Once a month, a guest host brings their favorite deck onto the show to battle the current reigning champion deck for control of the Happy Hearthstone Deck Battle Throne!
If the challenger wins the best-of-3 series, their deck becomes the new Reigning Champion Deck and will fight off future challengers until it loses, or until it’s earned its place in the Happy Hearthstone Hall of Fame!
Defending Deck: Dan’s Mech Mage deck has reigned supreme for 1 month, and has beaten 1 deck before this episode.
Challenger Deck: Frid’s Mech Shaman is an aggressive deck that wins through crazy burst damage that can catch even the most prepared player off guard.
In case you don’t have some of the ideal cards, here are some quality back ups and alterations you can make that keep with the same theme and strengths of the deck.
Robots, totems, and the occasional frog dish out the damage in Frid’s Mech Shaman deck. It brings the classic body-centric rush damage that defines mech decks, but adds its own flair to provide big burst potential in the mid-game.
Note from Josh: The rest of this article was written by Frid. Thanks, Frid!
With the popularity of the Mech Mage, some deck builders attempted to make other classes work with the mechs. Shaman got arguably one of the best class mechs in the Whirling Zap-o-matic and a weapon that synergizes with the mechs — the Powermace — so it was only natural to me to build a mech Shaman. The deck essentially takes the mech “core” from Mech Mage and adds in Shaman classics, making it a strong tempo deck that can burst opponents down quickly, with some spectacular amounts of burst damage.
There are two things that it suffers from: (1) card draw and (2) healing. Because of the balanced curve, card draw is generally not an issue. If you’re running out of cards it may be because you’re overextending the board and exposing yourself to Area of Effect (AoE) spells. As for healing, the Shaman has always suffered from this problem, but you will generally be dictating the tempo in this match and the opponents will be responding to you, so healing is not essential.
Let’s get straight into the cards I used in my deck for the mighty showdown with Josh. You can find a completely plain deck list on the podcast episode. Here, I’ll provide additional commentary where I feel it’s helpful or necessary.
A staple in most Shaman decks. This totem can help you trade up and provide the additional points of damage to finish the game. It turns your totems into weapons. It will also force you to constantly consider the positioning of your minions.
Arguably the best 2 mana mech in the GvG set. This little guy can get out of control quickly if not dealt with. He’s a great target for the Powermace +2/+2 buff and for Rockbiter Weapon for some extra damage. It will most likely eat up a removal spell or minion from your opponent.
Does this one need explanation? It is essentially an auto-include in Shaman decks. One of the strongest battlecry effects in the game and a big body that dodges Big Game Hunter and has the magic 5 health. What more can you ask for? Be careful not to overload on turn 5, so you can get him out on turn 6.
Always keep him in your opening hand and play it on turn 1 if going first. Early board presence to trade with most 1 drops and benefits from all the mechs. If you have 2 in your opening hand and you’re going second, don’t be afraid to drop them both on turn 1, especially if you have a 2 mana mech in hand.
His name suits him perfectly. You can make it a super Annoy-o-Tron with Powermace. Use him to protect other valuable minions.
Play mechs at a discount? Sign me up. A staple in all mech decks, it can help you “innervate” minions out ahead of curve. Show Druids that you can also manipulate mana!
2x Spider Tank
The only neutral minion in the game with the 3/4 stats for 3 mana. Incredibly hard to remove and only gets better with Powermace.
This is one of the most iffy cards included in the deck. I was looking for an additional 4 drop and this was the only other mech that made sense to me. See sideboard for alternatives. Just like his non-mech brother the Chillwind Yeti, this guy is very hard to deal with because of the magic 4 attack and 5 health.
The Piloted Shredder has been a staple for decks from all classes since GvG was released and it is no surprise. Incredibly sticky minion that makes Harvest Golem (a classic auto-include) look inferior. Buffed to a 6/5 with Powermace, it looks like a Fire Elemental that leaves something behind when it dies.
2x Fel Reaver
Fel Reaver? Haven’t I heard this card is terrible because it has 2 fatal flaws? Well, yes, the card does have two huge drawbacks. First, it dies to Big Game Hunter and that can be devastating. Second, you lose 3 cards for every card the opponent plays. Are you crazy playing two of these? The reality is that it wins games when it can’t be removed early (especially if you can get it out turn 4 with Mechwarper) and the drawback can be inconsequential. Think of a typical game: Do you ever draw all your cards? Then you can think of the discarded cards as being at the bottom of the deck, which you wouldn’t have drawn anyway. If this card makes you queasy, then look for 5 mana alternatives in the sideboard section.
Loatheb is just an amazing 5 drop. Protects your board from board clears. Strong body that fits the curve nicely. One of the best cards in the game.
1x Dr. Boom
What deck is complete these days without the inclusion of Dr. Balanced? When he hits the board, everything changes. One of the funniest things is a buffed up 3/3 boom bot because of Powermace.
More Shaman staple cards that help you fight for the board or burst opponents down. Combo with Whirling Zap-o-matic or Doomhammer for 6 additional points of damage. Use it with a totem or your hero if you need to clear a pesky taunt.
Crackle can be used for removal on the board or as the finishing blow to the face. Best used with a spell power totem on board. Beware of the overload on key turns to avoid disrupting your mana curve.
Quite possibly the strongest hard removal in the game. If there is a minion in your way that you don’t want to deal with, then Hex it! Erases deathrattle effects, which can provide incredible value.
1x Lava Burst
Shaman’s version of the Mage’s Fireball. Just like Crakle, but more expensive, and more reliable at flat 5 damage. Also like Crackle, beware of the overload on key turns.
The Powermace was a great addition to the Shaman’s repertoire, especially with the mech synergy. You can use it to remove stuff from the board to protect your minions, or to deliver finishing blows. Make sure to time the second charge right so it hits the intended mech target.
Doomhammer is great for board control or for damage burst. Generally, you save the Rockbiter Weapons for the Doomhammer and you don’t play it on turn 5 because of the overload.
If you don’t have all of the cards listed above, these are some great backup plans!
2x Azure Drake
One of the options if you either don’t have Fel Reaver or the discard effect is something you don’t enjoy. This minion also provides much needed card draw.
2x Bomb Lobber
Another option to replace Fel Reaver. Helps with board control by taking care of opponent’s Azure Drakes and Shades of Naxxramas.
An alternative to Spider Tank that is a bit more sticky.
Could be put in place of Lava Burst to avoid overload, has a decent board presence and gets you a spare part in the process.
1x Earth Shock
An alternative to Hex that allows you to bypass taunts or deal with early game threats when your hand is otherwise slow or weak.
An alternative to Dr. Boom, avoids BGH, and synergizes well with Rockbiter weapon for extra burst, while providing some defense.
If you don’t have Dr. Boom, Loatheb, or Al’Akir, you can try a Piloted Sky Golem. Nice body, mech, with a strong deathrattle effect.
If you have tried Mech Mage and enjoy that playstyle but think it’s getting a bit stale, or if Shaman is your favorite class and you have just not been able to make it work, give this one a try! It can deliver some spectacular finishes with a lot of burst potential.
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What Was, What Is, and What Will Be - Episode 158
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