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Frozen Throne Evolve Shaman (KFT) deck list guide - August 2017 - Hearthstone

Tips and strategy advice for dominating with Evolve Shaman.

Our Frozen Throne Evolve Shaman (KFT) deck guide features the best deck list for Season 41, with Mulligan advice, strategy tips, card combos and synergies.

Evolve Shaman - like all Token decks - is a Hearthstone archetype built around the simple concept of getting many minor minions out into play, then using various buffs to transform them into a devastating fighting force. The general idea is that if your opponent is unable to clear these would-be threats out quickly, then they'll quickly find themselves overwhelmed - if not, in fact, completely dead. If you get a decent start, it can be very difficult for your opponent to find their way back into the match.

In the next of our Frozen Throne deck guides, we've highlighted a particularly strong deck list you can use in-game yourself, and also provided some Mulligan tips so you can choose a solid starting hand. We've also significantly expanded on our strategy section since Evolve Shaman became a top-tier deck, with advice for beating aggro and control opponents, and further tips on inching your win-rate up a little higher.

FROZEN THRONE UPDATE

UPDATE #2 - We've updated our recommended Evolve Shaman deck list once again, and are now highlighting the most refined deck list in play. There isn't a huge amount of difference between the two, but we've preserved the previous incarnation of the list in the comments section, should you wish to stick with that one. Still, we really recommend taking the improved version out for a spin. Let us know how you get on.

Our Frozen Throne: Best Decks and Guides hub contains everything you need to get stuck into the new meta!

Frozen Throne Evolve Shaman deck list and strategy

Here's what we believe to be the best version of Evolve Shaman being used right now. Note that this deck has been sourced from an aggregator of competitive decks and is merely the most successful version of many others:

ShamanNeutral
2 x Evolve2 x Bloodsail Corsair
1 x Devolve2 x Fire Fly
2 x Flametongue Totem1 x Patches the Pirate
2 x Jade Claws1 x Stonehill Defender
2 x Maelstrom Portal1 x Rattling Rascal
2 x Primalfin Totem2 x Doppelgangster
2 x Mana Tide Totem
2 x Jade Lightning
2 x Bloodlust
1 x Aya Blackpaw
1 x Thrall, Deathseer
2 x Thing from Below

Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.

Deck Import ID: AAECAaoIBpG8ApS9Ava9ApvCArbLAuvPAgyBBOUH8AeTCfqqAvuqAqC2Aoe8AtG8Avm/ApHBAuvCAgA=

There's nothing enormously complicated about playing Evolve Shaman, and you can gain a decent strategic understanding of this deck simply by studying the combo section towards the bottom of this page.

There's one important rule to keep in mind, however, and that this is not a pure aggro deck. Without minions on the board you're stuffed - you'll struggle to replace them without getting beaten down by the opponent, and you've very little in the way of fast damage to close down the match in the event of a total clear. Careful study of the meta, and the risks that lie around every corner, is essential if you want to truly master the Evolve Shaman.

In very simple terms though, you hope to build as wide a board of minor token minions as possible, then use Bloodlust, Flametongue Totem or Evolve to boost them up in strength and send a - hopefully - game-ending amount of damage into the opponent's health pool.

You have a little light Jade synergy to play around with in this version of the deck, but you've also got loads of low-Mana minions at your disposal too. These can be used to ensure you're developing the board further on every turn, and Primalfin Totem in particular can quickly get out of control if your opponent fails to take it off the board.

Regarding Evolve, don't be squeamish about casting it on your minions. If you've fielded lots of minor one-drops, then you are almost guaranteed to receive an extra point of Attack and Health on each one for pushing the button. Bad things can certainly happen, but you can't plan for every eventuality and that's RNG for you!

Beating aggro opponents

Whoever owns the board owns these match-ups, so shut their board down and don't let them get it back up again. If you can make a trade that leaves a friendly minion standing, do it. Look to cards like Jade Claws to shut them down as well. Consider too the importance of even damaged friendly minions in the context of Flametongue Totem. The more you have alive on the board, the more work you can do.

If you have the board advantage and enough Mana to play it, RNG will often favour you playing Evolve and gaining the upper hand that way - not always, but often enough that it should be the correct play to make. On the subject of upgrading - and unlike Shaman decks of old - Bloodlust is not your sole means of getting over the finishing line. That means you can use it to clear up a problem, get a little extra hero damage in using the rest of the board, and still leave something out in play that can fight another day.

Beating control opponents

Remember when we said earlier on in this guide that you were not an aggro player with Token Shaman? We still mean it, but you should be prepared to push just a little harder and faster against the slower opponent, especially if you haven't got a Devolve on hand. Just be mindful again that you don't have a lot of fast damage in this deck, so you need to keep your board alive at all costs.

We discuss this play further down in the combo section, but it's important to remember that Doppelgangster minions all count as five-Mana minions. That means that Evolve will gift you three minions that cost 6 Mana. The outcome of all this can be very random, but there are some incredibly high-value minions in that bracket and this can prove to be a real heartbreaker for the opponent - especially if they've blown their mass removal already.

New Frozen Throne cards

Here's a quick look at all of the Frozen Throne cards that feature in this particular version of the deck:

- Thrall, Deathseer is essentially another push of the Evolve button for this deck and is a no-brainer! You also get a hero power that can be used to Evolve a single minion each turn.

- Rattling Rascal is a new Neutral card from the Frozen set and essentially gives you 7 /7 stats for four Mana. Of course, once you transform this minion into something else, the opponent will no longer gain a skeletal minion of their own!

- Saronite Chain Gang provides you with a new set of defenses to preserve your token minions with. Combined, the stats aren't too bad for the Mana cost required.

Here's Hearthstone pro Kolento to show you how it's done:

Frozen Throne Evolve Shaman Mulligan guide

If you just want a very quick snapshot of how to transition the Mulligan phase, then here's what you should be keeping against specific opponents right now. This is of course subject to change given the arrival of a new meta. We'll revise this in the next update but much of the advice should carry over.

If you want to gain a deeper understanding of why precisely you would keep hold of these cards, take a look at the breakdown just below the list. These tips explain the reasoning for holding onto each one, and how you can maximise their effectiveness in any given match-up.

OpponentKeeps
DruidFire Fly, Bloodsail Corsair, Flametongue Totem, Jade Claws, Primalfin Totem
HunterFire Fly, Bloodsail Corsair, Jade Claws, Maelstrom Portal, Primalfin Totem
MageFire Fly, Bloodsail Corsair, Flametongue Totem, Jade Claws, Primalfin Totem
PaladinFire Fly, Bloodsail Corsair, Flametongue Totem, Jade Claws, Primalfin Totem
PriestFire Fly, Bloodsail Corsair, Flametongue Totem, Jade Claws, Primalfin Totem
RogueFire Fly, Bloodsail Corsair, Devolve, Flametongue Totem, Jade Claws, Primalfin Totem
ShamanFire Fly, Bloodsail Corsair, Flametongue Totem, Jade Claws, Primalfin Totem
WarlockFire Fly, Bloodsail Corsair, Flametongue Totem, Jade Claws, Primalfin Totem
WarriorFire Fly, Bloodsail Corsair, Flametongue Totem, Jade Claws, Primalfin Totem

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Here's a closer look at each of the key keeps in the chart above, with a little extra insight on each one.

1. Bloodsail Corsair: Represents incredible value on Turn 1, especially if it pulls Patches the Pirate onto the board for free as well.

2. Fire Fly: Although it's not as strong as the Pirate above, this card does at least provide you with further fuel in your hand. If you get the second Elemental out into play as well, you have the option to drop an early Flametongue Totem onto the board and push hard with two otherwise very weak minions.

3. Flametongue Totem: Useful in matches where you face an early big obstacle and need to push through it before you become overwhelmed. It's particularly useful in slower match-ups where the opponent is fielding larger minions after you've had a chance to build at least some presence of your own.

4. Jade Claws: The value of this card speaks for itself really. Not only do you get a weapon that you can use to chip an early two-Health enemy minion off the board, you also get yet another minion on the board that can benefit from a buff. Don't worry too much about the Overload penalty as you have a lot of cheap minions to play in this deck.

5. Maelstrom Portal: This card obviously provides you with a spectacular advantage against aggro decks. Most notably it can also be combined on Turn 4 with Devolve, which will very often shut your opponent out of the match and keep them out for good. Plan ahead, don't get too greedy, but do think about the options you have to really mess with your opponent's head here.

6. Primalfin Totem: Precisely how much value you manage to obtain from Primalfin Totem is a little questionable, and so you only really want to hang onto this one if the rest of your hand is looking solid in its own right. Even if you don't get too many minions out of this totem, it will very often force a hard removal from your opponent - and you'd rather have it hit this than one of your Sea Giants, for example.

More great Shaman guides:

Frozen Throne Evolve Shaman tips combos and synergies

Here are all of the most vital card synergies contained within this version of the deck:

- The first Pirate you play in each game will drag Patches the Pirate into play as well, but only if he's in your remaining deck pile rather than your hand. Don't forget to use this damage before hitting End Turn either!

-The following cards all have synergy with the Jade Golem mechanic: Jade Lightning, Aya Blackpaw and Jade Claws. Your first summoned Jade Golem is a 1/1 minion, the second 2/2, the third 3/3 and so on.

- Bloodlust increases the Attack value of every minion on the board by 3 points each. This - alongside Flametongue Totem - represents your major source of burst damage.

- Thing from Below costs one Mana less for each totem you summoned earlier on in the game. It makes no difference whether these totems were created from cards or your hero power!

- Evolve has particularly important synergy with Doppelgangster in this deck. This card costs five Mana to cost and summons three minions onto the board that are each classifioed as a five Mana minion. That means that dropping Evolve onto the board will reward you with a total of three six-Mana minions - incredibly value and a play you should always be thinking about.

- When Thrall, Deathseer is played, every minion on the board will be transformed into something costing two Mana more. Your new hero power will turn a targeted minion into something costing one Mana more.

Frozen Throne Evolve Shaman tips and tricks

While there's no substitute for experience with the meta in Hearthstone, the following tips should help you improve with the deck in pretty short order.

  • Know the signature board-clear spells for each hero, and ensure you do not over-extend right before they might have access to it. Always think about what your worst-case scenario would be, and play to mitigate the impact of it as much as possible. It's very hard to mount a comeback with this kind of token deck, and it pays to be conservative.
  • Following on from the tip above, try to think about how your Jade Golems can be protected from imminent board clears, or how they can at least frustrate your opponent into getting an inefficient clear. You don't have a lot of Jade synergy in this deck, but you may be able to creep a minion or two's Health over the danger zone using a later card like Aya Blackpaw.
  • Watch where you drop your Flametongue Totems. It's always possible you'll need to sacrifice a few minions to get past a roadblock. You'll want the buff to cycle onto the next cheap minion as you trade, so line your minions up carefully so as to benefit from this efficiently.
  • If your opponent is likely to be playing Taunt minions, it's worth holding back your Devolve until you have a few of these problematic obstacles in front of you. You can only ignore the opponent's minions and focus on their Health pool if you can reach it, after all! Remember, you are not a pure aggro deck...
  • When playing Stonehill Defender onto the board and selecting your minion, try to find something that fits your curve nicely so you can keep fielding cheap minions while having something you can shore your defenses up with shortly afterwards.
  • Once you've got a relatively broad board in play, start doing your maths to see how close you are to lethal at the start of your turn. If you're close but not quite there, it might be worth popping Bloodlust. If your board gets wiped you'll have nothing to boost, and you'll wish you'd used the opportunity while it was there. Experience will help you make the right decisions in time.

Comment on this article

  • grobson #1 9 days ago
    Devolve would give 4 mana minions, not sure if you meant that or Evolve instead for six mana. All the Evolve links seem to be broken also.
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #2 9 days ago
    @grobson Hi there - good spot, thanks! I meant Evolve and have made the change. Not sure why the card isn't showing up, I'll have to have a poke around in the system and see what's going on here.
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #3 5 days ago
    The deck list has been updated with the most popular version in play. The rest of the guide has also been updated to reflect those changes.

    I know some of you like to be able to reference the previous version of any given deck, so here's the last one! I'll be keeping a close eye on this as there are improvements to this archetype pretty much every day:

    Shaman

    2 x Evolve
    1 x Devolve
    2 x Flametongue Totem
    2 x Jade Claws
    2 x Maelstrom Portal
    2 x Primalfin Totem
    2 x Mana Tide Totem
    2 x Jade Lightning
    2 x Bloodlust
    1 x Aya Blackpaw
    1 x Thrall, Deathseer
    2 x Thing from Below

    Neutral

    2 x Bloodsail Corsair
    2 x Fire Fly
    1 x Patches the Pirate
    1 x Drakkari Enchanter
    1 x Saronite Chain Gang
    2 x Doppelgangster
    Sign in to reply
  • nkreps #4 4 days ago
    Two questions: first, how does Bloodsail Corsair buff your weapon? Secret battlecry? Second, I don't get dropping down to one devolve. It just does so much damage to your opponent, and taunt is so prevalent right now. With Bloodlust frequently serving as the win condition in this deck, I almost prefer devolve to evolve. (So you devolve to remove the taunt minions, cast bloodlust, and go face for lethal.) In practice, dropping one devolve has really led to more wins?
    Sign in to reply

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