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Cheap Tempo Mage Wild Deck

Last updated on Apr 02, 2017 at 05:14 by Pesty 3 comments

Table of Contents

This Mage deck:

  • has been designed for players who have levelled most classes to Level 10, cleared the AI, and are looking to start climbing in Ranked mode;
  • costs 1,000 Arcane Dust or less;
  • is built entirely of Basic, Common and Rare cards.

While this deck will not immediately make you competitive at the highest levels of Ranked mode, it is strong, and replicates many key strategies of high level Mage decks while using cheaper cards. If played well, it can certainly hold its own against decks of higher cost.

In addition to listing the deck, we will also discuss the cards that are included and how they are best used, as well as explaining the reasoning behind cards that are not included. Finally we will explain how you can improve the deck through various resources you may have available.

Note that to succeed with this deck (as with all decks), you need to make the correct decisions while playing. For this reason, we advise you to also read these two articles: Card Advantage and Why Am I Losing?.

1. About the Author

This deck is presented to you by Pesty, a professional Hearthstone player playing since closed beta. She is a consistent legend player in both Wild and Standard with multiple high-rank finishes.

2. Cheap Tempo Mage Wild Deck

Our deck costs 980 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Mage Cards Neutral Cards

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2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

This Mage deck is based around the popular Tempo Mage archetype, and aims to utilise synergies with spells to create powerful turns to control the board. This deck has highly flexible card slots and can be an excellent deck to pick up and improve on as your collection grows.

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. Unlike most decks, starting with The Coin is really advantageous, allowing powerful combinations such as Turn 1 Mana Wyrm followed by Mirror Image creating a 3/3 minion protected by two Taunts. Additionally, The Coin can provide powerful Turn 2 plays when combined with Sorcerer's Apprentice allowing you to remove your opponents 2-drop using either Frostbolt or Flamecannon.

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.

Going into the mid-game, the deck is able to follow the early tempo with a curve of powerful minions. Cards such as Piloted Shredder and Water Elemental offer some of the best stats for their Mana cost, whereas Azure Drake provides the deck with additional Spell Damage and additional card draw to fuel the deck into the late-game while still putting threatening stats onto the board.

It is important to note that while the deck provides a strong curve of minions, you should make sure to assess the board beforehand. If playing a minion will offer your opponent a favourable trade, you should consider holding back and looking for an alternative play to ensure you have the resources to finish the game. Although the aggressive nature of this deck makes it tempting to hold onto spells to finish your opponent, often using them to clear a minion will create more damage for you over the course of the game since it clears the path for your own minions to attack multiple times. You should always assess the state of the board and how your opponent will respond if you leave one of their minions alive.

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 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 Loot Hoarder, you can afford to play the long game and aim for board control.

3.1. Synergies & Combinations

Mana Wyrm is able to gain Attack from the multitude of Spells in the 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.

3.2. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies.

In every matchup, you should be looking to have Mana Wyrm and Mad Scientist in your opening hand. If you have The Coin, you can also keep Mirror Image if you already have Mana Wyrm for a stronger turn 1 play. Additionally, if you already have Mana Wyrm, you can keep other strong Turn 2 plays such as Sorcerer's Apprentice, Unstable Portal, or Frostbolt.

Against Aggro, you should consider keeping a copy of Frostbolt or Flamecannon in your opening hand to help fight back against the opening turns of your opponent.

Against Control, you want to be able to play a smooth curve of minions to ensure you do not run out of resources too soon and should be looking for Spellslinger and Water Elemental if you already have plays for the early turns.

Against Shaman specifically, Flamecannon should be prioritised over Frostbolt as it is a perfect response to them trying to develop a strong early board with Totem Golem.

Against weapons classes such as Warrior and Rogue, Water Elemental is an extremely powerful tool to prevent them from answering your board with weapons and should be prioritised highly in the Mulligan.

3.3. Card Swaps

Obviously, as a Cheap deck, this list has a lot of room for improvement. As you progress with the game and gain access to more cards and Arcane Dust, here are some additions that you may consider.

Water Elemental can be swapped for Piloted Shredder to help gives the deck a more aggressive stance.

A second copy of Unstable Portal can be included over a copy of Flamecannon to improve early board development.

A copy of Arcane Blast can be used instead of Mirror Image or provide extra cheap removal.

If you have access to Loatheb, it can be included over the second copy of Water Elemental as a powerful tool to protect your board.

Dr. Boom, Archmage Antonidas, or Ragnaros the Firelord (prioritised in order) can be included as a powerful late-game threat for the deck and can be included over a copy of Faceless Summoner.

The Secrets in the deck are interchangeable and Mirror Entity can be swapped for copies of Duplicate and Counterspell as desired.

If you have access to the One Night in Karazhan Expansion then Firelands Portal is an excellent card and a copy can be included over Flamestrike and an optional second copy can used over Faceless Summoner if you are not using one of the Legendary minions mentioned above.

If you have access to the Blackrock Mountain expansion, Flamewaker is a must have card that dramatically changes the deck, two copies can be swapped in for Spellslinger. With this addition it is also advised to swap Loot Hoarders for Arcane Intellects to provide additional Spells to synergise with the deck.

For other strong cards to consider, look at our full budget Mage decks, or our Crafting Guide.

4. ChangeLog

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  • 02 Apr. 2017: This deck has been reviewed and deemed appropriate for the Journey to Un'Goro meta.
  • 23 Dec. 2016: Deck has been reviewed and deemed appropriate for Means Streets of Gadgetzan meta.
  • 09 Nov. 2016: Deck added.
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