Every Friday a legendary member from team DKMR breaks down Don’t Kick My Robot’s “Deck of the Week” . These decks are seeing a lot of play either in constructed ladder or tournaments. Team DKMR explains the deck lists and how to play them. Make sure you check out Don’t Kick My Robot if you want to become a better player or check out their premium services if you would like them to do a 1 on 1 coaching session with you to help you better your game. View past Deck Lists of the Week.
[DKMR]Faramir here, bringing you the Deck of the Week. This week we have a very special deck. Freeze Mage has been around for a very long time and with its recent resurgence in tournament play, we decided to go over how it works. Right upfront I want to warn you, if you try this deck on ladder you will probably crash and burn since Hunter is one of its strongest counters. But if utilized perfectly, it can pull a lot of weight in tournaments and carry you to to victory.
The Deck :
2 x Ice Lance :
Ice Lance on its own is a very weak card; you need to combo it to acquire its full potential. Combined with Frostbolt and Bloodmage Thalnos, it can provide a surprising amount of burst and together with Archmage Antonidas, it can give you more Fireballs to finish the game.
2 x Frostbolt :
A great early removal, Frostbolt also is a part of your finishing combo that contains 2 Fireballs and 1 Frostbolt for 15 points of burn damage. Therefore, you should avoid using it early if possible. You never know, it might just be the 3 damage you are missing to kill your opponent. Frostbolt is also great in combination with Antonidas.
1 x Bloodmage Thalnos :
If you draw it early, it mostly gives you the card draw you need to stall the game, and if you draw it late game, it enables burst combos you couldn’t pull off before. There had to be a reason this guy is a legendary….
2 x Doomsayer :
This card is one of your tools against opponents who have built up a big board. Normally you combine it with Frost Nova on Turn 5 to get a lot of value out of it since it is hard to remove with no pre-existing board. Its hardest counter is any sort of silence ability. Against decks like Warlock Zoo there is merit in dropping it on the board earlier to stall the game more effectively.
2 x Loot Hoarder :
A draw engine that the Freeze Mage relies on. Loot Hoarder trades really well if you can get it on the board early, otherwise it just stalls the game by making your opponent use their heropower to kill it.
2 x Mad Scientist :
Mad Scientist can get your secrets out without requiring you to pay for the full mana for them. This card is extremely efficient and can set the Freeze Mage up for a great late game. The Mad Scientist also trades really well in the early game, making it one of Freeze Mage’s most important weapons.
2 x Arcane Intellect :
3 Mana for 2 cards. Not the best deal anywhere but still good card draw if you need cards as desperately as the Freeze Mage. Try using it as early at possible to get the cycle going before you are taking too much damage from your opponent’s board.
2 x Frost Nova :
The first big Freeze of this deck. In combination with Doomsayer it can even be a board clear. Since you have a limited amount of freezes in the deck, you should be careful not to waste them unnecessarily. You can take some hits in the early game and save freezes to set up a potential board clear.
2 x Ice Barrier :
Another card that is great for stalling. If you have to play it for 3 mana, it is really underwhelming, but if you get it off your scientist, it can actually protect your life total for quite a large amount of time.
2 x Ice Block :
Ice Block is arguably the most important card in Freeze Mage. Without it, many of the deck’s win conditions would not be possible. With Ice Block in play, you can get away with making any play without worrying about dying. In particular, you can set up a two-turn lethal with Alexstrasza and burn spells if Ice Block is already on the field.
1 x Acolyte of Pain :
Acolyte of Pain is simply another form of card draw, and Mage has the best hero ability in the game to take advantage of him. Some decks run two, but he can be a bit pricey, particularly if your opponent has a board (in which case he can only draw one card).
2 x Cone of Cold :
A lot of decks like Druid and Warrior opt to run bigger, beefier minions, so Cone of Cold works as a cheaper Blizzard in those matchups since you’re likely to see fewer than 3 minions on the board. Though it’s typically seen as a weak card, it fulfills its role in this deck by stalling out your opponent for yet another turn.
2 x Fireball :
4 mana, 6 damage, OP. Fireball is a key component of this deck’s winning combination a lot of the time. It is the most efficient burn spell in the game and can be used to deal with threats of your opponent or just to bomb him out of the game.
2 x Blizzard :
Another freeze, another stall. It can be frustrating to play against this deck if you get frosted over and over again until you finally get toasted by the Flamestrike. Blizzard kills off smaller minions and freezes bigger ones and sets them up for a Flamestrike to finish them off.
1 x Flamestrike :
Just like in arena, Flamestrike is very good at clearing your opponent’s board, particularly if you’ve softened them up with Blizzard or Cone of Cold. However, it won’t always be a perfect clear, particularly if deathrattle minions are on the board, so one Flamestrike was cut in favor of more freeze.
1 x Archmage Antonidas :
Antonidas seems like a strange card in this mostly minion-less deck, but used correctly it can steal games for you. Since your opponent knows that he is on a clock, dropping Antonidas before your opponent can set off Ice Block can force your opponent into one of two bad options: delay lethal for one more turn or face endless fireballs. At 7 mana, he works well with cards like Ice Block and Frost Nova if you’re at 10 mana, or with Ice Lance and The Coin otherwise.
1 x Alexstrasza :
The KEY component in this deck. Without Alexstrasza you will probably not win most of your Freeze Mage games. The ability to bring your opponent to 15 life or heal yourself back up to a reasonable life total after exhausting the opponent’s resources with your freezing abilities is the cornerstone of this deck. You want to play this card with an Ice Block in play and 2 Fireballs and 1 Frostbolt in hand to achieve the textbook win for the Freeze Mage.
1 x Pyroblast :
If you don’t think that this deck has enough burn damage already, take a look at this card. It is the ultimate damage card. 10 mana for 10 damage, not quite as efficient as a Fireball but it does its job to bring down your opponent to a life total from which he can be bursted down to 0 quite easily. Most of the time you only want to play this card if you have sure lethal in the next 1-2 turns.
The Mulligan :
You basically always look for your card draw early. You don’t want any of the clunky late game freezes on your hand early, so you look for Mad Scientists, Loot Hoarders and Arcane Intellect to get the cycle going. Against decks like Zoo it is alright to keep cards like Doomsayer and Frost Nova early to not let them get going and deal a lot of damage to you.
The Coin :
You don’t look for anything else in your Mulligan just because you have The Coin. The only thing The Coin changes in this deck is its synergy with Archmage Antonidas. If you can hold on to it until you make a good Antonidas play with it, it might just win you the game.
The Gameplan :
In theory, the plan of Freeze Mage is fairly easy. You draw cards early, freeze your opponents board until you can Alexstrasza your opponent, Fireball him twice and finish him off with a Frostbolt. Easier said than done though. You really have to make due with what you get from your draw. Most of the time you will not get your draw into freeze into burst combination. So sometimes you have to make counterintuitive plays that lead to victory other than the play that is best on that turn. You have to think about the cards you can draw that can win you the game. You have to play like you will draw those cards eventually.
Final Thoughts :
Freeze Mage is one of the hardest decks to play in competitive Hearthstone and really tough to master. But if you can figure it out and get a feel for when to use a freeze and when to save it, it can be a deck that can bring you far in tournaments. It really isn’t a great ladder deck and if you don’t believe me, then try it. Hunter is one of the best classes to undercut the gameplan of the Freeze Mage.
We still wish you a lot of success with this deck but if you want to avoid frustration, you might want to avoid Hunters or Warriors with this deck.
See you next week 🙂
[DKMR]Faramir streams weekdays http://www.twitch.tv/FaramirHS. You can find all of DKMR’s streamers on their website with the days that they stream!
Written by [DKMR]Faramir
Discussions about this topic brought to you by Team [DKMR]