Know your Class! – Shaman

Welcome to our third Know you Class article! Today we are going to talk about a class that defines the Hearthstone meta right now.A class with great lore, an awesome Hero (

Thrall), and probably the best class cards at the moment. So let’s get started!

 


Thrall, Son of Durotan


arena tier list shaman

 

Thrall is the son of the legendary Durotan, the leader of the Frostwolf clan who you have probably seen in the Warcraft Movie, alongside with the newborn Go’el (Thrall’s birthname).

Thrall’s lore is actually one of the biggest in the Warcraft mythos, as he is one of the main character for years. He liberated the orcs from the fel enslavement, and founded Orgrimmar, the capital of the Horde. He has helped many and allied with even more races, thus forming the multi race faction that is the Horde as we know it today. Most notable allies are Grommash Hellscream, Vol'jin, Orgrim Doomhammer, Garrosh Hellscream and Cairne Bloodhoof.

Thrall became a shaman and befriended the Elements, which was very important for the orc race, as it means that the elements had forgiven the orc race for the use of demonic powers, and led them into a new generation of great Shamans. It is important to note that the elements always act on their own chaotic way, fighting each other, and the shamans are supposed to be the moderators of this chaos.

After becoming a Shaman, this life-changing experience made him devote his life to maintain the order and prosperity of his faction, while trying to minimize any bloodshed. He was a successful Warchief for many years, until the events of Cataclysm, when he decided to resign, in order to join the Earthen Ring to stabilize the world after the events of Cataclysm.

 


Shaman Class – A brief description about the concept and it’s powers


alakir the windlord

Shaman are spiritual guides and practitioners, not of the divine, but of the very elements. Unlike some other mystics, shaman commune with forces that are not strictly benevolent. The elements are chaotic, and left to their own devices, they rage against one another in unending primal fury. It is the call of the shaman to bring balance to this chaos. Acting as moderators among earth, fire, water, and air, shaman summon totems that focus the elements to support the shaman’s allies or punish those who threaten them.

Official Site

Shamans are a hybrid class, specializing in offensive melee combat, as well as spells in order to destroy their enemies. This is the reason they are considered to be the most flexible class in the game. They also are spiritual warriors, providing visions and insight on any situation for their respective clans. Their main source of power is the alliance with the elements, which provide the shamans with spells and powers beyond imagination!

Something worth noting here is that orcs, taurens and trolls were shamanistic races. Many of the most vile beings in the lore of Warcraft were once shamans, even Gul'dan!

To sum up shaman’s specialize in these areas:

  • Aggressive melee combat.
  • Damaging and support spells.

 


Shaman’s Powers in Relation to Hearthstone Cards


 

Blizzard’s idea, about the shaman’s mechanisms integration to a card game, is my personal favorite. And I will explain why.

The main reason is Overload!

Shaman uses the power of the elements. The elements contain unstable and chaotic forces that have incredible potential for destruction! So the overload mechanism practically gives the shaman the ability to gain a tempo boost in a single turn (playing cards worth more mana than he actually has), with the downside of playing with less mana on your next turn! What a wonderful way to demonstrate that with great power comes a great price. This gives the Shaman class so much depth! A good shaman plans his 3rd turn from turn 1, and he knows when to “abuse” his power, in order to make a play, that cannot be countered that easily. Overload clearly wins games, while it can completely destroy others. And it is a mechanism that relies 100% on skill. Just an amazing idea, balance-wise and lore-wise.

Another important aspect of the Shaman class is his hero power(Totemic Call). Aside from spells, shamans can use the elements’ power once again, integrated in totems, that provide him with incredible versatility in his play style.  Hearthstone-wise, Shaman’s hero power was considered pretty bad, until the release of Whispers of the Old Gods, which gave Shaman the tools that he needed, in order to be more than just a good class! (Thing from Below, Thunder Bluff Valiant).

We will now explain each aspect of the shaman class with some card examples, and compare it to other classes.


Elemental Shaman

 

lighting bolt

Probably the most anticipated card in the set. 1 mana for 3 damage and Overload: (1).

SPOILER ALERT : A common yet powerful spell in the Warcraft lore, that was able to kill Garrosh Hellscream.

The interesting fact here is the comparison with the other 3 damage cards in the game: Frostbolt, Wrath, the non-standard Darkbomb, and the [Quickshot]. As you can see the Frostbolt is probably the best one out of those, cause of the freeze effect. Wrath is an interesting choice because of the versatility it has, but I would rate it lower than Frostbolt. In any case the interesting fact here is the cost of Lightning Bolt! It is 1 cost with Overload:(1). And as to not be misunderstood, I still think Frostbolt is better, but the available tempo boost, might give the Shaman whole games, not to mention combos like Tunnel Trogg. Just saying…

 

lavada burst

 

This is another raw damage card for Shaman. Probably you’ve seen it kill you, while facing an Aggro Shaman, more than enough times.

Compared to Fireball this is clearly the worst one, but what saves this card for the time being, is the synergy with Tunnel Trogg, one of the best class cards at the moment, which will probably ruin Shaman once it is out of the Standard meta.

Here the Overload factor is pretty interesting, making this card’s next turn play, quite uncomfortable. It surely adds depth to the Shaman class, while it seems a straight-forward card!

 

 

 


Enhancement Shaman

 

doomhammer shaman

 

What is there to say about this card. First things first. 5 mana cost with Overload:(2) that has the potential to deal 16 damage. Probably the best weapon in the game and the signature weapon of Thrall.

This card defines the Shaman class, and opens new archetypes for play (with the incredible synergy with Rockbiter Weapon, though I would prefer it if it was a Legendary card.

An incredibly powerful card, whole around.

 

 

 

rockbiter weapon

 

This card shows the attacking potential of a Shaman. While it is a very good and versatile control tool early on, it has a deadly potential later on with Doomhammer. The concept behind this card, is that the Shaman is able to buff his weapon or any other ally.

A really solid card, that gives us the taste of the melee capabilities of a Shaman.

 

 

 


Restoration Shaman

Healing wave

 

Though this aspect of the Shaman might not attract much attention, it has some tools that are quite interesting. Healing Wave is one of them, a card that helps the Control Shaman to survive.

This card implements the concept of the Chaotic elements once more, with a new fashion Shaman-wise. If the revealed minion costs more, you almost heal half of your total hp!

 

 

 

 

hex

 

This card is one of the best removals in the game, along with Polymorph. An amazing tool for a Control Shaman, or even maybe a hybrid one.

We can clearly see the incredible potential of the Shaman’s spells here, and the uniqueness of his tools.

 

 

 

 

 


Conclusion

Shaman is a really unique class, mixing melee combat and amazing spell destructive power due to his alliance with the elements. Blizzard has made a really good job, implementing that with the overload mechanism, making this class have another layer of depth that not all the other classes have.

Now we are on the greatest days that the Shaman has ever seen, but that will change(hopefully) as the League of Explorers expansion will leave the Standard format on 2017. My opinion right now is that the Shaman defines the whole meta game, and it will continue to do so, as long cards like Flamewreathed Faceless and Tunnel Trogg are around.

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