Another side quest that’s likely a yikes from us. Spending mana on spells optimally is more difficult to do than spending mana on minions, so this quest is more difficult to use than Druid’s Strength in Numbers. In addition, the reward is just a Rat Trap. Is it worth running in a spell heavy deck that’s going to be quite draw dependent by nature? We’re skeptical. Might be fine to generate randomly, but it’s another thing to put it in your deck.
This is a terrific value 1-drop, and likely a better card than Babbling Book despite the deathrattle because it generates a spell that’s specifically strong in the early game. Any Mage deck that’s aggressive or wants to make use of cheap spells while fighting for board (such as Cyclone Mage) will be interested in this card.
Out of the dragon explorers, this is the weakest one, because its body is very underwhelming for 4 mana. To make full use of Azure Explorer, you must run a bunch of cheap damage spells that can consistently combo with it. This makes it a little awkward to use and we would consider it to be less of an automatic inclusion as the other explorers, especially in Highlander builds.
Just great early game removal bundled with discovering spells for the mere cost of 1-mana and running dragons (which we probably should be doing in Mage, anyway). Being able to fight for the board while maintaining resources in hand is very valuable. Arcane Breath also has synergy with Mana Giant, a card we will discuss later.
One of the more interesting side quests because the reward is very strong and could support a Cyclone Mage deck. We still give it the quest penalty, but if the deck can run a consistent number of elementals, it might consider playing this card.
One of the cards that will push Highlander Mage to run dragons the most. This guy can help you cast Luna’s Pocket Galaxy, Flamestrike or Power of Creation in a way that’s very unfair to your opponent. Being unfair is usually a good constructed strategy. Dragoncaster is a strictly better Inkmaster Solia because it comes down a turn earlier, and the spells we have today are better than the spells we had available in Solia’s glory days.
Versatile removal that can deal with a large minion or a couple of smaller ones. Flexible removal such as Rolling Fireball usually end up seeing play because it can efficiently answer different board states in different matchups, and it’s also difficult to play around. We’ll lean on history here and give it a cautious thumbs up.
Friendship ended with Mountain Giant. Mana Giant is now Cyclone Mage’s new best friend. This minion not only works incredibly well with Mana Cyclone but has also received support through other cards in this expansion, and it might be discounted quite quickly. We would never underestimate mana discounts, especially when they seem trivial to execute. Throughout Hearthstone’s history, they have proven to be very worthy, and very scary, build-around cards.
Dragon Soul attached to a body for the same cost, in a class that can abuse the ability far better than Priest ever could. However, we should focus on the fact that its ability has not penalized its stats. You can play it on turn 3, and it offers a threat that’s urgent yet difficult to remove. To summarize, it’s a good tempo play with insane upside and game-winning combo potential as early as turn 5 with Sorcerer’s Apprentice. It’s hard to give it a lesser score as a result. Big upgrade for Cyclone Mage.
Malygos, Aspect of Magic
This could potentially be the Kazakus/Zephrys of this set. Malygos’ ability to generate extremely powerful spells, with a range of options that can be relevant in any Hearthstone game, cannot be underestimated. Anything you could possibly want in a card, Malygos can potentially provide. The price to pay for this card isn’t even much at all, as the body is very serviceable for 5 mana. It’s quite difficult to kill on turn 5 because of its massive health, and it could make some decent trades against smaller bodies. Malygos is the biggest incentive to run dragons in Mage decks, and it’s a hell of an incentive.
Descent of Dragons Set Rank: 3rd
Overall Power Ranking: 4th
We think the Mage set will be very good to the class. Rather than receiving raw dragon power the way Druid did, Mage’s dragon boost is a bit more subtle and cunning. After languishing in mediocrity following the nerf to Luna’s Pocket Galaxy, Highlander Mage will now have the option to cast it for free thanks to Dragoncaster. Highlander Mage will also be able to run a second copy of Zephrys thanks to the addition of Malygos. This is yet another card that could pull Mage from the brink of defeat by doing extremely unfair things for very little mana.
The more we look at the prospect of Highlander Dragon Mage at the launch of the expansion, the more it looks like one of the best decks in the game. It has so many power plays (translation: complete bullshit plays) that even if it draws one or two of them in a game, it always stands a chance to win.
After being crippled by the nerf to Conjurer’s Calling, Cyclone Mage has received new hope with multiple cards that could support its game plan very well. The notable ones being Chenvaala, a top-quality minion that offers a win condition by itself, and a new giant that’s currently on a loudspeaker, screaming at us to discount him with Mana Cyclone. Dragons could also be contributors to Cyclone Mage’s revival, as well as the revival of a Big-Spell Mage deck fully focused on Dragoncaster.
So, with what looks to be a premier contender, and a few other potential leads, it’s hard to see the Mage class sucking as much as it did over the last couple of months.