As a centric Mage player I throw the towel this expansion until something shines. I just can't take how Blizzard decided to give Mage the middle finger when it comes to board clears, survival or anything to actually stay relevant on early to mid game. Even late, you rely on RNG to bless the shit out of you. And if you are behind, and you will against aggro, you just can't get back.
I've tried my decks. I've tried netdecks. I used those decks and tested them for each matchup I had. Ladder is filled with Rogue, Priest and Druid (same decks) with occasional Warriors (with some different variants). 2 of them being aggro (3 if you want to count demon token Warlock), 1 who is with the ressurect/otk shenanigans, etc. Rogue again being a tier 1 deck (at the moment), Aggro decks there again (no suprise but holy shit its getting bad)...
Yeah, you will say: "You suck" or "Tech cards" or "change decks" or "change class". Yeah, I don't consider myself amazing but im not bad either. You aren't suppose to tech cards against 4/5 different decks you have troubles with. I changed them to whatever is possible. I might.
Regardless, I don't want to take the funsies from you guys so I hope you have fun. Last year i barely played. This year started better than last and the second expansion will make this year mroe enjoyable (i hope) but as of now, eh. But there are a lot of fun cards and combos to try. I will keep doing that on casual I suppose. Forget rank 5+ this expansion for me.
I’m a centric mage player too, and today I’ve just switched to zoo. Looking at the aggro deck list on HSReplay I’m seeing 69% for some zoo decks. That is an astonishing WR. I genuinely feel frustrated for doing it because I don’t want to. I want to play mage. But I don’t have the time to play 1 hour and maybe get one star advanced.
As for the state of mage now it’s competitive - but if you check HSReplay it’s not even tier 2. By that I mean you will average 50-55% over a long period of time. I have 100 games played so far with it. I wouldn’t say it’s strong, and it seriously relies on RNG (which can be very fun, but also infuriating). Aggro decks are averaging 55-65% over extended periods of time at the moment.
I also believe there is a big gap for early game defence as mentioned by the OP. There isn’t enough 3 cost utility or defence for mage and using big spells simply delays the inevitable. If you check the stats for the freeze mage variant of Khadgar decks: when players are using blizzard or flamestrike they are more likely to lose the game. This isn’t over a few hundred games either this is over thousands. I think blizzard is at 42% and flamestrike is at 44% win rate when used.
AisuFlamu - well I am mage player too. I have my own decks one with Kalegoc, it is a control deck something mixed with freeze. Another deck is a tempo burst mage. My TempoBurst is for Rogues and Warriors. The second deck is really week against druid specially token , but control one is really amazing. I can win easily. So I can argue with you that games against token can beat your morale, but if you figure out how to beat it and how create nice deck, you realize how easy it was. Don't copy decks from PRO just try to too make something yours. I like hybrid decks and it working.
Khadgar Freeze mage is pretty strong. You can stall the board with your freeze till you can play giant. If you are patient you can usually beat aggro on turn 6-7.
Normally I will try to draw as much as possible. Novice, Magic trick, Arcane intellect. If you are able to save your novas to turn six (hard at times.) You can freeze the board and drop the giant. Next turn you are able to drop twin spell clone and another nova. Go face. Then you can go face with two and burn with fireball/frost bolt.
Problem is that people got used to playing with Jaina, they were able to stall the board forever and then relay on Jaina's ability. The game moved from OTK, value decks to tempo/mid range.
I main mage but I've resorted to Token Druid to climb the ladder. Hilariously enough Mage is one of my worst matchups. They always RNG the best taunts possible and I can never stick enough minions on the board to use Soul of The Forest effectively. Honestly the best advice I can give you is use cards like Abomination and Baron Geddon or Tunnel Blaster if you don't have geddon. If you can stick a Giant, do it. Khadgar + Mountain Giant + Conjurer's Calling can result in a board of 7/8 taunts. I haven't really seen a lot of silence cards in aggro decks right now so you might be able to take advantage of that. The meta is still new and very aggressive and it'll probably take a month to slow down. Until then it's gonna be a rocky road for the slower mage decks.
By the way, my main favorite class is shaman (The only level 60 I have), yet I stopped playing my favorite class in standard format, because I don't like control archetype or murloc archetype. Hence, you should try another class. It's time for another class to shine!
Honestly mage is my most hated class in wild followed by priest. I don't even care that it is suffering in wild and the mt giant combos are cancerous. Mage can stay tier 3 for all i care honestly; but it wont. It always finds a way. However I think team five should definitely slam some nerfs on us. *cough Scavenging Hyena
I don't have many games under my belt with Conjurer Mage (aka Khadgar Mage), but I gotta say it has been my favorite deck from this expansion. There are a bunch of versions floating around, but oh man the one suggested by a comment on hearthstonetopdecks to include "the Janalai package" is so godly!
What is cool about this deck is that you are discovering stuff during the match with Firetree Witchdoctor and the new Raven. Pulling of the Giant + Khadgar + Conjurer's Calling is super satisfactionary + it's not even RNG based. Like there are two possible minions in the pool. Later on Astromancers and the 8 mana summon two dudes card are of course summoning random things, but if you've gotten so far in the game the sheer power of putting basically big threats on the board turn after turn wins control matches quite handily.
Maybe I need to face 10 aggro decks in a row to lose my high hopes for this deck though! But even then I saw two possible inclusions mentioned here (abomination and tunnel blaster) to add some needed aoe clears.