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 [email protected]#. 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! 😀 If you’d like to catch me streaming with the deck, my channel is twitch.tv/josekitv. Thanks <3



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