Our Freeze Mage deck list guide for the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion, will teach you the ins-and-outs of this deck! This Freeze Mage guide includes Card Choices, Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, and Card Substitutions!
Introduction to Freeze Mage
Freeze Mage is one of the oldest deck archtypes in Hearthstone. The basic premise revolves around constantly freezing and wiping the opponents board, so you can transition safely to the late game, where you can either out-value your opponent, or kill them outright with a combo.
The days of Ice Lance are long gone by now, but Freeze Mage is still alive and well, mainly thanks to Frost Lich Jaina. The ability to create Water Elemental and have them heal you when they attack, is a pretty powerful one, it turns out. The deck spends the majority of the early and mid game either drawing/generating cards or wiping/freezing the board, so it can transition to the late game, where it can shine. Primordial Glyph, Cabalist's Tome and Elise the Trailblazer give you enough extra fuel to outvalue most control decks, while Frost Lich Jaina can single-handedly win you the game against aggressive ones.
- Arcane Artificer: A newly-released card, this little elemental provides you with armor each time you cast a spell, equal to its cost. This makes aggressive decks think twice before ignoring it, while providing you with some life-saving extra time to draw into your answers.
- Coldlight Oracle: A substitution for the usual Acolyte of Pain, the oracles are aimed to target decks such as Control Warlock and Spiteful Priest that either keep a large hand size, giving you a chance to burn cards and accelerate their path to fatigue, or revolve around not drawing some of their cards. A well-timed coldlight can turn the game around in the blink of an eye.
- Frost Nova / Blizzard + Doomsayer: This is one of the oldest tricks for Freeze Mage lists. Doomsayer, when combined with a freeze effect, is really good at stalling the game against aggressive decks, or forcing control decks to make weird decisions, such as wasting a card or choosing to “burn” their next draw.
- Primordial Glyph: A pretty powerful discover effect, since it is limited to class spells and comes with a 2 mana discount. Primordial Glyph and Arcanologist are the most typical turn 2 plays you can have, since they give you something to do on the next turn.
- Elise the Trailblazer: Aside from a solid 5-mana body, Elise provides you with extra cards to play, outside of your deck, which is especially potent when you face slower decks. Cards from the Un’Goro expansion have a high chance of being elementals, so they synergize with your Death Knight’s passive effect, an extra upside.
- Skulking Geist: With a good enough body for a 6-drop, this minion’s battlecry removes all 1-cost spells from both decks. While you do not have to worry about that, other decks in the meta have pretty impactful cards at that mana spot, which can harm or even outright destroy (looking at you, Jade Druid) their game plan!
- Sindragosa: The new Dr. Boom? Well, not quite. Still, this 8/8 Legendary Dragon provides you with a good amount of value against slow decks. The two 0/1 tokens that she spawns each provide you with a random legendary when killed, plus they synergize really well with the Death Knight’s Hero Power.
- Frost Lich Jaina: One of the more thematic Death Knights, Jaina provides you with a new hero power and a passive effect; your hero power spawns a Water Elemental when it kills a minion and your elementals heal you when they deal damage, for the rest of the game.
Against Aggressive Decks
- Arcane Artificer: Can provide you with early armor and require 1-2 trades from your opponent’s minions.
- Doomsayer: Wiping the early aggression and giving you back tempo to win the board and transition to mid-late game safely.
- Arcanologist: Decent body for early board control and guarantees Ice Block draw.
- Frostbolt: Early removal for dangerous minions.
- Frost Nova (if you already have Doomsayer in hand): When combined with Doomsayer on turn 5 (or 4 with the coin), this can wipe almost any board.
Against Slow Decks
- Arcane Intellect: Card draw is of utmost importance in these matchups, so draw whenever possible.
- Coldlight Oracle: Most slow decks have a pretty sizeable hand until the mid game, so burning 1-3 of their cards, while also drawing yourself is a pretty good deal.
- Polymorph: Removing your opponent’s threats is a good thing, but denying powerful effects in the process is priceless.
- Cabalist's Tome/Elise the Trailblazer: They both achieve similar things, so keeping one in hand gives you a chance to take full advantage of the effect as early as possible.
- Frost Lich Jaina: If you play her early enough, you can overwhelm your opponent with your water elementals, forcing them to do desperate moves.
Facing Aggressive Deck
Your goal here is to stall the game long enough to play Frost Lich Jaina. Be careful of when you decide to use your spells, because every turn can be the last. Take your time to review your available options and keep yourself healthy as much as possible. If you can take a hit to guarantee a large board clear the following turn, go for it. You should only play coldlights if you really do not have any answers in hand, or can answer anything the enemy can throw down. If you face a lot of these decks, you should look to replace some of your late-game minions for early AoE, such as Volcanic Potion or even include one Ice Barrier to buy some time so you can stabilize.
Facing Slow Deck
This is where the deck shines the most. Your Death Knight keeps you healthy and provides you with a board, while you generate extra cards and remove your opponent’s threats. Cabalist's Tome, Elise the Trailblazer, Primordial Glyph and Sindragosa all have their moment in the spotlight in these matchups, surprising your opponent with extra burst, removal or threats that he cannot handle. Be mindful of your remaining cards and do not go too far towards fatigue, since you want the opponent to run out of cards before you. Other than that, use Polymorph on minions with powerful effects or deathrattles and Meteor on just big threats and overwhelm your opponent with hero-healing Water Elementals!
Elise the Trailblazer => Weapon removal minion: If you find yourself facing weapons pretty often, you could forego some of the value that Elise provides to deal with them, since she requires a lot of setup. Harrison Jones could provide you with extra card draw, in case you need it. If you find you have enough draw, go either for Acidic Swap Ooze or Gluttonous Ooze, depending on the kind of weapons you encounter.
Skulking Geist => Medivh, the Guardian: Should you find that you are facing a lot of heavy control decks, excluding Jade Druid, this change is recommended. Medivh provides really big swing turns, allowing you to develop big minions when using AoE or removal spells. Firelands Portal is especially good with him, providing you with a 5-drop and a 7-drop while removing an opposing minion.
Meteor => Volcanic Potion: A change purely targeting aggressive matchups, Volcanic Potion can help you survive the early onslaught of cheap minions and stabilize quicker. Meteor tends to be a glorified Volcanic Potion in those matchups anyway, so why not save the 4 extra mana?
Freeze Mage has evolved since the last time it saw decent play on the ladder. Even though it has become a clear control deck, rather than a combo/otk one, it has not lost its flavor; you still look to freeze the board and keep your opponent from developing his game plan. The difference is that you now look to out-value your opponents with big, impactful minions and gain card advantage through your card-generation effects. The deck is not an easy one to pilot, but it is as fun as ever! Take your time to decide on the best available play for the turn; the deck has plenty of removal and value, so make the best of it and you should come out on top!