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Legendary Tempo Mage No BrM/LoE/Kara Wild Deck

Last updated on Nov 07, 2015 at 16:59 by Sottle 1 comment

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 Grand Crusader provided some more mid-game Tempo options that were previously lacking.

Playing this deck without Blackrock Mountain can prove difficult since Flamewaker was such a powerful addition to this deck's strategy. Without it you can suffer when trying to clear early boards from aggressive opponents, but the deck functions the same way otherwise.

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 Tempo Mage No BrM/LoE/Kara Wild Deck

Our deck costs 5,180 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.

Spellslinger grants you a strong way to follow up these quick starts with a very solid minion. 3/4 represents premium stats for a 3-drop, and the generation of a random spell is on average better for you than for your opponent, since you have so many cards that synergise with Spells in your deck.

Without Flamewaker in this deck, Kirin Tor Mage is added back in to create some additional Tempo plays in the early game. This allows you get more consistent value out of your Secrets if you do not draw a Mad Scientist and allows the 3rd Secret to come back into the deck without increasing the risk of clunky draws too much.

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.

Polymorph: Boar is a new addition to the deck that creates a great deal of flexibility. Previously, many aggressive decks would have liked to include a transform effect like Polymorph or Hex in order to deal with problematic Deathrattle minions, but were unable to because of how slow it is in other situations. Polymorph Boar allows to solve this problem by doubling up as an offensive card that can create 4 extra damage in situations where you do not need it as removal. Using this card on a small minion that has already attacked can create a lot of pressure.

Grand Crusader is another new addition to the deck from the TGT set. Although it may seem like a strange choice at first, it fits perfectly with what Tempo Mage aims to do. Since you play multiple cheap cards that all synergise with each other, you can often find yourself lacking in resources if you do not hit your Azure Drakes. However, Arcane Intellect is a significant drop in Tempo, and can cause you to lose control of the board. Grand Crusader functions as a proactive minion on the board while also creating more resources for you to be able to keep the initiative for longer.

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.

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.

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.

3.3. Card Swaps

Polymorph: Boar and a second Flamecannon are fairly interchangeable.

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.

Spellslinger can be cut from the deck for another solid 3-drop of your choosing if you do not like the random effect.

4. ChangeLog

  • 29 Oct. 2015: Removed 1 x Mirror Image, 1 x Effigy, 1 x Rhonin, 1 x Loatheb. Added 1 x Arcane Missiles, 1 x Arcane Blast, 1 x Flamecannon, 1 x Grand Crusader.
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