Follow me on stream! www.twitch.tv/fr0ghs
I have made a Reno mage deck which I am currently using on STANDARD!
Also STANDARD TEMPO!
* CHANGES * - 2x Piloted Shredders + 2x Water Elementals, - 1x Forgotten Torch , - 1x Azure Drake, + 2x Flamecannon
*Flamecannon was added because of the rise of druids and priests I've been seeing on the meta.
( feel free to use which ever minion for your 4 drop. Shredders provide better trade up value, Water Elemental provides better board control and freezes weapon heros)
* I am now available for Coaching sessions for those of you interested in that. $15/hour. Here is a link: Book a Coaching Session with FR0G (Please keep in mind, I work 9am-5pm Mon-Fri. and usually will be available on hearthstone around 6pm PST)
*For those of you who REALLY cannot live without arcane blasts, and like a more traditional Tempo style mage, heres a different deck that I made.>>CLICK<<
Hello Everyone! I am the FROG. I Play Mage almost exclusively well at least when I'm Seriously Laddering. I do not wish to sound cocky, but I always reach legend, and have so always with Mage.
I reached Rank 1 Legend Season 22 (01.04.2016) with this Tempo Mage deck i created. I will provide more explanation later. For now just posting this out of my happiness. Previous Best was rank 3 legend. ^^ here are some screenshots for now.
Ok Mulligan guides. Excuse my amateurish writing. (not much of a writer)
I like to hard mulligan for Mana Wyrm and Mad scientist.
*By Hard mulligan what i mean is, If its not a Wyrm or a Scientist, Toss it. That Sorcerer's Apprentice, Toss it. That Frostbolt, Toss it. Flamewaker? Toss it. (Exceptions to these explained below)
But I almost always hang onto Unstable Portal because.. c'mon.. you all know, Esportal is realsies. i.e. portal into mysterious challenger turn 3. you win. gg. no.. there is no if ands or maybe, you just win.
Hold Frostbolt vs Druid (Aspiriant) Shaman (Tunnel Trog) and sometimes Mage (Wyrm or Grill(sorceress apprentice)
Q: Is there there a replacement for Antonidas?
A: Antonidas is necessary to get the full value of this deck. I would say at least 50% of my games, are determined by Antonidas. However, if he is not within your reach, I would suggest the following cards:
(note that it does not have to be a minion let alone a legendary one)
- Dr. Boom
- Bran Brunson
- Azure Drake
- Violet Teacher
- Forgotten Torch
Q: How do you use Antonidas efficiently?
A: Generally you would want to combo him with at least 1 spell if not 3 or sometimes with Sorcerer's Apprentice(s) many spells. But do not fear to tempo him out on curve if your opponent has little or no cards in hand and the Board is weak or empty. Sometimes The board is becoming a threat, and you can use Uncle Tony here to be a Taunt in a way because everyone knows, he MUST be dealt with right away.
Q: Why the Mind Control Technician? And No Dr. (GG) (Balance) Boom?
A: I originally brought MC Tech or (MCT) into the deck because I often found myself losing due to bad starting hands. The Opponent started snowballing and there was just nothing i can do. Too early for Flamestrike and its costing me all of my premium removal spells only to wither and die anyways. (mainly to Zoo) Due to this, I often found myself unable to use Dr. Boom. When I do use Dr. Boom, 8 out of 10 times he would just get instantly BGHed (Big Game Hunter). When I Do win games, I often do so without Dr. Boom.
MCT has often brought me back into games by stealing very valuable opponents minions. Ones with Taunts, Big Buffed Minions. However Sometimes even stealing a measly little 1/1 can swing the tempo into your favor. I cannot stress this enough, DO NOT over value cards.
*EXAMPLE* Oh you got an Iron Beak Owl from your mirror entity. This is ok! The point is that the opponent's original plans have been deterred. They had to play around, and lose tempo. And besides, now he doesn't have an owl or at least down 1 silence for your Antonidas. Remember we are a Tempo Mage. Any free minion is a good thing.
MCT can be tempo'ed out on curve or when you just don't have anything else to play. Do not sit around Waiting for that "Perfect" opportunity. DO NOT WAIT for your opponent to Lay out 4 minions. If they have 3 minions on board, and you have a way to clear it out, CLEAR IT OUT!
Q: No Arcane Blasts? Why 2x Mirror Images?
A: While Arcane Blasts are beneficial one time, Mirror images offers multiple benefits. It's effects last longer as well. Simply put, more bang for your buck. If you haven't noticed by now, All of my damage dealing spells are direct target spells. Arcane blast can only be used on minions. I like the option of burning face. : ) smorc smorc
Mirror images allow you to keep your minion alive and on the board longer allowing you to stall time while such minions like the Flamewaker can continue to reak havoc as you bring in reinforcements. Especially in a match up vs the "dreaded" secret Paladins, Once you establish board dominance and with the help of images, you can be very aggressive. Many people worry about the "Dr. 6" Must fireball it! NO! not when you have images, and not even in the case that you have board dominance. Once you start going face, there no going back. I will go into more details about vs. Paladins in a later update.
Mages have a lot of tools to stall the opponent. Mirror images are one of them. We don't need to Always have full board control just as long as you can Control the board enough so that you make your opponent uncomfortable. Freezing effects and Mirror Images do just that. Makes it very awkward or your opponents turn meanwhile you do your thing, whether its face or pecking away at an enemy creature.
Q: Azure Drake vs. Ethereal Conjurer / 2x Ethereal Conjurer 1x Azure Drake or 1x Ethereal Conjurer 2x Azure drake?
A: Let me put this simply. This is MY opinion.
- Would you rather Draw into a Fireball or create a Fireball + have the possibility of drawing into your existing Fireball?
- 2x the possibility of creating a spell you desperately need for example a flamestrike or a polymorph, or 1x. I don't know about you guys but I always say 2 is better then 1. (I hate reno)
- Is 6 attack more scary or is 4? Yea its easily removed, but you'd be surprised, how often it goes uncontested, given that you played it on a somewhat uncontested board, or deep enough into the game where a lot of removals were already used. Even if not so, a 6/3 Still has to be dealt with. It is a huge threat. You discover a spell and place a decent threat, (mind games.. People fear the unknown.) Your opponent discovers a newfound threat + gets mind F***ed as to what you could have discovered.
- But Azure drake has +1 Spell damage! Spell damage is always great, but also keep in mind I'm not running any arcane blasts in this deck, so I'd rather get a spell. Maybe ill discover an arcane blast?
- Would you rather have a spell.. or +1 spell damage with no spell and -2 damage. I know this won't always be the case and you could have spells in hand already but just for arguments sake imagine this type of scenario.
- Obviously you know which I favor, however this doesn't mean 2x Drake can't be better. Whatever floats your boat. Just letting you guys know my take on this matter.
*Important to note, Take your time during your turns. Often I notice people just playing out their cards way too fast. Rope if you must, but consider all possibilities and thoroughly think out your plays.
VS. PALADIN (SECRET)
So as I've mentioned before (in comments), This is one of if not the Easiest match up for this deck.
Mulligan: You want Mana Wyrm, Mad Scientist, Unstable Portal, Flamewaker, Arcane Missiles. However If you do have a Mind Control Tech (MCT) Generally I hold onto that as well.
You want to dominate the board early game. Most of the time, If you have the coin, you will want to coin out a 2 drop if you do not have the Mana Wyrm opening. You want something on board to trade/work with as well as proc secrets. Whatever you cannot completely kill off, ignore it and go face. Once board control has been established, you want to be very aggressive vs Paladins. There will be many times that by the mid game, where you cannot fully clear the board. You want to out number the Paladin on board presence and Continue to Smorc his face, Forcing him to trade with this big buffed minion. Use mirror images and freezing effects to protect your minions or stall to build up a board to work with. If you have the Paladin below 15 hp, don't bother using your fireball to clear out his Mysterious Challenger, Just find ways to keep smacking his face until you can burn him down. This means try to use your board as much as you can since they do have a decent amount of taunts which would be best by passed with burn spells.
DO NOT GIVE UP!
There have been many games where I would start off with an awful hand and situations seem very grim, however with Antonidas, Ethereal Conjurer (Frost Nova, Polymorph, Cold of cone, Fireball) and Mind Control Tech, I've been able to swing games around to victory.
Mulligan: for Mana Wyrm, Mad Scientists, Flamecannon (updated from Torch S23 ), Portal. If you have Magic Missiles, and a Wyrm already, might consider keeping it for those pesky little living roots, or to clear out any unwanted Shades. A good early Unstable Portal can just straight up win you the game right then and there. What if its a bad portal? Consider it tempo and play out y our cheap minion.
Druids tend to be one of our easiest match ups since we can dominate the early game (assuming you drew a well starting hand) and Mirror Entity is the bane of their very existence. Take board Control early and maintain it as much as you can and be very aggressive to their face. Yes some druids will run their very own MCT, but Since we know that Druids have a tough time as it is Board clearing, feel free to snowball overextend the board.
They also really dislike mirror images. Mirror images can be very good vs druids in the late game, or if you are playing from behind. Antodnias + Images can be a very big swing. Especially vs Aggro Druids. Images can also help you set up their board for your own mct. Maybe you need to use images to stall a turn or 2 so you can build up your board, While you do that, they invest their 4th minion on the field, and BAM! You MCT.
With that in mind, Don't let their Azure Drakes live as they can deal 2 damage to all with a single swipe.
In this matchup we value our minions over our spells, so use your spells to clear board and protect minions. In many other match ups, I would advise to trade with your minions and use spells conservatively.
Things to keep in mind vs. Druids
They WILL Swipe your Flamewaker, so its nice if your turn 2 scientist put up a counterspell upon its death prior to your flamewaker's arrival to the board to you know.. Do its Flamewakery thangs.
They WILL Charge a cat, (Druid of the Claw, Charge 4/4) to devour your flamewaker. So again Images save lives.
Turn 6, They have a minion on board. Usually by this point probably just a Keeper of the grove or something, but in anycase. If you have MCT in hand, Turn 7 is a good chance they will play Dr. Boom. However if the Druid seems to be weak in the early games, its wise to just tempo out MCT on curve on turn 3.
Mulligan: You want to look for Mana Wyrm, Mirror Images, Mad Scientists, Unstable Portal, Flame Cannon and Most importantly, the WATER ELEMENTAL!
Strategy: Where to begin.. Ok lets start with what to do with Mana Wyrms. ULTIMATELY, Your goal is to secure the board to drop that 4 mana Death Bomb (Water Elemental) on curve. Don't worry though if you did not get the perfect mulligan, or even if you got the worst hand in all history. Warriors especially control warriors, generally start really slowly giving you a lot of time to prepare. We heavily force out his removals early and mid game. Get his hand card count low and Just overwhelm him Damage. He will take a lot of damage using his weapons as well, and then burn him down with fireballs. Try your best to not get into a Top decking situation vs a warrior. They will Destroy you usually if this happens too early. Don't go too gung ho all in vs Warriors. We all know how they love to Justicar right at the perfect moment to bring them back into the game. Try to position yourself to deliver lethal in 1 blow.
Mana Wyrms & Mirror Images: If you are going first, and you have a Mana Wyrm and No mirror Images, You just play it out on turn 1. Easy. Why though? Wont it just die to Fire Win Axe? Yes. But its death will not be in vain. If the Warrior so chooses to 'Coin' out his weapon, We baited out his coin. Remember we are using Counterspell in this deck and we want that to really protect us in the future. Whether it be for our Water ele, or from a Brawl or any sort of removal. Even blocking a shield block or sometimes a Inner rage. Honestly counter spelling Any warrior spells is a good block. If you are going 1st and you do have Mirror Images, Generally I would like to just wait till turn 2 to combo out the Wyrm and images. Mirror Images is a Very valuable card in this match up especially. Not only does it provide taunt protection, It forces the warrior into an awkward position and he has to waste his weapon charges to clear it. This will either force out a targeted spell like Bash or Shieldslam, etc. Anything to activate and easily execute our water ele we want to bait out. If the Warrior simply does not have any way to deal with your wyrm.. Well we all know what happens when Mana Wyrms aren't death with they grow out of control. They just win games.
If you are going second with the Coin. If you have mirror images but no Mana wyrm, and you may or may not have the Water Ele in hand, you play images turn 1. As is. You always want to drop the Water ele with Image protection if possible. We do this turn 1 so it doesn't clog up our upcoming turns. Plus this just makes it super awkward for the warrior. If you have Mana Wyrm With images With the coin AND water ele in hand. I would play this out like as if I didn't have the coin ( Wyrm + images turn 2) so that we can coin out the water ele turn 3. If you do Not have the water ele in hand, Then Wyrm coin images can be ok.
*Do keep in mind as Images expand the board presence it gives the warrior Excellent Brawl Values. So do not over extend too much if you suspect a incoming brawl.
Unstable Portal: Just like in any match up, a good early Portal just wins games. Warriors in particular have trouble dealing with Portal shenanigans because it forces them to use too much resources. They can't deal with multiple threats in a row. This is how we eventually overwhelm the warrior. and Hey, Portal out a 1 mana Water ele. I saw a game when APXVoid portaled out a 1 Mana Water Elemental, and that literally won him the game.
Water Elemental: We do everything above and hopefully a mad scientist in between turns 1-3 and hopefully got a counterspell up, to ensure the safety of our Water Ele. But sometimes things just doesn't work out this way, however you still play him on turn 4. Unless you absolutely have to do something else. The warrior will do whatever literally whatever way he can and go out of his way to get rid of your Water Ele. That being said, Once you Water Ele. Hits the board, It only has one target, and that is the Warriors Face. There is no trading with the Water. Often times it becomes a puzzle solving game. i.e. How can we clear through his belcher and anything else so that the Water Ele can hit his face. You do whatever it is necessary to get that Water to touch his Face.
Ethereal Conjurer: Vs. Patron, You want to keep this guy in your open hand actually because you really want to drop it asap to "try" and get that Flamestrike to clear the Patrons. If you don't get it, generally you will get something useful. Perhaps Duplicate, Spellbinder, Frost Nova, Ice Block, Echo of Mediv. All are good spells to consider. Late game I like to Mirror Images with Conjurer and Echo them all. Conjurers Provide Clutch cards to help you close out the game or make a comeback. Echo of media with Mind Control Tech vs Patrons is very useful as well.
Flamewaker: This card isn't too good in this match up in the early game. As his spitfires are bad for Armorsmiths, or Acolyte of Pains. This card is more of game ender lethal delivering force.
Archmage Antonidas: Usually is what will do the trick. Try to get max value of Uncle only, But usually Will be lucky to get 2 Fireballs off him. But usually you don't want to be in a situation where you need That much fireballs to end the game. I don't think this needs any further explanation. You play tony to get fireballs to win. You Try to make sure he has no obvious forms of removal left before you play him. If you got Spellbender from Conjurer, Excellent source of protection, or perhaps you got duplicate or Effigy.
Mulligan: Mana Wyrm, Frostbolt, Flamecannon, Water Elemental (Primary Keeps) Sorcerer's Apprentice, Mad Scientist, Unstable Portal (Secondary Keeps)
Strategy: This match up is quite simple so long as you can get at least 1 early removal, Flamecannon Preferred, and you have your water elemental. You want to control the board early or at least keep it under control, do whatever it takes so you can drop your water ele on curve. After it hits the board, You want protect that water ele anyway you can. This can be done by dropping another threat such as a flamewaker along with mirror images or setting up a secret. Maybe you got Duplicate or Effigy from Conjurer? The Water Elemental does not trade, Ever! unless.. you have no choice.. which would only mean you have no other way to clear one of your opponent's 2/3 Taunted Spirt Wolves. The Shaman WILL NOT ignore your Water elemental. He/She WILL go after it and will not rest until it is dead or silenced. After this is established meaning you've secured the board and the safety of the water elemental at least for the moment, you just build up your board power to finish off the shaman in 1 or 2 turns.
Mirror Entity isn't too useful here since most of their minions are garbage, however, remember! Any free minion is good. Its another minion to use to trade with. Think of it as a free removal. But this secret is only worth it if you got it from the Mad Scientist. You'll rarely have the chance to play it from your hand anyways since you're mostly reacting to his aggression.
Counterspell on the other hand will be very useful here. Do keep in mind that if you do counterspell a "overload" spell, the Shaman will Not be overloaded. Their Trog's also do not get buffed. Try to plan out your counterspell set up. Have a spell in mind that you want to target to block. i.e. Spirit Wolves, earthshock, lava burst, etc. Sometimes you might have MCT and you want him to spirit wolves.
Ethereal Conjurer is your reck it or save your neck card. Obviously in a winning situation, you are looking for more burn or potential ways to protect your minions. In losing situation, you are looking for ways to prolong your life. i.e. Ice Block, Ice Barrier, Counterspell, Frostbolt, Ice lance, or if desperate enough, Unstable portal in hopes to portal into any healing minion.
Take into consideration what the Shaman might do on certain turns. Will he use overload and if so how much possible? Take advantage in the turns that they are heavily overloaded.
If you are ever in a situation where you have a minion or multiple minions on board and you're not sure what to do. Should you trade and clear his board or push face? It all comes down to 2 things.
1. Do you have burn in hand. Specifically Fireball(s)
2. How much mana do you have?
If 'yes' to #1, and you have 6 or more mana. Go face. In fact, when in doubt.. go face. Chances are, if your opponent hasn't killed you by now, he's fearing for his own life.
Mulligan: Mana Wyrm, Sorcerer's Apprentice, Mad Scientist, Flamecannon, Frostbolt, Unstable Portal, Mirror images, Arcane Blasts (if you are using a more traditional tempo mage)
Strategy: Concede. Haha im kidding. But seriously, Zoo is our worst match up. It is hard. However they are beatable so long as we get a very strong opening and some heavy RNG firepower. In other words, We need LUCK in this match up more then ever. That being said, we are looking for a Strong opening with multiple early removals to dominate the board Early game. The Zoo requires the board to do anything. They combo off anything that you might leave on the board. so Yes, even that little 1/1 or even a 0/1, 0/2, kill it off. Obviously as with any game, we want that turn 1 Mana Wyrm, but in this match up, we are desperately looking for the Sorcerer's Apprentice (Girl, Grill) as I often call them. We want to take over the board early, denying the Zoo of everything he tries to stick onto the board. Then once control has been established, punch face as much and as hard as you can. Turns 1-4 will be usually pure board control. After that, we will be controlling significantly less, as we are just trying to punch in as much damage possible to the Zoo's Face so we can Burn him to death in the late game.
The GRILL (Sorcerer's Apprentice) is Very important in this match up in the Early game. The reason being is the act that we will be needing to use a lot of removal spells. We need them to be cheap so that we can use multiple spells per turn. This also usually leads to running out of steam very fast. But the Grill will allow us to use Arcane Intellect to reload our hand and not lose too much tempo while doing so. The Grill + Images combo is very effective if you do not have removal available to you in your hand. You can delay the Zoo, and set up your board properly for effective trades. Or Stalls for you so you can hit their face a turn or 2 to set up lethal. The Grill will be the engine to the Mana Wyrm and the Flamewaker. The Grill can easily pump out Portals allowing you to have a huge tempo advantage.
UNSTABLE PORTAL honestly can make it or break it. If you can get some big minions usually in the midrange area. i.e. Yeti or something along those lines where you can play for 1 or 2 mana, You most likely just win. Since Zoo has to trade effectively to win, Getting Big bodies out Early enough before the Zoo can set up their board for effective trades, will just overwhelm them. On the flip side... you get like a murloc tiny fin.. or a wisp. GG you lose..
MCT Mind Control Technician obviously can be a swing card if you find yourself getting overrun. I like to try to save the MCT till I see the Zoo use the Defender of Argus so that I have at least a 2 : X Chance to steal a taunt. Sometimes if the board is 2 reasonable minions + Imp Gang Boss, I might ping the Imp Gang Boss to make it 4 minions on board to try and steal.
Ethereal Conjurer often will be your win condition. You are either looking for Flamestrike, or if you're situation isn't too dire by this point, Frost Nova. Frost Nova or better yet 2x Frost nova is usually too much for the Zoo. Frost Nova + Antonidas + Mirror Images = you Win. Or maybe you're already dominating the Zoo so much that all you need is another Fireball or Polymorph Boar.
to be continued on Zoo..
Mulligan: Mana Wyrm, Sorcerer's Apprentice, Flamecannon, Mad Scientist, Unstable Portal, Frost Nova
Strategy: Priests can be very annoying and almost impossible to win if they make it to the late game and have been drawing a Ton of cards along the way. However, WE are Favored in this Match up. Our plan is have a very aggressive start, and destroy them by turn 5-6,7. An important thing to keep in mind when playing vs. a Priest. Cleric (a.k.a. girl) Must die. That is their Engine. That is what will be your demise if left alive. We can approach this match up almost as if we were up against a Zoo. The Grill (Sorcerers Apprentice) is Very important here in the early game as it is a huge threat to the priest, It provides a good trade up to almost anything a priest can drop in the early game. Even to the "mighty" deathlord. Keep in mind that Priests have threatening turns on turns 5 and 6 and pretty much always after that but usually those 2 turns, you want to be cautious and plan according to what you might Think you will most likely encounter. Turn 5 being Holy Nova, Either don't over extend or you better have that Counterspell up. *Best not to ever have more then 1 secret up at a time, as this makes it Too easy for your opponent to play around them. Turn 6 being light bomb, and the Cabal Shadow Priest. If you are playing your flamewaker on 6 or afterwards, make sure it is protected by Mirror Entity so the priest won't be able to get a free steal. Try to bait out entomb before playing Antonidas, and if you find yourself going into a very late game against a priest, I'd recommend waiting until after the Golden Monkey is played.
The GRILL (Sorcerer's Apprentice) Not only Contests the Cleric, It doubles as also being an immediate threat for the Priest player. The mana discount it provides on our spells enables us either swarm the board early with portals, images shenanigans, or Dangerously buff up our Mana Wyrms. With the Grill on board, their turn 3 deathward is almost meaningless, in fact its a liability for them because;
- We can now fireball on 3 mana as opposed to 4.
- 1 mana Spells are now 0. Meaning if Antonidas or Flamewaker were to pop out of the Deathlord, Well.. they're in trouble..
- Flamewaker combo's are nuts.
Ethereal Conjurer is a Major Entomb target. Can be used as a bait or used to protect your other minions in the future or to ensure lethal. Cards to look for in this match up
- Polymorph, Polyboar
- Echo of Mediv
- Frost Nova
- Unstable Portal
to be continued on Priest..
This deck was created middle of season 21 (December) and was intended for that time frame's meta on through Early Season 22 (January).
HOWEVER.. The Meta is constantly changing. Currently I see a rise in the new Combo Patron Warriors and a lot more Zoo. I shall be working on adaptions to deal with these new threats.
Please Share your ideas if you have some with me. I would love to hear it.
Things that I am considering/testing:
- - Piolted Shredders + Water Elementals, Violet Teacher (Credit to: Senbonzakura1000)
- + Flamestrike
- + Iceblock - Mirror Entity
- + Spellbender - Mirror Entity
- - Mind Control Technician + Loatheb, Spellslinger, Dr. Boom
TESTING RESULTS! (Updated 02.04.2016)
- Water Elemental IMO is the clear winner, at least for the current meta dealing with Zoo( Good board control), Smorc Shamans (F**K yo Doomhamer!), Warriors, Or just freezing up anything that is threat to you.
- Lose tempo, Great if you get from Conjurer, However that being said. I did run it for a few days and its not too bad. However, I'd rather not run it and try my best to not be in a situation where i need to use it.
- Again, great if you got from conjurer and you needed it. Get it from conjurer vs a freeze mage and you most likely win. If you're in a face race situation, again this would put you in favor unless you have absolutely nothing in hand.
- Spellbender is great vs Warriors, Priests, and Paladins. However, As much as I used to run it in the good ol' Prenerf Patron days, Just not as effective as Mirror or Counter. If you are having a lot of problems and seeing a lot of priests, i'd suggest you try this secret.
- Dr. Boom.. just doesn't get enough "Perfect time" to play it. Spellslinger, is a great 3 drop, however in the late game, or even on curve has the potential to stab you in the back. Loatheb IMO is probably the best alternative to MCT, However, going up against so much zoo and pally, I still prefer MCT.
This is the First time that I have posted anything on this site, anything hearthstone related in general really. And I cannot express my happiness to the response and attention that this has received. I did not expect this at all. Once again I would like to thank all of you for taking your precious time to even glance over this post. Also would like to Apologize to anyone if I did not reply to you, sometimes I just miss things. This community is GREAT!
Let me know what you would like more explained in the comments please. I will be updating this as much as I can. Happy New Year everyone!