Posted December 28, 2013 by NT in Hearthstone

Hearthstone Featured Deck: The Ice Block Mage Rush


The mage rush down is always a fun deck to play and quite a bit of Hearthstone players have hit the legendary rank with it. Although some cards in the deck vary depending on your personal play-style, the core of the deck remains focused and effective in many cases (not all). Furthermore, since Hunters aren’t that popular right now, one of your hardest counters is one you won’t run into very often (if at all).


The concept of the deck is to smash your opponents face repeatedly and nuke him every chance you get. Since spells aren’t affected by taunt cards, you can use your minions to help damage the opponent’s health when possible but always have the opportunity to nuke them, even if they put taunts up. As you can imagine, this whole concept may seem high risk high reward as the opponent can get you low as well but that is exactly where the mage secret, Ice Block, comes in handy as it can not only save your life but stall the game long enough for you to end theirs.

Core Mage Rush Cards

  • Ice Lance
  • Frostbolt (Direct Damage)
  • Ice Block
  • Fireball (Direct Damage)
  • Pyroblast (Direct Damage)


The main idea here is to try and get the opponents health below 20 health by turn 5. If you manage to do this, you will be in seemingly good shape as you can start pumping out Fireball for 6 damage and Pyroblast for 10 damage. Since Pyroblast costs 8 mana, you need to continually get your health low enough with your Hero Power, minions, and lower mana cost nukes so hopefully by turn 8 you can draw and utilize Pyroblast for the finish. The Ice Block is there to help you survive just to make it that far, given that you aren’t controlling the board all that much and instead focusing on damaging the opponent directly. There are many variants to this type of deck and I would recommend playing them and picking one based on your play-style and preference. The differences between the two variants can be found below:


The concept of the deck is to force the opponent to spend time attacking and controlling the board or alternatively controlling the board for a little while yourself while building up the cards you need for your finisher. When it comes to the early game in this deck, you want to play it as if you are playing a normal deck (one not focused on burning the enemies health as soon as possible). This means you will try to mulligan for Mana Wyrm and try to control/clear the board a bit as well as get damage in on the opponent. You have some draw power with the Novice Engineer but you mainly want to control the pace of the game with Arcane Missiles, Argent Squire, Mana Wyrm, Faerie Dragon, Harvest Golem, Shattered Sun Cleric. You can use your Water Elemental to serve multiple purposes here as well with one to control strong cards and prevent yourself from taking too much damage (until you draw Ice Block) or alternatively to play offensive and combo with Ice Lance, allowing you to be less reliant on Frostbolt for the freeze nuke combo. The deck has Leeroy Jenkins for a finisher or hard hitting cost-efficient damage minion and Argent Commander to do the same or alternatively help clear the board a bit in your favor (if needed). Last but not least, you have the Flamestrike to help with some board clear if things are getting abit too hairy in terms of board control.


This variation of the deck relies more on doing direct damage and providing more draw power – I’d recommend it to those who enjoy quicker games and enjoy playing with extra risk. The key differences are that this deck is more straight forward in terms of opponent face smashing. You don’t have to sit there and think about trading damage and trying to maintain early game board control, instead you mainly just go straight for the opponent’s face every chance you get. The deck has seemingly more draw power through the use of Nat Pagle, Loot Hoarder, Novice Engineer, and Arcane Intellect. It also has more direct damage oriented elements through the use of cards such as Leper Gnome, Elven Archer, and Nightblade. The Mirror Image in the deck helps you dish out the same type of damage by protecting your low cost minions (allowing them to survive long enough to dish out some damage) while also buffing Mana Wyrm further (since the ability counts as a spell). This deck utilizes Frost Nova for a more cost-efficient aggro control (since the minions can’t attack a whole turn, you by yourself extra time). The main concept remains the same with the end result in you blissfully nuking the crap out of your opponent.

Card Combos to Keep in Mind

These may seem very basic but can often separate the skilled Hearthstone players from the average ones:

  • Mana Wyrm + Any Spell = Helps buff your minion to dish out the early game damage you need to push out for your harder nukes to be able to finish the opponents.
  • Frostbolt + Ice Lance = 3 Mana for a Freeze + 7 Damage
  • Water Elemental + Ice Lance = Freeze + 7 Damage


Control decks seem to be hard counters to the Ice Block Mage Rush decks as they tend to have healing involved and this may leave you unable to nuke the opponent before they can finish you off. Since you rely a lot on your Fireballs and Pyroblasts to help you stay on the offensive, there aren’t many defenses. If the opponent heals through your sporadic bursts, you may be unable to counter their attacks when they decide to go on the offensive. The Ice Block will definitely help out but don’t get too comfortable as sometimes, stalling one turn doesn’t really do much other than prolong your death. If you are seeing a lot of control-based Paladin and Druid decks at the tiem you are playing this deck, I would advise swapping until your opponents change.

The Molten Giant OTK Warrior deck will also be a nightmare and these are pretty popular right now. Much like dealing with the Druid and Paladin heals is a pain in the butt, so is dealing with the armor a warrior can stack. The game isn’t completely loss but unless you get the right cards in your hand, the warrior may be able to fend off long enough to screw you over. This matchup is not in your favor.

Hunters using Flare and other Mages using Counterspell will also demolish your deck, thankfully decks with these cards are not found very often in the current meta-game.


Try out the deck and let us know what you think! Keep in mind that the deck is very fun to play and games are usually fairly quick but the deck has several counters so if you are running into matchups that aren’t in your favor, try swapping decks! If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, drop a comment!

There have been several people who have been running decks such as this one including several well-known players such as Veev, Reynad and Vingumminr9. For additional info and discussion check out this Reddit post and Reynad’s stream.