Legend Reno Control Warlock

Last updated 2 weeks, 1 day ago by
  • Ranked
  • Casual
5

Wild Hearthstone contains thousands of available cards, and offers a wide variety of possible decks. This incredible diversity is sometimes lost when only looking at the limited options common at the highest ladder ranks. Wildest of Days is a series aiming to highlight a different off-meta deck each time, with an in-depth guide into its strategy and gameplay. The featured decks are being selected on the basis of having interesting synergies and using rarely seen cards. To see past entries in this series with updated card guides, check out the Wild Deck Guide Compendium.


Reno Warlock is a classic Wild archetype that has now been revitalized for the most recent expansion to become more powerful than it has been in a long time. First of all, it gained Prince Renathal which allows it to have an additional 10 hp against Aggro. Secondly, Theotar, the Mad Duke gives it a massive boost against Combo decks. Tome Tampering, along with Malchezaar's Imp, allows you to get 1 cost copies of your high cost cards. Finally, the deck uses Sire Denathrius for an additional tool for healing and removal. 

This deck is built to be versatile and be able to win against any deck, be it Aggro, Control, or Combo. It is full of removals and healing against Aggro, value against Control, and multiple disruption tools against Combo. Reno Warlock has a lot of card draw, including the Warlock hero power itself, which allows you to draw through the 40 card deck and have consistency. Cards such as Gorloc Ravager and Sense Demons make some of your most powerful combos even more consistent.

There are many ways to build a Reno Warlock, and this is a Control Reno Warlock focusing on controlling the board with removals and heals while disrupting opponent win conditions, before finally winning with value including the ultimate late game value card, Kazakusan. Very often, value isn't needed as your opponent will either have their Combo disrupted and lose or you will stabilize the board against Aggro, however it is useful to have against other Control decks.

This deck that had close to 70% winrate from rank 5 to Legend (with no star bonus) and about 65% winrate in 50 games in Legend, meaning it can be very competitive if played well (which the following guide is going to attempt to help with - keep in mind though that it may take multiple games with the deck to play it well, especially if you haven't played Reno or Control archetypes before).

If you enjoy versatile Control decks, Reno decks, and decks with lots of decision making, give Reno Control Warlock a try!

Decks in the Wild Deck Guide Compendium are going to be updated soon - stayed tuned to this series for an announcement on when that is live.


Matchups

Although Reno Control Warlock did well against a broad meta (which was encountered on NA), you should see if it's the right deck for climbing depending on what decks you face and if they are favorable for this one. It can, of course, be played for fun at rank floors and in Casual. Below are overviews for each of the common matchups it faced - for other matchups you can comment and I will provide a best guess as to whether it's favored or not, but there isn't enough data to say with high confidence.

Even Shaman - Favored. You should be careful about their snowballing and burst damage, but in general you should be able to outcontrol them. They often have no answer to Gigafin so if you can get that down you will be in a good spot.

Big Priest - Slightly favored. You have to manage your removals but, quite often, this deck is able to out control a Big Priest until they run out of threats. Tickatus can help with this, as well as using Zola the Gorgon on either Gigafin (which can be done turn 7 along with Seadevil Stinger) or Entitled Customer. Keep in mind that Hysteria on one of Neptulon the Tidehunter's arms can result in a close to full clear. Theotar, the Mad Duke played early can often steal Shadow Essence and slow them down significantly.

Pirate Rogue - Favored. You have tons of clears and healing which can outlast them.

Reno Priest - Very favored. Went 7-0 vs this deck, and none of those was particularly close. You have to be careful about them Seanceing your Tickatus but you should be able to outvalue them. Using Zephrys the Great to become Lord Jaraxxus is often useful, and Kazakusan wins if the game does go to fatigue. Theotar can steal their hero as well. Immolate played early is often a game winner.

Secret Mage - Favored. Clears and heals outlast them. Be aware that Hellfire deals face damage and can stop Rigged Faire Game for a turn.

Quest Mage - Unfavored. If you can use your disruption to hit a Grey Sage Parrot or two you can win, but they can often lethal you despite all your disruption.

Combo Shaman - Favored, you have to time your disruption well but if you can hit Grumble, Worldshaker, Sire Denathrius, or Shudderwock you usually win. Sometimes you can even win based on board pressure as their combo is slow to set up. Tickatus and other disruption after Lorekeeper Polkelt is especially strong, as well as an early Immolate.

Combo Druid - Favored due to all your disruption.

Curse Warlock - Unfavored. They have anti Reno disruption and their own removals, so you have to be able to rush them down and disrupt them without the use of your Reno cards.

Other Reno decks - Favored. The combination of plentiful disruption as well as Tickatus and Immolate lets Reno Control Warlock beat other Reno classes head to head.


Strategies

Reno Control Warlock is a very versatile deck, but your main strategy should be Control - either through controlling the board or through disrupting combos.

Control - Use your multiple removals to keep clearing the board while sometimes developing your own pressure such as with Gigafin. Healing helps as well.

Disruption - You have many, many ways to disrupt opponent plans and can use those to beat slower decks or combo.

Pressure - The deck doesn't have a lot of early pressure options, but an early Gigafin or Mutanus the Devourer with Seadevil Stinger can be great for pressure. Dragonqueen Alexstrasza and Raid Boss Onyxia do this for the lategame. Also, doing Malchezaar's Imp and Tome Tampering can get cheap big minions for additional pressure early or in the midgame. Finally, you have Sire Denathrius as a potential burst finisher to complement this strategy.

Value - Want to turn your 40 card deck into a 50 card deck? Use Kazakusan to win the value game if needed against extra slow decks.

Reno Control Warlock can adapt its gameplan according to the matchup, but in general you win more often by beating your opponent's gameplan than executing your own pressure. So focus on the Control and Disruption aspects more unless you have a really good opportunity to win by pressure. Cards like Gigafin and Mutanus let you do both at once.


Mulligans

In general, the deck is so versatile that you have to adapt your mulligan for the matchup and the deck you think you're facing based on your meta.


Gameplay

The key to playing this deck well is to quickly tailor and adapt your gameplan according to the matchup - Renolock's versatility is its strength and it has answers to all types of decks.

Below are gameplay tips regarding many of the synergies in this deck and how to use them effectively.


Removal Synergies

This deck has a ton of removal, but some of it has special synergies.

For example, you can get multiple Gigafins if you do something like Brann Bronzebeard and Zola the Gorgon on it turn 10, or without Brann turn 7, along with Seadevil Stinger.

Defile you can set up with attacks and other removal. Same for Lord Godfrey.

Hysteria on an opponent Immune minion clears the board except for that one minion.

Try to use more situational removal first when you have the opportunity and save more general removal like Twisting Nether for later.


Disruption Cards

Dirty Rat is great to use when you're planning on playing a removal anyway.

When using Theotar, the Mad Duke don't be afraid to give cards like Kazakusan and Dragonqueen Alexstrasza to Aggro - you don't need them for that matchup and they'll be vanilla 8/8s for them. Against Combo, give them random removals that you don't need. You can keep something like Prince Renathal in hand instead of playing it if you're planning to Theotar. 

You can use Seadevil Stinger to get Mutanus to cost 4 to combo it with Brann or Zola more easily.

Immolate should be played as early as possible unless under a lot of pressure.


Tutor Synergies

Sense Demons can get Tickatus, Malchezaar's Imp, or Fire Breather.

Gorloc Ravager can get Sir Finley, Sea Guide, Gigafin, Seadevil Stinger, and Mutanus the Devourer.

Seadevil Stinger can be used to play Gigafin or Mutanus for cheap and this will also corrupt Tickatus.


The Lategame

If you have controlled the board and disrupted the opponent's win conditions, you may be in a good position to close out the game. You can use your big dragons to take over the board, or simply use Brann Bronzebeard and Tickatus to destroy what's left if your opponent's deck.

Zephrys the Great can get you Lord Jaraxxus if you play him on a late turn with few mana left. This is great for long term pressure against Control decks. Tour Guide can let you use his hero power the same turn he's played.

Kazakusan is your ultimate lategame win con, you can play him even if your deck is not empty for powerful cards. Sir Finley, Sea Guide can swap your hand for treasures after.

Sire Denathrius can sometimes be a finisher but in general he's here for removal and healing - don't be greedy and hold him too long especially against Aggro. Raid Boss Onyxia is the main card to feed him.


Miscellaneous

Be aware that in this deck, don't be afraid to mill a few cards! Especially against Aggro, this won't matter, and you'd rather do something like play Gorloc Ravager and have a Seadevil Stinger combo ready to go even if you mill a card.

If you have Raise Dead, don't be afraid to play some key cards like Zephrys the Great early because you can just get a copy of them later.

For Sir Finley, Sea Guide, try to play him when you can improve your hand or to search for something specific like removal or healing, not randomly on turn 1.

For Tome Tampering and Malchezaar's Imp, you can play it for a similar purpose as Sir Finley, to search for key cards, even if you don't hit particularly many high cost minions with it. In slower matchups you can be greedy and so stuff like hit Sire Denathrius so you can then do a Brann Bronzebeard combo with it and even Kazakusan so it can then be hit by Zola the Gorgon for even more value. Don't be afraid of playing the imp turn 1 vs Aggro - against decks like Pirate Rogue that's a good turn 1 play.

The main strength of this deck is its versatility, and you can tech some cards like weapon removal or other things depending on your matchups.


Conclusion

Renolock has been a mainstay of the format since the beginning of Wild, and is in a better position than in a long time now. Whether you are new to Reno decks or to this sort of Reno Warlock deck, hopefully this guide can be helpful. If you have a question or comment, or are wondering about a card substitution, post below.


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Searching for more options? Look no further than the expansive Wild Deck Guide Compendium to find more decks and guides.

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