With the Hearthstone Wild Open running this month, it is the best time for you to try out the Wild format. Throughout the month we will be bringing you the easiest-to-understand guides to Wild’s most popular decks. Today we bring you the highly requested basics guide to Reno Priest! Reno Priest has been a deck people have had trouble with since the deck’s creation back in August of 2017, when the key to Reno Priest’s success, Shadowreaper Anduin, was created. Reno Priest reached the top of the meta until the eventual nerf of Raza the Chained, which made the deck disappear for a few months. Lately, however, Reno Priest has made a strong return in the Wild Hearthstone meta.
The key cards of Reno Priest are likely to stay around in the deck for years to come. Raza the Chained, Reno Jackson, and Kazakus all require you to play no duplicates of cards in your deck, which overall is a weakness for the strength of the deck. Then again, these three cards make it all worth it. Back when Raza the Chained made your hero power cost 0 mana, instead of the current 1 mana, Reno Priest was unarguably the strongest deck in the Wild format.
The reason for this was the aforementioned Shadowreaper Anduin. Shadowreaper Anduin transforms your Priest hero power into dealing two damage instead. The hero power of Shadowreaper Anduin refreshes every time you use a card. This allowed for some insane combos to be played around cards like Spawn of Shadows and Prophet Velen.
The play style of Reno Priest depends a lot on which build of the deck you play. For the combo builds of the deck, your main goal is to survive until you have the combo pieces set up. There have been builds of Reno Priest in the past featuring N’zoth; however, we believe those to be too outdated for the current meta.
The first part of the combo is to reduce the cost of your hero power with Raza the Chained. Without Raza, the combo isn’t possible. The second step is to become Shadowreaper Anduin. His hero power and mainly the ability to refresh it through playing cards is a key part of our strategy.
Once this is done, we have many ways of setting up for a kill. One such way is through using Spawn of Shadows, some cheap cards, and our hero power multiple times. This combo is the easiest to set up but often limited in damage.
Another is to reduce the cost of some cards in our hand with Emperor Thaurissan. This allows for more cards and hero powers to be played in the turn you go for the win, but it takes another card and another entire turn, which you sometimes don’t have the luxury of. Often if you do set up for a large combo with Emperor, using Mirage Caller can be very worthwhile since it can double the amount of damage Spawn of Shadows deals to both your opponent and yourself. However, be careful with how much life points you have when you do set up for this big of a combo!
The mulligan for Reno Priest is much more complex than with other matchups, but here are a few pointers to get you started.
Against any deck, cards like Northshire Cleric, Kazakus, Reno Jackson, Raza the Chained, and Shadowreaper Anduin can be kept without an issue. The other decisions, however, depend a lot on what you believe your opponent is playing. An example of this is Gluttonous Ooze. Do you believe your opponent is going to play a weapon early on, such as Rogue or Warrior? Then definitely keep it.
Similar is a card like Shadow Word: Death; is there going to be a big threat such as a Mountain Giant of Warlock headed your way in the early turns? If not, then you are likely better off with other cards in your hand instead. There are many of these decisions to be made in the mulligan phase, so take a moment and think of each card separately. What will I use it for, and when will I use it? What else might I need to win this match?
The first list we wanted to share with you today is the most popular and most basic list of Reno Priest out there right now. It plays solid cards all around and will do well in any meta for the coming little while. The only card you might want to consider changing, in our opinion, is Excavated Evil with the new turn 5-board-clear Mass Hysteria. This is a card from the most recent Rastakhan’s Rumble expansion and is likely to improve the list even more.
The second list we wanted to show you is a build that has been gaining popularity over the recent weeks. While the origin of this build isn’t clear, the list is very interesting. From the times we have faced off against it on the ladder it felt very strong, and it has some advantages against aggressive decks such as Paladin and Shaman due to the ability to play Duskbreaker, which is a turn 4-board clear, a turn where Reno Priest has been notoriously weak in the past. The weakness of this list compared to the first list is the speed of the deck. Replacing a few card-drawing cards with other tools slows down the speed you can use your combo, which hurts your matchups against decks such as Reno Warlock and Big Priest a lot.
If you got this far, we want to thank you for reading, and we hope you found some helpful information to get started in the Wild format. For the other Wild Basics we have created so far, check out our Hearthstone Wild guides to decks like Odd Rogue, Even Shaman, Even Warlock, and Pirate Warrior next!
I’m Arend Zijdenbos, from the Netherlands. Gamer for as long as I can remember. for the past 5 years I competed and coached Hearthstone at the top level . My current focus is to expand further in the esports writing scene.
I currently also write for Gamersensei, Dignitas, Team Genji, Montreal Gaming and Kyoto Esports for all kinds of Esports related articles.