Feb 15, 2015
When you read about Blizzard’s popular trading card game Hearthstone, you’ll undoubtedly find a number of experts proclaiming that the Mage is the game’s best class to play. The Mage class is popular because it has a wide variety of options for minion removal and dealing damage directly to the opposing player. The Mage has so many damage dealing spells, in fact, that you may find it difficult to narrow your selections to just a few spells so your deck still has room for minions. Before you can begin building your ultimate Hearthstone Mage deck, though, you’ll need to unlock the necessary cards via crafting or opening packs. These are the best Mage cards available in Hearthstone; don’t play a ranked game without them.
Before you can begin building the best Mage deck in Hearthstone, you’ll need to bring the Mage class to level 10 and unlock all of its basic cards. Of these, the best is arguably Flamestrike. For a cost of just seven mana, Flamestrike has the ability to deal four damage to every opposing minion. In addition, Flamestrike becomes more powerful when used with certain Mage minions, many of which increase spell damage while they are in play. Any card that provides wide-scale destruction of an opponent’s minions is valuable in Hearthstone and Flamestrike belongs in every Mage deck.
Although Ice Lance is a common card, it is not unlocked automatically when you reach level 10 as a Mage in Hearthstone. Instead, you’ll have to find it in a pack or craft it. Ice Lance costs just one mana to play and freezes any character, preventing it from attacking for one turn. If the character is already frozen, Ice Lance deals four damage instead. This card is extremely powerful when used in combination with other cards that freeze characters, such as the Water Elemental minion. If a character is still alive after being frozen by the Water Elemental, Ice Lance will usually be enough to finish it off.
More than perhaps any other card in Hearthstone, Pyroblast has the ability to change the outcome of games. Many popular Hearthstone decks feature powerful minions with the Taunt ability. When one of these minions is in play, you won’t be able to use your minions to attack your opponent directly. This can cause your plans to stall as you search for a way to remove the minion. As a Mage, Pyroblast is the only answer you’ll ever need. With its ability to deal ten points of damage to any target, it effectively changes the tempo of Hearthstone. As long as you’re able to deal 20 points of damage to your opponent by the time you reach your tenth turn, Pyroblast will end the game.
Hearthstone is full of “Secrets” — cards whose effects are hidden until the opposing player performs a specific action. Because the Mage has seven different Secrets, opponents generally have difficulty guessing which Secret a Mage has in play until it is too late. Many Secrets are fairly innocuous, though. The Ice Barrier card, for example, gives the mage eight armor points when attacked by a minion. While this card may be useful, it seldom changes the outcome of a game. Vaporize is an entirely different story; after this card is in play, the next minion that attacks your hero is destroyed before it deals damage. Vaporize is an excellent last line of defense to have in play in case your minions are removed from the board — and if your deck also has the Kirin Tor Mage minion, you can play Vaporize without spending mana.
Every class in Hearthstone has a legendary minion that you can unlock by opening packs or spending Arcane Dust. Archmage Antonidas is one of the game’s most powerful minions and can only be used in Mage decks. Costing just seven mana to play, Archmage Antonidas adds a Fireball card to your hand each time you play a spell. Even if you are only able to keep the Archmage in play for one or two turns, he’ll guarantee your victory nearly every time.
In Hearthstone, the best Mage decks make effective use of the Mage’s exclusive cards as well as cards that are available to every class. Of these, Azure Drake is a card that no mage should ignore. In addition to its four points each of damage and health, Azure Drake allows you to draw one extra card and adds one point of damage to your spells while it remains in play. With all of these abilities available at a cost of just five mana, it’s no surprise that many top Mage decks feature two Azure Drakes.