- Reno Dragon Mage - Rank 5 (Anti Quest/Aggro)
Reno Dragon Mage - Rank 5 (Anti Quest/Aggro)Last updated 1 week, 4 days ago
- Archetype Highlander Mage
- Format Standard
- Deck Type Ranked
- Crafting Cost 22660
- Your Cost Coming Soon
This is the deck I built & used to hit Rank 5 from Rank 10.0 during the September 2019 season, losing only 3 games in the process. This deck was built with Quest Druid & Shaman as the main targets, with Zoo & Murloc Paladin as the secondary targets. It's heavy value game of Ysera, Hex Lord, & King Phaoris give it enough power to be able to combat Control Warrior as well. I had a winning record against Priest, but I do think that this is probably unfavored vs Priest. I've really enjoyed playing this deck, so I'll make sure I add a solid write up to it.
This is a control deck, but is also extremely flexible in how it can win. It can grind out your opponents, out value your opponents, or can burst down your opponents with a mix of big boards, pyroblast, & Zephyrs.
The mulligan is always important, no matter the deck you play, but I feel like this one is even more important due to the inclusion of Hex Lord Malacrass. Your mulligan targets will vary greatly per match up (for example, I always keep King Phaoris against quest druid), but the cards you'll always want are Zephrys, Witch Doctor, Doomsayer, & Ancient Mysteries.
Ancient Mysteries: We run 2 secrets here, Flame Ward & Ice Barrier. Running 3 feels excessive & not great, while you will almost always still have 1 in the deck by the time you draw Ancient Mysteries. The use here is straight forward, draw a card, change the cost to 0, and play it when you see fit.
Doomsayer: Because the current metagame is flooded with aggro/tempo decks (at least in my climb it was) Doomsayer is just a really good inclusion here. It's nearly impossible for someone to deal with on turn 2 when all they have is a 1 or 2 attack minion, and while you don't usually have a follow up on turn 3 (outside of Brightwing, Arcane Intellect, full cost secret) it buys you that extra turn you need to get into the late game where this deck flourishes. Doomsayer can also be saved for later in the game if you need a clean board to set up something big like King Phaoris, Ysera, Hex Lord, Pocket Galaxy, etc.
Firetree Witchdoctor: An easy turn 2 play that doesn't sacrifice card advantage. Mage has so many flexible spells that you can find something useful almost every time.
Zephrys the Great: Because we run Hex Lord in this deck, you can be a bit more aggressive with Zephrys should you have him in your opening hand. Otherwise, I generally save him for a board clear, lethal, or if I need a Tirion. He is a really powerful card, and it feels like he rewards smart card use. Remember, he only analyzes the board and mana state. Say that you want a brawl and you're at 6 mana with the coin in your hand, make sure that you play the coin before playing Zephrys, otherwise you'll most likely get shadowflame (which is usually good enough!), defender or Argus or frost nova. Zephyrs really isn't an RNG Fest that we initally thought he would be and he can absolutely be tailored to give you what you need as long as you play correctly.
Arcane Intellect: This is simple, we want to draw cards.
Brightwing: An early game Dragon that doesn't sacrifice card advantage while way more often than not, giving you a high value card for later. It really is a solid card.
Flame Ward: I can't believe blizzard printed this card, the fact that hero attacks can't trigger it (like they can with explosive trap) really increases the power level. This is one of the main reasons this deck does so well against aggro, being able to clear a board by turn 3/4 is just so incredibly powerful.
Ice Barrier: I wanted to run at least 2 secrets to increase the likelihood that Ancient Mysteries doesn't whiff & this slots in really nicely. 8 armor is great, and it doesn't always feel bad to get it again if it ends up in the mulligan during aggressive match ups.
SN1P-SN4P: Probably should be in almost every single deck, just an incredibly versatile card. Good against aggro, good against control, combo's with Zilliax.
Arcane Keysmith: More Ice Barriers, more Flame Wards! Or even Counter Spell, or Spell Bender!
Twilight Drake: A Dragon that will usually come down as a 4/6 or 4/7 on curve. This card is more of a question mark, it performed fine so far, much better against slower decks, but will just sit in your hand against faster match ups.
Blast Wave: One of the best performing cards in the deck, it should probably be run in more Mage decks. Since we're in a lackey meta, more often than not you're clearing the board and adding a handful of spells back to your hand.
Dragonmaw Scorcher: Dragon that gives a small bit of AoE. Again, because we're in a lackey meta, this is going to do some serious work against your opponent.
Naga Sand Witch: This card is another question mark, probably would be the first one I would cut, it performed ok, but I rarely played it on my climb. Theoretically it should be great, we run 5 spells that cost 6+ but in practice it's been just ok.
Zilliax: Should be in every single deck. Craft it now if you still somehow don't have it.
Blizzard: Clear up/soften your opponent's board while freezing it. Always nice to have.
Khartut Defender: Taunt, heal up, summon another taunt, heal up.
Reno the Relicologist: He almost always clears the board for us while giving a 4/6 body, which is quite formidable! Usually if you clear the board with Reno on curve with 20+ health intact, you are going to win.
Crowd Roaster: This deck contains almost nothing as far as single target removal goes (which makes priest a difficult match up) but Crowd Roaster can do just enough for us when needed. A 7 attack minion that deals 7 via battlecry is pretty strong and outside of giants, you're gonna take out whatever the target is.
Flamestrike: AoE that is almost always clearing the board.
Luna's Pocket Galaxy: This is another question mark of a card, it's great of course when it goes off, but it hasn't seen that much play for me, even with Kalecgos & Pilgrim.
Siamat: The new Dr. 7. Powerful and versatile, I think it's one of the few auto crafts everyone should make in the Savior's set.
Hex Lord Malacrass: Since we're targeting quests, I think Hex Lord is absolutely core to this deck. He's a high skill level card, rewarding you for making smart mulligan choices at the beginning of the game. Playing multiple King's, Zephrys, or Reno's is just back breakingly powerful. The lack of consistent card draw here makes him even better as he can make the deck a bit more consistent.
Tortollan Pilgrim: Great card, kind of a better version of Inkmaster from the Mean Streets set. If I'm ahead, I'm looking for Pocket Galaxy, low on resources, Arcane Intellect, health, Ice Barrier, a hail mary, Yogg, quick board clear, Flamestrike.
Alexstrasza: I usually use her offensively to set up/get lethal, but she's saved me countless times as well. She's my favorite card in the whole game, so versatile and powerful.
Ysera: Since we're targeting high value decks, we need some high value cards & Ysera checks that box in spades. She's difficult to deal with and generates powerful cards.
Kalecgos: He brings us some extra value in the discover department, but of course, being able to drop a 4/12 dragon and play any spell we want the same turn is as powerful as it sounds.
King Phaoris: We run a handful of high level spells, and the King has been instrumental in using those to close out games for me. If you can land him while in a good spot health wise, you are most likely just winning that game. Depending on the match up, he is a card that I will keep in my hand so that I can generate a second one via Hex Lord.
Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron: Feeds the King, and acts as our emergency red button. Sometimes the RNG doesn't go your way, but more often than not you're getting good stuff.
Pyroblast: Yes, it's a bit top heavy, but I really like it as a finisher. Being able to chop off the last 3rd of health while going over a wall of taunts/life gain is just good and I like having this security.
I get it, this deck is expensive & not everyone can have every card. Here are some changes you can make if you need some dust breathing room:
- Brightwing: Crafting Brightwing isn't a bad move to make since it's a classic card, but it is probably lower on your list. Messenger Raven is a solid replacement, there are some mage minion's that would feel bad to have to pick from, but getting Astromancer, Dragon hawk, second Kalecgos would be pretty terrific.
- King Phaoris: Astromancer. I know Astromancer as an epic still isn't cheap, but it provides a similar power play, and since you will usually have a large hand, the odds of getting something powerful are high. Power of Creation is another option (gives a similar play when used with Kalecgos or Pilgirm).
- Siamat: As I said above, I think that Siamat is a card that everyone should just have, but if you don't, I would go with Amani War Bear, Bone Wraith, or even Polymorph.
- Luna's Pocket Galaxy: It just got nerfed, so the sensible players have dusted it and don't want it again (& seeing that I listed it as an iffy card above, makes sense to not craft). I would use this substitution in a similar manner as you do with Siamat, Bone Wraith or Polymorph. I do think that this deck is unfavored vs Priest, so adding something like Polymorph, which would increase your chances of winning, would probably be my choice here (& it honestly might be a swap I make as I climb higher).
- Hex Lord Malacrass: As I said, I do think that this card is core, it's just so powerful, but it's a legendary that hasn't found a consistent spot in a tier 1 deck yet, so it makes sense that he's missing from a ton of collections. There isn't another card quite like it, so I think I would add in some more draw, either in the form of Witchwood Piper (which can tutor out Zephyrs) or Acolyte of Pain. Hex Lord really does help make this deck more consistent, so if you're missing him, it makes sense to add more cycle to make sure you land your threats.
- Ysera: Everyone should just have Ysera, right? I'm not entirely sure what the best substitute here is, but I would go with whatever you find to be your best value generation card in your collection, if you don't think you have anything quite suitable, then pack in some tech or early game, so Messenger Raven, Polymorph, Mind Control Tech, or Vulpera Scoundrel.
Please Note, this section is a work in progress, I don't get too much time to sit down and write (or even play, it's why Rank 5 is now my main goal) but I will update as I can. I'll list below what I plan to write on, if you have a match up you'd like to see, let me know and I'll add it!
- Quest Druid:
- Mulligan: Zephyrs, King Phaoris, Witch Doctor, Bright Wing.
- Match Up: Quest druid is not going to put any pressure on you turns 1-4, sometimes 5 if they don't start with coin or innervate, so you need to get something down to start making them spend something.
- Zephyrs, especially if found in mulligan, should always be played on turn 2 into Animal Companion, unless everything else is high cost in your hand, then pick Wild Growth.
- For Witch Doctor, I tend to go with board freezes, removal, or Conjurer's Calling.
- The main way that Quest Druid can beat you is by putting down a ton of heavy pressure between turns 5-8, if you can maintain control through there, you should do well.
- Because Druid no longer has naturalize, it's going to cost them most of their mana to remove your big minions, so go all in on your threats, unless they run mind control tech (& so far I haven't seen any that do), you can't be punished.
- From my experience against druid, they win by going into Chef Nomi or Malygos at the end. You can win by overwhelming them on the board, especially with King Phaoris. I can't overstate just how powerful the King is against druid, & he comes down much faster than a Malygos/Nomi combo.
- The most common way that I win is smart board control, King into Alexstrasza.
- If Quest Druid ever gets more assertive in the early games, than a decent portion of this deck will need to change, but for now, I haven't lost a single game against them.
- Quest Shaman:
- Mulligan: Zephyrs, Witchdoctor, Doomsayer, Dragonmaw Scorcher/Blast Wave.
- Match up: Quest Shaman is a weird deck because it seems like what they want to do is zoo things, and sometimes the stars align in their hands and that's what happens but most of the time (in my experience) they operate more like Caverns Below Rogue, playing a lot of small stuff to finish their quest, then they start packing on the pressure.
- The one key to this match up is, and i cannot stress this enough, CLEAR THE LACKEYS AND PREVENT EVIL TOTEM VALUE! Preventing Weaponized Wasp damage is surprisingly huge and greatly reduces the pressure on you, and if they let their Evil Totem go off and generate 3+ lackey's, you are in for a long game.
- We have more than enough AoE here, you should have almost no problem running them out of resources and during the games that you don't they are going to hit fatigue.
- Try to resist using your life gain minions (Zilliax, Khartut Defender) until you can get full heal value from them. You should never pass a turn though if you can help it, so if your only play is to put one of them down, then always do that.
- Same goes with Witchdoctor on turn 2, on the rare occasion that you don't have a Dragon in hand, play her, you need to be on the board ASAP.
- Don't be greedy with Doomsayer, if they play a 2 health minion on turns 1 or 2 (outside of totem) then play it. Shaman can snowball quickly, and you have more than enough clear to keep up, don't start behind if you can help it. They also run Earth Shock, so being greedy with a Doomsayer can just outright kill you since it only takes a 1 mana spell from them to deal with it.
- Aggro Rogue/Warrior:
- Quest Paladin:
- Control Warrior:
- Mech Hunter:
- Highlander Hunter:
- 2 Ancient Mysteries x 1
- 3 Arcane Intellect x 1
- 3 Flame Ward x 1
- 3 Ice Barrier x 1
- 4 Arcane Keysmith x 1
- 5 Blast Wave x 1
- 5 Naga Sand Witch x 1
- 6 Blizzard x 1
- 6 Reno the Relicologist x 1
- 7 Flamestrike x 1
- 7 Luna's Pocket Galaxy x 1
- 8 Hex Lord Malacrass x 1
- 8 Tortollan Pilgrim x 1
- 10 Kalecgos x 1
- 10 Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron x 1
- 10 Pyroblast x 1