Greetings, I’m Sheng, a Legend rank constructed and 7 win-average arena player. I run HearthstoneCoaching.com where our coaches have helped students around the world reach many of these same achievements.
If you’re new to Hearthstone, or just have a limited collection of cards—I feel your pain. It is often difficult to find cheap but viable decks to play on the Hearthstone ladder. Given this dilemma, I’ve set out to help those of you with a limited collection by creating budget decks for each class.
This Standard deck is constructed with only Commons and Rares from the Basic, Classic, and Whispers of the Old Gods card sets. In order to build this deck, you need to fulfill the following requirements:
Reach Level 10 to unlock all of the Basic cards for this class.
Have 880 Dust available for crafting cards you may not have from this deck.
C'Thun Mage is a Tempo Mage deck that combines the synergy between C'Thun minions with the spell synergy provided by Mana Wyrm and Sorcerer's Apprentice.
Thanks to Mage's cheap and powerful spells, with the proper opening hand, this deck can finish games extremely quickly, even before C'Thun is able to be played.
Towards the end-game, C'Thun can provide the reach to finish the game outright, or to clear your opponent's board.
Minions - 19
2x Mana Wyrm
- An incredible little minion to play from our opening hand. Mana Wyrm synergizes extremely well with the cheap spells we have in our deck, and in conjunction with an early Sorcerer's Apprentice can snowball out of control.
2x Beckoner of Evil
- A standard 2 mana for 2/3 minion that buffs your C'Thun. What's not to like?
2x Sorcerer's Apprentice
- Sorcerer’s Apprentice is a key minion in our deck, as she lets us play our Arcane Missiles for free and reduces the cost of all our other spells. This ability, in conjunction with a Mana Wyrm or Flamewaker (as an Upgrade) on the board is incredibly synergistic.
2x Disciple of C'Thun
- While Disciple of C'Thun doesn't have the strongest body, it's ability to deal 2 damage to any target is extremely valuable. However, you'll want to throw away Disciple of C'Thun for a stronger play on turn 3, as he doesn't provide a very strong board presence. Generally, you'll want to avoid playing him onto an empty board just to deal 2 damage to your opponent's face, unless it's for lethal or to setup for C'Thun on the following turn.
2x Twilight Elder
- Twilight Elder is an extremely efficient play on turn 3. With 3/4 in stats for 3 mana, he easily passes the Vanilla Test for minions. He also acts as a pseudo-taunt as most opponents will try to kill him quickly to minimize how large your C'Thun can get.
2x C'Thun's Chosen
- C'Thun's Chosen is an older brother to Scarlet Crusader. The one big advantage to C'Thun's Chosen is the fact he has 2 health instead of 1, meaning he's unlikely to die to a single Arcane Missiles or a Fireblast Hero Power from a Mage after his Divine Shield has been popped.
2x Water Elemental
- The Water Elemental is still one of the best 4 mana minions in the game, and does tremendous work against any class that has weapons. Its 3/6 body trades evenly with even 5/5 minions, and can be used to freeze a major threat you just can't deal with. An extremely versatile minion like this should be played in every Tempo Mage deck now that Piloted Shredder is gone.
2x Azure Drake
- A versatile minion that provides card draw and spell damage together. Our damage spells become much more effective with Azure Drake on the board.
2x Faceless Summoner
- Wow, Faceless Summoner is amazing value. It's almost hard to believe this card is Common. Faceless Summoner provides you an expected 8 mana worth of stats for just 6 mana. I've also had turns where Faceless Summoner gives me a card like King Mukla without having its negative Battlecry that gives your opponent two Bananas. With that said, this card is bananas.
- Thank you Blizzard for providing us with a free Legendary with Wrath of the Old Gods! You'll receive C'Thun and two Beckoner of Evil as a free reward after opening your first Wrath of the Old Gods booster pack. So long as the deck is built around him, C'Thun can win games on the turn he is played with just his Battlecry alone.
Spells - 11
2x Arcane Missiles
- Synergizes really well with Mana Wyrm and Sorcerer's Apprentice. With upgrades like Flamewaker, Arcane Missiles is even better, and can effectively swing games when it clears your opponent's board early.
- 2 mana for 3 damage and freeze is great, and synergizes really well with Sorcerer's Apprentice. A common play is to play Sorcerer's Apprentice and Frostbolt together on turn 3 to establish a board and eliminate a threat at the same time.
2x Arcane Intellect
- 3 mana to draw 2 cards is fair, but this isn’t a card we want in our opening hand. We want to play Arcane Intellect later on the in the game when we run out of cards to gain tempo.
- An auto-include into every Mage deck, regardless of archetype. It’ll take out anything with 6 health for 4 mana. One of the best spells in the game.
- One of the few spells in the game that unconditionally removes a minion. Dodges Deathrattle effects, and negates a lot of the value that N'Zoth decks. You'll want to save at least one of your Polymorphs for sticky Deathrattle minions, win-conditions like C'Thun, and large taunts that are hard to deal with.
- A board reset that’s very effective against decks like Zoo and Patron Warrior. We only run one copy because having two in our hand early on hurts us.
In general, you want to mulligan to setup your first three or four turns. Please note that there is a distinction between going first and going second in Hearthstone, and this should factor into your mulligan choices.
When going first, your advantage is the ability to play first. In addition, you gain mana crystals before your opponent. To take advantage of this, you want to be aggressive in your mulligan to put minions on the board.
When going second, your advantage is mainly The Coin, which gives you tempo over your opponent for a single turn, and also an extra card. Depending on the nature of your deck, whether it’s Aggro, Midrange, or Control, you’ll be looking for different things.
When playing an aggro deck, you’ll be looking for the same cards going second as you would going first. The objective is to quickly populate the board and bring down your opponent’s life total.
When playing a midrange deck, you’ll also be looking to get onto the board early, with the caveat that you can keep a single copy of a situational minion or spell that you think may be useful to counter an opponent. This might be a minion like Eater of Secrets to counter classes with Secrets or a removal spell like Frostbolt.
When playing a control deck, you’re looking to save the coin until much later in the game, generally when you can bring out a large late-game threat earlier than usual.
While I won’t make an exhaustive list, these are some of the cards you should consider keeping in your opening hand when playing this deck. In general, your goal with this deck is to get onto the board as soon as possible. It’s important to dig for an early 1 or 2 mana minion to play so you can begin to pressure your opponent’s life total.
- 1 Mana: Mana Wyrm
- 2 Mana: Beckoner of Evil, Sorcerer's Apprentice
- 3 Mana: Twilight Elder
- 1 Mana: Arcane Missiles (Against Hunter, Paladin, and Warlock)
- 2 Mana: Frostbolt (Going Second)
Here are some substitutions that will improve this budget deck. If you’re looking to craft cards to play this class, it’s best to start with the Key Substitutions first before working your way to the Nice-to-Have Substitutions. Unless stated otherwise, you can substitute a single copy of an upgrade card instead of two if you don’t have both.
- 2x Beckoner of Evil + 2x Polymorph → 2x Cult Sorcerer + 2x Arcane Blast
- 2x Disciple of C'Thun → 2x Flamewaker
- 2x C'Thun's Chosen → 2x Crazed Worshipper
If you’re interested in reaching Legend rank, or earning unlimited gold from arena, my team at HearthstoneCoaching.com would love to help! We’ve provided over a thousand hours of excellent coaching to students around the world.
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I hope you enjoyed this guide! If you have questions, feel free to ask in the comment sections below.