Heya, freshlobster here with another written guide alongside some video gameplay examples
Today we’ll be taking a look at TF Nami Shellfolk – a deck that emerged just recently and already shows up with the highest win rates in the Masters ladder as well as tournament competition.
Be warned though: this brew is incredibly hard to pilot and will only shine in the hands of the right players. It requires tons of matchup knowledge, some careful planning, and a deep understanding of the deck’s win conditions and synergies.
Nonetheless, it’s a great deck to help you improve as a player and with the support of this guide as well as some practice, I’m sure it’ll also help you climb the ladder eventually.
Versatility is the key here. This deck has a myriad of win conditions and can adapt its gameplan to just about any matchup.
Generally speaking, we want to either build up a wide board in the early game or continuously bank spell mana to turbo level Nami. Some cards help us do both simultaneously (like Otterpus or Double Trouble). To make sure we don’t get overrun, we can remove our opponent’s key threats with Group Shot, Pokey Stick, or Twisted Fate’s Red Card or Gold Card.
In the mid-game, we want to set up one of our back row win conditions and swing the tempo and the tides of the game back in our favor.
Nami can level up as early as turn 5 and start juicing up our small units with cheap spells. If we’ve managed to set up a wide board, Fleet Admiral Shelly will be our best bet to snowball our little friends into scary threats.
Twisted Fate can turn into a win condition on his own with the amount of draw that we play (Hidden Pathways, Pokey Stick, Twisted Fate‘s Pick a Card), especially if he’s protected by some buffs from Nami or Shelly.
And to make sure we never run out of steam, we have Curious Shellfolk with the insane Prank synergy from Otterpus and Trinket Trade, allowing us to play our opponent’s cards at a discount while simultaneously making their stuff more expensive and slowing them down.
If our opponent somehow managed to dodge the ‘Concede’ button up until now, we still have some aces up our sleeves.
In the late game, our Wiggly Burblefish should cost 0 mana, and our Mind Meld should be at insane numbers already. If we didn’t find enough backline engines or lost all of them, our Plan B can always be to refill the board with cheap stuff and then make those units MASSIVE within the same turn by playing Mind Meld.
Tips & Tricks
- Know. The. Matchups.
I cannot stress enough how important this is. As soon as the game starts, think about if you have to be defensive in the early game or if you can greedily start setting up your own win conditions. Also, consider which of your key cards would give your opponent the most trouble and which ones they can deal with easily. This will help you a ton with your mulligan as well as early decision making.
- Stay flexible!
We need to reassess our gameplan and our win conditions throughout the whole game! This will depend on the hand we actually draw, the board & game state as well as the threats our opponent actually plays or represents. Always keep an open mind while playing this deck and adapt to the current situation.
- Vs Aggro
Look for Otterpus, Bandle Commando, Conchologist, Group Shot and Double Trouble. If your opponent plays a lot of 1hp units, you can keep Pokey Stick and Twisted Fate for his Red Card as well.
- Vs Midrange, Control & Combo
The mulligan depends entirely on the matchup! If your opponent can’t deal with wide boards, look for cheap units and Double Trouble as well as Fleet Admiral Shelly. If they can’t deal with single threats effectively, you’ll mostly want Nami alongside cards that help her level up efficiently (Otterpus, Double Trouble). If we already found some solid early game cards, we can keep a secondary win condition (Shelly or Shellfolk) or key defensive spells (Minimorph or Monster Harpoon).
- Vs Aggro
Marai Warden, Make it Rain, Line ‘Em Up, 3rd Group Shot. Cut down on Minimorph, Bandle Commando, Hidden Pathways, maybe 1x Curious Shellfolk.
- Vs Midrange, Control & Combo
The deck is already well teched for slower matchups. If you want to add more control tools, you can add copies of Minimorph and Monster Harpoon. If you need more win conditions, try more Mind Meld or Zap Sprayfin. Cut down on Group Shot and Bandle Commando.
Thanks for reading and have a lovely holiday season!
As always, let me know what you think of this guide + video format and what you’d like to see more (or less) of. Any constructive feedback helps a lot!