*DECK UPDATED*: The deck lists for both the Majordomo and Domo-less versions of my control mage decks have been updated. Both now include two copies of Fireball as additional removal options along with a few other slight changes to help tool the decks slightly more towards aggro by dropping a few high end drops in favor of more early and mid game interaction.
Proof of Legend:
Deck list: (As of 8/7/2015 (Season 17) - With Majordomo)
Deck list: (As of 8/7/2015 - Without Majordomo)
|Minion (16)||Ability (14)|
DISCLAIMER: This is a VERY SLOW and VERY DIFFICULT deck to play perfectly, you will have a lot of options available to you very frequently and several of them will seem enticing so choosing the perfect play is not always easy and due to the slowness of the deck minute mistakes can cost you games far more often than with other decks.*
With this in mind understand that the following deck is a very consistent, very fun, and very powerful slow control deck. So if that's something that interests you I highly suggest you read the guide and try out the deck. :D
Brief Overview of Mage-r Domo / Domo Arigato Grinder Mage:
So let's jump right in, this is a grinder style control mage deck like those piloted by Strifecro over the past year, however it differs slightly in that this deck forgoes using more standard late game finishers in favor of Majordomo Executus to have an incredibly resilient late game threat that once in play the only way to remove it is to actually kill us, which is made fairly difficult due to two copies of Ice Block.
So I know what you're all asking so I'm going to address this early; yes I'm playing Majordomo Executus on purpose, no this isn't a gimmick, no I don't just have him to troll, yes I really do play him in games, and yes he really does help win games we would not have if he was another slow legendary like Sneed's Old Shredder or Ysera. Majordomo is the ultimate in value IF you can protect yourself, which this deck most certainly aims to do. Yes there will be times when your opponent plays Big Game Hunter and then Kezan Mystic and kills you but they would eventually have beaten you with that Kezan Mystic anyway if they had a board that you couldn't deal with so this point isn't really relevant a lot of the time. So when is Majordomo good? He's actually insane against other control decks once you enter the late stages of the game and you have around 5-10 cards left in your deck and you can stick him on a relatively empty board, and this happens a lot more often than you'd think when you play a deck as slow as this where games often take 20 minutes to complete (if you don't lose super fast to perfect aggro starts when you have a bad hand). What domo does that other slow control finishers don't is that he gives you access to a threat in the form of a Hero Power that you can use every turn for the rest of the game that your opponent can NEVER remove. He's threatening in the control mirror for the very same reason why Lord Jaraxxus is so strong, he simply gives you gas until the game is over and the only way your opponent can prevent you from having access to that threat is to kill you. “Die Insect!” the hero power of our elemental lord of fire is basically akin to a 2 mana Deadly Shot or Pyroblast every turn which against other slow decks is pretty much absurd since you're either putting your opponent on a very quick clock by blasting their face with a ton of damage or you're killing their board for 2 mana without having to use actual cards to do so allowing you to save them for emergency situations. Majordomo is at his best against all forms of Priest, Handlock, Control Warrior and Ramp Druid (the variant with taunts and no combo), since these are all slow grindy decks that actually get demolished by your new hero power and have relatively few if any ways to burst you down to 0 without anything existing on their board. The matchups where majordomo is at his best tend to also be the more difficult matchups for the deck overall so he's a welcome inclusion.
So now that you know what Mr. Executus can do I want to address a commonly asked question “But SirFunchalot, can't your opponent just pop your Ice Block, then kill Majordomo Executus and then do 8 more damage to your face and kill you?!”. The answer to this is yes however it is extremely unlikely. This deck is so defensive and contains so much healing that you'll often find yourself entering the later stages of the game with 18+ HP yet due to our plethora of defensive cards this can still be a safe time to deploy the majordomo as even if our opponent can answer him and pop our block it's not that hard to keep yourself protected on the following turn.
Okay, so we've talked enough about the namesake finisher of the deck, so lets delve a bit in to the rest of the deck. We've got a relatively standard slew of mage control oriented class cards; double Flamestrike for board clears (especially good against Patron Warrior and Midrange Zoo).
Two copies of Fireball for mid-game spot removal and late game burst damage.
The secrets for damage lethal protection and card advantage, using duplicate on Illuminator, Sludge Belcher, Antique Healbot or a legendary minion can easily help you to seal the game against certain matchups.
Arcane Intellect is included to add some extra draw consistency to the deck to help us dig for the right answers and out-card our opponents by having more options throughout the game.
Explosive Sheep as early game tech against aggressive decks since having stuff to play in the early stages of the game is actually relevant against Hunter and Paladin.
Mad Scientist for additional deck thinning and consistency as he can give you extra HP by trading in to minions and save you mana in the early stages of the game by deploying your secrets for free.
Emperor Thaurissan is a card that can get a ton of value in this deck since you will often find yourself with a relatively large hand; in games that you expect to go very long and your game plan involves Majordomo try to save this for when you draw Alexstrasza as getting an 8 mana Alex allows you to bring yourself back up to 15 and still use your hero power the same turn to blast something for 8 damage (the same play can be made on 10 mana with The Coin should you hold on to it it that long, which isn't necessarily a bad plan against control), otherwise just slam him when you have a good turn and you're not threatened with lethal and he's going to do some work for you.
Sylvanas Windrunner, Ragnaros the Firelord, Alexstrasza and of course Majordomo Executus are our finishers of choice as they all have the potential to swing games hugely in your favor without a need to be combined with other cards, just slam them when the time is right and watch these expensive legendary cards work their magic.
Toshley and Archmage Antonidas are of course additional threats in the variant without The Major and they give us a more consistent game plan against aggressive decks should you be facing more of them and not need the late game trump card that is Majordomo Executus. Antonidas is however especially powerful against handlock since he can give you burst damage to go through their taunt minions.
If you opt to play any of the tech cards then start by cutting the cards below that are considered tech cards before you start cutting other cards to make room for more tech, you can't play a stable deck and tech your list full of match up dependent cards so only play at most 3 if possible.
Against an aggressive metagame such as those found on the majority of the ladder you can consider playing Unstable Ghoul as it will give you several percentage points in your matchup against Face / Hybrid Hunter, and Aggro Paladin. Mind Control Tech can also be played as a tech card which doubles as being at least decent against midrange when they over extend or play Dr. Boom. Also should you find there to be an exceptionally large amount of hyper aggressive decks Zombie Chow is also an option to help give you a game plan starting on turn 1.
In a metagame where you're encountering a lot more midrange paladin, midrange hunter, demon zoo, and most forms of druid consider options such as [card=goldWater Elemental[/card], Loatheb, The Black Knight, Harrison Jones, Baron Geddon and Kezan Mystic as they are all great mid-costed high impact cards that in the right scenario and against the right metagame have the potential to be highly impactful.
For when you're encountering a lot of Freeze Mage, Patron Warrior, Oil Rogue and combo Druid look to Kezan Mystic, Acidic Swamp Ooze, Harrison Jones, and Loatheb as your tools of choice as they each have a relatively high impact against the proper deck when played at the right time.
The duo of Toshley and Archmage Antonidas should be your go to picks when you face a lot of control (in addition to Majordomo) as they both have threatening enough bodies that warrant removal yet are resistant to Big Game Hunter and they also give you some extra added versatility and late game mana sinks to help give you an alternate plan of attack should your plan A not pan out. A second copy of Big Game Hunter is also a card you should consider when you're facing a lot of Control Warrior and Handlock as the card is extremely efficient in those matchups where you'd like a bit more hard removal than just the two Polymorphs and 1 BGH.
Mulligan Guide and Expected Win Percentages (Add 5-10% if your deck is teched properly)
Druid: Combo (40%) / Taunt No Combo (60%):
Like most control decks we're not actually matched up very well against a powerful midrange combo deck like Druid, which is why it's one of our worst matchups. Mulligan for Mad Scientist and Water Elemental as they can hopefully bridge you in to the mid game. Hold on to Sylvanas Windrunner (and/or Loatheb / The Black Knight if you're playing them) if you already have a playable hand as they are key cards to winning this matchup for us. Try to stabilize as best you can and win the game with Dr. Boom and/or Ragnaros the Firelord (non-hero) as they are rather big and difficult for the druid to answer without throwing in multiple cards or having Big Game Hunter. Taunt druids without combo are significantly easier to beat as they play more expensive guys that we can punish with Polymorph (or TBK if you're playing him) and you're not constantly in fear of losing to burst damage from their board + Savage Roar if they have Kezan Mystic as they'll rarely have the damage on board to kill you without the roar.
Hunter: Face (65%) / Midrange (50%) / Hybrid (55%)
Mulligan for Mad Scientist, Explosive Sheep, Illuminator, Unstable Ghoul (if you're playing it), and Frost Bolt as they are your premium early game interaction so long as you can stem the early bleeding you're likely to win. Hold on to Kezan Mystic if you're playing her but otherwise you pretty much just want your early game interaction against this class. Face hunter is a relatively easy matchup thanks to all of the decks healing and if your deck is teched to beat it the matchup is very confidently in your favor as you just play too much healing and protection for him to punch through.
Midrange Hunter is also a match slightly in your favor since a lot of your cards trade favorably against theirs, Polymorph especially against Savannah Highmane is a game winning play a lot of the time. The only reason why the midrange matchup is a bit less favorable than the face hunter one is because it's not uncommon for them to play Kezan Mystic right now and Loatheb as well as Freezing Trap can cause you some problems as they can some times slow your deck down just enough that they can kill you before you've really stabilized. The newer Hybrid Hunter is a slightly more difficult to beat Face Hunter due to Freezing Trap however their cards are overall slower so you can sometimes stabilize more easily than against their more aggressive counterpart. Piloted Shredder is however a fairly difficult card for this deck to answer efficiently so don't be too afraid to spend a poly on it, despite the desire to save it for Highmane saving it for the perfect scenario doing could cost you too much tempo and HP and therefore the game.
Mage: Tempo / Mech 60% / Freeze 75+%
Mulligan for Zombie Chow, Mad Scientist, Explosive Sheep, Unstable Ghoul (if you're playing it), and Frost Bolt against the more aggressive lists and keep any healing and Ragnaros the Firelord for when you're certain they're playing freeze mage. The freeze mage game is almost as hard for them as control warrior. They don't expect Ice Barrier and are likely to proc it forcing them to play deal 8 more damage than they needed to, but they also need to burst you through two Ice Blocks[card=gold] (if you're playing the Majordomo verstion), an [card=gold]Antique Healbot, your Alextrasza bringing you back up to 15 while simultaneously not losing to your actual minions which are pressuring his life total especially Ragnaros the Firelord. If your deck is teched and is playing Kezan Mystic and Loatheb the game feels impossible to lose. The aggressive mage decks are certainly a much harder matchup but with you cheesing Mirror Entity with Explosive Sheep coupled with your strong board clears in double Flamestrike and Baron Geddon your large amount of healing and taunts its relatively easy to stabilize and run them out of cards. Archmage Antonidas shenanigans as well as perfectly timed Loatheb and Kezan Mystic are quick ways to lose against them however, as are drawing poorly enough that you can't stabilize and you get run over, but more often than not the matchup is in your favor.
Paladin: Midrange 40% / Aggro 60%
Mulligan for Mad Scientist, Explosive Sheep, Unstable Ghoul (if you're playing it), and Frost Bolt as they are your key early pieces of interaction which you will need for the powerful tools paladins frequently have access to in the early game. The matchups against the midrange decks are fairly difficult especially against the dragon based lists as they contain a lot of mid sized minions, and similar to the druid matchup this can cause a bit of a problem if you don't draw the right cards, namely Sludge Belcher, although The Black Knight and Harrison Jones are both exceedingly good in this match up so make sure to tack on some percentage points to your expected win percentage if you're playing them. Baron Geddon is also exceptionally powerful here as he cleans up their dudes and other smaller stuff and baits out Big Game Hunter and Aldor Peacekeeper making your other late game cards more threatening. Make sure to save a Polymorph for Tirion Fordring though, as tempting as it might be to use it to answer Chromaggus or Ysera try to answer them in other ways as best you can using Polymorph only if there is no other way you can clear their minion, if you've drawn the other poly or if by leaving it up for a turn and answering it over 2 turns with other cards will lose you the game.
Eboladin is a far easier matchup because you have a lot of healing and early game interaction, just try not to go crazy with card draw as they can punish you with Divine Favor and make you regret it, so in general just try to kill everything they play and eventually finish them off with a big guy hitting them in the face a few times. Baron Geddon is also particularly insane against this deck, even more so against the traditional Quartermaster paladin, so consider keeping him in your opening hand if the rest is good enough as it can pretty much win the game by itself.
Mulligan for Frost Bolt and Mad Scientist as they're relatively effective against most of priests early game plan along with a Polymorph to punish them for buffing a minion too much with Velen's Chosen. The matchup against control priest is very very slow so you're going to want to make sure you get as much impact out of your cards as possible saving them only for the perfect moment. Make sure to play around Shadow Madness if possible by playing no more than 1 threat on the board at a time. Majordomo Executus (should you be playing the variant with him) is a key card to winning this matchup and if you can slam him down early enough resolving him successfully and not having him get stolen with Mind Control is likely to out right win you the game as priests have basically no burst damage to speak of and you'll just blow up your opponents face and the stuff he plays for free each turn. It's possible to lose if you get tempo'd out early with a big Velen's play or if he has double Injured Blademaster and Circle of Healing (4/7's are actually relatively difficult for you to remove without chipping away at them first and the fact that priest can heal them up makes this that much harder for you), but in general if you stay even against a priest you can let Ragnaros (the hero) tell them “YOU WILL PERISH IN FLAMES!” and more often than not they will.
Rogue: Oil 65%
Mulligan aggressively for Mad Scientist and Frost Bolt to deal with and have early game plays along with keeping Sludge Belcher as it is exceptionally hard for rogue to deal with other than by using Sap which if you can delay the game long enough, won't be enough. You have a lot of healing and Ice Block to save you from potential lethal burst damage so the rogue will have to really work for their victory unless you draw abysmally and just lose quickly of course.
Shaman: Mech 60% / standard Midrange 50%
Mulligan for Mad Scientist, Explosive Sheep, and Frost Bolt to interact with the shaman's early game plan and then simply finish them off with higher quality cards as the game goes on. Mech Shaman you're very likely to beat if you get your early game cards as you can generally heal out of burst range as the game goes on and keep their board clear with Flamestrike. Midrange lists are a bit more of a back and forth and Hex and Neptulon are very good against you as they either efficiently remove your big guys or your represent a large threat that gives the shaman gas to play on a following turn. The game against midrange is definitely slightly in your favor because of how good Flamestrike is against Shaman and like Control Warrior there are a lot of threats in your deck, the game mostly comes down to how good the start is from the shaman and how many answers he draws to your threats. Baron Geddon is obviously insane against the class though and if you're opting to play him he'll do some real work.
Warlock: Midrange Demon Zoo 45% / Handlock 40%
Against the aggressive lists you want the usual Explosive Sheep, [Mad Scientist[/card] and Frost Bolt however due to the recent inclusion of more large minions in zoo these matchups have become fairly even favoring you when the zoo decks stumble to build early game pressure or draw deathrattle minions and favoring them when they don't have those issues. [card=gold]Baron Geddon is particularly of value against the zoo decks if you're opting to play him as he's a threat with a built in (partial) board clear. Handlock however can be quite tough as their minions are very difficult to answer efficiently and they can really apply a lot of pressure with them; for the most part you need to draw the answers to the threats they play and you'll be fine as you can eventually burst them out of the game with burn spells, but if they apply pressure early on with multiple giants / drakes you're probably done for if you cant answer them fast enough.
Warrior: Patron 75% / Control 60%
Mulligan for Mad Scientist, Frost Bolt. The match against patron is about as lopsided as matchups get in Hearthstone, if you can Flamestrike a board of his patrons it's unlikely he can immediately go off again, especially because you don't play very many small minions for him to bounce the patrons in to on turn 7/8 with Warsong Commander. The efficient board clears combined with healing are generally enough to run them out of cards unless they got an absurdly big Battle Rage in which case you might just fatigue them out in the long game provided you can clear the second wave of patrons, but for when he doesn't get to combo you twice you can generally just stabilize and finish him off with a big threat like Ragnaros. Control Warrior is a bit harder since the warrior is definitely going to hit fatigue after you due to their lesser amount of deck thinning so you're on a bit of a clock to finish him before that happens as it will invalidate your Ice Blocks, but that doesn't mean play aggressively either you're still a very slow deck and you need to play the value game. Remember to save Polymorph for the big guys like Ysera you can't afford to use it on Emperor Thaurissan, Sludge Belcher, Shieldmaiden, etc as you can generally kill them in other ways. Majordomo Executus is a key win condition here, like against the other control decks since if your opponent can't kill you immediately you will threaten them every single turn of the game from there on, something that is especially relevant in the control mirror since it gives you access to threats without requiring you to play more actual cards.
I hope this guide is thorough enough and answers a lot of the big questions a lot of you are having, if you have ones I did not address in the guide feel free to post them in the comments and I'll answer them as best I can. To those who said Majordomo Executus was stone cold unplayable and had no place in constructed, as the great Ragnaros the Firelord says, “YOU WILL PERISH IN FLAMES!”
Savjz played the deck on stream and you can watch him play it here: http://www.twitch.tv/savjz/v/5277440 he begins streaming the deck roughly 3:30:00 in to the VOD.
Youtube.com/Khristophesaurus & www.twitch.tv/khristophesaurusdinosarus
I will also be keeping an up to date version of the deck list for what I am currently playing on ladder for those who want to keep up with how I'm playing it to combat the top 100 legend meta.