01/05/2014 10:12 AMIve read your guide however Im still having HUGE problems playing vs mages. Board control is extremely difficult. In early game they just use cheap cards like arcane missile, mirror image frost bolt and arcane explosion to kill my low lvl minions. Or simply block them all with frost nova. Spells buffed by minions like kobold and dalaran mage really hurt and theres not much I can do with my 1 / 2 / 3 mana minions. Late game is even worse. Intelect gives a mage 2 extra cards which means if I wait longer ill get killed by frost lance and fireball or pyroblast. Minions with charge ability are helpful the problem is, they have low hp so usually they hit only once then get killed. Anti - mage deck is not really a solution as u never know whats the class of your oponent till u enter the game....
Posted by Ramiel
If i play against any other class theres something i can counter at least. Countering mage spells is not really possible as they are quite cheap and efficient. Is there any reliable strategy that really works ?
The mechanics listed here are more about countering freezing you into the late game then Pyroblasting you to death; the reason I focus on those is that they're the types of mechanics people don't tend to understand how to fight off. Players seem to have a better grasp of fighting off things like minions on the board.
To answer your question though, it's going to be more specific to the type of mage deck you're talking about; keep in mind like with any class, there are dozens of different slight variations you can make to the deck that drastically changes how it plays. Countering things like minion drops aren't really any different than other classes; use removal, aoe, weapons, your own minions, etc. to gain control of the board. The hardest opening to counter is Mana Wyrm + Coin + Mirror Image. This is not an easy opening to counter; there are 5 classes with direct damage spells that can pick off the Wyrm, which trivializes the opening, and you can silence it as well. But beyond that, if you don't have the right cards in your hand to counter this opening, it's going to be rough; you just have to try and fight for board control against an opening unfavorable position, much like fighting off a Defias Ringleader drop puts you immediately against an unfavorable position.
The thing to remember though is that even if you were to mulligan purely for this combo, the combo only matters if the mage is player 2, and the odds of drawing both cards in your opening hand are actually pretty low. So it will sometimes happen, but it's not the norm. That being said, that's really no different than a lot of classes; there are a lot of classes that with the right opening hand can be nearly unbeatable.
Still, I'd like to give more advice on that, but like I said, it's more a deck-by-deck specific thing, but you're getting more into the generic "minion vs. minion try to gain board control" type of scenario that you see in a lot of matchups.
The one thing I'll add is that mage aoe is VERY expensive. Once they start getting access to their aoe's, it's very dangerous, but their first 2-damage aoe doesn't occur until turn 6; this is as opposed to many classes which get theirs by turn 4. So you can really over-whelm a mage by flooding the board more effective than against most classes.
By the way, Faery Dragon is a great early-game card to use against mages if you're not using it already; much of their early game control relies on direct damage. Frostbolt can't hit it, they can't pick it off with their hero power, and if you put the Faery Dragon in the middle of your minions, it messes with Cone of Cold's ability to freeze everything (not that CoC is seeing common usage anymore).