Our Budget Murloc Shaman deck list guide for the Rise of Shadows expansion will teach you how to play this budget list. This guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!
Introduction to Budget Murloc Shaman
Murlocs have been one of Hearthstone’s most prominent tribal synergy strategies since its introduction. Murlocs are typically designed to benefit from each other and begin to snowball exponentially as each one is added to the board. This, along with the generally low mana-cost of the cards, pushes most Murloc strategies to be aggressive.
While initially best in Warlock, Blizzard started introducing Shaman support (and Paladin support) for Murlocs in Goblins vs Gnomes. Murloc Shaman would continue to get fairly regular additions as sets came out, but it wasn’t until the Rise of Shadows expansion that it would get cards powerful enough for it to be more than a meme.
Rise of Shadows Update
Shaman got four exclusive Murloc cards to work with in Rise of Shadows (Sludge Slurper, Soul of the Murloc, Underbelly Angler, and Scargil), along with two non-exclusive cards (Toxfin and Hench-Clan Hogsteed). Surprisingly, all of them have ended up being playable in some decks.
Budget Murloc Shaman Mulligan Guide
Murloc Shaman is an aggro deck, and as such you want to get on the board as soon as you can. Murloc Tidecaller and Sludge Slurper are the best of the 1-mana Murlocs to have on the first turn. Underbelly Angler not only has the best stats of the 2-mana Murlocs in the deck, but if your opponent is unable to respond to it right away it can expand your options and make it easier to fill out your curve. Murloc Tidehunter is another turn 2 play with decent stats that combos well into Soul of the Murloc and Coldlight Seer.
All these cards help keep your early Murloc presence alive into the following turns, but you want to have a solid curve before you keep any of them. Coldlight Seer should be prioritized and can also be kept with The Coin.
Budget Murloc Shaman Play Strategy
With Murloc Shaman you want to get advantage on board as early as possible and keep it. Over the course of the game, if you can stay ahead on board and whittle down the opponent’s life total, ideally you will play Bloodlust to finish off the opponent with a wide enough board.
Most of your games will be pretty straightforward, you’re looking for a good curve with your early turns and to protect your Murlocs. Make trades in a way that as many of your Murlocs survive as possible to eventually be either buffed by Coldlight Seer and Soul of the Murloc, or that you can Bloodlust for big damage.
Underbelly Angler is one of the most important cards in the budget version of this deck. It gives you additional cards to work with and access to more dust expensive essentials that the budget version can’t otherwise use (namely Murloc Warleader, a cheaper more permanent Bloodlust).
If your opponent wipes the board you have a few easy refill cards. Feral Spirit and Rain of Toads both produce multiple minions from one cards, and they have Taunt to protect any Murlocs you can play afterwards. Ghost Light Angler can also provide a one-card board refill, and combos very well with Underbelly Angler.
Future Card Replacements for Murloc Shaman
The budget version of Murloc Shaman is good enough to get you some Shaman wins, but there are two Epics that will make it dramatically more powerful, and should be crafted as soon as you have the dust available if you see yourself continuing to play the deck.
- Murloc Warleader – Do yourself a favor and craft this as soon as you can. While you can still grab wins without it, Murloc Warleader is a large part of what has made every Murloc deck powerful throughout Hearthstone’s history, and you will notice the difference almost immediately. Murloc Warleader adds cheaper and more permanent copies of Bloodlust to the deck, as will as giving you another turn-3 play that doesn’t overload you. Take out Rain of Toads or Feral Spirit.
- Nightmare Amalgam – This card is pretty vanilla when you compare it to the broad pool of 3-mana cards you could play, but it is an enormous Murloc. Getting Murlocs to stick on the board is one of the great struggles of the deck, and at four health Nightmare Amalgam has a really good chance. Once on the board, your other Murlocs will take care of the “spice” that it’s missing. Take out whatever remains between Rain of Toads and Feral Spirit after you’ve added Murloc Warleader.
Once you’ve added in the two cards above you will have successfully upgraded your budget deck to a meta deck! From there you start to get into options that are more preference based.
- Scargil – Another “big” Murloc, and one that really punishes your opponent if they can’t respond to it. Scargil allows you to create a large board presence for much less mana, and combos exceptionally well with Underbelly Angler. You won’t always find yourself with Scargil and Underbelly Angler on board while also having mana to spare, so considering the already low mana-cost of the average Murloc the most useful aspect of Scargil might be its four health. Being a legendary, it will come at a high dust-cost to budget players and should only be crafted if you love the deck and are eager to toy around with it.
- Thunderhead (and friends) – There are Overload versions of Murloc Shaman swimming around on ladder to some success, leveraging Thunderhead’s effect into additional board advantage. For this you would keep Rain of Toads in, then add Thunderhead, Sunreaver Warmage, Storm Chaser, Likkim, Voltaic Burst, Lightning Bolt and Zap!. As you can imagine, you have to take out a lot of Murlocs to make room for all of that, essentially making it an Overload deck with a Murloc package.
- Hench-Clan Hogsteed – This is a removal minion that leaves behind a Murloc, and is a good option if you’re looking to trade better with Zoo decks. This is also a good option to replace Murloc Raider if you can’t bring yourself to include it in your constructed deck.
- Lightning Bolt and/or Lava Burst – This deck already has a few cards to finish the game with (especially once you add Murloc Warleader), but if you want to add in more, burn spells are a good way to go. Both allow you get around Taunt minions to get that last bit of instant damage to win the game and can double as minion removal in a pinch.