I've been playing around with Murloc Shaman in wild for a bit and have really enjoyed the archetype (mostly because it can crush Big Priest/Darkest Hour before it gets off the ground). However, I've been looking at various decklists and there are huge variances in which cards are chosen. I'd love to know which murlocs/support cards are seen as core and which are just deck fillers. Here are some of my thoughts:
Unite the Murlocs: I believe this is one of the best cards available to murloc shaman. Sure it slows down your early game but it is an easily achieved quest with a massive reward.
Underbelly Angler: Probably the most powerful murloc to be printed and rightfully earns a place in our deck. I would normally save this card for when you can combo it with a number of other murlocs on a turn as it will be a priority target.
Scargil: At the risk of my reputation, I'm not actually sure I would include this in a list. While it's pretty good and has a sturdy body, I don't find myself actually needing the mana reduction in a murloc deck. Sure, it's great if you can combo it later on with Angler, but it doesn't do anything special on its own if it gets removed the turn after you play it in early game. Part of my reasoning is due to me not actually having the card and only playing it out of generated options so I may be dead wrong on this.
Gentle Megasaur: A snowballing machine. Yes it sucks when your options are Cannot be Targeted by Spells, Taunt and Stealth, but most of the time you'll either get Windfury, +3 damage or +1/+1 which are all great options for this deck.
Finja, the Flying Star: Pretty bad in a format that is overrun by fast aggro or combo decks that don't build a board. I wouldn't include this.
Siltfin Spiritwalker: I've been using this, and while it's good, you have to time it fairly well to make sure you get value out of it. I would probably drop it in most lists due to the reasons listed for Finja.
Everyfin is Awesome: This card is an absurd buffer and very easy to pull off. I would wholeheartedly endorse it.
Bloodlust: Dead card if your board gets wiped. Tempting but IMO not worth it.
Soul of the Murloc: As a one-of, I like this card. If it comes up at the wrong time it can be frustrating but it lets you restore momentum easily and combos well with the quest.
Sir Finley Mrrgglton: Definite addition for his great stat-line and ability to give us a better hero power (preferrably Warlock, Hunter, Rogue).
Murloc Warleader: Makes great use of your tokens for trading into big things like Big Priest resummons. I dusted both of mine when they got nerfed so I've just been using other murlocs and haven't particularly missed them.
Neptulon: I always wanted a reason to use this card in a deck. While it's far from necessary and maybe not even an optimal choice in some lists, I like the refill of it and it allows us to play a bit more midrange-y.
Old Murk-Eye: Too good to ignore. Love this guy. Great finisher and just big presence on the board for closing out a game.
Bluegill Warrior: Finally overstayed its welcome. There's murlocs with far more of an impact than this guy so I would leave him out.
Toxfin: Absolutely fantastic card, especially in a meta where high roll is present. Priest says "Thank you" after resurrecting two Lich Kings. You say "Thank you" after killing both of them with two tokens you gave Poisonous to.
Call in the Finishers: Seems like a bad card but it is phenomenal for activating your quest or give you minions to then buff up. I would have at least one copy of this in a list.
Brrrloc: We often have the initiative in trades so this isn't super helpful IMO.
Murloc Tidecaller: Still a steamroller of a murloc that helps you wipe the floor with someone T4/5.
Coldlight Seer: Sturdier murlocs are always nice to have around. I would continue including this.
Primalfin Lookout: There are some very good murlocs to discover so I would recommend using these but my fear is that they're a bit too slow when we have some high tempo refills already with Underbelly and the quest.
Murloc Tinyfin: Cute but not worth it. We already struggle with empty hands and I wouldn't want to make it worse.
Sludge Slurper: I'm not sold on this guy. Decent tempo plays but not great synergy with the rest of the deck.
Ghost Light Angler: A little low-tempo for my liking but really cool synergy with Underbelly. Also nice when you are late game and get your board cleared. I would run at most one of these if you want them in your deck.
Ice Fishing: Super cheap but you're effectively paying 2 mana to add a draw battlecry to a murloc (since otherwise it would be a murloc card replacing this). I'm not against using it but it's probably another one-of if you are since we have some nice refills otherwise.
Murloc Tastyfin: Another source of draw, this time far better than Ice Fishing. It's a tempo loss which can be a bit rough and I haven't tried running these but I could see them being really nice.
Primalfin Totem: We're not a token deck. We'd rather have the murlocs upfront so we can do things with them. I say axe it.
The Quest is definitely bad for Murlocs, which IS a token deck btw. Why do you think otherwise?
You want to close the game fast. You can't afford to waste your turn-1 for a later random refill, which you shouldn't need anyway.
And that's also because Wild shenanigans hit pretty soon. Once stalled, you are in danger.
PS: you forgot to add Storm Chaser to the review. The card is excellent at least as a one-of.
The quest is phenomenal for murlocs. If you get AOE'd early on twice you're probably dead in the water without the quest. The quest provides longevity at a very small cost IMO. In terms of a token deck, it's more specific in that we have set synergies. The totem itself is very meh while having another murloc body is quite a bit better. Storm Chaser is definitely an interesting addition but only if you're going with Bloodlust AND Everyfin. I've had bad experiences with Bloodlust in the past in murloc decks but maybe others have found success. I haven't seen it in any of the legend lists so far.
That's 16 cards, giving you another 14 slots to play around with. Obviously you want some more murlocs but the thread is about core cards. You can mix and match with the rest and include the tech you need for the requisite metagame.
I've tested the quest a lot and have had mixed results. In general, most match-ups losing out on turn 1 is a liability. However, other times the added gas was just what was needed to clinch the game. If you do decide to run it, expect to mulligan it away against a lot of decks.
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I've never made it to Legendary, but this month is the farthest I've gotten in Ranked Wild. This is the deck I'm using, and the highest I've gotten this month is Rank 3 and five stars. I was one win short of getting to Rank 2, had lethal on an Odd Paladin if I could have survived their turn, and they had an empty hand, but they top decked a card that let them just barely pull of lethal on me. Still, this is the highest up I’ve ever gotten in the rankings so far.
This deck has helped me balance out between facing aggro decks and control decks. While climbing up from Rank 20 to Rank 5 I actually faced mostly control decks, and had a different variation on the deck:
However, once I got to Rank 5, I hit a lot more aggro decks and decks thought fought for board control, and that variation was too slow. Soul of the Murloc, Gentle Megasaur, Everyfin is Awesome, Shudderwock, and Barista Lynchen would all end up dead cards in my hand that I never made it to the mana to play them, or I had no murlocs on the board to use them on. And against control decks, though they did help me win sometimes, for the most part the murlocs were already winning on their own.
My current deck is nearly a Pure Murloc deck, specifically because of Underbelly Angler, and Unite the Murlocs of course. Primalfin Lookout I specifically added, even though it's not usually a good card, because of the chance of getting another Underbelly Angler from them. But what really helped was Bilefin Tidehunter and, to a lesser extend, Hench-Clan Hogsteed. And Brrrloc, which I already had in the deck. The star of the show in either deck really can be the Toxfin, though, which can completely turn the game around in your favor. Controlling the situation has been really vital to keeping murlocs alive long enough to control the board and chip away at the opponent hero's health, and of course to buy time to trigger the quest, since the deck has no draw, just murloc generation.
Scargil is actually an amazing card. At five mana you can play it and any card, including Megafin or Old Murk-Eye. But even more amazing is when you have more mana you can play with, and an Underbelly Angler. It's an insane amount of murloc generation that you can just keep playing until you run out of mana. Can even combine this with a Ghost Light Angler to fill your hand with murlocs again. Just be careful not to make your hand too full. Over all, Scargil can really put things in your favor.
I have played Murlocs since GvG, purely because I like the aesthetics of Murlocs. I always like to upgrade my decks through time. Recently Murlocs have gotten me up to Rank 3. (This decklist has been updated to include Fishflinger at the start of the next expansion, they are replacing Primalfin Totem X2) The deck is in my signature and I explain a lot of my choice and play in the deck write-up but I'll give some thoughts in the thread too.
First off I want to say I agree with the statement that Unite the Murlocs is bad. It's biggest flaws don't come from Megafin, in fact Megafin is definitely insane and is definitely the most powerful murloc. The issue with the card comes from the fact that you have less murlocs available in your opener. You can't push murlocs on turn 1 going 1st with the exception of Murloc Tinyfin. It effectively always allows your opponent to prepare in the sense of an opportunity to play and more mana from a slower game.
The reason I don't run quest is because it gives me the freedom to play a 3/2 and 2 1/1s on turn 1 going first only to follow that with buffing the 1/1 into a 2/2 and trading the 2 drop they put out to contest. Following with a Warleader put them on the brink of death on their turn 3, they won't make it to turn 4. This kind of rapid and instant win just isn't possible with the quest. And although that is a rare example, it has happened multiple times. My deck doesn't consistently have a turn 1 play, no defence for that, however getting murloc on the board ASAP is generally how you want to play. And you want to make sure your murlocs work together to keep your MVPs safe.
This deck generally wins by gaining complete control over how your board develops then slowly transitioning to wiping out the hero real quick.
My deck is a bit gimmicky in being 100% murloc keyworded but murlocs do work from ridiculous synergy with each other. As far as what would be considered core I would agree with Gunnolf's list with the exclusion of Sir Finley Mrrgglton so in which case the other 15 murlocs you pick should be based on what tools you think you need and preferences. For example; some of my favourite tools outside the core are Brrrloc for freezing of 2 drops to protect your tidecallers, Murloc Tinyfin to get activation and extra value from effects and Siltskin Spiritwalker for draw engine.