By the Holy Light!
Hello, what's this? An incredibly expensive and greedy Reno Paladin deck? You bet! And is it good?
Well, in the great words of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance's beloved bald manchild, Sundowner, this deck is, "fucking invincible!"
No, really. This deck is much better than you might think. Is it a guaranteed tier 1 in Tempo Storm? No. But I did manage to out-live a Linecracker Druid SCREENSHOT HERE, and it was good enough that my clumsy self managed to climb to Legend for the first time with it against actual meta decks rather than other Renathal shenanigans SCREENSHOT HERE.
This blessed scourge of aggro and control decks far and wide is disgustingly greedy, but also has some of the best survivability in the meta right now while taking advantage of mana cheat tools like Thekal and Nozdormu to play big minions and wear down your opponent. And, of course, it's a blast to play! Nothing tests your opponent's patience like constantly vomiting out big guys. Kids are cruel, Jack, and if you're in touch with your inner child (and have an insane amount of dust to spend), you'll be right at home with this deck.
Is Renathal really necessary?
For this deck specifically? Obviously! It's a Renathal list.
Does Reno Paladin generally need Renathal? Not necessarily. The 10 extra cards can definitely be a setback in a deck that's dependent on getting good draws. However, I've tried to offset this by adding things like Hand of A'dal and Vitality Surge that provide card draw. As a result, it's not very often that the deck loses steam, and when it does, there's still enough survivability that I can wait out a few turns to get something that'll catch me back up.
So, why do I run it? Because I like greedy decks! And the 10 HP is incredibly helpful. Against aggro, the extra 10 health is enough to keep me alive and swing back. Looking back at my previous games, I've noticed that I don't think I've ever actually lost an aggro game with this deck. Pirate Rogue, Murloc Shaman, and Shadow Priest all lose steam right around the 10 HP mark in a good game, and that's assuming I do absolutely nothing until they reach that point. And with the Thekal/Reno/Cariel combo fully online, you're basically getting an extra ~40 HP, which greatly appeases the greedy portion of my soul.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Is this an appropriate time to admit that this deck isn't actually invincible and I was just clickbaiting you? Better late than never I guess!
While this defensive powerhouse of a deck has worked wonders for me, there's definitely limitations in this not-quite impenetrable fortress of Light...itude? Name is a work in progress. I've noted some things the deck does particularly well, and areas where it struggles to determine if this deck would be satisfactory for your local meta.
+ Incredible survivability. With the Reno/Thekal/Cariel combo fully online, and assuming no disruption like Rustrot Viper or the two people running Platebreaker, you're basically working with ~160 HP. Plus, with the amount of healing and rush minions you can dump on the board, your opponent's big threats aren't likely to stick around.
- Lack of consistency. An unfortunate constant of any Reno deck, this deck is still quite reliant on drawing well, even with the tutor/card draw tools present already.
- Weak to combo decks. This is, unfortunately, why this deck isn't a top contender. Reno Paladin may be a defensive powerhouse, but things like Waygate Mage still tear right through it. Disruption is quite limited here, so you'll just have to bank on getting insanely lucky with your Dirty Rat/Mutanus hits.
Thekal + Molten Giant/Lokholar (post picture of highroll)
Legendary Crafting Guide
Reno Paladin is the modern day wallet warrior, so this deck is a massive dust commitment. I was personally fine with it because I love Paladin as a class and Reno is my favorite archetype, but this deck will cost upwards of 30,000 dust. Because there's so many legendaries in this deck, I am going to go through each one individually (except for the core cards, Renathal, Faelin, and Okani since they're free) and tell you why they're important, and how high of a priority they should be to craft if you're committed to making this deck. They are ordered by mana:
Sir Finley, Sea Guide - Low Priority. Can be a really nice tool if you're drawing very poorly, but he's mostly just a panic button or a means to get whatever Colossals are added to your deck by Faelin.
Zephrys the Great - Highest Priority! Self-explanatory. Staple in all Reno decks no matter what.
High Priest Thekal - Highest Priority! Essential tool to boost your survivability, and also opens up some mana cheat potential with Molten Giant and Lokholar. I've had a few insta-concedes from immediately following this card up with Reno.
Lord Barov - High Priority. Great removal tool, essentially doubles as a second Equality.
Blademaster Samuro - High Priority. Great removal tool, pairs nicely with Equality and Lord Barov, but is also a great target for any buffs.
Cariel Roame - Low Priority. Does a lot for the cost and can be tutored out with Varian, which is especially helpful if you're short on Divine Shield minions. Never going to be more than mildly helpful.
Nozdormu the Timeless - Highest Priority! Lets you play big minions much earlier, which is a big part of finding success with the deck.
Loatheb - Medium Priority. Pretty much always a good card to have in control (and some aggro) decks. This is one of the few legendaries that's considered a generally safe craft no matter what in Wild, it's just not crucial to this deck by any means.
Zilliax - Low Priority. Like the Cariel minion, this card offers a lot of things for the cost, and synergizes nicely with Leviathan and Varian. Never going to be more than mildly helpful.
Mutanus the Devourer - Medium Priority. Again, generally a good card to have in most control decks, especially because this deck can struggle against Combo decks, but it's only rarely going to completely swing the game in your favor.
The Leviathan - Medium Priority. Great reload tool. It's also a nice way to draw out Faelin's Colossals, especially if he offers a duplicate of Neptulon that shuts down your Reno cards.
Kazakusan - Low Priority. You're generally only ever going to run this in control matchups, but this card basically ensures you win any control game you play. You could replace this with some other win condition, but I think Kazakusan has the most long-term value when longevity is a major strength of this deck to begin with.
Lightforged Cariel - Highest Priority! Makes your already great survivability even better, and will likely remain a staple in Paladin decks until it's nerfed to the ground or completely power crept.
Varian, King of Stormwind - Medium Priority. Great reload tool. I find that this card is particularly helpful at swinging games back in my favor if I'm short on cards in my hand, as he can draw more tutor tools, another reload option in Leviathan, combo disruption, and more.
Dragonqueen Alexstrasza - High Priority. Brings a lot of value to the table, and plays a crucial part in setting up Kazakusan since she provides three of the four dragons needed.
Lokholar the Ice Lord - Medium Priority. This one can be obtained for free, but I'm including it anyway in case you're struggling to get the achievement. Synergizes very nicely with Thekal. Great way to take some major threats off the board, especially if he gets buffed.
Neptulon the Tidehunter - Low Priority. Fun card. Basically does the same thing as Lokholar, but sticks a little bit better at the cost of being more difficult to cheat out.
Raid Boss Onyxia - Medium Priority. Great way to clear most of the board, and can swing the game in your favor if you're being overwhelmed with minions, but sometimes pops into my hand at inconvenient times when being tutored out by Redscale Dragontamer.