If you would like to ask me any questions directly and live or be one step ahead of the meta check out my stream at http://www.twitch.tv/sigmasrb at 6 PM CEST almost every day and follow the feeds on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sigmasrb) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/sigmasrb) for all news! I will try to stream at this time in between 3-5 days a week where I will be playing all of my decks posted here plus some other ones and doing all kinds of giveaways!
My moderators and I are looking for the best Evolve! Send your best Evolve to my inbox or post it in the the comments and the top 3 that we pick on my stream will be rewarded!
Also, as you guys managed to rocket this deck onto the Hot Page so quickly, I figured to give something in return so I'll be giving away an Overwatch Bundle and Coaching on the 10th of June on my stream, you can enter the giveaway here: https://gleam.io/Y5Xnk/sigmas-overwatch-bundle-coaching-giveaway! Good luck!
Hey guys, Sigma here and today I present to you one of the two decks that I used to reach legend this season, the Vek'lor Evolve Shaman! Why is it called Vek'lor and not C'Thun you ask? Well, because C'Thun isn't in it! I can already hear you "But that's crazy Sigma, your Vek'lor won't even trigger!" If I guessed right and that's what you meant, well you are wrong. Twin Emperor Vek'lor does trigger even if your C'Thun is not in your deck, if you look at the cardtext of for example Beckoner of Evil you will see it says "wherever it is", which also includes your collection!
The way how the deck's main combo works is getting the expensive minions out for as less mana as possible, like the Thing from Below for less than 2 mana, your Nerubian Prophet which counts as 6 mana and your Vek'lor you are actually getting two 7 mana minions and then using Evolve either right after you play them or preferably after you use them to trade without having them dying. Let's go into some Pokemon adventures with our two favourite pokemon, Vek'lor and Vek'nilash! Oh, but wait...
VEK'LOR and VEK'NILASH are evolving!
Congratulations! Your VEK'LOR and VEK'NILASH evolved into GROMMASH and RAGNAROS!
As we all know, the 8 mana minions are the best in the entire game so Vek'lor and his bro can turn into some pretty amazing cards, including Al'Akir the Windlord, which also wouldnt've been that bad with my current hand (Rockbiter Weapon Al'Akir ggwp). Besides that, the decklist is quite far from an aggro shaman as it's quite non-overload, even excluding the second Feral Spirit, simply because the overload put me way too behind and as there are so many 3/3 minions in the meta right now, they never gave me proper value. In order to actually activate Vek'lor, you actually need to use some C'Thun minions, just to get your imaginary C'Thun to 10/10, which takes two minions that give it +2/+2. That's why the Beckoner of Evil and the C'Thun's Chosen are here. I played around either having them two or Disciple of C'Thun and the Chosen has proven to work better right now, which might be changed in the future.
This is for sure one of the most fun decks I've made so far. I love the shock effect of this game and this deck is the essence of shock. I especially love when people BM me after thinking that I forgot to put in C'Thun in the deck as he doesn't pop up when I play my C'Thun minions and then they keep hovering over my Vek'lor trying to recover from their mind being blown. I am also pretty tired of C'Thun decks so I wanted to see if I can find the way of using the OP buffs that go with playing C'thun minions and not playing C'thun himself.
And of course, the legend screenshot :
The Mulligan, Strategy, Card Replacements and maybe Match-ups (if the meta forms until then) will be available to you guys here pretty soon! Only thing you gotta do is to show the love! And as I have some free time now, I will make sure I get the guide available to you soon! The WHOLE IN-DEPTH GUIDE IS AVAILABLE BELOW! Enjoy!
Please note that the evaluation that I give is solely based on my experience and some others close to me. I will be noting what kind of a match-up it is with the percentage being the rate of your expected victory them being:
Very bad – 20%-30%, Bad 30%-40%, Average – 40%-60%, Good 60%-80%, Very Good 80%-100%.
I will also be noting the key cards versus every match-up that one should be PATIENT with and drop them at just the right moment as they can turn the game in your favour with no problems. The matchups will also be sorted by class, not the victory rate percentage:
Tempo – Average Matchup - 50% – The new Tempo warrior that everyone has been talking about and playing can be a nuisance for every shaman/warlock. With the massive amount of AoE like Ravaging Ghoul and Whirlwind, they can for sure pose a threat. But the good thing about them is that if you manage to get out high HP minions and keep them alive, they are a piece of cake as they don’t run any brawls. Bloodlust is almost always a gg.
Key cards: Nerubian Prophet, Totem Golem, Bloodlust.
Control – Good Matchup – 65% - It’s never easy to see a manic warrior in front of you, building his armour like Metapod on drugs. The advantage of this deck over control warrior is that you will probably be able to have a bigger output of minions than how much a control warrior can take. Just be careful of the Brawl and try not to throw your entire hand out before turn 5. Better save some minions to use after he brawls. Try to see if you can lure out a Brawl with using your Hero Power as much as possible and try to keep the juicy cheap minions at bay for the board recovery. Always be aware that his Revenge is damaging for 3 after you drop him to 12 HP or lower so you might want to not attack with one minion once just to save yourself from a board wipe. Of course, try to save your Evolve for after the Brawl.
Key cards: C’thun’s Chosen, Totem Golem, Bloodlust.
Zoo – Average Matchup – 40% - Zoos can be a mess sometimes. It all depends how good their opening is. If you don’t manage to curve your way into turn 3 and they manage to have Flame Imp and an Imp Gang Boss by turn 3, it’s going to be tough. But if not, with the help of the Storms, this can be pretty easy. Just make sure that you are patient while using them, as the zoo has no choice but to fill his board even more, so use that to your advantage to get some good, greedy storms.
Key cards: Feral Spirit, Rockbiter Weapon, Lightning Storm.
RenoLock – Good Matchup – 65% - This is also one of those match-ups where awareness is key. Just make sure that you are aware that he can damage your entire board on turn 4 with Hellfire for 3 damage, and from my experience every time when I had some minion susrviving that attack, I was winning. Also try to not leave him with a minion that has more than 3 attack on the board as he can always use Shadowflame on it. Although, keep your board Hellfire-resistant and it should usually be no problem. Wait for that perfect bloodlust and lethal him. Be aware of what they run and use the Hex on something that really deserves it (try not to waste it on the Twilight Drake if you can).
N’Zoth – Average Match-up - 50% - This one is a tricky one. A paladin that is seen less often than the cancerous counterpart, the N’Zoth paladin usually relies on one thing. His heals. As there isn’t that much you can do about a Wild Pyromancer + Equality combo (and you can’t play around it that much), it all comes down to how much he can actually heal himself, before you manage to kill him. Try as against the warrior to be a little bit reserved and play your hero power on every turn just to have strong board presence, as they can easily turn into 3/2 minions that can kill your opponent. The more “actual” minions you throw out the more anxious the paladin will be to drop the combo.
Midrange - Average Matchup – 50% - The new midrange hunter can be somewhat of a problem sometimes but is usually a piece of cake if kept under control. As long as you are aware that every beast can become a taunt or damage you or your board for 5 HP with Kill Command and if you keep the beasts under control, whilst being aware of the crazy turn 8 Call of the Wild craziness, you should have everything covered. Also, remove the Tundra Rhino. Don’t be Sigma. (Made the mistake once, never again)
Miracle – Average Matchup – 50% - 6 words. Spell damage and Fan of Knives. These two usually mean dead shaman, so make sure that you count them and be aware of how much board clear the rogue can throw at you, excluding the SI:7 Agent and Backstab of course. Don’t let Azure Drakes survive and you should be fine. Try to save the Hex for Edwin VanCleef.
Aggro – Average Matchup – 40% - Usually no big problem, it’s kind of a race in who gets to have a better board until turn 4. Same like zoo. Except can throw out the Mr. Steroid himself. But if you save the Hex for him, and keep a Lightning Storm just in case, the Vek’lor shaman should prevail as the aggro runs no Lightning Storm.
Control – Average Matchup – 50% - The priests can pose a threat as they run a fair amount of removals, even after losing their beloved Lightbomb. Be aware of the Excavated Evil and the Auchenai Soulpriest + Circle of Healing combo or even the Enter the Darkness + Circle of Healing combo. As against warriors, try not to overstretch too much, always try to have a plan B in your hand if he really manages to clear the board.
C‘Thun – Good Matchup – 60% - The C’thun is all about holding board presence until late game comes. I honestly think that this deck is much faster at that than any C’thun out there. The only issue is to think about the Dark Arakkoas, and to plan ahead on how to deal with them. You can see in the strategy below what you should expect from a druid so if you keep that in mind and not set your board for a perfect Swipe, you are going to be fine. Healing Totem is king here, the Swipe blocker. Druids have a lot of troubles dealing with a board full of 2 mana minions at which the Shaman excels.
Freeze/Echo – Bad Matchup – 35% - I am sorry to say that this match-up, if the mage even remotely knows what he’s doing or gets remotely good board control cards, is something that you will most likely not winning. If you do get to face a lot of them, consider getting a Crazed Alchemist in to put the Doomsayers in order. Try hard to get a Healing Totem as it’s crucial for your board’s recovery after that Blizzard and Cone of Cold. They aren’t really present in the meta that much so you should be okay.
The two points that would belong to strategy aspects will be Positioning and Removal Awareness. These aspects are of utmost importance in order to make this deck into a killer machine, which will be covered in four parts underneath this Strategy Guide. Here though, I will cover how will the game go for you from Early game, through Midgame, all the way to Late game.
The Early Game (from turn 1 to turn 3), after paying attention to the Mulligan that I stated in the illustrations above, is to look at your cards and to know exactly what you are playing on the next turn. Overload management is key. If you have, let’s say, a Totem Golem and a coin, think twice about getting him out if you don’t have a Trogg/Rockbiter to follow it up with. Usually the classes where I would get the golem out in any case are the faster ones, like the warlock and the shaman. In the warrior/rogue/priest/paladin match-ups, I usually skip the first turn instead of getting the Golem out simply so that I can follow the golem up with another 2 mana drop like a Beckoner of Evil or even coin into a Feral Spirit or Tuskarr Totemic. Playing Tuskarr on turn 3 is almost never a bad move, and except when the opponent has a strong board already and you have a Feral Spirit in your hand, in which case Feral Spirit is miles better.
The Mid game (turn 4 to turn 7) is where this deck gets a little bit tricky. You might have a totem in your hand that you don’t know what to do with, or an Evolve that just gets you wondering if you should just play it on your hero power Totem alone. If this is only what you have in your hand then you either didn’t get any good early game cards or you didn’t manage to execute early game properly. In any case, be aware of your opponent’s removals and what he can actually do to wipe your board, and that might even mean not getting a minion like Beckoner of Evil out but just playing hero power. If you see you are running out of steam, the hero power of the shaman is one of the best options possible especially because now it lowers down the mana cost of one of the nastiest minions in the shaman arsenal, the Thing From Below. The hero power creates a subtle threat while still saving your hand from being played, and, potentially, wiped, which usually leaves you like a fish on dry land which gasps for board control with spamming the hero power.
Always try to attack with your minion and have it damaged before you play Evolve, but if that means that you will lose a taunt and your opponent’s board is overwhelming, save the Evolve for later. The same rules applies for the Master of Evolution. Getting out a Nerubian Prophet and evolving him straight away is a totally ok move. It will surprise your opponent and potentially give you a pretty strong 7-mana minion.
By the time late game comes (turn 8 on), you should already be setting up your lethal or have killed the guy already. There is almost always this window of max 2 turns where you can overtake the board and rush your opponent down, even killing him, so look out for it. One of the best and most pleasurable things of this deck is of course to get out Vek’lor while your imaginary C’thun has more than 10 attack and using evolve on them. Do that ONLY if you are ahead on the board, as it will probably just speed up your death if your opponent’s board already has more than 5 minions.
STRATEGY ASPECT 1: Positioning
Being aware of how to position your minions and get the maximum value out of them because of it is what differs a rank 15 shaman player from a legend one. Of course, this revolves around the use of the Flametongue Totem. That’s why I usually like to tend to these “rules” to organise my board, which can tend to change due to some specific situations, but if you mostly follow these rules that I’ve set up, you should be good to go.
- Be aware that your hero power, the Tuskarr Totemic and Feral Sprit all summon to the right of your current board. If you play your Feral Spirit before your hero power and your Flametongue Totem is on the far right of the board, play hero power first and then the Feral Spirit, as the chances of your totem dying after you trade with it are higher than if you trade your Spirit Wolf in. In this way you will be able to get the buff on both the totem and the Spirit Wolf.
- Always try to put the taunts on the ends, either all the way to the left or all the way to the right as you want to use the minions in the middle first as you will probably not be trading with your Thing from Below (Unless you have Evolve or Master of Evolution ready) and if you trade, the chances are pretty low that it will die which means no flametongue love for the minions behind the thing from below. Same is for the high HP minions like Totem Golem and Nerubian Prophet. Try to wrap them around your totems somehow, which should always be in the middle of your board.
Always try to have the idea of maximizing your board damage on your mind, because sometimes those 2 damage can be quite crucial in winning the match.
STRATEGY ASPECT 2: Removal Awareness
Most of the meta is having problems dealing with Zoo and Any kind of shaman so people are starting to revolve their decks around removing so much that, I actually saw a Brawl in a Tempo Warrior one day. You gotta be ahead of that in order to reach that golden crystal.
Some of our biggest enemies are: Brawl from Warrior, Holy Nova, Auchenai Soulpriest + Circle of Healing combo and Excavated Evil from Priest, Wild Pyromancer + Equality/Consecration from Paladin, Blizzard and Flamestrike from Mage, Hellfire or Shadowflame from Warlock and Swipe from Druid. The mage also having her hero power that she can use to remove any minion of ours that has 1 HP as well.
When it comes to all of these removals, it’s all about not overstretching. You might believe that playing 2 minions on curve on turn 5 is the best but if the class that you are playing against is a warrior, then it might be even better to play your hero power, as you create a body which might have a somewhat low amount of threat, but is still a body that you can use for combos like Flametongue Totem, Bloodlust, Rockbiter Weapon.
One of the purest examples is knowing to get out the Totem Golem early against a warrior, and that’s simply because he has to use more than one card to deal with it. That’s where you put yourself immediately in front of him and take the role of the aggressor instead of letting him build up his tempo.
1. Why not just simply run C'Thun? Wouldn't it be another finisher?
Of course that he would. But I never intended this deck to be "just another C'thun deck". I was really shocked when I discovered that Vek'lor works without C'thun and I wanted to spread the word, while making a both fun and competitive deck that works all the way to legend. I believe that, besides the deck itself not needing another finisher like C'thun, the deck would also be (at least to me) way less enjoyable. But if you really feel uncomfortable and want to run C'thun anyway, you can get the second Nerubian Prophet out.
2. Does C'Thun actually trigger?
If you are not convinced by my screenshots, Disguised Toast explains it pretty nicely why it works here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyhA9pdLjMo&feature=youtu.be&t=4m9s
3. Can I replace Twin Emperor Vek'lor?
I haven't included a card replacement guide in this one as I believe that most of these cards are really really cheap. And Vek'lor cannot be replaced.
Finally, a big thank you to my first patron, Bearmec! If you would also want to help out by becoming a patron and getting some really amazing perks that you can use on my stream, you can do so at www.patreon.com/sigmasrb!
Cheers for checking out yet another Sigma's deck and as always, the constructive criticism and any suggestions to improve the deck are warmly accepted! See you on the stream!