Our Control Mage deck guide features the best deck list for Season 42, with Mulligan advice, strategy tips, card combos and synergies.
Control Mage is a Hearthstone deck archetype that offers a huge amount of flexibility in play. Although you'll often start off matches looking very much like a Tempo Mage, your real purpose is to neutralise the opponent's threats all the way through to the late-game. Here you can drop the opponent's health with Alexstrasza, before dishing out some serious burst damage to close the match out altogether.
In the next of our Un'Goro deck guides, we've got a snapshot of a solid deck list you can use for this archetype right now, as well as Mulligan advice for preparing to face each and every hero. After that we've got a list of all the combos contained in this particular version of the deck. This should give you a clearer picture of how you can best survive into the latter stages of any given game.
Although the deck had an uncertain start, Control Mage has proved to be one of the most powerful new decks in the Un'Goro metagame. We'll continue updating this guide over time to reflect all of the latest developments, but do ask away in the comments if you need any help playing this deck. We'll do our best to help yout out!
FROZEN THRONE UPDATE
The future of Control Mage is far from certain right now, although a version created by Weghuz is seeing some play in the early stages of the Frozen Throne meta. We've chosen to highlight this particular deck for now, although please do keep in mind that much is subject to change and the archetype may experience a fall from grace this time around.
We've also updated our combo advice to match the new deck, added the old version in the comments for those who prefer the previous version, and also highlighted the new Frozen Throne cards that appear in the latest deck.
Our Frozen Throne: Best Decks and Guides hub contains everything you need to get stuck into the new meta!
Control Mage deck list and strategy
We're very uncertain about the fate of Control Mage in the Frozen Throne era, but here's a version created by Weghuz. We've not seen many other versions in circulation, so do let us know in the comments if you've come across anything better!
|2 x Arcanologist||2 x Doomsayer|
|2 x Frostbolt||1 x Medivh, the Guardian|
|2 x Medivh's Valet||1 x The Lich King|
|2 x Primordial Glyph||1 x Alexstrasza|
|1 x Pyros|
|2 x Arcane Intellect|
|2 x Counterspell|
|2 x Frost Nova|
|2 x Ice Block|
|2 x Fireball|
|2 x Ghastly Conjurer|
|2 x Firelands Portal|
|1 x Flamestrike|
|1 x Frost Lich Jaina|
Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.
Deck Import ID: AAECAf0EBsUE7AehtwLKwQLCzgKb0wIMcYoBwAG7AqsEywSWBaO2Ate2AsHBApjEAt7NAgA=
Playing Control Mage requires you to maintain a flexible outlook on the shape of the game and the best tools to pick from your various Discover effects. For that reason it can be hard to give very broad strategy advice, although we'll give some basic tips for dealing with both aggro and control opponents.
Against aggro decks, it's important that you contest the board in any way you can, and get any kind of minion presence out in play - even if that means playing the likes of Medivh's Valet without an active Secret. You can also use your powerful removal options like Fireball on rather weak targets, if they've the potential to get out of control over time.
In slower match-ups you can afford to use your removal effects more efficiently, and also take more expensive Discover options. These will not only provide you with bigger plays in their own right, they'll also ensure that the weapon granted by Medivh, the Guardian spits much more meaningful minions out onto the board.
In all cases what you're really hoping to do is bring Alexstrasza into play asap, drop the opponent's health, and then burst down their remaining life tally as quickly as you can. How has the Frozen Throne shaken things up though? Well, here's a quick look at the new cards that feature in our early version of this deck:
Ghastly Conjurer - Stalling the game out is the name of the game here, and this character will help you put up a defensive wall - meagre though those defenses are.
Frost Lich Jaina - The Mage's signature Death Knight card for the new expansion summons a Water Elemental onto the board when played, and gives all Elemental cards Lifesteal from there on out. Not only that, you get a new hero power called Icy Touch which deals one damage and summons another Water Elemental if that damage kills its target.
The Lich King - This very popular Legendary card (which should be top of your crafting list) rewards you with a random Death Knight card at the end of each of your turns. Check the combo section at the bottom of this guide for details of what you might get.
Although the deck list being used is somewhat different to the one we're highlighting this month, we recommend watching this video of StrifeCro if you want to gain a deeper understanding of how to pilot Control Mage. The deck is different, but the general principles of playing it remain the same.
More great Mage guides:
- 1. Secret Tempo Mage - Secret Tempo Mage deck list guide
- 2. Freeze Mage - Freeze Mage deck list guide
- 3. Exodia Quest Mage - Exodia Quest Mage deck list guide
- 4. Control Mage - Control Mage deck list guide
- 5. Elemental Mage - Elemental Mage deck list guide
- 6. Top Standard decks - Top Hearthstone decks
- 7. Tier List - Deck Tier List
Control Mage Mulligan guide
We've stripped out our hero by hero Mulligan advice here, as we simply don't know what you're going to be facing this early on in the Frozen Throne meta. We'll add it back in once we know how things are shaping up.
We imagine that much of the early-game advice remains the same, however. Doomsayer provides you with what should be a guaranteed clear against aggro decks, while spells like Frostbolt and Primordial Glyph are always useful.
Other solid minion keeps include Pyros - whose value speaks for itself really - Arcanologist and Medivh's Valet.
Check back soon for more updates on how to handle those crucial early picks.
Control Mage tips, combos and synergies
Here are the most important combos to keep in mind when you're playing Control Mage. We've added a few extra details here to reflect the changes introduced with Knights of the Frozen Throne:
- Playing Medivh, the Guardian adds a 1/3 weapon called Atiesh to your hand. If you cast a spell while this weapon is equipped, a minion of the same cost will be put into play for free. This removes one of the three points of Durability from the weapon though.
- When played, Arcanologist will add either Ice Barrier or Ice Block to your hand, if one or both options are still remaining in your deck.
- Try to get the extra Battlecry value of Medivh's Valet whenever you can. Those extra three points of damage can really change the tide of a match.
- Don't waste your burn damage on the opponent's health pool if you're about to drop their health down with Alexstrasza!
- Combining Frost Nova with Doomsayer can be particularly useful later on in the game, when it's more likely your opponent will be able to deal with the minion if it's played by itself.
- Note that Frost Lich Jaina will grant the Lifesteal ability to all Elemental cards played afterwards. That has an obvious synergy with Pyros who will only - hopefully - grow more powerful over time.
- The Lich King will grant you a randomly selected Death Knight card at the end of your turn. There are eight in total, and you can view the details of each one below:
|2||Death Coil||Deal 5 damage to an enemy, or restore 5 Health to a friendly character.|
|2||Death Grip||Steal a minion from your opponent's deck and add it to your hand.|
|2||Obliterate||Destroy a minion. Your hero takes damage equal to its Health.|
|3||Death and Decay||Deal 3 damage to all enemies.|
|4||Anti-Magic Shell||Give your minions +2 / +2 and “Can't be targeted by spells or Hero Powers.”|
|5||Doom Pact||Destroy all minions. Remove the top card from your deck for each minion destroyed.|
|6||Army of the Dead||Remove the top 5 cards of your deck. Summony any minions removed.|
|7||Frostmourne||Deathrattle: Summon every minion killed by this [5 / 3] weapon.|