Hearthstone’s Wild metagame is full of high-powered decks, but Reno Priest stands out among the crowd! With some insane combo potential and numerous options for tech cards, this is an archetype that’s sure to stick around for the long-term… In my article earlier this week, I looked at some of the variants that are finding favor at the moment – now it’s time to dive into play advice for the list I used to reach Top 20 Legend!
Editor’s note: check out Tsukaime’s decklist here, or use the following code to import it!
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Reno Priest: Common Mistakes and Tips
By far the most common mistake I see with this deck is people failing to play around Potion of Madness in the Priest mirror… In fact, these misplays are often significant enough to lose the game outright! Ideally, any “card-drawing minion” (like Acolyte of Pain or Loot Hoarder) that you want to play in this matchup should be the only minion on your side of the board. Alternatively, you can kill off your own minion directly through Spirit Lash or another board clear effect.
Hold Those Visions!
Shadow Visions is one of the best cards in the deck, and yet it’s often misused by your average player! The best way to use this card is not to use it… unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. This deck doesn’t have to worry about being mana efficient but it can struggle to find the right answers for every matchup. Shadow Visions is perfect for helping you find the spell you desperately need, but every time I see someone play it on turn 2 and take 20 seconds to make a decision, I cry a little inside.
Watch Your Hand Size!
Always be aware when your opponent can make you “overdraw” with a card like Acolyte of Pain, Burgly Bully, or a potential Coldlight Oracle. With so many cards that are crucial to your gameplan, losing the wrong one can be devastating!
Kazakus: What to Pick, What to Prioritize
If you draw Kazakus early (meaning before Raza and Anduin), go for the 5-mana Potion. It’s the most efficient for its cost, and you want to put the highest priority on drawing two cards to assemble your combo. The only exception is if you need a board clear, and only if have no alternative!
If you’ve already drawn Raza and Anduin and you’re stable on board, it’s worth considering the 1-mana and 10-mana options. The correct decision depends mostly on the contents of your hand: can you afford to draw three cards or get three Demons without overdrawing? Will you need a large board sweep in the coming turns? Or should you just go with the 1-mana option? Remember that, besides its effects, this cheap spell can sometimes give you lethal with Hero Power!
When to Rat?
A question I’m often asked is how and when to use Dirty Rat… and the answer is quite complicated! If you have it early (before, say, turn 5), I’ll use it if my opponent kept cards from his mulligan and still hasn’t played them. This gives you a good chance to steal your opponent’s key minions and just end the game right there. If drawn later on, it’s best to hold the Rat until you have a board clear like Dragonfire Potion or Lightbomb to kill whatever comes out.
Reno & Razakus: Mulligan Choices
Since I recommend playing the Spawn of Shadows variant in the current metagame, the mulligans here are based on that list. Generally speaking, there are just four cards that are truly central to the deck: Raza the Chained, Shadowreaper Anduin, Reno Jackson, and Kazakus. You’ll always want to look for these four at the mulligan stage (possibly excluding Reno in slower matchups)!
There are a ton of different archetypes available for Druid (and we match up well against most of them), so going for the standard power cards is always good. It’s also worth keeping Lightbomb unless you have more information on your opponent.
The Priest mirror is incredibly interesting in Wild, and there’s a lot of skill-testing decisions to make! As for the mulligan, your usual power cards apply but I would also look for Potion of Madness and (if you’re going first) Northshire Cleric. In the case of the latter, don’t play it until you can immediately draw a card.
Potion of Madness shouldn’t be a keep if both players play perfectly, but even at Legend ranks, people still mess up a lot! You’ll often see an opportunity to steal minions like Loot Hoarder or Bloodmage Thalnos, so the ability to punish those – or even a Deathlord – can make a world of difference in any given match.
Many Warriors are still playing the Pirate decks, so I personally keep Gluttonous Ooze and Deathlord in addition to Raza, Anduin, and Reno. I don’t think Kazakus does enough in this matchup, as he’s often too slow unless you can get the “4 damage to all minions” Potion.
I haven’t faced many Mages this season, but it’s a bad matchup if you do encounter one! In this case, dig for the standard cards in your mulligan and make sure you’re running either Eater of Secrets or Kezan Mystic if you face them frequently!
Paladin is a good matchup for us! Again, look for the standard four cards and Potion of Madness. Silence is also a consideration, and if more decks start to include buff spells (besides Spikeridged Steeds) it should definitely become a keep. As of now I don’t think it’s quite good enough… yet.
The most common Hunter deck I’ve faced is the new Naga Sea Witch list, against which your best answer is the Lightbomb. This spell is a must-have for the matchup! So look for the power cards, plus Lightbomb and Shadow Visions, but only keep Shadow Visions if Lightbomb is still in your deck.
Warlock is mostly the Reno variant in Wild right now, which tends to be a slower deck. As such, I would mulligan away our own Reno in this matchup and keep other cards like Loot Hoarder and Acolyte of Pain to cycle through the deck more consistently.
I’ve seen a few entirely different archetypes of Rogue: Jade, Miracle, and Prince Keleseth have all made appearances during my climb! Again, our standard four cards are incredible in these matchups, plus Doomsayer is excellent here. I also wouldn’t fault anyone for keeping Shadow Word: Death against Rogue, just to reduce the likelihood of losing to the random big Edwin VanCleef. It’ll also find good targets against cards like Tomb Pillager.
Shaman is a great matchup due to the number of board clears we run. In the mulligan, I would even go as far as keeping Dragonfire Potion (when playing second) and Doomsayer in addition to the standard four cards. Shadow Word: Pain is also very effective against Aggro Shaman, so it’s definitely worth considering as a keep.
This season I’ll be working on mastering this decklist and climbing to the top of the Wild ladder! For anyone looking to get into this crazy format, Reno Priest is definitely an excellent choice to take on the diverse decks you’ll face. I hope these guides help you achieve your Hearthstone goals! My thanks to everyone who’s reading along, and I wish you the best of luck in your Wild adventures!