Mayhem's Deck - Taking 1st place in ESL.HS

Posts: 115
Hello, my name is Nicky ''Mayhem'' Schobben and I've been a Grandmaster/Master for a while now, consistently taking 7-9 wins in Arena and recently winning the first ESL cup ever hosted.

With this thread, my aim is to help people that are still unsure on how to build a mage deck, or people that want to improve theirs. I'll be giving some information along with the decklist on why i made these particular decisions.

If there are any questions, feel free to ask.

Decklist:

(1) Arcane Missiles x 2
(2) Frost bolt x 2
(2) Amani berserker x 1
(2) Bloodmage Thalnos x 1
(2) Faerie Dragon x 2
(2) Wild pyromancer x 1
(3) Cone of Cold x 2
(3) Acolyte of Pain x 1
(3) Raging Worgen x 2
(3) Shattered Sun Cleric x 2
(4) Fireball x 2
(4) Polymorph x 2
(4) Chillwind Yeti x 2
(5) Blizzard x 2
(5) Azure Drake x 2
(6) Argent Commander x 2
(7) Archmage Antonidas x 1
(8) Pyroblast x 1


Purpose of this deck:


Unlike a lot of mage decks out there, this deck mainly focusses on burning your opponents down. in 85% of my games i did not need Pyroblast to seal the deal because this deck is super fast, it's super aggressive and it has a lot of synergy along with controlling aspects which makes it extremely hard to answer too, on top of that, it's very consistent.

Thoughts behind the deck:

This deck was made based on the current strongest decks according to TeamLiquid.HS (Mages, Hunters, Priests and Warlocks). I began to theorycraft about these decks, making a couple of them on my own and discover their weak points. After a lot of playtesting i put together my mage deck and went 9-0 during the ESL CUP.
Along with that, i wanted to have the maximum consistency a deck could have, leaving out slow cards such as Mirror Entity, Mirror Image, Counterspell, ... and being able to play something each turn to keep up with the aggression.


Cards that set my deck appart and why i play them:


Amani Berserker:

* Hunter OTK's true nightmare, it escapes explosion trap, arcane shot and it can be pinged to kill Misha. Besides that, it utterly destroys metacards such as Sen'jin & Yeti.
This card has to be dealt with as soon as possible or it's gonna be devastating.

Double Faerie Dragon:

* In my opinion, the best 2 drop in the game for everyone out there. Faerie is an enormous pain to play against, especially for priests that have the habit of playing their NSC's first turn. Always play this cards in the middle of your other minions so that plays such as explosion shot, cone of cold etc... Lose 33% of their value.


Wild Pyromancer:

A very uncommonly seen card that holds a lot of potential. This together with Arcane Missiles was a safe way for me to deal with Faerie Dragons, it offered the utility to both snipe away blood imps and have board control at the same time. It is extremely good to play with Acolyte of Pain, Raging Worgen and the Armani Berserker in order to both maintain board control and have them become an even bigger thread.


Shattered Sun Cleric:


I consider this card slightly OP and most certainly the best 3 drop in game. It's one of the most multifunctional cards available. You can buff up your 2 drop minions to escape the SWD/SWP zone.. You can get an extra card from Acolyte, buff your Raging Worgen in order to dish out 8 damage in one turn or you can make a more valuable exchange (Killing a 3/3 with your buffed up 3/3) besides that, you can make sure your Faeirie or Pinged Raging worgen does not die to AOE such as Consecration and Holy Nova.

Argent Commander:

The bane of priests, not only does it have 4 attack, but it has a divine shield along with it making it very hard to get rid of this card without having to sacrifice too much. The charge makes it even more valuable as you can dish out another 4 damage which is very valuable if you play an aggro/burn mage deck.

Legendary choices:



Bloodmage Thalnos:

A very valuable asset to the burn deck as it makes your deck even more threatening. The combination of the +1 spelldamage and the Draw effect makes this a perfect card for combo setups. It's one of those cards that you know you have to deal with, but on the other hand don't want to touch. It makes your Cone of Cold and Blizzard a true nightmare as it improves their damage by 100 & 50% which is enough for most of the early - midd game minions.

Archmage Antonidas:

I've decided to play this card for one reason only which is lategame control. It wasn't meant to start throwing fireballs at my opponent and finish them off. There were times where i was facing a couple of decks that involved cards mainly focussed on anti-mage aggression such as Lay on Hands, Guardian of Kings etc.. This was my key to maintain complete game control and not rely on just Pyroblast to finish the game as they could outheal my burst and slowly regain advantage.

That's about it, as mentioned before, if there are any questions feel free to ask. Good luck!
Edited by Mayhem on 10/31/2013 2:34 AM PDT
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Posts: 17
Ok have all the cards bar bloodmage Thalnos untill I save dust for him what should i substitue? :) thank you very much keen to test this out!
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Posts: 83
what are the hardest classes to play against?
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Posts: 46
Why yeti over dark dwarf?
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Posts: 2
Hello Mayhem,

thanks for posting such a great deck!

just a quick question, what are your thoughts on the following

chillwind yeti vs. dark iron dwarf vs. spellbreaker vs. ogre magi

what was your reasoning behind chillwind yeti.

thank you again!
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Posts: 3,060
The reason he chose Yeti over Dwarf is because the difference between 4 toughness and 5 toughness is pretty significant.

It takes usually 2 minions to deal with 5hp on turn 4, as opposed to 1 minion/hero power for the Dwarf. Thats means your opponent loses twice as many minions traded for one minion, so it's twice as good!

More or less, but really Yeti is probably the best 4 drop in the game.
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Posts: 115
..
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Posts: 115
@ Frag

There is no ''same value'' subsistute for Thalnos, If I would have to replace it i'd definatly go for another Amani beserker. I prefer his options more then an additional card draw or +1 spell damage. Thalnos's combination of both makes it worthy of taking over another Amani slot nonetheless.

About the hardest classes..

1) Mirror match Mage vs Mage, These are the type of duels that can be completely decided by first hand, i'm talking about Aggression vs Aggression, not Aggression vs Control. My deck is designed to make valuable trade-offs, because of the mage's passive i can't get away with most of the minion exchanges i make.

2) Paladins that build aggro-heavy with lots of divine shield minions that throw in a couple of anti-aggro cards (healing). You can out-aggro a hunter, but you can't predict a paladin. When i played the tournament, i actually faced a paladin with both Lay On Hands and Guardian Of Kings which totally blew me off guard. I played more conservative because i expected a Truesilver Champion play around 11-13 HP so because of that i didn't go all-out.

3) Warlock Aggro because they have such strong early game minions. Blood imps, Flame Imps, Succubus.. All type of cards that force me to play conservative while regaining handcontrol throughout mid-game. If i do however draw a Blizzard early on, the advantage reverts back to me.

Yeti vs Dark Iron Dwarf:

Even though i think Dark Iron is a really good card, i don't think he's as good as Yeti. He requires a target in order to be 100% effective and he's vulnerable to Argent commander plays or even Frostbolt + ping. He won't survive the things Yeti would survive. I would still put him over most of the 4 drops since he can buff up other minions aswell in order to take out higher tier monsters or dish alot of damage.

Yeti vs Spellbreaker:

The only debate i would see is that Spellbreaker has the option to silence, the problem is that if there's nothing too silence your card will be sitting there waiting for an opportunity. I wouldn't play him randomly just to get him frostbolted next turn or exchanged by a 2 drop. The deck i run needs a consistency of aggression and having ''situational'' cards just doesn't work out.
Edited by Mayhem on 10/29/2013 1:17 PM PDT
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Posts: 1
Hey Mayhem, congrats on the win. I have been using the deck this afternoon to varying success. Overall it seems a great deck and I feel that my losses are down to my own faults only having the game a few days. I feel that my major problem being I am playing the deck way to passively and the game seems to drag out. I find myself saving cards like frostbolts and arcane missiles for minions whereas maybe I should be using them on the opposing hero. Is that a correct assumption or am I reading this all wrong. Thanks
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Posts: 115
Give it some time and get used to the time windows, there are a lot of cards that serve different purposes against every other deck out there. I generally play my frostbolts for board control aswell in order to have my worgen secured for next turn, but i can also be using it to stall out a paladin's truesilver champion to keep my minion safe.. There's no straight forward way to play this deck. Attacking directly with a Commander instead of taking the creep for a 1-0 can both have major influences on how the game will proceed. The reason this deck plays so strongly is because of the utility it offers, the rest will be determined on what calls you decide to make.
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Posts: 46
I got all the cards except antonidas (which i wouldn't be so trusty playing against MC even if I had haha) and still don't even make it to 50% win rate, while my control version of the mage wins probably 80%.

This means I'm playing this deck really bad, even if I don't get why. I've lost many games where i threw in a berserker turn 2 and dealt 5 damage turn 3 vs a clear board (which should be a very, very good start).

I don't know what I'm doing wrong tough, I've played aggro decks in magic for years.
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Posts: 156
This is a great deck. I've played about 10 games with it and only lost once so far (in 2 star masters atm). I don't have bloodmage so replaced him with another amani berserker, and replaced a argent commander with a gurubashi berserker since i only have one commander. Gurubashi berserker seems good with this deck, but it's been instantly removed/silenced every time I've played it so might replace it. I especially like the wild pyromancer; it's let me make some awesome plays, and in some cases won me the game.
Edited by ashkon77 on 10/29/2013 9:09 PM PDT
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Posts: 115
@Qlimax

It's a tough deck to play that requires a lot of good decisionmaking in order to be succesful, i don't know exactly how you play it out, but by time it'll work out better and better the more you understand about it. It took me a long time aswell to put it all together and most of it came by experience, i know when i should drop which one around what turn etc.. all these factors matter.

Since the tournament, i haven't lost a game.

@Ashkon77

Good that you like it, Gurubashi is indeed a bit problematic to play, it's an expensive investment that can be removed by SWP only costing 2 which makes a tremendous difference in how the game will proceed, that's the reason that i don't touch Gurubashi, too much of a risk with little to no reward.
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Posts: 247
Love the deck, very consistent and you're not playing the waiting game the entire time. I'm 2/2 with it so far but I'm lacking Antonidas, any ideas on a sub? I'm using 1 Ice Barrier in place.

So i've played 17 games with this deck and im sitting at 7 wins and 10 loss.

Can't beat a druid, they stack armor and i feel like they out control me.

Any Mage matchup I have, the mage out counters me.

The only match that I am comfortable with is Hunter.

I am currently playing 2-Star Platinum.
Edited by Caleb on 10/30/2013 2:51 PM PDT
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Posts: 153
Dislike CoC over frostbolt. Also feel like antonidas would be better off as a 2nd pyroblast.
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Posts: 106
I think it's really cool that you take the time to write this up and share your hard work with the rest of us. Hearthstone in particular has a lot of new TCG/CCG players drawn in due to the brand and Warcraft universe (this is so great for the genre I think). I'm a long time casual card player - I buy the MTG Duel Decks to play with my wife and brother in law on occasion and logged quite a bit of time into MTG: DOTP going back to the 2009 version. I'm having a blast with HS.

Any commentary on what you mulligan for - i.e. what cards are you hoping to get in your starting hand and which cards do you instantly pass on.

[edit]

Another question. Regarding the Berserker and Worgen - do you tend to play them early and dangle them out as bait, which results in them almost instantly dying before you can attack with them, or do you hold on to them until you feel the odds might be slightly more in your favor to enrage them and land an attack? This question assumes situations where they are drawn early.

Thanks in advance!
Edited by Haderach on 10/30/2013 11:04 AM PDT
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Posts: 28
I've been having great success with this deck. I'm still missing about 5 cards which I can tell are causing my game to go a little longer than I would like with this deck, but it is still working out. I'm missing Thal, 1 blizzard, 1 argent commander, archmage, and pyro. I replaced them with amani, frost nova, sunwalker, mana wyrm, and flamestrike. Gives a little late game control since I can't just pyro them late for the win. I didn't know what to replace archmage with so I just went with mana wyrm for a little extra early push.
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Posts: 136
Really liking this deck so far. Wild pyromancer does wonders against fairy dragons. Can't believe i never used him before.

Overall great deck man. Thanks for posting it.
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