Tempo Mage Deck List Guide (Rise of Shadows April 2019)

Last updated on Apr 08, 2019 at 15:00 by Kat 7 comments
General Information

Tempo Mage decks have been developing for a long time in Hearthstone, and although they take a different form in each expansion, the overriding theme remains the same. The idea is to protect your early board and then finish off your opponent using spells.

Over the years Tempo Mage has had a range of minions that synergise with the deck, such as Sorcerer's Apprentice, Flamewaker, and Kabal Crystal Runner, that has caused the archetype to live on and evolve as cards come and go from the Standard format.

The latest version of the deck in the Rise of Shadows expansion rewards playing large numbers of spells, using cards like Kirin Tor Tricaster to empower them and then Mana Cyclone as a way to refill your hand afterward.

1. Tempo Mage Card List

This Tempo Mage deck costs 6,700 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Mage Cards Neutral Cards
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2. Tempo Mage Mana Curve


3. Aim of Tempo Mage

The idea of this deck is to get minions onto the board early, and then protect them for long enough that they do significant damage to your opponent. After the board has been lost, you will be looking to use your burn, fuelled by card draw, to deliver lethal damage.

4. Tempo Mage Mulligan

This deck is looking to occupy the board as soon as possible, and protect your minions with spells. As such, all early-game minions like Sorcerer's Apprentice, Arcane Watcher, and Spellzerker are great cards to keep in your opening hand.

Against Aggro, you can additionally keep a copy of a cheap spell like Frostbolt to help control the board in the early game.

5. Tempo Mage Strategy

In the early game, you should try to secure the board with minions like Sorcerer's Apprentice and Spellzerker. Sorcerer's Apprentice can be a particularly strong choice as it can be paired with cheap spells like Arcane Missiles or Shooting Star to remove opposing threats as they are played. If you are unable to secure the board, try not to throw away minions for free as powerful swing turns are possible later in the game.

Going into the mid game, you should continue trying to develop minions like Arcane Watcher and Messenger Raven and using spells to protect your board if necessary. If you have been unlucky enough to lose control of the board, you should instead make full use of your Mana to draw cards using Arcane Intellect and Magic Trick.

The deck's main strength is the large number of minion and spell combos available. Such combos are usually required every game and understanding the possibilities is essential for clearing and securing the board. To pull off combos, you first look for some spell damage; this should ideally be Cosmic Anomaly, Kirin Tor Tricaster, or a Spellzerker damaged by your Hero Power if necessary. With Spell Damage in play, having access to Sorcerer's Apprentice is also very beneficial to maximise the number of spells you can play. This can then be paired with cheap spells like Shooting Star, Arcane Missiles, and Frostbolt to clear out the board. If you have the freedom to do so, you can also add Stargazer Luna to the beginning of the combo or Mana Cyclone to the end to help replenish your resources after expending so many cards in a turn.

When it comes to winning the game, you should prioritise attacking your opponent directly with your minions and use your spells to protect them. However, once board control is lost, you should focus on using all spells directly on your opponent. While this is enough to win the game against most opponents, some resilient classes, like Warrior, may need a little bit extra. For this, you should try to save several cheap spells to pair with Archmage Antonidas to generate multiple additional Fireballs to increase the reach of your burn damage.

6. Tempo Mage Key Cards and Swaps

6.1. Legendaries

Archmage Antonidas and Stargazer Luna are both extremely important cards for the deck and provide a huge amount of cards that greatly impact your win rate if not present. If you cannot afford these cards, you should consider looking at the budget deck below. Conversely, Bloodmage Thalnos is a very expendable card that can easily be replaced by a cheap card like Kobold Geomancer, Celestial Emissary, or Spellbook Binder.

6.2. Epics

Mana Cyclone is a situational card draw tool that can easily be replaced by Spellbook Binder if you are on a tight budget.

7. Budget Tempo Mage Deck

Mage Cards Neutral Cards
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This deck works exactly the same as the main deck, but has had all of the Legendary minions substituted. While Spellbook Binder goes some way to replacing them, the deck lacks some card draw without them. With this in mind, you should try to play the deck even more aggressively, knowing that there is no easy way to gain a huge amount of cards from Stargazer Luna or Archmage Antonidas.

8. Wild Tempo Mage Deck

Wild Tempo Mage does gain some additional tools and was once a tyrannical part of the Wild meta. However, it has since been overshadowed my many more powerful decks, but remains fun to play.

Mage Cards Neutral Cards
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The addition of Flamewakers provides even more burst potential when playing large numbers of spells and with a single copy of Ice Block in the mix, you can freely be as aggressive as you wish, knowing that you have safety from being killed by your opponent. Lastly, the addition of Ice Lance and Forgotten Torch allows for even more direct burn damage instead of having to deal with the randomness of Cinderstorm.

9. Quick Tips and Tricks

  • Try to save your Spell Damage minions for after Arcane Watcher is in play.
  • Identify when your opponent is going to take over the board and start to launch everything you have at their face at that point.
  • Arcane Missiles and Cinderstorm are often better on an empty board as damage spells than they are as board clears. This is not true if the opponent has very small minions.
  • Try to use Stargazer Luna when you have Spell Damage and Sorcerer's Apprentices in play.

10. Changelog

  • 08 Apr. 2019: Deck has been updated for the Rise of Shadows expansion. Removed 2x Primordial Glyph, 2x Explosive Runes, 2x Arcanologist, 2x Kirin Tor Mage, 1x Mana Addict, 1x Counterspell, 1x Aluneth for 2x Mana Cyclone 2x Arcane Watcher, 2x Kirin Tor Tricaster, 2x Messenger Raven, 2x Magic Trick, 1x Archmage Antonidas, 1x Bloodmage Thalnos.
  • 01 Jan. 2019: Deck updated for the January play season. Removed 1x Celestial Emissary, 2x Mana Wyrm for 2x Spellzerker, 1x Mana Addict.
  • 01 Oct. 2018: Deck has been reviewed for the October play season.
  • 18 Sep. 2018: Budget version of the deck has been updated. Removed 1x Celestial Emissary, 2x Vex Crow, 1x Mirror Entity for 2x Research Project, 2x Cosmic Anomaly.
  • 01 Sep. 2018: Deck updated for the September play season. Removed 1x Pyroblast, 1x Celestial Emissary, 1x Counterspell for 2x Cosmic Anomaly, 1x Stargazer Luna.
  • 09 Aug. 2018: Guide updated for The Boomsday Project expansion, removed 2x Amani Berserker, 2x Lifedrinker for 2x Celestial Emissary, 2x Shooting Star.
  • 01 Jul. 2018: Monthly checkup. Deck is up to date.
  • 26 May 2018: Aggro Tempo Mage Guide added. A fun, and strong, deck which puts heavy pressure on the opponent from the very start.
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