Grandmaster/Master mage Decklist

Posts: 18
Hi, I'm bodwin, long time tcg competitive player here to show you guys what it takes to be a good mage, starting with my decklist.

Qualifications: Grandmaster at arena on my 3rd runthrough, ranked master, insane win rate(despite mmr system), 8 years magic: the gathering experience.

This deck has been through about 100 games piloted by myself with a very high win rate (I would estimate around 85%).

note that it has a very high skill cap, but a low skill floor that allows for room for mental growth

1 Mirror Image
1 Mana Wurm (2)
1 Arcane Missiles (2)
2 Kobold Geomancer (2)
2 Novice Engineer (2)
2 Blood Mage Thalnos (1)
2 Sorcerer's Apprentice (1)
3 Cone of Cold (2)
3 Arcane Intellect (2)
2 Frostbolt (2)
3 Spellbender (1)
3 Counterspell (1)
4 Fireball (2)
4 Polymorph (2)
5 Blizzard (2)
5 Azure Drake (2)
7 Flamestrike (1)
8 Pyroblast (1)
9 Alexstrasza (1)
If anyone has any questions about playstyle/moves you can comment below. I can also offer my opinions here on why certain cards and plays are good/bad or synergistic.

Also feel free to visit and watch my stream at for play tips and the like.
Edited by bodwin on 10/28/2013 4:11 PM PDT
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Posts: 78
Would you be able to give a brief description on how you play the deck. I can see you have a bunch of low cost + spell power minions and then a variety of spells, but do you try and control the board with this combo or burn down your opponent as fast as possible? Also do you feel you have to win early with this deck or can it handle itself into the late game?
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Posts: 18
    Of course, you try to control the board as much as possible in the early to mid game by making use of efficient, low cost spells like arcane missiles and arcane explosion. As your opponents make their way into midgame your ideal position is to stay back, minimize their threats as you build up card advantage.
     The way you build up card advantage is by making efficient trades, using hero power effectively, and playing card-drawing spells such as engineer, bloodmage thalnos, arcane intellect, and azure drake. Once a good opportunity to clear the board arises, you will often be able to clear it in its entirety with aoe spells in combination with control cards like polymorph and cone of cold. This deck is definitely a very strong late game deck with cards such as flamestrike and pyroblast.
     An important factor in playing this deck is one's ability to hold back direct damage spells. This deck is all about maximizing efficiency, so lets talk about direct damage spells like fireball. Ideally you want to save your fireballs for the end game to be able to finish off your opponent, but that is not always the case. If they have a 4/4 taunting creature, at ten life and I have a 2/2 kobold with spellpower and fireball in hand, a novice would forget about the 2/2 and likely shoot fireball to their face, in hopes of finishing the game out earlier, but in the long run, killing off the 4/4 with fireball is more efficient both in damage and board control, even if they kill the kobold the next turn.
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Posts: 78
Thanks for responding with so much information. Its one thing to have a card list but the play-style description will go a long way to playing the deck well once I've built it. I really would like to make a deck like this for my mage deck so I really appreciate the info.
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Posts: 18
Np, if you want you can add me and try playing against it, might help you a bit.
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Posts: 2,317
Hey Bodwin, I'm currently running the same deck except I have swapped a fireball out for Archmage Antonidas. If you have the card avail. you should try it out.
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Posts: 159
bravo, bodwin
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Posts: 497
Bodwin, your playstyle is very similar to mine. In magic the gathering, I used to play a lot of red deck spells, filled with Disintegrate, Fireball, Earthquake and Lightning bolts. I then mixed it up with a bit of blues for counterspells or artifacts when fighting against terror black deck build. I noticed that the weaknesses of this build was to land eradication spells.

What weakness have you noticed with your current mage build?
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Posts: 414
very good deck, I spent about one morning and hit 2 star master without losing a single match with this decks. Thx for sharing !
I just got one question, what card I could use to use instead of "bloodmage thalnos".
Edited by xiao on 9/5/2013 10:04 AM PDT
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Posts: 260

Would you care to elaborate the lack of blizzard in the deck? Also, why only 1 flamestrike?

The decks seems legit!
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Posts: 72
Copied this deck exactly (I was lucky enough to get a Bloodmage Thalnos in an early pack) and it has been working wonders in constructed.

Its great to get card advantage early by playing Novice Engineers and Arcane Intellect while saving up your Fireballs, Pyroblast, and board clearing cards for the right time.

I too was wondering about your opinion on Blizzard and if you think it has a place in this deck. And if so, what would you remove in its place?

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Posts: 11
This is the best deck i've seen thanks man :D
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Posts: 10,991
Hey, you have something going here. I have a question, though.

Seeing how this deck seeks to nuke hard and fast, how do you handle the late game? I find mages especially vulnerable against good Paladin decks.
Diablo III MVP | Forever a Wizard
Archon Wizard Video Guide Series:
Twitter: @Jaetch
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Posts: 667
I have just finished a 20 game run with this deck (barring one modification: Since I don't have a Thalanos yet, I substituted a Sorcerer's Apprentice). 17-3 was my record. Some things to remember if you are going to play this style:

1) Don't panic. Ever. I won more games where I was at 10 or less health but still in control of the board.
2) Expect to be hit. A lot. What you do the first three rounds to control the board will determine your success.
3) Do not be afraid to use your direct damage on the minions. In fact, almost exclusively on the minions. Aside from the Pyroblast and one Fireball, most of the damage I dealt was with my own minions because the field was wide open.
4) Be selective. Do not waste spells that can hit multiple targets on a single target. If a 1/1 hits you once but you saved your Arcane Missiles until the next round when he put out 2 more 1/1's, that is a win for you.
5) Be flexible. Do not commit yourself to a single plan of action. (This rule really applies to the game in general, but it is the shortcoming of many players.) Look at your hand and think of 2 or 3 different ways to deal with what is coming next.
6) The key to really stomping someone is early board control. If you can hold your own, keep the field clean, and reach 5 mana with at least 15-20 health, be ready for some fun. Nothing like a 15 point Pyroblast on turn 7 because you kept the coin and have a bunch of spellpower laying around.
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Posts: 666
lol. OP hasnt responded in over 3 weeks. sigh. but ill post anyways.

why do u play with different cards than the deck you posted with?

checked ur stream vids and for example u had illdian stormrage and silverhand knight
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Posts: 667
Slow down angry one. The deck works when played as intended. It is not a fast burn deck. And if he has changed his deck since the posting that just proves he is a normal player who tries different cards. As I previously posted, I am currently running this deck with one modification: Sorcerer's Apprentice instead of the Blood Mage. It works perfectly for me, winning 55-65% of the time.

Realize what the deck is though; it is a board control/ late game deck. This means you spend the first 5 turns controlling the board so that you can explode in the later rounds. Your minions should be expendable if used correctly, meaning you use them to eliminate the enemy's minions. You should be holding 3-6 cards at all times to help you control the board. Cards like Arcane Missiles and Cone of Cold should be used when there are groups of minions, not single targets.

Sometimes you are going to take damage. Weigh the cost of letting your opponent hit you for a turn with the benefit of hitting him harder next turn. It is the way the deck is constructed. If you want a quick burn, straight direct damage deck, this is not the deck for you.
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Posts: 19
I decided to try out your deck, but after playing for a little while and not getting too far, I decided to make a few changes, which helped me go from bronze to platinum 2 in a few hours (with breaks). I haven't been playing much, so I'm staying at plat 2 for now.

*note I don't have some legendaries like blood mage etc.

Arcane Missile (2)
Arcane Explosion (1) (might change to 2)
Bluegill Warrior (2)
Kobold Geomancer (2)
Novice Engineer (2) (might change to 1)
Pint-Sized Summoner (1)
Sorcerer's Apprentice (1)
Arcane Intellect (2)
Cone of Cold (2)
Frostbolt (2)
Dalaran Mage (2)
Wolfrider (1)
Fireball (2)
Polymorph (2)
Ancient Mage (1)
Azure Drake (2)
Flamestrike (2)
Pyroblast (1)

I added some cheap charge creatures in the deck to take out some potentially high damage dealing threats, dealing early damage to the hero or force my opponent to waste a card in order to deal with it.
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Posts: 922
09/19/2013 12:16 PMPosted by Nihil777
As I previously posted, I am currently running this deck with one modification: Sorcerer's Apprentice instead of the Blood Mage. It works perfectly for me, winning 55-65% of the time.

I'm running that exact deck as well. I'd probably swap in Thalnos if I had him. I'm saving up some dust, but once I get to 1600 it'll be a hard decision between Thalnos and Antonidas.

It's a fun deck, but lately I've hit a wall in diamond league. I think I need to refine my strat a little bit, sometimes it's hard to know when to take out minion(s) or hold back, and I find myself losing a lot of close matches that I probably could have swung my way if I had chosen differently.
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