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July 15, 2017

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Top 10 Wild Mage Cards


Greetings, dear readers, and welcome to the first installment of ”Top 10’s”, an article series where I walk you through my own top 10 ”something Hearthstone” list. We’re taking a much-needed break from the ”Running Wild” this month but next month I will have a lot to write about regarding the format because the next expansion is upon us! Until the next expansion drops I’ll be focusing solely on the ”Top 10’s” articles and the current goal for this month is to cover all wild class cards and neutral cards in a form of a Top 10 list :) Last time I’ve covered the hunter and this time I’ll be covering the mage class! Please, keep in mind that the list is my own personal opinion and that it might differ from your own Top 10 list.

Sit back, relax, and let’s dive right into this! :)

Number 10

I’ll start this list with one of the more powerful mage spells, Flamecannon. This card came out in Goblins Vs Gnomes and it quickly became a staple in most mage decks. The card does have a glaring weakness and it is that you can’t target minions with it but keep in mind that this card came out in the most RNG hevy expansion in the entire game so its weakness had kindda suited the theme of the entire expansion. Besides, if it didn’t hit a random target then the card would have been way too strong. A 4 damage to a minion for 2 mana is already a quite powerful effect, one that can remove most of 2 and 3 drops in the entire game. The random targeting is not that much on an issue because you can work around it by clearing out the minions that you don’t wish to target before you play Flamecannon. All in all, this is a very good card and a very good start to another top 10 list. If you’re considering playing any sort of a tempo mage deck in the wild format then I would strongly recommend that you craft at least one Flamecannon. Give it a go, you might just like the card :)

Number 9

Echo of Medivh is the second card on this list and it is one of my favorite mage cards. I don’t know if I’ve said this before but mage and rogue are the two classes which I just can’t stand to play. I always reroll quests that ask me to play mage/rogue cards or win with mage/rogue. However, echo mage is one of the rare few mage decks that I actually enjoy playing and play it from time to time. The idea behind echo mage is that you fill your board with cheap minions and then cast Echo of Medivh to get more copies of them which you can play on the same turn and build a strong board presence. The most widely known combo is playing a bunch of Molten Giants for free and then play Echo of Medivh to get more of them. That version of echo mage is known as giant mage. Another version that you can play is exodia mage. The deck exists in the standard format, that is true, but you might as well use Echo of Medivh  instead of Molten Reflection to help you set up the combo. All in all, Echo of Medivh  is a very fun card that can be used for multiple crazy combos. A well deserved 9th spot on this list for a very decent, but gimmicky, card :)

Number 8

Number eight is one of my favorite mech minions, Snowchugger. This little mech minion came out in Goblins vs Gnomes and it found a home in mech mage, an aggro deck that was pretty popular at that time. There is just something about a low-cost minion that can freeze a character after damaging it. The most likely reason as to why Snowchugger saw so much, besides its ability, are its stats. A 2/3 minion for 2 is way better than a 3/2 minion for 2 because it is harder to remove it. A 1 drop can trade efficiently with a 3/2 minion but it will take at least a 2 drop to trade efficientlay with a 2/3 minion. Snowchugger is also one of the few minions that were actually removed from the arena, back when the arena was wild mode instead of the standard mode that it is now, which is a true testament to the power of this little guy. If you’re considering building a mech mage deck that this card is a must have. Besides, it is not even that expensive, a 40 dust per Snowchugger is just great. With the wild packs returning to shop this card will become available to more and more players and, who knows, maybe we will soon see another rise in the numbers of mech mage. The only reason why such a strong card is on number 8 and not lower is because it is not very versatile. It suits one deck and that is it 😛

Number 7

Arcane Blast is the next card on this list and it is your first direct damage spell that made its way to this top 10. This card made its way to all tempo mage decks soon after its introduction back in The Grand Tournament. For all I care it is the 3rd out of 3 good cards that came out in that expansion (the other two being Mysterious Challenger and Justicar Trueheart).  The card has a very unique mechanic that really takes advantage of the spell damage keyword in the way that we haven’t seen before and it makes Azure Drake an even more powerful minion in a tempo mage deck. Arcane Blast is usually going to be a 1 cost deal 4 damage to target minion which is quite insane in a tempo deck that looks to clear the board with Flamewaker fast, quick and in a hurry. It is definitely one of the better mage spells and it most certainly deserves a part on this list. It is not as good or as versatile as some other cards on this list but, as you might have noticed by now, the list is made out of some really good cards, unlike with the previous two lists where the classes didn’t really have that many good wild exclusive cards. A solid number 7 :)

Number 6

Duplicate over Arcane Blast? Really? Yes, I’ve played Duplicate higher than the Arcane Blast. You must have noticed by now that I value versatility above all other and Duplicate is one of those cards that have a high versatility to them despite their effect looking quite straightforward. This card came out in the first Hearthstone expansion, Curse of Naxxramas, and although it didn’t ever see too much play it always had the potential to do something crazy, especially now when the secret mage is an actually playable deck (it took only 3 years for that to happen and the deck still isn’t fully optimized but whatever, I’ll take it). Duplicate allows for some pretty crazy plays in the standard format, from creating more copies of something like a taunted Arcane Giant, or just a minion with taunt, to its best usage yet, creating two copies of the one, the only, Reno Jackson, which allows a reno mage to fully heal itself 3 times in a game. Crazy, simply crazy. I also have weird faith in this card and I believe that it will see even more play in the future as new cards are introduced to the game. Duplicate is one of those cards that have a huge untapped potential and that could be really powerful at some point in the future. I give it a 6th spot, a solid one just above the top 5, and with that out of the way it is time to move into the top 5 best wild cards for mage :)

Number 5

Ethereal Conjurer will start out top 5 list. Some might agree with this card being this high up on the list and some might not, but I believe that Ethereal Conjurer is a very good card and is certainly a top 5 material. Mage has so much good wild exclusive cards that putting them on the top 10 list in a fully precise order is not an easy task. As I’ve mentioned before, this is my subjective opinion and my list may be different from your own. So, why is Ethereal Conjurer number 5? If playing a mage over the course of the last 2 years has taught us anything it is that discovering a spell is extremely powerful. It dwarves getting a random spell in pure value alone. There is a merit to discovering cards and that is the element of surprise that you’re getting from it. Suddenly your opponent is pushed into a situation where he or she must guess just which card did you get and try to play around it. On the sidenote, some players are finding discover to be an extremely powerful mechanic because of that but as a veteran card player I can tell you that it is little different from playing against an unknown deck in almost any card game. You don’t always know what your opponent is playing and you must be prepared to play around your best guess. Discover is a bit different because the card that your opponent gets from it is was not in his or her deck so you’re playing around something that was never intended to be a part of the deck. This could be a separate article and if you would like me to write about the comparison between discovering cards and playing against an unknown deck in a physical card game then let me know. In summary, Ethereal Conjurer is quite strong because he discovers you a spell and not many wild exclusive mage cards do that. It is great in various decks and it most certainly, at least in my mind, deserves a spot in the top 5 :)

Number 4

Forgotten Torch came out in League of Explorers and it was the first adventure card, along with Explorer's Hat, that was given to us at the very start of the adventure. This trend was continued in One Night In Karazhan and we’ll see it again soon in the semi adventure that will come out in Knights of the Frozen Throne in the form of a guaranteed random hero card. This card is pretty straight forward unlike some other cards on this list but what it has going for it is a unique mechanic, the ability to ”refshuffle” itself back into your deck, just as a much more powerful card. It is two spells, a deal 3 damage one and a deal 6 damage one, packed into one card which is great because it saves space during deck construction. This is one of those non basic and non classic spells that see play in almost every mage deck, with rare exceptions, which is a true testament to this card’s power and value. You’ll see it being played in freeze mage, tempo mage, reno mage, yogg mage and several other decks. In summary, it is a great spell that sees play in almost every mage deck out there which is more than enough to qualify it for the 4th spot on this top 10 list.

Number 3

Ok, we’re down to top 3 and we’re starting this list with my all time favorite mage spell, Unstable Portal. This card came out in Goblins Vs Gnomes which is apparently a common occurrence on this top 10 list 😛 Ever since it came out it instantly saw play in various mage decks not because it gets you a random minion but because it gives you a 3 mana discount on that minion. That is the absolute insane part. Sure, if you get a 1-3 drop you’ve wasted a perfectly good spell but anything above that, especially the minions that are on the higher end when it comes to card cost, is pure value. I’ve seen some crazy plays made by this card and there is even a tavern brawl dedicated to it. However, there is a bit of a problem with Unstable Portal. Remember me saying that there are cards that have the potential to be extremely powerful with every new expansion? Ok, the situation is actually reversed when it comes to Unstable Portal. Because it gives you a random minion the pool of minions from which the RNG can choose from is getting wider and wider with each expansion which means that there will be more and more 1-3 drops that you’ll be getting from this card. But why is it then number 3? It is number 3 because, as I’ve mentioned, if you get anything that costs 4 or more you’ve just got yourself some really good value. This card might not see play in every deck but in the once where it does it is without a doubt pretty powerful and it will remain so until we get a similar portal that offers the cost reduction but discovers a minion instead. Then Unstable Portal will be useless :( but hey, until then it is number 3 on my list :)

Number 2

It was sooooo close between the last 2 cards. So very, very close, but in the end I’ve decided against Ice Lance and here is why. Ice Lance is a very powerful card that can end the games very quickly…in freeze mage. In any deck, outside of freeze mage, Ice Lance is completely useless. This is my biggest problem with the card. Yes, it is insanely powerful in freeze mage, it was even put into the Hall of Fame, but it is not number 1 material. So, why is this card that high on my list if it is only good in one deck? Because it is extremely good in that one deck. It is crazy powerful, so much so that it carries the entire deck on its shoulders and after its rotation, freeze mage was never the same. Freeze mage is a shadow of its former self, in the standard format, while in the wild format the deck is still extremely powerful and the biggest difference between the two in the inclusion of Ice Lance. This is why I just had to give the number 2 spot to Ice Lance. Now, let’s find out which card is number 1, shall we? :)

Number 1

Tempo mage players, rejoice, the number 1 spot on this list goes to non other than Flamewaker. But, Eternal, isn’t Flamewaker also good in only one deck, just like Ice Lance? We all know that freeze mage is more powerful than tempo mage so what gives? Yes, both Ice Lance and Flamewaker see play in only one deck but there is a big difference between the two and that is that Flamewaker can also work in any deck that you put it in while Ice Lance can’t or will, at least, require some serious deck adaptation to make it work. Flamewaker is simple and efficient. It is the backbone of tempo mage, it can wildly swing games in your favor, and it is a card that you can use in various mage decks without having to seriously adapt them to it. All in all, it is the most amazing card on this list (in my opinion) so the number 1 spot goes to none other than Flamewaker! 😀


This is it. We’ve reached the end of our second ”Top 10’s” article :) I hope that you’ve liked it and, by all means, let me know what are your picks for the top 10 wild mage cards? Do you agree with this list? What cards would you put in the top 5? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to drop by next time when I’ll be covering the top 10 wild paladin cards 😀  As always  if you’ve liked this article do consider following me on twitter There you can ask me all sorts of Hearthstone questions (unrelated to this article) and I’ll gladly answer them as best as I can!

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Communications expert and an aspiring community manager with a deep passion for card games and a writing. TCG veteran with competitive experience in almost every card game. Hearhtstone experimenter, researcher, wild format enthusiast and theory crafter.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Extra expansions don’t make random minions from Unstable Portal more likely to be 1-3 drops… unless expansion for some reason has more low drops…