Enrage/Heavy AOE Deck - Strong and Adaptable!

Posts: 81
High efficiency, high sweeping power, high removal power, and high control. The age of the AOE mage has not ended, it has merely taken new form, backed by lethal (and highly efficient) thugs that take one Fireblast and become terrors.

I've spent the past two days tweaking my AOE intensive deck, which features 8 card combos (all listed below) that can deal 2 AOE damage in one turn. 5 of these combos only cost 4 mana, which I see as a better Consecration. Not only that but the late game is great; you can burst for 5 AOE damage late game, without needing Flamestrike while also developing your board position! There's also a total of TWENTY-FIVE single turn AOE burst combos. This paves the way for a small fleet of minions to deal large amounts of damage. On top of all of this, the curve is nearly as perfect as you could hope for. Intrigued? Read on; here's the deck list with brief card explanations, and more in depth strategy can be found below, with a tl;dr at the bottom

-=CARDS TAKEN AND CARDS NOT=-

The Deck
Visual Deck: http://imgur.com/Yw9m7yM
HearthPwn Deckbuilder: http://www.hearthpwn.com/decks/24237-mage-enrage
  • Mana Wyrm x2 - Good removal bait early, good coin combos, strong mid/late game
  • Arcane Explosion x2 - allows large AOE burst from T4 onward when combined with Kobold, stays relevant all game with spell power
  • Amani Berserker x2 - strong enrage 2drop
  • Kobold Geomancer x2 - amazing scaling and combo potential
  • Arcane Intellect x2 - card draw to fuel spell onslaught during late game
  • Emperor Cobra x2 - Often 2 for 1 early game, hard removal late game. Good play at all stages.
  • Harvest Golem x2 - amazing trade potential and minion control to survive early game
  • Raging Worgen x2 - great enrage mechanic, stays relevant midgame
  • Fireball x2 - it's Fireball, duh
  • Polymorph x2 - it's Polymorph, duh
  • Sen'jin Shieldmasta x2 - Taz Dingo! solid, low-cost protection for key players
  • Azure Drake x2 - fuels AOE damage and card draws on a 4/4, so terrific
  • Fen Creeper x1 - more taunt protection, safer lategame
  • Gurubashi Berserker x2 - incredible synergy with Fireball, can carry games alone
  • Blizzard x2 - better than Flamestrike with this deck imo
  • Flamestrike x1 - a good failsafe, no mage deck is complete without one (and this deck only needs a singleton)
  • Removed
  • Acidic Ooze x2 - weapon kill is nice but the card's too situational
  • Owl - we have Polymorph, it was a mistake to put this in in the first place
  • Novice Engineer x2 - Card draw is strong, strong cheap cards are better
  • Frostbolt x1 (total zero now) - doesn't do enough, better cards to take
  • Sun Shattered Cleric x2 - our minions buff themselves. Good card, suboptimal for this deck
  • Dark Iron Dwarf - same explanation as Cleric
  • Defender of Argus x2 - Not useful enough, as this deck shines with few minions on the field (it's a waste to play Argus on one minion)
  • Boulderfist Ogre x1 - Nice and fat, but no added benefit. Gurubashi's better in every way.
  • Flamestrike x1 (retained one) - Powerful spell, but hurts the curve. One is plenty.
  • Pyroblast - too costly and does nothing for board control (or is a waste if used on minions), kills the late game combo possibilities
  • Added
  • Mana Wyrm x2
  • Frostbolt x1
  • Amani Berserker x2
  • Raging Worgen x2
  • Sen'jin Shieldmasta x2
  • Fen Creeper x1
  • Blizzard x1 (2 total now)
  • Why Not This Card?
  • Secrets - easy to play around, too often winds up not worth the 3 mana. Counterspell and Mirror Entity are nice, but risky for the aforementioned reason. I've never played with Spellbender which looks like it could work nicely; let me know if you try this.
  • Sorcerer's Apprentice - too weak early game
  • Water Elemental - We don't take Ice Lance, and we have enough control already. Better to take taunt minions.
  • Bloodmage Thalnos - too poor :( I suspect Kobold's extra one health is better for sustained casting anyways.
  • Dalaran Mage - attack is weak, offers no more spell power than Kobold and doesn't combo as well due to costing an additional mana. Not worth it at all over our other 3s.
  • Ogre Magi - Not stronger than our enrage minions and too expensive to combo effectively with. Also redundant with Drake, which gives us card draw for one mana more.
  • Ancient Mage - The mana curve on this deck is tight, and doesn't feel worth taking since our spells aren't aimed at the face.
  • Violet Teacher - not strong enough, too vulnerable to silence, our main spell casting takes place late
  • Legendaries - if you have em use em, though I feel the current curve is near perfect and the cards have good synergy. Doesn't feel like the deck needs a legendary, and can answer them just fine.

  • -=DECK EXPLANATION=-

    This deck has three focuses: bringing fairly consistent strong AOE damage (beginning at turn four), abusing Enrage minions for their strong synergy with our innate, and (oddly enough) late-game Mana Wyrm cultivation (though it is also very strong early game as well). I made this deck to deal with Warlocks specifically, but I've been having good success against other classes; this much AOE is simply unbearable, assuming you survive the early game and get even a small amount of card draw. To compliment this constant sweep, the deck is packed with enrage minions, which due to their high efficiency allow us to utilize our spells for board control while still outputting high damage. In addition to the three main features that lead to victory, this deck is fueled by strong card draw and hard removal, as well as a few taunters to protect the main cavalry during the mid and late game. Here are a few quick, highly important notes before we get to the meat and potatoes:

    1) In this deck, Fireball's primary use is as removal; you will generally get more damage from your minions and it is better to protect them.
    2) Never be afraid to make a good trade or even trade during early game; your late game is strong and has answers to pretty much every class and threat, so press advantages when you can but don't feel as though you're losing if you don't do 10 damage in the first 4/5 turns. In many of my games, midgame will see me at 17ish damage with my opponent around 26, but if played correctly this deck should be poised to arrest total board control.
    3) When given the choice, always use Fireball to remove a threat instead of Polymorph. You never know what threats are down the line, and Polymorph answers much more strongly than Fireball can.
    4) Don't play Kobolds and Drakes into empty boards unless you're certain you have complete control and they won't be removed.
    5) When possible, save Wyrm for late game (more on this below), but capitalize on opportunities to combo him with spells (especially Arcane Intellect, Coin, and Arcane Explosion).

    And now for the real strategy.

    Heavy AOE Damage
    Once called the king of AOE, people believe that mage's area of effect capabilities have been crippled by the nerfs to Cone of Cold and Frost Nova. While this may be true (I began playing after these nerfs, so I can't speak from experience), I've found that our AOE game can still be devastating. This is due to the strong synergy (and high efficiency) of combining spell power minions (Kobold and Drake specifrically, and Thalnos in place of Kobold if you're rich) with Arcane Explosion, Blizzard, and Fireball (and Flamestrike as well, though to a lesser degree, and I'll explain why later).

    Kobold is the star here, honestly. Think of him solely as a combo card, with these combos:

    Kobold + Arcane Explosion = 2 AOE damage, 4 mana: This is what makes this deck overpowered against Shamans and Warlocks. Turn 4/5 is when both classes try to gain momentum with increasing minion advantage before Flamestrike comes online. If you've been playing turns 1-3 properly, they should have spent that time clearing away your clear-resistant minions (more on that below) and be poised to strike on turn 4. You ruin their day by playing two cards and wiping out their army of 5+ minions. I cannot stress how amazing this combo is; every time I lay it down I'm either given a "well played" or a threat. Playing this on turn four, or even five, covers the gap before you gain access to Blizzard, at which point the odds tip highly in your favor. Huge momentum shift, best combo in the deck imo.

    Kobold + Blizzard = 3 AOE damage, 8 mana: Another game changer. I actually prefer this combo to Flamestrike for two reasons. First, even if you don't outright kill the enemies (which is possible at that late stage of the game), they're useless for a round (barring Ragnaros etc.), giving you time to wreak more havoc. Second, while Flamestrike often depletes your options for that turn while often offering only a clearer board, this combo leaves Kobold behind which will make your other spells better as well.

    Kobold + Flamestrike = 5 AOE damage, 9 mana: While this is not my favorite combo, don't let that diminish how powerful this is. Often opponents will attempt to maintain a minimum of 5 health on at least one minion to protect themselves from Flamestrike. This gives the finger to their careful precaution. If you don't have board control after playing this, you were going to lose the game anyways.

    Kobold + Fireball = 7 damage, 6 mana & Kobold + Frostbolt = 4 damage w/ Freeze, 5 mana: Think of these as combo-setups to lead into the above combos. These are best played with a taunt minion on the board to keep the opponent from killing your Kobold (as all their removal spells should be burned by now; more on this later). You play this one turn to neutralize the biggest threat on the other side, then follow through with one of the AOE spells. Also great as a finisher.

    As should now be apparent, Kobold is amazing for raining fire and brimstone during mid and late game. What makes this even better is that, if you manage your hand properly and get somewhat lucky, you can play double Kobold with these combos to add another point of damage and utter domination of most enemy boards; most notably, this works with Explosion at turn 6 for THREE AOE DAMAGE COSTING 6 MANA. Yes, that is the same cost as Blizzard, and yes, in some situations it is far superior since you now have +2 spell power on the board (better in every situation where you don't need the freeze and don't have great fear of sweep). You can work out the math on Blizzard, Fireball, and Frostbolt yourself; it's always useful. This combo is actually why I favor Flamestrike less highly than the other spells and only take one; you already have strong AOE damage, and I've found that one is strong enough for board control when you need to hit the panic button, whereas with two the second either gets left stranded in my hand when I don't want to waste it on one minion or leaves me so depleted on mana with no addition to my board position that I feel it doesn't offer enough tactically. For this reason I replaced the second Flamestrike with Frostbolt, for added utility and better efficiency in low enemy number situations, as this leaves me capable of further summoning or spell casting in the same turn as opposed to Flamestrikes "here's a nuke, and here's the end of my turn."

    Now, as much as I have spoken about Kobold, Azure Drake is also a strong late-game carrier. Use Kobold to vigorously take board control, then play your Drakes once you have it. They're more durable so they're good for maintaining sustained spell casting; protect them with taunts when possible for added safety. On top of this, the card draw is clutch and will win you games. Kobold is the star of the show, but Drake comes in for the big finish. Also, it's often useful to combo Drake and Explosion instead of playing a Flamestrike; you get to keep your ace in the hole and it'll be stronger to boot.

    Also, as promised, here's the list of eight 2 damage AOE combos, and the rest of the combos are mostly intuitive. For reference, the largest burst AOE possible is Kobold + Blizzard + Explosion = 5 AOE damage, for a full 10 mana. You can also Kobold + Flamestrike for 5 as well, at 9 mana.

    4 mana
    Arcane Explosion + Arcane Explosion (1 combination)
    Kobold Geomancer + Arcane Explosion (4 combinations, each geomancer with each explosion)

    6 mana
    Blizzard

    7 mana
    Azure Drake + Arcane Explosion (2 combinations)

    There are also 3 combinations that do 5 damage, another number I've found to be key.

    9 mana
    Kobold + Flamestrike
    Kobold + Blizzard + Explosion
    Flamestrike + Explosion (though this is less efficient as you remove the opportunity to scale either spell with Kobold or Drake later)


    Enrage Manipulation
    When I created this deck, I believed the power of this deck lied in the constant AOE damage. While that is a powerful component of the strategy, I've come to realize that the enrage mininons are the actual key to victory. Because of the high sweep and removal power you'll have through spells, Cobras, and Golems, your enrage minions are capable of staying on the board for several turns, allowing their incredibly efficient damage to run wild. To recap, there are three double sets of enrage minions in this deck: Amani Berserker, Raging Worgen, and Gurubashi Berserker. (Gurubashi is technically just self-buffing, but I digress). The mission of these is simple: force the opponent to use removal spells and minions during the early and midgame, or punish them for not dealing with the threat.

    As I have stated, this deck thrives on the spell power granted by Kobold and Drake. One thing you may have noticed about spell power minions, however, is that they essentially have an invisible taunt label stamped across their foreheads; any competent opponent will remove them from the board as quickly as possible. To properly utilize this deck, you must know when to allow this and when to protect them. In some cases it's better to allow them to kill your spell power minions after they've blown their spell load in order to enable safer enrage play. The ideal situation is to clear with the spell power to a safe board, allowing you to both have empowered spells and protected enraged minions. At other times it's better to use your enrage minions to soften up the enemy for a clean sweep when you bring out the big guns. This will largely be dependent on what cards you have in your hand, and can change in the middle of a game; if it's mostly enragers, use spell power to open opportunities; if there are lots of spells, use enrage power to make sure your spell power minions will stay on the board for several turns. Depending on which strategy you need to pursue, toss out the minions of the other strat in order to soak up damage and removal spells.

    I assume this is common knowledge, but for newer players let me explain: due to our innate, we can activate enrage minions at will, assuming we have 2 mana. This makes them incredibly card efficient, as we can keep our curve low while having high damage threats. No one wants to deal with a windfuried Worgen on turn 4, so opponents will dispatch him with whatever means possible. This means fewer tools to kill our spell power guys when we play them, which is great! As a note, think carefully about playing taunt minions for these guys. You want to save those for your spell power cards whenever possible, but not at the cost of taking too much damage. Use your judgment well.

    Amani Berserker is barely ahead of Wyrm for our best two-drop coin (trust me, the Wyrm is good, I'll explain below), and remains a good play for turns 3 and 4. This will weed out those pesky Shadow Word: Pains, Hammers of Wrath, and the like.

    Once Amani begins to fall off, Worgen takes over and serves the same funtion; soak up removal spells and hopefully 2-for-1 with enemy minions/cards (or even killing buffs like Sunpriest and Iron Dwarf).

    And Gurubashi needs no explanation; if they don't kill him, he will outright win the game on his own.

    I picked these three specifically because they cover all points in the game - Amani Berserker for T1-4, Worgen for T3-6, and Gurubashi for T5+.Note that a two drops remains relevant in turn four - Amani is that good. Worgen also stays relevant long past it's first summon opportunity. Gurubashi, when well primed, can take down giants and legendaries, and helps to round out our late game along side the spells


    Mana Wyrm Cultivation
    I know what you must be thinking. "Mana Wyrm? That pitiful little thing? You expect me to depend on Wyrm to make a difference?" Yes, yes I do, because with the number of spells packed in this deck he's actually quite powerful. He has two functions, one early game and one late game.

    Early game: In the early game, Wyrm functions much like your enrage minions in that it should draw out removal power from your opponent due to the threat of growing bigger. In some cases, this will be an empty threat, but one that will still net you some removal commitment in some games. In other cases, he actually becomes a threat. Here are the plays you should aim for if possible:
  • T1 Wyrm, T2 Wyrm + Coin 2 drop: This treat doesn't come often but when it does it's terrifying. If the first Wyrm isn't cleared during the start of turn 2, you now have 2 2/3 Wyrms and an actual 2 drop (ideally Amani Berserker but any will do) on the board. Your enemies will empty their hands before they lose to a Wyrm army, which paves the wave for Kobold and Drake. That or they can't clear them and you actually gain huge momentum from this. Against classes with early sweep, this is actually a great sacrifice as it's cheap and will make your midgame safer. Against classes without it, you're likely going to overwhelm them.
  • T1 Wyrm, T2 Coin Arcane Intellect: Coin Arcane Intellect? What kind of madness is this! Hear me out though. For one thing, this deck depends on having strong AOE clear capabilities by turn 6 at the latest, and heavy card draw early makes this happen a lot more reliably. Secondly, you just played two spells meaning that your Wyrm is now 3/2 and a big early game threat - not bad for 1 mana, eh? The enemy will waste resources killing your 1 drop while you've set yourself up for a stronger midgame - win win. Play this whenever you aren't deathly afraid of their 2 drop; losing a bit of health in the first couple turns will be worth it when you have a handful of sweep and removal by turn 5. edit: As I've played with the deck more and made adjustments, this is strongest when the rest of your hand is filled with spells and high cost minions, and is situational otherwise as it leaves you vulnerable to charge minions on T3, which leaves you with an empty board. Be wary.
  • T4 Wyrm + Explosion + 2 drop: Essentially, you now have two 2drops on the board as well as clearing theirs. Incredibly strong tempo swing, as enemies usually will have to commit 3 damage to removing the Wyrm or let him sit and grow. Either way this is a strong play, assuming you aren't overwhelmed by 2hp Murlocs or the like.
  • His uses go on; play around and find different things that work. Also, Wyrm should be the first thing to go if you need to test the waters. If you want to check that enemy secret, summon/attack with Wyrm before your other mininon; if you think your opponent may have a removal spell that would kill one of your enrage minions, sacrifice the Wyrm and let your enragers rage on. This can apply late game as well, though you may want to pursue the following strategy.

    Late game: I wouldn't say this if I hadn't seen it several times in my own game, but mid/late-game Wyrm is actually quite strong. Early game, Wyrm will often be wiped out by incoming minions. In mid/late however, unless your opponent favors charge minions then your AOE and removal spells will often keep the little twerp safe, while concurrently making him more and more of a threat. On top of this, most removal spells have already been blown, so he has surprising staying power. When played at the right time, Wyrm can actually deal a surprising amount of damage, and may very well be my favorite 1 mana minion in the game (though Priestess is also lovable in the right situations). Here are a few specific combos:
  • T5 Wyrm + Kobold + Arcane Explosion: In many cases, this will be a wild swing in tempo. This is one of the few cases where, in so many words, sacrificing a Kobold is worth it. By playing him turn five, you often wipe their side of the board if you've played your early game well (whittling down a fleet of minions to 2 hp each). T6 they'll focus on the Kobold, which often lets your Wyrm grow from your impending spell flurry. As a note, you can also use a 2drop in place of the Kobold; this is superior if you don't need the extra one damage.
  • T7 Wyrm + Blizzard: If given the chance, I will play this over Flamestrike if I have both in my hand. You instantly create a safe environment for your Wyrm (barring removal spells/Rocketeers/etc. from the enemy, which is a bonus if they blow them on Wyrm) and can often get at least one or two turns of spell buff on him. Very useful for chipping the opponent down while using AOE to keep their side of the board under control.
  • Late game Wyrm is flexible. He's only 1 mana, so use him when the opportunity presents itself and you'll be surprised at the results. For this reason, I prefer to save Wyrm for late game when possible, though I don't hesitate to throw him out turn 1 if I don't get any 2drops.

    -=REMOVAL POWER=-

    In addition to lots of AOE clear, this deck has high single target removal strength as well. This comes in the form of Fireball, Emperor Cobra, and Polymorph, and they should be used in that order of priority.

    Fireball is a massive 6 damage beginning at T4; don't waste it if you can make a good trade - instead save it for when you need to clear a threat that would otherwise become a problem or for when you're ready to take the lead and go on the attack (I often use this to clear high health taunt minions if my side is prepped with 2-3 attackers).

    Emperor Cobra should be played at any time you don't need a stronger play and it will survive. Worst case is it absorbs a removal spell, which is fantastic. Best case, you have a prepared answer for any large threats/legendaries/tanks. The exception is against Mages and Rogues; Mages can clear them with Flamestrike so play around this, and Rogues can use them as combo springboards, so be cautious.

    Polymorph should be saved whenever you can help it, and should be thought of as a "in case they play a legendary" card. It's best used late game when an opponent commits all or most of their mana to a strong minion, which you can nullify for the low cost of 4 mana, leaving you with 4-6 mana to further develop your board position (2-4 if you use Fireblast to clear the sheep). Use it on threats or midgame tempo killers (as this is when the deck begins to pick up speed), but I cannot stress enough that this should be used with the utmost care. Use your judgment.

    -=MULLING STRATEGY=-

    With this deck, your mulligan picks will vary depending on matchup. In general, I always hold on to Kobold and Explosion when they're dealt with a few exceptions, and I practically never toss Golem. I also like to keep Wyrm + Intellect if I have coin and I'm not against Warrior, Warlock, or Rogue. Here's a general guide for how to mull against classes.
  • Druid: Don't toss Polymorph, as Druid's like to play big targets early. I prefer being prepared in case he throws something big down at T4/5. Mull Wyrm if you need a good 2 drop, as it's likely to be swept.
  • Hunter: Keep Wyrm as a trap deactivation tool; favor Golem highly for the same reason. Mull Intellect, as your enragers will do a better job of neutralizing buffed beasts.
  • Mage: It's okay to mull Explosion if you need to get a 2drop. Mages are rarely rushdown, and it'll do you more good late game. Use Wyrm to bait out Frostbolts. Also, always bait Polymorph before playing a Gurubashi or you will be sad panda.
  • Paladin: Raging Worgen shines due to the 1/1 innate summons. Amani is also decent at handling T4 Blessing of King when played T5, unless they have other minions to clear him. Cobra and Polymorph are also good to take in case you don't get the others.
  • Priest: I favor keeping Wyrm in this matchup to hopefully eat a Shadow Word: Pain. Also, always keep Polymorphs, as you want to be prepared if the Priest buffs a super minion on T3 or T4; Cobra is good for the same reason.
  • Rogue: Aggressively mulligan for Kobold + Explosion, Golem, or Worgen, though Taz Dingo is good to keep as this will kill momentum if they get going T1-3.
  • Shaman: Aim for Kobold + Explosion, but keep Worgen as he's good for totem removal T3 and T4. Unless you manage really bad trades early on, you should win this matchup handily past T5.
  • Warlock: Forget everything else: toss everything in search of Explosion. I even ditch Kobold. Blood Imps are the devil and then some. Ideally go for both, but Explosion is a must.
  • Warrior: Kobold + Explosion is not that good in this matchup imo; it's better to shoot for your enragers, especially Amani as he can trade with Warrior buffed minions and Worgen often gets charged over so is less potent here.
  • These are only general guidelines; always keep your eyes peeled for good synergy. Also, some of the best advice I read about mulling is that the goal is to aim for full mana consumption during the first 3-4 turns. When first, this would be a 1-2-3 spread or 2-3-4; less optimal but still okay are 2-2-4, 1-2-2, 1-1-2/3/4. When second, aim for 2-2-3-4 or 1-3-3-4 due to coin, though 1-2-3-4 is like hitting the lottery as you can save coin for earlier Blizzards and Flamestrikes, as well as other mid/late combos, like T7 Coin + Kobold + Blizzard or T8 Coin + Kobold + Flamestrike - FIRE AND BRIMSTONE RAIN DOWN UPON THEE! Often you'd rather use it midgame to get more minions on the board, but these combos are fun when you can save for them.

    -=GENERAL STRATEGY NOTES=-

  • Don't waste taunt minions just to protect your health if you can help it; use them primarily as cover for your spell power minions (and enragers when the situation calls for it). I'll often let myself fall below twenty health during the first four or five turns if necessary as long as I know I have strong clear by 5 and will not be in lethal range, which is different for each class; I have a higher threshold against a Hunter than against a Priest, for example. As a precaution, the one issue I've run into is dealing with extremely aggressive decks with lots of direct damage (spell power & sinister strike rogue, mind blast priest, warriors and pallys that get lucky with early weaponry). You have taunts later in the game to protect you, but the early game is still vulnerable. Do your best to make good trades and minimize the damage you take.
  • Your goal is not to rush like a Warlock or clear like a Rogue. Instead, you want to carefully administer your enrage minions in a steady flow of threat, which forces the enemy to constantly answer them. A general rule of thumb should be to never have more than 2-3 minions on the board before turn 6, especially against classes with sweep like Druid, Priest, and Paladin. The exception to this is Harvest Golem; play Golem whenever as he offers great trade potential and is good for keeping enemy minion size manageable through smart use of his deathrattle and 3 hp.
  • Unless you're facing a class/player with charge minions or weapons, don't overlap your Blizzard freeze and your taunt minions. If the enemies are frozen, they don't need to be taunted, and playing a taunt minion early means that your opponent can use an extra turn's worth of mana removing them, which isn't good since you should be using them as protection for a more critical target. If they have removal, they'll aim for your enrager/spell power/wyrm anyways, and having your taunt played early just leaves you vulnerable to AOE. Likewise, if your taunt will be durable enough to withstand the next turn of aggression, save your Blizzard for when he's faltering.
  • When played well, I feel like this deck has few counters. The one problem I've seen is a weakness to direct damage spells, but unless you're taken very low in health early you'll have enough board control by midgame that it often doesn't matter. Warriors are the bane of this deck though, that 5 damage weapon blows through our minions and our health. Otherwise, very adaptable and few weaknesses.

    -=TL;DR=-

  • Kobold is a god combo card. Use him with Blizzard, Fireball, and especially Arcane Explosion (combo available at T4, or T3 with Coin) to bring down entire armies single handedly.
  • Your enrage minions are both your early game and your late game. Early game they provide highly efficient trading as well as bleeding your opponent of removal spells, as they want to get rid of them pronto. Late game, your AOE damage will leave their side of field empty, allowing your enraged minions to whack away at their life (Worgen can situationally be even better than Gurubashi as he hits 8 damage after only one Fireblast as opposed to two). Amani is better for trading during early game, as he will fall off compared to the other two, but like I said they are useful all game.
  • Mana Wyrm is likewise good early and late. Early (especially T1) he bleeds opponents of removal spells (3 health on a 1drop!) and has great synergy with coin (T1 Wyrm, T2 Coin 3drop should win you the early game alone). Late game, you will be throwing spells every turn so it grows constantly, and your heavy AOE and removal suite make sure it stays on the board (as by this time the opponent has burned through all of their removal spells generally)
  • Only play Azure Drake when you have board control or you desperately need the card draw. He's a powerful late game finisher that ensures your spells keep hitting hard.
  • Polymorph has great synergy late game with our enrage minions, especially Worgen who can hit the sheep and then attack again with boosted damage immediately.
  • If you run away with the game early, Fireball makes a hell of a finisher; save it for the final blow to make sure it isn't wasted. In more even games or games where you're behind, don't hesitate to use it for removal; you have plenty of damage to kill with, so board control is better. Also, always use it instead of Poly if given the chance, due to the aforementioned strength Poly has late game (strengthens your board presence as opposed to just dealing damage).
  • If given the choice between playing Harvest Golem or another minion, you want to play Golem 90% of the time prior to T6 or so. He's impervious to removal spells unless the enemy commits significant resources (I once had an enemy Spellbreaker him lol), in which case he's served the purpose of giving the rest of your army an easy fight. He also can suicide bomb with his first life to create card advantage. Nearly always a good play.
  • Edited by Vocalyze on 1/3/2014 4:53 PM PST
    Reply Quote
    Posts: 98
    I played around with your deck in casual mode. Made some changes with cards I had available. So far 2 out of 3 with this build. Changes and thoughts follow.

    Cards I took out:
    • Arcane Explosion - If you're making good trades with minions Arcane Missiles seem like a better bet.
    • Acidic Ooze and Owl - seem misplaced and get nuked way to easily.
    • Arcane Intellect and Gurubashi - Tempo killers.
    • Boulderfist Ogre - ok not great.


    I added:
    • Arcane Missiles, Frostbolt, Pyroblast - more burst damage to give people a reason to QQ on the Mage forum.
    • Raging Worgen and Abomination - Raging Worgen is one of those minions the opponent needs to take care of right away, or you'll ping it and make them pay. Even better if you ping and Dark Iron.
    • Abomination have the possibility of wiping a warlocks entire board and replace some of your combos with a single card instead of two.
    • +1 Blizzard - Another card combo replacement and Warlock board wiper.
    • Gadgetzan Auctioneer - didn't have another Azure Drake should be equivalent.


    Arcane Missiles x2
    Frostbolt x2
    Kobold Geomancer x2
    Loot Hoarder x2
    Novice Engineer x2
    Harvest Golem x2
    Sun Shattered Cleric x2
    Raging Worgen x2
    Fireball x2
    Polymorph x2
    Dark Iron Dwarf x1
    Defender of Argus x1
    Abomination x1
    Azure Drake x1
    Gadgetzan Auctioneer x1
    Blizzard x2
    Flamestrike x2
    Pyroblast x1
    Edited by Levi on 1/1/2014 12:21 PM PST
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    Posts: 81
    edit: I copied most of my response into the OP, check out all the new info there. Enjoy!

    Thanks for giving it a test drive Levi! I've played with the deck a lot more and made some adjustments, including a few you suggested.

    Arcane Explosion vs. Arcane Missiles: A few days ago I would have agreed with you on this one, but have since come to loathe Missiles vehemently, and Explosion is a far better choice. This is due to the way each spell scales with spell power, one of the three focuses of this deck; I'll go over this in greater detail lower with my strategy explanation, but for now I'll just say that Missiles will lose you games.

    Pyroblast and Frostbolt: After testing out Pyroblast for many hours today, I've determined it does not work for this deck. This deck focuses on lategame spellpower combos played in the same turn. Pyro can only combo with Kobold, which misses out on potential synergy with Drake unless you already have the advantage. It's good when you're ahead, but is not useful for retaining control while behind. As for Frostbolt, I initially avoided the card as I considered it an early game waveclear that was better off replaced with a minion, but when I removed Pyro I replaced it with Frostbolt with the intentions of saving it as a late game nuke whenever possible; it comboes easily with both Drake and Kobold (even allowing for a Fireblast when comboed with Drake which is crucial). That said, the deck is stretched thin as it is and I think one bolt is adequate.

    Acidic Ooze and Owl: 100% right here, after reading your post these cards were the first to go.

    Arcane Intellect and Gurubashi: Again, I'll have to strongly disagree; these two cards are essential for this deck to work properly. I'll explain more below.

    Boulderfist Ogre: I also agreed with this after reading. I was a tad reluctant to let him go at first, but the impact from replacing him was massive and positive so he is not missed.

    Abomination: One of the disadvantages of this deck is that opponents that aim for the head can whittle the mage down during early game; I even added Darkscale Healer and Earthen Ring Farseer in an earlier iteration since my main complaint was suffering from early game aggro and then falling to direct damage spells later in the game. I eventually decided to drop them, but health is still tenuous and this card would not be worth the risk; in addition, it maims one of the strengths of this deck: the enrage minions, who will already be injured.

    Blizzard: Right again haha, I had been holding on to my dust to work towards Thalnos but this was well worth the purchase.

    Gadgetzan Auctioneer: I can empathize with having to make replacements. That said, removing even one Drake makes this deck exponentially worse due to the focus on spell empowerment. Make what adjustments you need to, but know that leaving out a drake lowers your chances of victory drastically.
    Edited by Vocalyze on 1/3/2014 12:03 AM PST
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    Posts: 98
    Nice post on the deck changes. It has a lot more synergy now. I think I like the Mana Wyrm and Taz'dingo changes the best, seem to make the curve flow better.

    I just got the Mage daily and hate using my ranked deck in casual, so I'm going to give yours a try. I'll let you know how it goes.
    Edited by Levi on 1/3/2014 1:43 AM PST
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    Posts: 4
    Its fun deck to play & win rate is pretty good in casual play, but i dont dare to go into ranked matches with it just yet. Only few losses ive had were, when i didnt get a any creatures in first 2-3 turns (including starter hand). The downside of this deck is a) when you either dont get aoe from the start (loosing deck control to small minions, ie. no arcane explotion) & dont get minions to play in the beginning or to combo with aoe. Any mage aoe control deck works against warlocks pretty nicely tho.

    edit: http://img856.imageshack.us/img856/7144/r1s6.png
    Edited by BlessedK on 1/3/2014 3:39 AM PST
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    Posts: 98
    01/03/2014 01:40 AMPosted by Levi
    Nice post on the deck changes. It has a lot more synergy now. I think I like the Mana Wyrm and Taz'dingo changes the best, seem to make the curve flow better.

    I just got the Mage daily and hate using my ranked deck in casual, so I'm going to give yours a try. I'll let you know how it goes.


    Went 5/7 in casual, seems to do good against normal curve decks. I think hyper-aggro decks will give it a lot of trouble.

    Here are a few links to decks very similar to the popular ones I've seen in the higher ranks to legendary. Might be useful in your counter-deck creation, and planning which cards you'll want in the future:

    Ultra-agg Rogue: http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/forum/topic/11040454292
    Curi Control: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=435773
    Legendary Druid: http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/forum/topic/11042104735
    Beef Stew: http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/forum/topic/10948654803#1
    Aggro Mage: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=437195
    Edited by Levi on 1/3/2014 3:55 AM PST
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    Posts: 81
    01/03/2014 03:51 AMPosted by Levi
    Nice post on the deck changes. It has a lot more synergy now. I think I like the Mana Wyrm and Taz'dingo changes the best, seem to make the curve flow better.

    I just got the Mage daily and hate using my ranked deck in casual, so I'm going to give yours a try. I'll let you know how it goes.


    Went 5/7 in casual, seems to do good against normal curve decks. I think hyper-aggro decks will give it a lot of trouble.

    Here are a few links to decks very similar to the popular ones I've seen in the higher ranks to legendary. Might be useful in your counter-deck creation, and planning which cards you'll want in the future:

    Ultra-agg Rogue: http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/forum/topic/11040454292
    Curi Control: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=435773
    Legendary Druid: http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/forum/topic/11042104735
    Beef Stew: http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/forum/topic/10948654803#1
    Aggro Mage: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=437195

    Yea, the one flaw I have found is that it is weak against early agressors. I just made a few edits I'm gonna try out to see if I can make the early game stronger while retaining a powerful late.

    -=REMOVED=-
  • Frostbolt - it just wasn't doing enough, enough when pumped with spell power, and was occasionally redundant with Blizzard if I had to play them the same turn, which smells of losing efficiency.
  • Novice Engineer - While card draw is very strong, I decided that having a more aggressive lineup would help stave off early aggressors, while also buying time for Drake to become playable for more card draw.
  • -=ADDED=-
    Emperor Cobra x2 - Not sure why I didn't think of this sooner, as it accomplishes three goals. If drawn early game, it can be a strong minion clearer and possibly 2-for-1; at any point in the game it draws a high priority for removal/silence spells; and if drawn late game, it can soften up a board to make Drake and Gurubashi safer to play.

    This has had the added benefit of making the curve even nicer, while also retaining the guiding principle of cards that are strong long past their first available playing. I'll let you know how the test runs go
    Reply Quote
    Posts: 81
    OP updated and strategies revised. Since those last changes I've won 5 out of 6 games. I think this deck is finally in working condition! Have at it folks.
    Edited by Vocalyze on 1/3/2014 2:39 PM PST
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    Posts: 81
    Added a HearthPwn link, easier to look at just the decklist now
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    Posts: 81
    Added a tl;dr. It's a lot of info, so I tried to condense the most important parts
    Reply Quote
    Posts: 207
    I just adopted this deck, and I have to say, it's fun and a nice change of pace from my previous mage decks. After some practice, I'm getting the hang of it, and actually getting some wins.

    I like it because it works without the heavy reliance on AOE freezes, secrets, giants, pyroblasts and legendaries that everyone is always complaining about where mage is concerned. Relatively cheap, effective, and fun.

    And it's just so much fun to put a fireblast to the behind of my minions if they survive until my next round, and watch them enrage at the enemy. :)
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    Posts: 159
    i didnt get a chance to read the full post, but did you ever mention what rank this got to?
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