10/19/2013 01:43 PMPosted by JerdubyaSome things I've noticed since my last post. I'm still struggling to keep damage off of my hero while clearing the board. Here are a few things I'm not sure about. Are you using specific spell cards (pyro or fireball) for direct hero damage or can any spells be used to maintain board control? I'm sometimes unsure when I should use a frostbolt which could be why I can't keep the board clear. I've also noticed that blizzard rarely turns up in my hand. I'm going to switch to two flamestrikes and see what happens. Also, what do you think about using Antonidas in this deck?
Just in the most general sense, you want to use your direct damage spells as efficiently as possible, which is obvious, but what it really boils down to is that you want to use the direct spells to clear out their board as much as possible around the mid game, after hopefully letting their side fill up with minions and wiping it down. The only time you should be casting a direct damage spell to them directly is either when you have spell damage creatures in play that you fear might die before you get to cast it, or when you have calculated that there is a reasonable chance for you to kill them in the near future off of damage spells.
A more complicated situation arises late late game, where you are basically top-decking. enemy hunter is at 6 life with a 2/2 in play and no cards. You are at 7 life with a frostbolt in hand and nothing else. What is the correct play?
In my opinion you should cast the fireball on yourself and concede...all jokes aside, at this point it is better to cast the frostbolt on your opponent. due to the large amount of removal you have in your deck in the late game each card you draw is going to, on average, be able to deal with that 2/2, or hopefully kill them on the spot. Frostbolting the opponent instead of the creature gives you a greater chance at killing them the next turn, with the additional advantage that it nullifies any weaponry they might draw. If you clear the board instead, the hunter can easily outrace you with his hero power, and since mage decks are centered on board control (creature killing) you want that creature to be in play if you can afford it, because if you draw say a cone of cold, its useless against the hunter directly. Note that taking this path, you would also use your hero power on the hunter, in case of say, an arcane missiles draw the next turn.
Switching to two flamestrikes is a valid strategy, especially before you get to masters~ rating, where people tend to zerg out more creatures with less care, which can on occasion pubstomp a mage before he has the mana to react appropriately.
As for antonidas, I really have no clue how good he is honestly, I haven't had the chance to play with him yet, nor do I have the card. Even playing against him I've only seen him a few times with both good and bad results...perhaps you can try him out and let me know how good he is. At the end though I think he's really just the Jaraxxus of mage decks, seeing as he's sort of a "win-more" type of card who is great in stalemates, but can't save you immediately like many other cards can.