Are you bored of facing the same endless queue of Handlocks, Miracle Rogues, Charge Druids and (ugh) Zoo? At this point I feel like I've visited the Zoo enough times to own shares in the tiger enclosure. Chances are you're equally bored of using those same top tier decks too. As we all wait on the injection of new cards that will come with the Curse of Naxxramas expansion—pricing here —there's no doubt that the metagame has got a little stale.
However, there are still fun new decks out there, and some interesting twists on old classics, that are worth trying and may prove surprisingly viable. In this piece I've picked out three fun new lists which I've enjoyed using on the ladder, and spoken to their designers about the creative process. Let's start with the tauntiest of Shaman decks…
Dust cost: 7300
Deck guide: Hearthpwn
Play this because… You think you can't have too much Taunt
Of all the hero classes, Shaman is arguably the least innovative right now. There's widespread acceptance that the only really viable build is some version of the midrange Shaman along the lines of this Kolento list . Other variants also include Doomhammer for extra finishing power, and a few also run Lava Bursts and possibly even a Bloodlust, but the core suite of removal spells and Unbound/Fire Elementals remains the same.
However, the 'Crusher Shaman' control deck works quite differently. There are two key minion choices, both of which combo with relatively unfashionable Shaman spells. Injured Blademaster will probably be more familiar from Priest decks, but played alongside Ancestral Healing on turn 3 will give you an imposing 4/7 creature with Taunt.
More controversially, the deck also runs a pair of Earth Elementals, a card widely considered unusable. "It's fun to make use of cards that are usually ignored, and show that they can be surprisingly effective," explains the deck's builder, the mysterious Crusher. "The [combo] that really won me over was Ancestral Spirit plus Earth Elemental, because Earth Elemental seems like such a interesting, strong card, but is usually dismissed because of its weakness to Big Game Hunter and The Black Knight. Ancestral Spirit mitigates this risk."
With the spell in place, even if your opponent kills the Earth Elemental then—shazam!—another one pops up in its place. Factor in that the deck also includes a Faceless Manipulator and it's possible to build a Taunt wall capable of keeping Westeros safe from the White Walkers.
Even if the Earth Elementals do end up eating hard removal, there's only so much the other player can run, and it should ensure your Ragnaros is safe by the time you play him. And if the Earth Elemental gets silenced, well, it still represents a sizeable body on the board—and beyond Druids not a lot of classes run more than one silence these days anyway. (Although that will surely change post-Naxxramas.)
The key thing is deciding when to play your Earth Elementals. It's often not right just to slap them down as soon as you can. Certainly you want to wait until you know you can combo them with the spell, and have a suitable follow up play for your next turn when your Mana will be Overloaded.
Crusher piloted this deck all the way to Legend in season 3, so it's clearly viable for Ladder climbing. While testing it I found very few players expected the Earth Elemental, so were thrown into a panic when it appeared. Certainly you can sense the fury when having dealt with one another pops up. Fun fact: you can also use Ancestral Healing on a high value enemy minion to Taunt it, and then play the Black Knight for instant removal. I'm invincible, indeed!
Next page: The Zoo killer and a cool twist on Control Warrior