Weekly Legends: Innovations (Counterspell Mage)
Here on Weekly Legends, I often discuss the strategy of bringing new ideas to old archetypes. That is, taking a class or a decklist that people are familiar with and putting a new twist on it. Getting better at Hearthstone is not just about learning the technicalities of the game (though that is a huge part) it is also about making the right decks work at the right time. Remember, surprise will always go further in a card game than any other aspect.
The meta is so thought out, analyzed, broken down and scrutinized from every single angle, that every top player knows every card or possible card their opponent could have. You will often find on most of my videos, not only do I run down every possible scenario when thinking of a play, but I usually can call my opponents next turn one step ahead of them. That’s very important. However, I have lost (and won) a huge number of games by playing surprising cards or by having surprising cards played against me. Now, this does not mean that you should go throw Gruul or Mekgineer Thermaplugg into your decks just because they’re unexpected, but it does mean that you should always be thinking of ways to catch your opponent off guard. This week’s deck, a midrange Mage list by Steef, does exactly that in very interesting way.
This deck is a midrange list through and though. While it lacks a lot of the early game that tempo has (Sorcerer's Apprentice, Flamecannon) but comes back with a very solid core of Piloted Shredder, Water Elemental and some hefty legends.
Unlike Tempo Mage, your main mode is to not crush your opponent early and them finish them off with burn and, unlike control, you do not want the game to go to fatigue. Rather, you just want to keep board control with some very hard-to-remove minions, and use those tools backed up with a couple solid beaters to get you through the game. Frostbolt and Fireball are usually used for removal, but holding them in your hand (especially with a certain archmage) is a very reasonable way to win. This deck is a combination of surprising cards and powerful minions that constantly keep your opponent guessing throughout the game.
It is not only powerful and unique (which is why it made my column) but it is also a perfect example of how to use surprise to your advantage when crafting a legend caliber deck.