Top 100 NA Legendary Frost Giant Mage Guide!

Posts: 5
I recently got to Legendary rank, somewhere in the top 100 or so, playing exclusively the formerly dominant mage deck “Frost Giants”. This deck is largely considered by most players to be fairly bad after the nerfs, and generally not worth playing unless its in a niche matchup. I would like to say that I think those folks are wrong, and frost giants is still a very powerful and viable choice. My win rate is around 70% (better on some days, worse on others) and I went from rank 8 to L fairly quickly once I started playing it. Here I'll put my list, a guide to playing it, and some tips for match ups in general. Thanks for reading and feel free to ask any questions you might have!

These are the two lists I played while getting to L:

2 Cone of Cold
2 Ice Block
2 Flamestrike
2 Frost Nova
2 Molten Giant
2 Frostbolt
2 Mountain Giant
2 Blizzard
1 Azure Drake
1 Alexstrasza
2 Novice Engineer
2 Doomsayer
2 Arcane Intellect
2 Pyroblast
2 Fireball
1 Polymorph
1 Ice Barrier

and

2 Cone of Cold
2 Ice Block
2 Flamestrike
2 Frost Nova
2 Molten Giant
2 Frostbolt
1 Archmage Antonidas
2 Blizzard
1 Azure Drake
1 Alexstrasza
2 Novice Engineer
2 Doomsayer
2 Arcane Intellect
2 Pyroblast
2 Fireball
2 Polymorph
1 Ice Barrier

The first of these two is easily recognizable to many this is a stock list, the only main difference is we aren't playing any Bloodmage Thalnos. The main reason is that its generally not reasonable while under pressure from your opponent to be able to add 2 to the mana cost of any spell. 9 for flamestrike and 8 for blizzard with Bloodmage Thalnos are usually unreasonably difficult plays. I often had a Thalnos sitting in my hand for many turns doing nothing. Because the freeze spells cost more, we aren't afforded the luxury of playing combos off of thalnos so easily. I swapped him for 1x Azure drake, as this card fills the 5 drop slot nicely and cantrips immediately. Drake also trades into a lot of 3-5 drop minions, which takes some pressure off of our removal.

This first list otherwise is about what you'd expect. I ran this list until I hit rank 2 the other day, and then druid hell was brought down upon me. Druid is by far this deck's worst matchup (but mind you still very winnable with smart play!) so I went back to the drawing board to make some adjustments to help with that matchup in general. Thus, this second list reflects that: we cut Mountain Giant because it gives easy early targets for Big Game Hunter and Faceless! Plainly put, slamming a turn 4 giant is a very risky play that will generally result in you getting 2 for 1'd or them having their own giant. Overall, its a generally unproductive opening. Mountain giant is at its best in true midrange matchups (rogue, shaman, etc) where it has to be hit with premium removal or swung in to in order to be killed.

So this list is -2 Mountain Giant, +1 Polymorph, +1 Archmage Antonidas. This doesn't seem like a huge change, but it does do one really key thing for us. Mainly, we can use our Pyros as removal for key threats, rather than use them as kill spells out of nessecity. This changes the matchup immensely, as we now have 4 hard removal spells to deal with AoW, Rag, and other friends. This equalizes the count of threats to removal overall in the matchup, and gives us a strong win condition.

Here are some general guidelines to playing this deck:

1) Play your Iceblocks while you can! This is the hardest lesson to learn for a lot of people. When you have a free choice between Arcane Intelect, Fireball their face, and play Ice block, you should play iceblock in 85%+ of cases. Games are won and lost over getting the chance to play an early iceblock, and this really cannot be stressed enough.

2) save your coin unless you absolutely need to use it. Life is a flexible resource in this deck, be patient and hold on to the coin when you can, it allows for a lot of really great plays in the late game that can totally save your !@#. For example: Pyro, coin, Iceblock, or Antonidas, Coin, Nova on turn 9. There are lots of creative ways to use the coin late game, so its a nice tool to have access to.

3) A lot of hands are perfectly playable with this deck. Mull obvious things like 7-10 drops, but the rest is generally keepable. If I have a hand with a novice engi, an arcane intellect and a blizzard I'll often just keep it. You're generally going to take some damage early since you have a high curve, so just accept that fact and keep good cards when you got em.

4) Proactive doomsayer plays are really awesome. Lets say, its turn 7. I have coin, alex, and doomsayer in my hand and my opponent doesn't have any units. I will still play my doomsayer in this situation because it gurentees alexasaztra will come down on an empty board. More practically, playing a turn 2 doomsayer against aggro warlock is among the strongest players in the matchup. Even if you just get a 1 for 1, thats one stalled turn closer to stabilizing with Blizzard, CoC, Flamestrike, etc.

5) DO MATH! Often times you'll be in a position where you can go "well I can fireball and frostbolt him here, then maybe kill him but only if he doesn't kill me." Look at your life total, add up his creature damage, and remember which spells your opponent has cast. If you're at 7 vs a rogue, and he has a harvest golem in play and hasn't played Eviserate yet, you need to play your iceblock. While this may seem fairly no-brainer to some, doing this is practice can be very hard. You must actively predict and keep track of which cards your opponent has used over the course of a game otherwise when it comes to late game you won't have a basis of how you should be playing. So while this falls more under the category of "generally good play" - ITS REALLY IMPORTANT with the frost giants deck.

The Druid Matchup: This is generally your hardest matchup, but its really winnable with a lot of patience and practice. I'll be talking about the super-late game druid deck, because Strifecro's Cenarius midrange druid is an extremely easy matchup for frostmage (as are most harvest golem/defender of argus style decks). Whether you like it or not this matchup is an attrition war. Alexastra is almost always how you will kick off your offensive. If not, just use fireballs to clear out what you need to (4/6 druid of the claw, for example) Pyros and poly's to kill the big stuff, etc. The key to winning this matchup is not dealing them *any* damage for a very long time, so their use their Ancients of Lore to draw cards instead of gaining life. 1 Healing touch is very easy to fight through overall, but 1 Healing Touch, +10 more life is extremely difficult. I generally don't do anything in the matchup until I see at least 1 AoL come down. Just clear the board, be patient, be smart, and remember, they always have a fatty so don't you dare use your only poly on a Sylvannas or something stupid. =P

Aggro Warlock: Like every deck vs aggro warlock, its kind of a crap shoot. I'm 59% in this matchup, which is fine since I don't think any decks are better than 50% unless you're playing rogue. Basically, mull expensive stuff, the keys to winning are Molten Giant, Blizzard, Cone of Cold, Doomsayer, Flamestrike. As a generally rule, your best turn 6 play possible with this deck vs Warlock is Nova + Iceblock, as it buys you a turn and ensures you don't die to random Leeroy + Power Overwhelming Shenanigans.

Aggro Mage - Not a lot to say about this matchup, its sort of like...battle of the iceblocks. But thats nothing new if you're been playing aggro mage for a while. ^^

Rogue - By far one of your best matchups. They make very little relevant plays, Doomsayers, freeze, and Aoe are very strong against them, and they have a hard time dealing a ton of damage in 1 turn, so you'll usually get free Molten Giants at some point on top of it. Overall, this matchup is basically a cakewalk with Flamestrike and Blizzard being your MVP cards.

Priest - If they are playing the control version of priest, just make sure to save your poly(s) for Rag and Ysera. Otherwise, you wanna kick the matchup off with an Alexastra and then proceed to burn them out. Its rare that they have enough heal off-hand to really do anything about alex + giants + pyros. Just make sure to finish off units best you can, otherwise they can circle of healing and undo a lot of your work.

Warrior - This matchup is really easy, just make sure to keep their armor low best you can by pinging and hitting them with a giant now and then. Alex with an iceblock up is an assured victory, and they cannot OTK you because of iceblock, so its quite easy to get them low, they trigger the block, then you just wrap it up with some more burn.

Hope all this info helps, my in game id is Joseki#1252 if you'd like to say hey, otherwise I'm happy to answer questions here. Happy Pyroblasting! :D If you'd like to catch me streaming with the deck, my channel is twitch.tv/josekitv. Thanks <3
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Posts: 488
I wish I had those two essential legendaries to try your build :(

Thanks for the write-up though. I will re-visit this thread once I obtain those cards.
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Posts: 5
Alex I'd say is the only one you ABSOLUTELY need, other than that though, you can get by without the other legendaries.
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Posts: 16
Good to hear Frost giant deck still work, building one.. just missing 2 out of 4 giant and Alex
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Posts: 1,353
Thanks for the guide, I will read it again as I am interested in how you play frost giants.

Could you post a screen of your rank? Seeing is believe after all lol, and I'v seen a few troll posts around claiming they hit legend with frost giants, but ended up just being trolls trying to complain about how OP frost giants are still lol.

Thanks again for the guide.
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Posts: 1,353
12/29/2013 03:50 PMPosted by Paragon
Thanks for the guide, I will read it again as I am interested in how you play frost giants.

Could you post a screen of your rank? Seeing is believe after all lol, and I'v seen a few troll posts around claiming they hit legend with frost giants, but ended up just being trolls trying to complain about how OP frost giants are still lol.

Thanks again for the guide.


Ok so I am gonna try this build again, I gave up on it after the nerf like so many others who was struggling, but nice to hear you got it working. Very awesome post bro.

I have everything except Mage legendary, should I just run another Mountain giant for an extra fatty or no? Also I don't have but one doomsayer, is that ok , or should I really try for another one?

thanks again.

EDIT: Also when I was trying this before I really struggled vs Holy Paladin type decks that ran lay on hands, holy light, Gaurdian of Kings etc.. Was soo hard to burn them because they can just heal through like 40 health. And they run so much board removal, aka Pyromancer,equality,humility, kodo, aldor peacekeeper etc.. Big game hunter.

What do you do vs these decks?
Edited by Paragon on 12/29/2013 4:30 PM PST
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Posts: 31
Holy Crap this deck is no joke already got me down to rank 13 thanks
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Posts: 5
Vs the decks that gain a lot of life (druid or pally) you have to play a long and careful game. Cards like Archmage Antonidas help a lot here in refueling your hand up!

Generally speaking, you don't want to throw any burn at their face until you are sealing the game up. I almost always kick off the matchup by casting Alexstraza at their face to knock them down to 15 first, let them use all their heals, THEN start the pyro/fireball ownage. Otherwise, I will try and deal damage to "scare" them into using heals, then use Alex to knock them right back down to 15. Ultimately, Alex is a big key to winning in matchups where your opponent plans to heal a lot.
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Posts: 138
OMG.. Unique deck with pyroblast.. Try it without them and lets see if if this deck is really this good!
Edited by RoRu on 12/30/2013 11:44 PM PST
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Posts: 1,353
12/30/2013 11:43 PMPosted by RoRu
OMG.. Unique deck with pyroblast.. Try it without them and lets see if if this deck is really this good!


Why would you try a mage deck without pyro? lol its like running warrior decks with no weapons, or druid with no swipes, it can be done but why would you want to?
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Posts: 7
12/30/2013 11:43 PMPosted by RoRu
OMG.. Unique deck with pyroblast.. Try it without them and lets see if if this deck is really this good!


Some people do like to make themselves look like dumb...
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Posts: 72
I'd like to ask a question that may be irrelevent. If when your opponent trigger your ice block, you happen to have in your hand the following
-ice block number 2
-two molten giants
-alextraza
-Blizzard (or any freezing spell)
-a sheep (optional)

Would you call it an auto win at this point? (I know this hand would require super ultra luck, but still, I found myself wondering it and couldn't get a straightforward answer like:
-Yes it's auto win
-No, it's not, because)
Thank you for reading and sorry for posting something that isn't exactly relevant to the topic

Edit: Oh, By the way, congrats on getting in the top 100
Edited by Neerzidaas on 1/2/2014 11:34 AM PST
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Posts: 98
01/02/2014 11:33 AMPosted by Neerzidaas
I'd like to ask a question that may be irrelevent. If when your opponent trigger your ice block, you happen to have in your hand the following
-ice block number 2
-two molten giants
-alextraza
-Blizzard (or any freezing spell)
-a sheep (optional)

Would you call it an auto win at this point? (I know this hand would require super ultra luck, but still, I found myself wondering it and couldn't get a straightforward answer like:
-Yes it's auto win
-No, it's not, because)
Thank you for reading and sorry for posting something that isn't exactly relevant to the topic

Edit: Oh, By the way, congrats on getting in the top 100


I know I'm not Joseki, but I've played a lot of Frost Giant decks and I think he would agree that if your "ice block" is triggered before you planned on it, than you'll be on the defensive.

In the hand you have above, you can drop the giants and alex which is a strong move, but a lot of decks can do 15 damage in one turn with no problem. alex and giants don't have taunt so there's no protection there.

If you drop ice block and giants, than you'll most certainly get pinged the next turn breaking the ice block, and than have to use alex to heal your self afterwards.

Classes who would have the best chance against this hand could be the following:
  • Paladins because they can equaltiy combo or drop peacekeepers on your giants. If they've been sitting on 4 or 5 cards the entire game, you're probably done.
  • Druids are also usually well prepared for this, packing legendary creatures out the yinyang, most likely having a Rag or Slyvannus out at this point, with Tinkmaster just waiting to pop your giant.
  • Legend Ranked Control Priest are no joke, all your giants are dead or just got mind controlled to help their Ysera out.
  • Warlocks and Rogues might have the hardest time against that hand. Running out of steam trying to kill everything or not having creatures that can deal with the mess.
    Edited by Levi on 1/3/2014 2:43 PM PST
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    Posts: 710
    I'm having trouble to know when to play the Mountain Giant's. I usually end up using a cc spell instead.
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    Posts: 72
    @Levi: Thanks for your help there, I was trying to find more solutions against those giants for a while, but as you said, if the mage is sitting on 4-5 ideal cards, there's no reason why I shall not be able to sit on either removals (the ideals one aren't in my actual class (shaman), as you mentionned, but still, there's no reason why I shall not be able to keep some hex, and maybe craft a tinkmaster that I might be able to keep in hand if the mage is sitting on this ideal hand of 5 cards.
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    Posts: 203
    This deck is great! I went from rank 8 to rank 4 tonight using it. Does very well in mage vs mage matchups as well.

    Once I get the mage legendary I would like to try the second version but for the moment that will have to wait :-)

    Thanks!
    D5

    Edit: Up to rank 3 now, still using the first version. Loving it!
    Edited by Deception5 on 1/5/2014 11:11 PM PST
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    Posts: 2,659
    Well tried the first one lost all the matches. Seeing how its all luck base never draw a ice block or giant. GG with that deck. get owned by a warrior with a 13/8
    Edited by Furydeath on 1/5/2014 10:00 PM PST
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    Posts: 863
    Great deck mate, ex-rank 3 here. I originally started playing Ranked post-freeze nerfs so I never looked into the older version of the deck. I'd also foolishly written off frost nova and cone of cold as too slow/situational.

    Your variant is not only fun and interesting to play, but actually has all the tools to handle/outplay all the weaker decks/players out there.

    It's made me realise how Frost Nova + Doomsayer is the new turn 5 stall. It makes Cone of Cold worth running so you can get to it on turn 4. From there, getting to turn 6 (Blizzard) with a decent health pool is far more feasible. Things make a lot more sense now.

    If this helps your win ratio VS hyper aggro warlocks... I just won an extremely close game, pretty much thanks to Coin > Ping on his Leper Gnome on Turn 1. As you mentionned in your OP I pretty much always slowplay coin, but in that situation and with the hand I had, it felt like the correct play.

    5 turns later, it turns out that if that gnome had gotten an attack in, game would've been over :S So yeah, good luck for the rest of your S1 grind and I hope we'll face off next season :)
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