Deadly Decks: Reno Mage

Post 23.1.2017

Well Met! It is time for another Deadly Decks and we welcome back Creapz as he introduces the popular Reno Mage.

I spent a lot of time around different Reno Mage builds over the past one and half months, it is really powerful both on ladder and tournaments. Here we take a look at one of the versions I recommend for ladder and fits well for a tournament lineup with warlock/druid/priest ban, which has the late-game powerhouse Medivh that Lifecoach included in his Reno Mage build and made it popular.

1. What is the objective to making this deck work?

– You have plenty of tools to beat aggro decks with this build. It has way more minions to fight the board much earlier than other reno mage builds, such as twilight flamecaller which has impact against patches classes. The way I look at the ladder is patches classes and non-patches classes. This deck only has a few weak cards versus patches classes which are very high value versus other Reno and control decks, such as Medivh. Against aggro decks your gameplan is quite simple, use your minions and removals to fight for board, slam Reno and collect ranks. Versus Control decks you have powerhouses included such as Brann-Kazakus compo, followed by Medivh 10 or 5 mana potions. Manic Soulcaster really shines on these matchups, you can use it with Brann-Kazakus to get two more Kazakus to your deck, or you can just play Kazakus early and soulcaster it back to your deck for futher Brann compo. Use your dirty rat smart and try to hit their high priority targets, well timed rat can snipe Kazakus from their hand and win the game on spot. As you can see, mirror MU is not RNG, it’s pure skill as my 10-0 score says. 😀
2. Are there any particular weaknesses to the build, a certain class or card combo?

– Overall this deck can beat everything. Real weakness is sometimes card draw in control match-ups if you can’t draw many cards from your acolyte and you run out of answers. This deck runs a lot of solid minions to play on curve, using your lifecoach2removal smart and sometimes a bit more greed with removals are better than just throwing it out there first opportunity you get. Good Reno-lock players can beat you with Jaraxxus and good Kazakus potions, if they play well since you don’t have much reach with this deck. Dragon Priest can be painful if they know how to play well vs Reno Mage and you don’t draw well. Worst MU is Jade Druid but you don’t usually see that a lot on ladder since it is really weak versus patches classes (Rogue/Shaman/Warrior).
3. If you don’t have a good counter to the deck and meet it in queue, how do you deal with it?

Play around their AoE enough to make them use it in awkward spots, don’t let them draw cards from their acolytes and keep enough pressure on board, while not overextending on the board. Always try to make sure you have decent refill after they wipe some of your board. Against Reno mage you need to mostly grind them out instead of pushing all-in and hope they don’t have Reno, this of course depends a lot on what deck you play versus them. Just remember when you play against Reno decks, it’s a bunch of 1-offs, don’t play around everything too much to make sub-optimal plays. Force them to have it, force them to use it, while balancing your resources and board presence.

4. How does the deck stack up against the main builds (Reno lock etc)

As you can see from my stats this build can grind out mirrors easily. You don’t lose this MU if it’s played correctly. Against good Reno-lock players you might have some struggle but you can still beat them before fatigue, or in fatigue depending how the game is played. It’s good versus Rogue if they don’t run guestings, if they do then you need to plan your removal more carefully so you don’t get overrun by one of their big boys, guesings or Van Cleef. Save your freeze and Kazakus potions for their conceal turns and you might as well fatigue them. Versus all warrior archetypes you are in okay shape, against CW you are very favored and vs Pirates/Dragon warrior you have a good change to beat them. Optimal mulligans is key to victory, on ladder always mulligan versus Pirate warrior and you will do better, versus CW you have time to draw your cards anyways.
5. Mulligans.

– I wan’t to include some decisions about mulligans here, because it’s really if not the most important part of the game. On ladder obviously you can face any archetype of same class. So going against Shaman/Warrior on ladder you always mulligan for aggro, keeping Reno, volcanic potion and doomsayer. If you already have some of the key cards you can start thinking about curve more, if you don’t find these, I recommend mulligan your hand away to look for these. Versus shaman I keep Polymorph/Fireball/Flame Lance to take care of their first 4 mana seven seven.
Versus Rogue you want to keep Polymorph/Reno and something to handle their buccaneer/patches opener, It can be volcanic potion, twilight flamecaller or frostbolt. Doomsayer is okay to keep versus rogue, but they might have backstab on their starting hand and it doesn’t always pay off. After that look for minions to curve with in mulligan. As long as you have an answer for Edwin and their first pillager that comes down, you are in a good spot. You can easily grind them out of resources and force them to make sub-optimal plays versus this deck since you have more pro-active plays than many other Reno Mage builds.
Versus priest you mulligan for minion curve and keep powerhouse cards such as Kazakus. Doomsayer is decent versus them to drop on 2-3 since they can only answer it with shadow word: pain early on, they cant do extra damage from their hand before turn 5 usually. I really like keeping my 4 attack minions on mulligan such as bruiser and azure drake. Easy way to win versus priest is to have doomsayer go off on 3 and then start curving to your 4 attack minions.
Versus Reno lock you can mulligan a few ways. If you have the option to keep solid minions to curve with, it’s a viable option to keep all and go for pressure early. Another option is to keep Brann + Kazakus from mulligan and play the long value game form the beginning. Always keep polymorph versus reno-lock to answer their big threat turn 4, giant or drake. It is the best removal since it also weakens their Kazakus resurrect since they will resurrect a sheep.

Hope this mulligan included helps you on the ladder and happy laddering guys!

– Creapz –