It's been a little while since most people would have classed Mech Mage as a member of the very highest tier of Hearthstone decks, but it's well worth checking it out again now that all four wings of the League of Explorers Adventure have been released.
In our next deck spotlight, we take a closer look at this gentle reinvention of an old favourite. Whether you're completely new to this kind of deck archetype, or you're just feeling a little rusty after switching to other, more meta-friendly decks in the past, here's everything you need to know about getting to grips with the Mech Mage.
Editor's note - April update: There are no changes to our Mech Mage deck for the month of April, although you should very much enjoy it while it lasts! With the pending removal of Goblins vs Gnomes - in Standard format, that is - this deck as we know it will end up positively gutted. Who knows though, perhaps it will live again one day!
Mech Mage deck list and strategy - April 2016
As the name suggests, the goal with Mech Mage is to weave together the mechanically synergistic cards in the deck in order to create a powerful presence on the board from the very start. In the early game, that means using combos to boost the strength of your vanilla minions, so that they can make efficient trades against their opposite numbers, and ideally live to fight another day.
From here, it's a case of snowballing your threat and choosing the right time to start pushing against the opponent's face, rather than their minions' health pools. How close are you to lethal? Do you have the key components for lethal damage in your hand, so that you can start ignoring the board and instead focus on the enemy?
Answering these questions at the right time, and knowing when to make the switch towards closing down the match with damage against your opponent, comes with experience - it's also key to mastering this style of play and reaching the very highest rungs of the Ranked ladder.
Mech Mage Mulligan guide - April 2016
There are no hard and fast rules to Mulliganing this variety of Mech Mage, as you need to consider the combo pieces you've received. If you've got Mechwarper and no Mechs, for example, then it's worth throwing everything else away to see if you get one. If you've got Mana Wyrm, it's better to go hunting for cards like Frostbolt or Unstable Portal – particularly if you also have The Coin.
Plan your first three or four moves carefully and Mulligan accordingly, taking into account any bonus effects or Mana cost reductions that will come into play as the turns unfold. One word of advice though - if you're going down the Mechwarper route, expect it to be removed at your opponent's earliest opportunity.
Here's a more detailed breakdown of which cards you should keep against specific opponents.
Druid / Hunter - Annoy-o-Tron, Clockwork Gnome, Cogmaster, Frostbolt, Mechwarper
Mage - Annoy-o-Tron, Cogmaster, Frostbolt, Mechwarper, Snowchugger
Paladin - Annoy-o-Tron, Cogmaster, Goblin Blastmage, Mechwarper, Snowchugger
Priest - Cogmaster, Frostbolt, Mechwarper, Spider Tank, Snowchugger
Rogue - Annoy-o-Tron, Cogmaster, Frostbolt, Mechwarper, Snowchugger
Shaman / Warlock - Annoy-o-Tron, Clockwork Gnome, Cogmaster, Mechwarper, Snowchugger
Warrior - Annoy-o-Tron, Cogmaster, Mechwarper, Piloted Shredder, Snowchugger, Spider Tank
Mech Mage combos and synergies - April 2016
As you've probably guessed by now, the core synergy at the heart of this deck revolves around the way Mech minions play with other cards, but there's more than just this to consider.
Here's a quick breakdown of all of the most critical card combos you need to keep in mind as you play around with the Mech Mage.
- Goblin Blastmage's bonus damage can be triggered by any Mech minion out on the board, including Dr. Boom's Boom Bots if they've lived long enough to see another turn out!
- Likewise, those Boom Bots – or any other Mech for that matter – can be used to boost up the core stats of Tinkertown Technician. If you can increase the power of this card, it'll very often trade against two other minions before dying, so you should always seek to achieve this bonus Battlecry effect.
- Cogmaster's bonus effects are only applied while you have a Mech out on the board. It's OK to play the character on Turn 1 if you have a follow-up play, but you really want to be able to boost up its power quickly.
- Thanks to its Mana cost-reducing effects, Mechwarper is an incredibly valuable minion to get out on the board early. Just be aware that only the greenest of Hearthstone players will ignore this minion if they've the means to remove it immediately. Ideally you should aim to get at least one cheaper minion guaranteed before putting this character out into play.
- Mana Wyrm is made more powerful by every subsequent spell you play. Being able to pop down the Wyrm on Turn 1, then remove its opposite number with Frostbolt on the next can give you an incredible headstart. Getting lucky with the draw when mixing this creature with Unstable Portal can also give you a powerful lead.
- In order to gain the Discover ability from putting Gorillabot A-3 into play, you must have another Mech minion of your own out on the board first.
- Likewise, if you don't have a Mech out in play already, you'll waste the Battlecry effect of Clockwork Knight!
- 1. Tier List - Hearthstone: Tier List (Rise of Shadows)
- 2. Dragon Mage - Dragon Mage deck list guide (Rise of Shadows)
- 3. Hand Mage - Hand Mage deck list guide (Rise of Shadows)
- 4. Freeze Mage - Freeze Mage deck list guide (Rise of Shadows)
- 5. Spell Mage - Spell Mage deck list guide (Rise of Shadows)
- 6. Dalaran Heist - Dalaran Heist Guide
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