Hi guys, my name is Meati. I get to legend every season, have finished top 100 in the last 2 seasons and am currently #4 legend. Today, I would like to share with you the deck I have been using and tweaking over the past 2 months to achieve this - my Reno Mage deck! Credit goes to Lifecoach for providing the foundations on which this deck has been built (http://www.hearthstonetopdecks.com/decks/lifecoachs-reno-mage-december-2016-season-33/).
I think this is the strongest and funnest deck on the Hearthstone ladder right now. I have also included a guide below. Feel free to comment, ask questions and please LIKE the post if you have fun playing the deck. :)
vs Shaman: Arcane Blast, Babbling Book, Mistress of Mixtures, Acidic Swamp Ooze, Doomsayer, Frostbolt, Forgotten Torch, Ice Block, Mind Control Tech, Volcanic Potion, Kazakus, Polymorph, Second-Rate Bruiser, Reno Jackson
After playing hundreds of games with this deck, I have now developed a strategy for most match-ups. I believe I have the perfect strategy for some matches (for example my win rate versus Reno Warlock is close to 90%). For other matches, I am still undecided on the best strategy. I have included some of my strategies below:
Versus Aggro Decks (Shaman, Warrior): These match-ups are simply a case of surviving. In most cases, your strategy should be to minimise incoming damage and draw your Reno Jackson.
Versus Reno Warlock: This is the easiest match-up, and the strategy here is to draw as fast as you can and kill each board threat as it comes out, then kill the warlock in one turn after he plays his Jaraxxus Card. DO NOT USE Fireball, Frostbolt or Roaring Torch on minions unless they are the only cards that will prevent you from dieing on the next turn. Blizzard and Frost Nova are more valuable than Flamestrike, as these can give you extra turns versus Jaraxxus to draw into lethal.
Versus Reno Mage: I find this match-up difficult, probably because my deck does not run Archmage Antonidas or Manic Soulcaster, which help a lot in this match. One thing I have observed, is that the player who drops the first 4/5-mana minion is usually the one that controls and wins the game, so mulligan hard for your Water Elemental and Azure Drake. Try and save hard removal, like Fireball, Polymorph and Flame Lance, for high priority targets like Antonidas or Thaurissan. You can win by drawing fast and pressuring your opponent down, or by playing the value game and winning at fatigue; each game is different.
Versus Rogue: This match-up is also difficult. The general strategy is to minimise incoming damage, but you need to be more selective with your spell targets than in other aggro match-ups. Save Polymorph and Flame Lance for Van Cleef and Questing Adventurer if possible. Save powerful area spells like Kazakus Potions, Flamestrike, Blizzard and Frost Nova for the turn following a conceal.
Versus Jade Druid: Probably the most difficult match-up, but I have a strategy that has given me a higher winrate than most Reno Mages. You basically need to curve out perfectly to win, so mulligan and draw HARD for Brann Bronzebeard, Kazakus and Medivh, the Guardian. If you can get Atiesh equipped, then play 2-3 big Area Spells (Blizzard, Frost Nova and Kazakus potions), it should be a win.
Versus Midrange Shaman: Similar to Jade Druid but without the Jade Idol timer, so you can win on fatigue. The trick to this match is deciding which turn to use your area spells. If you don't wait for a board with at least 3 big minions on it, you can very easilly become overwhelmed. Take down Mana Tide Totems the turn after they are dropped or you will be overwhelmed. Try to save Polymorph for Aya.
Choosing the correct Kazakus potion is difficult and highly situational. Here are some general guidelines:
vs Aggro: 5 mana 4-damage-to-all Potions are best. If I am lucky enough to get a Bran Kazakus combo in an aggro match, I always make the 2nd potion 1 mana.
vs Warlock: You want 5/10 mana potions, depending on the stage in the game Kazakus is played. Early on, 5 mana draw 2/polymorph is best. Later, 10 mana 6-to-all/8 damage is better for dealing with Jaraxxus. Resurrect potions are BAD against Warlock as they have the best area spells in the game.
vs Mage: you want 10 mana potions. Resurrect/+6 health is the best as mage simply cannot deal with this. In long games approaching fatigue, 3 demons in the hand is an excellent choice. Because the resurrect potions are so strong in this match, do not play Doomsayer early on in the game unless absolutely necessary - it can ruin a game-winning potion.
vs Druid: you want 10 mana potions. Resurrect/6 damage or Polymorph all is ideal for massive board swings; if you get a 2nd potion, freeze can be better than area/polymorph so you don't destroy your existing minions.
Babbling Book: Generates powerful (but sometimes feeble) spells, and creates much-needed board tension versus small annoying pirates.
Mistress of Mixtures: I prefer mistress to Refreshment Vendor and Earthern Ring Farseer, because it is so strong for its mana cost. The stats will contest any 1-drop, and the healing is just as good as these other more expensive minions.
Dirty Rat: Super strong against reno decks, and synergises well with Mind Control Tech and Flamestrike/Blizzard. Only use versus aggro decks as a last resort, or if you are in control of the board. Before playing rat, try to think, 'What is the worst thing i can pull? Do I have the mana/cards to deal with that minion after i pull it?' If the answer is no, best not to play the rat.
Acolyte of Pain: I prefer Acolyte to Arcane Intellect. It is usually a 50:50 as to whether you get 1 or 2 cards from the acolyte, but you always restore 3 health (indirectly), and force your opponent to use resources to deal with it, which is super useful.
Frost Nova: I only added Frost Nova to the deck recently, and have never looked back. It's awesome.
Manic Soulcaster is good in matches that go to Fatigue (Reno Mage, Control Warrior)
Twilight Flamecaller is great versus aggro but worthless in other matches (Warrior, Shaman, Rogue)
Kabal Courier is highly versatile, and fun!
Earthern Ring Farseer, in my opinion, is weaker than the other options in terms of its impact on the game.
From best to worst, I would rank the 3 drops as 1) Mind Control Tech, 2) Kabal Courier, 3) Twilight Flamecaller, 4) Manic Soulcaster, 5) Earthern Ring Farseer. Which is best changes depending on the Meta, but I am currently using MC Tech and Courier.
Cabalist's Tome: This is a clunky late game card, but it generates powerful answers when you have nothing else. If I wanted to add one more card to the deck, Cabalist's Tome is probably the card i would remove. I have toyed with the idea of running Arcane Intellect instead.
Flame Lance: It's a second Polymorph, and it's great in the current meta. Removes a 4 mana 7/7, an Alextrasza, an Antonidas, a Ragnaros, sometimes even good enough for Papa Edwin. It's better than Forbidden Flame if you are running Medivh instead of Antonidas.
Second-Rate Bruiser: Great stats, and is unbeatable on value when you are behind.
Medivh, the Guardian: Most people run Archmage Antonidas in their Reno Mage nowadays... I have tried him, and I definitely prefer Medivh. The problem with Antonidas is, in order for him to work well, you need to build your deck around him... You need to add Emperor Thaurissan, Burgly Bully, Forbidden Flame at the very least. Rather than running 3-4 greedy cards and suffering versus aggro as a result, Medivh allows you to pack a similar level of impact on the game, but only takes up one card slot. Great synergy with Firelands Portal, Flamestrike, Blizzard and Kazakus Potions for unbeatable game swings. I credit my top 100 finishes in the last 2 seasons to running Medivh instead of Antonidas.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoy the deck, please give this post a LIKE! :)