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Dragon Mage deck list guide - Rise of Shadows - Hearthstone (July 2019)

Our massive guide to playing Dragon Mage in Rise of Shadows.

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

Our Dragon Mage deck list guide features the best Rise of Shadows deck list for Season 64 of Hearthstone (July 2019). Our Dragon Mage guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.

Dragon Mage is a Hearthstone deck that contains a den-full of roaring fire-breathers all hell-bent on leaving your opponent as a pile of ash. It combines these large and powerful Dragon minions with some of the high value Summon effects that are available to the Mage class in order to generate an imposing and impenetrable board presence.

As you might expect with a deck full of very expensive minions, it can take a while until you bring them onto the board. However, if you keep control in the early game you’ll be able to unleash some massive minions in the latter stages that can devastate your opponent. This danger is emphasised further by many of the Summon effects included in the list, that can bring out even more giant creatures for your foes to worry about!

In this latest version of our Dragon Mage guide, you’ll find the deck list that has taken this archetype to the higher tiers of competitive play in the new Rise of Shadows meta. Further on, we also have more detailed strategy tips, with advice on how to play the deck to its fullest. There’s also a Mulligan guide, plus a closer look at the cards and combos that make the deck so strong.

UPDATE - JULY 2019 #1

No change for Dragon Mage as we enter the July competitive season. It's a bit of a mid-tier deck right now, but still a strong way to climb the ladder if the archetype really resonates with you. We'll have another update for the list as we reach the halfway point of Season 64.

Dragon Mage deck list and strategy

Here is the version of Dragon Mage that’s seeing the most competitive play right now. While players appear to have settled on this list we’ll be sure to return with any updates if they are needed.

1 x Khadgar2 x Firetree Witchdoctor
2 x Book of Specters1 x Acidic Swamp Ooze
2 x Conjurer's Calling2 x Sunfury Protector
2 x Messenger Raven2 x Voodoo Doll
1 x Arcane Keysmith1 x Acolyte of Pain
2 x Astromancer2 x Twilight Drake
1 x Power of Creation1 x Scaleworm
1 x Kalecgos1 x Dragonmaw Scorcher
1 x Harrison Jones
1 x Zilliax
1 x Mossy Horror
1 x Alexstrasza
2 x Mountain Giant

Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.

Deck Import ID: AAECAf0EDMUEigeQB/sMvuwCy+wCifECoIAD7IkDlpoDoJsDip4DCfsG4QeNCM7vArfxAsP4AuiJA+eVA4OWAwA=

More great Mage guides:

General strategy

Although this deck exists under the name Dragon Mage, the use of Dragon minions in this deck is only a small part of what makes it tick. Instead, they work in tandem with a number of powerful cards from the Rise of Shadows set - many of which are focused on summoning additional creatures.

The standout card in this regard is the new Mage legendary, Khadgar. This minion offers a vast amount of potential as it doubles the number of minions spawned by cards with Summon effects, allowing you to pair it with the likes of Power of Creation and Conjurer’s Calling to see a lot of extra value from those cards.

Altogether, it can be a rather greedy and very risky deck, but the potential rewards can be soul-crushing for your opponent.

Early game:

As you are at your weakest during the early stages of the game, try your best to maintain control and contest for the board using your early drops and hero power. If you have a Mountain Giant or a Twilight Drake in hand, you’ll want to avoid using many cards during this phase of the match, so you can either drop one early or give it a big Health buff. Even if you do very little in the opening turns, these big creatures can start to swing the game back in your favour when they’re slammed down.

Mid game:

Now you can begin to assert yourself even more in the game. Scaleworm and Zilliax are both ways for you to catch up should you be facing a tough board - the Rush keyword typically allowing you to clear off at least one minion immediately.

Now might also be a good time to pull the trigger on your Khadgar combo. If you’re looking at a rather unhealthy Mountain Giant, for example, you can play Khadgar alongside Conjurer’s Calling in order to get two fully healed giants to play with.

Late game:

The game plan is much the same as Dragon Mage enter the final stages of a match. You have more ways to execute a big tempo turn with Khadgar and Power of Creation, while Astromancer can also be a strong choice if your hand size is still healthy. If that’s not enough, you have Kalecgos on hand too as a big late game threat that can also hand you a powerful spell to use for free. Essentially, keep slamming down large minions and, eventually, your opponent should run out of answers for them all!

Aggro opponents

Here are a few tips to help you best any aggro decks you may come up against on the ranked ladder:

  • 1. They have the power to race you down quickly so do everything you can in the early game to stall their aggression.
  • 2. If you manage to get a big Twilight Drake or Mountain Giant down early you should be able to get a foothold in the game from there.
  • 3. With your spell discovery effects, look for some of the many board clears available to Mage that can help you fend off their aggressive plays.
  • 4. Don’t be afraid to drop an Acidic Swamp Ooze on curve just to get a minion on the board, unless you know the deck you’re facing has powerful weapons to come.

Control opponents

Keep these words of advice in mind when you come up against control decks:

  • 1. As both decks will be slow to get started you should have more time to draw cards and set up for the latter stages of the match.
  • 2. As this deck has no hard removal, you’ll either want to try to take the initiative to get on the board first so you can dictate trades, or look for spells like Polymorph from your Discover effects.
  • 3. Anticipate when board clears might be coming. There’s no use going for a big Khadgar play straight away if there’s a decent chance your opponent has a card like Brawl waiting in hand. Bait it out first!
  • 4. With all of the weapons included in control decks, be sure to save Acidic Swamp Ooze and Harrison Jones for those cards.

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Dragon Mage Mulligan guide

Look for these cards during the Mulligan phase in order to make the best start with Dragon Mage:

  • 1. Book of Specters: Considering this deck runs almost no spells you should be able to get some terrific value from this, and it’ll help set up an early Mountain Giant or beefy Twilight Drake.
  • 2. Mountain Giant: If you can hold off on playing cards in the opening turns you can drop this very early and start threatening your opponent’s life total.
  • 3. Firetree Witchdoctor: You have an excellent chance of holding a Dragon while playing this minion in the early game.
  • 4. Messenger Raven: An OK minion that makes up for its poor stats with a decent Battlecry effect.
  • 5. Twilight Drake: As you’ll likely have more cards in your hand in the early stages of the game, holding onto this and playing it early is the best way to get the most value from it.

Dragon Mage tips, combos and synergies

There are a handful of very powerful combos in Dragon Mage that are key to making the deck effective. We’ve listed the most important ones below:

- Khadgar is undoubtedly the most significant card in this deck. At just two mana, you should save him to be played alongside Conjurer’s Calling, Power of Creation or Astromancer to get the most value out of those cards.

- This deck is full of expensive Dragon minions that have powerful Battlecry effects but fairly weak stats. Once you’ve used them for their grand entrance, remove them with Conjurer’s Calling to summon same cost minions in their place that may offer better value on the board.

- Don't forget that you can ping your Voodoo Doll using your hero power for a rapid removal combo.

- If your opponent is holding a weapon, you can drop Acidic Swamp Ooze or Harrison Jones onto the board and knock it clean out of their hands. Save one of these for a late-game weapon.

- When Mossy Horror is played, all minions - including your own - that have two or less Attack will be wiped from the board.

- Kalecgos can offer some incredible value by letting you play a big minion on the board and then follow it up with an expensive spell on the same turn.

- With all the Dragon minions in this deck you shouldn’t have a problem activating the bonus effect from Firetree Witchdoctor in order to add more spells to your hand. Similarly, Scaleworm should only be played when you can gain the bonus Attack and Rush effect.

- The more cards you have in your hand at the time, the more expensive the minion you’ll summon from Astromancer.

- In a similar fashion, Mountain Giant costs one mana less for each other cards you're holding in your hand at the time he's played.

Card choices and substitutions

As the name would suggest, a number of Dragon cards play a vital part in the success of Dragon Mage. Here are those minions and a few other important key cards, as well as substitution options where possible:

  • Book of Specters: Some huge value card draw for the deck that can make playing your Mountain Giants even easier, or boost the Health of your Twilight Drakes even further.
  • Khadgar: An important piece for getting even more value out of the Summon effects within this deck. Used alongside them you can really overwhelm your opponent.
  • Conjurer’s Calling: One of the cards that become even stronger when played alongside Khadgar. You can use it to rescue a dying minion and turn them into something more powerful.
  • Twilight Drake: With the slow start this deck makes you should have a lot of cards in hand to grant this a big Health boost in the early game.
  • Harrison Jones: Powerful weapon removal that comes with the added bonus of drawing you a few cards.
  • Zilliax: A solid minion to slot into the deck. Can help you catch up if you’ve fallen behind to aggro.
  • Astromancer: With all the cards you’ll be holding in hand at times you can see some significant value off of this minion. You can consider swapping one or two out for Mind Control Tech should you find yourself running into a lot of aggro decks.
  • Crowd Roaster: Comes in with a big Battlecry effect that should kill off most minions. It’s an excellent target for Conjurer’s Calling too if you want to find a minion with better stats to sit on the board.
  • Power of Creation: Another card that can seriously spiral out of control when it’s paired with Khadgar. It’s an expensive 10 Mana turn but it will give you a big board immediately.
  • Kalecgos: A large Dragon minion that can be a major threat during the late game. Try to get as much value as you can out of the Battlecry effect too by picking a strong or expensive Spell.
  • Mountain Giant: A huge minion that you can get out onto the board early considering the number of cards you’ll be holding and the ones you can draw in the early game.

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