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Control (Big Spell) Mage deck list guide - Boomsday - Hearthstone (August 2018)

Our updated guide to playing Control (Big Spell) Mage in the Boomsday 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 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.

MageNeutral
2 x Arcane Artificer2 x Doomsayer
2 x Raven Familiar1 x Gluttonous Ooze
2 x Polymorph1 x Voodoo Doll
2 x Dragon's Fury2 x Bright-Eyed Scout
2 x Blizzard1 x Arcane Tyrant
2 x Meteor2 x Giggling Inventor
2 x Astromancer1 x Skulking Geist
1 x Flamestrike1 x Baron Geddon
1 x Frost Lich Jaina1 x The Lich King
1 x Dragoncaller Alanna1 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=

More great Mage guides:

General strategy:

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.

Aggro Opponents

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.

Control opponents

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.

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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:

CostNameDescription
2Death CoilDeal 5 damage to an enemy, or restore 5 Health to a friendly character.
2Death GripSteal a minion from your opponent's deck and add it to your hand.
2ObliterateDestroy a minion. Your hero takes damage equal to its Health.
3Death and DecayDeal 3 damage to all enemies.
4Anti-Magic ShellGive your minions +2 / +2 and “Can't be targeted by spells or Hero Powers.”
5Doom PactDestroy all minions. Remove the top card from your deck for each minion destroyed.
6Army of the DeadRemove the top 5 cards of your deck. Summony any minions removed.
7FrostmourneDeathrattle: 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!

Comment on this article

  • Bedders #1 8 months ago
    @vladoonet Hey thanks for letting me know and sorry about that. It should be working now but please let me know if you're still having any trouble with it.
    Sign in to reply
  • vladoonet #2 8 months ago
    Deck ID doesn't work :(
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #3 9 months ago
    Hi folks, this is now updated for the mid-November meta. Apologies this one's been gathering dust a bit for a while now. It's been off our radar but we've now got a closer eye on it. Thanks for your patience while we got caught up on things.
    Sign in to reply
  • willhocks #4 9 months ago
    @willhocks

    This is not control, it’s freeze Mage...

    Here’s my current control list it’s finely tuned and the bomb.com

    2 arcanologist
    1 Bloodmage Thalnos
    1 dirty rat
    2 doomsayer
    2 primordial glyph
    1 Pyros
    2 arcane intellect
    2 frost nova
    2 ice barrier
    1 ice block
    2 volcanic potion
    2 polymorph
    2 blizzard
    1 meteor
    1 skulking geist
    1 Baron Geddon
    1 firelands portal
    1 flamestrike
    1 Medivh, the Guardian
    1 Sindragosa
    1 Jaina, the Frost Lich
    Sign in to reply
  • willhocks #5 11 months ago
    Here's what I've been using I've had decent success:

    2 Mana Wyrm
    2 Arcanologist
    2 Frostbolt
    2 Medivh's Valet
    2 Primordial Glyph
    1 Pyros
    2 Arcane Intellect
    1 Ice Barrier
    2 Ice Block
    1 Volcanic Potion
    2 Fireball
    2 Polymorph
    1 Meteor
    1 Skulking Geist
    1 Baron Geddon
    2 Firelands Portal
    1 Flamestrike
    1 Medivh, the Guardian
    1 Sindragosa
    1 Frost Lich Jaina

    It might be a little top heavy but I enjoy the power level because it feels like there's lots of control in the meta right now. I have been underwhelmed with Geist recently as Druid seems to have backed off a lot, it should probably be cut for ooze.

    Any thoughts?
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #6 A year ago
    Hi folks,

    I know some of you want to see the old deck list preserved, so here it is! Keep in mind as well that any comments appearing above this one refer to older versions of the deck.

    Mage

    2 x Mana Wyrm
    2 x Arcanologist
    2 x Frostbolt
    2 x Medivh's Valet
    2 x Primordial Glyph
    2 x Arcane Intellect
    2 x Ice Barrier
    2 x Ice Block
    2 x Volcanic Potion
    2 x Fireball
    1 x Polymorph
    1 x Meteor
    2 x Firelands Portal
    1 x Flamestrike
    1 x Pyroblast

    Neutral

    1 x Eater of Secrets
    1 x Harrison Jones
    1 x Medivh, the Guardian
    1 x Alexstrasza
    Sign in to reply
  • Cha0yb0rn #7 A year ago
    This Deck is utter trash in the current meta. Gets crapped on by any priest,druid or shaman deck and only has very limited use against hunter. works vs paladin but thats it. It's way too slow and doesnt have enough control against very aggressive decks (which are meta right now) and the finisher relies purly on the luck of the draw.other tierlist sites don't even bother with this deck in any tier at all. I can't even rise past rank 18 right now while my midrange f2p hunter deck got me to rank 10 last season easily.
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #8 A year ago
    @iVoltage Hey! I'm so sorry for missing this comment, the article must have fallen off the home page quickly around then. If you ever need to buzz me for anything, it's best to use@Bedders so I get a notification.

    As for your question, it's kind of a weird replacement from a Mana curve perspective but Acidic Swamp Ooze will give you the weapon removal effect, although you won't get the extra card(s) provided by Harrison Jones.

    I've added that replacement option to the update section of the guide this month, in case it's a question that occurs to someone else!
    Sign in to reply
  • iVoltage #9 A year ago
    any replacements of harrison jones?
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #10 A year ago
    Hi folks,

    We are having some trouble formatting the lengthy deck IDs into the new site right now. If you copy this to your clipboard, then create a new deck in Hearthstone, you'll see the prompt to import it:

    AAECAc2xAgpNxQTtBO0F7Ae/CIivAqG3ArC8ApbHAgrAAbsClQOrBJYFo7YC17YC6boCwcECmMQCAA==
    Sign in to reply
  • dilfhunter #11 A year ago
    This deck is terrible, the only time you actually do well is if you get mana wyrm and curve well. Bad match ups to almost all decks except the slow decks like taunt warrior. 100% do not recommend, waste of dust.
    Sign in to reply
  • hugostam70 #12 A year ago
    I disagree mate, i also used up lots of dust to make this deck, i am currently at rank 6 now. I have been playing alternatively with this deck and my secret mage and i think i can push it to 5 this season. Lets see how this ends up going, but so far i am extremely pleased with my results. So keep practicing and learning the deck, its the only way to thrive. Good luck mate!
    Sign in to reply
  • MetaBomb00 #13 A year ago
    This deck is an ablosute trash. Lost 4 times in a row to each different classes there are. Midrange paladin, silence priest, midrange hunter with flare (who the hell plays flare in ranked..)

    I've wasted so much dust on this garbage deck -.-"

    What the hell is strong in this deck anyway? The useless 6+ cost cards when at turn 5 your dead 90% or what? The rng that literally gives the worst possible spell every single time you get them?
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #14 A year ago
    @BetaMomb Glad it's working out for you! I should play it more but it's not my favourite kind of archetype. Definitely strong as though.
    Sign in to reply
  • BetaMomb #15 A year ago
    I spent some dust to finish up this deck, and I'm not disappointed; this deck is very strong. I can definitely see it moving up to Tier 2. (Imo, it's closer to Tier 1 than it is to Tier 3.)
    Sign in to reply
  • Bedders #16 A year ago
  • oskarhenriksson12 #17 A year ago
    I know it's not a big deal whatsoever but Medivh the guardian is classed as a Mage card according to this guide.
    Sign in to reply
  • King_of_Hyrule #18 3 years ago
    Looks like a cool deck, shame I don't have troggzor. A bit surprised to see the illuminator, it seems like ice block has been added just to give the illuminator a long-lasting secret, but possibly those two cards could be swapped out with higher value cards.
    Sign in to reply

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