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Odd Mage deck list guide - Rastakhan - Hearthstone (December 2018)

Our guide to playing Odd Mage in the latest Rastakhan meta.

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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.

Our Odd Mage deck list guide features the best Rastakhan deck list for Season 57 of Hearthstone (December 2018). Our Odd Mage guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.

Odd Mage is a Hearthstone deck that utilises the Hero Power-enhancing strength of Baku the Mooneater to enable a Fireblast that actually does two points of damage instead of the usual one. The price you pay for this bonus? You can only have cards that cost an odd amount of Mana in your deck list.

This presents you with some interesting challenges when it comes to building a so-called Odd Mage deck that leans on the extra power afforded by Baku. In this article, we've taken a closer look at what this card means for the Mage now that we’re entering the early stages of Rastakhan’s Rumble, and it goes without saying that the deck will change over the coming weeks.

We've got a deck list for the latest meta, a few Mulligan tips to help you start your match well, and then a breakdown of all the core card combos that exist in the deck. Now that the Rastakhan expansion is out - which empowers this archetype a fair bit - we have further strategy insight for you to see how successful this deck can be on the ranked ladder.

UPDATE - RASTAKHAN'S RUMBLE #2

Odd Mage is rapidly proving itself to one of the strongest decks on the Hearthstone ladder right now, so we've taken the opportunity to update our deck list with the latest version. We've also tweaked the rest of the guide to match these updates, and will continue tracking this one throughout the week.

Odd Mage deck list and strategy

Here’s an updated version of Odd Mage that makes use of the Rastakhan's Rumble set. Note that this list is subject to a great deal of change in the coming days and weeks, so don’t spend any dust you can’t afford to lose!

MageNeutral
2 x Daring Fire-Eater2 x Fire Fly
2 x Black Cat1 x Gluttonous Ooze
2 x Pyromaniac2 x Stonehill Defender
2 x Blast Wave2 x Tar Creeper
2 x Dragon's Fury2 x Voodoo Doll
2 x Astromancer2 x Arcane Tyrant
2 x Flamestrike1 x Baron Geddon
1 x Jan'alai, the Dragonhawk1 x Alexstrasza
1 x Frost Lich Jaina1 x Baku the Mooneater

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

Deck Import ID: AAECAf0EBtACxQTTxQKb0wKe+AKohwMM7AebwgLrwgLKwwLb0wLX4QK38QLD+AK9+gKkhwOmhwPNiQMA

More great Mage guides:

General strategy

Odd Mage is focused on extracting lots of value out of the Fireblast hero power to kill off minions without using cards. This also helps to achieve the damage target on Jan'alai, the Dragonhawk, so as to summon a copy of Ragnaros the Firelord when she's played.

The Odd-cost card restriction does limit some of your options when deck-building, but you can still include a lot of impactful Mage spells and minions – not to mention the Frost Lich Jaina hero card – that help you reach the latter stages of a match.

Early game: Play the control game as much as you can by using your improved hero power to deal with your opponent’s early game minions. You can give yourself a bit of early game board presence using Fire Fly, but save your other one drops for combos later. Daring Fire-Eater is especially powerful on turn three as it’ll bump your hero power up to deal four damage! You can play out minions such as Tar Creeper and Black Cat on curve, but make sure you’re using spare mana to fit in your hero power where possible.

Mid game: A strong mid game awaits whether you have the initiative in the match or are falling behind a little. If you’ve managed to eke out a lot of value using your hero power, an Astromancer might be a strong play here to summon a high-cost minion with it.

If you sense the game slipping away from you then there are many ways to get it back under control. Your big area of effect spells such as Blast Wave, Dragon’s Fury and Flamestrike can completely turn the board in your favour. Baron Geddon can also be used to start burning away the opponent's side of the board.

Late game: Big finishing plays await you in the late game. By now there’s a seriously good chance you’ve hit the eight damage with your hero power, thus activating the bonus effect on Jan'alai, the Dragonhawk. Dropping a 4 / 4 down alongside a copy of Ragnaros the Firelord is tough for many opponents to deal with easily. If you need more, there’s Frost Lich Jaina, which you can use to start summoning many Water Elemental minions with Lifesteal that should keep you going well into the later stage of a game.

Aggro opponents

These tips will give you an advantage over the aggro opponents you come up against:

  • 1. Many cheap aggro minions will be vulnerable to your improved hero power. Don’t unnecessarily sacrifice your own minions into them when you can just ping off creatures with your hero power.
  • 2. Odd Mage runs some relatively powerful board clears too, so encourage your opponent to commit too much to the board and then wipe it out in one fell swoop to eliminate all their resources.
  • 3. Tar Creeper is an excellent Taunt minion against aggro. It will not push you much damage, but by bumping up to three attack on your opponent’s turn it can destroy their lower health creatures.
  • 4. If you can get some value from Pyromaniac drawing you a card then go for it. You have a better chance to do so against the lower health minions in aggro decks.

Control opponents

Keep the following words of advice in mind when up against control decks:

  • 1. The deck is full of area of effect spells, but don’t be afraid to use one on single targets considering Control decks do not tend to go very wide on the board, and it’s usually worth eliminating some threats before they get out of hand.
  • 2. There’s no hard removal in Odd Mage outside of the two copies of Voodoo Doll. You can play it and ping it on the same turn for five mana to destroy one of your opponent’s most dangerous minions.
  • 3. Your late game isn’t hugely powerful when compared to some Control decks, although Frost Lich Jaina will help you last longer with the Water Elemental minions she summons.
  • 4. That said if you can try to win the game earlier, the better. Push for big plays with Astromancer and Jan'alai, the Dragonhawk to overwhelm your opponent as quickly as possible.

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Odd Mage Mulligan guide

As a general rule of thumb it's worth prioritising the following cards when working on your opening hand for Odd Mage:

  • 1. Fire Fly - A great minion for contesting the early board, and remember too that the bonus Elemental you receive can be held back to enable a later Elemental bonus effect (see the combo section further down the page).
  • 2. Black Cat - A solid three-cost minion that also keeps your card draw flowing. Don't forget that you can fill the two Mana gap in your early game with a Baku-boosted use of your Hero Power.
  • 3. Stonehill Defender - A great stalling option against all decks, and you also get to generate an appropriate Taunt minion as well.
  • 4. Tar Creeper - A generally very useful minion that can often survive a couple of attacks, buying you more time to build out your game plan.
  • 5. Daring Fire-Eater - Best saved to play on turn three so you can fit a hero power in alongside it that has a good chance of taking out one of your opponent’s early minions.

Odd Mage tips, combos and synergies

To help you get up to speed with the deck, here are some of the most important combos that exist within this exact deck list. As the list changes, so we'll make sure the changes are reflected here:

- When you play Black Cat you'll draw an extra card into your hand. Your spells will also do one more point of damage for as long as this minion remains out on the board.

- Daring Fire-Eater increases the strength of your hero power ping by two points, so you'll only really want to play it when you can gain this bonus effect.

- Tar Creeper gains extra Attack power on your opponent's turn, so do what you can to set the board up unfavourably for them before hitting End Turn.

- Voodoo Doll is an interesting take on removal. Target a minion with it, then destroy it to nuke the minion. Note that the Mage can target the Doll herself with her Hero Power, granting you a Turn 5 hard removal. This also combos very nicely with Frost Lich Jaina (see below).

- To activate the Overkill effect on Blast Wave and add a Mage spell to your hand, you’ll need it to hit minions with just one health. Use Spell Damage buffs to make this window wider and the effect easier to activate.

- Gluttonous Ooze will not only knock the weapon out of your opponent's hand, it'll also grant you Armor equal to that weapon's Attack value.

- When you put Astromancer into play, she'll summon a randomly chosen minion that has a Mana cost equal to the number of cards you're holding in your hand at the time.

- Try to remember that Baron Geddon will AOE both side of the board as well as both heroes too!

- Arcane Tyrant can be played for free on the same turn you cast a five or more mana cost spell. In this deck the following spells apply: Blast Wave, Dragon's Fury and Flamestrike.

- Jan’alai, the Dragonhawk will also summon a copy of Ragnaros the Firelord when she enters the battlefield, and assuming your hero power has dealt eight damage over the course of a game. With the improved hero power in Odd Mage, and hero power buff cards such as Daring Fire-Eater, this should be more than possible. Ragnaros the Firelord costs eight mana by itself, so that’s a huge turn seven play!

- Frost Lich Jaina provides insane late-game value. When played you'll gain five points of Armor and also summon a Water Elemental with Lifesteal. After that, any minion you destroy using your Hero Power will result in another Water Elemental appearing on the board. Don't forget that you can target your own minions too.

Odd Mage card choices and substitutions

Odd Mage doesn’t have too much room for manoeuvrability in its deck list, so we’ve highlighted some of the most important cards, plus any substitutions where possible.

  • Daring Fire Eater: Buffs up your hero power by an additional two damage so it’ll do four in total. That’s half-way towards the target on Jan'alai, the Dragonhawk or a significant chunk of damage to an opponent’s minion.
  • Pyromaniac: Has an excellent ability if you can trigger it, though it can be very difficult to do so and sometimes risks being a little slow. Swapping these out for Arcane Tyrant is a possibility.
  • Voodoo Doll: Gives the deck some extremely useful hard removal. Remember you can ping it down with your hero power on the same turn if you play it on turn five.
  • Zola the Gorgon: Creating an additional copy of some of the deck’s most powerful cards can give you some more threats into the late game against Control decks.
  • Blast Wave: Reasonable area of effect damage that also comes with the possibility of adding a few Mage spells to your hand if you hit low health minions. Generally, best when combined with Black Cat to increases those odds even further.
  • Dragon’s Fury: With all the expensive spells in the deck this should do some devastating damage for the mana cost.
  • Zilliax: Strong minion that can have an immediate impact on the game when played, either killing off a minion or restoring some of your health. With Divine Shield it’ll stick around for another turn too.
  • Astromancer: You should maintain a reasonable hand size when playing through Odd Mage so there’s a good chance you’ll get good value when playing this onto the board.
  • Baron Geddon: Comes down and can start burning away all the piddly minions that oppose him, while being a big damage threat in his own right.
  • Jan’alai, the Dragonhawk: With all the emphasis on buffing your hero power, this is a natural fit for the deck. You should be able to reach eight damage during a game easily and set up the big play by bringing a copy of Ragnaros the Firelord down with her.
  • Baku the Mooneater: A required part to give you an improved hero power at the start of the game. You really don’t want to play it as a creature unless you have to as its stats are poor.
  • Frost Lich Jaina: Very powerful hero card that can give you a lot of extra reach in the late game to secure a win. Summoning a Water Elemental with Lifesteal every time you use your hero power to kill a minion is terrific value.

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