Our Battlecry (Quest) Shaman deck list guide for the Saviors of Uldum expansion features one of the top lists for this archetype. This Shaman guide includes Mulligan Strategy, Gameplay Tips, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Quests are back! This time, the completion is much simpler (and faster), without a need to play the reward as a card, but rather gaining a new hero power immediately upon completing it. In the case of Shaman, the Quest is Corrupt the Waters, that requires you to play 6 Battlecry minions, with the reward being Heart of Vir'naal, an on-demand Brann Bronzebeard effect for the entire turn, for a mere 2 mana. Although there are a couple of ways you can build a deck like that, the more popular and effective, at this moment, seems to be one centered around a number of good tempo cards, plus lackey-generating ones and Shudderwock as a kind of finisher.
Main Goal and Strategy
The deck aims to complete the Quest Corrupt the Waters as soon as possible, before turns 5-6, so it can start getting a lot more value and tempo out of the battlecries that the deck contains. The deck could be described as a tempo-midrange deck, that tries to get on the board with its early game cards, then using Heart of Vir'naal to really start taking advantage of the battlecries. The “upgraded” hero power can generate a lot of value and tempo, helping you establish a board constantly, eventually aiming to run the opponent out of answers.
Most of the battlecries have to do with card-generation, specifically Lackey-generation. Out of the 6 available Lackeys, the deck prefers Ethereal Lackey for value, Witchy Lackey for tempo and Kobold Lackey for tempo as well. You should keep in mind that Shudderwock will replay all of the Battlecry effects that you played up until that point, so you should try to keep a relatively empty hand, since you’re going to be adding a good number of cards to your hand. Furthermore, if you’re going second against a slow deck (mainly Warrior and Priest), it could be a good idea to keep The Coin so you can use Heart of Vir'naal and Shudderwock in the same turn, making for a truly powerful turn.
- Corrupt the Waters: The cornerstone of the deck. This new Shaman Quest transforms your hero power into the powerful Heart of Vir'naal, making the rest of the deck that much more powerful. Although you cannot, normally, use that hero power in conjuction with Shudderwock, it should be considered if it’s worth holding onto The Coin, in case you’re going second, depending on the matchup.
- Mutate: This deceptively simple 0-cost spell is a powerful tempo tool, in the right scenario. The two best candidates for a mini-combo are Former Champ, which gives you a 6-drop, along with a 5/5, for just 5 mana and Mogu Fleshshaper, which you can use to trade favorable and then transform into an 8-drop. Sandstorm Elemental
- Sandstorm Elemental: Your best card against token/aggressive decks, as it can be used early on to help deal with the first couple of minions that the opponent is going to throw at you, or in conjuction with Heart of Vir'naal to help clear the opposing board. Be mindful of the Overload though, as it may hinder your ability to have a good play on the following turn.
- Weaponized Wasp: Nothing too flashy, a mini-Fire Elemental at 3 mana, so you can fight for the board early on.
- Bog Slosher: A return-to-the-hand effect, bundled with a +2/+2 buff, allowing you to play an important battlecry again. Do not forget that the effect will be replayed by Shudderwock to a random friendly minion, except himself, so try to keep space in your hand.
- Former Champ: Normally an Arena card, this neutral 5-drop makes another appearance in a Shaman deck, after playing an important role in the Evolve Shaman decks of the past. An excellent candidate for both Bog Slosher and Mutate, this can give you a lot of board presence to push your advantage and exhaust your opponent’s answers. Shudderwock
- Mogu Fleshshaper: Although its 3/4 body for 7 mana does seem pretty underwhelming, its cost reduction mechanic and Rush ability are what make it a core card to the deck, especially if you’re playing against a deck that has any kind of board presence. You can often play this during turns 3-5, trading a small minion and then using Mutate to turn it into a might 8-drop, possibly turning the scale considerably to your favor.
- Shudderwock: An old, familiar face, Shudderwock is used as a pseudo-finisher. Although he will not deal much damage to your opponent, other than a couple of Lifedrinker effects, it will provide you with a lot of board presence, through Former Champ‘s effect, as well as a lot of value from any lackeys you played during the game.
Your mulligan does not really change much for different matchups, as your main concern is completing Corrupt the Waters as soon as possible, which will allow you to out-tempo most aggressive and midrange decks. Keep in mind that Corrupt the Waters always starts in your hand, so you essentially have 1 less card to mulligan.
These changes make the deck a bit more late-game focused, sacrificing a good amount of early-to-mid game tempo for a lot more late-game value. Barista Lynchen can be used to get back copies of valuable Battlecry minions, such as Siamat and Swampqueen Hagatha, even 2 copies of each, if used with Heart of Vir'naal. The two copies of Hagatha's Scheme provide a safe net against the possibility of your opponent’s board getting too big, giving you the initiative to get back on the board. And if you’re playing against an aggressive deck, Giggling Inventor can provide a wall of Annoy-o-Trons (2-4 of them, depending on whether you use Heart of Vir'naal), giving you enough time to stabilize and get ahead on the board.
Although the deck is pretty straighforward, due to the nature of the card-generation rng and the ability to have powerful swing turns with Mutate, it provides a lot of opportunity to approach each game differently, depending on the matchup, and adapt to that opponent’s weaknesses.