Guide: Midrange Bomber Mage
Hello everyone I'm Spark, Legend player during season 1 and aiming for it this time again. Today I'm presenting you a Mage deck that I designed to counter the metagame at the end of last season which was mainly made up of the following archetypes : Hunter Mid Range, Warlock Zoo, Warrior Control, Druid Ramp / Watcher.
This Mid Range deck aims to control the board throughout the game and win the game with some powerful legendaries and Fireball to the face. The deck is named after the RNG aspect of it and off course the presence of Mad Bomber.
Early/Mid Game Plays
The first part of the deck aims to fight for board control and deals really well with aggro decks while pressuring control decks.
• Mana Wyrmis the common 1 drop for Mage as it can quickly becomes a threatening minion and comes with a great 3 toughness. It will help dealing with early threat and pressuring the opponent life.
• Arcane Missilesfocus on dealing with early minion to fight rush decks. It is really great because it powers up the Mana Wyrm and the mage hero power will help back it up in case of mediocre RNG.
• Mad Bomberis the surprising addition that intends to do the same thing while adding a body on the board that will often trade with a bigger threat. The downside of this card (probable hits on your minions) is compensed by the fact that some of our minions like to be hit such as Amani Berserkerand Acolyte of Pain. The fact that you can combine it with Arcane Missile and the hero power will often result in an empty board for your opponents the first few turns. Don’t underestimate this little guy as he does a great job for this deck.
• Frostboltis the common early removal for mage, really great card overall that can also tempo out bigger threat because of the freeze aspect in it. It can also serves as a finisher along with Fireballin the end game.
• Amani Berserkerhas always been a great card for Mage as you can ping it whenever you want. I recommand to always keep it a 2/3 and only ping it when you plan on trading it with a 5 toughness minion like a Chillwind Yeti. Sometimes, a Mad Bomber play will decide if this creature stays a 2/3 or becomes a 5/2, don’t be afraid of it but always think about the different outcomes.
• Acolyte of Painis such a good draw engine for mage as you'll always draw at least 2 times with it and sometimes 3. You're generally planning on having it on the board before using a Mad Bomber as you'll love the hits on it. Note that it also act as a second ping ability besides your hero power and can clear out Polymorphtargets without having to use hero power for this purpose.
• Harvest Golemis a standard mid range minion that will allow you to get some value and keep a minion on the board.
• Water Elementalis the best mage minion as it has the same total stats as a Chillwind Yeti but also comes with a freeze aspect that will annoy Druids, Rogues, Warriors and Paladins. The stats repartition also makes it really resilient as 6 toughness is always a pain to deal with for the opponent.
• Defender of Argusis here to buff up those early minions to make them stronger and deal with aggro, also bringing in some taunts for the deck. It can also serves on our late game win conditions as a taunted Sylvanas Windrunneror Cairne Bloodhoofare really painful to deal with.
Mid/Late Game Plays
The second part of the deck aims to control larger threat while throwing down some potential win conditions and also brings some AoE for resilient swarm decks that made it to this stage of the game.
Fireball will generally either end the game or kill a big enemy's minion, solid card overall.
Polymorph will deal with their win conditions and helps you saving those Fireball for the face, this card is just so valuable against a Savannah Highmane or any big legendary.
The Azure Drakewill help drawing some more cards while powering up your spells, standard and valuable Mid Range cards, nothing much more to say about it.
The Black Knight will obviously deal with big taunt later on in the game for a huge tempo swing, especially great against Druid.
Cairne Bloodhoof is a big value engine, it will deal with multiple cards.
Sylvanas Windrunner will be good to fight against control decks as they will fear the steal of one of their big threats. Remember that you can steal big win condition with a Fireball on it.
The Blizzardand Flamestrikeare your emergency buttons, they will help dealing with overwhelming decks that constantly put minions on the board like Zoo. Flamestrike will deal with bigger stuff while Blizzard will help tempo thanks to the freeze. Sometimes you’ll have to go Blizzard into Flamestrike for a total board reset.
The Ragnaros the Firelordis a simple finisher and can sometimes hope to kill a big threat if you run out of Polymorph and Fireball.
General Strategy - Mulligan Choices
While I classify this deck under the Mid Range archetype, you can notice that the playstyle is more focused towards control.
The mix of minion threats and control abilities throughout the game really makes the versatility of the deck, especially with cards such as Amani Berserker that can act as a solid 2/3 or an aggressive 5/2, or Fireball that can act as a removal or a finisher.
Turn 1 : Mana Wyrm and Turn 4 : Water Elemental are always really efficient plays that end up turning the tempo of the game in your favor. A common play to look for is : Turn 2 Amani Berserker / Coin + Acolyte of Pain followed by a Turn 3 Mad Bomber + Arcane Missiles, this will often destroy aggro decks very nicely and should give you board control.
Any other combination of those combos made accordingly to the situation are very efficient, remember that playing the RNG abilities first and saving some mana for an eventual use of Hero Power can sometimes save you from difficult situations.
As for the mulligan, you’re looking to keep the following cards in your starting hand in every circumstances : Mana Wyrm, Amani Berserker, Harvest Golem, Mad Bomber and Frostbolt.
Arcane Missile should be kept against aggressive and mid range decks or simply if you have a Mana Wyrm in starting hand as it can also serves against slower decks.
Water Elemental and Acolyte of Pain should be kept against slow match ups to fight against those control decks.
Match ups - Strengths and Weaknesses
As the deck is somewhat of a balanced mid range archetype throughout the game it doesn’t counter anything in particular but it also isn’t countered by anything in particular. The versatility of this deck allows it to fight decently against various match ups.
Druid Mid Range / Ramp : 60/40
Mana Wyrm, Amani Berserker and Harvest Golem are good cards to play early on, one of them will eat a Wrath and then you can keep your board presence with Water Elemental.
Frostbolt will help tempoing a Chillwind Yeti while Polymorph and Fireball will do an amazing job at countering the big threats that the druid will play turn after turn. The Black Knight can literally win you the game if used on a Druid of the Clawor an Ancient of War.
Blizzard and Flamestrike can help you regain board control in case you lost it. It’s a good match up overall for the deck.
Hunter Mid Range / Rush : 55/45
Arcane Missiles and Mad Bomber will do an amazing job in this match up as their minions will often have few health. Mana Wyrm and Frostbolt are always a good cards to have and Amani Berserker is really great against Explosive Trap.
Water Elemental will prevent them from using Eaglehorn Bowefficiently, Polymorph will deal with Savannah Highmaneand Fireball will generally go to the face.
Blizzard and Flamestrike will help after an Unleash the Hounds play or a Starving Buzzard followed by many beasts.
The match up is decent if you can draw the good answers to their threats, against rushdown hunter you’ll have to play the race and have tools to do that if you can draw well.
Tempo Rogue / Shaman Mid Range : 55/45
These are really standard Match ups. Just follow the General Strategy / Mulligan Choices section. Blizzard and Flamestrike will deal with Defender of Argusor Feral Spiritplays later on in the game and your stronger late game will often make them run out of answers, Polymorph and Fireball will deal with their own heavy threats.
Close but slightly favorable match ups as they run a similar playstyle than this deck.
Warrior Control : 50/50
This match up is similar to the Ramp Druid one but they have better removals tools so the game will often go to the late game. Armorsmithand Acolyte of Pain are not good target for Mad Bomber and Arcane Missiles play so don’t keep them in your starting hand.
Polymorph will deal with their win conditions while Frostbolt and Fireball will deal with secondary threats or eventually blast them for the finishing blow. Acolyte of Pain and Azure Drake will help you keep up on the card advantage.
Water Elemental is good if they didn’t stack enough armor to Shield Slamit as it will prevent them from using weapons, also try to bait out some Executebefore it, Amani Berserker can do it well.
The match up is pretty close and will often be decided by who draw the best answers to the opponent’s plays, it can go to fatigue if both decks draw what they need.
Miracle Rogue : 50/50
As they won’t play many minions, you’ll need to focus on threatening their life as much as you can with your early plays. If they can’t Conceala Gadgetzan Auctioneer, the game is probably win for you as you’ll deal with it with all the unused removals, note that Flamestrike can deal with a stealthed one if needed.
Water Elemental is always a good minions to have on the board as it prevents them from using weapons and will often bait a Sap.
This match up is decent, depends a lot on their draw and their ability to pull out the combos they want.
Warlock Zoo : 45/55
In this match up, you’ll rely heavily on your early plays to gain board control, so mulligan for it. If you manage to take board control, the game will be pretty easy after that as your threats are stronger than theirs and Polymorph will take care of Doomguard.
Else, you’ll have to survive until you can Blizzard or Flamestrike their board to reset the situation. Fireball will often finish the game if they goes greedy on Life Tap.
Slightly hard match up as Zoo can beats any deck when starting with a strong hand and having good draws, however you have good tools at your disposal to deal with them.
Card Considerations - Budget Replacements
If you are working on a budget, I would say that Ragnaros the Firelord is your high priority crafting as it is kind of a finisher in the deck, although it can be replaced by the following cards while working on it.
The Faceless Manipulatoris a strong option if you don't own the win conditions of the deck, it is always great to copy one of their big threats and then Polymorph it. You can also find a spot for it if you own the full set because copying your own stuff is also great.
The Sunwalkerwas initially in the list and can do a great job. It will replace the bunch of 6 drop legendaries in case you're working on a budget.
The Argent Commanderis another possibility, more aggressive but also very strong if you don't own the win conditions that I use.
The Earthen Ring Farseeris a good choice for mid game presence and healing, I just prefered Harvest Golem as it generally gets more value from trading.
The Sunfury Protectoris also a good minion overall if you're looking for a more defensive deck but I found Amani Berserker to be better overall thanks to the enrage effect combined with the hero power.
The Bloodmage Thalnosis a strong legendary that you can include in this deck. I just didn't made a spot for him as the spell damage is not that necessary and we already have some good draw mechanics.
The Arcane Intellectalong with Sorcerer's Apprenticecould be swapped with Acolyte of Pain and Mad Bomber. However I find this variants better for aggro/rush Mages that aim to swarm and kill the opponent with spells. The combination that I use is better overall to deal with aggro and mid range decks thanks to the bomber hits and the bodies provided by those cards.
The deck deals well with Mid Range Hunter and some aggro decks like Zoo Warlock thanks to the early Bomber engine and some good AoE for board reset while also dealing well with some slower control decks thanks to late game threats and spells such as Fireball and Polymorph.
I hope you enjoyed the description and that it will help climbing to Legend, don't forget to rate it up if you liked and also don't hesitate to post a comment below if you have anything to ask or say about it.
You can find more of my work on Hearthpwn, deck guides and discussion threads, through the following link : http://www.hearthpwn.com/members/Sparkaz/decks