Our Elemental Jade Shaman deck list guide will teach you how to pilot this newly popular deck from the Journey to Un’Goro expansion!
In the last Standard year, Shaman was consistently dominating the meta. The class was nerfed twice and it still stayed on top. While it has lost some power in Standard (Tunnel Trogg and Totem Golem rotating out hurt most), it still has a lot of tools. It seems that the Jades from MSOG and Elementals from Un’Goro have joined forces to create this new archetype. So far it proves to be stronger than full Jade or full Elemental – it has the Elemental survival tools and early game + the Jade snowball mechanic combined with tempo (late game Jade Lightning is still one of the strongest tempo plays).
UPDATE – MIDRANGE JADE SHAMAN IN MAY 2017, SEASON 38
Previous list was very anti-Aggro, but the meta has shifted a bit and now it’s much more Midrange heavy. While Aggro decks are still common, running a full anti-Aggro list might not be the best choice. This list is much more late-game heavy than the previous one and it’s focused on playing on curve, having a power turn every turn.
Jade Elemental Shaman Mulligan Strategy & Guide
I’ll divide the mulligan section into two – against fast decks and against slow decks. Fast decks are generally the Aggro decks (e.g. Pirate Warrior) or high tempo Midrange decks (e.g. Midrange Hunter). Slow decks are slower Midrange and Control decks.
Vs Fast Decks
Higher Priority (keep every time):
- Fire Fly – Solid 1-drop, 1/2 trades nicely into a lot of 1-drops, synergizes with Flametongue Totem, gives you another 1-drop to either fill the curve or activate Elemental synergy.
- Bloodsail Corsair – Your only way to summon Patches. It’s best against decks that run weapons, but even by itself it’s a 1 mana 1/2 + 1/1, which is quite solid. Not to mention that it has great synergy with Flametongue Totem.
- Jade Claws – Early weapon = early board control. You also start your Jade train, however this one isn’t as important against Aggro.
- Maelstrom Portal – Probably the best early game AoE, great against decks that flood the board with small minions early, like Pirate Warrior. Even killing 2x 1/1 and spawning a 1-drop is really worth it for 2 mana.
- Tar Creeper – 3/5 Taunt for 3, one of the best anti-Aggro cards.
- Hot Spring Guardian – While a bit weaker than Tar Creeper on curve, it also heals you and is better at doing the trades on your turn.
Lower Priority (keep only if certain conditions are met):
- Flametongue Totem – With 1-drops. It helps with trading up, sticking Flametongue to the board and getting value for a few turns should win you the game.
- Tol'vir Stoneshaper – With an Elemental activator, especially with an Elemental 3-drop. Tar Creeper into Tol’vir Stoneshaper is the best anti-Aggro curve you can have, it’s really hard for them to pass through.
Vs Slow Decks
Higher Priority (keep every time):
- Fire Fly – Still a great turn 1 play. With the right hand, you can snowball the game early and then finish your opponent off with things like Blazecaller or Kalimos. The fact that you can play one part of Fire Fly on turn 1 and then still have the second one to activate synergies is great.
- Bloodsail Corsair – While it might not seem good enough by itself, you still want to keep it in slower matchups. 1/2 + 1/1 is great for a 1-drop, it has Flametongue synergy and you get out Patches from your deck, so you have no chance of a dead draw.
- Flametongue Totem – Best early game card in the slow matchups. You can easily stack multiple minions & Totems and then when the right time comes play Flamtongue and get a lot of value.
- Tar Creeper or Hot Spring Guardian – While they’re not that amazing in slow matchups, they have nice synergy with Flametongue and you can hide your small minions behind them against weapons or minion trades.
Lower Priority (keep only if certain conditions are met):
- Hex – Against decks that can drop a huge minion early. E.g. you can keep it against Handlock (it’s a terrible matchup anyway, but having Hex for their Giant increases the odds).
- Tol'vir Stoneshaper or Jade Lightning – If you have quite solid early game already. Stoneshaper is probably better if you have a turn 3 Elemental. Lightning can be great, but it can also be useless on turn 4 – your opponent might not have a good target for it and you don’t want to use it on the face.
Jade Elemental Shaman Play Strategy
Jade Elemental Shaman is a classic Midrange deck. Depending on the matchup and your opening hand, you can play the fast, aggressive game with a good minion curve, Flametongue and then A LOT of burn damage (2x Jade Lightning, 2x Fire Elemental, 2x Blazecaller, Kalimos). Other times you can play the value game – use Servant of Kalimos to generate more big threats and your late game Elementals to control the board.
While Jades aren’t necessary in this deck, they are nice curve fillers + getting them up to 6/6 also counts. For example, Jade Claws is a good turn 2 play in fast matchups (definitely better than using Hero Power) while it can be a 2 mana 5/5 + 2/2 weapon in the late game. Jade Lightning is a flexible removal/burn damage with a small/mid-sized minion attached. Since the “Jade package” is only 5 cards, it’s really easy to fit it without hurting your deck, while it adds quite a lot of power to the deck.
Games against Aggro are relatively simple gameplay-wise. You want to control the board, remove EVERYTHING they play in the early game. You don’t have to hurry up too much, if you take some early game damage it’s not a problem. As long as you get rid of all the minions they play, you should come out ahead and win the game.
If you have Flametongue Totem in your hand, you want to try to flood the board. Aggro decks generally don’t run AoEs, so if you play e.g. Fire Fly + Bloodsail Corsair, you put 3 minions on the board, which might be hard to remove. Then next turn you can utilize your Flametongue for a greater value.
When it comes to the order of Tar Creeper vs Hot Spring Guardian, you prefer to open with Tar Creeper most of the time. If your opponent doesn’t have a way to remove it, you can kill a 1/1 or 2/1 minion with it and heal it back to full.
When you have Tol'vir Stoneshaper in your hand, try to set up an Elemental on a previous turn and not Overload yourself. 3/5 Taunt with Divine Shield is great. You should have got ridden of all the 1/1’s by that point, so popping the shield might not be that easy. Sometimes it might tank the whole opponent’s board.
With no Lightning Storm in the deck, you need to take a more proactive approach to board clearing. Don’t let them get ahead and put a big board, because you might not have a way to clear it. Bloodmage Thalnos + Maelstrom Portal is quite powerful, but 2 damage might not be good enough sometimes.
If you have Kalimos, Primal Lord in your hand, try to survive until turn 8. Healing for 12 is really big and can seal most of the games vs Aggro, but getting to that turn is very hard. If you’re close, but you’re low on life, try to play as defensively as possible. Try to roll that Taunt totem, play whatever healing/Taunts you have in your hand, maybe even Hex your own minion to put 0/1 Taunt. With 12 Healing and 7/7 on the board, the game should be over, so you can play a bit inefficiently to get there.
Games vs Control are mostly won by putting the constant pressure on the opponent. This deck is amazing at doing that. While you don’t have a very fast early game, you can get a lot of chip damage with your small minions. Even more if you have Flametongue Totem opening – the card is MVP in the slow matchups. It can turn a board full of Totems and small minions into a serious threat. You can trade up, you can start pushing for a lot of damage etc. Hopefully your opponent has no way to remove it, but in case he might have a weapon (e.g. Warrior or Paladin), you might wait with your Flametongue until you drop a Taunt on the board.
The deck starts to get much more powerful in the mid game. Early was mostly small minions and anti-Aggro tools, but in the mid game you can have some serious threats. You need to decide whether you want to push for the tempo/rush win condition or take the game a bit slower. It’s impossible to tell which approach is right without knowing the matchup, your hand, board state etc. but generally you have to ask yourself a question. Can you kill the opponent quite easily with your hand? Let’s say that he’s at 20 health and you have Fire Elemental, Blazecaller and Kalimos, Primal Lord. That alone is 14 damage, if you get some minion hits or maybe topdeck another Blazecaller/Jade Lightning, then you can probably go for the rush strategy. Of course, if you play against the deck that runs no healing or very limited healing.
Alternatively, you want to go for a little longer value game. This deck is a king of “2 for 1”. Fire Elemental and Blazecaller – you can kill a small/mid-sized minion on the board and put a big body at the same time. Kalimos – you AoE stuff down and put a 7/7, which needs to get answered OR you flood the board with 1/1’s, which means that your opponent has to play both single target and AoE removal to deal with the board. Servant of Kalimos – it’s a 4/5 that potentially discovers another big body, so once again – most likely – 2 for 1. With this kind of game plan, you can often actually run your opponent out of the resources. Most of those are also solid tempo plays, killing a 5 mana minion with Blazecaller and then having a 6/6 body yourself is great. You have quite a high chance to attack with a big minion from time to time, which should get enemy quite low. Not to mention that time might actually work in your favor sometimes – the Jades are growing. Even though they stop at 6/6, that’s still quite big. 4 mana 4 damage + 6/6 minion is insane.
P.S. If you face a lot of slower decks, you can tech in Bloodlust. While it’s a dead card against Aggro, it gives you a quite solid win condition in slower matchups. You often have 4-5 minions on the board that would push for a lot of damage with Bloodlust. It can also combo well with the Kalimos after he floods the board with 1/1’s.
- If you plan to use Hero Power on a given turn, you generally should START by summoning the basic Totem. Then you can position your minions and make the plays accordingly. Knowing which totem you roll might change your plan – e.g. rolling Healing might make you take a different trade, rolling Taunt might make you play Flametongue instead of something else or rolling Spell Damage might make you play Maelstrom Portal instead of Jade Claws (for example).
- Try to hide your Flametongue Totem behind Taunts. This way your opponent needs a spell removal to get rid of it – it’s protected from weapons and Charge minions, which are common ways to remove it.
- Remember that you need to play an Elemental a turn BEFORE playing a card with Elemental synergy. The card that is activated will glow and “spark”, but I’ve still seen that mistake a few times already.
- Also remember that Tol'vir Stoneshaper has an Elemental synergy, but it’s not an Elemental itself. So you can’t curve with e.g. Tar Creeper -> Stoneshaper -> Servant of Kalimos.
- If your opponent is threatening lethal you can’t prevent (e.g. they have a weapon and you didn’t roll a Taunt), you can try using Hex on your own minion to create a 0/1 Taunt. It might actually save you if your opponent has no way to clear it.
- If you’re in a bad situation and a Kalimos draw might be your only out, try to set up an Elemental the turn before you’ll most likely lose the game. Since you need to play an Elemental a turn BEFORE, dropping an Elemental after you topdeck Kalimos might be too late. I won some games by blindly playing an Elemental while still having Kalimos in my deck to topdeck him for clutch lethal or heal.
Elemental Jade Shaman Card Substitutions
The deck is quite heavy on the expensive cards and most of them are quite crucial. Still, if you don’t have some, you can try these substitutes:
- Patches the Pirate – Patches is really good in this list, as it makes your early game much more powerful. If you don’t have Patches, you probably want to get rid of Bloodsail Corsairs too. You most likely want to play other early game Elementals instead – Glacial Shards are solid, another card you might play instead is a weapon destruction – Acidic Swamp Ooze or Gluttonous Ooze.
- Bloodmage Thalnos – It’s there mainly for the Maelstrom Portal synergy and cycle, but it’s not that necessary. If you don’t have it, you can probably sub it with Lightning Storm.
- Aya Blackpaw – Since the deck runs only 4 Jade cards besides Aya, it’s just not worth it to run the Jade package without her. If you don’t own her, you probably should get rid of all the Jade cards and go for more Elemental synergies/tech cards instead. Some cards you might consider running are Glacial Shard, Devolve, Igneous Elemental, Jinyu Waterspeaker or Bloodlust.
- Kalimos, Primal Lord – Kalimos is the main reason why you run the Elemental Shaman in the first place. I’d say that it’s the most important Legendary in the deck, but if you can try running the list without it. Stonehill Defender might be an okay replacement, because Shaman Taunts are generally quite strong – it’s a flexible card that should be good in both slow and fast matchups. Alternatively, Al'Akir the Windlord is also okay, but it’s a Legendary.
I would like to remind you, like always, that Legendaries are pretty important in most of the decks and replacing them might reduce the given deck’s quality/performance significantly, so keep that in mind.
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Good luck on the ladder and until next time!