I have recently reached Legend using a new Mage deck list I call “Haze Mage”
I always enjoyed playing Mage, but it seemed to be underperforming compared to other competitive deck lists, until I finally created this successful Deck that brought me from rank 12 to Legend in 3 days.
This deck is based around mid to late game control with a potentially offensive early game.
This deck will have pressure in the early game, supported by a strong mid-game that sets up for your game-ending legendarys.
General Play style
When playing this deck, your general play style is to get out your Amani Berserkers and Acolyte early to combine with a turn 4 Pyromancer + board control spell for value. Also try to get out water elementals as early as possible to apply pressure to your opponent. Try to play at least a minion per turn to keep on the pressure while clearing the opponents board with low cost spells. When drifting into the lategame, clear the board and set up for your legendary’s. Lure out their removals with Sylvanas and Antonidas (Your Opponent will use any removal he has to kill Antonidas, and if they don’t, you win), then punish them for it with Ragnaros and Alextrasza. After setting their life to 15, try to get them down to 10 life, and then Pyroblast them For the Win!
Playing from behind: When you are caught behind your opponent, MC-Tech, Faceless Manipulator, Sylvanas, Black Knight, and Flamestrike can get you back in the game rather easily. Coming back from behind shouldn’t be much of a problem.
50% Mage – In this matchup, you will win by clearing the board and setting up strong threats; put as many minions on board before turn 6 and then try to set only 1 minion on board after that to avoid their Flamestrike getting to much value, but after that, feel free to flood the board and take over.
75% Druid – When going against Druid, flood the board and make his swipes risky, (ex. Having Sen’jin and acolyte out together, or Amani and Azure drake out together). Wipe out his DotC / Yeti’s with Fireballs and try to prioritize your Polymorph for bigger threats. This matchup should be a breeze for you if you draw decently, and if you draw well, it’s a complete blow out.
40% Rogue – Apply as much pressure as possible and hope he doesn’t have Gadgetzan + Coin + Conceal or Prep + Conceal on turn 5. If not, Flamestrike his Auctioneer away and send all your spells at his face and make him go defensive.
90% Priest – Get out early aggression and force SW:Death’s out of them with your ping’d Amani’s. Try to rush them down with minions, but keep the board clean with spells. Try not to overextend the lategame because that is where they will climb back into the game.
50% Paladin – Try to get out your Amani’s to threaten their tokens. Try not to overextend into Equality + Removal range. Monitor their cards, if they use their cards without reservation, you may safely assume that they have Divine Favor so try not to have 4+ cards to play around it.
90% Shaman – Your constant board clears and strong minions (Water Elemental, Drakes, MC-Tech) will easily overtake them, make their lightning storms weak by letting it trade only 1 for 1 or even worse. They will frequently use their single—target spells for Amani’s and Pyromancers. They have a hard time with lots of strong minions, so after turn 5, set down a legendary each turn. Try to lure out their Hex’s before turn 8 by using your Sylvanas and Antonidas.
65% Hunter – Try to get out your Amani’s early to threaten their Explosive Traps / Croc. Try to use your Wild Pyromancer as a board clear along with Arcane Explosion. The best way to win this matchup is to deplete their hand while having 2-3 strong minions on the board to clear their minions and threaten their life total. You want to try to make them UtH before turn 5 because it will still be relatively weak, you will still have removals in hand, and it adds to the concept of depleting their hand.
20% Warrior – This will be your hardest matchup if it is Control Warrior because they can clear almost anything you play in the early game (Fiery War Axe, Taskmaster, Slam) and late game, and can rack up lots of armor at the same time making it harder to close out the game early. Since their endgame will be significantly stronger than your endgame, you want to close out the game by turns 8-10.
60% Warlock – Vs Zoo, Pyromancer + Arcane explosion or any other spell will be your savior. Try to get out durable minions to trade with theirs. Once you deplete their hand apply pressure and it should be game over. They will nearly always clear your early minions which slows their game down enough for you to clear the board efficiently.
How to Mulligan
Vs Mage – You want to mulligan for Frostbolts, Amani’s, and Acolytes. Frostbolts will help a lot against aggro mage, Amani is way too strong for your opponent to ignore, so he will go out of his way to kill it, and if he doesn’t you can punish him for it. Your acolyte usually gets lots of value (killing loot hoarders or pinging it on your own) and it will usually draw out a removal spell Such as Frostbolt.
Vs Druid – Against Druids mulligan for 1x Fireball, Pyromancer (in case of token), Amani’s, and an Acolyte. They will usually spend their first Wrath on your Amani leaving your Acolyte to either be silenced by a keeper or get freely ping’d by yourself. If you know that they are not Token or Watchers Druids, then you can freely set down your Pyromancer on turn 2, Otherwise, you should keep it in hand.
Vs Rogue – Mulligan for 1x Frostbolt (against Earthen Ring, and SI:7) and Amani’s. They will have a hard time dealing with them because their Backstabs will be nearly worthless against it.
Vs Priest – Try to mulligan for a strong, offensive early hand. Amani’s and Wild Pyro’s are great in this matchup. If they don’t SW: Pain your Amani’s you can force a SW:Death out of them after pinging it.
Vs Paladin – Strongly mulligan for Wild Pyro, Amani’s, Acolyte, and Arcane Explosion. Wild Pyro can wreck their tempo (if they are aggro) and give you the lead, just make sure not to prioritize your hero power (meaning you want to play as many cards as possible in case of Divine Favor).
Vs Shaman – You want to mulligan for Wild Pyro, Amani, and Acolyte. Prioritize killing their Totems before starting to go face, and make him gamble the lightning storm vs your Amani’s.
Vs Hunter – Mulligan for Wild Pyro, Amani, Arcane explosion. You want to use your Pyromancers and arcane to kill any Leper Gnomes, Wolf Riders, or Abusive Sergeants if its aggro, otherwise just keep Beasts off the board and apply pressure.
Vs Warrior – Mulligan for Acolyte and Amani Berserker. Hope they don’t have Fiery War Axe.
Vs Warlock – Mulligan for Frostbolt, Pyromancer, and Berserker. In most cases you will be facing Zoo, so all of these are good for fighting them off; however, if you know that you are facing hand lock, than mulligan for BGH, Amani, and Polymorph. Tip: Often times, you can identify what type of warlock they are by watching their mulligans. Zoo will usually be happy with 2-3 cards in their mulligan while Handlock will often times mulligan 3-4 cards in search of Giants / Drakes.
Meta Specific Cards
When the Meta switches to a high Shaman, Zoo, or Token Druid consistency, you can sub out BGH for Blood Knight.
When there is a lot of control going on, switch out MC-TECH for 2nd Acolyte, and switch a Sen’jin for a Yeti.
Suggested Card Substitutions
Cairne Bloodhoof – Boulderfist Ogre / Yeti Sylvanas Windrunner – Boulderfist Ogre Black Knight – Polymorph #2 Antonidas – Acolyte of Pain #2 or Blood Knight Ragnaros – Boulderfist Ogre Alextrasza – Earthen Ring Farseer / Boulderfist Ogre / Ice block
Cards that didn’t make the cut.
Mana Wyrm – I can’t find space for him in the deck, and he doesn’t fulfill what this deck is about. Mana Wyrm is more of an aggro mage card.
Arcane Missiles – To much RNG involved
Mirror Image – We are Not agro.
Ice Lance – Too Situational and has to be used in conjunction with Water Elemental or Frostbolt / Blizzard.
Arcane Intellect – Having an acolyte and 2x Drakes accompanied by lots of high cost cards helps in never having a depleted hand.
Secrets – Not good without synergies.
2x Polymorph – I find that having BGH + 2x Fireballs + The Black Knight makes up for not having a second Polymorph.
Bloodmage Thalnos – Wild Pyromancer does the same job except better. He works much better against golems and divine shielded minions while also being able to proc off of spells that you throw at the face. The only thing you lose is a card draw, which should be no problem if you play the deck right.
*Frequently Asked Questions *
“Why Is Archmage Antonidas used in this deck? You have almost no spells to accompany it when it is played.” – The main reason i have Antonidas in my deck is to bait out premium removal spells to set up for Ragnaros and Alextrasza, and if they don’t kill, you win.
“Mind Control Tech?!?” – This is actually one of the best cards in the deck. With the uprising of shaman and the ever constant Zoo meta, the MC-Tech can get value from stealing a void walker to a taunted Molten Giant.