You may have recently noticed a new type of Tempo Mage taking the ladder by storm. Hotform recently reached #1 Legend with a variation of the deck that focuses a lot more on using spells for removal, runs less minions, and keeps Yogg-Saron, Hope's End in its back pocket as a finisher and Hail Mary.

Though this may sound interesting to everyone, us included, who have been playing a more classic take on the archetype, but trust us when we say this version is fundamentally different and certainly requires a significant adjustment period. Having reached Rank 5+ with Tempo Mage multiple times, I've personally had some trouble picking up wins with this. Minions are much more valuable and spells are more disposable. On top of all that it just runs a few different cards meaning you won't have your usual finishers.

Here are a few highlights from Hotform's guide that you really don't want to miss before trying it for yourself:
  • Don't be afraid to play Thalnos as a generic two drop.
  • Acolyte of Pain is considered the best Turn 3 play most of the time.
  • Hotform says Flamewaker is best played between Turns 5-10.
  • He also believes killing a three mana drop with Fireball is not a bad move.
Salutations! I am Hotform, I was the second place finisher at the Hearthstone World Championship last year. I am here today to present my #1 Legend Yogg Tempo Mage Guide.

Sections

I: Introduction To The Deck - II: General Advice - III: Mulligans - IV: Matchup Tips - V: Card Discussion

I: Introduction

This is a Mage deck which focuses on using damage spells and spellpower creatures to control the early board and work towards a kill.

Strengths:

The deck has a lot of damage. The deck has plenty of creatures which have spell synergy.

The deck has enough damage spells to deal with your opponents creatures consistently, while at the same time generating a card or board advantage.

Good Matchups: Shaman, Hunter, Rogue, Warlock, Druid

Weaknesses:

This deck struggles against control decks which use a lot of removal and healing tools.

The creatures in this deck tend to be small in size, spells are used in place of creatures to trade. This means that opponents with a lot of removal tools can leave us with an empty board.

Bad Matchups: Control Warrior, Control Paladin, Control Priest, Reno Jackson

II: General Advice

Random Damage

This deck is a Random Damage based deck. In using this deck you will often find yourself with a gamble on killing the opponents creatures. When these situations occur where you need to gamble on Random Damage there are a few conditions I like to think about before I choose:

Chance of Success: What's the chance you actually get what you want?

Risk vs Reward: Was the good outcome substantially better or mildly better than the bad outcome?

What position are you in?: Are you winning or losing the match? If you are behind, gambling becomes a better option even when the odds are unfavorable.

Yogg Saron

I will talk more about this card in the card discussion near the end. The basics of it is, you use this card to accomplish what nothing else could... some of the time it works. In general it will be a good card to play, is it good enough to recover from the position you felt comfortable playing Yogg in? That will not be as often; but this is a card which is an important function to get the winrate you need.

Top Decks

This is a deck which boasts a lot of card draw and a lot of direct damage. Taking risks on being able to close out a game by dealing damage before you have the kill in your hand gives you wins that you could not otherwise achieve.

An example of this is playing a Fireball on Turn 6 so that you can draw either Fireball or Arcane Intellect into Fireball to get lethal damage.
Making sense of when it is worthwhile to commit to killing your opponent is a game by game decision based on your odds to win.

III: Matchup Mulligans

There are three types of cards for mulligans. Cards we keep, Cards we don't keep, and :

Conditional Cards (CC): Cards that we keep if we have other good mulligan cards, or specific synergy in our hand already.

Recommended Mulligans:

Druid: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Cult Sorc, Frostbolt, Acolyte of Pain, Arcane Blast (CC), Mirror Image (CC)

Hunter: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Cult Sorc, Frostbolt, Arcane Blast, Arcane Missiles, Flamewaker (CC), Mirror Images (CC), Forgotten Torch (CC)

Mage: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Cult Sorc, Frostbolt, Arcane Blast, Arcane Missiles (CC), Acolyte of Pain (CC)

Paladin: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Cult Sorc, Acolyte of Pain, Frostbolt (CC), Flame Waker (CC), Mirror Image (CC)

Priest: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Cult Sorc, Frostbolt, Forgotten Torch, Arcane Blast (CC), Acolyte of Pain (CC)

Rogue: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Cult Sorc, Acolyte of Pain, Water Elemental, Mirror Images, Forgotten Torch (CC), Azure Drake (CC), Arcane Blast (CC)

Shaman: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Cult Sorc, Frostbolt, Arcane Blast, Forgotten Torch (CC), Acolyte of Pain (CC), Mirror Images (CC)

Warlock: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Cult Sorc, Frostbolt, Arcane Blast, Arcane Missiles (CC), Flamewaker (CC), Acolyte of Pain (CC), Mirror Images (CC), Forgotten Torch (CC)

Warrior: Mana Wyrm, Sorc Apprentice, Cult Sorc, Mirror Images, Acolyte of Pain, Water Elemental, Azure Drake (CC), Frostbolt (CC), Arcane Intellect (CC)

IV: Match Strategies:

[Ed. note: See the full guide for recommendations for each class.

V: Card Discussion:

Arcane Blast: This is a card that gains you a mana advantage (Tempo). Combined with spellpower this card does the most efficient damage per mana. Keep it around often, it is a prime tool.

Arcane Missiles: The evil version of Arcane Blast. It's worse most of the time but it can hit multiple things making it invaluable in certain situations. It also goes face for the same damage as Frostbolt. Love it or hate it, random damage is efficient damage at only one mana for three damage.

Mirror Image: Not useful all the time but a very important tool in match-ups against weapons. A good filler spell and trick up a Mage's sleeve that has synergy with the Mage mechanics. This is a Tempo mechanic; putting down 4 hp for 1 mana, and it almost always absorbs more than 4 damage.

Mana Wyrm: Best one drop around.

Frostbolt: Three damage for two mana, awesome. Freeze is a bonus and very helpful.

Bloodmage Thalnos: With so many spells and card draw mechanics, it is only natural to take the combination of the two. Often good to use as a development on the board like any other two drop.

Cult Sorcerer: 3/2 for two mana is ideal for Mage, damage is the most important factor on creatures for us so that we can trade up. Spell power and a 3/2 is a great creature.

Sorcerer's Apprentice: Makes every single spell more efficient. 3/2 is a great creature, if you have both a Cult Sorcerer and a Sorc Apprentice then you should normally play the Sorc Apprentice first unless you have combinations in hand. The mana advantage is a profit you don't always need, spell power on the other hand you will always want to make use of.

Arcane Intellect: We have low mana cards, so we need to draw a lot of them.

Forgotten Torch: More damage, fills in well to give us a big damage boost across our deck. This spell is part of the reason we run so much card draw.

Acolyte of Pain: More card draw. Synergy with the Mage hero power. Develops the board while being resistant to clears. Consider this the best thing to play directly on turn 3.

Flamewaker: This creature is fine in the early game, it has 2/4 stats which is very competitive for a 3 mana creature. But this creature is best played turn 5-10 when multiple spells can be played at once. It is in a lot of ways like +2 spell power. Consider that the damage that “misses” does go somewhere, and with all our burn damage, you always want to play this creature with as many spells as possible.

Fireball: Four mana six damage, awesome. With +1 spell power and a hero power it kills 8/8 creatures so we never have to trade. With so much damage in the deck look for opportunities to use this on the board; killing a three mana creature is not a bad choice.

Water Elemental: Highest HP creature in the Mage deck. The freeze is amazing and the stats on the creature are phenomenal. You could play additional four mana creatures, but I would never take away Water Elemental.

Azure Drake: Spellpower synergy and card draw. What makes this creature so much better than other five drops is it's ability to give us a spell combo turn on turns 6 and 7.

Yogg-Saron, Hope's End: This creature is the all in one late game package... at a price. You will find when playing a spell deck like this that you will be in situations where no single card could save you from defeat, except for our Lord and Saviour Yogg-Saron.

The more spells you have cast the better, every spell counts.

The ideal situation to play this, is when your opponent has creatures on the board and you do not.

This card is pretty crazy, you'll have to try it out to get a good feel for it. But suffice to say you do not play this all the time, use it when it will help you out.

Conclusion

This concludes my Yogg Tempo Mage writeup. To me this deck is successful but also math intensive. It requires a good understanding of probability and fractions to use correctly. It is also a deck that involves gambling. A safe playing individual may not enjoy this style of deck; but the victories are there for those who do, because Hearthstone rewards risks.

You can find me at:

Twitter: @HotformHS
Twitch
Youtube

Cheers,
Dylan Mullins “Hotform”