This is not a drill: Freeze Shaman is back, and this time it might be more of a menace than a meme. The Fractured in Alterac Valley Shaman class cards all point in one (really rather chilly) direction. This surprisingly strong shell may finally enable a dedicated Freeze Shaman deck to emerge, or, failing that, to provide some strong support to various other archetypes.
Full Freeze Shaman
Literally every single Shaman class card in the new set is related to freezing (even Frostbite is a Frost spell and has a potential Freezing Trap-like effect), so it is only logical to experiment with a build that’s looking to utilize the full slate on offer. A midrange shell with literally legendary payoffs, the goal here is to go nuts with repeated triggers of Bearon Gla'shear’s Battlecry effect after a long game to exhaust your opponent’s resources.
Wildpaw Cavern may seem insanely slow at first, but keep in mind that its effect already triggers at the end of the turn you play it, so even though it’s just a crappy Water Elemental to start with, it’s a monstrous stat stick tacked onto your turns from then on, making it a more than viable play.
Aggro Freeze Shaman
Freeze effects can help you stall in a very efficient manner, which, in turn, allows you to exploit any tempo edge you might have. This is the idea behind this build, a low-curve affair that aims to get that extra one hit out of minions in the early-to-mid-game before transitioning into pure burn. This makes it logical to use Snowfall Guardian as a curve-topper and potential finisher.
There are additional benefits to the inclusion of Freeze cards as stall effects can also help you find an extra turn or two once you’ve lost the board to fish for the perfect lethal damage, similarly to how Mage decks of the past (be it aggro or combo that they focused on) used to operate. By the way, Frostbite can also go face.
Elemental Freeze Shaman
This version is similar to the one listed above but aims to keep more of the Elemental synergies alive at the cost of some early-game presence. Both Ice Revenant and Snowfall Guardian have the tribal tag, making them a natural fit. Since we’re introducing Frost spells to the mix, Primal Dungeoneer is a reasonable cut as it’d no longer guarantee the double draw. Nudging the curve a bit higher by replacing a Gyreworm with Bearon Gla’shear could also be a reasonable call depending on how the meta shakes out.
Big Freeze Shaman
Using Vanndar Stormpike to bring the Ice Age onto Azeroth, this build aims to get some massive threats out ahead of time while relying on Shaman’s wide range of direct removal tools alongside the new Freeze package. Though we can’t rely on the combo of Circus Amalgam and Mr. Smite to deal lots of direct damage with N'Zoth, God of the Deep, Kibler-style, and Canal Slogger is admittedly a huge loss, the big bombs on offer should still be able to close out the game in rapid fashion.
Control (Freeze?) Shaman
We can also play it more straight with this one, even with all the reasonable skepticism about the viability of such slow decks in a meta where Questlines are still around. (In effect, we’re relying on other aggro decks to clean up the field, only for us to feast on them in return.) Here’s what a very grindy Shaman build would look like with a sprinkling of Freeze spells for that special flavor, perhaps courtesy of Cookie the Cook himself.
Questline Freeze Shaman
The added burn spells in the new set provide excellent additions to existing Questline builds, especially because they make Multicaster even better than it already is in this deck. The changes made to the currently popular builds here are small but fairly significant nevertheless: Sleetbreaker replaces Wandmaker on account of its superior stat distribution, and Frostbite subs in for Primordial Studies to provide additional burn/removal.
+1: Wild Freeze Shaman
We’ve got to give Moorabi a spin after all these years, right? Is it going to be great? Probably not – the power level is just too high. Some memes are destined to remain a meme, after all. That being said, there might just be enough from a value perspective to make things interesting in a slower matchup, which is half the fun in Wild!