Our Big Spell Mage Hearthstone deck guide features the best deck list for the new Kobolds and Catacombs meta, with Mulligan advice, strategy tips, card combos and synergies.
Big Spell Mage is a new kind of Hearthstone deck that leverages some of the hero's larger spells in order to empower new cards from the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion. By playing these new cards, you gain extra value from characters such as Arcane Tyrant, Spiteful Summoner and Dragoncaller Alanna.
In our guide to playing this new deck, we've got an early deck list which should provide a great starting point. We do expect it to go through many changes between now and the start of the next season, however, so please avoid crafting anything expensive until we know the final shape of things.
We've also outlined the general strategy involved in playing Big Spell Mage, provided a few Mulligan tips, then created a teardown of all the card combos that you'll find in this particular version of it. Rest assured we'll be expanding on all aspects of this guide considerably once the Kobolds meta settles down fully.
Update: 14th December 2017
Now that we're a week or so on from the Kobolds and Catacombs launch we've been able to take stock and update our launch deck lists. As a new archetype for the game, it should come as no surprise to learn that Big Spell Mage has undergone a dramatic revision, so make sure you're playing the latest version of the deck.
Big Spells Mage deck list and strategy
This is the most popular version of Big Spell Mage that's being played right now, although it will be refined further over the coming weeks. Let us know of any changes you've made to the formula in the comments and we'll try them out for ourselves.
|2 x Arcane Artificer||2 x Doomsayer|
|1 x Pyros||2 x Acolyte of Pain|
|2 x Raven Familiar||2 x Tar Creeper|
|2 x Kabal Courier||2 x Arcane Tyrant|
|2 x Polymorph||2 x Spiteful Summoner|
|2 x Dragon's Fury||1 x Medivh, the Guardian|
|2 x Blizzard|
|1 x Meteor|
|2 x Firelands Portal|
|1 x Flamestrike|
|1 x Dragoncaller Alanna|
|1 x Frost Lich Jaina|
Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.
Deck Import ID: AAECAf0EBuwHobcCysEClscCm9MCo+sCDE2KAckD+wyjtgKwvALKwwLb0wLV4QLX4QKW5ALX6wIA
The general strategy behind playing Big Spells Mage involves gathering a collection of spells together, controlling the board during the early to mid stages of the game, and then unleashing all hell as you approach the late-game.
In the early game that means fielding cards like Raven Familiar, Pyros, Kabal Courier and Tar Creeper onto the board so they can provide their own individual value for you. Don't forget Doomsayer as well, as this character will almost certainly stop any aggressive opponents dead in their tracks.
When the mid-game rolls around you should have enough spell fuel in your hand to get a free Arcane Tyrant onto the board, while Spiteful Summoner enables you to field an additional heavyweight minion onto the board, albeit at the expense of showing a little of your hand to the opponent (and in the long run that insight won't be as valuable).
Come the late-game Medivh, the Guardian will help you summon a fair few free minions onto the board, while Dragoncaller Alanna will reward all of your huge spell plays with a feast of free Dragons. Frost Lich Jaina and her Water Elementals provides further end-game value should it prove necessary for getting over the finishing line.
That's the very broad overview of playing Big Spell Mage, then, but we'll be updating this section of our guide with specific match-up advice in a future update. Until then, share your own tips for handling aggro and control opponents in the comments section!
More great guides:
- 1. Big Spell Mage - Big Spell Mage deck list guide
- 2. Exodia Mage - Exodia Mage deck list guide
- 3. Secret Tempo Mage - Secret Tempo Mage deck list guide
- 3. Kobolds and Catacombs decks - Best Kobolds and Catacombs decks
- 4. Dungeon Run - Dungeon Run guide
- 5. Kobolds and Catacombs guide - Kobolds and Catacombs guide
Big Spell Mage Mulligan guide
Now that things have settled down a little bit we can give some very generalised Mulligan advice for Big Spell Mage. Come the new year we'll be able to add in a per-hero chart explaining what to keep against which opponents.
It's not actually that hard to Mulligan this deck, and in pretty much all match-ups right now you'll benefit from holding onto the following cards. We've ranked them in some kind of order of importance but they all have their own uses:
Raven Familiar - You have a lot of big spells in this deck and so you have a great chance of drawing into one of your powerful control options using this minion.
Pyros - A solid early-game board presence which comes back to provide you with even more value at later stages of the game.
Tar Creeper - An annoying wall for your opponent to deal with, especially aggro players who typically want to slam minor minions into your face right from the start.
Doomsayer - This card puts the brakes on the early game, which again is very useful against aggro players in particular. It simply buys you more time and with this kind of deck that's crucial.
Kabal Courier - Yes the reward is relatively random but you're almost certain to gain extra value out of that Battlecry, alongside a welcome early-game minion presence.
Acolyte of Pain - A particularly useful card for the Big Spell Mage, given the Hero Power and need to draw into as many pieces of the deck as possible, as early as possible.
Big Spell Mage tips, combos and synergies
Here are the most important card combos that you need to keep in mind while playing this particular version of Big Spell Mage.
The deck list we've highlighted will undergo a lot of change in the first few weeks of the new meta, and we'll make sure this section of the guide is updated to reflect those changes.
- Every time you cast a spell, Arcane Artificer will grant you Armor equivalent to its cost. Your opponent is not going to let this card live on their turn, so you want to combo this with your bigger spells in the late-game.
- Dragoncaller Alanna will add one 5 / 5 Dragon minion onto the board for each spell you cast previously that cost five or more Mana. In this deck, those spells are: Dragon's Fury, Blizzard, Meteor, Firelands Portal and Flamestrike.
- Note that Tar Creeper only gains extra Attack during the opponent's turn and so you should try to set things up on your turn to take advantage of that larger threat.
- Never forget that you can ping your own Acolyte of Pain using your Hero Power to get some extra fuel for your hand.
- When you play Firelands Portal, you'll be provided with a randomly chosen five-Mana minion. You can cast this spell onto a minion, or straight into the opponent's Health pool.
- You need to juggle Health values quite carefully with Frost Lich Jaina. If you ping a minion with your new Hero Power and your target dies you'll gain a free 3 / 6 Water Elemental for the board. You can target your own minions, however, and so sometimes it's worth "refreshing" a worn-out minion with a new one!
- If you can cast a five-Mana or higher spell card on the same turn, you can put Arcane Tyrant into play for free!
- There are no spells in this deck that cost less than four Mana, and so Spiteful Summoner is guaranteed to put a minion onto the board that costs at least that same amount.
- When Medivh, the Guardian is put into play you'll gain a 1 / 3 weapon along with Medivh's own presence on the board. Each time you cast a spell with the weapon equipped you'll gain a minion that costs the same amount as that spell. Your weapon loses a point of Durability each time this happens though.