With Hearthstone being more welcoming to new players than it ever has before now is the perfect time to learn how to effectively use the first hero everybody plays in Hearthstone, the Mage.
This the class you are forced to use in your very first game of Hearthstone due to its immense versatility and strength. Armed with minions, powerful spells and an incredibly useful Hero power the Mage gives players a variety of effective tools and strategies to employ on route to victory.
This guide will introduce you to some of the most powerful cards and strategies that you can use with the Mage to mystify your enemies and secure victories.
The Mage has a very unique Hero power that is incredibly versatile and difficult to counter called Fireblast. It allows the Mage to deal 1 damage to whomever they like without any penalty to their own health. Unlike the Hunter’s Steady Shot which must be used to attack the opponent directly, Fireblast allows Mage’s to finish off minions and is especially useful when combined with the Polymorph spell in later turns, which transforms minions into a 1/1 sheep.
Fireblast can also be used to whittle down opposing minion’s health so that a bigger spell or minion can finish the job. Unlike the many Hero powers that equip weapons, Fireblast can ignore taunts making it very difficult for opponents to deal with. This isn’t a Hero Power you need to use every turn but using it effectively can significantly contribute to establishing and securing the board control necessary for victory.
As the name suggests, Mages heavily rely on the use of powerful spell cards to take down their enemies. Minions are of less importance to this class however they will commonly use elemental minions, as well as minions with additional effects such as card draw and increased spell damage to gain further advantage. Mages are one of the four classes that rarely equip weapons.
The following are a few cards to watch out for when playing the Mage class and you may want to include them in your own Mage decks.
Fireball allows you to send six damage points to whatever is currently standing in your way making it an incredibly versatile tool. It is an incredibly effective tool in the mid game to eliminate opponent’s minions with high health pools or a strong minion hiding behind a taunt. As the game progresses Fireball gains additional versatility in its ability to be sent directly at the enemy hero. This can help you secure the final points of damage you need to win the game in drawn out encounters.
One of the most powerful board control cards in the game, Flamestrike allows Mages to effectively reset the board unless their opponent has minions that have 5 health points or more in play. This card is especially useful against decks that try and overwhelm you with a number of low cost minions in play at all times. For effective usage its best that the opponent has at least four minions in play as that will total 16 damage. This makes it an on-curve play for turn 7 when Flamestrike becomes available.
Although Blizzard doesn’t deal quite as much damage as Flamestrike it works in a very similar manner, and offers some additional synergies with other Mage cards due to surviving minions remaining frozen for the following turn. This makes your opponent unable to use any surviving minions for the next turn, allowing Mages an additional turn to play cards such as Snap Freeze and Ice Lance which have synergies on frozen minions.
The Mage is truly the most versatile Hero in Hearthstone, capable of creating decks that are suited well for both fast and slow match-ups the Mage can be played in whatever way suits your style.
Players who prefer faster games and have a more aggressive style will be drawn to the wildly popular Tempo Mage variant. This uses early minions such as Mana Wyrm, Flamewaker, and Vex Crow in combination with some of the stronger early mage spells such as Frostbolt and Arcane Missiles to quick establish control of the game and make your opponent vulnerable. This allows you to finish them off in the mid and late game with cards such as Fireball and Pyroblast while Aluneth can make sure you always have sufficient cards to outplay your opponent.
On the slower side of things is the legendary Freeze Mage who uses the frustrating frozen effect to delay a game significantly. By also incorporating strong board control such as Flamestrike they are able to outlast their opponents and win a war of calculated attrition. This can become even more powerful when combined with Frost Lich Jana and the elemental synergy it provides. This makes all elemental minions sources of healing and with the hero power swapping out to Icy Touch, any weak minions become new strong minions.
If frustrating and mystifying your opponents sounds appealing the Mage is likely the class for you. With it being so versatile and strong in nearly every meta this is certainly a class you will want to master.