HearthStone

Shaman’s Ability to Draw/Generate Cards: In Depth Analysis and Comparison

hearthstone 8 - Shaman's Ability to Draw/Generate Cards: In Depth Analysis and Comparison
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Here's a long post about Shaman's ability to draw/generate cards compared with the other classes.

Method, MO, analysis, reasoning behind decisions, etc are below. So if you find yourself thinking "Hey! why is this like that?!" I've tried to explain that below. First comes the fun stuff.

DRUID: 17 total options

Draw: 9 total – All options offer either >1 card draw or a secondary effect (ie damage/armor/a minion). Of the minions, only Spirit of the Raptor is unable to attack.

Generation: 8 total – Only one has a random outcome. (Twinspell is included)

Efficiency notes:

Average and mean mana costs: 3.82 avg / mean = 3

5/17 (29%) do not draw/generate without use of another card.

HUNTER: 16 total options

Draw: 6 total – 1ish (Tracking is an ish for me) draw >1 card. All others offer a board-impacting effect (minion/secret destruction).

Generation: 10 total – Only one has a random outcome. (Zul'jin and Twinspell included)

Efficiency notes:

Average and mean mana costs: 3.25 avg / mean = 3

3/16 (20%) do not draw/generate without use of another card.

MAGE: 21 total options

Draw: 7 total – All options offer either >1 card draw or other board impact.

Generation: 14 total – Six have random outcomes. Of those, only two do not have a secondary, board-impact effect. (Twinspell included. I was careful not to count Arugal twice.)

Efficiency notes:

Average and mean mana costs: 3.90 avg / mean = 3

5/21 (24%) do not draw/generate without use of another card.

PALADIN: 12 total options

Draw: 9 total – Four options draw >2. All others but one have immediate impact (heal/damage/etc).

Generation: 3 total – None are random. (Twinspell included)

Efficiency notes:

Average and mean mana costs: 3.41 avg / mean = 3

0/12 (0%) do not draw/generate without use of another card.

PRIEST: 12 total options

Draw: 5 total – One options draws >1 card. All others have board impact.

Generation: 7 total – None say random, but I would count Thoughtsteal as random.

Efficiency notes:

Average and mean mana costs: 2.75 avg / mean = 2

4/12 (33%) do not draw/generate without use of another card.

ROGUE: 19 total options

Draw: 6 total – Three draw >1. All others impact the board.

Generation: 13 total – Five are random. Of the randoms, three come without additional impact.

Efficiency notes:

Average and mean mana costs: 3.95 avg / mean = 4

2/19 (11%) do not draw/generate without use of another card.

WARLOCK: 8 (+1) total options

Draw: 4 (+1 for HP) total – Three draw >1 card (Plot Twist is included here. I can understand if you wouldn't include it.) The remaining one impacts the board.

Generation: 4 total – Two are random. Two of total come without impact. (High Priestess Jeklik is not included)

Efficiency notes:

Average and mean mana costs: 2.13 avg / mean = 1.5

1/8 (13%) do not draw/generate without use of another card.

WARRIOR: 11 total options

Draw: 7 total – Zero cards draw >1. (Though one CAN draw >1 card). All others have board impact/armor gain/minion (though their impact is generally weak).

Generation: 4 total – One is random. (I don't count Dr. Boom, Mad Genius as random for the same reason I don't count lackeys as random. Reasoning is below.)

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Efficiency notes:

Average and mean mana costs: 2.82 avg / mean = 2

1/11 (9%) do not draw/generate without use of another card.

and finally….

SHAMAN: 16 total options

Draw: 6 total – Zero options draw >1 card. Two options have bodies that can attack.

Generation: 10 total – Five of the options are random. Three of the total options are without other impact. (Hagatha included)

Efficiency notes:

Average and mean mana costs: 3.44 avg / mean = 3

6/16 (38%) do not draw/generate without use of another card.

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Shaman Analysis:

Quantitatively, Shaman is 5th in total options, tied for 5th in draw options, 4th in generation options, 6th in lowest mana-cost average, tied for 4th in lowest mana-cost mean, and is 9th in lowest percent of cards that do not draw/generate without use of another card.

Shaman's draw is mediocre at best. Only 1 card is CAPABLE of drawing more than one at a time, and the draw options that impact the board are overcosted minions w/o immediate effects (as opposed to dealing damage/healing).

Shaman is in the top half for generation options. However, it has the highest number of random generators, and the highest percentage of cards do not draw/generate without use of another card, meaning that Shaman must do more work for lower quality results than other classes.

One reason I think Shaman is viewed as being strong at card generation is because they can fill up their hands. But what isn't considered is efficiency. Other classes can draw or generate a reliable card while doing something positive as well (for an average lower mana cost). Shaman makes inefficient plays to generate often unreliable cards.

Blizzard defines "weakness" as " aspects that a class either doesn’t have or struggles to achieve effectively." Obviously the "not having" part doesn't apply to Shaman, but does the "inefficient" part apply? The recent two murlocs are certainly efficient. But murlocs are also a listed strength of Shaman. Does a strength+a weakness = a strength, weakness, or something in between?

Randomness and the need for activator cards DO make Shaman inefficient at draw/generation. Is it inefficient enough to be called a weakness? I think it's close. But just because a Shaman can put cards in it's hand, doesn't mean that a Shaman is good at generating cards.

Problems with this analysis:

The main problem is it is difficult to assess combo potential/ meta/ deckbuilding this way. It's also hard to assess cards like Hagatha that generate a lot of cards over time. Debating the efficiency of Hagatha could be a post of its own, but if someone wants to talk about it, that's fine.

Probably other problems, but I just wanted to try my best to make a non-meme analysis.

MO:

I saw the Shaman meme and thought, "this person probably doesn't play a lot of Shaman" because they didn't include Shaman's best draw options and included some of its worst generation options (which is contradictory to the meme).

Read:  Out of the 49 Elemental cards in Standard, only 3 have their initial design applied to them.

I read the comments and thought, "there should be a serious discussion about this instead of just bandwagon memes," but I decided it was better to just go my way and not say anything.

Then this morning I decided to watch


where he said

"Shaman has like the most card generation and it's not even remotely close to any other class."

That tipped me over the edge, because I think there is a big misunderstanding there about what a class weakness means.

Method:

I went to the battle.net card viewer page. I searched "draw", "add", and "discover" for each class in standard and then combed the whole class without filters. If I missed any, I will make a note of it.

I didn't count lackeys as "random" even though some (but not all) lackey generators say random on them because the pool is very small and very consistent. Same reasoning for Dr Boom Mad Genius and his HP. If you want them to count as random, that would still leave Shaman with the highest number of random draw/generators.

Only cards that ALWAYS draw >1 card are mentioned as such. Cards that are ABLE to draw >1 card are not included among them. If you do include those, then shaman goes from 0 to 2 (I would be willing to count Mana Tide as a half since your opponent can interact with it). Shaman would still be in the bottom 3 with Priest and Warrior.

Only cards that add other cards to your hand were included.

TL:DR:

There is evidence that places Shaman among the worst at card draw/generation. Not because they can't do it, but because they do it inefficiently (on average, they put in a greater amount of resources for a lower quality result). Does that evidence show card draw/generation is a current weakness of Shaman? I say "ehhhhh…kind of yeah, but it's close."

Source: Original link


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