Our Budget Evolve Token Shaman deck list guide for the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion will teach you how to play this Token Shaman list. This Budget Evolve Token Shaman guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Introduction to Budget Evolve Shaman
Evolve Shaman is a deck that rose up towards the end of the Un’Goro meta and quickly became one of the most powerful decks in Tournament and Ladder play alike. The deck relies on spreading wide on the board with efficient minions before closing the game with Bloodlust burst or a big Evolve swing turn. Fortunately, Evolve Shaman plays a slew of budget minions to accomplish this game plan, making it a prime candidate for a budget deck.
Of the two Legendary cards in the deck, Patches the Pirate is probably most critical due to his immediate impact with Flametongue Totem and synergy with the token game plan. Aya Blackpaw makes your board a little less fragile against AoE, but is a little more replaceable in the deck.
In Kobolds and Catacombs, Evolve Shaman gains very little outside of two Epic cards: Unstable Evolution and Corridor Creeper. While neither is included in this budget-friendly deck, both (the latter especially) would be very welcome additions.
Budget Evolve Shaman Mulligan Guide
High Priority Keeps
- Fire Fly – Fire Fly is hands down the best turn 1 play in the deck. Keep this card in any matchup. The initial body is difficult to deal with and the token it generates fills in your curve in later turns.
- Argent Squire – If you don’t find Fire Fly in your opener, Argent Squire is a suitable replacement. Pair with Flametongue Totem, Squire can trade up with nearly anything your opponent puts on the board.
- Jade Claws – Against aggressive decks, Jade Claws is critical in maintaining an early lead on the board. Even in slower matchups, Claws provides an early start to your Jade Golem train.
Low Priority Keeps
- Flametongue Totem – Flametongue is an important part of many of this deck’s powerful openers, but keeping one in hand without additional early game plays can be a mistake.
- Primalfin Totem – Primalfin Totem is a surprisingly strong opener against certain decks. It’s effectiveness is dependent on your ability to protect it, however. With The Coin, it pairs especially well with Flametongue Totem.
Budget Evolve Shaman Play Strategy
Evolve Shaman relies heavily on having minions in play. As such, maintaining control of the board is absolutely necessary. Doing so in this budget version is a bit more challenging without access to Maelstrom Portal, but Devolve can act as a sort of pseudo-AoE clear.
Time of the decks titular spell is also critical. Comboing Evolve with high-value minions is not always optimal. With a favorable board position, an early Evolve following value trades can lock other aggressive decks out of the game. In slower matchups, however, it may be necessary to hold the Evolve to pair with Doppelgangster or Saronite Chain Gang to make for a potent board refill.
Always be aware of the amount of damage you have on board with Bloodlust to look for your opening for lethal. A simple calculation for your Bloodlust damage is Damage on Board + (3 x Number of Attacking Minions). Do remember that, because this deck runs two copies, you can use Bloodlust to clean up with trades rather than only using it to score a kill.
Budget Evolve Shaman Future Card Replacements
- 1x Jade Spirit & 1x Devolve> 2x Maelstrom Portal – Missing out on Maelstrom Portal is pretty impactful in this deck. The card is one of your few chances to swing the board back in your favor. Portal comes from the first wing in Karazhan, so add this card to your deck once you acquire it.
- 2x Argent Squire & 1x Devolve > 2x Bloodsail Corsair & 1x Patches the Pirate – Bloodsail Corsair are fantastic against any of the weapon classes. However, they are worse than Argent Squire without a Patches to pull from your deck. As such, these cards should be replaced as a set, rather than one at a time.
- 2x Bonemare > 2x Corridor Creeper – While Bonemare’s body synergizes with the Evolve gameplan, the buff it provides is quickly lost when upgrading minions. Creeper, however, can be quickly cheated out and still receives Evolves well.
- 1x Jade Spirit > 1x Aya Blackpaw – While not as critical as Patches or Portal, Aya Blackpaw provides a lot for this deck in terms of board consistency. She comes out a bit later, but offers more for the deck in the long run.
- 1x Bloodlust > 1x Thrall, Deathseer – If you were fortunate enough to get Death Knight Thrall as your prologue reward or in a pack, he finds a nice home in this deck. Thrall is more likely to be a viable turn five play than Bloodlust and offers a secondary win condition.
Budget Evolve Shaman General Replacements
Here’s a list of cards you can add to this deck if you happen to be missing anything in the list.
- Unstable Evolution – While Evolve and Thrall work better with the Doppelganster package, Unstable Evolution is still a useful card in certain builds of Token Shaman.
- Cult Master – Given how many small, token minions this deck can generate, Cult Master can provide a lot of hand refill, something the deck is otherwise lacking.
- Sea Giant – With wide boards being commonplace in the current meta, Sea Giant offers a big body that can be played for a low cost.
- Feral Spirit – This spell is consistent with your game plan of spreading wide on the board, but misses the cut due to the costly Overload.
- Tar Creeper – An efficient taunt minion, Tar Creeper can protect some of your high-value totems and maintain control of the board.
About the Author
A card game veteran, Roffle has been infatuated with Hearthstone since closed beta. These days, he spends most of his time tinkering with decks on ladder or earning gold in Arena (f2p btw). In particular, Roffle has a wealth of experience in competitive Wild Hearthstone, including a top 16 finish in the inaugural Wild Open Tournament and numerous high end of season finishes since the format’s inception. Follow him on Twitter or check out some of his articles on Roffle.ne