Welcome to the Messiah's series of articles that examine popular, powerful, or just plain different Hearthstone deck builds. This week's entry is the first that looks at the decks that are being made with the Goblins vs Gnomes expansion set. This first full expansion to Hearthstone has really shaken up the meta with many great new cards and combinations. Best of all some of the new cards and combos bring new power and options to old cards as well.
Mage – Mech Mage Deck
The deck I am looking at is a fast paced Mech based Mage deck that I have seen flooding the ladder in the last week. I believe credit goes to MrThreePik for creating this new deck type. Thanks to whomever did, it is a lot of fun to play, and pretty powerful.
This deck is a great example of new cards adding power and options to old cards, as mentioned was possible above. In this case the new Spare Part card type boosts the power of the older cards like Archmage Antonidas and the perennial favourite Gadgetzan Auctioneer. Even though the auctioneer has gotten more expensive over time, the cheap 1 mana spare parts make him extremely powerful.
Here is a base version of the deck as I have seen it played and some options for change that I have used.
- Mage Cards:
- 2x Mana Wyrm
- 2x Mirror Image
- 2x Frost Bolt
- 2x Snowchugger
- 2x Fireball
- 2x Goblin Blastmage
- 1x Polymorph
- 1x Echo of Medivh
- 1x Archmage Antonidas
- 1x Flamestrike
- Neutral Cards
- 2x Clockwork Gnome
- 2x Mechwarper
- 1x Harvest Golem
- 2x Spider Tank
- 2x Tinkertown Technician
- 2x Mechanical Yeti
- 1x Toshley
- 2x Gadgetzan Auctioneer
This deck has many different cards that go into the various combos that make the deck work.
Gadgetzan Auctioneer and Archmage Antonidas – These two cards are what the deck is based on and uses to win. Both cards provide huge benefit as you cast spells, and luckily all of the spare parts that you will be getting from the various mech cards all count as spells and therefore trigger their abilities.
Spare Parts – While not cards that start in your deck, several of your other cards provide these cards in various ways. The spare parts then provide their benefit as well as the benefits that the Auctioneer and Archmage provide above. While all of the spare parts are ok, some are extremely powerful such as Emergency Coolant for a freeze or Finicky Cloakfield to provide a minion with stealth. There are many others as well though.
Loatheb – A solid card in most decks. Here he allows you to stall mid-game and give you some time to setup your late game combos. He is also a very powerful minion all by himself.
Goblin Blastmage – While this card appears only mediocre at first glance at 5/4 for 4 mana, he comes with 4 additional random damage when summoned most of the time in this deck. One works ok in the deck, but I have found with the number of agro decks out there that 2 really helps clear the board in the mid-game.
Toshley – Another great new legendary card from the Goblins vs Gnomes set. He is a solid 5/7 for 6 mana, but also provides 2 spare parts in most cases, which really helps the deck.
Echo of Medivh – This card can setup some amazing mid-game options. If you have several minions on board, you can use this card to gain copies of them, then trade the existing against your opponents minions, and then summon the new versions of your own. Since so many of your minions also provide spare parts for your late game win condition it can really boost your win chances as well.
IDEAL OPENING HAND CARDS
This deck has many strong opening options, but really you are looking to setup some early aggression and card advantage. Therefore you should be looking to get some cheap minions, spells, or cards that provide some spare parts.
I would mulligan to try and get two of the following: Mirror Image, Mana Wyrm, Clockwork Gnome. I would also try to get either a Mechwarper, Snowchugger, or Frostbolt as well so that you have some options for second and third turn. I would not keep two of the 2 mana cards in an opening hand though, unless you are starting second and have the coin for a mana advantage.
As you can tell from the card selection and the ideal opening hands above, the idea is to start out strong with aggressive and fast minions in the opening parts of the game. By doing this you can keep your opponent on their back foot and make sure you get to the late game where the deck really shines.
Cards like Mana Wyrm, Mirror Image, and Clockwork Gnome all allow you to start of strong. From there you want to get a bigger minion out quickly, especially a minion like Mechwarper so that most of the rest of your minions become cheaper. However, you should be careful and if it looks like it could be removed right away, hold on until you can make the best use of it and hold off a turn or two. That way you can summon the Mechwarper and a few other minions all on the same turn.
Once you get into the mid-game you should be looking to keep the board clear with cards like frostbolt, fireball, polymorph, and even flamestrike. You can also use your minions to trade effectively against enemy minions as long as you make use of your spare parts. Be careful though as you really want to save as many spare parts as possible. Mid-game is also where you want to use both Loatheb to slow down your opponent and Echo of Medivh to gain card advantage.
Once you are into the late game you want your Archmage and Auctioneers in play and to use as many spare parts as you can. Since each grants a card back to you this puts you ahead with a very important card advantage in the late game. Once you get this card advantage it is hard for your opponent to overcome it and then you can win easily.
This deck type is quickly evolving online as it is still very new. There are many options out there that are still being explored by players, here are just a few of them:
Unstable Portal – This card fills two roles, first it is a spell and therefore combos very well with Auctioneer and the Archmage. Secondly it provides and additional minion card, potentially any minion in the game, into your hand and makes it cheaper to cast. The only issue is that it is completely random, so may not be a good minion for the deck. I have tried it out, but took it back out soon after. I see many others still running it though.
Gazlowe – This legendary minion looks to have a lot of potential. Making 1 mana spells (meaning your spare parts) grant another Mech card to your hand is obviously a strong advantage in this deck. Being a random mech though brings in luck, and adding another high mana cost minion to this deck could slow it down to much.
Antique Healbot – I keep flipping this card in and out. When the deck starts off slow, there are many times I have only needed 1 more turn to set up the win, but am short on health. This minion resolves that issue a lot of the time. When not low on health though, it’s a dead card, hence my shifting it in and out.
HOW TO PLAY AGAINST IT
Playing against this deck is all about managing removal and waiting for the key cards. In the early game you need to remove minions before they are buffed with spare parts and cause issues. Later in the game you need to ensure that you keep a removal card for the Gadgetzan Auctioneers and Archmage Antonidas. If you can remove them as soon as they hit the board, you essentially remove the decks win conditions. It is for the deck to still win without those cards, but it is much more difficult. Therefore, even though you may be tempted to use a Hex or Polymorph against a Mechanical Yeti on turn 5 it is better to save that hex for later, unless you have another removal card in hand already.
The deck has very few taunt minions or ways to protect from incoming attacks, therefore agro decks can do well by hitting the enemy player directly instead of worrying about the minions. This is always a risk though, as to many minions on the table can lead to a very powerful use of Toshley.
This deck is proving to be a lot of fun to play. It has some issues and is not perfect especially against Warlocks, but can also do very well and is something different and new. It will be very interesting to see what becomes of the deck as the meta of the game evolves as players figure out the new mechanics that Hearthstone: Goblins vs Gnomes introduced.
If you have comments on this deck, how you would change it, how you have been doing with it, make your thoughts known in the comment section below.
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