July 24, 2013

Core Mage: Building With a New Era of Cards

It's been a while since I've played the WOW TCG. In fact, I missed 7 booster sets during my leave. I never thought I would play the game again, but I am glad that the possibility is open once I move. Call it... a once a month card game kind of thing. I played a Druid and a Mage in the online game, so naturally I need a PVP deck. When discussing PVP with the world of warcraft trading card game, you have a few deckbuilding rules to follow, and then the format.

Sealed Draft
Booster Draft

For a pvp deck I'll pick constructed in this case. The other two involve building from booster packs. I want a deck ready to go.

Old World

Classic allows you to take any card from any set in the game and put it into your deck. For newer players it is difficult to acquire a lot of the old world cards without absorbing big collections. We typically raid in classic- any card not banned is allowed (and I keep ban lists short).

Contemporary is after the scarring of Azeroth. This features every set from Worldbreaker to the current set. It was built with the idea of bridging a gap between the old world and new cards. Some tournaments may play contemporary.

Old World is a custom deck building rule of mine. It isn't official. In Old world, you build decks with every set from Heroes of Azeroth to Icecrown. The name implies everything- these are older cards from a time long passed.

Block is a format of play where only the current block is legal. Right now that is block 7, which includes Reigns of Fire, Betrayal of the Guardian and War of the Ancients. This is often for tournament play- and when a new block comes out- you only have one set to work with.

The Core format, most often used at the tournament level makes the latest 2 blocks legal. When a new block is released, an old block is shifted out of core. Right now blocks 6 and 7 would be legal for core, and when block 8 is released, block 6 becomes illegal for core. When a new block is shifted out of core, only the sets in the block before it and the new block/set is legal.

This deck will be core legal; constructed. So it is core constructed.


2 touch of brilliance
1 alethia brightsong
2 Ian lanstrick
2 amulet of spell shield
2 boundless magic
1 hexamorph
3 overload
2 orgrimmar killblade
1 razor hill spiritseer
3 char
2 polymorph: pig
2 baxtan, herald of the flame
2 klandark
2 moro wildmesa
3 staff of silence
3 arcane unraveling
2 tristani the sunblade
2 veliana felblood
2 arcane breach
1 hagtrix the mindsifter
1 roza the star-mother
1 vazu'jin
1 gravelord adams
1 nox the lifedrainer
1 orgrim doomhammer
1 drazul the molten
1 escape from durnholde
2 If You're Not Against Us. . .
1 legacy of the damned
2 reoccupation
2 terror of the tides
2 the black morass
2 the fall of lordaeron
2 the path to the dragon soul


When deck building lately I have utilized a new way of building. I used to build by including "x amount of abilities" or "y amount of allies", but that isn't always the most effective way of building. In my new method, the cost of the card is examined for its usefulness. I usually start with abilities and equipment checked off in the database selector, and then I go through each cost and see what cards would benefit my deck. The closer the average cost to 3 is, the more likely I can do something each turn. Doing nothing on a turn, whether raiding or otherwise- is bad for board advantage.

Cost 1 cards
Touch of Brilliance is a nice card; the only problem is is that it needs to be attached to a friendly ally to do any good. Then I filtered down my choices to amulet of spell shield (which I would be an idiot not to run this card) and alethia brightsong and Ian lanstrick. From there it was a question of "if I have to put 7 cost 1 cards in my deck, how many of each of the cards here do I pick?".

Cost 2 cards
For Mages, cost 2 is a little more involved. I found 3 abilities of particular use and 3 allies. I found more than that obviously- but I screened down my choices. Boundless Magic allows me to fish for a particular card if I happen to get boundless magic in my starting hand. Hexamorph was included for the card draw, but it's primary effect is still nice for ally control. Overload was included on purpose to interrupt higher cost allies. That is what mages do- after rogues they are one of the biggest pain in the ass classes in the game. Amara Kells gives me some DPS- but I wanted some versatility by including an orgrimmar killblade and a razor hill spiritseer, utilizing the bloodrush mechanic.

Cost 3 cards
I was curious as to why Char wasn't a fire talent. Regardless, it's a nice DOT that gives the opponent one more thing to worry about. Polymorph: pig was included in my deck to add some ally control and versatility in dealing with bombs. Baxtan, herald of the flame was included for the empower mage mechanic. Klandark was included for the bloodrush ability, and Moro Wildmesa was thrown in because... it's good. Staff of Silence works as a defacto slow and becomes a major pain in the ass. I like that card, so I included 3 of it.

Cost 4 cards
Slim pickings around Cost 4. I included another interrupt- arcane unraveling. Then I included Tristani the Sunblade for her effect and sexy card art. For additional versatility burst DPS I included 2 of Veliana felblood.

Cost 5 cards
Arcane Breach works a lot like Mystic Denial used to, except here you get to draw a card instead of an additional interrupt. I liked it- so I included 2 of it. Then for flexibility, I included 1 hagtrix the mindsifter, 1 roza the star-mother and 1 vazu'jin.

Cost 6 cards
Although the idea of a death knight operating in a mage deck is a little... odd.... Gravelord Adams is the s***. He's in as a good bomb card.

Cost 7 cards
Nox the Lifedrainer will work out just fine if you are laying damage on the opponent.

Cost 8
Orgrim Doomhammer is this deck's big bomb. Just read the card and you'll understand why I picked him.

This deck runs for about $17 before shipping- and doesn't include the entire list. Not bad for a core PVP deck. I might actually buy it.

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