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Hearthstone: Control Shaman deck list guide - May 2017

How to play the best Control Shaman deck in Season 38.

Our Control Shaman deck guide features the best deck list for Season 38, with Mulligan advice, strategy tips, card combos and synergies.

Control Shaman is a reasonably new archetype for the truly competitive Hearthstone scene, and it's an archetype which seeks to hold back the opponent's progress before mounting a more significant threat as the match wears on into the late-game.

There's bags of removal at hand for the first half a dozen turns or so, after which some meaty mid and late-game minions begin to show up. You've also got some incredible options for duplicating these meaty minions through spells and minion plays.

Our Control Shaman guide outlines one of the most popular deck lists being used in the current metagame, and then outlines the fundamental strategy behind playing it. From there we've got a little Mulligan advice to help you get off to a good start, before we wrap things up with a breakdown of all the card combos you can make use of.

Editor's note - April 2017 Update: No-one's calling Control Shaman a top-tier deck right now, but it is superb at dealing with aggressive opponents. If you're struggling to make progress at the top end of the ladder, we reckon this is a powerful tool to use if you have the cards required.

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Control Shaman deck list and strategy - May 2017

Here's what we believe to be the top Control Shaman deck for the early stages of the Un'Goro metagame.

2 x Ancestral Spirit1 x Acidic Swamp Ooze
2 x Devolve1 x Bloodmage Thalnos
2 x Maelstrom Portal2 x Stonehill Defender
2 x Hex2 x Tar Creeper
2 x Lightning Storm2 x Faceless Manipulator
2 x Mana Tide Totem
2 x Jinyu Waterspeaker
2 x Earth Elemental
1 x Hallazeal the Ascended
2 x Volcano
1 x White Eyes
2 x Thing from Below

As a very broad overview of the strategy involved with playing this type of deck, your aim is to own the early to mid-game using your grotesque assortment of removal options, before building an impenetrable defensive wall with enough power to clatter down the opponent as well as protect yourself.

Playing various totems will reduce the cost of Thing from Below nicely, and you also have more mid-game early to mid-game Taunt options in the form of Stonehill Defender and Tar Creeper. When it comes to the former minion, try to find one that fills out your Mana curve nicely, given the cards you already have in your hand.

Once you get to the latter stages of the game you should be capable of sustaining a pretty broad board of minions. Consider cards like Faceless Manipulator as well, which can be used to create a carbon copy of any one of your enormous creatures. Ancestral Spirit can likewise be used to create endless headaches for your opponent to deal with.

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More great Shaman guides:

Control Shaman Mulligan guide - May 2017

Acidic Swamp Ooze exists in this game to ruin Pirate Warrior's life, so it's worth hanging onto against any Warrior you encounter. Against aggro opponents in general, look for cards like Maelstrom Portal and Lightning Storm.

Other generally valuable keeps include Tar Creeper, as this minion will allow you to dig for another minions that will smooth out your Mana curve.

Once the metagame is a little clearer, we will break this section down with recommendations for keeping cards against specific heroes.

Control Shaman tips, combos and synergies - May 2017

New to Control Shaman or need a refresher? Here are some of the most common combos you should be working into your matches with this particular deck list:

- Bloodmage Thalnos increases the strength of your damage-dealing spells: Maelstrom Portal and Lightning Storm.

- The bigger the minion, the better the target for Ancestral Spirit. Note how this card can also be combined in late-game turn with Faceless Manipulator.

- All totems that are summoned during the game - whether from cards or your hero power - will reduce the Mana cost of Thing from Below. Reducing the cost of this card is a core part of the fundamental strategy.

- If it's at all possible, try and tuck Mana Tide Totem behind a minion with Taunt, as it'll make it that much harder for the opponent to deal with. A little extra card draw goes a very long way with this deck.

- Note that if you drop Ancestral Spirit onto White Eyes, you'll get the chance to shuffle two Storm Guardian minions into your deck.

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