Tempo Mage Deck List Guide – Uldum Doom – October 2019

Tempo Mage Deck List Guide – Uldum Doom – October 2019

Our Tempo 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 Tempo Mage

Let’s cut right to the chase: Tempo Mage is back in full force, and thanks to Doom in the Tomb, this very iteration plays out like a blast from the past.

Flamewaker, one of the strongest Mage minions in the history of Hearthstone, beautifully fits the current playstyle of modern Tempo Mage, most noticably the high-value usage of and Mana Cyclone.

An endless array of cheap spells paired together with a certain elemental called Ragnaros the Firelord makes Tempo Mage the perfect deck to round up the control-heavy meta game of Saviors of Uldum.

Tempo Mage Deck List

Deck Import

Tempo Mage Mulligan Strategy & Guide

Vs Aggro Decks

Higher Priority (keep every time)

Babbling Book – As esports history has shown, Babbling Book can pull off miraculous draws while maintaining early board control against pressure decks like Aggro Shaman.

Flamewaker – Many players think that Flamewaker serves as a great tool to deal heavy amounts of face damage; however, it’s just as important in terms of board control against aggro opponents. With no real board clear in the list, this minion serves as your life insurance!

Sorcerer's Apprentice – It’s important to contest the board early especially against aggro – but watch out for bad trades against minions like Sludge Slurper!

Lower Priority (keep only if certain conditions are met)

Mirror Image  – Only keep this spell when you drew Flamewaker that you need to protect early!

Mana Cyclone/Elemental Evocation – Ony keep this combo if you start with The Coin. An early tempo 2/2 that draws a couple of possibly cheap spells that could even help you clear weak but wide board states pays off in the long term.

Vs Control Decks

Higher Priority (keep every time)

Babbling Book – Early stats on the board, early card generation, the tempo dream! Keep it every time.

Sorcerer's Apprentice – Will create much more pressure against early empty boards, just because you can play Flamewaker right after.

Flamewaker – Tempo Mage wants to dish out damage as early as possible against control opponents, and an early Flamewaker can do terrible, terrible things in the early game.

Lower Priority (keep only if certain conditions are met)

Banana Buffoon – Really personal preference, because its bananas can become quite clunky in hand if you don’t draw into your win condition cards. Still a good keep because it enables value trading and cheap spell power!

Tempo Mage Play Strategy

General Strategy

In comparison to classical Tempo Mage’s game plan, this deck can be played out in many different ways. The depth of synergy between FlamewakerSorcerer's Apprentice and Mana Cyclone allows a versatile approach in every matchup.

In the past, one of the most crippling weakness that Tempo Mage had was lack of board clear. Yes, several lists teched in one cope of either Blizzard or Flamestrike, two cards that are basically dead draws in any control matchup.

Thanks to Mana Cyclone, card and thus possible board clear generation becomes a viable solution to the problem of the past. And not only that, all spells in combination with Flamewaker result in some sort of damage to both face and the board without needing to waste your important core spells.

All that turns Tempo Mage into a more combo-centric archetype, especially in comparison to older iterations that included secrets or more burn spells. Playing your threats on curve can decide the game early, especially if you already hold your key cards in hand, ready to fuel Flamewaker. But in the end, patience while playing this new version of Tempo Mage almost always will be rewarded!

For that reason, it is imperative to know not only your win condition, but rather how to “get there”. Spell generation is key in this case, and Babbling Book may be the best Hearthstone card in existence to do that. As already mentioned, the current meta features tons of 1-health minions, so having the trading iniative against those already brings you closer to your win condition.

As per usual, Arcane Intellect can’t be left out when even thinking about any Tempo Mage list. In this iteration, however, it plays out much more non-critical, because you have lots of other ways to generate cards. In the end though it is still one of the most powerful spells in Mage’s toolkit, providing real card draw and more options in case you haven’t drawn into your synergies yet.

The main reason why Arcane Intellect became much less important is Stargazer Luna. Funnily enough, this very unique Mage minion mostly serves as bait for single-target removal in the early and mid game. Drawing cards with it is just a bonus on top while showcasing enough pressure for your opponent to make bad plays.

Banana Buffoon can do similar things by softening up problematic early board states. On paper, Tempo Mage doesn’t really care about a comparably weak 2/2 body, as long as it produces two very useful and cheap spells; but in the end it is the potential to dish out a couple of attacks especially against control opponents that makes this minion a staple in almost every modern iteration of Tempo Mage.

In terms of cheap spells, this list includes almost everything it can get: Arcane MissilesMagic TrickMirror Image,  Frost Nova, Ray of Frost and Frostbolt serve one purpose and one purpose only: To feed your thirsty Stargazer Luna, Mana Cyclones and Flamewakers! What sounds like a straight-forward plan for your cheap cards in hand really separates the good from the exceptional Tempo Mage player, especially when comparing aggro with control matches. Without going over every single spell, it is the sheer amount of versatility that makes Tempo Mage a top tier deck in the current meta; no matter if you talk about defensive plays through Freeze effects or card generation chains with Magic Trick.

Another unique factor of current Tempo Mage is the minion side of the deck: We see classics like  Zilliax,  Siamat and Sandbinder make several lists of the past, but thanks to the ongoing Wild event, Ragnaros the Firelord as well as Emperor Thaurissan enable the Tempo Mage archetype to establish late game minion pressure like never before while maintaining highly synergistic value with the rest of your cards!

Archmage Antonidas rounds out Tempo Mage’s minion synergy squad, providing another win condition on its own, just like it always did.

Tempo Mage in its current form has never seen such a high amount of high-quality cards. The ability to refill your hand several times adds up perfectly with synergies provided by the supporting minion base of this list.

Vs Aggro Decks

In the current meta game, classes like Shaman and Warlock love to flood the board repeatedly. That is why Flamewaker becomes the key card when thinking about contesting wide but low-health board states. Mirror Image gains insane value as well, protecting your important key minions to enable spell streaks over multiple turns. 

The dilemma against aggro opponents often lies within the timing of playing your key minions; that is why it is even more important to aggressively mulligan for Babbling Book and Mirror Image. In dire situations, you have to look at your minions not as spell enabler but just as meat shields, and maybe your copy of Arcane Missiles in hand needs to be played regardless of Flamewaker presence.

Vs Control Decks

Looking at long forgotten meta games, matchups against control opponents are better than ever. Tempo Mage doesn’t have to all-in as early as possible anymore, just because it can generate so much value in the long run (I’m looking at you, Banana Buffoon!). Fatigue games can occur quite often, and especially in those games you have to use your value tools to the absolute maximum.

As silly as it may sound, counting cards and not overdrawing after playing Mana Cyclone or Stargazer Luna may be one of the most obvious but also helpful advices one can give to an aspiring Tempo Mage player.

What is even more important though is the ability to see your time to pull the trigger on your Flamewaker plays, because greedy lists like Resurrect Priest or Control Warrior may not have the tools that they need to fight off Tempo Mage’s relentless pressure.

Tempo Mage Tech Cards and Card Substitutions

  • Siamat – One of the most valuable legendaries to craft in the current Standard year, Siamat should be in your collection already. If not, you could replace it with another value card like Witchwood Piper or Bloodmage Thalnos.
  • Research Project – This card generator can be found in more tempo-based lists. Right now, Tempo Mage can allow its opponent to draw cards as well; but if the meta gets greedier, you’ll just help your opponent to find the key draw to survice.
  • Sandbinder – If you’re not playing elementals like Siamat or Ragnaros the Firelord, you can safely cut Sandbinder and replace it with another copy of Banana Buffoon.
  • Novice Engineer – A great minion if you lack early card draw, can replace Arcane Intellect in a more aggressive meta game.
  • Archmage Antonidas – A very important minion, but can be terribly slow in a fast aggro meta. Unmatched in power level, you can try to substitute it with a cheeky tech card like Mind Control Tech.


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!

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