A short disclaimer
Hey guys. First off I want to thank all of you for the amazing feedback and input you've given during the development of the deck. It's now at a place where you can comfortably get rank 5 within a day or two and then continue to push for legend if you want to. There is not a doubt in my mind that the deck can be navigated to legend. However, due to WoW:Legion taking up a lot of my time now I will stop updating the deck and my progress with it. I might update it at some point, but right now I'm not feeling Hearthstone - I just want to play WoW.
If you stumble across the deck and haven't been following the updates/changes since it was released (a few days prior to 4th wing of Kara) go and check out what changes have been made. A lot of the cards are interchangeable and fill the same role within the deck.
Other than that, huge thanks and good luck!
A few seasons ago there was a spotlight on a Mage deck built around Reno Jackson (sorry, can't find the original one) and Reno Mage had some success for a brief time. Since then, Renomage has come to be considered unfavored in a lot of matchups and frankly it was getting kind of weak. Nevertheless, I never gave up on it. Now with Karazhan unlocked, I've managed to make a Renomage deck that appears to be very viable in the current meta. It's worked so well for me that I've decided to share it with you!
Be warned though: the learning curve on the deck and play style is quite steep, so the first bunch of games might not end favorably for you. Don't sweat it though, just practice the shit out of the deck and you'll get the hang of it! It has taken me 2000+ games of renomage to learn the ropes and I am still far from mastering the deck. A tip is to use a decktracker app, and then go back and look at replays of your games, find your misplays and try to not repeat them! :)
Before we begin:
I'm making small edits to the deck on a semi-daily basis and will try to keep the decklist updated here on Hearthpwn as much as I can. These changes are tech choices in line with any meta shifts that may happen mid-season etc. With that said, I hope you enjoy the deck. If you do, please consider leaving a +1 - I do love my internet points.
And before you ask - no I haven't forgotten about Arcane Giant. I just don't think it's any good. Sure you get it out for free. It's a card that doesn't interact with anything ever. It's a card that gets interacted with. And the deck we're running is a deck where the cards have to interact in a particular way, for example to draw cards or remove minions. We're playing defensively for 10-15 turns and then we stop interacting with board and send burnspells and minions face after bringing them down with Alexstrasza. The Arcane Giant won't do much for us, as it'll just eat 1 removal spell and that's it. If you really really want to include it, go ahead. It's not a bad card. It's just not good enough for me to want it in the deck. :)
Just a few words about every card and why I've chosen to include it in the deck.
Babbling Book - one of the more recent additions to the deck. Babbling Book can either give you huge value cards such as Fireball, Flamestrike, etc. Or just an extra spell for your Yogg Count! (For some reason I tend to get Shatter more often than not. Hmm..)
Bloodmage Thalnos - a solid card-draw coupled with Spell Power. Use liberally, don't feel like you need to save him for big damage combos or anything, just chuck him out whenever really.
Doomsayer - Pretty standard in control mage decks, since he can be coupled nicely with Frost Nova for a board clear. However! More often than not, I just use Doomsayer against 1-2 minions in turns 2 or 3 on it's own. It's usually enough of a hassle to deal with for the opponent that they Hero Power and let it kill their board. And if they do clear it, it absorbed 7 damage from your face and cost them X mana (depending on how much they invested in clearing it, of course)!
Frostbolt - A good spell. Kill stuff or send it face. Regardless, it's a good card.
Novice Engineer - Since the deck is built around fishing for Mr. Reno Jackson, obviously card-draw mechanics are going to be required. I usually prefer this card over Loot Hoarder because it draws on Battlecry instead of Deathrattle, so when shit is going bad, you don't need to kill the minion in order to find that card you need. The 1 Attack difference is a small price to pay for an instant card-draw.
Acolyte of Pain - Draw cards! On turn 5 with your Hero Power or just on it's own. Either way it's guaranteed at least 1 card. (Be careful of filling your hand too much though, you don't want to burn any precious cards!)
Arcane Intellect - Guess what? More card-draw!
Forgotten Torch - Just like his buddy the Frostbolt, the Forgotten Torch is a really solid burn spell. It has the added bonus of shuffling a Roaring Torch into your deck, which is not only more burn, but also puts you 1 draw further from Fatigue!
Ice Barrier - since we can no longer use Antique Healbot in standard, this is the replacement. 8 extra health, and the fact that it's a secret which sometimes makes your opponent play weird while trying to figure out which secret it is!
Spellslinger - I know, I'm going to get a lot of hate for this one, but I love the card. It sits nicely at 3 mana, which is nice for your curve and it gives you a spell. Sometimes it's a good one, sometimes it's not. But it's still a spell for Yogg!
Fireball - Removal. Or face damage. Whichever you prefer.
Water Elemental - a solid 4-drop that freezes stuff. We like freezing stuff.
Elise Starseeker - I use this to make control matchups more favorable if I find a lot of control on ladder. However I usually get rid of this if the meta is faster.
Avian Watcher - Another one of the new recruits! This 4/7 taunt (because let's face it, you usually have a secret up) for 5 mana is really nice. Especially vs Zoo.
Azure Drake - Card-draw. Spell Power. What else could you want in a card?
Cabalist's Tome - More spells for Yogg! Also, you usally get some sort of removal or burn, so this helps counter out the fact that we only run 1-of's!
Blizzard - A must-have for any control mage. Mild AoE damage as well as a freeze effect!
Reno Jackson - Ah, the bread and butter of the deck. Not much to say here really, I built the deck around the guy, so he's here for a reason.
Flamestrike - Yeah you pretty much can't make a mage deck without this card.
Alexstrasza - A pyroblast to face and an 8/8 body for 9 mana? Woot. No but seriously, since you're so busy controlling the board, usually you haven't touched their face in the first 10 turns, so Alex will usually deal 10-15 damage. If it's a sucky matchup, heal for 14? Keep in mind that using Emperor Thaurissan on Alexstrasza and a secret means they can both be played for 10 mana total. So a pretty good turn can be Alexstrasza + Ice Barrier/Ice Block.
Soggoth the Slitherer - This guy is the real MVP against dragon warrior, face shaman, etc. He's saved my life so many times in the last few days that he's a definite keeper.
Yogg-Saron, Hope's End. Some general pointers to consider when playing Yogg: he will probably draw a few cards; he will most likely remove shit from board; he might deal damage to your face.
Since this is a Reno Mage decklist, there will be a lot of options when it comes to replacing cards you don't have. The concept of the deck is that you run 1-of's. This automatically means you run a lot of tech cards, such as Harrison Jones and Flame Lance. These can all be interchanged with what you feel you need.
Cheaper general replacements: cheaper cards can be added, just choose which ones serve your needs best. These cards include: Mirror Image, Arcane Missiles, Polymorph: Boar, Cone of Cold, Faceless Summoner
Leave your replacement questions in the comment section below and I'll get back to you with specifics. I'll then also add them to this section of the guide.
A screenshot of my stats with the deck. I will update this section with new statistics every so often.
Matches from rank 10-4. In these games are included, as shown above, the first version which didn't work at all. With version 2.1 I've finally found a place where the deck works wonders!
Updated for September 2016 Season (as of 04/09):
These stats are filtered "Season", which means they don't include matches prior to September season started. We saw less Yogg-Druid and more Beast Druid, making Druid a more favorable matchup this week!
Before I go into specifics there are a few general rules that apply to the mulligan that stay true regardless (or almost regardless) of the matchup. Cards like Forbidden Flame, Frostbolt and Doomsayer are pretty much auto-keep. They will always find value in the early turns against pretty much any opponent, and if they don't, well, at least you have them ready.
Matchups in order of how frequent they were for me on ladder:
Hunter. There are a few different types of Hunter decks out there at the moment. There's the secret hunter, playing with Lock and Load and often times Yogg-Saron, Hope's End as well as the normal midrange hunter. I also found a couple of hybrid hunters that play slightly more aggressive than the midrange version. Regardless of which type of Hunter it is, the mulligan and strategy remains the same.
The gameplan versus hunters is to just remove everything. Kill his board, ignore his face for as long as possible. If you find Polymorph in your hand (after mulligan, don't keep it in mulligan) you should save it for Savannah Highmane. Look to have at LEAST 1 stall card ready for turn 8, such as Flamestrike, Blizzard or Frost Nova.
I've found Hunters to be a slightly favorable matchup for the Renomage (57%). You DO have answers for literally his first 10-12 turns, it's just a matter of drawing the right cards. Hunters lack card-draw mechanics, so once he's emptied his hand he's going to be playing the "Draw 1 & Play 1"-game. That's where you take over the game with Archmage Antonidas, Alexstrasza etc.
Shaman. Apparently, Aggro Shaman is the most popular Shaman deck at the moment. I've found this matchup VERY favorable (68%), as he runs out of steam fast. Just like the Hunter matchup, you do have answers you just need them really early. Same mulligan applies here, with the exception that you should keep Bloodmage Thalnos if you have: a) Reno Jackson or b) Arcane Blast/Frostbolt. This matchup is about trying to figure out what cards he has in his hand. For example, if there's cards that he doesn't snap-play on board they're probably Lightning Bolt, Lava Burst and/or Doomhammer+Rockbiter Weapon. Be careful. Doomhammer will hit for 4, 10 or 16 in a turn. Double Lava Burst will be 12 with spellpower totem.
Druid. Tough matchup, mulligan for heavy removal and card-draw. Guide coming soon.
Mage. Most likely tempo mage. Saw 1 freeze and 1 reno out of 9 games. Coming soon.
Rogue. Miracle, N'Zoth, Reno/C'thun(??). Mulligan for midrange. Guide coming soon.
Priest. Control. No risk in greedy mulligan here. Polymorph MVP vs new Resurrect Priest. Coming soon.
Warlock. This is zoo, Renolock seems dead. Coming soon.
Warrior. Mulligan for Dragon (midrange) Warrior. Could be C'Thun or normal Control. Haven't seen Pirate Warrior in a while. Coming soon.
Paladin. Coming soon.
The deck is now at a place where I feel it is strong against the meta, including both midrange shamans and control warriors which have been an issue during the past couple of days of testing.
The changes I made yesterday weren't quite working out. Trying this setup instead.
Novice Engineer subbed out for Medivh's Valet. Card-draw is now less consistent, but the battlecry from Medivh's Valet works really well in the deck and gives the deck a stronger feeling. I think I'm keeping it this way.
Archmage Antonidas subbed out for Medivh, the Guardian. I haven't quite decided on this change yet. While I do like Medivh and his weapon, it seems a bit inconsistent unless you happen to have Firelands Portal in your hand. A lot of our spells are so cheap that the Summoning Stone-effect from the weapon doesn't always give that huge value. And I'm not sure Antonidas was the correct cut. We'll see.
Huge shoutout to all the people giving feedback and suggestions - you're making my job here a lot easier!
Thanks for checking out the deck. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment or send me a PM. I'll try to answer any questions that may arise!