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Big Spell Mage deck list guide - The Witchwood - Hearthstone (April 2018)

Our updated guide to playing Big Spell Mage at the start of The Witchwood meta.

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About John Bedford

John is Metabomb's Editor in Chief, and is responsible for all of the Hearthstone news, features and guides content on the site.

Our Big Spell Mage deck list guide features the best deck list for The Witchwood (April 2018). Our Big Spell Mage guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.

Big Spell Mage is a relatively 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 and Dragoncaller Alanna.

In our guide to playing this new deck, we've got the best deck list you can use in the current meta. 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.

UPDATE - THE WITCHWOOD

We've incorporated our recommended Witchwood Big Spell Mage deck list into our archetype guide, and also expanded on all areas of our coverage! You'll now find much more detailed Mulligan and strategy advice in this article, along with further insight into the core cards it contains.

Big Spell Mage deck list and strategy

This is the most popular version of Big Spell Mage that's being played right now, although it will no doubt be refined further once The Witchwood expansion goes live. Let us know of any changes you've made to the formula in the comments and we'll try them out for ourselves.

MageNeutral
2 x Arcane Artificer1 x Acidic Swamp Ooze
2 x Raven Familiar2 x Doomsayer
2 x Arcane Keysmith2 x Tar Creeper
2 x Polymorph2 x Voodoo Doll
2 x Dragon's Fury2 x Rotten Applebaum
2 x Blizzard1 x Baron Geddon
2 x Meteor1 x Alexstrasza
2 x Flamestrike
1 x Sindragosa
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: AAECAf0EBtACxQSKB5vTAvLTAqPrAgxNigHJA+wHysMClscC1eEC1+ECluQCvuwCt/ECxfMCAA==

General strategy:

Big Spell Mage is – you guessed it – a deck chock full of big Mage spells. The aim of the deck is to control the board in the early-to-mid game and then use the class’s most expensive spells to power up Dragoncaller Alanna so she summons an army of dragons to your side.

The Witchwood expansion has added a few new cards that fit into the deck quite neatly to give you more card draw, survivability and removal options. Overall, it’s a great deck if you enjoy a heavy control game before unleashing a devastating array of explosive spells and big minions.

Early game: Your early game is all about control. Doomsayer and Tar Creeper are both perfect plays to stop your opponent in their tracks if they’re gunning for a fast start. The former is usually not worth the resources to remove, whereas the latter will eat up low-cost minions. Arcane Keysmith can also be used to flood doubt into your opponent as they’ll have no idea which Secret you picked.

Raven Familiar is an excellent play to start pulling your big late game spells into your hand and has enough stats to contest the board too. You also have your hero power to ping down any small creatures or finish off anything left with one health.

Mid game: Turn five is where you can really start to assert yourself. If you’ve been facing down an overwhelming board in the early game, a Dragon’s Fury or Blizzard should clear that right up. Meanwhile, a Meteor can completely obliterate a single target. Rotten Applebaum can also be another obstacle for your opponent to get past, while giving you a dash of healing.

Late game: Now’s the time to take full control of the match. If your opponent somehow still has a semblance of a board you can Baron Geddon or Flamestrike to burn it up for good. Then, it’s time for the dragons to arrive. Both Sindragosa and Alexstrasza are huge 8/8 threats with even stronger bonus effects, or Dragoncaller Alanna can summon a legion of 5/5 dragons depending on how many expensive spells you’ve cast throughout the game.

If that’s not enough, transform yourself into Frost Lich Jaina and cool things down with some Water Elementals. Your hero power will summon a fresh one if you kill a minion with it and they’ll all be granted Lifesteal to keep you healthy if the late game drags on.

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Aggro Opponents

Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with aggro opponents on the ladder:

  • Tar Creeper and Doomsayer are your anti-aggro options in the early game. You can even play Doomsayer on an empty board to disrupt your opponent’s next turn.
  • Don’t fret if you end up having to take some damage in the early game though, as your multitude of big board clears are on the way.
  • Save Arcane Artificer for a time when you can play it along with one of your more expensive spells to get some huge armour gain.
  • Sadly, Ice Block is now in the Hall of Fame, but good Secrets to choose against aggro from Arcane Keysmith include Ice Barrier, Mirror Entity or Explosive Runes.
  • If your opponent’s deck doesn’t run weapons, consider playing Acidic Swamp Ooze on curve to give yourself some early board presence.

Control opponents

These are some tips for facing control decks:

  • With healing, armour gain and Frost Lich Jaina you have a great shot at outlasting most other control decks.
  • Voodoo Doll is a strong single creature removal option. You can even ping it on the same turn to get around the delay if you have the mana spare.
  • Save Alexstrasza for a turn when you can set up lethal. There’s no point wasting it by letting your opponent simply heal up next turn.
  • Blizzard can be used to stall your opponent’s minions for a turn while you push for damage.
  • Be aware that your opponent may be saving a board clear for your Dragoncaller Alanna play, so try to force them to use it earlier.

More great Mage guides:

Big Spell Mage Mulligan guide

Search through your deck to try and get these cards in your opening hand:

  • 1. Raven Familiar: A solid two mana minion that is almost guaranteed to draw you a spell.
  • 2. Tar Creeper: Some early-game stopping power against aggro decks.
  • 3. Doomsayer: Excellent at clearing the board and disrupting your opponent’s early game plans.
  • 4. Acidic Swamp Ooze: Against decks without weapons you can play this as a straightforward 3/2 minion.
  • 5. Arcane Keysmith: Its low stats are made up for by the opportunity to discover a Secret and play it for free.

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. As the deck list changes over time, so will this breakdown of synergies:

- 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 and Flamestrike.

- 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!

- At the end of each of your turns, Baron Geddon will dish out two points of damage to both friendly and enemy minions, and both heroes as well. Just factor that into your thinking, and make sure that any minions that are about to die do efficient work first.

- You are guaranteed to dish out at least four points of damage when Dragon's Fury is played, as Polymorph is your cheapest spell in the deck.

- Don't forget that you can ping Voodoo Doll with your Hero Power - and to even greater effect as Frost Lich Jaina - and take that target out nice and cleanly.

- This is a little obvious to say, but make sure you save your big push until after you've brought your opponent's health down low with Alexstrasza!

Big Spell Mage card choices and substitutions

Many of the key cards in Big Spell Mage are expensive and have very few alternatives, although we’ve suggested some where possible.

  • Arcane Artificer: A big armour generator if you can pair it up with one of your late game spells – which is exactly what you should do.
  • Doomsayer: Can throw an opponent completely off their game plan and wipe out their entire board. Nothing can really replace its power though you can try Wild Pyromancer at a push to cope with aggro.
  • Raven Familiar: Solid minion and with all the high cost spells in your deck there’s a strong chance you’ll win the duel on the Battlecry effect.
  • Arcane Keysmith: Massive value and allows you to pick a Secret that best responds to your needs at the time.
  • Dragon’s Fury: Eight of the ten spells in this deck cost five mana or more. That’s usually enough for a full board clear.
  • Meteor: Seriously excessive single target removal. You can run Vaporize for a similar effect but it’s far easier to play around.
  • Sindragosa: Solid stat values with the added bonus of two Frozen Champions that add a random legendary to your hand on death. Most big legendaries will work in its place too, including The Lich King or Onyxia.
  • Alexstrasza: A must-have to make the deck work, especially against control decks. Will allow you to chop through a chunk of your opponent’s health for a quick lethal.
  • Dragoncaller Alanna: An essential part of the deck that’ll summon all those 5/5 dragons depending on how many big spells you’ve played in a game.
  • Frost Lich Jaina: Gives you some reach in the late game by converting your hero power into an elemental summoning machine. Oh, and they have lifesteal too.

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