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Heroes[edit | edit source]
Jaina Proudmoore is the default hero for mages. Players who have unlocked the Khadgar or Medivh alternate heroes may choose to play as one of them instead when using any mage deck. All heroes use the same gameplay mechanics; the difference is purely cosmetic.
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Mages are the archetypal spell-casters. Masters of all things magical, they can summon balls of fire, bolts of ice and even pure arcane energy to sear and destroy their opponents. Mages excel at instant damage spells, whether blasting enemies from the field of battle one by one or wiping out whole armies with a single area of effect attack. Mages are also masters of control, able to freeze enemies in place with explosions of frost, or transform them into powerless Sheep at will.
With their unrivaled array of damaging spells, mages need as much Spell Damage as they can get, and can call on powerful magical allies to strengthen their spell-casting. However, even without their assistance, mages wield the most powerful damaging spells in the game. With devastating board-wipes like Flamestrike, game-ending nukes like Pyroblast, and a Hero Power that allows them to blast any target at any time, only a fool would take the wrath of a mage lightly.
Background[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Mage
Students gifted with a keen intellect and unwavering discipline may walk the path of the mage. The arcane magic available to magi is both great and dangerous, and thus is revealed only to the most devoted practitioners. To avoid interference with their spellcasting, magi wear only cloth armor, but arcane shields and enchantments give them additional protection. To keep enemies at bay, magi can summon bursts of fire to incinerate distant targets and cause entire areas to erupt, setting groups of foes ablaze. Masters of ice can command blizzards that tear into flesh and limit movement. Should enemies manage to survive this assault, the mage can shrink them into harmless sheep in the blink of an eye.
Powerful magi can even generate enhancements and portals, assisting allies by sharpening their minds and transporting them instantly across the world.
Hero Power[edit | edit source]
The mage Hero Power Fireblast can be used to deal 1 damage to any target. It is useful for board control, able to remove smaller minions like Bluegill Warrior or even large minions like Boulderfist Ogre if the minion has already been weakened. It can be used strategically to remove a Divine Shield from an enemy, or to hit one of the mage's own minions to activate certain effects, such as Amani Berserker or Acolyte of Pain. As a Hero Power, Fireblast can bypass minions with Taunt, but cannot target elusive minions like Faerie Dragon. Note that it is not a spell and therefore is not affected by Spell Damage.
Replacement Hero Powers[edit | edit source]
Strategy and gameplay[edit | edit source]
Mages use a large array of spells that cripple the opponents minions and damage their hero. Decks that contain minions that boost Spell Damage like Kobold Geomancer or Azure Drake will be able to strengthen the mage's numerous direct damage spells and even make weak spells into formidable nukes. Minions that benefit from playing spells like Mana Addict, Violet Teacher, or Gadgetzan Auctioneer often also fit well into mage decks.
For slower decks, mages can turtle exceptionally well, with cards like Ice Barrier and Ice Block which augment the hero's ability to survive, while their early game crowd control effects like Frost Nova and Cone of Cold prevent retaliation until the mage can play powerful cards like Pyroblast.
Common deck types[edit | edit source]
As of The League of Explorers, a variety of mage decks are commonly seen.
Tempo Mage is perhaps the most common mage deck type, with a number of variants. Secret Mage relies on Secrets not only to generate useful effects but also to baffle and confuse the opponent, forcing them to delay strong plays while they dismantle the mage's unpredictable web of spells. In Wild format, Mech Mage makes heavy use of cards from Goblins vs Gnomes for strong Mech synergy, and also spell synergy with the generated Spare Parts cards, making this a semi spell-oriented deck.
Spell synergy is a common theme for Tempo Mage decks. Archmage Antonidas is a spell-activated win condition is used in many decks, with the presence of cheap spells key for activating his game-winning effect. Mana Wyrm is often used in mage decks wanting early game presence, while Flamewaker is a central card for Flamewaker Mage decks, providing heavy and repeated board clears.
Mage is also known for featuring one of the slowest decks in the game - the Freeze Mage. This deck uses heavy control elements including the mage's unique Freeze effects, AoE removal like Flamestrike, and the impenetrable Ice Block to slow and delay the opponent's assault, followed by a flurry of direct damage spells like Fireball, Frostbolt and Ice Lance to destroy the opponent, often in a single turn.
More rarely seen, aggressive mage decks can succeed in defeating the opponent in the early to mid game, using aggressive minions to deal early if short-lived damage, before closing the match using direct damage spells held in reserve.
Counters[edit | edit source]
While strategy against mages depends heavily on deck type, this section describes some general pointers to bear in mind when learning to play against the class.
Mages have strong battlefield control, with single target spells like Polymorph and Fireball, and numerous Freeze effects such as Frost Nova, along with board wide removal from Flamestrike and Blizzard. These cards excel later in the game when stronger minions are played and when mana is available. It is possible to bait removal by placing threatening minions to force the mage to use them before then playing your strongest cards. Be aware of minion vulnerability when approaching turn 7, as any sizeable force of minions (especially at 4 Health or less) will offer a good reason for the mage to play Flamestrike if they have it.
A mage has a large array of powerful Secrets, but you can minimize their impact. If the mage has a Secret always try to safely determine which one it is:
- Play a weak minion before a strong minion in case it is Mirror Entity.
- Play weak or cheap spells before using strong and costly spells in case of Counterspell.
- Attack the hero directly with a weak minion before a strong minion in case it's Vaporize.
- Spellbender will replace the target of a single-target spell with a 1/3 minion. So you can use a weak spell before an important spell to negate it.
- Ice Barrier is a powerful secret that will give the mage 8 Armor when your minion or hero attacks the mage. Spells and Hero Powers do not trigger the Secret.
- Ice Block will delay death for at least one turn so in a close game don't be baited into using all of your cards in an attempt to kill the mage as it may allow the mage to make a comeback if you sacrificed too much.
- When killing enemy minions, kill the weakest one first in case of Duplicate, and/or the cheapest in case of Effigy.
Spells[edit | edit source]
|Name / Desc||Rarity||Class||Cost||Description|
Deal 1 damage to all enemy minions. This spell is much better than Arcane Implosion.
Draw 2 cards. Playing this card makes you SMARTER. And let's face it: we could all stand to be a little smarter.
Deal 3 damage randomly split among all enemies. You'd think you'd be able to control your missiles a little better since you're a powerful mage and all.
Deal 6 damage. This spell is useful for burning things. If you're looking for spells that toast things, or just warm them a little, you're in the wrong place.
Deal 4 damage to all enemy minions. When the ground is on fire, you should not stop, drop, and roll.
Freeze all enemy minions. Hey man, that's cold. Literally and metaphorically.
Deal 3 damage to a character and Freeze it. It is customary to yell "Chill out!" or "Freeze!" or "Ice ice, baby!" when you play this card.
Summon two 0/2 minions with Taunt. Oh hey it's Mirror Image! !egamI rorriM s'ti yeh hO
Transform a minion into a 1/1 Sheep. There was going to be a pun in this flavor text, but it just came out baa-d.
|Breath of Sindragosa||Common||Mage||1|
Deal 2 damage to a random enemy minion and Freeze it. Is it cold in here or is it just Sindragosa?
|Cone of Cold||Common||Mage||4|
Freeze a minion and the minions next to it, and deal 1 damage to them. Magi of the Kirin Tor were casting Cubes of Cold for many years before Cones came into fashion some 90 years ago.
Deal 2 damage. Add a 1/2 Elemental to your hand. Oh, a wise geyser eh?
Secret: After your opponent plays a minion, put 2 copies of it into your hand. It's like déjà vu, times two.
Secret: When your hero is attacked, gain 8 Armor. This is Rank 1. Rank 2 is Chocolate Milk Barrier.
Secret: After your opponent plays a minion, summon a copy of it. "You go first." - Krush'gor the Behemoth, to his pet boar.
Each turn this is in your hand, transform it into a random Mage spell. Next turn, this is going to be AMAZING.
Freeze a minion. If it's already Frozen, destroy it. Lick the ice block. I triple-double-dog-dare-you.
Deal 2 damage to all enemy minions and Freeze them. This spell can be very Entertaining.
Deal 5 damage randomly split among all enemies. Forecast: Cloudy with a chance of fireballs.
Secret: When your opponent casts a spell, Counter it. What's the difference between a mage playing with Counterspell and a mage who isn't? The mage who isn't is getting Pyroblasted in the face.
Secret: After your opponent plays a minion, deal 6 damage to it and any excess to their hero. Sometimes it's safer NOT to read the warning signs.
|Lesser Ruby Spellstone||Rare||Mage||2|
Add a random Mage spell to your hand. (Play two Elementals to upgrade.) The final stone undid its master
Spun into wards by nameless caster
Azari wailed a savage roar
Now sealed in nether, evermore.
Secret: When your opponent cast a spell, add a copy to your hand that costs (0). Nice spell. YOINK!
Choose a friendly minion. Summon a copy of it. Dang, I'm looking pretty hot!
Secret: When a minion attacks your hero, destroy it. Rumor has it that Deathwing brought about the Cataclysm after losing a game to this card. We may never know the truth.
|Book of Specters||Epic||Mage||2|
Draw 3 cards. Discard any spells drawn. Known throughout the land as the Spooky-nomicon.
|Deck of Wonders||Epic||Mage||5|
Shuffle 5 Scrolls into your deck. When drawn, cast a random spell. "Pick a card, any card. Wait! No! Not that one!" - Last words of previous owner
Reveal a spell from your deck. Deal damage equal to its Cost to all minions. "C'mon Hucklemuck. She'll never notice if we take just one little coin."
Put one of each Secret from your deck into the battlefield. The secret is in the frosting.
Deal 15 damage to a minion and 3 damage to adjacent ones. When you absolutely, positively, have to kill all the dinosaurs.
Discover a spell.
Reduce its Cost by (2). It's the Ancient Tol'vir symbol for "Whoops!"
Deal 10 damage. Take the time for an evil laugh after you draw this card.
Copy the lowest Cost minion in your hand. It's like déjà vu, times two.
Secret: When an enemy casts a spell on a minion, summon a 1/3 as the new target. While it's fun to intercept enemy lightning bolts, a spellbender much prefers to intercept opposing Marks of the Wild. It just feels meaner. And blood elves... well, they're a little mean.
|Open the Waygate||Legendary||Mage||1|
Quest: Cast 6 spells that didn't start in your deck.
Reward: Time Warp. Although powerful, the incantation is simple. It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right.
|Showing all 35 cards|
The following spells are generated by other mage cards or effects, and are uncollectible.
|Name / Desc||Rarity||Class||Cost||Description|
|Scroll of Wonder||None||Mage||5|
Cast a random spell. Draw a card. Cast this when drawn.
Take an extra turn.
|Greater Ruby Spellstone||Rare||Mage||2|
Add 3 random Mage spells to your hand. (Play two Elementals to upgrade.)
Add 2 random Mage spells to your hand. (Play two Elementals to upgrade.)
|Showing all 4 cards|
Minions[edit | edit source]
|Name / Desc||Rarity||Type||Subtype||Class||Cost||Atk||HP||Description|
Freeze any character damaged by this minion. Don't summon a water elemental at a party. It'll dampen the mood.
Whenever you cast a spell, gain Armor equal to its Cost. Ethereal armor dissipates in 6 hours which can cause extreme awkwardness for first time buyers.
Battlecry: Draw a Secret from your deck. What did you draw? Shhhh… it’s a secret.
Spell Damage +1
Battlecry: If your deck has only odd-Cost cards, draw a card. She's so odd, you can't even.
Battlecry: If an enemy is Frozen, draw a card. He's freezing his bones off!
Whenever you cast a spell, gain +1 Attack. These wyrms feed on arcane energies, and while they are generally considered a nuisance rather than a real threat, you really shouldn't leave them alone with a bucket of mana.
Battlecry: Reveal a spell in each deck. If yours costs more, draw it. Quoth the raven, 'Does yours cost more?'
Deathrattle: Add a random Mage spell to your hand. HATES being summoned for Kirin Tor party lighting.
Your spells cost (1) less. Apprentices are great for bossing around. "Conjure me some mana buns! And a coffee! Make that a mana coffee!"
Whenever you cast a spell, summon a random 2-Cost minion. As birds of ill omen, these crows often summon Doomsayers.
Battlecry: If you played an Elemental last turn, draw a card. Next step: Marshmallow elementals.
Whenever you draw a card, gain +1/+1. Experts worry that curios are a gateway to face-collecting.
Your opponent's spells cost (1) more. Jaina was never good at keeping up apprentices.
If you control a Secret at the end of your turn, gain +2/+2. The ethereals are wrapped in cloth to give form to their non-corporeal bodies. Also because it's nice and soft.
Battlecry: Add a 'Mirror Image' spell to your hand. Wearing purple after the holidays? GHASTLY!
Your Hero Power also Freezes the target. Ice Walker you say? He doesn't have feet!
|Kirin Tor Mage||Rare||Minion||General||Mage||3||4||3|
Battlecry: The next Secret you play this turn costs (0). The Kirin Tor reside in the floating city of Dalaran. How do you make a Dalaran float? Two scoops of ice cream, one scoop of Dalaran.
Battlecry: If you're holding any cards that didn't start in your deck, reduce their Cost by (2). The shortest distance between two points is a leyline.
Battlecry: If you played an Elemental last turn,
add a 'Flame Geyser'
to your hand. Explorers nicknamed him the Teapot Elemental.
Battlecry: Discover a Secret. Put it into the battlefield. She sells all manner of keys: from A flat to G sharp.
Whenever you cast a spell, put a 'Fireball' spell into your hand. Antonidas was the Grand Magus of the Kirin Tor, and Jaina's mentor. This was a big step up from being Grand Magus of Jelly Donuts.
Whenever you draw a minion, add a copy of it to your hand. His worgen children call him Archmage AROO-OO-OO-OO-gal.
Battlecry: Summon a 5/5 Dragon for each spell you cast this game that costs (5) or more. Her secret is using a gentle voice and carrying a baggie of hotdogs.
Deathrattle: Return this to your hand as a 6/6 that cost (6). If you strike her down, she shall become more powerful than you can possibly… well, she'll become a 6/6 anyways.
Battlecry: Summon two 0/1 Frozen Champions. "I recognize your effort but I think your magic still has room for improvement." - Sindragosa after taking a class on giving constructive feedback.
Battlecry: Add a random Legendary minion from the past to your hand. Just a twist to the left, one quarter turn to the right and … oops! Well, we didn’t need that timeline anyway.
|Showing all 26 cards|
Uncollectible[edit | edit source]
The following minions are generated by other mage cards, and are uncollectible.
|Name / Desc||Rarity||Type||Subtype||Class||Cost||Atk||HP||Description|
Deathrattle: Add a random Legendary minion to your hand.
Deathrattle:Return this to your hand as a 10/10 that costs (10).
|Showing all 7 cards|
|Name / Desc||Rarity||Class||Cost||Atk||HP||Description|
At the end of your turn, draw 3 cards. PHENOMENAL ARCANE POWER…itty bitty living space.
|Showing the only card|
Leveling rewards[edit | edit source]
Starting cards[edit | edit source]
All mages start with the following class cards.
Level 2-10[edit | edit source]
Up to level 10, reaching each even-numbered level will award the player two copies of a new Basic class card. These cards are not obtainable through any other means.
Level 11-60[edit | edit source]
Above level 10, reaching certain levels will award golden versions of existing Basic cards. As they are uncraftable, it is not possible to disenchant these cards, making the reward purely cosmetic. Reaching each required level will award one golden card. Levels after 10 award golden Basic class cards, whereas levels after 52 award golden Basic neutral minion cards.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- As of 2016, mage is by far the most commonly searched for class using Google. Top searches include "Freeze Mage" and "Mech Mage".
- Mage was one of the first three classes to receive an alternate hero. It is tied with Paladin for the the most available heroes, and was the first class to have three possible heroes.
- During the game's early development, the mage hero was Kael'thas Sunstrider. The hero can be seen in screenshots from that period.
References[edit | edit source]
Death Knight (special class)