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OTK Tempo Mage

Oct 23, 2019
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The long-awaited event Doom in the Tomb has come to the Hearthstone. 23 Wild cards returned to Standard format. New cards shook up the meta, and some archetypes offer new and fresh decks!

OTK Tempo Mage with Flamewaker is the most popular archetype on the first day after the release of Wild cards. It’s a cheap yet complicated deck.

To build the most budget deck, you’ll need around 4000 dust, so no need to worry about overpriced decks here. The cost of Emperor Thaurissan and Flamewaker does not count, since everyone has these cards. The only epic card here is Mana Cyclone; Thaurissan is the only required legendary. Thalnos and Stargazer Luna are both optional.


During the mulligan, you want to actively look for three cards: the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Mana Cyclone and Flamewaker. If you already have Mana Cyclone in your hand, you can leave the Elemental Evocation. Sorcerer’s Intelligence, Witchwood Piper will also help you with the additional draw. Feel free to skip the other cards on the mulligan stage, as you want to get those main combo cards as soon as possible.

Deck Concept

Decklist via HSReplay.

This combo involves: Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Flamewaker, Mana Cyclone, Elemental Evocation, and as many cheap spells as possible. The combo itself is pretty trivial, yet one to be reckoned with. Play Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Flamewaker, then cast as many spells as possible for 0 and 1 mana; the combination of Elemental Summon + Mana Cyclone will give you even more resources – you can also use many generated spells on the same turn.

This combo will clear the board and deal a lot of damage to the enemy hero. Flamewaker can deal 30+ damage per turn. Another copy of Flamewaker,  Sorcerer’s Apprentices, as well as the Emperor Thaurissan, played earlier, will strengthen the combination.

Game Strategy

In tempo match-ups, your goal is to seize the initiative on the board, rather than OTK your opponent. Sorceres’s Apprentice along with cheap spells or Flamewaker would suffice. Try to make such a move where you remove all the minions on the enemy’s half of the board (or freeze them) and protect key minions with taunts, buffs and other means. Once you control the board, it will be easier to finish the game.

In slow match-ups, everything is pretty straightforward — you need a full combination. Sometimes you only need one copy of the key minions, especially if you found them early. By the 4-5 turn, there’s a good chance that the combo, if doesn’t kill the enemy, will at least deal a critical amount of damage. You can always wait for all of your pieces and an Emperor Thaurissan tick if you are unsure.

Against midrange decks it is advisable to look for a full combination that is very likely to kill an opponent, because midrange decks have crucial removals, healing and other defense spells. But do not wait too long: the opponent can put so many minions on the table that even two Flamewakers would not be enough.

If you play a slow version of OTK Tempo Mage, Antonidas alongside Sorcerer’s Apprentice and a bunch of cheap spells can be another way to win. Once you have full hand of Fireballs, make sure that the enemy does not kill you earlier – this is a rather slow way to win, but very reliable against slower decks.

Do not be afraid to play a Research Project in nearly any situation, except when it gives your opponent a chance to find lethal. In other cases, you can play it even on the second move. An opponent will also get cards, but your first priority is to find combo. But if there are other ways of drawing cards, go for it. You`ll be able to play Research Project with Flamewaker and Sorcerer’s Apprentice in the future.

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Make sure you play the spells that target minions first, so that your Flamewaker will target your opponent with as many shots as possible.

If you see that combo is in your hand, don’t hesitate: it takes a lot of time for the animation to trigger, and there are a lot of things to consider, especially if you have Elemental Evocation and Mana Cyclone in your hand.

Not only you should cast spells fast when the combo is ready, but you should also do it wisely. Try to deal damage with Ray of frost, Shooting Star, and Frost Bolt to the heavy minions first, so that the damage from Flamewaker is spread wisely. That way, you’ll clean the board more effectively.

In tempo match-ups, partial combo will also work out. Sometimes even the Flamewaker + Mirror Image would suffice to gain a foothold on the board.

In slow match-ups, look for as many ways as possible to strengthen the combo: two Flamewakers, two Sorceress Apprentices, Emperor Thaurissan’s buff. However, ​​your priority is to deal lethal damage to the opponent with full health before he puts too many minions on the board (N’Zoth, Mass resurrection, and so on).

Mana Cyclone fills your hand with random Mage spells — 26 out of 37 cost 1-3 mana, so they can often be cast on the same turn.

Your first priority is a search for the key cards (Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Flamewaker, Mana Cyclone) and board control. Do not be greedy, play the Frost Bolt and other removals eliminate dangerous threats from the board when they appear (again, this deck is pretty resourceful, you’ll have enough spells to trigger Flamewaker).

Alternative OTK Mage decks

The first version of the OTK Mage makes use of Flamewaker’s faster deck cycling and has potential for explosive damage. This version includes cheap spells, the key combo cards, draw cards, and Emperor Thaurissan.

The second version of the OTK Mage is better in slow matchups due to Antonidas. It allows you to get Fireballs with cheap Mage spells. This deck is better against N’Zoth Priests, N’Zoth Warlocks, Control Warriors and other slow archetypes.

If you have Stargazer Luna in the collection, put it to the deck, but you do not need to craft it for OTK Tempo Mage. This is the optional card.

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Eugene Torubalko
Eugene has a major in Germanic languages and literature. Being an avid gamer and esports enthusiast, he found himself writing and covering the competitive Dota 2 and Hearthstone scenes. He is always ready to deliver reviews, game predictions, tournament analysis, and anything else related to the world of esports.
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