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Rating  19

Contributed by

Stonekeep

Guide Type

Last Updated

March 4, 2016

Table of Contents

Legend Decks Review #11

Introduction


Welcome back for the 11th episode of Legend Decks Review! Click here if you want to check out the previous episodes.

The point of this series is to analyze the competitive Hearthstone decks both from the community (you!) and pro players. While all the decks are Legend-worthy, I don’t necessarily pick the BEST ones each week, but rather the most interesting ones. It means that a lot of my choices won’t be your standard meta decks.

The intervals between episodes might be different – sometimes it will be one week, sometimes two or three in case no new, interesting decks pop up. After all, if the meta hasn’t changed, there is no point in writing about the same stuff over and over again.

All of the decks are tested, usually around rank 5 early in the season (which is really equivalent to Legend later in the season) and in Legend later (I usually hit Legend in the middle of the month if I’m not too busy with other things).

J4CKIECHAN’s Injured Camel Hunter


Be sure to tune into J4CKIECHAN’s stream on Twitch.tv!

Injured Camel Hunter
Class Cards (16)2560
2
Hunter’s Mark 1
2
Webspinner 1
2
Glaivezooka 2
2
Animal Companion 3
2
Unleash the Hounds 3
2
Desert Camel 3
2
Houndmaster 4
2
Savannah Highmane 6
Neutral Cards (14)
2
Injured Kvaldir 1
2
Flame Juggler 2
2
Haunted Creeper 2
2
Knife Juggler 2
2
Cult Master 4
Piloted Shredder 4
Loatheb 5
Sludge Belcher 5
Dr. Boom 7

Overview

I’ll open with this pretty recent Jackie’s creation. He hit rank 1 Legend last season playing the deck. Obviously it wasn’t the only deck he has played, but the final grind was on the Hunter. After Egg Druid I didn’t think Jackie would surprise us with something new so soon, but he delivered – Injured Camel Hunter. The idea isn’t really new, after the Desert Camel was announced in LoE, people have quickly seen the synergy with Injured Kvaldir. The combo is good, because when minions are “summoned” instead of played, they don’t trigger their Battlecries. Meaning that Injured Kvaldir is a 2/4. So for 3 mana you get two 2/4’s – that’s a great deal.

None of the decks were really successful, though. And I am just impressed how Jackie has made this deck to work. After all, it runs no Mad Scientist (one of the most broken cards in the game), thus no Secrets, so also no Eaglehorn Bow. It runs no Kill Command, which was considered a Hunter staple since vanilla. Some of the card choices are definitely weird – like 2x Cult Master. But it works!

The deck is obviously stronger against opponents that don’t run any 1-drops. The reason is that Camel’s effect is mirrored – it pulls out 1-drops from both decks. So if enemy plays Zombie Chow, well, the card isn’t as insane. It still might be pretty good, because you pull them out on your turn, so you can instantly efficiently deal with their minion.

The truth is, most of the decks run 1-drops. But good thing is that they don’t necessarily want to play them out on your terms. Let’s take Control Priest as an example. Northshire Cleric is a crazy 1-drop, but only if Priest can heal something right away and draw a card. If you just kill it on your turn – it’s vanilla 1/3 and less problems for later. A lot of decks (like Zoo Warlock) run Abusive Sergeant, but mainly for the Battlecry effect – otherwise it’s just a 2/1 minion. Pulling stuff like that isn’t really bad and works quite well for you if you can deal with that stuff right away.

And the dream is enemy not having any 1-drops in his deck. And there are couple of decks like that. Probably the most popular is Midrange Druid – the only 1-drop they run is Living Roots, but that’s a spell. Meaning Camel gets full value on your side and no value on theirs. Another example might be Control Warrior or Freeze Mage.

Injured Camel Hunter is a very board-oriented deck. It runs almost no burn, no Charge minions and the only way to sneak damage every turn besides the board itself is Hero Power. Which obviously is still good, it puts enemy on the clock etc. but the point is – you NEED the board. Fight for the board control aggressively all game long or else you won’t have enough damage to kill the enemy.

Once the deck gets the board control, though, it’s very easy to abuse it. You can get insane tempo with the Hunter's Mark (you can combo it with Webspinner, Knife Juggler or Unleash the Hounds). You can draw a lot of cards with the Cult Master (which also combos really nicely with Unleash – that’s insane turn 7 if enemy has a lot of minions on the board). You can easily trade up thanks to the Houndmaster and the Glaivezooka.

And what’s probably most important – it’s very easy to snowball the board. If you get the lead and enemy has no big AoE clear, the board tempo on your side will be insane. I had some turn 4-5 wins just because enemy couldn’t handle the board. I won against RenoLock who healed for 25 with Reno on turn 6 and 16 with Brann + Healbot on turn 8 and still lost the turn after, because I had such a big board and dictated the pace of the game.

On the other hand, the deck can really suffer from the bad draws. It has very limited comeback mechanics and if enemy is the one who snowballs the board early it’s almost impossible to come back. The only way is really the Knife Juggler + Unleash the Hounds combo, possibly paired with Hunter's Mark. I’ve lost some games just because enemy had good curve and I could never really get onto the board.

Not sure how much of the Jackie’s success was due to the surprise factor, my results with the deck were mixed, but it’s start of the season and the meta is very diverse (you can basically meet anything) so it’s hard to really judge it. But one thing I certainly can say is that the deck is fun to play, so that alone could be a good reason to test it.

Strategy Tips

  • Like I’ve mentioned in the description, board control is your number one priority. It means that you should initiate trades, because then you get to pick what you want to kill. Hunter's Mark is great for the tempo, but in slower matchups you should keep it for high health targets. Using it on a 4 health minion is fine (it’s a 3 damage Backstab then), but not if enemy might drop something really big next turn. Don’t use Glaivezooka to push for some more face damage – keep the charges to attack the minions. You generally don’t want to face rush enemy until you have a nice board lead or you’re really close to killing him. If you have big board, safe against AoE and you’re not under the threat of dying, then you can really start hitting the face.
  • Even though you prefer to open with the Webspinner and have your Injured Kvaldirs for the Desert Camel synergy, if you get a turn 1 Kvaldir it’s fine. It’s just a 2/1 for 1, not the best, but at the end of the day it might get some trade, especially when combined with Glaivezooka or Flame Juggler.
  • Flame Juggler is an interesting card. You prefer to play it INTO opponent’s minions, so if you have other 2-drops and enemy has an empty board – go for them instead. Flame Juggler is very good against Paladin’s Shielded Minibot – it’s 50/50 that it will ping off the Divine Shield and then it can kill the 2/2 without dying.
  • Desert Camel on turn 3 into Houndmaster on turn 4 is a very strong tempo push. It’s very unlikely that enemy will deal with your turn 3 Camel and then buffing it to 4/6 with Houndmaster usually allows you to get a great trade or push for a lot of damage.
  • Cult Master is a very crucial card. This deck runs pretty much no burn, no ways to deal face damage, so what you often want to do is to grind enemy down. In every matchup (outside the Aggro ones) card advantage is really important. So setting up a good Cult Master turn is what will win you a lot of games. You can set up a great draw turn by keeping your small drops like Haunted Creeper or Webspinner around, holding onto the Unleash the Hounds. When you draw 4-5 cards with each Cult Master, you should be able to grind down even the Control decks if you don’t play into obvious board wipes.

Alternate/Tech Cards

You can try playing the standard package of Mad Scientist + Traps and/or Kill Command. But I think Jackie removed them for a reason. I can’t really point any alternate / tech cards, because it’s a pretty unique list (and pretty full too) so it’s hard to fit anything in.

Aaron’s RenoLock


Check out the author’s original post about the deck!

RenoLock
Class Cards (10)6840
Mortal Coil 1
Darkbomb 2
Dark Peddler 2
Demonwrath 3
Imp Gang Boss 3
Hellfire 4
Shadowflame 4
Siphon Soul 6
Twisting Nether 8
Lord Jaraxxus 9
Neutral Cards (20)
Zombie Chow 1
Sunfury Protector 2
Ironbeak Owl 3
Earthen Ring Farseer 3
Mind Control Tech 3
Defender of Argus 4
Piloted Shredder 4
Spellbreaker 4
Twilight Drake 4
Big Game Hunter 5
Antique Healbot 5
Feugen 5
Stalagg 5
Sludge Belcher 5
Loatheb 5
Emperor Thaurissan 6
Sylvanas Windrunner 6
Reno Jackson 6
Dr. Boom 7
Molten Giant 20

Overview

Recently, this has became my go-to RenoLock list. I’ve mainly played the Combo version of RenoLock (both with Arcane Golem and Leeroy Jenkins), because it is so much better in the mirrors, but since I’m not facing that much RenoLock mirrors lately, I’ve decided to go with the slower, more controlish version.

The deck works really well in most of the common matchups. The only common matchup that’s below 50% is actually Midrange Druid. But even then, I think it’s a great deck to grind the ladder with.

The deck itself is a pretty standard Control RenoLock. It runs the Feugen + Stalagg combo, which I didn’t like at first, but I’m getting more and more convinced that it’s pretty solid. First of all, it adds more BGH AND Silence targets to your deck. Running only Dr. Boom means you’re going to be pretty sad when it gets BGH’d. But with this combo (and Molten Giant too) you have 4 targets in total – so even if one gets hit, you still have tons of other big stuff. Feugen is a solid 5-drop by itself, 4/7 stats are unique, but they work really well, especially in faster matchups. Then, the Stalagg’s statline is much worse – 7/4 means it dies very easily. But it’s a great late game Shadowflame activator. For 9 mana you can get a 7 damage AoE and possibly spawn your 11/11.

The deck is well suited to fight in both fast matchups (good amount of early game, AoE spells, Mind Control Tech, Molten Giant) and slow matchups (the Feugen & Stalagg combo, Sylvanas Windrunner, Lord Jaraxxus). It’s very balanced and suffers only against high burst – decks like Anyfin Paladin or ComboLock can really pull a win out of nowhere.

What’s interesting too is using two Silence cards. I found it weird at first, but then again it lets you use your Silence more freely. For example, against Secret Paladin you had to hold your Silence for the Tirion Fordring, but with two copies you can use one earlier on the buffed minion or Piloted Shredder to deal with the board immediately. It might also affect the way enemy plays. After he sees Ironbeak Owl, he doesn’t expect second Silence and might go all-in with the buffs or play a high value Deathrattle minion, expecting it to proc (e.g. Sylvanas Windrunner). Second Silence might be a great surprise.

The only card I’m sometimes missing is Brann Bronzebeard. I think that turn 8 combos with Antique Healbot and Loatheb are really awesome in certain matchups. Like, it makes the games against Freeze Mage and Aggro decks so much easier. And it’s also solid in value matchups, playing Brann + Dark Peddler / Twilight Drake / Dr. Boom give you a nice value boost. But don’t playing him is justifiable, because every slot in Reno deck is precious.

Overall a really cool deck. If you haven’t played RenoLock yet, you should definitely try it.

Strategy Tips

  • Mulligan for your early drops. You’re not playing Handlock, RenoLock is a much more Midrange deck, so you prefer to be proactive. Life Tap on turn 2 and 3 is okay only in slow matchups and only if you have good curve to follow. In any faster matchup mulligan all the 4+ drops away.
  • I almost always keep the Reno Jackson in my opening hand. It’s MVP in fast matchups, you sometimes really need to play it on turn 6 to not die. And in slower matchup you can afford to keep it, because you’re going to Life Tap much more anyway. I like to have it in my hand just in case, because even in slow matchups you sometimes need it and you don’t want it to be on the bottom of your deck.
  • You usually want to get the Battlecry value out of your minions, but it’s not always necessary. For example, I’d play Sunfury Protector on turn 2 against Zoo instead of keeping it to get Taunts later. Or Mind Control Tech on turn 3 most of the time if my other option is to tap. Yes, those cards can get you a lot of value later, but more often winning the early/mid game is more important and you can’t do that without minions.
  • Silencing the second minion from the Stalagg/Feugen combo is usually a good way for the enemy to deal with it. You can guarantee getting Thaddius, though, by using the Shadowflame. You play the first minion, it dies, then later you play the second one and instantly Shadowflame it. It’s better to play Feugen on the board and keep Stalagg for the Shadowflame.
  • Sylvanas Windrunner is another minion that gets great combo with Shadowflame. Sylvanas + Shadowflame is a 5 damage AoE, but you’ll also steal whatever is left behind. So for example, if enemy has 3 minions at or below 5 health and full health Ysera, you would clear the board and get a 4/7 Ysera.
  • Lord Jaraxxus is your way to win in pretty much any value matchup. But you need to use it carefully. Not only it’s usually a huge tempo loss, because you’re using your whole turn to play him and do nothing instantly, it’s risky against Harrison Jones, but you also get reduced to 15 health, so kind of burst gets scary. For example, Warrior can kill you over two turns with Death's Bite + Grommash Hellscream, Control Priest might be able to do 14 burst damage with Auchenai Soulpriest + 2x Flash Heal + upgraded Hero Power. Even more with Zombie Chow + Circle of Healing. It doesn’t mean that you don’t play Jaraxxus just because enemy might kill you. First of all, you need to have the board lead on the turn you play it OR a way to get back on the board next turn. For example, you can play Jaraxxus on the empty board if you have something like Twisting Nether. This way if enemy pushes for board tempo (because he has to – you’re Jaraxxus after all) you can clear it all with Twisting Nether and Hero Power for a 6/6. Next thing is the amount of cards in opponent’s hand and the cards already played. If enemy Priest is holding a full hand and hadn’t dropped any Auchenais yet, he might have the burst needed. On the other hand, if Warrior has already used the Grommash Hellscream earlier, you can play Jaraxxus without worrying about dying. Jaraxxus timing is really crucial, you really need to take a lot of things into account when using the card.

Alternate/Tech Cards

  • Brann Bronzebeard – I’ve mentioned him in the overview, I really think that he fits this kind of deck. Not only you have some nice Battlecries to combo him with, but it actually adds another high value target to your deck. Opponent will often throw a big removal on your Brann just because he it’s too scary to keep him on the board. With 8 Battlecry cards that work with Brann it’s pretty easy to get some value out of him.
  • Imp-losion – The card is either insane or really bad. If you roll 4 – it’s beyond broken. But if you roll 2 – it sucks most of the time. It would be a solid card if it always dealt 3 damage and spawned 3 imps, but right now there is quite a lot of RNG involved. You can play it if you want, the deck’s creator has dropped it, because rolling 2 when you need more can often lose you the game. Like when you have an Imp Gang Boss into opponent’s Piloted Shredder – rolling 3 or 4 on Shredder is great, but if you roll 2, well, Shredder just most likely dealt with both your 3-drop and 4-drop.
  • Acidic Swamp Ooze – Weapon destruction. It’s a good tech if you face a lot of weapon classes. I didn’t really need to add it, because it just wasn’t necessary. Against Paladins the only very scary weapon is Ashbringer, but you have two Silences for the Tirion. And I don’t face enough Warriors to justify using it. Oh, and the Shamans. I have played against one Aggro Shaman in my last 30 games, so that’s also not a good reason to play it. But like I’ve said – if you face a lot of weapon matchups, Ooze is great.
  • Demon package. You can go for the Voidcaller + Doomguard + Mal'Ganis instead of Feugen, Stalagg and one more card. Both have their merits – Feugen and Stalagg gets you more overall value, but Voidcaller allows for the crazy tempo swings in the mid game. Doomguard gives you a little more reach – usually you can’t pull out more than 6 damage from your hand (with Hellfire + Darkbomb). Doomguard allows you for slightly more burst. Plus Mal’Ganis is a solid late game drop, it often seals the game against Aggro and it’s a pretty good way to stop the combo decks from OTKing you.

dhruvstar’s Face Warrior


Check out the author’s original post about the deck!

Face Warrior
Class Cards (14)1000
2
Fiery War Axe 2
2
Heroic Strike 2
2
Bash 3
2
Death’s Bite 4
2
Mortal Strike 4
2
Kor’kron Elite 4
2
Arcanite Reaper 5
Neutral Cards (16)
2
Abusive Sergeant 1
2
Leper Gnome 1
Sir Finley Mrrgglton 1
Worgen Infiltrator 1
Southsea Deckhand 1
2
Loot Hoarder 2
2
Ironbeak Owl 3
2
Arcane Golem 3
2
Argent Horserider 3
Dread Corsair 4

Overview

I’ve already talked about the Face Warrior a few episodes ago, but those decks are quite different and the archetype is so underrepresented, so I wanted to write about it again.

And first things first – I don’t really get why there aren’t more Face/Aggro Warriors. While clearly, it’s not a top tier deck, I see much more Face Hunters and those are on pretty much the same level. Warrior’s deck is cheap so it should be pretty common, especially on the lower ranks / among new players. And yet, I have played maybe against two last month.

Face Warrior’s game plan is quite simple. Hit face. As it turns out, weapons can push for A LOT of damage when they aren’t used on minions. Compare Fiery War Axe to Fireball. Both deal 6 damage, but the first one costs only 2 mana. Obviously, it’s weaker – it takes two turns to deal full damage, it can be stopped by Taunts and freezes… But very often they just do the same. Death's Bite? 8 damage for 4 mana. Arcanite Reaper? 10 damage for 5 mana. Those hit REALLY hard, with just some early game minion damage it’s very easy to finish enemy off on turn 5-6.

Face Warrior always struggled because of the Hero Power. Armor Up is THE WORST one you can have in an Aggro deck. Any other is better, even the Priest’s (because you can sometimes heal the minion so it survives until next turn and you can hit with it again). That’s why Sir Finley Mrrgglton is the MVP of the deck – you just pick any other Hero Power and the deck is suddenly looking much better. Life Tap and Steady Shot are the best ones, but anything will do. It’s impossible that you’re going to get a set of 3 worse Hero Powers, and 1/3 stats of Finley aren’t terrible, so the card is really awesome in this deck.

We’ve already recognized that weapons are great source of face damage, but hold your horses. If you have minions on the board, weapon should hit opponent’s minions, not the face. Protecting your minions is more important than dealing some face damage – weapons have limited charges, minions don’t. If you protect your early drops, they’re going to deal a lot of damage over time. And with so many weapons, it should be relatively easy to do so.

The only thing deck really struggles against are Taunts. Most of the Aggro decks have a burn that gets through them. Yes, this one also has some – Mortal Strikes and Bashes, but it’s often not enough. Minions and weapons are the main source of damage and you can’t That’s why running two Silences is so necessary.

Overall it’s quite a fast deck. Which might mean it’s a good deck to grind Legend with. Another good thing while laddering is a surprise factor. Like I’ve said – it’s one of the most underrepresented archetypes. Neither of those decks focus heavily on the early game. Yes, Patron Warrior runs one early game threat – Frothing Berserker – but you rarely mulligan your whole hand away for the early game answers against Warrior. Which you would most likely do against Aggro Warrior. So I’ve found out that opponents are less likely to have early game answers as opposed to let’s say you playing a Hunter – then they’d keep all of them.

Strategy Tips

  • Early game curve is really important. Missing a turn 2 when playing let’s say Hunter, Paladin or Warlock isn’t as bad, because you do something – deal 2 damage, spawn a 1/1 or draw a card. But with Warrior, you literally skip the turn. 2 points of health pretty much doesn’t matter in most of the matchups. And most importantly – you prefer minion curve over the spells/weapons in the early game. You need to sneak as much minion damage as you can in the early game, so the more minions you have, the easier it will be. You can hit with your weapons or spells later even when your board gets removed. Also, spells should come last, because they can also go through the Taunts. So the priority looks like that: minions -> weapons -> spells.
  • Keep Ironbeak Owls for the Taunts. While yes, if you play against a Face Hunter, Silencing a Mad Scientist is a solid play. But if you play against a RenoLock, don’t Silence the Twilight Drake even if it’s tempting. You don’t care about opponent’s board – your plan is to to kill him before he kills you anyway. When you Silence the Sludge Belcher, Owl has basically dealt 7 damage, because you can go straight for the face.
  • Arcane Golem isn’t the thing you want to drop on turn 3 most of the time, because ramping up the enemy means he’ll have more Mana to work with, he’ll be able to play Taunts a turn earlier etc. Arcane Golem are better as the finishers. But if they’re your only turn 3 play, go for them – passing turn 3 is even worse than passing turn 2.
  • You’ll probably often find yourself in the situation where you need the 6 damage Mortal Strike to win. If enemy hides behind the Taunt and you’re just couple health off, you might actually hit the Taunt with weapon to put yourself in the range. You also want to calculate the damage enemy is going to deal next turn. Sometimes skipping Armor Up might be a good play (if that’s still your Hero Power, obviously). If enemy sees the bait and doesn’t get you below 13 – that’s fine, because he had to hold off with the damage and you’ve gained health anyway. And if he does bring you down, well, you just kill him with 6 damage Mortal Strike. It’s a win-win scenario. Life Tap is also a cool Hero Power for that – instead of gaining health, you lose health, so you can get yourself below 12.
  • Besides that, the deck is rather straightforward. You try to kill enemy as fast as you can, before he stabilizes with Taunts, heals etc. The games are usually decided around turn 5-6 – if enemy has stuff like Sludge Belcher, Antique Healbot, Defender of Argus, Reno Jackson etc. – you most likely just lose. If he doesn’t – you win.

Alternate/Tech Cards

  • Cursed Blade – It’s like a double-edged sword (literally). It’s great at the early game damage pushing, but you also suffer from increased damage your Hero takes. It doesn’t matter in slow matchups, because by the time enemy hits your face the Cursed Blade will be long gone, but it might be bad in other Aggro matchups. In best case scenario you get rid of the weapon by turn 3, so enemy won’t have much time to hit you, but if he gets something like Leper Gnome + Coin + Leper Gnome opener.. well, that sucks. Still, one copy is viable, as it’s been played in some post-LoE Aggro Warrior lists.
  • Bloodsail Raider – Great thing about the card? It’s a 2-drop that scales really well into the mid game and can really push for a lot of damage. It’s not terrible to drop it as a 2/3, but with just a Fiery War Axe equipped – it’s a 5/3 for 2 already. The bad thing about it is no charge – if you drop it on turn 3/4, you have a chance to attack with it. But later it’s pretty much no way that it’s going to survive a turn with just 3 health.
  • Upgrade! – With so many weapons, having something that boosts weapon damage might work really well. The dream is playing Arcanite Reaper + Upgrade. It turns Arcanite Reaper into a 6/3 weapon, so yeah, 18 damage over 3 turns. That’s a lot. But even on the Smallest weapon – Fiery War Axe – it adds 6 damage for 1 mana (assuming you didn’t attack before playing it). The bad thing is that it can get clunky, sometimes you already have more weapon charges than you can use.
  • Wolfrider – An alternative to Argent Horserider. Depends on whether you value the 1 damage or the Divine Shield more. I think that Horserider is better, but I’ve seen some people argue for the Wolfrider’s superiority in stricte face decks. You can also play it instead of the Arcane Golem – less late game reach, but you can play it on turn 3 without worrying about pumping up opponent’s mana.
  • Leeroy Jenkins – A finisher. Just another Charge minion, mostly used as the last points of damage you’re going to deal. While it’s just 1 more damage than a charge of Arcanite Reaper, you might a) have the weapon equipped already – like I’ve said you often have just too many of those and b) the 1 damage might actually matter in some scenarios.

uselesslingo’s Tempo Mage


Check out the author’s original post about the deck!

Tempo Mage
Class Cards (23)5960
Arcane Blast 1
2
Arcane Missiles 1
2
Mirror Image 1
2
Mana Wyrm 1
2
Flamecannon 2
2
Frostbolt 2
2
Unstable Portal 2
2
Sorcerer’s Apprentice 2
2
Arcane Intellect 3
2
Flamewaker 3
2
Fireball 4
Ethereal Conjurer 5
Archmage Antonidas 7
Neutral Cards (7)
Clockwork Gnome 1
Bloodmage Thalnos 2
2
Mechanical Yeti 4
Azure Drake 5
Gadgetzan Auctioneer 6
Toshley 6

Overview

A pretty unique approach at the Tempo Mage. I don’t really like the archetype because of its randomness – half of the games are decided by the stuff like Arcane Missiles/Flamewaker shots or Unstable Portal outcomes. But if you like the Tempo Mage, you might find it interesting.

The deck is heavily focused on the Spare Parts. Spare Parts have obvious synergy with Tempo Mage, because they’re cheap spells. It means that they can pump up the Attack of Mana Wyrm, they can deal extra damage with Flamewaker and maybe most importantly they can get free Fireballs with Archmage Antonidas. With 5 Spare Parts in total (1 from Clockwork Gnome, 2 from Mechanical Yetis and 2 from Toshley), it’s actually quite likely to get a Stealth one. And as we all know, Antonidas + Stealth is often game over – most of the decks can’t remove the 7 health minions that’s in stealth.

All of those synergies are obviously great, but the deck runs one more. Gadgetzan Auctioneer. It’s an awesome source of card draw in the late game. While most of the cards just cycle or get you +1 card (like Arcane Intellect), this one has the possibility to draw much, much more. With 5 Spare Parts and 5 other 1 mana spells in the deck, Auctioneer is bound to get value. It’s huge in slower matchups, because you might actually set up a turn 10 Auctioneer + Sorcerer's Apprentice followed by a bunch of spells. My record is like 6 draws from Auctioneer in one turn and I haven’t even played the deck that much. Auctioneer proved useful in almost every slow matchup. The obvious bad thing about it is it being useless in any fast matchup – you just can’t afford to play a 6 mana 4/4 and you have to combo it with spells instantly to get the value. So it’s usually a turn 8-10 play, and that’s way too late against Aggro. Plus it’s not like Aggro decks are outvaluing you and you need to draw a lot.

The deck is really focused on the spell part. It’s less minion-heavy than the usual Tempo Mage decks. It runs much less minions you can play proactively without having to instantly combo them with spells to get value.

It also doesn’t run any Secrets. That’s the second deck without Mad Scientist + Secrets combo this week. Maybe it’s just a coincidence or maybe not playing the broken Scientist isn’t actually that terrible.

Win conditions, as usually, are either getting the early/mid game board tempo and slowly pushing every turn with your minions while removing their threats with the spells OR getting a huge Archmage Antonidas value and killing enemy off with all the Fireballs burn. The alternative win condition is getting HUGE Gadgetzan Auctioneer value and grinding enemy down. After all, if you have full hands and enemy is already running out of cards, it’s pretty easy to win that game if you just avoid the obvious board wipes.

Overall I can’t really say if this version of Tempo Mage is stronger than the standard one, but it’s definitely a viable option. If you’re a fan of the deck, you should definitely try it and see for yourself.

Strategy Tips

  • Keep your Spare Parts for the synergies. While it’s sometimes okay to throw a Freezing one to get some tempo or I don’t know, the Health one to get a good trade, you generally want to use them with one of the three cards: Flamewaker, Gadgetzan Auctioneer or Archmage Antonidas. Those benefit from your cheap spells most. I’d pretty much always keep the Stealth one for one of the latter two. Auctioneer + Stealth is like the Auctioneer + Conceal in Miracle Rogue. It’s very hard to kill a minion in stealth, it’s out of range of the most common AoEs, so if it survives you draw A LOT of cards next turn (considering that you should have a lot of cheap spells in your hand before doing that). The other combo is probably even stronger – if Archmage Antonidas survives you play a bunch of cheap spells next turn and create like 4-5 Fireballs. That’s most likely enough alone to kill the enemy over the few turns, but on top of that he also has to deal with your Antonidas. Fireballs created this way can also be used to constantly clear the board if enemy has no immediate answer for your Antonidas. They’re replaced by new ones anyway, so if enemy has no removal in his hand you can just play the board control game and win the value war easily (after all you’re dealing up to 13 damage from your hand every turn with 2x Fireball + ping).
  • Bloodmage Thalnos is another uncommon choice, but works pretty well in a deck with so many spells. There are 9 spells that benefit from Spell Damage, but one deserves a special mention – Arcane Blast. Since it doubles the Spell Damage bonus, with just a Thalnos on the board it’s a 4 damage for 1 mana (and it’s targeted, unlike the Flamecannon). That’s awesome. It gets even better if you play the Azure Drake + Thalnos + Arcane Blast, then it’s a 6 damage for 1 mana. Pretty insane value.
  • Without Mad Scientist the deck loses some of the early game power. Some decks are pretty likely to gain the board lead in the first turns against you. So it’s even more important to save Coin and cheap spells for a good Flamewaker turn. It’s a common Tempo Mage’s comeback around turn 4-5. Something like Flamewaker + Coin + 2x Arcane Missiles can completely turn the board around, because that’s 10 random damage as early as turn 4. That’s why Coin is so strong in the Tempo Mage deck. But even without the Coin, Flamewaker still can get a lot of value, you just need a turn or two more to set it up.
  • The deck is basically a pretty standard Tempo Mage besides those few choices, so you should probably check one of the guides in Tempo Mage section if you want to learn more :)

Alternate/Tech Cards

  • Spellslinger – Even more randomness. But the truth is that it’s a solid 3-drop and Tempo Mage lacks a solid 3-drop. Flamewaker is rarely a thing you want to drop on turn 3, so you’re often playing a 1-drop + spell or a spell alone. Sometimes you even have to pass the turn if you can’t play Flamewaker into obvious death on the board. 3/4 statline + a random spell seems fine. Even though enemy is also getting one, on average you’re going to come out ahead. Tempo Mage is the deck with (probably) the best spell synergy out there, so if enemy is playing another deck, his spells is most likely just a spell. Your spell can also get 2 random pings, can turn into a Fireball etc. But at the end of the day it’s still random – you might get a Tree of Life when playing against a Control deck and he might get a board clear. So if you aren’t discouraged by bad luck and you look at the big picture, Spellslinger is a nice addition.
  • Dr. Boom – I’m not sure why the author didn’t include Dr. Boom. I’ve put it into the deck quite fast, because the card is just too good to pass on. While it doesn’t have any big synergy with the deck, it’s just so damn good individual card and probably the best turn 7 proactive play in the game. The only reason I see for not putting it is it being the only Big Game Hunter target. But even then, not every deck runs BGH and even if they do – well, Boom Bots will probably kill it back anyway + possibly kill something else too.
  • Flamestrike – I think that one copy of Flamestrike is great, since Zoo Warlock has made a big return to the meta. The matchup against Zoo is still pretty bad, but without Flamestrike it’s often just unwinnable. Once they flood the board you can’t do anything about it – Flamestrike might give you an edge in certain cases, especially since you’ll force them to tap more in order to refill the board = make them more vulnerable to the burn you might have.

Closing


If you want to submit your own decklist – send it to me at stonekeephs@gmail.com with a proof of Legend, matchups statistics (it’s best to use some sort of tracker for that), your own thoughts and stuff like that. Or if you’ve already described the deck somewhere, you can just send me the link to your Reddit/Hearthpwn/etc. post! I’ll definitely try to put at least one deck submitted by you guys every week.

If you have any other suggestions or comments, leave them in the section below!

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Playing Hearthstone since September 2013. Infinite Arena player. Hitting Legend rank on EU each season, with multiple high Legend climbs during the season and top 200-300 finishes.

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