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Legendary Sottle's Tempo Mage Wild Deck

Last updated on Mar 15, 2016 at 16:04 by Sottle 19 comments

Table of Contents

Tempo Mage is a deck that has existed in various forms since the Curse of Naxxramas expansion, but has continued to improve with each expansion. The Grand Tournament introduced multiple cards that improve the deck, but primarily, the addition of Spellslinger and Arcane Blast provided some more early game options.

This build is Sottle's personal take on Tempo Mage and includes a couple of cards that are slightly uncommon in the deck. Polymorph: Boar is added for a flexible card that can function for removal, reach, or tempo, while Grand Crusader is added to provide more resources in the mid-game.

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 Sottle's Tempo Mage Wild Deck

Our deck costs 4,520 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Mage Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

This build of Mage is a half-way point between aggressive Mage decks, such as Mech Mage, and the outright Control Mages, such as Grinder Mage and Freeze Mage.

Your early-game turns are extremely important with this deck. Due to the amount of synergy between your early-game cards, you are often able to gain a lead in the first few turns that is insurmountable for your opponent until the mid-game, allowing you to continue your pressure with your own mid-game threats. For example, the opening of Turn 1 Mana Wyrm into Turn 2 Sorcerer's Apprentice, The Coin, Unstable Portal leaves you with a huge board on turn 2, especially if Unstable Portal gives you another minion you can play on the same turn for 0 Mana. Starts like this will outpace even the fastest starts from decks like Mech Mage and Hunter.

Another hugely important card for early game tempo in this deck is Mad Scientist. Getting a Mad Scientist into play early that draws a Mirror Entity can be a huge amount of tempo for you, especially against decks that do not commonly have cheap minions to activate your Secret with, like Druid. This deck does also feature a Duplicate to help you maintain resources without having to cast Arcane Intellect, but even if a Duplicate is pulled from an early Mad Scientist, you will usually be able to follow it up quickly with a Flamewaker, Piloted Shredder, or Water Elemental to secure a good outcome.

Finally, Flamewaker rounds out your early game perfectly and can provide you with even more Tempo, especially when combined with Sorcerer's Apprentice. This card improves your matchups against decks like Paladin and Zoo significantly, since you are able to clear up their small token minions efficiently, while targetting their more important minions with your removal spells. In this deck Flamewaker also doubles up as an Aggro minion, since you can use it and cast multiple spells like Arcane Blast and Arcane Missiles, to repeatedly create damage to your opponent.

The key to playing this deck successfully is recognising when to simply race your opponent for damage, and when to go for a more board controlling strategy to create more repetitive damage from your minions over time. This usually comes down to reacting to your hand, if you are holding cards like Archmage Antonidas in your hand, or significant damage in the form of Frostbolt and Fireball, it can be right to engage in a race. Alternatively, if your hand is full of cards that give you longevity like Azure Drake and Arcane Intellect, you can afford to play the long game and aim for board control.

Ethereal Conjurer is a key card in its own right, as it can grant you powerful cards, either to create more burst in your hand, or to react to the state of the board. Things like Blizzard, Flamestrike, or Cone of Cold can be situationally excellent to react to pressure from your opponent, while Fireball or Pyroblast can provide key finishing damage. The strength of Discover is that it allows you to react to the state of the game and pick a suitable card. However, with only 3 Health, Conjurer is a very fragile card and a poor one for Tempo, which is why it is only included as a single copy.

Scaling into the late-game, Your key cards are Dr. Boom and Archmage Antonidas. Dr. Boom is simply an extremely versatile and threatening late-game play, and can consolidate your position when backing up your early aggression. Archmage Antonidas is your ultimate win condition, and can help seal a game as soon as you are able to get your opponent even close to dying. Due to the amount of cheap spells in the deck, as well as the extra spells generated by Spellslinger, it will usually be straightforward to gather Fireballs using Archmage Antonidas.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Mana Wyrm can be buffed with the various low cost spells in your deck. Playing Mana Wyrm and following up with Unstable Portal can be a very strong curve, depending on what the Portal gives you.

Sorcerer's Apprentice also has strong synergy with the spells in your deck. This card is often the difference between simply removing a minion, and removing a minion while putting your own into play. It also combines excellently with Mana Wyrm to create some very scary board states in the early game.

Archmage Antonidas synergises well with the numerous low cost spells in the deck.

Flamewaker also synergises extremely well with the various cheap spells in the deck.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

In almost every matchup, your priority should be to get a Mana Wyrm or a Mad Scientist in your opening hand. If you do not have one of these cards, you should be throwing away your whole hand to get one. If you have one of these cards you can start to keep additional cards to support your Mana curve like Sorcerer's Apprentice and Unstable Portal.

Against Aggro matchups, the same rules apply, but you can give a higher priority to cards like Frostbolt and Flamecannon to cement your board presence early, especially if you have Mana Wyrm. Flamewaker is an extremely high priority keep in these matchups, especially if you have The Coin or Arcane Missiles.

Against Control, you want to focus on simply getting your early game minions to make sure that the Control deck is on the back foot. If you keep cards like Frostbolt and Flamecannon in your opening hand, you will create less pressure on the opponent, and may have them sit dead in your hand for several turns, since Control decks do not commonly play too many early minions. In Control matchups, Duplicate also becomes a key card, since it will help you to secure significant resources for the following turns. Control decks will often be able to outlast your fast starts, which means you will need enough cards in hand to maintain the initiative for longer.

3.3. Card Swaps

Emperor Thaurissan can be included in the deck in place of one of the late-game cards in order to speed up your win condition with Archmage Antonidas.

4. ChangeLog

  • 15 Mar. 2016: Removed 1 x Polymorph Boar, 1 x Grand Crusader, 2 x Spellslinger for 1 x Water Elemental, 1 x Ethereal Conjurer, 1 x Duplicate, 1 x Arcane Missiles.
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