Budget Elemental Mage Deck List Guide (Rastakhan’s Rumble)

Class: Mage - Format: raven - Type: midrange - Style: budget - Meta Deck: Elemental Mage

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Deck Import

 Our Budget Elemental Mage deck list guide for the Rastakhan’s Rumble expansion will teach you how to play this tribal Mage list. This Budget Elemental Mage guide includes Mulligans, Gameplay Strategy, Card Substitutions, and Combos/Synergies!

Introduction to Budget Elemental Mage

Since the release of Journey to Un’Goro, players have tinkered with the Elemental tribe in hopes that it would find a home in Mage. Unfortunately, the archetype has long played second fiddle to both Standard tempo-oriented builds and those containing Secret synergies.

Now, with the heavy-handed nerf to Mana Wyrm and many of the aforementioned Secret synergies relegated into the Wild format, Elementals may be Mage’s best budget-minded hope. Fans of tribal decks can rejoice and dust off their Fire Flys and Fire Plume Phoenix in preparation for the Year of the Raven.

This guide will give you the basics of navigating the mulligan phase and basic strategies, as well as an overview of substitutions to make as your collection grows!

Check out Hearthstone Budget Decks & Guides for All 9 Classes!

Rastakhan’s Rumble

Rastakhan’s Rumble introduced a few new cards to propel Elemental Mage into the go-to archetype for players not interested in dropping a lot of cash into the game. Elemental Evocation offers a huge Tempo play similar to an unnerfed Innervate that can give the deck an early board lead. While overshadowed by Duskbreaker, Arcanosaur still clears a wide board while developing a body and continuing the chain of Elementals. Both of these new cards fit nicely into a well-established budget Mage archetype.

Budget Elemental Mage Mulligan Guide

High Priority Keeps

  • Elemental Evocation – This budget build of Elemental Mage wants to get ahead early in the game and Elemental Evocation helps it accomplish exactly that. Reducing the cost of your minions by 2 mana is a huge boost that can get you to powerful midgame minions early.
  • Fire Fly – While it doesn’t have the snowball potential that Mana Wyrm used to offer, Fire Fly can still help fend off early game minions against aggressive opponents. The token it generates also helps fill out your curve and continue the chain of Elemental minions.
  • Shimmering Tempest – As a 2/1 body for 2 mana, Shimmering Tempest isn’t the best turn 2 play, but does give you something to do on curve other than ping.

Low Priority Keeps

  • Glacial Shard – Typically, you want to save Shard for a turn in which you can setup efficient trades or lock down a large opposing minion but, in certain circumstances, it may be worth holding in the mulligan.
  • Frostbolt – Frostbolt can remove opposing minions but, as a reactive card, it doesn’t help develop on the board. Against aggressive decks, it may have a place in your starting hand. Otherwise, send it back for later.
  • Tar Creeper – For some time now, Tar Creeper has been the bane of aggressive decks’ existence. This obnoxious Elemental is a great keep against other decks looking to win the board in the early turns.
  • Lesser Ruby Spellstone – Spellstone is unlikely to be a card you play on turn 2, but may be worth keeping with an early Elemental curve to generate value in upcoming turns.

Budget Elemental Mage Play Strategy

Generally, Elemental Mage plays as a minion-based tempo deck. This means you want to stick minions in the early game to pressure your opponent. Paramount to this strategy is landing an early Fire Fly or Elemental Evocation into 4-drops to gain a huge advantage in the first few turns.

While the deck does have a fair number of burn spells, success is really predicated on the chip damage from early game minions. By the mid-game turns, Elementals begin to accumulate value if you’re able to maintain the tribal chain. Steam Surger, Bonfire Elemental, and Servant of Kalimos ensure your hand is well-stocked with Elementals going into the late-game. Additionally, a fully ramped Lesser Ruby Spellstone can help find the last bit of damage to close out the game.

As you begin to hit the top-end of your curve, it’s time to start counting damage and looking to set up a kill. Always be aware of how much burst you have in hand and be on the lookout for lethal.

Don’t commit too hard on the burn plan against aggressive opponents, however, as the lack of Ice Block means you may leave yourself open to a counter kill.  The additional cards that this deck can generate make it possible to out-value hyper-aggressive decks in the late game. Tar Creepers can help mitigate some of this risk of dying, but correctly identifying which player is the beatdown is an important part of piloting this deck successfully.

Budget Elemental Mage Future Card Replacements

  • 2x Lesser Ruby Spellstone > 2x Book of Specters – With so many minions in this deck, there is little downside to running Book of Specters at to draw cards at a reduced mana cost.
  • 1x Servant of Kalimos > 1x Frost Lich Jaina – The late-game value engine that Frost Lich Jaina offers is hard to match. In a deck full of Elementals, the health swing this Death Knight offers is incredible.
  • 1x Servant of Kalimos > 1x Archmage Arugal – Paired with Book of Specters, Archmage Arugal can fill your hand with plenty of options, ensuring you always have a strong play at your disposal.
  • 2x Glacial Shard > 2x Mountain Giant – Many of the other substitutions put cards into your hand, Mountain Giants, now part of the Elemental tribe, can come down at a reduced cost.
  • 2x Shimmering Tempest > 2x Blazecaller – The loss of Firelands Portal stung a bit for Tempo Mages, but Blazecaller provides a similar turn seven swing.

Budget Elemental Mage General Replacements

Here’s a list of cards you can add to this deck if you happen to have them or are missing anything in the decklist.

  • Tol'vir Stoneshaper – With only a handful of early-turn plays, this deck may be susceptible to aggression at times. Stoneshaper helps shore up some of those problems, giving you a chance to stabilize.
  • Pyros – Pyros is the Elemental that keeps on giving! This card replaces itself several times, increasing in size with each copy. Not much feels better than landing a 10/10 Pyros attack, even more so with Frost Lich Jaina online.
  • Pyroblast – Healing isn’t as common as it once was in the Standard metagame, so Pyro can still bring your opponent back into lethal range.
  • Nightmare Amalgam – This flexible multi-tribe minion can help your chain together Elemental turns, but isn’t necessarily required for this archetype.


A card game veteran, Roffle has been infatuated with Hearthstone since closed beta. These days, he spends most of his time tinkering with decks on ladder or earning gold in Arena (f2p btw). In particular, Roffle has a wealth of experience in competitive Wild Hearthstone, including a top 16 finish in the inaugural Wild Open Tournament and numerous high end of season finishes since the format’s inception.

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Discuss This Deck
  1. Crab
    January 9, 2019 at 7:38 am

    Coming back after a couple years, this deck is great fun

  2. Adabra
    December 7, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Uhhh I think you meant to write arcanosaur and not volcanosaur since volcanosaur isn’t an elemental and can’t clear a board.

    July 3, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    This is my first netdeck and it’s a revelation! I’ve stopped counting my wins after about ten of them, with only one loss (bad draw, I got no minions early). I was rank 25 and I’m now almost at 22. It’s important to keep control of the board early, then get a either a counterspell or explosive runes to keep the turn 4-5 “medium” minions at bay. I’ve really enjoyed it! I often save my Fireballs and use them in a lethal finish that takes the opponent by suprise!

    One question, though. I have Pyroblast available but I’m not sure what to remove from the deck to make room for it. Any thoughts? One of the elementals?

      July 8, 2018 at 4:52 am

      Replying to myself with an update. I took out a Sorceror’s Apprentice and put Pyroblast in. The reason was that in about 20 games I only had one occasion where S.A made a big difference. Pyroblast has won at least half the games I’ve played since then. I think my opponent gets used to me picking away at them with cheap minions, getting them down to 10-15 health, then I shock them with a blast of 10 damage plus a kick or two from a minion and the game is over 🙂

      I don’t have a lot of time to play, but I’ve climbed from 25 to 21 with very few losses. I’d estimate about 85% win rate at these levels.

      • Brian Smith
        July 15, 2018 at 4:10 pm

        In the middle of rank 17 now and definitely hitting a wall. If your opponent has a lot of taunts or a lot of minions then the lack of AoE attacks (like flamestrike or blizzard) feels like a hindrance.

        I think I might be playing it wrong in some cases. But in situations where the opponent does NOT have those decks, this deck plays really well.

  4. Michael
    June 7, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    im on a 7 lose streak, no idea what im doing wrong… any help?

  5. YT_BrokenTeapot
    May 26, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    I love this deck, but with Cubelock being so powerful right now I want to tech in one Acidic Swamp Ooze and two Spellbreakers. What cards should I remove to make space?

  6. Diogo Santos
    May 3, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    I really need help. I built this deck today and I have checked many times but it keeps saying that this is a wild deck!!
    I am really worried

    • HydrelioxHS
      May 6, 2018 at 11:54 am

      Try to click on that deck in the editor and press “convert to standard” 🙂

  7. OptikRise
    April 25, 2018 at 10:38 am

    5-0 so far. Really fun deck. One mistake is playing all my secrets early. The longer the match, the more nervous I am with this deck but the late-game elementals are strong.

  8. Winston
    April 24, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    Does Archmage Arugal have any place in this deck?

  9. Nemanja
    April 21, 2018 at 3:03 am

    I have 3150 essence can you please tell me what to take out and what cards to create to make a bit better deck if thats possible?

    • Nemanja
      April 21, 2018 at 5:19 am

      And i dont have that legendary weapon.

  10. Felix
    April 20, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    This deck let me climb surprising faster than a Baku Paladin… Works great! I just removed a Counter Spell for a Tar Creeper :3 Also removed a Kirin Tor Mage for a Frost Nova against aggro decks.

  11. Sorix
    April 18, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    what would you swap out for frost lich jaina?

    • Roffle - Author
      April 20, 2018 at 10:00 am

      I’m not sure Jaina fits in this deck, but you could try subbing her for a Water Elemental.

  12. spb314
    April 18, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    If I want to switch in Arcane Keysmith, should I sub out an arcane intellect or water elemental?

    • Roffle - Author
      April 20, 2018 at 10:00 am

      I’d try Water Elemental first. The draw from Arcane Intellect is always nice to have.

  13. Shadowlord
    April 18, 2018 at 8:03 am

    Umm what should I replace if I rather play servant of kalimos then the bonfire

  14. TimeLord
    April 17, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    I put in primordial glyphs and blazecallers and so far I am 10-0 with this deck from Rank 10-7 now. I don’t know what other people are talking about. This deck is amazing.

    • Roffle - Author
      April 17, 2018 at 2:04 pm

      Congrats on the success! That’s quite a streak!

  15. Glacial Shard?
    April 16, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    It mentions the card, but there’s no Glacial Shard on the deck?

    • Roffle - Author
      April 17, 2018 at 6:55 am

      Thanks. Shard was in an early version of the deck and I failed to remove the references to it in the guide.

  16. Randomized
    February 24, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Can I put aluneth in this deck?

    • Randomized
      February 24, 2018 at 2:43 pm

      O actually I found that Aluneth frequently causes overdraw. Personal suggestion, Jaina and furbolg Mossbinder work well in this deck.

    • Josse
      March 11, 2018 at 11:09 am

      I think this deck is too slow for it, I’d put it in Secret Tempo Mage (a really strong deck with a really strong budget version, actually almost the meta version assuming you have Aluneth)

  17. plyzd
    January 24, 2018 at 3:00 am

    Awsome fun deck for unranked matches. 🙂 Any place for Lesser Ruby Spellstone in this deck?

  18. drununique
    January 22, 2018 at 12:17 am

    is it good idea to as far as suggested replacements to go rather eg 4*1 replacement than 2*2? (like 2 from each card)

  19. NightKnight
    December 19, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Would you consider putting in an arcane artificer?

  20. BIGKINGchobo
    November 21, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    ohhh man !!! thanks you sooo much 😀 love the deck very easy and very funny to play it!!the good thing of this deck, is very rare you dont have cards on your hand to play it and made good trades on board with minions…and almost your cards will give you cards (10 of 30 cards). i made some changes -2 Igneous Elemental +2 Shimmering tempest (very good early on, and give you a spell that sometimes will be the lethal damage that you need…or and ice block or a 2nd flamestrike, really think this card made a huge difference) -2 Faceless Summoner +1Tol’vir Stoneshaper and +1Frost Lich Jaina because i had lucky and finished the Knights of the Frozen Throne adventure and got myself a free Frost Lich Jaina!!! the best of all this deck dont really need her but when you have it just use it if can play it in game almost sure its a free win to strong card, in my opinion, i dont have blazecaller but for sure when i get it i will put in the deck, instead the 2 Firelands Portal (even saying that this card is very good on this deck)!!!!

  21. SynthNeo
    November 21, 2017 at 2:14 am

    Can I put a Sindragosa too ?

    • DaLittle
      January 14, 2018 at 12:37 pm

      sindragosa can fit on all deck, because its inconsistent. mostly use for fun only

  22. NixaHS
    October 24, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    I exchanged 1x Arcane Missles for 1x Tol’vir Stoneshaper and I switched 1x Faceless Summoner for 1 more Flamestrike. Just waiting to get Frost Lich Jaina to replace Arcane Missles and Rank 5 will be no problem with this deck! 😀

    • DaLittle
      January 14, 2018 at 12:38 pm

      its not that easy to get rank 5 with this deck, trust me 🙂 already make a better version with this deck and still hard to pass 15 with all dragon priest

  23. Biobozz
    October 2, 2017 at 1:04 am

    What about a Baron Geddon in this deck? Or it’s a lack of mana? Maybe just for control the board.
    Ty for answers 🙂

    • Evident
      October 2, 2017 at 10:07 am

      Baron isn’t bad if you have the Jaina Death Knight because it can often heal you up quite a bit. If you have Baron you can cut a Faceless Summoner for it if you’d like to play it.

  24. Bross
    October 1, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    13 – 1
    I replace one arcane with jena and it’s insane. I lost against a dead knight hunter.

  25. Catalan
    September 14, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Trying this deck on new f2p account, replaced arcane missiles with Frost Lich Jaina. Currently 9-1 with it in ranked and beat Jade Druid on first try. Thanks for the decklist, highly recommend it to new players with little dust

  26. Joseph
    August 25, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Would this deck be able to make rank 5? I’m currently 13 looking for a jaina deck

  27. JOAO
    August 23, 2017 at 4:33 am

    Thank u so much, really easy win deck in low rank! i commend all of u use this deck if u r one starter player

  28. Johny
    August 17, 2017 at 2:17 am

    If i have frost lich jaina should i put into this deck? If so which card should i switch out

    • Carlos
      August 18, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      “If you, however, finished the Knights of the Frozen Throne Prologue and got yourself a free Frost Lich Jaina, you can add her to this deck just fine. I would cut either an Arcane Missiles or a Faceless Summoner.”

      That was written on the guide. Mayeb you should read before asking anything.

  29. Paulo
    May 27, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Really solid Deck, i get rank 18 . Thank u so much!!!!!

  30. jahdu
    April 18, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    What max rank did you get with this deck? Is there any other more expensive changes I can do to this deck (without karazhan please)? Thanks for the help)

  31. Shelleysqrd
    April 17, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    My apologies. I just put up a deck by the same name not realizing there was already one here. I need to try this deck before discussing but wanted to let you know I messed up on naming and could not edit

  32. albert
    April 14, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    I just lost 10 games in a row at the first stage of ranked(25). This deck either completely sucks, or i have been incredibly unlucky.

    • Evident
      April 14, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      You were at ranked 25 and you lost 10 in a row? That seems next to impossible, you should be able to win with basically any deck at that rank.

    • Thirteen
      May 3, 2017 at 8:46 am

      You should be able to rank 25-20 with basic decks.

    • Ignus
      August 18, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      Ive been playing this in casual just to get a feel for it, completely net decked as well. Went on the most horrendous lost streak I can ever recall. The deck seems extremely susceptible to just getting awful hands compared to other midrange decks. I dont know what it is, but the deck simply doesnt work for me either. Hopefully others are having success with it.

      • Ignus
        August 18, 2017 at 7:54 pm

        Played about 10-12 more games after this comment…won a respectable amount, might have just been unlucky, but the deck definately feels like it could use some tweaks. For a sub 1k deck though, cant really complain.

  33. Kunto
    April 14, 2017 at 6:36 am

    What is the best muligan for this deck ?

    • Evident
      April 14, 2017 at 8:37 am

      You are looking for Mana Wyrm, Fire Fly, and Sorcerer’s Apprentice. If you know you’re against an aggro deck I would also keep Tar Creeper. If you’re on the coin and you have 1 – 2-drop in your hand you can keep Steam Surger or Water Elemental. If you have Mana Wyrm, you can consider keeping Arcane Missiles against something like Pirate Warrior.