After the first week of the Tombs Of Terror event, here’s what the metagame looks like in the Conquest Best Of 3 format. The data analyzed here comes exclusively from Hearthstone Masters Qualifiers Arlington 16-30. You will see that the cards that have been brought back from Wild are having an impact, some of them more than others. Flamewaker and N’zoth, for example, had been overhyped, whlie Evolve and Ragnaros are making bigger waves.
Here are, in our opinion, the 30 most interesting combinations of decks we’ve seen this week. The qualifier winners were invited to share tips about their lineup, and some of them did. We understand that the players who are currently in Bucharest want to keep every bit of information to themselves. You can click on the titles to find the 3 decks codes directly on yaytears.com.
I saw that the most popular top 8 archetypes of the first qualifiers of this week were Combo Priest, Evolve Shaman and Tempo Rogue, and also realized that there weren’t a lot of Control Warriors, so I chose an aggro line up. I decided to ban Shaman and target Combo Priest. In a couple of rounds I faced players with Control/Mecha’thun Warriors and that was my ban in those cases. Since it was on Asia server and I don’t have a lot of cards there, I played a second Lightning Bolt instead of Vessina in Shaman and second Cruel Taskmaster instead of Grommash in Warrior.
I took Maxxe’s lineup minus the Drud because I think that it’s targetable (by Priest, notably). So I kept his Shaman and his Priest, and I went with Highlander Paladin, because I believe in its power level, above other Highlander decks.
I have done a video with the meaning fo my lineup since i have a youtube channel called Zio Maruth, but is full italian. My point of view about this initial meta was that the Shaman is god tier for me, so i want a lineup that ban him ( second choice ban Control Warrior) and try to counter 2 good decks that every player probably brings in his lineup, Combo priest and Quest Druid, since my Tempo Rogue and Tempo Warrior are pretty good in contesting first round of Priests and Priest never wins without his board. My Quest Shaman was hard teched vs Priest and is a sort of Control Quest Shaman since I play Plague of Murlocs and double Scoundrel but a lot of games he was banned. The power of my Tempo Rogue and Warrior also were the possibility to play aggro vs greedy decks like Nzoth decks, Sap is very powerful tempo play vs Karthut and slow taunts and I play a Spellbreaker in my Tempo Warrior
I built this lineup because I saw the meta in the tournament had a lot of aggo lineups such as Aggro Rogue, Combo Priest, Aggro Evole Shaman, etc. So my target is aggro deck. My deck is a little bit counter aggro, for example in the Mage deck, you will see Ooze, Bone Wraith and a lot of defensive cards. Most of deck that I ban in tournamnet is Quest Druid, Highlander Hunter and Holy Wrath Paladin.
So first of all my highlander decks were a little bit budget since i don’t have that much dust on NA. Otherwise i would have played Houndmaster Shaw in the Hunter deck and Grommash in the Warrior deck. My main target was Combo Priest which worked out perfectly the entire cup. That’s why I played Wing Blast and Desert Spear in the Hunter, super strong against Priest. Tempo Rogue with double Sap is extremely favoured against Combo Priest and the Warrior is also decent against it and overall a really underrated deck right now and in my opinion way better that the classic Aggro Warrior. So talking about the ban strategy i’ts kinda difficult. The ban is pretty flexible and really depending on the opponents lineup. I think in general you can say Shaman is the main ban with this deck. That’s what i did almost all of the first rounds where I faced a lot of aggro lineups. Even though Tempo Rogue and Highlander Hunter have a decent chance at beating it here and there. In the later rounds i faced a lot of control lineups with and without Shaman. Control Warrior was always my main ban when they had it in there lineup since all of my decks are unfavoured against it. Druid is also not a good matchup for my decks but there are really not that many and it’s beatable with a good starting hand.
Hey everyone! I’mlulnenko, and in the past two months I have hit #23 and #3 legend in wild using Quest Shaman. My current build features two copies of Coldlight Oracle, giving the deck the somewhat misleading name of “Quest Mill Shaman.” This guide will focus on my current build, which has been featured in multiple major meta reports and deck aggregators.
Quest Shaman is a difficult archetype to play due to the extreme diversity of possible game plans and the high amount of random card generation. Quest Shaman offers value, aggression, and mill, requiring players to constantly assess their situation to maximize their chances of winning. In this guide, I will highlight card choices, mulligans, and a few of my own game replays.
In this section, I’ll write the bulk of my guide, as I think it makes more sense to explain the intended synergies between cards and the strategies created by my card inclusions than it does to try explaining every possible matchup and game state.
Corrupt the Waters is the main build around card for Quest Shaman, for obvious reasons. This quest is fairly easy to complete without making many sacrifices in the early game (excluding, notably, a card in the mulligan). Compared to a deck like Evolve Shaman, Quest Shaman has less explosive starts, but matches up considerably better against control decks due to the value generated by the completed quest in combination with cards like Sludge Slurper, Zola the Gorgon, and Barista Lynchen.
Evolve is a great tempo bomb tool. In combination with Doppelgangster or Mogu Fleshshaper, Evolve provides a way to end games quickly in many matchups. Using Evolve in a less optimal situation, like with an EVIL Cable Rat and one lackey on board, is often also very strong tempo in situations where you may have otherwise fallen behind.
Glacial Shard allows you to freeze an opponent’s big minions until you can close out the game. Glacial Shard’s low cost, in combination with the abundant methods of bouncing and copying minions, allows players to easily freeze out their opponents while furthering their own game plan.
Sludge Slurper is a key tool for completing the quest, and provides quadruple value after quest completion because lackey battlecries and Slurper’s own battlecries are all doubled. Additionally, Sludge Slurper provides draw targets for Ice Fishing.
Devolve is a blatantly overpowered card in a wide variety of matchups. Most notably, magnetized mechs will lose all buffs when devolved, allowing this card to single handedly destroy Mech Paladins and Mech Hunters. Devolve is also strong against deathrattles, taunts, Odd Paladin’s silver hand recruits (to prevent them from being buffed), and any overstatted minions such as Flamewreathed Faceless. However, Devolve should not be considered a counter to SN1P-SN4P Warlock (at least not by itself), as Target Dummy allows Warlock players to create large mechs that cannot be devolved.
EVIL Cable Rat is a key tool for completing the quest, and provides quadruple value after quest completion because lackey battlecries and EVIL Cable Rat’s own battlecries are all doubled.
Ice Fishing: 2 mana draw 2 cards. If you are not already sold, note that it will usually draw at least one Sludge Slurper, which is a strong card in every matchup and at any point in the game.
Novice Engineer is a decent way to draw 2 cards cheaply after quest completion, and can be played before quest completion if necessary. Its low stats make it a suboptimal play in many situations, which is why I only run a single copy.
Questing Explorer is a fantastic card before quest completion and a pretty terrible one after. Regardless, this card is definitely worth running due to its strength in the early game and because you will often have enough value in your hand that drawing this late will not significantly hinder you.
Sandstorm Elemental is a strong tempo play against aggressive decks (and sometimes others). It pairs nicely with Devolve.
Bog Slosher can be used to help complete the quest early or make a variety of strong plays. When the quest is complete, Slosher gives huge stat buffs, which is particularly useful in combination with cheap minions like Lackeys, Glacial Shard, and Mogu Fleshshaper.
Coldlight Oracle is in this deck to make the copy of Ice Fishing look less silly. In all seriousness, this card is by far the hardest inclusion to explain and almost certainly the one that most readers skipped to. It is worth noting that this deck DOES NOT run any cards that allow for an anti-fatigue gameplan, meaning that playing Coldlight Oracle to kill an opponent in fatigue will only work if the opponent has drawn more cards than you have. It is also worth pointing out that hero power + 2 copies of Coldlight Oracle will make both players draw 8 cards, meaning that this “combo” is nearly guaranteed to destroy many cards in the opponent’s deck. The primary purposes for Coldlight Oracle are milling opponents’ combo pieces, milling cards against any warlock deck (because warlocks will generally draw faster than shamans), milling cards against priests who have already played Psychic Scream (because this will allow you to fatigue the priest), killing mages who have played Aluneth (which is hilarious), and desperately drawing in situations where doing so is deemed necessary.
Zola the Gorgon is one of the best value generators available to shaman due to its cheap cost and strong synergy with quest completion. Compared to Bog Slosher, Zola is often a bit weaker before completing the quest, but after quest completion she gives double copies of minions allowing for freeze gameplans in combination with Glacial Shard, board swings in combination with Mogu Fleshshaper, and many other strong plays.
Lifedrinker benefits greatly from quest completion and offers both healing and burst in the form of a fairly cheap minion that also buffs Shudderwock.
Barista Lynchen is a “greedy card” in the sense that she is a bit slower than most of the inclusions in this deck. She is a passable tempo play in the early game and a phenomenal amount or resource generation in the late game if needed. In slow matchups, pairing Barista with EVIL Cable Rat, Sludge Slurper, or multiple copies of Kobold Lackey is often ideal.
Doppelgangster pairs well with Evolve and/or Mogu Fleshshaper as a huge tempo play and has fantastic synergy with Shudderwock. Returning one Doppelgangster to hand with Bog Slosher lets you create a board full of buffed Doppelgangsters. Playing Doppelgangster early, when possible, is also often a good play even without Evolve, as it’s a decent tempo play and makes your future Shudderwock into a huge tempo bomb.
Mogu Fleshshaper, even without any synergies, is one of the strongest cards in Hearthstone. Seriously. Mogu allows for massive board swings vs aggressive decks and massively boosts Evolve turns. Mogu also has strong synergies with Doppelgangster, Bog Slosher (cheap 7/8 rush, anyone?), and Zola the Gorgon (2 cheap 3/4 rushes that can be Evolved into 8 mana minions), making it a no-brainer inclusion.
Shudderwock does all sorts of cool nonsense. He’ll often be played as a big tempo bomb, due to the Doppelgangster, Glacial Shard, Lifedrinker, and lackey battlecries he will replay. Additionally, Zola, Barista, and Bog Slosher battlecries will often add followup Shudderwocks to hand, and the battlecries of both lackey generators and lackeys will fill your hand with (mostly) useful cards. In some situations, Shudderwock can use Coldlight Oracle’s battlecry to kill the opponent (or you, if I am being honest) in fatigue.
Card Exclusions (and Possible Substitutions)
Earth Shock, Hex, or Plague of Murlocs can be used to significantly improve the SN1P-SN4P Warlock matchup. Devolve would be fine alone, except that strong Warlock players know to stack their magnetized threats onto Target Dummy, which is a 0 mana minion and thus cannot be devolved. Earth Shock and Hex can be used on the same turn as Devolve as a way to deal with Target Dummy (so, in a sense, they are anti-tech card tech cards). Plague of Murlocs can be used against a full board, but will often need followup such as Sandstorm Elemental to deal with the resulting murlocs. Strongly consider running these cards in some combination if you plan to play at high legend.
Eater of Secrets is a passable, but totally unnecessary mage hate card. My September decklist, which hit #23 Legend, ran two copies of Eater of Secrets, but my winrate against mage actually improved significantly after removing Eater of Secrets in favor of the Coldlight Oracle package. Only run this card if you REALLY hate Secret Mage.
Baleful Banker, Archivist Elysiana, Body Wrapper etc. could be added if you specifically want to go all in on the “mill” part of this decks game plan and win in fatigue. In my experience, these seem unnecessary.
Loatheb is just a generally strong card and should be a decent inclusion if you can find space to run a 5 mana 5/5.
Jade Cards can be used to build a different Quest Shaman list, but don’t fit in this one without removing too many strong cards.
Mind Control Tech is a reasonable choice if you want to gain a lot of points in various Shaman matchups, but is unlikely to be particularly helpful elsewhere.
Other cards can certainly be experimented with as well! Quest Shaman excels at several different game plans, so you could probably fit a wide variety of cards into this deck if you would like.
Making the proper mulligans in Wild can be difficult, because there is a wide variety of deck archetypes available to every class. For the purpose of this guide, I will assume that the most common matchups are the matchups I most commonly experienced from ranks 4 to Legend #3 in October and from ranks 7 to Legend #23 in September. For skilled players, it may be more beneficial to know my reasoning behind certain mulligan decisions than to know exactly what choice I would make. Here are the general mulligan principles I would suggest, although there is room to experiment.
Always keep Corrupt the Waters. You could make a case for throwing it back against Paladin in an attempt to draw Devolve, but I would not recommend doing so.
General Mulligan: Keep Sludge Slurper, EVIL Cable Rat, Ice Fishing, and Questing Explorer almost all the time. Keep 2 copies of any of these. Don’t keep Ice Fishing if you also keep 2 Sludge Slurpers because Coldlight Oracle is usually weak in the early game.
vs Druid: Assume Star Aligner Druid, use General Mulligan.
vs Hunter: Assume Mech Hunter, use General Mulligan but also keep Devolve.
vs Mage: Assume Secret Mage or Reno Mage, use General Mulligan either way.
vs Paladin: Assume Mech Paladin or Odd Paladin, use General Mulligan but also keep Devolve and Sandstorm Elemental. If you are certain it is Mech Paladin, don’t keep Sandstorm Elemental. If you are certain it is Odd Paladin, also keep Mogu Fleshshaper. If keeping Mogu Fleshshaper, consider keeping Evolve.
vs Priest: Assume Reno Priest, use General Mulligan.
vs Rogue: Assume Odd Rogue, use General Mulligan but also keep Sandstorm Elemental. The main purpose of Sandstorm Elemental in this matchup is to kill the common Rogue opener of any 1 mana pirate which pulls Patches the Pirate.
vs Shaman: Assume Even Shaman or Questless Evolve Shaman, use General Mulligan but also keep Mogu Fleshshaper and Evolve if you have both. If you are certain it is some Control Shaman (any deck as slow or slower than the one you are currently reading a guide for), do not keep Mogu Fleshshaper or Evolve.
vs Warlock: Assume SN1P-SN4P Warlock or Reno Warlock. Use General Mulligan, but also keep Devolve. If you are certain it is SN1P-SN4P Warlock, keep Bog Slosher if you already have any of the minions mentioned in the General Mulligan.
vs Warrior: Assume (Taunt) Quest Warrior. Use General Mulligan, but also keep Devolve.
A common mistake is keeping Novice Engineer. While she isn’t a totally horrible turn 2, there are always several cards you would rather have.
In this game, my opponent does not have a particularly explosive opening hand, opting to keep Aluneth in an attempt to kill me with burn damage. However, this allows me to take control of the early board using lackeys and kill my opponent using fatigue damage.
This game shows how Shaman is able to simultaneously out-tempo and out-value control decks like Reno Mage. The tempo gained by lackeys and Evolve allows me to play Barista Lynchen, setting me significantly ahead of my opponent in resources even if my board is cleared.
In this game I am able to repeatedly stall, push chip damage, and answer any threats played by a Reno Mage who has an early Frost Lich Jaina. Pushing chip damage allows me to set up a surprise lethal using Coldlight Oracle to draw my opponent into fatigue.
Here, Archbishop Benedictus denies me any game plan using Coldlight Oracle to kill my opponent in fatigue. Additionally, my Shudderwock board is easily dealt with and my Shudderwock makes no extra copies of himself in my hand. Regardless, I am still able to continually pressure Reno Priest with near endless threats.
While Devolve is not able to answer Target Dummy, Glacial Shard can stall the Dummy for a very long time. Here I use Glacial Shard to stall until I am able to kill my opponent using fatigue from Coldlight Oracle.