New to Hearthstone? Trying to get in on the meta control decks without spending gold or dust on expansions like the League of Explorers that will be rotating out soon? Look no further! This budget reno mage uses only basic and common cards, and none from adventures - the exception being Firelands Portal, which everyone gets for free in the Prologue of the Karazhan adventure. The balance is tipped towards basic cards, as these are more accessible to new players.
Reno mage decks generally aim to clear and control the board using spells. They try to answer everything their opponent has to offer, before healing to their full health with the help of Reno Jackson. Often the finisher is some sort of burst, using spells like Pyroblast and Fireball, or some level of board presence with minions like Arcane Giant, Ragnaros the Firelord or Medivh, the Guardian.
As a budget deck, this deck will not be able to take advantage of some of these techniques. However, I have replaced each card in turn with an appropriate basic or common alternative. As we are not using Reno Jackson and friends, we have a distinct advantage over the more expensive decks - we can use duplicates without fear. To retain the feel of a Reno deck, I have still tried to avoid duplicates, but you will see some in this deck.
I'm not going to go into every card choice, as this would otherwise take forever, but here are some key cards:
Kabal Chemist - Goes without saying - this is a 4 mana 3/3 Kabal minion that has a chance to give you a board clear. Probably the best replacement for Kazakus out there.
Priestess of Elune and Lord of the Arena - These cards heal your hero and increase survivability, similarly to Reno Jackson. What they have over him is that they don't rely on the no duplicates condition. This advantage is balanced by the significantly lower levels of survival they can provide.
Mirror Entity - It was difficult to find a common replacement for Counterspell, but Mirror Entity has definitely earned its place in this deck. It has won me games by copying the opponent's Archmage Antonidas and giving me a burst to finish the game. Won me game, singular, I suppose, but still.
Arcane Intellect - Similar to Cabalist's Tome, this provides you with mage cards. On top of that, Arcane Intellect is cheaper and thins your deck. The original deck this was based on already ran Arcane Intellect, but luckily the lack of Reno Jackson means we can happily run a second in place of Cabalist's Tome.
Stormpike Commando, Elven Archer and Ironforge Rifleman - All of these minions provide you with ways to ping enemy minions while putting a body on board. Very powerful, especially versus aggressive decks that have lower-health minions - Elven Archer will be able to ping Small-Time Buccaneer once it is nerfed, and still provide a body to trade with Patches the Pirate.
Magma Rager - A basic minion that is aggressively statted. Great for triggering enemy mirror entities while forcing your opponent to waste mana clearing it. A staple in any deck.
If there are any other basic versions of meta decks you'd like me to build, please do ask! Hopefully this will help you keep up with the fast-paced meta, even if you don't have loads of cards.