Basic + Naxxramas + Blackrock Mountain Starter Mage Hearthstone Deck

Editor’s Note: With the new Standard Format in 2016 for Hearthstone, we highly recommend going for cards in the Classic set and Whispers of the Old Gods (Standard Format). Here are budget guides, also from Sheng, to get you started! Budget Standard Standard C’Thun Druid Budget Standard Midrange Hunter Budget Standard C’Thun Mage Budget Standard  Aggro Paladin Budget Standard C’Thun Priest Budget Standard C’Thun […]

Editor’s Note: With the new Standard Format in 2016 for Hearthstone, we highly recommend going for cards in the Classic set and Whispers of the Old Gods (Standard Format). Here are budget guides, also from Sheng, to get you started!

Introduction

Greetings, I’m Sheng, a Legend rank constructed and 7.5 win-average arena player. I run HearthstoneCoaching.com where our coaches have helped many students achieve the same.

Whether you’re a newer player, or an experienced one who just wants to find the most efficient way to spend your cash or in-game gold, you can never go wrong by investing in Hearthstone’s single player expansions. Both The Curse of Naxxramas and Blackrock Mountain have provide unique and useful cards that cannot be unlocked anywhere else. This is the Mage Hearthstone Deck.

My Blackrock Mountain decks are a new series of guides where I try to construct the most  effective Hearthstone decks I can for each class, with only one contraint — that I only use cards from the Basic, Naxxramas, and Blackrock Mountain card sets.

These 0 dust decks are meant to help newer players kickstart their Hearthstone journey, by providing unique and viable decks that can be used against friends and foe on casual or ladder (though you may want to check out the upgrade section at the end of each guide to get further on the ladder).

Deck Playstyle

Blackrock Mountain Mage is a midrange deck that focuses on using cost-efficient minions and spells to control the board. While the goal of the deck isn’t to burst down your opponent as soon as possible, it’s important to distinguish your opponent’s game plan early to determine whether or not you should push for lethal sooner by ceasing to trade on the board, or to slow the game down.

In general this deck is quite versatile and has answers to aggressive decks with cost-efficient removal and unconditional removal against strong late game decks. Spells like polymorph are one of the few cards in the game that can eliminate tough Legendary cards with amazing deathrattles.

Blackrock Mountain has made this deck, which I consider to be the strongest of out of all our decks in this series, even stronger than our Basic + Naxxramas version. flamewaker is an mana efficient minion that covers our previous weakness at the 3 mana slot, and it has an amazing passive that synergizes with our many removal spells.

Additionally emperor-thaurissan makes it even easier to piece together the damage necessary to burn  your opponent down to 0 health. They’ll never expect the 15 damage from double fireball and frostbolt on turn 7.

Minions – 20

2x zombie-chow

  • The Zombie Chow is strictly an early game minion used to pressure your opponent’s board early. The goal of casting a Zombie Chow onto the board early is to trade with your opponent’s more expensive minions before its deathrattle becomes a liability. There’s very little downside to killing off your own Zombie Chow when your opponent is close to full health, but playing him later in the game might just put your opponent out of reach if he has a way to deal with it.

2x acidic-swamp-ooze

  • The Ooze is a great little card that has an incredible battlecry against more than half the classes in the game (Hunter, Paladin, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior). His 3/2 body for 2 mana passes the Vanilla Test, and there’s no downside to playing him even if the battlecry doesn’t destroy a weapon.

2x haunted-creeper

  • This spider is our counter to aggressive decks that like to drop multitudes of 1 health minions. He’s a mini harvest-golem that spawns two 1/1 tokens instead of a single 2/1 token. The spawned tokens become nice targets for buffs.

2x flamewaker

  • Flamewaker is just an amazing upgrade over shade-of-naxxramas[card] that used to be in this slot. It passes the Vanilla Test, trades with two 3/2 minions, and has a great passive that can be extremely helpful against aggro or token decks. Not much is more fun in this deck than laughing while having [card]flamewaker finish your opponent off for lethal.

2x shattered-sun-cleric

  • 3 mana for 3/2 isn’t mana efficient, but the battlecry more than makes up for it. The downside is that if you don’t have a minion on the board, this card suffers.
  • The ideal scenario is to play this on the same turn a minion you control can trade with something equal in value and survive, or can trade up to kill something more expensive.

2x chillwind-yeti

  • The Yeti is the benchmark on which all other 4 mana minions are compared. Not only does he pass the Vanilla Test with flying colors, he trades favorably with most other 2, 3, and 4 mana minions. The Yeti has no downsides and is a welcome sight whether you’re behind or ahead in the game.

2x water-elemental

  • water-elemental is arguably better than the chillwind-yeti. This minion has 3 attack with a 6 health body AND freezes whatever it touches.
  • He’s especially potent against classes with weapons. With board control, your opponent will never be able to use his weapon.

1x loatheb

  • Loatheb is an amazing card… when played correctly. 5 mana for a 5/5 is fair, but it’s Loatheb’s ability to shutdown opponent’s spells that makes him so valuable. Play Loatheb on turn 6 before a mage can cast flamestrike on turn 7 and he’ll win you the game.

2x sludge-belcher

  • If you thought the senjin-shieldmasta was good, well just wait until you see his bigger brother, the Sludge Belcher. Sludge Belcher is an extremely annoying card to deal with, because when he dies, he leaves behind a smaller taunt. This effectively shuts down very aggressive decks, that are generally forced to use silence to get around him. Another benefit to the Sludge Belcher’s deathrattle is his synergy with kelthuzad. Good luck getting past that wall of taunts when both are on the board at the same time!

1x boulderfist-ogre

  • The true definition of a big dumb minion. Except actually, now that I think about it, the Boulderfist Ogre may actually be the smartest Ogre in the Hearthstone universe given that he’ll always hit the target you ask him to. For 6 mana, you get a 6/7 minion that isn’t affected by silence, the-black-knight, and big-game-hunter. He’s a workhorse in this deck and does much of the heavy lifting to help you secure games.

1x emperor-thaurissan

  • While at first glance the Emperor seems overpowered, he’s only truly valuable in decks that have relatively large hand sizes to allow him to reduce the cost of multiple cards on the same turn. When you can tuck him behind a taunt or two, he’s almost impossible to get to and can seriously snowball games for you. The weakness to the Emperor is in situations where you don’t have many cards in your hand and don’t have a board to protect him with, so play him wisely.

1x kelthuzad

  • Kel’Thuzad is probably the most win condition in our deck. If you have any semblance of a board going into turn 8, he has a good chance of winning the game for you. His value only goes up when you have deathrattle minions on the board that spawn more minions.

Spells – 10

2x frostbolt

  • 2 mana for 3 damage and freeze is great. It can be used in conjunction with your hero power to take out 4 health minions, or to kill your opponent.

2x arcane-intellect

  • 3 mana to draw 2 cards is fair, but this isn’t a card we want in our opening hand. Playing arcane-intellect on turn 3 is weak because it doesn’t affect the board.
  • This card becomes a life saver later in the game when it can draw into answers when we’ve run out of cards.

2x fireball

  • It’ll take out anything with 6 health for 4 mana. One of the best Mage cards in the game.

2x polymorph

  • The oh-so-important unconditional removal. Because this turns your enemy minions into sheep, it plays around deathrattles (think cairne-bloodhoof and sylvanas-windrunner.

2x flamestrike

  • The scariest Mage spell that every opponent needs to be wary of. If you’re behind, he’ll clear the board to bring you back in the game. It’s up to your opponent to play around this by not overcommitting and putting too many low health minions on the board before turn 7.
  • If you’re ahead, this is the spell that will seal your opponent’s death.

Blackrock Mountain Improvements

flamewaker
  • Flamewaker is just an amazing upgrade over shade-of-naxxramas[card] that used to be in this slot. It passes the Vanilla Test, trades with two 3/2 minions, and has a great passive that can be extremely helpful against aggro or token decks. Not much is more fun in this deck than laughing while having [card]flamewaker finish your opponent off for lethal.
emperor-thaurissan
  • Replaces one of the boulderfist-ogres in the older version of this deck. Overall, it’s a bit of a trade-off. The Emperor is definitely weaker when you don’t have any cards in your hand, but I think the tradeoff is worth it. In general, as a Mage you have the ability to chain many spells off together thanks to the lower casting cost granted by Emperor Thaurissan’s end of turn ability.

Mulligan Guide

In general, you want to mulligan so that you can put out minions on your first three turns. If you’re going second, feel free to keep a single 4 mana minion so that you can coin it out on turn 3. Coining out a minion on turn 3 is actually a significant tempo boost, as some 4 mana minions will trade with two or more 2 or 3 mana minions.

Cards to Keep

  • 1 Mana: zombie-chow
  • 2 Mana: acidic-swamp-ooze, haunted-creeper
  • 3 Mana: flamewaker, shattered-sun-cleric

Upgrades

Here are a few cards that will improve your deck.

  • Minions: knife-juggler, harvest-golem, dark-iron-dwarf, sylvanas-windrunner, dr-boom

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed the guide to our Blackrock Mountain Midrange Mage deck. As always I’d be happy to answer questions from you in the comments section. 🙂

Coaching Lessons

If you’re interested in reaching Legend rank, or earning unlimited gold from arena, my team at HearthstoneCoaching.com would love to help! We’ve provided over a thousand hours of excellent coaching to students around the world. 

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