Big Spell Mage Deck List Guide (Kobolds and Catacombs, KAC) – December 2017

Our Big Spells Mage deck list guide will go through the ins-and-outs of the potentially viable deck from the Kobolds and Catacombs Expansion! This guide will teach you how to mulligan, pilot, and substitute cards for this archetype!

Introduction to Big Spell Mage

Kobolds is out and in full swing. There are a lot of new decks to play right now, and one of the more interesting is Big Spell Mage. This deck, unlike so many past builds, does not seek to kill its opponent with damage. Rather, it is a pure control shell that seeks to grind the opponent down through big finishers and constant AOE. The archetype has never existed before, but it got a lot of tools in the new set. The list not only has great synergy, but it has a ton of powerful options that can consistently keep up with just about any deck in the game. In this guide we will break down the different parts of the build to figure out why that is.

Big Spell Mage Mulligans

When mulliganing with this deck you need to start out small. Look for all of your early minions and then only move up the curve once you feel like you get a hold on the early board. Yes, that Blizzard is great against Zoo, but without any board presence for the first five turns, you will die. Always keep Raven Familiar and Doomsayer. You want the early board, and they help you out each game. From there, Acolyte of Pain and Tar Creeper are great with the coin or a good curve. Gluttonous Ooze should be kept against weapons classes or on curve, and Dirty Rat is a must-keep against Priest. The only AOE you can even keep is a Dragon's Fury when you’re facing a swarm deck and you have the coin with a strong opening curve.

Big Spell Mage Play Strategy

Vs Aggro

Your plan against fast decks is going to be the same across all classes: clear the board. Decks like Zoo, Hunter, Tempo Rogue, and Paladin make a living off of strong early game and powerful minion interactions. Your goal to combat that should be to do everything in your power to never let them go too wide. A turn two Doomsayer is a great way to make that happen, but your endless removal does the trick as well. These are games where you need to find a balance between proactive and reactive plays. You want to get the most value out of your big clears, but you also don’t want to wait too long and fall into burst range. Every single aggro deck these days runs a wide range of fast damage, and they will kill you with it if you take too long to get on top of their boards. Always calculate your opponent’s damage potential and then adapt accordingly.

On that note, healing is extremely important in these games. You have access to both Arcane Artificer and Frost Lich Jaina, and you need to try to use both when possible. The lich queen will almost always be an instant win against faster decks. Understand that, and push to her as much as possible. Also note that Arcane Tyrant is an elemental, so having one on the turn you drop the Death Knight is instant healing. Artificer is not going to be easy to play (that one extra mana makes a big difference) so just fit him in where you can. It might seem good to wait until turn eight to use him with Flamestrike, but that won’t matter if you’re dead.

I should also mention that Tempo Mage is always going to be a rough battle for this build. Counterspell hits you extremely hard, and there is no real way to play around that. You often need to have your early minions if you’re going to have a chance. If you do make it to the later turns of the game, you should prioritize healing over everything else.

Vs Control

When going up against slower decks, you typically want to lean on your finishers. This deck packs the big three of Medivh, the GuardianFrost Lich Jaina, and Dragoncaller Alanna. All of those cards do a lot of work, especially when you’re trying to slowly grind your opponent down to dust. In every game, if you have the option of becoming Frost Lich Jaina, you should. The Death Knight is the best control tool in the game right now and will allow you to create a constant stream of threats for your opponent to answer. The same rules applies to Medivh. There is almost no weapon removal in the meta, so you need to get out the Atiesh and start casting big spells as soon as possible.

The hardest part of going long is deciding when to drop Dragoncaller Alanna. For instance, while she is great against Priest because she dodges Dragonfire Potion, she also gets crushed by Shadowreaper Anduin. You should almost always wait to play her until after your opponent has used whatever card can easily deal with her. Use your other powerful finishers first to get your opponents to burn things like Brawl or Twisting Nether, and then strike. She is a great way to cap off any game, but don’t pull the trigger too early.

Remember, this is a deck that is going to slowly break people down. You are taking things slow, which means against control builds you need to take things even slower. Hoard all of your removal and only use it when your opponent gets down their bigger minions. You may want to burn a Polymorph on a Warlock’s Despicable Dreadlord to limit Bloodreaver Gul'dan value, but that then leaves you exposed to both Voidlord and Rin, the First Disciple . You can also take a few extra hits in these games. Do not get squeamish if your opponent has something and you don’t. Waiting an extra turn or two against control can really bring power to your AOE.

Big Spell Mage Card Substitutions

This list, which I am running at rank 2, is quite powerful. It is a few cards from Kibler’s, and works to do a lot of good things. However, there are also a lot of flex spots to discuss. I believe that the core “big spell” package is absolutely necessary for this to work. That means you want to run all of the removal along with Raven FamiliarArcane Tyrant, and the three finishers. However, the numbers on those are not always going to be the same.

I personally favor double Flamestrike, though you could get away with one and pack double Meteor. You can also run two of both. Spiteful Summoner is also not completely necessary. Yes, it can do some great things against slower builds, but when you’re facing off against faster decks there are other options. If you’re seeing a lot of aggro, then I would switch them to Water Elementals, Lone Champions or Kabal Couriers (a cool inclusion in Kibler’s deck).

The two tech cards in this version are Dirty Rat and Gluttonous Ooze. Rat is for Priest, and for Warlock when you don’t have a Polymorph for Rin, the First Disciple. It also has great synergy with the AOE, and you could make the argument that this list needs another one. Ooze is just more tech against Tempo Mage. Yes, it hits Hunter and Paladin as well (a nice bonus) but it is mainly here to take down Aluneth. I like both of these cards, but they can become whatever you want. You could go with more heavy removal, or other strong tech cards like Mind Control Tech or Eater of Secrets depending on what you’re facing. There is also the idea that you could run lower costing spells in this deck. However, that is something I am largely against because it could ruin your consistency. The secret package seems good on paper, but is typically weak in practice.

About the Author

Joseph Scalise (who is totally not writing this bio) has been discussing and playing card games for more than six years now. He’s an umpteenth time legend player who has covered Hearthstone for a ton of sites since beta and loves to play all manner of different TC and CCG’s. He also loves Aggro Paladin and pizza. Especially pizza.

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29 Comments

Discuss This Deck
  1. Jhonny Combo Player (J)
    December 13, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    for what i see from Rank 5 and above for the match up:

    Favorable:

    Razakus /Dragon Razakus Priest
    Dragon Priest
    Zoo Warlock
    Control Warlock
    Spell Hunter
    Evolve Shaman
    Aggro Paladin
    Jade Druid
    Kingsbane Rogue
    Miracle Rogue
    Keleseth Rogue

    Bad Match-Up:

    Secret Mage (counterspell = lose)
    Big Priest (too many big minions more than a Ramp Druid)
    Murloc Paladin (if they are too fast for a turn 4-5 Dragon Fury)
    Highlander Warlock (total outvalue)

    Reply
    • Beedo
      December 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      I dont know about Razakus priest, I’ve been having problems trying to beat them. They either Kill Alanna and all the dragons with their DK, use destroy all minions with 2 or less attack + pint size or they shuffle all the dragons back to your deck and kill you before you can come back.

      Reply
      • Jhonny Combo Player
        December 13, 2017 at 5:17 pm

        use Alanna only after DK Anduin (and they MUST play him since is their win condition)
        if they shuffle Alanna, you can have another turn with her (or singular dragons that’s are ok against the Dragonfire Potion) and when this happen, normally is later in the game, when your deck is small, so you have a lot of chance to draw her soon.

        Build a board with Spiteful Summoner and Medivh+Fireland Portal , so they are obligated to reset ,and then use Alanna (after Anduin)
        Razakus Priest is “slow”,so you have a lot of time to do that.

        At least this is what i’ve faced o_0
        Obviously “bad draws” are the bane of every deck XD

        Reply
  2. Pilgarlik
    December 12, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    I got some Yogg goodness in mine. Tastes great!

    Reply
    • Evident - Site Admin
      December 12, 2017 at 8:04 pm

      Seems like a good idea to me!

      Reply
  3. J
    December 12, 2017 at 11:33 am

    No update for this deck?
    on Disguised Toast is rated as “Tier 1”

    Reply
    • Evident - Site Admin
      December 12, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      We’re working on all of the guides currently, and I wouldn’t take that tier list very seriously.

      Reply
      • J
        December 12, 2017 at 1:42 pm

        I know that is very “provvisorial”.
        But Control Mage as Tier 1…a man can always dream… ç__ç

        Reply
        • Evident - Site Admin
          December 12, 2017 at 8:04 pm

          I hear you, I like Control Mage as well. We updated the deck guide, so hopefully you feel it’s useful!

          Reply
  4. aldrich
    December 12, 2017 at 5:49 am

    I’ve been trying the dck out and it’s super fun
    Only problem is that I can’t seem to win against highlander dragon priest or warlocks, they seem to outsustain jaina and just hard save twisting nether for alanna. Same for priest with anduin and psychic scream

    Reply
    • Lokatorro
      December 12, 2017 at 7:05 am

      Exactly Warlocks are prepared for this deck 🙁
      Each keeps Twisting Nether till the end.

      What I’ve found useful is Simulacrum … I’ve exchange it with on of mine Acolyte of Pain ( exchange for Kabal Courier )

      Still this is really fun deck 🙂

      Reply
  5. FoxxyHere
    December 10, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    Hi, havent got opera so no bubbling book for me, what should i do? 🙂

    Reply
    • Jhonny Combo Player
      December 10, 2017 at 5:57 pm

      Shifting Scroll

      Reply
    • Chimborazo
      December 11, 2017 at 2:50 am

      Loot Hoarder is a great cheap minion that will help you cycle through your deck. Alternatively, if you want more safety (and slightly less reliable Dragon’s Fury), you can go for Arcane Intellect or Frost Nova to keep you safe with the Doomsayers.

      Reply
  6. Draegarn
    December 9, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Can you do a replacement section?

    Reply
    • Meavine
      December 10, 2017 at 12:09 am

      It would also be easier if you mention what cards you need replaced for others to help you.

      Dragoncaller is the core of the deck so obviously no replacement for that.

      Reply
    • Chimborazo
      December 11, 2017 at 2:51 am

      If this deck continues to take off, we will expand our guide and it will include a replacement section!

      Reply
      • Kirito999
        December 11, 2017 at 8:50 pm

        I went for some modified and it work really well, it is similar to kibler deck. Went 15-2 in it, i think you should add replacement for other people to enjoy it

        Reply
  7. milos
    December 9, 2017 at 3:06 am

    unkilledable deck .. tier 1 for sure

    Reply
  8. BaboyInTheCity
    December 8, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Anyone think there could be a budget version of this?

    Reply
  9. Jaroslove
    December 8, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Better try this version af this deck http://www.hearthstonetopdecks.com/decks/jonnychills-big-spell-mage-theorycraft/#comment-205151 . And I strongly recommend swapping 1 tyrant with skulking giest,there are still enough jades and evolve shamans. And medovh actually fits well.

    Reply
    • Jaroslove
      December 8, 2017 at 6:36 pm

      Anyway Barron Geddon is just vital!!! His ability(2 dmg to EVERYONE at the end of ur turn)combines with effect of dk Jaina and can heal a lot of hp. (if there are 7 creauters on table it will heal you for 16hp)

      Reply
  10. AgentMango
    December 8, 2017 at 11:21 am

    This deck is actually really good. I’m not using this exact deck list, but it is very similar and doing very well on ladder.

    Reply
  11. Jeremy
    December 8, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Will try this after packing Alanna. I may add a Medivh for more big spell synergy.

    Reply
  12. NuggetHeed
    December 7, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Awesome deck, just played 10 games with this deck list and won all 10!
    Really well put together deck which works very well, I had thought I would end up cutting Tyrant, but after playing this deck it just makes perfect sense why it is there….

    Reply
  13. bombtrap
    December 7, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    i think that with the add of dragon’s fury you have a good amount of AOE, you should consider remove

    -1 blizzard
    -1 flamestrike
    -1 Ice Block

    get more early control with

    +1 medivh’s valet (that isn’t a spell)
    +2 Explosive runes (good single removal for mid/late game)

    find a room for at least 1 Kabalist’s tome

    Alanna is so OP filling board with 5/5 dragons i think this deck will be tier1 for sure.

    Reply
  14. CocoAsticot
    December 6, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Nice list, but why no Medivh?

    Reply
    • JoyDivision
      December 7, 2017 at 12:46 am

      Maybe because there will be more weapon removal in the meta? In that case, Dragoncaller Alanna is the ‘safer bet’.

      Or maybe it’s because new cards are shiny and new. 😉

      Reply
      • Squirrel
        December 7, 2017 at 5:19 am

        Cool deck. I think tyrant will end up getting cut.

        Reply

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