Our Control Mage deck list guide features the best deck list for Season 66 of Saviors of Uldum (September 2019). Our Control Mage guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.
Control Mage is a Hearthstone deck that has played an important part in the meta all the way back to the very earliest days of the game's beta period. Over the years, though, the list has lost a whole lot of its strongest cards. With the release of Saviors of Uldum, however, we’ve seen Control Mage surge up the power rankings once again. Important control tools like Tortollan Pilgrim and Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron have been added, as well as some survivability with the likes of Bone Wraith.
Even though it looks very different compared to its original incarnation, the way it’s played is still very much the same as it has always been. It’s a fiddly deck if you haven’t played anything similar before, but it can be very rewarding once you’ve acclimatised to the levels of patience required to pilot this deck effectively. You need a little bit of nerve to ride things into the long game as well, where your strengths lie in abundance.
The rise of Freeze Mage in the previous expansion was impressive, but an influx of more cards that benefit Control Mage has seen this archetype usurp its frosty ancestor. Currently boasting a high tier win rate, you’ll be climbing the ladder in no time if you master this deck’s delicate balance of control and momentum.
Mage as a class got a hammering from Blizzard, with two of their strongest cards receiving nerfs: Luna's Pocket Galaxy and Conjurer's Calling. Even so, you can see success with this Control Mage deck list if you play your cards right, and we've updated the guide below to help you out!
Control Mage deck list and strategy
Below is the Control Mage deck list seeing the most play early in the Saviors of Uldum expansion cycle. Check back for updates, we’ll keep an eye out for any changes!
|2 x Ray of Frost||2 x Doomsayer|
|1 x Khadgar||1 x SN1P-SN4P|
|2 x Arcane Intellect||2 x Bone Wraith|
|2 x Frost Nova||1 x Zilliax|
|2 x Arcane Keysmith||1 x Khartut Defender|
|2 x Conjurer's Calling||1 x Alexstrasza|
|2 x Blizzard||1 x King Phaoris|
|1 x Luna's Pocket Galaxy|
|2 x Power of Creation|
|2 x Tortollan Pilgrim|
|1 x Kalecgos|
|2 x Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron|
Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.
Deck Import ID: AAECAf0ECMUExvgCoIADlpoDip4D2KADoaEDn7cDC4oByQOrBMsEvuwCg5YDn5sDoJsDwqEDi6QD8qUDAA==
- 1. Saviors of Uldum - Hearthstone: Saviors of Uldum guide
- 2. Tier List - Hearthstone: Tier List (Saviors of Uldum)
- 3. Dragon Mage - Dragon Mage deck list guide (Saviors of Uldum)
- 4. Spell Mage - Spell Mage deck list guide (Saviors of Uldum)
- 5. Freeze Mage - Freeze Mage deck list guide (Saviors of Uldum)
- 6. Highlander Mage - Highlander Mage deck list guide (Saviors of Uldum)
- 7. Control Mage - Control Mage deck list guide (Saviors of Uldum)
- 8. Phaoris Mage - Phaoris Mage deck list guide (Saviors of Uldum)
- 9. Big Spell Mage - Big Spell Mage deck list guide (Saviors of Uldum)
- 10. Quest Mage - Quest Mage deck list guide (Saviors of Uldum)
As a Control Mage your game plan is all about stalling out your opponent and drawing cards until your win conditions eventually show up. Freeze effects are here too, offering a quick, if temporary, way out of a jam. You’ll want to use them wisely as once they’re gone there’s not much in between Jaina’s face and a horde of enemy minions.
Your goal is to stall as much as possible until your big plays come in, and continue to wipe out any foothold your opponent gets in the game. If they run out of resources before you, then you’ve won. There’s also the potential to sneak a victory if you end up with a bit of board presence - dropping Alexstrasza immediately puts the opponent’s health at 15, sometimes allowing for a swift lethal.
Early game: Stall, stall, stall. An early Doomsayer can be phenomenal against aggro. Even putting your Doomsayer on an empty board can be a huge boon, as it stops your opponent playing anything at all due to their inevitable destruction. On top of this, you’ll usually want to try to draw some cards with Arcane Intellect and play out minions and spells to help you survive, such as SN1P-SN4P for a bit of board presence or Bone Wraith for an annoying, sticky Taunt.
Mid game:Blizzards and Khartut Defenders are sound mid game plays to slow your opponent down. Frost Nova + Doomsayer gives you a board clear provided your opponent can’t deal with it from hand, and Zilliax is the perfect mid-game wall. If you can, play Luna's Pocket Galaxy as early as possible too. 5 mana is tough to spare, so if your back is against the wall then it’s better to make plays to stay alive, but if you can play the spell while your deck is full of minions, you’ll thank your past self for the plays you’ve made possible.
Late game: When you’ve regained composure and stabilised, you can start getting more aggressive. Alexstrasza can cut your opponent’s health to just 15, potentially offering an imminent lethal unless they can deal with it. King Phaoris is an immediate way to fill your own board with random stuff, although you should be careful as without any reductions, a 10 mana play can be too much of a risk if your opponent still has a full board. Still though, ‘king goat-face’ can be a win condition on his own, especially if you have a couple of Puzzle Boxes of Yogg-Saron and Blizzards in hand.
Speaking of Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron, it’s a phenomenal final gambit at this point in the game. Does your opponent has lethal damage on board? You might RNG into a Twisting Nether. You might even get that little bit of extra damage you need to finish the enemy. Similarly though, casting 10 random spells with random targets is a risk you’ll need to calculate, and this card is often not required if you’re in a dominant position.
Here are some important tips to help you best aggro decks:
- 1. You’ll want to be reactive against aggro decks in the early game.
- 2. In the later game, you’ll want to get ready to finish them off. You have Freeze effects like Frost Nova, which could allow you to push face damage to end the game without worrying about their board.
- 3. Early Doomsayers can win you whole games, blocking opponents from developing their board or at a minimum redirecting 7 damage away from your face. It’s a great late game card too though.
- 4. In emergency situations, you have Frost Nova in the early game, which can give you time to respond with something more concrete. Blizzard can actually damage their minions, and the Taunts in your deck, particularly ones with Reborn like Khartut Defender and Bone Wraith, can really frustrate.
These tips will ensure you find a win against other control decks:
- 1. Freezing enemy minions can be a great alternative to removal, but be careful against other Mages - Conjurer's Calling can be your undoing.
- 2. Alexstrasza puts a Hero’s health on 15, which against most control decks equates to chopping their life total in half.
- 3. You should be under less pressure early on in the game, so playing Luna's Pocket Galaxy and Arcane Intellect as early as possible can set you up excellently for later.
- 4. Tortollan Pilgrim gives you an extra cast of a spell from your deck. In certain situations this can be used to gain an on-board advantage by casting Conjurer's Calling, or even Luna's Pocket Galaxy if you hadn’t drawn it yet. Of course, you’ll also have the option for a free Blizzard of Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron if needed.
Control Mage Mulligan guide
The opening hand you’ll often be after:
- 1. Doomsayer: We’ve said this already, but what a stall this guy is.
- 2. Arcane Intellect: Getting your deck cycling in the early game is hugely important, especially if you’re not getting aggro’d down.
- 3. Bone Wraith: at 4 mana, this Taunt minion with the Reborn ability is annoying and sticky, perfect to answer wide aggro boards that develop early. You’ll be able to buy some time before your stronger plays in the future.
- 4. Luna's Pocket Galaxy: This card was too strong. Nerfed back to its old cost of 7 mana, it turns out it’s still playable, and still a phenomenal play if you can get away with playing it early.
Control Mage tips, combos and synergies
Control Mage has a fair bit to think about. Here’s what should be on your mind:
- Ray of Frost’s Twinspell allows you to choose two enemy minions to Freeze, but can also deal 2 damage to an already Frozen minion.
- Doomsayer can be used with your freeze effects to set up a nice board clear, but if your opponent can kill him from hand or silence the minion, you’re out of luck.
- Try getting Luna's Pocket Galaxy cast as quickly as possible! 1 mana versions of so much of your deck are extremely valuable, from Alexstrasza’s up to 15 damage to King Phaoris’ big boards of minions.
- Arcane Keysmith is hard for your opponent to play around, as it’s harder to guess what you played than if you simply played a Secret on its own. Use this to your advantage and confuse your opponent into making a bad play.
- Khartut Defender heals you for 3 upon death, but its Reborn ability means you’ll benefit from this effect twice.
- Using Alexstrasza can set up your opponent for a very quick kill as it’ll drop their Health down to just 15. Follow that up with some minion damage for some surprise wins.
- There are lots of expensive spells in this deck, which makes Kalecgos a very handy play. From Power of Creation to Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron, the value is extreme, especially if Kalecgos survives!
Control Mage card choices and substitutions
There are a number of cards vital to the success of Control Mage. We’ve listed them for you below:
- Ray of Frost: Twinspell makes this more valuable than it appears, as it can keep your enemy stagnant over multiple minions or turns.
- Doomsayer: Again, this card is integral to keeping your opponent from running away with the game early on.
- Arcane Intellect: You need card draw to keep your resources replenished, so here you go.
- Frost Nova: Stops enemy minions from thumping you in the face for just 3 mana. Sounds like a bargain.
- Luna's Pocket Galaxy: Can solo win games on its own if you hit some big minions. Don’t miss a chance to cast this if you can afford to pass a turn. Unfortunately far less powerful with its big buff reversed, but this card remains a strong setup for your late game.
- Zilliax: This thing is in most decks in the game because it’s a really good card. Survivability with Lifesteal and Taunt, immediate impact with Rush, and stickiness with Divine Shield, Zilliax has it all.
- Blizzard: Wide boards of small minions can be killed off, and the ones that can’t be are Frozen solid for a turn.
- Power of Creation: Can summon a pair of tough minions so you have a way to contest the board, or four if combined with Khadgar.
- Alexstrasza: Cuts the opponent’s health to 15, putting them in a precarious position. Also, can increase your health to 15 in a pinch.
- Kalecgos: A big fella at 12 health, this minion is hard to remove and offers an ongoing and powerful advantage to you in reducing the first spell you cast each turn to 0 mana.
- Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron: Will often clear the enemy board and build you one of your own. Alternatively, it could backfire massively, but either way this hail mary play will be important for many of your matches.