Looking for a fun mage deck that is also legend viable? Look no further, this baby right here took me to legend in just one day, from rank 4, and also a lot closer to my golden mage portrait 😛
Ok, now for the card explanations:
– The arcane missiles serve multiple roles, like to provide cheap fuel for the flamewalkers and Antonidas and to remove early threaths from hunters and possibly even the druid’s shades of naxxramass.
– The mirror images serve as a protection and fuel for the flamewalkers & Antonidas, and they are great to be played in the same turn as those cards, giving us tremendous tempo. A great play is a turn 3 flamewalker, followed by a coin and the mirror images. If you get this to happen vs a face hunter, it gives you an amazing advantage, and then you can continue to pummel him with your spells, not needing to activate his traps.
– Clockwork Gnomes are a good 1 mana play, they can trade well with early threaths like knife jugglers and they provide a spare part, that can be used with the flamewalkers/Antonidas or to save the day by taunting a minion or freezing another one.
– Mana Wyrms are the best play in round 1, they offer great stats for 1 mana, and, if let alone, they can grow, and sometimes even give you lethal by turn 4 🙂 Sometimes your opponent will spend removal and silences just for them, and leaving them none to counter the flamewalkers later.
– The flamecannon is excellent vs warriors and druids and vs those matchups only should be kept in your starting hand in order to deal with acolytes, armorsmiths and shades.
– Frostbolt is used in every viable mage deck, this jewel is a must, as it’s a great removal and can freeze a big target in place. Mulligan for it vs Hunters, Paladins and Zoo.
– Unstable portal is a good 2 mana play and sinergises well with the other cards in the deck (a good play is turn 1 mana wyrm, followed by unstable portal and, if we get lucky, a 0 mana minion for example). It can also turn games around and give you unexpected solutions to problems (silencers, taunts… Deathwing ^^).
– Mad Scientists are a must in any deck that uses secrets: you never want to have the secrets in your hand, but play them via these minions. They are also decent 2 drops, and can trade with most of the early threats.
– Sorcerer’s Aprrentice gives us many options and can open amazing combos, seeing how this deck is very spell reliant. Imagine this play: Turn 2 apprentice, followed by turn 3 flamewalker, 0 cost mirror images, 0 cost missiles and maybe coining a frostbolt 😛 For a time i ran 2 minions in this tempo mage deck, but in some control matchups i felt there was a need for more draw, and i subbed 1 in order to get 2 arcane intellects.
– Arcane Intellect lets us cycle through the deck in order to use our combos and get what we need. 2 cards for 3 mana, with the possibility that the card costs 2 and it can buff wyrms, combo with flamewalkers/Antonidas? Yes, sir!
– Counterspell is a great card to have, as it can save your life more often than you think and ruin the day for your opponent. Preventing something like a swipe, force of nature, sprint or flamestrime is priceless!
– Mirror Entity is here because it gives us tempo, no matter when it’s played. It’s great vs everything, early on gives us more board presence, and in the late game can prevent opponents from playing big threats. It’s only bad vs freeze mage, as it can copy a doomsayer.
– The Flamewalkers are the core cards of this deck, and a lifesaver against aggro. Try not to play them alone, without a backup: mirror images, counterspell, or with missiles vs low hp minions. If unchecked, they can win the game by themselves, while you play with portals, draw cards, and fireball/frostbolt to the face. Vs hunters, DON’T activate their secrets, just try to keep the flamewalkers alive, trade with their minions and fire spells at their face 😛
– Fireballs need no explanations, but until you make the Antonidas combos, use them wisely!
– The Azure Drake gives card draw and more spell damage, it’s a very good card, so good that you may want 2 of them. Still, this deck is oriented towards the current meta, and 2 of them might slow the deck a bit, even if they work well with all the other spells.
– Loatheb gives you the opportunity to play more spells, while stopping your opponent in his tracks. It can keep up your tempo and save your board from imminent doom or deny the opponent valuable comobs, like force of nature + savage roar.
– We have one Flamestrike mainly to deal with shamans, zoo and grim patron warriors, but it can save the day vs any class, if somehow we lose the board.
– Archmage Antonidas is an excellent card and it can win you many games, even if you are playing from behind. I try to get as much value as i can out of him, by playing mirror images or a spare part in the same turn i use him, so even if he gets killed, it will give a free fireball. Keep him alive for more than 1 turn and in over 95% of the cases, you win, is as simple as that 🙂
– Dr. Boom is just too good to pass out, even if he is the single BGH target in the deck. He gives us more options in the late game, and usually is better to play him before Antonidas, to draw the hard removal (siphon soul for example).
Of course, the deck is tailored to my own preferences and the current meta, and you can find many variants of tempo mage decks, some with more control, end-game options, some leaning more on the cancerous aggro side, it is all up to you to see what is working and what not and to adjust accordingly.
Identify what deck your opponent uses and what cards it might contain so you can make the correct plays (for example play around shadowflame/hellfire vs handlock) early on. Try to stay on the mana curve and mulligan your whole hand if you don’t get 1-2 drops, vs aggro decks the first plays are crucial! Try to play the mad scientists early on, so you won’t end up with the secrets in your hand and if you have mad scientists on the board, and a mirror entity in your hand, if the mana and the game state allows, you may want to play that, so that you will be sure the deathrattle gives you the other secret! Don’t miss turns or spend your mana in an inefficient way just because you wait for big combos to happen, vs aggresive decks it will lose you the game!
This tempo mage deck, played by Generalul, in action:
Still, in the end, never forget that RNGESUS has a big part to play in all this, afterall, Hearthstone is a card game!
UPDATE: After The Grand Tournament expansion, the deck remains viable, only change i made is a Polymorph: Boar instead of an Arcane Intellect and i cut Loatheb for another Azure Drake.