- Reno Mage
Hello! I go by the username “magikman” and I have repeatedly climbed to legend using mainly or exclusively Reno Mage.
I'm posting this updated list that incorporates new cards from the Saviors of Uldum expansion.
I've named it Nevada Mage in honor of Reno, Nevada. A city I have absolutely no connection to, but I think of whenever I see either of these two cards.
Yes my brain is weird.
Below is a breakdown of all 30 cards in the deck. To make things flow a bit more logically, I've organized them into "packages". Please note that many of these card descriptions are copy-pasted from my previous Reno Mage guide since the the reasoning for their inclusion remains the same.
The Highlander Package (5 cards)
Zephrys the Great: Appropriately the first new card in this deck. Really lives up to his reputation. An incredibly versatile card that provides a lot of value and utility. I'm far less motivated to run tech cards like Hungry Crab or Oozes now since Zephrys is so reliable at discovering them when needed, which is great since it lets me remove those tech cards and free up slots for more new cards.
Kazakus: Though his stock has dropped a bit thanks to newcomer Zephrys, Kazakus is still a fantastic card. You can play a 1-mana spell that deals 2 damage to everything and gives you 4 armor. You can deal 5 damage to an enemy minion and summon a 5/5 minion. You can reduce the most fearsome late-game boards to adorable sheep. Hugely versatile and hugely powerful provided you can get a little bit of luck on your side, Kazakus is a superstar.
Reno Jackson: the man, the myth, the legend. He and Kazakus are the two big reasons to play Reno Mage in the first place.
Reno the Relicologist: his battlecry is fantastic for addressing diverse board states. Odd Paladin's making boards of divine shielded 1/1s backed by Never Surrender! used to be an absolute nightmare. Reno just mows them down AND remains as a 4/6 to continue fighting for board. And unlike cards like Volcanic Potion or Twilight Flamecaller that see their value drop dramatically once bigger things start hitting the board (Thing from Below, Loatheb, Fungalmancerbuffs, etc) Reno's deadeye aim on minions-only means he can kill them no matter how the stats are distributed.
Inkmaster Solia: helps bypass Loatheb, makes 10-mana Kazakus potions playable 3 turns earlier or play a Kazakus potion for 7 mana and still have 3 left over for a Dirty Rat, Banker, Zola, Secret, Doomsayer, Frost Lich Jaina hero power, et cetera. Fringe benefit of being played with a spell simply to help empty your hand before a Brann+Coldlight play or a Malacrass refill.
The Secrets Package (6 cards)
Arcanologist & Mad Scientist: As a rule of thumb, I try to have N-1 tutor effects for Secrets, where N is the total number of Secrets in the deck. Since my previous Reno Mage only had 2 Secrets, I only wanted one tutor effect and I chose Arcanologist (check my old guide for my reasoning). Now that I have 3 secrets, I added in Mad Scientist to help dig them out faster. Mad Scientist is especially useful for pulling Flame Ward out since it helps get around Never Surrender shenanigans.
Flame Ward: I wasn’t sure if this card would be good enough in Wild but it has proven to be an absolute lifesaver against a lot of aggro boards. Being able to hit 3 damage is great and the fact that it can be set up in advance or put into play for free by Mad Scientist or discovered by Arcane Keysmith is great for keeping pace with a faster adversary. Much in the same way a Doomsayer forces a fast opponent to reevaluate their plays, Flame Ward forces suboptimal choices and gives you breathing room to find more solutions.
Ice Block: the enabler of mega comebacks, messes with OTK combos, too good not to include.
Potion of Polymorph: interferes with combos, helps block resurrection effects, silences deathrattles, almost certainly the best secret to run for our deck besides Ice Block
Arcane Keysmith: Secrets are one of the only ways to interact with your opponent’s turns and having more of them is fantastic. Effect stronger now that Flame Ward is part of the pool.
The Removal Package (8 cards)
Doomsayer: it stalls, it clears, it heals you for 7 damage
Polymorph: Boar: helps prevent resurrection effects from Big Priest, N'zoth and Gul'dan, otherwise playing double-duty as a pseudo-Silence to remove buffs. Also has added versatility as a source of 4 Charge damage to make sneaky lethals happen.
Polymorph: Denies resurrections, silences buffs or deathrattles, provides ping targets for Frost Lich Jaina. Hugely powerful card.
Cloud Prince: originally just added to this deck on a whim, this card has been very good to me. It fills a lot of niches that were previously empty. First and most obvious is that it acts as removal for midgame threats, helping kill Emperor Thaurissan and Thing from Below outright while also dealing potentially crippling damage to Flamewreathed Faceless or any of the myriad 8/8s in the game (Sea Giant, Mountain Giant, The Lich King). Second is that it puts something into the deck that Reno Mage typically lacks, which is a way to deal damage to face. I've surprised opponents who thought they were safe at 13 health or less, only to play Brann+Cloud Prince and hero power to burn them to 0. Third is the fantastic fact this is an elemental so the battlecry and any subsequent attacks with the decent 4/4 body afterwards will provide more lifesteal.
Dragon's Fury: In this deck it deals a minimum of 3 damage which is okay or a maximum of 6 damage which is fantastic. Debating whether or not this card can be cut with Flame Ward and the new Reno available but so far as proven too important to cut. The redundancy of extra AoEs feels pretty necessary.
Meteor: Kill a big guy and his neighbors. Enough said.
Siamat: another card whose performance has surprised me. I've seen people disparage him as "neutral Firelands Portal, and Firelands Portal doesn't see any play" which I think is a faulty comparison. Firelands Portal only ever dealt 5 damage and only to one target. Depending on which buffs you choose for Siamat, he can deal 6 to a single target, deal 6 to two separate targets, deal 12 to a single target, and often stick around to attack again the following turn. That's a lot more flexible than Firelands Portal. And Portal has the risk of serious low-rolls on the 5-cost minion it summoned (Fel Reaver or Former Champ anyone?). Top it all off with the fact that he's an elemental for some added late-game sustain and Siamat is an unspectacular yet thoroughly useful card. Not flashy, but handy to have around. Maybe I'll remove him one day, but for now he's sticking around.
The Utility Package (4 cards)
Dirty Rat: combo-disrupter, value-denier, battlecry-blocker, what more needs to be said about our filthy friend?
Arcane Intellect: still don’t like this card but its still about the only card draw that works so we have to work with the tools we are given.
Coldlight Oracle: can force a mill, ramp up fatigue damage, dig deep into your deck. A great card all around, but must be played with care.
Skulking Geist: pretty much the only way to beat Jade Druid by destroying idols, helps against Odd Warrior by eating Shield Slams and Omega Assembly, destroys half of a Quest Mage deck if you can get it out in time, fringe benefit of killing Inner Fire, Power Word: Shield and Potion of Madness in Inner Fire Priest. A tech card for sure, but a worthy one.
The Value/Sustain Package (7 cards)
- it is slightly cheaper and thus easier to weave into a turn (e.g. shuffle in an extra Kazakus on turn 6 as opposed to turn 7)
- the fact that it costs 2 mana means you can shuffle in Ragnaros the Firelord or Hex Lord Malacrass on the same turn you play them and those 2 are both really big value bombs
- having this in the opening in the opening hand lets you form a cute 2-card, 10-mana infinite shuffle combo with Hex Lord Malacrass; usually not necessary but sometimes relevant in the occasional hyper-fatigue game
Brann Bronzebeard: he’s made 1 mana 5/6 and 2 mana 4/5 crabs, drawn or discovered extra secrets, brewed massive potions, milled cards and fatigued enemies to death, healed me for 10 while destroying enemy weapons, yanked out combo pieces, infinitely staved off fatigue with his partners Banker and Zola. Fantastic card for our deck and pairs well with the bevy of battlecries we have.
Zola the Gorgon: sort of like Brann in that it helps squeeze extra value out of the numerous powerful Battlecries we have
Leyline Manipulator: between Zola, Banker, Malacrass, Zephrys, and Kazakus potions there's plenty of generated cards that benefit from getting such a huge cost reduction. Combo this with Brann and watch the madness ensue.
Luna's Pocket Galaxy: this deck is very minion heavy so it's not difficult to get some serious value out of setting things to 1-mana. Even if you hit something relatively small like Brann or Kazakus, you'd be surprised by the sheer amount of things you can squeeze into a single turn with Galaxy smoothing things out. Plus there's the hilarity of the OTK combo to look forward to! (see below)
Hex Lord Malacrass: generates additional Polymorphs, copies of Reno or Kazakus, or even smaller things like another Voodoo Doll or Brann that can help squeeze out wins that shouldn't happen.
Frost Lich Jaina: presents the threat of a ceaseless tide of Water Elementals, can sustain hugely in fatigue with Geddon and Ragnaros, looks AMAZING with the golden animations.
Current goal for this deck is to pull off the following:
Step 1: play Luna's Pocket Galaxy and hit any 3 of the following 4 cards (Brann Bronzebeard, Cloud Prince, Zola the Gorgon, Leyline Manipulator) or alternatively just the two most expensive cards of Cloud Prince and Leyline Manipulator
Step 2: set up a Secret. Obviously Ice Block is ideal.
Step 3: play the following combo:
Brann Bronzebeard + Cloud Prince (dealing 12 damage to the face) + Zola (adding x2 Cloud Prince to hand) + Leyline Manipulator (reducing the cost of x2 Cloud Prince to 1 mana each) + Cloud Prince copy #1 (dealing 12 damage to the face) + Cloud Prince copy #2 (dealing 12 damage to the face)
If successful, this combo deals 36 damage to the face in a single turn, potentially for as little as 6 mana if you hit all 4 pieces with Galaxy. However hitting any 3 out of 4 cards should still enable the complete combo.
I've yet to pull this off on ladder, but I have managed a lesser combo of 24 damage which was still sufficient to be game winning.
Still aiming to pull it off to perfection though. So it's back to ladder for me!
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- 2 Arcanologist x 1
- 3 Arcane Intellect x 1
- 3 Flame Ward x 1
- 3 Ice Block x 1
- 3 Polymorph: Boar x 1
- 3 Potion of Polymorph x 1
- 4 Arcane Keysmith x 1
- 4 Kazakus x 1
- 4 Leyline Manipulator x 1
- 4 Polymorph x 1
- 5 Cloud Prince x 1
- 5 Dragon's Fury x 1
- 6 Meteor x 1
- 6 Reno the Relicologist x 1
- 7 Inkmaster Solia x 1
- 7 Luna's Pocket Galaxy x 1
- 8 Hex Lord Malacrass x 1
- 9 Frost Lich Jaina x 1