Two of the most defining cards in hearthstone join forces to battle the endless hoards of Flamewreathed Facelesss and Icky Tentacle in a never-ending battle to save the hearthstone standard metagame from the oncoming cancer. Reno Jackson Staring as Woody Pride and C'Thun Staring as Buzz Lightyear as an epic tale of two friends travelling across the metagame in hopes of restoring balance in hearthstone once again.
Hey Guys, Sixenm here bringing you another deck guide for the abomination known as 'Reno x C'thun Mage'. This deck looks to position itself in the early metagame which dismantles most if not all of the other old-gods decks. Since standard has hit the hearthstone scene running, our good ol' friend Reno Jackson has been missing in action aside from helping out the warlocks, who happen to be the perpetrator, here and there but not to the full force that he once defined the metagame. C'Thun has proven to be every little bit of the card that everyone expected it to be, defining the metagame and creating a whole archetype by himself. Now i looked at the Warlock Reno C'Thun list written by Stryps_hs and thought, mage could also be a class that fits the bill for these two buddies to shake things up in.
Reno x C'thun mage is a control oriented Reno Jackson deck, using mage's efficient suite of removal to help overcome an early board, and set up the treat of a large C'Thun. Now the card C'Thun Warrants respect, and you should damn well show it respect if you don't want to die out of no-where. This effect coupled with the threat of Reno Jackson leaves this deck in a very interesting place. Over-commit your board and play into my Ice Block + Reno Jackson or progress the board/game too slowly and eventually get eaten up by Twin Emperor Vek'lor and C'Thun. Now sorry for the long and windey intro, but i needed to set the scene, onward to the rest of the guide.
How to Play:
To have success with this deck, you must keep in mind that you want to be reaching the late game. The deck has two main win-conditions, those being C'Thun and Archmage Antonidas + Alexstrasza (with Reno Jackson being a pseudo win-con against aggro). Yes this deck can play out similar to a freeze mage, it has the advantage of multiple angles of attack depending on the classes you face, albeit at the loss of some consistency as it is 30 one of's.
PLAY REACTIVE. your incentive is to stay alive until the point where your treats are just too much. Yes you can develop your board early with decent stated minions but do not do it at the expense of too much tempo loss. The deck contains early removal and very efficient late removal, use each one wisely as unless you're lucky with Cabalist's Tome or Ethereal Conjurer, you wont be seeing that spell again. Sometimes using cards inefficiently on curve is the difference between life and death to an aggro deck. Do not be afraid to spend the first few turns ping and pass, you make the opponent assume you're a freeze mage (which in some cases you can be) and it ends up playing to your advantage.
You need to draw cards. Options is what you need in this deck, and that's why there are a lot of cards that either create options for you or draw you into more options. Spend your early turns trying to draw cards to set yourself up for the mid-game, although you need to prioritize the removal of early threats if you want to reach said mid-game.
Don't hesitate on playing C'Thun early when the opportunity arises. I have played multiple 10/10 C'Thun on turn 10 just as a way to swing the board way into my favor. You have more win conditions and you should very well remember that.
The Mulligan + Match-ups:
This deck wants to be able to craft a hand that can deal with the said class, to make that possible you need to draw cards early. If you can afford to make room to draw cards around what the opponent is doing at not too much of a tempo loss, you should do it. Against aggro you should mulligan for your early bodies and cheap removal in the form of Frostbolt, Beckoner of Evil, Forbidden Flame and Forgotten Torch. For midrange and control match-ups you seek your Arcane Intellect and Acolyte of Pain. KEEP Reno Jackson VS AGGRO TOO. A 30 one-of card deck is too inconsistent to throw away your best card in that match-up to hope to improve at a on one draw at a 20% rate.
Moving on to more class specific mulligans and match-up guides:
Druid: Druid is one of the better match-ups for this deck whether it be beast druid or C'Thun druid because you know no matter what, the deck is not super fast paced and the reach is minimal. For druid more or less you want to have answers to the early minions whether they're Twilight Elders or Mounted Raptors. Keeping early removal like Arcane Blast, Frostbolt and Disciple of C'Thun. Playing an early Water Elemental or C'Thun's Chosen goes a long way into protecting your mid-game. You need to answer C'Thun and Fandral Staghelm immediately so be wary of those cards.
Shaman: Shaman is a slightly unfavorable match-up due to the possibility of blistering fast starts that you can't come back from in terms of tempo. Mulligan for early plays, keeping Frostbolt at all costs. Throwing down a turn 2 Doomsayer can often force out a hex from the shaman, saving room for your big guys later. It is important to also keep Reno Jackson in this matchup regardless of face or totem shaman. Flamewreathed Faceless is a problem that i originally had Big Game Hunter in for but if all else fails, set up a Doomsayer by freezing it.
Paladin: This match-up is in your favor when it comes to N'Zoth, the Corruptor /healadin as you get all the time in the world to set up your hand for the midgame. Polymorph is a key card and should be saved for Cairne Bloodhoof or Tirion Fordring and should be the number one card you pick from Ethereal Conjurer. For Aggor/Divine shield paladin, you should mulligan for similar to shaman as well as Doomsayer and Twilight Flamecaller as those cards are simply to hard for them to deal with early game.
Mage: For tempo mage, the game can play out similarly to a mirrormatch, as neither want to commit into removal too early, that being said, always kill the Mana Wyrm and try to have an answer for Flamewaker, although most likely the mage will hold onto it due to the fact you don't develop too many early minions. Freezemage is super favored since you have both Reno Jackson and Alexstrasza coupled with Ice Block. Just try not to overdraw as the match reaches fatigue sometimes, and try to play threats that require their burn spells rather than their AOE.
Warrior: Have only lost to warrior once with this deck, whether it be patron or C'Thun the match-up is highly favorable. Keep the basic mulligan guide to be able to deal with early Frothing Berserker and Acolyte of Pain. Most of the time they will assume you are freeze mage and over-commit their hero power, giving you plenty of time to draw. If it is pirate warrior, play similar to the shaman guide, looking for early removal and dealing with all threats when possible. Slam Water Elemental earliest possible to take firm control of board as that basically has taunt against them.
Hunter: Favorable match-up, Reno Jackson pulls a lot of work, be wary of Call of the Wild as turn 8 approaches and try to Polymorph the Savannah Highmane. Your board should be really small at all times which makes their Unleash the Hounds and be greedy when it comes to ice block and Reno Jackson.
Priest: In theory this should be a good match-up as you have freeze mage like angles of attack although i have not thoroughly played and practiced it (1-1). Dragon Priest seems more popular than C'Thun priest at higher ranks so try to use the deathrattle on Chillmaw to your advantage. Do not waste Polymorph as it also has it implications against Ysera, Deathwing, Dragonlord and N'Zoth, the Corruptor turns.
Warlock: If you are facing the other varient of Reno C'Thun, you are super favored. The board doesn't develop too quickly and you should save your burn up for when they play Lord Jaraxxus to end the game on the spot. Now the tricky one is zoo, Arcane Blast kills all the small threats and Frostbolt deals with all but the Darkshire Councilman, keep Twilight Flamecaller to deal with Forbidden Ritual.
Rouge: Miracoli Rouge is a slightly unfavorable match-up depending on how much they go off with their Gadgetzan Auctioneer. You can afford to keep low cards in this match-up as the rouge plays super reactive in the early game was well. As for N'Zoth, the Corruptor Rouge, you are favored in the match-up, as they likely look to build to a huge N'Zoth, the Corruptor, Play Alexstrasza targeting their face to dissuade that and play from the front foot from there.
This is the most simple power play section i will ever write as a content creator. Simply the biggest power plays revolve around Brann Bronzebeard and all the deck's battlecry minions, especially C'Thun and Twin Emperor Vek'lor.
Forbidden Flame: This is just the most flexible removal that was on offer. Being able to cast it for 3 mana to kill multiple threatening 3 health creatures in the meta or for 8 to kill a legendary later in the game. Was originally an Arcane Missiles but that card super under-performed and was banished to the shadow realm.
Arcane Blast: This is the safest cheapest removal a mage can get, there are also 3 spellpower minions in the deck so most of the time this card will be doing 4 or maybe even 6 damage for 1 mana.
Twilight Flamecaller: This is the most controversial card as it takes the Flamewaker slot. Flamewaker in testing just did not do enough on it's own, you would have to have certain cheap cards, hope to have the coin or the deck had to run cards like Arcane Missiles, Sorcerer's Apprentice etc. Flamecaller gave a way to deal with Divine Shield Paladins, Hunters and Zoo decks on the spot without needing a second card, and it also combo's with Brann Bronzebeard.
Cabalist's Tome: This card just gives you so much extra resources no matter what the spells are, in standard mage spells are quite high quality so even an Ice Lance or Shatter is decent and the high-end can be much needed Polymorph or even more copies of Cabalist's Tome.
Harrison Jones: This card is in to deal with the harder shaman and rouge match-ups, simple as that. It also has relevance against Warriors where taking out Gorehowl was game winning. When the meta shifts, i can easily see swapping this out for Sylvanas Windrunner or The Black Knight.
Archmage Antonidas: This card is in the deck to give a second angle of attack, mage's best legendary and i am a bit biased towards this card so there may be more optimal options like Sylvanas Windrunner etc, but the power is that this card alone can finish off a game from out of no-where.
Alexstrasza : Acts as a secondary Reno Jackson and also a win condition, it is really helpful in innitiating a swing of momentum on the opponent's upcoming big turns which both buys you more time and sets you up for lethal. Simply the threat is enough to win you games.
Mana Wyrm: Simply a one drop in a deck that doesn't run a consistent number of cheap spells is the reason this was cut from the original iteration of the deck, sometimes it does provide good early game, most of the time it was a 1/3 that died to everything.
Sorcerer's Apprentice: Cost reduction on spells is not how this deck is winning the game, this card is amazing in tempo mage because you are able to spew out your whole hand of spells in a turn with Flamewaker But this deck just doesn't function on that angle.
Flamewaker: Before people get upset and tell me off for this, i tested this card for the longest amount of time and without the Arcane Missiles, Sorcerer's Apprentice etc, it was just underwhelming. I didn't want to hold onto it in situations where i needed those crucial one damage pings which is ultimately why i went for Twilight Flamecaller in the role.
Emperor Thaurissan: Simply this card was too slow, the reduction in the cost of cards did not do too much in the deck as it was aiming to win via C'Thun which needs more set up than just a mana reduction. It did help a little big in freeze mage finishes but in the end i replaced it for an early removal spell in Forgotten Torch and the deck has only performed since.
Faceless Summoner: This is a very good and powerful 6 mana card that often produces way too much stats for that mana cost. The reason it didn't make the cut is simply the role it served did not beat any of the other cards that were already in the deck. If decks could be 31 cards then you know that this would be in the list, sadly, he'll just have to wait till the meta changes.
Yogg-Saron, Hope's End: In the spirit of wanting to keep this deck as a top tier competitive concept, our lord and savior does unfortunately not make the cut due to being hearthstone's single most RNG dependent card.
Sylvanas Windrunner: If you feel the urge to play her, you can swap out Harrison Jones as they both have huge impacts in different ways, albeit Sylvanas does it more consistently, Harrison was in the deck to shore up worse match-ups.
The Black Knight: again same with this card, if the meta you are facing is more taunt heavy, feel free to pick and swap this with Harrison Jones or any other card of your liking. Originally this deck deals with taunts quite effectively so i would rank this under Sylvanas Windrunner in replacement power level.
Elise Starseeker: Some match-ups end up going to fatigue where you have a bunch of your card draw cards stuck in your hand, this makes a great case for elise, turning all of your dead cards into more legendaries. Now the call is really up to you but if you're facing down lots of control warriors and paladins, elise is certainly super powerful.
The Current Record:
The deck currently boasts a 34-18 record (52 game sample size), equaling 65% win-rate in high ranked ladder games.
Druid: 3-1 (C'Thun) 2-0 (Beast)
Shaman: 5-5 (Overall)
Paladin: 1-1(Divine Shield) 3-1(Deathrattle/Healadin)
Mage: 1-1 (Tempo) 3-0 (Freeze)
Warrior: 2-0 (Patron) 3-1(Control/C'Thun)
Hunter: 3-2 (Overall)
Priest: 1-1 (Dragon)
Warlock: 2-3(Zoo) 2-0 (C'Thun/Reno)
Rouge: 2-2 (Miracle) 1-0 (Deathrattle)
The deck is not the most consistent, Reno decks never were, but this deck provides a whole lot of versatility when it comes to how you want to win the game. A person's play-style really dictates how this deck will play out and i ENCOURAGE you to make swaps in the deck for things that you personally find fit the way you play more. This is one of the most fun decks i have ever had the pleasure of climbing ladder with, and the swing turns it has will make you fall in love with it. For now friends that is enough from me, i hope you try the deck out and leave your comments and upvotes if you think this guide was helpful. I will be returning soon with more spicy competitive brews.
P.S If you have time, please check out my top rated paladin deck at: http://www.hearthpwn.com/decks/511946-divine-aggro-84-wr-to-legend
P.S.S Please check out a competitive deck building guide that i have created in hopes of giving you guys the thought process being making strong decks that can perform:
*edit: Added reason for the missing Yogg-Saron, Hope's End that i imagine everyone will eventually ask for. Also added a reason for Archmage Antonidas as there have been some questions for the selection of mage's best legendary.
**edit: Added flex reason for Elise Starseeker and may be moving her to the main deck soon