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[Legend] Medivh's Valet Aggro Freeze Mage 70% w...

  • Last updated Sep 22, 2016 (Karazhan)
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  • 14 Minions
  • 16 Spells
  • Deck Type: Ranked Deck
  • Deck Archetype: Freeze Mage
  • Crafting Cost: 3480
  • Dust Needed: Loading Collection
  • Created: 9/23/2016 (Karazhan)
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  • tom_hs
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Hey guys, I’m tom, a fairly consistent high legend player – I play in opens quite often and qualified for spring prelims. I’ve taken a hiatus from tryharding recently because the current meta has been rather oppressive; as such I made my monthly legend push a little later than usual theorycrafting different lists around the rank 5 area. Having said that, I created an “aggro” mage list and the deck is honestly amazing in the current meta. While it’s far from your typical aggro lists such as face hunter and shaman, I use the word aggro because it uses the old aggro mage list shell with a couple swaps (more specifically medivh’s valet). I played rank 5-legend with a 70.4% winrate and was able to maintain the 70% winrate playing at legend, peaking at rank 200. Also had an 80% winrate vs midrange shaman, 100% winrate vs zoo, rogue, and midrange hunter. I have no doubt this deck is top 10 legend capable, I just haven’t had the time to play more games at legend rank.

Decklist http://imgur.com/a/JtMpS

Winrates http://imgur.com/a/3ed00

Legend Proof http://imgur.com/a/PlRxm

Deck Basics

While it’s dubbed aggro mage, it plays a lot more like a fast freeze mage/tempo mage hybrid. Unless you’re against a control deck, your early minions are used almost exclusively for board control rather than hitting face. Your goal with this deck is to stall as efficiently as possible until you have enough damage to kill your opponent over 1-3 turns behind ice block. In the same way frost nova is used to buy you turns, your early game (mana wyrm, sorc. Apprentice, loot hoarder, etc.) is there to buy you future turns as well. The longer you stall the game, the more likely you are to draw into cycle/stall/ice block, and thus the more likely you are to win. If you’re at 25+ hp by turn 6 you almost definitively win the game because you have enough cycle and stall to kill your opponent. It’s perfectly okay to use frost bolts, or even ice lances early to buy you time early – this deck has PLENTY of damage:

Ice Lance: 4+4

Frost Bolt: 3+3

Medivh's Valet: 3+3

Forgotten Torch: 3+3

Roaring Torch: 6+6

Fireball: 6+6

Thalnos: 3-5

Total: 53-55

Card Choices

2x Ice Lance: a key component of this decklist. One mana, 4 damage (5 with thalnos) is absurd. Almost every game ends with some sort of frost bolt + lance + lance + thalnos type of combo. Occasionally a lance is used to stall the game with poor draws.

2x Mana Wyrm: a solid early game that lets you trade fairly efficiently vs midrange/aggro decks, and go face against control. While you always want Mana Wyrm early, and it does suck to draw it late, it’s not the *worst*. You can quite often do some sort of Mana Wyrm + Nova turn or and get value out of them. Furthermore, they’re always traded into so they buy you time/”heal” you in that sense.

2x Mirror Image: Excellent stall, great at protecting Mana Wyrm & Apprentice. Mana Wyrm - > Coin -> Mirror Images or Apprentice -> Mirror Images is just so good vs weapon classes.

1x Blood Mage Thalnos: Self-explanitory; cycle + spell damage

1x Doomsayer: One is more than enough, two is overkill. It’s a horrible topdeck, and nova + doomsayer isn’t as relevant as in freeze mage. Not only is it often sap’d or mulch’d or hex’d but this deck is significantly faster than freeze mage and you rarely need it to go off with a nova. It’s used much more often to either stall early, or gain quick board control. A turn 1 coin->doomsayer or turn 2 doomsayer going off allows you to develop board and use those minions to trade and thus buy you more time.

2x Frost Bolt: because its mage and why wouldn’t you run frost bolt in mage

2x Loot Hoarder: Cycle; better than novice in this list because your early game allows you to use minions for something other than cycling (be it trading or going face)

2x Medivh’s Valet: Such an MVP card, one of my favorites in Karazhan. The two ice blocks in the list allow it to reach it’s potential because the secret stays up basically all game. Having an extra frost bolt in this deck is amazing, either for reach or board control. Having said that, it’s often correct to drop it as a simple 2/3 to contest early board or push face vs control early.

2x Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Synergizes incredibly well with basically everything in the deck. Great for contesting early board cheating out cheap spells (especially mirror images) and lets you develop a minion that your opponent has to trade into, buying you more time. While on curve Sorc Apprentice is obvious, turn 4 sorc apprentice + nova/torch/AI or turn 6 apprentice + nova + ai is quite strong.

2x Acolyte of pain: Cycle – fine to drop turn 3, often better to wait to get ping value on turn 5, assuming you have another turn 3 play.

2x Arcane Intellect: Pretty obvious; just super efficient cycle.

2x Coldlight Oracle: Cycle.. giving your opponent cards doesn’t matter when they can’t do anything with them because they’re frozen or you have ice block up and 20+ damage sitting in your hand. Having said that, it’s often incorrect to coldlight on curve unless you desperately need cards, because giving our opponent cards *that* early means they probably can do something with them. Fantastic to use in conjuction with a nova or after a doomsayer – also incredible late game to top deck some damage.

2x Forgotten Torch: Such a great card for this list – the front end is great for clearing minions early since it cycles a 3 mana fireball into your deck for later. This list probably wouldn’t be nearly as viable without this card.

2x Frost Nova: The perfect stall card, nice and cheap. You usually want to save frost nova to stop your block from being popped. It’s better to take damage turns 3-5 when your opponents board is weak, and saving nova for turns 6-10 where they can pop your block in one turn.

2x Ice Block: Obviously this list wouldn’t be possible without ice block, incredible card. Buys you turns, allows you to spend all your mana throwing spells at your opponents face, and makes Medivh’s Valet give value fairly consistently.

2x Fireball: Four mana, 6 damage, obviously.


Favorable: Midrange Shaman, Midrange Hunter, Zoo Warlock, Miracle/Malygos Rogue, Tempo Mage, OTK Warrior, Dragon Warlock, Reno Warlock

Unfavored: Dragon Warrior, Aggro Shaman, Yogg Druid, N’zoth Paladin, Murloc Paladin

Super Unfavored: Control Warrior


Almost every matchup goes the same way – using early game to transition into your cycle mid-game effectively (by not taking too much face damage early) – and using that mid game cycle to hit your answers, ice block, stalls, and damage. It’s perfectly okay to use spells to clear minions, understanding when this is correct is important. Will killing this flametongue totem, or this totem golem, buy me more turns in the future? If I leave this minion alone, will I live long enough to kill my opponent over two turns? You need to know exactly how much damage is in your deck and your chances of drawing your damage/answers at all times.


**Midrange Shaman**

Winrate: 80-20

Mulligan: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Mirror Images, Doomsayer, Frost Bolt, Loot Hoarder

Strategy: Early game is key as it allows you to trade into the shaman’s early game and transition into the mid-to-late game unscathed. It’s almost never correct to hit face early with a minion early – you’re better off killing any totem than hitting face. You want to put yourself into a position where you can cycle without taking much face damage turns 3-6. If this happens, and it happens often, you’ll hit constant cycle which lets you hit all your answers, iceblock, damage, and stall. Almost never use nova early – it’s important to have novas ready for turns 6+ because you *will* lose board by then and using novas to stop your iceblock from getting popped is key. It’s perfectly okay to frost bolt a minion or flametongue totem, or fireball an azure drake or 5/5 taunt – but you must know when this is correct – will they pop block if you don’t do it? Will it buy you an extra turn? Is that extra turn relevant in this specific scenario? Between turns 7-10 you want to start transitioning into throwing spells at your opponents face. Count your damage, know how many turns you need for lethal, how many draws you need to draw into lethal, and play accordingly.

**Aggro Shaman**

Winrate: 40-60**

Mulligan: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Mirror Images, Doomsayer, Frost Bolt, Loot Hoarder

Strategy: The strategy here is honestly the same as midrange shaman, but unfortunately more difficult to pull off. The inclusion of tunnel trogg, spirit wolves, and faceless makes it very difficult to contest board early, which doesn’t allow you to cycle efficiently without taking damage. The matchup is certainly winnable, but you need a very aggressive mulligan to compete (Wyrm, Apprentice, Mirror Images, or a solid t2 doomsayer is an excellent way of doing this)


**Zoo Warlock**

Winrate: 90-10

Mulligan: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Mirror Images, Doomsayer, Frost Bolt, Loot Hoarder

Strategy: I had a 100% winrate (10-0) vs zoo, it’s an unbelievably lopsided matchup in your favor. Just as vs. Shaman, use your early game to contest their early game. You *will* lose board by mid-game, it’s inevitable, but Zoo’s weak early game minions allow you to cycle mid game and transition into late game very effectively. While dropping doomsayer by itself early is fine, it should be noted that Zoo struggles dealing with a frost nova + doomsayer, which is always a game winning play if you happen to draw the combo. Using spells on their early minions is an especially good idea vs zoo, as it forces them to tap to continue pumping out minions – as such, killing a zoo’s minion is doing face damage at the same time. You typically just start losing board by mid game, at which point you’ll just cycle into your stall and win the game. One more thing to note is Zoo players will often disregard the fact that their board is filling up with weak minions – this is important because if their board is full of 1 or 2 damage minions, they can’t drop an argus or doomguard or whatever to develop stronger players.

**Dragon Warlock**

Winrate: 80-20??

Mulligan: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Mirror Images, Arcane Intellect, Loot Hoarder

Strategy: I only vs’d two of these on ladder, and while I did go 1-1, it’s only because I draw absolutely horrible (double ice block double nova mulligan). I don’t see how this deck stands a chance to be quite honest, it’s just a slower garbage version of Dragon Warrior in my opinion. They have no way to prevent you from drawing into your cycle/stalls, and with their only healing being 2x farseer they have no way to stop a deck with 50-55 face damage. Just play early minions, trade or hit face as necessary, draw, stall, and spells go face.

**Reno Warlock**

Winrate: 70-30??

Mulligan: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Mirror Images, Arcane Intellect, Loot Hoarder

Strategy: I honestly didn’t vs a single reno lock but I imagine it’s a super favored matchup. Their deck is so slow they have no way to stop you from efficiently cycling your deck, drawing into all your freezes, and killing them with absurd thalnos+sorc apprentice burst.


**Midrange Hunter**

Winrate: 80-20

Mulligan: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Mirror Images, Doomsayer, Frost Bolt, Loot Hoarder

Strategy: I had a 100% winrate (4-0) vs. Midrange Hunter. I consider midrange hunter/secret hunter as the same deck as the strategy is the same anyway. Just as with midrange shaman, your early game is simply there to contest theirs. As a rule of thumb, all spells and minions should be directed at clearing the hunter’s board until turn 6 Savannah Highmane comes down – at this point, you stall and cycle, as killing Savanah Highmane is simply not worth it. It eats a fireball or two spells, and only reduces incoming damage by 2. The only time it’s correct to kill Savanah highmane is if you have minions on board to clean up the two hyenas. You want to have frost nova saved for COTW. Once COTW comes out, you have 1-3 turns to kill your opponent, so all damage should be going face.


**Dragon Warrior**

Winrate: 30-70

Mulligan: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Mirror Images, Doomsayer, Frost Bolt, Loot Hoarder

Strategy: While the strategy is theoretically the same as vsing midrange shaman or midrange hunter, Dragon Warrior is simply too good at contesting board, and their curve is simply too strong and fast to deal with efficiently. FWA/ichor means there’s no chance you keep early board, and Alex Champion/Monkey+Frothing/Dragon+Korkron/Corruptor+Azure Drake are just too strong to clear efficiently – it’s very hard to deal 4 damage effectively with this deck on turns 3 and 4 since torch only deals 3 damage, and the minions are so efficient at dealing face damage that you simply can’t keep up. Furthermore, doomsayer hardly ever goes off because of execute, weapons, and charge minions. You need to play this the same way you play against every other midrange deck, but throw in some prayers.

**Control Warrior**

Winrate: 1-99

Mulligan: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Mirror Images, Arcane Intellect, Loot Hoarder

Strategy: This is honestly just auto-concede, the armor gain is just too much for a deck with limited damage. Fiery War Axe deals with your early game, and bash/hero power/shield block/justicar/Iron Forge Portal is just too much to deal with. The one game I won against control warrior, the warrior got Spawn of Shadows off Iron Forge Portal and wasn’t able to hero power all game. So, if you’re seeing a lot of control warrior and want to climb, don’t queue this deck. On the other hand, if you’re playing this deck in a tournament, ban warrior.

**Worgen OTK Warrior**

Winrate: 80-20?

Mulligan: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Mirror Images, Arcane Intellect, Loot Hoarder

Strategy: Ice block makes this matchup very much in your favor, and while they do run shield blocks, their armor gain is still miniscule enough to make them killable. I only went against won and beat him favorably, but my winrate may be potentially off. Having said that, go aggressive early and cycle into your damage quickly – with two iceblocks you should be able to kill them before they kill you. One key thing to think about is using coldlight oracles to mill your opponents cards, as their hand is often full from running nothing but cycle.


**Miracle/Malygos Rogue**

Winrate: 95-5

Mulligan: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Mirror Images, Arcane Intellect, Loot Hoarder, Doomsayer

Strategy: I had a 100% winrate vs rogue (9-0), it’s an extremely easy matchup. Firstly, rogue has a tough time dealing with your early game – especially if you get a wyrm and/or apprentice + mirror image start - unless they have some sort of backstab/si/etc combo – but even then, their minions are easily cleared with torches and fireballs. Because rogue early game is so slow, it allows you to easily transition into your mid game cycles/stalls. Furthermore, iceblock makes malygos or coldblood lethal next to impossible. The only way rogue has a chance to win is through a massive vancleef on t3, or an incredible questing adventurer turn. So, having said that, *always* kill a big vancleef or any adventurer, even if its inefficient. Ive had games where I had to frost bolt + icelance a Vancleef on t3/4 and it was always worth it. Other than that, just get to late game and kill your opponent over 2-3 turns since rogues have 0 healing.


**Tempo Mage**

Winrate: 60-40

Mulligan: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Mirror Images, Arcane Intellect, Loot Hoarder, Doomsayer

Strategy: Only went against a couple tempo mages during my climb, but I believe this deck is favored as you have more damage and two ice blocks they have to go through. So, while it may be 70-30 or even 80-20 favored, I have the winrate at 60-40 to be cautious because if you don’t draw iceblock a solid flamewaker turn can absolutely blow you out, and it’s very hard to compete in the early game because their minions are significantly stronger than yours. Make sure you never coldlight, unless you absolutely need the draw, without ice block up. The last thing you want is to give a tempo mage cards early. Other than that, it plays out the same way as every other mid-rangey deck, except you can pretty much clear their minions all game because they’re so weak. Until you have a 1-2 turn lethal set up, of course.


**Yogg/Maly Druid**

Winrate: 40-60

Mulligan: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Mirror Images, Arcane Intellect, Loot Hoarder

Strategy: I was able to maintain a 60% winrate against yogg/maly druid, but I’m pretty confident it’s only because they were either bad or just didn’t know exactly how to play against my list. While on paper the matchup vs druid seems great, being that it’s so slow, the truth is many lists now run 2x healing portals and 2x feral rage, allowing the druid to heal for at least 28, and that excludes any healing/armor cards they gain from raven idols, as well as from hero powering a couple times a game. As such, the key is to either mulligan super aggressively and rush them down with a strong mana wyrm/apprentice game early and burst mid game, or play the game in a way that it seems like you’re a tempo mage with a bad mulligan, hoping they flop on raven idols or disrespect your burst potential. Be aggressive, and save nova for much later than you normally would, as it’s key to frost nova arcane giants so you don’t get ice block popped in one turn.


**N’zoth/Murloc Paladin**

Winrate: 40-60

Mulligan: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Mirror Images, Arcane Intellect, Loot Hoarder

Strategy: I grouped N’Zoth Paladin and Murloc Paladin together because the game plays out the same way. I managed to go 2-1 against control-ish paladins, but my thoughts here are very reminiscent of my thoughts on druid – if my opponents understood my deck, they’d have a significantly higher winrate against it. Because, unfortunately, as with druids, paladins have tremendous healing potential with 2x forbidden healing (potential of 40 healing), and 2x Ivory Knights, and 1x Light Ragnaros, and even 1x LOH at times. You play this matchup very similarly to druid, in that you rush face early and try to force your opponent to use healing early or in awkward situations. Bluffing your lack of burst is also a good way to kill your opponent from ~20-25 hp to zero.

**Final Thoughts**

I believe this list is *extremely* strong, and has the potential to be a lower tier-1/high tier 2 deck depending on the meta and what’s queueing due to its super favorable matchups against midrange shaman and midrange hunter, both extremely popular decks. Having said that, it’s super weak matchup with control warrior may keep it at the tier 2 level. I urge you to try this list and, if you’re unfamiliar with the way freeze mages play, to not get frustrated at losing. I believe this deck is *very* difficult to pilot correctly, and to be frank if you’re not a consistent legend+ player you may struggle. But this is one of the most rewarding lists I’ve run in a long time.