Hello there, and welcome to my in-depth guide for the renolock list that made me finish #1 legend EU for the month of August. I'm Hijo, a wild player that often gets good results on the wild ladder and mostly play Renolock (got back to back #1 finish on July and August with Renolock)
Rank 1 legend finish for july and august
(near 70% w/r after over 150 games with the list)
Rank 1 legend this season playing this list only
I believe the Renolock archetype is amongst the best in the format, if not the best, and will probably remain this way for quite a long time. Why? Because it's equipped to deal with pretty much all the other decks you can meet on the ladder. Combo decks? You have both Demonic Project and Dirty Rat for disruption. Aggro decks? With a wide range of removals,Reno Jackson as life saver and the big demons as stablizing tools, Renolock beats them like no other. Control decks? Kazakus, Bloodreaver Gul'dan and Gnomeferatu give you unrivaled value in the late-game. It also is a deck that has, aside from it's core cards, a very big versatility. It can be teched to beat pretty much anything. Starting to see a resurgence of Big Priest? Just cut some anti-aggro and add back Sylvanas Windrunner and N'Zoth, the Corruptor, and so on.
The main thing is, this deck, while being very strong, is also very hard to pilot optimally. Each game will require you to make game deciding choices. Being aware of every possible outs and of their respective odds is key with this deck. You also have to understand that despite being a Warlock deck, this deck's primary win condition is fatigue for the most part.
This deck is very non linear, from the gameplan to the mulligan. I will try to be as complete as possible but I can't possibly describe everything. As an example some cards like Deathlord shouldn't be kept against aggro unless you already have a turn 1 or 2 play. Also I will post some games from hsreplay with my match-up guides to the strategy becomes clearer, but there are some decks i just haven't met yet in Boomsday/don't have enough files for, so i'll be using games I had during Witchwood/games played with slightly different list (which is basically the same except for 2/3 different cards) to showcase them (point is just showcasing general strategie anyways) Finally some statement made in this guide come from my experience at relatively high ranks, so bear with me if Big Priest isn't the most common Priest at lower ranks for example
Core cards: (cards that should always be ran, cutting them will lower your winrate % for sure)
- Darkbomb: staple removal for Renolock, 2 mana deal 3 is just great
- Defile: best aoe in the game
- Gnomeferatu: key card in the control match-ups combined with Brann Bronzebeard and Zola the Gorgon, also gives you a slight chance to auto-win vs druid pre-melon
- Hellfire: one of the strongest basic set warlock's card, efficient aoe in a great number of scenarios
- Voidcaller/Mal'Ganis/Voidlord/Despicable Dreadlord/Bloodreaver Gul'dan: obvious inclusions, the Death Knight is just op, and so is Voidcaller combined with big demons. They just work extremely well together
- Lord Godfrey: almost as good as defile, completely insane in the deck
- Twisting Nether: great, unconditional clear that provides great value and is almost required to win some match-ups
- Doomsayer: great card that helps a ton against aggro to take back the tempo or just delay a turn more into your power plays, is also an efficient way to take back the tempo after a full board clear in all match-ups
- Brann Bronzebeard: insane card in this deck, we have an astronomical amount of battlecries that work with this guy
- Kazakus/Reno Jackson: the two cards that make us play an highlander deck, both are as mandatory in the deck
- Antique Healbot: Renolock really craves for healing, this is great, instant healing that works well with Brann Bronzebeard and Zola the Gorgon
- Giggling Inventor: awesome stalling card, works well with Brann Bronzebeard
- Emperor Thaurissan: very solid card, this list is fairly high curve with quite a few combos with Brann Bronzebeard and Zola the Gorgon, so we need a way to sooth up the curve. Emperor Thaurissan is this way
- Zola the Gorgon: yet another way to abuse our OP battlecries, and doubles up when paired with Brann Bronzebeard. Also makes aggro have to trade our battlecries on board or else they risk getting punished
- Dirty Rat: is a must in wild, you're running a relatively passive deck and your only way to win from most combo decks is to disrupt their combo. He's also great in Control mirrors since he can pull value battlecries that are very common in the format, and on top of that doesn't totally suck against Aggro
Flex Cards: (cards that are good in a given meta but can be swapped)
- Kobold Librarian: though very strong (being able to play with basically only 29 cards in your deck improves consistency, which is great), I can see this card being cut in a very greedy meta (which is not the case at all right now)
- Mortal Coil: a solid card that is actually pretty similar to Kobold Librarian in Renolock, it is pretty meta dependant but right now it's great against a good number of deck, and especially against Odd Rogue
- Corrupting Mist: very strong card, I wouldn't call it core but it's very close. Extremely versatile, deals very well with single threats like Voidlord, Obsidian Statue, an early Deathlord, but also with wide boards from Even Shaman, Odd paladins, as well as being one of your only answers to Flamewreathed Faceless
- Demonic Project: although awful, this card is required in a combo druid heavy meta. You will almost never be playing this card against anything other than druids since you have a lot of key cards you don't want to lose in other match-ups, but doubling on disruption is a must at the moment. It's also a reasonnable gamble against Aggro Decks when you have a Voidcaller on board
- Demonwrath: solid AoE card all around, I could see it being cut in a meta without many Aggros as it doesn't do much in slow match-ups, but right now I wouldn't
- Shadow Bolt: good single target removal, deals with plenty of minions played in common aggro decks, but especially Odd Rogues' Hench-Clan Thug which can otherwise snowball completely out of control
- Siphon Soul: not so great of a card, a 6 mana hard removal is weak, yet I believe it's a necessary card in this meta because it's rather flexible and can handle Even Shaman's beefy minions and Dirty Rat's pulls quite well. The light healing is a good upside
- Mistress of Mixtures: solid turn 1 play which also provides good healing later in the game, as always it's anti-aggro so definitely cuttable, although I don't recommend it
- Baleful Banker: the card I choose to run over N'Zoth, the Corruptor. I just think he's way more valuable in the mirror than him (can negate fatigue, or just give you a second Reno Jackson +a card behind in fatigue, which is no joke), while not being completely dead in hand in about all the other match-ups
- Deathlord: one of the list's weakest card, I like him because pulling a card from the deck is pretty good in control match-ups, it has a fringe use against bad Combo Druid players who cant draw their Juicy Psychmelon early and also can help stabilize against Aggro decks once you've cleared the board (but typically he's very dangerous to play early on against Aggros)
Other possible cards:
- N'Zoth, the Corruptor: a controversial choice, I decided not to include him in my list because I think he doesn't do anything in the current meta. Absolutely useless against Combo Druids, is very often sitting dead in hand against aggro, usually gets Nether'd or polymorphed in the mirror. The two match-ups where he used to shine (namely Big priest and Jade Druid) are completely absent now thanks to Combo Druids
- Sludge Belcher/Rotten Applebaum: purely outclassed by Giggling Inventor, also not running N'Zoth, the Corruptor makes them even weaker
- Zilliax: very similar to the two previously mentionned cards, he's better in N'zotheless lists
- Sylvanas Windrunner: a card I really dislike yet I see being ran a lot. She quite simply doesn't do anything against Aggro Decks and Combo Druids, is good in the mirror but only if you run something to suicide her, and once again the lack of Jade Druids and especially Big Priest in the meta makes her a lot weaker (also once again no N'Zoth, the Corruptor)
- Shadowflame: a greedy, conditional aoe card that I highly dislike, I would run it only with Sylvanas Windrunner
- Skulking Geist: another highly overplayed card, most people seem to see it as a way to sometimes get free wins at no cost, but the problem is that this card lowers your winrate in all match-ups that aren't Jade Druids by some %. Fact that it removes Cold Blood isn't relevant whatsoever since Odd Rogue kills you by turn 6, and if they don't you will never have the tempo to play it anyways. It doesn't do enough against Kingsbane Rogue either. To make this worth I think you would need to see at the very least 30% of Jade Druids, if not more
- Mountain Giant: a greedy card that is only ever good in the mirror if played on 4 (if played later it just sucks) All the other slow decks have efficient ways to deal with it right away. And of course it's a terrible card against Aggro Decks
- Amethyst Spellstone: this card forces you to run a package of self-inflicting damages card for a very low reward, and inconsistent on top of that. It's just not worth it since you can only run 1 copy of the card
- Rin, the First Disciple: a terrible card, for her to be relevant you need to drop her very early, then have a Voidlord as a follow-up to be able to play the seals fast enough since they're so low tempo. Also you can just lose to Azalina Soulthiefplaying that card
- Glinda Crowskin: pointless card in the deck as you can already negate fatigue using Zola the Gorgon, Brann Bronzebeard and Baleful Banker together
- Sacrificial Pact: pretty good in the mirror/against Cubelock, but its use is so limited I would never run it
- Annoy-o-Tron/Wax Elemental: surprisingly enough, they're really good anti-aggro cards. Can consider putting them in instead of Baleful Banker or another greedy card
- Abyssal Enforcer: a really cool card that has the upside of improving your Voidcaller's consistency, but is sadly both too slow and completely powercrept by Lord Godfrey
- Skull of the Man'ari: an actually decent card in the deck, it's a better anti Kingsbane Rogue tech than the Oozes
- Gluttonous Ooze: a fairly underwhelming card since there aren't many targets in the meta. Its biggest pro is dealing with Aluneth, but I haven't been seeing Aggro Mages decks lately. It helps a bit against Kingsbane Rogue and is decent against Odd Rogue/Odd Paladin (but Odd Paladin is already almost impossible to lose) This card is better than Acidic Swamp Ooze purely because of Odd Rogues
- Golakka Crawler: a pretty useless card that's only good against Odd Rogue curently. Not worth including
- Plated Beetle: pretty underwhelming card, 2/3 body doesn't trade with anything and you like tapping on 2. (also no N'Zoth, the Corruptor in deck)
- Stonehill Defender: a very slow, low tempo card that doesn't even guarantee a good value. Don't play it
- Tar Creeper: underwhelming anti-aggro card, the 1 attack means it won't be taking any good trade. Don't play it
- Twilight Drake: mostly a card from the past, it's just not good enough to see play anymore
- Mind Control Tech: pretty bad card, 80% of the time you will steal a 1/1 or a 0/2 totem and once in a blue moon you will highroll a big card, not worth running
- Spellbreaker: good meta call card, but there are not enough targets at the moment since Cubelocks and Nagalocks are gone
- Big Game Hunter: pure Even Shaman hate card, but will too often be a 5 mana 4/2 to be worthwhile
- Loatheb: doesn't do enough in a Renolock, you generally don't have big boards to protect, and if you want to delay burst damage by one turn you'd rather run more healing in the deck
- Krul the Unshackled: he just doesn't fit the archetype, he's a tempo bomb which is not what we want at all. We also don't run enough demons to make him worthwhile
- The Lich King/ Ragnaros the Firelord: bad greed cards
- Leeroy OTK (Leeroy Jenkins/Power Overwhelming/Faceless Manipulator): simply outdated, it's just not a good inclusion anymore (though Faceless Manipulator is a decent tech card vs Big Priest and other Warlocks)
- Mecha'thun OTK (Mecha'thun, Bloodbloom, Cataclysm): Some of you may be aware that I hit rank 1 legend with such a list last month (that you can find here), but I don't recommend running it anymore. Meta was quite different since expansion had just launched, there were more Kingsbane Rogues, Jade Druids and Big Priest that are better match-up for this deck in particular. Now there are too many disruption tools in the meta and the previously mentionned decks aren't being played anymore. It's still a good deck, just not optimal for climbing.
- Always keep Voidcaller unless you know for sure your opponent runs double silence
- Always keep Voidlord/Mal'Ganis with Voidcaller in hand (unless double silences as previously mentionned)
- If you suspect your opponent is playing Dirty Rat, hold onto your low impact minions as much as possible to protect the key ones
- Don't be too greedy with Kazakus. A common mistake I see is people blindly picking 5 mana when playing him. Sometimes you need to go for a 1 mana just to get tempo back. Even in Control match-ups sometimes going for a 5 over a 10 is perfectly fine.
- The coin is extremly important with this deck, don't waste it as it can easily be game deciding. The difference between playing a Reno Jackson, a Voidlord, a Lord Godfrey one turn earlier or later is often what's gonna make you win or lose.
- You HAVE to tap early on in control games, just to be able to keep up with their plays by drawing your own answers Just stop doing so when you found your Bloodreaver Gul'dan or your Brann Bronzebeard + Zola the Gorgon combos in general/when you're starting to be really too ahead in fatigue (it generally gets bad when you're more than 5 cards ahead)
Odd rogue is one of the most popular deck in the format right now, so we always mulligan for it. The strategy is quite simple, early on you try to fend off the agression using your removals, then you use your power plays to stabilize (Reno Jackson, Kazakus, Voidlord, etc) They win by dealing a lot of damage early on then finishing you off with Leeroy Jenkins+Cold Blood burst, so always pay attention to their maximum possible damage when making a decision. Also remember to play around the turn 5 Fungalmancer and Southsea Captain This match-up is good.
https://hsreplay.net/replay/QvewYVz6n95AMWVYseqREf https://hsreplay.net/replay/2Vx5cYBV33xyZsnYhf46u6 https://hsreplay.net/replay/7aHYBvFoP8ECbc6qVZVRfX https://hsreplay.net/replay/ndFRojkakzJRFg99QTQMve
The other popular (not so much) rogue deck is Kingsbane Rogue. It's the worst deck we can meet as Renolock. If they know how to play properly i don't even think it's winnable. You have to stall as much as possible, without ever tapping. Tossing your cards as much as possible to avoid getting milled is the way to go. Try to get discounts on Zola the Gorgon/Brann Bronzebeard/Baleful Banker so you can survive in fatigue. Your way to win is to gnome the weapon once it's in the deck by surviving long enough. Always pay attention to the order you play your minions, first minion played will be sent in hand first, any minions that is sent back in hand while you have 10 cards is gonna die and trigger it's deathrattle. Use it to make your Voidcaller and Voidlord die. Try to hit their Cavern Shinyfinder with Dirty Rat, or their Coldlight Oracle. Mulligan for Voidcaller, Deathlord and Dirty Rat only.
https://hsreplay.net/replay/n7v84qfF3NNMWsMGSAhbnF https://hsreplay.net/replay/pFZAePwmFqZr87TqhEzLLE https://hsreplay.net/replay/vZGQc5GuYpE9YUptXsA6qe https://hsreplay.net/replay/3RjoHtW3TvioPGXhBzH5ek
The only Shaman deck that sees play currently is Even Shaman. This match-up is actually fairly similar to Odd Rogue. The deck wins through pushing damages early on into finishing you off with burst in the late-game using Crackle (I hate this card) and Jade Lighting So in the early game you try to relieve the pressure using your many removals and aoes, while trying to prepare for the turn 4 Flamewreathed Faceless As with Odd Rogue always remember the most damage they can potentially deal to make your decisions. Dropping Voidlord on 9 isn't a good way to stabilize because of Devolve. Also very rarely they play greedy list with Jade Spirit and Hagatha the Witch that can outvalue you if you're not careful, so keep that in mind. This match-up is good.
https://hsreplay.net/replay/y3RtmW9YE7awH3pvBrPuEG https://hsreplay.net/replay/U32FCA267b3uuunco43hP4 https://hsreplay.net/replay/sGKMk2Dq3tBQxK5oPScRBW https://hsreplay.net/replay/NMc7DhnoLQHjqB9mqaBWHL
Warrior is mostly dead in wild. The deck you should expect to meet the most is still the good old Pirate Warrior. We mulligan for it anyways because the Fatigue Warrior match-up doesn't particulary require a specific mulligan. Once again against Aggro we want to avoid taking damage early on so we can survive the burst in the mid to late game, this time coming from weapons. Just remember taunts are really valuable against Pirate Warrior to stabilize once they've lost the board, for they struggle greatly to get through them. Also always try to save a removal for Frothing Berserker, since it's a common way to lose this match-up. This is slightly unfavoured for the Renolock.
https://hsreplay.net/replay/vHSfxtTFzodpCtJKpiEfzE https://hsreplay.net/replay/cSfh5ngJRkUfvAjJX3Ntf3 https://hsreplay.net/replay/KFYLoZWmcRcjVhitt3iMt8 https://hsreplay.net/replay/MUoEoDSj5nZE9uw4wYEBRH
Against Fatigue warrior, there are two ways to win. Either you make a lot of 10 mana potions with Kazakus, Brann Bronzebeard and Zola the Gorgon, then you overwhelm them we constant board refills (the biggest weakness of the deck is that it's quite weak, it can't handle high pressure that well), or we go for a mill combo with Gnomeferatu, Brann Bronzebeard and Zola the Gorgon in order to burn a Deadman's Hand after they shuffle it once. Hitting Coldlight Oracle with Dirty Rat buys you a lot of time as well. In this match-up you mulligan for Voidcaller, Kazakus, Brann Bronzebeard and Zola the Gorgon if you already have Kazakus, Dirty Rat. Emperor Thaurissan is also fine on the coin. This match-up is about even.
Keeps: Kobold Librarian, Voidcaller, Kazakus, Emperor Thaurissan (on the coin), Bloodreaver Gul'dan, Deathlord, Corrupting Mist.
Renolock is the warlock deck you will meet the most on ladder. This is probably the toughest match-up to play perfectly out of them all. The main gameplan is to dig for your Brann Bronzebeard + Zola the Gorgon + Gnomeferatu combo in order to both get ahead in fatigue and burn value from their deck. One of the most common mistake is to play Brann Bronzebeard and Zola the Gorgon separately or with Kazakus This is hardly ever correct, unless in some very fringe cases where you're absolutely sure doing so will give you the win next turn. You usually just play Kazakus as a standalone for a 10 mana polymoprh potion to handle their N'Zoth, the Corruptor or Bloodreaver Gul'dan board (it's better to keep for the former if you have the choice since it will silence their Deathlord) or just for a 5 mana double resurrection/single polymorph to handle cleanly an early Voidcaller pull, Sylvanas Windrunner or Mountain Giant If Gnomeferatu is pulled out of the deck, or is at the bottom of you deck, then it's fine. This list has quite a lot of redudancy, and you can just go for a combo with Baleful Banker By playing Brann Bronzebeard first, then using Baleful Banker on it, then using Zola the Gorgon on Baleful Banker to shuffle more Baleful Banker in your deck. This way you can completely avoid fatigue. If you don't manage to save either of the targets, then you can go for it with either Dirty Rat, which is an under rated way to win the game, since pulling all the value from your opponent is likely to make you win, or with Kazakus to try and pressure down your opponent with 10 mana potions (the most sketchy one since Renolock is pretty good at surviving all of this) Baleful Banker is also fine to use as a stand alone on Reno Jackson in fatigue, getting a second copy is extremely good in this match-up. You generally want to save Dirty Rat for once both players are in fatigue to try pull their Reno Jackson, though sometimes it's fine to play earlier on a Doomsayer or because you don't have a choice else. You usually want to play your Death Knight as soon as possible, even if it means resurrecting no demons at all, because the value the hero power creates over the time is too strong to pass, and the board created is generally fairly irrelevant.
https://hsreplay.net/replay/w8mtvULveLESNsyMbq4ojd https://hsreplay.net/replay/hF6zD6j3QQ8JK5uysW6KW6 https://hsreplay.net/replay/D4bdcGRtnzQWP6TsdEGgZ4 https://hsreplay.net/replay/eTuaL5Ynfx3kRBaChfEFaZ
Though pretty rare these days, Evenlock is something you might run into. This match-up is purely about surviving the onslaught starting on turn 4. They will try to kill you, and kill you fast by playing a bunch of 8/8 minions. So it's your goal to slow them down as much as possible. Going for Doomsayer the turn they want to play their Mountain Giant, 5 mana Kazakus potion, even tempoing out Brann Bronzebeard is good if it slows them down, since you will always win the late-game. Bear in mind they often run atleast one Spellbreaker and two Dirty Rat You never want to go face in this match-up since it will just help them in their gameplan Mulligan for Corrupting Mist, Kazakus, Doomsayer, Voidcaller, Kobold Librarian
The other deck you sometimes see is Cubelock. This match-up is almost as bad as Kingsbane Rogue, it's nearly unwinnable. You need to do your best to survive the mid-game pressure, then be in a good enough spot to survive their Death Knight (which will usually resurrect a bunch of Doomguard) Having 10 mana potions to answer it is great, but if you feel like your hand won't make it this late, then go for 5 mana, prioritizing removals. Getting an early Voidlord with Voidcaller is one of your only way to win. More generally you just pray their hand sucks so they give you enough time. You always win in the late-game since you pack much more value than they do. Always remove Spiritsinger Umbra as soon as possible. Happily for us this match-up is very uncommon
We always mulligan for Aggro Mage since it's pretty much the only mage deck being played on ladder. This match-up can be pretty rough at times, you need to make absolutely sure you don't take too many damages early on since they run a huge amount of burst damage. Removing Mana Wyrm takes top priority. You win by healing up a lot once you've stabilized on board in the mid to late-game. One of the card that makes this math-up really awkward at times is Counterspell You have to try and save the spells that don't matter much in this match-up to check the secrets (i.e Mortal Coil, Demonwrath, Defile,...). Try to check them only the turn you want to cast an important spell, or you'll risk them just playing a second one. Using low health minions to trigger Explosive Runes early on is fine because you really need to stabilize on board quick to avoid taking too much damages from the board anyways. Killing your own Voidcaller with their Explosives Runes is a good way to get around them. If you get a big demon early on it will be really hard for the Aggro Mage to come back. Usually you want to pick 5 mana potion with Kazakus and always go for armor, unless you feel like you won't be able to cast it because of Counterspell, in this case just pick 1 mana. Try to make it so there are no Explosive Runes in play when you go for Reno Jackson, because being able to Zola the Gorgon it is sometimes needed to win (especially if they draw Aluneth early on) You also need to be greedy with Reno Jackson (often need him to heal 20hps or more), unless they already commited a lot of burst. This match-up is good.
https://hsreplay.net/replay/CyTMQpLF2aiLr4DGvMbZtY https://hsreplay.net/replay/q3g9GzFKys2VoM2PADuRCA https://hsreplay.net/replay/6X9FPwjfs3cHEgE7H2KWcZ https://hsreplay.net/replay/v9vjSVHoDG4Fyb33MGgu9G
Renomage plays very similarly to the mirror match-up, and is extremely hard to lose. Bloodreaver Gul'dan's hero power just carries you so hard in the late game, and Gnomeferatu gives you the edge in fatigue. The only thing you need to remember is to actually never be proactive once they play Frost Lich Jaina so they don't make any value from their upgraded Hero Power. Prioritize 6 damage AOE from the Kazakus potions in this match-up.
Priest is another class pretty dead in wild. If you meet one it's fair to assume it's a Big Priest. This match-up is all about surviving early on (needs them not to highroll too much) then to control the game until it goes to fatigue, where the Death Knight should win the game easily. Kazakus is your best friend for doing so. Always go for 10 mana potions, and always go for mass polymorph. Committing a polymorph potion to sheep a Lich King or a Ragnaros the Firelord is fine if it's their only one (so played from hand or pulled by Y'shaarj) and they're not already in the resurrect pool, because it makes their whole ressurect spells way less dangerous (you're less likely to die without [deck]Ragnaros the Firelord[/deck]'s random shots or The Lich King random cards) Otherwise play this very passively. Always try to save your removals as much as possible by making trades on the board when it's possible. Don't tap for no reason in the late game. Don't deal with their Shadow Essence minions right away, unless you have a way to deal with the possible multiple resurrects effect. Use Demonic Project [/card] as soon as you don't have relevant cards in hand. Don't play [card]Deathlord until they have no cards left in their deck or that you're in a position you can afford to. This match-up is bad.
https://hsreplay.net/replay/6fVjHriwdYftYA7vYqe685 https://hsreplay.net/replay/SMEQFNTaLWV3cJFwCYSTBL https://hsreplay.net/replay/FqfNZScXNeANtNy5F6YreY https://hsreplay.net/replay/tM7ka47aMnxneR8rhfw9re
I have met close to zero Combo Priest in 3 seasons, so I'm not gonna write a lot about this. Just mulligan for early removals, then control the early game and play around Twilight Acolyte+ Potion of Madness in late game once you've stabilized (so try to avoid playing board at all, only play low health minions if required). This match-up is bad.
https://hsreplay.net/replay/qRjam9b5AT2Gzgov4AaJxh https://hsreplay.net/replay/afRTzmaNvjo5nWdGYzZzGe https://hsreplay.net/replay/VBeg4nsKWe5Tcr64vveuNj https://hsreplay.net/replay/CuLjSLWXtGbRi9hn9CQjX3
We mulligan for Combo Druid, obviously. You want to toss everything that isn't disruption basically, except the Kobold Librarian since he cycles himself. All you want to do in this match-up is draw as fast as possible until you find your disruption tools. If you can't tap anymore because of hand size, just spend a turn tossing useless cards (usually stuff like Defile, Demonwrath, Corrupting Mist, etc) so you can tap more next turn. Try to be as mana efficient as possible. Knowing the right timing to fire your disruption tools is key. Usually you want to play your Demonic Project as soon as they use their Juicy Psychmelon because if you wait you risk them drawing other minions that aren't required for the combo and thus lower your chance, unless you already have Dirty Rat in hand, in this case use it after because you can pull the generated demon as well. You want to play Dirty Rat as soon as they draw their combo as well, but at the same time you need to make sure you will be able to instantly remove their Aviana if she gets pulled (ideally you'd like to have a removal for any possible pull because of Ancient Brewmaster or just for the tempo in general. Use your Kazakus for 1 mana potion as cycle unless you've found a disruption tool, in which case you want to make 5 mana potion for removal, and for armor as well in case of Star Druid, because it's hard to completely disrupt the combo considering how many minions they run, so you will still take damages. Against Togwaggle once the combo is disrupted you want to make sure to play around Naturalize+ King Togwaggle, so keep either 7 cards (play around Naturalize *1) or 5 (play around Naturalize *2) Star Druids play so much redudancy that you need to either pull 2 combo pieces or hit atleast Aviana or Kun the Forgotten King to make sure you don't die anymore. Just remember the different damage caps to try playing around them (retain 23 as a crucial breakpoint that you'd like not to be under if possible) and that a on board Mal'Ganis [/card]shields you for 7 damage (or 14 if [card]Brann Bronzebeard is on board) Togwaggle Druid is a good match-up for us, unlike Star Druid.
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Against Jade Druid, you want to hard mulligan for Voidcaller, Voidlord [/card] (even without [card]Voidcaller in hand)Emperor Thaurissan and Kazakus . You win this match-up by aggroing down the Druid most of the time. First you try to force their Poison Seeds before you power turns (which are the DK and 10 mana Kazakus potions), then out tempo them with the said plays to kill them. Running N'Zoth, the Corruptor makes this match-up favored since you can discount it and Baleful Banker to get a second N'Zoth, the Corruptor and make sure one of your big plays will go unanswered (2 Poison Seeds for 3 big tempo plays, not counting the Kazakus potions) Try to go for as many Kazakus potions as possible using Brann Bronzebeard and Zola the Gorgon Though most seasonned players will play around it, it is possible to get wins by milling the Jade Idol in their deck using Gnomeferatu if they've already played one, so keep it in mind during the game as it's definitely an out. Without N'Zoth, the Corruptor in this match-up is pretty bad, else it's good.
We always mulligan for Odd Paladin. This match-up is very hard to lose as we pack an insane number of AOEs, so we can keep on clearing turns after turns their waves of recruits. In general you want to start using them only once they have access to their recruits buffs (so turn 5, or turn 4 with the coin), unless you're taking to much damage already from Warhorse Trainer, Raid Leader, suspect a Competitive Spirit and don't have Reno Jackson or Antique Healbot in hand. Getting a Despicable Dreadlord on a board of 1/1s is very often going to make you win on the spot, as the Odd Paladin won't be able to build a decent board anymore (not without wasting their buffs or relying on Steward of Darkshire) and generally won't be able to deal with it. Else it's a very straight match-up, just like all Aggros you control their board until you manage to get on board/stabilize behind a Voidlord. Always pick 1 mana potions with Kazakus as they're more likely to be AOEs and we don't care about the damage it does (unless you're facing an already buffed board of recruits) Just keep in mind some versions run Leeroy Jenkins and Blessing of Might to have some burst. This match-up is great.
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The other Paladin you may run into (very rarely) is Anyfin Paladin. In short, hard mulligan for Voidlord, they won't be able to get through it. Save your taunts to survive the Anyfin Can Happen combo in general. If you manage to get a mass polymorph with Kazakus on their first Anyfin Can Happen, you win because the second one won't be enough damage to win anymore. Polymorphing just one murloc early on is also fine. Just remember their first Anyfin Can Happen does 23 damage (with Finja, the Flying Star played) if all murlocs were played. This match-up is good.
Currently, there are two archetypes being played for the hunter class. Secret Hunter and Mech Hunter. The former is fairly harmless to us, the worst that can happen is a Secretkeeper snowballing out of control, but we have plenty of early answers, or not drawing any heal. In general avoid revealing the secrets until you've stablized. The only one you can't really avoid is the Cat Trick, which is also the most dangerous of them all since it represents a lot of face damages. Try playing around it when you're planning to clear the board (by playing a cheap spell before your AOE usually) Also remember you have to close out the game at some point since this deck runs Deathstalker Rexxar usually (just playing your own Death Knight should be enough to close out the game usually) This match-up is good.
The latter is a deck that will usually vomit their hand using Galvanizer and Mechwarper, then finish you off by buffing their board with Metaltooth Leaper. Their refill is pretty weak (they only have Jeeves), and they lack burst damage from hand(they only have Quickshot and Bomb Toss, depending from their list), so once you've cleared the first wave you're usually fine. They don't run the hunter Death Knight either. Just remember to kill the Mechwarper as soon as possible. Corrupting Mist is especially great in this match-up because it deals with both their attemps at going wide by flooding with mechs and going tall by magnetizing their mechs together. This match-up is good.
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