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Hi everyone, my name is Daisyx and this guide is for my Echo Giants deck Mage deck. I am the author of two previous Mage guides here on Liquidhearth -- Aggro and Tempo Mage -- and today I am here show you a guide on a completely different kind of Mage: Echo Giants Mage. First off credit where it’s due, the original creator of this deck is Root Neviilz who got top 25 EU with this deck. I am currently using this deck to grind back up the ladder after the reset and will probably be legend again by the time this guide gets published. This deck plays very slow and it is extremely rare to win games before turn ten. This makes deck sub-optimal for climbing but if you enjoy this playstyle over the very fast meta this guide should be something for you!
As the title says: this deck is all about ‘’creating’’ the cards that you need against a specific deck by copying them with Duplicate or Echo of Medivh:
- Do you need healing? Copy an Antique Healbot;
- Do you need Taunts? Copy a Sludge Belcher;
- Do you need value? Copy a Molten Giant/Alexstrasza/Emperor/Sylvanas;
- Does the enemy have a lot of 7+ Attack minions? Copy a BGH!
The first few games you play with this deck will feel slightly counterintuitive but when you get used to this deck will be fairly easy to play and a fun diversion from the decks that you usually play. This deck also has a few weaknesses, most notable big creatures that aren’t vulnerable to BGH. Since you are pretty much behind on the board for most of the game you can’t really reliably remove big creatures using your own board; instead, you must rely on your spells to do most of the clearing for you. Another weakness of this deck can be not drawing the right cards against aggro matchups. Quite a few cards are designed to give value against control matchups -- such as Sylvanas, Emperor, Echo, Arcane Intellect and BGH -- so if you end up drawing those in your early hand it can be really hard to stabilize against aggressive decks. An upside of this deck is that it is a very uncommon list which makes most of the people think that you are a Freeze Mage and not playing around Duplicate. Even when people figure out that you are not a Freeze Mage, they will still generally run into Molten Giants. In my climb back up to legend in the last few days I met this deck only a single time.
Read on if this looks like a fun way to win.
Understanding your Win Conditions
This deck has a few different win conditions, all of which are evenly viable across the different matchups. These win conditions are posted in no particular order.
The first win condition is very similar to the old Handlock lists: get two Moltens on the board for a single turn and then on the next turn Alex his face and punch for the knockout. The original Handlock lists mostly relied on taunting up your giants so that the enemy couldn’t kill you on the turn you played them, this deck also has another option in Ice Block. I have won quite a few games where I get to 10-15 Health with an Ice Block up before playing double Giants. My opponents then decided to rush my face and pop my block while ignoring the Molten Giants. Alexstrasza makes this plan look awkward.
The Alexstrasza combo kill is pretty consistent and very unexpected.
The second win condition is to simply out-heal a face deck’s damage. Belchers are great on this plan and you have an incredible amount of healing with Antique Healbots, Ice Blocks and Alexstrasza. You also have a lot of Taunts in Sunfury Protector and double Belchers. As a result, you can easily stall the game out for a while until your opponent runs out of cards. Funnily enough this is also the strategy against Freeze Mage where you can heal them out of threats.
The third win condition lies in copying value: quite a few late game control decks just simply run out of ways to respond if you dump a fourth Molten Giant or third Alexstrasza onto the field. Similarly, most midrange/aggro decks run out of steam if you play turn 4-5-6 Belchers's which you can enable with Duplicate.
The fourth win condition lies in your board clear: decks like Shaman, Aggro/Tempo Mage, and Patron Warrior are all very vulnerable to Flamestrike. It is often very common to get immense value from those. Most of the decks nowadays seem to be cutting Owls, which makes Nova-Doomsayer on crucial turns a lot more likely to succeed.
The fifth win condition is one that you will fairly rarely use: it is to wait and Fatigue out your opponent. This strategy I mostly employ against Dragon Warlocks, who have a tendency to draw a lot of cards through Azure Drake and Hero Power. Since this deck get’s a lot of ‘’free’’ cards from Echo and Duplicate, you can often run the opponent out of cards and then watch them die from fatigue while you keep healing up and clearing his minions. This strategy can also sometimes be used against slow Paladin and Control Warrior decks, since they both tend to have a lot of card draw.
Notable Cards and Synergies
In my previous guides I gave a general recommendation about in which phase of the game you would like to play a certain card. With this deck, however, you don’t really do a whole lot in the early game so I will just link some synergies.
Molten-Sunfury Protector:When at low Health against an opponent that has a threatening board this is a very good way to quickly have a strong board and give the opponent something to overcome.
Molten-Echo-Molten:Often at low Health you can easily play multiple sets of Moltens on the same turn by copying them with Echo and replaying them. This can easily set up lethal if you have an Ice Block up when you suddenly have four Molten Giants on the field.
Belcher in the mid game and then just use it to stall. Turn three Duplicate into turn 4-5-6 Belcher is amazing to put a lid on just about any aggro or midrange matchup.
Double Molten-Alexstrasza-attack:Already described in Win Conditions. This combo is pretty obvious and easily kills overly aggressive players.
2x Explosive Sheep-Ping Sheep:A six mana two-card Flamestrike.
This deck has a lot of ways to gain value but sometimes this might be too much and you get stuck with a lot of really good cards in your hand that you can’t play due to mana constraints. To combat this, some of these cards could be removed.
1x Ice Block:If the metagame is control heavy you often find yourself with an Ice Block on the board and an Ice Block in your hand doing nothing for half the game. If the opponent manages to pop your first Block it means that they must have had so much board control that there is no possibility to come back anyways.
1x Arcane Intellect:You often have plenty of cards in your hand due to your passive early game, so you don’t really need Arcane Intellect for the extra cards. Since some games with this deck will lead to Fatigue, and it is very easy to overdraw with Duplicate, this card can actually be detrimental.
Thaurissan: it doesn’t combo very well with a lot of your other cards and often does little to slow down the aggro decks. Sylvanas can, however, be very useful in control matchups.
Legendary/Budget Replacements:While you can easily cut Sylvanas & Emperor, Alextrasza is impossible to cut since you often need it for the healing or for the lethal combo. This deck also checks in at a whopping 7060 dust -- mostly because of all the epic cards in this deck -- and it being a combo-reliant deck unfortunately makes it not very flexible in making budget replacements.
-Dr Boom: Works similarly to Sylvanas only it is harder for people to ignore it. Boom himself can also eat a BGH’s for your Giants. The downside of this card is that it is even slower than Sylvanas and the Boom Bots have anti-synergy with Duplicate.
Fireball can also give the deck some reach potential to finish off close matchups.
Blizzard:Gives you an extra way to slow down midrange/aggro decks and allows you to more easily combo with Doomsayer.
Frostbolt also allows you to freeze a Face Hunter/Warrior to prevent him from using weapons when you get on lower Health.
Matchups and Mulligans
- Mad scientist: 100% keep;
- Doomsayer: Keep against everything except for Druid, Priest, and Mage if you know it is Freeze;
- Arcane Intellect: 100% keep except for confirmed Face Hunter;
- Sunfury protector: Keep against Hunter and Warlock (unless confirmed non-Zoo);
- Explosive sheep: Keep against Mage (unless confirmed Freeze) and Warlock (unless confirmed non-Zoo), Hunter, Paladin and Shaman;
- Sludge Belcher: Only keep against midrange/control matchups if you go second and have double Belcher or Duplicate-Belcher;
- Big Game Hunter: Only keep against 100% confirmed Handlock;
- Ice block & Duplicate: Always mulligan away except if you go second and have Sludge Belche-Duplicate and you are against a midrange/control matchup. Keep ice block against face hunter;
- Get rid of everything else.
First off a note about the win rates: they were collected when playing on legend 100-1000 last season and going from rank 15-5 this season, making for a total of about ~50 wins/losses. Because of such a huge part of these win rates being collected while climbing (though not necessarily against bad opponents), they might be slightly high. I have tried to manually correct for that.
Mech Shaman 70% Archon Decklist
Keep control of their damage in the early game and try to heal up when they use spells to finish you off. Try to save Polymorph for Fel Reaver. Explosive Sheep often can do a lot of work in this matchup. If you force them to burn your Belchers and Doomsayers you should be able to easily close out this matchup
Patron Warrior 60% Bloodyface Decklist
Since all of a Patron Warriors cards have 4 Health or less -- Emperor excluded -- Flamestrike is the key to winning this matchup: always make sure that you get value from the Flamestrike. Play your Doomsayers early since most of the time they will expect you to be playing Freeze and this quite often baits out an Execute before you drop bigger threats later on. Always try to have an Ice Block up since Warriors can very easily burst you down from 20+ Health. Your win condition here is to get huge value with Flamestrikes and Explosive Sheeps and then slowly grind him down and possibly even Fatiguing him. The only targets that you have that allows him to charge his patrons in are the 1/2 Sludge from Belcher and Mad Scientist, so be careful when playing them late in the game. You don’t really care about his armor since you will get him down eventually, just make sure to not let the board spiral out of control.
Warrior had a strong start but running out Doomsayers here makes his next turn very awkward.
Control Warrior 50% Fibonacci Decklist
This deck plays similar to Patron Warrior except that he has a lot of big threats which this deck has difficulties dealing with. The Shield Slams also makes it harder for your big minions stick. Try to save Polymorph for his Ysera because you have no way of dealing with it outside of Polymorph. Just like Patron Warrior make sure to bait his Executes with your Doomsayers and try to get value with your Flamestrikes. In this matchup you will really need your Moltens so don’t try to stabilize before you are somewhere around 10-15 Health. The nice thing about Warrior's win condition is that it comes in a huge hit which will proc your block. Make sure to not dump all of your Giants on the board at the same time if you get a good copy off since Brawl can really wreck you.
Zoolock 40-60% Savjz Decklist
The builds of Zoolock can vary but the slower the better for you. In this matchup you try to stall and stabilize as much as you can. Don’t be afraid to just drop a Doomsayer on a board with one minion if you can’t combo it with Nova since forcing him to tap -- or use Power Overwhelming -- can stall his game enough for you to be able to take over. Make sure to use your Explosive Sheeps to kill of his two Health minions. Proccing eggs with sheep is often not an issue since you can Flamestrike the 4/4 later anyway. Warlocks have very few ways of dealing with taunted Giants so make sure to abuse that in your favor.
Combo/Ramp Druid 40-60% Kolento Decklist
This matchup highly depends on the Druid's draws: if he has a very good ramp it can be impossible to come back but if he doesn’t have a turn two or three play you can easily take the game. If he plays an early Shade try to play a single Doomsayer and force him to come out and use a removal spell. Try to always have a block up by turn nine so he is forced to use his combo to pop your block. If you can prevent him from getting full control of the board this matchup is quite winnable, especially since you can often get a huge echo after he popped your block.
Handlock 20% StrifeCro Decklist
This deck is the only hard counter to this deck and is almost impossible to beat because of all their large minions. Your best shot at trying to win this is by keeping him over twenty Health to avoid Moltens while trying to get a copy of BGH so you can deal with his Mountain Giants. Handlock is also often vulnerable to Flamestrike so try to get good value from that as well. You win this matchup by copying value and preventing him from developing his big minions. Try to be careful with playing too many giants since he can easily clear them with Shadowflame on Sylvanas or a Giant.
Lightbomb priest 60-70% Pavel Decklist
Quite a rare matchup so hard to give a definitive strat but the best way to win this matchup is by copying a lot of value. They have very few outs to finishing you off so feel free to let them get you low. Be careful not to overextend into Lightbomb since all your big threats are weak to it and try to prevent him from drawing too much.
Face Hunter 50% Orange Decklist
This is one of the matchups where I disagree with Nevillz who calls this as a free win. Try to keep his board clear as much as possible and get an early Belcher out. Try to stabilize on turn ten with a Molten-Taunt. Hunter will then often try to finish you off with his spells which you can counter by using Healbots. Make sure to get as many Ice Blocks possible here and if possible use Alexstrasza to heal yourself as well.
Midrange/Hybrid Hunter 60% Purpledrank Decklist
Often an easier matchup than Face Hunter because of the lack of Hunters Mark and only a single Owl. Try to stabilize the game as usual and get good freezes off in combination with your Giant while saving your Polymorph for his Highmanes. Since you don’t want to rush this matchup it is okay to not attack with your minions for a turn to avoid playing into Freezing Trap and giving him a bow charge.
Aggro/Tempo/Grindr Mage 60% DaisyX Tempo Decklist
Try to stall for as long as possible and get immense value from Flamestrike. Be careful of the turn eight double-Fireball by having an Ice Block up by then. Play your Doomsayers into his Mirror Entities in order to clear his board for free. Once you get low dump your Giants on the board without fear since they often have very little hard removal. Grindr Mage can be slightly more difficult since they tend to have some more value in their decks as well as BGH but if you get some good Giants and don’t give them too much value for their Duplicates you should be just fine.
Freeze Mage 99% Firebat Decklist
This is literally the easiest matchup for this deck and there are very few ways through which you can lose. You just have so much healing that Freeze Mage can’t possibly burn you out. Make sure to save Polymorph for Antonidas since his Fireballs are the only possible way that you can lose this game; that said, I have won a game where he got six Fireballs from Antonidas.
Oil Rogue 60-70% Firebat Decklist
Quite a rare matchup so I don’t have that much experience against it but from what I noticed you can win this matchup quite easily by getting down to low Health, playing your Giants, and then healing back up again. Your Doomsayers are quite useless here because of all the removal and Saps, so try to play them on empty boards early on to force him to either spend removal on it or have a bad turn. Try to always have a block up in the late game since they can easily do fifteen plus damage in a single turn.
Midrange/Control Paladin 65% Xzirez Decklist
Paladin is quite an easy matchup due to their lack of burst so you can easily let them get you low and then stabilize. The downside of this matchup is that a lot of your big minions are going to be brought down with Equality. Paladin's enormous healing powers also makes it such that you can’t effectively finish him off: many Paladin matchups are going to go on for quite a while. Try to save Polymorph for Tirion and avoid overextending too many big minions into an Equality-Consecrate. Paladin often has no silence or ways to burst from the hand so try to abuse that by countering his Muster-Quartermaster with Nova-Doomsayer.
- Always think about what possible ways your opponent could have to get lethal or pop your Block and adjust your plays accordingly. If you are not sure what cards some deck have keep an eye out on the Liquidhearth Power Rankings.
- Always try to identify what type of deck your opponent plays and make a game plan accordingly.
- If you have a Mad Scientist on the board as well as a Duplicate and Ice Block, you actually get a new Duplicate if the Mad Scientist dies since Duplicate triggers before Deathrattle.
IMPORTANT: Mad Scientist will trigger AFTER your Duplicates!
Now go play some Giants.