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Season 20 Mid Budget Mage Duplicate Control GvG Wild Deck

Last updated on Jan 29, 2015 at 09:41 by Sottle 17 comments

Table of Contents

Disclaimer: this deck has been archived. It remains on the website for documentation purposes, but we no longer maintain it and no longer guarantee that it works well in the current meta-game.

The following guide outlines a slow paced Control Mage deck created by my Infused teammate Exploding Cow. It aims to win the game slowly by progressively gaining small advantages, grinding the opponent out of the game, and Duplicating high priority targets.

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. S20 Mid Budget Mage Duplicate Control GvG Wild Deck

Our deck costs 2,540 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Mage Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

Control Mage is a slow paced Mage deck that looks to control the opponent's early options, and then outvalue the opponent in the late-game by Duplicating high priority targets. The addition of extra cards to your deck will allow you to trade evenly, 1 for 1 with your opponent throughout the game, and come out ahead.

In the early game, you will look to control the board using cards like Zombie Chow, Frostbolt, and Flamecannon. Your early turns will tend to be quite passive, and you will often have to be content to allow your opponent to have the initiative and simply endeavor to minimise their pressure as much as you can. Unlike many decks that feature Mad Scientist which will almost always look to play it early, Mad Scientist in this deck is not always ideal to play out on an early turn. The reason for this is that Duplicate is such a key card in your deck, that you do not want to have it pulled out of your deck too early, and have it Duplicate a low value target.

Once you enter the mid-game period, the deck starts to become more proactive, putting threats like Water Elemental, Azure Drake, and Sludge Belcher into play to start to take control of the board. These are all extremely efficient minions that are likely to trade 2-for-1 in your favour. As mentioned earlier, one of the keys to this deck is that if the game is able to go long, which is your goal, you will eventually win a battle of attrition due to the extra cards generated by Duplicate. If you can compound this further, by trading 2-for-1 with your midrange minions, you can quickly gain and overwhelming card advantage over your opponent.

To further complement the card advantage strategy, the deck plays multiple options for AoE clears. In the early- to mid- game, Explosive Sheep is an effective board clear for a board of small minions. Mage is able to simulate the effect of Consecration by playing an Explosive Sheep and pinging it with their Hero Power. Since you are unlikely to have minions in play in the early game, this is unlikely to damage your own board development. In the late-game, Mage has access to one of the most effective AoE spells in the game in the form of Flamestrike.

Alongside your AoE options, Mage also has access to one of the best hard removal spells in the game in the form of Polymorph. In this deck, Polymorph is best used against difficult to remove minions such as Cairne Bloodhoof, Sylvanas Windrunner, or Kel'Thuzad, since the deck already features Big Game Hunter to deal with high attack minions like Dr. Boom or Giants. Keep in mind that you can also try to engineer a situation where you Duplicate your Big Game Hunter if you are up against a deck like Handlock that features a large amounts of targets for it.

As mentioned previously, Duplicate is a vital card in the deck. You will aim to Duplicate high priority targets such as Sludge Belcher, Sunwalker, or Archmage Antonidas. These three cards in particular, not only due to their high value, but because they are all extremely difficult, or dangerous for your opponent to leave on the board. It is very important when you have a Duplicate up to not provide your opponent with a low priority target to proc your Duplicate on. For example, if you need to use Ironbeak Owl to silence a target when you have Duplicate up, you should follow it up by killing your own Owl with your Hero Power to prevent the possible Duplicate. Outside of the previously mentioned cards, Big Game Hunter, Illuminator, and Antique Healbot are also useful to Duplicate in specific situations or matchups.

Archmage Antonidas is your finisher in the deck, unlike many decks, the goal is not to flood your hand with Fireballs. Simply playing Archmage Antonidas and gaining 1 additional Fireball is often enough to seal the game, since your opponent is likely to be so low on resources towards the end of the game, that a single additional Fireball may be enough to seal the game.

3.1. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

In almost every matchup, you will mulligan for Zombie Chow. Zombie Chow is a card that loses value quickly as the game goes on, and having it in your opening hand will skew your winrate significantly.

Other useful cards to keep in most matchups are Frostbolt and Flamecannon as they are excellent tools for controlling your opponent's early options during the turns where your own options are quite passive.

Against Aggro, you can keep Explosive Sheep as an early AoE option, as well as Mad Scientist. Mad Scientist is worth keeping against Aggro as the risk of it putting you in a difficult Duplicate situation is worth taking in order to gain the advantage that the extra minion and a possible free Ice Barrier will grant you.

Against Control matchups, you can keep a slower hand that includes one card like Water Elemental in order to have a pro-active play ready for when you need it. Since Control decks tend to start slower, the need for your early removal spells is usually not as pressing.

3.2. Card Swaps

A single copy of Echo of Medivh can be included in the deck to further complement the resource advantage strategy of the deck.

The tech cards like Big Game Hunter can be rotated out if you are not finding good targets for them. Other tech cards like Kezan Mystic or Acidic Swamp Ooze can be rotated in to replace them depending on what you are facing.

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