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Burn Reno Mage Gadgetzan Standard Deck

Last updated on Jan 19, 2017 at 13:00 by Sottle 4 comments

Table of Contents

The following guide contains instruction on how to play Reno Mage. This particular build plays a huge amount of burn damage and card draw in order not only to true and directly burn your opponent out of the game, but also to help you hit power cards like Reno Jackson and Kazakus more consistently.

1. About the Author

This deck is presented to you by Sottle, a professional Hearthstone player who plays for compLexity Gaming. Sottle regularly streams on Twitch and explains all of his moves. Watching him is a good opportunity to see how this and other decks play out in practice, and how decisions are made in real time.

2. Burn Reno Mage Gadgetzan Standard Deck

Our deck costs 9,360 Arcane Dust and it is made up of the following cards.

Mage Cards Neutral Cards

2.1. Mana Curve


3. Strategy

Reno Mage is an extremely resilient deck that plays an enormous amount of stability cards in the form of Ice Block, Reno Jackson, and various AoE effects. This particular version does away with the value heavy or minion heavy strategies that other decks go for and instead adopts a strategy closer to Freeze Mage to try and burn the opponent out of the game directly. Generally you should try to prioritise drawing cards as often as you can when the board state allows it to progress towards your eventual win-condition of Alexstrasza alongside various burn spells or Archmage Antonidas.

3.1. Key Skills

3.1.1. Understanding your deck

Reno decks by nature require you to consider the interactions between more individual cards than usually. Due to this, you should take extra time to familiarise yourself with your decklist and make sure you understand the important cards that can impact the matchup in significant ways. You will need to keep all the remaining cards in your deck in mind at all times and this be a significant challenge in a Reno deck if you are not using Deck Tracker software. This is important in all types of matchups as against Aggro decks, you will need to understand the outs that are in your deck in the form of of heals, board clears, and Taunts, and be able to play towards them effectively. Against Control, your deck management is perhaps even more important since these matchups are likely to come down to the last few cards in each player's deck, and it is important to be able to plan ahead for the cards that you have not even drawn yet and how they will interact with the opponent's options.

3.1.2. Understanding the pace of the game

Reno decks are by their nature a fairly reactive archetype. You will need to quickly assess how fast the deck your opponent is playing is and react accordingly. Against aggressive decks you will want to simply play out your cards as quickly as possible and try to slow down their advances for long enough for your large AoE effects and big heals to come into play. Against slower Control decks however, the matchup will always turn into a battle for card value and you will need to meticulously try and get the most value out of each of your resources. This can mean many things from not playing an additional minion into an AoE effect, or holding back cards like Brann Bronzebeard in order to get incredible late-game value from them. This also has an impact on your choices from Kazakus, as against Aggro, a 10 Mana Spell will be way too slow, and you will look primarily for board clear and healing. However, against Control decks, you will almost always want to look for a 10 Mana spell and favour the options that gain you resources like Revive 3 Minions. There are also matchups where searching for Polymorph effects or large scale AoE is important to deal with the opponent's major threats. The presence of Reno Jackson in your hand can also impact these decisions in all matchups, as if you have the Reno already, you can afford to be a lot more greedy with your decision making.

3.1.3. When to Reno

Reno is by far the most powerful effect in your deck, and can be single-handedly game winning in a lot of situations. However, the minion itself is very poor for its Mana cost, and many players can find themselves in sticky situations due to using Reno unnecessarily. If you Reno too early, you can give your opponent the opportunity to develop a much stronger board and pull too far ahead on Tempo. In many matchups, you will feel the need to Reno, but upon closer calculation, it will be impossible, or at least extremely unlikely that you will die. You can use this window to try and develop a better board and then back that up with Reno on a following turn. Conversely, in some situations, it may be correct to Reno much earlier than you might expect if you do not have other quality minions to develop on the board, simply so you have some sort of board presence to be able to compete. Always try and Reno on the last possible turn that you can if you are under pressure, and always consider the option to simply drop him as a 4/6 minion if you feel you can afford to do so. In Mage specifically, the presence of Ice Block means that you have so much more security to wait and gain full value out of your Reno Jackson. You should almost always wait until after your Ice Block has been dealt with before activating your big heal.

3.1.4. Setting up Lethal

Much like Freeze Mage, there will come a point in the game in many matchups where your highest winrate play will be to start ignoring the board and setting up a two or three turn lethal for yourself. You will need to be able to spot these situations quickly in order to have a successful winrate with the deck. Since the deck plays a lot less burn than in a regular Freeze Mage deck, you will often need an extra turn in order to achieve your goal. The ideal scenario is that you have an Ice Block up and are able to Alexstrasza your opponent and follow it up on the next turn with some combination of burn spells and Spell Damage to finish the game. Often this perfect scenario will not line up however and you have to generate a win-condition for yourself by playing Archmage Antonidas to generate the necessary damage first, which requires an entire extra turn. Once you start to assemble the game winning pieces in your game, immediately start to estimate how many turns you think you have left to achieve a win through tools like Kazakus, Reno Jackson, Ice Block, Ice Barrier, Frost Nova, and Blizzard. Then once you have established this, work out how to use them most efficiently to reduce the most damage possible, while also working in the win condition cards that you need to end the game.

4. Mulligans & Matchup Specific Strategies

Babbling Book is the best card to have in your opening hand universally, as it is your only proactive opening that does not rely on reacting to something that your opponent has done. Outside of this, Arcane Intellect and Loot Hoarder are also almost universally strong since you do have so few early-game options for board development.

Against a deck that you expect to be aggressive, Doomsayer, Arcane Blast, and Frostbolt are also all excellent keeps with Forgotten Torch and Volcanic Potion being borderline options as well.

Against Control decks, your win-condition cards like Brann Bronzebeard and Kazakus are great keeps since you will want to be able to activate that combination as early as possible. Outside of this you should just look for card draw in your opening hand in order to dig through your deck quickly.

Dirty Rat is not an early-game keep unless you are extremely confident your opponent is playing an aggressive deck with numerous small minions. In most matchups, this card is much more of a combo tool that can be used in the late-game to pull their win-condition from their hand and deal with it. It can also be excellent to play into an opposing Doomsayer.

5. Card Swaps

Manic Soulcaster can be included in the deck in place of Pyroblast which will help you out if you are facing a lot of resilient decks that cannot be beaten consistently with direct burn damage such as Control Warrior and other more value based Reno Mages.

Kabal Courier or Burgly Bully can be cut for more card draw effects such as Novice Engineer.

6. ChangeLog

  • 19 Jan. 2017: Deck added.
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