Guide: Control Counter Mage Deck

Thyfuneral recently hit Legend rank with a mage deck. He submitted it to us and we decided to take it for a spin and share it with you guys – we’re always on the look out for viable decks to climb to Legend that is not the usual rush deck. Decklist & General Guide Hunters […]

Thyfuneral recently hit Legend rank with a mage deck. He submitted it to us and we decided to take it for a spin and share it with you guys – we’re always on the look out for viable decks to climb to Legend that is not the usual rush deck.

Decklist & General Guide


This match-up requires a bit of luck to win. You aren’t able to play your standard game because of the UTH combo which can kill you from turn 6 depending on your early game. You best bet at winning is to get a water elemental to disable the weapon and taunts up to prevent charge damage. An advantage that mages have over druids or rogues is that our hero power does not require us to take damage to the face. Always try to mulligan for Mana Wyrms, Defender of Argus, Arcane Missiles, Water Elementals and Harvest Golems.


This is probably the easiest of the aggro matches because once we get to turn 7 they effectively lose. Save your Frostbolts for key cards that they play, Murloc Warleader, Knife Juggler and Voidwalkers. Similar to the hunter strategy try to get taunts up a 4/7 Water Elemental taunt wrecks most of their aggression. Warlock generally will try to soulfire you at turn 2-3 to gain the momentum they need. If you can Counterspell it you will be extremely ahead.


This is deck was created during the massive infestation of druids where Watcher druid and the Force of Nature/Savage Roar combo plagued the ladder it is also your most favourable matchup. Counterspell any druid spell and they will be behind since they cannot afford to lose any of their key spells, (Swipe, Inneverate) most of the time if your counterspell is played properly it will stop a swipe which generates huge momentum. Do not be afraid to use fireball on their yeti’s, druid of claw Ancient of Lores. Flamestrike will generally keep the druid’s board clear preventing the turn 9 kill they want. Mulligan for Mana Wyrm’s, Frostbolts and the KT/CS combo.

Mage Counter Decklist

Aggro Warrior

Similar to the hunter matchup, Water Elemental saves your life. Your main issue is the frothing berseker if you don’t have enough to kill it immediately it can spiral out of control. Do not put them below 12 hp unless you can kill them on that turn.

Control Warrior

This is the hardest of the match-ups control warriors have so much low cost spells and extremely effective ways of dealing with your minions. Your only hope is to bait key spells with Counterspell and make the most effective trades to keep momentum. The up-side with this matchup is that your Fireballs will sit in your hand for most of the game meaning you can use them to kill the legendaries that they play.

Hand Lock

Another good match-up, Frostbolt and Water Elementals stop the huge damage of the giants, Fireballs can deal with most of them, Counterspell plays an important role in this match-up because stopping a Siphon Soul can end the game for them. Don’t put them over the 10hp threshold unless you can deal with the molten giants which will follow.

Miracle Rogue

Unlike other classes mages can deal with the Concealed Auctioneer through Flamestrike. Water Elemental will save your life as rogues can deal significant damage through their weapon. Counterspell whilst not as effective can still stop a number of important removals that rogues may have. Always be weary of your hp and consider the worse case scenario, e.g. at 8 mana rogues can do 18 damage from their hand via Leeroy Jenkins and x2 Shadowstep. Always trade with their minions unless you have lethal.


Always aim to mulligan for Mana Wyrms, Frostbolts, Harvest Golems, Loot Hoarders. Versus control classes it is okay to keep a Fireball. Generally aim to get the KT/CS combo together, you should mulligan the Counterspell if do not have KT in your starting hand. But you can keep the KT if you don’t have the Counterspell. Versus aggro matchup aim to mulligan for Water Elementals and Defenders and Arcane Missiles.

Possible Replacements:

*The Black Knight, another Polymorph.

*Archmage try not to replace this, whilst sometimes it may sit in your hand and do nothing, the potential benefits of this card are immense and if your opponent does not deal with it asap it will win you the game.

*Ragnaros the Firelord, another polymorph or late game legendary (Ysera) originally I was using 2 Arcane Missiles but as you move up the ladder fewer aggro decks so I switched for a Rag.

*Bloodmage Thalnos often has both its effects put into use since mage spells are cheap, perhaps an acoltyle of pain if you lacking in draw but otherwise no substitute. You shouldn’t really be building a mage deck without this card anyway.

*Cairne Bloodhoof is the best 6 drop in the game, potential replacements are *Sylvanas Windrunner, Argent Commanders, Faceless Manipulator,

*Nat Pagle, anything that gives card draw. But probably Novice Engineer or Arcane Intellect since your other 3-4 drops are really important.

For some Q&A, check out the full reddit thread.

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