During a meta that has become dominated by Cyclone Mages and Mech Hunters, Murloc Shaman puts itself in a position to shine. Murloc Shaman is able to establish wide board presence early against decks that don’t have answers or come back on board.
The core cards of this deck are the primary Murlocs. Underbelly Angler can carry in every single match up with its threat of infinite value. Murloc Tidecaller can dish out a lot of damage and is good on turn one. Sludge Slurper adds another solid one drop with the great value Lackeys. Toxfin allows for easy removal with cheap Murlocs.
Coldlight Seer allows your Murlocs to have staying power while being allowed to trade. Murloc Warleader is a key component of any Murloc deck as it provides a nice big burst of damage. Murloc Tidehunter gives you a turn two play besides Angler and also buffs Tidecaller by two attack. Bloodlust is the key finishing piece to complete this board oriented deck.
After these cards we need to make some decisions to fill out the rest of the deck. Many decks go hard into the Murloc game plan and play nearly every Murloc there is, while others may go for more spells and a Spirit of the Frog package. Either way, Soul of the Murloc ends up creating sticky boards so that you can better ensure a good Bloodlust turn.
More interestingly, some of the more popular Murloc Shaman decks have been including Shudderwock. It creates an additional big board of Murlocs at the end of the game against some slower match ups that are unfavorable because of all the Battlecries in the deck. The only problem is that a lot of these decks also run Hagatha the Witch, which can kill your Shudderwock board.
Matchups and Mulligans
Murloc Tidecaller and Underbelly Angler should (pretty much universally) be kept in the mulligan. They serve as good tempo on turns one and two, while also generating great value into the middle stages of the game if they manage to stick.
Versus both Cyclone Mage and Mech Hunter, it is a great idea to keep Tidecaller into Angler. Both minions cannot be removed by Mage as they don’t run cards like Frostbolt. If they try to ping Tidecaller over two turns, they cannot answer Angler. Mech Hunter sometimes can curve out hard with Mecharoo and Venomizer to beat Angler, but will run out of steam before you do.
Against Warrior you are of course looking for Angler, but also want to curve out. Coldlight Seer and Murloc Warleader are really good in this match up. Against Warrior, the longer the game goes, the more it favors them. Soul of the Murloc can be good against cards like Dyn-o-Matic, but also can lose hard to Warpath. Sometimes Bloodlust isn’t lethal, but being able to maximize your damage overtakes priority.
Against Token Druid and Zoo Warlock, the card Earth Shock can come up large. Earth Shock can complete deal with Acornbearers and Mecharoos. Against decks like these that try to overtake you on board, Earth Shock provides an element of surprise and value well over a one mana swing
How To Play
Murloc Shaman is often a very straight forward deck that plays minions on curve. However, the difficult times are knowing when to play Soul of the Murloc or squeeze another minion on the board. The best time to play Soul of the Murloc is when you are trying to play Bloodlust on the following turn.
Sludge Slurper also creates difficult turns with the Overload. Visualize your next few turns, if you can’t play a card because of Sludge Slurper, hold on to it until a turn that you can utilize the Lackey’s effect. If you play Slurper on one planning to play the Lackey on two, they oftentimes remove Slurper, making you unable to target anything with the Lackey.
Moreover, it is often better to coin Underbelly Angler than to wait a turn. Especially if you have two one mana Murlocs in hand on the Coin, that’s two additional Murlocs in the opening hand with Angler. There isn’t really any deck that an answer Angler with two mana and an empty board, outside of fringe cases like Wrath. Even then, Wrath doesn’t help Druids win the match up since they also need to fight for board.
Utilize Shaman’s hero power. The healing Totem can be extremely powerful in board-oriented matchups. If you are on turn two and have a one health Tidecaller on board, use the hero power over playing just a one mana card like Toxfin. Often times against Mage, they are relying on being able to ping it off, and the healing Totem can completely change the course of the game.
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