Highlander Mage Deck List Guide – Saviors of Uldum – August 2019

Highlander Mage Deck List Guide – Saviors of Uldum – August 2019

Our Highlander Mage deck list guide goes through the ins-and-outs of this versatile Mage build for the Saviors of Uldum expansion! This guide will teach you how to mulligan, pilot, and substitute cards for this archetype!

Introduction to Highlander Mage

One of Mage’s most severe “world first problems” is the fact that it features so, so many good class cards, and that certainly doesn’t change with the new Saviors of Uldum expansion.

But what if you could use more class cards in your deck than ever before? Thanks to the reintroduction of Reno the Relicologist and his explorer friends we are finally able to play Highlander decks again! 

Together with Zephrys the Great and Luna's Pocket Galaxy, Highlander Mage – or Reno Mage, as we really should call it – quickly became one of the most versatile and thus powerful archetypes in the first week of SoU’s meta-game.

With 30 unique cards in the deck, we will take an even closer look at the card base of this archetype, the general play strategy and – most importantly – the most legit card substitutions!

Highlander Mage Deck List

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

Highlander Mage Mulligan Strategy & Guide

Vs Aggro Decks

Higher Priority (keep every time)

Luna's Pocket Galaxy – You should almost always keep this card for obvious reasons, especially if you already hold some early game solutions against faster decks.

Reno the Relicologist – You want to keep Reno against classes with more aggressive archetypes like Rogue, Warlock, Priest and Paladin.

Doomsayer – One of the few early board clear solutions against aggressive opponents.

Frostbolt – Deals with early threats and synergizes greatly with Ray of Frost.

Lower Priority (keep only if certain conditions are met)

Ray of Frost  – Very good together with Sorcerer's Apprentice, enabling early value trades with our limited options on turn 2 to 4.

Vs Control Decks

Higher Priority (keep every time)

Luna's Pocket Galaxy – The most important keep against control players.

Arcane Intellect – Card draw is of utmost importance in control matchups.

Mountain Giant – One of the best early threats, especially valuable against Warrior and other Mages!

Lower Priority (keep only if certain conditions are met)

Conjurer's Calling – Only keep with coin and Mountain Giant in hand.

Highlander Mage Play Strategy

General Strategy

First and foremost, we need to settle on terminology in regards of this archetype: Highlander Mage is a control deck through and through. Only in very specific scenarios do we want to play minions purely for tempo. Our late-game power swings are unmatched in the current game, so we want to keep the board state nice and small.

As said already, this deck kind of tries to do everything what Mage is good at, and thanks to the Highlander deck building restriction we are able to do exactly that.

Similar to most current Mage archetypes, Luna's Pocket Galaxy hands down is the most important card in the deck. As shown by the very liberal mulligan guide, we want to get this beauty into our hand as early as possible even against aggressive opponents. Having multiple minions in our deck cost 1 mana just breaks every game as a whole, so that should be the top priority!

Apart from that, we want to maintain control of the board as often as possible. Mage classics like Flamestrike and Blizzard help with that; in addition, Flame Ward offers a new early game solution against sturdy board states while improving consistency of Ancient Mysteries as well as Arcane Keysmith.

Doomsayer completes the board clear package and should be played sooner than later due to the lack of Frost Nova in most iterations of Highlander Mage.

Card draw has always been a very scarce resource in Highlander decks in general. Only one copy of Arcane Intellect is not enough, so we’re thankful for any draw, even if it’s targeted like Ancient Mysteries or Sandbinder. Our good friend Mana Cyclone is a must-include in this deck, although it won’t generate as much value compared to the Cyclone Mage archetype. However, it can still provide more than enough fuel for cards like Stargazer Luna, another very important card generator. 

The coolest new card generator of the set is -without a doubt – Vulpera Scoundrel. The fact that it also includes a mystery choice always makes up for mediocre Discover options on average, and it provides a decent body on turn 3. 

Despite the countless control tools in this list, modern Highlander Mage also features multiple ways to do actual face damage. We obviously have Frostbolt as a finisher and a great way to freeze opponents with powerful weapons such as Hunter or Rogue. Archmage Antonidas is a win condition on its own, and Kalecgos can find tons of potential burn damage as well. Last but ont least, Cloud Prince is one of many new Uldum cards that interacts with secrets and provides a hefty 6 damage that can be used to deal the deathly blow.

The Elemental package includes not only Cloud Prince but also Mana Cyclone and a new minion called Siamat who provides versatile board interaction that can be used as simple board clear, health protection or even imminent pressure! Zilliax joins the fray as well, which gains additional value on average thanks to SN1P-SN4P, and Sandbinder rounds it all out by providing targeted draw.

What really makes this list one of the coolest to play in the current Uldum meta though are two RNG-heavy-hitters: First there is Tortollan Pilgrim, the desert tortollan who could cast one of our pricey high-value spells such as Power of Creation while being able to serve as a health insurance for additional board clear on later turns; then there is Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron, the Old God in a box, which can result in insane outcome for both you and your opponent.

To top it all off, Zephrys the Great forms the backbone of Highlander decsk and Highlander Mage in particular. To be able to receive the “perfect” card for any situation takes training, but there could not be a better minion to feature one of the most versatile lists in Hearthstone history.

Vs Aggro Decks

As always, the key to success against aggro opponents is to not die, which may sound like an obvious task in all Hearthstone games. However, there are multiple ways to do that as Highlander Mage, and you as the player have to find the best one. Doomsayer is a great start against early board pressure, especially if you can expect it.

While we do have cheap removal like Ray of Frost and Flame Ward at our hands, we do want to play our cheap minions as early as possible, and that even includes situational cards like Sorcerer's Apprentice or Mana Cyclone. One of Highlander Mage’s biggest weaknesses is healing, so every point of damage that gets prevented through trading is a win already.

Besides that, there will be several situations where you can become the aggressor in the mid-game, especially after a well-timed Reno the Relicologist or a Luna's Pocket Galaxy. Don’t be afraid to pull the trigger on high-tempo plays if you can! As it always is as a control player, try to not be greedy with your solutions, but also know what can come. For example, Murloc Paladin can be countered hard through a well-timed Counterspell for example, but remember that they have multiple ways to flood the board! The mantra against aggro? Win by not losing.

Vs Control Decks

Playing this deck in a control mirror is so much fun. Yes, our game plan is dictated by an early Luna's Pocket Galaxy draw, but the games where we don’t draw it early are the ones where you will be able to improve on your Highlander Mage play.

The early game-breaking combo including Mountain Giant and Conjurer's Calling will happen a lot less frequently, so try to memorize other ways to get ahead in the mid game.

Resource management is key, and cards like Mana Cyclone and Stargazer Luna will almost always be able to fuel your hand if you wait for the right moment. 

Try to choose the right amount of pressure, especially against reactive decks like Control Warrior. If you are able to offer bad deals, your opponent will run out of solutions eventually, even with cards like Dr. Boom, Mad Genius in play.

Highlander Mage Tech Cards and Card Substitutions

  • Luna's Pocket Galaxy/Reno the Relicologist/Zephrys the Great – All three of these cards are absolute must-haves in this list and cannot be switched out.
  • Alexstrasza – This card divides the Highlander Mage player population. We have seen on multiple occasions now that a 1-mana 8/8 that deals 15 damage can snowball pretty hard. If you want to include her, don’t forget that you’re still playing a control deck and not Freeze Mage that had Alexstrasza in it for its win condition.
  • King Phaoris – Another insane value card that improves control matchups. It can also become one of the most dead cards in many other matchups, because it not only depends on mana, but on high-cost spells in hand as well.
  • Sunreaver Warmage – A cool solution and very similar to Cloud Prince. If you want to rely on heavy spells instead of secrets, go for it!
  • Hex Lord Malacrass/Barista Lynchen/Khadgar – It doesn’t get any greedier than these three cards. If Control Warrior stay unnerfed, these cards add the fuel you need to overcome these dark times ahead.
  • Youthful Brewmaster – Everything can get greedier with this pandaren. If you want to play Brewmaster, you better go all the way right into the land of greed.
  • Voodoo Doll/Polymorph – Two of the few tech cards that heavily improve our mirror matchup as well as matches against conventional Mage decks with double Mountain Giant. Works wonders against Mech and Quest Paladin.
  • Bone Wraith/Khartut Defender – Highlander Mage lacks healing and protection, and these two Reborn powerhouses excel at that. If the meta leans towards more aggro and mid game decks, those two cards are excellent inclusions.


Julian "Tharid" Bischoff, a dinosaur in the fast-changing world of esports and self-proclaimed Warcraft expert, already created Hearthstone-related content for Red Bull, ESL and Hearthhead.

Check out Tharid on Twitter!

Leave a Reply


  1. Therealm3ddy
    August 20, 2019 at 9:08 am

    Enjoy it while it lasts! Nerf incoming! (Sadly I don’t have dust to make this. Pocket galaxy sits in my collection with no op to be played. ????

    • Tharid - Author
      August 21, 2019 at 1:21 am

      I’m pretty sure that Highlander Mage will still be playable after nerfs. Yes, Galaxy is the key card, but it has much more control tools compared to the other Mage lists, so it can afford to wait a couple of turns longer.

      • Skoopy
        August 22, 2019 at 3:46 am

        its not about the turns. i think galaxy will see a rework!