Reno Mage Decklist and Guide

I. Introduction

Well met! This is a guide to Reno Mage, a deck that I think fits solidly into the current meta with solid matchups across the board with the only bad matchups being Jade Druid and Giant Hunter, neither of which being super prevalent in the meta.

ScientistJainaRenoReno Mage has been strongly buffed with the release of Frost Lich Jaina (FLJ) in the Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion. FLJ is a huge asset to Reno Mage which can sometimes win the game on the spot when played against aggro and midrange decks on turn 9. Even when not curved out, FLJ slamming on the board puts fear into the heart of every SMOrcer out there, who is suddenly on the clock to race you down or be overwhelmed by lifesteal elementals. In addition to this, Reno Mage also has the extremely powerful tools of Reno Jackson and Kazakus to help outvalue the opponent whether they are playing control or aggro. The deck also runs N’zoth, Pyros, and a couple other deathrattles for a large punch late in the game

Why Reno Mage?

Well first off it’s an insanely fun deck, and is also very powerful in this meta. If you hate Reno Priest, then this deck is for you since between this season and last season, I have had a 100% winrate against Reno Priests. I really enjoy playing control decks and this is definitely one that everyone should give a shot. With that said, let’s get into the decklist.




Awedragon's Renomage


Daboss Renomage



Featured are two Reno Mage lists teched for different matchups.

On the left is Daboss212’s list with a heavier endgame designed to beat Midrange and Control with powerful cards like Baron Geddon, Ragnaros the Firelord, and more.

On the right is Awedragon’s list designed to beat aggressive deck with tech options like Mind Control Tech, Explosive Sheep, and Piloted Shredder.

Reno Mage is a very flexible deck so use these decklists as a guideline but feel free to tune and tech your deck to the Metagame as you please.









II. Card Choices and Flex Slots

Right off the bat this deck is teched slightly against midrange because that was the majority of decks I was seeing. The control matchup fares well with anti-midrange cards but some extra punches can be added to increase winrates. Aggro matchups is the hardest to tech against because most anti-aggro card are mediocre in other matchups. The key is finding the right balance to have good winrates against all matchups. 

Aggro: Medivh's Valet, Ice Barrier, Mind Control Tech, Cone of Cold, Explosive Sheep, Dirty Rat

Midrange: Medivh's Valet, Counterspell, Babbling Book, Firelands Portal, Ragnaros the Firelord, Sylvanas Windrunner

Control: Brann Bronzebeard, Echo of Medivh, Sylvanas Windrunner, Ragnaros the Firelord, Medivh, the Guardian

Combo: Dirty Rat

Big Priest: Tinkmaster Overspark

Jade Druid: Skulking Geist

III. Strategy and Tips

How to pick a Kazakus Potion:

1 mana potion: Only pick this option if you don’t have the mana for a 5 mana potion and can’t live a turn to cast the 5 mana potion. Almost always going to be picked against aggressive/midrange decks.

5 mana potion: Standard choice. Solid against pretty much every deck.

  • 4 damage aoe: destroys aggro, and can really mess up midrange.
  • Polymorph: great option against zoo, so their demons don’t get resurrected by Bloodreaver Guldan.
  • Deal 5 damage: solid against control and midrange, but can be bad against a widespread board of small minions.
  • 7 armor: great for survivability.
  • Freeze 2: decent for stall, and can be comboed with a doomsayer.
  • Draw 2: should only be picked if the game is not going to fatigue, and your hand is not suited for the matchup, if you have a solid hand then picking a defensive option could be more efficient.
  • Add Demons: almost never going to be picked in a 5 mana potion. If you do it’s because your hand is bad in the current situation and you didn’t get offered draw 2
  • Resurrect 2: a choice that depends on your early game so far. If you’ve had some good minions die like deathlord, sludge belcher, pyros, etc. die then this can be a very valuable option. Or you just need some board presence to maintain board control this is a decent option. It’s usefulness changes depending on what has died so far.
  • Health buff: depends on the current board state. It combos very well with deal 4 aoe, since your minions will survive. It can also be used on taunts for survivability. Usually you won’t have a huge board so be cautious. Also good value with ressurect 2 to build a big board.
  • Add demon: mediocre option against midrange but can be too slow against aggro. If you have aoe potion or another aoe card then the demons can help you regain board control. However, the high variance of demons means that you could get something amazing, something useless, or something in between.

10 mana potion: Lots of players will make the mistake of over-choosing the 10 mana potion. The only times you pick a 10 mana potion is 1. You are playing a control matchup and need the value, 2. Playing against midrange, have 10 mana crystals next turn, and are not in imminent threat of dying or you need the value more than you need a quick answer. You basically never pick 10 mana against aggro (if you have the luxury of doing it you won anyway).

Against aggro and midrange, the best potion will almost always be: 5 mana potion – Deal 4 aoe and summon demon/draw 2 cards/7 armor (depends on the cards in your hand).


IV. Matchups and Mulligans

Reno priest: Highly favored

  • This matchup is a toss up on how early they can get the machine gun going and how effective you are at maximizing your health.  However, I never had trouble maintaining enough health total, or had an iceblock up to prevent the burst turn finding lethal. This is one of the matchups where 10 mana potion (aim for 10 armor/build board presence with summon/buff) could be a good idea.
  • Mulligan: Frost Lich Jaina, Mad Scientist, Arcanologist, Deathlord, Pyros, Kazakus, Arcane Intellect, Reno Jackson


Big Priest: Unfavored

Pirate warrior: Favored

Control warrior: Even


Face hunter: Favored

Giant Hunter: Highly Unfavored

Renolock: Highly favored

Keleseth Zoolock: Even

Token druid: Favored

Jade Druid: Highly unfavored

Aggro shaman: Favored

Dude paladin: Even

Tempo rogue: Favored

  • Similar to other midrange matchups.

V. Conclusion


Thank you for getting this far, and I hope you try out the deck in ladder to hopefully have a little bit more fun in the meta. As mentioned earlier, there are so many card options that you can make your own techs to counter the meta you are experiencing, and to also enjoy the fun of deckbuilding. Thank you for reading!

Shoutout to Awedragon for the alternate list and help with editing the guide, and Amplive for formatting!



Daboss212 started playing Hearthstone when GVG was announced, and has frequently been legend rank. His favorite deck is Control Warrior, and is (almost) always brewing and playing fun decks on ladder. He can be found on twitter: @daboss212hs

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13 Responses

  1. Matthew says:

    This is a great article but my only question is: what are the core cards (if any)? Like which ones do I absolutely need to make the deck work (Reno is a no brainer but otherwise what should I spend my dust on if I was to play this deck)?

    • Deadhour says:

      Not OP, but in my opinion, this is what I would consider the core cards of Reno Mage.

      Doomsayer, Frostbolt, Mad Scientist, Primordial Glyph, Ice Block, Kazakus, Polymorph, Sludge Belcher, Reno Jackson, Flamestrike, Frost Lich Jaina, N’zoth the Corruptor.

      • Amplive says:

        Agree with Deadhour. Though if you really boil it down, the key cards the strategy revolves around are frost lich jaina, reno, and Kazakus. Theres so much room for flexibility. Even the N’zoth package can be replaced as there are a lot of late game generators in Hearthstone like Medihv.

      • Matthew says:

        So basically you’re saying that when changing tech cards like the author suggests, those are the cards you would not take out? That’s what I’m taking from your reply to my comment and just wanted to make sure. I have a Reno mage deck that I’ve been tweaking so that’s why I want to know what cards I should put in first before other ones

        • Deadhour says:

          Yep, that’s exactly what I mean. You’d have to have a very good reason to remove any of those cards. Also, I can’t edit my comments anymore, but I missed Arcane Intellect, which I would also consider core.

  2. greencoaster says:

    1) I don’t believe reno priest is highly favorable matchup, looks more like an even one, but i guess it depends on how greedy your opponent’s deck is.

    2) I also don’t believe Big priest is unfavored. Damn, your deck has polymorph and kazakus, there are good ways to spoil his game.

    3) I play geist so jade druid is not unbeatable, but still hard if they have a good draw, even without their ability to play forever.

    4) Geist is actually not only good against Jade druid, against reno priest, for example, i don’t play Pyros before i cut his potion of madness, cos you know, they can even steal and SWP on the same turn if you don’t give him another minion to attack with your stolen birdy. Also, cutting some random lightning bolts, hallucinations or even combo pieces of DK pally (haha, justkiddin there are none on the ladder) while you cut nothing in your deck – is nice.

    • Amplive says:

      I agree with your first point that Reno Priest is more of an even matchup and that Daboss likely outplayed weak Reno Priests to have such a good win rate as there are a lot of weak Reno Priest players on ladder.

      I do think Big Priest is unfavored personally as they just have so many threats that one or two polymorphs is often not enough.

      If you run Skulking Geist, it definitely makes Jade Druid a ton easier and Reno Priest easier. The question is if it’s worth it on ladder which is usually dependent on your meta.

      Great insights Greencoaster and thanks for commenting!

  3. Rafa94 says:

    Nice guide! I am really close to building this deck, just wasn’t sure if Frost Lich Jaina was worth the dust. I guess KoFT was really impactful on wild meta with 6 death knights seeing a ton of play

  4. Amaiashi says:

    Be careful, 2 Tar Creepers on the second deck …

    • Deadhour says:

      That was not a mistake; Awedragon intentionally put 2x Tar Creeper into his Reno Mage deck at Legend. His list is heavily teched towards beating aggro and he felt that the card was so good it was worth the risk of blanking your no duplicate cards.

      • Richard says:

        I am sorry but that is wrong. I respect Awedragon but deactivating your Reno and Kazakus is not a good idea. I rather fill that slot with a Silverback Patriarch rather than a second Tar Creeper because of how detrimental it is.

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