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Draw 2 cards.
This card is used in
59.84% of all Mage decks
Excellent card to use, often included in Mage decks for the purposes of Deck Thinning.
Deck Thinning refers to the strategy of making your deck size smaller in order to increase the chances of drawing whatever particular card you may need from the remainder of your deck.
An interesting side-note about drawing cards with this spell when you have no cards left to play: Instead of drawing cards, you will draw one FATIGUE card for (x) self-inflicted damage, followed by a second FATIGUE card for (x+1) self-inflicted damage. It's a great way to suicide if you have no cards left and loss is inevitable.
Golden version unlocked at Mage level 15 and 20
Very handy and cost efficient card for what it does. Sometimes it gets in the way early on but chances are it will serve you well no matter what kind of mage deck you are going for.
I like to refer to this simply as Bill. Makes me all nostalgic.
Be unpredictable, find draw cards elsewhere and have a "fuller" deck not susceptible to card disadvantage.
Reference to the
World of Warcraft
(previously called "Arcane Intellect")
When I was new to the game, I thought this was a terrible card.
My thinking was that it costs 3 mana, takes a card slot and draws 2 cards. So essentially you are spending 3 mana to gain one extra card. In truth, that is what it does...
but have you ever been low on cards in hand and just need that one extra spell or charge to win the game? Yet you keep pulling those crappy low cost minions when you need a fireball?
That's what arcane intellect is for.
The more I think about it, this card isn't very good. As someone below pointed out, it's 3 mana, 1 card to gain 1 extra card...so why not sack arcane intellect and get gnomish engineer, Thalnos, or loot horder? When you draw arcane intellect, it does nothing, so essentially 1 of the 2 cards you get replaces it, and you end up +1 card. Why not draw one of these other cards that actually do something in addition to giving you +1 card? Plus, these other cards keep a faster tempo, you can have a minion on the field that much quicker.
There's something to be said for synergy, and that those cards may not have great synergy with the rest of your deck, but it just seems way to slow to spend +3 mana for an extra card that you won't be able to do anything with.
The reason this card is often looked down upon is because of it's 3 mana cost basically fetching the mage one extra card at the cost of developing the board. Of course this is true on turn three, what people fail to realize is that unless they use
100% of their mana every turn
then Arcane Intellect is an investment in their hand, especially while top decking. Deck thinning is a prime method of fetching combo pieces in decks that utilizes combos or cards they only run one of, such as legendary cards, an example is Miracle Rogue. Card draw is also useful for decks that run low mana curves, decks that empty their hands quickly and need replenishment, this is why Agro Warlock is such a popular archtype.
You won't always have the perfect curve to play minions onto the board, this is why cards such as Arcane Intellect exist. Developing the hand to a somewhat slower turn for better options later.
Minions that cantrip are almost always better than spells that only serve to draw cards because pure draw does nothing to develop your board. However, this card works with Mana Wyrm, Gadgetzan Auctioneer and Sorcerer's Apprentice, so there's often more synergy in the Mage's deck for it. It's also somewhat stronger in the mid-to-late game, because you may have turns where you would have left 3 mana on the table anyway, and a pair of extra options for basically nothing can swing the entire game around when you're low on cards in hand.
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