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Low Budget Tempo Mage Wild Deck

Last updated on Dec 29, 2015 at 17:24 by Sottle 7 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. League of Explorers introduced Ethereal Conjurer into the mix. Since many Tempo Mage decks were already using Grand Crusader as proactive tool for gaining resources, Ethereal Conjurer provides a more Mage-focused method of doing so.

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. Low Budget Tempo Mage Wild Deck

Our deck costs 1,860 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.

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 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.

Ethereal Conjurer is another new addition to the deck from the LoE set. 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. Ethereal Conjurer functions as a proactive minion on the board while also creating more resources for you to be able to keep the initiative for longer. When playing the card you should aim to discover a particular answer to something your opponent currently has in play, or a card they are expected to play in the next turn or two. However, if there are no particular needs, you should look to pick up a Spell to help you end the game like Fireball or even Pyroblast later in the game.

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.

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.

3.3. Card Swaps

Polymorph: Boar and a second Flamecannon are fairly interchangeable.

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 Dec. 2015: Removed 2 x Grand Crusader for 2 x Ethereal Conjurer.
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