How to Win Arena with Paladin and Shaman - Episode 26

February 20, 2014


  • Scott Lantz is on the show this week
  • Topic: The best cards for Paladin and Shaman in Arena
  • Reasons to be happy this week

How Arena Works

  • Quick recap: picking a hero and cards
  • Goal for this week: help you make the best card choices while playing Arena
  • Includes neutral minions as well

Hearthstone Arena Paladin

The Best Paladin Cards for Arena

Basic strategy: Fill the board with troops and attempt to control the board. Once you can stabilize the board and get a minion or two to stick, buff them up and terrorize. Paladin is better situated than most classes to win via a grab-bag of tricks that contribute to efficiency in various ways. Especially against fast classes, if you neutralize and stabilize, you’re likely to do well in the long-run. Against slower classes, you’ll want to keep the pressure on.


Argent Protector
Great 2-for-1 potential to get board advantage early game, great late draw to protect your bombs.

Hammer of Wrath
Nice and simple. Any card that replaces itself has value, and the fact that this replaces itself AND kills an opponent’s minion on the board means it’ll be useful every game you draw it.

It is so easy to kill multiple creatures with this card. Turn 4 is the perfect time for this too. If they’re rushing, you’ll wipe out 4-turns of minions on their side of the board. If they’re going big, you should be able to Consecrate and trade your small minions for their big minions. Bonus: also deals damage to their hero.

Imp Master
I’ve spent too many Paladin games with a powerful buff card in my hand and nothing to cast it on. The Imp Master + hero power will go a long way towards making sure something sticks on your side of the board.
Scott: I’ve become a big fan of this recently. Very under-rated card.

Noble Sacrifice
This is similar to Explosive Trap for me. Great way to remove a threat you know is coming — it’s a heal and a damage.


Blessing of Wisdom
This card is interesting. You cast it when you’re about to attack, and you are guaranteed to get your card back. So this is a unique card in hearthstone that essentially says “Bet 1 mana now that this guy will survive to attack again on future turns.” Or, with Windfury, it’s just plain profit. Must play it smart, but never costs you much if you bet poorly. Plus, you can use it to kind of neutralize an enemy minion in a pinch. Been seeing that a lot lately

Aldor Peacekeeper
A 3/3 for 3 is fine, and its ability goes a long way towards neutralizing the nastiest enemy minion on the board. This card’s ability is one of the best ‘free’ abilities on a creature whose size equal to its cost. Very close to a 2-for-1.

Blessing of Kings
While you obviously can’t have a deck full of buff cards instead of minions, this can be much stronger than a 4/4. You’ll often use this to take out the biggest thing on the board and still have a powerful (if fragile) threat left over. Beware of putting all your eggs in one basket.

Sword of Justice
As a 1/5 weapon for 3, this is not a good deal considering Paladin also has a 1/4 weapon for 1 that isn’t really worth using. You should be using this to buff, only attacking if highly efficient. This won’t enable any tricky surprises like Blessing of Kings, but +5/+5 (spread over 5 minions) for 3 mana is some of the best efficiency you will find. This WILL turn the game in your favor compared to a random neutral minion. Doesn’t do anything when cast though, so get it out ASAP.

Hard to use, but if you’re clever and patient, it can swing a game. This card is better in weenie decks. Combos well with cards like Knife Juggler, Scarlet Crusader, Argent Protector, Cult Master, and Harvest Golem. Make sure you cast this before summoning minions.

Hearthstone Mechanics Overload

The Best Shaman Cards for Arena

Basic strategy: A lot of cheap, powerful removal to keep the enemy board clear and then big minions at the end to keep the pain train going. One of the trickier classes to play well.


Mana Tide Totem
The enemy will put a lot of effort into removing this card. Play it when you have a taunt out or their side of the board is clear to increase your chances of getting more than one card. Remember: if they spend a removal to get rid of this, it’s a victory for you.

Stormforged Axe
We talked about this a lot on the last show, but this is the perfect answer for early game aggression. You should be able to kill almost anything they throw down in the first three turns, all with one card.

Fire Elemental
Big minion that instantly kills an enemy minion when it comes into play. Love it!

Flametongue Totem
This is one of my all-time favorite cards of any class. The element of surprise is extremely valuable, and it often lets you trade up short minions, or maintain a strong defensive wall as you punch to keep itself alive.

Frostwolf Warlord
It’s easy to look at this card and get worried about lost potential. But as a Shaman, you will almost always have at least one troop on the board (a totem). That makes this a 5/5 for 5 with a ton of upside.


Feral Spirit
Cast on turn 2 or 3, these spirits will usually dominate the board. Later in the game, their role changes to double-deep protection of your fragile-but-valuable creatures like Flametongue Totem, Mana Tide Totem, or Fire Elemental. Compared to Fen Creeper (a card I like more than most) this defers part of the casting cost, has more combined power/toughness, and is split over two bodies.

Lightning Storm
Lightning Storm is one of the signature Shaman cards. Mass AoE. Obviously, spellpower minions or totems make this thing even nastier. Generally best to wait until it will hit at least 3 minions. Note that this one doesn’t hit the enemy hero, so it’s all about its efficiency in killing minions.

People often overestimate cards like this and Polymorph, and therefore don’t get the full value they should. Generally, you don’t want to Hex cards costing less than 6 unless that card has been buffed with another strong card. Be patient and wait for a blowout, unless you just can’t. Keep in mind this is card disadvantage, since it will never kill a creature by itself. But if you can neutralize your enemy’s 8/8 for only 3 mana, that is a big tempo swing in your favor.

Unbound Elemental
This card is about half a mana overcosted for its stats, so while you can drop it in a pinch if you need to, it’s generally best to wait to cast it until you can also cast something with Overload on the same turn. Luckily, Overload cards have cheaper up-front casting costs, so that’s easier to do than it may seem. Obviously, you need plenty of overload cards with this, or it’s just an overcosted minion.

Stormwind Champion
While this card is also good in a Paladin deck, it’s a smidge stronger in a Shaman deck because it can make the difference between most totems being able to attack or not. Can really throw off your opponent’s combat calculations, giving you efficient trades they hadn’t planned on. If you can end your turn with your opponent having less than 6 power on board, this thing’s efficiency only grows. If you have 2 creatures ready to attack when you cast this, you’ll usually have profited.

Hearthstone Arena Lightning Storm

How To Win Arena

  • Minions are #1 priority
  • Card draw is always valuable
  • AoE removal works
  • Avoid specific synergy decks — it’s a trap!
  • Efficiency and flexibility
  • Don’t be scared
  • It’s worth the cost

Keep track of your progress!
Scott made a brilliant spreadsheet that you can use to track all of your Arena progress (and your entire card collection)!
Download his spreadsheet now
Scott’s Hearthstone Arena Tracking Spreadsheet

Here are a few great alternatives, in case Spreadhsheets aren’t your thing:
Arena Mastery: Website tracking (Derrick’s favorite!)
HearthStats: Website tracking
HearthTracker: Local app for tracking


  • Question from Justin: How to use emotes without offending people?
  • iTunes Review: Icstrm and JollyAngus!

Card of the Week

Song by Scott!
Hearthstone Conceal


The Muhammad Ali Shaman - Episode 25

February 5, 2014


  • Adam is on the show this week
  • Topic: The Muhammad Ali Shaman deck
  • Reasons to be happy this week

What is a Deck Battle?

Once a month, a guest host brings their favorite deck onto the show to battle the current reigning champion deck for control of the Happy Hearthstone Deck Battle Throne!

If the challenger wins the best-of-3 series, their deck becomes the new Reigning Champion Deck and will fight off future challengers until it loses, or until it’s earned its place in the Happy Hearthstone Hall of Fame!

View the Deck Battle Archive + The Happy Hearthstone Hall of Fame

The Deck

  • The Mohammad Ali Shaman: Keep the board clear early and mid-game and punch hard later.
  • How it wins: Uses early low casting cost spells to remove early threats while setting up totems and creatures for late game. It’s a slow painful death.

Five Key Cards

Hearthstone Ali Totems

Full Deck List

You can get more insight into the deck by reading Adam’s guide, which goes through every single card with full explanation and advice, but here’s the simple deck list with no commentary (ordered by mana cost), if you’d rather just try it out yourself.




In case you don’t have some of the ideal cards, here are some quality back ups and alterations you can make that keep with the same theme and strengths of the deck.

The Defending Champion Deck

Dan’s Hunter Beastmaster Deck, which relies on lots of Beast minions and solid removal spells to rush the opponent down.

The Beastmaster Deck has reigned supreme for 3 months, and has beaten 2 other decks before this episode.

Post-Duel Commentary

  • Who won
  • Obligatory bragging session
  • Challenger Deck: How well did it perform?
  • Defending Deck: How well did it perform?
  • Best moments in the matches
  • The Happy Hearthstone Champion Ceremony(tm)


  • Question: The best 2-mana cost minions by Craig Bowser
  • iTunes Review: Lightbox22, Scott Lantz

Card of the Week

Song by Jonas
Hearthstone Harvest Golem



Lightning bolts, frogs, and plenty of axes. This Shaman deck uses strong spells and weapons to delete threats early on, and then keep the board clear in the mid-game with AoE. Even better, it uses ZERO Legendaries, so new players can build it pretty quickly. Then, learn to control your enemy long enough to play your own big threats late-game and strangle them slowly.

Find out more about this deck and watch it in action in the latest episode of Happy Hearthstone!

Note from Josh: The rest of this article was written by Adam Clegg. Thanks, Adam!

The Muhammad Ali Shaman

This deck will outplay any heroes early game (yes, even murloc Warlock decks) and utilize its mid-game totem/Pyromancer control to last until the late game, where you crush your opponent by slowly leaning on them and watch as they slowly run out of cards and concede.

Let’s get straight into the cards I used in my deck for the mighty showdown with Josh. You can find a completely plain deck list on the podcast episode. Here, I’ll provide additional commentary where I feel it’s helpful or necessary.

2x Flametongue Totem

This card is very sneaky. You can have two 0/2 totems out and look like you have a non threatening board. After dropping this bad boy in between your two totems you know have 2 2/2s to clear their board.

2x Novice Engineer

Even after the nerf, this card creates a ton of tempo for your deck and helps you get totems out by giving your opponent another target.

2x Wild Pyromancer

A very key card for the deck, it combos nicely with your heal totem giving you many 1 damage to all creature pings over many turns.

1x Defender of Argus

All-around solid creature, better when you use them with totems.

2x Azure Drake

This card is very good in this deck for spell damage, and for the tempo of drawing another card.

1x Earth Elemental

This card usually comes out of nowhere late game and is a nice surprise for your opponent. If they can’t deal with it the turn it comes out, the game usually ends shortly after.

2x Argent Commander

This is the bread-and-butter of dealing damage out of nowhere, very solid card in any deck in my opinion.

2x Fire Elemental

This is your late game finisher, usually taking out a creature when it comes into play and leaves a large threat late game when your opponent has very few cards left in hand.

Hearthstone Arena Lightning Storm

2x Earth Shock

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS CARD. It one-shots so many things and silences their massive legendary cards.

2x Forked Lightning

I call this card the “Makes your opponent sad” card. You 2-for-1 their board, gain board control and make your opponent sad all in one turn for 1 mana.

2x Lightning Bolt

Solid removal card, very good early game. This is a key card for early game board control.

2x Rockbiter Weapon

Another solid removal card that helps maintain early board control.

2x Stormforged Axe

This card has won me so many games that I’ve fallen in love with it. It usually removes 3 creatures early game and gains you a ton of tempo for casting totems.

2x Feral Spirit

This card is not used for attacking, but mainly used for mid-game defense. It sucks up your opponents cards while you gain some card advantage on them by not having to waste your spells on their creatures.

2x Hex

This card is basically for damage control, or what I like to call Legendary control. Every deck needs cards like this to kill super powerful minions.

2x Lightning Storm

Insert the usual “AOE damage cards are amazing” comment. Enough said.

Hearthstone Ali Win

Possible Additions

The above decklist is the ideal setup that I enjoy running. But you might not have all of those cards right now, and that’s okay—you can still make a great deck by using some substitutions. Here are a few cards you can swap in until you get all of the pieces together.

2x Loot Hoarder

Some players prefer the Loot Hoarder’s damage over the instant-draw from Novice Engineer. Feel free to use whichever you prefer.

2x Mana Tide Totem

Good card draw, and a decent filler if you have some empty spots. It’ll help you reach the cards you do have even faster.

1x Lava Burst

Earth Elemental might be tough to get early on. If you get a Lava Burst first, use that instead.

2x Faceless Manipulator

You will face countless Legendaries on enemy teams in constructed. This is a great, and cheap, way to get those Legendaries in your deck too!

2x Bloodlust

A great game finisher if you’re ahead, and a great equalizer if you’re surrounded by bigger minions and need a way to balance the field.

Final Thoughts

I think you should try this deck because it’s cheap to make (no Legendaries in it), Shaman is a fun class to play, and this deck has a good chance to win any game you play.