Joseph’s Brew – The Grand Tournament Tempo Mage

Hello, once again. Joseph Scalise here, jumping over from Weekly Legends to deliver you another article relating to the constructed side of The Grand Tournament (which I am absolutely crazy excited for). While my first pass was aimed at analyzing the most powerful constructed cards in the set, this time around I will be focused […]

Introduction

Hello, once again. Joseph Scalise here, jumping over from Weekly Legends to deliver you another article relating to the constructed side of The Grand Tournament (which I am absolutely crazy excited for). While my first pass was aimed at analyzing the most powerful constructed cards in the set, this time around I will be focused on decks and deck construction. Anyone who has seen my series or watched me play knows that I am a brewer at heart. Hitting legend is fine, but I always strive to find the most interesting or creative ways to reach the orange diamond. Brewing is my favorite part of card games, and despite what some certain rope-loving streamers think, this set is certainly going to shake up the meta. Not only was this desperately needed, but it also means that many new decks will rise from the chaos that will surely come in the next few weeks. New cards have two purposes in cards games: to either strengthen existing decks or create entirely new ones.

One thing I should make clear before we begin is that the lists are first takes. They are by no means refined, which would be impossible due to the cards not being in the game yet, but they are shells that will serve as a great place to start brewing. When I (or anyone) builds a deck you just start with a shell, play test that shell and see what needs to be tweaked or improved. Not every card in the set is going to give birth to a new deck, and not every deck you theorycraft is going to end up being good. However, this article is not just for the decks laid out below, it is also to show exactly how you want to think when you begin brewing. There is no way to know exactly what will come from the Grand Tournament, but the decks below are ones that I am excited to try, and I will most likely be playing all of them at some point next week.

Tempo Mage

I’ll admit it, Blizzard got me with this one. Tempo Mage is a deck that I have openly hated for months now, but after playing around with Fallen Hero in brawl, I think this deck could get some serious upgrades in the new set. This list has a lot of similarities with today’s Tempo Mage, but has some major differences that I believe will make it much stronger moving forward. My biggest problem with Tempo Mage has always been the tendency to play a bunch of midrange nonsense in what is really an aggro deck at heart. Here, I sliced up the midgame and pumped up the early turns in order to give a stronger curve and get rid of those “I just lose” hands. Spellslinger may be too swingy, but this spell-based style deck could be a perfect fit for the three drop. Here, the idea is to out-value your opponent through sheer efficiency and explosive openings. This deck is based around a lot of small interactions that build to form a very cohesive machine. You still have some of the best burn/removal in the game in Frostbolt and Fireball, but you also have a lot of minions that clear the board and apply a lot of early pressure. Knife Juggler plays his part here, but Fallen Hero also gives an extra way to protect your early minions, and is fantastic coined out on turn one; shutting down a turn two Mad Scientist, Knife Juggler or the like. 

I look at this version of Tempo Mage a lot like Zoo. You start out with board control while also pressuring face, and then end the game with your one or two big finishers. Here, those finishers are Archmage Antonidas and Rhonin. Both of these cards work well together, and each of them has a ton of spell synergy. They also are very strong ways to close out the game when your opponent is low on life. There are a ton of options for this style of deck, and you could easily tweak the numbers to add in Polymorph: Boar or Arcane Intellect if needed. I am not sure where Tempo Mage is going, but this aggressive, low-curve style looks like a blast to play, and at first glance is quite powerful.

Conclusion

Well, there you have it. Speculation, speculation and speculation. I am so ready for Monday it isn’t even the least bit funny, and I am going to crack my packs ASAP and get crafting. Be sure to check out my other brews:

All of these builds excite me, and I’m not sure which one I am going to bring to the ladder first. I am most intrigued by Demon Aggro, Token Druid and Tempo Mage, but Dragon Priest and Maly-Shaman also look so fun. I will return to Weekly Legends next week, where I will start to actually play the new decks, and I cannot wait for that as well. Hope you guys enjoyed this and my “top ten” article, and I hope you are as ready as I am. Remember, you never know what to expect on the new ladder, so have fun, get testing, and play what you love. Until next time, may all of your Legendaries be golden!