5/18/2016: -1 Arcane Missiles +1 Faceless Summoner. 2 missiles was too much, by the time turn 6 rolled around I was missing a minion to solidify my board position. So I improved my odds by putting the faceless back.
5/20/16: Added legend ladder gameplay video.
Hello everyone, my name is Trevorius and I'm a Legend player from the good ol' U.S.A. Since it's finals time, I've obviously been grinding Hearthstone instead of studying (Cs get degrees). And during my climb to legend I kept coming across the same decks over and over. Lots of warrior, lots of shaman, and a whole TON of rogue. So I decided to make a tempo mage deck that can deal with the meta. You'll see some of the synergies that make this a deck to be reckoned with. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments.
Some parts of the guide aren't completed yet, I'm currently in the process of moving, so I will finish them ASAP!
Here is my proof of Legend as well as my stats with the deck
Cult Sorcerer - This is a new card from WotoG, and it's an amazing addition to the already strong tempo mage roster. A 3/2 passes the value test for a 2 drop, plus the spell damage can be useful in the early or late game. You don't even need to run C'Thun to make use of this card. When comboed with cards like Arcane Blast or Frostbolt it can take out popular 4 health minions such as Totem Golem, Tomb Pillager, and Frothing Berserker
Flamewaker - Here is the minion that makes this deck so strong. I know some people are going to ask in the comments, "What can I replace Flamewaker with?" And I'm going to tell you right now, there is NO replacement. Flamewaker combos swing the game extremely fast. Without this card you'll never be able to beat aggro decks because they will simply swarm the board while you sit there helpless.
Cabalist's Tome - Another great WotoG card. Tome creates instant value, because you get 2 extra cards without drawing. And the next best part is that you will never get a bad spell. Even if you get Shatter, you can still use it to activate Flamewaker or Archmage Antonidas. If you exhaust your hand taking control of the board early, this can be a nice way to replenish it and possibly combo with some minions you already have on the board.
Faceless Summoner - And the last WotoG card in this deck, Faceless Summoner. I've seen some tempo mage decks running Sylvanas Windrunner, but I personally believe running 2 copies of this card is better. When you run Sylvanas Windrunner against control you usually control the board. So you either drop her on an empty board and she gets instantly removed, or leave her in your hand and she's a dead card. Faceless Summoner gives you the 5/5 body AND a 3 drop, which is harder for control decks to remove and provides more ammo against an aggro deck.
In general you will want to mulligan for your low-cost minions and spells. I always keep mana wyrm, sorcerer's apprentice, and cult apprentice. For spells, always keep frostbolt and arcane blast. I will go over the matchup specific mulligans as well as strategy below
Warrior is kind of difficult to mulligan for since there are so many popular warrior decks right now. You have control, and midrange/patron, and pirate aggro. These are all different matchups in the way you play and mulligan, so try to mulligan for the matchup you face the most. Against control you should follow the standard mulligan and DON’T keep arcane missiles. Against cards like armorsmith and acolyte of pain it will do more harm than good. If you have the coin and while you beat them down. Make sure not to overextend your board because most decks are running doube brawl. Try to bait out their targeted removal like execute and shield slam before you drop archmage antonidas or ragnaros.
Against midrange you will play very similar to control, except there is no need to play around brawl. Make sure you save flamestrike for the decks that are running patron, or for when the enemy builds up a large board of their 3-4 health minions like frothing berserker, armorsmith, and monkey. Spell power with arcane blast is a godsend to deal with these 3-4 health minions as well.
If you think you’re up against a pirate aggro deck it's ok to keep arcane missiles and mirror image. Also, if you have the coin you can keep flamewaker with a good curve. It can be a great tool to clear the early board this deck attempts to establish. Don’t try to rush for lethal against this deck. They have too many tools to burst you. Instead, attempt to clear their minions and freeze their face at key points using water elemental and possibly frostbolt if necessary. Mirror image can either be played early to protect your early game minions, or late in the game to keep a possible leeroy jenkins at bay.
You’re most likely going to be facing a zoo deck, so I would always mulligan like that is your opponent. That means go for every default mulligan and add arcane missiles and forbidden flame if you already have a minion. If you have the coin you can keep flamewaker and mirror image. Try to make the best early game hand possible so you can survive long enough to drop your big threats. Make use of your spell synergies to out-tempo the board flood and once you have control of the board it’s basically impossible to lose. If you had a bad mulligan, just use spells to clear the board and wait till you can use a flamewaker combo or flamestrike to take control of the board.
If they’re renolock you’re gonna have a harder time because of the amount of versions of the deck. Try to read the enemy and see if they’re playing like they have Reno in their hand or not. Don’t use your burn before they’ve used Reno if you have to kill them with it over 2 turns. I’ve gotten f***ed too many times when I attempt to burst a Reno warlock over 2 turns only to have them heal up and “wow” emote me. Establish a strong board and burst them when they’re not expecting it.
Mid-range and aggro shaman both have the same early game cards so you mulligan the same against them. Follow the default mulligan and add arcane missiles and try to get a cult apprentice + arcane blast combo if you can. That combo will take out a totem golem and force the shaman to fight to get his board back. Also keep flamewaker if you have a decent curve and the coin.
Against midrange try to use polymorph to swing tempo. Use it on a Thing From Below or possibly a Flamewreathed Faceless to claim the board and put your opponent on the defensive. Also save Flamestrike. Even if there is an opportunity to use it doesn’t mean you should. Save it for when the board gets really out of control.
For aggro, do your best to keep their board clear. Aggro Shaman is built of of their ability to quickly flood the board with high value minions due to overload. And then beat your face in with doomhammer. If you clear their board with your multitude of spells you should be fine. Don’t worry about developing a really strong board, because they’ll just ignore your minions anyways. Just play minions if it works with your curve or spells.
This deck actually functions very well against miracle rogue. Spell power + Arcane blast allows you to easily kill their 4 health minions while clearing the board. Polymorph can neutralize an Edwin Van Cleef or a minion buffed with Cold Blood. And Flamestrike can take care of a stealthed board. Plus the fact that no rogues are running blade flurry means it will be hard for them to kill your bigger minions like Azure Drake and Faceless Summoner. Just develop your board and don’t let them keep any minions for too long.
Midrange hunter is coming back into the meta so I thought I’d really quickly discuss it. I haven’t played this matchup a lot, but it is fairly straightforward. Just like midrange shaman and warrior, keep their board as clear as possible so they can’t use beast synergies, and watch for the turn 8 Call of the Wild. Use polymorph on their Savannah Highmane to ruin their day and you should have a fairly easy matchup.
Ramp druid is probably one of the hardest matchups this deck faces. Their ability to drop big minions before you have a way to deal with them can really make your life hell. Try to kill them before they are able to establish a big board, because you lack the ability to clear it effectively. Luckily, druid lacks board clear except for swipe, so as long as you play around that you should be able to maintain a decent enough board to finish them before they have established to many big minions
I haven’t seen a lot of control paladin on the ladder, most likely because its a hard and slow deck to play. But the few matchups I did have went about the same way. Keep a small but effective board to avoid equality combos, and try to get good value out of antonidas so you can burst through the heals. Try to save polymorph for Tirion or Sylvanas, don’t waste it on something like a doomsayer. That’s about all the advice I have against paladin.
Try to bait out shadow word pain before you drop your water elementals. And try to bait entomb or power word death before you drop an antonidas or ragnaros UNLESS you can kill them the turn after and just want them to waste 6 mana on not healing. Otherwise, those cards alone are enough to win the game for the priest. The loss of lightbomb does help this matchup, so you can establish a strong board and the priests will eventually have to use single target removal on your less valuable cards, allowing you to drop your finishers.