First I'll say that I don't play ranked anymore. It's just boring fighting off the same decks over and over again, so I just play casual. After the last wipe I reached level 3, but after it I just don't feel like grinding up again against the flavor decks of the moment.
Said that for me Mage is one of the most powerful classes after the nerf.
I don't follow meta, I don't follow other people's decks. I kinda take pride of making my own decks and refine them with experience on how the deck I'm using behaves. If I feel I'm lacking in tempo, I adjust my mana curve. If I feel I'm a tad too spell heavy, I swap some spells for minions. And in the end I end up with pretty good working decks that, at least in casual, give very good results.
here's the one I currently use:
Yep, I don't run pyro.
2xMana wyrm (good lord those things are so OP)
1xBloodmage Thalnos (swap for kobold geomancer if you don't have it. It's far from vital but the card draw is nice)
1xKobold Geomancer (make it two if you don't have thalnos)
1xFaceless Manipulator (I toy around with this a lot. Sometimes I play one drake and two faceless. Currently is like this, but both work).
Play with the mana curve. Always play something that will keep presence on the board. Don't be one of those who play an arcane intelect on turn 3, if you have a 2 mana minion ready, unless you already have a solid board presence and don't need to reinforce it. Keep presence on the board. Keep the other guy off the board. Try at every stage to have something on the board if possible and use removal to make it happen.
When you lose control of the board (can happen) DONT use the arcane explosions lightly. they are there to help regaining control of it. Kobold/thalnos+2xarcane explosions give you a 4 dmg AoE+minion for 6 mana. You're effectively running a card-intensive-low cost reserve flamestrike to use in emergencies, or a lower class minion+2 mana AoE for just 4 mana. Of course that's if you don't have the apprentice out, then it can be a 4 mana 4 damage AoE.
Don't use the mirror images on turn one. Use them wisely to delay the enemy when he plays minions you currently can't deal with. Use the faceless to copy whatever great legendary the other guy plays, to then sheep it. And of course, keep the sheep for the things that warrant it. There's nothing more stupid than dropping a polymorph on a Taz'Dingo only to be looking at a Ragnaros next turn.
It's simple, it's not expensive to craft (Thalnos is far from neccessary but I got it in an arena pack so hey, why not), and if you have the ridiculous turn 1 second to play mana wyrm+coin+mana wyrm, you have 90% of the game already in the bag. Even more if you also have a frostbolt ready.
As I said, I don't play ranked anymore as I just play for fun so no clue on how this will behave there, but in casual this thing works like a charm, and the games I don't win I can without a doubt say that it was down to bad luck with draws, or missing a vital card at one given moment (something that can happen even with the best crafted decks).
BTW I own ysera, Malygos, Ragnaros, Cairne and Black knight. I don't use any of them. I'd rather faceless the enemy's ysera to then poly it. Both more satisfying, and much much cheaper in mana costs. Tho I have to admit, Malygos in this deck is just utterly nuts, I've tried it in place of one of the drakes and is just plain ridiculous. Turn 10 Malygos+arcane missiles are 8 missiles. Malygos+coin+arcane explosion is a 6 damage area. Etc.
Now if I only had antonidas...
Edited by RAMJB on 1/21/2014 2:10 AM PST