The Secret Mage deck has finally surged to the top of the Hearthstone meta.

The Best Mage Deck for Old Gods

Apr 30, 2016

Recently a lot of people have been asking me about decks that are viable in the Old Gods expansion. In particular, many people have been asking about Mage decks in the Standard format. Mages got hit quite hard with the expansion release, with them losing Mad Scientist and several other key cards for each of their archetypes. However, they are far from dead, and in fact have three different archetypes alive. Let’s take a look at each, and the benefits of each one.

Yogg-Saron Tempo Mage

– Fairly easy to play
– Very quick, often wins before turn ten
– Lots of fun with random spells from Nexus Champion and Spellslinger, as well as Yogg-Saron
– Flamewaker is very strong against a lot of the Zoo decks on the ladder

– Can often run out of steam if you don’t curve out properly
– Very difficult to win against decks with lots of healing or armour
– Random spells can often be entirely useless

Tempo Yogg decklist

This is a very typical Tempo Mage deck, but with Yogg-Saron thrown in as a potential finisher when all else fails. This deck did receive a bit of a hit by losing Mad Scientist and Flame Cannon, but they can easily replace them with Forgotten Torch and Faceless Summoner, as well as Nexus Champion Saraad for extra spell value. As with any Tempo Mage, this deck seeks to control the board and push fast face damage. The finishers are direct damage through Frostbolt, Forgotten Torch, and Fireball, as well as large Flamewaker plays or later game Antonidas value. As mentioned, Yogg-Saron is used when all else fails as a last ditch attempt to win matches you would otherwise be guaranteed to lose.

Value Mage

– Beats most control decks through pure value
– Tons of fun with lots of valuable random spells from Cabalist’s Tomb
– Can remove pretty much anything from the board

– Lackluster healing
– Extremely slow
– Loses to most aggressive decks for the above reasons

Value Mage decklist

Value Mage is the deck that took the biggest hit with the expansion. They gained Cabalist’s Tomb, which is an amazing tool for refilling their hand, but they lost Antique Healbot, Sludge Belcher, and Duplicate. Without the walls and healing to stop aggressive decks, this deck is in a fairly dire situation. Perhaps as the list becomes more refined it will be able to once again claim a place as a viable deck, but unfortunately at the moment it just gets steamrolled by most decks on ladder. This is also the list most subject to change, as everyone plays Value Mage differently.

You May Like

Freeze Mage

– Strong against most aggressive decks and many slower decks
– Very good at locking down Shaman, which is currently dominating the ladder
– No longer has to worry about Healbot or Loatheb countering it.
– Silence nerf allows the Frost Nova + Doomsayer combo to dominate many decks

– Automatically loses some matchups
– Relies heavily on Frost Nova + Doomsayer in many aggressive matchups
– Extremely difficult to pilot

Freeze Mage decklist

Freeze Mage will never fully go away. In fact, right now it’s quite strong. Shaman is easily the most played deck on the ladder at the moment, and Freeze Mage does very well at locking it down. Freeze Mage makes use of their Doomsayers and Blizzards to lock down the board while preparing their own combo. With Healbot leaving the Standard format, Alexstrazsa has gotten a lot stronger, as many cannot react to his fifteen damage burst. Same goes for Loatheb, players cannot simply play him to counter Freeze Mage either. As usual, however, this deck flat out loses to Warrior in most cases, even moreso now that the Ancient Shieldbearer gives a massive amount of armour in addition to their typical Justicar and Shield Block generation. Priest and Paladin have also found ways out through Twilight Darkmender and Forbidden Healing respectively. These are much more conditional, however, and by no means impossible matchups.

Final Thoughts

At the moment, from these three lists, Freeze Mage is the most viable Mage deck. It completely counters a lot of the decks being run, enough that even with their automatic loss against Control Warriors, the deck holds a strong win rate. Tempo Mage is also fairly decent, certainly a viable deck for climbing, if not as powerful as its counterpart. Value Mage has taken the biggest blow, and at the moment is by far the least viable. Of course all of these are subject to change, especially as the decklists adapt over time, but at the moment I believe Freeze Mage to simply be the best Mage deck in the Standard format!

Apr 28, 2016
Apr 26, 2016
Apr 25, 2016
Apr 23, 2016
Stephen has a degree in English from Brock University. He grew up playing video games and card games, always having an affection for strategy. He picked up League of Legends in early Season One and has since achieved Diamond rank multiple times. He also picked up Hearthstone in Beta and has since achieved Legend consistently. When he isn’t reading, writing, or gaming, he’s probably watching other people game.
What do you think?

ayy lmao









Previous articleWhy You Should Not Use a Deck Tracker
Next articleThe Big Winner Decks in the Old Gods Expansion