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Cheap Mage Standard Deck

Last updated on May 19, 2016 at 14:37 by Sottle 32 comments

Table of Contents

This Mage deck:

  • has been designed for players who have levelled most classes to Level 10, cleared the AI, and are looking to start climbing in Ranked mode;
  • costs 1,000 Arcane Dust or less;
  • is built entirely of Basic, Common and Rare cards.

While this deck will not immediately make you competitive at the highest levels of Ranked mode, it is strong, and replicates many key strategies of high level Mage decks while using cheaper cards. If played well, it can certainly hold its own against decks of higher cost.

In addition to listing the deck, we will also discuss the cards that are included and how they are best used, as well as explaining the reasoning behind cards that are not included. Finally we will explain how you can improve the deck through various resources you may have available.

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. About the Author

This deck is presented to you by Sottle, a professional Hearthstone player who plays for compLexity Gaming. Sottle regularly streams on Twitch and explains all of his moves. Watching him is a good opportunity to see how this and other decks play out in practice, and how decisions are made in real time.

2. Cheap Mage Standard Deck

Our deck costs 920 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Mage Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve

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7
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3. Strategy

This deck is a hybrid between Tempo Mage and a C'Thun based strategy. C'Thun is an excellent card to allow you to build a competitive deck with minimal expenditure since C'Thun itself and 2 Beckoner of Evil are given to you for free upon purchasing any Whispers of the Old Gods packs.

The goal of the deck is to curve out aggressively with cards like Mana Wyrm, alongside your various C'Thun Cultist minions and take control of the board early, from here you can leverage your various removal options and Tempo cards to keep yourself ahead, all leading towards an eventual C'Thun to seal the game. Even if you do not draw your C'Thun, the deck is still able to win games by curving out aggressively into quality minions such as Water Elemental and Faceless Summoner and finishing the game with Fireball.

3.1. Card Choices

In this section we will discuss some of the cards that have been chosen, how to use them effectively, and why they are chosen over other possibilities. Hopefully this will both help you to succeed with this deck, as well as inform your own deck building decisions in the future.

Arcane Missiles represents 3 damage for 1 Mana, making it an efficient source of damage in this deck. Despite this, you should refrain from simply throwing it out on turn 1, and instead wait for a point where it can used to clear a minion, or buff your Mana Wyrm.

Mana Wyrm is one of the most efficient 1-drop minions in the game and is a fantastic tool to start snowballing a game in your favour. The high health and ability to gain attack makes it both an efficient early-game trading tool, and a source of a lot of pressure to the opponent.

Beckoner of Evil, Twilight Elder, Disciple of C'Thun, and C'Thun's Chosen make up the primary C'Thun engine of this deck. These particular minions are chosen because they fit best into the aggressive Tempo focused strategy of the deck. On top of these, spending Dust on crafting these cards will never be a big mistake because they are key components of almost every C'Thun deck. Disciple of C'Thun in particular is an excellent Tempo card that can help you assert dominance in the early-game.

Cult Sorcerer is an extremely high quality minion that is often considered strong enough to be a part of Constructed Mage decks that do not even run C'Thun. This makes including it in your C'Thun deck somewhat of a given. Although you should drop this minion on turn 2 if it is your only option, if you have another strong play to make it is often preferable to hold onto it until you can get immediate value.

Azure Drake and Faceless Summoner are included in the deck to give you high quality mid-game options. The pitfall that many newer players fall into when trying to build synergy decks is to try and make every card synergise with their core gameplan. This is usually incorrect and you are generally better off playing a strong selection of individually solid cards intermixed with your synergy cards. This is the role that these cards fill in this deck and they can allow you to win games on Tempo and board presence without ever drawing into your C'Thun.

3.2. Card Omissions

Here we will talk about some of the cards that are not included to help you understand and identify weaker cards, hopefully improving your deck building skills.

Numerous C'Thun minions are not included in the deck both for budgeting reasons and to avoid the trap of over synergising your deck. Filling your deck with C'Thun minions makes your deck extremely poor in the games where you do not draw C'Thun since these minions are generally weaker than possible alternatives you could play. This is an important lesson to learn about deckbuilding in general.

Blizzard, Frost Nova and various other stalling tools are not included in the deck as this deck is not interested in stalling the game like many Control Mages are.

No Mage Secrets are included because they are generally weak now that Mad Scientist has been removed from the format.

3.3. Card Swaps

Obviously, as a Cheap deck, this list has a lot of room for improvement. As you progress with the game and gain access to more cards and Arcane Dust, here are some additions that you may consider.

If you have access to the League of Explorers expansion, the following additions are strong choices:

  • Ethereal Conjurer is a card that can replace Azure Drake fairly freely. You can experiment with any configuration of these cards and find the one that you like best.

For other strong cards to consider, look at our full budget Mage decks, or our Crafting Guide.

4. ChangeLog

  • 19 May 2016: Deck Added
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