Now Streaming @ http://www.twitch.tv/hawkjohnson
(Such a noob streamer)
An In-depth Guide to
Hey, everyone! My name is HawkJohnson (or just Hawk in game). I have been playing Hearthstone since the 2nd test season, and have always been drawn to Mage for her awesome hero ability. I reached Legend rank with this list, and I love this deck. Not only is it fun but it is powerful and has potential to beat every deck out there.
The actual list is quite similar to many others' lists. There are about 4 to 5 slots that can be subbed I believe. The rest is core, and there should be good reason to change.
Ice Lance: This will be one of your main finishers. Almost never double Ice Lance unless it's for the victory. Also, in a pinch you may need to freeze an enemy to set up a possible lethal situation.
Arcane Missiles: Great against Zoo or other aggro decks. Mostly used to pump Mana Wyrm. Warning! Control Warrior laughs at this card.
Leper Gnome: What more can I say about this card in an aggro deck? I usually get at least 4 damage out of this guy. Pinged him with hero ability for the win plenty of times.
Mana Wyrm: Best 1 drop minion in the game if you ask me. Throw him out there, and if he sticks you are golden!
Mirror Image: Combo with Knife Juggler, protect your minions, or aggravate Miracle Rogue. Only play when you get true value out of it. One of the harder cards in the deck to play correctly.
Frost Bolt: Use with Ice Lance for maximum damage. Only use for removal on large threats or taunts and when facing Zoo.
Amani Berserker: Mage unlocks this card better than anyone. The 3 health really comes in handy with trades and against a lot of removal.
Bloodmage Thalnos: Ahh, the only legendary you will ever need. Well, unless you run Antonidas (but we'll save that for another section). I usually save him for spell power combos. Only cycle him if you really need the draw.
Faerie Dragon: Great against Rogue and Druid. This guy can be a MVP against Miracle.
Knife Juggler: One of my personal favorite cards ( the flavor of the card is great). Combo with Mirror Image or any of your low cost creatures. Beware against Control Warrior!
Loot Hoarder: Throw this guy out there. He'll get you some damage and, barring silence, a card. Card draw mechanic is necessary of course!
Sorcerer's Apprentice: She allows you to get off your combos super early, and sets up a 2 mana for 2 cards in Arcane Intellect. People usually remove Knife Juggler over her, but in a lot of cases that is foolish. Don't sleep on her!
Arcane Intellect: Your main source of draw. As mentioned, great when cast with Sorcerer's Apprentice on board. Use when mana efficient or when you have nothing else to play, but generally you want to play a creature before this. Sometimes when I expect a board wipe I will play this instead of my minions.
Wolf Rider: Amazing turn 3 play. Get him out there before taunts. Against aggro use him as removal as needed.
Fireball: One of your finishers. Against druid you want this to take out their taunts (ie. Druid of the Claw).
Water Elemental: I would take one of these over a Yeti any day. It procs your Ice Lance, and will draw a lot of attention away from your other minions. Rogues loathe this guy.
Azure Drake: So much value. Gives you draw, and generally if he sticks you are doing a lot of damage from spells the next turn. If you have board control, dropping him on turn 5 gives you crazy tempo.
Frostbolt + Ice Lance = 7 damage for 3 mana
Frostbolt + Ice Lance + Ice Lance = 11 damage for 4 mana (same as 1 Fireball!)
Thalnos + Frostbolt + Ice Lance + Ice Lance = 14 damage for 6 mana
Knife Juggler + Mirror Image = Maybe more fun than awesome, but still great!
Sorcerer's Apprentice + Thalnos + Frostbolt + Ice Lance + Ice Lance + Fireball = 21 damage for 8 mana
For the sake of time and space I will let you imagine all the other combos you could come up with!
For a lot of match ups you want to see the same cards in your opening hand. There are some exceptions, however. The top tier list of cards to mulligan for are:
As a rule of thumb, always mulligan away 3 drops or higher unless it's Arcane Intellect and you already have a turn 1/2 play.
Against Zoo: A Frostbolt can be nice to keep if you already have minions. Arcane Missiles becomes a lot better here as long as they don't have an Amani Berserker out. Turn 1 minions become a lot more important.
Against Druid: Keep a Fireball. Trust me.
Against Miracle Rogue: Keep a Faerie Dragon. Plain and simple.
Against the rest: You know the drill. 1 drops and 2 drops are wonderful pieces of happiness you can share with your opponent!
Zoo: A pretty even match-up. Trade and retain tempo with minions and spells instead of going for the face. Always count the damage in your hand, and prepare to strike when you are ready.
Handlock: Easiest match-up for the Aggro Mage. If you have a decent start it's usually game over for them. Don't be afraid to Fireball their taunts, and beware of Hellfire. Before their turn 4 drop deathrattle minions or use an Arcane Intellect. Don't waste your value minions.
Druid: I used to hate facing Druid, but then I realized that Fireball is your best friend. instead of holding them, fling them at their Druid of the Claw, and don't give them an easy Swipe.
Miracle Rogue: They are favored because of all the removal. Faerie Dragon really helps here. You win by your spells so don't waste them, but if you see an Auctioneer lying around kill it.
Control Warrior: Your hardest match-up by a mile. Their armor and removal is crazy! If they lay down an Armorsmith you need to efficiently remove it or the game will get out of hand. Mirror Image is great to counter their axes, and Water Elementel can save your life. I have beaten them plenty of times to know that you should NOT insta-concede!
Shaman: Difficult, but more than doable. They usually don't pack heals, so every bit of damage impacts them more. Get them on the defensive, and when they lay down the dogs blast them with your spells. An early Wolf Rider is a good Wolf Rider.
Priest: Like most Priest match-ups you are the favorite. However, beware their late game when they can explode with heals and take the game away from you. Kinda sucks if they are packing Tazdingo.
Freeze Mage: A hard match, but remember your spells don't proc their Ice Barrier! If you suspect the Ice Barrier use your spells only until you need to attack.
Mirror Match: Just like the Zoo match-up use your minions and spells to trade effectively. I would hesitate to use your Fireball on a Water Elemental.
Hunter: Easy match-up. Hooray! This deck was actually designed to beat Hunter 2 seasons ago when they were at their prime. Face Hunter is a lot easier because you outrace them, and aren't dependent on minions to win. Kolento's Hunter is harder but still in your favor. Try not to let a Beast stick for Houndmaster. Also, don't give them Unleash the Hounds ammo!!!
Paladin: A pretty even match. Hard for me to tell because I almost never see them. Against aggro lists, Arcane Missiles, Knife Juggler, and Water Elemental are awesome. Beware the Consecration. Treat it like how I said to treat Hellfire.