Conjurer Mage Deck List Guide – Rise of Shadows – April 2019

Conjurer Mage Deck List Guide – Rise of Shadows – April 2019

Our Conjurer Mage deck list guide goes through the ins-and-outs of this popular Mage build for the Rise of Shadows expansion! This guide will teach you how to mulligan, pilot, and substitute cards for this archetype!

Note: There’s no “official” name for the deck yet. We’ve seen names like “Summon Mage”, “Dragon Mage” and “Khadgar Mage”, but for the sake of uniformity, we’ve decided to go with the one Vicious Syndicate will be using (which is Conjurer Mage).

Introduction to Conjurer Mage

Conjurer Mage is the evolution of various minion-based Hand Mage builds for the Rise of Shadows expansion. The ability of the new Legendary minion Khadgar to double all of your summoning effects and the new summoning spells Conjurer's Calling and Power of Creation teaming up with Astromancer result in a minion-based Mage deck that can summon stunning numbers of big minions on the board, sometimes very early in the game.

The sheer quantity of big minions the deck is able to get on the board can overwhelm most control decks, and Conjurer's Calling is a constant threat if any of them stick: even if a big minion is forced to value trade, it can simply be turned into two (or four with Khadgar) similar minions for the following turn.

The lack of board clear spells can cause issues for the deck if it loses initiative and needs to defend. Even then, the opponent can ill afford to leave a Mountain Giant on the board, or they risk it turning into a wall of huge minions. Between defensive minions and this constant threat, the deck is not helpless even against aggression. Limited healing capabilities nonetheless expose it, especially to decks with significant burst damage from hand.

Conjurer Mage Deck List

This sample deck list was piloted to #63 Legend by Apxvoid.

Deck Import

Check out alternative versions of this deck on our Conjurer Mage archetype page!

Conjurer Mage Mulligan Strategy & Guide

VS Fast Decks

Higher Priority (Keep every time)

  • Twilight Drake – A good early minion that can trade away opponent’s minions.
  • Book of Specters – Card draw tool that powers up your main threats.
  • Firetree Witchdoctor – Spell generator and early minion that does not reduce the number of cards in your hand.

Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)

VS Slow Decks

Higher Priority (Keep every time)

Lower Priority (Keep only if certain conditions are met)

Conjurer Mage Play Strategy

While Khadgar reaps all the glory, the real engine of the deck is the quartet of Mountain Giant, Twilight Drake, Book of Specters, and Conjurer's Calling. An early Book of Specters can fill up your hand so that you can play an early Mountain Giant or a huge Twilight Drake. Never hesitate to cast Book of Specters, it is always worth it even though you risk discarding some spells.

Thing get really scary for the opponent when Mountain Giant hits the board. Conjurer's Calling summons two minions of the same cost, and there are only two 12-cost minions in the game right now: Mountain Giant and Grave Horror. Therefore, you have a 75% chance to get at least one 7/8 Taunt minion when you cast Conjurer's Calling on your Mountain Giant. If you can curve up from Book of Specters to Mountain Giant to KhadgarConjurer's Calling, you are looking at the best-case scenario of four 7/8 or 8/8 minions on the board on turn four when on the Coin. Of course, that happens extremely rarely, but I hope it illustrates the pure minion power available to the deck. Nothing prevents you from doing the same later in the game in a single turn, either.

Another power combo is Khadgar and Power of Creation. There are 3 Mage minions and 29 Neutral minions in the Discover pool for Power of Creation in Standard format, and this means that you have a 14.62% chance to Discover a Charge minion – either Argent Commander for 16 burst damage or Reckless Rocketeer for 20 burst damage – when you combine Power of Creation with Khadgar. You also have a 39.53% chance to Discover a Taunt minion (including Hogger, although a big group of Hoggers can be a little inconvenient). Without KhadgarPower of Creation is OK. With Khadgar, it can provide some crazy swings.

One more thing about Conjurer's Calling. Note how it does not specify whose minion you should target with it. Yes, you can use it as a hard removal spell if you really want to. Unfortunately, the owner of the minion gets the newly summoned minions. Then again, if you want to use Mind Control Tech and the opponent only has three minions on the board, I guess that’s one way to activate the Battlecry effect. There are many uses for the spell.

Another thing you need to pay attention to are your dragon synergies. Mage does not have access to a large pool of dragons, and your synergy enablers are limited. Firetree WitchdoctorScaleworm, and Crowd Roaster all require that you are holding a dragon in your hand to enable their full effect. Sometimes you may need to play them without the effect: Scaleworm is the most likely candidate for such a move, as the others have such a major upside. Nonetheless, always consider your dragon synergies when deciding on playing your dragons.

VS Aggro Decks

Your approach to facing aggro depends on the type of aggro deck you play against: Dragon Mage is capable of taking firm control of the board during the game, and much of the time you will be able to set up some Taunt minions as well. However, your healing capabilities are limited. Therefore, when you play against decks that have inevitable damage, you do not have the luxury of just chilling and outlasting all of their damage like a Control Warrior might do. Likewise, you are not great at clearing wide boards, except with your own minions, which do not do a whole lot against a board full of tokens buffed with Soul of the Forest. The subsequent Savage Roar play may just end the game.

What you can do, however, is defend yourself early on and then bring some big guns to the party and crush the opponent. Mountain Giant is always nice and your opponent typically has to react to it or risk getting blown out early with Conjurer's CallingTwilight Drake can also take down multiple minions while defending you. However, they are by no means the full extent of your tricks.

Against token decks, the key tool you want is Mind Control Tech, which can prevent them from snowballing early on.

If you’re able to play a couple of big minions on the board, even Twilight Drakes that are not that great to combo with Conjurer's Calling, you can give them Taunt with Sunfury Protector – or if you do end up playing Conjurer's Calling on a Twilight Drake that has done its share of value trading, you can Taunt up the random minions that are summoned.

Firetree Witchdoctor is a great card when you’re on the defense, as it gives you a small minion to trade with and also a spell that you can use to keep defending. Sometimes you can even find board clear spells with it.

Scaleworm can have an immediate effect on the board thank to Rush, and Dragonmaw Scorcher can burn down some small one-health minions.

Remember that you are not invincible. You do not have a solid supply of health or armor. Compared to many other slow decks, you need to start turning things around faster and go for that face. With all your early-game defensive tools and the big minions you can get on the board, you can often punch the aggressor in the face early enough that something like The Forest's Aid comes in too late to mow you down.

VS Control Decks

Your goal is to pressure control decks until they crumble. Sometimes you can achieve this early in the game with some Mountain Giant magic, but much of the time it is all about just lining up one threat after another, so that you can always repopulate the board if it is cleared. You do not have Deathrattle minions that would ensure a sticky board, so you need to have cards in hand to be able to go for more.

You need to be aware of the tools control decks have at their disposal. For example, you want to build boards that are difficult to clear with Mass Hysteria against Priest – three similar minions are better than two, because then two of the minions kill each other and leave the third one up (assuming that they do not have enough health to hit multiple ways). Against Warrior, Brawl is a tricky card to play around with no Deathrattle minions, but you can achieve more against Shield Slam and Warpath by keeping track of how much damage the Warrior can deal with them and planning the health totals of your minions accordingly. Minion positioning can also be crucial to play around Supercollider: an extra Sunfury Protector may help prevent a good Supercollider hit either by taunting up a specific minion or just by sitting between two big minions (which risks losing it to a Shield Slam or other such single-target removal card, if the Warrior has enough mana).

Overall, control matchups are much easier to navigate with Dragon Mage than aggro matchups, as you get to use your extensive arsenal of threats to wear them down instead of trying to find small edges to cling on and carefully evaluate how much you need to trade like you do against aggro decks.

Conjurer Mage Card Substitutions

Like many control decks, Conjurer Mage is an expensive deck, and your options to make it cheaper are limited. You can actually replace any of the Legendary minions, but there are lots of mandatory Epic cards in the deck.

  • Khadgar is at the very center of the deck. However, while the swing turns it provides are half of the fun of the entire deck, the deck is playable without it. You can substitute in more win conditions, depending on what your build is missing. Additional copies of Astromancer can do, for example. While missing Khadgar undoubtedly reduces your win rate, I have not drawn it in most of the games anyway, and the deck has still performed in all of those games.
  • Harrison Jones is a meta choice. Weapon removal is strong in Rise of Shadows, and some builds of the deck run all three available cards: two copies of Acidic Swamp Ooze and the Harrison Jones. You may add another Acidic Swamp Ooze if you do not already run two, or you can go for a strong midgame card, such as Dragonmaw Scorcher.
  • Zilliax is perhaps the most universally used card in the game. In this deck, it provides some crucial healing, an area the deck struggles with. Rotten Applebaum is the best substitute, but you really should craft Zilliax if you can, because you want it for every class anyway.
  • Kalecgos is a huge threat if it sticks, because the few spells in the deck are very powerful. Furthermore, you can discover a game-winning card from Kalecgos – really, I have done so, and you can do so too. It is not indispensable, however. You need to keep up the dragon count for synergies, but if you happen to have an Alexstrasza, you can use that one instead. Dragonmaw Scorcher is another reasonable dragon for the deck. In a pinch, any dragon will do, really.
  • Book of Specters and Mountain Giant form the core engine of the deck together with the cheaper Twilight Drake and Conjurer's Calling. You need this quartet, or there are not many tunes to play, and any ones that would be left would be in minor key.
  • Astromancer and Power of Creation can substitute for each other to an extent. Without KhadgarPower of Creation becomes much weaker and should be used as a single copy at most – you would always want two copies of Astromancer in that case.
  • Crowd Roaster is all but mandatory. You may be able to get by with one copy, if you can add another Dragonmaw Scorcher. Mage has limited access to dragons, and you need at least six dragons for the deck to function.

Old Guardian

Ville "Old Guardian" Kilkku is a writer and video creator focused on analytic, educational Hearthstone, and building innovative Standard format decks.

Check out Old Guardian on Twitter or on their Website!

13 Comments

  1. EmielRegis
    April 16, 2019 at 4:51 am

    I don’t understand why no one tries to put a couple of fire eaters and Jan’alai in this deck to replace some techs. I did it and it works pretty good (around 60% wr). Yes you might lose some 5%wr and it’s not super consistent, but when you manage to get 2 Ragnaros is f…..g worth it!

    • Old Guardian - Author
      April 16, 2019 at 4:58 am

      I guess you answered the question yourself, Jan’alai is not quite strong enough in this one, because you generally do not use the Hero Power enough to have the effect active early.

      On the other hand, yes, two copies of Ragnaros is the definition of awesome.

  2. Nickus89
    April 14, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    I love this deck. However, I did make few changes to most popular lists and saw my winrate drastically improve. Since the weapons are not main issue of the deck I decided to cut 2 oozes and astromancer for Janalai package to fight deck’s biggest weakness: aggressive decks. Dealing 3 damage in the early game helps a lot against early Staladris, murlocs, zoo or rogues with a lot of 3 health minions. Secondly, as much as I see the logic in mct, I am running messenger raven instead. Similarly to witchdoctor it doesn’t reduce number of cards in your hand (for giants and drakes) and enables some trading. In addition, there were quite few moments when I managed to discover useful cards like 2nd kalecgos or khadgar against warrior and spirit of the dragonhawk against zoo and token druid.

    • Lastherald
      April 14, 2019 at 11:06 pm

      What cards are in the Jan’alai package? Would love to try your version out!

    • Bliss
      April 15, 2019 at 8:33 am

      I really like the sound of these changes! Great recommendation.

    • Zebraz
      April 15, 2019 at 2:20 pm

      is there a world where i put in meteorologist replacing something

      • Electronick
        April 16, 2019 at 6:32 am

        I’ve tried many variants with this deck, some of which include one or two copies of meteorologist. Generally speaking I found the card too clunky. One is fine but I think 2 is overdoing it. Would probably swap out a POC.

        • Zebraz
          April 16, 2019 at 7:11 pm

          Have you tried a mossy horror? Works well sometimes. Also I’ve thought of replacing a PoC, maybe even two. I rarely use them, if I do they don’t help much. The meteorologist helps with fast decks or good for face if opponent doesn’t play minions. What other minions have you tried?

  3. DireRaven103
    April 14, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Tried this deck, not a great winrate…then I tried Kibler’s version that’s more midrangey and I’ve won 9 straight so… put that list up too!!!

    • Nickus89
      April 14, 2019 at 10:38 pm

      Kibler’s list is more control oriented, more packed with spells and thus better against rogues, zoo, or murlocs. As result it is less efficient against warrior and other more control oriented decks. Which one is better, depends on the decks you are facing. I for instance managed to easily climb to legend with my modified dragon version of the deck with around 80% winrate, facing mostly warriors, rogues, token druids and few mech hunters.
      Also, I would almost call Kibler’s deck a different archetype, closer to freeze mage with conjuration package.

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