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Reno Madness – Yogg Reno Mage

Hello everybody, I am Matteo Ghisoni and I love Reno Jackson decks. Sorry Hunters! This article is the second installation of a series focusing on different Reno builds. What I will do is: build a deck, play 30-50 games with it and write about the experience. The article should not be seen as a guide but as a discussion about deck-building.

The Idea

What I wanted from my Reno list for Mage, was a deck-list which could tell a story each time you played it. What I set out to do was to build a very grindy deck, which as a main win-condition had running the opponent out of resources. I also included: Elise Starseeker, Archmage Antonidas and Alexstrasza because I felt that a Reno Mage list could be running additional win-conditions without suffering too much. Alexstrasza can provide both offensive and defensive utility and it could potentially work to set-up lethal as well as healing oneself. Fireballs from Archmage Antonidas can be helpful both to clear minions and get reach for lethal damage. Finally Elise Starseeker was there if a control match-up went to fatigue, the card should give my deck the edge in these situations. The last win-condition of the deck is Reno Jackson with Ice Block, this combo should protect me against aggressive decks long enough, enabling me to stabilize the board and win. I also included Yogg’Saron because I felt I had enough spells to support the card and I lacked come-back mechanisms.

Finally I included pretty substantial early game pressure, this was in order to fight against more aggressive decks whilst also being able to pressure mid-range decks and not making them curve out un-answered. Overall I knew it would be a difficult run because Reno Decks aren’t the most consistent decks, all I was aiming for was a 50% win-rate, but the deck actually performed much better than I expected.


(Note: By telling a story I mean a deck which brings you through a journey before ending the game, no fixed game plan, many different possible games with just a general aim: win.)

This is what I was aiming for, something along the lines of old Priest.
This is what I was aiming for, something along the lines of old Priest.

The Core of the Deck-List

reno mage decklist
The final 30 cards

In the 50 games I played I maintained the same deck-list throughout to have a decent sample size when analyzing the cards.  I consider the following cards the core of the deck: Frostbolt, Forgotten Torch, Ice Block, Fireball, Polymorph, Blizzard, Reno Jackson and Flamestrike. Reno Jackson and Ice Block are the reasons you play Reno Mage and thus have to be played in any such list. On the other hand the all the spells can be very useful when removing both early and late game threats, making them invaluable tools in any deck which as a win condition wants to grind out the opponent. Forgotten Torch is an especially good spell as it usually can go two for one whilst adding a card to your deck.

Bloodmage Thalnos, Acolyte of Pain and Arcane Intellect can also be all considered core to the deck. These cards all cycle through the deck meaning that when they are played you are one card closer to Reno. Throughout the games I played I never felt like I was missing too much card-draw, the deck can generate a lot of value by itself. One thing to note is that running only three card-draw tools is not enough to consistently get Reno, but the deck is built in such way it can win even without drawing the card.

Overall when I started I felt the deck looked good enough to be played, I thought this list should at least have a chance to fight through the Legend ladder without losing me too many points.

The Rest of the Deck

Forbidden Flame: The card in my opinion fits a Grinder Mage deck perfectly. It can be used early game to clear small threats or late game to clear huge minions, usually it hits the right damage ranges to be very useful against most minions. In general the card goes one for one which for a grinder mage is all a card need to do, as the deck can generate more cards. I feel Forbidden Flame is nearly good enough to consider core to the deck.

Arcane Missiles: If you play Flamewaker you play Arcane Missiles, thus I had to play this card in the deck. Even without Flamewaker the card is not that bad, against aggressive decks it usually can clear small early minions given normal RNG. Overall if the Tempo Mage package was to be removed from the deck this card would also go out of the deck, consider though that given the cards available in Standard right now it is probably necessary to run the card. Lastly since the deck runs Archmage Antonidas, Arcane Missiles can always be transformed in a Fireball later in the game.

Arcane Blast: What applies to Arcane Missiles applies to Arcane Blast. One additional thing to consider for Arcane Blast is that in order to make the effect better it would probably be wise to add an Azure Drake to the deck, Bloodmage Thalnos doesn’t provide enough support for the card to transition in the late game. On the other hand the deck doesn’t want to draw that much, as I will discuss later why Azure Drake could be a risky card to include in the deck.

Mirror Image: Out of the Tempo Mage package this was probably the card that performed the best. Mirror Image provides a lot of utility since it can both protect minions to grant trades and defend your life total. Additionally Archmage Antonidas coupled with Mirror Image can be game breaking against Tempo Warriors and Shamans, it can be really hard for them to get to the Archmage Antonidas through the 0/2 taunts. Overall the card provides a lot of utility and it can always be transformed into a Fireball later in the game.

I am a Tempo Mage!!
I am a Tempo Mage!!

Mana Wyrm: This card provides early game pressure whilst bluffing for Tempo Mage. Sometimes given the coin and one mana spells it can become a decent threat, but more often than not it will remain a 1/3, leaving your opponent wondering what deck he is playing against. Overall the card didn’t perform badly, sometimes the Tempo Mage explosive starts did happen and won me the game. The main problem is that this deck cannot capitalize on fast starts because it lacks both reach and pressure during the mid-game. If I were to remove a card from the deck Mana Wyrm is probably the first card I would consider.

Reno plus Ooze is possible, Harrison is not.
Reno plus Ooze is possible, Harrison is not.


Acidic Swamp Ooze: I think in this metagame if you are playing a Reno Jackson deck you have to play weapon removal, Shamans and Warriors are rampant on ladder. The choice was between Harrison Jones and Acidic Swamp Ooze, I chose the latter because Ooze is more flexible as it can be played alongside other cards. Overall it is very close between Harrison and Ooze, but I think Ooze’s flexibility makes it potentially better by enabling to set-up decent tempo swings.

Doomsayer: This card is really good, it enables you to survive the early game against aggressive decks whilst also providing late game utility when coupled with any freeze effect. Additionally it has also the utility of potentially denying turns from the opponent, for example a Gadgetzan Auctioneer Conceal turn, if the timing is guessed right. Also take in consideration that against control decks you can potentially make them waste a card if you play this card when they have 10 cards in hand. In general it is very important to learn to play this card correctly, it one of the most powerful cards in the game. Overall I would never take this card out of the deck since it performed amazingly well and was useful in many different parts of the game.

Flamewaker: The card was excellent, it sometimes provided me an advantage early game; this is incredible considering the greedy list I am running. Late game the card is not as useful, you would rather have a higher impacting card, but even then it can act as a removal tool if you need to deal some additional damage. Additionally take in consideration that ladder is littered with token Druid, this card, alongside Twilight Flamecaller, can help you deal with the tokens. Overall I wouldn’t want to take this card out as it is needed if you want to survive the early game.

Frost Nova: I decided to include the card because I thought it could provide utility for the deck. First of all it combo’s with Doomsayer, but in that respect the card was underwhelming as vary rarely you will draw both cards together. On the other hand the card is very flexible as it can also be played alongside Archmage Antonidas and Emperor Thaurissan, making it difficult for the opponent to remove these threats. Lastly Frost Nova can stall the game for one turn, potentially setting up a Yogg’Saron or a board clear the turn after. The card is not excellent but I feel it is good enough to be played in the deck.

Sometimes Twilight Flamecaller is just the best card in the game!
Sometimes Twilight Flamecaller is just the best card in the game!

Twilight Flamecaller: On paper the card is kind of bad, a 2/2 body with Arcane Explosion is not exactly the most attractive of propositions. I must admit I was surprised by the utility this card provided both early and late game. One damage can cover a wide array of situations, from killing a Ragnaros when coupled with a fireball and a ping, to clearing a Zoolock’s or Yogg Druid’s board. I think it is a good fit in a Reno Mage deck and, whilst it is substitutable, it is decent enough to run.

Elise Starseeker: This card tells a story, that is what the deck is supposed to do so the fit is nice. Even if I managed to play monkey in only a few of my games it always pulled through when I played it. Additionally I think against other control decks is not always easy to grind out a win as sometimes you go even in resources since low quality spells such as Arcane Blast and Arcane missiles never trade one for one. Lastly the card has good synergy with cards such as Cabalist Tome and Ethereal Conjurer which create cards since, even if weak, these can be transformed in Legendary high impact cards. Overall I like the card in the deck and I think it is required if you want to ever win the Control Warrior match-up.

Refreshment Vendor: The card is ok but it is very anti-synergistic with the Tempo Mage package. Very often I found myself playing this card right after putting pressure with Flamewaker and healing my opponent back up. Another thing to consider is that rarely 4 health will actually make a difference, meaning that usually you are better off running an additional card draw card to get Reno more consistently. Overall the card is a 4-drop, but most of the time you would rather play Elise Starseeker or Water Elemental over it.

Water Elemental: This card is one of the strongest 4-drops in the game, it trades pretty well with all the cards in the current metagame with the potential of freezing bigger threats. Additionally against weapon classes is one of the strongest card you can play, it can permanently stall a Doomhammer or a Gorehowl if it can repeatedly strike face. Lastly it can also stall any late game threat which is not Ragnaros by sacrificing itself, potentially enabling you to survive one more turn to find the answer you were searching for. I think I would never consider replacing this card in the deck.

You just have to ask the tome for what you need!
You just have to ask the tome for what you need!

Cabalist Tome: This is my favourite card in the game and it fits perfectly with my favourite deck in the game. Cabalist Tome provides card advantage and flexibility at the cost of not knowing what it will give you. On average though every mage spell has some sort of utility in nearly every situation, even cards such as Spellbender. Overall the card is probably core to the deck, there is not much else to say about it. One word of caution, if it gives you Forgotten Torch before casting this spell try recalling if you casted the natural one in in the deck, as this might impede the Reno Jackson effect (yes I learnt the hard way).

Ethereal Conjurer: This card is really good as Mage spells provide a wide-range of utility, very rarely will you find yourself in a situation where you can discover only bad cards. Additionally Ethereal Conjurer provides card advantage for free, a 6/3 body needs an answer and usually can get at least one card out of the opponent.

Emperor Thaurissan: This is one of those cards which you could take out but is just so good in many situations. First off it requires an answer from the opponent as 2 ticks from Emperor can be game breaking. Additionally it works really well with Archmage Antonidas and Cabalist Tome, making it easier to play cards which require a whole turn investment. Lastly even when low on cards it is not a bad six drop, 5/5 is decent stats and when considered that it also provides you with quite a few Innervates it is borderline overpowered. You could take it out, but I wouldn’t.

Archmage Antonidas: The card is flexible, it can provide you with both burn to finish the opponent off or with Fireballs to remove threats for days. I really like this card and just getting one Fireball from it is usually good enough for your game plan. The card synergizes well in the late game with the low cost spells you might draw, this is very good because it can help cards such as: Mirror Images, Arcane Blast, Arcane Missiles and Frostbolt to transition to more useful cards for the later stages of the game.

Sometimes you just play Freeze Mage.
Sometimes you just play Freeze Mage.

Alexstrasza: This card is very flexible in this deck as it can provide you with offensive and defensive potential. Sometimes you gain 2 Fireballs and a Frostbolt against a deck with not that much heal and you can Alexstrasza face and play as if you were a Freeze Mage. Sometimes against aggressive decks it can act as a half a Reno Jackson and grant you with a huge threat on board granting you more time to find the answers you need. Overall Alexstrasza is perfect fit in the deck, keep in mind it is 15 free damage against Control Warrior so taking it out would severely cripple you in that match-up.

Yogg’Saron, Hope’s end: This card fits the deck perfectly as you run enough spells to make it consistently have a decent effect. Most of the times Yogg’Saron is just a board clear plus card draw, making it an invaluable resource for a deck that wants to grind out the opponent. My suggestion is to not use it late game and try to find a line of play involving it during the mid-game. Lastly keep in mind most of the times against Control decks it can just be transformed in another legendary by Elise Starseeker.

The reason you run Yogg
The reason you run Yogg

Cards to Consider

Arcane Explosion: Not the worst card if you are playing against a lot of low curve deck, it could help against Zoolock and Shaman, especially when coupled with spell power. On the other hand the deck doesn’t run that much spell power, only Bloodmage Thalnos, meaning that more often than not you would probably just play Twilight Flamecaller for three mana.

Novice Engineer: Loot Hoarder is only better than Novice Engineer when played on turn two/three, at any other point in the game you would rather have the card draw to look for the answer to the current board state. Not the worst choice if one wants to add more card draw, but I would probably start by introducing Azure Drake to the deck.

Wild Pyromancer: This card is a Zoolock tech but I do not think it would actually help very much in any other match-up. Not being able to heal it means that the card is either an expensive Whirlwind or a very expensive Consecrate. On the other hand the Zoolock match-up is really hard since you run only one Twilight Flamecaller, usually to answer Zoolock board states a whirlwind effect is indispensable. I would probably prefer Arcane Explosion over Wild Pyromancer.

Sorcerer Apprentice: This is a piece of the Tempo Mage packet which I didn’t include in the deck because I thought it would hinder too much my ability to grind out the game. This card though isn’t bad as it make cards such as Cabalist Tome less expensive and thus easier to play. Maybe it could be interesting testing Sorcerer Apprentice exchanging it for Mana Wyrm as they would have very similar roles against aggressive decks, with Sorcerer apprentice providing slightly more utility in the late game.

Brann Bronzebeard: This card could potentially provide the deck with even more value when coupled with Ethereal Conjurer. It could also combo with Twilight Flamecaller, becoming a five mana Consecration. The last piece of synergy it has is with Refreshment Vendor providing both player with a heal for 8, which is decent. Overall I do not think the card is needed as the effect it provides is underwhelming in the deck and it has anti-synergy with Elise and potentially blocking your Reno Jackson (apart in the Control Warrior match-up where more cards in the deck the better). If I were to run the card I would probably consider replacing Bloodmage Thalnos and Emperor Thaurissan with strong Battlecry effects such as: Defender of Argus, Novice Engineer and Azure Drake.

Mindcontrol Tech: Reno Jackson decks very often run this card as it can provide huge swing turns whilst answering large boards. Mindcontrol Tech is basically a removal for wide boards. The main problem with playing it in the current state of the metagame is that since Dr Boom is gone, wide boards with 4 or more minions are rarer. On the other hand Mindcontrol Tech being rarer means players will play around it less often, making the card potentially more valuable. Very often I saw people extending four or more minions against me. I think it is a decent substitution for Twilight Flamecaller, for certain Mind Control Tech is not a bad card to run in a Reno Mage deck.

Gnomish Inventor: Another card draw option which comes down turn 4 instead of turn 2. I think if I were to consider Gnomish Inventor I would rather include Novice Engineer since it provides more flexibility by enabling you to play the card you drew alongside it. Additionally the stats, 2/4, do not provide extremely relevant breaking points when considering minions you could trade against.

Polymorph Boar: Polymorph effects are some of the most powerful in the game, they can neutralize the body and the effect of any minion whilst providing a body which is easy to deal with. Polymorph Boar has the added advantage of being flexible as it can be used as a 4 damage removal if you Polymorph one of your minions. Overall I like the inclusion of Polymorph Boar to the deck and I think that Mana Wyrm could be removed in favour of this card.

Spellslinger: You don’t play this card for the effect but for the body, a 3/4 should enable you to trade pretty well against early game threats, the spell Spellslinger gives you is only and added bonus (which can sometimes backfire). Overall I think that the Flamewaker package is enough to carry through the early stage of a game and whilst it is true that against shamans it is really rough, adding Spellslinger won’t solve that problem for sure.

Violet Teacher: If you run low cost spells a card like Violet Teacher might look like an ideal fit for the deck but I believe it is actually not. This deck wants to save resources and try to out value the opponent, Violet teacher does the opposite; it makes you dump the spells you have in your hand trading cards for tokens. The problem with this is that you would rather trade cards for Fireballs with Archmage Antonidas rather than 1/1 tokens with Violet Teacher.

Azure Drake: Card draw with spell power is great, the card looks good on paper. The problem is that in order to win against Control Warrior you have two options, either rush to Elise or draw 0 cards in order to out fatigue their armour. In this play session I went with the latter plan and won every match-up, thus Azure Drake would be an unplayable card in that match-up for me. Additionally whilst Azure Drake is consistent, I would rather run other cards since the deck can win even without drawing Reno Jackson, Reno is just appreciated in certain situations. Overall the card is not bad and probably Refreshment Vendor could be taken out for it.

Flame Lance: It is removal and it deals with Ragnaros. Very often trying to deal with the Firelord is tricky, Fireball cannot kill it unless coupled with Spell Damage and very often you find yourself lacking one damage in order to finish him, or alternatively having to waste 2 cards in order to deal with the threat posed. Additionally Flame lance can deal with dragons and other late game threats. On the other hand if you save Forbidden Flame you should have the removal for a 8 health creature even if you have to spend three mana more. Additionally in a metagame where there are many eight or more attack minions (those are the ones which usually have eight health) you would probably prefer running Big Game Hunter instead.

Faceless Summoner: The card provides a lot of value for the amount you pay for it, the main problem is that 3-drops are really underwhelming on average, 2-cost minions and 4-cost minions have much better braking points. I probably wouldn’t want to run it because there is enough late game to grind a game out.

Justicar Trueheart: The question you need to ask yourself is if you would play one copy of a more expensive Shadowform in grinder Mage. I think the answer is probably yes as Shadowform really helps grinding out opponents, dealing 2 damage instead of 1 can really shut down certain decks. Overall I think the card is not bad at all in the deck and would actually work, my only fear is that in the match-ups where it wins the game it probably is too slow unless you manage to clear the board with Doomsayer before playing it.

Sylvanas Windrunner: With the advent of standard and silences being rarer, Sylvanas is usually a pseudo board clear which allows to come back from difficult board states. This alone makes it an excellent card as the deck really lacks board clears. On the other hand Sylvanas is a slow card as usually the opponent can just ignore it and pressure your life-total. I think there are better options to run in place of this card.

Rhonin: The card is really interesting and I would probably couple it with Emperor and Malygos if I were to play it, taking out Archmage Antonidas in favour of Malygos. The problem with this plan is that Malygos synergises just with Rhonin in the deck and thus Archmage Antonidas would probably be a more consistent card in the long run, even if the occasional Rhonin Malygos Arcane Missiles shenanigans could certainly be fun. Rhonin with Archmage Antonidas could also work, you could cycle the Arcane Missiles in favour of Fireballs, but even like this it is a long shot as Rhonin really clogs up your hand when it dies making it hard to set up the combo. One other thing to consider is that often you will find yourself with a full hand during games and Rhonin might work against you forcing you to either dump your hand or discard your next draw for an Arcane Missiles. Additionally I do not think that the synergy with Flamewaker is relevant as you play Flamewaker in the early game to fight for the board, you don’t really need the card late game. Overall I really like Rhonin and would like to run him in the deck but I do not think he would work in it.

Anomalus: The deck lacks board clears as you run only 1 Flamestrike and one Blizzard (with the potential of getting more from Cabalist Tome and Ethereal Conjurer). The problem with Anomalus is that the card is way too slow to ever be effective, usually if you need a board clear you need a board clear immediately and cannot afford to wait one more turn. Therefore even if I really like the design of the card I don’t think it can ever work, not even in this deck.

Ragnaros: He is the God of flame and he has been a decent card to play since the start of Hearthstone, whenever you don’t know what to put in a deck you can always put Ragnaros. I decided to not include the card because I believe Ragnaros is better in mid-range decks which want to pressure on the board and close out games rather than in control decks. Whilst Ragnaros could potentially provide more removal, it is in the form of unreliable eight damage that could go face and do nothing.

Deathwing: This is another potential win condition if you run out of answers against aggressive decks. The problem with playing Deathwing is that if you play it you really want to run dragon synergy cards as most of the time it will just be stuck in your hand doing nothing, waiting for the right moment to come into play. Additionally consider that Deathwing is anti-synergistic in the deck as you want to out card the opponent, usually you will always have cards in hand and will be forced to discard something. Overall I think I would not run Deathwing but it is not the worst option if one wants to remove Yogg’Saron, the two cards are very similar in what they would provide for this deck (you can consider Deathwing as a Yogg’Saron which casts Twisting Nether and Astral Communion).

Frost Giant: I noticed that playing the deck you end up using your hero power quite a lot since you are a value oriented deck. If I were to play Frost Giant I would probably play Justicar Trueheart and Defender of Argus alongside it to provide some support for the card. The reason this card is not played that much is that it takes a while to ramp to it, even in a deck where you hero power a lot. Additionally consider that Mana reductions on big minions are helpful to out-tempo your opponent, but this deck doesn’t want to out-tempo anyone. Overall probably the card if played would be underwhelming.

Molten Giant: Pre-nerf you would have played this card for sure in a Reno Mage deck, but now the only chance you really have to play it is before using Reno Jackson on a popped Ice Block since very rarely if you are on 5 health you will live to tell the tale. The problem with this is that most of the time it will just be an unplayable card in your hand, it has been nerfed too much to be played in any deck (apart for Holy Wrath Paladin which received a buff).


Matches Played:

W/L= 26/24

Representative Data (no data about match-ups which I faced less than 4 times):

Hunter 3/3

Tempo Mage 4/0

Control Warrior 4/1

Face Shaman 1/4

Yogg Druid 3/4

Tempo Dragon Warrior 1/5

Zoo Lock 1/3

Midrange Shaman 2/2

I played another 50 or more games (I play Hearthstone a lot!) without recording the statistics as for some reason the programme I use wasn’t running. I believe my win-rate was higher as I got accustomed to the deck, but this also might have to do with the fact I faced a lot of incompetent Control Warriors.

Going even with Hunter is a really good result even if I believe that it is not a very solid statistic to go by since all the games I won I did because of Reno Jackson. Against Hunter drawing Reno Jackson is nearly always required and I was lucky, in fact it can be seen that both Face Shaman and Dragon Tempo Warrior have awful win-rates. More often than not you will just get steam rolled by aggressive decks, it is really hard to answer the constant pressure they can provide. Additionally you have to also consider that against Shaman answering a turn four 7/7 is basically only possible if you have polymorph in hand or a Fireball with a minion on board, chances are more often than not the card will destroy you.

Midrange Shaman and Yogg druid were rough match-ups, with Yogg Druid being slightly more favourable even if the statistics do not suggest this (I lost 2 games against Yogg Druid to absurd Yogg lethals from respectively 20 and 15 health). Against Mid-range decks you should have a decent chance since the early pressure is less and you have some clears for the late game with the possibility of relying on Yogg’Saron to turn the game around.

Finally against Control warrior I was 4/1 (much higher now since the ladder was littered with them) with an outstanding positive win rate against any control deck. I think this statistics slightly misconstrues how favourable the match-up against control is, you certainly have a fighting chance but I felt people I was playing against were very incompetent. Only one player which I beat I believe played his match-up correctly valuing his resources and playing 3 C’Thuns, incredibly I still managed to beat him in a very long and fun game.

General Match-up Thoughts

In the end I actually won this game! I wished I had recorded it!
In the end I actually won this game! I wished I had recorded it!

Every time I played against a control deck the game was different, this is why Control Mage is my favourite deck archetype. I beat a Reno Lock playing as if I was a Freeze Mage, I got Fireballs from Archmage Antonidas and baited his Reno Jackson before using Alexstrasza and finishing him off. Other games I used Yogg because I was low on cards and managed to pull through and answer every threat, this is what happened against a N’Zoth Paladin. Sometimes I had aggressive starts and was able to pressure the control decks making the opponent waste important resources and being able to out card him in the long run. In general against control decks you will have a blast playing this deck, long excruciating games but remember to never surrender since the deck has loads of answers given the right RNG.

Specifically I played a lot of Control Warrior. Against C’Thun Warrior I always went with the fatigue plan, as the Monkey plan would just lead to the opponent using C’Thun on me and me not being able to answer the threat. In the match-up you have to be resourceful, one game I waited till fatigue to use Doomsayer on the turn he could have used C’Thun to kill me granting me enough time to Reno Jackson back up and stall the game enough. Another game I kept all my freeze to stall his C’Thun whilst my opponent being 7 cards into fatigue killed him before he could ever attack. In general what you have to do is make a game plan around the mid-game and follow it to victory, it is important to plan how you will close out the game. Against Elise Warriors you have to just Rush to monkey and hope your monkey is better than theirs, out fatiguing them in my experience won’t work.

Against Combo decks you should nearly automatically win, I won most of my games against Rogue and Worgen Warrior (2/1 and 2/0 respectively). If you have Ice Block and you save the right removal for whatever you get comboed by, Reno plus the removal should be enough to lock the game out. Additionally against combo decks you should be able to dish out decent pressure as you run pretty decent threats in the early game. Overall if you draw decently you should be really advantaged against combo decks, it must be emphasized though that as the deck is a Reno deck it can be inconsistent as you run only 1 Ice Block. Without Ice Block the match-up becomes a whole different story as you will probably die before you can deplete the enemy’s life points.

Sometimes you will manage to out-face a Hunter!
Sometimes you will manage to out-face a Hunter!

Midrange decks usually try to play on curve with drops for every turn. The reason why they can be explosive is that they cannot be dealt with when they have the perfect curve, it is usually too much to withstand. On the other hand since they run late game they do not consistently have drops all through-out the curve, meaning that it is usually possible to fight against them in your average game. Usually against mid-range decks you will require at least one board clear in order to win the game, if not you will just succumb to a full board, even after a Reno Jackson. Occasionally you will be able to blow up a Midrange deck with an explosive Flamewaker start, making them completely unable to come back on board.

Against aggressive decks what you want is Ice Block into Reno Jackson with the hope to stabilize, the problem with this plan is that even aggressive decks run late game threats now a days, making it very hard to stabilize. Overall this is the most frustrating part about playing Reno Mage as you might win a game after a 15 minute game only to get blown out in 1 minute by Face Shaman. In general though when you manage to stall out aggressive decks it feels awesome (at least for me) knowing that in the time they lost against me they could have probably played five other games.

Overall the deck is decent against any deck and with a decent enough draw it should be able to win any match-up. The most important aspect of playing this deck is thinking 2-5 turns ahead every time you take a complicated turn as this will help you use your resources better.


Overall the deck can work and is be very fun to play even when you don’t draw Reno Jackson. I think my list was good as I managed to have a decent win-rate at legend level, despite it not being a super refined meta deck. Part of the win-rate also probably has to do with the fact many people were unsure what cards to play around, Reno Mage lists can vary a lot, thus if people played correctly against me the win-rate would probably be slightly lower. Overall I had a blast playing this deck and now (just before publishing this guide) I am around 100 games played with it; I just have that much fun playing it! I think this list is probably one of the best Reno Mage lists I played and I would suggest to anyone which enjoys very grindy decks (I am looking at you Priest players) to try this list out. If you decide to try it out let me know on the Game Haus forums what you thought about it, I will try to answer all queries posted there.


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