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Control Mage deck list guide - December 2017 - Hearthstone

The strongest Control Mage deck list you can field in Season 45.

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About John Bedford

John is Metabomb's Editor in Chief, and is responsible for all of the Hearthstone news, features and guides content on the site.

Our Control Mage deck list guide outlines the best deck for Kobolds and Catacombs. This Control Mage guide also contains 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 Frozen Throne 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 is a little bit of a mid-table affair in the overall roster of competitive decks, it can still be used to climb the ladder. 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 you out!

UPDATE 13/11/2017

We've made quite a few changes to our recommended version of Control Mage for the mid-month stage of the ladder. Please make sure you're running the latest version of the list, and take a moment to run through the combo section too - lots has changed and you'll want to be well prepared before trying to climb with this one.

Control Mage deck list and strategy

This is the most powerful and cost-effective version of Control Mage that we're aware of at this current stage of the Frozen Throne meta. We don't expect any significant changes to this archetype before the next expansion arrives, but will continue keeping an eye on it nevertheless.

MageNeutral
2 x Mana Wyrm2 x Doomsayer
2 x Arcanologist1 x Skulking Geist
2 x Frostbolt1 x Baron Geddon
2 x Primordial Glyph1 x Medivh, the Guardian
2 x Arcane Intellect1 x Alexstrasza
2 x Ice Block
1 x Spellbender
1 x Volcanic Potion
2 x Fireball
2 x Polymorph
2 x Meteor
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: AAECAf0ECNAC7gLFBOwHobcC6boCoM4Cm9MCC03AAbsClQOrBJYFo7YC17YCwcECmMQClscCAA==

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 should also feel free to use powerful removal options like Fireball on comparatively 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, but 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 as quickly as possible, drop the opponent's health, and then burst down their remaining life tally as quickly as you can. To that end you have your Fireball and Firelands Portal cards, not to mention Medivh, the Guardian's bonus minions and the extra late-game control afforded by Frost Lich Jaina's army of Water Elementals!

Although the deck list being used here is 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 precise deck may be different, but the general principles of playing it remain the same.

More great Mage guides:

Control Mage Mulligan guide

Ideally you'll achieve a great tempo start with this deck, and so Mana Wyrm is a prime keep. This can then be empowered with spells such as Primordial Glyph and Frostbolt.

Arcanologist is another fantastic minion to play on Turn 2, as it provides you with a guaranteed three-Mana Secret to play on the subsequent turn.

Let's talk about Doomsayer for a moment though. Although this can be used more meaningfully with freezing effects like Blizzard and Frost Nova later in the game (when you might be facing a bigger board), it's a perfectly valid keep against aggro opponents.

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:

- Mana Wyrm gains one extra point of Attack for each spell you cast while it's out on the board.

- When played, Arcanologist will add either Ice Barrier or Ice Block to your hand, assuming one or both of these options are still left in your deck. Otherwise it will simply come to the board as a vanilla minion with 2 / 3 stats.

- 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.

- 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. so try to feed this with the most expensive spells you can.

- Don't waste your burn damage on the opponent's health pool if you're about to drop their health down with Alexstrasza! It's much better used once their health level has been nudged downwards by this minion.

Remember that the damage done by Baron Geddon will affect both sides of the board and both heroes as well!

- Always plan ahead and think about how you can make a bonus Water Elemental on each turn after you've played Frost Lich Jaina. That might mean damaging one of your own existing Elementals to turn it into a fresh, full-health version of itself! The extra margins you gain through this mechanic will have a dramatic impact on your win-rate.

Comment on this article

  • iVoltage #1 7 months ago
    any replacements of harrison jones?
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #2 6 months ago
    @iVoltage Hey! I'm so sorry for missing this comment, the article must have fallen off the home page quickly around then. If you ever need to buzz me for anything, it's best to use@Bedders so I get a notification.

    As for your question, it's kind of a weird replacement from a Mana curve perspective but Acidic Swamp Ooze will give you the weapon removal effect, although you won't get the extra card(s) provided by Harrison Jones.

    I've added that replacement option to the update section of the guide this month, in case it's a question that occurs to someone else!
    Sign in to reply
  • Cha0yb0rn #3 6 months ago
    This Deck is utter trash in the current meta. Gets crapped on by any priest,druid or shaman deck and only has very limited use against hunter. works vs paladin but thats it. It's way too slow and doesnt have enough control against very aggressive decks (which are meta right now) and the finisher relies purly on the luck of the draw.other tierlist sites don't even bother with this deck in any tier at all. I can't even rise past rank 18 right now while my midrange f2p hunter deck got me to rank 10 last season easily.
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #4 6 months ago
    Hi folks,

    I know some of you want to see the old deck list preserved, so here it is! Keep in mind as well that any comments appearing above this one refer to older versions of the deck.

    Mage

    2 x Mana Wyrm
    2 x Arcanologist
    2 x Frostbolt
    2 x Medivh's Valet
    2 x Primordial Glyph
    2 x Arcane Intellect
    2 x Ice Barrier
    2 x Ice Block
    2 x Volcanic Potion
    2 x Fireball
    1 x Polymorph
    1 x Meteor
    2 x Firelands Portal
    1 x Flamestrike
    1 x Pyroblast

    Neutral

    1 x Eater of Secrets
    1 x Harrison Jones
    1 x Medivh, the Guardian
    1 x Alexstrasza
    Sign in to reply
  • willhocks #5 5 months ago
    Here's what I've been using I've had decent success:

    2 Mana Wyrm
    2 Arcanologist
    2 Frostbolt
    2 Medivh's Valet
    2 Primordial Glyph
    1 Pyros
    2 Arcane Intellect
    1 Ice Barrier
    2 Ice Block
    1 Volcanic Potion
    2 Fireball
    2 Polymorph
    1 Meteor
    1 Skulking Geist
    1 Baron Geddon
    2 Firelands Portal
    1 Flamestrike
    1 Medivh, the Guardian
    1 Sindragosa
    1 Frost Lich Jaina

    It might be a little top heavy but I enjoy the power level because it feels like there's lots of control in the meta right now. I have been underwhelmed with Geist recently as Druid seems to have backed off a lot, it should probably be cut for ooze.

    Any thoughts?
    Sign in to reply
  • willhocks #6 3 months ago
    @willhocks

    This is not control, it’s freeze Mage...

    Here’s my current control list it’s finely tuned and the bomb.com

    2 arcanologist
    1 Bloodmage Thalnos
    1 dirty rat
    2 doomsayer
    2 primordial glyph
    1 Pyros
    2 arcane intellect
    2 frost nova
    2 ice barrier
    1 ice block
    2 volcanic potion
    2 polymorph
    2 blizzard
    1 meteor
    1 skulking geist
    1 Baron Geddon
    1 firelands portal
    1 flamestrike
    1 Medivh, the Guardian
    1 Sindragosa
    1 Jaina, the Frost Lich
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #7 3 months ago
    Hi folks, this is now updated for the mid-November meta. Apologies this one's been gathering dust a bit for a while now. It's been off our radar but we've now got a closer eye on it. Thanks for your patience while we got caught up on things.
    Sign in to reply

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