Our Control (Big Spell) Mage deck list guide features the best deck list for Season 53 of Boomsday (August 2018). Our Control (Big Spell) Mage guide also contains Mulligan advice, card combos and strategy tips.
Control - or Big Spell - Mage has undergone quite a few changes since its original incarnation towards the end of 2017. Although recently chopped from the deck, Dragoncaller Alanna is now very much back in fashion and ready to take advantage of all those juicy big spells you've cast throughout the match. Throw in the survivability provided by Frost Lich Jaina and you're looking at a seriously strong Hearthstone deck.
In our guide to playing this archetype, 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. That should give you a solid ground in the strategy required to play this huge deck.
UPDATE - BOOMSDAY #2
With the immediate launch window behind us we've been able to perform a proper update on our Control / Big Spell Mage guide. You'll now find the latest deck list fully integrated into our guide, and we've added in a lot of new strategy insight as well.
Thanks to James Pickard, who provided much of the new content in this latest version of the guide.
Control (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 in the months remaining in the Boomsday meta. 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|
|2 x Raven Familiar||1 x Gluttonous Ooze|
|2 x Polymorph||1 x Voodoo Doll|
|2 x Dragon's Fury||2 x Bright-Eyed Scout|
|2 x Blizzard||1 x Arcane Tyrant|
|2 x Meteor||2 x Giggling Inventor|
|2 x Astromancer||1 x Skulking Geist|
|1 x Flamestrike||1 x Baron Geddon|
|1 x Frost Lich Jaina||1 x The Lich King|
|1 x Dragoncaller Alanna||1 x Alexstrasza|
Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.
Deck Import ID: AAECAf0ECtACxQTsB9PFAqDOAsLOApvTAtvTAqPrArfxAgpNigHJA4jBApbHAtXhAtfhApbkAsP4AuL4AgA=
It probably won’t surprise you to hear that Control - or Big Spell - Mage is, well, a deck packed full of big Mage spells. Your aim with this deck is to drag matches as far into the late game as possible where you can use some of the class’s most expensive spells to power up Dragoncaller Alanna or outlast your opponent using Frost Lich Jaina..
The release of The Boomsday Project has changed the deck only slightly. Giggling Inventor provides more anti-aggro options and Astromancer takes advantage of your high hand size. The deck has definitely fallen down the rankings over the last few months, but if you enjoy playing a heavy control game while devastating your opponent with explosive spells and big minions, then it’s an excellent choice.
Early game: It’s all about control in the early game. If your opponent is gunning for a fast start then an early Doomsayer can stop them dead in their tracks, as it’s usually not worth the resources to remove. Raven Familiar and Bright-Eyed Scout are both solid plays to start drawing your big, late game spells and minions into your hand, while also giving you some board presence. It’s not glamorous, but you also have your Hero Power to ping down any small creatures left with one Health.
Mid game: As you cross into Turn 5 and upwards, the deck starts to truly come alive. Any concerns of facing down an overwhelming board in the early game can now be wiped out instantly with a Dragon’s Fury or Blizzard. Plus, you can set up a wall of frustrating Taunt minions with Giggling Inventor. On the other hand, single targets stand no chance if you direct a Meteor at them, or make them a target with Voodoo Doll.
Late game: From this point on you should be in total control of the game. Any last remaining minions can be burnt up for good with Baron Geddon or Flamestrike, and then it’s a case of throwing down whichever big minions are in your hand. The Lich King 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. You can also roll the dice with Astromancer if your hand size is large enough to generate something worthwhile.
There’s still more to follow after that, too, if you transform yourself into Frost Lich Jaina. Now, your Hero Power will summon a fresh Water Elemental if you kill a minion with it, and they’ll all be granted Lifesteal to keep you healthy as the late game drags on.
Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with aggro opponents on the ladder:
- 1. Doomsayer is your main way of dealing with very fast aggro in the early game. It’s even worth considering playing it onto an empty board just to disrupt your opponent’s next turn.
- 2. All the same, it’s not much of a disaster if you end up taking some damage in the early game – you have a multitude of big board clears on the way.
- 3. It’s worth saving Arcane Artificer until you can combine it with one of your more expensive spells for a significant Armor gain.
- 4. Arcane Tyrant makes for a strong tempo play as a follow up to a five Mana or more spell. You can clear the board and then start staking your own claim over it.
- 5. If your opponent’s deck has no weapons in it you might consider playing Gluttonous Ooze on curve just so you can contest their early aggression.
These are some tips for facing control decks:
- 1. All the healing and Armor gain, plus Frost Lich Jaina, means you stand a great chance of outlasting most other control decks.
- 2. Voodoo Doll is a strong single creature removal option. It’s best played when you can ping it on the same turn to get the effect immediately.
- 3. It’s usually best to save Alexstrasza for a turn when you can set up lethal. You don’t want to waste the opportunity she grants by letting your opponent simply heal up next turn.
- 4. Blizzard doesn’t have to kill your opponent’s creatures. It can be used to freeze them for a turn while you push for damage.
- 5. Watch out for board clears when heading into your Dragoncaller Alanna turn, as your opponent may be saving one knowing that card is on the way.
Control (Big Spell) Mage Mulligan guide
Search through your deck to try and get these cards in your opening hand:
- 1. Raven Familiar: An excellent two drop that is almost guaranteed to draw you a spell.
- 2. Doomsayer: Difficult to remove and will interrupt your opponent’s early game plans.
- 3. Bright-Eyed Scout: The stats aren’t great but considering nearly half the deck costs more than five Mana there’s a good chance to receive a discount.
- 4. Gluttonous Ooze: When facing decks that don’t use weapons you can play this as a straightforward 3/3 minion for early board presence.
- 5. Frost Lich Jaina: Such an important part of your late game that sometimes it can be worth holding in your opening hand if it isn’t too clunky.
Control (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.
- You have a lot of expensive spells in this deck, and so Raven Familiar stands a very good chance of providing you with a winning draw.
- Gluttonous Ooze will not only destroy the weapon in your opponent's hand, but also grant you Armor equivalent to that weapon's Attack value.
- When Astromancer is dropped on the board you'll summon a random minion that costs the same amount of Mana as your hand size.
- Bright-Eyed Scout draws a card into your hand and then sets its cost to five Mana. The hope is that she cheapens a card rather than make it more expensive, but it's not the end of the world.
- If you've played any of the following spells, you'll be able to play Arcane Tyrant for free on the same turn: 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.
- Dragoncaller Alanna will summon a 5 / 5 minion for each spell you cast earlier on that cost five Mana or more. Try to bait out all of your opponent's AOE removal options before making this potentially huge play.
- Remember 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.
- The Lich King possesses a collection of Death Knight cards, and when you hit End Turn he'll add one of the following to your hand, chosen at random:
|2||Death Coil||Deal 5 damage to an enemy, or restore 5 Health to a friendly character.|
|2||Death Grip||Steal a minion from your opponent's deck and add it to your hand.|
|2||Obliterate||Destroy a minion. Your hero takes damage equal to its Health.|
|3||Death and Decay||Deal 3 damage to all enemies.|
|4||Anti-Magic Shell||Give your minions +2 / +2 and “Can't be targeted by spells or Hero Powers.”|
|5||Doom Pact||Destroy all minions. Remove the top card from your deck for each minion destroyed.|
|6||Army of the Dead||Remove the top 5 cards of your deck. Summony any minions removed.|
|7||Frostmourne||Deathrattle: Summon every minion killed by this [5 / 3] weapon.|
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: Paired with your late game spells it can generate some serious Armor to give you more survivability.
- Doomsayer: A great way to throw an opponent completely off their game plan and wipe out their entire board. Replacements are tough to find, although you can try Wild Pyromancer at a push to cope with early aggression.
- Raven Familiar: A perfectly OK minion. With all the high cost spells in your deck, though, there’s a strong chance you’ll win the duel on the Battlecry effect.
- Bright-Eyed Scout: Thirteen cards in the deck cost more than five Mana. That’s pretty good odds of getting a discount on something very useful.
- 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: Almost excessive single target removal. You can try running a Vaporize for a similar effect, but opponents can more easily find a way to play around that.
- The Lich King: A big body to drop on the board on Turn 8, plus some of the Death Knight cards can be put to excellent use.
- Alexstrasza: Quite an important element to make the deck work, especially against control decks. You can scorch through a huge part of your opponent’s health pool to set up a quick lethal.
- Dragoncaller Alanna: Another essential part of the deck that’ll summon an army of 5/5 dragons depending on how many big spells you’ve played throughout the current game.
- Frost Lich Jaina: Gives you some ridiculous lasting power in the late game by converting your hero power into an elemental summoning machine. Oh, and they now have Lifesteal as well, so you can survive into fatigue!