Basic Mage Deck

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This Mage deck is:

  • meant for players who are new to Hearthstone, and/or who have not invested much (or any) real money into the game;
  • is comprised only of cards that are granted to you for free as a reward for completing the tutorial and leveling a Mage to level 10;
  • does not include any Common, Rare, Epic, or Legendary cards.

While there are obvious weaknesses due to the Basic-only limitation, this deck is balanced, and quite strong. It should allow you to defeat the AI (in both Normal and Expert modes), and it can hold its own against players using Rare, Epic, and even Legendary cards in Play mode.

In addition to listing the deck, we will also explain why some cards have been included or excluded, how some of the minions in the deck are best played, and what changes you can make to the deck.

Note that to succeed with this deck (as with all decks), you need to make the correct decisions while playing. For this reason, we advise you to also read these two articles: Card Advantage and Why Am I Losing?.

1. Basic Mage Deck↑top

Our deck is made up of the following cards.

1.1. Mana Curve

0
4
6
4
10
2
1
3

2. Overview of the Strategy↑top

As a Mage, you should focus on favourable minion trades, and you should try to establish board control during the early-game. Your spells, such as Frostbolt and Fireball can take out most early-mid game minions, while Polymorph should be saved to eliminate any late-game threats. Flamestrike is extremely powerful, and should be used only when you can destroy at least 2 minions with it.

Gurubashi Berserker will put your opponent under immense pressure, especially as you can use your own Hero Power to damage it in order to trigger its ability.

3. Brief Card Analysis↑top

The deck we listed is quite flexible, meaning that you can make changes to it to better tailor it to your preferences or playstyle, especially where the neutral cards are concerned. In general, any neutral card we have included 1 of is good enough to warrant 2. For instance, you could swap out Archmage and Stormwind Champion for 2x Boulderfist Ogre in order to have a more aggressive approach to the late-game.

In the sections that follow, we will give you a bit of insight into some of our choices.

3.1. Neutral Cards

The Acidic Swamp Ooze is the only Basic card that allows you to remove an opponent's weapon. When playing against Hunters, Paladins, Rogues, Shamans, and Warriors, you should save this minion and use its Battlecry to destroy your opponent's weapon. If playing against one of the other classes (or if you do not believe your opponent has a weapon), you should simply play this as a 3/2 minion.

The Novice Engineer provides you with extra drawing power. While it is not usually strong enough to trade with most 2-cost cards, it can still kill most 1-cost cards, and having even a 1/1 body on the board can be helpful.

The Shattered Sun Cleric is already a very efficient minion at 3/2 for a cost of 3, but you can use it to buff another one of your minions with +1/+1. This is great since it allows you to have your minions trade up (that is to say, to trade with a higher-costing minion).

The Gurubashi Berserker is a peculiar minion. Its attack is low, and its health very high, making it a minor threat at first. But since its attack increases by 3 each time it is damaged, this minion often ends games if left unattended. He is very susceptible to being silenced, but if you can catch your opponent off-guard with it, it is extremely strong.

Damaging the Gurubashi Berserker with your Hero Power can give you an important advantage, and can quickly turn this minion into an even greater threat.

The Stormwind Champion, in addition to his high stats, also buffs all your other minions with +1/+1. If you can keep this minion up, he will allow most of your other minions to engage in favourable trading with your opponent's minions, and he will create an advantage in your favour.

3.2. Mage-Specific Cards

As you can see, there are 2 Basic Mage cards that we have excluded from the deck: Arcane Explosion, and Frost Nova. Frost Nova deals no damage, so it is only good for delaying the game. While this might be a good idea in a strong control deck, it does not work with this deck. Arcane Explosion can be good in certain situations, but we feel that its damage is simply too low to justify a spot in this deck.

We have opted for the inclusion of Arcane Missiles. While the randomness of this spell generally makes it rather undesirable, it serves a useful function (helping you clear low-health minions in the early game) in these decks.

4. Changelog↑top

  • 26 Jan. 2014: Made a few tweaks and updates to the deck and explanations.