I made rank 16 for the first time and I'm pretty proud of myself. Why? I created my own mech mage deck!! So what?! It's DIFFERENT!!
I've been playing HS since about last June. I am free-to-play, and I haven't spent a dime on the game. For me the challenge of rank is coming up with a deck that 1) is fun to play and 2) doesn't spend all of my dust to create.
So here's my version of mech mage, followed by why I think it's worth looking at:
Clockwork Gnome x2
Leper Gnome x2
Micro Machine x2
Sorcerer's Apprentice x2
Harvest Golem x2
Spider Tank x2
Tinkertown Technician x2
Goblin Blastmage x1
Mechanical Yeti x 2
Piloted Shredder x2
Water Elemental x2
Ethereal Conjurer x1
1) This deck was cheap to build. Stats please? Sure
-6 basic cards slots (Frostbolt, Polymorph, Fireball, Water Elemental)
-23 common card slots
-1 rare card slot (Goblin Blastmage)
-Total crafting cost assuming you have NONE of the non-basic cards? 1020
So is that actually cheap when it comes to crafting a deck? You can find better decks for cheaper, just search "budget mech mage". I found another deck claiming to make rank 5 that cost 800, and one claiming to make rank 10 that coast 1200. So 1020 puts this deck in the "budget" category. And I just hit rank 16 for the first time, but I might be able to get higher with this deck.
I also want to note that most of these cards were pulled in packs at random, so I probably actually spent less than 300 to craft this. That is part of the reason you see some strange cards in there like Ethereal Conjurer. It's not a great card, but I pulled it for free and it turns out that getting a high attack on the board while discovering a spell works really really well for this deck.
2) It's fun to play! What makes a deck fun for me? Having multiple lines of play. This is typically a midrange deck. It plays control against agro decks, agro against control, and against another midrange you play whatever style you pull.
More than once playing this deck I used almost my full turn trying to decide what to play, if I should trade minions or go face, if I should use my hero power for "value" or play another creature, that sort of thing. I know you can find cheaper agro decks that will get your rank up higher, but agro isn't fun for me. You drop a minion, go face, end turn. I can only do that so many times before I get bored. It takes all the thought and style out of the game. So creating a pretty good deck that can be played very differently each time is really fun.
3) I MADE IT MYSELF!! That's not a reason for you to play the deck, obviously, because you didn't make it yourself. But face it, most of the time to win on ladder players have to use a carbon copy of a deck they found online. Even switching out one card, like say, Archmage Antonidas, can have a drastic impact on the deck. And AA cost about 600 gold more than my entire deck, for that one card!!
The reason I wanted to post this here is to hear back from others, and maybe raise some spirits (pun intended). Because I was in a serious losing streak. I was losing about 5 out of every 6 games. I was having trouble winning some games at rank 23. So I was feeling really discouraged. I have never played with a deck I've found online; I've always built my own. Losing so many games was making me consider looking up a deck, or taking a break from HS. So to somehow pull together a decent deck gave me a shot of confidence.
Thanks for reading!