Having Trouble Playing Against Mages? Read

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01/05/2014 10:57 AMPosted by Ramiel
Then i consider myself as one of the most unlucky heartstone players ever as every time i play vs mage they are able to get kobold or dalaran mage early and counter me hard...anyway, thank You for your reply


Well, I guess what I mean more is, if they drop a Kobold Geomancer on turn 1, kill it. It's only a 2/2. If you let them build up a board with a lot of spell power, than their aoe will become dangerous. But every class has removal of some form or another at their disposal; either get your own minions on the board or use that removal to pick off their spell power minions (spell power minions are weaker than non spell power ones, so you can often pick them off with minions without your own minion dying in the process, assuming you can get minions on the table).

I rarely see spell power in high-end mage decks for this reason; it's just too easy to remove without anything gained. The exception is that some decks will run Azure Drake and/or Bloodmage Thalanos since it draws them a card in the process.
Edited by Sar on 1/5/2014 11:03 AM PST
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Please tell me what spell heals for 10 damage to counter Pyroblast. Thought I do not think mages are op, but it is extremly hard to stay above 10 health AND dealing damage to a mage. The spels of this class are very flexible by being able to target players and minons. Also it is really annoing to die because of a singel pyroblast that often.
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01/05/2014 11:19 AMPosted by Fafnir
Please tell me what spell heals for 10 damage to counter Pyroblast. Thought I do not think mages are op, but it is extremly hard to stay above 10 health AND dealing damage to a mage. The spels of this class are very flexible by being able to target players and minons. Also it is really annoing to die because of a singel pyroblast that often.


That's why I don't generally use Pyroblast in direct healing examples. The fact that it doesn't line up on the curve makes it harder to convince low-level players that it's a counter, but the trade-offs are apparent (that is, they look at there being a little damage leftover and say "See! See! You can't counter Pyroblast!"

The two best examples I can give are Healing Touch and Lay on Hands. In both cases, you end up taking a net 2 damage from the trade. In the case of Healing Touch, the Mage needs to spend 8 mana to do the damage, and you revert all but 2 for 3 mana. Most experienced players, given the opportunity, would trade 2 health to gain a 5 net mana advantage without hesitation. Lay on Hands costs the same amount as Pyroblast and heals all but 2 of the damage, but draws you 3 cards that the Mage does not draw. Once again, most experienced players, given the opportunity, would trade 2 health for 3 card draw without hesitation.

Now, granted, there may be some situations where you wouldn't take that trade given the choice; for example, if you're at 11 health after healing yourself and the Mage still has a Pyroblast left over, you're PROBABLY going to prefer having the 2 extra health over the other things these healing cards offer. But that's a fairly limited case; more often than not, the player doing the healing comes out far ahead.

The main issue is that if such a healing card existed, a 10-heal card would cost 4 mana, and that would be an OBVIOUS counter to Pyroblast: that is, spend 4 mana to counter the 8-damage spell. The problem is that no card exists on that point on the curve, but once again, the trade-offs on the closest cards is heavily in favor of the person healing.
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[quote="111596618184"]
The main issue is that if such a healing card existed, a 10-heal card would cost 4 mana, and that would be an OBVIOUS counter to Pyroblast: that is, spend 4 mana to counter the 8-damage spell. The problem is that no card exists on that point on the curve, but once again, the trade-offs on the closest cards is heavily in favor of the person healing.


Since you think in terms of mage -- Pretend you are a mage trying to stay alive against another mage. Are you really going to take a up a card slot for a card that gives 10 health. What happens to your board presence when you spend a turn casting that spell. Does that healing spell give any versatility like Pyro does for killing a creature bomb (like a dragon) that needs to die? I don't understand your heal argument, even if the heal cards existed.

Then again as a mage you have a 3 cost ice block that can equate to a 25+ point heal (which is what you might be up against in late game after you freeze an army multiple turns), and it guarantees you live to your next turn, that's the type of healing card other classes need to survive mage Pyros.
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01/05/2014 12:31 PMPosted by Aza
[quote]

The main issue is that if such a healing card existed, a 10-heal card would cost 4 mana, and that would be an OBVIOUS counter to Pyroblast: that is, spend 4 mana to counter the 8-damage spell. The problem is that no card exists on that point on the curve, but once again, the trade-offs on the closest cards is heavily in favor of the person healing.


Since you think in terms of mage -- Pretend you are a mage trying to stay alive against another mage. Are you really going to take a up a card slot for a card that gives 10 health. What happens to your board presence when you spend a turn casting that spell. Does that healing spell give any versatility like Pyro does for killing a creature bomb (like a dragon) that needs to die? I don't understand your heal argument, even if the heal cards existed.

Then again as a mage you have a 3 cost ice block that can equate to a 25+ point heal (which is what you might be up against in late game after you freeze an army multiple turns), and it guarantees you live to your next turn, that's the type of healing card other classes need to survive mage Pyros.


first of all, I'm thinking in terms of mage because this is a mage thread inside of a mage forum.

Second, as per healing, it depends on the situation. I don't generally condone use of raw healing cards because they're a loss of card advantage in most match-ups. For example, I'm not a fan of Holy Light. That's why I generally suggest using hybrid healing cards, like Lay on Hands for example; it's a card draw mechanism when you don't need the heal, and it still heals when you need it.

The only raw healing card I like is Healing Touch, and that's because of the class that uses it, not the card itself. Namely, Druids use a lot of high-health cards, and it's substantially cheaper to heal a minion near-death than to play a new one. Most classes don't fall into this category, this is a uniquely druid thing, but it's also the only class i would recommend using a "Heal X" card on (i.e. one that does NOTHING but heal).

As for Mage, I don't like healing cards for mage. When I'm trying to survive direct damage as a Mage, I rely on Ice Block and Alexstraza. Once again, that fits into the theme of healing that can fill multiple roles when needed, since Alexstraza can be used offensively or defensively.
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As I mentioned in a much earlier post, I've been playing an Anti-Aggro Druid deck a lot lately. My only heals are 2 Earthen Ring Farseers (3 points of healing and leaves a 3/3 minion) and 2 Ancients of Lore (5 point heal and a 5/5 Minion). Plus I can "heal" for 1 point of damage every turn I can use my Hero Power (I also run claw but that "healing" usually gets negated since it's used to remove a threat). By no means is this a lot of healing but it's, usually, enough to allow me to kill a Mage.

When people want a "counter" to direct damage, they want to erase the whole thing. Many times that's not necessary. ANY healing is enough to throw off a Mages game. Nothing makes me giggle more than when a mage gets me down to 10 or 11 health and I toss down a 3/3 Earthen Ring Farseer and jump up health then hit my Hero Power which puts me out of Pyroblast + Frostbolt range.

Here's the thing though. I don't simply sit there for 10 turns letting my mage opponent have their way with me. I'm actively working to kill them and negate their advantages. I've had games where I've survived 2 Fireballs, 2 Pyroblasts and 2 Iceblocks and went on to win the game (yes I had very low health at that point but like I said, you don't need to heal ALL of a direct damage spells pain so long as you simply offset it).

The final thing to remember is that with the exception of having Archmage Antonidas on the board, a Mage's direct damage spells are one and done. They shoot it at your face (or force them to use it as hard removal for a minion) and it's gone. They can never gain the benefit of that spell again.
Edited by Silke on 1/5/2014 1:23 PM PST
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Playing Hunter, having difficulties removing the mana wyrms in the early game till I can turn 3 eaglehorn bow or turn 4 multishot. Minions get wiped by arcane missiles or frostbolts. Any suggestions? I don't lose that much, but when I do it's because I just barely didn't kill him before turn 8 pyroblast, so I think I need to avoid some of the early face damage to make turn 8 a possibility.
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01/05/2014 01:46 PMPosted by ArmedWeasel
Playing Hunter, having difficulties removing the mana wyrms in the early game till I can turn 3 eaglehorn bow or turn 4 multishot. Minions get wiped by arcane missiles or frostbolts. Any suggestions? I don't lose that much, but when I do it's because I just barely didn't kill him before turn 8 pyroblast, so I think I need to avoid some of the early face damage to make turn 8 a possibility.


As a hunter, I'm not really sure. There might be ways, but I'm not really sure of any; players more experienced with the class might be able to answer.

Your traps can obviously disrupt it somewhat, and by turn 4 you can multi-shot given the right board. Eaglehorn Longbow in Conjunction with an Explosive Trap can break through after a few turns as well.
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01/03/2014 03:37 PMPosted by Sar
the freeze of a Water Elemental is counterable, you can simply kill it or, in some situations, generate enough armor that the Water Elemental itself isn't damaging you.


It's this logic that I've even seen from pro tournament magic players. Oh that's what is bothering you? just kill it or counter it. Well when you are playing a mage, the have ways to remove anything that would kill a water elemental. Even with enough armor, it still freezes you. I don't mind you trying to help players play against mages, but seriously, some of your advice is just very basic. If we could do that, we would and we wouldn't be complaining about mages so much.

Mages, like preists, have very good synergy with their class cards and with that, they can create very powerful decks. Other classes do not have as good as synergy and need to rely on other ways to win.
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01/05/2014 01:54 PMPosted by Sar
Playing Hunter, having difficulties removing the mana wyrms in the early game till I can turn 3 eaglehorn bow or turn 4 multishot. Minions get wiped by arcane missiles or frostbolts. Any suggestions? I don't lose that much, but when I do it's because I just barely didn't kill him before turn 8 pyroblast, so I think I need to avoid some of the early face damage to make turn 8 a possibility.


As a hunter, I'm not really sure. There might be ways, but I'm not really sure of any; players more experienced with the class might be able to answer.

Your traps can obviously disrupt it somewhat, and by turn 4 you can multi-shot given the right board. Eaglehorn Longbow in Conjunction with an Explosive Trap can break through after a few turns as well.


This is the mage problem, like you said, you can't think of a way out. These are the common scenarios for someone playing vs mage. 2 single cost cards (Wyrm+Mirror Image) make people play stupid, blow important cards, and get pushed into the dangerous 20-or-less health range where a mage could kill them in the late game easily. Because board freeze troops happens mid-game, and huge Pyros or Fireballs happen late. There aren't healing cards that will save people (You mention healing is a counter, but what non-class specific heal cards?). There aren't self-dispel battlecry cards (again, no counter to rampant freezing cards), which there probably should be, if mage stays the way it is now.
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01/05/2014 02:15 PMPosted by themage78
the freeze of a Water Elemental is counterable, you can simply kill it or, in some situations, generate enough armor that the Water Elemental itself isn't damaging you.


It's this logic that I've even seen from pro tournament magic players. Oh that's what is bothering you? just kill it or counter it. Well when you are playing a mage, the have ways to remove anything that would kill a water elemental. Even with enough armor, it still freezes you. I don't mind you trying to help players play against mages, but seriously, some of your advice is just very basic. If we could do that, we would and we wouldn't be complaining about mages so much.

Mages, like preists, have very good synergy with their class cards and with that, they can create very powerful decks. Other classes do not have as good as synergy and need to rely on other ways to win.


Direct damage, silence, and removal cards? There are plenty of ways to destroy a Water Elemental even without using minions.

And trust me, EVERY class has incredible synnergies with their class cards. If you're saying they don't, I'm assuming you've never seen a Raging Worgen do 12 damage on turn 2?
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It's this logic that I've even seen from pro tournament magic players. Oh that's what is bothering you? just kill it or counter it. Well when you are playing a mage, the have ways to remove anything that would kill a water elemental. Even with enough armor, it still freezes you. I don't mind you trying to help players play against mages, but seriously, some of your advice is just very basic. If we could do that, we would and we wouldn't be complaining about mages so much.

Mages, like preists, have very good synergy with their class cards and with that, they can create very powerful decks. Other classes do not have as good as synergy and need to rely on other ways to win.


Direct damage, silence, and removal cards? There are plenty of ways to destroy a Water Elemental even without using minions.

And trust me, EVERY class has incredible synnergies with their class cards. If you're saying they don't, I'm assuming you've never seen a Raging Worgen do 12 damage on turn 2?


You focus on Water Elemental, what about the typical Frost Nova x2 and Cone of Cold x2, these lock down entire boards through the entire midgame and there is no counter. Your enemy can't decide to cast huge damage spells like you, they don't have them. Frost Bolt as well, it may be single target, but if it doesn't remove a huge threat it make your opponent unable to interact without any counter.
Edited by Aza on 1/5/2014 4:16 PM PST
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01/05/2014 04:15 PMPosted by Aza


Direct damage, silence, and removal cards? There are plenty of ways to destroy a Water Elemental even without using minions.

And trust me, EVERY class has incredible synnergies with their class cards. If you're saying they don't, I'm assuming you've never seen a Raging Worgen do 12 damage on turn 2?


You focus on Water Elemental, what about the typical Frost Nova x2 and Cone of Cold x2, these lock down entire boards through the entire midgame and there is no counter. Your enemy can't decide to cast huge damage spells like you, they don't have them. Frost Bolt as well, it may be single target, but if it doesn't remove a huge threat it make your opponent unable to interact without any counter.


You may have missed the context, but he was referencing my statement that the hero won't get frozen. These don't freeze the hero.
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There always has to be a beginner class that everyone can play. That's mage, there's a reason you play it in the tutorial. It's hard NOT to play mage properly. Unfortunately the beginner class is more powerful than the advanced classes, so it's unrewarding playing something that requires an IQ above 50.

This is why people are having trouble with mages.
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I think you mis-understood my minion post. The devs want minions to MATTER in the game. That's not saying they want minions to be the only thing that matters.


Minions do matter. They matter in every game. They especially matter in HS because there are no t0 kills, or even t3-4 kills like other games. The mage deck does not "ignore" the board. It plays spells specifically to deal with them. And those spells fail to save the mage as often as they succeed. The mage deck (both variants) does play minions and ways to deal with opposing minions. That is far from ignoring the board. Though I understand this is probably a matter of perspective.

01/05/2014 07:17 AMPosted by Sar
This is based on stages of MTG where spells became so powerful and minions so irrelevant that players simply ran decks that flung spells all game.


I still don't understand what is wrong with that. Granted there was only a few standard formats that fit this description, but I'll just give you those so you can argue the point. What's wrong with it? Have you ever seen one, or played one? They are amazingly deep. The sheer volume of things you have to think about and anticipate starting from turn 0 are amazing. Red burn vs red burn is about as interesting as any weenie aggro verse weenie aggro in this game, and that is the bottom of the barrel of depth in MtG. Seeing as how you've not really played and aren't familiar with the game at all I suppose it would be very difficult for me to explain it to you, or even demonstrate with videos. And of course if you just don't want to get it, than you never will.

01/05/2014 08:09 AMPosted by Sar
The problem is that YOU don't understand what a hard-counter is in this game.


How can you make this argument and then say:

01/05/2014 08:09 AMPosted by Sar
As I said before, if you Counterspell a Fireball, you would probably consider that a hard counter.


Yes, we do. That IS a hard counter. It's not as specific as I could make it in MtG but hard-counters exist in this game. Look your points about healing are valid, but there is a difference between getting countered and getting a creature killed or life restored.

01/05/2014 08:09 AMPosted by Sar
This leads to a great misunderstanding as to how Hearthstone is played.


Not really, it just leads to us arguing semantics on the forums because what else would we do on forums? Granted a lot of people discounted healing for a few months until it was proven to not be entirely terrible.

01/05/2014 10:57 AMPosted by Ramiel
Then i consider myself as one of the most unlucky heartstone players ever as every time i play vs mage they are able to get kobold or dalaran mage early and counter me hard...anyway, thank You for your reply


The spellpower deck is kinda different. Mage has a handful of builds that may not be immediately obvious, but all 3 are not actually stuffed into a single deck. The frost giant mage is not running spell-power dudes, and if it is, it's a bad version of the deck. The aggro mage may be running some spell-power dudes, and for the most part you play against them like most other spell power decks like rogue, usually they're running armani beserkers and such though.

Classes benefit from having multiple viable builds, it generally means that you can't always know exactly what they're doing just by seeing the hero, or even their first 2 or 3 plays. You may not like it. That's a drawback of best of 1 matches.
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01/05/2014 01:46 PMPosted by ArmedWeasel
Playing Hunter, having difficulties removing the mana wyrms in the early game till I can turn 3 eaglehorn bow or turn 4 multishot.


Hunters are not really playable. I heard they make an excellent head-hunter deck in tournaments with multi-class matches, because of flare but even that doesn't stop them losing often. Hunter is a broken class. I don't know if anyone can help you.

01/05/2014 01:22 PMPosted by Silke
As I mentioned in a much earlier post, I've been playing an Anti-Aggro Druid deck a lot lately. My only heals are 2 Earthen Ring Farseers (3 points of healing and leaves a 3/3 minion) and 2 Ancients of Lore (5 point heal and a 5/5 Minion). Plus I can "heal" for 1 point of damage every turn I can use my Hero Power (I also run claw but that "healing" usually gets negated since it's used to remove a threat). By no means is this a lot of healing but it's, usually, enough to allow me to kill a Mage.

When people want a "counter" to direct damage, they want to erase the whole thing. Many times that's not necessary. ANY healing is enough to throw off a Mages game. Nothing makes me giggle more than when a mage gets me down to 10 or 11 health and I toss down a 3/3 Earthen Ring Farseer and jump up health then hit my Hero Power which puts me out of Pyroblast + Frostbolt range.

Here's the thing though. I don't simply sit there for 10 turns letting my mage opponent have their way with me. I'm actively working to kill them and negate their advantages. I've had games where I've survived 2 Fireballs, 2 Pyroblasts and 2 Iceblocks and went on to win the game (yes I had very low health at that point but like I said, you don't need to heal ALL of a direct damage spells pain so long as you simply offset it).

The final thing to remember is that with the exception of having Archmage Antonidas on the board, a Mage's direct damage spells are one and done. They shoot it at your face (or force them to use it as hard removal for a minion) and it's gone. They can never gain the benefit of that spell again.


+1 to this guy
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01/05/2014 08:09 AMPosted by Sar
As I said before, if you Counterspell a Fireball, you would probably consider that a hard counter. If you take 6 damage from a Fireball, then heal yourself for 6, the result is completely identical to if you have Counterspelled the Fireball. Therefore, if one is a hard-counter to Fireball, then the other is a hard-counter to Fireball.


My god, that's the silliest piece of logic I've ever seen. Do you actually mean this? Holy crap.

Your conclusion is completely incorrect, because 'cancelled' is not the same as 'undone'. I am particularly shocked because I very distinctly said so in my original post.

You keep saying that as long as the end result is the same, then the effects must be treated the same as well. I'd like to say 'the journey is more important then the result', but I doubt you'd get the analogy. Either way, here are two very important aspects you are completely missing:

- You can't heal targets at full health
- You can't heal targets at 0 health

The vast majority of the minions we play are in either of those two categories during their lifetime on the board. That makes healing minions a very situational play; one that is usually ignored (and rightly so). So much for your 'hard counter'.

I would even go as far as saying that most of Hearthstone's gameplay problems come from this lack of proper counters, or really, a lack of a reaction system. For example, high-cost minions are losing their merit for this exact reason; they are too easily removed and there is no easy way to counter the removal. Spells, in general, are a much more potent form then their MTG counterpart. And now it isn't too much of a stretch to assume mages benefit the most from this.

Now, I understand why blizzard chose a simpler and faster game in favour of a reaction mechanic, but honestly, do you think any card game would use instants or reactions if they weren't vital to the balance of the game? Do you think Magic put that in there just for the hell of it? No, of course not.

Speaking of MTG;

01/05/2014 08:09 AMPosted by Sar
The problem with discussing hard counters in this game is that people have been too used to MTG, and as such, they view the only method of "countering" an ability is to prevent its resolution. This leads to a great misunderstanding as to how Hearthstone is played.


You know why so many people use MTG as comparison material? Because MTG works. Can't say the same about HS yet.
Edited by Cheezzhead on 1/5/2014 8:25 PM PST
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01/05/2014 08:15 PMPosted by Cheezzhead
As I said before, if you Counterspell a Fireball, you would probably consider that a hard counter. If you take 6 damage from a Fireball, then heal yourself for 6, the result is completely identical to if you have Counterspelled the Fireball. Therefore, if one is a hard-counter to Fireball, then the other is a hard-counter to Fireball.


My god, that's the silliest piece of logic I've ever seen. Do you actually mean this? Holy crap.

Your conclusion is completely incorrect, because 'cancelled' is not the same as 'undone'. I am particularly shocked because I very distinctly said so in my original post.

You keep saying that as long as the end result is the same, then the effects must be treated the same as well. I'd like to say 'the journey is more important then the result', but I doubt you'd get the analogy. Either way, here are two very important aspects you are completely missing:

- You can't heal targets at full health
- You can't heal targets at 0 health

The vast majority of the minions we play are in either of those two categories during their lifetime on the board. That makes healing minions a very situational play; one that is usually ignored (and rightly so). So much for your 'hard counter'.

I would even go as far as saying that most of Hearthstone's gameplay problems come from this lack of proper counters, or really, a lack of a reaction system. For example, high-cost minions are losing their merit for this exact reason; they are too easily removed and there is no easy way to counter the removal. Spells, in general, are a much more potent form then their MTG counterpart. And now it isn't too much of a stretch to assume mages benefit the most from this.

Now, I understand why blizzard chose a simpler and faster game in favour of a reaction mechanic, but honestly, do you think any card game would use instants or reactions if they weren't vital to the balance of the game? Do you think Magic put that in there just for the hell of it? No, of course not.


There may have been a miscommunication here; I've been under the impression we've been talking about countering direct damage in the form of hero damage, not minion removal (which is why I've been talking about hero health). This basically all stems from some players complaints that there's no method to counter direct damage to the hero; the point being that healing IS a counter to direct damage to the hero.

You are correct about it in the case of these spells being used as minions removal.
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01/05/2014 08:23 PMPosted by Sar
There may have been a miscommunication here; I've been under the impression we've been talking about countering direct damage in the form of hero damage, not minion removal (which is why I've been talking about hero health). This basically all stems from some players complaints that there's no method to counter direct damage to the hero; the point being that healing IS a counter to direct damage to the hero.

You are correct about it in the case of these spells being used as minions removal.


Why does it matter if we're talking about minions or about heroes? Healing is either a hard counter or it isn't. You can't say 'its a hard counter in this particular scenario'; saying that automatically invalidates your entire statement because of the very nature of hard counters.

How did you get your MVP title, in the local raffle lottery?
Edited by Cheezzhead on 1/5/2014 8:32 PM PST
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Hey Sar, I found this on Hearthpwn recently and it goes into what you're trying to get across in this thread. I wanted to post it on your thread so it's all neatly collected in the official forums. Since the back pages rarely get read except by people arguing and trolling I feel like it's a fairly safe place to put it temporarily. Give it a read and see if you'd like to edit your OP with the info or a link to the article. If not, just get this post deleted by a mod, I won't mind.

http://www.hearthpwn.com/forums/managrind/articles/3929-countering-ignore-the-board-mage-part-1-2

EDIT: Hahaha, nevermind, you wrote that article. Is a better article than your forum post here. :)
YUNO LINKS?
Edited by AshVandal on 1/6/2014 9:22 AM PST
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