I’ve tried it all. I’ve put hours into so many different things to try and beat what’s happening right now on the ladder. I’ve dusted off the ol’ Tempo Mage, trying everything from [Brann Bronzebeard] and value minions like [Babbling Book], [Faceless Summoner], and even [Barnes], all the way to Control Warrior with N’zoth, [Emperor Thaurissan], and [Youthful Brewmaster]. The combo is pretty self-explanatory; Emperor the other two cards, play N’zoth, bounce it with Brewmaster, and play it again when ready. It was good, if I ever got to that point.

Then Midrange Shaman happens.

I’ll set up some [Infested Tauren]s and an [Acolyte of Pain], sitting pretty. Their [Feral Spirit]s break through my Taurens after a [Maelstrom Portal] into [Lightning Storm]. I’ll take a bunch from [Tunnel Trogg] and the wolves. My [Brawl] isn’t great, but I didn’t quite get my [Bash], and [Doomsayer] is likely going to die, which puts me down even more life.

Few turns later, a [Thunder Bluff Valiant] rolls in, and both [Doomsayer] and [Brawl] are a lot worse.

Alright, let’s try Zoo!

Curving out with it is great, and having a nice chain of discard. I can land some [Doomguard]s to follow up a strong [Darkshire Councilman], and start really putting the pressure on my opponent. [Possessed Villager] gets better and better as the format matures, and [Power Overwhelming] has been more and more of a solid removal spell, as opposed to a form of burst damage, which is totally fine.

The problem is that if I ever stumble, or if the smallest of errors are made, Midrange Shaman will punish you in the hardest way possible. I’m certainly not the best player in the world, but Zoo is one of those decks where the easy draws aren’t particularly tough, but the difficult ones are way out of my league.

Alright, let’s try…

Ugh, what am I doing?

This is one of those metagames where you need a damn good reason not to just play the best deck if your goal is climbing the ladder as much as possible. Midrange Shaman is simply the best deck right now, and it isn’t particularly close. Everything about this deck screams efficiency, value, and punishment. Each and every card you play can win a game on its own, from the ridiculous stats or [Feral Spirit], to the unconditional, “cast for free for playing the game” card Thing from Below, to the most powerful turn one play in the format, [Tunnel Trogg]. [Maelstrom Portal] and [Lightning Storm] solve the problems of decks that want to go wide. [Spirit Claws] has proven to be the most powerful weapon in the format right now (including [Fiery War Axe]) because of how well Spell Damage works with the rest of your deck. [Hex] is…well, [Hex], and we all know just how incredibly effective it is. [Flametongue Totem] allows you to push more damage for trading or going face, while also synergizing with the rest of your deck. [Mana Tide Totem] is the equalizer for grindy matchups, and your filler cards can round out any matchup you so desire.

Midrange Shaman:

2 [Lightning Bolt]
2 [Spirit Claws]
2 [Tunnel Trogg]
1 [Bloodmage Thalnos]
2 [Maelstrom Portal]
2 [Flametongue Totem]
2 [Totem Golem]
2 [Feral Spirit]
2 [Hex]
2 [Lightning Storm]
2 [Mana Tide Totem]
2 [Azure Drake]
1 [Harrison Jones]
2 [Thunder Bluff Valiant]
1 [Fire Elemental]
2 [Thing from Below]
1 [Ragnaros the Firelord]

The real icing on the cake is how flexible this deck is, despite how much raw power is backed behind the undercosted effects. Need some more against Freeze Mage? Ragnaros has you covered. Zoo still giving you trouble? [Elemental Destruction] and [Healing Wave] are your go-tos. Heck, if you really want to get in there, [Earth Elemental] can brick wall them pretty hard. [Flamewreathed Faceless] is pretty good in the mirror, and can help you race in faster matchups anyways, like Druid. [Harrison Jones] will be great as long as Midrange Shaman is popular, but if you want your [Spirit Claws] to be even more consistent, [Evolved Kobold] can help.

The power of this deck is undeniable. You can try to play other decks, and they can even be good to great. You can win a lot with these decks, and it’s probably going to be efficient enough to climb the ladder with.

You’re just worse than Midrange Shaman though, and that’s just something you’ll have to live with if you decide to go elsewhere.

Anthony has been competing in games for the better part of his adult life and is dedicated to improving his game, improving his community, improving himself as a person, and most importantly having fun and enjoying himself while doing so. You can check out his stream to find out which video game is the latest to catch his attention.

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