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Token Shaman deck list guide - Boomsday - Hearthstone (August 2018)

Our guide to playing the new take on Token Shaman in the Boomsday meta.

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About John Bedford

John is Metabomb's Editor in Chief, and is responsible for all of the Hearthstone news, features and guides content on the site.

Our Token Shaman deck list guide features the best deck list for Season 53 of Boomsday (August 2018). Our Token Shaman guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.

Token Shaman is a Hearthstone deck that's by no means a new archetype for the game, although it's fair to say that it's been in the wilderness for a little while. All that looks to be changing with the release of the Boomsday expansion, however, with the Shaman getting a tonne of new tools that help turn little minions into new and fearsome ones.

In this revised version of our Token Shaman guide, we're highlighting a theorycrafted version of the deck that should prove a good starting point for the Boomsday launch. We'll also be tweaking this list in the days leading up to to the new meta, and adjusting the rest of our guide to match those changes.

To get you started we've got an overview of the deck itself, detailed insight into how to actually play it, and Mulligan advice to help you pick your starting hand. We've also got a look at all the combos contained in this deck, and some final thoughts on card choices and possible substitutions.

UPDATE - BOOMSDAY #2

We've now worked the latest version of Token Shaman into our comprehensive guide, and added a lot of extra strategy advice. Make sure your brush up on everything that's new before hitting the ladder with this one!

Token Shaman deck list and strategy

This is the strongest version of Token Shaman that's currently seeing play on the Standard ladder. We'll have another update for you later in the month.

ShamanNeutral
2 x Voltaic Burst2 x Fire Fly
1 x Earthen Might1 x Mecharoo
2 x Flametongue Totem2 x Knife Juggler
2 x Primalfin Totem2 x Microtech Controller
2 x Feral Spirit1 x Replicating Menace
2 x Storm Chaser2 x Giggling Inventor
2 x Thunderhead2 x Sea Giant
2 x Bloodlust
1 x Thrall, Deathseer
1 x The Storm Bringer
1 x Kalimos, Primal Lord

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

Deck Import ID: AAECAaoIBvPCAuvPArDwAqH4Apj7Avb9AgzTAe4B8AexCJMJkcEC68IC4vgC6voCj/sCnP8CjIADAA==

More Shaman guides:

General strategy

The strength of Token Shaman lies in building up a wide board of small minions and then using buffs to overwhelm your opponent by massively increase their power. Many cards in the deck take advantage of large boards, including Bloodlust, Sea Giant and Thrall, Deathseer.

With the release of The Boomsday Project, a few new tools were added to the Token Shaman’s arsenal that either provide more early game threats, or grants your minions more power as in the case of The Storm Bringer. If you can create and maintain a strong board presence, then this deck can run over many opponents with ease.

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 with Earthen Might or Primalfin Totem and Flametongue Totem can make your smaller minions even more effective in the early stages of a game. Voltaic Burst is also a very effective spell to use for minion trading.

Mid game: Continue developing your board and buffing your minions where possible. If your opponent hasn’t been able to keep your side under control, you should be able to slam a cheap Sea Giant on the board to give them even more to worry about. You can also play Thrall, Deathseer and transform all your minions into ones that cost two more Mana for a big swing turn.

Some of the deck’s new cards come into play at this stage too: Thunderhead can help with keeping your opponent’s side of the board clear, while Storm Chaser can pull Bloodlust or The Storm Bringer into your hand for a potential win condition next turn.

Late game: The combination of a huge board of minions plus either Bloodlust or The Storm Bringer should usually be enough to seal victory in the mid-to-late game. If you do need something else to help with the finishing blow, then Kalimos, Primal Lord is on hand. Depending on what you need, you can use its Elemental Evocation to deal some direct damage to your opponent, clear their board, refill your side of the board or heal yourself.

Aggro opponents

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

  • 1. When contesting the board at the start of the game your buffed minions can outvalue theirs and give you the early advantage.
  • 2. The Sparks you can summon with Voltaic Burst and Thunderhead are ideal for trading into the other player’s low health minions.
  • 3. Feral Spirit and Giggling Inventor are both excellent cards to slow down aggro decks with.
  • 4. Playing an early Sea Giant can often give you the win immediately, as aggro decks have few or no ways to deal with big minions efficiently.
  • 5. If you reach the late game, Kalimos, Primal Lord can offer one last chance to retake the lead with a board refill or board clear.

Control opponents

Consider these tips and tricks when facing control decks:

  • 1. Take a more aggressive approach to the game and push for extra damage where you can to reduce their life total before they can stabilise.
  • 2. Be cautious of overcommitting on the board and running into a potential board clear. Save some resources so you can reload if needed.
  • 3. A huge burst of surprise damage through Bloodlust is your most likely win condition, so save it for when you have the kill in sight.
  • 4. Similarly, if you get a monstrous board from The Storm Bringer it’ll be very difficult for your opponent to get back into the game - even with their board clears.
  • 5. Eke out every last bit of damage you can to get ahead, even from seemingly inconsequential elements such as Knife Juggler throws, or Sparks after Rush restrictions no longer apply.

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Token Shaman Mulligan guide

These are some of the cards you’ll want to prioritise in your mulligan when playing Token Shaman:

  • 1. Fire Fly: A really solid one drop that’ll get you on the board early and can be buffed by other cards to trade up into your opponent’s minions.
  • 2. Mecharoo: A sticky one Mana minion that can be a minor annoyance for your opponent to clear.
  • 3. Primalfin Totem: Can start generating Murloc tokens for you nice and early the sooner you get it down.
  • 4. Knife Juggler: With all the other cheap minions you play - or tokens you generate - this can fling a few extra points of useful damage around.
  • 5. Flametongue Totem: Buffs the attack power of your smaller minion so they can trade with your opponent’s or push for early damage.

Token Shaman tips, combos and synergies

Even if you played a great deal of Token Shaman in the past, you'll want to re-familiarise yourself with all of the new and old combos. Whenever we update our recommended deck list we'll also make sure those changes are taken into account in this section.

- Flametongue Totem increases the damage output of the minions either side of it by two points. Watch your positioning of this totem, as you may need to cycle a number of your minions into a problematic target at some point.

- Knife Juggler will throw a point of damage at a random target each time another minion is summoned - directly or indirectly - onto the board.

- Storm Chaser is guaranteed to draw a spell that costs five or more Mana, assuming one still exists in your deck. In this exact deck list the only qualifying spells are Bloodlust and The Storm Bringer - both key components of the deck's win-condition.

- Each time you play a card with Overload, Thunderhead will summon a pair of 1 / 1 minions with Rush, meaning they can attack enemy minions but not the enemy hero on the turn they appear. Overload cards in this deck are Voltaic Burst and Feral Spirit.

- Bloodlust is one of your core finishers in this deck and will grant all minions on the board a temporary Attack bonus of three. Do your sums very carefully to ensure you do not overlook lethal damage.

- Replicating Menace is a Magnetic minion, which means you can combine its stats and effects with that of another friendly Mech. Place it to the left of the target to fuse them, or to the right if you want them to remain separate.

- When The Storm Bringer is cast all of your active minions will be transformed into randomly chosen Legendary minions.

- Thrall, Deathseer transforms all of your active minions into random minions that cost two Mana more. You also gain a new Hero Power which - like Unstable Evolution - allows you to upgrade a single targeted minion on the board. Note though that you can only use this effect once per turn.

- Your massive Sea Giant minions cost one Mana less for each minion - friendly or otherwise - that is currently out on the board. Again, work the maths out carefully to see if you can sneak this one onto the board on the cheap.

Token Shaman card choices and substitutions

Token Shaman is filled with lots of small minions and minion generators with some wiggle room for other choices here and there. Nevertheless, these are some of the key cards in the deck:

  • Fire Fly: Strong early game minion that pairs perfectly with Earthen Might to get a lot extra value in trades.
  • Flametongue Totem: Buffs all of your cheaper minions with an extra two Attack so they can trade up into more expensive threats.
  • Primalfin Totem: Can generate a lot of 1/1 Murlocs for you to use in trades or to build up a strong board.
  • Storm Chaser: Will draw either Bloodlust or The Storm Bringer into your hand, which are the deck’s two big win conditions.
  • 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.
  • Bloodlust: The deck’s first key win condition. Once you’ve built up a powerful board you can activate this to obliterate your opponent’s life total.
  • Thrall, Deathseer: Can improve the minions you have on board by evolving them into ones that cost two more, which should get you even further ahead.
  • The Storm Bringer: The deck’s other potential win condition. An unlucky roll might disappoint, but getting anything like three or more Legendary minions for seven Mana is incredible value.
  • Kalimos, Primal Lord: Gives the deck some late game catch up tools through the Elemental Evocation. Whether it’s more minions, direct damage, a board clear, or some healing - it’s here.
  • Sea Giant: With all the cheap minions you’re playing you should be able to play these for a significant discount. Getting one on the board early can spell disaster for your opponent.

Comment on this article

  • Bedders #1 7 months ago
    @oDrew Interesting, I'll try and give this one a roadtest this week.
    Sign in to reply
  • oDrew #2 7 months ago
    I've been having decent success with this deck in mid-ranks (15-10) with a slightly different version:

    CLASS CARDS
    2 x Evolve
    1 x Unstable Evolution
    1 x Devolve
    2 x Flametongue Totem
    2 x Jade Claws
    2 x Malestrom Portal
    1 x Murmuring Elemental
    2 x Primalfin Totem
    1 x Far Sight
    2 x Mana Tide Totem
    1 x Hex
    2 x Jade Lightening
    1 x Thrall, Deathseer
    1 x Aya Blackpaw
    1 x Grumble, Worldshaker
    2 x Nerubian Prophet
    2 x Thing From Below

    NEUTRAL CARDS
    1 x Fire Fly
    1 x Saronite Chain Gang
    1 x Dopplegangster


    I know Nerubian Prophet isn't popular, but what I like about it is the consistent cost reduction that doesn't require anything besides drawing it. Plus, 6-cost minions either become 8 drops with Thrall or 10 drops with Murmuring Elemental + Thrall, and with 10-drops there is much less risk of rolling terrible value.

    Ideally, you draw a Creeper plus minion-generating minions (Primalfin, Fire Fly) early to discount it as quickly as possible, plus an early Prophet to get the discount going. Then, you can use an early Evolve to get an 8 drop, and save your Prophets for free 8 drops or 10 drops with Thrall or Murmuring + Thrall.

    If you're playing against a class with poor waveclear, you can get lots of value with 2-turn combos like Dopple + Grumble, Saronite + Grumble, etc.
    Sign in to reply
  • grobson #3 A year ago
    Bonemare isn't in the deck list.
    Sign in to reply
  • nkreps #4 A year 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
  • Bedders #5 A year 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
  • Bedders #6 A year 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
  • grobson #7 A year 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
  • BetaMomb #8 A year ago
    Should update this decklist to include the Evolve/Devolve/Doppelgangster package, they're the whole reason the deck is Tier 1 in the first place.
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #9 A year ago
    I've just given this another checking over for meta-relevance and...nothing's changed! The deck list's settled down now, so just carry on as you were. It's a bit of a middling deck though, so you might want to think about switching over to Token Druid if you like the playstyle, but are struggling to make progress on the ladder.
    Sign in to reply
  • PioMoggo #10 A year ago
    @erikmuench38 I'm not sure if the Patches package is still worth running if you don't have Patches. But you can try running Glacial Shard. Or a Bloodsail Corsair. Or maybe even try cutting a few of the cards for the murloc package, the Finja + Warleader + Bluegill. Warleader has good synergy with Prinalfin as well.
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #11 A year ago
    @erikmuench38 I'm not sure whether to suggest you replace them with your best 1-Mana early game minions (to start spreading the board), or your best Charge minions so you get the greater amount of burst damage later on. Obviously you have to consider the Mana impact of playing later cards alongside Bloodlust.

    I played this deck enough to understand the way it works for the purposes of a starter guide, but not dozens of games by any means. Anyone else have any thoughts?
    Sign in to reply
  • erikmuench38 #12 A year ago
    What can you sub for Patches, and then I guess Deckhand?
    Sign in to reply
  • Kiriderik #13 A year ago
    It looks like this wasn't updated for Season 34, yet. In your update, if you continue to not include Dopplegangster, Big-Time Racketeer, and for synergy with those, Brann, I'd be curious about your reasoning. They seem made for Evolve Shaman as much as Dopplegangster does with Buff Paladin.
    Sign in to reply

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