Hi everyone. I’m Nick, but online I go by TrainerDusk. This is the written portion of my youtube guide series. This series covers the best decks on the ladder right now.
I really recommend you watch the video guide first:
This is the longest guide I’ve done so far. I show how you build the deck, taking into consideration all the synergies between cards as I do it. I also tell you what you are aiming for when you mulligan and then follow this up of 3 matches of high level ranked, showcasing the strengths and weaknesses of the deck. The video on whole is ~40 minutes long but if you have the time I think you should check it out. There are certain things in the video that are hard to explain via text, like my thought process that I explain as I am playing the matches.
The written guide is here because (as much as I would love the extra views) I know a lot of you don’t want to keep searching through a video over and over. With that said, lets get on to the deck itself.
Aggro Mage: Overwhelmin synergy!
The Decklist shown in the video:
The functions of each card and notable interactions:
NOTE: If two cards work well together, I will only mention it once, the first time it comes up.
1 Arcane Missiles (x2): This is the first of many spells in the deck. Use it to pop divine shields, snipe of 1hp minions and to buff Mana Wyrms. This card is not here to deal face damage, but rather to add 1 additional damage when needed. Use it how you would an Elven Archer, just with more RNG and spell damage scaling.
1 Ice Lance (x2): This is here for 90% face damage and 10% removal. You will almost always cast this for the 4 damage on a frozen target. Combos with Frostbolt, Water Elemental and itself. Scales very well with spell damage because it is so cheap. Can also be used to delay enemy lethal by freezing large minions e.g. Savannah Highmane.
1 Mirror Image (x2): For 1 mana, this card is absurdly powerful. If you can keep just 1 minion alive for just 1 more turn, this card will in effect deal an average of 3 damage to your opponent. Combos insanely well with Mana Wyrm, Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Knife Juggler.
1 Argent Squire (x1): Durable 1 drop here to fill a card slot. Not vital to the deck in any way. Can be replaced with many other 1 drops, such as Elven Archer, Abusive Seargent and Young Priestess.
1 Leper Gnome (x2): 1 mana deal 2 damage is one of the most efficient damaging cards if you think of it that way. Include any attacks you get off and this guy becomes really mana efficient damage. Even if the enemy hero power kills it, he will deal 2 damage. It is often a waste if your opponent silences it.
1 Mana Wyrm (x2): Best 1 drop. Turn 1 Mana Wyrm + Coin + Mirror image is the opener you want to get. If you follow this up with a turn 2 Sorcerer’s Apprentice, you can pump up the Wyrm’s attack really quickly with your cheap spells.
2 Frostbolt (x2): Cheap removal or face damage. Use with spell damage when possible, but it is mana efficient regardless.
2 Bloodmage Thalnos (x1): Superb card for this deck. Swap out for Kobold Geomancer if you don’t have it. The spell damage on such a cheap card means you can often cast another spell on the same turn. It even has card draw on it.
2 Knife Juggler (x2): This is a really powerful 2 drop. The effect should be abused as much as possible. Remember that if a knife wont affect a trade you are about to make, it is often worth trading cards first then letting the knife hit the enemy hero.
2 Loot Hoarder (x2): Cheap draw, that’s it.
2 Sorcerer’s Apprentice (x2): Lets you spam loads of spells really quickly. Totally overpowered 2 drop in this deck. If it survives for a turn or more, that’s often enough to win the game outright.
3 Arcane Intellect (X2): Cheap draw. Use with Sorcerer’s Apprentice or Mana Wyrm whenever possible.
3 Wolfrider (x2): Worse frostbolts that cost more mana and don’t scale. Luckily they can survive behind taunts and set of knife jugglers, so not all bad.
4 Fireball (x2): Heavy removal or face damage. I will rarely chuck a fireball at my opponents face unless I know they can’t heal and I’m close to lethal.
4 Water Elemental (x2): Huge durable cheap minion. Freeze effect will stop weapon users in their tracks. Will often trade 2/3 for 1.
5 Azure Drake (x2): More spell damage and draw. Similar to Thalnos, just more expensive.
Always keep: All 1 drops except for Ice lance. All 2 drops except for Loot Hoarder. Any 3 or 4 drops if you have a nice 1-2-3-4 curve in your starting hand. Remember to abuse the Coin + Mana Wyrm synergy.
Never keep: Azure Drake is too expensive. Ice lance is too situational. Everything else has its use.
Apply early pressure with 1 drops. Try to use spells to remove their minions and attack face with your own. Board control wins you the game, so it should be valued above all else UNLESS you have lethal in hand through taunt with spells and you know you cannot die the following turn.
Abuse the effect of Mana Wyrm, Knife Juggler and Sorcerer’s Apprentice as much as possible.
VS Hunter: Rush for face damage, while keeping the total number of minions on your side of the board low, to counteract UTH. Save Arcane Missiles for the 1HP enemy minions.
VS Warlock: Easy Win, rush for face damage with no repercussions. Strategy is the same for both Handlock and Zoo.
VS Druid/Shaman: Play similarly to the hunter matchup, but try to avoid swipes/lightning storms.
VS Beatdown Warrior/any Rogue: Race them. You will win more often than not.
VS Anything with heals or armour: Lose. You can’t beat a deck that heals itself. This is the hard counter to the aggro mage. These include Control Warriors, Druids with healing touch, Paladins.