Madrange Mage – For all you mage lovers out there!

Playing the Mage class has always been a nostalgic experience for me. After a lot of tweaking and laddering I came up with a really fun mid range Mage deck which I will be sharing with you guys today.

Introduction

Playing the Mage class has always been a nostalgic experience for me. Every Hearthstone player has played Mage at least once if not any other class. However due to the state of current meta and the old frost nerfs, the Mage class has been seeing little to almost no play at major tournaments and on the ladder as well. Only a few players were brave enough to bring Mage decks to the world championships. But these things are not gonna stop me from trying to experiment with the class, and so after a lot of tweaking and laddering I came up with a really fun mid range Mage deck which I will be sharing with you guys today.

Why Mage?

Mage is a class with the right tools to counter the current meta filled with Zoos, Hunters and Shamans. Cards like frostbolt and water-elemental are amazing against these decks. Also you have counter-spell which when pulled by a mad-scientist provides a great tempo boost because you just killed a spell from your opponents hand without having to waste any mana. The controversy though rises due to the popularity of flare in the meta, but having the flare counterspelled and protecting your other secrets is pretty good in a lot of cases, because hunters gets really screwed over by secrets.

The second reason for playing Mage is that people are not gonna be well versed with your deck. With decks like zoo, hunter, druid, etc. We tend to know 90% of the decks and know what to play around and what cards are not in their decks. But the advantage of playing a non-popular deck like Mage is that people won’t know how to play against you. Which eventually puts you at an advantage.

The Power of Ping

Mage has one of the best hero powers in the game after warlock. The ability to deal 1 point of damage through taunt and “without” taking damage yourself is incredible. It lets you gain card advantage over time by just letting you clear small things off for free. Especially against Hunters the ability to kill off their critters without taking any damage is huge because they rely on getting in the early damage through their minions.

The second advantage of this hero ability is that you can target your own minions with it, although an obvious or non-obvious fact for some it makes a big difference. The ability to damage your own minions without spending any cards is exclusive to Mage. This opens up for a lot of interesting plays like killing off your own mad-scientist to get your counterspell up so that your board doesn’t get wiped. Also you can ping your own acolyte-of-pain to draw cards off of him.

Deck Breakdown

zombie-chow – One of the god sends from naxrammas, Mr.Chow here loves eating up those turn 1 flame-imps and undertakers. Probably one of the best minion that you can play on turn one. He is exactly the one who is gonna help clear out the non-1health aggression.  He is a major liability in the late game though since you are trying to put your opponent in burst range but it is nothing compared to the huge advantage he provides in the early game. Definitely worth running two in this meta.

frostbolt – Le Ole’ Staple of every Mage deck. Honestly there can’t be a Mage deck without this card. It is really useful for killing off the really buffed undertakers or even freezing a key minion to get a good trade. This card offers great versatility. It’s great for anti-aggro as well as a burst damage card. Try to use these efficiently, you only have two of them.

mad-scientist – The card that changed the world. mad-scientist is great in Mage because of two major reasons: He let’s you get your secrets for free, You don’t have to draw your secrets. This guy is really devastating for the opponent especially when you get a mirror-entity from him after killing off a 3/2. He is one of the best counters against hunters since it makes up for the tempo loss that hunters put you in.

unstable-ghoul – I had to have two of these guys considering the sheer number of 1/1’s and 3/2’s and even more stuff with 2 health in this meta. Unstable ghoul is a great anti-aggro card and can easily fend off a lot of early damage capabilities from hunters and zoo. This guy combined with you ping is a great way to clear off scary looking boards. I usually play him when I am getting a decent amount of value from his AOE effect. Don’t play him if your opponent can get favorable trades due to its AOE.

counterspell – Counterspell is a great card for messing up your opponent, if they don’t play around it they can easily get really behind. If you manage to Counterspell a flare then the hunter won’t draw a card and your other secrets will stay intact. However the true power of this card is seen when it is pulled by a mad-scientist and it counters a spell that was important for your opponent like an AOE.

mirror-entity – I run Mirror entity only because it is really good when it is pulled by the mad-scientist. It is basically two minions for just 2 mana that will force your opponent to play badly. There have been a lot of cases where i get sludge-belchers and savannah-highmane with just a Mirror entity. The best way of playing this is when you get it on by mad-scientist or by timing it correctly.

acolyte-of-pain – He is your primary source of card draw in this deck. Your goal is always going to be to draw at least two cards off of this guy. I chose him over arcane-intellect because Arcane Intellect feels too slow. He synergizes well with the unstable-ghoul.

harvest-golem – A standard three drop because there had to be something here and harvest-golem is a pretty good card to deserve this spot. Harvest Golem is a great play when your opponent has a bunch of 2 health creatures or even when your opponent doesn’t have any minions. He can be replaced with an earthern-ring-farseer if you want.

fireball – Fireball is a great finisher as well as removal. It will kill almost anything 6 mana or less in this meta. You save these for either burst damage or board control. It is not a correct play to use it on your opponents face when you have nothing to play on turn 4. One of my favorite combos is to fireball my own sylvanas-windrunner to steal something huge. I have won so many games with this card that it seems almost insanity to not have 2 of these.

polymorph – Polymorph is here to act as an answer to savannah-highmanes and Ragnari/Ragnarice/Ragnaroses? or even ysera. Sometimes you just need cards like these to get out of tough spots. The meta is not control-ish enough to run two polymorphs but definitely you need to run at least one of these.

water-elemental – Water elemental is a trading specialist. It will wreck almost every early game and let you get really favorable trades due to its high health and freeze effect. It is your trump card against zoo and hunters. It gives Druids and Rogues nightmares. I will try to sneak out a water-elemental at any chance that I get. As long as it stays on the board you are gonna have a great time.

azure-drake – The deck lacked two things, some spell power and mid-game card draw. Azure Drake provides us with both. A 4/4 for 5 mana doesn’t seem too great but the fact is that the 4/4 on the board is actually free and any card your opponent uses to remove it will net you card advantage because the drake already cycled itself.

sludge-belcher – This card has become an auto-include in this hyper aggro meta. But it is not only good against aggro but also against control. It basically guarantees you that the opponent will need at least two attacks to even get through him and gain access to your minions. Sludge Belcher is also really necessary to slow down zoo and build your own board against em.

sunwalker – Sunwalker is really good against Hunters and i have no idea why aren’t more people running this card. I guess Belcher took his place. But it doesn’t mean that Sunwalker is worse than Belcher. Unless the opponent has any 1/1’s out, classes that cannot deal one damage easily will have to make really bad trades to pop that shield. The trick is to play him at the right time.

sylvanas-windrunner – Sylvanas has made a comeback ever since the meta become more minion based and less spell based. She can get a lot of value against almost any deck. Stealing opponents stuff has got to be the most powerful effect in the game. Because not only are you removing it from your opponents board but playing it yourself. You wanna play Sylvanas when your opponent has no choice but to give you a minion or when he has to trade unfavorably.

flamestrike – The best AOE in the whole game. The card that every opponent fears when facing a Mage. Due to the meta going towards the more minion based style Flamestrike has again become one of the best cards in the game. It can clear huge boards and is the bane of Shamans. I decided to have two of these because it feels almost a necessity. Just the amount of board spamming that happens tends to make Flamestrike a really valuable card.

ragnaros-the-firelord – Ragnaros is just Ragnaros. He deals 8 damage, He kills stuff, He snipes or He misses. He gives you a lot of damage and getting a lot of damage as Mage means bad news for your opponent. He is at times a necessary card to seize back the board or to get you opponent into lethal range.

alexstrasza – No Mage deck is complete with Alexstrasza. Been behind all game? about to die soon? no way to kill your opponent? well if you have her no need to worry. Because if you are behind you probably have a fireball or two saved up along with some damage. You just plop! down Alex spit some fire and then Freeze your opponents and win the game. The fireballx2 + frostbolt combo deals a total of 15 damage which is really easy to set up if you have Alexstrasza.

Also you can use her defensively. Your opponent just used all his spells to put you down to 1, well no problemo just Alex yourself and you are back up to 15 health. The versatility that Alex provides makes her a great include in Mage decks.

Flex Cards

Cards you can change depending on your taste/meta:

  • 1xcounterspell
  • sunwalker
  • mirror-entity
  • harvest-golem

Matchups & Mulligans

Mulligans

Generally Mulligan for:

  • zombie-chow
  • unstable-ghoul
  • acolyte-of-pain
  • mad-scientist

Against Specific Matchups:

Zoo:

  • frostbolt
  • zombie-chow
  • water-elemental
  • harvest-golem

Hunter:

  • mad-scientist
  • zombie-chow
  • unstable-ghoul
  • water-elemental

Shaman:

  • mad-scientist
  • frostbolt
  • water-elemental
  • azure-drake

Popular Matchups Guide

Zoo

Important Cards: frostbolt, zombie-chow, water-elemental, flamestrike.

Cards to be wary of: nerubian-egg, soulfire, doomguard

The opponent is going to try to flood the board and overwhelm you with a bunch of minions. The early game of Zoo is easily countered by zombie-chow and unstable-ghoul. Kill off the flame-imps and undertakers with a frostbolt if you have one. An Unstable Ghoul into a Flame Imp is decent value on its own but I’d recommend waiting to get a little more value from the AOE effect.

You goal is going to survive as long as possible or at least till you cam use flamestrike since after that the game comes down to not dying to topdecks. The best way of beating zoo is by killing their board, gaining a mid game advantage with a flamestrike and then just simply aggro-ing them down with the burst spells.

Hunter

Important Cards: unstable-ghoul, zombie-chow, water-elemental, sludge-belcher, mad-scientist

Cards to be wary of: kill-command, houndmaster, savannah-highmane, flare and Traps.

The hunter matchup is about two things:

a) Gain Board advantage or

b) Gain Card advantage.

If you take away any of these things away from the hunter, He is not going to be able to get back in the game. Since hunters have absolutely no catchup mechanics just like zoo. However in order to gain these advantages you have to make sure that you do not take a lot of damage. Use your spells freely to clear the board and make the hunter work to get it back. Your health is more important than cards in this matchup because the in the end the quality of the Hunters cards is going to be way lower than yours. Try to lay down a Belcher by turn 5 to 6 and keep the board as clear as possible and your board filled up before the hunter plays his savannah-highmane If you are behind on board when the hunter plays the Highmane and you don’t have any answers you are going to lose. So fight for the board as aggressively as possible.

Shaman

Important Cards: mad-scientist, counterspell, water-elemental, flamestrike, azure-drake

Cards to be wary of: lightning-storm, doomhammer, fire-elemental, unbound-elemental

The shaman matchup is about keeping their board clear and not letting them do the same to you. Your fireballs in this matchup are reserved for two things: Killing fire-elementals or Burst damage. Remember that any damage you do to the shaman is permanent since they have no healing. This makes a 2-turn lethal setup with Alexstrasza almost always effective. You have to get as greedy as you can with the flamestrikes too. They are the most important cards in this matchup. Getting feral-spirits in a Flamestrike is great value (ofcousre along with other cards at the same time). A Flamestrike will almost always clear the Shamans board since a lot of their minions have low health.

The secrets are a great way of dealing with shamans, especially when you get them through the mad-scientist. counterspelling a lightning-storm almost always ends up in you winning. Also if they don’t play around mirror-entity you can get some really good minions from them.

Combos

  • fireball + fireball = 12 Damage.
  • fireball + fireball + frostbolt = 15 Damage.
  • sylvanas-windrunner + fireball = Steal a random minion from opponent.
  • acolyte-of-pain + unstable-ghoul = Card draw.

Conclusion

That ends this guide for my Madrange Mage deck. I hope you enjoyed reading through this. If you have and Feedback or suggestions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will try to respond to them. if you have anymore queries or need help regarding the deck add me In-Game DarkFrost#1991 NA. Good Luck Laddering! 🙂