- Highlander Mage
When the quest for Mages was initially revealed, I wasn't too excited. I thought the design of the quest and hero power weren't very creative and when compared to the first mage quest we got back in Un'Goro, Open the Waygate, it was underwhelming. Cards shouldn't be seen in a vacuum though, Hearthstone is a living thing and there is some serious Untapped Potential waiting out there for us.
The deck I've chosen to spotlight with the new quest comes in a Highlander format. This gives us access to two great new cards that will help clear the board (Reno the Relicologist) and grant us perfection (Zephrys the Great). This deck is quite slow to build up to fun times, so anything cheap that is going to help us keep us alive is more than wonderful.
Stay alive, play your spells, and have fun. We've got many ways to close out games which gives us different late-game strategies.
- Get awesome spells through the RNG of Ascendant Scroll and cast that Pyroblast for free thanks to Kalecgos.
- Obtain the perfect card from our best bud, Zephrys.
- Pray to our lord and savior and his Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron.
- Chain cast Fireball with Archmage Antonidas.
Already, you're seeing this is going to be fun!
How to Raid the Sky Temple
This isn't rocket science, though rockets were certainly involved in getting to Uldum.
All we need to do is play 10 spells, of which our deck has 16. We also have ways to generate additional spells and even cheat out spells of our own, potentially doubling up on quest completion progression on a single turn. Card draw is also very important in navigating our deck as highlander decks aren't the most consistent and we want to get to the goodies fast.
- Magic Trick
- Mana Cyclone - Great card considering mid-game we can play a few spells and get a few spells back.
- Golden Scarab - Not at all consistent but there is potential for spells, or even Vex Crow which can give us some great value.
- Archmage Antonidas - Absolutely amazing 1-cost drop though if you can pop out Luna's Pocket Galaxy. If not, Tony can help us out with late-game completion of the quest if everything else didn't go our way.
Spell Cost Cheating
- Ancient Mysteries - Playing a secret for 2 mana and getting 2 points of progression? YES!
- Kalecgos - Luna's Pocket Galaxy coming in clutch again for some large drops in the mid-game.
- Ancient Mysteries - Worth mentioning again. Seriously, this card is amazing.
- Questing Explorer - So good that I crafted them golden.
- Arcane Intellect
Before you enter your game, pray you get to go second. Since The Coin counts as a spell, it gives us 10% completion on our quest for doing nothing special. Game mechanics, thank you!
Now that's a starting hand!
- Questing Explorer - The key to remember here is that this card will no longer have a Battlecry effect once the quest is completed. Though with that said, we don't need to rely on its card draw once the quest is complete since we can let RNG take the wheel. Definitely my favourite turn 2 play and it should be yours too!
- Ancient Mysteries - Another part of our draw engine but also a way to ramp up our 10 spells needed to obtain our new hero power.
- Magic Trick - This card helps us obtain more cheap spells and since its a Discover, it gives us some flexibility in what kind of tool we want to pick up for it. If we're fighting something more aggressive, we're going to want to go with a control option whereas fighting anyone else, we can try and be greedy by picking another spell with spell generation or card draw.
- Arcane Intellect - A great play for early on. Arcane Intellect has always been a staple of filling Mages hands, it just happens to be even better in this deck because we've got our quest to activate.
- Messenger Raven - But Reno, this isn't a spell! The card may not contribute to our quest completion, but it has a chance to deliver some great spell synergy. Great targets from include Sorcerer's Apprentice, Mana Cyclone, or some of our Mage legendary friends that already reside in our deck.
- Luna's Pocket Galaxy - At this point we're ending the list of Mulligans. Pocket Galaxy is definitely good and I'd keep it in your opening hand, but everything else above is going to be stronger and get us to where we want to go with better consistency. Pocket Galaxy just makes for some crazy fun, like getting an Archmage Antonidas out for 1 mana and having tons of mana to chain cast cheap spells for those sweet Fireball, or Kalecgos and just getting to immediately fire off a large spell for nothing.
Lets take a look at decks we're not doing too hot with. This is pretty much any form of aggro.
- Aggro Hunter - Unfortunately, Hunters are quite aggressive right now which leads us to having trouble early on. Although it is possible to stabilize through cards like Flamestrike, Flame Ward, and our new love Zephrys the Great, drawing any one card in a Highlander setup isn't fun. It is the hardest matchup I've encountered with the deck and I believe we're at mercy with RNG when it comes to this class.
- Quest Rogue - Rogues are able to quickly establish board presence and through their generation of random spells from other classes, are quite unpredictable. Imagine this fun scenario: You've cleared the board, you've got them down to a dozen health with combos in hand to destroy them next turn, and then our Rogue buddy heals up with Omega Medic. Oof. Your best bet is to mulligan for cards that generate more spells or let you play them and if you have Conjurer's Calling, save it because it can be a great way to get rid of a buffed up Edwin VanCleef if Polymorph is not an option. We're going to take early damage, its going to be unavoidable.
- Murloc Paladin - There is almost nothing more terrifying than a bunch of screaming fish. Murloc Paladin received Tip the Scales which allows them to vomit their hand onto the field early on, like normal, but instead of having an end-game that may suck for them because they run out of steam, they just flood the entire board, and thin it out, to draw some of their non-Murloc brothers - Leeroy Jenkins & Chef Nomi. Prismatic Lens played on 4 will be the bane of your existence when they play Tip the Scales for 1 since Murmy exchanged costs with it. The deck is so brutal and consistent. Also, you should be expecting Paladin's two great Highlander tools even though they're playing with 2 copies of everything in the deck. The cards are last ditch efforts to have a proper late game with Murlocadin - and it works. I have no advice to give, I've yet to win a match against Murloc Paladin with the deck. If you are seeing a lot of Murlocadin around your rank, maybe try a different deck out for now.
I have no specific advice for the good matchups, just follow the rest of the guide and Reno will take us for a wild standard ride on the ladder through his potential board clear or that sweet scroll he found while raiding ancient tombs. I will say though I believe the deck is some of the most fun I've had with Mage due to the crazy amount of RNG that is baked into it while having consistency in board clears and direct damage through fan favourite Archmage Antonidas. Mage feels like it is in a really good spot right now.
Vote On This Deck!
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- 1 Magic Trick x 1
- 1 Raid the Sky Temple x 1
- 1 Ray of Frost x 1
- 2 Ancient Mysteries x 1
- 2 Frostbolt x 1
- 2 Mana Cyclone x 1
- 3 Arcane Intellect x 1
- 3 Conjurer's Calling x 1
- 3 Counterspell x 1
- 3 Flame Ward x 1
- 3 Ice Barrier x 1
- 3 Messenger Raven x 1
- 4 Arcane Keysmith x 1
- 4 Polymorph x 1
- 6 Blizzard x 1
- 6 Reno the Relicologist x 1
- 7 Archmage Antonidas x 1
- 7 Flamestrike x 1
- 7 Luna's Pocket Galaxy x 1
- 8 Power of Creation x 1
- 8 Tortollan Pilgrim x 1
- 9 Kalecgos x 1
- 10 Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron x 1