Goblins vs Gnomes Theorycraft: Mech Mage

Now that we've seen a bunch of cards, let's give deck building a try! My first instinct was that an aggressive Mech deck would be incredibly strong.

Overview

Hey all!

Camzeee here, and I’m super excited for Goblins vs Gnomes! As we get closer to its release, I’m thinking more and more about what kind of decks and cards I’d be looking to craft right away.

We’ve seen a good number of cards released at this point so I think it’s fair to start building on what we do know. My first instinct when I learned about the new cards was that an aggressive Mech deck would be incredibly strong.

Since we don’t know all the cards yet, Mage’s versatile class cards and fantastic burst I feel lends itself well to this playstyle.

As far as I know, there hasn’t been a mock deck that’s been made yet, more just general speculation on combos, so I sat down, took a piece of paper and fashioned an aggressive Mage Mech deck.

The decklist is on the right.

***I’ve included Sorcerer’s Apprentice in place of Snowchugger because unfortunately we don’t have Snowchugger in our card database yet!

Deck Strategy

The strategy of this deck is very similar to Hunter’s current Undertaker build. Establish board presence, take advantage of Mech synergy and finish your opponent with burn spells.

The deck doesn’t have much dedicated card draw except for arcane-intellect.

What it does instead is play a really tight curve and relies on the Mech synergy to get value out of cards like tinkertown-technician and goblin-blastmage.

The stickiness of minions like harvest-golem (now a Mech) and the Piloted minions gives it some mid-game strength which should be enough to give the Mage enough presence to finish the game off.

The early game is pretty simple. It’s built around Mechwarper. mechwarper is one of the best cards announced so far for the Goblins vs Gnomes expansion and the fact it lowers the cost of all your Mechs is fantastic. The best part is that it isn’t capped so your 1 drop Mechs can be played for free with it.

Turn 1 Coin > Mechwarper + Clockwork Gnome is going to be an insane opening and can give you fantastic tempo.

The Mechwarper also allows all other Mechs to curve out really well. I’ve included Mechs at all mana costs up to 6 (apart from 5 because there aren’t any yet!) which means that you can get them all out a turn earlier or two turns earlier with x2 Warper.

Mechwarper is what pint-sized-summoner wishes it was, and is the core of the deck. You’ll soon see why I think it’s the best card revealed so far in the expansion!

Card by Card

  • 2x ice-lance – This card has extra power now that Snowchugger is included in the deck. It should be much easier to just throw 4 damage out and kill any targets or go for lethal. The addition of spare parts dropped from Clockwork Gnome and Tinkertown Technician also gives the possibility of getting the emergency-coolant which combos really nicely with this card. Rarely should this be used for just the Freeze effect.
  • 2x clockwork-gnome – This card is the Mech version of Leper Gnome. It is an excellent card in any Mech deck giving out a spare part on death and having incredible synergy with Mechwarper. Being able to play this for free represents fantastic tempo.
  • 2x annoy-o-tron – It looks weak and has been derided, but upon reading Brian Kibler’s analysis of it, I’ve changed my mind. The card is like Voidwalker except better. It puts your opponent in mana debt because it’s so difficult to remove in the early game and can act as a fantastic defense of your most important card…
  • 2x mechwarper – I’ve already sang the praises of this card in the strategy section, but I’ll do it again. The fact that it decreases the cost of all Mechs is an incredible ability and it’s stapled to a standard 2/3 body for 2 mana. If this isn’t removed, you can really start to snowball an advantage and get your Piloted mechs out earlier thereby putting on significant pressure.
  • 2x Snowchugger – I know it’s listed as Sorcerer’s Apprentice in the decklist on the right, but it’s really this card. Snowchugger is a really solid card by itself passing the vanilla test as a 2 drop. What makes it a must-include in this deck is its Mech typing and potential combos with Ice Lance.
  • 1x ironbeak-owl – This is a tech card, and we’ve already seen how important silence is in this metagame. Imagine now in a GvG landscape where the Piloted Minions are running wild and there are hundreds of effects worth silencing. This can also help push the last of the damage you need and bypass taunts. I’d say including one copy is a pretty safe metagame call.
  • 2x frostbolt – This is really important removal for enemy Mechwarpers, Undertakers and other early game must-remove minions. I can’t imagine making a Mage deck without the flexibility and versatility of this card, and it’s an auto-include here once you factor in Ice Lance.
  • 2x arcane-intellect – Important card draw. It’s likely you’ll be emptying your hand out quickly and this card ensures you can get more options once you start running out of cards in the mid game around turn 5.
  • 2x harvest-golem – Now a Mech, Harvest Golem is going to continue to be one of the best value cards in the game. I was debating between this and Spider Tank but sided with the stickiness of the classic Golem. I might try them both and find the extra attack of the Tank is better, but for now, I’m familiar with the reliability of the Golem so I’m going with that.
  • 2x tinkertown-technician – This is where I try to make Mech count. Tinkertown is a 3/3 but in this deck it should almost always be a 4/4 draw a spare part for 3 mana which is incredible value. I really like this card, and its effect shouldn’t be too hard to activate if you curve out decently. If I don’t have enough Mech presence though, I may have to drop him for Spider Tank.
  • 2x fireball – The is Mage’s best spell and one of the best in the game. It’s really great in this deck to finish off opponents and to remove large taunts/threats, if necessary, giving you momentum. A must-include in this deck.
  • 2x goblin-blastmage – This is one of the cards I’m a little hesitant about but hoping it works. In this heavy early game Mech deck, there is a good chance that on turn 4 I’ll still have at least a Damaged Golem alive to trigger his Battlecry. A 4 damage arcane-missiles is pretty good and can mop up Spectral Creepers and likely kill any 2 health minions left on your opponent’s side. It is pretty heavily reliant on having Mechs though, so make them stick!
  • 2x piloted-shredder – I love this card. It’s a sticky Mech which fulfills all the criteria I’m looking for. The best case scenario is getting this out early with a Mechwarper and then having it pull Millhouse Manastorm on death. A fantastic value card and extra synergistic with this deck. Must-have.
  • 2x water-elemental – This is an extremely efficient card that can be a huge nuisance to weapon wielding classes – great against Rogue and Warrior by keeping them frozen. It also synergizes nicely with Ice Lance. I’ve taken care to make the 4 drops in this deck be super solid, and now you have options of playing a 3 atk, 4atk or 5atk minion depending on the situation.
  • 1x loatheb – One of the best cards in the game at the moment. It can shut down any spell based decks on its own and is great at setting you up for lethal when you have some burn spells in hand. It’s fantastic in the current metagame and I can’t see it falling out of favor anytime soon.
  • 2x piloted-sky-golem – This is a big late-game threat which I’m hoping can fill the role of Savannah Highmane in this deck. It’s sticky, has high attack, and is a Mech. This is going to be a wait-and see on its effectiveness in my opinion. If it doesn’t quite have the consistency I think/hope it will have, there are always the traditional legendary fallbacks of Sylvanas, Cairne and Black Knight.

Alternatives/Theorycrafting

Now that I’ve gone through the list, I honestly think this deck is competitively viable and doesn’t actually have a crafting cost that’s too high.

If you don’t want to drum up for the Piloted Sky Golem, any decent 6 drops like boulderfist-ogre or sunwalker are good replacements.

You may have noticed that I’ve neglected to use many of Mage’s classic synergies that have been a staple up til now like kirin-tor-mage and secrets.

There is a reason for this.

Secrets as cards in and of themselves are weak and tempo losing plays. mirror-entity and duplicate are the two most likely secrets to be used since counterspell has really taken a dive with the announcement of Spare Parts, and they are just not good enough when played solo.

It’s also been talked about that there will be new cards added that counter secrets which makes them even less desirable. I may be wrong of course, and mad-scientist is still an unbelievable card that can give Mages huge tempo.

It’s also possible that a new super powerful secret could be revealed, but I doubt it.

Other things to think about are how much late game you want. I curved this deck pretty low, but you could quite easily remove a few of the early game Mechs, 4 drops, Ice Lance and opt for some more classic board control with flamestrike and sylvanas-windrunner.

The Mechs released so far though have all tended to be early-mid game type cards. So if you’re gonna build a Mech deck, chances are it’ll skew low rather than high.

This I feel is perfectly fine with Mage since the class has some great burst potential.

Conclusion

I’m prepared for some lively debate, so let’s have at it!

I want to hear what you think of this deck and how you might go about making a better deck built around the new cards. Feel free to comment away and theorycraft with me.

There’s no way of knowing who will be right until the cards come out and we all get a chance to try them out. But it’s good to start thinking about potential synergies and deck breakdowns so we’ll get an idea of how these cards will interact with each other and how the mana curve will look for a deck.

I can’t wait for Goblins vs Gnomes! It’s going to be really exciting!