Our Budget Elemental Shaman deck list guide for The Witchwood expansion will teach you how to play this midrange Shaman list. This Budget Elemental Shaman guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Introduction to Budget Elemental Shaman
Elemental Shaman is a deck that’s been on the fringe of the Standard metagame for some time. While Shaman has always had access to the powerful class-specific Fire Elemental, Journey to Un’Goro included a slew of additional minions to join the Elemental tribe. Unfortunately, the deck never quite took off, despite some potent cards. Most often, this was simply due to other decks pushing the archetype out. Now, at the start of the Year of the Raven, fewer sets means an overall drop in the Standard meta. This reduction in the card pool may be just the change Elemental Shaman needed to break out as a viable archetype.
In general, this Budget Elemental Shaman sacrifices very little to reduce the overall cost. Blazecallers and Kalimos, Primal Lord would certainly be a welcome addition to the deck but, beyond that, the deck isn’t missing much from its full-dust counterpart.
The Witchwood expansion brought a few exciting new tools to the Elemental Shaman archetype. Fortunately, many of these are in the lower rarities, making them perfect options for the budget-minded Hearthstone player. In particular, Earthen Might strengthens this deck’s openers and helps keep a full hand later in the game. One of Shaman’s biggest weaknesses is getting behind on board. Newcomer Zap! enters the equation to help ensure this never happens.
Budget Elemental Shaman Mulligan Guide
High Priority Keeps
- Fire Fly – Fire Fly is hands down your best opener. Better still, the extra Elemental token fills out your curve in later turns and helps enable future Elemental synergies.
- Glacial Shard – Glacial Shard is best played later than turn one, but still curves well into Earthen Might for a powerful opener.
- Flametongue Totem – Paired with Fire Fly, especially Flametongue Totem can create threatening board states very early in the game.
- Earthen Might – Earthen Might played on a turn 1 Fire Fly can wreck havoc in the mid to early game. The fact that it replaces itself in hand is just icing on the cake.
Low Priority Keeps
- Zap! – Like Backstab, Zap! can produce a huge tempo swing in the early game. However, against slower decks you are better off looking for something more proactive.
- Lightning Bolt – Similarly, Lightning Bolt is great in matchups where your opponent is the beat down, but the reactive nature of this card makes it a conditional, matchup-dependent keep.
- Tar Creeper – Tar Creeper is a solid turn three play if you have ones and twos in hand already. Against Aggro decks, it’s worth hanging onto even if that isn’t the case.
- Unbound Elemental – This long-forgotten Elemental now has the potential to snowball a bit faster thanks to the introduction of Zap! in The Witchwood.
Budget Elemental Shaman Play Strategy
Elemental Shaman plays as a board-centric midrange deck. Even the early-game minions are really only included to ensure an advantage going into mid-game power turns. As such, getting ahead early is crucial.
Fire Fly and Tar Creeper can both ask difficult questions of aggressive opponents and give you the time needed to hit your swing turns. On top of Zap!, the decks runs an assortment of Elemental with targeted damage to keep pushing your tempo advantage. When possible, use these to remove enemy minions and maintain or regain your advantage.
By the time turns five and six hit, you want to have a favorable board position to cement with Fungalmancer or Fire Elemental. For there, your minion pressure alone should be enough to score a kill.
If the board starts to get a bit out of hand, your Overload spells can quickly turn the tide. Zap! and Lightning Bolt can take out priority kill targets, while Lightning Storm can wipe your opponent’s early leads.
Budget Elemental Shaman Future Card Replacements
- 2x Fungalmancer > 2x Blazecaller – Four extra stats is great, but targetable five damage on a bigger body is just better.
- 1x Servant of Kalimos > 1x Kalimos, Primal Lord – The top-end of the Elemental curve, this tribal Lord provides a massive payoff for continuing the Elemental chain.
- 1x Servant of Kalimos > 1x Hagatha the Witch – Typically, Elemental Shaman want to play minions rather than spend mana hero powering. Fortunately, The Witchwood’s lone hero card fits right in with this strategy and turns your minions into late-game value engines.
Elemental Shaman Variants
Beyond the strict upgrades outlined above, there are some additional builds that can be assembled around the Elemental shell in Shaman. For instance, a Shudderwock package can be included to repeat some of the high-value Battlecries common among Elementals. Others favor an Even Shaman approach while even more still go all-in on the Overload synergies for a board full of 8/8 Giants.
Budget Elemental Shaman General Replacements
Here’s a list of cards you can add to this deck if you happen to have them or are missing anything in the decklist.
- Mad Hatter – As a deck that excels in winning the board, Mad Hatter can provide a one-sided buff to maintain control of the board.
- Unstable Evolution – While not a necessary inclusion, Unstable Evolution can find a home in Elemental Shaman. After all, much of the value from your Elementals lies in their Battlecries.
- Stormforged Axe – Early turn weapons can help pave the way for your minions at the start of the game. With three attacks, Stormforged Axe can fend off multiple waves of opposing minions.