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!
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.
|2 x Mana Wyrm||2 x Doomsayer|
|2 x Arcanologist||1 x Skulking Geist|
|2 x Frostbolt||1 x Baron Geddon|
|2 x Primordial Glyph||1 x Medivh, the Guardian|
|2 x Arcane Intellect||1 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.