollan Mage, we need to be more aggressive and rush them as soon as possible. If they can reach turn 8 with the Tortollan Pilgrim, it is possibly a long match and a loss since they freeze our board with Blizzard and going face with Crocolisk. Against Tempo Mage, just trade efficiently and out-value them with the Quest reward. You can Hex Astromancer Solarian as it is a dangerous threat with Pyroblast, Flamestrike and card generation. Mulligan for Questing Explorer, Far Sight and Novice Engineer.
The master of buffs is back with Libram decks. Blessing of Authorities, Libram of Hope are really nightmares for classes that does not have good removal. For Shaman, we are not afraid of them. We can use Plague of Murloc combining with Earthquake or The Lurker Below to clear board. Wandmaker can provide us Devolving Missile to deal with annoying Librams as well as High Abbess Alura. Don't let Goody Two-shield bait our removals, trade him with minions and store the AOE for later use. Mulligan for Questing Explorer, Wandmaker or Sludge Slurper.
Against Highlander Priest or Galakrond Priest, we must be the aggressive here. Don't let them get to super late game as their Galakrond HP can outlast us with random Seline, Catrina Muerte. Mulligan for Questing Explorer, Far Sight or Escape Manasaber.
Stealth Rogue and Galakrond Rogue are the decks I face mostly at rank 2. Stealth Rogue are very aggressive as they Eviscerate your face, going face with Spymistress and slam Scimitar directly into your face. To prevent them from rushing face, Sandstorm Elemental must be hard mulligan to deal with 1 health stealth minions. Serpentshrine Portal can deal with Greyheart Sage [/card]and most importantly, Zephrys the Great. Zephrys can offer you Arcane Explosion, Swipe and premium removals. Mulligan for Sandstorm Elemental, Zephrys the Great or Questing Explorer.
Fellow Shaman buddies play Totem Shaman or prefer Control Shaman with or without Galakrond. I previously play a version with Galakrond and it is too slow, not enough power to deal with aggro early game as sometimes Galakrond and Kronx are stuck in mulligan. To deal with Totem Shaman, remove their board immediately to prevent them from setting up board for [card]Splitting Axe and Totemic Surge. Against Control Shaman, use resource wisely, build a solid board and finish opponent with surprised Bloodlust from Instructor Fireheart or Zephrys the Great. Mulligan for Questing Explorer, Wandmaker or Novice Engineer.
I face Painlock and Galakrond Warlock most of the time. Painlock cheats mana with Darkglare and get Flesh Giant on the board early. The only thing we can do is building a good board, prepare Hex and survive until we can Earthquake or Tidal Wave. Against Galakrond Zoolock, clear their board and try to get your health above 15 after Alexstrasza as they planned for double Dragon Breath. Mulligan for Questing Explorer, Zephrys the Great and Sludge Slurper.
Warrior is the class that counters us with Bomb shuffles. The version that focuses only on Bombs with Dr.Krastinov, 2 Hoard Pillager and 2 Upgrade can send us to our grave earlier than we think. Therefore, we should be aggressive and get Ooze to do the dirty work. Zephrys the Great can be used early on turn 4 to get the 2nd Ooze and Frost Shock should be preferably discovered by Instructor Fireheart and Ethereal Lackey. Against pure control Warrior with Risky Skipper enrage package, use our Quest reward to crush them with extra value. Mulligan for Questing Explorer, Zephrys the Great and hard mulligan for Acidic Swamp Ooze.
Thank you for reading, guys. I hope that after few matches, you can enjoy the deck and if you have any question about card replacement, feel free to post in the comment.