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Legendary Mage Fast Freeze Standard Deck

Last updated on May 11, 2016 at 13:00 by Sottle 28 comments

Table of Contents

In this guide you will find instructions on playing Freeze Mage. Freeze Mage is an extremely deep and complex deck that can be incredibly dominant when played correctly. It has a high learning curve and is considered by many to be one of the most difficult decks to play, but for those who are up for the challenge it offers fantastic rewards.

Freeze Mage loses very little in Standard format. Although having to now use Secrets manually is a big deal, the fact that your opponents have lost all the best cards against Freeze Mage in the form of Loatheb, Antique Healbot, and most efficient Deathrattle minions means that Freeze Mage is very well positioned in the meta.

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. Legendary Mage Fast Freeze Standard Deck

Our deck costs 5,720 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Mage Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve

0
2
9
11
3
0
3
2

3. Strategy

Freeze Mage is a powerful deck that relies on stalling the game with AoE clears and freeze spells, while drawing through your deck to gather the resources needed to combo your opponent down from 30 Health.

Your early turns will be quite passive, often consisting of drawing cards with Arcane Intellect, Novice Engineer, or Loot Hoarder. Playing these cycle cards is your first priority and you should generally choose to cast Arcane Intellect over developing a Secret on turn 3 if you have both options available. One card to pay special attention to in these early turns is Acolyte of Pain. You should avoid playing this card out before you can guarantee drawing a card from it by pinging it with your Hero Power. Card draw is extremely important in this deck and sacrificing your Acolyte for a single draw will often leave you lacking in options in the late game. This rule can be ignored against extremely aggressive decks if you have no other plays to make and you need to get something in play to stem the tide of their aggression.

Once your opponent starts to establish a board of their own, you must start to make difficult decisions about how to use your removal options and stalling tools to stretch out the game as long as possible. As a general rule, you do not want to use your direct damage spells like Frostbolt and Fireball to remove minions, unless the deck you are playing against is extremely aggressive. The exception to this rule is Forgotten Torch which can be used freely as an early game board control tool since you want to cycle this card into the superior Roaring Torch at some point anyway. Roaring Torch is a key card to have in your deck as it allows you to string together even more powerful combinations of spells in a single turn, especially under Emperor Thaurissan discounts.

Planning several turns ahead is key to the deck and working out how to use your spells. Avoid using Frost Nova just to freeze the board for one turn if you have no way to answer the board the following turn. The correct use of Frost Nova is either to play it in combination with Doomsayer to sweep the board if they cannot remove the Doomsayer, or to stall for a turn to allow you to move towards an eventual win condition.

On the subject of Doomsayer, although the most common use of it is to create a strong board clear in combination with a Freeze effect, there are alternative situations to look out for. For example, against Aggro decks, playing a Doomsayer early to deny them from playing minions for a turn can be really strong. Along the same lines, it can be powerful to play Doomsayer even on an empty board, especially if you plan to follow it up immediately with Emperor Thaurissan or Alexstrasza. This will prevent your opponent from playing minions and allow you to drop your big threat onto an empty board.

Your Secrets in the deck, Ice Barrier and Ice Block, are vital. Ice Barrier is a useful card to stall the game for a turn or two, especially if played early enough, where as Ice Block is your ultimate checkmate card. If you are behind an Ice Block you can easily plan the minimum number of turns you have left to live and work out how to kill your opponent in the time you have.

Emperor Thaurissan adds a compeletely new dimension to Freeze Mage. Since this is one of the most combo intensive decks in the game, and you almost always have a large hand, Emperor Thaurissan has the potential to have a massive effect on the game. The difficulty comes from finding a turn that is free to play Emperor Thaurissan, as Freeze Mage's turns are often very tight on Mana usage. Once you do get this card into play however, it has a lasting effect on the game, as you are now able to squeeze more plays into a single turn, which is often the difference between victory and defeat.

Alexstrasza is a key card in the deck. If you manage to reach turn 9 in a comfortable position with Alexstrasza in hand, you will often just win the game without any possible response from your opponent. The goal for finishing the game is Turn 9 Alexstraza to reduce your opponent to 15 life, and then using combinations of Fireball, Frostbolt, Ice Lance, Forgotten Torch, and Roaring Torch to end the game. As always with this deck, planning ahead is vital. Before using an entire turn on Alexstrasza, evaluate the position of the game and whether you have the necessary resources and time to finish your opponent. There are many factors to this such as whether you have an Ice Block in play, whether you hold the second Ice Block in hand, whether you have the necessary damage combos in hand, and how much your opponent can realistically heal for. The possible permutations are near-endless here, and it will take some practice with the deck before you are comfortable with them all. Just always keep in mind, that planning several turns ahead is of vital importance at all times.

They key with this deck over other builds of Freeze Mage is that it can often skip the late-game set up turns and instead resort immediately to burning your opponent out over a series of turns. By skipping the setup turns of Archmage Antonidas and Alexstrasza you can have a higher success rate against more aggressive decks who do not give you enough turns to set up all your win conditions. Due to the inclusion of 2 Forgotten Torch in the deck, your total damage increases significantly, as does the amount of damage you are able to deal per turn because of the low Mana cost of Roaring Torch. This strategy can help you out enormously against Warlock decks that often lower themselves to a low health total over the course of the game, as well as offering a win condition against Midrange Druid decks that usually operate too quickly for you to set up the usual Freeze Mage win condition.

It is important to evaluate the situation of the game and decide whether going for the Alexstrasza strategy or the straight burn strategy is appropriate. This can be dictated by many things such as whether or not you hold Alexstrasza in hand, your opponent's life total, how much total damage you hold in hand, and how many turns you decide you have left in the game. All of these factors combine to help you decide what the right course of action is. Remember, it may sometimes be correct to start burning your opponent before you have the total amount of damage necessary and rely on drawing more damage over the course of 2 or 3 turns if you decide it is your best chance to win. Weaving in your Hero Power for additional damage and cards like Novice Engineer and Arcane Intellect to draw cards can also help you to find wins in difficult looking situations.

One additional note of this end-game situation is that often, it will feel like you have a completely secure game winning situation. With Ice Block up, it can often feel like you are certain to have the number of turns you need to cast all your game winning burst damage. There are however, various methods that your opponent can still use to disrupt your sequence. Eater of Secrets and various healing effects can all have a huge impact in these end-game turns. Because of this, it is important to always sequence your ending turns in the way that beats as many of these options as possible. For example if you can setup a two turn kill that involves freezing your opponent's board as well instead of simply trying to burn your opponent in the face this will usually beat the potentail Eater of Secrets. Conversely however, this can make you weaker to an opponent's healing. Understand your opponent's decklist and knowing which cards you need to play around is important.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Frost Nova or Blizzard plus Doomsayer is your primary method for sweeping the board if your opponent cannot answer your Doomsayer.

Various combinations of spells can be used together for huge damage in a single turn. For example, the combo of Fireball, Frostbolt, Frostbolt, Ice Lance, Ice Lance is 20 damage.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

In most cases you will simply look to Mulligan for your draw cards, such as Arcane Intellect and Loot Hoarder, since drawing cards is all you will look to do in the early turns. Usually Acolyte of Pain should not be kept, since ideally you will not choose to play it until turn 5. More specific matchups strategies can be viewed below.

3.2.1. Vs Hunter

A difficult matchup for this deck. The consistent damage that Hunter can output through their Hero Power along with their minions can often end up killing you too quickly. You should mulligan more aggressively for Doomsayer, Loot Hoarder, and Ice Barrier in this matchup. Do not be afraid to play Doomsayer out on an early turn, at the very least this will heal you for 7 while they kill the Doomsayer. At best it can freeze the game for a turn if they cannot remove it. Playing an Ice Barrier early is also quite powerful, since you are simply in a battle for survival. You can also afford to be a little more liberal with cards like Frostbolt to remove minions against Hunter, since your fight for survival is a lot more desperate. The key to winning this matchup is recognising when you can use an aggressive play to win the race. Since Hunter has no healing, it is easy to calculate how much damage you are able to output.

3.2.2. Vs Zoo

Contrary to what might seem immediately obvious, this is actually a strong matchup for Freeze Mage. Your Freeze cards are vital in the matchup, as repeatedly freezing a Zoo's board takes away all of the synergy in their deck. Zoo functions primarily through buff cards, which enter play while adding attack to an already established minion. Without a minion that is able to attack, many of these cards are quite poor in isolation. The goal against Zoo is to consistently freeze their board once it reaches an intimidating size, leading up to an eventual full clear. Frost Nova plus Doomsayer is extremely crucial in this matchup. Again you can afford to use a Frostbolt to control the board early. Since Zoo is forced to life tap and lower their own health anyway, you will often not need all of your burst to finish the game. With this version of the deck, you will often find yourself able to begin firing burn spells at your opponent once you reach the later stages, if you have an Ice Block still in play, or a comfortable amount of health, you are usually fairly safe to begin the burst damage process.

3.2.3. Vs Control Warrior

This matchup is borderline unwinnable. Widely regarded to be the worst matchup in the game, this an uphill struggle from turn 1. The Warrior's ability to heal themselves above 30 health, and then have access to a pool of health, in the form of their armor, which cannot be removed by Alexstrasza, means you simply do not have enough damage in your deck to win the game. If you are to have any hope of winning, you need cards such as Loot Hoarder early to try and create some repetitive minion damage if your opponent is unable to remove them.

3.2.4. Vs Priest

Mulligan and play out the game as normal. However, there is an additional consideration that must be kept in mind for your Alexstrasza turn. Since Priest is capable of healing, you need to take into account the worst case scenario when planning your 2-3 turn kill plan. With access to 9 Mana of their own, Priest can use Shadow Word: Death followed by Holy Fire to heal back up to 20 immediately following your Alexstrasza turn, although Holy Fire is now rare to see in Priest decks. Then on the turn following your initial volley of spells, they can heal for another 2 using their Hero Power, followed by another 2 with Holy Nova. Make sure you take these heals into account when playing out your route to victory. Further expansions have made this equation even more complicated, since now many Priests also carry Light of the Naaru or Flash Heal which adds even more possible healing into the mix. The goal for winning this matchup is to hit an Emperor Thaurissan on a large amount of burn damage, enabling you to do huge burst in a single turn. Every turn that it takes you to play out all of your spells means another turn that the Priest can use to heal, so it is important to set up a win in as few turns as possible once you begin the aggressive push.

3.2.5. Vs Reno Warlock

This is an incredibly complex matchup, but despite what might seem immediately obvious against a deck that play so many healing effects, it is a good matchup for Freeze Mage overall. Your goal here is work the Warlock down to somewhere in the range of 17-21 health using your Hero Power and small minion attacks. Since they will be using Life Tap to lower their own health anyway, this is not too difficult to achieve. From this point, you threaten your opponent with combo damage on every turn they do not choose to heal, especially if you have already played an Emperor Thaurissan. The eventual goal is to force out their Reno Jackson through any means necessary and then follow up with Alexstrasza to negate the healing effect.

3.3. Card Swaps

There are many possible tech options that you can choose to include in Freeze Mage. An additional Loot Hoarder can help you to cycle harder in the early-game turns, Explosive Sheep is a fantastic anti-aggro card, and Flamestrike is often useful as a potential extra board clear. If you want to try out any of these options, Pyroblast and Forgotten Torch are the most flexible cards to remove.

4. ChangeLog

  • 11 May 2016: Card swap: -1 Ice Barrier, +1 Loot Hoarder.
  • 25 Apr. 2016: Deck added.
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