Our Tempo Mage deck list guide features the best deck list for Season 54 of Hearthstone (September 2018). Our Tempo Mage guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.
Tempo Mage is a Hearthstone deck that's absolutely stuffed to the brim with Secrets and spells, and it's the type of deck that will leave the other player constantly fighting to keep up. All the way throughout each match they'll have to do their best to try and read the possible pitfalls that might lie ahead of them, and respond to your fiendish collection of Secrets as best they can - or can't, as will often turn out to be the case.
While they're trying to read the board state, you'll be working to snowball your own side of the board with an increasingly deadly fighting force of your own. How exactly you play this process out depends very much on how those Secrets influence the board state, and the difficulties the opponent forces you to deal with too.
In our Tempo Mage guide, we've got the latest and greatest Boomsday deck list for you to use, along with in-depth strategy advice and tips for completing the Mulligan stage correctly. To wrap things up we've also covered all of the combos you can utilise using this exact version of the archetype. Making all of the plays second nature is absolutely vital for travelling the uncertain path each game is going to present you with!
UPDATE - SEPTEMBER #1
Tempo Mage stabilised extremely quickly with the launch of the Boomsday set, and so we're not that surprised to see that the most competitive version of the deck hits September unchanged. We will be keeping a close eye on this one though, and will do a mid-month update if we feel it's necessary.
(This article contains additional reporting by James Pickard)
Tempo Mage deck list and strategy
Here's the most popular version of Tempo Mage that's being played in the current Boomsday meta. We will as always update our recommendation over time!
|2 x Arcane Missiles|
|2 x Mana Wyrm|
|2 x Shooting Star|
|2 x Arcanologist|
|1 x Celestial Emissary|
|2 x Frostbolt|
|2 x Primordial Glyph|
|2 x Sorcerer's Apprentice|
|2 x Arcane Intellect|
|2 x Cinderstorm|
|1 x Counterspell|
|2 x Explosive Runes|
|2 x Kirin Tor Mage|
|1 x Stargazer Luna|
|2 x Cosmic Anomaly|
|2 x Fireball|
|1 x Aluneth|
Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.
Deck Import ID: AAECAf0EBO+AA+72AqLTAnENuf8Clf8C++wCj9MCmMQCwcEC7AWWBeYEtASr BJUDuwIA
The goal of Tempo Mage is to contest for the board early with minions, use an entire tome’s worth of spells to maintain that position throughout the game, and then finish off your opponent using burn damage. The deck has answers to practically everything and simply denies any opponent at every turn – whether they’re playing minions or spells – to prevent them from finding a foothold in the match.
With The Boomsday Project, Tempo Mage has gained a few new tools to feed some bonus spell power into the deck, as well as additional options for card draw and area of effect damage. It still remains an incredibly efficient deck that can very quickly run away with games, even against the heaviest control opponents.
Early game: If your hand looks like our Mulligan advice hopes for, then you’re all set for a perfect start. Mana Wyrm, Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Arcanologist are all excellent early game plays that can curve into each other. If you can follow that up with a Kirin Tor Mage and a Secret on turn three then all is looking well. Freely use some of your cheaper damage spells to remove enemy minions from the board too as maintaining control is very important for the deck’s success.
Mid game: Keep controlling your opponent’s board and shutting down their actions, whether that’s with an Explosive Runes to scorch whatever minions they play, or a Counterspell to deny whatever trickery they’re hoping will get them back into the game. Tempo Mage can start to look thin on resources at this stage, so use Arcane Intellect and Stargazer Luna to dig deeper into your deck. If you’re in range of burning your opponent down, then definitely consider a Fireball or two to the face.
Late game: At this stage of the game Tempo Mage can really start to fade off, so play Aluneth and hope it draws you that last bit of pressure or damage you need to secure victory. A lucky find from Primordial Glyph can also wrap things up, especially if you happen upon another Fireball or Pyroblast. Pairing these with the bonus spell power from cards such as Celestial Emissary and Cosmic Anomaly can sometimes be just enough to tip you over the finishing line.
Here’s some advice for dealing with aggro opponents on the ranked ladder:
- 1. Use your cheap spells in the early game to take out your opponent’s minions and prevent them from taking a lead.
- 2. If you can pair these spells with an early Mana Wyrm it may get too far out of control before your opponent can deal with it.
- 3. As aggro decks are minion-based, prioritise playing the Explosive Runes Secret to stop your opponent getting creatures on the board - you’ll also likely deal some bonus damage to their life total in the process.
- 4. Combining spell power boosts with cards such as Cinderstorm and Shooting Star can serve as decent board clears in place of the more expensive Flamestrike.
- 5. Try to save Fireball to deal that last bit of burn damage. Only use it to clear a minion if you’re in bad shape.
These tips will help you overcome control decks:
- 1. You want to take more of an aggro approach against control decks to finish the game before they can stabilise.
- 2. Be cautious of over-extending into their board clears, and make sure you have extra resources to apply the pressure again immediately if you run into one.
- 3. Better yet, hold onto Counterspell and play it before a big board clear turn to nullify it completely. You could try just playing Explosive Runes too and hope your mind games make them question using any board clears.
- 4. Your hard removal options are practically non-existent in this deck, so if you think you’re going to need something like a Polymorph then hope for some luck off Primordial Glyph.
- 5. Burn damage is also vitally important in this matchup so try to save both copies of Fireball. You might want to swap in a Pyroblast if you run into control decks often for more consistency.
Tempo Mage Mulligan guide
Search for these cards to get your game off to the best start with Tempo Mage:
- 1. Mana Wyrm: A very powerful one drop that can easily trade up into your opponent’s minions after a spell cast or two.
- 2. Arcanologist: Solid stats for a two drop and it also thins out your deck by drawing a Secret into your hand ready to play on turn three.
- 3. Sorcerer’s Apprentice: A good body to play on the board for two Mana and the spell cost discount can set up some early tempo plays.
- 4. Kirin Tor Mage: Allows you to play that Secret you drew from Arcanologist for free along with a robust 4/3 minion for the perfect opener.
Tempo Mage tips, combos and synergies
There are quite a lot of combos to juggle with any kind of Tempo Mage, and the latest Boomsday version is certainly no exception.
Here's what you need to be thinking about when playing this deck out:
- Every time a spell is played your active Mana Wyrm will gain an extra point of Attack power. Something to always keep in mind as you're planning out your turn, especially if this combo starts happening later on in the match than you might have liked.
- Arcanologist will choose a remaining random Secret from your deck and put it in your hand when played.
- Celestial Emissary boosts the strength of the next spell you cast on the same turn by an extra two points of damage.
- Cosmic Anomaly also provides an extra two points of Spell Damage, but the effect persists for as long as the minion is out in play.
- Stargazer Luna will draw you an extra card every time you spend the card that's currently furthest to the right in your hand.
- You get to play a Secret for free after putting Kirin Tor Mage onto the board. Keep that in mind when planning out your potential Mana options on any given turn.
- Not only will Primordial Glyph allow you to Discover a new spell, the cost of that spell will be reduced by two Mana when it's in your hand.
- As long as Sorcerer's Apprentice is on the board, all of your spells will cost one Mana less. This effect stacks with multiple copies of this minion.
- If the opponent plays a minion with six or less Health then it will be destroyed automatically by your active Explosive Runes. If that minion has less than six Health, any excess damage is applied to the opponent's Health pool.
- Aluneth will give you three extra cards at the end of each of your turns. Watch the size of your hand so you don't end up burning any crucial cards! As a tempo orientated player though, you should be emptying your hand pretty rapidly.
Card choices and substitutions
These are some of the key cards that make up Tempo Mage, plus a couple of alternatives you can consider depending on the current state of the meta.
- Mana Wyrm: Important early game drop that can get you off to a strong start after a few spell casts.
- Shooting Star: Some strong early game removal against aggro decks. You might consider cutting one for a Pyroblast if you find you need the extra burn against slower decks, though.
- Arcanologist: Draws a Secret from your deck for you so you can get to the other good stuff quicker. Plus, you can play that Secret on Turn 3 if it fits!
- Primordial Glyph: The amount of times this will give you something helpful makes it more than worthy of inclusion.
- Kirin Tor Mage: Decent stats for a three Mana minion and it comes with the added bonus of letting you play a Secret for free along with it – a terrific tempo play!
- Stargazer Luna: A new Legendary minion from The Boomsday Project that gives the deck some more refill potential earlier. Useful too because it can mean you end games quicker, and before slower decks can stabilise.
- Fireball: Important burn damage to finish off your opponent. Only really use this on a minion if you’re desperate.
- Aluneth: Does an incredible job of refilling your hand in the late game to find those final few resources that you need to secure the win.