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Aggro Shaman deck list guide - Forged in the Barrens - Hearthstone (April 2021)

Our updated guide to playing the best Aggro Shaman deck list in the Barrens.

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About James Law

James can usually be found wearing dungarees.

Our Aggro Shaman deck list guide features the best Forged in the Barrens deck list for Season 85 of Hearthstone (April 2021). Our Aggro Shaman guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.

Aggro Shaman is a Hearthstone deck which specialises in taking an extremely aggressive approach to handling every match, and doesn't waste any time in whittling down the opponent's health pool rapidly.

You've got great early-game presence thanks to some powerful Overload synergies, some impressive card draw and card retrieval to ensure your hand is full of resources, and lots of ways of punching above your weight in order to put the opponent under unbearable pressure.

In the latest version of our guide we're highlighting a version of Aggro Shaman that's been created specifically for this late stage of the Barrens meta. We’re also taking a more in-depth look at how to play the deck against different opponents, while highlighting some of the important cards and combos that make it so effective.

UPDATE - Forged in the Barrens

Because the meta is so volatile, we’re highlighting some early takes on popular decks. Here’s a list for Aggro Shaman that's subject to change over time but will give you a starting point at least:

2 x Lightning Bloom1 x Devolving Missiles
2 x Novice Zapper2 x Primordial Studies
2 x Lightning Bolt1 x Bloodmage Thalnos
2 x Diligent Notetaker
2 x Cagematch Custodian
2 x Landslide
2 x Rockbiter Weapon
2 x Stormstrike
2 x Serpentshrine Portal
1 x Instructor Fireheart
2 x Dunk Tank
2 x Torrent
1 x Inara Stormcrash
2 x Doomhammer

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

Deck Import ID: AAECAaoIBODMA5zOA67eA5egBA3buAOTuQPhzAPNzgPw1AOn3gOo3gOq3gOJ5APq5wONnwT5nwT+nwQA

More Shaman guides:

When things have calmed down a little bit we’ll be overhauling all of our deck guides so bear in mind that the content below this point refers to an earlier, pre-release version of the article.

No prizes for guessing that you want to take an extremely aggressive stance when it comes to playing out this kind of Shaman deck. Once you've got minions out on the board, you can then look to use your tempo-boosting cards to either keep your opponent out of the game, or just push furious damage into their face and get over the finishing line before they can build up an adequate response to your pressure.

There are plenty of different early-game plays you can make to achieve this, but there's not much more strategy to consider than that! The devil, however, is in the detail – make sure you familiarise yourself thoroughly with the Mulligan process described further down this page, as well as the various card combos that make this deck tick.

Early game: Start to develop a board as quickly as possible with your early game minions, and seek out efficient trades with your opponent’s creatures to establish control. Pairing cards like Fire Fly or Voltaic Burst with Earthen Might - perhaps boosted again by Dire Wolf Alpha - can make your smaller minions even more effective in the early stages of a game. The deck also contains a lot of cheap removal spells with Overload. If you have Likkim equipped, you can use this to your advantage to make the weapon stronger, and kill off most early game drops with ease.

Mid game: Maintain control over your opponent’s board with weapon attacks, removal spells and buffs to your minions. You can start looking for more face damage at this point of the game instead if you’re holding a lot of potential burn in your hand with spells like Lava Burst or a Doomhammer combined with Rockbiter Weapon. If these spells are still in your deck you can start a long card draw chain using Spirit of the Frog too.

Late game: Your momentum will be starting to slip at this point, so if you aren’t on the verge of closing out the game then try to find a way to finish as soon as possible with some late game burst.

Aggro opponents

These tips will give you an advantage over the aggro opponents you come up against:

  • 1. Although you want to play fast, don’t be afraid to make worthwhile trades with your opponent’s minions in the early game to stop them from spiralling out of control.
  • 2. Aggro Shaman doesn’t run any big board clears, so use your cheap spells with cards like Thunderhead to generate additional Rush creatures to keep your opponent’s minions in check.
  • 3. At the same time, if you have a huge chunk of burst damage sitting in your hand don’t be afraid to go straight for their life total, as aggro decks don’t often run much healing – if any!

Control opponents

Consider these tips and tricks when facing control decks:

  • 1. Speed is the key against control, so play fast and aggressively to try and burn them down before they can stabilise the match.
  • 2. Consider the use of your damage spells very carefully. Do you need to use it to remove a minion, or would it be best saved as burst damage directed at their life total?
  • 3. Rather than steadily whittling them down, try to set up a big turn where you do a lot of surprise damage. If a control deck is put down low they may make more of an effort to get out of lethal range and prevent you from winning.
  • 4. If an opponent slams a giant creature on the board but it doesn’t have Taunt or another impactful effect it’s usually worth ignoring it and going for face damage to try and end the game, instead of wasting resources clearing it.

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Aggro Shaman Mulligan guide

These are the card you’ll want to get in your opening hand when playing Aggro Shaman:

  • 1. Amani Berseker: An intimidating early-game play that can be boosted into an even more bothersome fighting force.
  • 1. Fire Fly: An all-round decent one-drop that you can then buff using multiple other cards in the deck to trade up into other minions.
  • 3. Likkim: Once powered up by the Overload effect, this can be an incredibly powerful weapon in the early game.
  • 4. Unbound Elemental: Very much a fourth pick consideration, and you want to get some Overload synergy alongside it quickly too.

Aggro Shaman tips, combos and synergies

These are the card combos you need to be aware of when playing this deck:

- Think carefully about your positioning of Dire Wolf Alpha on the board. It may be that you need to trade multiple small minions into a big bothersome Taunt, and you'll need that extra damage to cycle between them as they're sacrificed.

- Earthen Might can be used to buff your Fire Fly into a much stronger minion. Plus, the random Elemental it generates could be a surprise for your opponent they’re not prepared to deal with when played.

- Ensure you have Likkim equipped when you play your Overload cards. The weapon isn’t really usable in its normal state, but when you have Overloaded mana crystals it gains two Attack, which makes it extremely strong for just two mana.

- Your opponent's weapon will be destroyed when Acidic Swamp Ooze is dropped onto the board.

- Remember that all spells gain an extra point of strength if you have Bloodmage Thalnos out in play at the time of casting them.

- When you cast a spell with Electra Stormsurge on the field it will be immediately repeated. For example, you can use it with Rockbiter Weapon when you have Doomhammer equipped for a serious bump to your single-turn attack power.

- Spirit of the Frog will draw a spell from your deck that costs one more mana than the one you’ve just cast. You can use this to your advantage to draw through multiple spells in your deck creating a chain of cards such as Zap!, Lightning Bolt, Rockbiter Weapon and Lava Burst.

- Your active Unbound Elemental will gain an extra +1 / +1 of stats for each Overload card you play subsequently.

- Thunderhead will spawn two 1 / 1 Spark creatures whenever you play an Overload card. As they have Rush, you can use them to immediately trade with your opponent’s creatures, or buff them using Dire Wolf Alpha for even more impact.

Aggro Shaman card choices and substitutions

Aggro Shaman is a relatively cheap yet effective deck to put together. Here are some of the key cards you’ll need, along with other cards that have been tried in the archetype.

  • Zap: At zero mana this is the perfect card to get your spell chain going with Spirit of the Frog, while also serving as decent minion removal.
  • Fire Fly: Strong early game minion that pairs perfectly with Earthen Might to get a lot of extra value in trades.
  • Likkim: With a focus on Overload cards this weapon could have three Attack fairly regularly, making it even more valuable than a Fiery War Axe before the recent nerf.
  • Lightning Bolt: Classic Shaman card that’s been a staple of many decks since before time itself. It finds a place here with it’s burst damage potential and how well it fits in the spell chain with Spirit of the Frog.
  • Rockbiter Weapon: It seems the nerf to two mana has now worked in its favour a little, as it will fit perfectly in the chain after a Lightning Bolt and offer you more burst damage – especially so if you have Doomhammer equipped.
  • Flametongue Totem: Buffs all of your cheaper minions with an extra two Attack so they can trade up into more expensive threats.
  • Thunderhead: Generates additional Spark minions when you play a card with Overload. There aren’t many in this list, but it represents some good value when used.
  • Lava Burst: More burst damage for the deck and a continuation of the spell chain with Spirit of the Frog at three mana.
  • Spirit of the Frog: A new card from the Rastakhan’s Rumble set that fits well in this deck. If you chain enough spells together you can eke out some incredible value from it in a single turn or two.
  • Electra Stormsurge: Another card that fits extremely well in such a spell-heavy deck. Combine it with a Lava Burst for some huge damage to an opponent’s life total or Rockbiter Weapon on Doomhammer to deal 16 damage in a single swing.
  • Thunderhead: With all the Overload cards in this deck you can generate a lot of extra Spark minions that are excellent for minion trades – especially when buffed with Flametongue Totem or Earthen Might.
  • Doomhammer: With buffs from Rockbiter Weapon this can offer up some massive damage to kill off minions or go straight for your opponent’s life total.
  • Krag’wa, the Frog: This provides you with some insurance if you need to use spells early, or hunt for extra burst damage, as it’ll add any played on the previous turn back into your hand.

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  • kumar3vineet #1 A month ago
    Why 2 Doomhammer?? vidmate download instasave
  • kumar3vineet #2 A month ago
    why the extreme slowing down of the curve from the wild version?
  • Xpzist #3 3 years ago
    Is this deck operational also in post-nerf?
  • Erycah #4 4 years ago
    Either this deck is no good, or I'm an awful player... just lost 6 games in a row with it. What am I doing wrong?
  • Nubxiang #5 4 years ago
    Doomhammer replacement?
  • Bedders #6 4 years ago
    @Klck As I've said in the update section, I'll make changes to the re-balanced cards once there's some consensus about what the better replacements are. Tuskarr Totemic is comparatively underpowered now, of course, but might yet prove useful enough against the alternatives.

    I've always tried to provide a place where you know you can get one solid version of any of the 30-40 current archetypes with a complete guide, rather than half a dozen versions (Ronald's Angry Chicken Aggro Paladin etc) and no real indication of which one to go with.

    Now, the flip-side of that is that things get complicated/confusing when this sort of thing happens, but it's a comparatively rare occurrence and the lesser of two evils in terms of what Metabomb's about. With that said, you should expect an update to this deck list long before the next season comes!

    I would love to hear of how people are getting on with replacements and experiments though, so let us know.
  • Klck #7 4 years ago
    Tuskar totemic still included seems strange to me.
  • justinswanstrom72 #8 4 years ago
    after playing this deck about 20 times I feel like it kind of suffers from card draw, so I added Bloodmage Thalnos and 2 Ancestral Knowledge to mine. in place of 1 Doomhammer, 1 abusive Sargent and the horserider, I just feel like this version plays a bit more concistant.
  • joãosilva24 #9 4 years ago
    Why 2 Doomhammer?? Isn't it better to have 1 Al'Akir the windlord?
  • Diojr #10 5 years ago
    You mention Eternal Sentinel in the synergies, but i don't see it in the decklist.
  • tylerangelo97 #11 5 years ago
    How do you feel about fireguard destroyer in this deck against things like control warrior and classes with alot of clear?
  • Bedders #12 5 years ago
    @gadgetgrabber Hey there! All of these decks are going through rapid evolution (no pun intended) while the state of the game shifts on a daily basis post-launch. I've just made some changes to this deck to steer much more towards the purer aggro of old - you should see the change live on the site shortly.
  • gadgetgrabber #13 5 years ago
    being more specific than my previous comment:

    why did lightning bolt get removed? it was 2 mana for 3 damage and synnergizes with tunnel trogg and sentinel
    why is stormforged axe not run? it's 3 mana for 6 damage and synnergizes with tunnel trogg and sentinel
    why did master of evolution get included? it's a very mid-range play that needs a damaged creature or 0/2 totem target in order to reach full potential. Many games it sits in my hand as a dead card until I run out of other options because it's just too slow and situational.
  • joshhollis80 #14 5 years ago
    @adamjane18 Nice spam.
  • gadgetgrabber #15 5 years ago
    this deck feels pretty slow for aggro
    why the extreme slowing down of the curve from the wild version?
  • Greywolf74 #16 5 years ago
    @zoltángeiger81 Thansk for you 2 cents worth but it doesnt answer either of my actual questions.
  • zoltángeiger81 #17 5 years ago
    Any Reno/Alex deck stops this dead cold...

    You have zero end-game presence... If you don't win at turn 7 might as well concede..

    Mage/Priest/Hunter/Warri/Pala and Druid can all survive and live until your hands are empty... And the Doomhammer won't save you...

    It might be my "meta" game at rank 15 but this deck is basically useless there.

    Just my 2 cents do not take me seriously....
  • Greywolf74 #18 5 years ago
    So question...Do you mulligan all other cards to try and draw the cards in you mulligan guide or is it just hang on to those cards in addition to other low cast possible starting cards?

    Also unrelated question. Where can I find information on how to play this game better? I havent been playing that long and want to get better. Even when using top tear decks I cant seem to get over rank 18. Need help :)
  • markhertzler77 #19 5 years ago
    @loudmouth32 depends if your playing midrange or aggro.

    If your playing midrange this is what i do: glavezooka x2 (-1 eaglehorn, -1 mad scientist), explosive trap/freeze trap (any other trap is too slow), 2x leper gnome (-2 webspinners), 1x healbot (-1 trap), 2x sludge belcher (-2 4/5 drops).

    I have a full deck list if you want that is geared toward anti-aggro but isn't very good in the meta now (outside vs. shaman of course) with combo/control being more popular since LoE.

    If your playing face hunter I'd switch decks as Aggro shaman > face hunter at the moment. Midrange hunter was my fave deck last year but its also not very ladder viable anymore post LoE.
  • loudmouth32 #20 5 years ago
    Can anyone help me to beat the Aggro Shaman as a Hunter?
  • alextomov26 #21 5 years ago
    Suuuuure Freezemage lol
  • minddrifter #22 5 years ago
    @inposition Obviously I didn't write the guide but I usually don't keep or mulligan for an Abusive for the simple fact that usually you want to get the best use out of it by using it's battlecry when it comes out which can usually be best utilized on T3 or T4 or beyond. Therefore you want to draw into it more than you really want to keep it in your beginning hand.
  • inposition #23 5 years ago
    I noticed you don't include Abusive Sergeant in most of the mulligan recommendations.

    What is the reasoning behind that?

  • Shining #24 5 years ago
    Ok then I have to craft one thx ;)
  • MrDynamite #25 5 years ago
    Doomhammer is an essential part of this deck. It affords you 16 points of damage to your opponents face, or can be used to clear smaller minions and keep yours alive. Add a Rockbiter Weapon to the mix and you get 10 points in one turn. I do question the need for two Doomhammers in the deck though. I find that I usually draw at least one by turn 5, but those odds go down with only one....
  • Shining #26 5 years ago
    any replacement for Doomhammer?
  • Bedders #27 5 years ago
    As we mentioned on the Secret Paladin guide, our image servers are currently misbehaving and so we can't embed the deck list into this article.

    Please click the external hosting link just underneath the "strategy and deck list" header for now - I'll pop the list itself into the article just as soon as things are back up and running properly. Apologies for any inconvenience in the mean time!
  • Bedders #28 6 years ago
    @Leolian Sorry about that, looks like the image went walkies! I've replaced it now and will check the other decks just to be sure.
  • Leolian #29 6 years ago
    Where is the deck?