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Big Spell Mage deck list guide - Saviors of Uldum - Hearthstone (August 2019)

Our updated guide to playing Big Spell Mage in the Saviors of Uldum meta.

Big Spell Mage has been around in Hearthstone’s history for a while. Back when Knights of the Frozen Throne was in the standard format, it dominated due to Dragon's Fury and Frost Lich Jaina. Nowadays it’s a very different deck, with a wider variety of methods that's able to steal games from under your opponents' noses.

This deck is all about patience. With this control-style mage build, the focus is on staying alive while putting together a concoction of discounted spells and minions in your hand. A lot of the cards available to you will suddenly turn seriously powerful if their mana cost is reduced sufficiently, so keep an eye out for plays that find an early lethal or momentum swing.

We’ve put together our favourite Big Spell Mage deck for the beginning of the Saviors of Uldum expansion, and will continue to update the list as the meta develops.

Big Spell Mage deck list and strategy

Below is the Big Spell Mage currently seeing play, but check back when you can for any and all updates!

2 x Ancient Mysteries2 x Doomsayer
2 x Arcane Flakmage1 x Zilliax
2 x Arcane Intellect1 x Alexstrasza
2 x Flame Ward1 x King Phaoris
1 x Frost Nova
1 x Ice Barrier
1 x Fireball
1 x Luna's Pocket Galaxy
2 x Naga Sand Witch
2 x Blizzard
2 x Flamestrike
1 x Power of Creation
1 x Tortollan Pilgrim
1 x Kalecgos
2 x Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron
2 x Pyroblast

Select and copy the long ID string below, then create a deck in Hearthstone to export this deck into your game.


More great Mage guides:

General strategy

Your strategy involves keeping a tight grip on control, but always keeping an eye out for opportunities to switch to aggression. You’ve got a fair few win conditions here, so don’t worry if something doesn’t quite work.

Early game: Keep hold of a Doomsayer if possible, and playing it on turn 2 is the perfect way to ward off aggression. Your Secrets are great here as well, giving you time to take the pressure off and begin drawing some cards with Arcane Intellect. Against decks like Murloc Paladin, a well-placed Frost Nova can lock them out of the game for an entire turn, offering you the chance to clear away some enemies with the likes of Arcane Flakmage along with a free Secret or two from Ancient Mysteries.

Mid game: This is when the fun begins. If you’ve got the chance to start chipping away at your opponent’s health total and keep their board clear, go ahead and drop a Naga Sand Witch. This works best when your hand is chock-full of expensive spells, especially Pyroblast. We’ve ended up running away with a couple of games for free by drawing Pyroblast and hitting the enemy’s face for 10 damage at the cost of 5 mana. Aside from these massively powerful game-enders, you’ll probably want to try to get Luna's Pocket Galaxy cast when you can. Future turns will thank you, and if you’ve still got a bunch of high-cost stuff in hand, a 1 mana King Phaoris has been known to lead to early concedes.

Late game: Once you’re at the late game, you should have either discounted spells, discounted minions or both in hand. 5 mana Pyroblasts and 1 mana Kalecgos aside, now’s the time to finish your opponent’s game. Alexstrasza knocking your opponent’s health total to 15 can be the push you need to consolidate the damage you’ve already got on board, and Tortollan Pilgrim can be used late in the game for extra board clearing if need be. The 1 fireball contained within the deck offers extra damage at a good mana cost too, but be careful to avoid making it more expensive with your Naga Sand Witches.

Generally, in the late game you’re looking to shut your opponent out as swiftly as possible. Aggro opponents will hopefully be out of steam if you’ve made it this far, and control decks are likely to have fallen behind. Finish them off with whatever you have left in the tank, be it underpriced minions or ludicrous amounts of burn. And hey, if all goes wrong, there’s always Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron that can save you if you’re lucky!

Aggro opponents

Here are some important tips to help you best aggro decks:

  • 1. Stall until you can’t stall anymore.
  • 2. Frost Nova is incredibly important against aggression, as it completely nullifies their board for an entire turn.
  • 3. Flame Ward can destroy an enemy board after just one hit to your face if they can’t increase their minions’ health.
  • 4. Naga Sand Witch cuts the mana cost of spells in your hand to 5, allowing you to cast Flamestrike a turn early if you can get away with it.

Control opponents

These tips will help you find a win against other control decks:

  • 1. Get Luna's Pocket Galaxy cast as soon as possible - it’ll help swing control back to you later in the game.
  • 2. Naga Sand Witch can surprise your opponent, as it changes the cost of spells in your hand by 1 as its Battlecry. This means you could end up on turn 10 with two 5 mana Pyroblasts in hand for a lethal your opponent could never play around.
  • 3. King Phaoris, especially at 1 mana, can be a fantastic play to finish off a control opponent who’s been making your life a struggle. A sudden board of minions is hard to have an immediate answer for at the best of times, but if your opponent can’t handle then you’re probably cruising to a win.
  • 4. Kalecgos reduces the first spell you cast to 0 mana each turn, as well as offering you the chance to discover a spell you need if you’re in a pickle.

Big Spell Mage Mulligan guide

Keep hold of these cards when you start off:

  • 1. Luna's Pocket Galaxy: Despite its cost of 5 mana, it can allow you to snowball to an early win, especially if you draw yourself a big minion soon after.
  • 2. Doomsayer: Helps keep the board clear of aggressors who would dare try to play minions early in the game. Honestly, the audacity.
  • 3. Arcane Intellect helps you get drawing your deck, vital for any would-be purveyor of this deck’s shenanigans.
  • 4. Ancient Mysteries: Draws a Secret from your deck and reduces the cost to 0, letting you play it at your leisure or combine it with Arcane Flakmage for some board clearing.

Big Spell Mage tips, combos and synergies

Big Spell Mage at this point is an interesting prospect. There’s no single way to play it, instead you must assess a given situation and work from there. Here are our tips to get you thinking like a Big Spell Mage:

- Early on in the game, Arcane Flakmage can represent an almighty headache for your opponent. If it survives on board, it’ll destroy any minions they play and even impacts them if you don’t have a single Secret.

- Luna's Pocket Galaxy is key, we can’t stress this enough. The sheer power of a 1 mana version of each of your minions is far too valuable to pass up, and if you can get this spell cast before they’re drawn then your opponent is in for a fright.

- Naga Sand Witch changes all spells in your hand to 5 mana. This has a direct impact on King Phaoris’ Battlecry, which will only summon 5-drops in the event that he is played after Naga Sand Witch. Sometimes, this is good enough, but it might be worth holding off for a little bit before you commit to the cost reduction.

- Tortollan Pilgrim is a good insurance policy for if you don’t draw your board clears, but it can also cast Luna's Pocket Galaxy and reduce your minions’ mana cost to 1 if you didn’t draw it.

- As always, Flamestrike is key to this deck’s success. It can also be reduced in cost by 2 mana by a Naga Sand Witch for extra value on later turns.

- Naga Sand Witch’s cost is reduced to 1 with Luna’s Pocket Galaxy, meaning it can reduce the cost of your 10 mana spells by 5 mana, at the cost of just 1 mana. We’re not mathematicians, but that sounds like a decent deal.

Big Spell Mage card choices and substitutions

Big Spell Mage is built around a few key cards:

  • Luna's Pocket Galaxy: Luna's Pocket Galaxy is massively powerful and can ruin your opponent's day when used early.
  • Pyroblast: There’s not much point in playing a Big Spell Mage deck without any big spells, and Pyroblast is the biggest we have. Reduce it to 5 mana and use it to finish your opponent.
  • King Phaoris: Takes advantage of your big spells by using them to create huge minions to flood the board.
  • Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron: The other big spell at your disposal, this thing is best used when you’re completely out of options and are backed into a corner, just like Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End of old.

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About the Author
James Law avatar

James Law

Former Guides Writer

James was part of Rock Paper Shotgun's guides team from 2020-2021, bringing his expert knowledge about FPS games, Hearthstone, Path Of Exile and more from his time at Metabomb. He's also a dab hand at Hitman 3, and making his own jam - things which may or may not be related to one another.