Tempo Mage in Standard

Fri 22nd Apr 2016 - 7:21pm General Gaming


My thoughts on Tempo Mage in Standard

A lot of people have been asking me if Tempo Mage will still be viable in standard mode. It's not easy to say since the expansion isn't out yet, but here are my thoughts based on what we know so far.


Here is the card that I think could work in Tempo Mage:

Faceless Summoner: 5/5 Battlecry: Summon a random 3-Cost minion.

I've seen a lot of people excited about this card, and for good reason too. Although this card doesn't have any spell synergy, I still think it's a powerful tempo card; powerful in the same way that Dr.Boom is, just not as strong. I compare it to Boom because it has nice value, it doesn't rely on any synergy cards and it puts immediate pressure on the board that isn't easy to remove.

The main difference is that it's 6 mana. This can be both good and bad. The reason why it can be seen as bad is because tempo mage already has so many strong turn 5 or 6 plays like drake or conjurer, which makes a 7 drop like boom a much stronger follow up. On the other hand, 6 mana cost can be good because it can be a good power-play to counter a 7 drop or any other heavy minions.

Overall, I think this card has a lot of potential especially if you look at how strong some of the 3 cost minions are (Click Here for all the standard 3 mana minions)

Here are the new cards that I think won't work in Tempo Mage:

Servant of Yogg-Saron:  5/4 Battlecry: Cast a random spell that costs (5) or less (targets chosen randomly)

I haven’t really done the math on how many good outcomes and bad outcomes overall it just seems really inconsistent especially if spells can target itself. Also a 5 mana 5-4 is pretty bad.

Forbidden Flame: Spend all your mana. Deal that much damage to a minion.

I’ve seen a lot of people say that this card could be good in tempo mage. “How could it not be, you never miss a mana crystal!” one might think.  Well simply, the effect is just not useful enough. This card is best compared to Arcane Blast. Arcane blast will always do 2 damage for 1 or even 0 mana with sorcerer's apprentice, which is a huge tempo play with wyrm or sorcs early game. Also if you’re running blast you should have Azure Drake so there’s also the synergy there. Forbidden Flame, would ideally be the most effective when floating on 1, 2, or 3 mana, but dealing 1/2/3 points of damage isn’t good enough. This card might be better in a drake-less tempo mage deck.

Twilight Flamecaller: 2/2 Battlecry: Deal 1 damage to all enemy minions

This card is basically a 3 mana arcane explosion that doesn’t get spell synergy so I don’t think it’s good at all in tempo mage. Especially with muster for battle and implosion gone.

Demented Frostcaller: 2/4 After you cast a spell freeze a random enemy.

I can’t justify running this card over water elemental. This card’s effect is not good in tempo mage.

Tempo mage cards that will be missed

A lot of tempo mage players, myself included are going to miss some of the cards that are being rotated out. This is what we will be losing:

Mad Scientist: This is definitely our biggest loss. This card is an insane two drop and it’s hard to imagine tempo mage without it.

Piloted shredder: As some know, I always preferred Piloted Shredder over Water Elemental, so seeing shredder leave should make me sad right? Well not really, like many I’m tired of losing to shredder drops.

Flame Cannon: I really liked this card and it’s a shame that we lose a removal and we’re not given anything to make up for it (yet).

Duplicate: I really liked duplicate and it was one of the unique cards in my original tempo mage list, and I always stuck with it. Tempo mage can live without it but I’m sad to see it go.

Unstable Portal: “How are you going to play tempo mage without E-sportal Apx?!” Well although Unstable Portal is a very strong card in tempo mage, it’s not exactly core so we can manage without it.

Dr.Boom: Another really strong card in tempo mage that’s gone. Although similarly to Shredder won’t really miss this card since so many other decks lose it as well. Also like shredder, it's not fun losing to RNG.


So you’ve probably noticed that Tempo Mage loses a lot more than it gains. At least this is the case for a lot of decks, since GvG and Curse of Naxxramas introduced some very powerful cards. I think tempo mage is going to shape out to be more of a less aggressive mid-range sort of deck. This is because Mage loses a few strong spells in exchange for very few good spells, which means spells will have to be replaced with minions. There are not really any other classic spells that would fit the archetype other than maybe flamestrike. Now that the entire WotOG set has been released you can definitely expect standard decklists in the near future.




Alec Howard

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