Greetings!! Hello again everyone, for those of you who don’t know me, my name is RamPage. I’m an 11x Legend player with multiple top 100 legend finishes and recently I hit Top 10 Legend with Mech Mage,
[toc]The Legend Climb![/toc]
I started off the season Hunting as I normally do, after I hit rank 5 I switched to Druid in order to get Golden Druid. Shortly after getting Golden Druid I found myself stuck at rank 2 just not really progressing anywhere. I decided it was time to try something I hadn’t done in a while and go Mech Mage. I believe I climbed from rank 2 one star to legend only losing a game or 2. The deck performed much better than expected as I farmed Druids, Secret Pally’s, and Hunter’s with the occasional close Priest or Warrior game.
After hitting Legend I decided to have a good bit of fun playing Beast Hunter, Sea Giant Zoo, and Dragon Priest. While it was fun playing these decks I eventually decided to try and get a real rank again so I switched right back to Mech Mage. Soon after switching I found myself on the cusp of top 10 with a very high win rate. And then finally hitting Top 10! <<<Proof
The deck list is pretty standard and it’s one I’m sure most of you are familiar with but I figured why not go over it anyways. I do believe the list with double [card]Fel Reaver[/card] originated somewhere in Asia and was popularized by Vlps for the America’s.
2x [card]Clockwork Gnome[/card]
Standard Mech 1 drop. Provides a spare part for Antonidas while providing early game pressure.
Probably one of the best 1 drops in the game. Often times a [card]Flame Imp[/card] with no draw back.
2x [card]Mana Wyrm[/card]
Best 1 drop vs other aggressive decks. Trades with opponents 1 drop and usually lives.
Awesome removal spell. great tempo card, end game burst. This card does everything.
This little guy puts in a lot of work in every matchup. Protects your minions, stops weapons, one of the best 2 drops in the game.
Solid 2 drop, makes mechs cheaper, allows for snowball games. In every mech deck.
Solid stats, is a mech, great ability, auto include.
2x [card]Unstable Portal[/card]
The only real Yolo RNG card in the deck. Can provide a ton of tempo while pumping [card]Mana Wyrm[/card].
2x [card]Spider Tank[/card]
Solid stats but other than that that’s it. [card]Harvest Golem[/card] could easily be better but I haven’t tested it. The 4 health has been huge at living through [card]Fiery War Axe[/card] .
1x [card]Tinkertown Technician[/card]
Great stats and gives a spare part.
Literally probably the best removal in the game of Hearthstone. Also acts as burst so it does everything.
2x [card]Goblin Blastmage[/card]
Probably one of the only 4 drops in the game better than [card]Piloted Shredder[/card]. This card defines Over Powered.
2x [card]Piloted Shredder[/card]
The best 4 drop in the game just happens to be a mech. Oh boy!!
[cardinsert card=fel-reaver float=right]
2x [card]Fel Reaver[/card]
Now this is the card most people have doubts about. Let me assure Fel Reaver is the real deal, the bee’s knees, the cat’s pajamas, its in the bag BABY!!! If you are ahead on the board and he comes down you are almost assured to win the game. Fel Reaver acts as a cheaper [card]Savannah Highmane[/card] for Mech Mage. Have I lost games because of fatigue? Of course. But I have won countless games on turn 5 because when I was already ahead I dropped an 8/8. This card is not cuttable so please don’t ask.
One of the best 5 drops in the game. Shuts down your opponent trying to AOE your board and escape death.
1x [card]Archmage Antonidas[/card]
A lot of people have cut this monster from their deck but I would disagree. Antonidas is how I expect to win almost every control game. He allows you to snatch victory’s from almost certain death. Recently I had a game where my Priest opponent had the perfect answer every turn and by turn 9 was at 30. I played Antonidas, cast 2 freeze effects to stop his attack. My opponent didn’t have 2nd [card]Shadow Word Death[/card] and Anton was able to do 35 damage all by himself.
1x [card]Dr. Boom[/card]
I call him Dr. Love!!! Enough said.
Why no [card]Mad Scientist[/card] secret plan? While [card]Mad Scientist[/card] is a great card most of the secrets it fetches in Mage aren’t that great for what it’s trying to do. [card]Mirror Entity[/card] isn’t what it used to be after the meta shifted and especially since Druid got [card]Darnassus Aspirant[/card]. Yes, the secret package is still fine. I just don’t think it packs the punch [card]Fel Reaver[/card] and more consistent minions have.
[toc]So Why Mech Mage?[/toc]
The reason why Mech Mage is so strong right now is the way the metagame has shaped out. The lack of Zoo, Handlock, Control Warrior, and other close/unfavorable matchups has made Mech Mage able to become a viable contender. I didn’t plan on going into this season playing Mech Mage but sometimes you just switch to a deck and it works. After I found success with the deck I began looking into why I was doing as well as I was and this is what I came up with.
- The most popular decks include-
- Decks that have gone down in popularity include-
- Decks that have stayed about the same in popularity-
As you can see the decks that in my opinion were on the rise, Mech Mage has a positive matchup against, and the decks that seemed to have fallen off in popularity are the bad matchups, Meaning Mech Mage was poised to make a huge comeback on the ladder.
Because of how Mech Mage is designed the mulliganing portion is actually pretty simple and brief.
- Hunter/Mage/Pally – You’re going to assume these are aggressive based decks so you too need an aggressive hand. If you don’t have the coin you need to find a 1 drop. If you have a 2 drop don’t mulligan it but only keep 1. For example. if you don’t have coin and your hand is; [card]Snowchugger[/card], [card]Annoy-o-Tron[/card], [card]Spider Tank[/card], you keep the [card]Snowchugger[/card] and mulligan the rest. Now, if you do have the coin and the exact same hand plus a [card]Piloted Shredder[/card] you can just keep everything.
- Warrior – Because Warrior is a slower more grindy deck you need to find more value in order to win. If you’re going first you want a 1 drop but you don’t need it. You want to keep cards like; [card]Snowchugger[/card], [card]Piloted Shredder[/card], [card]Annoy-o-Tron[/card], and [card]Mechwarper[/card]. These cards allow for a lot of tempo and value needed to push a lot of mid game pressure.
- Druid/Priest – Another matchup like Warrior but you want to be a little more aggressive. All of your early game is good except for [card]Clockwork Gnome[/card], if you have coin always get rid of the Gnome, if you don’t have coin and no other 1 drops also keep the Gnome. Other than that you just want minions, keep cards like; [card]Mana Wyrm[/card], [card]Cogmaster[/card], [card]Mechwarper[/card], [card]Snowchugger[/card], [card]Annoy-o-Tron[/card]. If you already have a solid curve you can keep your mid game cards like; [card]Piloted Shredder[/card], [card]Goblin Blastmage[/card], and [card]Spider Tank[/card].
- Warlock – No matter what Lock deck you’re playing against it’s going to be a tough match. These days I generally assume it’s Handlock but the mulligan strategy it still generally the same. Look for a solid curve, if you have coin don’t keep [card]Clockwork Gnome[/card], if you don’t have the coin or another 1 drop you can keep the Gnome. Other than that just try to curve a 2 drop, into 3 drop, into 4 drop, and you should be fine.
- Rogue/Shaman – These decks are almost non-existent on the ladder but I’m sure if you keep a strong curve you’ll be fine.
[cardinsert card=cabal-shadow-priest float=right]
- Dragon Priest – While this matchup isn’t favored it is still very winnable. The cards you need to play around are [card]Holy Nova[/card] and [card]Cabal Shadow Priest[/card]. If you let these cards clear your board the game is all but over. The best way to steal a game is through [card]Fel Reaver[/card], if you can get a [card]Goblin Blastmage[/card] to bait a [card]Shadow Word Death[/card] before the Reaver he can easily close the game. This doesn’t mean don’t slam Reaver as soon as you have the opportunity, if you have something better to do you can hold off. The reason why [card]Fel Reaver[/card] is good is it forces the Priest player to have a [card]Shadow Word Death[/card] early and if they don’t Reaver can smash through anything. Often times an early Reaver means they have to wait on playing [card]Holy Nova[/card] allowing you to get in more damage with your smaller minions. The second way to win the game if flooding them doesn’t work is [card]Archmage Antonidas[/card]. Because Priest is a slower deck you’re going to get a lot of time to draw Anton and combo it in to a bunch of free Fireballs. Try and save your spare parts and possibly a [card]Frostbolt[/card] so Anton can do his thing and deal a crazy amount of damage.
- Secret Pally – This is strictly a board control match, whoever can take and keep the board is going to win. While [card]Mysterious Challenger [/card] is a great card its not going to pull them out of a losing board state. Maintain the board, let them Challenger, attack, [card]Noble Sacrifice[/card] will trigger, pump Challenger, [card]Redemption [/card] will trigger, [card]Fireball[/card] the Challenger, trade something into Challenger, win the game, easy. Yes they can perfect curve you and win, it happens, but you can’t do anything about it.
- Druid – This is just going to be a board control game where eventually you drop [card]Fel Reaver[/card] and if they don’t have [card]Big Game Hunter[/card] you win. Druid can always do Druid things and win but the matchup is favored for Mech Mage. Maintain a constant board state as you pressure their life total and then make solid trades into their minions.
- Patron Warrior – The best tips I can give you in this matchup are simple; Maintain board pressure, [card]Snowchugger[/card] and [card]Annoy-o-Tron[/card] are all stars, tempo [card]Frostbolt[/card] the face to stop a weapon hit is huge. Try not to [card]Fel Reaver[/card] too early unless all other options are put out or they are down an [card]Execute[/card].
- Hunter – Maintain board control and land a [card]Fel Reaver[/card]. If you can land a Reaver on a board you control the game is over. If you can’t easy Reaver them out just maintain board and try to out value them. If they happen to be Face Hunter try and save [card]Annoy-o-Tron[/card] for when they start to run low on cards to the Tron can block [card]Arcane Golem[/card] or a [card]Wolfrider[/card].
[toc]Mech Mage a One Trick Pony?[/toc]
This season I played Mech Mage to legend. After that I played the deck to top 10, I have been playing the deck around top 20 legend ladder for the last 4 days peaking at rank 4 and still maintain a top 10 position. So do I think this deck is a 1 trick pony? No, I believe Mech Mage is extremely well positioned to take advantage of the current ladder metagame and guide many a player to legend and beyond.
[cardinsert card=harrison-jones float=right]
[toc]Theory and Card Choices[/toc]
- Over Teching – The reason why I feel I’ve had such success on ladder is I really don’t try and “tech” cards. What I mean is, I don’t play too many situational cards. Cards like; [card]Kezan Mystic[/card], [card]Harrison Jones[/card], [card]Big Game Hunter[/card], etc etc. While these cards are good and necessary in some decks, I often find clogging up your hand and getting played for their unintended purpose. I would much rather play my almost always awesome turn 5 [card]Fel Reaver[/card] then a maybe good [card]Harrison Jones[/card]. On ladder “tech” choices usually fall short because of how many viable decks there are.
- Game Play “Theory” – Recently there has been a lot of discussion about game play “theory” and how to properly build the “best” deck to ladder. Don’t listen to theory, often times it’s just ranting nonsense and the opinion of 1 person. If someone well established has a theory about game play or an idea about a matchup, sure listen to it, but even then take it with a grain of salt until that theory can be proven. If you want to risk your ladder rank on theory feel free, but I enjoy proven facts and statistics.
- Card Choices – Whatever deck you choose to ladder with try and make card choices that go along with that style of deck. Mech Mage is an aggro based tempo deck, it would make no sense for me to play a card like [card]Kezan Mystic[/card] or [card]Big Game Hunter[/card]. Of course dropping a BGH against [card]Dr. Boom[/card] is awesome, but what about the other 99% of the time that card is just sitting in my hand being useless. When you play an aggressive deck you don’t play reactive you play proactive, remember to know your role when you’re playing Hearthstone.
I know Mech Mage might not seem like the most fun deck in the world but it does actually hone some skills a lot of Hearthstone players need to work on(Plus c’mon Unstable Portal is HUGE FUN!!!!!). Making value trades while maintaining the board is something most players ignore for the more powerful decks like Handlock or Patron. I personally love this style of deck as I feel it has more interaction and a higher thought process than just play on curve and drop the biggest minion you can each turn. I hoped you all enjoyed this look into the world of Mech Mage and hopefully you got something out of it. Best of luck to everyone on ladder and may the RNG gods be with you.
Until next time,
If your looking for game-play videos of me playing the deck to Legend or Top 10 Legend check out my past broadcast here http://www.twitch.tv/hsrampage. Every game of ranked ladder I played this season has been on stream so you can see my entire climb. Also, I would love and appreciate a follow if you find my article and me entertaining :). Thanks.