Every week the pros from team Fade2Karma break down the “Deck of the Week” . These decks are seeing a lot of play either in constructed ladder or tournaments. Team F2K explain the deck lists and how to play them. View past Deck Lists of the Week.
This week’s deck is written by pro player F2K-Chalk.
This deck, by far, is my favorite deck not because it is the strongest deck in ladder, but because of its ability to adapt in various Meta changes. Last season, it was the only deck I used to get to legend and I managed to maintain a top 100 position. Tempo Mage is flexible, fun to play, and gives you a lot of room to edit and customize.
The deck has 18 core cards, which means the remaining 12 is up to you. For you to better understand how the deck is built, I’ll separate the cards into 5 groups: Early Drops, Midrange Minions, Big Bombs, Secrets, and Spells.
Early Drops – The cards are pretty stable so you don’t have to change anything. As a deck that plays a lot of spells, Mana Wyrm, Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Flamewaker are quite strong. Each has their own synergy with spells. One card you can consider to add is Clockwork Gnome, a 1 drop that trades evenly with the opponents 1 and 2 drops, and also gives you a spare part for Flamewaker and Antonidas.
Midrange Minions – Loatheb is a great card for tempo, blocks enemy spells and has great stats for a 5 drop. Azure Drake is a good source of card draw so you don’t lose steam. Another good 5 drop is the Sludge Belcher, sticky minion that helps a lot with aggressive decks. The question now is what 4 drop to add. The deck has room for two. I suggest you choose one and add two copies of it.
- Mechanical Yeti – minion that gives you extra spells, blends extremely well with the early drops
- Piloted Shredder – it might be the best 4drop in the game, super sticky and hard to deal with
- Water Elemental – 6 life is not a joke, and one of the best minions vs weapon classes
Big Bombs – A lot of players go with different bombs in their decks and here are some you can try:
- Sylvanas Windrunner – a powerful minion than gets you back on board, if you’re ahead they have to deal with it first. It’s a big tempo swinger.
- Emperor Thaurissan – card that allows you to combo cards late in the game. It might be a late flamewaker + spells or just collect fireballs with Archmage Antonidas.
- Toshley – 5/7 is pretty hard to deal with. It’s not as flashy as the other bombs but the spare parts are quite useful. The card is underrated.
- Dr. Boom – the card needs to be nerfed, define OP. But the popularity of patron warrior might make you think of not putting it in the deck.
- Archmage Antonidas – a lot of fireballs can’t be that bad. Antonidas is a major threat combined with low cost spells. It also makes you a little favored vs control decks. If you need a solid finisher, he’s the right man for the job.
- Ragnaros – solid card against freeze mage and rogue. If you need to push for lethal early in the game, he gives you a helping hand even when you don’t draw your burn spells.
Secrets – the typical tempo mage runs 2 Mirror Entity and that’s it. But everyone has played against that and I suggest you get creative. Counterspell is a good one to replace the other entity. Play more than 2 secrets, and you should add a Kirin Tor Mage. A maximum of three is enough.
Spells – top thing to think about when you add spells is the Meta. Most of the time, the choice of spells carry you on your ladder journey. Aside from the core spells, these spells are to consider:
- Arcane Missiles – a cheap spell that’s swingy on the early turns of the game. Also combos well with the early drops and Archmage Antonidas.
- Mirror Image – tool to help against aggressive decks and warrior. Fiery War Axe on turn 2? No problem. Antonidas + Mirror Image is a great power play as well.
- Flamecannon – great against decks that has strong midgame presence like Druid. Never add two copies when ladder is full of agro.
- Arcane Intellect – running out of steam most of the time? You might want to add another copy or get another Azure Drake.
- Flamestrike – great against patron warrior and a comeback tool late in the game.
*Tech cards are not really needed in this deck. But if you wish to add, I advise Kezan Mystic for the mirror match and Harrison Jones for weapon classes.
Here are some examples of lists you can try
You always want a good curve on the early stage of the game to dictate the tempo. Mana Wyrm, Mad Scientist, and Sorcerer’s Apprentice are auto-keep.
Playing against aggressive decks, you want to keep Mirror Image to absorb damage, Arcane Missiles to deal with aggressive face hunter and aggro paladin starts. You might consider keeping the Flamewaker if you have an early threat to play.
Playing against midrange decks, you want to keep Frostbolt and Flamecannon to remove the opponent’s early threats such as Knife Juggler, Mad Scientist, and Shade of Naxxramas.
Playing against control decks, keep Frosbolt and Mirror Image. They handle weapon threats well and let you flooding the board early on. You don’t want the games to get longer, so switch gears and go for face if you can deal lethal damage in the next few turns.
Always remember that when you build your deck, the mana curve is important. Make sure that you don’t add too many big bombs or else, you get clunky hands. Add too many spells, and you might lose steam and you have to add card draws. Most players tend to make the deck centered on Flamewaker, but I think there are a lot of threats you can provide to make this deck powerful. The most flexible tempo mage is the best one.
I am Chalk, a high-level legend player from the Philippines and an analyst for team Fade2Karma. Please support me and my team by following us on twitter, @F2K_Chalk @Fade2Karma. For coaching inquiries, send me a DM. Good luck and have fun!
Check out these decks that @Fade2Karma is also playing on the ladder. Let us know what you think and how they are working for you. Feel free to message us here or reach out to us directly on twitter!