Hearthstone pro and 2019 World Championship qualifier Torben “Viper” Wahl qualified for the Winter Championship through the recent European Playoffs. What was so impressive about his run was his unusual assortment of decks, especially his home brewed Peanut Shaman.
Why Peanut Shaman Exists
When testing decks for playoffs, Viper and his companions decided on a control lineup. When it came down to it, they thought Shaman was one of the classes that deserved to be in a control lineup. The deck is loaded with nothing but removal tools, Shudderwock, and trying win through Hagatha value.
Now that the deck existed, there wasn’t really a name for the deck outside of it being a control Shaman. Well for the tournament it required a name and one of Viper’s friends suggested it be called Peanut as a joke, and Viper went with it, calling it Peanut Shaman.
That name became a funny thing to point out throughout the tournament. One of the casters said that it was called Peanut Shaman because “it’s the nuts” in somewhat of a joking manner, implying it’s just the best deck. Well Viper won with it when he needed to and he firmly believes that it is in fact “the nuts”.
Position in the Playoffs Meta
Peanut Shaman can really only compete with decks that are aggressively fighting for the board or for straight tempo. Other control decks and more specifically OTK decks like Clone Priest would be really good into Peanut Shaman. The Shaman has no real way of being aggressive and providing pressure through minions so the Priest has plenty of time to get its combos off.
Fortunately, OTK decks were not all that popular at EU playoffs as Viper had predicted. Clone Priest was exchanged in lineups with Dragon Control Priest. Druid like Togwaggle Druid wasn’t taken because Druid is in such a bad state right now. Many people also opted for Odd or Even Paladin over its OTK forms.
The most popular class was Hunter, followed by Paladin. The vast majority of Rogue players brought Odd Rogue, and most decks overall were those that won through board pressure. All of this was optimal for the Peanut Shaman to thrive. Needless to say the games would last forever, since it really only won games when the opponent ran out of threats and cards.
Performance in Top 8 and Future Metas
Peanut Shaman didn’t win every game that Viper played with it, but when it came down to it, it did get the job done. Viper was outvalued by a Hybrid Hunter thanks to Deathstalker Rexxar. Though, he was able to survive all of the threats of an Even Warlock into fatigue.
Viper was able to make the deck look like something of viability. It is however unlikely to make a return in the upcoming playoffs for other regions. The deck makes matches last forever, can be very difficult to pilot, and sometimes just doesn’t have the best matchup.
While off-meta control decks like Quest Rogue or this Shaman deck can be good in a competitive format, they often get phased out by other decks that have better matchups overall. It was certainly entertaining and impressive to see Viper to perform so well with such an interesting deck. However, the life of Peanut Shaman is likely to be short lived.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via the PlayHearthstone twitch channel.