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Legendary Tempo Mage Standard Deck

Last updated on May 18, 2016 at 12:04 by Sottle 80 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. Whispers of the Old Gods has introduced Faceless Summoner which brings a ton of value to the deck and fills in the awkward 6 Mana slot that the deck has always struggled with.

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 Standard Deck

Our deck costs 3,080 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Mage Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve

0
7
6
5
4
3
3
2

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, Frostbolt leaves you with a huge board on turn 2 and removes the opponent's opening minions. Starts like this will outpace even the fastest starts from decks like Zoo and Hunter.

Cult Sorcerer is included in the deck to provide an additional minion to play early. Cult Sorcerer is chosen over other minions because the Spell Damage effect makes it more useful in later turns than most cards that you can put in your deck. Obviously, the C'Thun synergy has no effect on this deck, but it is a strong card none the less.

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.

In this deck's current form, the line to try and out value your opponent is often correct as your deck is packed with cards that give you longevity like Azure Drake and Ethereal Conjurer. As long as you can maintain control of the game, there is no real need to push too aggressively as long as you are able to set up a big Archmage Antonidas turn later in the game.

Faceless Summoner is an extremely powerful card on 6 Mana that fills a very necessary slot in the deck. Previously Tempo Mage players have experimented heavily with the 6 Mana slot trying to find the right answer for the deck. Faceless Summoner provides exactly what you want in the deck, outstanding board presence and excellent aggression to back up your early Tempo plays.

Scaling into the late-game, your key card is Archmage Antonidas which 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 and Ethereal Conjurer, it will usually be straightforward to gather Fireballs using Archmage Antonidas. This deck also plays Emperor Thaurissan as a potential set up for a huge Antonidas turn.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Mana Wyrm can be buffed with the various low cost spells in your deck.

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 in your opening hand. If you do not have this card you should be considering throwing away your whole hand to get one. If you do have this card you can start to keep additional cards to support your Mana curve like Sorcerer's Apprentice and Spellslinger.

Against Aggro matchups, the same rules apply, but you can give a higher priority to cards like Frostbolt 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. Frostbolt or Arcane Blast are still strong in these matchups as many Control decks are still playing early minions in the Standard meta.

3.3. Card Swaps

Emperor Thaurissan can be cut from the deck in favour of Mukla, Tyrant of the Vale in order to create additional spells for use with Flamewaker or Archmage Antonidas.

Ethereal Conjurer and Azure Drake are interchangeable and you can feasibly play any combination of these cards.

4. ChangeLog

  • 18 May 2016: Card swaps. -1 Spellslinger, -1 Cabalist's Tome, +1 Flamestrike, +1 Mirror Image.
  • 27 Apr. 2016: Deck added.
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