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.
Overview[edit | edit source]
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]
Tempo Mage is perhaps the most common mage deck type, with a number of variants. Mages can arm themselves with low-cost spells with Mana Wyrm, Flamewaker, and Vex Crow to snowball early and finish off with direct damage while never running out of steam with Aluneth. 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. Aggro or burn mage goes for direct damage as as often as possible instead, using aggressive but short-lived minions to push for damage early on and pelt the opponents with Fireballs and one big Pyroblast to finish them off. 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.
On the slower side, Mages can employ heavy spells with Dragon's Fury and Arcane Artificer for late-game control. They can also employ a deck that goes all-in on Archmage Antonidas. Once they have all the combo pieces to create four Sorcerer's Apprentices, their powers combined allows the mage to throw infinite Fireballs to end the game. This combination is known as Exodia Mage.
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.
Mages are also attuned with Elementals. Elemental Mages have rudimentary Elemental synergy effects that generate value, but in the late game Frost Lich Jaina turns them all into sources of healing, ensuring they never run out of health as long as they have an army of elementals under their command and turning weakened minions into more elementals with their Icy Touch.
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 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.
Summon two 0/2 minions with Taunt. Oh hey it's Mirror Image! !egamI rorriM s'ti yeh hO
Deal 1 damage to all enemy minions. This spell is much better than Arcane Implosion.
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.
Draw 2 cards. Playing this card makes you SMARTER. And let's face it: we could all stand to be a little smarter.
Freeze all enemy minions. Hey man, that's cold. Literally and metaphorically.
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.
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.
Deal 4 damage to all enemy minions. When the ground is on fire, you should not stop, drop, and roll.
The next Elemental you play this turn costs (2) less. It's just lighter fluid.
|Ray of Frost||Common||Mage||1|
Freeze a minion. If it's already Frozen, deal 2 damage to it. If you have zero chill, this can help.
Deal 1 damage to a minion and the minions next to it. Literally starstruck.
|Tome of Intellect||Common||Mage||1|
Add a random Mage spell to your hand. Just a compilation of napkins of intellect.
Each player draws 2 cards. Abstract: Analyzing systemic applications of coldlight data sets vis-a-vis shuffle-related paradigms. Conclusion: Yay, cards!
Freeze a minion. If it's already Frozen, destroy it. Lick the ice block. I triple-double-dog-dare-you.
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.
|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.
Discover a spell that costs (3) or less. The world is not ready for an illusion of this depth and intricacy!
Add 2 random minions to your hand. Let's see what's behind rift number one!
Deal 5 damage randomly split among all enemies. Forecast: Cloudy with a chance of fireballs.
Destroy a minion. Summon 2 minions of the same Cost to replace it. If only you'd let it go to voicemail...
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: 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.
Deal 4 damage to a minion. If you played an Elemental last turn, this costs (1). The hoof.
The hoof is on fire.
Deal 2 damage to all enemy minions and Freeze them. This spell can be very Entertaining.
|Book of Specters||Epic||Mage||2|
Draw 3 cards. Discard any spells drawn. Known throughout the land as the Spooky-nomicon.
Deal 2 damage to a minion. If it's Frozen, draw a card. This may appear weak at frost glance, but it's actually a very ice spell.
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.
Secret: When one of your minions is attacked, summon a copy of it. Sometimes you get punched so hard they see double.
Summon two random 2-Cost minions (improved by Spell Damage). Sometimes science is more art than science. A lot of people don't get that.
Deal 2 damage to all minions.
Overkill: Add a random Mage spell to your hand. If you’re burning and you know it, wave your hands!
|Power of Creation||Epic||Mage||8|
Discover a 6-Cost minion. Summon two copies of it. Mostly used for party tricks, to be honest.
Deal 10 damage. Take the time for an evil laugh after you draw this card.
|Luna's Pocket Galaxy||Legendary||Mage||7|
Change the Cost of minions in your deck to (1). Luna became head of the astronomy department when her boss invented the Pocket Black Hole.
|Showing all 35 cards|
Minions[edit | edit source]
|Name / Desc||Rarity||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.
Battlecry: Your next Hero Power this turn deals 2 more damage. A few hours later he DESTROYED the arena bathrooms.
|Magic Dart Frog||Common||Beast||Mage||2||1||3|
After you cast a spell, deal 1 damage to a random enemy minion. There's a powerful throat in this frog.
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.
Your spells cost (1) less. Apprentices are great for bossing around. "Conjure me some mana buns! And a coffee! Make that a mana coffee!"
Battlecry: Discover a Mage minion. You can make a collect CAW!
Spell Damage +2 INGREDIENTS: STAR-STUFF, BLUE #1, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS.
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, deal 3 damage to all other minions. Arcane energy… finds a way.
Battlecry: Your next spell this turn has Spell Damage +2. Casting with the stars.
|Spirit of the Dragonhawk||Rare||General||Mage||2||0||3|
Stealth for 1 turn.
Your Hero Power also targets adjacent minions. Dragonhawks aren’t known for their accuracy.
|Kirin Tor Mage||Rare||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.
Whenever your Hero Power kills a minion, draw a card. She prefers “Flammably Inclined.”
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.
|Kirin Tor Tricaster||Rare||General||Mage||4||3||3|
Spell Damage +3
Your spells cost (1) more. The math checks out!
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.
Battlecry: For each card in your hand, deal 1 damage to a random enemy. Some say the world will end in fire. Some say in ice. Why not BOTH?
Battlecry: For each spell you've cast this turn, add a random Mage spell to your hand. It'll put a good spin on your spells.
Battlecry: Discover a Secret. Put it into the battlefield. She sells all manner of keys: from A flat to G sharp.
Battlecry: Summon a random minion with Cost equal to your hand size. All signs point to Antonidas.
Whenever you draw a minion, add a copy of it to your hand. His worgen children call him Archmage AROO-OO-OO-OO-gal.
Your cards that summon minions summon twice as many. "What do you call two minions summoned at once? Twinions, haha! Wait... where are you going?"
After you play the right-most card in your hand, draw a card. She's Dr. Boom's right-hand mage.
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.
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.
|Jan'alai, the Dragonhawk||Legendary||Beast||Mage||7||4||4|
Battlecry: If your Hero Power dealt 8 damage this game, summon Ragnaros the Firelord. You mess with the Bird, you get the Firelord.
|Hex Lord Malacrass||Legendary||General||Mage||8||5||5|
Battlecry: Add a copy of your opening hand to your hand (except this card). Extremely awkward cousin of Hex Lord Malaclass.
Your first spell each turn costs (0).
Battlecry: Discover a spell. He was once the Aspect of Magic but gave it up to focus on cheap tricks.
|Showing all 29 cards|
Uncollectible[edit | edit source]
The following minions are generated by other mage cards, and are uncollectible.
|Name / Desc||Rarity||Subtype||Class||Cost||Atk||HP||Description|
|Showing all 2 cards|
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 and Warlock 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)