Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hearthstone Starter Mage Deck | Basic Cards Only Mage Deck

Hearthstone Basic Mage Aggro Deck -
Basic Cards Only Mage Deck

Since I've been playing in the Hearthstone Beta since the release, I've been trying to share some of the tips and tricks I've learned for Hearthstone.  I understand a lot of you do not have Hearthstone Beta keys yet and this information will be of good use to you once you get into the Hearthstone Beta or the game goes into Open-Beta (which may be sooner than we thought).

In the first article I've written about Grinding For Gold & Boosters In Hearthstone, I had mentioned:

If you want to Grind Gold in Play Mode: 

I recommend building a speed deck.  Pick one of the faster decks that can bring out a quick force of minions and then support those minions with your own creature control, direct damage, and removal spells to clear the way for your minions to attack quickly.  In my opinion the 3 fastest decks for this strategy are Mage, Rogue, & Hunter.  All 3 have direct damage dealing Class Abilities and Class Spells that include plenty of creature control options.  You should build a deck with small cheap creatures, lots of removal, and some direct damage spells.

In the comments of that post, I was asked "what would you include in a speed deck for Mage, Rogue, & Hunter?"  I promised a few sample deck builds for Hearthstone beginner decks as examples of what I was recommending be used for grinding matches quickly.  This post is the first of 3 example decks made completely from Basic Hearthstone Cards only.  The Basic Cards are unlocked by leveling the decks, which you advance in experience regardless of win or loss record, so everyone has easy access to unlock these cards.  The Mage deck is forced on you in the tutorial, so you will already have many of the Mage Basic Cards unlocked, which makes it the easiest transition from the tutorial to constructed play.

Basic Mage Deck Strategy

The goal with this Basic Cards Only Constructed Mage Deck is pure aggression.  In the earlier article I recommended a quick deck that would turn over matches quickly, a deck that would either win or lose quickly.  If you are grinding for gold, then you want quick matches to increase your games played per hour.  Long lasting games that you lose are crippling to your gold per hour grinding earning potential, and long lasting games that you do win aren't worth the time required.  You are better off getting more matches in.  More matches means more chances to win.

Hearthstone Starter Deck Build for Mage Deck
Mana Curve of This Basic Mage Deck
This deck thrives on efficient minions, direct damage, and removal spells.  You goal is to kill the opponent as quickly as possible, mainly with your minions.  You use the direct damage and removal spells to clear the way for your minions to keep attacking.  Creatures with taunt should be your prime targets for removal spells.  This deck is purely offensive, with removal to keep the offense pushing forward.  Direct damage can be used to clear threats and taunters or be turned directly against the opponent to finish them off.  The Mage's ability to shoot anything for 1 point of damage is very helpful in clearing threats, since the 1 point can be coupled with another spell that deals damage.  The constant ability to do an additional point of damage per turn late game can also be all you need to finish off an opponent that barely survives your swarm.

Basic Cards Only Hearthstone Mage Deck List:

Play Hearthstone Beginner's Mage Deck Build
Basic Only Mage Aggro Deck

Make sure to use your Elven Archers intelligently.  I've seen way too many players cast a first turn Elven Archer and shoot me for 1 damage.  That's just horrible play.  Hold onto your Elven Archer and cast him when you can use the 1 point of damage to kill another minion.  That way you've not only added a threat onto the battlefield, but you've also removed one of your opponent's threats.

Reckless Rocketeer is a great mid to late game finisher.  The Reckless Rocketeer is also what I call a "tank buster".  The Rocketeer can be summoned and then it's Charge ability allows you to ram a minion with taunt to clear the way for your other minions to continue with the beatdown.  I love blasting Lord of the Arena and other big taunters with a Reckless Rocketeer to clear the way for my minions to keep up the full press.

There is only a single Flamestrike in this Mage Deck because you will usually have the match close to over by the time you could play it and you definately don't want to get stuck with two in your hand.  I did include 1 because it can be such a game changer in the later-mid game and it will grant you victories.  The primary goal is to never make it that late into the game, thus only 1 is needed.

Getting down a few early creatures (Murloc Tidehunter & Razorfen Hunter are great for this) and then buffing them up with a Raid Leader can be overwhelming for an opponent lacking speed or early creature removal.

Remember, when you only have access to the Basic Cards, you aren't going to be as competitive until you can unlock some of the booster packs and get better cards.  So get your grind on and get to earning gold and unlocking those Hearthstone booster packs.

Happy Hearthstone Grinding!

You are welcome to share this post, but please link back to the original article here at Cold's Gold Factory.

Once you unlock some more Expert level cards, you should try out my Priest Card Draw Deck.

Hearthstone- Guide To Earning More XP per Game


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  1. I will try with this deck now, thanks for the tips! I've got one question though.. what about taunt?

    1. Taunt isn't needed and there are only a few good taunters for constructed anyways (Ironfur, Tazdingo, Sunwalker).

      This deck is designed to overrun the opponent fast. If you feel you need some taunt to protect your minions then toss in a pair of Mirror Image or SenjinShieldmastas.

  2. Is it just me or is Frostbolt now only cost 2 mana? Does this change the deck at all?

    1. You are correct! Frostbolt got it's casting cost dropped down from 3 to 2 in the first major patch. This change makes the deck stronger as you can deal with a 2 drop, on your own turn 2 instead of turn 3 with the change. The deck / screenshot / post came out before the patch, so thats why it shows a casting cost of 3.

  3. I've jsut played a few games with this deck as a level 10 mage and I have to say it works pretty damn well. It's not a 100% win for sure, but it's quite effective. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks for posting this. I will try this deck since i'm just starting out.

  5. I just won 5 games in a row, this deck is beautifull

  6. I thought I'd search for a nice starter deck since I haven't played any card games since Pokemon when I was young. This deck just doesn't work for me, but I must just be really, really bad. I can't even beat the AI. Every time I try to build up a decent amount of minions like it says up there I either get countered or they've already beaten me down. I think I'm just terrible at these types of games. I'll stick to wow, atleast it requires no though, Anyone know of any way to get better? Obviously practice is the obvious answer but it's hard to practice when I'm getting dominated 9/10 times.

    1. Focus on clearing enemy minions first and foremost. Board control is the name of the game and clearing enemy minions before damaging the enemy hero will help you in the long run. Don't be afraid to hurt your hero if it means clearing the enemy's board. Direct damage mage spells are best used on enemy minions, to clear the way for your own minions to do damage. A creature that can attack unabated for multiple turns is more deadly than using a damage card directly on the hero. Also, try to go for efficient battle exchanges, such as your 2/1 taking out their 2/2.

  7. This deck still work! i used this deck to beat other legendary mage deck

  8. i think deck is still working .. won 4/4 duels hunter mage shaman rogue at worthy opponent normal match

  9. I looked up this deck to play my daily quest (had 2 mage 5 win quests actually), changed a few cards but it went 100%.

    Most important changes I made were:

    - 2x Amani Berserker instead of ooze (I only had one so added mirror image but 2 would be op)
    - 2x Worgen over Tidehunter
    - 2x Shattered Sun Cleric instead of Raid Leader
    - 2x Argent Commander instead of Rocketeer

    The idea of Amani and Worgen are that you can ping your own units with hero ability to activate their enrage.

    Obviously these cards aren't basic but if you have some dust or some of them to use I'd recommend to.

    1. absolutely the same changes i would make when adding non basic cards. thanks for the comment


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