Wild Reno Priest: An In-Depth Guide, Pt.1

Looking to climb the Wild ladder this month? In the current metagame, Reno Priest is one of the best decks to play – if not the single strongest! With tons of diverse ways to build the list, you can tailor the deck to beat anything you encounter. One common misconception is that Reno-Razakus is a control deck, but in reality it wins through combo… making it uniquely powerful against both controlling and aggressive opponents. In the first part of this two-part guide, I’ll discuss the numerous options for constructing a custom Reno Priest list and show you how to launch your ‘Wild’ ride!

 

Book with this Sensei now!

 

Wild Deck Core

wild reno priest

 

In Wild, unlike Standard, archetypes can stick around forever. As such, the core comes down to these four must-includes that are in for the long term. The synergy of Raza the Chained and Shadowreaper Anduin is undeniable – these cards are impossible to imagine excluding from Reno Priest, although in the future we might get even more overpowered win conditions that outshine them!

 

Archetype Comparison: Which List To Run?

There are three primary archetypes for Wild Reno Priest at the moment and each plays somewhat differently. These are: the Spawn of Shadows list, the Prophet Velen list, and the N’Zoth list. Let’s look at each in turn!

 

Personally, I prefer and play the Spawn of Shadows deck. It has the most consistent combo damage potential and is the best “finisher” against midrange / control decks. On average, this deck needs two less cards to find a kill compared to the Velen list… but it has the notable downside of requiring that you’re at a high life-total to deal maximum damage.

 

Prophet Velen is interesting due to its flexibility. It obviously improves damage output, but can also be used defensively to amp your healing or control the board with your Hero Power. Velen would be my choice in a more aggressive metagame, like the current one in Standard. His ability to recover from a losing situation is very good in a lot of matchups, and he has even more crazy combo potential alongside Mirage Caller and Emperor Thaurissan.

 

File:Prophet Velen(228).png

 

N’Zoth Priest (which often includes the Priest Quest, Awaken the Makers) is by far the worst choice, but I’ve had lots of questions about it so I want to explain. The problem with this variant is that there’s plenty of faster combo decks in the Wild metagame, so you’ll rarely get value before you’re straight up dead. By contrast, the other Reno Priest variants don’t have to include a bunch of mediocre minions instead of card draw. This could change with better Deathrattle cards, but for the time being this is the most inconsistent option for this deck.

 

Deck Tech Discussion

As with any Reno deck, especially in wild, there are a near infinite amount of ways to build the deck, but let’s go over some of the options you have and when to use them.

 

Tech Cards & Packages

Dirty Rat and Deathlord play a similar role as disrupting tools in control matchups, and defensive cards against aggressive decks. The ability to potentially take away a piece of your opponent’s combo can sometimes just straight out win you the game.

 

Kezan Mystic and Eater of Secrets are relatively narrow in application but really help shore up some tough matchups. I’d recommend playing at least one of these since Mage is among the best counters to Priest. Including either will give you much better chances of victory, plus they’re occasionally good against Hunter and Paladin too.

File:Kezan Mystic(12252).png

 

Lyra the Sunshard is generally played alongside a few 1-mana spells and Radiant Elemental. This card fits best in a list containing Prophet Velen for the additional burn. Lyra isn’t bad, but I personally decided against it as I encountered a decent number of Skulking Geists on ladder. That tech card is designed to counter Jade Druid, but it does pretty well against us here as well.

 

Spawn of Shadows and Mirage Caller together form the anti-control combo. With the ability to easily deal up to 38 damage in a single turn (Spawn, Mirage, 1-mana card, 2-mana card), this package can take out an opponent at full health with no issue. The one problem is as mentioned earlier: you have to be at high health as well!

 

The Prophet Velen package includes low-cost spells like Holy Smite and Mind Blast, with some people taking it a step further and including Mirage Caller and Emperor Thaurissan in their decks. This makes for some insane burst potential, though at the cost of consistency.

File:Mirage Caller(55492).png

 

Cabal Shadow Priest is great against midrange and aggro decks, plus it has incredible synergy with Pint-Size Potion and Shadow Word: Horror. These are best when facing lots of board flood, like  from Zoo, Paladin, and Shaman opponents.

 

Skulking Geist certainly has a place in the deck as long as Jade Druid is around in the Wild metagame. On the other hand, if the Velen Priest list becomes more popular then this card is also incredibly disruptive there!

 

Draw Options

There are a few different options for card draw in Wild, each with unique upsides and downsides.

 

As an example, Gnomish Inventor is often used in slower metagames for the immediate card draw. Much like Novice Engineer, you don’t have to worry too much about it being stolen in Priest mirrors.

File:Gnomish Inventor(246).png

 

Loot Hoarder has great early game stats, but is very vulnerable in the Priest mirror match due to Potion of Madness and other ‘gain control’ effects.

 

Bloodmage Thalnos is by far the best draw option since it can also make our board clears more potent. A Dragonfire Potion for 6 damage instead of 5 makes a world of difference! This spooky skeleton also improves Holy Nova and Excavated Evil against opponents like Paladin and Shaman.

 

And finally there’s Crystalline Oracle, a card I often see but which is just not very good in Reno Priest. It’s especially bad in the mirror against Potion of Madness and Northshire Cleric, plus it doesn’t actually help you find the cards you want.

 

Sample Decklists

Now that we’ve talked through the options, here are a few examples of putting it all together!

 

 

To start, this (far left) is the decklist that I played to rank 20 Legend this season! Built from scratch, I slowly moved towards packing in as much card draw as possible plus a few tech cards focused on winning the Priest mirror. As mentioned earlier, I’m a big fan of the burst combo with Mirage Caller and Spawn of Shadows.  

 

 

Next up (right side), a slower control version of Wild Reno Priest. This deck includes the N’Zoth package and relies more on winning through value rather than drawing its combo and ending the game. I don’t much care for this variant, as its win condition loses out to either version with combo.

 

 

Last (near left), a list centered around Prophet Velen! Most notable is that the combo uses Emperor Thaurissan to unleash its full potential alongside Mirage Caller, Holy Smite, and Mind Blast, plus Loatheb to interfere with the opponent’s gameplan!

 

Get Wild: Part 2 Coming Thursday!

No matter which variant you opt to play, this is a Wild deck that will test your Hearthstone skills! As always, thanks for reading… and be sure to check back on Thursday for the second part of this guide, where I’ll break down common matchups, mulligan decisions, and give some more tips for piloting this challenging deck!

 

Book with this Sensei now!

 

Editor’s note: below are import codes for the three sample decklists.

  • Spawn of Shadows variant: AAEBAa0GHooB+wGQApwC5QTtBbkGyQalCdMK1wryDPsM/g2SD/cTwxa3F5K0AoO7ArW7Ati7Auq/Avq/AsPBAtHBAt/EAtPFAvDPApDTAgAA
  • N’Zoth variant: AAEBAa0GHooB+wHlBO0F0wrXCvIM+wz+DYEOjw+SD/cTvhbDFrcX4KwCg7sCtbsC2LsC6L8C6r8C0cEC1cEC2cEC3MECysMC38QC8M8CkNMCAAA=
  • Prophet Velent variant: AAEBAa0GHgmKAfsBlwKhBOUE7QXJBtMK1QrXCvIM+wz6Do8Pkg/WEcMWhRehrAKStAKDuwK1uwLYuwLovwLqvwLDwQLRwQLYwQKQ0wIAAA==