Once again it is I, Fireflyer, ready to tell the tale of the second half of my Welcome Bundle Challenge. A month ago I decided to take up a challenge someone posted on Reddit to see how far a new account could get with only the purchase of a Welcome Bundle. The challenge was going just fine until Blizzard decided to drop the nerf hammer on a few cards, one of which completely destroyed the deck I was running for the first 2 weeks.
First let’s do a quick recap of how my first two weeks went.
Week 1 and 2: Recap
Week 1 was mostly spent setting up the basic outline of my OTK Raging Worgen deck. The packs alone from the Welcome Bundle gave me enough dust to craft most of the deck, minus a very vital card, Emperor Thaurissan. By the end of Week 1 I had already gotten to Rank 20 and made sure I got my cardback for the month as well as a monthly reward chest.
Because the deck really needed Emperor Thaurissan to work, I spent most of Week 2 just waiting for my quests and completing them. Whenever I would go into Ranked I would get a few wins followed by a few losses, putting me around the Rank 18 area. At the end of Week 2 as I was getting to the end of the month, they announced the nerfs that were going to happen in the next week.
And of course, Charge gets nerfed….
This kind of threw me off. I was preparing and learning this deck for the first two weeks and now all of that was going to be worthless. The cards I crafted, the time I put into learning about OTK warrior, all for nothing.
Luckily, I had already opened an Alexstrasza that I was using for fun and realized that there was another cheap and viable deck that I could use for the second part of my challenge: Freeze Mage.
Making Freeze Mage: Part 1
October 1st, I put on my Legion cardback from September’s rewards and opened my monthly reward chest, getting a golden Seal of Champions which I quickly dusted.
Freeze Mage is a decently expensive deck, considering you need 2x Ice Blocks and 2x Doomsayers. I was also going to need 2x Blizzards. I didn’t have enough dust but I figured, if I’m not going to use my OTK Worgen cards I could dust them to make Freeze Mage.
Once I got rid of all my OTK Worgen cards, I was still short a bit of dust. That’s when I decided to get desperate. I dusted every single card except for Mage cards. If I was going to make an attempt at getting a decent rank I knew I’d have to fully devote myself to Freeze Mage. After dusting everything, I was left with 1425 dust.
Crafted: 2x Ice Block (800), 2x Blizzard (200), 2x Loot Hoarder (80), 1x Mana Wyrm (40), 1x Ice Barrier (40). Leaving me with 265 dust. Not enough to craft my Doomsayers.
I spent a couple more days doing quests and finally getting enough gold for an adventure but that’s when I realized, I was in a tough situation.
Emperor Thaurrisan is in the first wing of Blackrock Mountain and is very good for Freeze Mage. However, it’s only good because it cheapens the cost of stuff which isn’t really necessary in order to win, like Alexstrasza is. Theoretically, you could run a Freeze Mage deck without Emperor Thaurissan and you could still do just fine.
The reason I bring this up is because the deck NEEDS Forgotten Torch. This card is essential for Freeze Mage because it allows you to use Forgotten Torch early as removal, and later on in the game when you’re ready to Alexstrasza and win, or just win off of major damage, you have Roaring Torch.
Because it was so essential I decided to buy the first wing of League of Explorers which unlocks Forgotten Torch for free.
Mrs Freeze vs League of Explorers
As soon as I unlocked League of Explorers I realized that I had made a little bit of a mistake. I would have to fight the entire wing with only my Freeze Mage deck because I didn’t have any other cards now. I was worried this was going to be a problem but… it definitely wasn’t!
Zinaar was stupid easy. I was able to control his field with spells and whenever he gave me wishes it allowed me to find some crazy stuff. Wish for Valor which lets you discover a 4-mana spell kept letting me discover Fireballs so I was able to burn him down with that. Beat him easily with no defeats.
Sun Raider Phaerix
Against Sun Raider I was able to get a Mana Wyrm out fast and get the Rod of the Sun over to my side. My spells were able to keep his board controlled while my Mana Wyrm attacked him to death. Beat him with no defeats!
As soon as I saw Temple Escape flip over I laughed. I remembered having so much fun with this adventure and Temple Escape was one of my favorites. I also remembered that the easiest way to defeat Heroic mode was with a Freeze Mage deck so I knew the normal mode would be stupid easy. Freeze everything and ran my way to victory, 3-0 vs League of Explorers Wing 1!
I finished my class quests and unlocked Reno Jackson and did what I’ve always wanted to do to that card, DISENCHANTED HIM. He’s a very important card to keep for a main account but since this was just a fun test account, it was quite satisfying to disenchant one of my most hated cards in all of Hearthstone. I don’t hate it as in it’s a bad card, I think it’s one of the best cards out right now in terms of balance and creativity, but after having so many games where someone is at 1 health and they Reno Jackson back to full, it was nice to get some revenge.
Making Freeze Mage: Part 2
With the dust I got from disenchanting everything in the first wing of League of Explorers, I had enough to finish my Freeze mage deck. If you look to the right, you can see the decklist that I used until the end of the challenge.
Now I made some small changes from what a typical Freeze Mage deck looks like. Most Freeze Mage decks are kind of like a combo deck; they draw a lot of cards, control the field, and when they’re ready to finish their opponent off they fire a bunch of spells or drop Alexstrasza and then use all their spells. Emperor Thaurissan helps a lot because he can make 7-8 cards cheaper if you have a full hand which lets you cast everything at once since it makes things like Ice Lance cost 0 mana. I knew that without Emperor Thaurissan I would have to change my deck a little and make it semi-Tempo Mage with stuff like Mana Wyrm and Sorcerer’s Apprentice. To do this I took out 2x Novice Engineers for the Mana Wyrms and in place of where Emperor Thaurissan and Bloodmage Thalnos would be, I put Sorcerer’s Apprentice in his place since she also kind of cheapens cards.
Another small change I went between was using Flamestrike and Cabalist’s Tome. Flamestrike was great if I was facing a lot of aggro decks and Cabalist’s Tome I opened randomly from a pack and decided to use it if I was facing too many control decks.
With my deck completed, it was time to try and rise up the ranks and see how far I could get in just a week and a half.
My deck wasn’t a complete version of the proper Freeze Mage that could get me to Legend but I was pretty sure I could get high up in the ranks.
The disadvantages of my version were the tempo creatures. Instead of more card draw cards like Novice Engineer and Bloodmage Thalnos I had a more aggro version that uses Mana Wyrm and Sorcerer’s Apprentice which aren’t used in the regular Freeze Mage deck. The problem with tempo creatures like that is for one, it messes up Alexstrasza because you already have them down to about 20 or so before you can even cast her so you end up only using her to drop them 5 points of damage.
It also means that your deck can be controlled by Control decks such as Warrior and other Freeze Mage decks. The proper Freeze Mage doesn’t require any minions to attack and deal damage and that’s what makes it a strong deck. When you combine Tempo Mage and Freeze Mage together you give yourself weaknesses, but with a new account it was going to be a weakness that I had to live with.
In my many battles I found myself a lot of the time only casting Alexstrasza to remove a couple health and put them closer to death, or sometimes not even casting her at all. I also had quite a few games where I curved out well with creatures but had them removed and left with nothing to defend myself.
But, there were advantages.
There were two advantages to being a hybrid deck.
The first advantage was having aggression. If my opponent wasn’t able to handle my early game Mana Wyrms they found themselves eating some early game Fireballs and getting killed real fast. I could burn them down to 20 with just a single Mana Wyrm and some control cards like Frost Nova and then finish them off with the Frostbolt + Ice Lance combo. Another great use for my aggressive minions was holding them in my hand and playing a Mana Wyrm on turn 7 with a Blizzard or a Sorcerer’s Apprentice + Frost Nova to set up for Alexstrasza next turn. I put them to 15 health, then attack with a powered up Mana Wyrm and Sorcerer’s Apprentice to put them to around 10 for easy kill the next turn.
The other advantage was the possibility of tricking people into thinking I was just a Tempo Mage deck. I curve out early with Mana Wyrm and Sorcerer’s Apprentice and hide my Frost Nova and my secrets such as Ice Block and Ice Barrier which are dead giveaways to a Freeze Mage deck. If I can curve and keep them distracted with my minions I can surprise them later on in the game by freezing their field and finishing them off with a bombardment of frost spells.
At this point I had worked up to Rank 18 with ease but what I really wanted to do was to try and craft Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End to replace the single Cabalist’s Tome in my deck. I figured he might be the secret key to coming back in some of the control matchups where I just have no hope of winning. I was running into a lot of Freeze Mages at this point, which had actually become real popular after the nerfs were patched into the game. The mirror match was so frustrating since I didn’t have the Emperor Thaurissan that they did or the card draws that they do, and they were able to control my tempo minions way too easily. I pretty much lost every match against Mage but did great against all the other classes especially Shaman and Hunter.
The Search for Yogg-Saron
I abandoned my ranking climb to do two things: I was interested in running this Reno Dragon Mage deck that I’m writing an article about in the next two days, and I wanted to try and see if I could get Yogg-Saron, hope’s end for the last bit of my ranked climb.
I decided to do this once I had reached Rank 18 and hit level 20 with my Mage class, allowing me to play in Tavern Brawls! I played the Tavern Brawl right away and luckily it was one where I didn’t need to make a deck, just play some Chess!
I beat the Chess Event in Karazhan on both Heroic and Normal difficulty on the first try so I wasn’t surprised that I beat my opponent on both my main account and my Welcome Bundle account on the first try.
Tavern Brawl – Chess Event Pack: Misdirection, Circle of Healing, Lightspawn, Abusive Sergeant, Golden Acolyte of Pain.
Somewhere in my next few games I had actually reached 100 games in any mode, finishing a quest and giving me 300 more gold! This quest is one of the ones that is part of your account and won’t show up in your quest log. Because I was searching for Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End I started buying Whispers of the Old Gods packs with my extra gold, now that I wasn’t saving up for an adventure anymore.
Three Whispers Packs, nothing.
Finished Quests for 100g, nothing. Finished Quests for 100g, nothing. Finished Quests for 100g, nothing. One of these quests even happened to be on my main account to play a friend and both earn 80g.
After another week of no Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End, I had about 5 days left before the end of my challenge. I grinded some ranks and got myself up to Rank 13! But then it was back to looking for my Old God.
The All-Star Squad tavern brawl came to town and I was able to finish a Win 5 games with Hunter, Win 2 games with Hunter/??? and Win 5 games of Tavern Brawl by playing a Timber Wolf All-Star deck.
Tavern Brawl – All-Star Squad: Ethereal Arcanist, Defias Ringleader, Cult Master, Amani Berserker, Blessing of Wisdom.
Nothing! Even the extra gold used on a Whispers pack didn’t get me any closer to Yogg-Saron, hope’s end. At this point I had disenchanted every single card that wasn’t in my deck and even made one small change during the last few days of my challenge.
-1 Cabalist’s Tome, +1 Evolved Kobold
I saw that this was a change people had made to the deck and I liked it. I disenchanted my Cabalist’s Tome and had worked up to 1300 dust, almost enough for Yogg-saron, hope’s end but this truly was, Hope’s End. I grinded ranks for the last few days and got to Rank 10 but that’s it. Once I had hit Rank 10 I felt accomplished and wasn’t sure if I would reach Rank 5 so I stopped my challenge early so I could begin playing more of this Reno Dragon Mage deck and also to grind Overwatch’s new Halloween event.
It was a fun ride! Even though I had recently gotten an Alexstrasza on my main account I still hadn’t gotten around to trying Freeze Mage out. Being only part of the deck was tough but I think it gave my deck an extra flair and allowed it to become its own archetype.
The Welcome Bundle is amazing for anyone trying to get into Hearthstone. For just a couple dollars, being guaranteed a legendary is just crazy even if you’re just disenchanting it for dust to use towards a deck. King Krush isn’t used in anything crazy so the free 400 dust to craft some rares was really nice.
Also, grinding out adventures with just quests every day isn’t that bad either. Make sure you’re rerolling your 40 gold quests into bigger ones and be patient, it’ll take some time to work up to your first adventure wing. If you are free to play, also do your research and figure out which wings you need and how far you need to go into each adventure. Some of the cards are VITAL to decks and even something like Forgotten Torch can be more important than a legendary.
So if you’ve got a friend out there who wants to get into hearthstone but is worried about dumping the money into it, just buy them the Welcome Bundle and get them started and once they get a taste of Hearthstone I’m sure they’ll put some more time into it and there’s tons of people out there who will tell you that you can totally play Hearthtstone for free and competitively, you just need to be patient with your quests and play every day.
Stay tuned, in two days or so I’ll be writing up this deck guide for a Reno Dragon Mage deck that someone took to the Legend ranks. It’s filled with lots of fun little cards to play with and since it’s a Reno Jackson deck, every game is different since you only have one of each card in your deck. So far I’ve been having some fun with it so come and check the guide out and give it a try for yourself.
As always you can follow me on Twitter @HS_Fireflyer and I’m setting up my new twitch channel at twitch.tv/itsFireflyer with some fresh new buttons I’m ordering and a new overlay I’m trying out. I’m still trying to figure out a good schedule so if you have any suggestions don’t hesitate to leave some comments below and tell me when you’d come and check me out! I hope my Welcome Bundle Challenge was interesting to read and if you have any suggestions on stuff you want me to write about just let me know in the comments and I will definitely keep it in mind!
Come see me again soon!