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Tempo Mage deck list guide - Rastakhan - Hearthstone (January 2019)

Our advanced Tempo Mage guide now features the strongest deck list in play.

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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 Tempo Mage deck list guide features the best Rastakhan deck list for Season 58 of Hearthstone (January 2019). 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. With all that firepower, other players will find themselves stuggling to keep up, and all the while you’re further extending your lead with smart value plays and perplexing them with Secrets.

Your greatest strength is the sheer power and frequency of your spells, which you can buff even further with all the additional spell damage cards in the deck. Whenever other players try to establish a position on the board you can just as quickly obliterate them as you stretch even further into the lead.

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 one of the most effective deck lists being used in Rastakhan’s Rumble, 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 - JANUARY #1

Tempo Mage hasn't changed a bit over the Christmas break, and so we're leaving our recommended deck list as it was for the start of 2019. We'll keep monitoring the deck throughout the Rastakhan meta, and will update our guide accordingly.

Tempo Mage deck list and strategy

Here's the strongest Tempo Mage deck list that's seeing play in the current stage of the Rastakhan's Rumble meta:

MageNeutral
2 x Arcane Missiles
2 x Shooting Star
2 x Arcanologist
2 x Frostbolt
1 x Mana Addict
2 x Primordial Glyph
2 x Sorcerer's Apprentice
2 x Spellzerker
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: AAECAf0EBAxxotMC7vYCDbsCqwS0BOYElgXsBcHBApjEAo/TAvvsApX/Arn/AqOHAwA=

More great Mage guides:

General Strategy

The goal of Tempo Mage is to contest for the board early on 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.

Over time, Tempo Mage has gained more and more tools in order to do this job effectively. The latest addition from the Rastakhan set is Spellzerker – a two-mana minion that increases your spell damage by two whenever it's damaged.

The combo potential with this card and all the spells in this deck is undeniable, so you can get some incredible value out of relatively cheap cards. It’s more than enough to build and maintain a big lead over your opponents - one that’ll often let you run away with games.

Early game: If your hand looks like our Mulligan advice below hopes for, then you’re all set for a perfect start. Mana Addict, 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 3 then all is looking well. Freely use some of your cheaper damage spells or hero power to remove enemy minions from the board too, as maintaining control is very important for the deck’s success.

Mid game: Maintain further control over your opponent’s board and shut down every single one of their actions, whether that’s with an Explosive Runes to scorch whatever minions they play, or a Counterspell to deny whatever spell trickery they’re hoping will get them back into the game. You also have a surprising amount of area of effect damage in the deck to clear wider boards when you start pairing Spellzerker with spells like Shooting Star or Cinderstorm

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 a 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 Cosmic Anomaly or Spellzerker can sometimes be just enough to tip you over the finishing line.

Aggro opponents

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 Addict you can put some serious damage in early on that they should not be able to recover from due to their lack of healing.
  • 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.

Control opponents

These tips will help you overcome control decks:

  • 1. You want to take a much faster approach against control decks, so as 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. 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 3.
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. Spellzerker: A minion with decent stats for the mana cost, that your opponent should only attack if they can kill it off completely.
  • 4. Mana Addict: With the nerf to Mana Wyrm this card fulfils a similar function - albeit not as effectively - alhough all the cheap spells in the deck mean it can still hit pretty hard.
  • 5. Sorcerer's Apprentice: A pretty strong minion in its own right, and you might also be able to make use of that bonus spell damage as well.

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Tempo Mage tips, combos and synergies

There are quite a lot of combos to juggle with any kind of Tempo Mage, and the latest Rastakhan version is certainly no exception.

Here's what you need to be thinking about when playing this deck out:

- Every time you cast a spell your active Mana Addict will gain two points of Attack power for that turn. The Attack power will reset back to one at the end of the turn, however.

- Arcanologist will choose a remaining random Secret from your deck and put it in your hand when played.

- Cosmic Anomaly and Spellzerker provide an extra two points of Spell Damage. For the former, the effect persists for as long as the minion is out in play, whereas the latter needs to be damaged for the effect to be applied.

- 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, but the cost of that spell will also 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 Addict: Sadly, the days of the Mana Wyrm are now over after the recent nerf. Mana Addict isn’t a particularly great replacement, but it has some potential with all the low-cost spells in Tempo Mage.
  • 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 number of times this will give you something helpful to turn around a game or secure the win makes it more than worthy of inclusion.
  • Spellzerker: Your opponent will only want to trade into it if they can kill it off fully, or you can ping it to activate the spell damage bonus yourself for a follow-up play.
  • 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: This Legendary minion gives the deck some more refill potential earlier in the match. 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.

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