Like to be aggressive but hate the feeling of just SMOrcing face without any thought? Well then this may be the deck for you. Mage may be one of the strongest classes sine League of Explorers came out thanks to its versatility. There are viable freeze-mage, tempo-mage, Flamewaker-mage, and mech-mage decks out there now that can all get you to legendary. This deck i've found is the best hybrid of aggression and tempo driven decks. It has all of the necessary requirements to be hyper aggressive against control decks and can out tempo hyper aggressive decks like zoolock, paladin, and shaman. The hardest match ups for this deck however are face shaman as this deck doesn't have a board clear and often only has trouble if he can play Feral Spirit early and to combo druid as the burst damage is hard to stop with only 2 taunts however if you have the taunt in hand before they can combo you're golden. Luckily League of explorers essentially nerfed hunters since a lot of people are now running Reno Jackson. This is an expensive deck in terms of dust but this is also what sets it above the rest of the mech mages out there but it can still totally work with a few substitutions aside from Archmage Antonidas and Dr. Boom.
This deck has a win rate of 62% climbing from rank 17 to rank 7 in the first 3 days
20 upvotes: Mulligan Guide Check! 30 upvotes: 30 minute video of the deck in action Check!
Thanks Khristophesaurus Dinosaurus very much for your video of the deck in action which can be seen in the comments or at the link below. [He even did so against this decks hardest match ups]
50 upvotes: Detailed match up descriptions by class and subclasses: CHECK!!!! I will work on editing the guide to make this deck even better for you all.
1 Clockwork Gnome: Solid 1 drop, helps curve out better, cheap mech activator in later game, adds spare part for Archmage Antonidas. Not 2 because this isnt a hyper aggro deck its more of a tempo / midrange
1 Cogmaster: 3/2 1 drop with little downside given that a vast majority of this deck is mechs, again only 1 because we aren't hyper aggro and dont SMOrc like most mech classes I have since added a second Tinkertown Technician because it seemed to work better for me but an argument can be made for either card.
2 Frostbolts: While the 3 damage is nice for clearing minions in the early game the freeze aspect is great in the mid game around turns 5/6 where this deck can see some awkward turns and can stop aggressive decks in their tracks and can be played with Archmage Antonidas in the late game to basically win assuming you've made good trades so far.
2 Annoy-o-Trons: Mech and annoying as hell, stops combo druid dead in its tracks and aggro decks from destroying you in the early game.
2 Mechwarpers: This one should be obvious, it makes your mechs cheaper and this whole deck is mechs. It also has psychological taunt and if you have the coin is the ultimate 1 drop if they don't have an immediate answer.
1 Arcane Intellect: This is the only means of card draw in the deck and can be a life saver at the end of games or can help you keep up with handlocks and out last other aggressive tempo decks.
1 2 Tinkertown Technicians: Gives a spare part for Archmage Antonidas and is a great body at 3 mana for a 4/4 but even if you have to play him without a mech [which never happens] he's still 3 mana for a 3/3 which is not too far from par and can take out a good number of early game minions.
2 Fireballs: Versatile spell, kills most minions and even Dr. Boom for 6 mana if you add your hero power. Usually should be saved and used as burst damage to finish off an opponent but each game is different and learning when to play spells and when to save them is the hardest part of playing this deck.
2 Goblin Blastmages: Talk about balanced, 4 mana 5/4 that deals 4 random damage. This random effect makes it better than Gormok the Impaler [a legendary] while this is only a rare! Why is the random damage better? It only requires a singular mech and can clear aggro board of low health minions or if the board is clear just do 4 damage to face making it basically have charge without taking damage. This card is so OP and should be crafted if you want to play mech mage.
2 Gorillabot A-3s: Have a mech? Have a mech! It really helps fill your curve, if you need a small mech you can often find one under 4 mana and if you need late game Foe Reaper 4000, Sneed's Old Shredder, and Piloted Sky Golem are all often choices. However, do NOT get too greedy when choosing options from his discover mechanic because this deck has enough late game, trust me, it is almost always better to pick a smaller minion you can play either the same turn you play this card or the next in some combo. Again each game is different and this card gives you a lot of flexibility but unless youre very protected picking Mimiron's Head isnt a good call. In my opinion the best 2 cards you can get from his discover mechanic are Piloted Shredder and another Gorillabot A-3.
2 Piloted Shredders: Best 4 drop in the game, and is run in every deck already, so when it has this much synergy its an auto add.
Loatheb: Staple legendary who can prevent your opponent from making huge plays dependent on spells, which is most decks besides Zoolock. Super solid at 5/5 body and puts your opponent on the defensive almost immediately if they weren't already.
1 Piloted Sky Golem: Its a Piloted Shredder on steroids. Yup. Super balanced... pay 6 mana get 10 mana's worth of stuff cant really beat that. So why not 2? Well 2 just proved to be a little too clunky but the argument can definitely be made to add a second one of these.
Toshley: This is a legendary that most decks dont play and should honestly be a mage specific legendary at this point because its the only one that can really make use of its battle cry and deathrattle. If you can somehow manage to curve out Toshley, then Dr. Boom, followed by an Archmage Antonidas spare part combo even secret paladin doesn't curve out better and you win the game because you can SMOrc and then kill them through Tirion Fordring. His 5/7 body is also actually ideal because he is not a Big Game Hunter target and the 5 damage is enough to kill Sludge Belchers while the 7 health lets him survive going face to face with even a Savannah Highmane.
Archmage Antonidas: Often this decks best win condition in the late game. With 10 total spare parts and spells you should have no problem getting a lot of value out of this guy. DO NOT PLAY HIM UNLESS YOU GET THE FIREBALLS YOU NEED. Seriously the worst way to lose is playing him when you think he's safe even behind a taunt and then he is killed with hard removal before getting any value out of him, this is after all ,an aggressive TEMPO deck so you should be looking to get value wherever you can.
Dr. Boom: Dr. Balanced. Best legendary, Best 7 drop, Best card in the game. Can't get any more tempo or value for 7 mana on turn 7.
Sneed's Old Shredder: "King of the mechs". Another finisher and win condition for this deck, often all the removal is used earlier in the game on the Piloted Sky Golem, Dr. Boom, and Toshley so when you play Sneed's Old Shredder you can often trade how you want and when he dies he can become even more of a threat. Only downside is you can occasionally get a lorewalker cho or Nat Pagle but for each of those you also get a Ragnaros the Firelord or Ysera. His 5/7 body is also great in this deck for the same reasons that Toshley's is. The average legendary stats are about 6/6.5 so he is likely to gain attack when he dies.
Cards left out:
Mad Scientist / Mage secrets: They take up too many card slots and while yes they are good they are not the focus of this deck, this is a mech deck not a hybrid mage deck.
Flamestrike: You would rather be playing minions whenever possible and while yes it can be awesome at clearing the board on turn 7 in my experience either your minions have cleared the board by turn 7 on their own or you have been killed by a hyper aggro deck by turn 6 and wouldn't be able to play it in the first place.
Mechanical Yeti: We already have too many 4 drops and while some could be substituted for this card its just slightly too poor to make the cut in my opinion.
Ethereal Conjurer: not enough health but could be added if a late game piece like Toshley isn't an option. This deck is designed around good trades on the board and while this card can give you the perfect spell you need often it is far too slow and unreliable and can be killed off by pretty much any 2 drop and stronger minion.
Face Shaman: Clockwork Gnome, Unstable Portal or Frostbolt, Mechwarper and Annoy-o-Tron. It is massively important to get a good start against aggro decks such as this and it should be played more like a control match up because they will burn out far faster than you will so the goal is to survive. being able to play 2 minions on turn 2 or 3 thanks to Mechwarper is important but if this cant happen Frostbolt can and should be used to kill the Tunnel Trogg asap. If you can clear all of a shamans board at any point you will basically win because often the biggest minions they have in this deck are Fireguard Destroyers which can and should be delt with a fireball and aren't that scary and carry overload. Snowchugger is also MVP card in this match up to stop their doomhammer each and every turn and should often not be played on turns 1-4 so that you can best ensure the freeze effect if possible. Unstable portal should often be kept in the opening hand but is a risky move, it can give you a large minion in the early game to compete with the overload effect shamans have but without giving you overloaded crystals. The downside is sometimes you get a large minion and get off to a slower start and the shamans just SMOrc. This is an unfavored match up for this deck but if you can make it to turn 8 this match up quickly swings in our favor.
Face Hunter / Midrange Hunter: Favored match up. Should keep Mechwarper, Annoy-o-Tron, Spider Tank and even Goblin Blastmage [Yes a 4 drop crazy I know]. The reason this match up is much more favored than face shaman is hunters play a lot of 1 health minions which can be dealt with extremely efficiently thanks to the mages hero power. In this match up though its important to not over trade minions. If you have board then go face as much as possible but be aware of Unleash the Hounds and don't over commit. Often it is correct to keep no more than 4 minions on the board at one time unless going for the kill. Goblin Blastmage is the best way to get board on turn 4, because face hunters often ignore minions your mech synergy is much more effective and sticky. It is important to play around the following 3 traps more than the rest, Bear, Explosive, and freezing. Freezing Trap is the most dangerous to this deck because it slows tempo better than the rest and often the minions can handle the explosive and bear traps no problem. Midrange hunter is also favorable because while they have a strong turn 6-8 it doesn't match up well against this deck and often the removal spells and Frostbolts should be saved to stop and not kill Savannah Highmanes until you can deal with the 2 2/2s it drops.
Aggro / secret paladin: Favored match ups. See the above guide where I discuss the late game portion of this match up but in general keep the same cards in hand as hunter, with a lot of divine shields and 1 health minions your hero power is the key to this match up and Goblin Blastmage is the MVP. Aggro paladin just stands no chance if you can keep up and avoid divine favor giving them too many cards secret paladin is also an easy win so long as you play around their secrets, this means attacking first with minions over 2 health, attacking when they only have 1 minion, not killing anything with a deathrattle or divine shield, such as Piloted Shredder or Shielded Minibot, before others, and preparing for Avenge. Muster for battle is a joke in this match up, often the face damage they take from trading helps you win the game in the end and you can clear their 1/1s no problem.
Warlock: Zoo is Favored / Renolock is even. Keep Frostbolt, Unstable Portal and any 1-3 mana mech. The biggest thing when you queue in aggainst a warlock is figuring out if it is zoolock or reno asap and to watch their hand when they mulligan, if they keep everything its is essential to keep early removal or a Mechwarper because it is more likely to be a zoolock deck. Aggainst zoolock just play the tempo game this deck is built around. Renolock is more challenging, it is important to play around Hellfire and shadow flame on turn 4, to avoid a devastating turn swing. The next key turn is 6 when they can play Reno Jackson, keep them above 15 health to avoid them also playing a Molten Giant on this turn if you cant kill them before it. Turn 8 if you are winning they will play Twisting Nether so if you went first play Sneed's Old Shredder on this turn if in hand so even their board clear gives you a legendary.
Rouge / Warrior: Highly favored matchups. These decks trade face damage for removal so play aggressively against them. If their weapons ever get too big or you warrior opponent plays Death's Bite then its time to playSnowchugger to avoid it getting off its very important deathrattle effect. You should not keep unstable portal against these match ups as you want to play minions early and reliably the only way these match ups go poorly is if they can get off to a faster start than this deck can. Annoy-o-Tron should always be kept so that Fiery War Axe becomes less than worthless.
Ramp / Combo Druid: Unfavored match up. It is very hard to stop their combo. Keep Frostbolt, Snowchugger, and Spider Tank if possible. It is very important to play a bigger minion on turn 3 against this deck to not fall behind.Frostbolt should be used to kill Darnassus Aspirant the second you see it. Snowchugger makes their turns 3-4 usually worthless because they look to use their hero powers a lot these turns. Annoy-o-Tron can be kept in hand but should NOT be played until you think you are in range of combo, it stops combo for at least 1 turn. Do not drag out games with druids you should look to be the aggressor in this match up, the longer you wait the more susceptible you are to combo.
Mages: Even or favorable matchups. There are a variety of mage decks out there right now so its hard to tell what kinds each are. In general try to keep any 2 drops OTHER than Frostbolt even though it can kill Mana Wyrm it is often better to just play minions and take the risk that they dont have 2-3 1 mana spells in hand too but even if they do they will run out of steam and lose. Grinder mage is the hardest mage match up for this deck so look to get as much out of Archmage Antonidas as possible. This often means saving 3 spare parts for 3 fireballs on turn ten. Most imporant secrets to play around are Mirror Entity and Duplicate play smart and do not give them too much power as you will lose the tempo game.
Control / Dragon Priest: Highly favored: Most of this deck can survive Lightbomb and Holy Nova the priests 2 main sources of removal. Beware of Entomb as well they will often entombToshley or Dr. Boom but this means your smaller minions are how you win this game. The later a game goes against a priest the better chances you actually have as priests need minions to do any real damage to your face and they look to buff whatever they can put on the board, Fireballs should be used to remove minions and not do face damage in this match up. This is the match up where your opening hand matters the least but Frostbolt should be kept to kill their Northshire Clerics for obvious reasons.
Hope this helps guys and thanks so much for all the support!!!
If you want to try something else new that's well beyond the regular for hunter check out this new deck ive been fooling around with Lock and Load Hunter :D http://www.hearthpwn.com/decks/413987-locked-and-bloated-s22