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.
- 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.
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
Strategy and gameplay
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
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 or Mana Cyclone. 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, a barrage of arcane missiles, 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 late game Elementals can overwhelm the opponent, whether it's using Frost Lich Jaina to create an army of lifestealing elementals with her Icy Touch, or crashing down Animated Avalanches upon their opponent.
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.
|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.
Sidequest: Spend 8 Mana on spells. Reward: Summon a 6/6 Dragon. Upon taking up the spellbook, Reno realized with a start: "I can't read."
Discover a Spell Damage minion. Your next one costs (1) less. A long forgotten tome whose very essence seeps of magic. 40 dust, used.
|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.
|Tome of Intellect||Common||Mage||1|
Add a random Mage spell to your hand. Just a compilation of napkins of intellect.
Draw a Secret from your deck. It costs (0). I'm not saying it was aliens, but it was TOTALLY aliens!
Reduce the Cost of spells in your deck by (1). "Gettin' them discounts in bulk amounts, spells can come, and spells can go, castin' costs drop with my sweet, sweet flow."
Secret: After a minion attacks your hero, deal 3 damage to all enemy minions. Not to be confused with the burn ward.
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.
Secret: After your opponent casts a spell, summon a random 4-Cost minion. More aromatic than a regular portal.
|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 to a minion. If you're holding a Dragon, Discover a spell. One of many side effects from eating mana cookies.
Freeze a minion.
Combo: Also deal 3 damage to it. "The professor called on me, and I totally froze!"
Sidequest: Play an Elemental 2 turns in a row.
Reward: Draw 3 spells from your deck. Reno’s lucky he wasn’t caught by a fire elemental.
|Font of Power||Rare||Mage||1|
Discover a Mage minion. If your deck has no minions, keep all 3. It's Comic Sans.
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!
Draw 1 card (improved by Spell Damage). The font of the arcane gives nearly limitless access to power and energy! But it can't keep you awake, for that we still use coffee.
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.
Destroy a minion. Summon 2 minions of the same Cost to replace it. If only you'd let it go to voicemail...
Deal 2 damage to all enemy minions and Freeze them. This spell can be very Entertaining.
Freeze an enemy. Summon two 3/6 Water Elementals. "Dancing with the Satyrs… on Ice!"
Shoot three missiles at random enemy minions that transform them into ones that cost (1) less. Most intermural spell-dueling contests end with a field of wisps.
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.
Deal 4 damage to a minion. Any excess damages both neighbors. Sally is friends with three Silverhand Recruits conveniently standing in a line. After casting this spell, how many friends does she have left? (Show your work.)
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.
|Potion of Illusion||Epic||4|
Add 1/1 copies of your minions to your hand. They cost (1). Unfortunately, there's no potion that can make you unsee all the faces in that bottle.
Deal 5 damage. If your deck has no minions, summon a random 5-Cost minion. Lonely mages can still have a blast!
Deal 8 damage to a minion. Any excess damage continues to the left or right. Why don't they ever run perpendicular?
|Power of Creation||Epic||Mage||8|
Discover a 6-Cost minion. Summon two copies of it. Mostly used for party tricks, to be honest.
|Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron||Epic||Mage||10|
Cast 10 random spells
(targets chosen randomly). "PUT THE BOX DOWN, RENO!"
Deal 10 damage. Take the time for an evil laugh after you draw this card.
Fill your hand with random Mage spells. At the end of your turn, discard them. You too could be the winner of the national spelling spree!
|Raid the Sky Temple||Legendary||Mage||1|
Quest: Cast 10 spells.
Reward: Ascendant Scroll. "Why can't I hold all these scrolls?"
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The following spells are generated by other mage cards or effects, and are uncollectible.
|Name / Desc||Rarity||Class||Cost||Description|
Deal 3 damage to a character and Freeze it.
Deal 6 damage randomly split among all enemies.
Freeze all enemy minions.
Transform a minion into a 1/1 Sheep.
Add 3 random Mage spells to your hand.
Deal 2 damage to all enemy minions.
Draw 4 cards.
Deal 8 damage.
Deal 8 damage to all enemy minions.
|Ray of Frost||Common||Mage||1|
Freeze a minion. If it's already Frozen, deal 2 damage to it.
Destroy a minion. Summon 2 minions of the same Cost to replace it.
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|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.
Spell Damage +1 "Professor, a gnome burned my homework!"
Deathrattle: Add an 'Arcane Missiles' spell to your hand. A bird in the hand is worth three missiles in the grave.
Combo: Discover a Mage spell. "What’re ya buyin’?”
|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!"
Deathrattle: Draw a spell. Often grieves with the Starsweeper.
Your Hero Power deals 2 extra damage. Not on good terms with warlocks.
Spellburst: Deal 4 damage randomly split among all enemy minions. Too cool for school, too hot for thought.
Battlecry: Discover a Mage minion. You can make a collect CAW!
Spell Damage +2 Battlecry: Discover a Dragon. Has an appetite for knowledge!
Battlecry: If you control a Secret, deal 6 damage. "In West Cloudidelphia, born and raised; flinging lightning for the rest of my days."
Battlecry: If you played an Elemental last turn, summon a copy of this. Always sliding down mountains because it can't stop talking with its hands.
After you play a Secret, deal 2 damage to all enemy minions. Ancient pandaren proverb: He who is without secrets lacks flak.
At the end of your turn, cast a random spell that costs (3) or less. It knows how to sit still and do tricks. Still working on rolling over, though.
After you cast a spell, add a random Mage minion to your hand. Come for the magic show, stay for the sand castles.
Dormant for 2 turns. When this awakens, deal 2 damage to all enemy minions. Currently serving two turns on charges of aggravated minion slaughter.
|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.
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!
|Naga Sand Witch||Rare||General||Mage||5||5||5|
Battlecry: Change the Cost of spells in your hand to (5). 5 mana footlong, anyone?
Spellburst: Summon two 1/3 Mana Wyrms. Studied basket weaving as an undergrad.
Battlecry: If you're holding a Dragon, your next spell this turn costs (0). It’s challenging to perform magic on dragonback. It’s so easy to drop the rabbit.
After you play a Secret, Discover a spell. "S-secrets? I don't have any! Whoa, look, a spell!"
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.
Costs (1) less for each card you've played this game that didn't start in your deck. Spell more and save more with a GIANT discount!
Battlecry: Discover a copy of a spell in your deck and cast it with random targets. A tortollan made it to the desert!
Spell Damage +1
Deathrattle: Shuffle 'Solarian Prime' into your deck. Loyal to Kael'thas Sunstrider, this blood elf mage sought arcane power in the Void. Did she find it... or did IT find her?
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 cast three spells in a turn, summon a 5/5 Elemental. Like the Dragon Soul. If dragons had souls of ice.
Battlecry: Summon two random 5-Cost minions. Secretly pick one that dies when it takes damage. Her parents own Scholomance. Of course she's going to play tricks on the students!
|Malygos, Aspect of Magic||Legendary||Dragon||Mage||5||2||8|
Battlecry: If you're holding a Dragon, Discover an upgraded Mage spell. It's official. We can say Malygeese.
|Mozaki, Master Duelist||Legendary||General||Mage||5||3||8|
After you cast a spell, gain Spell damage +1. Treats her students like her peers, which means defeating them in one-sided duels all day long.
At the end of your turn, deal 1 damage to all enemies (improved by Spell Damage). Always the favorite of Headmaster Kel'Thuzad, Ras nonetheless received a chilly reception from the other faculty.
|Reno the Relicologist||Legendary||General||Mage||6||4||6|
Battlecry: If your deck has no duplicates, deal 10 damage randomly split among all enemy minions. All his life, Reno Jackson was only a gatling wand away from becoming the greatest and most terrifying mage who ever existed.
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.
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.
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The following minions are generated by other mage cards, and are uncollectible.
|Name / Desc||Rarity||Subtype||Class||Cost||Atk||HP||Description|
Spell Damage +1
Battlecry: Cast 5 random Mage spells (targets enemies if possible).
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See Hero card.
|Name / Desc||Rarity||Type||Subtype||Class||Cost||Atk||HP||Description|
|The Amazing Reno||Legendary||Hero card||Mage||10|
Battlecry: Make all minions disappear. *Poof!* "Reno!"
"Please address me by my proper title."
"<sigh> Amazing Reno..."
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All mages start with the following class cards.
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.
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.
- 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.