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Introduction


Hi all,

Camzeee here with another in-depth deck guide. This time, it’s the classic Freeze Mage. Having not played Freeze for a few seasons, I picked it up again at the end of last season and ended up getting Legend with it. The deck has gotten even better since then with the introduction of Emperor Thaurissan

and I now consider it one of the best decks in the game. However, it does come with a few caveats.

In my opinion, Freeze Mage is one of the most skill intensive decks in the game. Combo decks have traditionally been some of the more difficult decks to play since they require a deep understanding of opponents and their potential plays. Freeze Mage ups this ante by having little to no board presence and nothing but stall in the early game. Their final survival mechanism is also finicky to use and fraught with danger, and their alternate win condition is also combo oriented.

However, if you can master the deck, it is one of the most powerful in the game and has one of the best overall match-up percentages in Hearthstone. At a glance, it’s strong against Paladin, Mech Mage, Priest, Hunter, Warlock (both Hand and Zoo) and Rogue. That’s six out of nine classes that are favorable match-ups.

Only Warrior (and mainly the Control variant) is definitively favored against Freeze Mage. Druid and Shaman are very draw dependent match-ups. Druid is about even or slightly unfavored because of the heavy ramp and the Force of Nature

+ Savage Roar
combo. Aggressive Shamans meanwhile can pour a ton of damage on before you can start shutting down their board and end the game early.

If playing the percentages and unleashing big spell combos appeals to you, Freeze Mage should be your deck of choice. And I’m going to show you how to win with it.

Gameplan


Before we get into the details, it’s important to understand how this deck works and how you should be planning your turns out. This is not a Zoo deck where you play your minions whenever you have them. Choosing WHEN to play your cards matters more in this deck than others. As a rule, use as few resources as you can to stay alive. Freeze Mage often has a desperate feel to it since it frequently ends games on 1 hp but as long as you know your outs and how you’re going to win the game, you’re still in it.

The general gameplan goes like this: turns 1-4 you’re drawing cards and playing Mad Scientist

s/Secrets. That’s it. Ice Barrier
s are great early on to keep your life total high and buy you time. Meanwhile, try to slow your opponents’ momentum in the early game with smart Fireblast
s and remember to keep damage down. The earliest you can realistically clear your opponents’ board is turn 5 with Doomsayer
+ Frost Nova
. This is the start of the mid-game where this deck gets its name.

Mid-game is all about freeze. You should aim to freeze their board consistently with Frost Nova and Blizzard in the mid-game to set you up for the late-game burst. The beauty of Freeze Mage is that it often needs just one card – Frost Nova

or Blizzard
to completely immobilize your opponent. This gives you time to draw into your win conditions.

Late-game is where the fun begins. By this point you should have gathered enough cards to burst for large amounts of damage as well as setup Ice Block

to prevent lethal. Putting it all together is the tricky part. Alexstrasza
is often the key card in this deck and signals the start of the late-game since it represents up to 15 damage up front. That’s a great start in terms of damage and you can often burst your opponent down from there in just one turn with combinations of Fireball
, Frostbolt
and Ice Lance
. However, beyond that, you actually only have a very limited number of ways to close out the game.

Here is all the damage in the deck:

Class Cards (8)
3680
2
Ice Lance
1
2
Frostbolt
2
2
Fireball
4
Archmage Antonidas
7
Pyroblast
10
Neutral Cards (1)
Alexstrasza
9
View Deck

Seems awfully small right? This alone is all the damage you have (discounting the measly damage from your early-game minions). Therefore, you must be very careful when you choose to use any of these cards. Sometimes it is necessary to use some of your burn spells for removal, but it should only be a last resort or if you have enough left over to still ensure lethal.

I’ll be going over setting up for lethal in a later section but for now, look at that narrow list and come to terms with the fact that unlike some other decks, you have a much smaller window to win and it is possible to end up in a situation that is entirely unwinnable if you’re not careful.

Archmage Antonidas represents your alternate win condition when your raw spells aren’t enough. He is a potential source of infinite Fireball

s but is tough to activate effectively. He’s become much easier to use effectively thanks to Emperor Thaurissan
and is now an invaluable asset to the deck where he was once a luxury. More on him in the card analysis coming up.

Card by Card Analysis


2x Ice Lance

– Two copies of this card are mandatory for the burst finish. These are obviously best used for lethal damage and in conjunction with Frostbolt. They are extra potent with the inclusion of Thaurissan, since these get discounted to 0 mana. Very rarely will I use an Ice Lance on a minion, but sometimes it’s the correct play if you desperately need to stave off lethal and can draw into something to end the game with.

2x Frostbolt

– These are amazing cards and can setup Ice Lance, deal lethal damage and also be used as 2 mana removal for high priority targets like Knife Juggler
. I can’t imagine a Mage deck without a pair of these.

1x Bloodmage Thalnos

– This card is a very underrated legendary and it is at its best in spell combo decks like this one. Depending on the draw, this can be used to cycle early on if you need card draw or saved for a devastating spell barrage.

2x Mad Scientist

– This card is one of only two cards you want in your opening hand every game. It is effectively a 2 mana secret with a 2/2 body attached. That’s phenomenal value and the earlier you can draw and play these, the better.

2x Doomsayer

– This is one of my favorite cards. It can be used in a number of creative ways to stall and create difficult situations for your opponent. It’s great combo’ed with Frost Nova or Blizzard and it’s also the best card to play into a Mech Mage’s Mirror Entity
. There’s also a higher level use for it against Sylvanas Windrunner
.

Sylvanas is a great card but she’s a liability against Freeze Mage because of Doomsayer. You can play Doomsayer and then Fireball the Sylvanas to give Doomsayer to your opponent, thus instantly wiping his board. An alternative is to Blizzard first and then Frostbolt Sylvanas after, gifting the Doomsayer. You can be quite creative with it but essentially, you should look to give Doomsayer to your opponent via Sylvanas’ Deathrattle.

1x Explosive Sheep

– This card is another board wipe and can help ease Freeze Mage’s often awkward turn 4. It helps big time against Paladin and his little swarm of 1/1s, and is another great card to gift your opponent through Mirror Entity.

1x Novice Engineer

– This card is the only true flex slot in this deck. I decided to go with Novice for the additional draw instead of another board clear. I personally prefer Engineer over Loot Hoarder because of the instant draw ability. Having the card drawn first is far more beneficial in a desperate late-game situation where you’re either searching for lethal or looking for Ice Block.

2x Arcane Intellect

– Card draw makes up almost half the deck, and this is the purest form of it. It’s also one of only two cards I keep in every mulligan alongside Mad Scientist
. It’s an invaluable card that is key to this deck’s win condition.

2x Ice Barrier

– This card is an 8 health heal and that’s exactly what we need in the early game. It’s also a secret triggered by Mad Scientist so that gives it additional value. Always play Barrier before Block because later in the game, your opponent can bypass Barrier through spells whereas earlier on, he has to attack face with minions to trigger it.

2x Ice Block

– The deck’s last line of defense and a must-have. This card is what allows Freeze Mage the time it needs to burst for lethal. It’s best when triggered through Scientist early on, but is actually better in the end-game to have in hand so you can set it up manually. Be wary that Ice Block does not prevent damage taken on your turn. Fatigue therefore is a death sentence when you’re at 1 hp and a Hunter’s Explosive Trap
can also kill you through the block. Sadly, Kezan Mystic
single-handedly ruins Freeze Mage because stealing this also removes your last hope of surviving.

2x Frost Nova

– Freeze! This card is quintessential freeze and is great at stalling and keeping damage from coming in. If possible, try to combo this with Doomsayer to clear the board (unless they have Silence). It’s also a solid play to use this on turn 6 and setup Ice Block at the same time.

2x Acolyte of Pain

– This card represents additional card draw and is also one of the most misplayed cards in the deck. Against 90% of classes, this should not be played prior to turn 5 where you can ping it and draw a card immediately. Always try to extract at least two cards from it. The only match-up where it’s advised to play it early is against Priest. Almost all Priests run Cabal Shadow Priest
which can straight up steal your Acolyte and deny you draw. Play it earlier against a Northshire Cleric for instance to get those draws before they get stolen from you.

2x Fireball

– Burn! This card is often used for lethal burst damage but is actually not limited to that role. I know a lot of players who stubbornly refuse to play this even when there’s a game-ending threat on the board like an opponents’ Thaurissan. You have two copies and potentially more from Antonidas. If the circumstances dictate, use one of these to prevent your opponent from building a board that you have no hope of removing. However, it is indeed better to save it for all but the most dangerous minions because it is one of your few burn spells and you may run out of damage if you use these too frivolously.

2x Blizzard

– AoE freeze and damage is perfect for stalling. This card shuts down your opponents’ board for at least one turn and can help thin out the threats. I have considered dropping one for a Cone of Cold
but ultimately decided against it since it can be relied upon to shut down the whole board.

1x Emperor Thaurissan

– New from Blackrock Mountain, this card has breathed new life into Freeze Mage. It is fantastic for lowering the cost of your spells and making Antonidas plays more accessible. It also enables burst that is straight up unfair. Try to play this on an empty board wherever possible, and if not, save it for when it can discount Ice Lances and Frostbolts. Discounting those two spells makes the biggest difference to your end-game burst. Often times, I will refrain from playing it until I can ensure it lowers the cost of key cards that can setup lethal.

1x Flamestrike

– This card is perfect for clearing large boards from Zoo or Grim Patron Warrior. It hits hard and can reset the board. One copy is enough because drawing two early on when you need more dynamic cards can lose you the game.

1x Archmage Antonidas

– I could write a whole article about Antonidas alone. In this deck, he serves as an alternate win condition by generating additional Fireballs for burst. The classic activation for him is Antonidas > Frostbolt > Ice Lance on turn 10. However, it’s now easier to draw a few Fireballs out of him from Emperor such as Antonidas > Frost Nova > Ice Block or a combination of the Ice spells. Whenever you play him, try to draw at least TWO Fireballs out of him. If you’re playing him as an alternate win condition, you’ll need the additional burn.

1x Alexstrasza

– The card that is forever doomed to be at the bottom of your deck. Just kidding. Alexstrasza is often the one card that you need more than any other in order to win as Freeze Mage. If the board state is good and you have the activation for Antonidas, you can start burning your opponent from full. However, in most match-ups, you’ll be hard pressed and need the instant damage from Alexstrasza’s Battlecry to get opponents into kill range. You should almost always Alexstrasza your opponent while you have an Ice Block up. This gives you a turn to regroup, forces him to both pop your block and deal with Alex, and leaves you in a far more comfortable position. If you’re playing some extremely aggressive decks, you may have to Alex yourself, but this should be a last resort situation rather than the norm. My biggest tip for playing her though is to draw her. So many games have been lost by lousy draws where she never appears.

1x Pyroblast

– Ten damage to face is often exactly what you need to finish with. I like to use Pyroblast as the final blow since it’s often tough to blow 10 mana on a card while not affecting the board. It wins games for you and I feel it’s necessary to ensure consistent finishes. I’ve seen decks without it, but I feel more comfortable knowing that somewhere in my deck there’s 10 damage sitting there that my opponent can’t block.

Advanced Tips and Strategy


I want to go over some in-depth strategies for Freeze Mage. I consider the deck one of the most difficult in the game because the slightest mistake in sequencing or hand management can spell defeat. Here are some tips for playing the deck separated by stage of the game.

Early Game

  • Draw Cards – It’s vitally important that you get some card draw going because this deck cannot function without drawing its key cards. Every card you draw gets you closer to having that lethal spell damage combo or Alexstrasza or that vital Ice Block 4 turns from now.
  • Don’t play your Acolyte on 3 – I’ve said this earlier on, but in all but the rarest circumstance should you play your Acolyte of Pain on turn 3. The reason for this is that it often only draws one card if you play it out undrawn and that’s just not acceptable and will cripple you later in the game.
  • Consider playing Doomsayer on an empty board – This is a nuance play that is great in the right hands. Doomsayer is sometimes very strong when played out on its own because it stalls your opponent out for a full turn which can give you breathing room to play your tempo losing cards like Arcane Intellect.

Mid Game

  • Defend your life total – Mid-game is where a lot of Freeze Mage games are won and lost. It’s very important that you plan ahead so that you preserve your life total as much as possible over a few turns. For example, Frost Nova might be tempting against a Face Hunter on turn 5 with a few minions, but playing an Ice Barrier might be a wiser choice since it’ll stall for the same amount of damage and the Nova can shut down more damage next turn.
  • Plan your win condition – By turn 6 or 7, you should have an idea how your late-game is going to play out. Ideally, you have Alexstrasza in hand and have a safe way to play Ice Block. However, this is often not the case, and you have to think about alternatives. There are situations where you have a ton of damage in your hand but no minions to play or few stall mechanics. If that’s the case, you may have no choice but to try and burst your opponent down from full and hope he doesn’t have heals. Archmage Antonidas is also a nice alternative win condition. If you can get two activations out of him, that should give you enough damage to burst an opponent down from full provided you manage to stay alive. In the mid-game you should be planning ahead how you’re going to go about finishing your opponent and try to get maximum value out of your freeze and stall mechanics.
  • Play Emperor Thaurissan wisely – Thaurissan can be tough to play out if you’re under a lot of pressure. That said, it’s important to preserve him for play when he’ll discount some valuable cards. The best time to play him is after a Doomsayer board clear, but that’s often not going to happen with all the silence running about. If you’re under no real threat and have a thin hand, it’s likely that your opponent has a bunch of removal spells instead of minions to play so saving Thaurissan for a later turn and drawing cards instead is a superior line of play.

Late Game

  • Alexstrasza your opponent – Freeze Mage is the ultimate go big or go home deck. There’s no in-between and you have a narrow window to win. Choosing not toAlexstrasza your opponent may keep you alive another turn, but it also significantly decreases the chance of you winning. For instance, usingAlexstrasza on yourself to stave off a Druid Force Roar combo is a horrible decision because you have no real way to fight for board control and will lose to it anyway in subsequent turns. The correct line is to play to win, risk the combo and be aggressive.
    • The only match-up where it’s frequently correct to use a defensive Alexstrasza is against Face Hunter. Face Hunter often loses its board control over time and ends up hero powering every turn hoping to draw into charge minions or Kill Command. The body of Alex is also a threat to a Face Hunter since it has no damage to spare for removal.
  • Play your spells carefully – I’ve seen my fair share of horror misplays where players use the Ice spells out of order and lose lethal damage. Remember to play Frostbolt before Ice Lance! Be sure to also calculate your maximum damage. Sometimes, you have more than you think you do thanks to the Spellpower boost from Bloodmage Thalnos. The opposite is also possible where you have less than you think. That’s a lot, lot worse, so be thorough on your math.
  • Plan your multi-turn lethals expecting heals – A lot of decks currently play at least one or two heals. Druids have Ancient of Lore
    , Paladin with Lay on Hands
    , Priest with Holy Fire
    and Antique Healbot
    is also a frequent inclusion in mid-range decks. When you aim to burst your opponent down, expect a heal or two and don’t go absolutely all in to win right away when you can play safer and use a few spells that get you just in range or allow a safe Archmage Antonidas turn.
  • Play around Loatheb – I’ve been told you can’t play around Loatheb, but I beg to differ. You absolutely can play around it as long as you know it’s a possibility. A good player will save Loatheb for a turn where you desperately need to play a spell.  Here’s my example of how you can play around it:

In this situation, you’ve already used your Alexstrasza to set your opponents’ health at 15. The secret in play is Ice Block. Your opponent is a Shaman who rarely runs any healing so you can safely burst over two turns. You have two options here. You can either use your burn spells in Fireball and/or Frostbolt with an additional Frost Nova on top to disable the board or you could Pyroblast for 10 to face.

I would argue that the best play here is to Pyroblast your opponent rather than play your small spells. The reasoning is that Pyroblast allows you to win next turn if they play Loatheb.  Fireball to face is still possible even through a Loatheb for lethal. Whereas, the other play can leave you in ruin if you’re relying on Pyroblast finishing the game and it gets its cost bumped to an unplayable 15 from Loatheb.

If you use the other method, it looks more secure in that you get to freeze their board, but the truth is, it’s far easier for Shaman to deal 3 damage to pop the block and play Loatheb than it is for them to survive a lone Fireball. Any healing at all say from Healbot scuppers both strategies, but at least this way you save your Frostbolt in case you topdeck Ice Lance which gives you enough reach for lethal.

Spell Combinations


To win the game, you’re going to need a fair amount of burst damage. Sadly, unless you have a really good hand, 15 damage to burst a hero down after Alexstrasza is hard to do, so you will likely have to do it over two or even three turns. The burst issue is helped by Emperor Thaurissan, but there are many games where you don’t draw him and the clock is ticking on you ending the game before your opponent. Here are the most common spell combinations you have and how much damage they do. Most of these are obviously stronger after Alexstrasza has been played or your opponent has tapped himself into lethal range.

Bloodmage Thalnos + Fireball + Frostbolt + Ice Lance + Ice Lance = 21 damage

This is the best burst you can put together with this deck minus Emperor Thaurissan shenanigans. It’s tough to gather all of these cards together but if you do, this burst is unreal and will almost certainly win you the game.

Fireball + Frostbolt + Ice Lance > Pyroblast = 13 + 10 damage

This is a multi-turn lethal and probably the most common one you’re going to employ to win games. Gathering the three Mage damaging spells over 9 turns is pretty easy and after an Alexstrasza, this initial burst drops your opponent to 2 health. This means that even an Antique Healbot

does not put him out of range of a Pyroblast finish.

This combo also has the added benefit of having 3 mana left over from the first burst which enables you to put up a new Ice Block if your opponent was able to pop your first one.

Archmage Antonidas + Frostbolt + Ice Lance = 7 damage + 2 Fireballs

This is your sustain finish. If you need additional burn spells against a Paladin or Warrior, this is the way you’re going to get more without the help of Thaurissan. It’s a great activator, does damage and puts out a threat that must be removed.

Emperor Thaurissan Combos

The Emperor has spawned a whole new set of combinations available in Freeze Mage, and some of the burst you can get is just incredible. Here are some that are possible to pull off using just one discount. Getting more than one discount from a Thaurissan should be an automatic win for you if you have even just a few cards in hand.

Pyroblast + Frostbolt + Ice Lance + Ice Lance = 21 damage

Even just one Ice Lance out of this combo gets you 17 damage. The burst from Thaurissan is so potent in Freeze Mage because discounting a 1 mana card into a 0 mana one is game-breaking. The Ice Lances represent 8 damage for free if they both get the discount!

Fireball + Fireball  + Frostbolt + Ice Lance + Ice Lance =  23 damage + 3 mana left over for a secret

If you’re fortunate enough to have a good number of your burn spells in hand when Thaurissan procs, you can pull off combos like this one. This is devastatingly good and impossible to play against.

Bloodmage Thalnos + Fireball + Fireball + Frostbolt + Frostbolt + Ice Lance + Ice Lance = 32 damage otk

I’ve never been able to pull this off, but this is the ultimate spell combo in the deck. 32 unstoppable damage that goes through Taunt. This is the stuff of dreams for you and nightmares for your opponent. Good luck pulling it off!

Match-ups


Freeze Mage is a very match-up dependent deck and the way you play is heavily influenced by your opponents’ class. Let’s look into a few of the most common meta decks today.

Hunter

  • Face, Midrange
  • Even – favorable
  • Mulligan for: Mad Scientist
    , Arcane Intellect
    , Explosive Sheep

This match-up can be quite tricky but I think it is overall favored for the Freeze Mage. Face Hunter is about even and you’re favored against a Midrange Highmane variant. If you draw your Mad Scientists and can setup your Ice Barriers/Blocks while maintaining tempo, you’ll be well on your way to victory. Hunter does not run any heals and that means that you can burst more exactly without fear of getting healed out of range. Freeze their board as much as you can, try to get a Thaurissan out and use Alexstrasza defensively for additional health.

Draw cards in the early game even if it means taking an additional 2 or 3 damage. Arcane Intellect on three is often the best play because without cards you cannot effectively stop the waves of Hunter attacks while setting up to win. Arcane Golem

is a real liability against you because an additional mana crystal is so valuable to Freeze Mage. The goal of the deck is to make it to turn 9 or 10 alive and Arcane Golem gets you there one turn sooner.

Consider teching in an Antique Healbot if the meta is very Hunter concentrated for the Novice Engineer.

Mage

  • Mech, Tempo, Freeze
  • Very favorable – favorable
  • Mulligan for: Mad Scientist
    , Arcane Intellect
    , Explosive Sheep
    , Doomsayer

Expect Mech Mage, especially in this meta. Our deck is very favored in this match-up. I’d say it’s up at 70-30. Mech Mage is a board flood deck which Freeze Mage is great against. Setup your secrets and try  not to get overwhelmed in the early-game. The weakness of this deck is in the first 4 turns where Mech Mage can sometimes get a huge board and apply too much pressure too fast. That’s why it’s important to get Mad Scientist and Doomsayer to stem the tide.

A key Doomsayer + Frost Nova combo right on turn 5 is huge. Be sure to play it as soon as you can because starting on turn 6, the Mage can Fireball and ping the Doomsayer to preserve his board. Doomsayer is a keep in the mulligan because of another key card – Mirror Entity

. Playing a Doomsayer into a Mirror Entity is huge and can destroy the entire opponents’ board and tempo. Stay alive, Alexstrasza offensively, and this game is yours.

The game plan against Tempo Mage is largely the same and often actually more favorable because of the inclusion of Sylvanas Windrunner

. Sylvanas is a big liability against Freeze Mage since you can often force it to steal a Doomsayer and wipe the whole board in the process. Look to make that play where you can. Let me tell you, it’s a satisfying play.

In the mirror match, focus on drawing more cards and Alexstrasza first. Usually, the first person to Alexstrasza will win the mirror match since they have first shot at popping the opponents’ Ice Block. Look to punish overdraw mistakes as well. Pinging an opposing Acolyte to force an overdraw can be huge and burning off an Ice Block or an Alexstrasza can be game-winning.

Rogue

  • Oil, Miracle, Tempo
  • Favorable
  • Mulligan for: Mad Scientist
    , Arcane Intellect
    ,

Rogues typically have slow starts to the game which suits us to a tee. Take your time developing and drawing cards. Play the Acolyte on turn 5 with a ping to draw immediately, and begin gathering the burn cards you need to finish with. The Freeze mechanic is immensely frustrating for a Rogue deck who thrives on killing minions and developing their own. Putting out independent creatures isn’t their forte and they often reluctantly put out creatures for any presence which then gets swept up by your AoE.

Be wary of the big Blade Flurry

turns that Rogue is capable of and keep your life total high. Once you Alexstrasza your opponent they have to clear your threat, heal (which they often don’t have) and pop your Ice Block in one turn. This is often too much for a Rogue to do and they’ll go down over two turns with spell bursts.

Druid

  • Combo, Ramp, Midrange
  • Unfavorable – slightly unfavorable
  • Mulligan for: Mad Scientist
    , Arcane Intellect

This is a tough match-up in the current metagame. Druids have been getting faster and faster, and this latest incarnation with Emperor Thaurissan can launch huge bursts as early as turn 7 with Force of Nature

+ Savage Roar
. Coupled with early Innervate
and Wild Growth
plays, this match-up can often be a huge snowball that you are entirely helpless against.

However, it’s not unwinnable with poor draws from your opponent and smart play. Consider a potential Loatheb when you are planning your lethal turns out and also account for Ancient of Lore

being on hand to heal. As a result, focus on whittling all the Druid’s armor off BEFORE Alexstrasza so that they are more vulnerable to a lethal burst.

Play to win. If you play too passively and defensively you WILL lose this game. You have to be aggressive and Alexstrasza your opponent, and use a few spells to setup lethal. It’s tough, but winning this match-up is a test of a good Freeze Mage player and if you can get a 50/50 win ratio you’re doing great.

Warrior

  • Control, Grim Patron
  • Very, very unfavorable – unfavorable
  • Mulligan for: Mad Scientist
    , Arcane Intellect
    , Acolyte of Pain

The match-up against Control Warrior is the worst in the entire competitive metagame of Hearthstone. You will win maybe 1 in 10 games and only if you’re very lucky. As much as you can, try to keep their armor down and draw lots of cards. In all my won games against Control Warrior, Archmage Antonidas got at least two additional Fireballs for extra burn. A key Thaurissan improves this match-up but it’s still a real struggle. Alexstrasza HAS to be used offensively which means that you also have to do a good job of keeping yourself safe from lethal. This is easier with Warrior than other classes thankfully, but the Grommash Hellscream

bursts can end games fast and catch you off guard. Don’t be too upset losing this one. You’re expected to lose.

Grim Patron Warrior on the other hand is a much more manageable threat. Since the deck wins through big Frothing Berserker

s and Grim Patron
s, freeze holds them down quite effectively and Flamestrike is your deck’s MVP. The same strategy holds though, you need to keep their armor down and Alexstrasza offensively in order to win. The good news is, they have fewer armor gaining methods and this means you won’t have quite as difficult a time bursting them down although still tough.

Paladin

  • Midrange, Dragon Control
  • Very Favorable
  • Mulligan for: Mad Scientist
    , Arcane Intellect
    , Explosive Sheep

This match-up is great for Freeze Mage. Not only does Paladin have a slower early game than some, it has a tough time removing Doomsayer which means full board clears are quite common. Their cards are also weak to mass AoE damage like Blizzard and they have little burst to pressure your life total meaningfully. Develop a board, draw cards and try to clear theirs with Doomsayer – it’ll work on Paladin more often than just about any other class. If you reach the late-game with a pretty decent life total and Ice Block setup you have all but won after Alexstrasza.

Be wary of the big heals Paladin is capable of. Lay on Hands

and Antique Healbot
can heal them all the way back up to full health but in doing so, they likely can’t pop your Ice Block, giving you time to draw more burst or generate it through Antonidas.

The most likely way that you lose is if they can spiral a board out of your control. That’s why Explosive Sheep is so key in this match-up to deal with the Knife Juggler

and Muster for Battle
plays that can give them dangerous tempo and pressure your life total.

Warlock

  • Zoo, Hand-lock
  • Very favorable
  • Mulligan for: Mad Scientist
    , Arcane Intellect
    , Explosive Sheep

Freeze Mage is a great choice when you’re facing a bunch of Warlocks. The Warlock hero power naturally puts their life total at risk to burst and both variants are low on burst themselves which gives you time to draw and prepare. Emperor Thaurissan is a rather key card in this match-up as an enabler to huge bursts which can be what you need to win. Against Zoo, use your freeze sparingly, and try to combo it with Doomsayer. Zoo has a really tough time getting rid of Doomsayer and catching a big board up in a freeze combo often leaves them too far behind in the race for face.

Remember that sometimes a Zoo board has a bunch of minions but they aren’t actually threatening much damage. A board of Nerubian Egg

, Haunted Creeper
and Abusive Sergeant
is not worth a Blizzard since it actually gives them MORE damage than before you AoE’d. Keep in mind that it’s damage we’re looking to reduce primarily.

Alexstrasza is a luxury in this match-up which means it’s not incorrect to use her on yourself if the Warlock is below 20 health and you really need the sustain. Keep her around though if the Warlock is playing very conservatively. I’ve seen some Handlocks refuse to tap below 25 health and that could be a problem if you use Alexstrasza defensively instead of offensively.

Shaman

  • Midrange, Mech
  • Slightly unfavorable
  • Mulligan for: Mad Scientist
    , Arcane Intellect
    , Explosive Sheep

I’ll be honest in saying that this is the match-up that I’m least familiar with. I have a decent record against Shaman, but I feel as though it’s ultimately not a favorable match-up. Shamans are either built more midrange and run Antique Healbot or they’re Mech aggro variants which can deal a ton of damage before we can stop them. They also have the best answers to Doomsayer in Hex

or Earth Shock
, and a decent amount of burst if built for it.

You play this match-up a lot like the Paladin one. Clear their board as effectively as you can, stall in the mid-game and Alexstrasza offensively. This match-up is likely worse because Shaman runs a bunch of sticky minions like Haunted Creeper

and Nerubian Egg
which really stymie our AoE board clears.

A good draw can definitely win you the game here, but over the course of the game the Shaman will dictate play and that can be very difficult to contend with.

Priest

  • Control
  • Very favorable
  • Mulligan for: Mad Scientist
    , Arcane Intellect
    , Acolyte of Pain

This is a very nice match-up; it’s possibly the best one for Freeze Mage. Priests’ lack of burst and life cap of 30 really hurt its ability to stay alive from big burst damage. Their slow early game also gives you time to draw into answers. A lot of Priests don’t run Shadow Word: Pain

which is the only really effective way to deal with Doomsayer
, and they also play Sylvanas Windrunner as well for the double whammy.

Draw cards, do a Doomsayer + Frost Nova clear, play your Acolytes early so they don’t get stolen by Cabal Shadow Priest

and burst after an offensive Alexstrasza. Be wary of the chain heals that Priest can do to keep its life total up in Light of the Naaru
and Holy Fire
. Luckily, you should be able to burst them down regardless especially if you can get a few activations off Archmage Antonidas.

Tech Cards/Alternatives


Sadly, Freeze Mage is a rather expensive deck and few cards are replaceable because of how the deck synergizes and functions. In fact, I would only say one card in the deck is a true flex slot – Novice Engineer.

That Novice can be replaced with a number of decent alternatives to help in certain match-ups.

  • Antique Healbot – A good choice in an aggro meta with lots of Hunters.
  • Explosive Sheep #2 – Helpful against board flood decks like Mech Mage, Paladin and Zoo
  • Cone of Cold – Extra utility freeze for if you seem to struggle mid-game to contain the opponent

The legendary cards, secrets and spells are all pretty much mandatory and aren’t replaceable. Some people argue Thalnos can be replaced with a Kobold Geomancer

or Loot Hoarder
, but I’m telling you that this just isn’t viable. Thalnos’ utility and value in this deck is incredible and losing out on one of its effects makes the deck considerably weaker.

The other 3 legendaries all have unique effects that can’t be replicated by any other means and thus aren’t replaceable. Sorry folks, this is a rich man’s game and a rich man’s deck.

Conclusion


Thanks for reading the guide all the way through! It took me a solid week to write everything up and I feel I’ve done it justice. However, if there are questions you still may have or any feedback you’d like to leave me, I’ll be on hand to answer and respond to all of them in the comments below.

Next up, I’m working on a unique Dragon deck so keep your eyes peeled for that in the near future!

Peace out!


About Camzeee

I am a multi legend-ranked player with Level 60 heroes for every class. My favorite card in hearthstone is Lord Jaraxxus (gold of course!) and I’m also an arena infinite player with over 800 arenas completed.

If you’re interested in Arena, here’s my Arena Mastery link and my own personal 12-Win Arena Log where I record every card/deck I’ve made it to 12 wins with (70+). 

I offer Ranked Ladder and Arena coaching through HearthstoneCoaching.com (founded by Sheng). Visit the site if you’re interested in having me coach you!

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