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the best cheap Mage deck - July 2015 - Hearthstone

How to play Mage on a shoestring.

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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.

Climbing to the very top of the leaderboard is a tough call for players on a strict budget, but we still think you can do pretty well in Ranked play using a budget deck - and the more experience you have, the higher you'll rise.

We're in the process of putting together guides to some of the most powerful decks you can build without breaking the bank. We've put a limit of 1,000 Dust on the crafting cost of each one, which we think should be in the reach of most players who've put some time into the game using the best Basic decks.

Next up for the shoestring treatment is the mighty Mage. Take a look at the bottom of the page if you want to mess around with other budget Hero decks.

Budget Mage deck strategy guide

Your path to victory while playing this deck is to go aggressive from the very start, snowball your board presence, and end the match before your opponent can start clawing back control of the board. When the match starts, you want to field your cheap minions out as quickly as you can. Don't over-extended against Heroes with early to mid-game AOE - pop Arcane Intellect, for example, rather than adding to the losses.

You are going to run out of steam sooner or later with this deck, however, so knowing when to stop dealing with minions and instead focus on the Hero's Health pool is a key part of success here. When lethal is a turn or two away, start focusing on the enemy - experience will help you judge when this moment comes, so don't be put off by a few clumsy losses.

Budget Mage deck Mulligan guide

You need to get out on the board quickly with this deck, so it shouldn't come as a surprise to learn that your priority picks are your low-Mana minions. Mana Wyrm in particularly is a must-keep, particularly if you have The Coin. As for the rest, toss back anything that costs more than two Mana, and only keep Mirror Image if you're facing a Warrior and the potential threat of their early-game axe.

Budget Mage deck card combos and synergies

As it is with all of our budget-friendly deck, it's critical that you find a way to squeeze every last drop of efficiency out of our Mage offering. Here are some of the most important card combos you should keep in mind as you climb the ladder.

- Frozen enemies take extra damage from Ice Lance, so look for cards like Frostbolt and Water Elemental to initiate this state.

- You can feed Mana Wyrm up with any size of spell, from the humble Coin to your meatier Fireball. Always do your maths carefully to see how much damage you can squeeze out of this creature.

- To aid you in the process of feeding up your Wyrms and doing damage to the opposing Hero, Sorcerer's Apprentice will reduce the cost of every spell by one. Again, plan your turn carefully to factor in this reduced cost.

- Azure Drake will give your spells a little extra reach, but most players are primed now to remove this creature as soon as possible, so don't count on it living to the next turn.

- Knife Juggler's daggers can be triggered with Mirror Image very efficiently in the early game, and they'll provide some very welcome protection for the minion too.

More great decks that won't cost you the earth:

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