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Mage Crafting Guide

Last updated on Feb 21, 2017 at 22:32 by Pesty 45 comments

Table of Contents

On this page, you will find a list of the most useful Common, Rare, Epic, and Legendary cards for the Mage class, in terms of crafting. We separate cards by their rarity; Common, Rare, Epic and Legendary, but each individual card is given a rating of priority. It is important to know that a Rare or Epic card that is given a "High" or "Top" priority rating should be crafted before a Legendary with a "Medium" rating. In fact, if you have 1,600 Arcane Dust to spend, crafting 2 or 3 Epics and a handful of Rares is usually better than spending it all on a single Legendary. If a card is not mentioned, you can safely assume that it is rarely, or never, used in the Constructed meta.

You will also find a guide on how to best allocate your gold or money between the various Card packs and Adventures. This can vary greatly from class to class and has a great effect on how quickly and efficiently you can build a competitive deck.

1. Class-Specific Cards

In this section, we list the class-specific cards that are important for you as a Mage.

1.1. Commons

  1. Mana Wyrm - Priority = MEDIUM: Mana Wyrm is one of the strongest 1 Mana minions in the game and is a fantastic starting point for any aggressive or Midrange deck.
  2. Sorcerer's Apprentice - Priority = MEDIUM: Sorcerers Apprentice is a key card in most aggressive or Midrange focused Mage decks and is a key component of the Tempo Mage deck alongside Mana Wyrm and Flamewaker.
  3. Faceless Summoner - Priority = LOW: Faceless Summoner is an incredibly powerful minion that functions as a mid-game threat in many Midrange Mage decks. However, it can be comfortably replaced by many other strong mid-game minions.
  4. Mirror Entity - Priority = LOW: Mirror Entity is one of the best Mage Secrets, and can create very awkward situations for your opponent. However, due to the loss of Mad Scientist from Standard format, it is much less effective unless you are playing Wild.
  5. Ice Lance - Priority = LOW: Ice Lance is a key card if you wish to play a Freeze Mage deck, but is not currently run in any other popular Mage decks, making it a low crafting priority.
  6. Ice Barrier - Priority = LOW: Ice Barrier is a crucial card in the Freeze Mage deck, but outside of this, it is a very low value card that often has no significant impact on the game.

1.2. Rares

  1. Volcanic Potion - Priority = MEDIUM: Volcanic Potion is a very solid cheap AoE option. It is almost exclusively run in Reno decks so only a single copy of the card is required.
  2. Cult Sorcerer - Priority = LOW: Cult Sorcerer is a strong minion that can serve as a replacement in Standard format to make up for the loss of Mad Scientist.
  3. Blizzard - Priority = LOW: Blizzard is used in the Freeze Mage deck, but outside of this it is usually outclassed by Flamestrike as an AoE option.

1.3. Epics

  1. Cabalist's Tome - Priority = MEDIUM: Cabalist's Tome is a commonly used card to create extra value for Tempo Mage and Reno Mage decks. While the card is strong, a single copy will nearly always suffice.
  2. Arcane Blast - Priority = LOW: Arcane Blast is a component of Tempo Mage where it used to great effect with Flamewaker and Sorcerer's Apprentice. However, it can be substituted for other cheap spells such as Mirror Image.
  3. Ice Block - Priority = LOW: Ice Block is the key component of Freeze Mage, so if you are specifically looking to play that deck, this card is a top priority. However, the lack of versatility of this card means that you are usually better off spending your Arcane Dust elsewhere.
  4. Pyroblast - Priority = LOW: Pyroblast is used as a burst finisher in the Freeze Mage and Reno Mage decks, but is usually considered too slow for most other decks. If you are building an Aggro or Midrange deck on a budget, and are missing some of the more impactful Legendary minions to function as finishers, Pyroblast can be an acceptable substitute.

1.4. Legendaries

  1. Kazakus - Priority = MEDIUM: Kazakus is an essential card for Reno decks, providing massive value for its Mana cost. However, due to the no duplicate restriction of the card effect, it does not see play in any other Mage deck.
  2. Archmage Antonidas - Priority = MEDIUM: Archmage Antonidas is a very common finisher in all kinds of Mage decks, ranging all the way from the aggressive Tempo Mage, to the hyper-controlling Freeze Mage deck. As such, it should be considered as a crafting option for a budding Mage player.

2. Neutral Cards

In this section, we list neutral cards that are always good to craft if you are playing Mage. Note that many of these cards will be usable in a wide range of decks across multiple classes. This means that crafting these cards over class specific ones is often a good idea if you plan to play a range of classes.

2.1. Commons

  1. Acolyte of Pain - Priority = LOW: Acolyte of Pain is used in a range of Mage decks. It can be damaged with the Mage Hero Power to draw additional cards. It is most commonly used in Freeze Mage to maximise card draw, but is ability reasonable choice for almost any Mage deck.

2.2. Rares

  1. Azure Drake - Priority = MEDIUM: Azure Drake is a valuable card for Mage, combining much needed Spell Damage with the ability to draw a card. Azure Drake also has the added benefit of being a versatile and common card across many decks and classes.

2.3. Epics

  1. Doomsayer - Priority = MEDIUM: Doomsayer is a common card in Reno Mage and Freeze Mage decks. It can provide a strong board clear when combined with Frost Nova and is a strong choice to help any Control deck survive against early aggression.

2.4. Legendaries

  1. Ragnaros the Firelord - Priority = LOW: Ragnaros is often a staple finisher in many decks. Due to the nerf to Big Game Hunter it is often a game ending minion if your opponent cannot answer it with a hard removal spell.
  2. Bloodmage Thalnos - Priority = LOW: Bloodmage Thalnos is a nice addition to many Mage decks. Much like Azure Drake, the combination of Spell Damage and card draw is very fitting for Mage's gameplan. However, in many decks Bloodmage can be replaced by a Cult Sorcerer, and it is not used in many other classes.

3. Gold Allocation Guide

3.1. Pack Type

The Grand Tournament was a weaker expansion for Mages, although they were offered a few cards that improve existing decks, there were not entirely new decks created as in Goblins vs. Gnomes.

Whispers of the Old Gods offers the strong Cult Sorcerer as well as some niche cards such as Cabalist's Tome, but did not bring a huge number of exceptional cards to the class.

Mean Streets of Gadgetzan introduced the Kabal gang, which provided a range of powerful tools for Reno decks. If you are looking to play specifically Reno Mage, then investing in MSG packs is essential to maximise the chances of unpacking Kazakus and strong neutral minions to fill out the deck.

Generally it is best to focus on Classic packs for a Mage player as this has the highest chance of opening key cards for the class.

3.2. Blackrock Mountain Adventure Value

Few cards in the Blackrock Mountain expansion are useful to a Mage. Emperor Thaurissan, available in the first wing, is key to Freeze Mage, while Flamewaker can bring good value to aggressive Mages, but is not available until the 4th wing.

3.3. League of Explorers Adventure Value

League of Explorers introduced the excellent Ethereal Conjurer to the class which fits well in a variety of different decks. Additionally, the expansion contains Reno Jackson which is essential for the Reno Mage archetype, along with Brann Bronzebeard and Forgotten Torch which are also very strong choices for Reno Mage.

3.4. One Night in Karazhan Adventure Value

One Night in Karazhan added Babbling Book and Firelands Portal to the class which are good in both Reno Mage and Tempo Mage decks, making it a reasonable expansion for Mages.

4. ChangeLog

  • 21 Feb. 2017: Updated to reflect the changes in MSG meta.
  • 19 May 2016: Updated to reflect changes in ToG and Standard format.
  • 02 Sep. 2015: Updated to include The Grand Tournament and Blackrock Mountain cards.
  • 19 Feb. 2015: Complete overhaul in format, and update for the Goblins vs. Gnomes meta.
  • 08 Sep. 2014: Adjusted Pyroblast's and Ice Block's descriptions and removed Tinkmaster Overspark.
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