David “Dog” Caero just walked away $100,000 richer after winning Masters Tour Las Vegas. His deck of choice was Freeze Mage, but this actually was not his original submitted deck. He was going to roll with OTK Paladin, but switched over due to the decks being leaked showing large amounts of Warrior. Either way, Dog’s Freeze Mage was nearly the perfect deck for the field in Vegas.
Freeze Mage has one major path to victory: stall the game, build a big board, push for lethal. Dog’s Freeze Mage could hedge more against aggressive decks in his primary list.
Against aggressive decks the Mage can rely on plays that utilize Frost Nova and Doomsayer in the early going of the game. Sometimes you can drop a Mountain Giant on turn three and contest for the board while threatening a Conjurer’s Calling for big taunts on the following turn. Rabble Bouncer is a great card against those who go wide. This is because it can be played cheaply as well as summon seven mana minions with Conjurer’s Calling.
Against slower decks it is vital to get that Luna’s Pocket Galaxy online. With it in play on an early enough turn, the value generated can outright win the game. Otherwise, biding your time and going for the Giant plus Conjurer’s Calling play gets the ball rolling. Then Archmage Antonidas into Alexstrasza can finish off just about any control style deck.
Primary Deck and Side Versus Warrior
Dog’s primary list could compete with aggressive decks while still being good against Warrior. He had double Doomsayer and double Rabble Bouncer which cut down on a huge amount of damage he would otherwise take in the early game. The one of Arcane Keysmith throws a wrench in the opponent’s turn as there are a lot of different interactions to play around with Secrets.
Where it gets going against Warrior is in the high end. He was running double Astromancer, Kalecgos, Archmage Antonidas, and Alexstrasza, all with Luna’s Pocket Galaxy which could make them cost one mana. If that wasn’t enough, his tertiary deck certainly had the gusto to get there against Warrior.
In his tertiary deck he cuts all the anti-aggro stuff by taking out a Doomsayer, both Blizzards, and both Rabble Bouncers. The odd inclusions he slides in are Arcane Dynamo and Deranged Doctor.
With most Warriors being Bomb Warrior, the eight health provided by the Doctor can be quite valuable. With Arcane Dynamo he can make it cost one which ends up making it a good card, and it’s not bad with Conjurer’s Calling. He also slots Khadgar into the deck so that he can make more threatening boards with Conjurer’s Calling
Versus Tokens and Zoos
Khadgar also finds his way into Dog’s Secondary deck. This list is used against decks like Token Druid. He cuts all of the high end with Kalcgos, Astromancer, Archmage Antonidas, and the useless weapon removal Harrsion Jones.
He puts in two Mirror Images and two Sea Giants. With this, he is able to play Khadgar plus Mirror Image for a wall of taunts and and free Sea Giants. As long as he is able to stall the game with taunts and freezes, the Sea Giants get to go face for massive damage.
Stall is what the deck is all about when it runs four full board freeze effects plus six single target freezes. When this is compounded with lots of taunts and the potential for massive swings, decks that don’t have direct damage don’t stand a chance.
Winning the Tournament
Dog faced mostly Warrior in the top eight but did have to play against Cyclone Mage. The Warrior matches had some confusing lines but the Mage match up is more straight forward.
His Mage opponents are able to generate random spells but Dog’s Freeze Mage will have the edge because he can just freeze the opponent’s board more than they can to him. Both decks seem to lack hard removal and because dog has the two Blizzards, his board of Giants will be able to hit the opponent first.
The Bomb Warrior match ups proved pretty tough throughout the tournament. His deck really lacks ways of healing and viable ways of clearing off minions. He has to hope that he can get a Doomsayer to go off. Otherwise, Warrior chip damage with early minions plus Bomb damage can quickly add up to lethal.
At the end of the day, Dog knew what he was doing and had the benefit of reading the meta before the start of the tournament. Cyclone Mage often lacks the reach to kill Warrior opponents, but the value-minded Freeze Mage will always be favored.
Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment via their official website.