Rhaenys's anti-Zoo Mage Deck (Secrets/MR)

Posts: 187
Hey. I basically had had it up to here with Zoo decks at rank 12 and came up with this and unexpectedly managed to climb to Rank 4.

http://imgur.com/grXoSuv

I'd like to showcase my deck in hopes that Zoo decks become rarified. I have a 85-90% win rate against both Warlock and Paladin zoo decks. I do pretty decently against Miracle Rogue and Ramp decks too.

Here's the Card List

http://imgur.com/GYCcyQ8

I'm certain that most of you are quite experienced with the normal use of these spells so I'll just comment on the notable ones and how I generally use them against Zoo decks.

Break Down

2 x Arcane Missiles

Really good for picking off those Turn 1 Argent Squires. Also great for popping DS/denying your opponent a buffed up Blood Knight

2 x Mirror Image

Great at mitigating Battle cry damage from Knife Jugglers (which seem a staple in zoo decks) and soaking up Avenging Wrath hits.

2 x Mana Wyrm

Usually forces a Soulfire or non-optimal trades.

2 x Arcane Explosion

Great for countering stand-alone equality in Paladin decks.

1 x Amani Beserker

I usually don't ping this, and it should net either a removal spell or at least 2-1 trades.

2 x Arcane Intellect

Can result in a tempo loss, but it does help buff Mana Wyrm, and it's decent for the late game (which, you surprisingly reach quite often against Zoo decks with this set up).

2 x Counterspell

Basically, most rush decks are pretty light on spells. Most spells cards within a rush set up are pretty crucial to it's success (think Soulfire and Avenging Wrath). You'll most likely catch a pretty expensive/important spell. I commonly try to negate a Siphon Soul against Handlock with this.

1 x Ice Block

I'd generally try to play this as early as possible, unless I'm up against a Hunter. This is amazing against Leeroy-Shadowstep-Coldblood Rogues, if your board is clear you'll even have an extra 4-6 damage on board. Usually helps you set up long enough for you to meet your win conditions.

2 x Kirin Tor Mage

These are pretty amazing and I try to get one (and only one) in my opening hand. If you're P2, and RNG favors you, you could potentially have a 3/3 Mana Wyrm and a 4/3 protected by CS on turn 2. Stats are decent enough to be used alone too.

2 x Water Elemental

You really want these out ASAP. When I started out, I'd make the mistake of hanging on to them but they basically become weaker every turn past turn 4, since your opponent has more access to removal. Don't be afraid to smash these into giants just to buy more time before Ice Block is activated, either.

2 x Azure Drake

These usually persist past the turn they're played in games against Zoo decks since they're going for your face. Combing this with Thalnos and Arcane Explosion will usually result in a squeakier board, even against non-zoo decks.

1 x Ragnaros

Ragnaros may not seem very useful against zoo decks because of RNG and how expensive he is to play, but the brighter opponents who figure out you have Ice Block usually are forced to remove him, and without spells they'll have to trade minions.

Mulliganing

You generally want a Mana Wyrm, a Kirin Tor Mage and a Secret (preferably CS) on your opening hand. Most of the 2 drops, with the exception of Arcane Explosion and Thalnos aren't too bad to start with either. You might want to keep Missiles against Paladins and Warlocks, but I'd generally keep them for later against anything else. Dropping spell power buffed missiles against stealthed Gadgetzen Auctioneers almost always takes them out.

Win Conditions

As usual, the 2 x Fireball, 1 x Pyroblast combo is how I usually win.
This deck is however, able to dish out a significant amount of minion damage because CS and freezes ensure that your minions usually stick around for a while.

General Notes

CS should be used in anticipation of either minion removal or something extremely game changing (i.e. Force of Nature + Savage Roar). CS does not always have to be used after a Kirin Tor Mage.

My win ratio against Control decks is something like 40-50% give or take. I don't think the deck itself is horribly flawed against Control, rather, control decks have so many spells that it can be difficult to figure out which removal spells to negate and how to go about negating them with CS.

Possible Tweaks/Replacements

Ysera

(Replacing Arcane Explosion) Usually reserved for control decks. Massive Silence bait + utility spells + 12 body makes it amazing for trading and whatnot. It's worth holding on to Leeroy until after you play Ysera for either Leeroy-Dream-Leeroy or Nightmared Leeroy. On a side note, using Dream on a Nightmared Leeroy is amazing.

Sorcerer's Apprentice

Use to bait silences and for cheaper Arcane Intellect. Don't expect her to stick around for very long.

Mirror Entity

If I'm running into the same players, I typically switch out CS for ME just to punish them for trying to play around CS

Ethereal Arcanist

If you can protect him, he's essentially a mini Gruul if you've played Ice Block

Acolyte of Pain

Super inefficient card draw. AoP is a bland 1/3 for 3 on a relatively empty board (which you should be able to achieve). Pinging him is good if you're hurting for cards but otherwise, refrain from doing so since that's basically 3 mana for a card (even AI isn't that crappy)

In conclusion

Anyway so that's about it, I only posted this because I hate zoo decks with a passion. Most of these decks aren't very creative so if you look up their deck lists you can sort of predict what they'll play and react accordingly. I've won overwhelmingly against most zoos decks, maintaining my health above 20 on my winning turn and such and I hope this helps against those decks.
Edited by Rhaenys on 5/28/2014 10:17 PM PDT
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Posts: 12
I have had very limited success with this build.. not having the key Mulligan cards is a crippling blow to this deck. Zoo still over-runs this whole deck.
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