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HearthstoneJan 18, 2016 1:00 pm CT

Deck Tech: Hearthstone’s Reno Warlock

This week’s deck centers around the new Reno Jackson legendary that came out with League of Explorers. Reno’s ability makes life tough for aggro players because right when you think you manage to get the player down to lethal range, out comes Reno to reset the player’s health right back up to full. Using Reno makes for some unique decks, since you’ll only want to use one copy of each card — and I touched on what makes him so great in my last post about the top cards that came out with the adventure.

Warlocks pair well with Reno because they have a range of cards to help them control the board. Darkbomb? Check. Hellfire? Check. Demonwrath? Check! With all of these tools at your disposal, it’s easy to make a deck with only one of each card.

Reno Warlock provides you with multiple tools for the board situation. You have some direct removal (Soul Fire), mass removal (Demonwrath), and killer minions (Dr. Boom, obviously). The great thing about Reno is that the nature of the deck affords you some diversity even if you’re missing a few cards from the recommended deck lists because there are multiple ways to win. You can starve out your opponent into the late game and pummel them with Lord Jaraxxus or burst them down swiftly with Leeroy Jenkins and Power Overwhelming.

On the mulligan

For opening hands, you’ll generally want a Zombie Chow, Mortal Coil, Dark Peddler, or a Dark Bomb. The Coil and Dark Bomb can help stymie early game threats. Mortal Coil can usually convert for an extra card draw if you can connect it with a minion at 1 health.In almost every matchup, you’ll want to try to pull Reno Jackson — it’s a good card to keep if you anticipate playing against an aggressive opponent.

Warlock (11)

Neutral (19)

Early game

Establish board presence early and control the board with your removal spells. If you can squeeze in quick damage with your Zombie Chow, Piloted Shredder, and Abusive Sergeant, you’ll be in great shape. Brann Bronzedbeard provides some extra Battlecry bonuses in your favor. You can use it early to gain a double buff from Abusive Sergeant and Defender of Argus or save it for the middle of the game if you’re taking extreme damage and need the extra health from the Antique Healbot. Brann works with Mind Control Tech and can change the dynamic of the board if your opponent over commits. Oh, and Dark Peddler is just plain awesome.

Mid game

When you start hitting the midgame, you want to continue to maintain board supremacy. You have some cards that will help equalize the board in your favor if you’re staring down multiple minions. Hellfire and Shadowflame can clear the board in your favor despite their minor draw backs. Demonwrath will clear most minions unless you’re squaring off against other Warlocks who have minions out. There are a few utility cards you can use to remove any pieces from your opponent’s side of the board. Ironbeak Owl can be used at any stage of the game to silence a Mad Scientist or disable a buffed Mysterious Challenger.

Tip: Hold on to Abusive Sergeant to buff an opposing minion to put it in range of your own Big Game Hunter, such as Loatheb.


Late game

Look at all the weapons you have at your disposal! Obviously if you make it to the late game, you should be well in control of what happens. Playing Reno at this stage can cement the win for you. Dr. Boom, Sylvanas, and Emperor Thaurissan are all threats on their own if left by themselves. Leeroy Jenkins coupled with a Power Overwhelming can catch an opponent off guard who may not be expecting that burst of damage. Siphon Soul can remove just about anything that gets played. Loatheb should be used situationally based on your opponent. Lord Jaraxxus is another finisher in the event you run out of actual cards. The updated hero power means you can just whip out Infernals every turn. The Faceless Manipulator can be held in hand and used for your Sylvanas or Dr. Boom. Alternatively, the Manipulator can be used against any major minions from your opponent’s deck.

Tip: If you need to wipe the board, cast your Shadowflame on Sylvanas to clear it and steal a surviving minion.


Alternative cards to consider

As mentioned earlier, Reno Warlock has a wide variety of tools to deal with different situations.

Sacrificial Pact is one of those cards which you can add by itself for the mirror matchup. Playing it against Lord Jaraxxus results in a victory or it can be used to remove an opposing Mal’ganis. If you decide to sub in a Voidcaller, the Pact provides you with a method to activate it. I wouldn’t normally recommend Elise Starseeker, but if you’re still working on developing your card options, Elise can fill in and convert the rest of your deck into legendaries.The Earthen Ring Farseer is another card that can restore health which can substitute for an Antique Healbot if you’re missing it. Sunfury Protector can be added to provide extra protection with taunts to slow down aggro decks. Mal’ganis is often a Warlock staple and provides you with another threat. If an opposing Big Game Hunter targets your Dr. Boom, it frees the way for your Mal’ganis to land. Refreshment Vendor is a cheap replacement that can cover any missing cards in your collection. Molten Giant doubles as another big threat in the event you’re missing out on Dr. Boom or one of the other legendaries. A cool combo is playing a Molten Giant if you’ve taken some serious punishment and then playing Reno on the same turn to get your health back up to a safe area.

Class matchups

Druid: I’ve had difficulty with this matchup. Knock out the Darnassus Aspirants for sure because if they stick, you’re going to have an even tougher time. If you can land a Sludge Belcher or taunt up some of your larger minions with your Defender of Argus, you’ll be in a good position. As always, save Loatheb for Force of Nature and Savage Roar.

Hunter: Reno’s a must in your opening hand if you want to survive the early game onslaught. You’ll want Mortal Coil, Darkombs, and Zombie Chow as well to slow down their rush.

Mage: Freeze Mage should be a piece of cake for you since Reno, Jaraxxus, and even Antique Healbot can outheal the damage that gets used against you. Tempo Mage can be a little tougher due to cards like Mirror Entity copying your cards but in the end, you should still end up with an advantage. Archmage Antonidas can be silenced with an Owl or outright removed with Siphon Soul.

Paladin: You can also use that lone Acidic Swamp Ooze for their Coghammer, the Truesilver Champion, or the Ashbringer from Tirion Fordring. Demonwrath will counteract Silver Hand Recruits from Muster for Battle. Keep an eye out for your Big Game Hunter to play against their Mysterious Challenger when he’s buffed.

Priest: The thing with Priests is that if you can neutralize their Northshire Cleric, they’ll eventually run out of steam without a consistent way to keep drawing cards. Certain Priest decks can remain competitive and keep up with Reno. Ironbeak Owl or a Darkbomb should do the trick.

Rogue: In the games I’ve played, I noticed that Oil Rogue is almost an even matchup. It just might be me though. Sometimes I get bursted down before I can react so try to keep your health high.

Shaman: Hex continues to be a thorn on your side but you have more big minions than they do Hexes. You’re going to need Reno especially if you want to survive the aggro Shaman decks. Defender of Argus can help protect you and look for early game minions to trade into theirs.

Warlock: Mulligan hard for Reno if you’re expecting Zoo. Demonwrath might not help you much here but Hellfire and Mind Control Tech will. Ironbeak Owl should be saved if you’re anticipating Handlock to get rid of pesky Twilight Drakes or taunted Giants. You can even sneak in that Sacrificial Pact and play it against them if they end up using Lord Jaraxxus. But be careful, as they can do the same to you.

Warrior: There’s an Acidic Swamp Ooze in the deck that will come in handy here. Save it for Death’s Bite at an opportune time. Jaraxxus is going to be one of your key cards here to fend off a Brawl or other board clear. Have to keep up that steady flow of minions. I’ve heard good things about playing Elise against Warrior decks but I haven’t had the opportunity to try it myself.

Reno Lock is a really enjoyable deck. With the diversity of the cards that you can potentially add, it makes matches fun. You won’t have to worry about repetitive games as often since most of those will vary based on the cards you happen to draw into. Give it a spin!

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